Monday, December 31, 2012

Roots

It's been some long years on the road, a total of nearly 5 years since we first left the US and moved to Costa Rica, and then onto the sailing adventure. We have been able to travel in all sorts of conditions, not all of them comfortable, but none of them boring. We have also been able to see a lot of once-in-a-lifetime things and even now, telling some of the people we meet our story, it doesn't seem real. A few times, I've had to look back through the blog and pictures to remind myself how incredible and epic it has been.

The "sevensailors" have put down roots: as it were. We found a house in the Historic District of downtown area of Wilmington, a 'short sale' from a bank, and since we first saw it, Rachel knew it was the one. We put in an offer, and things quickly fell into place for us to be able to buy it. Actually, the closing was moved up a whole month from January 15th to December 17th! No one on board Mehari was disappointed as I've mentioned, since moving back on board two months ago it has felt like "The Incredible Shrinking Boat". With winter weather quickly approaching, we've been spending more and more days in places like the public library, the mall, or anywhere but the boat. 

A few days before Christmas, we moved in for our first night's sleep in the "new" house. I guess new house is misleading, as the house was built in 1920, but it is a two story 'colonial revival' and has lots of character. It needs some work, which is exactly the kind of house we were looking for. The yard is in rough shape, weeds, overgrown, etc. It also is in need of painting, and a lot of small cosmetic work. 
But the 'bones' of the house are good, it is very solid, and it came with everything to get us started, even a refrigerator and a washer and dryer! No more laundry-mats!! It is completely wood floors, old plaster walls, dormer windows, and lots and lots of room! Our whole world could easily fit in the dining room so once we move in it will be the task of getting furniture, beds, basically everything! We brought over our things from storage, including a folding tables and folding chairs, so we're off! For the first week, we're so used to being in small spaces together, we kind of move from room to room as a group thinking and dreaming of ideas for the house.

empty rooms......pretty much how they still look!
We're really excited for the new adventure of getting settled in here, finding good deals for furniture and  learning all over again how to adjust to land living and setting some sort of routine. 

Rachel's goal is to quickly set up her school room, and get the kids back in a routine for doing school. We also joined a YMCA fitness center located only a few blocks from our house, so she'll be there quite a bit with the kids, swimming and hanging out.

That's the update for now.  We'd love to hear from you or better yet, swing on by if you're near the East Coast! We'll go hang out at the beach and stare at the horizon..........

Monday, December 17, 2012

Stop in Charleston

We spent the weekend down in Charleston, South Carolina visiting some friends that we'd met in Turkey almost 3 years ago! It is only a 3 hour drive from here in Wilmington, North Carolina. 

They finished a 3 year circumnavigation by boat last year and now since we're "neighbors", we wanted to catch up with them. It was a great time hanging out with them and their sons, Emile and Peter. 


This photo was in a toy store in downtown Charleston and this may be as close as Emma may get to France for quite a while!


River Rat ;)




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

On the house hunt

We knew that once we landed in Wilmington, our days on Mehari would be short lived. Since coming back to the boat from Alaska, it has seemed to be shrinking literally by the day.

We are now heading into winter, which for boat life, means mildew, condensation, and very chilly nights. Although we've been pleasantly surprised by how mild the winter has been so far, we have had several COLD nights into the mid-upper 30's and we have no heat! We do have a small propane heater we can use to 'take the nip' out of the air, but nothing we can safely leave on all night, which translates into: pile on the blankets!

All this means, we need to get in a house, and soon. Rachel and the kids are feeling like they need to devote some serious time to refocusing on school. School has been a challenge, for at least the past year, as life has had us pulling into a lot of other directions. I'll have Rachel write more about transitioning school from the boat. 

Also, we have come back with a trailer full of household 'stuff' half of which is in a storage unit, half in the trailer at the marina, and half in the boat.......wait a minute, that's 3 halves! You get the idea! Stress!!

We looked at rentals for a bit, and found them to be expensive and all requiring a one year lease! We just want to get off the boat for a few months and get our bearings....is that asking too much?!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

4th Turkey Day on Mehari

Well, because we just pulled in to Wilmington, we still don't know anyone........at least not well enough to have any invitations for all 8 of us to come over for Thanksgiving dinner :) we're celebrating on Mehari!

Thanksgiving is a family favorite holiday for all of us, one: because of the awesome meal, which Rachel manages to create out of our little kitchen with a two burner stove, and two: the inevitable movie/nap to follow! We all really love the time of year, it's starting to get crisp outside, leaves are gorgeous, and it's just a great time to relax as a family, not that we've been lacking family time these past few years. 

We spent the day cooking, we ate rotisserie chickens (that's all we can fit in our little oven) stuffing, potatoes, green beans, corn, cranberries, and this year, Emma dazzled us with two sweet potato pies she made with crusty marshmallow top! They were fantastic!

We also thought over the past 5 years, and where we ended up celebrating Thanksgiving each year..........

2008: We had just moved to Costa Rica earlier in the year and ended up celebrating with a group of "gringos" at a country club and did an impromptu potluck. It was loads of fun, there was a pool table there, and it ended up being a big party with almost 50 people! 

2009: We had moved onto Mehari only 5 months earlier, and had sailed a few Greek islands, and had made our way over to Turkey and had spent 2 1/2 months enjoying empty bays, new cities and the amazing hospitality of the Turkish people! I don't know if we've put it other posts over the years, but Turkey was easily one of our family's favorite places. We also found a rotisserie chicken there, made cous-cous, lots of fresh veggies and a Mediterranean salad. I don't remember dessert, but I'm sure honey, yogurt and some kind of chocolate were involved. 

2010: This year we were in Israel, living in Jerusalem. Miles was only 2 months old, and we spent the day in our apartment, eating hummus and pitas, I believe also we had Chicken (Turkey's are a pretty uniquely American thing) and Israeli salad, similar to Mediterranean, but lighter on the goat cheese and feta :(

2011: This year, we were making tracks toward crossing the Atlantic Ocean. It was right before we left the Canary islands, off of Morocco (although they are technically Spain) and we had a great day playing in the sand, hanging out at the beach and of course, playing football with some friends we met along the way. "Imagine," a boat with a family, us and a couple from Switzerland and Italy all made a potluck on the beach and Maggie even made a pumpkin pie and an apple pie! It was a epic day and the following day, our friends left to cross the Atlantic and we left to sail to Senegal, West Africa. Pretty unbelievable sitting here thinking back on it now:)

2012: This year finds us, having returned from an incredible summer in Alaska, fishing salmon, and travelling a LOT of miles there and back (20,000!!), visiting loads of friends and family along the way and looking forward to our new life in Wilmington. This town seems like a good fit for us, and we have really enjoyed exploring and learning some hidden gems. Our family is getting into thrift store shopping and there are tons of neat little shops here that we've been digging through. 

So, thank you to everyone who has supported us these past few years, we'd love to keep in touch with you and tell you about some exciting news happening over the next few months! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Arriving in Wilmington

Here's a photo from the chart plotter, showing us pulling into Wilmington, we're the little triangle in the middle.
We had a good 3 day motor up the ICW, seeing about 60 dolphins on the trip which was really cool, but it was cold and windy, which was not so cool. Rachel also had a good trip 'sailing' over land in the car and meeting up with us each night.
It feels really good having all of our 'stuff' and boat and people in the same place and tucked into a marina, even though we're far from settled. Now that we're in Wilmington, we're all anxious to see what chapter is next!

Thanks everyone for all your prayers and support. We'll keep you posted on the start over process. With what little we've seen of Wilmington, it seems like a very cool, old town with lots to do for families, good for homeschooling, and a good fit for us!

Waiting for the bridge

Sometimes on the ICW, you don't arrive at the bridges exactly when they open, so you end up sitting in the channel, waiting for a while until their next scheduled opening.
There are workers sitting in the control towers (in the middle in this picture) and we communicate with them using the radio, being sure to address them as: 'Bascule Bridge Master, we are requesting an opening!'
It feels like we're asking permission from the trolls under the bridge to pass in a children's fairy tale, but that's how it is. Kinda funny!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ready for Launch (or......as ready as we'll ever be!)

It's been a drizzly couple of weeks, first with the hurricane (although compared to the devastation in New York and New Jersey we don't have anything to complain about!) and then the residual storm this week pushing rain and COLD down here, we haven't exactly finished our list of things to  do on the boat before we can put it back in the water.
Although we did manage to pick up a bigger propane heater for the inside of the boat, because with lows in the upper 30's, and NO insulation to speak of on a fiberglass boat......it's been.......brisk! And there seems to be only so many layers you can wear to bed. 

"ICW" in North Carolina
We were scheduled to go back in this Friday afternoon, but it looks like Monday at the soonest, maybe Tuesday. Something that is super critical for us going back into the water is making sure we coordinate with the tides.
We have to make sure we go in at "slack high tide" which means the water is as high as it's going to get and shifting to the low tide for the day. Of course, the tide changes everyday, so it's all in the scheduling. We are on a small river, called Core Creek, off of the main part of the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) And the tides RUSH through this section and trying to motor our boat out into it with the water either rushing one way or the other is not a fun prospect. 

The ICW, if you're not familiar, is a 3000 mile canal system, most of it natural inlets, salt water rivers and bays, along most of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States. It is possible to travel the coasts of several states without the hazards of traveling on the 'open sea'. Although you have to pay a lot more attention in the ICW than on the open sea because there is a lot of traffic from barges, other sport boats, sail boats, fishermen, and bridges! Not exactly the set-the-autopilot-and-read-a-book kind of watch. On the other hand, it's usually pretty flat water, so no one is feeling  crummy.

So, we're scrambling to finish all the chores, while Mehari is sitting on blocks. Projects like: a new toilet! some fiberglass repairs to the rudders and back deck, painting the entire hull with anti-fouling paint, and what seems like a thousand other miscellaneous projects. All while doing laundry, shopping, and shifting stuff off and on the boat.......oh yeah, and living! 
I think we'll all be glad to get back in the water, and back to a 'normal' routine.....which I'm not sure we know what that looks like, but are willing to learn ;)

From the ICW in North Carolina.......

Hems

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy


Are you sensing a trend? We arrived in North Carolina 'just in time' for a hurricane warning!










We got back to the boat on Thursday late in the day, only to find we'd had a couple leaks over the summer, and some flooring was ruined and a stack of school books were black with mold and saturated with water :( We ended up in a hotel for one more night until we could get a handle on things, but I can't say the kids broke down crying about the school books (Rachel and I did!) 
Friday consisted of cleaning up the boat, moving things we've stored onboard into our trailer to try and move , and getting situated for what looks like a pretty serious storm. 

Today is Sunday afternoon, and we're about halfway through the storm, it's been downgraded to a tropical storm and then back to hurricane. The eye of the storm is about 150 miles off-shore, but as of this morning, we've seen almost 3" of rain so far, and plenty of high winds.
We are really glad our boat is out of the water during the storm, but try to imagine challenges like: walking up to the bathrooms in the mud, getting off/on a wet cockpit, living out of an ice-chest with no running water, and and all of us cramped in here, running a small space heater to dry things out. We've managed a few movies to be sure :)
We're just trying to keep our spirits up and know it'll only be for another couple of days, and then we can get on the process of starting a life. Although, for right now, this IS life, and we've learned that as long as we're together as a family, we can do ALOT!! We keep trying to remind and encourage each other, and know we've already done some really hard things and this is just the path to something else. 

The plan, as of 5 minutes ago, is to paint the bottom of the boat later this week, get it launched back in the water, and make the trip down to Wilmington, NC. We will then be living on the boat and then it's job hunting time and looking for a house to rent. Wilmington is loaded with historic homes, and boasts over 300 blocks of "historic district"
We'd love to find some old homes to fix up as rentals ourselves, and if anyone has some money to invest, from our research this looks like a growing spot. I also know an excellent contractor/remodeler who is currently out of work! Seriously, drop us an email if you know someone interested.

So, that's an update, we'll send another note once the storm is over, and let you know everything is OK, thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers!

~ Soggy Hems


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Eastbound

Our time with family in Missouri has come to a close :(  and time to head east toward Mehari back in North Carolina.
It's been 5 months since we've been road nomads.......all the way to Alaska, fishing, and camping, and all the way back. And we thought boat life was hard! I think we'll all be glad to be in our 'most familiar' beds, back on the boat. The boat has been sitting out of the water in a boatyard just north of Beaufort  NC, a place called Bock Marine. We're also a bit curious how she's done sitting empty all this time.
Cousins' farm in Missouri

playing in fall leaves



Some of the highlights from our time in Missouri were Levi and Erik going to John's basketball practice every morning and getting a thorough workout. Of course, all the cousins (12!) had a ball hanging out and riding a mototrcycle, a quad, and feeding chickens, turkeys and a horse. Our kids got a little taste of farm life, doing chores in the early morning.......they managed to survive. 
making sure the hotel beds are *soft enough.

Erik managed to squeeze in a VW bus show in Springfield, the girls had a shopping day, the 'boys' went to a gun show, and we had a few game marathons, mostly Apples to Apples, and the grownups even managed a date night ;) and the house was not burned to a crisp when we got back.

Now, we've been scootin' along through Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and finally, North Carolina. 

ice cream break in Kentucky



Monday, October 8, 2012

Catching up......

Ok, we've been a bit occupied the last couple of weeks, but finally sat down for a minute to catch up with the blog and give everyone an update of where we are and what we've been doing!

We spent almost 3 weeks in Arizona all said, catching up with a LOT of friends, family and also doing some work 'stuff' on a commercial property we own. Maggie and Levi and Emma were put to work in between visiting friends, doing a lot of painting, cleaning, staining, sweeping, and organizing our life up to this point. I must say, even though the boat life has it's challenges, living day after day out of suitcase is no cup of tea either. I would rather have everything unpacked, even if its into a small 400 square foot catamaran! Which, I am excited to say, we will be back on in a few short weeks! (Not everyone shares my excitement, but I think they're warming to the idea)

We are now in Missouri, (not Misery!) visiting Rachel's sister for a week or two and all the kids are catching up with their cousins after a long time away from one another. Rachel's sister and her husband, Stacy and James, have 6 kids as well, including 2 teenagers they've adopted from Russia two years ago, so while there's "only" 18 people in the house, it's a good chaos and were really enjoying our time here. 

Photos to follow when we get a spare few minutes of peace and quiet, and pry the computer back from the kid's fingers!

Hems

Friday, September 14, 2012

A pause on the road trip of life.......

So it turns out trying to keep a blog updated on a road trip while tent camping in next to impossible. Almost every minute of the day is spent driving and setting up or taking down the tent, sleeping bags, and getting things set up to do frivolous things like eat. :)

Anyway, we are back in our 'native' town of Prescott Arizona and have been having a great time catching up with friends and family from being away these nearly 5 years. It's really felt like a homecoming for us and the kids are having a blast catching up with all their friends! We're here for a few weeks, going through storage, reconnecting, and trying to assess the next step of life......turns out that's not so easy!

We will be posting some blogs about the road trip and the cool things we got to see and do since Alaska......we promise.....over the next couple of days!

Hems 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Scootin' through Canada

Well, we left Alaska, and knew we were going to be camping on the road through Canada and the Northwest. We also knew it was probably going to be a bit chilly....it being the beginning of September. So, our first stop in Canada (and it ended up being our ONLY! :) was a campground called Beaver Point. 
Most campgrounds make you buy a small bundle of wood, but with this campground they let us use the wheelbarrow and get one load per night we were staying. Levi went over and loaded it super full and we all thought...."there's no way we're going to burn all that! we're only staying one night!" Well, by the time we went to bed, it was almost gone and we quick jumped in our sleeping bags and got settled in for a chilly night. By the way......these are NOT high tech sleeping bags!
It was the kind of night where you wake up every time you move because the rest of the seeping bag is freezing! There was even frost in the inside if the tent in the morning, so we decided to make a beeline for the states, and hopefully warmer climates the further we went south. 

In the end, it was a great spot and we had fun roasting marshmallows, and making memories!
See you in the US!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back on the road!

We finished the fishing season, got the boat cleaned, and are back on our way through Canada and to the 'lower 48' Last night the low was 25 degrees, so, needless to say were not exactly camping.....We decided to drive through the night and cover some ground.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fishing update.....

Finally, we're back in town long enough to get some photos posted.

a LOT of driftwood!
Here's a few pictures from where Levi and I have been fishing. Places with names like: Kamashak Flats, Rocky Bay, Port Graham, Windy Bay, and Chinook River. Really out of the way places, FAR from any towns, remote and beautiful. 

Sorry we don't have any pictures of the fish....yet, we have been catching them, it's usually just too chaotic when we're bringing them in to pull out a camera. But, I promise we will post some evidence soon that we're not just out there sightseeing :)

Thanks for checking in with us!


one of the boats we're fishing with
fishing alongside the locals :)
Bald Eagle


Bears fishing
Ready n rain gear
miles and miles of wilderness

Friday, August 10, 2012

Staying busy in Alaska

Sorry it's been awhile since my last post.  We are all keeping busy here in Homer.....and trying to fit in!

The boys are out fishing most of the time but we have been able to seen them on the occasion when they are coming and going to a new area or if something breaks that needs replacing.  They are doing great and learning loads.  Erik and Levi have the jobs of "line stackers" (guiding and stacking the nets as they come in and go out),  which is a physical job.  The net is about 3/4 of a mile long and would fill up a  12 x 12 living room 4 ft. high.  All of the "crew" are taking turns cooking so I am expecting "new" recipies and volunteer kitchen help in MY kitchen when the season is over:)   

Maggie is still busy with her jobs and feeling independant.  She has also found some great friends who she works with.  All the girls got together and celebrated her 18th birthday!  Something about...cupcakes,  concert on the lawn,  and hippies....you'll have to ask her what that was all about!  Thanks Maggie,  Sierra and Katie! (I hope I didn't forget anyone)

The other kiddos and I  have been busy with activities from the library and school.  We have meet some great people and are having fun with "local" activities!  Recently Emma won a drawing and recieved FREE movies tickets and Zoe also won a drawing for FREE ice cream!  Sounds like a movie/ice cream afternoon for the all of us!






Saturday, August 4, 2012

Missing Mehari:(

Notice the toilet-paper-roll bumpers:)





A few days ago the kids turned a large box into a boat!  It was fun to watch them get excited over details as we added things like bumpers,  a mast,  an anchor,  and of course navagation instruments!  We have a wind guage,  GPS and an auto pilot! 

At bedtime both girls had made a bed inside the boat and begged to sleep in it.   First it was Lily's turn to sleep in the boat and tonight it is Zoe's turn!  They both wanted to sleep in it and I found myself saying..."you two will not fit..." Lily then replied...."yes we will,  we'll just snuggle close!"  I had to smile because many times along our journey we heard that very same thing from other boaters......."8 people on THAT boat,  how do you all fit?"    We would just smile and say..."we are a very close family!"   

Complete with  steering wheel and nav. instruments!
So my advise for you if you want to have a close family the radical way......buy a small boat and travel with your kids.  With GOD'S GRACE it worked for us.  I guess in the end you'll either be close or "jump ship"! And as crazy as it was A LOT of the time....we are all missing it!

Canning Salmon




I have officially turned into an "Alaskan Mountain Women"  this week!  I have been learning to can.  And although I have been a gardener in the past I have never learned the art of canning.  so...Linda has been teaching me and since it is fishing season.....we are canning Salmon.  Pink and Red Salmon more specifically.  



The process takes about 3 hours from start to finish.  Starting with sanitizing the jars,  then cutting up the fish,  cleaning them and fitting them into the jars.  From there we add vinegar and salt and then wipe and seal them.  Then they are ready to go into the pressure cooker and must maintain 10 lbs of pressure for 1 1/2 hours. 


After they are done and cooled down,  all the jars must be cleaned again before being stored! We canned for a few days and in total I believe we ended up canning about 50+ fish.  (Linda did most of the work!) But I was grateful to be a part of it and to just learn! 


Thanks Linda:)

Monday, July 9, 2012

"The Fisherman's Widows Club"

Yes, I have officially joined the group of the many women here in Alaska known as the "Fisherman's Widows  Club" (hypothetical of course!) The fishing season is in FULL swing and the fishing boats and  crews are coming and going.  Our crew has been gone for over a week now but we have been able to talk to the boys a few times.  They are doing great and trying to stay warm!  This has been a tough adjustment for our family for the obvious reason that we have been traveling closely for the past 3 1/2 years together on a boat the size of most peoples garage.  So, although we are missing each other we are all staying busy which helps!



Maggie has been working like crazy at 3 different jobs.  She is loving the independence and is learning a ton! Recently she got her driving permit! It think I was more excited!!  Like she puts it...."Only 2 years late,  but hey,  that's what living and traveling on a boat does!" So guess who does all the driving when it's the 2 of us?



Emma also got a job 2 times a week helping a friend down the street clean house.  She loves it too!  She feels independent and is learning a lot also.  We are focusing on school,  school,  school......but she is not too excited about that! 



The little's,  Emma and I have been involved with the summer library reading program.  There are activities once a week and the kids have been able to make some friends.  Last week we were a part of making 4th of July decorations for the Library, and then the girls got to march with the "Big" parade through town. Miles and I sat, watched, waved and caught candy!  Miles was thrilled!  His new phrase was......"Momma,  open!!







So for now we are enjoying Alaska and trying to keep warm.  

Thanks for reading  - Rachel!   

Monday, June 25, 2012

Off to sea!

I know......I know.......I can hear it already. "You get a real job and the blogs come to a screeching halt!"


On the boat!
It has been a busy few weeks, with Levi and I working 50+ hours a week, working to finish details on the fishing boat(s), but no excuses! I know some readers are wondering what we've been up to, here in Alaska.  There has been an endless list of things to prepare and fix. I mentioned the net mending in the previous post, and all is well, nets are mended and on the boats. 1/2 mile of net is a LOT of net (not to mention it weighs about 5,000 pounds dry.....more when it's wet!) There have been loads of other projects as well, but it seems we have gained on it, and the list is finally short.

One of the chores to get ready was an all day trip to Anchorage (Erik and Emma) and filing 6 carts with enough food for 2 1/2 months' long season. We're planning on being more than a little hungry after fishing all day, so we need our 'sustenance' :)   Most of the food stays in Homer, and when we need to re-stock while we're out there, Linda sends it with the fish tenders that come and go from us, bringing our catches to the fish processors. The tenders are huge ships that literally vacuum the fish from our boat (sometimes straight from the net) into their hold and make the 10 hour trek back to town. So we can just keep fishing!

So, we are planning now to leave the day after tomorrow, and are heading out to an area on the way to Kodiak Island, about 10 hours from Homer by boat. It should take us one overnight trip and then we'll be waiting for the schools of fish to start "running"....schooling back to the same creeks and rivers where they were spawned 3-4 years ago. 

Levi and I have been like sponges, learning everything we can about the whole process, and are excited to see the boats start filling with fish. We get paid a percentage of the season's catch.....so the joke is: NO fish will escape on our watch!!

Meanwhile......Miles and the girls are enjoying a bathtub at their disposal!



Friday, June 8, 2012

Getting Settled

Well, we've been in Alaska for a bit over a week now, and we're still getting our bearings! The strangest thing is the sun not going down until after 11:00 pm, so it never really gets dark before the sun is coming up again. It's been difficult for the kids to adjust because they don't want to get in bed when the sun is shining in the windows!

Levi and I have been working a lot getting the boats ready for the season. This means everything from mending nets, to welding, to framing, to plumbing, to cleaning, to painting, to siphoning old fuel from last season, and on and on. We thought Mehari was a lot of work! These fishing boats are MUCH larger, and have way more systems than we have on our little sailboat. 
The main boat we'll be fishing on, called 'Stardust', is 58', sleeps 10 and has a 550hp diesel motor (Mehari has 2 motors that total only 36hp!!) 
It also has a sea water chiller, for keeping the salmon we catch and store in the fish hold down to 33 degrees (chilled seawater.......fascinating) and two separate diesel generators as well. It has an engine room as big as the saloon on our boat, and it's nice to be able to walk around everything instead of trying to turn a wrench.....crammed into a "phone booth". The boat also has 1/4 mile long fish net that we use which weighs over 5000 pounds.....without fish! So, as you can imagine, everything on the boat is BIG!

Two large piles of fish nets to mend. 
The "fish hold" is below decks and can hold about 60,000 pounds of fish and we hope to fill it as often as possible! Well see. We're still about two weeks from fishing, and everything is totally new for us. If we get our projects finished, we hope to go out for some practice 'sets' before the official opening of the season so we can at least LOOK like we know what we're doing. 

Rachel and the kids have been settling in as well. The have been into Homer a few times, poking around town and are already set up with a library card and have been there a couple of times. It's a great way to have a free outing and the kids like getting a new stash of books for home. Emma is into craft books and readers, Lily has just started getting into readers, Zoe likes picture books, and Miles is happy with any books with cars. Maggie if course, just gets a pile and devours them quickly. She's just happy for some more variety than the books that get passed between cruisers. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

video

Homer Sweet Home

Well, we thought the BOAT had it's hard moments! Whew! Road travelling with 8 is tough. 
Most of the photos we put on were of us smiling, but there were a lot of not smiling times. All in all, it was a great adventure, and we lived to tell about it. Actually, I'm mostly joking, but it is what it is. 
It is just difficult with all of us, some as large as adults themselves, in a car....any car, for 12-14 hours at a time. The best solution we found was to drive all night. Not much fun for Rachel and I, but oh well, better in the end. 

We arrived several days ago, and are just getting settled into our new routine for the next few months. The house where we are staying is gorgeous. The people we are fishing with, Mark and Linda, kindly offered to let us all stay, knowing Levi and I would be gone most of the summer and it would be Rachel and the kids here with Linda. It is a big house with stunning vies over the Kachemak bay, just up the road from the town of Homer. They are on 5 acres, and the first morning after we got here, I went out to get something from the car, and there was a moose in the front yard, munching away on the grass.......welcome to Alaska!

Here's the view from the living room
The house has a big loft room where all the kids will sleep, and Rachel and I have a room downstairs with a bathroom. We're all adjusting to all the space, and it's going to be interesting to see if we can cram everything back into the suburban and trailer when it comes time to leave. For now, we're just enjoying the time we have here and enjoying God's amazing creation that is all around us!



Love you all, talk to you soon!