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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas 2010 family newsletter

Happy Holidays Everyone….

We hope this newsletter finds you all happy and well this holiday season. Our year has been full of growing children, juggling work schedules, growing and harvesting our garden, and always trying to find time to slow down and enjoy each other and nature. We often look at the calendar throughout the year and wonder where the time has gone!

Jeremiah has been quite busy (when isn’t he busy?!) with his work at the Conservation Biology Institute and recently secured some funding for a project comparing streamflows from different models amongst themselves and to observed hydrology. He’s hoping it turns into a much larger project, both in geographic scale and funding size. He’s also busy working through a Rapid Ecological Assessment for the BLM for the Colorado Plateau and the Sonoran Desert ecoregions as well as learning about climate and vegetation modeling (projecting what the future may hold for us). It’s a brave new frontier for him but he’s loving learning some new “tools for his toolbox”. He continues to stay active as the External Director of the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and was recently voted onto the Board of Directors for a homebrew organization. And he still finds time to hunt, fish, cut/split wood for house, hike, brew homemade beer, and even take mini vacations with his lovely spouse! Couple that with helping raise two children and spending time with his lovely wife and their friends and it’s a full slate!

Cat’s business and community activism is going full steam ahead this year. She wrote a federal family violence grant for her tribe last year and it was awarded this past January. The funds are used for the immediate care of women and children in the tribe who are victims of family violence. The grant is small but a good start on creating a consistent support system for women in her tribe. Now if only the tribal politics would work themselves out, she’d happy as a clam at high tide! Working from home is always a challenge but as you all know, Cat loves a challenge. The raising of our two children and being a stay at home parent has become a passion and it suits her well. And she’s thankful that she gets to take that time for the few shorts years before they’re in school full time. She often laughs that she’s one of the only people she knows who can make a quesadilla for the kids, fill a sippy cup, and have a conference call all at the same time!

Finn immersed in books. Dec. 2010.
Finn started her second year of preschool this year at the Good Samaritan School. She’s in the 4’s program with a new teacher and she loves it. It was a bit hard for her to realize she wouldn’t be with her favorite teacher from last year but with time her new teacher won her heart. She’s starting to read, loves all things horses, and has become a budding photographer and artist. She got a used digital camera for her birthday and spends a lot of time perfecting her craft…taking pictures of her feet and other things that capture a 4yr old’s imagination. She’s grown a great deal this summer and looks more like she’s six than four. We hope she slows down and stays our little girl a bit longer.

Jeremiah August and Grampy Gowey.
Little man is almost a year and half and wearing clothes for a two+ year old…he’s huge. He’s different from his sister in many ways but they share a strong bond and connection all their own. He’s crafty and fun, loves to crawl, and get’s into absolutely everything. Shortly after he was born, he was gifted a King Island name (Aakagak), after Gabriel Muktoyuk (see our "Naming" blog post). This past month at a launch party for the King Island interactive placenames website, our friend Deanna was speaking of those who’d worked on the project that have since passed on, including Gabriel. When she spoke about Gabe and told the story of how he lives on in Jeremiah August through his namesake, out of nowhere little man piped up from the back of the room and said “Hi” and waved at her. He certainly knows who he is…in every way.

Sidda and Quinn (our dogs) are doing quite well.  They are our only fury kids now.  Our beloved cat Katie Bird died this past summer. She was buried next to our Spencer cat under a young cherry tree on our friend’s farm. Finn is really hoping for a kitten this year but we’re spending our extra time and attention loving and adoring Quinn and Sidda and they seem to be appreciating it greatly. They even travel with us and are a real part of the family and our daily lives…we treasure them.

Have a safe and joyful holiday season and lots of peace and merriment in the New Year!

Our love and prayers are with you,
The Osborne-Goweys (Cat, Jeremiah, Finn, Jeremiah August, Quinn and Sidda)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Finn and the Three Wisemen

Every night we go into the kids' room after they've been in bed for a couple of hours. You know, to tuck them in, wonder at their shear marvelousness, kiss the tops of their heads, that sort of thing. So we go in to their room this evening and Finn's head is at the foot of her bed, she's out of her covers but covered in her favorite blanket (she calls it "mimi"), the curtains are wide open (I told her when she went to bed they needed to stay closed tonight), the window's wide open (it's raining buckets outside), and she's wide awake, looking longingly - and expectantly - out the window. I whisper to her - in a slightly reprimanding but loving and playful tone - "What are you doing?!" And she says, "Shhh! I'm watching for 'The Star' and waiting for the Wise Men to come." Mind you - it's a howling storm outside and you can't even come close to seeing any stars right now and the rain is spattering into the window with each gust of wind. I tell her it's cold and raining and that she needs to have the window only open a crack (for the fresh breeze, don'tcha know) and to close her curtains (to keep the morning light from waking them too early). She protests - "But Papa!" She's too cute and awful imaginative and totally in her own world so we find a compromise that works (window mostly closed, curtains open a crack). We tuck them in, say our goodnights and give kisses. As Cat's leaving the room Finn says, very matter-of-factually "Good night. I love you. I'll probably be waiting here for a long time. They're coming from the desert..."

Good night, indeed!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Our little patriot

The other day at the dinner table, Finn was saying the blessing/prayer over dinner when, out of the blue, she says "and please bless Barack Obama". And today, when we let her open one of the new Christmas cards that came in the mail, she exclaimed "Is it a picture of Barack Obama?!" Ever since I listened to his book on CD "Dreams of my father" (she was 2yr old at the time), she's loved him and his voice. We saw a picture of him in the newspaper a few months back and she had us clip it out and hang it in her room. Here she's blowing his picture a kiss. She calls the US flag "Barack Obama's flag". We've been trying to explain to her that it's every US citizen's flag, not just Barack's. She's definitely our little patriot. Funny how kids take to things.
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