Saturday, December 10, 2011

Alaska Fun at -40

I feel compeled to start with an Od to the outhouse at -40.

Most people who dont use an outhouse probably cringe at the idea. Then you add in the factor of -40 temps and most would say "NO WAY!". I will include some pictures to give you an idea of what it is like, but I want to explain that when it comes to outhouses they come in all shapes and sizes. They range from a large insulated "bathhouse" with stalls and a tub with campshower maybe even a small camp/tent stove. On the other end of the spectrum is your basic one seater "shack". This usually consists of some kind of stick frame with some patchwork sidding a wood or tin roof and often an open pit to the back or sides that you might fall into if you dont watch your step. Our outhouse is somewere in the middle I would say maybe a "luxery shack". We have 2 seats covered with insulating foam with lids. It's stick framed with plywood and siding walls. A rusty tin roof with no insulation. We do have a little piece of glass "window" to let in light and some upgrades like magazine holders and shelves for TP. Also the signature tissue bucket in the corner that you find in most outhouses. (side note it's not good to put your TP in the hole it makes it stink worse)

Hand Sanetizer is also a nice thing to have in the outhouse.
Notice the little blue foam frame on the right. That is our insert for the little kids so they dont feel like their going to fall in.

The lids get a nice layer of frost as does the inner rim of the foam. The lid frost can be uncomfortable if you lean back. The rim frost can be uncomfortable for men and those with little bottoms.
Beleive it or not Ken still likes to read in the outhouse at -40*F. He just brings out a hurricane lantern and settles in. I really haven't had a problem using it even at -40*F as long as I am bundled up and I can pull down my coat and pull up my pants so that I dont have bare legs.

Here is a list of things that we keep in our outhouse (no particular order):

Toilet Paper (lots of extra don't want to run out, out there)
5 Gallon Bucket for used tissue
Hand Sanitizer
Famanine Items
Reading Material
A T-Light Candle for Light
A Bear Whistle
A Sling Shot (just for fun)
Step Stool (For the little guys)
Foam Insert (for little bottoms)

For my readers who have outhouses I would love to hear what you keep in your outhouse? Please leave a comment. If for some reason it won't let you comment send it to me in an e-mail and I will add it to the post.

O the outhouse so slim and tall
a single door and four small walls
who knew how much I would love you so
Enough to visit at 40 below

By Sarah Smith

Now on to a subject thats not as deep and full of POO!

Homeschooling At Sweethomestead Alaska

I have a total of 5 students that we are homeschooling through the Yukon-Koyukuk School District program called Raven Correspondence School. My Niece September (12), My Nephew Ian (11), Lisa (4), and Wyatt & Oak (2). So we are doing preschool - Jr High.

I've had some people asking what curriculum we are using so here is a list of this years subjects and curriculum.

Also to use with all the math even the twins: Saxon Math Manipulatives

I like all of these math programs especially the Teaching Textbooks.

Shurley English 7 (September)

I do NOT like the Shurley English and I would not recomend it. It is borring for me and the kids. So far I like the Sing, Spell, Read & Write though we have not really gotten into the reading yet and Lisa is getting a little upset and wants to jump ahead. She is ready to read and wants to start on the reading books.

With the Notebooking Journal (September & Ian)
The Jr. Notebooking Journal (Lisa)
Lab Kit (All)

Making Modal Solar System

Finished Solar System

Even the boys often listen in on these lessons. We are really enjoying this program.

We like this one.

These are good.

Houghton Mifflin

Posters About Community (September's, Lisa's, Ian's) Lisa doesn't do this subject but wanted to make a poster so hers is Repunzel her daughters and their horses.

This one is OK not great but not bad either.

Sweet Homestead Alaska Physical Education

Ian on Poop Patrole

September Stacking Firewood
The Cabin

My mom and dad have moved into the Scott's old cabin that we remodeled for them. I was going to do an update on this post about it, but I want to get some good pictures of it first. I'll try to get some pictures today. Then I'm going to set up another tab on this blog titled "Moore Space". This will be to introduce you to the Moore family and their new home here at Sweet Homestead Alaska. 
I want to give aother HUGE THANK YOU!!!!!!!! To Darrell and Donna Scott for allowing all of us to set up camp at their place.  I hope that we can help them as much as they have helped us.

To: D&D we love and miss you, can't wait until your home again!

Psalm 18:2
The lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.


  1. What a great entry, Sarah! I love hearing about your life out there in Manley. The outhouse wouldn't be fun though - especially at 40 below. I'd just have to have a honey pot or camp toilet that was situated INDOORS somewhere. :)

    I look forward to reading more about your parents and their first year in AK. So cool about the cabin!


  2. Hey,

    I work for a tv company and I'm trying to get a hold of you. I can't find any email address on your site. Can email me and I'll send you more details?

  3. Your information on the outhouse is soooo fascinating!! Happy New Year!

  4. I'm intrigued about the outhouse at -40! I can't imagine!!! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I have to say... lol that's pretty narly! I don't have to deal with -40 but I do have an outhouse. We do a composting toilet using a 5 gallon bucket. What IS awful is when you can't dump a full bucket because it's frozen. I have a little bucket with little seat for little bottoms.