January through March 2011

December 27 thru January 2
On Thursday we had errands in town and James Fisher came with us to do some shopping. We all got to enjoy Fairbanks BBQ at Big Daddies BBQ, thanks, James.

Well the holiday season hasn't left us for two reasons. One is that our mail is being forwarded so the gifts keep coming and the other is that we got to celebrate New Years with friends. Here we all work on adding a gingerbread train to the gingerbread house.

The light show started with glow sticks inside.

Then we headed outside for fireworks and sparklers.

With the new year came the demise of "Cookie Boy". After sawing down his house "Cookie Boy" was served up with a scoop of ice cream.

January 3 thru January 9
Enabled by some generous supporters who happen to be Alaska Airlines folks, Kristan and Kayleb got to be part of some important family business down in the California Bay Area. On the way down on an extended lay-over. Kayleb got to meet his Uncle Josh and Aunt Haley.

These guys are a lot more fun in person than over Skype.

Then back to the airport and on the plane to Oakland to catch up with Meemaw and meet Auntie Sara in 3-D too.

Back in Nenana Karl and Kristofer held down the fort. Here we pack up some supplies and head to work. In the evenings at home we looked forward to our chances to catch up with the rest of us in 2-D over the Internet.

Kristofer's main job at work is feeding Simeon Blair's fish.

At the pepto house Karl and Kristofer kept working on fixing things. Here Kristofer is vacuuming up old lint cleaned out of the dryer while we replaced the drum bearing and the drive belt. The Nenana city water really seems to be eating our skin so Karl and Kristofer installed this whole house carbon filter which is helping things.

Back down where the sun stays up for a while Kristan and Kayleb really enjoyed Uncle Don and Aunt Darolynn's hospitality.

Over the weekend Sara and Kristan got to catch up with there childhood "Uncle" Paul and "Aunt" Eva. Not only was there the renown food, but Kristan got a great haircut too.

On Sunday Kayleb and the girls were treated to an afternoon of just being tourists in San Fransisco.

January 10 thru January 16
Monday brought goodbyes down in the land of sunshine. Then Kristan and Kayleb headed north on an airplane.

During the layover in Seattle they got to see Papa and do some eating together. Before Kayleb knew it he was back in Nenana eating something completely new with his tooth.

Kristofer is on the search for the ultimate bubble gun. So when he found Michaela Blair's bubble gun he had to get new batteries and give it a try. Who knew that buble guns and minus 20 degree temperatures produce a lot of bubble shrapnel?

On Friday we had a double party we were celebrating Aunt Kathy's birthday and thanking Mr. James for his help at the radio station.

Well finally the time has come for our Charlie Brown tree to go outside and play. Kinda odd that it looks more alive now than when we cut it down.

January 17 thru January 23
On Tuesday Karl and Kristofer went into town with Uncle Rick to pick up some snowmachines. We got to look at all the new Ski-Doo equipment while Uncle Rick got his full briefing on his new machine.

Yes Christmas is over but the lights still look good and it is a bit cold to take them down just yet. Inside the tree is gone and the trampoline is in its place.

We hauled this non-functional Yamaha snow-go into the shop behind the house. Now we are trying to figure out which parts are missing and where they used to be hooked up before we give a try at starting it up hacked. Not yet sure if this will work out but it does entertain to think about it.

Saturday the whole family got on our red snow-go and headed to the library where Kayleb climbed his first stairs, before taking a nap between the shelves.

January 24 thru January 30
The Bailey's are working here in Nenana and Kayleb and Kristofer are enjoying the time with Bonnie. After last week's experiments with Michaela's bubble gun, Kristofer had to give his own bubble gun a try.

With a kiddo sized recovery strap the boys have been pulling eachother around.

On Saturday we got out and enjoyed the warm spell we are having here. We got a bunch of good birch firewood chopped and split and Kristofer got each of his parents to take hime out on the snow-go.

January 31 thru February 6
This week was our 9th anniversary. Here Kristofer shows mom that she has a gift. Some blue fox ear muffs.

The staff got together and made a great asian meal together. All this is just the calm before the storm. Action was on the way and it came in many busses including this one where a bus driving friend of Palmer's stayed next door.

Here we all are getting ready for the action. Getting around is interesting but enjoyable.

Here the two Karls make sure they are ready for the action.

And here's the action. Nenana Invitational Tournament basketball action. We aired 15 games from this year's tournament. We had three local teams in it this time so we carried games for Nenana, Minto and Healy. Karl Pulliam called the games and Karl Thieme flinched everytime Karl Pulliam said the word "back" so that we could get all the sponsorship and halftime spots in smoothly and merge in and out with the I AM network programming going on on KIAM-FM.

Palmer did the stadium announcing and Kristofer enjoyed watching. Kayleb, maybe not so much.

February 7 thru February 13
Kayleb is enjoying getting around. So many things Kristofer is doing he wants to do too.

Karl and Rick took a scheduled maintenance trip to Hooper Bay this week.

This was a chance for us to visit KYKD in Bethel too. Things look much like they did before, they are just covered with snow now. We worked together to replace the mission vehicle muffler that was making a horendous noise and bound to catch on the ground soon.

Then off in the air taxi for our trip to Hooper. Then onto the snow go and across the ice with all our equipment.

Here you can see why we moved the dish to the right last fall. The snow berm is rather small this year but even this one would have blocked reception if we still had the dish at the middle of the building. Next time our packing lists should include some goggles.

On Sunday we got to worship together at church and see the ministry there.

February 14 thru February 20
Well Rick and Karl started the week back in Bethel at the apartment realizing it wasn't just the cold in Hooper Bay that gave us the chills, we were both quite sick. The apartment was a comfortable place to try to sleep our way through the fevers and coughing. With the laptop acting up it was also good to be able to use the KYKD computers to Skype back home.

Before leaving town we wanted to show you our new muffler. Not so easy to install out in the wind and the ice but looking good. Also here is Kristofer's favorite playground, just a different season.

Then off to the airport. Bye bye Bethel.

Winging our way into Anchorage, we've accomplished our mission but this fever and coughing thing has taken its toll.

A night at the Thieme house and then up the highway back to Nenana. Yeah our family is back together and daddy brought a surprise from Costco. Now the accessories have a mixer to go with.

Back to our routine. Here Kristofer checks out the SUV after its long trip and some snowfall. Together the boys help each other brush their teeth.

February 21 thru February 27
With the fresh snow and some spring sunshine we are taking advantage of the chances we have to get out.

Sometimes with mom, sometimes with dad but playing outside for sure.

A friend from church donated this snowmobile and we wasted no time getting out with it and exploring. With some guidance from Adam White, Karl and Kristofer Headed west across the Nenana river and out onto a bunch of gas exploration trails. Who would have thought we could head out into the wilderness and cross little streams with actual bridges complete with yellow guard rails.

We saw a few moose on our journey. This little snow machine really is good in the powder, lots of fun until your boot falls off.

Inside without so many opportunities to get out on the trail, Kayleb's sense of adventure is taking to the refrigerator.

This week the radio link that brings the live news feed in from the satellite downlink at the KIAM-AM tower site failed. We worked up some scripts to download the last hours news from the web and edit it while we wait for a new transmitter. With that issue tucked away as best as practical we started packing for a trip back to our home for Kayleb's doctor appointment.

On the road south we got to see a herd of Caribou. Then Kayleb made his way to his journey's goal, the refrigerator at our home.

Our wood supply is holding up but now the home is just being heated with oil. The kids enjoyed exploring this new place. At first Kayleb was a little nervous in this new place. Kristofer remembered the place but kept discovering it as well.

February 28 thru March 6
While we were at our house we got a chance to catch up with friends. A great pasta meal together. All that pasta wore out Kayleb and his clothes.

Before we knew it the time came for us to head back to Nenana. Here Kayleb checks out the snacks in Cantwell. On returning to Nenana the boys decided it would be a good idea to share Kristofer's room. Now it's the boy's room.

Getting around town is fun without using the car but we just haven't figured out the best arrangement for Kayleb yet. Here we blow up some balls for family chaos time.

This weekend was "Tripod Days" in Nenana. Our family buzzed around town, spending our time outdoors mostly but checking in with some the events like the tricycle races and the pop scramble. All that outdoors time wasn't setting very well with the boys later in the evening. With fevers all around it was time for a little children's tylenol.

March 7 thru March 13
When we first got to our "Pepto House" the oven lit some of the time but not all of the time. Now it doesn't light at all no matter which rituals we perform, the magic is gone. So Karl took the oven apart and we've ordered a new igniter. In the mean time we've got this nifty cover to keep Kayleb in the dishwasher and out of the oven.

Spring is here and that means a chance to play outside. Here Kristofer inspects a icicle and the boys play on the porch together.

When the sun really comes out it makes a difference. No sand box here, just snow.

This week we are going through a big transition with the radio automation. We are making a lot of technical details match the other stations so it is easier to work on more than one station and leverage the work done at one station for the other two locations. Also we had one program quit it's broadcast work so we needed to replace that program and take advantage of the chance to adjust schedules on all three stations. Transitions like this always cause trouble and it takes a while to work the bugs out. At the end of the day on Thursday, long time faithful KIAM volunteers Rick and Kathy Migra informed us that they, wouldn't be returning, making it necessary to cut back on the live hosted Mukluk segments as well. Thankfully Grandma Dee and UT (Uncle Tom) stepped up to the plate. Lots of brainstorming together and then a full day of kiddo care while Mom and Dad tried to get everything done and ready for Saturday's scheduled changes.

March 14 thru March 20
Here Kayleb is trying out a new design on his head. With the fairbanks beauty school offering free cuts at the Nenana Senior Center, Daddy tried out a new design on his head too (photo credit to Kristofer).

Here Kristofer watches as Dad stuffs his head into the oven to install the new igniter. Then Kristofer watches as UT stuffs his head under the sink to install the new instant hot water heater.

On Saturday morning we served as base for some folks going out to do maintenance on their remote cabin. They parked at our house then Karl and Kristofer showed them a spot to get on the river. 80 miles to go each way, we heard it was a productive weekend.

On Sunday after church we went to Ice Alaska. Something new for us and something we realize we've waited too long to visit.

The art is impressive, especially the large complicated multi-block work.

First we walked through the sculptures and then got to some of the things that were a little more interactive.

Lots of opportunities to pose for photos.

The posing opportunities came in all shapes and sizes.

The little kids playground had lots of small slides and fun things like this enclosed maze.

But the big kid's play ground really was unbelievable. These slides were a blast. First Kristofer went down with Mom and Dad.

Before long he was going down by himself and hauling the sled back up the hill himself too. What a thrill for him and a blessing for his parents to see so much joy.

After we finished with the big slides we took the ATV pulled train to make sure we hadn't missed anything and to get a little machinery fix. This was a very fun day together as a family.

March 21 thru March 27
Still more spring sunshine. A great chance for everyone to get out. Kristofer enjoys pulling Kayleb in his new sled.

Better than pulling Kayleb is being pulled. Here Karl and Kristofer go for a walk across the Tanana river. A visit to the Tripod where the timing of its demise is critical to so many.

The ice is still thick and strong. We had safe travel to the other side. Why did we cross the river? To get to the other side, somehow the "why" questions that are so common these days never seem to have really deep answers.

Karl and Kristan are trying out a low carb diet that focuses on getting calories from fat instead of carbs. Here Kristofer explores the techniques for making a cheesecake crust from chopped pecans and using spaghetti squash instead of pasta.

Last weekend we bought this new sled while the stores have their spring clearance sales. Together we assembled the hitch and hooked it up.

Always anxious for some fun on the snow machines Kristofer hopped in for a test ride. After he made sure it was a good ride, his brother came along on the way home from work.

On Sunday at church we met Joanna our new volunteer for the month of April at KIAM. The kids took to her right away. Some folks come to visit Alaska and never get to see a moose. Not so for Joanna. We were only a few blocks from church before we got up close to a few.

The moose were a good start but we wanted to show Joanna our latest discovery, the ice park.

At night the colored lighting really gives a different perspective. These little pictures can't do justice to sight of these sculptures.

But the sculptures aren't our passion. The slides were what drew us back. This time the slides were all lit up with color too. Kristofer was familiar with the procedure and got right into the routine.

With 4 adults to keep Kayleb happy and two sleds this time, Mom and dad got into the action a bit more than last weekend. Here Karl and Kristofer are racing eachother.

This time Karl had to try out the spinning ice balls that were intended for the kids. Karl's inner child no longer fits so well. The whole family enjoyed our second trip to the ice park.

March 28 thru April 3
With more daylight hours we got to show Joanna some good fun snowmachining near town after work. At work we now are processing the donations. Here Kristofer is learning how to use the stamp to endorse the gift checks.

We took advantages of the spring clearance sales again. This time we got runners to improve the performance and life expectancy of our new sled. Kristofer's help was critical as we installed these runners.