Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Branch and the Missionaries

Haines has a small branch. There are less than 30 people on the rolls. Even less than that come to church. Caleb commented once on the fact that his primary class from home in Highland was bigger than the entire primary here in Haines. But although it is small, the people are great! It's like a home away from home. Kristen and I have both had opportunities to speak in sacrament meeting and teach lessons in Elders Quorum and Relief Society. I think they are happy to have some variety!
We have also had the chance to get to know the missionaries. We've taken advantage of opportunities to have them over for dinner. In fact, they spent one entire p-day with us. We ate lunch, then went fishing for a couple hours (which is legal for the missionaries to do), and then they came back over for dinner and some games. Our children loved them. Back home we never get the chance to have the missionaries over. It has been a great experience for our kids to get to know these wonderful young men, to feel the spirit of their messages, and to see a little more about what they do. Thanks, Elders. Your little time has made a huge impact!

The Haines branch meeting house

the little cabin on the right is where the Elders stayed

Joe and Judy Whitaker, who have become our good friends

Other branch members

Branch camp-out--celebrating the 24th of July

Elder Ivan and Caleb fishing the river

Elder Smoot & Elder Ivan

Canoeing in the Bay

It is so nice to have access to a canoe and life jackets. Everyone has fun going out. We've seen bear while out there, lots of eagles, and have caught some strange fish. The boys have enjoyed going out in the canoe on their own, too. The only one who hasn't got to go is Kylie. Sorry Kylie!

Cabin Fever

Even with the beauty all around us, we still spent a fair amount of time in the cabin. The weather, bears, and mosquitos kept us in-doors quite a bit. But we still had plenty to do. Between reading (I'm amazed at how many books the boys have read), watching movies, playing games, indoor basketball, making things, loving Kylie, and enjoying the beautiful views out the window, being inside wasn't too bad (well, most of the time)!

A friendly game of "stink boggle" (don't ask!)

Making peanut-butter dough creations

Roasting marsh-mellows over the stove

Not sure what Caleb is doing--creating his own long hair, I think.

Katelyn cleaning the kitchen

Holding my baby girl

Being lazy on the couch (we did a lot of that).

A yummy package from Grandma. Lots of good stuff!

A fishing boat out in the cove

A shot from the deck

Katelyn enjoying the view out her bedroom

A pancake re-heat in the microwave gone wrong! Pushed the easy to use "1 minute" button, but forgot to take it out after the only needed 15 seconds. Flames and lots of smoke! Oops.

The boys playing basketball on their little nerf hoop

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fishing at the Docks

Our first adventure in fishing started at the boat docks in town. We would eventually branch out to the rivers, oceans, and lakes, but it all started at the docks. It was interesting to fish at the docks because of the variety of strange and unusual fish that we caught. None of them were very big, but they were all a little strange (at least compared to what we were used to catching). Once while I was working Kristen took the kids to fish at the dock. Caleb caught some long, eel-looking type thing, and nobody dared to touch it to get it off the hook. They finally had to ask some man that was cleaning his fish at the cleaning station to help them. Apart from that incidence, they all did pretty good at baiting their own hooks, and taking off the fish that they caught.

We caught lots of flounder fish

Patiently waiting!

Here's the long, strange fish that Caleb caught

The rewards of patience

Kaden caught a fish and hooked it in the eye. When he tried to pull the hook out, the eye came out with it. Yes, this is the fish's eye on his hook. Gross!

Mom and baby hanging around with us

Manicures & Pedicures

What do girls do when they are sitting around with nothing to do? Well, they do their nails, of course! So Mom & Katelyn decided to give themselves a manicure and pedicure. But they didn't want anyone to feel left out, so they decided to let Kylie and the boys join in on their little party. Fortunately, Dad was working when this took place, or he probably would have been forced to do it as well!

Kylie's first pedicure and manicure

What a nice big brother Caleb is, to let his sister paint his toes.

I'm not sure whose feet these are--maybe someone who's trying to stay anonymous!

Town Salmon Bake

One night the town put on its annual "salmon bake" dinner at the county fairgrounds. The entire town was invited, and all the local fisherman donated some of their catch from the week's fishing. Donations were suggested (which went to benefit the town), and a yummy dinner was enjoyed. A live band played great music, and the rest of us sat around and enjoyed a fun night hangin' out with the community.

Waiting in the long line to get our food

The band playing through the smoke of the bbq

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bike Race

The local Elks Lodge organization held their annual "Say No to Drugs" bike race. The kids all wanted to participate, so after many phone calls, and driving all around town, we finally rounded up enough bikes for everyone (except for Kristen and Kylie, they rode in the "support" truck).
The course was a 6 mile ride from the ferry terminal, along the inlet, up to lake Chilkoot. Everyone finished the race, even Katelyn. Those little legs of hers had to peddle really hard on that small bike, but she was determined. And although her and I were the last ones who rode across the finish line--we still did it. Everyone was there at the end cheering her on. Her face just beamed!
The race was followed by a yummy barbecue at the lake campground, and then they had a drawing. I guess it was our lucky day, because we walked away with an ipod and a Nintendo DSi. Not bad!

And the winner is.....?