Thursday, June 19, 2014


Our lovely new house came with a fire pit. 
We had been wanting to build a firepit in Alaska for years, so this was perfect. 
However, we didn't have any firewood. 
What do the Nobles do when in need of firewood?  Fire up the chainsaw, of course!

Ohio suffered a very hard winter this past season and there were a couple big branches on some of our trees that just didn't make it. Our firewood was waiting; we just had to chop it down. 

This kind of yard work requires work boots.
And safety glasses.
I kind of love that my kids have their own safety glasses.


While Frank was in the trees, looking for a good place to make his cuts, Frankie set up the "construction zone" (I moved the chainsaws).
Why use one when you can use two?
Apparently, our mid-range chainsaw was in the shop...

Frank made pretty quick work of cutting down the dead branches and then we hauled everything out onto the lawn and started cutting it up into smaller pieces.
The kids were in charge of the sticks and stacking.
We only had to tell them to get back to work and stop standing still about 1739 times.
No big deal.

I read the coolest quote the Henry Ford said awhile ago and it has stuck with me for a long time.

"Chop your own wood and warm yourself twice".
I just love that.

It's true because getting firewood is hard, hot work.

Frank split all the rounds and we stacked them up.

After lunch, we helped the kids drag all our plastic chairs up the hill and wash them.
Frank and I sat on the porch and tried not to be involved....

It took them over an hour to wash these.


Then a couple neighborhood kids came by and they all carried them down the hill again.

Finally it was time for the bonfire part of all this work!


We had marshmallows and sticks and sticky, happy kids.

When the sun finally went down the fireflies came out.
Since the kids were all hopped up on 'smores, they ran around, catching them,
naming every single one Blink or Blinky or Blinkster;
you get the picture...


Firewood is awesome.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bike Rides.

I love family bike rides.  A lot. 
They make me so happy. 

They are one of my most favorite things to do together. 

Frank and Frankie usually ride together, super fast, way out ahead. 

Grace and I bring up the rear. 

She just talks and talks and talks and talks...... 
I have nothing else to do, so I can patiently listen to her endless thoughts about everything and nothing and it's lovely. 

Sometimes Frank hangs back to check on us slow pokes and to help when we have a massive head wind.....

Saturday, May 24, 2014

New House: Almost One Month In....

It's hard to believe we are already (almost!) one month into living in our new house.  

It feels so much like home.  We all fit so good in this house.

We still don't have a couch.
It's coming in three more days.
It will be lovely to have a couch again.
Dear Couch, I miss you.

I get asked a lot, "How are the children???"
The short answer is: they are great.
They have adjusted so beautifully.
Expect the humidity.  They do not like or understand the humidity.
Grace will say, "Mommy, it's SOOOOOOOOO HOT!!!" and look at me, confused.  
I have to force myself from laughing because it's only May.
Oh Sweet Girl, you have no idea what's coming.  

The street we live on now is a single street on a cul-de-sac, 
nestled between two corn fields.
Truly, it's a little unreal to describe. 

On our side of the street, there are a lot trees and a creek that borders farm land; 
outside of the occasional rooster crowing, 
you'd never know there is farm beyond the trees.

On the opposite of the street, the land is cleared and you can see the rolling fields.  
Only the people living here are coming down this street. 

There are children on bikes and scooters and crazy big wheels all over.  
They all seem to be around the same age and get along pretty good.

Grace is thrilled to have so many girls to play with 
and Frankie can ride his bike and drive his remote control car until I call him in for dinner.

I am really looking forward to summer schedule.  
Homework and studying for spelling tests and showers and bedtimes 
are really bringing us down.  

Last night, several of the children slept in a tent in one of the neighbors backyards.  
The adults sat around the fire for hours and the kids ran around like crazy people.
Grace, of course, brought her clock and informed everyone of the time and 
shouldn't they all go to bed now???!!  
It was hard for her to believe she wouldn't be needing her library book.  
Frankie finally fell asleep with marshmallow and chocolate streaked on his face, happy.

I miss Alaska.  I left something there. 
Alaska felt like home to me.
But Ohio is good.  It's very good for us.
I am beyond grateful to be here and find this place where we fit. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Family, happy life.

I can't believe I didn't post this picture from our trip.

Frank took this selfie us on our first driving day of our trip.

He is able to take the best pictures of us.  
Long arms, I guess.  

Anyway,  I love it.
We were loving the sunshine and felt so happy.  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Very BIG Day.

Today we get the keys to our new house.

The house with this kitchen......


I'm not expecting a Mother's Day present.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

We Made It!

Well, so much for my plans of chronicling our journey down the coast and across the country....

Basically, it went like this:
We travelled down the California coast, 
saw the Redwoods (AMAZING!), 
stopped over in Ventura, CA for two days 
(had perfect fish tacos TWICE)
and took a hard left.

Six days of driving and 37 Cracker Barrels later, 
we rolled into Ohio.

By the time we got to Ventura, Frank and I were in need of a kid-free break. 
I mean, we were STILL ONLY in California and we were discussing alternate kid shipping plans.

Luckily, Frank's parents were also there for a job.  
We left the kids and went in search of fuel for the truck and tasty tacos/beers for us.
I don't know if it was the sunshine, the proximity to the beach (taco shop was on the pier), the booze or the fact that I WASN'T listening to a combination of an off key rendition of Let It Go and she's-touching/looking-me, but that was a pretty nice way to spend the afternoon.  
By the time we had finished, I almost wished they were with us.

We stayed one extra day there.  
It was lovely to relax and have a day off of driving.
We got tasty coffee, 
went out to breakfast at a greasy spoon Frank and I had found three RV's and no-kids-ago and 
I loaded up at the store.

After we left California, we hit 
Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, 
Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, 
Kentucky and finally Ohio.

Arizona, New Mexico and Texas were just places to park.  
Nothing good, nothing bad.

Oklahoma had a lovely park that makes its hard money in the summer.
It would be every kid's dream summer camp.
Unfortunately, everything was closed.  It was like showing up at the State Fair one day late.  
But it was still beautiful, right on the river, spring was whispering everywhere.  
It poured rain all night long.  Crazy rain.
We stayed in Memphis, Tennessee.  Right by Graceland.  This was not a good part of town.  
When we are on the road, I make salad for dinner a lot.  
It's easy, relatively quick, minimal dishes 
and a good choice for when you've spent your day holding down the seat of the truck.  
Anyway, Frank wasn't interested in salad when Memphis BBQ was to be had.  

The park we stayed in had a deal set up with a close BBQ restaurant 
that would come and pick you for at your site (for free) in a pink limo.  
The kids were pretty darn excited about that.  
Grace was beyond thrilled.  

I tried not to think about the state of the velour seats.... 
The food was good, everybody was happy.  

Kentucky was another just fine park.  Nothing exciting.  Our last stop.

The weather was teetering on falling apart.  
We spent lots of time watching the radar.  
Fortunately Frank had timed out the whole trip perfectly.  
He wanted to drive in the rain for the last day.  
On our last RV trip this past fall, we discovered a leak in the main slide of the coach.  
We took it in to be fixed but had not had a way to test it.  It was ideal to drive in the rain when we'd be able to have the slide out afterward in case it leaked again so everything could be dried properly. 

We only had a few hours to drive from Kentucky to Ohio, 
but as soon as we hit the road, it rained until we pulled into the driveway where we'd be staying.  
As you'd suspect, the leak was still with us. So, our plan worked out well, 
even though we are still faced with a leaky slide...

So now we are here. 
In Ohio.

Monday, March 24, 2014

AK to OH. Day 1

Today was the first real day of driving. 
It was perfectly sunny and cool. The sun kept my toes warm in my flip flops. 

Hank is doing great riding in the RV. 
We are so much more popular at rest areas. 
Everyone wants to meet the Newfoundland!  
Hank is only too happy to oblige. 

The kids are doing great, taking hank for walks, 
helping in ways they just didn't or couldn't in the past. 

The trees are all blooming and are amazingly beautiful. 
There are random patches of yellow and white daffodils everywhere. 
Grace keeps begging us to pull over so we can pick some. 

We are in Hiouchi, California tonight.
The park is lovely. 
Lots of green grass for the kids and dog to run around on. 
The weather is perfect. 
We ate outside!!

Here's Frank using the outdoor microwave....

Tomorrow we are seeing the Redwoods. So excited!!


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