Looking out my window… gorgeous sunshine that actually feels warm!  The kids have actually complained about the sunshine being ‘hot’.  ‘Yes, isn’t it great!’  Yet even after a few days of temps into the 70s there are still some stubborn snow piles hanging around.

I am thinking… about how to expand the garden, about curriculum for next year, and about what exercises I need to do to heal my diastasis recti and start getting back in shape.

I am thankful… that there aren’t (yet) very many mosquitos and the kids are enjoying spending a good part of their days outside.

The reason I don’t grow flowers – this is Thomas and Elaina’s dirt (as opposed to the garden which is Mommy’s dirt).

I am creating … a shirt from some fabric that was passed on to me.  I am excited, but nervous about how it will turn out. I don’t have a lot of experience with knits and have been researching like crazy to learn how to get the look I want and do it right.

I am hearing… 12:45pm- birds singing and kids playing outside the open window, both the washer and dryer running; 6pm – Gabe reading the latest story from his reading curriculum to Scott, the littles talking about the signs (Baby Signing Time) they are learning while Lydia sets the table for supper.

In the kitchen… my wonderful husband knows my weakness for strawberries and couldn’t resist bringing home a container of them when he went shopping.  So this morning’s breakfast was strawberry shortcake. Yum!

In the schoolroom… the kids were excited that the Covid restrictions were relaxed in time for them to attend Horsemanship Camp this last week. They had already decided to do things differently this year and have one-day camps instead of overnights, so the kids will be going again for another day later this month.

Around the house… thanks to Matthew’s help I am getting close to having the compost pile/bin moved.  When we first arrived here (in the fall) I threw together some pallets to make a compost bin in what seemed a reasonable place near the current garden beds. It wasn’t until later I discovered that part of the yard floods in the spring. This year I actually had to wade through water to get to the compost bin. So, it is being moved to another location near to where I am hoping to put in a new garden space.

A moment from my life… while outside with Elaina the sun went behind a cloud. She asked me, “Why did the light turn off?”

Exploring a ‘fort’ we found on one of our walks.




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Looking out my window… the sunshine is breaking through the clouds and there’s a new layer of snow on the ground. We’re definitely enjoying the longer daylight hours. What a difference it makes having it already light out when getting up in the morning.

I am thinking… how different weather can be from one year to the next. At this time last year, the snow was almost gone and the kids were splashing in puddles.  This year we still have quite a bit of snow left and although we’re getting a good number of days of temps above freezing, there are just as many that are still on the cold side.

I am thankful… God’s sovereignty.

I am creating finished… my cross-stitch nativity figures. It’s taken 15-16 (?) years; I honestly don’t remember exactly when I started working on this project. I usually rediscovered it around Christmas time and worked on it for a few months before setting it aside in favor of other projects.  This year when I pulled it out to work on I realized there was only one figure left to cross-stitch. So, I determined to finally finish it and didn’t put it aside when the holiday season was over.

I am hearing… 2:30 – water dripping off the roof and the boys riding the snowmachine (have the front door open to air things out).

In the schoolroom… being homeschoolers means the bulk of our schooling hasn’t changed any due to Covid19 restrictions. There are changes though, like no STEM classes for Ben or Paper Circuitry/Robotics classes for Caleb. Lydia’s special ed teacher is checking in with her via computer and Matthew will be doing his ETT Trek class and Spanish tutoring on the computer as well.

Around the house… Scott got the storage room cleaned up and a couple tables set up for the older kids to work on their Craftsman crates and other crafts.

A moment from my life…


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Looking out my window… our winter moose friend is back.  Elaina was quite enthralled watching it out the window.

I am thinking… Elaina is in the full throes of the Terrible Twos.  If she isn’t getting in trouble, she’s throwing a fit for not getting her way. Sigh. This too shall pass.

I am thankful… for the safety Scott and Caleb had driving to and from Caleb’s hockey tournament last weekend (they took 2nd place) and praying for more of the same for this weekend’s tournament.

One of my favorite things… sunshine! We are up to 6 hours of daylight now. More if you count the twilight (which I definitely do).

I am hearing… 11:45 – the microwave running as kids find lunch.

In the schoolroom… one of Matthew’s biology experiments has been to grow mushrooms. They didn’t quite turn out like expected, but it was fun to watch them grow.

Around the house… we’ve added a member to our family. For Christmas Matthew received a litter box and other items for taking care of a cat and this week the kitten we had arranged for was ready.

Matthew has named him Clue.

A moment from my life…

The kids are all enjoying the balance boards we got for them for Christmas.


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Looking out my window… a frigid day makes for some pretty ice fog as the sun slowly rises. It was -47oF when we got up this morning.

I am thinking… It may be super cold, but life goes on. Caleb leaves this morning for a hockey tournament in Big Lake.  Matthew walked over to the school for his Trek class this morning. Scott will be taking a break every couple hours at work to start the car and warm it up again. Tomorrow the Copper Basin 300 dogsled race will be starting out front of the KCAM studios.

I am thankful… for a warm house and the thick plastic over the dining room windows providing that extra barrier between us and the cold. I’m also thankful that our van’s battery died last weekend while we were in town (with warmer temps) rather than this weekend and for a warm garage for Scott to work in when making sure the van is ready for these low temps.

Putting cardboard in to keep the engine warmer.

One of my favorite things… the white chocolate truffles in my Christmas stocking.

I am hearing… 10:30 – the dryer running, a few kids playing Mobi

In the schoolroom… the transition back to school after a two week break has gone fairly smoothly this week.

A moment from my life…


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Matthew’s B-day

This awesome teenager turned 17!

The third year in a row he’s asked for red velvet cake. I think we know what his favorite is.


He wanted something a little more stylish than a backpack for carrying his school supplies for Trek or Spanish class.

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Gabe’s Birthday

He wanted green cupcakes so that his imaginary pet dragon could have poison affect when attacking enemies. LOL

His brother gave him a duct tape sword with scabbard he had made.

His big birthday wish was for a fishing game.

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Lydia’s Birthday

Happy 15th (wait, that can’t be right! yep, 15 years already) to our beautiful daughter Lydia!



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First Day of School Pics

I actually got pictures taken this year!

Elaina – Toddler

Thomas – Preschool

Gabe – Kindergarten

Ben – 3rd grade

Caleb – 6th grade

Kara – 8th grade

Lydia – 8th grade

Matthew – 10th grade

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Looking out my window… I do enjoy the looong twilight here in Alaska; definitely something I missed while we were Outside. Got to bed a little late the other night and actually had to use the flashlight on my phone to navigate through the house after turning out lights.  It’s been a few months since I’ve had to do that.

I am thankful… for God’s provision through generous friends. Scott and I have decided it’s time to get serious about paying off our credit card debt. This mostly means trimming the grocery budget as much as possible (think rice and beans). This week we are losing one of our KCAM couples L and they have been very generous with us as they cleaned out their freezer/pantry. Their generosity has filled our freezer and will definitely help in keeping grocery costs down.

One of my favorite things… watching my kids grow in knowledge and independence.

Matthew receiving a lesson in backing up with a trailer.

I am hearing… 9pm – the washing machine running (waiting to switch the laundry before heading to bed – need more clean underwear for Thomas, potty training is slow, but steady), the dishwasher running, Scott moving a bookcase downstairs, Elaina seems to have finally quieted down (she loves to sing herself to sleep).

In the schoolroom… I wasn’t intending for my school year prep to include room rearranging, but I’m excited about this impromptu change.  We acquired a desk this week and while it was originally intended to be used for Scott, he decided it would be better used by me. I am enjoying having a bigger desk area and file drawers to better manage all the homeschooling paperwork.  The rearrangement has also opened the room up more which is very nice; no more squeezing around the end of the dining table to get to the other side. We also had our first science project arrive – a butterfly garden.  The kids are quite fascinated watching and learning about the caterpillars as they grow.

In the kitchen… I made my own yogurt for the first time this last week.  I need to get a cheesecloth to strain it so it is thicker, but otherwise I think it turned out well. The boys sure gobbled down the strawberry yogurt I made by stirring jam into it.

In the garden… I see a head growing on one of the broccoli plants! And the beans are starting to produce too.

A moment from my life… we took an impromptu hike to the Tolsona Mud Volcano after the church campout.

Showing how deep the bubbling pools are.

Poking sticks in pools is such fun.

Me and Lydia

Waiting for Mommy to catch up.



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Looking out my window… it feels good to have these cooler temps and to see the mountains and blue skies without the haze of smoke anymore. Even though it is still quite warm (70s), yesterday’s wind had that fall is coming smell to it.

I am thankful… that Thomas is doing well with potty training. He’s got the idea for the most part and seems to have gotten past the ‘that was fun, but I’m done playing this game’ stage and is getting used to the new normal.

One of my favorite things… I love being able to have the windows open and the fresh air flowing in.

I am creating… lesson plans. This last year has been a kind of transition year for us in more ways than one and I’m going to be doing things a bit differently this coming year.  For most of our homeschooling years I’ve done the typical everyone doing the same thing for most subjectsIt’s a bit more work on the front-end with planning, but I’m hoping that it will better fit our changing family dynamics.

I am hearing… 12:15 – the canner rattling, kids working on KP, the scanner running, little ones playing outside; 2:45 – Lydia doing her typing lesson, Ben cleaning all the weeds out of the front flower bed; a plane flying overhead.

In the schoolroom… the kids survived our first public speaking class today. Using the Key Word Outlines method from IEW and having only their siblings as an audience seemed to make it less painful than they thought it would be. I’m planning a few more ‘speeches’ to finish out our language arts curriculum for this school year.

In the kitchen… a canner load of pinto beans is cooking away on the stove, with more beans awaiting canning in the roaster oven. Besides the convenience of having them already cooked, we’re trying to trim the budget to put more toward getting debt paid off. I’ve found a few more bean recipes that I think the kids may like well enough to add to our regular lineup. If you have any suggestions for super cheap recipes I’m open to suggestions.

My first attempt at freezing basil from the garden (in tsp size portions).

In the garden… the squash loved the hot temps we had this summer and I’m excited to be harvesting zucchini.

A moment of our time…


Happy up so high!


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