April through June 2010

April 5 thru April 11
Just when we thought winter was a thing of the past, we woke up to a 2 inch blanket of snow. No fear it was all chased away by the spring sun before the day was over.

With Spring on the way, we've started working toward having a productive garden this year. While the long daylight hours of our Alaskan summer provide for some good growth in the summer, we haven't had much success waiting until seeds can start outside so this year we are trying to get a good headstart inside.

Kristofer prefers putting on mom's shoes because they go on easier. Not so much success with walking in them. Sunday afternoon we went back to church to meet with the missions committee and share the work of KAGV and VFCM. Kristofer is seen here packing a visual aid across the parking lot.

April 12 thru April 18
With some folks coming we brought in some furniture for the downstairs bedrooms. With the furniture that was packed away in our storage trailer came lots of linens. Here Kristofer helps his mom sort things out. Outside, winter comes seemingly every morning and then melts off in the evening.

On Wednesday winter came and came and came. With almost 10 inches falling it was a while before this layer melted off. Kristofer tried to help it along with his "plow truck".

When we went into town for the new baby's weekly appointment we enjoyed playing at the park. On Sunday some of the Blairs stopped by. While Karl and Kristan visited with Brian and Laurie, Kristofer and Gwenn found some common ground.

April 19 thru April 25
Monday night we went into town for two airport pickups. First Kristan and Kristofer picked up the Andersons. The Andersons are coming to help a little bit around KAGV and KIAM before they head out to KYKD to take over after the Baileys head home.

The second airport pickup was grammy. Kristofer and grammy are hanging out waiting for our new little one to show himself. We've got lots of seeds started and some of them are already showing themselves.

After identifying some failed components in our backup transmitter at KAGV, Karl, Ken and Karen went up the highway to KIAM to help out there. A little bit of sightseeing included some shots of the "IGLOO" and a stop at the park to see what was open and available.

Then straight to work at KIAM where Ken climbed the KIAM-AM tower and changed the bulbs.

Overnight in Nenana the Andersons got to meet the Blairs and the Migras face to face. Then a good start on Friday including a trip to their namesake.

Again plenty to see on the trip back south. Our 30 mile trip into the park only netted us a quick glance of a white rabbit as the rest of the wildlife wasn't expecting tourists so early in the season.

Then on Saturday we all enjoyed our waffle tradition although it appears that Karl was a little too enthusiastic with the batter here.

Saturday afternoon the women went into town to stock up on food for the Anderson's time in Bethel. Back at the house the guys made some progress on the downstairs bathroom, getting the firring installed to mount the shower enclosure.

Then to take our tiny bundle home. After a night with some sleep, nothing could stop us from showing Kayleb our Saturday morning waffle tradition.

Grammy got to appreciate Kayleb sleeping or awake.

Some noisy neighbors dropped in to check out our backyard.

Inside, with a little encouragement from Grammy, we are continuing the work on the basement bathroom. Here we are fitting the enclosure to make sure we can put the drain in the right place.

Then with the plumbing glued we fill most of the hole with gravel. And then comes a surface layer of concrete.

April 26 thru May 2
On our way taking Ken and Karen to the airport, where they flew to start their time at KYKD in Bethel, we spotted this unique motor home. After seeing Ken and Karen off at the airport we packed up their groceries to take to the post office.

Here we are, a family of three. Our waiting is much like the waiting this mallard is doing in our back yard. We know we get to see new life soon.

April 29th is Kayleb's day!
This Thursday we went to the hospital for our whole family to get together. We walked around a lot waiting for everyone to arrive.

Here's the face we were waiting to see.
Introducing Kayleb Andrew Thieme:
The name Kayleb is from one of the twelve spies that were sent to check out the land that God promised the nation of Israel. In the minority report from Caleb and Joshua, Caleb confirmed the blessings God had promised and took God at His word even when human wisdom made faith look foolish.
The middle name Andrew was choosen as a namesake for two of Kayleb's great grandfathers as well as the Apostle Andrew. The Apostle Andrew was not conspicuous like his brother Peter but he was a faithful servant and a man of action. Our choice of the middle name Andrew was confirmed in part by this

We are all very glad to get to see Kayleb and glad to have him in our family.
Kayleb Andrew Thieme, born April 29th at 6:24pm Alaska time, 6lbs 13oz, 20 inches

May 3 thru May 9
Karl and Grammy started work on a raised bed in the front yard with help from Kristofer. Finding good topsoil is the trick around here.

Our little blonde baby is thriving. Kayleb is pretty relaxed so far and that is a blessing.

On the downstairs bathroom front we are finally ready to set the shower into place. First we get the mortar bed ready.

Then to jockey it into place and wiggle it down into the mortar.

Outside things are looking more and more like spring. Maybe things will green up soon.

With Kayleb and Kristan both doing well, Grammy needed to get back to the farm. On the trip to the airport with Grammy we picked up some essentials for Kayleb.

Lots of packages this week. Here Karl and Kristofer try out some treats from the shops on 38th street in Tacoma from the small group that adopted us as their missionaries at our sending church. Now to give a package, here Kristofer and his friend John have fun at John's birthday party.

May 10 thru May 16
Tragedy struck this week when Bob Eldridge, our good friend, valued co-worker and the founder of VFCM was killed in a heavy equipment accident Tuesday evening. He is deeply missed by us. We don't really have something that seems proper to express here on our little blog as we come to terms with this loss. Please be in prayer for Dee and the rest of the family as they grieve the loss of our friend.

This seems to be an appropriate example of one of the many roles Bob played in our lives. The shower enclosure we have been working on in this basement bathroom was a gift from Bob. Grammy got it cleaned out right before she left, the next step was relocating the electrical switches.

Then to frame in the pocket door enclosure. Board member Glenn Fawcett stayed with us for a couple of nights on his way to the memorial services in Nenana. While staying with us he joined in on our bathroom project too. Here he is helping with the drywall.

Glenn's visit was appreciated by all. He even helped Karl figure out how to move some plumbing to make the sink fit next to the toilet in the new bathroom. With an air chisel we were able to make room in the new location. Who would have thought a dremel could cut a big pipe like this way down inside a little hole. That cut allowed us to use a couple of elbows to offset the feed pipe to the right location.

God has blessed us with so much new life around us we almost take it for granted. Our time in this life is so precious as we really do not know when it will come to a close.

May 17 thru May 23
On Tuesday we headed north for Bob Eldridge's memorial service.

The funeral was held in Nenana, then we went out to the grave site. The family chose the site right next to Bob's li'l varmint who was promoted to glory 2 years and 5 months before Bob.

We all got our chance to say goodbye.

Back at home we are working on our yard. Someone gave this lawnmower to the radio station. It still needs a little work but shows promise. Here we start in on the garden site in the back yard with the rototiller.

It's always fun when neighbors like this drop in for a visit. Kayleb doesn't really grasp that packages are almost always fun too.

May 24 thru May 30
This week we were blessed with a visit from Grandma Dee. So many reminders around us that life is moving and we are called to steward the time we are given here.

Inside we kept working on the project around the downstairs bathroom. Here Karl is hanging drywall in the entry room next to the bathroom. Outside, another new life shows us how precious our time here is.

In our garden, Karl and Kristofer got some things planted including these potatoes.

May 31 thru June 6
Even more signs this week that spring is here.

Got to eat your waffles for a day exploring outside.

We had lots of fun walking down along the river.

Everything is green and new.

Inside we found that a leak from the overflow of the bathtub upstairs had caused damage to the ceiling downstairs. First to cut out all the affected material then once we fixed the tub then to get everything covered up and ready for mud and texture.

While we were mudding we got the area next to the bathroom done as well as this ceiling repair.

June 7 thru June 13
Kristofer still gets to play with his parents but now he gets to play with Kayleb too.

Then grampy came and the opportunities to play grew even more. Grampy really enjoys his time getting to know Kayleb.

On Saturday we went to the Colony Days celebration in Palmer. The parade is the main event. We found our seats and got to watch the whole thing.

Plenty of old tractors, politicians, livestock and classic cars to make the parade complete.

With all those old tractors together they had a tractor pull afterwards. It was fun to see those old engines do their work, a 2 cyclinder diesel was the strongest, the engine sounded nothing like todays modern diesel engines.

They also had a petting zoo as part of the celebrations. Kristofer had a little time for this bunny but for the most part he wanted to spend his time playing with the Tonka trucks.

Sunday afternoon we took a walk to show grampy our playground. Kayleb got his first ride down a slide, with a little help from mommy.

June 14 thru June 20
Karl and Grampy continued making forward progress on the basement bathroom. Here Grampy applies the first coat of primer.

Tuesday evening while Grampy was taking a rest from all the painting, the rest of us went to a Matsu Miners baseball game. Kristofer thought the hot dog was the best part since he couldn't find Jose Lopez.

A great number of hours have been spent on this dish to no avail so far. We aren't sure if it is an issue with the dish being old and out of shape or if there are trees causing the interference.

Thursday evening we went and got Auntie Anita from the airport. Kristofer might need a little charm school to understand that chewing on people's clothing doesn't always make a favorable impression.

Kayleb got to make his first impression. It wasn't long before Auntie Anita learned the routine, tickle the cheeks to get those fabulous little smiles and pat the belly to stop the crying.

A nice walk through the playground on the way to .........

ICE CREAM, Houston, Alaska style. Kristofer shows Auntie Anita how it's done.

With 4 sets of adult hands helping Kristofer we actually built some things of reasonable size and color coordination.

Anita and Grampy wanted to help get our wood supply started for the next winter. The stack growth is off to a good start.

Grampy has been enjoying his grandsons. Now it is time for him to go back to the farm. Bye bye grampy.

Well the trip to the airport had us in town on a Saturday morning, so Karl and Kristofer took Auntie Anita to the Anchorage Saturday market. Plenty of uniquely Alaska stuff.

Then off to some real shopping and some window shopping.

Sunday afternoon we went back to Palmer for another Matsu Miners game. Plenty of things for Anita to try out her new camera on.

June 21 thru June 27
Well this may be record breaking but we've got 40 pictures this week. We got out to see some unique sights so we hope you enjoy all the pictures.
On Monday Karl and Anita each made their own version of BBQ ribs. All the great smelling food attracted a neighbor, but he was too late to find easy helpings.

On Tuesday we took an overnight trip to Seward, AK. On the way we stopped at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to see some wildlife up close and check out some of the items in the gift shop there.

The drive had plenty of great views to take in.

Seward proved that the beautiful views on the drive were just the beginning.

On Wednesday we went on a 3 hour cruise with Major Marine Tours We headed out of the harbor where this large ship destined for Asia was loading up coal delivered from the Usibelli coal mines past our home on the Alaska Railroad.

Captain Josh did a great job finding and explaining the sights out on the water while we enjoyed the ride.

When word of a pod of Orcas came over the radio we made a quick path to see them and Anita got some great shots with her new camera.

As we headed out into open water the kiddos went to sleep.

While they were sleeping they missed some great sites. Here we see a mountain goat and some Stellar sea lions.

It was fun to see puffins out in the wild too. Being such a critical port of entry to Alaska this remote island was home to our soldiers in WWII defending the port of Seward from attack.

Back on land we next visited the playground for some lunch and play time. These majestic birds kept watch over the playground.

Kristofer never misses an opportunity to play in the sand with dump trucks or ride a train.

Then on to the Alaska Sealife Center where Kristofer was immediately drawn to this boat. The sealife was interesting too but didn't have the same draw for Kristofer.

Then back on the road to head home so Anita could get to the airport on time early Thursday morning.

On Friday afternoon Meemaw was able to extend a layover in Anchorage to visit with us overnight. With some free athletic club passes that we recieved at the Colony Days parade in Palmer a few weeks ago we were able to get everyone a chance to go swimming. A great first for Kayleb and a fun refresher for Kristofer.

Saturday morning we had to say goodby to Meemaw again, it seems that there should be some frequent benefit plan for driving people to the airport. Our next visitors spared us a journey to the airport. John and Eva Haddick drove here to visit us.