Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

I hope everyone had as good of a Christmas as we did. It was extra fun for us watching our grandsons, the real joy of Christmas for me.

Nate offers me a present that he wrapped

Nate Shows Great Grandma our present from the boys; a 2008 calendar with their photos on each page.

Blake shows Mamma his new walkie-talkies, the hit of the Christmas gifts. I’m almost surprised the batteries lasted the whole day!

Nate unwraps his present. He has always been fascinated with cordless tools so how could a grandpa resist buying his two year old grandson his own cordless screwdriver. Older brother Blake will give him a hand using it.

Nate shows off the cordless screwdriver

Blake shows papa and Nate his new book. The book is a popup book that is all about the human digestive system. Of course it has all the gross stuff that a 6 year old boy would think is way cool.

Everyone stands around looking at Blakes book.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Grandma and Nate Dancing

When you are two years old it sure is fun to have an extra silly grandma!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sun and Snow

As I sat at my desk this afternoon and tried to work this view of the sun and snow kept calling me.

I finally grabbed the camera and went out on the deck and took this photo.

Then I walked down to the lake to look at the beauty of the sun on the snow and ice covered lake. As I walked back into the house I snapped this photo of the sun on the deck.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Grandsons and Christmas Cookies

It was a cold day with rain and snow so it seemed like a good day to stay inside a bake gingerbread men with the grandsons. 5 year old Blake really got into; mixing, rolling out the dough, cutting and then decorating the cookies. 2 year old Nate was excited about it too, but didn’t understand that you don’t have to use all your weight when pushing in the raisin eyes. So his cookies were a little deformed, but they sure did taste good. Of course the fun thing was spending time with the boys.

We always feel like we are extra lucky to have two great boys for our grandsons. All the long hard hours of building our dream home were worth it when we get to spend some good quality time with the boys!

Blake making the dough

A little molasses on your face is ok when you are the person in charge of quality control

Nate inspects his coookie while grandma looks on

Nate points to his cookie, just before grandma pulled it out of the oven

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Heated Wall

Today I finished tiling the mud room’s heated wall. Here in Southeast Alaska one frequently comes in from outside with a wet coat. Since Connie rides her bike to work most days and home again for lunch that means she is out in the rain about 30 minutes each day. So she not only has wet rain gear but a wet backpack. So, I figured a heated wall that is hooked to the radiant heat source would be a good idea.

What wasn’t a good idea was that I originally had just a layer of sheetrock over the PEX tubing that delivers the heated water to the wall. Well I can now tell you that sheetrock is a very poor thermal transmitter and that the thermal conductivity of ceramic tile is much better by a factor of several times. So, the tile will now transmit the heat to the coats and wet gear to more efficiently dry them. The added bonus is just before you go outside you put on a nice warm coat.

I had never seen a heated wall before I built this one into our home, but I have to say I got the idea from heated towel racks that are common in many European hotels. I can now say that I highly recommend radiant heated floors and why not heat at least one wall in a mud room?

I only hung one coat on the wall so that you could see the tile. The wall is only 3 feet wide and the tiling is 4 feet high. That is big enough to do the job. The water that run through the PEX in this wall and in the floor is heated to around 90 degrees.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas is Coming

Yes, it is a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. But, it’s the 1st tree we have had in our new home so it is extra special to us.

Living in a rain forest surrounded by thousands of evergreen trees I just can’t bring my self to purchase a farm grown tree. (I also don’t buy drinking water in a plastic bottle when we get over 100 inches of rain a year.)

This little tree was soon to be cut down anyway as it was right in the path of some underground utilities that are about to be ran. I hate cutting trees down unless there is a reason too.

4 generations work together decorating the tree. Great grandma, grandma, momma and Blake putting the decorations on the tree.

Blake was getting into the tree decorating.

When you are not quite two years old its tough being told you can’t be at the top of the ladder with your 5 year old brother at the same time. But, it helps to have a loving grandmother.

Grandma holds Nate on the lader while I go outside and take a picture through the window.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Concrete and Christmas Cookies

Yes I know that Christmas cookies and concrete don’t go together, but I like the title.

I went out this evening to take a couple of photos of the concrete after I finished stripping the forms from the garage floor a couple of day ago. As I was coming back in I looked though windows to see Connie baking.

I took this photo through the window and as you can see Connie didn't know I was there.

I accidentally hit the lenses on the window so she caught me taking this shot.

Below are the photos of the concrete after the forms were stripped from the garage floor. I finished the job a couple of days ago after putting it on hold because it was too cold to work in an unheated area.

I’m very happy with the results. After finishing stripping the forms the concrete looked about as good as it could except in one small area. So, I’m very happy and proud of the job we did.

The black ABS drain pipe is the floor drains for the garage floor. The area below the garage will someday be a family rec room and my office.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Another Day on the Lake

I saw my daughter-in-law Jenn out on the lake today with the boys. So I walked out to see Jenn and Blake on skates while Nate was going skating the easy way.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Frozen Lake

The last few days it’s been cold and clear in Sitka so Swan Lake is good and frozen. My mother-in-law Millie and I had surprise visitors today when my daughter-in-law and two grandsons came walking across the lake. When the left I joined them on the ice and the Connie and I went back on the lake this evening for a short walk.

The view from the front deck of the frozen lake.

Daughter-in-law Jenn and grandson Nate on the ice in front of our house. I tired to get 5 year old Blake in the photo, but do you know how hard it is to get a 5 year old to stay still when there is a frozen lake to run on?

Looking back at the house from just a short ways out on the lake.

Connie is trying to stay warm as we cross the lake to get a look at the house, which is in the middle of the photo.