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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FOR TODAY – Happy New Year!

Looking out my window…  the bright sunshine pouring in the windows feels so good; as do the warmer temperatures getting above 0oF during the day.

I am thankful… for warm winter gear for everyone so that we could survive our outing at -20 o F to see the start of the Copper Basin 300 sled dog race last weekend.  I do think we could benefit from some of those pocket hand warmers.  So thankful Scott had some to use while standing out there overseeing the technical stuff for broadcasting the start and finish of the race.

I am wearing… a cozy, warm turquoise and blue chenille sweater.

I am hoping… we can fit in haircuts for the boys this weekend.  Their shaggy heads are long past due for a trim.

I just finished reading… Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey. The last time I read this I was in high school.

I am hearing… 12:30 – the furnace running (really need to get the pellet stove fixed. I don’t want to think about the fuel bill for having only the furnace running during this latest cold spell), Thomas fussing about having to go downstairs to play, the swish of the broom as Lydia sweeps the floor;

In the schoolroom… Matthew started his shop class (small engines) at the high school yesterday.  Judging by the eager way he imparts every detail of class to me when he gets home, I think it’s safe to say he is thoroughly enjoying it.

His first day of class outside homeschool so I had to get a pic of him heading off to class.

In the kitchen… I’m rearranging my menu plan to reflect what ingredients I have on hand.

I am looking forward to… someday having a couch/chair upstairs where I can curl up with my cross-stitch.

Around the house… I got another ½ a box unpacked this morning. It was a small box and the half I unpacked was rags used to fill the space, but it still counts as progress, right?

A peek at my week…

The kids enjoying being outside again after the temps warmed up.


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Matthew’s Birthday

16 Years old!

He asked for a red velvet cake. The sparkler candles were the only ones to survive the trip to Alaska.

Caleb made him a pop-up starship card.

Ready to help fill the freezer.


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FOR TODAY – Happy New Year!

Looking out my window…  this morning’s overcast skies have parted to let the sun shine through with some light wind blowing. This chinook has really warmed things up outside; from -20 last week to 30 above today.

I am thankful… for a warm house, a well-stocked freezer, and friends to ring in the New Year with last night.

One of my favorite things… family game nights.

I am wearing… rocking the homeschool mom look with my jean jumper and a green shirt today.  I’m also using my new LilaRose clip.

In the schoolroom… the kids are happy to have their desktop computer set up finally.  A full-sized keyboard is so much easier to use than a laptop when practicing typing. (It also has a faster processor for gaming when they’ve finished their schoolwork.)

In the kitchen… I need to rework my meatloaf recipe.  The leanness and flavor of the caribou just isn’t quite working with the recipe I’ve been using. Not that anyone’s complaining, but the crumbliness is bugging me. I saw a meatloaf recipe this morning that uses BBQ sauce and cheese that sounds worth trying.

Around the house… I’m excited about the hallway project Scott finished over the weekend! No more towels hanging over closet rods or stuffed in corners or damp toothbrushes molding because they’ve been tucked away in ditty bags. It feels so good to be setting up house and not living out of suitcases.


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Looking out my window…  it’s dark.  We’ve been hanging out in the subzero temps for the last week. It looks like we may be warming up a bit over the weekend though and possibly getting some more snow.

I am thankful… for a good, mostly relaxing Christmas.

One of my favorite things… Christmas butter cookies.  Scott gets me a big tin of them every year which I thoroughly enjoy.

I am wearing… jeans and a blue striped, long-sleeve t-shirt.

I am reading… The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers.

I am hoping… that we can get through this succession of sicknesses quickly and easily and that Elaina will sleep through the night again. (I don’t think she slept at all Christmas eve.)

In the kitchen… time to start thinking about the next birthday cake.  Matthew said he wants a red velvet cake.

In the schoolroom… just before Christmas we were finally able to order the first of the bookshelves I have been wanting for organizing our homeschool materials and it arrived today.  This is a huge thing for me because it means unpacking and no longer homeschooling out of the boxes we’ve been using for the last year while traveling. I want to get some baskets to go in the top shelves for their pencil bags and other small stuff. (Side note: I find it humorous that Amazon will ship a bookshelf to Alaska no problem, but when I try to order a pair of tights they say it needs special handling and can’t be shipped to my location. LOL)


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Gabe’s 5th Birthday

Having our van broken into meant spending an extra day in Anchorage, so Gabe got his wish of celebrating his birthday at Chuck E Cheese.

Gabe was so excited to get a new bike helmet since he outgrew his old one; it’s required gear for skating on the ice rinks at the school.

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Looking out my window…  a pretty sunrise is edging the clouds over the mountains with pink, but the rest of the sky is clear. The temps have edged downward again although we’re still unseasonably warm being above 0o F.

I am thankful… for friends who are generous to my kids.

One of my favorite things… reading a good book.

I am wearing… a turquoise and grey sweatshirt with jeans and no makeup.  After three Christmas potlucks in a row this week I’m feeling the need to be casual today.

In the kitchen… the kids are enjoying the leftover pie and rolls that didn’t get eaten at the potlucks.

In the schoolroom… the art class Kara was taking this quarter finished and we got to see her artwork displayed at the homeschool Christmas dinner.

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