Monday, October 21, 2013

dear gentleman

I want to thank you again for the five dollars, for my kids to get ice cream. But most of all, thank you for coming by our table and complementing me on how well behaved my kids are. It really means a lot. My kids are great kids, but there are days I wonder. I wonder if I'm doing enough. Are they going in the right direction? Yes, this was a simple comment, but to a parent, it is a boost of confidence. It can mean everything that day. I don't know if you have raised kids, but I like to think you have, and you understand the gratitude. You are a sweet man. Thank you!

(Three of our kids, Grammy Parker, and myself were having lunch in Eagle River. As we were eating, an elderly man come over on his way by and told me how well behaved my kids were. I smiled and thanked him. As he walked back by, he asked if they liked ice cream and handed me $5. I tried telling him it wasn't necessary, but he insisted. As he was leaving the boys went and thanked him again.)

We have been complemented several times, usually by an elder. I hope they know how much we appreciate it. And trust me, there are days I could hide under a table, but they are few and far between, thankfully!

My brag of the day....
I'll update about our summer soon, it's been awhile :)

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

our 'baby' is five

How is the baby of our family already five?!

Happy birthday to our amazing little girl!

This little girl will move mountains.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

vitamin d

For THREE days in row we have had amazing weather.
Yard work, bbq with friends, first s'mores of the summer, and a trip to our favorite little town Talkeetna.

I am fairly certain my skin is in a state of shock right now; red, redder and RED. Even with sunscreen. After breaking the record for the longest.winter.ever, who'da thunk that a week later Alaska could produce such colors, with sun/heat?

 and yes, those are chunks of ice

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

small farm

The sun is shining and actually producing heat! We have a lot to do around here, like most summers, and very little time. 

relocate the pig pen (we have two new pigs)
clear space for a barn, turn-around, new garden/chicken area
haul in tons of gravel
build the barn/greenhouse
set-up new garden area (raised beds and fencing)
move chicken coop 
move goat shelter to field
level out far left field
fence the field
paint chicken coop and goat shelter

and this list is just for the animals and garden/greenhouse

We have been making do with the set-up we have, but a good portion of our garage is being used, hay is only stored on a pallet with a tarp covering, current greenhouse doesn't allow early growing and we need a garden.

We are excited to have a more functional system!

I have finally motivated myself (via another Alaskan blogger) to try mixing our own chicken feed. We try to avoid GMO foods in our own diet; so it doesn't help to feed the chickens crap (it could be worse) then turn around and eat the eggs they produce.

Here's my plan:
whole wheat berries (Azure) - 20lbs
    whole or crimped barley (local) - 10lbs
whole oats (local) - 10lbs
flax seed (Azure) - 3-4 lbs
alaskan fish meal (local) - 4-5 lbs
kelp meal 2-3 lbs
salt - 1lb
BOSS - 5lbs
Fir Meadows herbal vitamin supplements
oyster shells
*additional add-ins when I feel like it, or more in the winter:
whole peas, split peas, hay pellets, any extra pantry grains I may have

Mix it in a big tote

I would like to sprout the grains often, but I may save that for the long winter months.

I figured the cost of our own mix will be about $0.10-0.20/lb higher than the AK Mill feed we've been using, but hopefully well worth it. 

Adding to all this is my newest endeavor in the kitchen: milling and soaking grains for bread. More on this later :) 

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

thank you IKEA...

...for upgrading me into adulthood. Just kidding, but seriously, new bedroom furniture sure gives you that feeling.

friend and fellow blogger posted that after 8 years of marriage, they now have MATCHING nightstands! Which reminded me that some friends and family were requesting to see our new furniture. We also upgraded our comforter. There were more feathers under the bed, than actually left in the old one. No joke. I have wanted a white cover for years...with 4 kids and a black cat, we'll see how long this dream bed lasts.

Now that we've made those changes, I'm ready to re-paint and finish our bathroom! It's a 'if you give a mouse a cookie' sort of thing.

out with the old

in with the new

*credit for the bed goes to my step-dad, he made it :)
Kade, he helped me put all this together
and of course my hubby, for working hard.
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013


 Wyatt making a paracord bracelet - if you want one, he's selling them :) 

 Oliver learning about angles

Matanuska Lake Trails
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As my youthful years are slowly falling behind, I am reminded what I enjoyed about my youth and the memories now, that remind me of those days. I find myself looking for them again, I never thought I would.

I have so many memories of my summers spent in Nebraska, on the farm.

Large fields, barns and their lofts full of hay, silos, tractors, animals and even the muck that came with them, barn cats, the good/not-so-good smells, chasing piglets into trailers to move locations, making sure the bull was not in the barn (we wanted to go up in the loft), chickens running out of the coop with no heads, making memories with cousins, and the list goes on.

While I LOVED those summers, I never saw myself as a 'farm girl', no way, no how! My sister is the animal lover, not me. Jump ahead 25 years...

I have farm animals, I have hay, I chase pigs, I muck the muck, smell the smells, I want to add more animals and started plans to build a barn...with a loft. When I say 'I', I do mean 'we'. I never imagined being here, but I wouldn't change a thing. I also live in an area that has its own farm charm. When I was younger, I took it all for granted. It was around every day, I realize now I didn't really notice these things...or maybe I just didn't care.
Palmer, Alaska


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Sunday, May 5, 2013

embrace | 245

So, I totally bombed my 365 project.

Mistake #1- I realize I should not try to follow a suggested list; I know, it's only suggestions, but my OCD kicks in and I MUST produce that photo.

Mistake #2 - Just giving up, instead of ignoring the list.

So, here's to restarts.

245 days to embrace life through photos.

I connected this project to 'by the creekside'. Just click on the above tab and it will direct you from there :) Pin It

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Wyatt and Oliver have watched numerous lego tutorials, they decided it was time to make their own. 

*Wyatt asked me to delete the very end, where he's telling Oliver to 'cut'. I'm impaired when it comes to technology, so please ignore the end!

If you are looking for a fish tank or a bike ya go :)


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One of these days I might write an aspiring post about my many ambitions, inspiring dreams, deepest feelings (ok, that may never happen), and more of my life, I said, some day.

For now, you get pictures of little events in our life. Mostly pictures the kids. After all, they won't always be this little.

Kade's farm school group had a field trip to Fish Creek, in Big Lake. They were restoring the shore along a section of the creek using willows they harvested on a previous field trip. The kids took rebar and pounded it into the FROZEN ground to make the hole, then stuck a branch in and covered it back up. They might have had a larger number planted, if Alaska would wake up from winter! We'll visit the creek in a couple months and see how the willows are growing.

A couple beautiful swans kept us entertained.
Kade pounded many pieces of rebar, while standing in the creek. I think those boots were worth the investment, but chest waders next time.
Wyatt and his friend found fresh-water shrimp and a few other water species.
Oliver and Amelia spun circles that would make me lose my lunch.

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