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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Kara’s Birthday

She wanted a cake that looked like a Minecraft cake.

Enjoying her present of headphones to use with her computer (while playing minecraft of course).

Laughing at the funny card Daddy got her.

Books from Grandpa Hill

Mail call – passing out the letters from Grandma & Grandpa Eaton (the most looked forward to time of each birthday).

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Looking out my window… our rainy spring has turned into a HOT summer.  These 90 degree temps are a bit too much for Alaska. The kids are enjoying running through the sprinkler though.

I am thankful… for this chance for our kids to get to know their cousins better.  We are watching my sister Karen’s 3 kids and 2 dogs for the week while she and her husband are at a conference.

One of my favorite things… fresh strawberries straight from the garden.

I am creating… finally finished the cross-stitch part of this piece and am moving on to all the blackwork sections.

I am reading… working my way through Warriors Don’t Cry. It boggles my mind that people thought and acted that way. Matthew had a hard time with this book too; he has such a strong sense of right and wrong.

I am hearing… 6:15pm – kids playing outside, what sounds like someone spraying a hose, the microwave beep reminding me it’s finished, the construction sounds have finished for the day (they’ve been working on some underground pipes behind the school).

In the schoolroom…  I’ve finished all the researching and now it’s time to order all the curriculum.  I’m going to try a couple different things this year. Here’s hoping they prove to be a good fit with the changing dynamics of our family.

In the kitchen… thankful for the slightly cooler day since I needed to bake bread.

In the garden… had the first harvests of spinach and I think the leaf lettuce is ready too.  Three strawberries have turned red so far which Scott and I enjoyed immensely. Here’s hoping the dogs don’t dig anymore of it up before they leave.

A moment from my week…


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