Saturday, August 2, 2014

Camping in the Rocky Mountains

This post is especially for you, Diane Doig! We had a great time camping despite the fact that we left 2 days early because of unceasing rain. We hiked, fished, played games and celebrated Katya's 7th birthday. The 2 hikes we went on ended in pouring rain..but the kids did great!  The campground and the area was absolutely beautiful and we hope to go back when the weather is dryer. Here are some photos:
All the kids eating dinner...from Left, Carsten, Grant, Katya, Reagan and Elsie. 
 Elsie in her Lady Bug dress: 3 years old
Our campsite at Pawnee Campground. 
Grant, 6 years old. 
 Grandpa getting the fishing poles ready.
 Finding some sun in the morning.
Grant practicing casting and reeling. 
Grant and Katya sitting on top of the Bear Box. 
The kids posing with Uncle Craig after bashing in the birthday pinata. 
 Miss Katya on her 7th birthday.
Playing games and drawing pictures. 
Making ice-cream in ziplock bags back at our house. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rena's Graduation

Surprise!!  I am finally doing a blog post. The Kirkland's finally got to move home after 7 weeks and Rena finished her dissertation and graduated!!  Way to go, Dr. Rena Kirkland!!
 Brenda flew out for the graduation and was a great help with the party we had the day after. So many people at the party said how much they look alike.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Flood of 2013

I am WAY behind on writing a post about the flood so here goes…
It began raining HARD on the afternoon of Monday September 9th which would not have been that big of deal but the rain did not STOP…it continued for 4 days and were reports saying that in the 12 hour period starting Wednesday afternoon it rained up to 8 inches in some areas! That is a LOT of rain!
Our phone rang at 5:15am on Thursday, which was very unusual to say the least. It was Rena saying that they had been awakened at 2am (Rena was still awake working on her dissertation) with sirens and announcements for everyone to get up, get dressed and get ready to evacuate.  They quickly packed a few items and went outside to talk to neighbors who were all awake and discussing what to do. Their immediate neighbor said she was going to try and drive out and that she would call them with a report. She returned a few minutes later and said the two roads out of the neighborhood had too much water running across them…it seemed that leaving was impossible!!  Someone thought they should collect water in case the water system became compromised so they collected as much water as they had containers for and even filled their bathtub.  By the end of the day, the 2 bridges leading into the neighborhood were completely washed out!!  They were getting very little information except what they saw on TV…. and the rain continued to come down in buckets…. and the river continued to rise... By evening they, along with several other families, decided to hike up on the hill behind their house and camp in a tent for the night. (We will never make fun of the signs around here that say “in case of flooding climb to high ground” again.)  That was a LONG night!!!  Nathan was sleeping on rocks, Rena’s sleeping bag was damp and Carsten had water dripping on his face.

On Friday a sheriff came in and held a neighborhood meeting. They heard that they should not drink their water (unless they boiled it) and the water was eventually turned off. They were told not to use their toilets because the sewage treatment plant was flooded. Nathan and some other guys discovered a bunch of clean port-a-potties at the high school so at least they had a place to go #2 besides digging a hole in the back yard! Their natural gas and their electricity were both off by now as well. And cell towers were down so cell coverage was very spotty. They were told that they were better off than most people in Lyons and were last on the list to be evacuated.  The kids had plenty of water and they were cooking meals on a camp stove or barbecue, but their food was running low. Rena says they were never really worried because of all the recourse's in the neighborhood…people were sharing everything and one guy cooked up 15 steaks Saturday afternoon and invited everyone over!!  There was another neighborhood meeting on Saturday and they were told they would be allowed to drive out through a field behind the high school and over a bridge that was being reinforced but most likely not until Monday!!  Yikes! Well….that all changed quickly and they were allowed to drive out Saturday evening!!! Yah!!  Before they left they had to empty their refrigerator and throw away all food that might spoil. They packed up what they could fit in their car including the boy’s bikes and Grant’s fish and drove to our house. We were SO excited and relieved to see them.  They said the town looked terrible and even the boys were shocked.  We were SO excited and relieved to see them.  The word is that they will be staying with us until at least December…more updates to come.

 Here is what the street leading out of their neighborhood looked like by Thursday afternoon.
 This is on a side street which is normally a church parking lot in the foreground.
 Here is a view the morning after sleeping in the tent. You can see the flood waters in the distance going right through the park that we have all gone to many times. In the foreground is the high school track that is right behind the Kirkland's house.
 Here is Carsten with his class monkey that spent the night in the tent with them! The kids have turns taking the monkey home and writing in a journal about what they did with the monkey...Carsten has a good story to tell!!! 
The picture below is an aerial shot of the washed out bridge leading into the neighborhood.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Caribou Classic Mountian Bike Event

This was Dennis' third year participating in the Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance "Caribou Classic/Suffer Fest" ride. This year it started just off the Peak to Peak Highway on a freshly cut grassy field and then into the forest and the very technical trails. Dennis did the shorter version this year and had a great time. It was the most beautiful day you can imagine in the Rocky Mountains. It's hard to believe just a week later we are in a state of emergency with all the terrible floods. More about that later... For now here are some pictures of last weekend.

Riding through the grass was super slow and difficult.
Victory finish below.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Faulkner's in Longmont

 Brenda, Craig and the girls headed to Longmont 2 days early (from the camping trip) so that they could re-group before the next leg of their trip and move to Indiana. When we arrived 2 days after them they had the fridge stocked (including beer and wine) and the lawn mowed!!  What a nice treat!!  Above is Elise playing with puzzles and books in our family room. Below she is chowing down.

 The girls had some masks that they had made and the kids had a lot of fun with them. Grant was being shy and is not in the pictures.
 Katya, Carsten and Reagan in our back yard. Silly kids!!!

 Miss Reagan below rarely lets her kitty out of her hands. She also has a pretend friend named McKenna that she talks about a lot. It was so nice to get to know they girls had been WAY too long.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More Vacation Photos

We drove into Hood River one day to watch the wind surfers. Here are the guys all lined up on the shore. From left: Brian, Paul, Mark, Conner, Ethan and Dennis.
 It was a great windy day at the Columbia River Gorge!
 Next we headed over to see where Mark lives on the Washington side of the River. This is the group lined up on the deck. The river is in the background beyond the big oak tree.
 Mark has a huge garden and a green house. I wish I had taken a picture of all his peppers--he had at least 15 plants and they were loaded!
 Miss Reagan playing in the river.
 Katya was a little braver than her sisters.
Paul, Karen, little Elsie and Mark enjoying a spot of shade.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Vacaction with the Dunivent's

 We went camping in Eastern Washington with my family. We had such a good time and thanks to mom and Conner we got pictures of us all. From Left to Right starting in the back are: Mark, Ethan, mom, Larry, Tosia, Alex, Dan, Paul, Karen, Brenda, Elsie, Craig, Dennis. Front row from Left are: Conner, David, Katya, me, Regean and Brian.
 Brenda and Regean in squinting in the sunshine.
 Little Elsie wasn't feeling well and took a 2 hour nap under a tree because it was too hot in the tent.
 It was in the mid 90's every day and even Levi had to find shade.
 Mark's campsite with lots of bikes.
 Paul and Conner enjoying some laughs.
My hair looked like this the whole time...not so great but nice to be casual and not worry about it.