Looking out my window…  an overcast sky bringing a few sprinkles and promising a cooler day.  Almost feels like fall.

I am thinking… about what to pack next.  I think it’s time to start packing into the dresser drawers even if it does mean living out of suitcases.  At the point where I need to fit as much as I can into drawers before packing anymore boxes.

I am thankful… for the progress Thomas has made in the last couple weeks.  He is pushing himself into a sitting position without help, rocking on hands and knees, and even doing an army crawl instead of a sideways inch worm.  I was thinking the other day about one of the big proponents of homeschooling being that kids develop at different rates, i.e.-some kids are reading at 3 and others aren’t ready till 7.  The number of people that have told me of relatives that didn’t crawl/walk until around 18 months old has reassured and reminded me that it’s the same in other areas of development too.  Yes, it’s hard to have a late bloomer when everyone else is posting pics of their little ones hitting those big milestones; but they all develop on their own timetable that God has given them.


I am wearing… my most comfortable pair of jean capris, not that any pants are real comfortable these days.  My muscles aren’t as tight as they used to be which means I’m carrying lower with this pregnancy and things don’t fit as well anymore.

I am watching… Scott likes to unwind at night by introducing me to episodes of old shows.  Right now it’s The A-Team.  Definitely good to release the day’s tension with a few laughs.

I am hoping… we’re still optimistic that we can be packed and pulling out of here by the 24th.  We do need to sell some furniture first though – couch w/ottoman and matching glider, bookshelves, etc.

In the kitchen… the freezer is nearly empty and I got the first two kitchen boxes packed.  Having empty shelves feels strange.

In the school room… I think I’ve settled on what/how much we’re going to attempt for school this year while on the road.  There are a few things that I’m waiting to order until we’re on the road and have our temporary home base at my parents. But for now, I feel satisfied with what we’re doing. With all the chaos and transition this year I ended up introducing subjects a couple at a time instead of doing the usual ‘all at once’ first day of school.  I think it actually went much better that way, especially for Matthew.

I am hearing… 9:30am – water running as Caleb rinses breakfast dishes (he made pancakes this morning), Matthew and Kara talking about the story they are imagining up, Ben and Gabe playing cars on the table, Thomas talking to himself.

Prayer requests:  energy for this final stretch of packing and sorting, quick selling of our furniture, planning of the first phase of home service and excited friends who will share our ministry with their friends and churches.




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Kara’s Birthday

Kara turned 11 today.  Our last birthday in this house.  She turned 5 just after we moved in here.


Kara wanted a purple and white cake.


Ready for birthday party


Shocked speechless!


Sooo excited about having her own Steam (computer gaming) account so she can play Age of Empires with Daddy and Mommy.


New socks from Grandma

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Looking out my window…  this morning’s clear skies are giving way to clouds.  The forecast seems to be saying that monsoon season is starting.  In some ways it seems like we missed summer being gone those extra two weeks because of the transmission needing to be rebuilt.

I am thinking… about packing and sorting; what to take and what to get rid of.  We REALLY want to try to pare down to the bare minimum and start fresh when we get there.  A lot of what we have was great when we only had a few little kids, but isn’t really working for our larger family that includes teens.

I am thankful… that God has given us direction and we know where he wants us to go, if not the exact timing.  Also thankful for a healthy pregnancy and that my energy (such as it is) has returned (makes packing a lot easier).

One of my favorite things… feeling those early baby kicks.

I am wearing… jeans and a faded blue t-shirt; enjoying having shorter hair in this heat.  Thinking of hair, I need to buzz cut all the boys’ hair before I pack the clippers.

I am creating… bags of trash for Matthew to take out.  It’s amazing how much junk you hold on to ‘just in case’ when you’ve lived in one place for several years.

I am reading… or rather skimming through books on my shelves trying to determine which ones I really want to keep.  A lot of good books, but which ones do I see myself making the time to re-read. The hardest part I think will be paring down the kids’ books.

I am hearing… 3:30pm – the drone of the A/C, kids chattering as they play Minecraft, music playing in the living room.

In the garden… things seem to be growing fine, if a bit slow.  I wonder if we will get to enjoy any of the produce before we leave.

I am hoping… that God will bring in the support we need quickly and we can be fully moved back to Alaska before this little one is due in November.

In the kitchen… I need to do a menu plan for the rest of the month in order to make sure we use up what’s left in the freezer.

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Looking out my window…  clear, sunny, blue skies.  The high winds of this past weekend have finally died down, the snow is virtually gone, and the temps are climbing back up again.  Definitely going to be sending the kids outside to play today which will have them thrilled.

I am thinking… my Christmas cactus is blooming and the kids were playing Christmas music.  Hmm…

I am thankful… for God’s provision.  Although Thomas has apparently done much better at nursing than most tongue/lip tie babies, the transition to a sippy cup has been difficult.  Even after he finally figured out how to latch/suck on the sippy, most of the milk would pour down his chin.  Saturday I found a sippy cup that had been given to us at the baby shower and tucked away for later.  It was a different brand than what we had been using and the spout was a different shape.  I immediately wondered if he would be able to drink better with it.  Well, I tried it on him that night and PTL it worked!  We’ve used it several times now with the same results.  Still a little bit coming out of his mouth, but more along the lines of the usual baby dribble rather than completely soaking a burp cloth.  I think the different shape of the spout forces him to get a deeper latch and that is what is making the difference.


In the garden… forecast looks like it will be a great week for getting out into the garden and starting some lettuce and spinach.  I try to rotate my garden like they say I should.  So, when I go out to the garden to prep the bed I’m planning on using for the lettuce/spinach I find a couple of the side boards knocked down (screws weren’t long enough).  All the other beds are fine; it’s only the one I needed right now that has a problem.  Guess I can wait a few more days until Scott can buy longer screws.  Plenty of other garden prep that needs to be done.

One of my favorite things… when my husband gets down on the floor with the kids.


I am wearing… jeans and an old, comfy, blue nursing top.  Lord willing, in a couple months I’ll be packing away the nursing tops again.

From the schoolroom… Caleb and Ben made a TARDIS out of a cardboard box.  It uses schoolwork for artron energy.  They had great fun doing their schoolwork in it.


I am creating… woohoo! I finally got my sewing table cleared off enough to work some more on the scrap/jean quilt I started a couple years ago.

I am hearing… 6:15 –Lydia washing dishes and talking to Scott while he carves the turkey for dinner; Kara playing with Thomas



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Looking out my window…  beautiful blue skies with just a little bit of wind and best of all dry ground.  They were predicting a fair amount of precipitation for us this last weekend, but we only got a small bit.

In the garden… I was able to get outside after lunch today and turn over the original compost pile and found it ready to be put on the garden beds.

One of my favorite things… dry roads.  Living in the desert I try not to complain when we get moisture, but we got more than the usual snowfall this winter and at this point I am tired of muddy roads.

I am wearing… an old pair of jeans that are almost worn through in several places and my orange sweater with the pockets on the front.

From the kitchen… the smell of Salisbury steak cooking in the crockpot and fresh bread cooling in the oven.

Around the house… Lydia came crying to me this morning because she couldn’t get the dryer to start.  A quick investigation found that the water in the clothes had not fully spun out in the washer.  Checked to see if the washer had been stopped mid-cycle, but no it had finished.  Hmm.  Started putting the clothes back into the washer to run another spin cycle and found she had stuffed two loads worth of clothes into one load.  No wonder it hadn’t been able to spin all the water out.

I am hearing… 4:30-matthew and Caleb talking through their walkie-talkies (something about monsters, bombs, and jungles), Lydia vacuuming the dining room

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Looking out my window…  it’s been cool, gray, and windy the last few days, but today the sky is clear and the sun is shining.

I am thinking… 1) I am going to try doing another ‘no spend’ month starting this next payday.  Maybe even try to do it for two months.  2) It is a universal requirement for children to mispronounce spaghetti.

I am thankful… for the fun, relaxing time we had as a family in Flagstaff this last weekend.  Kara told me her favorite part was trying out all the exercise equipment at Sears.  LOL!  I’m not sure I could pick a favorite part; it was just so enjoyable overall spending time together without an agenda or to-do list.  But if I had to pick a favorite it might be browsing through the Teaching & Learning Stuff store at the mall.  So many great learning games and teaching supplies.  I must be a homeschooler, right?  A funny part of our weekend was seeing the look on the face of the sales lady at Sears when I explained that my kids LOVE looking at appliances so it’s one of the things we do for fun.


Thomas’ first ride sitting in the shopping cart.


Having fun at the mall playland.


Picnic supper at KTBA in Tuba city while Daddy fixed the remote control for the radio station.


Checking out the gadgets and games at Best Buy.

From the nursery… unlike most babies, Thomas has thus far shown no interest in standing or putting weight on his legs.  He does OK at it when I insist, but just doesn’t have any self-motivation to do so.  I’m trying to make a priority of working with him on it some everyday (kind of like doing tummy-time in the first months).  He’s doing really well at sitting up on his own and loves seeing where his rolling will take him, though.

One of my favorite things… baby giggles.


I am wearing… a new blue and turquoise striped shirt that I picked up at Savers while we were in Flagstaff.  I tried it on as a joke because it matched one we found in a smaller size for Lydia, but as soon as I tried it on I knew I was keeping it.  It is sooo soft and stretchy; I think it is one of the most comfortable shirts I have ever worn.

From the kitchen… I want to find a good recipe for Red Beans & Rice similar to Popeye’s since that is one of Scott’s favorite foods.

I am creating… the hooks for pulling the curtains back from the windows keep pulling out of these flimsy trailer walls so I finally made fabric tie-backs and figured out how to attach them to the curtains.


From the schoolroom… started ordering High School curriculum Yikes! I’ve also started collecting all my various notes about possible courses, requirements, etc. into one notebook.  Hurray, I finally have a use for one of the 5-subject notebooks that were given to us.

Around the house… I finally figured out how to get rid of the hard water build up in the shower that’s been bugging me since we moved in. Though I must admit I don’t clean it as often as I should, especially when pregnant. However, even using SoftScrub has hardly put a dent in it.  I kept thinking I needed something to scrape it with instead of trying to scrub at it with the scrubby sponge and it finally dawned on me today to try using the paint scrapper.  It worked! The shower is now a nice off white color instead of yellow.

I am hearing… 3:15pm – Kara and Caleb at the table whispering together about Caleb’s latest duct tape creation, Ben playing with a nerf gun shooting imaginary things while sitting on the couch; 4:45pm – Lydia vacuuming the dining room, Matthew sighing over his school work, and Thomas protesting about Caleb setting him down.


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Ben’s Birthday


Caleb learning how to fill & tie the balloons.


A chocolate chip cake with chocolate chip frosting.


The big 6 year old.


Matthew serving the ice cream.


His own nerf gun.

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Matthew’s Birthday


Sparkler candles are fun


Sooo excited to get a Star Trek model from Auntie Deb & Uncle Steve.


New socks from Grandma Eaton


Look at those grins

Flashback: My how much these two have grown in the last 5 years!

Flashback: My how much these two have grown in the last 5 years!

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Looking out my window…  the skies are mostly clear and there are only a few patches of snow left on the rocks behind the house.  The roads are still muddy, but the kids have been too busy coughing, sneezing, and playing with new toys to think about enjoying the puddles in the driveway.

I am thinking… it’s been 6 years since we moved here.  Hard to believe it’s been that long already.  Funny, I still don’t feel settled here though.  I suppose after moving around so much the first 10 years of our marriage it will take a bit longer before I stop expecting to move again.

I am thankful… that we were able to get the kids some nice Christmas gifts this year and the pipes on campus waited until today to leak so that Scott could enjoy the holiday with us.


Gabe is obsessed with figuring out the marble puzzle ball Scott got the kids.

From the nursery… Gabe decided Thomas needed a little sweetening up today and sprinkled cinnamon/sugar all over him in his crib.  The other exciting news is that Thomas is finally sitting up on his own.


One of my favorite things… snuggling with my husband at the end of the day.

I am reading… The Paradise War by Stephen Lawhead to the kids who are loving it.

I am hearing… kids playing with Legos, the dishwasher running.

From the kitchen… made a new Christmas cookie for the kids this year – Chocolate Chip Snowballs (Scott calls them wedding cookies) which they can’t seem to get enough of; definitely adding it to my recipe book.

From the schoolroom… we rearranged our office/schoolroom today and I’m liking it a lot better – much more open feeling now.  Now to make a final decision on what science curriculum to use next.

Plans for the next week… take down the Christmas decorations, school starts again, and my oldest turns 14.

A couple pics from Gabe’s birthday:





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Looking out my window…  a windy fall day with partly sunny skies.  I wish we got more fall colors here, but it seems the leaves just turn brown as they fall off the trees.  I do see one tree with dark red leaves across the field but it almost blends into the roof of the building it is next to.


I am thankful… For a good weekend celebrating Scott’s birthday.  For his birthday gift the kids gave him things to put in a hobbit gift of an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

occ-boys occ-girls

One of my favorite things… pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.  Yum!

I am creating… a newsletter.  It’s all done except for a paragraph or two for Scott to write.  So, hopefully it will be done and completed sometime this next month.

I am wearing… blue jeans and an old red shirt with apple embroidered on it that I got back when we were newlyweds.

I am hearing… pages flipping, dryer buzzing, faucet dripping, Kara humming, Lydia coughing.

I am reading… The Prince and the Pauper to the kids.  Most of the Old English dialogue is of course going right over their heads, but since they’ve just spent the last hour dressing up and playing kings and queens I think it’s having the desired effect.

From the kitchen… almost done processing this year’s harvest from the garden.  The 8th and final canner load of veggies is done.  Now I need to freeze the Hubbard and Butternut squashes.  I’m going to need Scott to chop open the Hubbards since they have very hard skin.  I put a smaller one in the microwave the other day to soften the skin so I could cut it up for making Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas (need to tweak the recipe a little) but I realized afterwards that I can’t save the seeds that way.


From the schoolroom… for now I’ve given up on the idea of having all the ‘work with Mommy’ stuff done before quiet time.  Lord willing, next school year after Thomas is weaned I’ll be able to fit it all into the morning again and have my afternoon time back for exercising and working on projects.


Kara did so well illustrating the story of Gideon; I just had to share.

From the board room… the girls decided to fill their Operation Christmas Child shoebox for an older girl this year, but the next time we do one for a younger girl I’m thinking this would be a great idea.


from my Pinterest board

I am looking forward to… going to bed.  I am SO tired.

A moment from my week:



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