Sunday, November 7, 2010

Winter(ish) has begun!

I know, it has been ages. I even had someone call today to make sure we are ok. Maybe I ought to not post more often! :) Not really. It wasn't intentional. There just hasn't been a lot going on, yet there's still been a lot going on if that makes any sense. Nothing noteworthy, just normal life stuff. Nate and Maggie did arrive in Kansas and are currently doing major renovations to their house. It is one of those things that started small until a few "while we're here" things expanded the scope of the projects immensely. We've lived in an old house. We understand. At any rate, we were able to talk to Nate on Skype for a good hour or more the other day. It was great to see his face and hear his voice! We sure do miss them!

The weather has been relatively mild, so while the lake is frozen over, we're still not able to do much on it. The kids went skating last week but now there's been more snow and overflow so it is really wet on top of the ice. Last year we started driving on it on Nov 12 but I'm pretty sure we won't be driving that early this year. It has been mild enough during the day that we're getting some melting. Definitely not ice making weather! We do have just enough snow to use the snow machines on the ATV trail which is a big help. Arvin brought chains up for my ATV so we were able to use that up until the bigger snow hit. Rodney put new skis on my snow machine so it handles a lot better now. It ought to have more floatation on powdery snow too.

Rodney bought two more snow machines yesterday and Ryan Cote (camp mechanic) is helping Sergei (and Rodney) work on them to get them running. Mike Roub has also offered to help Sergei work on them. They are Arctic Cats and on the way home it occurred to Rodney that as many Arctic Cats as there are on camp, only one of them was running. Not sure if that bodes well, but it should keep Sergei occupied! One is a 1993 Arctic Cat Jag Z 440. They were able to get that one up and running today with minor effort. The other is a 1994 Arctic Cat EXT 580 EFI Mountain Cat but that one will take a little more work to get running. The Cotes have a blog that I've listed up on the right side, but I'll post another link here too: http://cotesfamilyministry.blogspot.com/

I know that the most important part of any blog post is pictures so I think I'll be in good shape after this post. Moon shining off the ice before we had any snow:

Momma moose and her twins in the front yard. The other twin was out of the picture, but the picture with both of them in it wasn't very clear and had a beam in the middle.

Pretty morning after the first snowfall of the season.

Annie getting a skating lesson. You should have heard her chewing at the boys! Hilarious!

My new chains on my ATV. They do SUCH a nice job! :)

My pepper plants are still flowering and setting fruit. Not huge, but tasty peppers!

The orchids are almost in full bloom now. The purple is in full bloom, the purple and yellow is next and the yellow is just starting to take off. My Christmas cactus is blooming too. The plants all seem to be happy these days.

Silly dog - that does NOT look like a comfortable way to sleep. She's so low to the ground that she can just flop down from a sitting position and presto - sleep position!

Here is our ATV trail now, with the fresh snow on the trees. It is so cozy and still on the trail.

The Matanuska River is a beautiful glacier blue now, not like the grey it is in summer from the glacier silt. The other day when I went through here the mountains in the distance were orange from the setting sun. It was spectacular! I can't remember why I didn't get a picture that day but I was probably tired and hungry and wanting to be home.

That silly dog is positively SMILING! She LOVES Annie! Rough life she leads.

A GLORIOUS day! :) These kinds of days are my favorites!

Annie and I taking off on Rodney's snow machine. She'd never ridden a snow machine. I think she enjoyed it! She ought to get plenty of opportunities to ride this winter! Too bad the other picture was blurry. Ellie was biting Eider's leg - further proof of her naughtiness.

Here is the mixed 6 volleyball team this year during their trip to Nikolaevsk. They did very well at the tournament, losing only 1 game (not even a match) the entire weekend. They had a great time though, and not just because they did so well. The people there were absolutely wonderful. The town has a tremendous Russian heritage, if you can't tell by the name. Too bad Oksana didn't get to go on the trip. She'd have LOVED it! She is diligently studying her Russian and has a strong interest in all things Russian. Nikolaevsk will be here this coming weekend for another tournament so we are looking forward to meeting them! It sounds like Nikolaevsk is also high on our priority list of places to visit as a family. The weekend following the Nikolaevsk tournament our team will travel beyond Kodiak to Ouzinkie for the regional tournament. One of the teams they will meet there has won the state championship 5 times so they will face some tough competition. They will need to win that tournament in order to go to the state championships.

Back row standing: Derek Kolb, Trayton Cohen, Christopher Martin, Carlen Thiessen, Robert VanDaam and Andrei. Kneeling in front: Claudia Berkley (coach), Jenny Lee, Ali Ruisch, Miranda Roub and Lou Boyer (coach).

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