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!


  1. I so enjoyed reading about your day, Sarah. I can't imagine having to get up at 1am to stoke the fire, as I would hate to have to get up once I'm sound asleep. And it's hard for me to go back to sleep once I'm up too.

    I love Lisa's doll house, and the donuts looks yummy too.

    Stay warm,

  2. We get up every morning at 4:15am I make Kurtis a hot breakfast while he showers and gets ready for work. I don't want to think about 1am :(
    but I would do it if I wanted to stay warm!!
    I like your doughnut recipe I'm gonna try it!! Looks yummy and I have a ton of cookie cutters :)
    I think Lisa's doll house is adorable! Your so fortunate to be living in Alaska. It's such a magnificent place!! and I really enjoy reading all about your life and your daily routine which is not boring at all. Your busy people.

  3. I've been reading your blog for awhile and find your way of life so interesting. (I tired of reading blogs of people going to warmer places in the winter to escape the cold.) So one day I started looking up bloggers who live in AK and got hooked on it. No more buying books or magazines to read - everything is right here at my fingertips on my laptop! Can't wait to try your Cake Doughnut recipe - looks yummy!
    Take care!
    Connie in PA

  4. You're so lucky you only need to get up once during the night stoke the fire! Must be nice to have a big stove and some insulated walls... that way you don't have to set your alarm every 90 minutes to remind you to add more wood like we do :)

    And I still have tons of that yummy chili chocolate, so next time you decide to make donuts you better tell me so I can come up and make some glaze for them ;)

    Once we move into the cabin, I'll dig up some fabric scraps that you can use with the kids for projects and dressing up Lisa's dollhouse. I think I have a bunch of mismatched socks and a jar or two of buttons that you could use to make more puppets, too.