Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pilgrim Play/Bonding Through Hockey

Happy Thanksgiving! Yesterday we attended Chris' Pilgrim Play. He was one of two Indians. He played Samoset and had two lines which he delivered with more style and finesse during the performance than he did during rehearsal at home. Afterwards he served us apple cider, crackers and cheese, meat stick, pumpkin bread and cookies.

Samoset the Indian.

Maya and Chris

Chris also played a crew member on the Mayflower. Doesn't he look adorable in this dew rag?

Look at the boys helping Maya tie her skates.

Maya watches a movie inside a hockey bag that Riley carried to the family room for her.
Riley even taught her how to drop her gloves for a "hockey fight". Riley is even learning how to speak French with a Canadian accent. He says " Martin San Louie" instead of St. Louis. See, hockey has some redeeming value.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Homer, the Banana Belt of Alaska

Okay, forget about me whining about the single digits. It's actually 37 degrees right now. Matt has been trying to create an outdoor skating rink for the kids on our cement boat pad. I don't know how successful he will be since it's warmed up. Winters in Homer range from 0-40 with occasional cold snaps below 0, but not very often. The snowing, raining, melting and freezing up again makes walking and driving very hazardous.

If you want to see something really impressive, check out my niece in a cross country ski meet at 20 below. She's wearing a respirator and the frost on her eyelashes is so thick she looks like the Fairbanks version of Tammy Fae Baker! For more information about how real Alaskans live at 20 (and up to 40 below), go to the Wise-Edic blog on my list of favorite blogs.

Now for the hockey update. Riley's team just played in a tournament in Soldotna. They defeated KPHA 5-2 last night, Riley scoring 4 of the goals. If 3 goals is a hat trick, what's 4 goals called? A hat and scarf trick? They made it to the championship game and lost to Palmer 5-1. It was a disappointing loss but nothing that a big breakfast at Buckets Sports Bar and Grill couldn't fix. As we were finishing our breakfast, a couple who had been sitting at the table next to us dropped a note in front of me on their way out. It said: I would like to compliment you on your well behaved children.

I just read the Creasy-Duda blog about God throwing us a lifeline. This was my lifeline. I often feel like I have no control over my children and wish I was a better parent. Then once in a while, something like that happens, reminding me I'm not a complete failure. I'm not going to qualify the compliment by telling you it's easy to have well behaved children when you take them to a restaurant where they are surrounded by wide screen HD TVs all playing a different football game on Sunday morning. Or remind you that three of the boys, Riley and two teammates, had just played their hearts out and lost the 8am championship game. I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the compliment. It probably won't be long before someone else is asking me to get my children under control.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

First Snow

This blog is about 10 days late. We had our first snow on November 7th. I promised a friend of mine who was out of town that I would take pictures for her. Then things got really hectic. Riley had his first two hockey games last Saturday. Chris' hockey team was split because there were two many kids. I am managing his team now, after I gave up managing Riley's team. Riley's team is being coached by someone way more competent than me. Chris' team is very young and inexperienced so we are not going to do much traveling. I'm trying to schedule a few games for them so they feel like a real hockey team without overwhelming the families.

We've had some dramatic weather around here. First, the longest, warmest autumn that I can remember in 10 years. Then we had several wind and rain storms, one after another. Finally, our first snow in November instead of mid-October. Now, a cold snap we don't usually see until January. It's been in the single digits this past week. Brrrr! I do prefer the cold sunny days to the grey cloudy days, but single digits? Yikes! Matt spent yesterday insulating all our skylights with foam board. My heart goes out to all the families living in substandard housing like leaky trailers, running their heaters day and night just to keep the thermometer above 50, with oil and propane prices they can't afford. I don't know why anyone but Alaskan Natives live here. I don't even know how they've been doing it for thousands of years!

Morning light on a snowy day, it's 9:55am.

Riley and Chris making snowballs.

Instead of "snow angel", Maya says she's making a "snow me". Precious.

Chris' start on a snow man.

Matt bought Maya her own hockey gear because nothing at the rink fit her. Doesn't she look like a transformer?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween, 2009

Last night we went out for Halloween. Our friends got the flu so their party was cancelled. It was unfortunate because nobody does Halloween like the Greears. First we went trick or treating at Riley's school. Maya saw two of her friends there. Then we went to the Long Term Care facility at the hospital. The hospital is being remodeled so parts of it were under construction. We got lost for a minute and Riley started to get nervous. I wanted to tell him we were going to the morgue but that would have freaked him out too much. There were a lot of Grim Reaper out last night. I wondered what the elderly folks at the Senior Center thought about that.

After the hospital, Riley and Chris went trick or treating in the neighborhood with Bradley and his family while Maya and I went to the Senior Center. We ended up at Ly and Bill's house and helped Ly pass out candy for a while. Maya was mad that she didn't get to go door to door with the boys. I hate trick or treating when it's 21 degrees out. It was cold and clear with a nearly full moon. Since it's so cold here many parents drive their kids around to trick or treat. There are a few small neighborhoods in Homer that get the majority of the trick or treating. So the streets are congested with cars idling and kids running across the street in the dark. It's kind of a nightmare for me. I was perfectly happy to take Maya to a few places then go home to eat her candy.

Two Grim Reapers, a Faerie, a "Mint Witch" and Darth Vader. Bethany's costume bag said "mint witch", meaning green. So she carried a bag of mints around and passed them out.

The Faerie, Darth Vader and the Grim Reaper.

Lawson and Maya

Olivia and Maya