The Hall Family


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Blog #54



Independence Mine Lake Hike

(I hope you have broadband...)


   Yesterday we hiked to a small lake that overlooks Independence Mine at Hatcher's Pass.  The weather was great and we all had a wonderful time.  Once again, I'll let the pictures do the talking:


Svea and Brigitta zonked out on the drive up to Independence Mine; Annika was raring to go


Brigitta found a fun rock to climb


Svea lead the way


Brigitta and Joan followed Annika and I


Much of the trail was next to a bolder shoot that covered an underground river


Svea and Brigitta each managed to slip and fall into the lake

They were soaked up to their knees with freshly melted ice water

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Looking across the lake and down the valley

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Annika rode on my back and grunted for me whenever it was steep and strenuous


Svea and Brigitta were delighted to play in the snow in the summer


Annika found walking on the snow to be challenging


Steady baby


Brigitta fell through a soft spot and managed to get her foot stuck between the underlying rocks


My girls

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The lake - wide angle


The valley - wide angle

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Fish-eye view of the lake area


Family portrait, making use of the tripod and camera timer

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Family portrait in front of the lake

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We took the higher and dirtier trail on the way down


Svea, Joan and Brigitta overlooking Independence Mine

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The girls got a bit muddy


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Blog #53



We made it...


   It was a long day of traveling but we made it without any serious complications.  We are all still pretty worn out but are happy to finally be at Grandma's and Grandpa's house.  I'll let the pictures do most of the talking; I'm too tired to write much.


Sherpa Dad


Brigitta & Svea at the Detroit Metro Airport Fountain


Passing time on our layover in Detroit


Everyone got at least a little sleep


All awake


Official greeters at Anchorage International Airport


Britta made a Pippi Longstocking out of Play-Doh today


Grandma wins over Annika


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Blog #52



All our bags are packed, We're ready to go...


   Packing for a month is a big deal.  Each of us has one checked bag, we have one bag of toys, two carry-ons of things to entertain the kids on the plane and one carry-on of camera and computer stuff. 

   The weather was beautiful and I took the girls for a row today; this was our last chance to get out in the rowboat for a month. 

   Yesterday I took Svea and Brigitta to see "The Sound of Music" at The Weathervane Playhouse.  It was a good production and both girls were thrilled for three straight hours.  Afterward we met much of the cast and they seemed mutually delighted to meet the girls.  Brigitta was especially excited to meet the girl who played Brigitta. 

   On Saturday the girls performed at the Olde European Days Festival.  In the pictures bellow you will also see our neighbors twin daughters, Jasmine and Grace.  I grilled a few hundred bratwurst and hot dogs. 





I've been keeping an eye out for a long rope light; I found one yesterday at a garage sale for $1.  I was hoping that it might give the kayak a warm glow and turn it into a giant night light.  We like it and will put it on a timer when we get back.






The following pictures are of our gardens.  We won't see them until the end of July and we thought it would be fun to have "before" pictures to compare. 

















   Next Blog: Hopefully my next blog will be from Alaska.  This depends on my new external hard drive making it to Alaska, agreeing with my parents computer and my webpage program installing and agreeing with my parents computer.  In other words, there is a slight chance that I won't post for a month.  If so, we were not eaten by polar bears, just chalk it up to computer issues.


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Blog #51





   It's been a busy week.  Joan and I went out for dinner on Tuesday with some of her friends from high school; it was nice to get get out and eat at a hip downtown restaurant.  On Wednesday I went for a nice five mile paddle.  In order to let a few blisters heal I've had to back off on exercise for a few days; I guess I've overdone it a bit since school got out.  Joan started packing last week and things have been a bit hectic since we have been overhauling and cleaning rooms at the same time.  On Wednesday night I helped install new playground equipment at the German Family Society.  It's been raining quite a bit lately; a few moments would qualify as torrential.  Last night our backyard neighbor, Ed Showman, joined us for dinner and rode with Bill and I to the World War II Korean War Roundtable.  Tomorrow Svea and Brigitta will be dancing at the Olde European Days Festival and I will be cooking bratwurst while wearing my hand-me-down lederhosen (thank you uncle Tim).  Speaking of Wilsterman's, we just received an email from Joan's niece Sonya who graduated from veterinary school last week.  She will soon begin working at a horse hospital in Bonsall California; congratulations Sonya!  We are proud of the first doctor in the Wilsterman family. 


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Blog #50


Happy Father's Day


   Happy Father's Day Dad and Bill.  I've had a great day myself.  Annika and I went on a long walk early this morning.  Later in the morning Joan and I went kayaking.  I had flashbacks to Hawaii because its been as long since we've kayaked together in single seat kayaks.  Joan tried out the new Sprinter sit-on-top kayak and enjoyed the paddle.  We stopped for ice cream on the way home to make a date out of it.


   Even though our daughters have become quite good at doing scores of push ups, I've noticed at playgrounds they seem to lack the arm strength and confidence to brachiate a single rung on monkey bars.  Most playground monkey bars are at seven or eight feet in height which can be an intimidating drop for little kids.  Today Bill and I built monkey bars for the girls out of an old ladder and some scrap wood; we set it at about five and a half feet to diminish the fear factor.  One side is anchored to the play structure.  They are already making progress and can each make it a few rungs before running out of strength.  This is the first time that either of them have been able to do anything other than two handed dead hang on monkey bars.  Between push-ups for punishment, the monkey bars and the climbing wall I'm hoping that our daughters will develop strong arms and become good paddlers.




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Blog #49



Climbing Wall




   Bill and I went garage sailing on Friday and I bought this 4 panel rock wall for $5.  I removed all 40 climbing holds and repainted the plywood, front and back, so that it would match the shed and hopefully last for a decade or two. 


   Lately I've been biking a couple of miles to a four mile bike & walk trail head.  In only eight miles each direction I can pass through parts of  the cities of: Tallmadge, Kent, Stow, Munroe Falls, Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake.


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Blog #48



Wooo Hooo!  Bill & Harriette are Coming to Alaska!


   Check the calendar bellow for all itineraries and plans known so far.  We will update the calendar as we make more detailed plans.  Family (and friends): if you notice any inconsistencies or make  more specific plans, please email me:

Hall Family Website


Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

June 25


Ohio Hall Family

Departs Ohio 5:05pm

(NWA Flight #1857)

Arrives in AK


(NWA Flight #851)




Last day for good train rates

(Free kids)











July 1



Bill & Harriette  Depart Ohio


(NWA Flight #865)


Bill & Harriette  Arrive in AK


(NWA Flight #4101)











Bill & Harriette  Depart AK 1:00am (NWA Flight #842)

Arrive in Ohio 1:25pm (NWA Flight #2828)



Wittig Family Arrives in Haines 10am - then driving to Wasilla











Homer Spit Camping trip


Homer Spit Camping trip


Homer Spit Camping trip




Ohio Hall Family Departs AK 9:40pm

(NWA Flight #844)


Ohio Hall Family Arrives in Ohio 11:51am

(NWA Flight #1704)



Wittig Family








Blog #47


Happy Birthday Joan!

Today we celebrated Joan's 38th birthday.  We went for a two and a half mile round trip walk from Brust Park to Water Works Park, where the girls played on a playground.  Little Annika had a blast on the variety of slides.  We skipped her naptime, but she didn't.  I can't see her in the backpack so I snapped this series of pictures and checked the camera's viewfinder to see how she was doing.





On Saturday I bought an "Air Jumper" (with an electric pump) at a garage sale for only $20.  We scrubbed some mildew off of it and it looks as good as new.  Two of the vertical chambers have slow leaks; I'm going to get a repair kit so that we don't have to refill them so often .  The kids absolutely love it and it seems much safer than a real trampoline.  In this picture are our backyard neighbor's four year old twin daughters, Jasmine and Grace, who play with Svea and Brigitta almost daily. 


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Blog #46



When the moon is in the Seventh House

And Jupiter aligns with Mars

Then peace will guide the planets

And Brigitta, Annika and Svea will all look at the camera at the same time...

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius!

This is the first picture of all three girls smiling and looking at the camera at the same time.

 (We cut and pasted the previous pictures).


These two pictures are from a walk last week.  We live just a few blocks from farmland in three different directions.


We just got back from the Irish Festival in Cuyahoga Falls.  The big hit for the girls was the water fountain at the Riverfront Park.  Svea and Brigitta got soaked.



   "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" - (School is out for summer)

Yesterday was my last day of school; it has been a very busy week.  Brigitta and I had a date night and went to IHM's eighth grade graduation last night.  We had a good time and even stopped at Dairy Queen for ice cream on the way home. 


   Annika is walking everywhere and rarely crawls at all.  Although her vocabulary consists almost exclusively of consonant-vowel abbreviations of longer words and repeating syllable words such as Mama, she has just started to attempt regular two syllable words.  We're chalking up "baby" as her first non-repeating syllable word.  She loves books and has her own little bookshelf full of board books.  She regularly brings books to Papa, Nana, Mommy and Daddy.  Her favorite is "Go Dog Go"; when one of us finishes reading it to her she often hands it to another.  I know earlier in the week all four of us read it to her, one after the other. 


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Blog #45



Congratulations Charlie & Shannon!


Charlie Bader and his newborn daughters



Babies "A" and "B" are yet to be named as of Sunday June 4th.


   My best friend in Alaska, Charlie Bader, and his wife, Shannon, had two baby girls on May 31st.  Mother and daughters are healthy and doing well.  Charlie has been updating his website: once or twice a day.  Be sure to check it out for statistics, pictures, movies, intake and outtake updates and hopefully, eventually; names.


   Svea graduated from kindergarten on Friday; Papa, Nana, Brigitta, Annika, Joan and I were all able to attend.  The program had lots of cute, very well rehearsed and performed songs and was a lot of fun.


   I still have a week of school to go.  The big news at IHM is that our principal is leaving.  She hired me a few weeks after she was hired and has done much to make technology a priority at our school.  I'm sure that we will end up with another good principal, but schools always get shaken up a bit when a principal leaves. 


   I swapped my knobby dirt tires for road tires on my mountain bike last weekend.  I've hardly biked at all since we moved to Ohio; our neck of the woods does not have much for bike trails and our neighborhood is a bit small to get much of a workout.  A nearby condemned and closed bridge has greatly reduced traffic on a road to Kent, however, and I think I've found a decent route.


This Jumping Spider was stalking our living room wall earlier in the week.


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