Welcome to Our Blog

Our hope is that this gives you all a chance to see what we're up to these days.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Our 2012 Christmas Newsletter

Happy Holidays Everyone….
We hope this newsletter finds you safe and well and wonderfully blessed this holiday season. This has been an eventful year for our family, filled with changes and adventures. We’re writing this with a cup of hot cocoa in Cat’s hands, tea in Jeremiah’s and thinking how the kids are growing and changing before our eyes. Little man is helping Papa put laundry away tonight while sister does her homework. Where did our babies go?! Wow, how fast things change. Speaking of change…
This has been a year of change for Jeremiah. After starting the application process to go back to graduate school – he was starting to apply for PhDs at universities across the nation and abroad – he accepted a surprise offer for a second Masters degree (go figure) with the Public Policy program at Oregon State University. He decided to make a leap of faith out of research science and into science communication and science policy, leveraging his eighteen years of research science experience to help interpret science for legislators, policy-makers and the public at large. He’s not sure where this new path will lead but he’s quite excited about it and confident the path will be revealed to him in due time. At the moment, he’s working on renewable energy policy, public attitudes, and potential impacts on natural resources. He also teaches research methods undergraduate classes, drawing on his statistical background and love of numbers and order. Despite the busy school schedule, he still reserves plentiful time with his family, playing with kiddos, making meals together with his beloved bride, and enjoying the fall harvest and bounty the Pacific Northwest offers.
Finn is enjoying her first grade year at Muddy Creek Charter School. She finished kindergarten at Jefferson Elementary last year and, much to her initial chagrin, transferred to Muddy Creek this fall. Her initial hesitancy in attending a new school soon gave way to excitement and she now fully embraces her new surroundings. She’s doing very well and this school really fits who she is…our nature-loving, artsy girl…as the school emphasizes the sciences and arts. She’s also kept up with her regular horse riding and learned to ride a two wheel bike this summer, enjoying family bike rides to/from her school bus stop a few miles away. Her reading is coming along nicely, too – we can no longer spell things out in front of her we don’t want her to know. You can follow along on her classroom blog at http://missmelissaclassblog.wordpress.com/.
Little man (Jeremiah August) started preschool this fall at Good Samaritan School, two mornings a week for a few hours. We weren’t sure how well he’d like it but we wanted to give him the same experience we gave Finn. He has done really well, made many new friends, and is enjoying learning and having something all his own. It has been such an amazing experience watching him learn and grow into the person he is. We call him William Wallace (the main character portrayed in the movie Braveheart) because he loves his sword and helmet and goes nowhere without them…including his first day of preschool. He walked in with his helmet on, his sword at his side, climbed on the play horse, pointed his sword to the sky and roared. And that’s how he introduced himself to his class. Priceless. Papa was fortunate enough to catch a picture, which he posted on our family blog (http://osbornegowey.blogspot.com/).
Cat’s year has been filled with new beginnings as well. With Finn in school all day now and Little Jeremiah at preschool two mornings a week, she has – for the first time in six years – eight hours a week to herself…woohoo! Still at home with our kiddos, her business has really taken off this past year. She wrote a large domestic violence prevention grant for her tribe, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, and found out this spring it was awarded. With this grant she’ll be working part time as the program director from home here in Oregon …thanks to the technological wonders of the internet. The grant will provide advocates, funding for long term needs, and a program office with a 24 hotline. Besides this, she’s still working as a part time grant writer for the tribe and teaching online women’s studies courses for Oregon State University.
After school got out last June we took the kids and spent much of the summer traveling around Oregon camped out in our tent trailer, at one point camping 27 nights in one month! We spent a few weeks on the beach, a few weeks in the Cascades, and some time in the coast range mountains. We built sand castles on the beach, took a trip out to sea, went spelunking in lava tubes in the Cascades, swimming in high country lakes, fishing in small mountain creeks and spent many evenings playing cards and hanging out around a campfire. Our family has had an amazing year, indeed. God has truly blessed us! And we wish the same blessings on you and your families this coming year and beyond.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2012 School Pictures

Finn Harmon Awaluk

Jeremiah August Bluejacket Akaagak
 School pics are so much fun. Thinking about the outfits they want to wear, doing their hair and getting it messed up playing around before the pics, trying to get a natural smile, the whole shebang. Fun. The kids just grow up so (too?) quick. And we love our time with them.

On a side note, we've been particularly pleased with the photography outfit that takes pictures for Muddy Creek Charter School, Thistle Down Photography. They do a stellar job getting the children situated, pick natural backdrops, are local (mid-Willamette Valley), and very reasonably priced.

Another side note, if you want to follow along with pics from Finn's classroom, her teacher, Melissa Champney, keeps a blog. Enjoy! http://missmelissaclassblog.wordpress.com/

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A window into the mind of a six year old

Things Finn likes (signified by checks and circles)...

Wanna know what a six-year old girl likes? What sorta of things resonate with her? What styles speak to her? Give her a magazine, a pen and a little quiet time. And wonders will emerge.

Mum did just this thing a few days ago when a horse and tack magazine showed up in the mail. Finn sat in her bed, reading light on, for HOURS, marking up (circling, checking, drawing on) all kinds of things she likes.

What a fantastic glimpse into the brain of a child!

Dress? Check. Blouse and skirt? Check, check. Cowgirl boots, hat and sunglasses? Check, check aaaand check...