The gift of a day!

Rene Martin called at 6:15 AM and told us that school was cancelled for the day. I naïvely thought of all the many things I could get done with the extra time. I ordered another classes photos, I’d already started the fire in the Blaze King. Then I called K.C. Thomsen—next door—and he said he’d just finished snow-blowing his drive and I might already be too late to use the snow blower. You have to stay ahead of it he said.


As you can see from this picture The snow is almost exactly as deep as the top of the auger-housing.

Immediately, at 9:30 AM,  I suited up and headed out to snow blow the drive and the sidewalk.


The driveway is not small, but not huge either. Our old driveway is much smaller, but there was no place to put a snow-blower or the car.


In this picture, you can see that the snow is about four inches deeper than the input on the auger. You can see that the snow doesn’t cling to my snow-pants, which have a tight nylon weave unlike my Carhartt Jacket and gloves which get permeated with snow.


I’m definitely going to get out there before the snow gets that high again. It took me about 2.5 hours to run the snow blower. So far the gift of a day has not arrived, but on the bright side, we’re still ahead of the snow, as far as the driveway is concerned.

Rest of Today

snowVisibilities often below 1/4 of a mile in blowing and drifting snow. Snow heavy at times with a new snow accumulation 3 to 4 inches. Highs around 28. North wind 15 to 25 mph with gusts increasing to 35 mph. Near the border…north wind 40 mph.


nt_snowVisibilities often below 1/4 of a mile in blowing and drifting snow through early this evening. Snow heavy at times with a new snow accumulation 2 to 3 inches before tapering off this evening. Lows around 20…ranging to around 8 above near the border. Northwest wind 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph.


chancesnowPartly cloudy. Windy. Slight chance of snow in the morning. Highs around 20. North wind 15 to 30 mph with gusts to around 40 mph.

Thursday Night

nt_partlycloudyPartly cloudy. Colder. Lows zero to 8 above zero. North wind 15 to 25 mph. Wind chill to 20 below.


partlycloudyPartly cloudy. Highs 11 to 17. Northeast wind 10 to 20 mph. Wind chill to 20 below.

Friday Night through Saturday Night

Partly cloudy. Lows 3 to 10. Highs 13 to 17.


Cloudy. Chance of snow. Highs around 25.

Winter Wonderland…

It’s been a winter wonderland up here. We got 14 inches of snow night before last and it’s starting to snow in earnest now.


The boys build a fort this morning.


The wood-stack tries to stay dry under the tarp.


The snow hangs off the roof over the kitchen window.


The day-stack of wood on the porch, nice and dry under the roof, with mixed remains of Mark’s hatchet work to make kindling.


The view from the porch: we can’t even see the water, due to the snowfall.


Snow fort construction.

Heavily snow-laden trees tower over the 7.5 cord wood-shed.

Go little pink clothes! Go!

Holly has been washing clothes for the last few days, as we have finally moved into the new house. After being packed in boxes for six weeks, some of the clothes needed to be freshened up.


When she poured this pile of pink, purple, and red clothes onto the bed for folding, I just had to cheer for them:

“Go little baby pink clothes! Go!”

In my estimation, these pink clothes are the definite under-dog in the race to which set of clothes will be selected to be on the starting team when the time comes. We already have three boys and the blue, brown, and green clothes are sitting confidently on the shelf.

It’s not that I wouldn’t be happy with another boy. We love our boys. But it would be nice if Holly had a girl, I think.

What do you think?

Moving Day!

Today we moved into the new house—it’s one block from our old place but bigger and has room for the boys to move around. It was a miserable horrible no-good day in many ways, most of them having to do with the weather.

But it was a wonderful day in that we experienced the love and care of so many people.


Above we see Patrick Henderson in Mark Fontenot’s truck as they move one of the beds covered with plastic in the rain.

We had 30 people show up to help us move with five pick-up trucks and other vehicles, as you can see in the picture:

  • Darwin Feakes who brought a truck and did the bunk bed’s break down and assembly;
  • Lilly, Hannah, and Haley Boron who brought their mini-van and were second on scene. Their van was a huge help because it kept a lot of boxes dry;
  • Arlene Jackson who helped set up the kitchen, the boys room, and the guest room, she stayed about four hours and had a stew for everyone to eat. She arrived about noon and said, “I probably can’t be of much help…” She was a huge help!
  • Jacque Horn worked along with Arlene and donated the supplies to decorate our guest room;
  • Mark Fontenot, Royal & Patrick Henderson brought a full-sized truck and carried lots of large furniture;
  • Jila Stuart & her daughter Willa helped carry boxes;
  • Terry and Bonnie Sharnbroich had a covered bed on their truck and kept many things dry as well, and they helped set up the boys’ room – Terry especially wouldn’t let Holly move anything (since she was 7 months pregnant). He said, “I don’t mind moving furniture, but I don’t want to deliver a baby!”
  • Michelle and Michael Byer brought doughnuts, set up the master bedroom and helped start the first fire;
  • Rene & Rick Martin were a huge help and were their own team as they moved a ton of stuff;
  • Jim, Matthew, and Naomi Green helped move some really awkward things that were left at the end;
  • Karen Henspeter whirled in on the kitchen with Jacque and Arlene
  • Patty Brown (Library director) carried the actual kitchen drawers up in her car and moved the supplies into the drawers at the new house;
  • Jolanta Ryan was a good friend, ‘nough said;
  • Cyndi Buxton, Ross & Eli White helped with getting more boxes and gathering up the odds and ends. (Who knew it takes so many boxes to move?!) Cyndi even ran home and emptied a box of apples she had at her house so she could bring another strong box over to pack up things.

Susan Weerasinghe helped out with the boys so they wouldn’t be underfoot in the morning. Al & Serena Badgley came by near the end to see what else was left to do, and ate some doughnuts as most stuff was done by then (I’m not sure they actually ate any doughnuts, but I can easily imagine Al eating one). also helping out with the boys were Irene Hofling, Lenise Henderson, and Bob & Margaret Plucker.

That night we sat down to eat dinner at the new house for the first time, and Mark said, “Do you think we’ll ever eat at the old house again?”

Holly said, “Well, there’s no food there.”

“What happened to all our food?” Mark said.

“Go look in the refrigerator,” Holly said, and Mark went over to the refrigerator and opened it up. “Our FOOD!”

He was quite happy to see the food.

The boys enjoy the heat of the Blaze King (King model, w/o the catalytic combustor)wood stove. We never had a woodstove in our old house, and the wood heat feels wonderful.


Can I take out the nozzle, Daddy?

Tonight, Mark Daniel wanted to be the one to take the gas nozzle out of the filler spout after we filled up at the gas station. Luke had been the one to insert the nozzle so Mark was fighting his way in to pull the nozzle out. After pushing Luke aside, he then forgot what he was doing.

He then made the fairly straight forward mistake of squeezing the filler handle to maximum flow and then removing the nozzle from the tank fill tube. Of course the safety flapper in the tank fill tube on the car activated instantly sealing off the tank, causing a huge spraying gush of unleaded gasoline to splash right into his eyes, nose, face, neck, and body, drenching his hair, shirt, and pants with 87 octane. This lead to a great deal of loud screaming, flailing, and panicking amongst all present. It was a huge mess, unparalleled in my experience at any gas station.

We got out a water bottle which quickly ran dry, and held his head back to rinse the eyes, of course he was yelling and thrashing about and I was trying to hold him still so I could pour water on his eyes. He was trying hard to close them. Then I was using both hands to scoop the water out of the courtesy windshield washer fluid station, there on the fuel island to splash it on his face. There’s gas on Mark, on me and on the ground. He’s screaming and crying. I’m thinking, parenting is not for the weak of heart.

Finally Holly threw a towel down on the car seat for Mark to sit on and we raced home and put him in the tub. Two hours later as he went to sleep he was complaining he could still smell the gas, and was pretty sad because he wasn’t going to have any friends any more, since he stank.

Of course Holly looked at the bright side: at least nobody caught fire! We could have had an explosion and killed everybody. It’s a good thing we don’t smoke…

Proper Nouns


Holly has been doing summer school with the boys at the dinner table each morning. all summer with some books she got.

P1050621Mark is doing the third grade book, Luke is doing the Kindergarten book, and John Caleb is doing a pre-school book. This morning Holly was teaching our Mark about proper nouns and how they should always be capitalized. “Proper nouns are things like the Grand Canyon, Haines, and names like Mark, or Luke.” And Luke cheerfully chimed in, “Or things like Fat Watermelon.”

I was making biscuits.

Newton’s Law of Cooling!

This post is to give information to my Alaska Math Consortium classmates and teachers. In the first two videos, we have the data collection via digital infrared thermometers and a video.

In the second two videos, the calculus students present their equations and graphs of their results to the class.

To gather your own data from the videos, make a table of values, then start in!


Stove Data

Newton’s Law of Cooling states that the rate of change in the temperature of an object is proportional to the difference between the object’s temperature and the temperature of the surrounding medium. The differential equation that arises from this is: y’ = k(Y-t)



Laser Printer

This is a short video and the paper drops from 176 degrees to 75.5 degrees in about 2 minutes.


Mug Data Video

Video is spliced together from 4 videos and is quite long. One would want to pick an interval to use like, say 5 minutes. (very long: 56 minutes!) Turns out, a cup of water takes much longer to cool down than a piece of paper.


Chris & Blake do a rap up. The battery on the camera died before the end.


Chris and Blake do a find job in this video. Unfortunately, the battery died before the end of their presentation.


Hunter and Abby do their presentation.

Abby and Hunter have a nice wrap-up here.