Thursday, March 8, 2012

Trip to the Ice Park

Tea anyone?

A trip down the ice slides with Mama...
And Daddy too!

Weeee!  Lots of slides!

The Ice Princess

The woolly mammoth returns with children on it's trunk!
At the University of Fairbanks Museum, they have a very well preserved Woolly Mammoth skin that was found in the ice.  It looks so much like a relative of the elephant!  At one time Alaska was filled with animals and vegetation!  Some of it has been preserved in the ice.  Amazing isn't it, to think of Alaska as a place that hosted life year round.  The creation scientist's believe that after the world wide flood, and massive rains, precipitation fell in the form of snow at a rapid rate, covering the poles with snow and ice, bringing on the "Ice Age."  Check out their ideas at It is in agreement with Scripture.
It's my turn now!
This bowl shaped toy spun around with Daddy pushing.  It was very heavy and carved out of ice too.  You may be wondering where Daddy is in all these pictures?  He's the one behind the camera.  I fell during the first few minutes of enjoying the ice park and hurt my wrist!  My ribs are a little sore today and my wrist feels O.K.  I tripped over a large piece of decorative ice buried under the fresh snow!  It was a glorious all out fall and my husband yelled, "SAFE!" after I sailed through the snow completely stretched out!  It was so funny!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Snow Monster!

Up from the deep cover of snow I come.....

Back yard hike in chest deep snow... depending on your height

Look at our snow cake castle....better than sand, because you can eat it when you're done!

The littlest snow monster...
Our littlest boy is standing on so much accumulated snow, we've lost a couple of front porch steps under him.

Snowy cabin frozen in time

We've almost had the same amount of snow in the last two days that we've had all winter!  Yesterday it reached 25 degrees above zero and we had so much fun hiking through the new fluffy white snow. It also got a little windy towards the end of the day and we had some brief white outs.  It was very exciting and I am so glad we have a warm cabin with electricity, good food to eat, running water in the kitchen and bath, and good warm company to share laughs and stories with.  So we're minus a toilet, we hardly miss it!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sourdough, Pot Pies, and Pink Parasols

Is it ever going to be Spring again?
I'll settle for my homemade caribou pot pie!
Reindeer is just domesticated caribou, by the way.  Isn't this awful?
Caribou pot pie sounds much better than reindeer pot pie.
Or mom's homemade sourdough English muffins...
I got a start of sour dough from Sarah, a friend in Tok.  She also
writes a blog called  She's got
some great pictures of cutting up caribou and some recipes too.

Ice Skating with Daddy beats the winter blues!
So does playing with play-doh!
Scrubbing these Alaskan potatoes helps the entire family....

Scrubbing my baby dolly is more fun...
I am drying her by the Toyo Stove.
Today the sun is shinning.  It is brilliant and promises the hope of Spring around the corner.... O.K.  perhaps a few more months and then Spring.  I will post the first few tidbits of green that we spot!  The World Class Championship Ice Carving Festival is held every Spring here in Fairbanks.  It is so amazing to see carved images in crystal clear ice.  They also build an entire playground complete with 500 ft. slides for the children and all the adults are seen trying it out as well!  This festival lasts for about a month before things begin to start dripping.  When we go, we'll be sure to take lots of pictures and post them.  Perhaps some of you will be lured into coming up to visit after you see them.

Cabin Fever?

Arm wrestling with BIG brother!

I can't possibly pull any harder!!!
"Are you getting cabin fever yet?"  This is a common question we've been asked.  The answer is yes, sometimes, especially when it drops to around 40 below. However, if it's only 20 below or even 10 above freezing there is so much to do.

A few evenings ago Daddy and the kids were deep in arm wrestling matches.  The living room resounded with peals of laughter and squeals of delight as everyone took turns, almost beating Daddy.  Then the littlest one entered in the game with a tight grasp on big brother's fingers. He strained to win.  He tried his best.  Who needs T.V. when you have 5 children anyway?  It's the best entertainment!
Playing with indoor mud...

Squeezing the liquid goo

Tipping the gooey slime all over the counter!
 All the mud in Alaska is frozen right now.  That didn't stop our boys from making their own on the kitchen counter!  Last week they dug through the snow to find the frozen gravel pile.  The gravel is frozen, but so dry that it falls apart easily.  They spent a good hour digging a hole with all their sisters and playing with the rocks.  Another of their favorite outdoor activities besides sledding and building snow forts, is jumping on heavily snow laden branches.  They straddle them like horses and boy do they ride!  They can also stand upright and bounce until they drop.  The children blaze trails through the woods, always on the lookout for moose.  The twigs break off easily as they're frozen stiff.
Fixing the infamous four wheeler
Our oldest son's  latest endeavor has been the continual fixing of his beloved four wheeler.  A couple of spark plugs, several hours of work, a couple of gasoline spills later, and the thing fired right up!  He took it for a spin in the snow and then was able to tow out an old rusted skidoo that was left in the brush by the previous owners.  We're always finding some new treasure, or should I say junk left in the bushes and trees.  This endeavor is proving to be quite useful!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Still Receiving an Education at Home

I wish my home was this organized!
We still educate our children at home, in case some of you were wondering.  I don't usually blog about this endeavor.  This photo above was taken while we were at Tok.  This is in the basement of the home we stayed in. 

In our cabin in Fairbanks, it's a whole other matter.  We have one desk and a couple of comfortable couches and lots of carpeted floor space in which we are becoming more knowledgeable about the world around us.  Not only are we learning at home, but abroad as we take our children, aged almost 13, 11, 9, 4 and 2 to all our outings about town and through foreign countries, O.K., Canada.  It is another country, but so much like our own. 

The point is, that time spent studying in books only goes so far.  Life has to be lived and experienced and the gospel of Jesus Christ has to sink in so deep that the children understand how real it is and how real are the lives of people without Christ.  They need to understand the wiles and traps and deceptions that exist in life.  How will we teach them if we are not daily reading in our Bibles and following the Lord by faith, and that faith producing works?  The children are watching and learning so much more then what we are saying, or what they are reading.  They take in everything around them like sponges.  They absorb knowledge and piece together what life means and what their purpose is.  Adults do the same.  We are not much different.  We all learn by choice.  No one can be forced to learn.  It does not take lots of money to provide an education.  It takes time and discipline and faithfulness and a whole lot of patience and love.

I have failed in so many areas of my life including being consistent at my responsibilities as a parent to educate my children.  Every one has, whether they can admit it or not.  What is amazing is that no matter how many times I or anyone else fails, the mercy and grace that God has toward us never runs dry.  Thank God that he has given us such a thirst to learn new things.  My children have such a desire to read and learn and study.  They are respectful of those in authority.  They know how to forgive, fail, and keep trying.  They are disciplined to fulfill their duties as children in this home and complete their chores without complaining, including practicing their skills as home schooled students.  They have self motivation at such early ages. 

They are not perfect, just in case you are reading this and think they are.  They have personal relationships with Jesus Christ.  His strength in them produces real, tangible, glorious fruit.  All honor is due their Creator, God himself.  Let's place due praise and honor where it should be.  Curriculum's and schools will come and go.  Fads in the current educational fields will come and go.  Attitudes will wane.  Time will go to fast and perhaps not fast enough during tough times.  The one thing that will never change is Jesus Christ.  The Bible says He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Just call out to him now to save you and your life will be transformed in that moment forever and into eternity.  Truly amazing! 

Yet still more amazing is that some will never even try to call on the name of Jesus. Some will never admit that they need anyone else that desperately.  Well, I do.  I couldn't make it one day without Jesus as my Saviour.  Not all my days are a struggle to get through, but many are.  The days that are easier I still want my Saviour by my side to glory in all His victories. 

So how did I start a blog on homeschooling and get to this?  That's the whole point of homeschooling:  building relationships with Jesus Christ and one another for all of eternity.  Life is so short.  We embrace every day we spend with one another in this blessed family unit that God has so lovingly bestowed on us.  What a blessing that I live in a country with the freedom to educate my children at home!  I love my kids!  What a joy they are to me.  What a gift from God!  I love my husband!  What a rock he is to me.  What a gift from God! 

Can you tell I write when I can't contain my joy any longer?  It has to spill over somewhere... it's still spilling, even after having been up since 4:00 this morning, changing a baby's outfit, a few minutes later trying to get another child back to sleep, yet another few minutes trying to get the baby back to sleep, and after a while, giving up and heading downstairs to make coffee and feed a hungry baby while the other sleeps on the couch. 

Then a few minutes later, cleaning dog vomit off the floor in a few places.  Then wiping sticky berry juice off of little chubby fingers and heading back to the living room to watch this little bundle of energy where himself out.  I sip my coffee, read the book of James and most of Romans, smile at my little one.  Then I feel my eyes wanting to shut, I can barely stay awake, I am getting grumpy, my husband awakes to dash off to work,  I put my little one back to bed and dose off until 8:00!  Wow, I feel great to have gotten that extra bit of sleep. 

knit, today we are receiving a Holter Monitor to put on my oldest girl for 30 days to measure her heart beats.  I feel at peace, because I know who holds my future and the future of my children.  Oh, did I mention I have a nasty cold?  I almost forgot about it for a few minutes, so nice.