Elisabet is here! And my family is back too!

Holly and the boys arrived in Haines today on the slow boat Malispina, bringing Elisabet for the first time to Haines.

Below is a picture of the ship they arrived on, but it’s difficult to see that it’s a boat, as the tide is very low and much of the hull is obscured by the dock.

IMG_9278 She is very nice and easy going, and she is a very pretty young lady.  When they arrived, it was nearly dark and just starting to rain with a heavy dense humid feeling and fog forming above the Lynn Canal.  On the tin roof of the log cabin, I can hear the rain going pitter patter on in a gentler calming way and I can hear Elisabet unpacking her things in her room.  The two three boys are all asleep and Holly is just about gone too.

In the photo below, we have (Left to Right), Elisabet, Holly, Mark Margaret, Bob, and Luke Michael, I was taking the picture, and John Caleb was asleep.  The Ferry is in the background.  The Ferry is not fast, as ferries go.  It has a cruising speed of 17-19 knots, as do most of the slow ferries, so it takes about 4.5 hours to make the journey from Juneau to Haines.

IMG_9279c As soon as Elisabet got here, Holly showed her around every room in out small cabin: the

two bedrooms, one for us and one for her, the bathroom, kitchen, pantry, and living room.  It was a short tour.  Then we ate a light snack of fresh home made bread & butter, jam, water, and juice.  The boys were dead tired and while claiming to be hungry for this or that treat really were just needing to get to bed.  I put the older two to bed, putting them in their pajamas and brushing their teeth.

When Luke was almost asleep, Mark Daniel figured out that their sleeping bags were switched and tried to switch them back to their proper positions but of course Luke was not in any condition to either have the bag pulled out from around him or crawl out of the bag himself, so when Mark started to pull him out of it, he just cried.  I took mercy on him and lifted him up and put him in his bag and laid him right back down.  Soon he was fast asleep.

As soon as Elisabet could, she started unpacking her bags and putting things away in her closet and little drawers.  It is difficult to know exactly what she is understanding or not while I’m driving, because I can’t see her face. But when I’m not driving, I can see comprehension or a question quite plainly in her facial expression.  I think this language barrier will not be too big of a hurdle to leap.

My prayer is the same as my mother’s prayer: that this year together with Elisabet will be a good year for everyone in the house and that we will all bless each other, help each other, and learn from each other.

Everyone but me is asleep now all over the house.  And now, I think, I will join them.

Mark: "Look at me daddy, I’m a chipmunk!"

One of Mark’s favorite book series is the Thornton W. Burgess Books.

IMG_9270 My Parents bought a small pile of the Burgess books for Mark this past year and we’ve been reading them, and we’ve also been reading many more from the library for the past year or two.  Much of this reading is done by Papa, Grandpa Plucker.  He comes over when Blacky (Margaret) is with Mark on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and reads to Mark in the big black chair while Margaret is scurrying around with the other two boys or is doing other tasks.  Favorite animals are Blacky the Crow, Chatterer the squirrel, Reddy Fox, Peter Rabbit, and others.

In these books, they get to learn about the animals in the lower 48 states.  In this picture, they’ve been eating grapes and have stuffed them in their cheeks so that they can  be squirrels or chipmunks.

To get this nice soft light quality in the photo, I put the boys next to our big picture window in the living room and made sure the background was not lit very well.

Sleeping in the living room.

Luke got sent out to the living room tonight for talking instead of being quiet.  Holly told him to count to five.  Then Holly took pity on he and John Caleb and went to sing and rock them in the big black chair. Mark and I were left in the bedroom.

Mark: “Daddy, If Luke gets sent out of the room for the rest of the night, do you know what he should do?”

Me: “No.  What should he do?”

Mark: “He should just sleep on the floor.  Do you know why?”

Me: “No.  Why?”

Mark: “Because, I’ve slept on the couch before, and do you know what happened? I fell on the floor.”

Me: “Yeah.”

Mark: “I’ve done it.  Luke’s done it.  John Caleb’s done it.  Sometimes it’s not too bad and you just wake up. But other times, your head hits the floor and it really hurts. That’s why I would just sleep on the floor.”

Me: What if the floor is hard.

Mark: “My sleeping bag.”

Me: “Oh.”

3 x 13 = ? Happy Birthday to Me. 39.

August 12, 2008

IMG_9261c2 It’s that time of year again: Time to get older.  Time to do my favorite things.  Time to sleep in, have pizza for dinner, eat Margaret’s masterful Carrot Cake, take pictures and blog about life.  My boat’s still awaiting the two big gears from Twin Disc, so I couldn’t go fishing this week.  It feels really odd to be in town but not to be out fishing, but perhaps it’s best this way as the teaching school year starts up on Monday with a week of in-services and training days.

The years march on by, like Nazi troops IMG_9098 high stepping in a parade, or perhaps like pure water trickling down a stream towards the sea.

What have I done with the years?  Has the time been well spent? Are they still ‘my’ years, or are they someone else’s years, with me just running on a treadmill as I try to keep from stumbling. There are so many ways of evaluating the days of one’s life, it seems, as we look around at all the different types of lives people choose to live.

Why is it that we ‘SPEND’ our time.  This monetary way of considering time might lead one to believe that time can be earned, invested,IMG_9250L saved, and spent on necessities, or frivolities.  And perhaps it can.  Why do normal people decide to have children and become parents?  Is it because they love to change diapers?  Rock babies to sleep, continually mop the end of the table under the high chair, or fold clothes in the pantry.  Perhaps this is how one ‘earns’ time with loved ones, by doing the chores of life that no one would choose to do on a birthday. 

IMG_9160c  So what did I do on my birthday?  Usually, my siblings and immediate family, dad & mums, Jack’s family, and Betty’s family usually get together on my birthday, but this time they weren’t able to make it.  So the question is this time, what did MY family do for the birthday?

  1. 8 AM: Holly went on a walk with Donna with the two older boys while I spent time with John Caleb.
  2. 9 AM: Then she went to the stores for the groceries.
  3. 10 AM: Even though it was a rainy dismal day, in many respects, we decided to have some fun outdoors and went on the battery point trail out to the beach.
  4. 12:15 PM: We came home and had chips & cheese (Mexican lunch)
  5. Then we had nap time.
  6. Then Holly made Pizza while Bob & Margaret came over to help out with the child care
  7. We had the Birthday Dinner, with Maddy Swift came over so Dave & Donna could have a date night.
  8. Then we had the Carrot Birthday Cake that Margaret made.
  9. Then Dave & Donna came by for some cake.
  10. At 7:30 PM, we put the boys in the tub to start the bedtime routine.
  11. 7:50-8:20 PM, Holly supervised the bedtime snack so I could do a blog.

I like blogging because it’s a calm relaxing activity that hopefully will be a record of things to come, so that in the future the boys will be able to look back at what type of things we did when they were small.  Also, I can keep in contact with family this way.

IMG_9218It was a bit tough getting out there to the beach on the battery point trail with the three little guys and only two adults with one child back-pack.  We forgot to  bring snacks and water.  I think the little guys walk much better if they have some refreshments along the way.  Also, we didn’t bring any wet wipes and we had an accident along the way that was a bit of a mess to deal with, not having the appropriate tools.  Thankfully, the backpack did have some diapers in it.  I think, as a minimum we need to have some wet-wipes, diapers, food of some sort (trail mix, or fruit, or dried fruit, or energy bars or something), two child back-packs, and at least an empty water bottle, if not two, so we could get some water along the way.

Dave says that sometimes on birthdays they get a coffin from the hardware store and have a wake for the birthday person instead of a party.  They read a eulogy and tell stories and such.  That sounds like it would be fun to do to someone, but wouldn’t be something that I’d necessarily like to have done to me instead of a birthday party.

This next photo is not critically sharp, for you critics out there.  It’s got an interesting kind of blur.  Here are the specifics: ISO 800; 1/50, 19mm.  Normally, just glancing at the photo, I’d say that the image had some camera shake blur, but notice that the boys, in the center of the frame, are pretty sharp.  This type of blur is actually caused by zooming during the exposure.  I was in the process of zooming from 22mm to 10mm when the image was taken.  The center of the frame will be sharper than the edges in this type of blur.  This effect can also be done with a Photoshop filter with greater control, but with less immediacy, satisfaction, and, dare I say it, pride.


Jack and Jennifer’s family called, then Andy called with his family, then Mom and dad called. 

It was a nice day.

Blue Whales. Wow.

Mark and I were looking at extreme science on the web and watched this video on blue whales.

Wedding Album for Alex & Kendra

IMG_3503 PS We’ve got the second draft of the wedding album done.

I really like the album.  I’ve gone over it with Frankie, but not with Kendra yet.  The music is Alex & Kendra’s Song and the timing is pretty good, ending just on time.

Let me know what you think after you check it out.


Have a great day.

Here’s a touching and inspiring story…

This is not a story from me.  It’s out on the web, you can check it out: Team Hoyt.

A son asked his father, ‘Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?’ The father who, despite having a heart condition, says ‘Yes’. They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father always
saying ‘Yes’ to his son’s request of going through the race together.

One day, the son asked his father, ‘Dad, let’s join the Ironman together.’  To which, his father said ‘Yes’ too.

For those who didn’t know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island. Father and son went on to complete the race together.

View this and make sure your sound is on!


Here’s another video that’s more of a news story.