Welcome to a beautiful morning.Family Friday 147 (1)Stretchy -stretchy. Yawn.

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Oooh, what a refreshing sleep!

Time to rise and shine!


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Oh, Hi there! Good Morning, Daddy!

Evie doesn’t like to wake up all at once.

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She prefers to spend some time cocooning in Mommy and Daddy’s bed, or on the couch.

Last Saturday we did family photos, so everyone had to get dressed in semi-fancy clothes. Of course we all looked fabulous.


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Who, little ol’ me? Aw shucks!


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I’m practicing my smile.

It was sunny and beautiful, but a little bit chilly, especially since the photographer insisted we take most of the pictures in the shade. Something about the light being better. Which I get. When you take pictures of us in direct sunlight we are so blindingly white we just wash out the photo.

Ellie did not mind the cold (she has meat on her bones) but Evie was not digging it. We had to keep reminding her of the wonderful playground that awaited her, only upon the condition of obedience and cooperation and other boring concepts like that.


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Fortunately for all concerned, she was very good and got to play at the playground.

She spent most of the time rock-climbing. On rocks. In fancy shoes. And a skirt. She was able to climb all the way to the very top of the big rock (with Daddy spotting underneath, of course).


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Hey! Get out of my way, Boy!

Then we got into the car to head home, but less than two minutes into the trip Evie must have calmed down enough to re-connect with her bladder. At any rate, she suddenly announced excitedly, “Oh! Mommy Daddy, I have to go potty!”

So we stopped at Jack-in-the-Box and used the bathroom and ate some wonderful greasy food.

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As soon as we got home it was nap-time for Evie, while Ellie ate voraciously, and then helped Daddy write Family Friday.


On Sunday Evie and Ellie went to stay overnight at Deedee and Papa’s house, since Daddy had to go in to Seattle to present his capstone project at school on Monday. So Mommy and Daddy (a.k.a Kathleen and Ryan) had a date night. We had some wonderful Thai food. If you are ever in the area, we highly recommend Ayothaya in Puyallup. It tastes just like Thai food, and the garlic ribs are to die for.


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(Note: not literally to die for. I wouldn’t actually die for them. [Unless I were a pig.])
Daddy finished his last rotation for a while last week, and after presenting his capstone he has a couple weeks off, so he got to spend the whole week with the girls!


We ran so many errands we were like errand-running-machines.


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They are great assistant chefs. We grilled steak and corn.

And Ellie enjoyed some outdoor time several days this week, thanks to the cool but mostly not raining weather.


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Oh, so this is what you mean by outdoors? I dig it.

Evie is going to be a flower girl in Uncle Andy and Aunt Annarose’s wedding in May, so Daddy took her to try on her flower-girl dress.

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This is not the dress she will be wearing. This is one that she fell in love with and absolutely had to try on, and the saleslady was a good sport about it.

Poor Evie. For a while there she thought she had died and gone to heaven in the “dresses house.” She wanted all the dresses (except, ironically, the one that the bride had picked out). Then, alas, it finally sank in what Daddy had been trying to get her to understand before they even walked in, namely, that we were not actually taking any dresses home. We were going to order the dress, but we had to leave it at the store for now.

Then Daddy thought he had died and gone to purgatory. Holy ballistic melt-down, Batman! The last straw was when we tried to trade the white princess slippers for her regular pink sneakers. In the words of Mark Twain, we will draw a curtain of charity over the remainder of this scene.

That cut our outing short. In vain did Evie protest through her tears that she was going to start listening now, and she wanted to go to another store. Daddy had decreed that there must be consequences (namely going home for lunch and nap) and consequences don’t mean a thing unless you follow through on them. Plus Ellie had recently discovered that she was starving also, and it was time to adjourn for the sake of the sanity of all concerned. So we had to finish up our shopping after lunch.


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Meanwhile Ellie is like, “Yummy, yummy fingers.”


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Oh hi there, Grandma!

Evie had her three-year doctor visit, which is the part where you take her to a “doctor house” so that she can play with some fancy toys, wear a fancy paper gown:

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“This is a teacher dress!”

Which crinkles delightfully.


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Crinkle crinkle.

And then a nurse practitioner talks to you for five minutes, tells you you are perfectly healthy, and says, “See you next year for some shots.”

Easiest Doctor house visit ever. I feel like it could have been conducted over email.

One other big event this week, we took Evie to visit a Montessori school nearby. She took to it like a duck to water, and was very sad (but also very well-behaved) when it came time to leave.

How did she get so big? Already time to start thinking about her education? What?!


Which brings up a host of big questions. We are pretty sure she would be bored silly in a public school (a bored Evie is a very dangerous thing), which leaves parochial school, Montessori school (limited options in the area), or some variation of co-op/homeschooling option available to us. Given the way our next year looks like it is going to go we can disregard co-op/homeschooling our of hand for now. We have a couple more schools to check out, this spring, but at some point we are going to have to make a decision.

What the heck! Why do they allow parenting to be done by parents? By the time you figure it out your kids are grown up! Parenting should be done either by teenagers (because they know everything), surgeons (often wrong, but never unsure) or Grandparents (who have experience). Of the three, I think grandparents are the least sustainable option, because you run out of experience grandparents after the first generation. The other two might have merit. We’ll do some research and get back to you.

Just kidding. It’s a fun trip, but I don’t advise trying it without some supernatural support.












Guess what!

We finally had Evie’s birthday party!

It took her five or six tries…
But eventually she got it all the candles blown out by herself.

It was a pretty awesome party. The grownups got a chance to sit and talk IMG_0218

And enjoy the baby timeIMG_0236

while the kids ran around and were crazy. IMG_0234

There were some old friends for her to play with…



As well as some brand-new ones!

Welcome, Annarose!

Auntie Danica brought her new baby, Emma, who is not a very new baby anymore.

She is eight whole months old!

Off course there were lots of presents. She doesn’t have to share her grandparents very much yet, so she gets lots of presents.

It’s a new dress!!!!!
Papa, do you like my new tutu?


Noah thinks girl presents are boring.

Daddy’s favorite part was when Evie got a new book and she had to take it to the table and flip through it before she would look at any other presents, no matter what Mama and Deedee said. They wanted to keep the party moving, Evie had a book.

Yep, that’s my girl.

Happy Birthday, Evie!

We all love you.

So there you have it. She is officially three years old with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities appertaining thereunto. Mostly responsibilities. That’s how it is, around here. First you learn the responsibilities, then you get to enjoy the privileges. Because Mommy and Daddy are old-fashioned like that. Even Ellie has her job to do. She has to do tummy time.

It is not her favorite, but she’s a good sport about it.

And she has to practice grabbing and lifting things.

Still better at left-handed grabbing than right-handed. 

Then after her workout she gets a big bottle of gainz juice (a.k.a. pumped breastmilk).IMG_0195


She’s been having to drink a lot of bottled breastmilk these days because Mommy is back at work, on night shift. It is unfortunate, but that’s the wonderful modern age we live in. At least we can chat in the evenings before bedtime.


Hi Mommy!

Not only working nights, but also on call, so last weekend Daddy had the girls while Mommy was getting called in right and left. We tried to go swimming at the YMCA, but the childcare room was already closed by the time we got there and since there was no one to watch Ellie, Daddy and Evie could not go swimming.

Evie was very sad, but being a very mature and reasonable child now that she is three, she contented herself with playing with a toy in the lobby for a little while…


And then we went to the park.

Silly child. She won’t keep her gloves on.

Neither will Ellie. She kept pushing her left hand out of her blankets into the cold air.

Oh well. If she doesn’t mind, I sure don’t.

Partners in crime! Evie is the getaway driver, Ellie rides shotgun.



Evie and Ellie stayed at Deedee and Papa’s house on Wednesday and Thursday because Daddy was up in Seattle all day and Mommy was on call all night. Silly, really. The medical industry is an unhealthy place to work.

She’s a pretty-pretty-princess!

And it’s only going to get busier from here on out for a while, but God is good, and we’ll get through it all.

Hi! It’s my new baby cousin!

God Bless, folks. See you next time!




What a busy week this has been. It started off with a birthday…


Family Friday 145 (19)
This goober is 3 years old! How did that happen?

For her birthday she wanted to be extra pink. So she got her Minnie Mouse dress out of the closet and put it on all by herself. It’s amazing how smart she is now that she’s three.


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“Umph! Daddy, this isn’t working very well.” (Direct quote).

Unfortunately, we were not able to do her birthday party last weekend due to sickness (first Mommy, then Evie) and we weren’t able to do it during the work because of life, so we will plan on doing it later this weekend.


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But we did get her a happy birthday cupcake.


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And she got a present form Uncle Jason and Auntie Kim, and Savannah and Kaycie and Nate.


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It’s a Moana Puzzle!

Now that she is three she is very mature and responsible, so we gave her a new job.

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She is now our official silverware put-away-er.


She is also getting ready to grow up like Mommy. Today she thought the breakfast pancakes looked like Mommy’s nursing breast pads and she had this to say about them:

Booby pad-cakes
“Mommy, when I grow my boobies, then the booby pads will be mine.”

No hurry, child. All this will happen in time.

The weather has been a bit bi-polar around here this week. On Friday and Saturday we were hanging out outside like this:



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Evie is channeling her inner Auntie Mary-Kate in her wardrobe choices.


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Tea and scones outside!


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This was shortly before we got rained on.

Then on Sunday Evie was sick. Too sick to eat her crackers and jam, Family Friday 145 (12)but not too sick to be excited when she looked outside and saw:

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It’s snowing, Daddy! I want to go and play in it. 

She wasn’t well enough to go outside, but we spent a quiet day indoors drawing and reading books.

Family Friday 145 (1)Mommy asked, “What is that missing spot in the middle of your sunset?”

Daddy: “Oh Evie drew that. I don’t know what it is.”

Evie: “It’s a boat!”

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We call it, “Western sunset with boat, and purple dragon.”

Mommy had to go to work Sunday night, so it was just Daddy and Evie and Ellie home.

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“Daddy, you are my best Daddy in the whole world.”


Evie went to bed early, but she felt much better the next day. By Wednesday she was able to go outside and play with Papa.


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She was disappointed that the snow wouldn’t stick together to make snowballs.


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But it was still a fun time.

Deedee and Papa were staying at our house from Monday night to Thursday afternoon because Mommy finished her all-too-brief maternity leave and had to go back to work nights. Mommy was gone all night and Daddy was gone all day, but Deedee and Papa were there to hold down the fort.Family Friday 145 (22)


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Evie and Deedee and Oswald the Otter (puppet) put a puzzle together. 


Evie wasn’t the only one to hit a milestone this week. Ellie is now three months old!


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She is so chunky!

She is also learning new skills. For instance, she has discovered that she can grab things with her hands, if she concentrates and tries very hard and is very patient.


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So far she really only does it with her left hand, but the right one will come along in time.

And she can facetime with Daddy when he calls on his way to the hospital in the morning.


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“I know that guy!”

And she likes to help wake her big Sissy up from nap.


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Hee hee hee!

It’s exciting just to watch her grow big and strong and smart. She is such a happy baby, always smiling and laughing and cooing. She has a big, giggly belly laugh now which has been documented to melt at least one heart of stone.


And that’s all for this week, folks. Thanks for stopping by, keep us in your prayers.

God Bless!
















Welcome to the weekly update from this branch of the Kraeger clan. Unfortunately, we are currently a plague house, as the two-bucket-disease is moving through like a square-wheeled steamroller driving over a field of whoopee-cushions. Evie started the party on Sunday morning by throwing up all over her pretty dress on the way out the door for Mass. Then she threw-up all over another pretty dress in her carseat in the church parking lot. She attended Mass in sweatpants, in the crying room about ten feet from the bathroom. Daddy was next to take the baton, with two days of bubbly guts, but Daddy’s GI tract is rather like an industrial strength pressure cooker: no matter how bubbly it gets on the inside, it doesn’t show on the outside. We are not sure when Ellie contracted it, because she is very stoic, and also doesn’t speak English yet, but she did produce an impressive string of three diapers in a one hour period, remarkable both for volume and explosiveness.

Mommy was the last holdout, but even she had to succumb eventually, and when it got her it did so with a vengeance. She was up two or three times an hour from midnight to 7:00 AM this morning. Daddy got to stay home from the hospital to take care of Evie and Ellie while Mommy tries to recuperate.

But we have still managed to have some fun this week. During a trip to Costco Evie found some flowers that were just so beautiful!!! Since the weather was nice, and it is almost her birthday, and she asked nicely, and they were a good price, Mommy said they could buy some… and also because they were a good distractor from the jewelry case, which also caught her attention.


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Ohhh! Shiny!

Then Mommy and Evie and Ellie went outside and planted flowers all afternoon.



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It’s sunny, but still chilly, so Ellie was wrapped up snug as a bug in rug in her bunting. 



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“We are pyanting fyowers, Mommy!”

Evie had so much fun she stayed outside until her lips were blue and she was shivering.



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Digging in the dirt is fun!


Teaching Ellie how to make a rock castle.




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Cold is what happens when you have 0% body fat and refuse to wear gloves. 

She insisted she wasn’t cold, but Mommy says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness to thy goosebumps.”



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This chunky little goober wakes up like this. Every single day.



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I wish I woke up this happy.

Mommy arranged a surprise get together for Daddy’s birthday (he turned older this week). She and Ellie made a delicious beef and bacon stew. Kathleen is kind of a Super Mom. 

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(Or would that be… a Souper Mom?!)


We had some friends over for a low-key dinner. Daddy likes things low-key. Especially birthdays.Family Friday 144 (4)

And Mommy and Evie and Ellie made Daddy a new tea mug at the pottery painting house.

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Gus took this picture of the mug. He likes to have Jordan in the background of pictures. 

They made it with Mommy’s and Evie’s and Ellie’s handprints, one inside the other, all inside the handle, so that when he holds the mug like that above (which is how Daddy holds his tea mug) he can hold all their hands at once.

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I have the best family ever!


More pictures from the party.

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Jordan enjoying her Ellie time.


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Evie conned Auntie Amanda into reading “Rattlebang Picnic” to her and RJ. 

Good times, with good people.



Ash Wednesday also happened this week. It was Ellie’s first Ash Wednesday, but she tried to look appropriately penitent.


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Repent of my whats? But I don’t have any yet!

Daddy is working on prepping some of his Army gear for upcoming National Guard events and Evie wanted to help.

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I think she looks better in it than Daddy does. 

Oh, and the biggest news of all this week?!

Auntie Maryanne had her baby!

Annarose Just borned
Welcome Annarose!!!


And that’s all for this week. Hope you all have a fun weekend, and enjoy much love and grace.

Bye!Family Friday 144 (13)




Image Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/18/ash-wednesday-around-the-world_n_6705128.html


Today I wrote a discharge note for a man who is going home to die. He is not even that old, only in his early sixties, but he has floridly metastatic cancer that has failed to respond to every therapy they have tried. He can no longer eat because of the tumors compressing his duodenum and eating into his GI tract. He just spent over a week in the hospital after bleeding out both ends of his GI tract. We even tried feeding him through a tube running from his nose, through his stomach and into his intestines, but he couldn’t tolerate it. Even 5 or 6 mL’s of the solution caused him pain, bloating, nausea and vomiting. But even as late as a few days ago he was asking about retrying some of his chemo regimens, just in case. As he was discharging he kept asking how aggressive he needed to be with his physical therapy. He was so tired and weak he could barely talk above a whisper, and he was still clinging to hope that he might pull out of this again. We tried to explain to him that he really shouldn’t do any more than he is comfortable with since without food intake he is not going to rebuild his muscles.


At length he said, “So I guess I just need to accept that I am never going to be any stronger. This is the strongest I will ever be.”

My preceptor said, “I think that is a true statement.”

In the silence that followed I couldn’t help but think something I have thought about many times before, but which was brought firmly into focus in that hospital room. I am a 33-year-old man, with far above average strength and stamina, partially the result of my genetics, partially the result of years of hard training. At 33 I still make regular, predictable strength gains, although these are slower and more painful than they used to be. I am closing in on a lot of my athletic goals, including the iron cross and the planche. I am not as strong as I will ever be, but someday I will be. There will come a time when I will stop making gains. My recovery time after hard workouts will be too long, I will have too many accumulated injuries, I will not be able to go on getting stronger.

That will likely happen sometime in my 40’s or maybe as late as my 50’s, but that will not be the end. Barring injury or illness I will continue to enjoy great strength, far beyond peers in my age group without my long history of training. I will have to modify my training, but I will most likely be able to continue training with enjoyment and profit well into my 70’s or even 80’s.

Eventually, however, there will come a time when I will be too tired or in too much pain to train. Those times will become more frequent and they will last longer. Eventually I will end up where that patient is today, lying on a bed with barely the strength to roll over for someone to sponge me down with wet wipes.

That timeline assumes the longest possible maintenance of good health and activity level, but of course disease, accident or violence could accelerate that timeline at any time in the future.

Far from finding this a morbid or depressing line of thought, I find it bracing and challenging, and very fitting for today. I have not yet had the chance to go to Mass, and if this commuter train doesn’t pick up the pace soon I may not even get that chance. But I remember ever since I was a child receiving the ashes on my forehead with the reminder, “Remember man, that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Even when my physical strength is gone beyond recall, my mission on earth will not be over. Indeed, in many ways it will only have begun. Suffering, weakness and death, what I sometimes think of under the blanket term “futility” (cf. Romans 8:20) are part of the common lot of mankind. Dealing with them is part of our responsibility, and also part of our glory. The courage with which we face our inevitable failure and death is the only success that matters, and it begins now, with our little challenges at work and at home. Sickness and death turn some patients into petty tyrants, and others become passive-aggressive martyrs. However, some rise to the challenge and become heroes of stoicism, bravely facing their sufferings defiantly, or cheerfully, or with self-effacing humor. Some become saints, uniting their suffering to the Suffering of Jesus on the Cross and make up what is lacking in His sufferings (cf. Colossians 1:24), becoming partners in the redemption of the world from that futility to which it is subject.

Most of us will face suffering and death. We have already begun forming ourselves into one or the other of those different kinds of patients. Let us be careful which kind of patient we are becoming.

Memento Mori.



Manmaker (2)
Insert Man Here




I have spent a good portion of my life in the space between an ALICE pack and a pair of combat boots. I first put on a rucksack at the age of 17, at basic training, when we had to train up for a culminating event which consisted of rucking 12 miles in 3 hours with 35 pounds. I did not realize at the time just how integral a part of my life that piece of equipment would one day become.

I began to take it a bit more seriously when I started training up for Selection in 2003-2005 (completed but did not pass), then again training for Sapper School in 2006 (completed but did not pass), and then again when I got back from Afghanistan in 2008, training up for Selection again, (passed, September 2008). I spent the next two-years of my life in Fort Bragg, slowly and painfully crawling across the wilds of North Carolina with an unhealthy amount of weight on my back.

During that time I averaged between 20 and 30 miles per week on my feet, either rucking, running or both. I remember hearing other guys say, “I cannot wait until I graduate and go to a team, and then I don’t have to do this outdated, leftover Vietnam BS! I’m just going to lift and get freaking huge and never ruck again.” They were saying it, and I was thinking it. I just wanted to get to that place where I could concentrate on getting jacked and tan, without having to spend 5 to 8 hours under the ruck every week.

Then I got to First Special Forces Group and spent the next three years on a mountain team. If you think military mountaineering is about scaling sheer cliffs in shorts, climbing shoes and muscle shirts, think again. It is mostly about… you guessed it. Rucking.Colorado 14er (2)

That’s really what it is. It’s all about carrying heavy things some more, just in steeper and more dangerous terrain; and sometimes over snow.Marines Cross Country CA

What is strange is that over time I have come full circle. I started out a starry-eyed young dreamer longing for fortune and glory and excited about doing real Army things! Rucking was fun because I saw myself sneaking into enemy held territory to wreak havoc on bad guys and rescue good guys. Then it became a chore that I had to do, but I didn’t mind because I was good at it. Then it morphed into a demon. At Selection they talk about the “fear monkey” which is an unfocused sense of panic that jumps on your back and sinks its dirty fingernails into your flesh. If you let it, it will sink its teeth in your neck. We also refer to the rucksack as “the tick” because it settles onto you and sucks the life out of you. It gets to be so painful and miserable that just the sight of the tick brings on the fear monkey. You literally panic at the sight of the rucksack.

That is when men either quit, or don’t. And that makes all the difference. If you don’t quit you will find yourself swallowing the fear and at the bottom of the cup you will find enjoyment. It’s the same thing with rock climbing (I am afraid of heights). I don’t think I have ever been on a rock face without promising myself that if I only get off this one alive, I will never climb again. It works every time. And I came to enjoy climbing.

Colorado 14er (1)
It’s freakin’ cool when you get there.


You have to push through the fear to find the joy.

I was talking with a younger guy a while ago, a younger guy who is kind of drifting right now, contemplating his options without acting on any of them. I recommended he start rucking.

Right now my brother Adam and I are engaged in a men’s group doing a program called “Exodus 90.” I brought up the what-if, “What if we lived in a society where every boy had to pass selection as a teenager before he was allowed to hold a job or date a girl.” I may write a novel about that someday, if I get the time.

In Special Forces training the rucksack is a tool. It’s purpose is to force each man to that choice: quit or don’t quit. They don’t particularly care whether any individual quits or not. They are in the business of weeding people out who can’t hack it, and selecting people who can. They use the rucksack, partly because it’s tradition, partly because it is a highly useful skill in combat, but also partly because it is not sexy. If they used weightlifting, or crossfit, or something like that, there would be the unfortunate sexy component. You could look in the mirror in the middle of the suck and think, “Dang, I look good!” But they want a challenge that isn’t fun, isn’t interesting, doesn’t look sexy, and you just have to dig deep and do it anyway. If you can’t do something when no one is looking, and when it isn’t sexy, then they don’t want you. The rucksack will weed you out.

In this sense I use the ruck differently than they did at Selection.

I call the ruck “The Man Maker.” I truly believe that for boys having a hard time transitioning to manhood, the ruck is as good a way as any to learn what you need to learn. Its purpose is not to weed out those who can’t hack it, but to teach those who don’t know they can hack it that indeed they can. And to teach those who think they can that in fact they still have a lot to learn. I encourage rucking as a vehicle for bringing people to that place where they either have to quit or keep going, and then teach them that they can keep going.

Of course some will learn, and some will not.

And of course, the rucksack is not the only man maker out there. A herd of cows, a plot of ground, medical school, a fishing boat, a coal mine, a deployment, the seminary, a small business, a farm, a marriage, children; all of these can bring a boy to that same choice. In other words, life will make a man out of you if you accept its challenge.New York Flood 2017 (16)

That is how God designed it. That is the purpose of this world, to bring you to the moment of choice, which is alive and throbbing underneath every moment of our lives. The rucksack is a model for this, and video games are its antithesis.

Just be aware. Rucking will make a man (or a woman) out of you. But it will not make you a Saint.

Another busy week. Kathleen’s maternity leave is drawing to a close, while Ryan has started a new rotation in Seattle. It is an inpatient rotation which is a lot of fun and a great learning experience, but it is in Seattle, so back to 3 hours on the train every day. It turns a long day into an even longer day pretty quickly.Family Friday 143 (1)

So, what has been going on at this Kraeger house? Well, last Saturday Daddy was going to take Evie swimming at the YMCA. However, the schedule we had was for January 1-14, and a new schedule started January 15, so the time that was supposed to be open swim was now class times. Evie is not enrolled in swim classes, so she couldn’t swim, but we didn’t find out about the mistake until after she already had changed into her bathing suit and actually jumped into the toddler pool. A sharp-eyed lifeguard saw her, figured out she didn’t belong, and (very tactfully) kicked us out.

Well, let me tell you, that was one sad Evie. She had been asking to go swimming with Daddy all week, and she was very disappointed. However, she was a very big, brave girl and she only cried a little and she didn’t fight at all, so Daddy took her out for frozen yogurt at Black Bear.Family Friday 143 (2)

Ellie came too, but she did not have any FroYo.Family Friday 143 (3)

Evie is really too big for the rolling high chairs, but they are one of her favorite things about Black Bear, so I let her sit in one anyway.Family Friday 143 (4)

Strawberry sorbet, strawberry banana and mountain blackberry FroYo (do we see a pattern here) with rainbow mochi and mango bursting boba. Yummy, yummy, yummy!

Saturday afternoon was quiet, with lots of napping…Family Friday 143 (5)

And some FaceTime with Grandma and Papa (to distinguish from Deedee and Papa).Family Friday 143 (1)

Then on Sunday Evie stayed overnight at Deedee and Papa’s house. Papa had some eye problems recently, and he has to stay laying down as much as possible for a few days, so Ellie tried to cheer him up.Family Friday 143 (12)

Evie cheered him up too.Family Friday 143 (10)

She is very good at cheering up Papa.Family Friday 143 (11)

Ryan and Kathleen had a wonderful date with just Ellie, who very much enjoyed the time with Mommy and Daddy all to herself. Family Friday 143 (7)And Ryan and Kathleen got some delicious grownup food (Red Robin) and a ton of diapers and laundry folded and put away, and enjoyed some grownup conversation. It was Magical.

Ellie continues to grow up big and strong. This requires a lot of eating. Sometimes when Mommy is not available right this minute she tries to eat Daddy’s biceps.Family Friday 143 (8)

This, so far, has not worked very well, but she keeps trying until Mommy becomes available and she can get a proper meal.

Family Friday 143 (9)
Got Milk?

Then it’s sleepy time.Family Friday 143 (15)

And Evie got a box of dresses in the mail from Grandma. She thinks Grandma has wonderful taste in clothes.Family Friday 143 (13)

She is such a girl. She LOVES picking out dresses and would do a wardrobe change ten times a day if we let her.Family Friday 143 (14)


And that’s all for this week. We hope you all have a great weekend. God Bless!



Hello folks! Welcome back to Family Friday. Here it is, Friday evening, and we are sitting in the Family room, watching Winnie-the-Pooh and Family-Fridaying. and Ellie is beginning to suggest that it might be time for a little something. It doesn’t get much Family-er than that.

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Hi guys! 

Daddy is between rotations, and has been on campus in Seattle for the last week so we have actually had a little more time in the evenings this week. We also had a weekend off. We have been making great use of the time.

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Eive has started teaching Ellie how to put puzzles together. 

Ellie thinks they are very interesting, but they are also hard work.

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After all that work, it’s time for a nap.

So Evie had to find some new puzzle buddies.

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Baby Margaret and Baby ‘Resa are great puzzle buddies.

Mommy brought Evie and Ellie up to Seattle on the train on Wednesday.

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Evie always loves riding the train.

Daddy got out of class early (e.k.a. played hooky) and we all went to the Gold Rush museum.

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This isn’t the first time Evie has struck gold. Maybe we need to go prospecting for real!

Ellie is turning out to be a great little traveler as well, as long as her tummy is full.

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She is so smiley!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Uncle Adam and Auntie Maryanne bought a house! We moved them in last weekend. Unfortunately, they are about 30 minutes further away now. And also unfortunately, this is the only picture Ryan took the whole day, so you’ll have to be satisfied with this view of the new house.

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It’s a nice, secluded little place.

What else? Evie has been very helpful:

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She is very good at laundry.

And she is doing some schoolwork and arts-and-crafts with Grace.

And there has been lots and lots of storytime this week, which both Evie and Ellie enjoy very much.


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Wait until after dinner? Not if you ask Evie. She will read at the table or in bed. It’s all good to her. 

And that’s all for this week. You all have a wonderful weekend. God Bless!


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Best Sisters.




Last weekend was a wonderful weekend to borrow Evie’s expression. We did almost nothing all weekend except hang out and read books. Daddy and Evie got to color the sidewalk with chalk together.

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“Daddy, let’s color with chalk!”

Of course the weather was gray and drizzly, and Evie had been running around with her rucksack on for a while, but it’s Washington State and you have to be tough around here.

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If you run faster, the rain doesn’t get you as much.


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“Daddy, we are coloring with chalk together! This is a wonderful day!” She really does say stuff like that. 

What sidewalk chalk really comes down to is Evie telling Daddy what to color, and Daddy coloring it. This time, Evie wanted a “scuva diber.”

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“Daddy! This is Baby Nemo’s best scuva diber in the world.”

Then we needed a shark, because there is a shark in Baby Nemo.


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“We need to feed the shark. Sharks eat rocks. Here you go shark.”

And then a turtle for her to ride on.


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“Daddy, are you going to ride on the shark?”

Evie is not the only one getting big these days.


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Ellie still had a cold and she was feeling tired and especially snuggly. 

She had a cold last week, but now she is feeling much better, just a little sniffly, and the occasional cough.

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“May I help you?”

Daddy has been working very long days all week, so that means it is just Mommy and the girls home all day. They send pictures to Daddy so he can see what his ladies are up to.

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Hi Daddy!

Mommy was making bread on Wednesday and Evie wanted to help.

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She was doing very well until Mommy had to go to change Ellie’s diaper.

Mommy took a picture because it was funny, but Evie still had to do time out because she didn’t do as Mommy told her and leave the ingredients alone.


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She does have to do time out sometimes. 


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Mommy and Evie’s post-nap snack. 

Ellie had a pre-nap snack. That is, she had a snack and it made her want to take a nap.


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“I loooovvvve yooouuuuu, maaaaan.”

I love her milk-drunk face.


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Fashion show with Evie.


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I don’t know how it stands, but it does.


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“See, Daddy? I put my shoes on all by myself.”


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Mommy wanted to wake Evie up, but Ellie just wanted a clean butt and some more nursing. 


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Daddy made breakfast, and then Evie set the table all by herself. She is getting so big!

That’s all for this week, folks. God Bless, and have a good weekend.























Story Time with Mommy
She can read a story with one hand, keeping a daughter, a nephew and three neighbor kids still, while breastfeeding the other daughter with the other hand. She’s kind of a Super Mommy.

And that’s not the only way we’ve stepped up our hospitality game!

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Check out our new bird feeder and one of our first guests.

I (Ryan) was looking through my phone for pictures from this week and found that the only pictures I had were ones that Kathleen sent me during the week. That’s how busy we have been. So I shared one that I took back at New Years, because it illustrates just how awesome Kathleen is. And this is going to be a short Family Friday.


Both the girls have been sick this week, with coughs, sneezing, runny nose, tiredness, poor appetite, the works.

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Evie napped four hours that day. Four Hours!

Mommy is starting to get stuffy now, and Daddy has not been around long enough to catch anything, apparently, since he has come down with nothing except tiredness refractory to caffeine.



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He has even had to work from home this week. That’s never good.

Deedee and Papa came down to visit on Monday before the plague got too advanced.

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We just hope Deedee and Papa don’t catch it.

The thing is, even when they are sick, they are still pretty cheerful most of the time. Evie can be pitiful, if you let her, but if you keep her distracted with other things she forgets she feels crummy and has a good time.


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Evie the Red Nosed Child

And she has begun trying her hand at photography, when Mommy wasn’t looking.



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I think she needs to work on her framing. 

Then of course there was the time she pooped and peed her underpants, while standing above her baby sister, who then promptly blew out her own diaper. All while Daddy was at work, so Mommy had to deal with that all by herself.


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It’s okay, Mommy. Bath time is lots of fun!

But Evie is on the mend now, Ellie should be about a day behind her, and Daddy is home for the weekend. So things should be looking up now. Check back next week to see how that pans out. LOL!

Oh, and Ellie is now two months old! She is getting so big and chunky and she likes to kick her hands and feet and smile and coo with Mommy and Daddy.Family Friday 140 (8)