Monday, December 17, 2012


Hello All,

Before I start posting pictures of what we've been up to I would like to say a few words in regard to yesterdays (12/14/12) elementary school tragedy. I am sickened and saddened by this event. Being the mother of a 5 year old I can't help but picture the events in my mind. The faces of the children (though I have never seen them). The fear that they must have felt in those moments. I just can't stop thinking about it and keep praying for the families of those that were lost. While I am confident that the children were welcomed into heaven and will never have to suffer again the families are left with a void that they can never fill. Especially now during this holiday season. No matter your religious beliefs this is a season of family togetherness and to suffer loss during this time will leave a huge scar that will be tender every year from now on, during this time that is supposed to be joyous. I am so thankful for my children and that God has given them to me to care for. I take that job seriously though I gave my children back to God before they were even conceived. I know that he and he alone can truly protect  them and I pray for that protection daily. That being said I don't know how I would go on if I lost one of them. Every day I give thanks to God for allowing me to be in the lives of these wonderful little people that I adore.

And here is what has been going on in our lives. Today it is -50*f so a nice day to be inside typing on the computer, though I did go out and do my morning chores as well as some snow shoveling.

First for those who have donated books to our little church library here are some pictures of the church and the library room which is also the Sunday school room.


The kids celebrated Halloween by attending the party at the school in Manley. The boys were pirates, Lisa was a mermaid, September was a puppy and Ian was an eagle. All hats were made by my sister Rebecca. To see more of her amazing hats click the below link to one of her web stores.

If you like to crochet here is another link to a web store were she sells the patterns.

The Kids with Grandpa and Nonie Scott

The month of November brought my mom's first time ever voting. Also some amazing moons and auroras. We had to delay Thanksgiving because of the stomach flu but once we had it, it was nice. So much to be thankful for.

In getting ready for Christmas we are enjoying a month of Christmas traditions. This year each of the kids made their own batch of cookie dough, rolled it out, cut it and then decorated them. We made an entire day of it and it was fun.

The Christmas Tree

We went out into the yard and found our Christmas tree. The kids got to pick the tree and Lisa hauled it in the sled all the way back to the house. Then we set it up and started decorating. Ken's grandmother Rosemary started a tradition with Ken as soon as he was born buying him an ornament a year. When we got married she got them for both of us. When the kids were born she started buying ornaments for them. This is the first year that they really got to put their ornaments up on a tree. They were so excited and had a great time doing it. Then we took the extra branches that we had cut off the bottom to get the tree to go in the stand and we made a wreath. 

Just a few words on Christmas

I know that there is so much debate these days surrounding Christmas; should Christians celebrate Christmas?, put Christ back in Christmas!, etc.... etc....
A pastor that I have a lot of respect for explained it in a way that really got me thinking. I wish I could explain  it as well as he does but I can't.  Here is a link to the video were he explains 

Basically this is how we do Christmas. We do the tree, the gifts, and such but we disconnect it from the birth of Christ. We still talk about the birth of Christ but we keep it separate from Christmas and celebrate Christmas as we would any other commercial holiday such as Thanksgiving or Valentines day. As just another day to show love to one another and enjoy good company and fun traditions. It is still confusing to me as to how and what to celebrate and each year though I love giving I consider doing away with the tradition all together. My favorite part of the holiday is spending the time with the kids doing fun things like making cookies and singing carols. Those are things that we could really do whenever we want. I love giving gifts but I hate feeling obligated to give and I hate it when my kids act greedy. So, Ken and I are still in discussion over all this so we will see what we come up with as a plan for next year.


Here is a Laundry update. As we expand and improve our situation our laundry system has once again changed. We now have the washer and rinse tubs in the house WOO HOO! The upside is we can actually do laundry during the winter. The down side hauling buckets of dirty water outside to dump them after every couple of loads. As I hope that you can see from the pictures we are using an old Maytag washer that was given to us by the Scotts. Then we have two plastic sinks with make shift drains that we can open and close for draining. I use one for rinse water and rinse using a rapid washer  to get the close cleaner and to get more of the soap out. Then I put the clothes into the second tub until I hang them. The ringer on the washer swivels  so that you can turn it to use it to ring the clothes after the rinse. Also in this collage is a picture of the new dry sink that we set up in that room for hand washing and teeth brushing. We have all of this set up in what we call the utility room. It is the bathroom/laundry room/pantry/office

I will post more pictures of the interior as we get rooms finished or at least done enough that you can tell what you are looking at. Right now with building supplies all over the place it can be hard to see much. However as we get shelves and cabinets mounted and we are able to get things put away things are really starting to come together. I am very happy about how things are shaping up. We are getting out things from storage that we have't seen since we left Arizona and it has been a lot of fun finding things that we forgot we had. Some of which we find are useless to us now. 

Well I'm going to cut this off here and will try to post again after the holiday passes.

Luke 2

Blessings to you all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cabin Build Days 3-10

Floor on and first outer wall up and sheeted

Raising the roof
still raising the roof and building trusses

Second outer wall up and starting to insulate. Kids pulling nails.

Insulating and sheeting the roof

adding back the tin, building an over hang. Down stairs windows all in. The BIG REVEAL tearing down the plastic between the two sections

Down stairs interior walls

Upstairs floor and windows

Sunday, October 21, 2012






Thursday, September 27, 2012

August Visit

We had a great visit with Ken's mom Kris. Here is a pictorial review of her visit.

Hiking off the Eureka Road

On the way to the Airport to say goodbye

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Independence and Baptism

4th OF JULY 2012

We decided in the name of freedom to use Wild and Free mushing as our bike float inspiration. The kids each designed their own dog. I traced them and cut out the ones for the little kids. The older kids got to cut out their own. They ended up winning for the most original float. 

Here is my attempt at a video. It's really cute so I hope it comes through. I have never seen a 3 year old that can cast like Oak Robert. He takes after his name sake my late great Grandpa Robert Chandler.

Thank You Chuck!

July 15th
At  the Hot Springs Bath House
by Pastor Earl Malpass
Assisted by Darryl Moore



Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of The Holy Ghost;

We are also working on getting some food canned and have been enjoying some fresh veggies from our garden.

Pickles with my own cucumbers

We turned these flowers (minus the little bug if you can see him)

 The flowers are red clover and fireweed

Into 9 jars total of this Homestead Honey

Lisa's Carrots 

2 Chronicles 20:9 If when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgement, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in the presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Oh, The Merry Month of May!

The month of May was a busy one indeed. The community is hustling and bustling as the tourists start coming and the residence start prepping for summer activities. Those that flew south for the winter have returned including the return of miners who have come out to try their luck. Many residence will head out to fish camp for a portion of their summer spent putting up a nice supply of Salmon for the winter months. 

April 29th brought flood waters to Manley when an ice jam on the Tanana caused the slough water to rise well above the banks. Many homes had flood damage as well as lost boats, wood supplies and other items that floated away. The community really pulled together to help those that were effected. 

May 4th Ken gave us a gun shooting and safety lesson.

May 5th we went to a big BBQ at the Tribal Council hall for the three oldest children of our friends the Wolfe's. We had a great time with great food and amazing people. 

On May 6th Ken and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. That morning we went to church and after church Ken and my dad Darryl left for Fairbanks to build some rental cabins. While they were working in Fairbanks Mom, the kids and I got to go in and work at Dart Am Farms. We did allot of stick picking and planted allot of strawberries as well as getting to do some work in the greenhouses watering, picking, and pruning.  

Saturday May 12th was community clean up day. Several people from the community gather together to rack up leaves, cut brush and pick up trash. Mainly we worked in the park area, on the roadside and around the dump(also known as the Manley Mall). 

Sunday May 13th Mother's Day. We went to church and enjoyed service and the singing of a quartet of young men. Then we had a very nice potluck. 

Then we really started to work on our own gardening. We started prepping the Scott's greenhouse for planting and set up our new little greenhouse that we got from Sam's Club. We moved our little Buckeye chicks with the big birds and Ken brought home 10 new Americana chicks 2 of which died 2 days later. The first chicks that we have lost. Ken picked them up early from the feed store in Fairbanks before they spent their initial 24 hours of observation so they we not guaranteed. 

I pet sat for some neighbors about 2 miles away for a while which I always enjoy. It's my only time I get to have a little cat time. Ken doesn't care for cats and I think our dogs would eat them. I always had cats growing up and I miss them. So, it's nice to be able to go pet the cats and listen to them purr. 

We had a small BBQ in honor of the Scott's on May 25th. It rained and rained so we all gathered together on the porch of the Scott's old cabin that my folks are now in. It was a small space but it brought us all close together and made for a nice cozy afternoon with some fine folks. 

The next day we butchered 18 of our 20 meat birds. One died a couple days prior and another died about a month before from a broken neck. Ken was putting their water container back in and they all mobed him. He tried to shoo them away but the one still managed to get his head under it. Ken felt terrible.

Monday May 28th was the Memorial Day picnic at Walter Wood's park. There was a nice gathering and good food. 

Sunday June 3rd my dad Darryl got put on the spot at church. Due to mechanical trouble Pastor Earl was unable to make it in. Darryl didn't know he would be preaching until he arrived at the church about 10 minutes prior to service. He delivered a good sermon on God's love. There was also a gentlemen visiting who was able to play the guitar and lead us in singing. This was also the day that I officially announced the opening of the new church library that I have been working on. If anyone would like to donate books, CD's, DVD's etc... You can send them to: 
Manley Hot Springs Baptist Church
c/o Sarah Smith
PO BOX 101
Manley Hot Springs, AK 99756

June 4th ASRC resumed work on the Manley Hot Springs Airport project and Ken was back to working locally. They have had allot of short days though do to all the rain we have been getting. 

Friday June 8th a group of women got together and we cleaned at the church. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with some beautiful women of faith. 

Monday June 11th was the tailgate sale in Manley Hot Springs. I got some good deals on some new to me UGG slippers($5), a nice wooden salad bowl($2), 2 large plant pots($2), 2 nice microscope sets for homeschooling($5), Kids plastic wheelbarrow($.50) and some new bikes for September, Wyatt and Darryl (FREE).

My Grandpa Moore passed Away June 12th. My Mom and Dad flew to Arizona on Saturday the 16th to attend the funeral. September and Ian stayed with us.

Sunday June 17th Father's Day. We went to church and then I took Ken out to lunch at the Roadhouse. We tried to all be on our best behavior and give Ken a nice day.

June 18th we drove down to the landing to drop September off for Rock Crossing Bible Camp then June 22nd we picked her up. We got the good news that while at camp September accepted the Lord as her personal savior.

Thursday June 21st we put 7 of the 4 week old Americana chicks into the main pen under some broody hens who promptly adopted them. One of the chicks stayed in the house. She has a very crooked beak and has a hard time eating on her own. At this point I am hand feeding her three times a day. We named her Mouth because she is so noisy. 

This is just one of the 7 chicks we put out in the pen.

Saturday June 23rd there was a community picnic to unite the various community entities such as fire, rescue squad, parks association, community association, tribal council, Bean Ridge Corporation, crafter's guild, mushers association etc... It was great to see everyone get together as a community.

June 27th My 32nd Birthday. The kids helped cook the meals all day. We had chocolate chip  sour dough pancakes for breakfast, Mac n Cheese for lunch and homemade pizza for dinner. My husband and kids got me a pressure caner. My in laws got me a canning set with various caning items. My niece made me a shirt.

Saturday June 30th Mom and Dad returned from Arizona. They had a great visit with my sister Rebecca, my niece Alexis and my nephews Ethan and Dylan.

Yes, my sister also has a daughter  and twin sons though they are a bit older ;) My sister is also a twin.

July 1st my Mom and Dad took me to lunch after church at the roadhouse. Church was crowded with family members of locals out to visit and celebrate the 4th of July which is the BIG event in Manley Hot Springs. The highlight of my day was meeting a gentleman from Virginia who happened upon my blog while researching Alaska. He noticed a mention about one of Pastor Earl Malpas' many wonderful services. It had a link which he clicked on and found the Mission Air Care web site. On this site he read an article that included the name of a friend of his that he had not spoken with in years. He also signed up for the Mission Air Care newsletter. He then received a newsletter mentioning that MAC was loosing 3 of his bush missionaries. This gentleman has felt led to fill the void and bring his own ministry here to Alaska. He is here now getting his pilots licence and making preparations to move up his family and his sons family. He was even able to stop by and see our little  homestead. It was so amazing to hear that God was able to use this humble little site like that. Now many souls will be reached through this gentlemen. 

To The gentleman: If you read this I want to thank you so much for your visit and your story. You have really touched my family and we are so excited to see how God will work through you here in Alaska.

I was going to wait to publish this post until after July 4th so I could include that too but I think that is going to have to be a separate post since this on has turned out to be pretty long.

As always I would like to thank all of our friends, family and this fabulous community for all that you do. You are such a blessing to our lives each and every one of you. 

Sarah Sue Smith

Isaiah 42:16 KJV And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.