Monday, December 31, 2012

Good-bye 2012, Hello 2013!!

It's nearly 6pm on New Year's Eve. My family is nestled in their beds napping before tonight's festivities. I'm sitting on the couch enjoying the lights on the Christmas tree, probably for the last time this season. As I'm sitting here, I have many thoughts running through my head. 2012 was definitely a year of ups and downs. I could say this has been probably the most difficult year of my life. I could focus on just the negative things that have happened this year, and there have been many. But you know? Through it all, I have been blessed. I've been given an amazing family. Notice I didn't say a perfect family, but amazing. We've been through a lot of hard times this year. In the end, I think we've come out a closer knit unit, for the most part. We're learning to communicate a lot more, which is something we have lacked. We've spent a lot of time doing things together, and a lot of time doing things for others. We made an effort this year to do a lot of giving throughout the holiday season in particular, and the kids LOVED it! Through all of the hard times, God has given me an amazing husband. Even though sometimes the hard times have been a result of a problem in our marriage (I'll be transparent and admit that), he has been amazing. Our marriage easily could have ended this year. But, it didn't. Instead, we're taking steps to make it flourish, mostly because of the steps Mike has taken and the changes I've seen in him. I am blessed. God has given me some AMAZING friends. Without them, I never would have made it through the rough times this year. They've prayed for me, encouraged me, just let me be if that's what I needed, even given me advice if necessary. I used to say that I didn't need friends. As long as I had my family, that was all I needed. I guess that means the friends I have now are like family. God blessed us and gave us some amazing vacations this year! We were able to take a few days and travel to Valdez with my parents and brother. Even though some of us were sick for that trip, it was still an enjoyable time. Shortly after that we took the kids and went on a 10 day vacation to Anchorage/Seward. We had a lot of fun on that trip. I'm thankful the Lord provided a camper for us to use. Close quarters, yes. Sometimes that's the best way to spend time together though. I'm hoping we have the opportunity to do something similar to this trip next summer. We'll see how it all plays out. I should mention a very big blessing that occurred in 2012...Mike returned home from Afghanistan. This deployment was very difficult on our family, so I sure was glad it was over. I would like to say he will never deploy again, but that is likely not the case. However, I try not to think about it. Even though we faced a lot of trials this year, I do have much to be thankful for. God has given me so much more than I deserve. I am looking forward to 2013. I've got some changes I need to make in my own personal life. Now is the time to do it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Knitting

Ok, so it's not really knitting...crocheting would be the appropriate term. Mikayla made these scarfs for her friends. She picked each color based on what she thought each girl would like. Mikayla has such a tender heart. I am thankful for her! By the way, the pattern is the Chain Loop Scarf. You can find it on Ravelry. The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun. A bulky yarn would work fine too!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All Things Christmas

I've been consumed with the busy stuff. Knitting Christmas gifts, baking cookies to give away, etc. We are truly enjoying the Christmas season, even though it is busy. We are attempting to teach our kids that its better to give than to receive. Yesterday, Mike pointed out to me that I melted my spendy winter jacket while putting wood in the stove. I was very sad, as we had just spent a lot of money at the post office mailing gifts. Quite a bit more than I had anticipated. Double what I had anticipated. So, to come home and realize I would have to purchase another jacket, I may have over reacted a wee bit in the tears department. As Mike and I were browsing jackets at landsend, Benjamin brought over a $20 bill, and Katie offered a donation as well. Of course we didn't really need it, we didn't take it, but it warned my heart and made me cry even more. Generosity in kids is a hard thing to find these days. We are definitely blessed.

Christmas knitting? I have more in the works, but these two scarfs needed to be mailed. They are ruffle scarves using KP Swish Worsted. I love that yarn. I will try and post a link later when I can actually get on my laptop again. A certain puppy chewed my charging cord. Good thing she's cute.

Monday, November 5, 2012

This Is How She Bakes

We studied Maryland and Virginia this past week using Paths of Settlement. I am bad about the cooking portion. It seems as though we run out of time, or we don't have the ingredients, always something. This week was easy. Pound cake. Who doesn't have the ingredients for pound cake? So, Liberty decided she would make it. Benjamin and Mikayla chose something else we haven't gotten to yet. I snapped a picture of Liberty baking. She certainly is my light in the storm. This child cracks me up on a daily basis.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Yesterday we drove to Anchorage. I finished a pair of Bella mittens. I also started another pair. I'll show you those later. For now, here is the finished pair, pre-blocking...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Winter Is Here

This morning, we woke up to snow. It seems as though the temperature dropped rather suddenly about a week or so ago, and it's getting dark. Winter is upon us. I have mixed emotions. I'm ready for a slower pace, but not sure I'm ready for the cold. However, I'm thankful my husband is here to help me this winter. That is certainly a blessing. :-)

Friday, October 12, 2012

I Just Want To Knit...

I don't want to do laundry, I don't want to finish butchering pigs, I don't want to go grocery shopping, I don't want to prepare for my upcoming trip to Anchorage, I just want to knit. That is all.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A New Project.....Mittens!!!

I have pretty much finished the baby sweater I was working on. I just need to block, purchase a button and snap, and sew them on. I'm hoping to complete it this weekend. In the meantime, I've started a new project...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sanity During School

Some days, you just need to take extreme measures to keep your sanity during school. Today may have been one of those days. A knitting project and an Arnold Palmer made the day better. In case you're wondering, that's a "Neck-Down Cabled Baby Sweater." We won't talk about the fact that started this project in June and just divided the sleeves yesterday. We also won't talk about the fact that I have only completed one knitting project since I've lived in Alaska. I must do something to change this.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Trailguide to Learning

We are using Trailguide to Learning's Paths of Settlement this year. It's one big huge all inclusive homeschooling program. Well, maybe not all inclusive. You so have to add math to cover all of the bases. We are finishing up lesson 4. I love how its broken down into manageable parts to do each day. I love how everything is all right there for me. I just open the book and go. I will say, it's a ton of printing. You can order the student note booking pages already printed. I didn't do that this year. I will next year, most definitely. We've enjoyed the books we've read so far. I am using the middle school supplement for Mikayla. That way, the curriculum works for all three of the kids. Katie does her own thing, considering that she is in high school. I've heard (or read) that some people don't think it's a heavy enough curriculum. Personally, I think it's plenty. There are a number of enrichment activities to assign, as well as additional reading and websites to peruse. If I assigned every single thing there is to choose from, our school day would be way too long.
Another thing I really like? Our science is actually getting done. Since its written into the curriculum, it's easy to just move on to the next thing and get it done. We've made a rain gauge as well as done some other things to learn how to observe weather.
Want to know what my kids favorite part of Paths if Settlement is? Cooking. They love choosing a dish out of "Eat Your Way Through the USA" to go with whichever two states we learned about that week. I will admit, I don't stay as on top of the cooking as I should, so we are a little bit behind in that area, but they remind me about it daily.
If you're looking for a way to change up your homeschool, look at Trailguide to Learning. I think you'll love it!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Long Time Coming

Many years ago, when we first started talking about coming back to Alaska (probably even before that), I told Mike I wanted a grizzly bear to hang on the wall. At that time, we didn't even have a wall to hang it on. Now we do, and it's a good thing. This beauty came home with my husband yesterday. I can't wait until he's ready to hang on our wall! It'll be a while. Apparently it can take up to a year for the taxidermist to finish with it!!!!! I will have to work hard to be patient for that long.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Year of Changes

I didn't realize until I logged onto my blogger app that it had been a year to the day since I had last blogged. How awful is that? It's been a busy year. We bought a house, Mike returned from Afghanistan, Devin graduated from high school, plus many other difficult things that I don't care to relive through my blog. However, I need to blog again. My husband likes it when I blog. Plus, I am horribly behind in my scrapbooks. Don't you think an active blog is a good way to keep track of what we do as a family? Lord knows I can't remember what I did yesterday much less 6 months ago. If I actually take time to blog, I'll be able to go back and look!!!! So, we will see how this goes. Right now, Benjamin is at his violin lesson. It is a sunny fall day, so I'm sitting in the truck with the windows down listening to him play. Thankfully his teacher left her door open so the sound comes out nicely!!! I am enjoying some "me" time. I brought a stack of books and my knitting. A glorious day indeed.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mobile blogging? Yes, please!!!!

Someone told me you can blog from your phone. I'm testing it out...