Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Making the move

My new home is at


See that post below?

Does it show up in microscopic font for you too?

Blogger won't save it when I try to fix.

Time to make the move.

Come visit me where the text is readable.

Monday, March 8, 2010

To quote my sister Kris

She wrote "Ok, end the pity party and update your blog!" on my facebook page yesterday.

Alright then.

I'm over it. for now.

Thank you all for the encouraging comments on my last post.

A few things I know:

I have been blessed with amazing people in my life.

I will always have my friends, no matter where I am.

I am where I am because God has placed me here.

I can choose to be happy.

Vitamins really help.

So, on with life I go.

Now the random things of life.
Because I know that's what you all come here looking for.

It's spring break here.
We have snow. Lots of it.
There is likely close to four feet in our backyard and more on the way.
It's spring break here.
I should take pictures of all the snow.

Ben had a friend sleep over last night.
It's a friend that I have a very low tolerance for.
Last night I overheard Ben and his friend in a heated discussion.
It was a creation vs. evolution discussion.
Ben had his Bible out and was reading from Genesis.
He was rock solid.
I love that kid.

We signed back up for
Full Circle Farms.
We had used the service in Kotzebue, but hadn't signed back up since we'd moved here.
They offer a CSA program that delivers organic produce here to bush Alaska.
It was so fun getting our first box of yummy stuff and this week we get another!

Tonight Cooper read a book to me.
Well, most of a book anyway.
It was Danny and the Dinosaur.
He did such a good job!
It's hard to believe that just last fall he could barely recognize his letters.
I love that kid too!

Remember back here, I had decided to join a "read through the Bible in a year" group.
I quit.
It's okay.
I am not legalistic so I have no guilt in letting this go.
Our church recently started a Beth Moore study and I really felt like that was where I needed to be right now.
I am also trying to get through the Love Dare.
The Love Dare is a 40 day challenge. It will take me much longer than that.
Those two things are important to me right now.
Some year I'll read through the Bible.
Just not this year.

And that's all she wrote tonight.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gotta be honest here

I'm still struggling here.

Life here in Dillingham is a little tougher to adjust to than it was in Kotzebue.

I'm trying to sort it all out.

Maybe I shouldn't, but that's just what I do.

I don't think it's just me either.
The boys seem to be struggling too.

We all seem to be struggling with connections or lack thereof.

I thrive on friendship. I love girlfriends.
I have always been blessed with AMAZING girlfriends.
Can't seem to make connections here and not for lack of trying.

I really miss my BFF's.
One is my sister. We chat often, but I still really miss her.
The other is a friend that I was blessed to meet 5 years ago.
Three years ago we really connected.
I miss her so much that every time we talk I cry.
So I've avoided calling her.
That hurts.

Any words of wisdom?

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Double digits today and it's bittersweet.

Dear Ben,

My sweet valentine.
Happy tenth birthday!
What a year it has been for you.
You have accepted this adventure like a true champ.
I am amazed at how you have adapted and flexed to both of our new towns.
I love watching you grow into a great boy who loves and cares for others.

My prayer for you in this coming year is that you will continue to grow more in love with Jesus and care deeply for your family.

Put on your Full Armor of God Ben, so that you may withstand the ways of the world as you grow into an amazing big boy!

Love you bunches,


Standing on the tundra in Kotzebue with gramma.
September 2009

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Funky Monkey

There is a smoothie shop in the Salmon Creek area of Vancouver that the boys and I used to frequent when we lived there. For the life of me, I can't remember what it was called, but it was one of those chain shops and it wasn't Jamba Juice. The name doesn't really matter that much, except that it drives me nuts that I can't remember what the place is called, so if anyone there can clue me in it would really help me sleep at night.

Anyway, Cooper LOVED a smoothie there called the Funky Monkey. It was chocolate, peanut butter and banana. He used to BEG me daily to stop and get him a "Funty Munty" (remember, he has speech issues). Well there is no stopping for a Funky Monkey anywhere around here, so we have created out own, and I do have to say that it is as good as (if not better than) the original.

Since it's that good, I've decided to share our recipe with you, but first you have to start with a different recipe. The first one that you need is our Hot Cocoa mix. Yes, we make our own Hot Cocoa mix. In bulk. Because we drink hot cocoa in bulk. Feel free to 1/2 this recipe if you need to.

Hot Cocoa Mix
16 Cups Powdered Milk
10 Cups Powdered Nesquik Chocolate
6 Cups Powdered Non Dairy Creamer (you can use flavored....I don't, but you could)

Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
To serve mix 1/2-3/4 cup of mix in a mug with HOT water.
Top with lots of marshmallows.

Funky Monkey Smoothie
1 1/2 cups Ice
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup Hot Cocoa mix
4 tablespoons peanut butter
two bananas

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
Makes 2-3 servings.

Cooper is one happy bush Alaska living boy since we've started making these!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


That's what life in the Alaskan Bush is.

We all get up together (most days), get ready for work and/or school. Some days I sub at the school, some days I work at the store, some days I stay home.

We all drive to town together.

The boys get dropped off at school. So do I if I'm working there that day.

Dave goes to the store. So do I if I'm working there that day.

In the afternoon the boys walk to the store unless it's real cold (below zero). In which case one of us will run and pick them up. Somedays they have activities to go to, like chess club or basketball or guitar lessons, right after school.

On the days that I sub at the school we hang out at the public library after school while we wait for Dave to get off.

On the days that I work at the store the boys just come there and hang out and wait for us to get off work. They like to pick a movie from the video department to watch on the giant display TV's. Or sometimes they go play on the big piles of plowed snow in the parking lot.

On the days that I am not working then the boys come home on the bus.

Evenings are spent at home.

If there is still daylight when we get home the boys almost always choose to play outside, no matter how cold.

There is chores and homework, always before playing outside.

Then dinner. Always made at home. We eat normal food. Sometimes it's something labor intensive, sometimes it's not and sometimes it's just cereal. Tonight we had Tyson chicken strips (from the freezer section) and Ore-Ida steak fries. We decided to pretend we were eating out at Red Robin!

After dinner is reading, baths and sometimes a little American Idol!

AWANA is on Thursday evenings and we go to potluck/Bible Study almost every Friday night.

Dave works Saturdays (he works 5 1/2 days a week, Wednesdays are his 1/2 day....such is the life of a grocery manager) so the boys and I hang out on Saturdays, usually at home, but sometimes there is something going on in town. Last Saturday there was an "Ocean Art" time at the UAF Bristol Bay campus. This Saturday there is a showing of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in 3D in the elementary school gym, complete with 3D glasses for the first 200 people!

Saturday evenings are usually spent hanging out at home, often playing games with friends or watching a movie.

Sundays are church and then more of not alot of anything. Sometimes football, sometimes sledding, sometimes lunch with friends (at our house or theirs), always a nap!

See, it's normal. Just like your life.

And now i have no idea what else to blog about.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sunny Sunday (cold too!)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Simply Random Thursday

Shhhh, listen. Can you hear that?
It's my husband. Snoring. At 9:00 in the morning.
He finally has a day off. He has worked 11 straight.
The boys are off to school, so it's just Dave and I home for the day.
That NEVER happens.
I'm going to make pancakes and bacon (his favorite) for breakfast.
Then we'll probably watch a movie or something.

Can I share with you one of the blessings of this house?
The garage is heated.
And we park the truck in it.
It was so nice to get into an already warm truck this morning to take the boys to the bus stop.

My boys don't usually ride the bus in the morning.
Normally Dave takes them to school on his way to the store.
Not needing to go into town today we opted for the bus.
We had no idea what time it came so we were out there early.
While sitting there in the beautiful morning moonlight (and our already warm truck), Benjamin said "It's amazing that God could create the world to work like it does." and Cooper said "I'm glad we live in Alaska mom."
I could only agree with both of them.

Have you ever read through the Bible in a year?
I never have. I'm not sure that I've ever even attempted to.
This year that is one of my goals.
I have the time. Trust me, I have lots of time these days.
And I really want to.
Last night I was blog surfing and went to my cyber friend Meredith's blog.
She had posted about a group of people that were reading through the Bible in a year.
So I invited myself to join along.
I am excited!
Care to join in?

And one final thought on this random day.
I've been thinking about changing blogging platforms (is that what this is called?).
From Blogger to Wordpress.
I've been playing around with Wordpress a little bit and it seems to have some better features than Blogger.
It seems a little more "grown-up" than Blogger.
I've already imported all my past blogs over there (it was soooo easy to do!).
I'm still blogging here for now, but I'm thinking that will change soon.

Check it out.

You can tell me what you think about it!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas 2009

We did celebrate it.
In Dillingham.

We had to really, tickets for us to fly to see our family would have cost $4182! Eek. Oh, and driving is just not an option, so stay we did.

Honestly, I didn't expect to do as well as I did. This was my our first Christmas not spent with family. But I did okay. Some days I cried, most I didn't.

Right around the time I started wondering what we were going to do for a Christmas tree, a gal that Dave works with offered to loan us an extra one that she had. Oh sure, we could have gone out and cut one down, but we really had no idea where to go. We had also heard that trees that are cut here don't last long because they die of shock when they are brought in to a warm house! We had no desire to see a tree "die of shock" right here in our living room, so the offer of an artificial pre-lit tree was truly a blessing.

The boys made their lists and they both requested new costumes. Cooper wanted a policeman costume and Ben wanted a "ranger's cloak". It just cracks me up that both of my boys LOVE to dressup. Remember last year's Christmas gifts? Believe it or not the ranger's cloak was easy, I just called Gramma! The policeman costume proved to be a little bit more difficult, but after much online searching I found one.

Ben in his rangers cloak with his new bow and arrow set.

Apparently I have not taken a picture of Cooper in his police costume yet, but here he is crashed out on Christmas night with the hat on!

Other gifts came by way of Santa Amazon and Vision Forum. It was truly the easiest Christmas shopping I've ever done and ALL of the gifts arrived in time for Christmas and most with free shipping!

When the shopping was done, I decided to start baking. I went in search of a good sugar cookie recipe and ran across Our Best Bites and fell in love!! I made these and this and this, all of which were very yummy and fun to give away. I really wanted to make these, but was not able to get the small jars at the store here. They are so cute though and I thought they would make fun teacher gifts.

Oh, and let us not forget the sugar cookie recipe. I had so much fun making these and this recipe is so easy and makes a really good cookie. I should know, I ate enough of them....

Christmas Eve brought a candlelight service at our church. It was very beautiful. Benjamin was asked to read part of the Christmas Story from Luke 2. He did such a great job! We were also able to hear Bible readings and Silent Night in the Yu'pik native language.

Christmas morning we slept in. Yes, I said, we slept in. Oddly enough our kids have NEVER woken up early on Christmas day. They're weird, but I'm not complaining. We got out of bed at 9:30 and I made the kids wait just a little bit longer while I got breakfast in the oven and then we set out to open gifts. The boys were very happy with their three gifts from mom and dad, their stockings filled by Santa, and their gifts from grandma and poppa.

After all the gifts were open we set to work at getting dinner ready. We had extended the invitation to other families, who have no family here, to come to dinner at our house. We ended up with about 20 people here for dinner and games that lasted late into the evening. It was so much fun!

Christmas 2009 will go down as one of our best Christmas' ever, if you ask me!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Nine months

Alot can happen in nine months.

A family can grow.

In numbers and strength.

It's been exactly nine months since we left behind our "old" life for our crazy Alaskan adventure and we have grown.

Not in numbers (I can't say that we ever will but I can't say that we never will either) but definitely in strength.

Awhile back my friend Nicci asked me to post what God has been teaching us since our move. She said "I know He has a reason for your Alaska life and I want to know how He has been moving."

Well, Nicci, here is how God is moving.

We are learning how to live and be together as a family, not that we didn't do that before, we just didn't do it well. It took the removal of all the distractions of suburban life to show us that we really weren't thriving, just surviving. We are discovering that we still have things to do, people to know and a few places to go, but we are also discovering that those things don't own us or define us.

Our boys still play sports; there has been softball and basketball so far, and ice hockey starts soon. There is no tryouts or practice or team parties or trophies or running from field to field. It's just sports, the way sports used to be. The boys are also learning how to be boys; to play in the woods, shoot a bow and arrow, build forts and ride on snowmachines. We no longer schedule their every waking minute with activities. Of course there is still school and we have been blessed with an awesome AWANA club here in Dillingham, but most days we come home, do homework and then they usually head out to play. We don't schedule playdates anymore. If they want to play with neighbor kids then they just go outside eventually other kids will show up. If no one shows up to play, well they still have each other and they are slowly learning to be each others best friend.

I can't speak for my husband as to what he is learning through this adventure, but the one thing that I see is that he has realized it's okay to take a risk, to step out into the unkown, to leap in faith. Because that is what he did for us. Moving our family away from Vancouver was a BIG step for Dave, but he did it in faith and I am certain that there is no regret on his part.

My growth has come in the form of learning to live in the moment, not worrying about what the future holds (but still having to remember that if I need something not available here, I must plan ahead because shipping things takes time!). Without a doubt, although sometimes I do, I know that we are exactly where God wants us to be. Even in Dillingham, a town that has been much harder for me to embrace than Kotzebue was. Most of the time I don't even question the reason why we are here. To me it is simple, and it is the same reason God places anyone anywhere. Our reason for being is to bring glory to God, to show others the love of Christ in a real and tangible way, and to love others the way that Jesus loved in order that they may come to know Him. That's it. It's simple. Yet, sometimes I forget. Sometimes I find myself wallowing in pity. Poor me, I live in the Alaskan bush, I don't have fast internet, or starbucks, or Target. Poor me, butI forget to look at what I do have; a husband who loves us enough to take a giant leap of faith, boys who are learning and experiencing more in their lifetime than most ever will, and a God who has given me more than I ever deserve and who has been everywhere he will ever take me.

I can't say that our life is perfect (just today I snarled at my husband as soon as he walked in the door) but I can say that it is perfect for us.

PS...2010 is our PFD qualifying year!!