First real snow day

Today was our first real snow day of the 2018-2019 snow season. Last year was really poor, so we’re all hoping for a bunch of snow this winter.

Most of the kids set out their snow pants, jackets, hats, and gloves before we went to church this morning. They were so excited to get home and head out to play in all of the white stuff.

Finley and Drew were the best. This 4-shot sequence sums up their collective afternoon together. A boy and his dog, right?

The snow was great packing snow, so the girls made themselves a very cute snow-woman (notice the eyelashes?).

We baked cinnamon rolls as a treat and also got new sweaters as per tradition and enjoyed a cozy day at home.

We hope the snow keeps falling, especially in the mountains so we can eventually do some skiing. We didn’t get to go even once last year, so we are looking forward to hitting the slopes and having some more fun in the greatest snow on earth.

Certified Thanksgiving Fried Turkey Cook

Over the last several years, I’ve been an apprentice fry cook specializing in turkeys. Gary has patiently schooled me in his ways and taught me the complex craft. Now that he has moved back to Alaska permanently, it was my turn to carefully measure oil levels using the biggest bird displacement method, calculate cook times, and wield the thermometer.

Since my family was celebrating Thanksgiving on Wednesday night, I arrived early to setup my frying station. It was time to drop in the lucky bird. (And when I say “drop in” I mean “lower very carefully and slowly to avoid being on one of those fried turkey explosion videos on YouTube” kind of drop in.)

I ended up frying four turkeys that evening, and they all turned out great.

We enjoyed hanging out with all the extended family that night and enjoying a delicious meal together and playing games.

On Thanksgiving Day, we didn’t have any plans at all which was really nice. We went to the neighborhood “Turkey Bowl” and played some football. Drew left, complaining that the big boys wouldn’t ever give him the ball (totally true, Jake use to make the same complaint). Then the weather turned and the storm started.

Once again my training came in handy. I setup a shelter out back and prepared to fry our family dinner Thanksgiving turkey no matter what the elements threw at us.

We decided to try something new with our turkey, so after thoroughly drying and preparing our turkey, we pierced it with toothpicks, and then injected melted butter deep into the meat with a syringe. It turned out delicious. The butter really added to the flavor and consistency of the turkey.

We then sat down and enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving meal together. We missed having Jake with us, and by the time he is back I will be looking to tutor an apprentice of my own.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Katelyn’s 15th Birthday

Katelyn is 15 years old!

One of the first things she wanted to do was to go get her learners permit so she could start driving.

Since it was Monday, she even got a birthday video message from Jake in El Salvador, which was a fun highlight.

Since she was already out of school, Katelyn also did little shopping with her Mom for some new dresses.

We all went to dinner as a family to Texas Roadhouse and ate way too much.

While we were there we asked Katelyn some questions. This offers a little glimpse into Katelyn’s life and fun personality at the ripe old age of 15:


  • Cereal: captain crunch with crunch berries
  • Homemade dinner: tri-tip or Hawaiian haystacks
  • Restaurant: Cafe Rio
  • After school activity: naps
  • Sport: basketball
  • Friend: Sophie and Halle
  • School subject: English

Finish the sentence:

  • I wish… I could get my own car. 
  • I really like to wear… Vans
  • I would describe myself as… basic. 
  • When I grow up… I want to be a dog rescuer. 
  • I love it when… there’s lots of snow
  • My favorite memory is… when we got Finn.
  • I really look up to… Grandpa Mike.
  • The best thing about me is… my ability to talk to people.
  • I want to practice… ping pong.
  • I want the world to know… who I am. 
  • My biggest thing I want to accomplish at age 15 is… to drive smooth as silk. 

Drew’s Arrow of Light

Drew received his Arrow of Light award.

As part of the ceremony, Manina got to come up and paint some symbolic markings on Drew’s face.

Drew has always been excited about scouting. Probably a lot of that comes from having an older brother who set a good example. So Drew has now completed the highest award available in Cub Scouts.

Even though Drew’s birthday isn’t until January, they still had him “cross-over” from Cub Scouts since he’s done with everything.

We talked a little about what he wants to do with Boy Scouts, but unfortunately Drew will be among the first boys to not have the full support of the church when he becomes old enough to join. No matter what happens with Drew’s future in scouting, we’re sure proud of our young man and excited to see the wonderful things he’ll do in his life.