Sunday, December 29, 2013

Catch Up, 2014 Ponderings

I know I'm behind in my December Daily. I did take pictures, and I have documented them on the Project 365 app on my iPhone. I'm hoping to transfer all of that documentation to my blog within the next few days. Anyway.... I've spent some time the last couple of days thinking about the coming new year. I've never been one for New Year's Resolutions. They typically aren't kept, so why waste time pondering them? That being said, there are many areas in my life that need change. Many physical health, my marriage, the way I run my home, my mothering skills, finances, my spiritual life. You may say, "Well that includes pretty much every area of your life, doesn't it?" I would say yes. So, I'm not going to call them New Year's Resolutions. I'll be calling them goals. I need a bit more time to get my list of goals together, but you can expect to see list soon. I don't like to fail, especially not publicly, so perhaps I'll use my blog for accountability.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 6

Today was Benjamin's Birthday. He's 12!!!! How did that happen? We had stayed up late working on his "cake" and I had to work early. So, in order to keep the tradition of streamers on the door going, I asked Katie for help. I usually just tape streamers going every which way. Not so much with Katie. She very methodically hung them. She did a fantastic job!
When I got home from work, we raced to the Nutcracker. Due to an ice storm, Mike didn't have to work so he was able to attend with us. 
Presents!!!! What's a birthday without presents??
Benjamin got a fancy new gun from Boppa!!!!
Benjamin had seen these Minecraft "cakes" on YouTube and decided that's what he wanted for his birthday. I say "cakes," but they are really rice crispie treats covered in fondant.  They're made to look like the cake you would make if you played the Minecraft game.  We had fun making them together!!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 5

Mikayla needed a treat to bring to her leadership team Christmas party. Cupcakes it was!!!
I hung these decorations on the kitchen cabinets to hang Christmas cards on. Thanks to Pinterest for this idea!!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 4

I love the view of my road in the winter time. So very beautiful. I consider myself blessed to live here. 
We had a visitor at the school table!!!! Liberty put Yukon on her lap and this is what he did! He's quite the people liking puppy, that's for sure! 

Katie and I did a bit of decorating. She helped me fluff the wreath and then hang it. 

Mikayla knew I had been looking for a lantern like this. We had seen one at Joann's but it was $70!!!  Too spendy for me! She went shopping at Pier 1 Imports with her friends on Black Friday and found this lantern for a much better price. She bought it for me so I could decorate with it! Love that girl!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 3

Tuesdays are a very busy day for us. We do school in the morning and I attempt to walk on the treadmill. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. The girls have piano from 12:30-2 and Benjamin has violin from 2:30-3. Crazy!!! Sometimes, Benjamin and I do a lil' something special while the girls are at piano. Today was no different. A New Mexican restaurant opened in North Pole. Benjamin treated me to lunch! 'Twas yummy! I'm thankful for these precious moments alone with him.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December Daily #2

Someone took this picture on my phone without me knowing. The things I find on my camera roll crack me up. 

Bright and early Monday morning, the kids let Yukon out of his crate to discover he had messed himself. Doesn't everyone want to bathe their puppy before they themselves have even bathed? Oh well. At least it was quick and I did have helpers. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 1

I've attempted to do a December Daily album in the past and not been successful. I'm going to try again. For about the 5th time. Maybe I'll be successful? I'm going to try and do my journaling here, that way I can easily copy it into an album....when I purchase one. 

We haven't used our regular Christmas ornaments since we moved to AK. This is our 4th Christmas here. So, it's been a while. My husband bought me a beautiful new 7.5ft pre-lit artificial tree this year. The kids asked if they could use the old tree downstairs for their ornaments, since they knew this years theme would be red, green, white and silver. I couldn't think of any good reason NOT to have two trees, so we said yes. When they put the tree together we all commented in how ugly of an artificial tree it was and how we couldn't believe that had been our main tree for two years in a row. Ha!!! Once it's decorated, it looks beautiful. Watching the kids go through the boxes of ornaments and tell the stories of whose was whose and when they got each one was so fun to listen to. I've caught the kids periodically standing in front of that tree just gazing at the ornaments. So many memories tied up in that tree. I'm glad I decided to be a yes mom and let them decorate it. <3

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Before Thanksgiving?

Liberty has wanted a Christmas tree in her room. She finally got her wish. She was so excited she had to put it up right away!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Winter Storm

We had a pretty bad winter storm last week. I know, I know…we live in Alaska. We should be used to winter storms. However, this isn't typical for us. We don't usually have the wind here in the Interior and we don't have ice. At least I don't think we have ice. Perhaps we do. I think we have had an ice storm for the last three years? But trust me, it's not normal. Public school was even cancelled for three days last week. When we lived in AK in 1998-2001 I don't remember school being cancelled at all! That doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Anyway, we received snow, ice, more snow, wind, etc. Really strong winds. Somehow, Mike and I slept through the howling wind. We even lost a very large spruce tree in the front yard. Mikayla heard it fall, saying it sounded like a gun shot. No one else heard it. Very strange. We lost power about 11:30 Wednesday night. It came back on about 8pm Thursday. We are very thankful for our wood stove. It kept our house toasty warm. It was relatively warm outside, so we didn't really have to worry about pipes freezing. Some people are still without power, days later. It's also starting to get into below zero temperatures. Not a good mix. I had to work Thursday, and Mike went in for a few hours. The kids played Dominion by candlelight. Fun times!

Monday, November 11, 2013

It's a Winter Wonderland!!!

The snow is finally here to stay!!!! We had an abnormally warm October. We loved it, most definitely. However, we were ready for snow. Who wouldn't be? It's absolutely beautiful!!!!!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

In Which We Lose Our Minds

Just about this time last year, we got a puppy named Marlee. She was total cuteness and devil at the same time. Sadly, she passed away this summer. We decided to wait until Spring to get another puppy. After spending some time this summer with my brother's dog Piper, an Australian Shepherd mix, I thought maybe that should be the kind of dog we should he. That was before I knew how difficult they would be to find up here and how much they would cost!!!! Some have asked us why we even wanted another dog since we already have two. So, I'll spell it out for my many readers. :-)
1. Our current dogs are gettin older. 
2. Mike wants to try ski-jouring. 
3. Liberty is obsessed with dogs and would love to teach a dog tricks!!!
4. Puppies are cute!!!!

Fast forward to Thursday. I had just clocked off work and checked Facebook on my phone as I was walking through the store. Someone (or a couple of someones) had posted a picture of a couple of adorable Golden Retriever mix puppies at the local animal shelter. I've always loved Goldens. I took a screenshot of the Facebook posting and called Mike. He was rather surprised at me asking him if he thought we should get one. His initial response was no. Then he called me back and asked for a picture. Conveniently, I had taken a screenshot and could send it swiftly. Which I did. :-). After he viewed it, he called me back and said they are awfully cute. So, off I went, to the shelter to meet these puppies!!! There were three, but only two were left. Liberty and I were able to meet both of them. We chose the one we wanted and filled out the adoption paperwork. He needed to be neutered before we could bring him home. We were finally able to pick him up last night. He is so sweet!!!! The shelter guessed he's about 10 weeks old. Someone had dropped them in the overnight box at the shelter on the coldest night of the year. It was about fifteen below zero that night. Breaks my heart that those puppies were outside that night!!!  Some might not think we were the smartest people to get another dog, and maybe they are right. But for now, I'm going to enjoy the ute puppiness. We've had him for a little over 24 hours now and I still think he's cute. Blog friends, meet Yukon!!!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


The new furniture upstairs means we were able to put the old love seat downstairs. Now I can nap on said love seat and enjoy the warmth from the woodstove. Cozy. Very, very cozy. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Great Find!!!!

WWe've been looking for new furniture for a few months, at least. I did find a chair and a half to put downstairs for free on Craigslist a couple of months ago. That was the ultimate find. However, free living room furniture that is nice is really hard to come by. There was this one living room was free...or maybe it was $50. I can't remember. In excellent condition. Except it smelled.  Bad. I'm not too upset that we didn't end up getting that one. :-). So, we've been looking. On Craigslist. Multiple for sale boards on Facebook. It's not that we couldn't find anything that we liked, because we did. We liked lots of sets that people were selling. Here's the deal...people ask too much money for used stuff!!! I mean, if it will only cost us a couple of hundred dollars more to get brand new, I would rather have brand new! We still have 4 kids at home...and currently two dogs. We are rough on furniture. I didn't want brand new because it's likely it'll only last us a couple of years. So, we looked.  And looked. And looked some more. Last night, someone posted a sectional couch. For a very reasonable price. We went and looked at it today. It is in grey condition, doesn't smell, and the price was right!!! It does look a little awkward in our living room. I think it's because we aren't used to it. Hopefully we will grow to love it. Both ends recline, there are two storage compartments AND four cup holders. It remains to be seen if the cup holders are a good idea though. :-)

Bad Blogger

I'm such a terrible blogger. I've been meaning to blog for a long time now. Months. A lot has happened since I last blogged. I don't have many readers, so I doubt anyone actually noticed I haven't blogged. But you know what? I don't blog for other people. I should really be blogging so I have memories written down. I've forgotten so many details of my kids lives when they were little, so many details of a lot of my life. Age does that to a person I guess. If I were a better blogger, I would be able to go back through and read the details of my life that I may have forgotten. Perhaps I should endeavor to be a better blogger!!!! I need to make it a routine. There's no excuse. I have a blogging app on my phone and Ipad. It really only takes a few minutes. Here's hoping I become a better blogger!!!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Trailguide to Learning Books

Yes, I know its summer vacation. However, we took a lot of time off throughout the year for various things; So, we are still plugging along with Paths of Settlement. We really love Trailguide. We are definitely planning to continue with Paths of Progress as soon as Settlement is finished. I'm super excited about the new high school supplement they came out to go along with PoP. That means Mikayla can continue to study right along with us!!! One thing I don't like is, printing all of the pages. I thought it would work well, but it doesn't. There are days we don't do PoS because I didn't think ahead and print the pages the night before. So yesterday, I printed all five lessons we have left in the unit we are working on. We've already finished the first lesson. Today, I took them to an office store to see how much it would cost to have them spiral bound. Less than $15 for all three!!!! I think I am going to love this. No more keeping track of papers, worrying about whether they filed them in the right place in their binders, no more enormous binders sitting on the table, etc. I think I should have printed the papers two-sided. But, I didn't Perhaps next time I'll try that. In case you're wondering, I ordered PoP papers already printed. :-)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Testing Something New

For some reason, I never blog from my laptop. I always blog from my phone. Do you know how much of a pain it is to type out a blog post on a touch screen? Yesterday, at the IDEA curriculum fair, I purchased a keyboard for my Ipad. I'm not sure how much I'll like it. The keys are small and I have man sized hands. I'm hoping I'll get used to it and it'll increase my blogging!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Belated Birthday

Mikayla was finally able to have her birthday party with her friends. It was a masquerade party. I love this picture I took of her. She's growing up to be a beautiful young lady with a tender heart.

Determination much?

Thursday was take your daughters/sons to work day. I worked a few hours in the floral department that day. I took Mikayla and Liberty, but only seem to have one picture on my phone. I'll have to get the pictures my friend took with her camera. Liberty was helping blow up balloons for an order, which can be a bit scary. Her face is hilarious...


These baby goats came to live with us about a month ago. We are having a BLAST with them! They are still bottle fed, which is hilarious!!!!! They go absolutely crazy for their bottles. Their names are Sugar and Spice. They will be market projects for the fair. Currently, they both fit in an extra large dog crate, though they won't for much longer. We are working in their "barn" which is really an outdoor shed, but I think it'll work great. We are really enjoying these goats much more than we though we would.


There has been a lot going on around here these days. I've picked up a part time job, so we are all adjusting to that. Thankfully my hours are fairly flexible. This week I worked 4 days...surprisingly, we accomplished all of the school work that needed to be done!!! Praise The Lord! I should mention, when I say 4 days, that equated to 19 hours. Big whoop. Ha!
The girls have been helping me with some decorating projects. Katie painted the bathroom for me. They've both been working on painting the downstairs bathroom. I'll share that another day.
This bathroom is our upstairs bathroom. We painted it the same color yellow as my bathroom, which we painted last spring. I added new towel and toilet paper holders, as well as a new medicine cabinet, shower curtain and pictures. I also painted the light. I should have taken a before picture, but I didn't. It was an ugly silver that was rusting. I used a brown hammered metal paint. I LOVE how it came out!!!
We have no towel storage upstairs. I know, it's silly. We do have a linen closet downstairs, but it's a sorry excuse for a linen closet at this point. I found the idea using the crates on Pinterest, of course!!! I painted the crate the same color as the light. I am going to make another crate exactly the same and install it directly above this one. I also plan to get a new vanity and sink. Hopefully soon. :-).
We are having a blast finally decorating our house!!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I've been looking for a tasty granola recipe for quite some time now. One that requires normal ingredients. This one fits the bill! Benjamin declared this my best granola yet! Thanks to a friend who posted the recipe on Facebook. I'm sharing it here so I know where to find it in case I misplace it. :-)

Spiced Vanilla Granola

4 cups thick rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 C freshly ground flax seed
1 C chopped nuts
1/3 C coconut oil
1/4 C maple syrup or agave
1 Tbsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In large bowl mix together dry ingredients. In saucepan, combine coconut oil, sugar and syrup. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring regularly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture, stirring well.  Transfer to cookie sheets.  Bake, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Cool completely. I added a handful of chocolate chips. Yumm-o!!!!!
Isn't the glass jar I used cute? I got it for Christmas. I believe from Katie. I just love the chalkboard label!
There has been some decorating taking place. I'll share soon. Rumor has it my bathroom will be painted by the weekend!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Mike has left us for a fairly short period of time. He's enjoying the warmth of the South right now. The girls and I are planning to get some decorating done while he's gone. I'm ashamed to say, we've been in our house for more than a year, and I've done very little decorating. I painted the kitchen with the help of some friends. I did paint one bathroom, although that's as far as I got. So, I present to you decorating project number one of hopefully many more to come.

Frame: Ben Franklins - $35
Chalkboard Paint: Ben Franklins - $11

That's it, my friends! I've never worked with chalkboard paint before. Easy peasy!!!! The can says it adheres to glass, but I was hesitant to believe what it said. I'm here to say, it works!!! I haven't told my husband about this project yet. I'm hoping he will love it. When our girls first started taking piano lessons, he commented on their teachers chalkboard pantry door that she used to announce the dinner menu. I scoffed and told him to erase that thought from his mind, it wasnt happening. But a frame, a frame I can do. We shall see what he says. I will tell you a secret...I am worried about doodling. Am I the only one with doodling kids? I'll have to hide the chalk. I know I'll find doodling on it all the time!!! Oh, one Pinterest pin I read says you can use Bistro Markers on chalkboard. What in earth are Bistro Markers? I'll have to google.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A New Week

We've had a crazy few weeks. We've had a rough time getting back on track from an extended Christmas break. Last week, Mike left for a school at Ft. Benning. Katie returned from her extended vacation to NY and KY. So, it's time to get the school bus rolling. This is how I started my Monday...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yard Visitors

For the last couple of days, we've had some guests in our yard. A momma and baby moose. The baby appears to be last years calf. They both visited quite a while yesterday. The baby even laid down and napped a while. They left, only to return a while later. Today, we didn't see the baby. So, not sure if it was the same mama moose or a new one. Devin went outside to bring in a couple of loads of firewood. Much to his dismay, he couldn't because the moose was there again!!!! Poor Devin.

Monday, January 14, 2013

In Which We Do School

If you're Liberty, this is how you would listen to today's read-aloud...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Delish Dinner

I made a DELISH dinner last night. Well, most of it was delish. The chicken wasn't my favorite. The rest of my family LOVED it. Me? I loved the sweet potatoes. Oh my heavens. I could have eaten an entire plate of them. I will definitely be making them again. BUTTER-PECAN SWEET POTATOES 8 medium sweet potatoes (5 lbs.), or one per person olive oil course salt 2 T. butter, cut into small pieces 2 T. light brown sugar 1/3 c. pecan pieces 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel potatoes and halve lengthwise; slice crosswise 1/2 inch thick. On a baking sheet, toss potatoes with olive oil (we brush it on both sides); season with salt. Transfer half the potatoes to a second baking sheet; cook both sheets until potatoes are tender, tossing occasionally, 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with butter, brown sugar, pecan pieces and cayenne pepper, dividing evenly. Bake until sugar is carmelized and hard, about 10 minutes. Toss gently; serve immediately. Serves 8. **Definitely double the topping. I didn't, and wish I did.** ***I thought 5 potatoes was going to be enough. It wasn't. I'll definitely use 8 next time.*** I didn't take pictures. I will share the blog post where I found the recipe though. She has pretty pictures. You'll also find the Monterey Chicken recipe there. It was too cold to grill last night, and we don't have a George Foreman. So, I pan fried the chicken. Which was probably my mistake. I'll grill it next time for sure. Tonights dinner is a real family pleaser as well. Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese. Oh my. Is it dinner time yet???

Friday, January 4, 2013

Home Ec with Friends

One of my New Years Resolutions is to be more active with the kids. My kids do a lot of activities, but that doesn't always mean I am involved. I need to change that.
Melissa and I decided a couple of months ago that we were going to get together and make pillowcases with the kids. It just took us a little while to actually make It happen. We found the tutorial on Pinterest. Imagine that!!!! Very easy instructions. I got to Melissa's house with 3 of my kids around 9:20. All four of the pillowcase making kids were finished by noon. They rocked it! This was Libertys first time using the sewing machine. She was nervous, but did fabulous!!!! Mikayla came home and made 3 more pillowcases. Two for Benjamin, and two more for herself. We bought fabric for a couple of Christmas pillowcases to tuck away for next year. She will be entering them in the fair this summer. Fun times!!