Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Josiah learns to ice skate

This is the week when the ice finally froze solid enough that we could go and have some fun.  On Saturday we went out and my oldest daughter and my husband worked hard to clear the tall grasses in a place that we could play on.
Then Josiah decided to go get his ice skates that he had gotten from a garage sale this summer and put them on.  He has never ice skated, but he picked it up pretty well.

I've heard of people using chairs to help people learn to skate, so I brought an old desk chair out from the house for him to use.  Unfortunately it wasn't as heavy as it needed to be, so it would fall over if he fell backward.  It did work to have the kids ride on across the ice though!

After a while we pulled an old milk carton out of recycling and played a form of soccer on the ice.  That was fun!  I only fell a few times...  Our other daughter, Eliana, was out there too, but for some reason I didn't get any pictures of her sweet little self.  I was pretty comical because I went out in my dress and boots, so it was probably a good thing no pics were taken of me!

The next day my 13 year old came down with an upper respiratory infection that has sore throat, fever, runny nose and aching all over.  She's still sick.  It is hard to get that girl fattened up when she can't eat, or to keep up her school work, for that matter!  Sigh. :(

Another thing that has been on my mind are essential oils.  I joined up with DoTerra as a PVC (whatever that stands for) so that I can get my oils discounted.  I've got Jaedyn taking vitamins for her health, oils for her infection, oils for her seizures, and now I also have a diffuser for aroma therapy.  Here's hoping for a great turnaround in her health.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Out with the Fall, In with the Winter

Ciara worshipping during one of our Sukkot feasts

Ciara starting the new Torah cycle
Our family celebrates the Biblical holidays prescribed in Leviticus.  This month Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) came upon us October 1-8.  We celebrate this with a nightly feast, building a sukkah (a temporary shelter), and doing special activities throughout the week.  We finished the 8 days of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) on the 8th of October with a special holiday called "Simchat Torah" (Rejoicing of the Torah).  This is my first year to celebrate Simchat Torah, which we were able to do with our fellowship.  Traditionally Jewish people have a Torah reading cycle that begins and ends with Simchat Torah.  We read through all the "Torah" (first 5 books of the Bible) in pre-prescribed sections throughout the year and then start again.  In our fellowship we have a "real" Torah scroll that is stored in a special cupboard that we get out on Simchat Torah that we allow each person to hold while blessings are said over them regarding the Lord making the Torah a blessing to them throughout the new year.  Everyone takes it very seriously, and there is much rejoicing and dancing following a feast.  I was very blessed by this, and I know my children were also.  My daughter, Ciara, did some of the Torah reading before the fellowship, which was also very special.

This is what might happen if you fall asleep during Sukkot!
On Friday night, my husband stepped out the door and about 11:45 PM to go pick up one of my daughters from a school function.  He was immediately struck by the awesome aurora borealis lights that were there and called me and my other 2 daughters to come and watch.  We watched the lights swirl and careen across the sky for 20-30 min.  It was the best northern lights I've ever seen!  Unfortunately my camera is not good enough to take pictures of these.

The weather temperatures dropped this week and we have had 2 days of snow.  Today it is sunny with a couple inches of snow on the ground.  On Monday while it was snowing, I walk to the bluff in front of our clinic and was able to watch 3 otters swimming in the river for a little while between patients.

This is our yard with our new lake during our first snow.  Unfortunately you can't see the lovely snow falling here.

A prayer request:  My second daughter may have had 2 mild seizures this morning.  We really don't want to have to put her back on medication.  I know God can heal her.  We will be trying to improve her nutrition and use natural remedies.  Please pray with us.

A shot of Mount Redoubt on a lovely fall day

I was caught by the beauty of the clouds hanging low with the Kenai boat port in the foreground

Saturday night my two youngest and I went to McDonald's to celebrate the first snow of the year with ice cream.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Introducing Susan Stevenson Photography

In case you haven't noticed, I have a new blog template.  It was time for a makeover.  I went through what pics I had at home, but couldn't make any of mine fit my template, so I decided to turn to one of my favorite Alaskan photographers for help.  I have been following Susan Stevenson's blog of her photography for several months, and always enjoy what she posts.  You can go there and see some of her stuff.  I'm sure she'd appreciate it.  She also is making up a calendar for sale if you are interested.  Go to her blog and enjoy:  Susan L. Stevenson's Photography.

Thanks, Susan for your wonderful gift that you share with us, and for allowing me to use your picture as the header of my blog.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall update

   Over the past couple of weeks there has been rain, rain and more rain.  Finally, this weekend, the rain settled and we started seeing cooler temps (frost on a couple mornings) but dry skies for the most part.  The property next door to ours, an empty lot, has again filled with water (the low point on our hill), and we have a lake-front property.  Funny thing is, I kind of like it!  I know it took most of the summer for the snow melt to disappear from there, and in the meantime we got to enjoy watching sandhill cranes and other water fowl nesting there.  Tim said he saw 8-9 ducks there this past week too.  Personally, I'm looking forward to the temps dropping and having a place to ice skate.  There are a lot of grasses sticking up out of the water, but I think if we play on it enough, those will disappear and we'll have new ice form on top and create a nice surface for ice skating.  Anyway, here's hoping.

   Having teenage girls has been very stressful for this mom.  I have one in high school and one in junior high.  My 9th grader is an amazing student, and she is holding her own very well in this new academic arena.  What worries me most is her loneliness.  I had hoped that going to high school some of the junior high antics would be outgrown from the other girls in her private school, and that she would find at least one good friend.  So far that hasn't happened.  Whenever we watch movies about teenagers, it always makes her sad, because they almost always have friends.  No matter their personalities, they have friends who accept them for who they are.  Ciara is awkward socially but beautiful physically.  She is an introvert, and she spent the majority of her childhood secluded from other children outside of our family living on a YWAM base in a remote location.  Add to this, her mother was socially awkward and just like her.  I'm not sure I understand the dynamics of going to a private school or how to be popular.  She isn't the only new kid in the past 2+ years that she has been there.  Other new girls don't seem to have the problems making friends that she does.  She hasn't ever understood cut-downs or been able to discern between good-natured joking and rejection.  Not being there, I can't help her to know whether her classmates are being mean to her, or if they really are just joking.  Her stories are painful to hear.  I don't know how to help her.  On a good side, we are getting close again.  We've always been close, but I think she is seeing me as a friend who cares.

   My daughter in junior high is struggling socially, but also struggling to adjust to the new style of learning that is expected of a 7th grader.  She has a few friends from our fellowship, so I tend to worry more about her academic struggles.  She can't seem to grasp the whole thing of getting an assignment and keeping up with due dates, especially when it is a multi-due date assignment.  She can keep up with assignments assigned one day and due the next - no problem.  She totally forgets about the journal assignments due weekly, or the assignments that are due in the future.  I've gotten her a student planner.  She doesn't use it.  I've explained its use to her time and again.  Still I face today where she had two major writing assignments due today and she didn't know it.  What is a mother to do? I'm so glad that this is junior high, so we have two years to get this ironed out before high school begins!

   The following are some pics from fall around here... some are the new lake we have, and some are just random fall shots.

The new lake beside our house
Isnt' this swing pretty with all the fall leaves?  Tim made it this year.

Our hoop houses were flooded too.  This ground didn't get wet like this with even the spring flooding.  We were glad they were raised beds.  I don't think anything got ruined.
This is our street with the leaves in full color.  Most of the leaves have fallen now.

On one of the fall holidays down by the river is my son, Josiah

At school the kids had spirit week this week.  This is my 7th grader and 9th grader being "twins"

Elly and Josiah were twins that day too
Elly pretending to be a mermaid on a rock!

Tim and Josiah celebrating one of the fall holidays.  I sure appreciate having a fellowship that does these that we can celebrate together with.