Friday, December 22, 2006

Power Back On

Troy and Maryanne,

It looks like fun there. Since we moved from Utah, I have a hard time imagining 32" of snow. I've seen snow like that when we've taken the scouts and young men camping on Mt. Rainier, but nothing like this where we live. If you've got power and heat, that would actually be fun, I think, for a day or two if you didn't have travel plans.

We finally got our power back yesterday morning, for a total of 6 1/2 days without. The generator our friends loaned us really was a huge blessing. It's funny, but since the power has come back on for most (but not all) of the area, Craigslist is filled with folks selling off the generators they just bought themselves. We plan on taking advantage of that, and purchasing our own. One more item of preparedness for next time. And there will be a next time, I am sure.

Jake is back from Hawaii, and we are all getting prepped for the wedding next week. Hope to see some of you either in Oakland/Napa next week, or in Redmond on the 6th for the open house.

Have a merry Christmas, and we'll make some phone calls Christmas day.

Kevin & Kate

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holiday Blizzard

Glad to hear that the NW Folkmans are all okay! We hope you have power again and are all warm and cozy. What a good lesson about needing cash for emergencies. I think we've got about $15 and a jar of change. Luckily we haven't lost power with all this snow, but your predicament has made us realize we need to be better prepared for all situations. I'm glad I went grocery shopping Tuesday night, because it looks like we won't be digging out until Friday afternoon.

The snow in Denver started falling Wednesday morning and hasn't stopped. Troy had to go into the office for a few hours and since my minivan has new snow tires, he drove that and left his little sedan. It was a good thing he did because he almost didn't make it home. The interstate was snowpacked and there were more abandoned cars than there were driving. Almost every exit was blocked from cars that were stuck in the snow. When he got onto local streets, there were cars stuck everywhere. There was even a city bus that had slid sideways, completely blocking all lanes of traffic. A little further down the road there was another bus stuck. Somehow Troy made it all the way to our driveway, and that's where he got stuck. At least he was home!

The kids and our huskie are loving all the snow. At first, Meka didn't know what to do when she needed to outside. She looked at the 2 ft snowdrift and then at me like, move the snow for me Mom! Finally, I had to pick her up and toss her out into the snow. Then she was happy and ran around like the snow dog she is.

This morning we woke up to about 32 inches total. We have snow drifts in our backyard that are 6ft high, the snow is packed up against our sliding glass door on the deck, and Troy's car is almost completely buried. I think we got another 4 or 5 inches this afternoon. My parents, Ian, Adam & his family, are all supposed to drive out here Friday to spend Christmas with us. No word yet whether the snow will postpone their trip.

Here's a video I made of our blizzard photos. I hope it works!
Love, MaryAnne & Family

Monday, December 18, 2006

Powerless in Seattle

Just to let you folks know, we are still without power at our house, and at my work. We're part of the unfortunate final 200,000 without power. All around us, power is coming back on, but we may be another day or two, due to downed trees.

We got by without any damage from trees or wind, but it got cold in a hurry. With both fireplaces going, we were keeping it about 50 degrees in the house, which was okay for two days, but was no longer fun. Fortunately, one of our friends in the ward got power back Saturday night, so they brought us their generator, and we were able to get the furnace, refrigerator, and a few lights up. We have been cooking on our gas grill outside, which has a side burner, but we also baked a cake, and roasted a turkey yesterday. That has been nice.

Some of the problems we ran into included with the power outages, most of the few stores that were open, could not process debits or credit card transactions, so we had to get some cash. In the future, we are going to keep a little on hand. Gas was also in short supply, as with out power, the stations couldn't pump gas. There were two hour waits on Friday, and almost that long on Saturday. Church meetings for our entire stake were cancelled yesterday to save on gas, and keep people off the roads, as there are still many trees down. I had to detour drastically to get to work today, where we are running some computers off of a generator, but no heat, and no lights. It is probably 35 degrees in here as I type this.

We bought some hand crank radios and shaker flashlights (ie, no batteries to run down), and those have also been lifesavers. We went through half our firewood supply in the first 48 hours. Until we got the generator, we were probably 24 hours from having to seek shelter somewhere else.

But, we are all okay, no damage, just about three days behind on our final Christmas shopping, so we hope to get caught up today. Take care,

Kevin & Katie & family
- Pardon the spelling if I missed anything, my fingers are almost numb while I type this at work.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Late Night Update

For all of you Utah Jazz fans, I just wanted to let you know that I am still a believer, and was anxious to see Sloan get his 1000th win, especially in the way that they did over Dallas last night. This team, with Boozer and Williams, may be almost as good as the Malone-Stockton years when they went to the NBA finals. It's been refreshing to see them play well the start of this season, and to win over good teams like Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix. Too bad they aren't in the Eastern Conference in the same division with the Knicks and the 76ers, or they might be 18 and 3 or something like that at this point. Wish I could say the same about the Sonics, but they just aren't up to that level yet.

We are just finalizing all of the details for Jake and AJ's wedding on the 30th in Oakland, and the open house up here on the 6th. Carrie is supposed to hear about her National Board Certification early in the morning. I hope that all her hard work is rewarded. She also interviewed with Bellevue Community College about teaching some evening Spanish classes there. She thinks that might be fun.

Well, it's late here, so I am going to check out, but just thought I would say hi, as I haven't posted for a few days.


Friday, December 1, 2006


I love the lamp! Pete and Becca gave us a 1/2 size version last year for Christmas, but WOW! Your house must be the coolest on the block. Speaking of that movie, did you all hear that someone bought the house that was used in A Christmas Story, for all the outside shots and then remodeled the inside to look like the movie. You can now go on tours! :) Fun!

Here's a picture of Emma on Halloween. You can tell her parents are quite nerdy, but we thought it was one of the only years that we would be able to dress her like we want to.

I love all the pictures! Keep 'em coming! :)

Love, Carrie

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Snow in Seattle

If you watched the Monday Night Football game last night, you got a glimpse of what has replaced the flooding we went through a couple of weeks ago. My 16 mile trip home from work last night took about 20 minutes, but then the 10 mile round trip to pick up Kate from her school took an hour and ten minutes once the snow started. The few of us who can really drive in the snow are really paranoid about the folks who can't. The only understand more brakes or more gas when they start to slip, so the rest of us get extremely cautious. All the schools and colleges in the area were closed today, so I ended up the only one who had to leave the house to go to work.
Thanks for the pictures of your kids. It seems like we haven't seen many of them recently, so we love seeing the pictures.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hello from the Valentine Family

This picture is the "second half" of our kids. Kimberly was taking the picture, and Amanda was at work! More and more, this is what our family is looking like as the girls get older!

I am excited about this blog site! I loved it when we were being good about our email updates, but we all fell off the wagon! This will be fun to see the pictures.

Sounds like everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving last week. We actually had Thanksgiving twice, because on Thursday ate turkey with the Valentines in Brigham City, and Friday we ate turkey with the Folkmans here at our house. The older I get, the more I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the atmosphere of relaxing and spending time with family.

Ethan is finally potty trained! He tells me everyday, "Mom, I love you. You're so beautiful!" If you ask him his name he will tell you it is: "Ethan Bob Robert Harry Larry Gary Valentine" (it's really Ethan Robert Valentine).

Anna was recently named "Student of the Month" and gets to have lunch with the Mayor and ride in a firetruck next week.

Right now we are working hard to get ready for our piano recital that is coming up on December 9th. Four of the five kids are performing - Anna, Spencer, Kimberly, and Amanda. Ethan will probably be ready to start next year -- he already knows where "middle C" is.

Amanda spent the summer working at Lagoon, and we are all glad it's over!

Since the last time we sent a family update, I (Linda) became the Young Women President in our ward, and am finally feeling a bit more comfortable in the shoes. It is definitely a busy, but rewarding calling.

We are very happy to hear about the wedding... congratulations, Jake!

Emma is so adorable! Can't wait to see more pictures!

Love you all!
Linda, Stephen, Amanda Kimberly, Spencer, Anna, and Ethan

From MaryAnne

Zach, Troy, Josh, Michael, and Sophie

Me and my boyfriend, Earl Hickey

Hello Everyone! We spent Thanksgiving with two other families in our neighborhood and had a great time. There were a total of 13 kids and 6 adults, and enough food to feed twice that many. It was nice to share the cooking responsibilites with someone else, I cooked a 20 lb turkey and the stuffing, the other families took care of the rest.

Troy and I got up at 5am Friday morning to do some holiday shopping. We shopped for 8 hours and were exhausted, but we got everything we hoped for, so it was worth it. We only have a few Christmas presents left to buy, and with me working now, it's a big relief to have it all done.

The latest news with us is that I'm working at The Gap. I started two months ago and love it. Somehow I have become the "maternity specialist" so I spend most of my time in Gap Maternity and Baby. Troy is still plugging away in the corporate world of mergers and acquisitions at the law firm. In a few months he'll start teaching a spanish class at the Denver University Law School which he's looking forward to.

Here's a quick update on the kids: They're all happy to have the month long grounding from the X-box lifted and are spending most of their free time playing LOTR & Battlestar Gallactica. Zach is 14, trying to survive high school and early morning seminary, and it seems as if his ipod and headphones are permanently attached. Josh is 11 and likes jr. high but is a little bummed because his "girlfriend" and his best friend moved away recently. Michael is 8 and obsessed with all things Super Mario. He even created his own Mario costume for Halloween. When we went to Six Flags that weekend, he wore his costume and several teenagers asked if they could have their pictures taken with him. He was very happy about that. Sophie is our little princess and is now 5. She takes ballet and goes to preschool and is such a sweetheart. She loves to sing, and makes up her own lyrics to Primary songs.

That's it for us! -MaryAnne

Sunday, November 26, 2006

from Carrie :)

Hello everyone!

Shane and I just got back from spending the weekend in Spokane. We had Thanksgiving dinner here with the Folkman clan, and then got up early Friday to spend the rest of the weekend with Shane's family. It was not the restful weekend I'd wanted to have, but needless to say it was a lot of fun spending so much time with family.

Here's a quick update. I finally finished my Masters degree in the spring, and I'm now enjoying life free from school. (Except for middle school that is). I teach Spanish, Art & Reading classes, and then work after school with our at-risk kids to help them stay in school. Life is busy, and I can't wait for Shane to finish school, so that I can just work part time (or not at all!). He'll be done in the summer. Emma (now about 13 months old) is a walking maniac, and keeps us quite busy. She spends the mornings with her grandma Reckling until noon, Shane watches her in the afternoon until I get home at 4:00, and then I get my Mommy time in the evening, while Shane heads off to work at UPS. It's quite a tag-team adventure, but she's worth every moment. I can't wait for life to calm down a little.

Shane's going to school to be a diesel mechanic, and it looks like we will be moving to the ever-exciting area of Spokane when he's done. Housing is affordable there, compared to the "never in a million years" housing costs here in the Seattle area. He loves school, and can't wait to get started.

I'm so glad that we have this set up! It's been a great way to stay in touch with the Lyons side of the family, and I feel more connected to cousins than I ever have. I hope it goes the same here! I'd love to hear what you are all up to! Congrats to Stephanie and her wedding, I think that was the latest addition to the Folkman clan! I'm not sure about additions of babies in other families, etc. I hope to hear from all of you soon and look forward to seeing all the pictures! :) Enjoy the upcoming holidays!

Love, Carrie

Friday, November 24, 2006

Two Muffins


I think this Blog thing is a great idea, I've never done it before, and you guys should patent this or something, introduce it to the internet, I think people might like it...

My life mostly consists of school and work right now so expect to hear a lot about that if and when I post. If you watch The Office, that represents to some degree the people I work with, which just makes me laugh harder when I watch.

The picture above is from last week. I'm on the right, not the crazy person on the left (the one with squinty eyes but isn't Chinese. )I camped out all night with a friend of mine because he wanted a Wii pretty bad and he didn't have anyone to go with. It was pretty cold most of the night and it was pretty tough to sleep, if at all possible, with all the people and cars. That's the first time I have ever done that. My friend lined up at 9 p.m. and I got there at 12:30 for the store to open at 8 a.m. (I am sure some have waited much longer, but I live in Logan so...) I was surprised at the number of mothers we encountered through the night willing to wait in line to buy one for their children. I have to say that if my parents ever did that for me, well...I probobly didn't need it. So, sorry for all the early mornings I made you suffer through. If you didn't, is that why I didn't get that thing that one year that I wanted? Really though, I appreciate it, but it kills me that demand supports this kind of activity. We had a great time.

Well, here's to good starts. You got a person you didn't expect, at a bizarre time in the morning with strange people in it, AND on the same day many of us found out about it, maybe a day later. I hope everyone has had a good Thanksgiving.

By the way this is Ian.

Here is the reference to muffins, it's a joke I heard and I just have to tell it.

Two muffins are sitting in a hot oven baking. One muffin turns to the other and says, "Wow! It's hot in here!" The other muffin says, "HOLY COW! A TALKING MUFFIN!"

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Illegal Car

Hello fellow Folkmans! Long time no see but thanks to geeks we can now keep in touch. For those of you who don't already know, I'll be getting married on Dec. 30th in Oakland. Love to see you all there if you can make it. Here's a brief update of my what I've been up to.

As you can see below, I graduated in June and am now teaching at a High School here on Oahu. Think of the ghetto-ist high school you've ever seen, multiply it by ten, arrest one of the special education teachers a month ago for being a crystal meth dealer, and you've got Leilehua High. I'm teaching Spanish and economics and enjoying it very much. AJ, my wife-to-be, is doing her student teaching. She will be a special education teacher. Hopefully of the non-crystal-meth-dealing variety. Below is a picture of what I look like now. I haven't seen most of you for a long time and might not even recognize you these days. Two below is a picture hopefully good for a laugh. And if any of you know how I can get a bootleg copy of the cancelled Fox OJ "If I did it" two-part interview special, well...nevermind.


Not usually this angry.


This is up and running. We look forward to seeing your pictures, hearing your stories, and staying in touch with this. I think it will be great for us all, and allows us all to be closer, no matter where we are. Meanwhile, here is a picture of Jake and AJ at his BYU - Hawaii graduation in June.

Watch for the invitations, and we hope to see some of you either in Oakland December 30th, or in Redmond January 6th.


Hey, Folkmans
Welcome to the blog. It will be fun to see and hear what everyone is doing. We are getting ready today for Thanksgiving dinner. Thomas, Peter and Becca, Shane and Carrie, Emma, Lindsay and Luke, Zach and Katie and Kevin will be here. It is raining, but the boys played in a turkey bowl anyway this morning. Kevin was the only one to bleed--he got hit in the lip--nothing serious. We are looking forward to a quiet weekend. Peter, Becca, Zach, and Thomas are all working retail so tomorrow will not be a restful day for them. For Kevin and I it will. We don't have any pictures from today yet, so I will put a picture of Emma on the blog--this is from 4 months ago. (She is really the cutest Folkman in Washington, anyway.)
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! --Kevin and Katie