Tuesday, July 29, 2008


One of the more disappointing things about modern food is the loss of tasty produce. The fresh fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets are engineered or selected based on appearance and size, not taste. Have you ever bought the biggest, bluest, yummiest looking blueberries only to find they taste like sawdust? I have and I am continually let down. It's unfortunate that we have come to base purchases off of looks instead of taste and nutritional value. My hope is that this trend will turn around in America.

What can be done? One great option now is to buy produce locally at places like your nearest farmer's market. We stopped by one the other day and purchased this amazing tasting watermelon. It also happened to be yellow, I had never heard of such a thing, so we bought it. Check out the lovely yellow, the bright green rind and *gasp* it has seeds. Let me tell you, I resent seedless watermelons. First, I have never had one that tasted any good. Secondly, half the fun of a watermelon is spitting out the seeds and telling kids that if they swallow them, a watermelon plant will grow in their stomach. So, I encourage you to boycott that pale green, pale pink, seedless junk they pass as a watermelon in the grocery store and buy (or grow) something that's actually good to eat.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Front Page Baby!

The Duluth News Tribune did a feature article about our family's life up in Alaska. Check it out in today's paper or at this link.


You do have to register but it's free.

P.S. A couple of our friends have noted the article on their blogs too.

Aaron Brown

Soren Barr

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Garage Sale

We had a very successful garage sale over the weekend. Our goals:
a: for stuff to go away
b: to spend an enjoyable day with friends and family.
Both were accomplished.

Christina and I manned the sales table.

Aiti & Harold had fun bouncing on the old hide-a-bed.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lake Nabagamon, WI

We met our friends, Don and Jeanette Rantala about four years ago. They do work for Mission Builders, an organization that works at a minimum cost to help build or add on to churches. After the church in Brevig burned down, they played a big part in helping to rebuild it. During their time in Brevig, the Rantalas lived with us for about a month. Needless to say, we got to know them pretty well. We do our best to see them when we're back in Minnesota. This year we drove to Lake Nabagamon to stay a night with them.

Harold had fun at the local playground/beach.

He also got to feed their horses.

And take a nice long boat ride around the lake.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Beach Party

We made the best of our get together in spite of the wind, rain and cold. Summer in Minnesota hasn't been the best this year with all the cool temps. I'm making myself feel better by saying, "I'm so glad we're having such a nice Fall."

The day of the party, I had to change into pants and a sweatshirt when the weather didn't warm up by noon (grrr!). We were also very careful to hold onto our paper plates and plastic cups so the wind wouldn't blow them away. C.O. and Soren had plans to use their sailboats a bit that day. They tried, but the wind was just too strong for their boats. I sound like I'm crabbing but I'm only crabbing over the weather, besides that it was a great day. The food was yummy, quite a few people came, we had fun visiting and watching the kids play in the water. It started to rain in the afternoon, we were grateful to Mary for saving us by hosting the party in the house. But in the end, the weather didn't ruin the day, we had fun in spite of it.


Sunday, July 6, 2008


Our friends Carol and Dave Roche recently hosted a unique event, the Ideal TCR Grand Prix. Ideal TCR is a toy car system from the 70s, a fancy version of "slot" car racing. Part of the set was Jim's from when he was a kid and the rest has slowly been purchased by Dave on e-bay.

The course was set up in Dave's garage, turns out the guys spent just as much time tinkering with the little cars as they did racing. When the cars, were just right we started racing. There would be a lot more tinkering throughout the day, as soon as I got to practice, I flew my car off the edge of the track and smashed it up a little. But it was eventually fixed up o.k. It was actually pretty exciting to race and kind of addicting.

First prize was a Snap-On screw driver with a spiffy ribbon as well.

And the winner was. . . Derek.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independance Day

How do Americans celebrate Independence Day? We drink lots of beer, blow off illegal fireworks made with cheap labor and eat until we can barely move. This basically sums up our 4th of July.

We started the day as usual by attending the Side Lake parade. We then went back to the Rudstrom's place and took the kids swimming. We had six little boys playing around in the lake.

After, we went over to Joanie and Larry's annual 4th of July picnic gathering. It's always a good time there with lawn games, great food and good company.

We ended the day by playing with a few fireworks and watching a pretty awesome display at Chris' family's cabin.

Do little boys ever grow up? =)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Washington D.C.

After the week in Baltimore, we rented a car and drove to Alexandria, VA to stay with C.O.'s Aunt Phyllis. She has a beautiful home and is only a half hour drive or metro ride from D.C. Phyllis, once upon a time, worked at the Smithsonian working with fossils and minerals. So, the first day we were there, she gave us a little tour of the part of the museum where she worked.

"Rocks are beautiful and fun!"

On Sunday, we had Phyllis drop us off near the Washington Monument and from there we hoofed it to each of the nearby memorials. One of the units I have to teach to my first grade students this year is about holidays, monuments, patriotic songs etc., so we took many of pictures of the sights we saw to share with my students next fall.

When we were near the White House, the roads nearby were blocked off for security reasons since the President was going out by helicopter. We saw the big helicopters fly overhead and land on the White House lawn.