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!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Some pics of our new house

Front of house

Being winter the light is not every ideal for taking pics outside.  Here are a couple of pics of our new house.  The inside is a mess right now, so we'll have to settle for one indoor Hanukkah shot of our dining room :D

Back of house

Day 6 of Hanukkah

I'll add more when either the light is better or the house is cleaner ;)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cigar Box Guitars and homemade candy

Tim's newest Cigar Box Guitar.  It's his newest favorite hobby - making these guitars.

At Christmastime we made our own candy.   Here we are wrapping it up in paper.

This CBG is made out of a salmon box.  Isn't it cute?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

We went to a party last night with some friends for New Year's Eve.  It was one of the funnest parties I've been to in years for New Year's Eve.  We started with supper.  There were lots of people and good food at a lodge that is run by our friends.  The kids played outside a little and mostly hung out in the hot tub.  We adults played a game of Settlers of Catan, sat around playing/listening to old folk music and worship music, and chatted.  I am still recovering from this cold, but had fun just the same.

One interesting thing we did just as we brought in the new year was to get together with families and remember all the things that happened in 2010 and think of things we want to pray for in 2011.  For us, 2010 was huge changes.  A year ago we didn't know we would move to Alaska, and then we did.  We interviewed, packed, traveled across the country, took the ferry for 5 days, visited friends and found ourselved in a new setting living a brand new life.  Tim gave homeschooling a try and it didn't seem to fit.  The kids started a new school.  Jaedyn was challenged by seizures and meds and has overcome.  I began going to a Messianic church for similar values and then the kids have begun joining me.  At the end of September we bought a house - finally.  We started hosting a home group with our other church, and hosting a Bible study with other friends.  Jaedyn tried soccer and enjoyed it.  Ciara tried basketball and enjoyed it.  Josiah and Elly learned to read short words (Elly is much further along).  It was a great year.

On the ferry to Alaska

On the Bridge of the Matanuska

In Juneau at Mendenhall Glacier with the Cox Family

Moose in the backyard at our rental house

Jaedyn (yellow shirt in center front) playing soccer
Ciara blocking a shot in basketball

First day of school

One thing I'd like to do is get some pics of our new house for you all to see.  I hope your year in 2010 was wonderful too and will be wonderful in 2011 also.