Monday, October 31, 2022

Apples and an Unexpected Playdate

My goal in this new week is to turn six cases of Ambrosia apples into 80 quarts of applesauce.  I had hoped to start the project last week, but it was simply too busy. 

I was off to a good start when I got a call from BreAnne. The kids have had pink eye. Bella developed a "thing" in her eye which I'd never seen with pink eye. The doctor told her to bring her in today. He was surprised and said he had never seen it before either. He referred her to an ophthalmologist. 

They were getting her in today - and I was off to watch the other kids. It was fun to see how excited Jojo was to see me. It wasn't too long ago he would scream when we looked at him. ::grin::  While Bre and Bella were gone, we watched a bit of tv, made masks, and handed out candy to Trick or Treaters. 

Bella has a bacterial infection in her eye and should be doing well once the meds kick in. 

I got home to the welcome discovery Michael had processed a whole case of the apples! He cooked them down, put them through the saucer and got them into jars. When I came home at 7:30 p.m. he was cleaning up. I finished cleaning up and got the jars through the canner. One case down and five to go. We ran out of applesauce in August this year and so we are hoping six cases will take care of that problem in the upcoming year. 

October Snippets

📷by Lindsey

This little man, Jojo, is developing so much personality and is adding words to his vocabulary daily! 

As the sun takes longer to come out in the morning and goes down sooner in the afternoon the inside lights come out. I still haven't put up the fall tree...but the other lights are up and in use. 

Such a beautiful bin of winter squash at food co-op. I did NOT get 100# this year. I opted for 30# from this order and am ordering another #30 of delicata and koboha. 

📷by Laci

We are getting some BIG eggs these days. 

Hello, Boys! I don't take for granted the opportunity to be with our grandblessings. I never had this as a child. 
Danny, Benny 

Gideon built our church in legos - complete with a steeple and a side entrance! 
📷by Bre


Finally trying out the bar pan...I like it. 

Krista sent a photo to Michael while she was traveling. Look! Our first 2022 penny. She earned the reward this year! The rest of us can still exchange a 2022 penny for a silver dollar if we find one before Dec 31st. I believe this one was found in Las Vegas. 

Um...storing the mop bucket on the deck led to some unexpected consequences. Ice Sculpture anyone? 

There you have it - random photos on my camera! Snippets from October that didn't fit anywhere else. 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

ANOTHER Crazy Busy Week

And so, once again, I find myself contemplating my schedule. This is the 4th week of the month, and it was nearly as busy as the 2nd week of the month...the next week is slow again. I recognize both food co-op and life group happen on the 2nd and 4th weeks.  I am not quitting either one of those events. I am going to have to be diligent NOT to schedule appointments in that week, so we have margin for the "pop up" opportunities which invariably fill our days. Since it WAS a week one simply hangs on and runs through....I will not try to capture daily posts. Here is our week in a glance. 

Michael taught SUNDAY School and preached last Sunday. I picked up a young man we give a ride to church, dropped Stacia off to help a bit with CoRielle's obligations, and ran the rest of us to church. 

Yes, fall is cold in Alaska. I know it is still fall because the CALENDAR says it is fall. We are in the process of remembering to allow time to warm the car, scrape the windows, and dig out warmer clothes. I need to find my winter gloves for early a.m. feedings and waterings of chickens and rabbit. I'm reminded every morning it IS time to do it. LOL 

We had nothing on the calendar for MONDAY. Allie has been under the weather. She stayed home and slept and worked on college - conserving her energy until work, while Stacia and I ran errands. Looking ahead, we KNEW this was the day to fit in all our "trips". We hadn't been to Walmart in ages. Y'all if I did all my shopping at Walmart, I would have to fight anxiety. Their shelves were spinach, no roasts...anyway...Stacia needed to buy a supply of fondant for Bre's baby shower cake, I had several cooking events this week, this was our shopping day. 

Back at home, I went outside to help Michael with some yard projects we wanted done before snow falls. Stacia made dinner for which we were grateful.  

I was surprised to find kale and lettuce still growing in the greenhouse. I am wondering how long I can keep it alive. 

TUESDAY I was at CoRielle's at 8:00 a.m. I bring tea and my breakfast. The boys were quick to ask for tea. It's apparent I've contributed to their delinquent tea drinking tendencies. 

They loved it so much Little Buddy said a new word - strung two of them right together - "Please, tea." Oh yes, I was proud of his words. He likes the z bar as well. LOL 
We love his face -it just stays hidden until adoption is final. 

We had a great morning. The television was not even requested. We played games, I read, we played with magna tiles, we jumped from dino to bed, we played hide and seek, and Arielle and Cory were home to grab boys and run two different directions before we knew it.  

The day was going well! I arrived across town in time to eat my lunch before starting my 4-hour shift. It turns out volunteers were low and there was just ONE volunteer for the 3rd shift. She had graciously come in early to help us with 2nd shift. We stayed to help her with her shift. I got home at 7:30 p.m. It was a long day - but it was spent with good people and fun, as well as work, was enjoyed. 

WEDNESDAY Dad had a doctor appointment. These are always a bit wild. He still has heart failure, they simply wanted to check numbers as they continue to adjust meds. His dementia was on display as he insisted, I was his wife and was born in MT. I suppose it's good for them to note what life is like in our home. 

I arrived home at 3 p.m. and began prepping for a women's ministry event that evening. OK - it was BINGO. I'd never played BINGO, but the gals love it, and this night had no purpose other than socializing between 6-week study series. I made a couple of snacks and made sure I had handouts available for the next study.

Stacia was also in the kitchen starting the fondant work on Bre's baby shower cake. There was great muttering going on. Allie is there in the background working on her first college math class. 

This cake was heavy enough that pillars had to be used...Michael helped as Stacia, and I were simply not getting the job done. 

Somewhere in here I became aware it was expected I would run the girls to the store to buy an item for their planned costumes for youth group. It was obvious I wasn't going to get it done before 5 p.m.

Stacia says she asked, "Mom can you take us to the store today?" I have no memory of this. I asked her if I responded (which seems to be even more alarming to have forgotten). No, I didn't respond. ::shew::

OK - a lesson in positive communication and closing the circle of communication ensued.  If I don't respond, one must assume I didn't hear and close the circle.  (Note we ran into this in reverse this a.m. before church. I assumed Stacia's response when she didn't respond. ::snort::) Allie quickly googled other options for costumes, I got pizza on the table, Michael helped the girls....

...and they and I left for the church around 5:15 p.m.  I will listen closer in the future; they will make sure I respond if they need to add an item to my schedule. 

THURSDAY, Stacia and I worked on mints and the food we could prepare for the Baby Shower. 

Allie spent many hours on her math assignment. 

I began drying mushrooms. 

I was not happy with the way Stacia left the cake on Wednesday night. She was frustrated with it as well. Today, she tore off the borders, re-did them and added some more swirls. I think it turned out darling. She said she feels like she was on an episode of Nailed IT - but no one else KNEW what her original vision was - this cake is darling! 

Thursday night was life group. We were down to 11, but it was a challenging discussion. Always good. Food was consumed. 

FRIDAY, the girls and I joined together this week for our breakfast study. We began a study on women in the Bible. It was a great week. We are enjoying the study and saw many new things we'd not seen before. The same was true online. We'll begin this study next week with our local group.  Millie was VERY happy when we got home. 

As Stacia and I worked on food, Allie worked to complete her week's college assignments. At one point she asked me to check a math problem which was giving her trouble. I don't know math. I called Stacia over. We all got the same answer. We woke Michael up. He got a different answer - I don't think it was the right one either. We are all eagerly waiting to hear what we did wrong. LOL  Allie called it quits and began dipping thick pretzels for the shower. 
College math is a family affair in our home

Friday night was Bre's Baby shower. Michael came and helped Pastor watch Bre's kids as Izaak wasn't able to make it back to town. The shower will be its own post - the only thing receiving its own post this week. 

This week has reminded me of a friend from the Elmendorf Gospel service. He was raised by a single mom. Noting all the food consumed at church gatherings he commented, "If we'd known about the church back in the day, we wouldn't have been hungry." There's a whole lotta eating involved in churching. LOL 

SATURDAY - everyone except Grandpa and I slept in. We dried more mushrooms. These will last a good long while. 

I enlisted Michael to help the girls with two driving skills. They left for 2 1/12 hours. They worked on parallel parking (a skill I have not perfected) and highway merging (a skill I didn't want to face with them).  He agrees they are ready for their driving tests. 

While they were out and about, I put together a dinner to take to a new mom, as well as some snacky items for her to have on hand for breakfasts or quick hunger attacks. 

We all went to deliver the food and visit with Elise. Isabella is a doll! 

Sweet Moments - Elise and Isabella 

Isabella had a rough start, and it was great fun to visit her at HOME rather than in the NICU. It is our honor to commit to continue to pray for God's healing touch in her life. 

Michael spent the evening preparing for Sunday School.  Dad decided he was going to bed. The girls and I watched a couple of episodes of The Chosen. We had watched it before, but I tend to fall asleep. I told them not to worry as I was familiar with the plot line. ::smirk:: The thing is I am NOT familiar with the characters and am forever asking things such as, "Is that John or Andrew?" 

Season three is coming. I have decided to watch season 1 and 2 before it drops. They wanted to watch with me. 

Earthquake as I finish typing this Sunday a.m. and 8:48 a.m. 

Friday, October 21, 2022

The Magic of Insomnia

The great thing about insomnia in Alaska is it has the potential of being a magical adventure! I got up at about 2 a.m. and wandered into the nook. I leaned over to close the blinds so that the light from Alex leaving at 4:45 wouldn't wake me up.  What an odd fog I saw...and then I was the Northern Lights. 


My camera was not doing them justice. Michael loves the lights, I took a chance and woke him up. He got his "real camera" out and got some good shots.  These were taken from GG's ramp. We could stand there and be in the middle of the yard and see all directions. 

In addition to the lights the STARS were amazing last night. It's been a while since it was dark enough for the stars to shine.  We even got a bit of the meteor shower - or shooting stars as I prefer to call them. 

These are from our deck. The lights were beautiful dancing over the mountain ranges and into the trees. 

Michael mentioned the lights would be beautiful from the top of the mountain. I was slipperless, in a thin robe and didn't take the hint. Maybe we'll bundle up and go for a drive next time. LOL 

It is my intention to embrace each season. As our days shorten and the dark lengthens, we see more and more starts and light activity. One can't help but be excited about this winter blessing. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Grand Fun

This afternoon was my turn to play with these grands! Bre had an appointment today and I look forward to my times with the kids. Bella and I tried to figure out her latch hook kit. I'm afraid I'm not very good at it, but she figured it out. 

These three had a great time creating with magna tiles. 

Unfortunately, I developed a raging headache.  I'm not really sure why. I came home and rested, we had dinner and I headed out for Bible study. The girls stayed home tonight. I declared them both in need of rest before they head out tomorrow for conference.  They sound MUCH better today. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Hoops, Cakes and Tomatoes

These two year olds were a handful this morning. I applaud CoRielle's ingenuity in creating a basketball hoop for the boys. 

We DID have fun...I just had to up my Bachan game. I had to bring my A game today. 

But this oven! I never would have opted for this oven if we hadn't already had the stove/oven year long saga. I was ready to agree to anything...and while this one requires me to squat low to get things OUT of the lower oven...we are using both ovens quite a bit. Today, Stacia was able to bake all five cakes on her list at ONE TIME.

It is still not scratched. I clean this thing more thoroughly than I cleaned my babies. LOL  After all the drying...THIS is what I got from our garden harvest.... a bit of tomato powder, some dried tomatoes, and 1/2 a pint of pepper flakes.  I also made some yummy spaghetti sauce.... but if I can use the greenhouse space next year...I need to opt for many more tomato and pepper plants and many less cucumber varieties.  Putting this here in the hopes I'll remember next year at planting time. 

The tomato powder is YUMMY. I will use it to thicken soups and add it here and there for a zesty taste. I don't like tomatoes, but I have found myself snacking on the dried tomatoes. 

Monday, October 17, 2022

A Day at Home

I finally had a day with NOTHING on the schedule. I took advantage of the time to process the rest of our tomatoes and peppers. 

Allie is in between classes and off of school this week. I told Stacia to take the week off school too. She had pressed through with school even when she was SICK.  They need to rest as much as they can. Stacia is fighting her way back to health. They have a conference on Thursday.  Stacia felt well enough to begin planning BreAnne's baby shower cake. 

I believe she decided not to go with these pans. She'll use the top two for the bottom and then two 6 in for the's going to be cute. 

I used 3 dozen eggs and made baked omelets. These are in the freezer and should make for easier breakfasts for GG when I'm out in the morning, as well as quick breakfasts for the rest of us. 

Michael worked on building a new compost bin. Alex is off work today and ran some errands and played video games. I took Allie to work. One of us will fetch her at the end of her shift. The girls are so close to getting their license we can "smell it." I think they could pass now, but we want to get more highway practice. 

I grabbed a power nap. Millie joined me and Stacia grabbed a photo. LOL  Oh - and I got two women's ministry team meetings on the calendar. 

After dinner Dad talked on the phone for quite a bit and Michael, Stacia and I played Sorry. It seems there are new rules and this does not look the Sorry I play with the grands on Wednesdays. Stacia won all three games.

Poor Millie was very sad she didn't get to play.