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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Looking out my window… beautiful sunshine! All the rain this last week has been much loved by my garden and lawn, but isn’t as conducive for getting everyone outside.

We’ve been working on cleaning up the yard these last couple weeks.

Bubbles are so fun!

I am thankful… for God’s provision of a second fridge. It’s much cheaper to buy milk when we’re in Town, but we can only fit a couple gallons at a time in the kitchen fridge. We’d been just keeping the rest in a cooler in the garage, but now that the weather is warmer that isn’t working well. I look forward to the extra fridge space when harvest season comes.

One of my favorite things… time spent talking with a friend.

I am creating… a plan for the next school year. I want to have more breaks this next year and not feel like we have to keep pushing forward no matter what.  That means only taking a short break between years.  So, Lord willing, I am trying to have things planned out and curriculum ordered before the end of this school year.

I am reading… almost finished with The Friendly Persuasion; another of the literature books for Matthew’s school work.

I am watching… Scott and I are beginning another pass through the Farscape series.

I am hearing… 12pm – kids chattering about playing Starbound (computer game) and the clinking of silverware.

I am hoping… to get a few naps in this week.  A trip to town and a busy weekend has left me feeling drained.

In the schoolroom… this week marked the end of our 3rd quarter in this school year. (Our moving schedule last fall meant that we were just starting our school year when everyone else was finishing their first quarter.) We took a much needed break and went to Town for shopping while Matthew took his first Horsemanship classes at Victory Bible Camp.

Field trip to the Wrangell-St. Elias Visitor Center as part of our Alaska Studies.

In the kitchen… I bought some Tupperware popsicle holders off Ebay just like the ones we used when I was growing up.  So far we’ve made the standard koolaid ones and are experimenting with some koolaid sherbet ones.

In the garden… I was beginning to despair of ever finishing prepping the garden beds for use, but I finally finished separating the dirt from the matted weed roots. It made me think of the pioneers on the prairies busting sod. Thankfully only two of the beds were that bad and I was able to get most of the garden planted before this lovely rain came. Plus! My carrots sprouted. I’m so excited that the seed was still viable.  The initial weeding is done and now to thin them.

A moment from my month…


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Looking out my window… the wind is back again; though I don’t mind so much as it will help to dry things out a bit after the rain of the last couple days.  Grateful for that rain; I can see the lawn beginning to turn green now.

I am thankful… to have the boot/shoe organizer finished. Scott did a great job and I love not having a huge pile of shoes next to the front door.

I am hearing… 8:45am-little ones crying over some perceived injustice, another child ‘playing’ piano, older ones making up another imaginative story world; 5:45pm-Ben playing checkers with Uncle James, Gabe and Lydia playing with the dog, Scott driving up to the house.

In the schoolroom… Caleb won 2nd place at the first ever Upstream Learning science fair. Lydia has started her sped therapy class, so we have a list of PT, OT, and speech exercises to work on each day.

In the kitchen… made my first all-sourdough/no yeast loaves here in Alaska this past week.  I’d been doing a sourdough/yeast combination recipe to use up old yeast and give the sourdough time to get fully established.

In the garden… I am working to recover some overgrown, weed bound garden beds to make them usable again. I wish I had gotten them done and had the carrots planted before all the wonderful rain came.

I am looking forward to enjoying… my brother visiting for a couple days.

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Thomas Turns 3!

Caleb is 11!


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Looking out my window… cloudy skies, wind, and rain. Spring seems to be coming early this year; today’s high is supposed to be near 50.

I am thankful… that we were able to get the middle boys out on the ice to practice their skating a couple times last week. Caleb especially made great improvements in his skating and it was fun to see it ‘click’ with him. With this warm weather everything is really starting to melt and I doubt we will get any more ice time this year.

I am hearing… 8:45am – Elaina making noises as she finishes her breakfast, Scott and the older kids discussing yesterday’s sermon for their Bible lesson, the washing machine running; 4:45pm – dinner simmering on the stove, kids yelling as they race around the house, the firing of a nerf gun, the hum of the refrigerator.

In the schoolroom… we have finally reached the report writing lesson in IEW. I’m excited about this because it will carry over into a lot of our other subjects. Matthew is already putting what he’s learned into practice with a report for his health class.

In the kitchen… this weekend I made several packages of tortillas to put in the freezer. I was reading about freezing them raw so that they will be ‘fresh baked’ when you use them.  So, I’m trying that method and hoping for the best.

I kept seeing posts about people growing celery or onions from the ends of bunches and decided I needed to try it for myself.

I am looking forward to… being able to let the little ones play outside without all the effort at putting them into their winter gear.

Around the house… I finally got a chore schedule for this house/year worked out and we have begun implementing it.  So far it is working well and I’m glad to know that certain areas of the house are getting cleaned on a regular basis.

Still working on the shoe/boot rack, but Scott got the coat rack/hooks up this last week.

A peek at my week…

Lydia helped me shred old egg carton flats for composting.

Thomas has started to show an interest in coloring.

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Looking out my window… lots of wind and above 0oF temps as another chinook blows thru. I’m loving today’s sunshine though.

I am thankful… the kids have been approved for Denali KidCare (except Gabe*); especially since the orthopedic doctor wants an MRI done on Lydia’s spine. He says there isn’t anything to be done about her scoliosis since she’s already virtually done growing and it isn’t bad enough to warrant surgery.  At this point it should be stable for the rest of her life. He is concerned about it possibly impacting her spinal cord though because the reflexes in her legs were not responding correctly when he tested them.

I am hearing… 3:30 – Lydia (my verbal processor) working through her story for Writing, Ben picking up the goldfish he spilled

In the schoolroom… reading about Archimedes and building a waterwheel pulley system.

In the kitchen… The Best Ever Potato Casserole is cooking away in the crockpot. I don’t remember where I got the recipe from, but it’s basically potatoes, ham, and cauliflower baked with a cheese sauce. YUM! I really like how it frees up the evening having dinner already to go like this, but boy having to smell it cooking definitely makes it hard to wait for supper.

I am reading… The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells.  It is one of the books I am having Matthew read for Literature this year and since I’ve never actually read the book I felt it would be good to do so.

I am looking forward to… attending Bible study tonight.  Due to travel and illness it’s been a few weeks since I was able to go.

Around the house… I’m tackling my mending pile today and getting some jeans patched or altered for the kids to wear.

A peek at my week…

Sanding boards to make a shoe/boot/coat rack.

They’re not looking very baby like anymore.

*Apparently there is another Gabriel Nicholas born on the same day living in Alaska with the last name of Christmas and whoever processed our applications did not check that they had the right last name or social security number. So we have to go to the office in person with his birth certificate etc. to prove his existence and that they got the wrong person in order reapply for him.

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Looking out my window… the curtains are closed against the dark of the night. We are definitely noticing the lengthening of the days and appreciating those extra minutes of sunlight each day.

I am thankful… for doctors and the ability to learn so much about our health by studying our blood.  I’ve been dealing with some periodic, but increasing health issues for several months.  This past week I was finally able to get in for a physical to see if we could try to figure things out.  Turns out my potassium levels were dangerously low. So, I’m taking prescription potassium pills and adjusting my diet to include more high potassium foods. Lord willing, when we check my levels again in a month things will be better. The question of course is why they were so low…

I am hearing… quiet as the house settles down for the night.

In the schoolroom… the kids were able to attend a class at our homeschool group this week to learn about the life cycle of salmon. They played an interesting game where the kids were given different scents and had to smell their way to the river they were born it (a parent holding a jar with matching scent). Later this month they will get to dissect a salmon. Hopefully I will remember to take pictures then.

Building a balance scale

In the kitchen… with Kara’s help I was able to make up enough Salisbury steak patties to put in the freezer for 3 future meals plus tonight’s dinner. I also made bread for the 2nd time this week; we go through it so fast.

I am looking forward to… hearing what the orthopedic doctor says about Lydia’s scoliosis this week.  Our local chiropractor believes she will need a brace as well as some physical therapy.  God worked things out so that her PT evaluation for the special services at the school will be just after we get back from town.

Around the house… Matthew is glad we received the second shelf for the kids school books today, so he was finally able to unpack his travel school box. I’m glad to have a place to put all our science books for this year instead of keeping them in the box they came in.

Ben and Gabe had so much fun helping me put together the shelving. Ben actually did most of the screwing.

A peek at my week…

Where’s Thomas?


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FOR TODAY – Happy New Year!

Looking out my window… a moose! The kids were excited this morning to see their first moose near our house.

To put this picture in perspective – Matthew is about as tall as the fence (6ft).

Can you find the moose? He’s laying down right in the middle, covered in falling snow.

I am thankful… for a good chiropractor.

In the garden… I took advantage of the unusually warm chinook weather that blew through this weekend to get out and measure the existing garden beds and the distance from them to the fence.

I am hearing… 1pm – kids chattering as they boys work on KP (kitchen patrol), little ones playing under the table, furnace running; 6pm – Kara putting clean dishes away, the timer beeping to let me know the biscuits are ready, Thomas chattering as he spins in the kitchen.

In the schoolroom… I’ve somehow managed to start fitting in reading lessons for Gabe.  He is doing quite well and both Scott and I are impressed with how quickly he is taking to it. He can’t wait ‘til he finishes our Hooked on Phonics reading book; which in our family means he can start playing Minecraft with his older siblings. (It’s so much easier/more fun when they can read the screen prompts themselves.) On another note: I’ve apparently been neglecting my kid’s cultural education. A book Caleb was reading referenced the Hokey Pokey song and none of my kids knew what it was.  LOL.

In the kitchen… (or at least food related) we placed our first Costco order with the local shipping company.  The shipping charges they require are about equal to what it would cost in food and gas for us to make the trip ourselves and even though we’ll still need to make a trip to town in a couple weeks for medical reasons, the time and stress saved in not having all that shopping to do myself makes it well worth it.

I am looking forward to… having all this testing for Lydia done. So far we’ve finished the speech and cognitive testing. Next month will be the evaluations by the physical and occupational therapists.  She also will be having an evaluation on her scoliosis by an orthopedic doctor. Lord willing, after all that we’ll be able to start putting a plan in place for helping her.  I’m thankful God has brought us to a place where we can get her some help.

Around the house… Scott was able to get the pellet stove working again.  Here’s hoping it keeps working!

Scott and Matthew enjoying a game of Galactic Empires.


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Ben’s Birthday

8 years old!

Thanks Uncle James for the awesome Lego set!

The kids all LOVE the socks Grandma Eaton knits for them.

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