April through June 2008

March 31 thru April 6
Spring is coming! Spring is coming! With the warmer weather also comes managing the melting ice. Here Karl is re-digging ditches and breaking up the ice with a pick-axe to ensure that the water will flow away from the buildings. Notice that Kristan and Kristofer aren't really working, just looking on. :)

Kristofer is also enjoying the spring. Here he is playing on mommy's desk without socks on and gnawing on a rattle.

On Saturday, we traveled into the big city to attend another Native church service. Here Karl is checking the sound quality and observing the service to see if it is something that we can air on the radio. Also, while in Anchorage, we ran into a friend from the translator village of Perryville.

Also, towards the end of the week, Kristofer got a new ride. He is happily getting bundled up and placed in his new backpack to take a spring walk around our neighborhood. It was so comfortable for him that he was caught taking a cat nap.

April 7 thru April 13
Jerry and Rosalin are here! Jerry is here to cover radio shifts and allow us to go out West to Bethel and Hooper Bay to get Hooper Bay back on the air and prepare Bethel for the transition to another set of short term volunteers. It was great to be able to host both of them in the portion of our house that is finished. This is exactly why we have this home.

The new backpack is racking up the miles, from trips to the transmitter building together to long nature hikes, Kristofer is enjoying the view and the independence.

While out on one of those nature hikes we came across some partially developed lots a couple of blocks distance from our home. What a view! This is only about 120 degrees of the 270 degree view from this ridge nearby. Has God been prompting you to join us here at KAGV? We really enjoy living in this area and there are many other housing opportunities nearby.

Here Karl and Kristofer are practicing their man skills together, from counter steering in a high speed skid turn to brushing up on the latest tools. It can be a lot of "work" keeping up the manliness for a 5 month old.

Also a lot of testing was untertaken this week from mashed up peas to load testing the stairs the Bobsey Twins built us last year, plenty of risks but nothing ventured nothing gained.

April 14 thru April 20
This week the three of us headed out to Bethel together.

We arrived just in time to see a good part of breakup. From snow to mud, Bethel is seeing spring come with a vengeance.

Kristofer is having fun with Mr Ben and Mrs Pat. Mr Ben and Kristofer like swinging together at home and at the airport.

Kristofer seems to find his place at work wherever we are.

Karl and Ben spent Thursday and Friday out in Hooper Bay getting the translator there operational again.

After a little adjustment on the dish and quite a bit of digging we got the signal back from Nenana. Hopefully in the future we can relocate the translator from the old church to a new site at the new church and teen center.

The air taxis were on weather hold most of the time Karl and Ben were out in Hooper Bay so we passed the time by excavating this pickup that was buried by blowing snow during a storm.

Hours of digging later, things look quite promising but nobody would get us the keys so we can only hope that our work paid off. A group of Hooper Bay students were being flown to a youth retreat by MARC and our air taxi was a long time coming so we managed to hitch a ride with the youth group.

When one of the girls learned that we had fixed the radio station she borrowed Karl's pocket radio so she could here it again. The MARC plane was much faster and more cost effective that the air taxi and soon we were all back together in Bethel.

April 21 thru April 27
We had a warm spell at the beginning of this week. This made temperatures more comfortable outside for us and for some of the wildlife around here.

However getting out and about around town was a little more challenging. Once we were inside the grocery store Kristofer enjoyed the sites from the comfort of the grocery cart.

At the radio station all of us have been working plenty of hours getting some things to operate more smoothly and adding some more fresh programming.

Speaking of more smoothly, we had the DSL service stopped and switched to the local cable Internet service here in Bethel. What a difference for VOIP purposes (where we use the computer like a phone). Since all communications in Bethel are via satellite, the particular technology used can make a big difference. The cable Internet VOIP connection seems to have even less of a delay than the standard telephone lines here. Kristofer got right to giving Meemaw and Papa a call once we had this new connection.

Here everyone is gathering for our weekly staff meeting teleconference. Kristofer is enjoying his time here at KYKD with the Burkeys.

Ben and Pat will be leaving KYKD this Wednesday. These guys have really been a blessing. They originally came to VFCM to work a few months at KIAM in Nenana on the road system. However the urgent need was for them to help us out at KYKD on the remote West coast of Alaska and they rose to the challenge. They have served through thirty below temperatures, frozen septic pipes and an above average snowfall winter. Always they have had a servant's heart and they have done a great job in service to VFCM and their Lord. They will be missed. Thank you!

April 28 thru May 4
It has been a busy week and in part that is why this update is so late, also as a busy week we've got a lot of pictures for you with this update. On Tuesday all three of us took a trip out to Quinhagak.

The ocean is thawing out with ice only a few hundred yards from shore. It was a beautiful day and the mountains were clearly visible in the distance.

We re-aligned the satellite dish and upgraded the firmware in our satellite receiver as part of our regular maintenace on the translator there.

We also had a very enjoyable time visiting with the Matthews family. In the morning Frank caught whitefish and trout for our lunch.

In the afternoon we got the treat of getting to go fish ourselves. Kristofer got his first babysitting and Karl and Kristan got their first "date" since Kristofer was born. Frank took us out and showed us how to catch these whitefish and trout. What a treat and what a difference such freshness makes for fish.

While waiting for the air-taxi to return we enjoyed more time visiting. Frank showed Kristan how to fillet the fish with the traditional Eskimo "Woman's Knife". We got to take the fish home with us, Frank said with a grin that we could have them since "the way you are cutting them there is no meat left anyway".

Back to Bethel and we were in time to see Ben and Pat off to the airport right before John and Pat Fenton arrived. John and Pat immediately took to running the radio station and began to familiarize themselves with the daily routine at KYKD.

With a workteam coming to KAGV, Karl was asked to return to Houston to host and coordinate the team, so after just a short time with the Fentons. He was off to the airport to say goodbye and head East.

Seems like we are always at the airport these days saying hello or goodbye.

Out in Bethel Kristofer kept learning new things with Daddy away. Of course one of Kristofer's favorite activities is taking a ride in a shopping cart, so many things to see.

Back at KAGV our perenial favorite work team got right to work getting ready for some concrete work.

Dewey also got to work performing some regular maintenance on our generators and Karl and Dewey worked together in hopes of bringing the neighbor's old grader back to life.

May 5 thru May 11
Lots of pictures this week because a lot has been done. Monday we got concrete.

Now all three entrances to the KAGV studio building are solid.

Karl and Dewey kept working on that old grader and finally there was payoff. The starter solenoid was dead and the starter switch wiring was unreliable. So after replacing the solenoid and adding a seperate start button, the old beast came to life.

With the grader and some rock brought in with one of the neighbor's loaders the roads and the drainage at both the transmitter and studio sites hopefully will be much improved.

Back in Bethel, the Fenton's trained quickly and on Wednesday Kristan and Kristofer returned to KAGV. Kristofer got his first people mover ride at the Anchorage airport.

At KAGV we've spotted a not so shy rabbit that enjoys the bits of grass near the studio. Here Bob is refueling the KAGV studio generator.

With the work crew here we decided we should finally paint the eves on both the studio and transmitter buildings to seal up the raw wood from the elements.

At lunch Kristofer enjoys feeding himself some bread. On Saturday it was time to say goodbye to the work team. Nothing like a slap on the face to say "Thank you for helping us out".

Kristofer enjoyed spending Mother's day with his mommy. Here mommy is opening some gifts that will help keep the mosquito's off Kristofer when he is out and about in his backpack.

Another gift was a high-chair for Kristofer at our house.

After posing in his new Sunday clothes, Kristofer spent a good portion of the afternoon riding along with Daddy as he treated the swamp near our house with a natural product that keeps the baby mosquitos from hatching.

May 12 thru May 18
Summer has definitely arrived in Houston, AK as evidenced by the unearthing of the motorcycles and the ducks on our pond.

At KAGV, John Brown our intern from Buffalo, New York arrived on Thursday night and has already begun a few on-air responsibilities. Kristofer spent so much time in his backpack on our recent trip to Bethel that he feels perfectly comfortable in it even for napping.

We are hoping to get back into construction mode on the house and Karl was able to do the plumbing for our master bathroom claw foot tub as Kristofer lends a hand.

On Saturday, Karl and John were able to collect felled trees that hopefully will assist in reducing our heating oil bill this coming winter. God blessed us with a pickup bed and trailer full. Maybe next weekend, we will be able to collect more.

Other weekend activities included, Kristofer getting his first mosquito bite and a short road trip to Hatcher's Pass.

May 19 thru May 25
With the rising cost of heating oil we set out to build a woodshed to store some of the firewood we have begun to collect. John provided Kristofer with a place to watch while still safe from the mosquitos.

After initial layout we started actually seeing the shed take form.

With the long daylight hours this was a great Memorial Day project.

May 26 thru June 1
The translator in Mcarthy has been reporting some issues, so this week we are off on a road trip to see if we can't get the system to be a little more reliable there.

Here Kristofer is taking a break from the long hours in the car seat.

Over 60 miles of the journey is on an abandoned mining railroad bed converted into gravel for vehicle traffic. Here we crossed a very large wooden tressle.

60 miles of freshly graded gravel road took its toll. This was the first of two flat tires. While daddy was changing the tire Kristofer made himself familiar with the radio controls.

Plenty of georgeous scenery along the remote route.

We swapped out the satellite receiver and re-aligned the dish. Then we got to enjoy the hospitality of our hosts.

We got to take a tour of the Kennicott mining area nearby. Incredible to see how much development was done in such a remote area.

Back home we finished the roofing on the woodshed and cared for the garden, hoping to see the seeds sprouting up soon.

On Saturday we got a visit from Bob who came down here to pick up a trailer full of supplies.

June 2 thru June 8
Gradually the remaining plumbing pieces are arriving to complete our master bath. Here Kristofer is helping daddy put the faucet in.

Well Karl decided it was time for a change so he asked Kristan and John if they could help him with a hair cut.

On Friday we all decided to try a summer exploration of the land behind our lot.

In the winter, the sno-gos could get us to these locations in just a minute or two. While this was a multiple hour trip it was fun to see the summer transformation.

This kid is enjoying life. We went on another hike on Sunday, somehow this little guy keeps hitching a ride.

June 9 thru June 15
Father's Day! Kristofer is truly a blessing and an encouragement.

June 16 thru June 22
With a little bit of hearing protection Kristofer is finding more things he can enjoy with us from the comfort of his backpack.

A weekend full of firewood. Here Kristofer watches as everyone else loads up more firewood.

After hauling the firewood home it is time to really put the new wood splitter to use.

Well fishing season is really picking up here in Alaska. While others have a preference for Salmon we have an affinity for this little guy.

Kristofer is trying out a lot of new foods. While bananas are old hat for him, he has recently aquired the skill of eating them on his own.

The small garden is gradually progressing. Here the peas and the rhubard are looking quite hopeful.

June 23 thru June 30
Introducing stunt boy! From upper body strength demonstrations to levitation and running the windshield wipers, this little man will dazzle.

From Cherios to multi-colored 'O's, lots of 'O's are getting tasted aroound here.

This little guy brings us plenty of smiles, putting the "Happy" in daddy's birthday.

Well it has been a long time since we've had much progress on the house. We are finally starting to get back to work. Here we are putting drywall under the stairs to the garage from the basement. This is the area where one of the water heaters will go along with the individual control valves for the boiler zones.