Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cold and Dark

December is here.  Not much of a day any longer.  It is now 10:10 am and it seems more like 6-7 am.  We're getting snow but not enough to feel like Colorado :D.  

Work has gotten more like normal.  I've gotten out by 5 pm most of the week.  Nice.

Our family visited another church last week, but it didn't feel right.  I don't know if we'll ever fit in to the traditional church again.  After getting a taste of good preaching through Messianic circles, a dose of pediaphile befriending my teenage daughter, and too many years of shallow programming...  We're still looking but we would like to find something real:  believers who will talk to us two weeks in a row, walk with us through wherever the Lord leads us, be willing to discuss the unclear questions, ya know?

We put a up a Christmas tree this year.  It's pretty.  Maybe I'll post some pics soon.

Gotta go.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Summer and Fall 2011

Hey Y'all.  I guess it is time for something to be put down on this blog.  I guess you must all be wondering what happened to me.  Life just isn't the same since moving to Alaska.  I don't have any of the same habits as I used to.  I guess working 50 hours a week will do that to me.

I had a nice summer.  We went to Illinois and Missouri at the end of July/beginning of August and saw most of both sides of our families.  We also got to spend a day at Silver Dollar City.  I love that place and was so happy to be able to bring my family there.

In August I went on a long trip with my 14 year old daughter to Dawson City, canoed 3 days on the Yukon and thoroughly enjoyed camping and hanging out with her and the other junior high and 9th grade students and many parents.

In September my life started getting a little rocky and unpredictable.  I was subpoena'd to go to Denver at the beginning of October to be questioned before a grand jury in a case against my friend and former employer from Colorado.  It was very scary to be questioned before a lawyer and a detective and a DEA special agent for 4.5 hours.  I only spent about 20 minutes before the grand jury, but they also questioned the detective and the DEA agent separately after that and kept me in a witness room for an hour until it was over.  I've never had to do anything like that before. 

About the same time of my subpoena, the my former employer tried to contact me through the YWAM base in Colorado.  I asked the lady who was setting up my travels if it was okay for me to talk to him.  This was a big mistake.  She told the prosecuting lawyer that he tried to contact me and she called me and told me that he broke the terms of his bond by doing that.  Then she said that he said some really negative things about me (his lawyer told me that he didn't say them about me but about another employee who started all his trouble).  Anyway, they tried to send him to jail over it and this week he went back to court and it was all resolved nicely without him having to pay more bond or go to jail.  It is a big relief to me.  I did not have to go back to Colorado for this, and I am thankful for that too.  My name was on TV and in the newspapers in Colorado because of this and that wasn't very cool.

The whole thing, sadly, isn't over yet.  Next summer or fall the big case should go to court and I will likely have to go back for a week or more to testify again.  So far I haven't been charged with anything, but it is really scary and I often can't sleep because my mind is trying to resolve all of my unaswered questions.  Several people have encouraged me to get legal help, but I'm not sure I can afford it.  I'm not sure I can afford not to either.  I keep having to trust God in all of this.

I think this whole thing has turned my world upside down at work also.  I feel quite isolated and don't know who to trust.  It makes me sad when I hear negative things being said about me behind my back, and yet none of them comes to me and asks what has been going on or shows concern.  I used to love my job and felt like I was on good terms with everyone.  Now I feel like I only have a few friends in the clinic.  My best friend in the area works at the clinic and my MA has shown to be a good friend and I am thankful that they are there.  I do have a couple of other friends there too, but like I said above, it is really hard to know who to trust, and at times I get paranoid wondering if all this is going to be a threat to my job.

In October my best friend and I went to a conference on pain management in Seattle.  It was really good, and I appreciated learning all of the stuff on pain management outside of using narcotics. We enjoyed seeing Pikes Market, eating good food at a Nepali/Tibetan/Indian authentic restaurant, and doing some shopping too.

The snow has started since October 31, and we have about a foot on the ground.   Tim bought a snowblower today, and that will be a great blessing for him.

I guess that is about all my news for now.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

The beginnings of my Alaskan summer

I'm not sure where to begin posting about my last month and a half.  It's been busy here with long work hours, visiting relatives, soccer practices and games, trips to Seward and Homer for hiking and tide pooling.  My emotions and strength to deal with life have been a bit on the raw side and I've felt more in the mode of going with the flow then trying to mold anything constructive out of the chaos.

Shortly after my last post, school came to an end and the kids have happily been enjoying a carefree life of Wii Harry Potter Legos, reading and drawing and writing as they are apt to do.  We took a Saturday trip to the Exit Glacier near Seward with our friends Gary and Heather, their two daughters, and some new friends, Michael and Amy with their two daughters.  That was a nice relaxing day.

On June 9, Tim's brother Eric and his son Michael traveled up here from Illinois for a couple of weeks.  Eric and Michael and Tim took a fishing charter for a half of day on the Kenai.  Eric then joined a group of his friends in Anchorage for the next 10 days or so and traveled around the state seeing the sites while our nephew, Michael stayed with us.  He is 13 like my Ciara, and we very much enjoyed having him around.

One trip we did with Michael was to take him to Bishop's Beach in Homer at low tide followed by having a treat of a late lunch at a small bakery near by complete with hot chocolate and a choice of a baked good.  We discoved a lot of ocean critters in some rocky places such as hermit crabs, regular crabs, anenomes, starfish, echinoderms and interesting plant life.  I was in another world with seagulls flying around me.  The tide too soon ended our explorations as it quickly and quietly sank our Atlantis and left us scurrying to stay ahead of it before it closed our way of escape.  The bakery was near the parking area, and they obligingly allowed us to come in out of the cool wind to eat our homemade sandwiches and chips (with prior permission) in a side room, and drank their delicious cocoas topped with whipped cream in real mugs.  After our lunches, I let the kids choose from desserts offered like strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, lemon bars, chocolate or lemon cream-filled cupcakes, carrot cake cupcakes and chocolate mousse.  To my surprise and disappointment, none of them chose the oversized cinnamon rolls dripping with melted icing...  I didn't get any, but did get a taste of each different thing...

Other trips the family took with Michael and some with Eric while I was working or home with a sick child were a canoeing trip to Swanson Lakes, a hike to see the salmon climb the Russian River falls, and another trip to Exit Glacier.  Eric came back and spent 5 or 6 days with us before they returned and also took Michael on a whale-watching expedition with a charter out of Seward.  They saw whales, orcas, seals and sea lions.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Huffing and Puffing and Catching my Breath

Spring is a busy time, isn't it? Starting about 3 weeks ago my kids started getting sick. Crying or Very sad One child per week for about 5 days was sick on the couch with fever, vomitting then diarrhea. It went through my 4 year old, then my 6 year old then my 12 year old. This week my 13 year old started with it but she recovered after one evening of fever and had none of the stomach issues.  Fortunately for her she was able to leave the next day for a 3 day camping/horseback riding/rafting trip with her junior high class.

My dh hurt his shoulder girdle on the right working in the yard May 7, and hasn't been able to lay flat even at night since then. It has spread to his left shoulder in the mean time. He can't do much with his arms without causing a lot of pain. This has put a complete halt on our garden and yard plans. For a week I was working 45 hours, doing all the shopping, housework and cooking.  Dh is improving this week and is able to help with the shopping and some ordering and bills etc, but he still can't sleep in his bed. Fortunately we have a couple of reclining options in the living rooms and he seems to do okay in those.

I helped my 13 year old do a project for presentation regarding Japan - we got a perfect grade on it. Very Happy I went to an art and forensics presentation with my 6 year old. That was fun. Smile  She got first place doing this peice a week or two ago. She and my fifth grader also recently had their spring music concert - dh tried to do that too, but his shoulder killed him the entire time. Sad

While my 12 year old was home sick last weekend and Monday and Tuesday, she brought home a chick she had hatched at school.  She had it in a brooder box she had made.  The first night it peeped a lot.  Unfortunately she didn't get to enjoy it much before mean old mom made her bring it back to school so it could be brought home with another child who has the set up for raising chickens.

Thursday I was a parent sponsor with the first grade class. We went to Halibut Cove - taking a boat out of Homer. That was delicious fun! Laughing We did tide pooling. The little community there was so beautiful. One family has a little farm with horses and chickens and beautiful little greenhouses with cherry trees blooming inside and raised beds... Very inspiring! They also had a building that was an art studio - wow. My artist husband would have loved it. On the way back we went by this rock in the center of Kachemak Bay that is completely covered with terns and puffins and the like nesting. We also saw a few otters. I totally loved the entire trip.

Yesterday I was punished for my day off by having tons of work to catch up at work. Rolling Eyes

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Jae's 12th Birthday

My dd turned 12 today.  I am pleased that she has two good friends to share it with.  We had a cookout in our backyard for the first time since moving into our home last September.  Dh did a great job making some log benches and putting together a fire ring we found at Sportsman's Warehouse and keeping the fire going.  We got her a Harry Potter Lego set of Hagrid's hut, which she enjoyed putting together with her friends, although all of our friends and acquaintances here may think we are crazy that we let our kids (just Ciara and Jaedyn) read and watch Harry Potter.  (None of them actually said so, but none of them are familiar with it, so I am pretty sure it isn't allowed).

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Stewing over my daughter's snobby junior high class

It's so hard watching my beautiful daughter go through an entire year not making one real friend at her new school.  My daughter is talented and pretty.  She is nice.  The girls at school will not even talk to her.  Sometimes she will try to start a conversation.  She'll sit at a lunch table where they are all sitting, and try to start a conversation like, "do you like to go shopping"?  She knows they do because they talk about shopping at other times.  They answer no.  If she pulls up a chair to sit with them when she goes to get her food, the chair will be filled.  All year she has had to eat lunch alone.  She invited all the 7th and 8th grade girls to her house for her birthday in October.  Not one could bother to come.  Most of the time if she tries to talk to them they ignore her altogether and pretend they didn't hear her.  At the beginning of the year, the boys targeted her to tease her, but it got out of hand. I requested some help and the school did help to put a stop to it, but it didn't make anyone any nicer, just not as mean...  I wish we had an alternative option of a good school that would have hope of not being worse than this.  I am glad that Ciara's teachers are encouraging her in her academics and are nice to her, and that some of the high school students go out of their way to talk to her.  She doesn't want to change schools, but it sure would be nice if she could have at least one friend.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My talented children

Since this is my blog, I feel like putting in a little brag.

Today my 11 yo called me at work to tell me that she won 1st place in her age group in a poster contest for a local safety fair.  Her prize will be $50!  My 13 yo is one of three 7th graders in her school to be inducted next week into the Junior National Honor Society.  My 1st grader won two first place ribbons in forensics presentations - one for individual, and one for their group presentation.  Needless to say I am very pleased.  My boy (4) hasn't gotten an award, but I think I will make him one soon.  He has learned to read and do addition this year.  He can write all his letters and numbers one to ten.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

11.5 hours and 33 charts done...

At 4:30 this morning I woke up.  My stressed out mind wouldn't let me sleep any longer.  I got up after tossing and turning for 30 minutes and decided to go read a chapter in the Harry Potter book I am reading.  My alarm went off at 5:30 am but I was already awake.  I got up and got dressed and headed into the office.  By 6:30 am I was using my dragon to chart on the 21 charts of the past couple of days.  By the time I started seeing patients 2 hours later, I was down to having only 9 of them left, all from yesterday.  I saw 13 new patients today to add on 13 more charts to do.  By the time I left at 6 pm, I had only one chart left.  Whew!  I know I'll sleep better tonight!  I've heard some promising words of hiring another part time practitioner and adjusting our schedules to 16 patients...  Sweet relief!  Tonight I was able to be a much better mommy with my children, and I'm looking forward to getting home at a better hour tomorrow night!

Monday, May 2, 2011

I hate Mondays like today!

I'm so tired and grouchy! 18 patients were too many today (I'm a physician assistant). I could only chart on 3 of them, and I am behind on another 5-6 charts from last week. I was at work 10 hours and it is so discouraging to not be able to get it all done. I feel like I can't even think straight when I have days like that. Tomorrow I will have to go in at like 6 am to have any hope of getting my charting caught up. I already have 16 people scheduled to see tomorrow. It is very discouraging when one of the doctors is only seeing 2/3 of what she is supposed to be seeing and my schedule is overmaxed. I talked with my medical director today and she agreed with me and will be talking with the administration tomorrow morning, hopefully they will cap off Margaret's (a nurse practitioner) and my schedule at 16 a day. I know she is drowning right now also.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Passover 2011

Monday evening we had a great time with friends enjoying a Seder dinner, four glasses of wine (sparkling juices for those who don't drink), great music and lots of fun remembering how the Lord brought His people out of Egypt and looking at how it is such a great picture of Jesus' last days on earth.  It was our first passover celebration as a family and my second one with the Culver family.  I wish my camera would still work.  My video camera doesn't have a flash and doesn't take good still shots.  I haven't looked at all the video footage, but I think there's gonna be some good stuff on there.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Little Jaunt to Talkeetna

Mt McKinley (aka Denali here)

Our first meal was at the Twister Creek Restaurant

One of the little shops in town

A pizza joint

Local transportation (or used to be perhaps?)

The Roadhouse - worth the experience.  A place to grab affordable homecooked food and a place to lay your head

Inside the Roadhouse

This is the Chinook Winds cabin where Tim and I stayed with our family.  It was clean, affordable and we all slept great except Tim who forgot his c-pap machine.  We hoped to see some northern lights, but that didn't happen.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Skijoring - it's all the rage in Alaska

These dogs were brought to Victory Bible Camp for teaching participants of the Alaskan Becoming Outdoor Woman Conference to dogsled and skijor.  Aren't they beautiful?

In the yellow coat is my friend Margaret (I think) skijoring for the first time.  She was much braver than I to give this a try, but I hope to be able to give it a go next year!

Skijoring.  It's a wonderful thing.  First you take some well-trained dogs.  Add to that some skate skis or cross-country skis.  Mix them together with a harness to connect them well.  Finally say, "Let's go!" and the dog pulls the skier on the skis!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Our first week after the changes at work

I think this was our first week after the big changes, but honestly it all blurs together.  Maybe it has been two...  It has been awful.  I'm working most days from 8 am to 6pm and having trouble keeping up - even with the new dragon software.  I'm pretty tired when home too, and get irritable and snappy.  Some days I feel like I am drowning in UTIs, pain management, depression, anxiety and doing physicals for people who want to get into a drug rehab program.  I do a lot of well woman physicals, STD checks, a prescription refills.  What I enjoy most about my job is meeting some very nice people (patients and coworkers), getting a good salary (although I've recently learned that I am underpaid for my area), and some of the perks (CME trips).  It is a drag that my family doesn't get health insurance :(.  Lately I wonder how long the good things about my job will be worth the bad, and whether or when I should look into my options in this area.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

BOW Sunrise

I got some pics from my Becoming an Outdoors Woman conference.  I'll post some now and then.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I got a dragon to train today at work...

It is so cool and so fun.  It is learning to recognize my voice and do what I say!  It has troubles with some little words like "thin" and "boots" but understands the big ones like "ankylosing spondylitis" and "bruits".  I hope I can train it to save me time at work...

In case you haven't figured it out yet, my "dragon" is what they call my new computerized dication system at work.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Not Going Down with the Ship

Last night our life group from our church met in our house as it usually does on Wednesday evenings.  I was tired and feeling stressed about all the changes that were happening at work.  I wasn't sure how I would function in my brain at the meeting.  The meeting was awesome.  The love flowed between us all and we listened to a preacher called "TD Jakes" on CD.  That man can preach!  The message that I took home was that I shouldn't let the ship of my circumstances pull me down.  I needed to row away from it in the life boat of God's love.  Well, that wasn't the exact words.  Our sharing after the CD seemed to help me formulate that thought with the Spirit's help.  Anyway, the stress all lifted up off me.  I had a fine day at work today and was able to rise above the dark atmosphere that is prevailing there right now.  Praise God!

Today Eliana had dance practice.  She had to dress up in her recital costume and had pictures taken.  I wish I had a camera.  She looked so pretty and so did all the other little girls.  I can't wait to get her pictures back.

I guess that is it for now.  Hope you all had a great day today too.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rough Day

Today was a little rough at work.  The administration had to make some layoffs in our medical department which will affect us all.  Two of our six medical providers are being laid off and one of our behavioral health counselors also.  It is going to get ugly trying to see max numbers of people again when they leave.  We also will lose our xray tech, our financial technician, and three medical assistants.

When I got home from work, I had a teenager in crisis, a fifth grader who needed help on her math and a little boy who couldn't listen and ended up having a melt-down...  I wish I could have one too!  (Not really, but my neck is very stressed).  Once we got the kids all sorted out, I had to help my husband with paperwork for my daughter with special needs' Teffra Medicaid.  They ask for everything on that application from my income to how much we owe on our house to what we pay for phone and utilities and how much our vehicles are worth.  I'm not sure there is anything they don't know about our personal lives now!  I wouldn't do it except Jaedyn's medical costs are so high without it...

Well, I hope all my friends and family are having a better day and sleeping well (since most of you are probably asleep right now unless you are in Alaska too, or in Thailand, etc - then you are already living tomorrow...)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

March Update

Things seem to have settled down.  Life is moving on quickly.  I've had a little more time to read.  I've backed off from one of my two fellowships, and that has been good for me and for my family.  Our small group from our church has gotten really good.  We have had a couple of families struggling with major things - illness and layoffs, but the Lord has done wonderful things and it has been awesome to watch.

My dh put my daughter Jaedyn on a strict salicylate-free diet (Feingold), and it has been amazing.  She has been getting her homework done quickly or has not had any for almost a month now.  She has a good attitude almost all the time.  She isn't having her usual weekend break-downs.  She is a new person.  We did start OT/PT with her, which she loves.  Last week was her first week.

Alaska is giving us about 12 hours of daylight each day.  That is wonderful.  There is still a lot of snow on the ground.

I went to the BOW conference which was really fun.  I enjoyed shooting bows and arrows and learning to shoot rifles.  I met some new friends too.  One of them might be able to come and play Settlers of Catan with us.  She and her family live in Homer.

I need to go help my 6 yo finish her bath...

Sorry no pics.  My camera is down for the count...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Same Story Different Week

This was another brutally long week at work.  I put in over 50 hours and still couldn't keep up with the charting.  I lost my cool yesterday, but fortunately was able to keep my mouth shut.  A monumental task for me when I'm upset.

Tim and I are looking at schooling options for Jaedyn.  We've put all the kids on the Aurora Borrealis Charter School lottery list, but that doesn't look too hopeful.  She has her ups and downs, but it is hard to make a little girl go to school when it is so stressful and difficult for her.  Every Sunday she stresses out and often has a breakdown even as early as Saturday night knowing that Monday morning is approaching.  She did wonderfully well keeping up with her schoolwork and being done by the time I got home from work every day except Thursday.  That was miraculous.  Tim and I need to talk to the teachers again.  She needs tutoring or something in her weak areas, but I don't know if anyone at the private school there really can help us.  It looks like she may have to go public just to get the special help she needs.  She will start OT to help with her fine motor coordination again soon.  We've adjusted her diet severely again (which seems to be helping amazingly again). 

Looks like I'll be going skiing with her on Friday at Alyeska resort.  She wouldn't even consider going without me.  Should be fun.  The following weekend I get to go to a Becoming an Outdoor Woman conference up north around Palmer somewhere.  I'm thrilled to learn to shoot guns and bows and arrows and to learn bear safety.

One of my church groups is talking about becoming prepared for disaster.  This kind of thinking gets me stressed and I think adds to my early morning awakenings I've had this week.  I've sort of backed off.  I am praying that if we need to do this that the Lord would show Tim and that he would take on the task of researching what we'd need to do and setting about it.  The other women in the group are SAHMs or housewives


Friday, February 18, 2011

What a brutal week!

This week in the clinic I was seeing 12-15 patients a day and they were tough cases.  Where are all the colds and bronchitis patients that I so love to see?  I sent 2-3 to the hospital.  If they came in with a simple problem, they often had 3-4 problems!  Oh I am so glad this week is over!!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Relieved to not be homeschooling

After 6 years of homeschooling, I must admit, that it was hard to turn another direction.  I loved having the say in what happened with my kids, what they learned, who was able to be an influence on them.  However in the last year or two before I gave it up, I started having second thoughts.  My kids were not testing well.  I know that isn't everything, but it does show some things.  My kids might not be learning everything they need to know to succeed in this world.  They were only able to learn as much as I learned myself.  I consider myself educated enough to be able to teach my kids to do standard education.  After all, I got all A's through high school and most of college...  However, the niggling little thoughts wouldn't go away.  I'd hear about things my nieces and nephews or other kids were doing and it would sit heavy in the back of my head.  I was uncomfortable.  One of my daughters was draining me.  We spent our day doing the main subjects and ceased to be able to do any extras.  I couldn't do the fun stuff with my little ones to make their school fun either.  We were too far to take on sports or music, and the kids didn't have any friends.

Turn around one year later and my kids are in a private school.  They each are learning an instrument.  My youngest daughter has taken off with her reading by leaps and bounds.  The older girls are doing math that I started doing in high school in fifth and seventh grade.  They each have a sport they participate in.  The friends category is still on the short end, but overall I am relieved.  I feel good about what they are learning.  I know they are in a good place with good people who pray for them and desire for them to succeed.  The pressure is off my shoulders to do it all.  God is showing me that even though my kids aren't with me 100 % of the time, they are still with Him that long.

I know that our economy is not good.  There are many who think the end of the world as we know it is near.  I don't know what has brought them to that conclusion, but it makes me uncomfortable to hear it and to know that we just got ourselves into the biggest debt of our lives with the purchase of this house.  I think I'm in a good field.  I felt like the Lord told me that He did not want me to give up my license.  He even did a little miracle to ensure that that didn't happen January 2010.  This job was His leading, and I hope the house is part of His plan too.  At any rate, I hope that even if the world falls apart, my job will stand secure and so will the kids' school situation, or something as good.  I know that if my job falls through, God will continue to ever sustain us as our heavenly Father. Heck, if worse comes to worst, I've got six years of homeschooling experience, and I even know a little more now what school looks like in a good system, so I could emulate it a little better if I had to...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do you know what is in your food?

Where do I start?  My husband and I watched, "King Corn" and "Food, Inc" this weekend.  Gross!  If you haven't seen those movies go check them out at Blockbusters.  That is where we rented our copies.  I already have a hard time eating much of the stuff they call food in this world.  Now my standards just got way higher.

We already try to eat naturally and avoid artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.  Now it looks like we need to find a new source of meat - hunting, or grass-fed beef and, of course, fish - a super source of meat in Alaska.  I don't know what the farmer's markets are like around here.  How do you all do your shopping?  Where do you get your food?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fevers, Snow, Parent-Teacher Conferences

From a couple of posts ago you read that Eliana got a fever on Sunday night.  It ended up that she had it until Wednesday.  Fever and sleeping a lot and no other problems (except an elbow recovering from 12 hours of dislocation!).  As of last night, Josiah, 4, has the fever.  He had a good night sleeping.  Now the fever is low (99.1 down from 102.5 last night).  He doesn't even feel sick, but he looks a little puny and he is curled up in a ball on the couch...

We got a new dowsing of snow this week - the big heavy flake kind.  Our long driveway had my husband struggling.  He prayed for a better solution.  That afternoon he came home from shopping to find our new neighbor stuck in the snow with his 4-wheeler.  Dh got back in the Suburban and headed over to offer assistance.  His thanks?  The man came over with his 4-wheeler and blade and dug out our driveway... How's that for answered prayer?

I met with the girls' teachers this week.  Things seem to be going well enough.  Jaedyn still struggles with keeping on task.  Ciara still struggles with loneliness and not having friends and with frustrations doing her science.  Elly is still a delight to her teacher.  I'm pleased to find out that Elly is in the middle of her reading group.  She started out behind the class having joined in midway through the program they started last year...  My prayer is that we will find a way to help Jaedyn be successful and keep focused and stay on task.

I was happy to hear from a few of my missionary friends.  It is a blessing to hear of their successes and to know they are still out there serving the best they can.

Our computer crashed this week.  We've lost all our pictures since 2005 and our complete contact list...  I'm hoping that we can figure out how to get it back...

On the spiritual side of things, I've been reading about how gentiles fit into the Bible and trying to figure out my identity.  It is good.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Fun on the Peninsula

Saturday was a fun day for our family.  We met with some friends of ours and headed to Kasilof, Alaska to watch the Tustumena 200 dog race take off.  This was a new experience for our family and so fun to watch.  Next time we hope to get there a little earlier to see the dogs being put onto their sleds and being prepared for the race.

After the race was off, we drove back to Soldotna to their sports arena and enjoyed some kids activities such as jumping in a huge blow-up dinosaur, face-painting, hay rides, snow machine sled rides, kick sleds, and going down a big slide made of ice.  Before it got dark we took a ride around town to see some of the ice sculptures that businesses had made from huge blocks of ice that had been pulled out of a local pond by the rotary club.

Elly started a trend making a snow angel - soon all the kids were at it.

Joy loved this bear!

Heather and I and baby Hannah

Josiah doing a kick sled

All set for the snow machine sled ride

Jaedyn on one of the ice slides

Doesn't Josiah make a cute ice cube?

After we took a nice little rest at home, we came back for beef sandwiches from the train (above) that had been slowly cooking all day and ended the evening with a nice early show of fireworks.

Dislocated Elbow

Last night I heard my six year old howling in pain when she had been wrestling and playing with all the kids and my husband in the lower living room.  She was crying hard and long enough I figured that I should go and check out what was happening. (My husband had been there taking care of her at first).  When I got there, she was snuggled up against daddy and would not move her arm.  Her sister had pulled on her arm to help her get away from her daddy who had pinned her down with his legs.  The action had caused immediate pain to her elbow.  She wouldn't turn her hand over, and any type of moving of her body or her arm brought immediate shrieks of pain.  I knew right away what was wrong - she had nursemaids elbow - aka radial head subluxation.  The problem was that I had never reduced one or even seen one reduced.  I got on the internet and read how to do it.  I tried it one time to only be rewarded with shrieks of terror and pain by my sweet little girl.  Fortunately due to an unknown infectious process that hit her about the same time with a fever and fatigue, she fell asleep and only woke up to go to the potty through the entire night.  This morning I got her in with my colleagues who were able to fix her arm quite promptly, and teach me how to do it in the meantime.

It was such a relief to see my girl use her arm again to wave at the staff as she left.  She spent the rest of the day sleeping off her virus and even now is doing the same.  It is for times like these that I am glad that we aren't living in the bush.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spraying-Gurgling-Bubbling Toilet

Since some of my blog friends are homesteaders and live in winter wonderlands like us, I would like to share some of our experiences with home problems in case this becomes an issue for anyone else, you would know what to do...

In the past 24 hours our toilet started frightening my children when it flushed.  It would bubble up and spray all over the place when it was supposed to go down the hole from what seemed to be built up gases.

Incidentally we'd also been having sewer smells in our garage like a dried out trap from the old washing machine drain for the past week, in spite of my husband trying to put more water into it.

Today my husband figured it must have to do with a clogged vent on our almost brand new septic system.  He bounced his thoughts off his very helpful father in Illinois, who agreed, and then he climbed up a ladder to the vent shaft on the top of our roof.  There he found the 3 inch pipe to be completely frozen over and iced up quite a ways down.  He used a broom handle then a flat bar to clean it out, and presto it was fixed. 

It was eerie using the facility below him as he scraped out the pipe.  He hadn't told me not to flush while he was working so I did.  Fortunately the toilet flushed normally, and all that happened to him was a gust of sewer smells for a second...!  Oops!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bedtime prayer of a 4 year old boy

Lord, I need your help in this.  I just can't make paper airplanes or paper snakes or dragons.  I really need help in this.

Only in Alaska...

This is a sign on the wall at our favorite public swimming pool... check out the yellow sign on the right.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mt Redoubt

This is one of our favorite views.  As I understand it, Mt Redoubt is a volcano that last erupted about 3 years ago and is about 50 miles away across the Cook Inlet from us.

Friday, January 14, 2011

How to Find Real Food at the Supermarket (flowchart)

Many of you have probably already seen this posted on Facebook or another friend's blog (I saw it at Jenn4Him's blog).  I couldn't help myself...  I love it!  It was made originally by Summer Tomato.  If you like it, click on the link and let her know.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The YWAM Colorado at Cimarron Root Cellar

This is an adaptation of a blog post I made on my homesteadblogger blog back in September of 2007.  I loved this old root cellar where we lived in Colorado and hope some day to have one of our own.

This is the YWAM Cimarron root cellar.  I love it!  It has been there for over 20 years, and stores so much food for the base.  Much of it we canned during the summer and fall.  It also stored our veggies for the garden, our eggs, lots of bottled drinks from the food bank, and frequently even hung our big game until we butchered it.  Smelling of must and wood chips, the cellar with its cool temps and mouse droppings and food gathered with love and hard work, that old cellar was one of my favorite parts of the base.

Over the door was this nest.  I love it.  I didn’t see it while it had occupants, but to me it just added life to this wonderful old place.


There were actually two doors.  This helped to control the temperature, and also was bear-proof, which was very important up in the San Juan mountains.

Next is the right side of the cellar on the inside.  At times this can be nearly full of potatoes, onions, cauliflower or other fresh veggies.   When I took the picture it had some heads of cauliflower, a few potatoes and some cabbages.

On the opposite side we stored the canned goods and drinks.

In the back we had two of these bins that stored root veggies like carrots in sand.

I hope you enjoyed our little journey into the YWAM Cimarron root cellar.  If you have ever blogged about a root cellar, leave me a link.  I’d love to go visit it!