Friday, December 25, 2009

Introducing Private Dylan

Last week I went down to San Diego to watch Dylan graduate from USMC boot camp.

While waiting for Dylan to grab some stuff from his barracks I got a chance to watch the drill instructors shape some of the newer recruits. Let me tell you one thing I know for sure, a recruit should never walk out side with out a cover (hat) on or he will get yelled at.

The family is quite proud of Dylan for making it through.

Dylan’s next stop is a month of infantry training then he is off to a 13 week aviation maintenance school. Congratulations to Dylan for all his hard work.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Crucible

Dylan's Platoon started the Crucible at 2am yesterday morning.

The Crucible is a test every recruit must go through to become a Marine. It tests every recruit physically, mentally and morally and is the defining moment in recruit training.

The Crucible takes place over 54-hours and includes food and sleep deprivation and over 45 miles of marching. The entire Crucible event pits teams of recruits against a barrage of day and night events requiring every recruit to work together to solve problems, overcome obstacles and help each other along the way.

The obstacles they face range from long marches, combat assault courses, the leadership reaction course, and the team-building warrior stations.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Daddy's Helpers

We gutted a bathroom in the house last week. The boys just had to help.

After two days of work this is what we where left with.

After our new heating system is installed and we get past the holidays the bathroom will be put back together.

Its a tree.... No its a cell phone tower.

Driving back from Disney Land to Palms Springs last month we came upon a funny looking tree on the side of the road. I did a double take and then noticed that it was a cell phone tower. Very creative. I sure wish some of the towers in Anchorage looked like this, instead of the giant eyesores they are.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Doggie Beware!

To the dog that keeps running into our yard and barking at my children. To the same dog that runs down the street turns at my driveway and drives my dog insane. To the same dog that this morning walked up to my garage and urinated all over the deck and the driveway.
There is an air gun with your name on it. It says BAD DOG.

If it were legal I would pepper the arse of your owners, since they have no control over you and don't seem to care what you do or to whom.
Standing in my yard and barking at my young children is intolerable. Peeing on the deck is disgusting.
Peppering your rear end will be priceless.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Day at the Musuem

Do I want to take the boys to the museum, my friend Emily asks.
Sure, that sounds like fun. So, I pack up the boys on a rainy yesterday and head to Anchorage. Since the museum is in expansion mode, I didn't know where the new entrance was, so I parked on the street a block away, my spot, as usual. The boys tumble out of the Fuelinator(no exaggeration,they really did tumble). Jack slowly, ever so slowly puts the coins, some quarters, but mostly dimes and nickles into the meter. Mental note, need more parking quarters in the car.
As we go walking to the entrance, I say "stay out of the puddles". But Jack says "we have our boots on". Point taken, but snow boots are not meant for puddle jumping. But I was too tired to make the distinction "fine, go ahead and walk in the puddles". Walking must mean conquer in pre-school language. They took on the lake sized puddles with mucho machismo. Puddles conquered, now let's walk away from the parking meter.
Come to find out the new entrance is about another block past the old entrance. Rain, rain go away. So we stroll past the Calder like sculpture outside the previous entrance. What's that mommy, it's a Calder like sculpture. What's that Mommy, it's a sculpture of a seal and a whale, isn't that nice. What's that Mommy, it's an outhouse honey. Apparently there is a new outdoor exhibit at the museum, "A Day in the Life of a Construction Worker".
Where is that damn entrance?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sarah Oh Sarah

Sarah oh Sarah, where art thou?
In Hong Kong or New York?
We know your trip will be short
For your children are here and they miss you my dear

For this is your State and some people think you are great
On this I disagree, for you ran away fast
You sealed your fate thinking you might be late
your 15 minutes was shrinking and you went away shirking
counting all that cash set your fate

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our Recruit Calls Home!

Dylan called home for the first time after arriving at Camp Pendelton two days ago. He already sounds exhausted and there is chaos in the background. It was good to hear his voice and I am sorry I didn't hear the phone sooner. It was at 12:30am and I just didn't get to it in time. But, I am glad the machine was able to record it and we look forward to playing it when he is home for Christmas.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This is what the fence at pre-school looks like when it is backed into by the Fuelinator. Of course there were people around that all looked my way when it went THUNK.
And it didn't help my pride any when Jack ran around the playground saying "We shouldn't have hit that fence" and "I am soooo sorry we hit your fence".
John is now on deck to fix the post and fence when he gets back from the slope. Lucky guy.
I am now sipping my morning latte and trying to figure out how I can angle this situation and get a new car. Fat chance.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Go Homerites!

The fisherman of Homer united to create a message against ocean acidification. I am not completely literate on the subject. But some scientists are blaming massive coral reef die offs on it, among other things. But the Goreologists seem to blame everything on fossil fuels and global warming so who knows?
What I do know, is that it took great patience and some smart planning to get this many boats in a circle and spelling out words all while adrift in KachemakBay. Kudos to all the men and women at the helm.
Now how about a peace sign!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Anchorage Intl...must be summer

So there I was sitting at the airport waiting to pick up John. I am a regular at the airport. In fact I am there every three weeks, rain or shine, sleet or snow. I am there. Lot's of things go on at the airport. Most of them mundane drop offs. Kiss kiss gotta go, bye I love yous. Or the, I can't wait to get the $%#@ out of this place good byes. Aging cruise line people with there tacky name badges and matching jackets. Why do they like to be so matchy matchy?
Anyway, these guys win the goofball prize of the summer. Mr. Joe Cool in his white rabbit fur coat with black leather sleeves and pink cap. His fashion backward pal in the tight purple pants, flip flops and flak jacket and sadly the most normal one is bubba with the down vest.
If you are not a member of the Black Crowes, by law you should not dress like this.
Not only are they fashion challenged they can't read! Surprising I know. But the NO SMOKING sign was five feet away and bozo 1,2 and 3 couldn't read it.
Summertime gotta love it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Something to do on a rainy day....

When Jack was just a little over one year old he got what we call the "the peanut car" from his Grandma Orsini. When it was new it looked like the one below

Jack is now 5 years old and the peanut car has made trips all over. Its been to Ninilckik, Anchor River and Homer to name a few places. It also sat outside in the weather for all those years and was looking a little tired. So the other day when it was raining the boys and I decided that it needed a rebuild. Into the garage we went. We took the wheels off, removed the steering wheel and got to work. After doing lots of sanding, masking, painting and waiting (plus some late night special work by Daddy) we where done.

Ladies and Gentlemen I present the new and improved "Hot Rod Peanut Car".

I think Brodie likes it...

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Governors Picnic

On Saturday we decided we needed to get the boys out of the house, just so happens the Governors picnic was going on, so off we went. We took our old Lincoln (Gerty) as the boys love to ride in it and I had not had it out yet this year. When we arrived we found lots of people in line for food and lots to look at.

Jack and Brodie with Boomer the Alaska Aces mascot.
Jack very reluctantly got inside the Air National Guard Black hawk to get his picture taken aiming the mini-gun. Dylan was very jealous.
After that we decided to go look at the food line and holy cow there where about 500 people in line. We decided that a walk downtown to our favorite hot dog vendor was going to be better than an hour in line for a bad hamburger. Off we went down town, stopping to pet all the funny stuffed animals in front of all the tourist traps. We got our dogs, then started back to the car. We stopped off at Grandma Grandma's (my Grandmothers) to say hi then headed home.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is so wrong..

The boys and I where out playing in the yard today. Since there had been bears in the neighborhood overnight and early AM we where staying close to house. The boys decided to play with the dog carrier in the driveway and I got my picture. I have dreamed of doing this on those days when they are tearing the house apart or shooting off fire extinguishers but never thought I would get a chance to actually get the picture. Does this make me a bad dad?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Flag is Flying

As some of you may remember back in May someone stole the flag off the front of our home in Eagle River. That flag had been flying since Damian left for Iraq. I wrote a letter to the editor in ADN (about halfway down the linked page) and went about replacing the flag pole and mount. A week or so later we got a call from an ADN reader who wanted us to have a flag, a very special flag, to fly at our home. Jeff Brewer gave us his flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol building in honor of his Father, Robert E. Brewer, on November 28th 1991. Well today I finally finished building our new flag pole, got the new mount on the house and started flying his flag.
A special thanks to Jeff and his family for sharing this flag with our family and allowing me to honor his Father by flying it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

At the salon......

So I am sitting in the chair getting my hair done, chit chatting with my awesome stylist Denise and I tell her about the rant my husband made about Michael Jackson and the media storm. Here is what he said on Facebook

I must be the only person on earth that was not all upset that MJ died. Its not all that shocking to me. What is shocking is that our media is focused on that while Iran is crushing protesters, Korea wants to nuke us and our president (and his friends in Congress) are trying to pass the biggest tax increase in history.

I totally agree with him.
So as I get done saying and Korea wants to nuke us. A woman sitting in a chair 7 feet away butts in and and says "That's not true, the nukes are aimed at Hawaii" so I say "I think my husband meant Us as in, aimed at the United States" so big mouth no brains buttinsky says "yeah but they are aimed at Hawaii".
Did the fumes from my hair color seep into her brain and kill all the cells? I just kind of nodded and smiled, tried not to roll my eyes or give the "you are such a dumbass" look to her.

Perhaps we could ask Mr.Kim Most Esteemed Dictator if he could aim a little nukie at this woman's residence. Great damage has already fallen upon her brain, so why not let him free up some of our air space.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The New Brodie Look

Any one who has ever met Brodie or even seen a picture of him knows that he has had the long blond hair since birth. Stephanie and I have been talking for a while about getting it cut and giving him a new look. So with out further blabbering by me I present the before and after photos from the big Brodie makeover of 2009

Here is the before shot, nice long hair. We got worried that he could not see where he was going and speculated that possibly that is why he seems trip over everything.

Here is the "after" shot. All cleaned up and looking much older with the short hair.

Notice how he always looks up at the camera. I think that is a relic of always having hair in his eyes, or maybe its just because he is a cheeser.

Friday, June 12, 2009

John the Redeemer!

Yes, it is true. After much to do about Mother's Day and my
husband's non compliance to the traditions of flowers, gifts, etc...
He finally redeemed himself with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers,
gladiolas and even a very nice present to boot. Now I have absolutely no idea what to get him for Father's Day, since I was going to follow my friend Emily's advice and give the slacker/non compliant gladiolas for his special day. Now I am totally unprepared. I'll let Jack and
Brodie pick it out. That way if it's completely hokey, it will be sweet because it came from them! Dilemma solved.

Thanks for the flowers honey!
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Monday, May 25, 2009

First Summer trip to Homer.

We spent last weekend down in Homer. On Sunday Grandpa brought his new boat down from Ninilchik for its maiden Alaskan voyage.
We motored around Kachemak Bay for an hour, then went to Halibut Cove and ate lunch while we looked at all the cool houses. The weather was great and Grandpa was really happy with his new boat.
After lunch we headed back to the Homer Harbor. While pulling up to the boat launch dock we noticed a slight problem with another boater.
After we tied up I talked to the harbor master who was there waiting for the owner to show up. As we where talking the owner showed up. She was quite upset and admitted that she must have left the plug out. She was shocked to learn that the harbor master wanted to get a diver to attach air bladders to re float the boat before she could untie it. She thought she could just untie it and drag it to the ramp and let the tide take care of the problem. As I walked away to help Grandpa pull his boat out of the water I heard her ask the harbor master if "this would be covered by her home owners insurance?", I don't think she heard me laugh out loud.

Grandpa and I got his boat on the trailer with a little to-do and off we went to drive back to Eagle River.

Happy Memorial Day to all the Veterans and current Armed Forces protecting us all over the world.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Gladiolas or Bust

This is the closest thing to a gladiola that I am getting for Mother's Day. It's all I wanted, a simple country flower for a simple girl. My husband on Valentine's Day promised that without a doubt I would have gladiolas on my Oh so Special Day.
And now, the day before my Oh so Special Day, he has informed me that no gladiolas will be delivered. He failed in his one husbandry task. I never asked him to promise my favorite flower on my Oh so Special Day. He said it willingly and of his own free will.

Stolen flag, Bowling Day, Fish Hatchery, tire changeover, 12 days of illness, 4 nights in a row of a poopy toddler, two campers in the driveway, leaves are raked, dog is fed, kids are clean.

Not One Gladiola

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Don't Tread on Me.

Normally I would post a picture here.
But it was stolen.

The American flag that has flown strong, silent and proud from our home for the last five years was stolen last night. It was an American made flag, on a pole hand made by my husband. We put it up when Damian at 18, joined the U.S. Army and went to Iraq. He came back a year later, wounded, shaken and will never be the same again. Our flag still hung strong to our home.

Last month Dylan, now 19, enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. He will go to Camp Pendleton in September. It never crossed my mind that the flag that has held on to our house over the last five years, wouldn't be there for Dylan as he serves our country.

I am sure the person or persons that crossed our lawn, ripped our flag off it's mount, leaving the copper pole on the ground and nothing but a broken bracket dangling from our house, they didn't know it was a special flag. They must not be from our country. If they were, they would know that every American flag is special and every American flag has a purpose.
Ours was to show pride in our son, our military and our country.

John ordered a new flag and pole today.
Made in America, just like us.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bowling with Pre-schoolers?

What was I thinking? I swore last year that I would never, ever take both my children to the pre-school bowl a thon. Did I listen to myself, no, not at all. In fact I even arrived early so we could get one of two lanes that is against a wall. Yeah, I am so smart. A containment wall, a wall so strong that my three year old wouldn't dare try and get away. HA, foiled by Mr. Blue Eyes again! A wall to a three year old is nothing more than an obstacle in which to conquer, and he did, multiple times.
The 90's plastic orange chairs were mere starting blocks. He seemed to quietly gather energy and with the agility of a gymnast and the speed of an Olympic sprinter he was GONE.
The worst part of the scenario, which played out several times, wasn't the towhead in the Hawaiian bowling shirt running past miniature bowlers and their doting parents. He was kind of cute. No, it was me, The Mom, lumbering after the towhead across the bowling alley. I tried to look calm and in control as I dodged the mini bowlers weighed down with over sized shiny orbs and skirted past their parent's "oh, it's her again" stares.
Four parents at different times, one of whom I had never met, actually came to me and said, "how do you do it"? Do what? Look so graceful when I fall on my ass down the lane while chasing my son?
Never, ever again.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

K-Bay Seafest

This will be the first year that I can actually make it down to Homer for the festivities. I am really looking forward to sea chanteys at the Salty Dawg and the wooden boat show. Not sure if I can make it to the sea chanteys as my children are much to young for the Dawg.
Which is a bummer because Jack the Four Year Old can belt out "What would you do with a Drunken Sailor" with the best of em and he loves and sings word for word "Off to Dutch Harbor"
by Hobo Jim.
Oh well, they will be fascinated in the wooden boats. And we could all use some spit time as Eagle River is dusty and a little blah this time of year.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Morning Success

Judging by the looks on the boys faces, our Easter morning was a success. Jack found the RED watering can to be irresistible and the pirate ship Lego's to be lots of fun. Brodie, on the other hand, enjoyed the marshmallow peep and the gold coin chocolates. Stephanie and I enjoyed a really good cup of boat coffee and the looks on the faces of our happy little boys.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I guess I wore him out.

This is what happens when you take your three year old for a walk to the mailbox and follow it up with some serious yard play. He falls asleep while eating dinner.

Then he wakes up very unhappy and wants a hard boiled egg, a mushroom and strawberries for dinner

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shhhh, don't tell my husband, but I made a huge mess!

The previous owners of our house had an infinity for adhesive backed carpet titles, I am not so fond of them. After I realized the entry had ceramic title under the indoor/outdoor maroon squares, I decided to get rid of them. That adhesive is strong stuff and now I have single handily created a big mess. Yes, the adhesive will come off, kind of. The areas that I used Goo Off did okay, but are still sticky and it took a lot of work with a wire brush. The areas that I used MEK(methyl ethyl ketone) bad stuff, took a little less work, but are still sticky and the entry reeks. I am now researching for something less hazardous to the air we breathe.
I am not a very good do it yourselfer. I prefer to hire someone or add the project to my husband's ever lengthening honey do list. This does not bode well with fishing season just around the corner. Oh, but how I dislike that maroon carpet.

Monday, March 23, 2009

It could be worse.

I took this in Pompeii, it is one of the many castings of people that perished in AD 79. I had tears in my eyes when I shot this. It was a very somber sight. Some delayed flights and a little ash on the ground, we don't have it so bad.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

One Ipod Touch + Little Boys = YouTube surfing

Jack and Brodie love my wife's Ipod Touch. When she got it for Christmas she put a few audio books on it and they love to hear the stories over and over. Then three or four weeks ago she put a bumble bee learning game on the Ipod... the boys went crazy for that. Now 6 times a day they want to use the Ipod to look at the bees and listen to Mike Mulliagn and his Steam Shovel. Jump foreword to last week. Jack took the Ipod off the charger and begged to use it. Mom said "yes" and into the living room they went. My wife and I where cooking dinner when I heard some laughing and someone speaking Spanish in the living room. I head in to check it out and I find this:

Two little boys laying on the couch watching videos on YouTube, in Spanish no less. I was amazed that a 4.5 year old could find and use the YouTube app on a Ipod and even more amazed that he managed to find one of maybe a dozen videos that might be acceptable for a 4.5 year old boy and his little brother.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Murkowskis need to Buck UP!

In the 2009 Muni of Anchorage Notice of Foreclosure pamplet there is a company, Garcia Investments Group LLC/Nancy Murkowski 25% that owes back taxes in the amount of $22,826.00 Muni property records show that our pal Frank the Bank also owns 25% of this company and is listed as a property owner on this parcel.
This property 313 E. Street, a property that was once held by New Frontiers Ventures, LLC, which was co-owned by Lisa Murkowski, her husband and her parents, Gov. Frank and Nancy Murkowski. The property was sold to Garcia Investment Group, LLC in 2003 ie Frank and Nancy.
This property is valued at over 1.4 million dollars.
Why can't these shiesty millionaires pay up on their taxes? We pay our taxes on time and with little, but some complaint. Where is the civic mindedness of the Murkowski clan? Why are we paying our share and they aren't?
Come on Murkowskis, buck up and pony up the money.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Addition to the Family

Ladies and Gentlemen I proudly introduce the newest member of the Rathert Family....

Our new puppy.... One half German Sheppard, one half Alaskan Malamute Husky and looking at the pictures, one large 14 week old puppy. Look at those feet. We are still working on a name, but the front runner right now is Sasha. More pictures will follow I am sure.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Is it time to go fishing yet?

While sitting on the slope watching the wind blow my mind drifted toward my favorite summer activity of fishing in the rivers of the Kenai Peninsula. I was wondering just how many more days of winter I had to suffer thought before I get to go fishing again. That is when I remembered that my wife had put a handy "count down" clock here on the blog (look down the on the right hand side). Low and behold I only have 83 days and some extra hours until Deep Creek opens for kings... woo woo we are under 100 days.

Then I decided to dig up one of my favorite old photo of my Grandpa Orvil with his big King. I can't say exactly what year it was taken but I look to be about 12 years old in the picture and I am 40 now (yikes I am 40). Fond memories like this are why I still love to go fishing and still forsake my summer duties of lawn mowing and home improvement to go.
(sorry the photo is a little tilted and quite spotty, its an old photo. I actually just had another copy made by a professional that is much better, but not with me on the computer)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Weird?But Why?

Okay, it is not weird that our television is coated in more dust than our car is dirty. But, why and this is the weird part? Why isn't the left corner of the tv collecting any dust? Believe me, no one here cleaned out the corner. My theory is that the corner for some weird reason is not conducting any static and therefore the dust doesn't settle there. If my theory is true can it work on the whole house? Any thoughts? And the creepy hands at the bottom of the screen, those are my husbands.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Under 100 days

We are now under 100 days and counting down!
A pic with two of my favorite people, doing one of my favorite things, taken on the Lil Su several years ago. What an awesome day and we didn't even catch a fish. It was pretty hard to catch anything with jet boats flying by, a lesson learned and we have never gone back. We also learned that Jack was very patient and loved being backpacked around.
Bring on the sunny warm days!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Hallmark Day!

Or, as the ever so romantic men in my family they like to call it.
Happy Candy Flowers Roses Day
A big thank you to my husband who spent a lot of time searching for someone to deliver Gladiolas. I threw a cog in the roses wheel last week and said I would prefer my favorite flower over the overrated, over priced, generic roses that seem to spew out of everywhere on this particular day. He tried, but couldn't complete the task over the last few days. Apparently someone has to keel over in order to get gladiolas. The flowers that did arrive are very pretty and have snapdragons, another favorite of mine. So the man done did good. But, with Mother's Day not too far off, I think a bit more planning on his part and gladiolas should be in order for the day. Hopefully, I will receive them when I am alive and kicking. They will look much better on the kitchen table then draped over the pine box!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sad Truck

Yes, the name of this truck from the manufacturer really is Sad Truck. Poor thing has been in the middle of our yard for weeks. I hadn't really noticed it until I drove up yesterday evening after swim lessons and one of the boys had left the red flashing light on. It's odd, they play on it and around it, but leave it sitting in the same spot. Last year it was inside, but the walls couldn't take another six months of the big metal fire truck. So, it parked in the middle of the yard.
Sad Truck

Sunday, February 8, 2009


With all the talk about volcanoes, cold weather and sunny days, it's easy to let go by, the fact that 3,500 Americans, our people, are deploying to Afghanistan. Their last deployment in Iraq they lost 53 soldiers. Let's give some collective thoughts that all 3,500 come home safe.
4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Beach Lake Muksu Adventure

So Steph and I thought it would be fun to take the boys to Beach lake for there first real Muksu adventure. We learned quite a bit about young boys, kick sleds and motivation. The best advice I can give is if you decide to take your young boys on a kick sled adventure, be sure the route that you choose is down hill in both directions.

Here are a few pics, click on them for full size shots.