Horsemanship Camp

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Looking out my window… waiting to see what birds come visit the pinecone bird feeders we hung up today.  (Finally got around to using the winter craft package we received from WISE.) Even the bigger kids went out to enjoy the sunny, warm (20 degrees!) day and the sun is still shining at 6pm, yay!

Our visitor last night. He came right up to the front gate and looked at us in the window as though asking to come in. The cat was absolutely terrified of that big thing outside the window.

I am thankful… for a good hockey season for the boys and that it’s over for another year.  It’s so worth it, but a lot of work.  I’m extremely thankful for awesome friends who were willing to take the boys with them to their away games so that Scott didn’t have to try to fit that into his busy schedule.

Mites vs parents end of season hockey game; Gabe is in the bright orange jersey.


I am creating … a jean skirt.  A favorite skirt of mine had worn through on the front from holding squirmy kids on my lap, so I took it apart and used it as a pattern. Here’s hoping it turns out well.

A recent project: a new dress for Lydia. She is thrilled with the style and fabric she picked out.

I am hearing… 6pm – little kids playing downstairs, the sizzle of hot oil and Scott giving Caleb tips on his cooking.

I am reading… some free kindle books while I try to decide which of the kids’ high school literature books to pre-read next.

In the kitchen… I’ve finished prepping food for tomorrow’s church potluck and now Caleb is trying his hand at making potato chips. The kids love to check out cookbooks from the library and have recently discovered that you can make fried foods at home. Scott made his delicious guacamole for supper tonight; I wish avocados didn’t upset my stomach, because it tastes sooo good.

Their first fried food experiment: rice balls.

A moment from my life…

Elaina had been licking out the brownie batter bowl and wanted to see her messy face so I used my phone camera to take a selfie of her.



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Ben’s Birthday

Double Digits! Ben wanted a hockey cake so I made it look like the lines on the rink.

One of his gifts was a kit to make his own moccasin slippers.

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Matthew’s Birthday

Can you believe this young man is 18 already!

His favorite cake is red velvet.

His first cell phone!

Card: I regret to inform you, but your childhood has expired.


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First Hockey Games of the 2020-2021 Season

So thankful that with all the other cancellations our hockey program is doing its best to keep going. This year we have Caleb playing 12U (Peewees), Ben playing 10U (Squirts), and Gabe starting out in 6U (Mites). This weekend we traveled to Tok for the first games of the season. Normally bush league weekends would include 3-4 schools, but covid restrictions mean only one ‘guest’ school at a time.

Ben – #28, Caleb – #27, Gabe – #26

For the first game Caleb threw on a red jersey to help even out the teams (we could identify him by his gold/blue socks) so he and Ben ended up playing against each other.

Caleb – Ready for the puck to drop

Ben enjoyed donning goalie gear for a couple of the 8U/10U games.

Gabe’s first hockey games!




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Looking out my window… it is clear, cold, and dark (6 ½ hours of daylight each day right now).  Daytime temps in the -10 to -15 range mean hockey practice has been cancelled the last couple days.

I am thankful… a good visit from my sister Deb and her kids. The kids had a lot of fun playing together and the weather was warm enough during their visit for them to enjoy playing in the snow.

Two 4-year olds (4 months apart) and two 3-year olds (3 days apart).

I am creating … new quilt for our bed. The one I made 17 years ago is extremely well worn and I keep finding pieces on the floor. I’m also making some Christmas presents for the older girls. Need to raid the fabric stash at church to finish making new pot holders, too.

I am hearing… 8:24pm – Caleb watching an episode of the “Lonesome Curator” with Scott; Kara washing her spoon after snitching a bite of leftover frosting; Lydia clicking away on her computer game; Matthew reading reviews on Amazon while trying to decide which gift to get his little brother.

I am reading… still working through my list of literature for the kids’ schooling. I haven’t been doing as much reading lately and need to get back at it.  Right now I’m working through Where the Red Fern Grows. I’m a fast reader, but these day have a lot of interruptions.

In the kitchen… I have been thoroughly enjoying the new stove. It is sooo nice to have so much room to cook and bake.  I like being able to cook dinner while canning and baking all 4 loaves of bread at the same time. The pile of recipes I’ve printed out has grown unwieldy so I’ve started working on updating my cookbook.

I can fit one of my big pans AND a regular pan at the same time!

In the schoolroom… it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster with our SPED program the last few months.  First we were told things had changed and the new psychologist could do an autism diagnosis. So we did a bunch of testing, found out it was the wrong tests, did more testing, and then we were informed that they couldn’t actually diagnose it. I wasn’t originally going to pursue this right now since trips to town with kids right now (during Covid) are not happening and no one seems sure who/where testing can be done in Alaska anyway. Both kids are on the ‘easier’ end of the autism spectrum, so my desire for a diagnosis applies more towards graduation and beyond rather than any changes in our day to day lives. So, right now, they both have an unofficial diagnosis of a strong possibility of being on the autism spectrum.  I am extremely thankful for the awesome SPED teacher we have here with Upstream who puts her heart and soul into working with the kids and juggling all the paperwork required.

A moment from my life…


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Elaina’s Birthday

Birthday breakfast cereal!

Auntie Deb made yummy cake!

Cousin twins – 3 days apart.

Showing Sharon the socks Grandma made.

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Scott’s Birthday

Grilling in the snow!

Half a century already!

Reading the cards the kids made him.

Catan card holders

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Lydia’s 16th Birthday

She wanted a blue dragon cake (like Saphira in the Inheritance Cycle books). I’m no professional cake maker, but she liked it. Kara helped by making the wings.

Her birthday wish was for an Elven cloak.

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Christmas in September?

Yesterday we had our 2nd annual Christmas gift family name drawing. Until a couple of years ago Scott and I picked out the gifts for our kids. However, as the kids grew older they expressed a desire to be involved in the gift giving.  With 8 kids, having everyone trying to get gives for everyone else would be difficult and expensive. So last year we tried doing a name drawing and it was a wonderful success.

Kara’s first attempt to paint a cake. I hope she practices this some more.

Whose name will I get this year?

The little ones were very excited about the gifts.

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