Lots of Landrums

L.O.L.

Where do you live?

For those who still wonder where in the world, or Alaska, we moved to, you can check out the link below.  Scroll down to number sixteen and that’s home.  Of course summers are now spent at our campground in Nenana, which is not on the list.  Nestled between Fairbanks and Denali it can still get quite cold in Nenana.  But since the campground closes down for the winter we take the time to break away from it for a few months ourselves and travel a little further out to live out the coldest months of the year off the road system at home in Galena.  If Galena wasn’t such a busy little village you would think we were settling our winters closer to the Arctic circle for hibernation, but with a heck of a lot of activities going on all the time, winter is just as busy as a full season at the campground!

http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/alaska/coldest-darkest-towns-ak/

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Happy 2017!

2016 has drawn to a close and what a full, eventful, and memorable year it has been!  Many changes were  experienced and some long awaited milestones were made by our children.  Brian and I can certainly look back on on 2016 with thoughts of how quickly time moves by and how much can happen in one year!

Henry began the year having just gotten braces a few months prior and was progressing well into his year of high school.  By mid-year he had completed 9th grade with great success, including an exemplary first year of German online through Bringham Young University which was a new territory that turned out positive.  By the end of 2016, Henry already had braces in his past and possessed a permit allowing him to learn the exciting and daunting task of driving.  Henry continues to learn how to balance and work hard at his academics.  He is pacing himself in preparation to end his first semester of German 2 along with his other courses such of Biology, Algebra 2, and World History.  New for his second semester, Henry will be taking a course locally to learn about Renewable Energy and help enrich his desire to know more about the environment.  So far much of Henry’s high school success has been to his own credit and natural desire to learn, something I am very thankful for as his mother, teacher, and now more a guide as he learns his own way and the ropes of independence.  Henry’s mind has always shown to be his greatest strength and challenge, to fill it with his insatiable desire for wisdom and knowledge.

Abigail began 2016 busy with many activities along with her school work.  For the first part of the year, she remained a dedicated swimmer on the swim team and anticipated opportunities for mushing her dogs through what turned out to be a warmer nearly to warm a winter.  Committed to her music, she continued piano and voice lessons which added to her academic load that she disciplined herself to balance.  Over the summer, Abigail enjoyed learning new strengths and talents as she began gymnastic lessons for the first time and quickly progressed into it learning some new and long awaited skills.  For she and I both it was a fun experience, where we got to discuss a new familiarity talking about Abigail’s new gymnastics involvement and my teen days as a simple gymnast and cheerleader; we certainly both enjoyed a new connection of creating memories.  Abigail’s birthday in November brought forth a second teenager in our home as she enjoyed two milestones: turning 13 and receiving her own cell phone, at last. As she works on completing her final year before high school, Abigail chose to drop her time as a swimmer and add drums to her musical learning.  A choice that seems to be a wise one as her enjoyment has increased for music and mushing while overall stress has decreased from her previous hectic schedule, leaving a nice balance that is refreshing to see among a lot of busyness.  Abigail continues to amaze me with an intense sensitivity and where small decisions show to be difficult, big decisions that matter and make a difference are able to be made with clarity and a strong determination of conviction.

Vaughn begins and ends all with passion.  Always.  2016 was the year that brought Vaughn into the double digits.  Now in the 5th grade, he is the oldest of what I teach when I gather the youngest three together for their school each weekday morning.  Slowly learning the ineffectiveness of complaining, and hopefully tiring of the sentences writing that comes along with it, Vaughn is always a surprise to experience where he has most recently grown in his learning.  Vaughn has replaced his rhythm lessons from last year with piano lessons and has actually shown some progress within a few lessons, while hopefully gaining skills to learn discipline at the same time.  Vaughn is a serious lover of Lego, reliving our 2016 trip to Legoland through much conversation and already trying to make plans to return.  He loves to put together sets, and can do so rather intently and quickly with great focus and control, leaving me sometimes to wish we had endless money to pour into buying him countless Lego sets to cultivate his concentration and creativity!  Vaughn definitely has a passion for animals, especially the family cat, Pepper, and his bird, a green cheek conure, Olive.  Vaughn has shown himself to truly have a caring and giving heart, and it is comforting to see his tender spirit trying to push its way forward alongside Vaughn’s attempt to be forever busy and in control.

Jameson, began 2016 as a brand new reader and saw the year close as a second grader who can pick up most any book and find his way through it.  Jameson’s challenge lies in the skill of handwriting, but is most definitely made up for with his natural love and unique skills with math that seem to continually amaze me. Sometimes it is a riddle watching his mind work to solve a problem, and it is quite a process to see how his mind works.  Like Vaughn, Jameson loves to build with Legos and shows his own creativity and care making his creations. The beginning of 2017 will introduce Jameson to learning piano, his first venture into the world of music.  Jameson is still very much a man of order, liking things in their place.  He is also full of such sweetness and love we can sometimes wonder if bedtime will occur beyond the hugs, kisses, high fives, thumbs up,  I love you’s, and more- which have to done in sequence and counting for Brian and I separately each with Jameson.  He is an amazing boy full of such love and tenderness. While Jameson doesn’t necessarily sleep walk, he sleep cuddles, where his loving nature even reveals itself while he is sleeping even if it is in the form of a body slam as he climbs into bed with Brian and I in the early morning hours.   Jameson is a helper at heart, and when he allows himself to see a need he eagerly steps in to take care of it, especially if it involves his younger sister.

For Claudia, all the world is a stage.  She most likely sang her way into and out of 2016.  And it will be the same for 2017 and every year after.  Over the summer, Claudia enjoyed classes at gymnastics like her older sister and had a great time interacting with other children her age.  Having turned four in August, Claudia has just started her road of education as a preschooler and loves to join her two older brothers for a little bit of shared learning time.  Then she is off to role play!  Claudia can be entertained by herself in many ways- making food in her little kitchen, playing with babies or dolls, building with Lego, dressing up, or sitting at the keyboard singing her own song.  Claudia has always been able to, keep herself occupied and happy with her own imagination and dramatization.  Even so, she can just as deeply desire, want, and beg for someone to play alongside of her and join in her games.  Her favorite days are most certainly when a sibling joins in to play dolls, house, Lego, or dress up with her.  Whether her current situation brings her joy or frustration, she may easily break out into a song about it and if she is near the keyboard or drums she will add that to her performance.  One thing not lacking in Claudia is most definitely passion, which reveals itself in seemingly every move she makes from a picture being taken or an angry moment of not getting her way or at night when she lists with flair the things she has been thankful for that day.   Claudia has a strong nurturing, sensitive, and loving spirit that seems to just want to wrap everything near it up and release it back with unending happiness and laughter.

Brian and I each had our own milestones for 2016;  I turned 40 in the first half of 2016 and he turned 50 towards the end.  His 50 brought the surprise of an AARP card which still has him in indecision about. The first part of 2016 celebrated us being a couple for 19 years, married for 18.  Brian still manages KIYU thankful to have a full time employee added to help assist with his work load while I continued to help out part-time at the radio station during the first half and the last half of 2016.  2016 was super busy for KIYU as he traveled to put two new villages on the air and begin preparations for a third to be added in 2017.   Brian ended his seat as a city council member in the fall of 2016, which he decided to leave behind him as he began a new venture to become a board member for Alaska Public Broadcasting.  While teaching my children remains my primary responsibility,  I ran and subsequently became a member for our local school board, the Galena City School District. Certainly a year of new opportunities and learning for all of us, with the most life changing being our first year to run our new business venture, the Nenana RV Park & Campground.

The first part of 2016 contained overflowing anticipation as we looked forward to late Spring when we would open the campground for the first time.  With a warmer winter than usual, Brian and I were blessed to be able to go together on May 10 and get the water turned on at the campground and open it up for the season.  I would be at campground for two weeks with Jameson and Claudia while Brian stayed with the older three in Galena to finish out school and music commitments they had.  Jameson and Claudia proved to be huge helpers painting picnic tables, which totaled over a dozen in various pastel colors by the time everyone arrived at the campground on May 23.

By everyone, I also include my wonderful father-in-law, Henry, who flew up from Louisiana to help since Brian would have to spend his time between work in Galena at KIYU and visits to us at the campground. A more able and beneficial helper for the campground could not have been provided in anyone else.  Brian’s daddy proved excellent as he repaired and built great additions, including a mini deck for an elderly couple that stayed at the campground.    Of course my father-in-law’s greatest gift wasn’t even the wall tent cabin he built out of driftwood, it was his glowing presence at the campground that just endeared visitors to him and drew his own grandchildren to crave his presence, especially Claudia, who found her newest playmate.  I myself soaked up the opportunity to get to know him better and came to appreciate his wisdom and patience as I watched my children with their grandfather.  His witty humor and tall tales brought laughter each day, and for the first six weeks of our summer I was immensely blessed by my father-in-law’s presence as I obtained peace and confidence while growing in my new abilities to manage the campground.  Most especially I appreciated his presence as I grew in by my knowledge, understanding, and ability with dispensing propane!

After my father-in-law returned to Louisiana, we were blessed by a family friend from South Carolina who chose to spend time with us for a while while a short VISA hiatus from her mission trip in Honduras.  We had met Ashley our first winter in Galena after we moved to Alaska and had been blessed to provide her a home for three months while she stayed with us.  Ashley was from Clemson, SC, just a hour away from my own roots in Rabun County, Georgia.  Her presence at the campground was refreshing, especially for Abigail who remained closest to her of all our children.

After Ashley left we prepared to be on our own for a while, just meeting the wonderful campers who came our way from every corner of the world, but most commonly a European country or by July, Canada and the United States as well.  Soon we met a couple who planned to stay at the campground for an uncertain amount of time while the husband worked nearby with some bridge work.  I had no idea the impact that would be made on our family by this couple.  Most noticeably the impact the lady, Wendy, would make on Claudia.  I have never met a lady so patience and willing to fully give her time endlessly to a young child.  Claudia quickly attached to Wendy, and not surprisingly so as Wendy just jumped on board Claudia’s imagination train and let it take her wherever Claudia wanted to go.  I found myself mesmerized watching Claudia play and orchestrate Wendy’s interaction.  When I would have free time myself and neither Abigail or I was needed to run the office, we would all- Wendy, Claudia, Abigail, and myself- even get to play fun games of pretend or tag.  Those were great memories, cherished to be made as an adult with responsibilities! Throughout her weeks-turned-to-months time at the campground, I got to know Wendy very well myself and wondered why I couldn’t have been blessed to know her sooner and have her right where I live, wherever it may be!  Wendy’s humor, conversation, and help was just what I needed in the midst of a time of not needing to be burdened or burden Brian with his obligation to have a “real” job aside from the campground.  We were able to keep the campground open until Jameson’s birthday, September 29, and enjoy a great season and said good-bye to Wendy and her husband the same day we winterized, boarded up, and closed down for the season.  Yes, there were tears, but there was also hope. 2017 holds the hope and promise of a return from Wendy and her husband, as well as Brian’s daddy.  For that we will remain hopeful.

After closing the campground down at the end of  September, our family made plans to return home  to Galena for the annual Yukon Jamboree celebration the first weekend of October.  A time dancing with a potluck before hand, it was a great way to reacquaint ourselves with ‘home’ after being gone for four months.  Now it was time to get in full school gear mode.  The annual KIYU membership drive was just around the corner and as usual turned out to be a busy week, but a reassuring week for the radio station as supporters confirmed their commitment to the radio station with similar support from the previous year.   October closed out with a surprisingly warm Halloween with no snow on the ground!  That was a treat that felt like a trick.  But by the next weekend there was a snow covered Galena, winter may be later but it was coming!

We spent Thanksgiving as usual for us since landing in Galena, at the elders center. A time we have come to look forward to as we donate a turkey, make a side dish, and get the first round of enjoying Holiday Cider, which has become a tradition for the children in itself just waiting for the Holiday Cider to be made and enjoyed.  We also welcomed some kids from GILA, the local boarding school, to spend the afternoon and evening with us which turned out to be quite a refreshing and enjoyable time leading to new friendships.

The first weekend of December brought the annual KIYU membership concert, and to celebrate the 30 years of KIYU since going on the air in 1986 the 80’s PacMen Band from Los Angeles was brought up to perform.  And perform they did, easily taking us back to the 80’s to enjoy some great hits and memories.   After the concert, time seemed to just move right along into Christmas, with the bazaar, craft fair, Louden Christmas Party, and annual play for the children at church on Christmas Eve.  Christmas weekend was a wonderfully relaxing weekend at home as a family, a gift in itself after three busy whirlwind months back in Galena!

The KIYU 4th Annual Fireworks rounded out our year;  with enough warmth provided to stand outside and enjoy a sky full of surprises, flair, and noise.  A show representing much of how 2016 had been and how I anticipated 2017 would be.  We may never know what is in store, but we can be sure there will be wonder and surprises ahead. And with our family, there is also a guarantee of flair and noise, too.  Lots of noise.

Here’s to hoping your new year will bring you childlike wonder, unwavering hope, new wisdom, continual joy and be blessed exceedingly and abundantly beyond your hopes or imaginations. May your homes be full of love and laughter.  Happy 2017!

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Sled Canoeing

   
 
After eating dinner at a friends house we caught a glimpse of the boys “canoeing” in sleds since the snow was melting into a mini pond in their front yard. It wasn’t long before a couple fell in. Yes, both ours- Vaughn and Jameson. With wet socks and winter boots filled with water it was claiming an end to our visit.  

It did cut a nice visit catching up with some friends short, but at 9pm and in broad daylight it was probably time anyway. Man, the sun in Alaska can sure be misleading as it quickly tries to march up to a nearly 24 hour rule over the day! Guess the sun wants to make sure it wasn’t forgotten over the loooooong winter.

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15 years and Anticipating… Happy birthday Henry!

Amazing that 15 years ago today Brian and I were blessed as parents together for the first time. God proved He has perfect plans in place when He finally chose to bless us with Henry after thinking for years we may not have a child.  As the oldest of our children, God chose Henry and displayed His all-knowing power as each year revealed more and more Henry’s good nature and self-control that would become an example for his younger siblings.  

Henry Scott came into the world with simplicity and serenity, much as the years have passed as we have watched him grow up into the man of humility and wisdom he is becoming.  Not a day of regret has passed to be called his mother.  How true when the bible says “a wise son brings joy to his father”.  These 15 years have been full of delight and joy, challenging and growing us as much as Henry has grown himself.  

Looking back at all his growth and much self-taught learning prompts us to look forward  as we count these past 15 years and anticipate the great things to come for Henry.   A life he has chosen to live faithful, obedient, and always implementing his growing knowledge and wisdom.  

May the Lord’s face always shine upon you, Henry, and may your future be full of hope, joy, and love- for you are loved very much!!!

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Busy day!

We have had a busy, busy, day!

Our Galena Spring Carnival is in full swing with real Alaska weather, but despite the windy chill kids pulled through the ski race. Vaughn competed and his hands were cold at the end but he was proud and clutching his free meal ticket all the way to the concession stand where Abigail was awaiting in the warmth to serve him as she helped earn money for the swim team. Jameson decided to pull out of the race at the last minute, and I believe I would have been inclined to myself if I was waiting against the wind to ski. Claudia stayed inside with big brother Henry, who both stayed warm and happy to just hang out. All this and squeezing in sometime to celebrate Henry turning 15! A small family party today, but fully anticipating a bigger celebration with friends at the pool on Sunday after the spring carnival commences. Whew… The bed will feel good tonight!

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New Year, New Ventures

As we open up a new year it is always exciting to look ahead with hopefulness at all the new ventures that may unfold before us. Like years gone by, there is always the unexpected, and then sometimes, like a new baby, there is the expected and anticipated. Brian and I have had our times of turning a new year and awaiting the expected, and 2016 holds that in store for us again. But wait, this time it isn’t a new baby. Well, not that we know of as we embrace the new year.  

This year it is another new venture, a new adventure. Not the type of adventure that moved us forward and led us to Alaska, but rather one that gives us stronger and deeper roots into this state we have grown to love and call home. Yes, this time the change is no baby, no move, but rather the fulfillment of another dream Brian and I have shared together over the past nearly two decades of our lives together. A dream that was surprisingly brought to fruition nearly three months ago and even more surprisingly we have kept quiet about until we felt the right time to make it widely known. And widely known we want it to be, because we are so glad to be able look ahead into 2016 as we begin bringing to life the dream of owning our own family business and sharing that together and with others.  

In November of 2015, after a surprised discovery and months of discussion and prayer, we bought a campground. Nenana RV Park and Campground, located as the name suggests in Nenana, a small village on the road system off the Parks Highway between Fairbanks and Denali. Now with part time access to being on the road system, we do look forward to that since one thing our family has discussed missing are the road trips we took quite frequently before moving to Galena. The campground will now allow us to get our full of enough road trips during the months of May to September when leisure driving is best for exploring Alaska and then allow us the time of staying still and resting, or hibernating, over the winter at home in Galena. And since as a couple and as a family we do enjoy camping, it also serves as a great adventure to spend and soak up the rare, warmer weather offered in Alaska’s summer along with the abundant sunlight filling nearly all the 24 hours in a day. Yay, vitamin D!

 The name Nenana means a great place to camp between two rivers and we would agree- camping with us at Nenana RV Park and Campground would be great for anyone who wants to visit us over the summer! The “summer”, which would be May through September in Alaska, home of the two seasons rather than four. A harsh, cold winter and a warm, lighter summer, each separated by a quick, blink-and-you-will-miss-it spring and fall that lasts about 2-4 weeks transitioning between the changes.  

For most of Alaska that handles tourists, such as Fairbanks and Denali which Nenana lies between, the busy season is May though September. Nenana is also home to the Nenana Ice Classic, a worldwide betting pool system where people bet to the exact second when they think the river that runs alongside Nenana will crack and begin its summer thaw. Once it does, the barge will begin running to take large items and bush shopping down the river with its final destinations off the Yukon River at villages like our home of Galena and the other smaller villages near Galena. This is how we first encountered Nenana ourselves when we moved to Alaska, taking our first barge loads that were to be carried downriver to our home in Galena. At that time we admired the little village of Nenana remarking how we liked the charm and rural living it seemed to possess while still being in such a wonderful location just South of Fairbanks and north of Denali. Quiet and indigenous, Nenana seems comparable in size and lifestyle to Galena yet distinctly different with Nenana being connected to the road system while Galena is and most likely always will be only accessible by plane, or boat over the summer.

In Galena, the busy season is quite the opposite of what it is for the campground in Nenana. While summer experiences lower populations and less hectic schedules, September through May is at a peak of busyness, when school is in session and approximately 300 additional high school students come from remote areas to learn and stay at the GILA boarding school. So that is when I am most beneficial to Brian at the radio station as well as when the activities our children are involved in climb to a busyness that can often border overwhelming if allowed to.  

In contrast to the busy school season, over the summer Brian will continue to run KIYU while the children and I run the campground along with some other trusted individuals, including the previous owners who have offered to be around and help out as we learn the ropes of our new business. A business well established, with lots of growth potential, but still a new business for us holding new things to learn, something we are eagerly looking forward to along with our children. Brian will be able to take occasional trips into town to help, some even by boat with a friend or two. But mostly the summer will give him the opportunity to take advantage of some downtime and make sure in Galena we are ready for the next winter with firewood and any other necessary outdoor work and repairs that need to be done in the five short months we are given to accomplish them in. This time will also help give Brian some extra hours to dig in deep and take care of needs at the radio station which will allow his time to be more freely spent with the children and at home over the following school year. Overall, we are excited and hopeful about the possibilities buying the Nenana RV Park and Canpground will give us as a family and future to look forward to together.  

You can check out our new campground online, we have a website which is http://www.nenanacamping.com. We would love to hear your excitement about our new venture! It really has been a God thing, brought about in the most unique and unsuspecting discovery and at one time was released only to be returned to us with greater choices. It has been thought over, prayed over, and most importantly naturally transitioned with peaceful movements into becoming our own. All in all it has been exceedingly and abundantly more than we have hoped for, fulfilling the desires of our hearts both jointly and individually. This has certainly been part of God’s plan- His plan for our hope and our future and our family.  

Thank you for sharing so many joys with us over the years! In this new year, please share this new venture with us too!

http://www.nenanacamping.com   

 

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Ending 2015

With the close of 2015 it is fitting to end a busy year with celebrations marked for reflection.  Thanksgiving, to remind us of all there is to be thankful for despite what we may wish to complain about.  I have five healthy, beautiful, and loving children that have their own faults like their mother but in the end truly desire to do what is right and achieve improvement.  A blessing to reflect on as on occasion my heart recalls the ache and pains of the early years in our marriage when Brian and I doubted our ability for me to conceive and prepared for the route of adoption.  Oh, God knew then- as He always does- and looking back I see He was blessing us during the pain of our want with time to prepare for the abundant joy He had in store.  Through it all, I am thankful for a loving and supportive husband who has shown me the Christlike gift of unconditional love.   Seeing the big picture, there is much to be thankful for and so much less to complain about.  Contentment.

Going from a celebration of giving thanks easily guides the way into Christmas, a time of joy and hope and peace.  A time to relish in the simple things of life and give out of the joy you have.  The joy we can find once we are content and have realized all the good things in our life often outweighs the bad.  How fitting to end the year realizing all we should be thankful for and the joy and contentment we should bask in with all God has given us.

Our Christmas was kept more simple this year.  The children each got their three gifts a piece, to remind them of the three gifts we are familiar with Jesus receiving on the first Christmas.  And of course they each got their new annual ornament, it has become a delight for us to watch them as they truly anticipate Christmas Eve and opening their new ornament for the tree.  Henry gets snowmen, Abigail gets angels, Vaughn gets crosses, Jameson gets stars, and Claudia gets bells.  This year our tree was full to say the least!  We may soon need to get two trees to hold all the decorations!  Then they had their own gift exchange from when they draw names on Thanksgiving Day to exchange between them on Christmas Eve.  With presents from some family and a small visit from Santa, Christmas was smaller but more relaxing and all the fulfillment hoped for to enjoy the day together as a family.

Christmas Eve we enjoyed the annual nativity play at church, with this year watching all of our children participate.  Henry agreed to play a silent Shepard role while Abigail chose to continue her role from last year and narrate the play along.  Vaughn was a wise man as he had played last year and Jameson was a sheep, happily bouncing along on all fours to baa and  play his part as realistic as possible.  Claudia chose at last moment rehearsal to change her role from being a sheep with her brother to become an angel, enticed by the flowing white material and circle of other pretty little girls.

The week after Christmas we celebrated ending 2015 and beginning 2016 with the KIYU annual fireworks.  Brian set off the fireworks with  one of his good friends and a new employee who had just flown in that day (yes, Brian now has a FULL time employee and he arrived New Year’s Eve, definitely a way to end a year and begin a new one!).  The children and I, along with a lot of their friends, got to get a close view of the firework show alongside the local police officer who had come out to help Brian watch over the safety of everything.  It was a fun time, almost more fun for me to watch the children watch the fireworks as it was to watch the 45 minute show!  Amazing, in the middle of near nowhere some of the best fireworks we have ever seen accompanied by great music.  But, I have learned that is how Brian gets things done- as near perfect as possible.  For the children, the biggest highlight was the bonfire afterwards to get rid of all the firework debris.  We knew as usually happens that some forgotten fireworks would set off so we kept backing the children away from the fire and once the missed fireworks started shooting off with a post display, they were all running as fast as they could by the surprise of it all.  They were so excited to be caught off guard, and knowing they were safe made it enjoyable to watch their quick fleeing from the site!

A great way to end 2015 and begin 2016 with a blast and bang- sending out old memories and preparing to usher in new ones full of hope and excitement.  How wonderful and thankful to have opportunities to see life through the eyes of children with fullness and hope and joy!

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That First Moose!

Here in Alaska it is a big deal getting your first moose. This year in Galena seemed to be a first year for many, including Brian and a buddy he took hunting with him, Paul. Another friend went alongalso, as well as Henry, and they all had a great time, successful in the outing when Brian’s two shots and Paul’s added shot took down this moose to make sure our freezers were full for the winter.


Brian had certainly gotten wild game before, mostly deer from living in the south, but the sheer massiveness of the moose made transporting it much more challenging. Thankful to having four guys on the outing as even doing some of the cutting and organ removal at the sight of take down can still leave a lot of pounds needing to be carried back to the boat and brought back to Galena. Antlers are not retained as a trophy, they are turned in to Fish and Game and helps show that this animal was acquired for meat- not just sport.

This trip was just a day planned trip leaving at daylight. For most of this year hunting trips had been overnight taking either Henry or Vaughn for the experience. Henry loved the time spent out on the boat with his dad and searching for game, however at his hearts core he is not a hunter and outside of spending time with his dad has no personal desire for the sport. No big deal to us, Henry is certainly still quite a young man growing increasingly more so each year. Even though Henry isn’t the one to hunt, you can see when asked he has no problem getting in an doing what is asked in order to help get the meat from animal to freezer. For this outing that meant carrying the heavy share of the weight that was portioned to him to get back to the boat- Henry definitely showed surprising strength! Vaughn on the other hand may become the hunter- he had much excitement over their getting a moose and disappointment it hadn’t been on his trip out the previous weekend! In all his vivacious excitement of the season, Vaughn help with a little of the cutting but mainly kept asking “can we have some meat?!?”.


Abigail has been a huge help this year herself. As last year she has helped cut, wrap, and label our meat has we prepared and processed it for freezer. Whether for steak, roasts, another cut, or for Brian and I to ground into burger she jumped right in and helped moved the process along. This year she especially took care of the excess portions that would be frozen and become “dog meat” throughout the winter for her three sled dogs she would be adopting to begin her own mushing ventures. But that will be a new story later. For now, we will finish the season of making sure our meat is processed and filling the freezer for winter. As a first moose, we will be setting aside a generous portion to share with others in the community this weekend at the Jamboree. What a fun time, and great way to share our blessings!



 

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That First Moose!

Here in Alaska it is a big deal getting your first moose. This year in Galena seemed to be a first year for many, including Brian and a buddy he took hunting with him, Paul. Another friend went alongalso, as well as Henry, and they all had a great time, successful in the outing when Brian’s two shots and Paul’s added shot took down this moose to make sure our freezers were full for the winter.

  
Brian had certainly gotten wild game before, mostly deer from living in the south, but the sheer massiveness of the moose made transporting it much more challenging. Thankful to having four guys on the outing as even doing some of the cutting and organ removal at the sight of take down can still leave a lot of pounds needing to be carried back to the boat and brought back to Galena. Antlers are not retained as a trophy, they are turned in to Fish and Game and helps show that this animal was acquired for meat- not just sport.

This trip was just a day planned trip leaving at daylight. For most of this year hunting trips had been overnight taking either Henry or Vaughn for the experience. Henry loved the time spent out on the boat with his dad and searching for game, however at his hearts core he is not a hunter and outside of spending time with his dad has no personal desire for the sport. No big deal to us, Henry is certainly still quite a young man growing increasingly more so each year. Even though Henry isn’t the one to hunt, you can see when asked he has no problem getting in an doing what is asked in order to help get the meat from animal to freezer. For this outing that meant carrying the heavy share of the weight that was portioned to him to get back to the boat- Henry definitely showed surprising strength! Vaughn on the other hand may become the hunter- he had much excitement over their getting a moose and disappointment it hadn’t been on his trip out the previous weekend! In all his vivacious excitement of the season, Vaughn help with a little of the cutting but mainly kept asking “can we have some meat?!?”.

  
Abigail has been a huge help this year herself. As last year she has helped cut, wrap, and label our meat has we prepared and processed it for freezer. Whether for steak, roasts, another cut, or for Brian and I to ground into burger she jumped right in and helped moved the process along. This year she especially took care of the excess portions that would be frozen and become “dog meat” throughout the winter for her three sled dogs she would be adopting to begin her own mushing ventures. But that will be a new story later. For now, we will finish the season of making sure our meat is processed and filling the freezer for winter. As a first moose, we will be setting aside a generous portion to share with others in the community this weekend at the Jamboree. What a fun time, and great way to share our blessings!

  
  
  
   
 

  

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What a joy!

  
Amazing to think 6 years ago this vibrant, inquisitive, sweet, and man-of-order little man was brought into our world.  The longer labor of any of my five children, even though he was the 4th to come along, we realized as soon as my body got on board with getting him in the right direction it was full speed ahead and swift!  Barely enough time to make it to the birthing pool prepared in front of our living room fireplace he came full and ready in the orderly way- much how he approaches and accomplishes his tasks in life. From potty training to opening (or shutting!) doors to learning to read, he is a man or order, in his own way and fashion of getting things done.  

Convinced we were having a girl and still unsettled on boy names, he was our first child to be born without a name.  Within the hour after his birth we had agreed on Jameson Joel, deciding JJ would be an acceptable nickname.  Jameson, for son of Jaime, or son on love as my name had been chosen for the French meaning.  Full of endless kisses, hugs, snuggles, and concern Jameson has proven to definitely be a son full of love!  

From his amazingly inquisitive and unique questions to his sympathetic softness for his baby sister, Jameson is a blessing to call son.  Liking things to be as they should and in order, he is truly a wonder to sometimes watch as he goes about setting things in place and having it all organized.  A trait his adoring baby sister now shows herself lending her to the similar nickname “little girl of order”.

Jameson, Jamo, Mo, Mo Mo, Blondie-Blue, and JJ- all of these names comprise the special blessing  we claim as our middle son.  With a strong passion for his siblings and a playful affection towards the pets, Jameson always shows a heart of pure love and passion- even in the moments of hurt where his passion rises up in a not so sweet moment.  No matter what the moment or emotion, Jameson feels it all!

Truly a little boy who loves all things noisy and messy, Jameson is a joy to watch as he does his crazy faces, funky dance moves, and silly sounds. For straight outright Jamo humor, just end every word with “head” or “butt” and you got a great joke!  Much to his own delight he is able to share these boy joys of humor with his next closest sibling, his brother Vaughn, that he adores with a brotherly love full of passion that can often swing both ends of the pendulum in both happiness and frustration! 

What a joy Jameson is to our lives, to our family!  What a blessing it is to experience life with him and to know love through his selflessness and heart for others happiness.  What a wonder as we share and look ahead to see the wonderful future God has prepared for him.  Both the joy and blessing to share in that and to know I have become better because God gave us Jameson.



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