Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter Projects Challenge and Our great Alaskan Garden Project

Boys Peaking Down the vent from upstairs
The kids and I are taking the winter project challenge from You have to do 5 of the projects from their website before Febuary 28th. The first we did was baking bread. No big deal since we do it often. After that we took a magic Carpet ride. Each kid sat on a little rug and we pretended to fly around. That turned into a recue game trying to save eachother from falling off. Then Lisa and I made paperplate puppets, one for each member of the family. Three projects down 2 more to go.

Lisa and her Puppet Family

I am unsure of what to expect for this summers growing season so I'm planning ahead and starting some seeds really early. Ken put up a large shelf on the handrail that goes around the staircase. The kids and I planted some seeds and hopefully by the time the ground thaws we'll have some desent sized started plants to put in the ground. I also have three indoor hanging sets that I'm going to use for tomatoes, sweet peppers and hot peppers. In the larger of the pots that I had I planted some herbs that can stay inside durring the cold weather and be put out in the summer. There are still alot of other things I would like to plant later but I'll have to get more seeds and soil. The kids had some pupkin and sunflower seeds that they planted. I had a few others that were old leftover seeds and threw a few into different containers not sure if their still good or not. I used a cut up plastic bottle for markers. I'll post periodically about what grows and what doesn't and keep updating as I start to transfer them outside in a few months. My friend Emillie in Arizona is sending me some seeds and we're looking into getting some through the tribal council. Not sure if we can get the ones from the council or not since we're not natives. We might be able to find someone who would be willing to order them for us for a small fee (they get them for free). We also heard that they can get animals up here too such as chickens, goats and pigs so thats something else I need to look into. Again not sure if we could get in on that or not since we're not native.
Leftover seeds from AZ


Shelf over stairwell

Shelf over stairwell and Dozer in his bed

pots on the shelf

pots on the shelf
Now is a time for research. Research into planting and looking into finding our own piece of land up here. This 50 acre piece is a family piece that my dad bought a long time ago and while it is a warrenty deed with myself and all my siblings and dependants listed on it we are still in search of more independence. We want our own little chunk of Paradise we're we can build a small cabin for us and one for my mom and step dad so that they can move up and be closer to us. They are also raising my niece and nephew who are now 10 and 11 and they have had them since they were 3 and 14 months. My mom and I are very close and it would be the best for all of us to be closer and I think this is such a wonderful place to raise kids away from all the push and shove. The school up here is wonderful and there are several other kids their age.  Anyway if any of my readers catch wind of  a 20+ acre property up this way please pass the word. There are a few that we're looking into but they arent for sale yet and may or may not go up for sale.

Thank you to all of my Family/ Friends and Readers. Blessings to you all!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sample Projects/A Winters Day

I've had alot of people ask what we do all day in the winter. I can tell you one thing for sure we are not sitting around on the couch watching movies and eating

So here is a glimps into a normal routine day and and some samples of special projects we've done.

Our morning starts at 1:00am the alarm is set and either Ken or I get up go down stairs and stoke the fire, then we crawl back into bed and try to go back to sleep. The twins still wake up several times a night so I'm up with them tucking them back in, taking them to the potty or finding their teddy bears in the covers. We're usually up anytime between 5:00am-7:00am depending on when the twins decide their up and not going back to sleep. Then I head down the stairs with the boys and Lisa. We the stuff we put on the couches to keep the dogs off them then I stoke the fire and start getting the coffee and the kids cereal going. On rare mornings when the boys do sleep in until 7:00am Ken gets up ahead of them and he and Lisa go down get the fire going and play cards until the rest of us are up. After that it varries a bit if the batterries need a charge Ken will put on the generator and thats a big treat for the kids as it means they can watch a movie on the TV. Breakfast is usually cold cereal or sometimes oatmeal. Eggs and Bacon or sausage is a special treat that we enjoy every once in a while after someone (either us or the neighbors who are nice enough to pick stuff up for us) go into town. Another treat is sometimes we make pancakes, muffins, coffe cake, doughnuts or something, however as this is a bigger undertaking and requires getting the stove nice and hot it's often more of a brunch and Ken and the kids still eat a bowl of cereal while I'm cooking.


• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 2 tablespoons shortening

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1 egg

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

• 2 tablespoons vinegar and enough regular milk to make 1/2 cup

Into a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Cream shortening; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat well. Stir in vanilla.

Add combined vinegar and milk alternately with dry ingredients; stir just until well blended.

Roll small quantities of the dough at a time, to about 1/3-inch thick. Cut doughnuts with a 2 1/2-inch cutter (we used Lisa's little cookie cutters from her baking set. They were a perfect toddler size and bite sized for us big people) and let stand for about 10 minutes. Fry in hot fat (I used Canola Oil) at about 365° to a nice golden brown. Turn once. Fry only 3 or 4 batches at a time to keep fat from cooling down. Drain on paper towels. Makes about 18 doughnuts.

We then rolled them in powdered sugar.

After breakfast things varry widley there is always wood, going out and cutting it, splitting it, brining it into the house, stacking it inside or outside. Inside the fire has to stay stoked, the ash tray emptied, the dogs fed and taken outside to do their business. Then we can work on other projects before lunch that is often when we do cleaning up, craft projects, etc inside and Ken works out in the breezway on his own more Manly projects. We take a break for lunch around noon, usualy peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Sometimes leftovers or shells and cheese. After lunch the boys go down for a nap and Lisa and I move on to other projects usually upstairs while we have the light. She works on her pre-K workbooks, puzzles, painting or other homeschool projects that are more difficult when her brothers are awake. While she does her thing I clean up upstairs, fold laundry etc.. while helping her. Sometimes she helps me durring this time to bring in wood when daddy is gone. If I get everything I had planned done adn Lisa is still busy sometimes I get a few minutes to pop online or do some reading or chrochet. Most of the time I get online in the morning while everyone else is eating breakfast. I get on a bit more on days when I run the generator to take advantage of the power supply. Often this time when the boys are sleeping is when Ken will work on projects outside or wander further back on the property to cut wood. He always has a million projects of things to fix, things to improve or things to create. Sometimes their for us or sometimes for other loacl folks. recently he has made a set of cabinets for Connie, tinkered with Tannis' trash compactor. Made triangle dinner bells for us and our neighbors, made a larger sled for hauling wood out of a steel 55 gal drum, the list goes on and on.


We made a Farrie house for Lisa's farrie dolls that she got for Christmas. It's made out of a cardboard box with construction paper sidding, ribbon trimmed windows with packing tape glass. Lisa took the photos and Oak Modeled

After the boys wake up we usually spend time playing and doing projects upstairs while we have the light. Then we go downstairs and start getting things ready for supper. This can be anything from opening a can of spam or tuna to hacking up a Salmon. Either way the stove has to get stoked and heated up so that it's at a high enough temp for cooking especially if we will be using the oven. Sometimes I'll do something in the dutch oven ion which case I usually start it between breakfast and lunch and have it cooking over the low fire all day, then come evening I just have to make whatever we want to go with it. I've been really into making deserts lately for after supper.


About 4 cups of either frozen or canned fruit(drained)
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 c either real maple syrup, or honey or brown sugar
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
 I heat these on the stove until they boil
In another bowl I mix:
about 1 c of oatmeal
1/4c real maple syrup, or honey or brown sugar
1/4c butter
1 tbsp Cinnamon
Then I take the fruit mix and put it in a 2 qt casserole dish and spread the oatmeal mix on top. I bake it @ anywere from 200 - 350* while we eat supper. The kids and I like to eat it with a little milk on top. I bet it would be real good with whipped cream or ice cream.

Then we settle in for a little family time before bed. If the generator is on we might watch a grown up movie otherwise we just play. We might build a caslt out of blocks, play uno moo, make an obsticle coarse whatever. Then I clean up the table and we all brush our teeth, wash up and get ready for bed. The kids are in bed usually at 7:00pm or a hair after. Many days they are so tired they start asking to go to bed at 6:00pm. We stay busy so everyone gets plenty of excercise and gets pretty worn out durring the day. I tuck in the boys and sing them a song then I tuck in Lisa and read her a story. Most of the time Ken and I follow and go right to bed too. On a rare occasion when we have the energy we'll stay up and watch a movie on my computer or just lay in bed and talk for a while.

Then it all starts all over again come 1:00am.

I hope this helps a little to give you an idea of what we do durring the day. I'll try to remember to take more pictures and write more about some of our little projects. I get so caught up in the day in day out that I forget that it might be of interest to someone looking in from the outside.

Thank you to our family, friends and readers for stopping by. Many Blessing to you all!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Long Awaited 2010 Wrap Up and Intro to 2011

Full Moon Winter Solstis As rising before Eclipse
Aurora at the edge of Moonshine Winter Solstis

We had a nice first Christmas in Alaska. Thanks to our friend Susan the kids got a letter from Santa that really made Lisa's day on the Wednesday before Christmas and really got her excited. Christmas eve and the day prior were spent getting stuff preped so there wouldn't be as much to do on Christmas Morning. I did alot of cooking and mixing so that things could just be tossed on the stove or in the oven. I didn't cook a thanksgiving dinner so this was my once a year huge feast. Before bed on Christmas Eve we read the nativity story and "The Night Before Christmas" Lisa put out a snack for Santa (rice crispy squares & M&M's) and they were tucked into bed. Ken and I put out the gifts from Santa got the muffins that I baked earlier and the computer upstairs so that we had everything up there and ready to go for the morning. Neither Ken or I could sleep. We were too excited to was the first one up and out of bed. I went downstairs stoked the fire, put the turkey in the oven and made some coffee. By the time the coffee was done I heard the kids stirring so I brought all our drinks upstairs to settle in for some unwrapping. We opened stockings first.
Lisa, Oak, Wyatt On Mommy & Daddies Bed
In the stockings they got some leftover Halloween candy, a little 2nd hand stuffed toy, a new headlamp, candy canes and Pez dispensers courtesy of our friend Lori who also furnished several gifts under the tree. After that they put on their headlamps and went to work on the gifts under the tree. Santa brought them each a new ball, Lisa got a big excersise ball. As usual they made out like bandits even though there were no real gifts from mom ann dad.
Using head lamps Oh the joy of no electric
The boys favorite toys were some take apart trucks from Grandma the sat for a long time with their little power tools working on them. After opening everything the kids each picked out some new clothes to wear. The boys picked new jammies and Lisa put on some jeans and a sweater from Grandma. Then they got to Skype with Grandma and their Aunt Dani and Uncle Dan.

Fixing vehicles: From Back Ken, Oak, Wyatt, Lisa

Wyatt In Thomas the Tank Engine Jammies - Oak in Cars Jammies

Skype with Grandma and Uncle Dan
After we were done and had played for a while we went downstairs. Ken and the kids watched the Newest Tinkerbell movie that Lisa got. I talked with my mom on the phone and then got to work on lunch. Our neighbor/friend came over and helped get the last minute stuff pulled together. When it was about time to eat she went and picked up her husband and we all sat down to a huge Turkey and Ham dinner. After dinner we put the kids to bed and played a couple of games in which Ken and I royaly got our bums whipped lol.. Over all I would have to say that it was a nice day.

On to the New year!
From the traditional Yule Log to the traditional Bringing in of the new LOGS!

The Wood wagon Choo Choo
On new years eve around 6pm we had our little fireworks display wich lasted about 20 minutes. The weather was warmer about +10 so a little more comfortable for the kids. By 8pm we were all in bed.

Lisa had her first shooting lesson. She has been around guns since she was a baby and we have been teaching her about gun safety. She knows better than to ever touch a gun without mommy or daddy. We went out with a kids .22 rifle and .22 pistol that were Ken's when he was little. They are both still a bit big for her but she did very well. The Targets were her rotting Halloween Pumpkins. We also took out the shotgun and my 9mm glock just to show her what they could do to the pumpkins and to hammer in the danger of guns.

Forget BOB we have Oak the Builder

The new year has found us already imbarking on our new begining here in the Alaskan frontier. We have high hopes for the comming season and the new benefits that will come with state residency such as hunting and fishing. We're hoping to have some visitors from AZ come spring if everything goes well. I would like to do some exploring of our area and the state if time and money allow. Ken has started a job that will hopefully provide a steady income and allow us a little more security. Lisa has signed up for pre-school at the Gladis Dart School in Manley hot springs and will attend class with the other pre-k kids, but only once every couple of weeks when we make our trip into the washateria. Other than that we will continue to do homeschooling. We'll sart doing regular bible studies, learning Japanese along with my sister Rebecca which should be fun. I would also like to start learning to play my guitar that I've had sitting for several years I look forward to all of the learning and new experiances that this year will bring and hope to meet them with joy and childlike wonder. I will do my best to share those experiances with all of you.

Again I would like to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to our family and friends who made 2010 a wonderful experiance and showed us support and love through all the stages of our move as well as helping us to get established in our new home. I look forward to spending time with loved ones either in person on the computer or on the phone and I wish you all the best and brightest this year.
May you be as blessed as we. Love, Hugs and Kisses to you all!