Friday, February 25, 2022

Moving Forward as We Look Back

Our weather has warmed up! We are in the 30's and 40's this week. The girls enjoyed lunch on the deck. The sad reality about warm temps and rain is this is the season of ICE which will soon turn to mud...but then comes SUMMER...after break-up.  

It was a blessing to have CyRi visit - all THREE members of CyRi. We love visiting with Josiah and Livie, but Carrie has been working a lot of weekends.  They came out for lunch Saturday (the 19th). Carrie had to work that evening, and we surely appreciate the effort she made to come visit. They are in the process of purchasing a lovely home in Eagle River.  I didn't take a single picture. 

We enjoy our winter routine. The girls spend an hour or two most afternoons writing. Both are working on ambitious projects. Stacia is nearing the end of her novel and is a bit sad to bring it to its conclusion. She is mapping out the 2nd book in the series now. Millie is happy to have the girls in the living room. So am I. I have been reminding everyone summer is coming, and when it arrives, they will be outside working in the yard...for now, we write and read and play board games. 

The cups of hot chocolate are getting quite fancy. This cuppa was spectacular but melted a bit before I grabbed my phone. 

Let's! The girls, Michael and I played board games. We tried a new one called This, That and Everything.  We opted to simply quiz each other rather than play a "game." 

The girls were happy to attend youth group in person this week. I was thrilled to be back with women face to face. Our first local discussion from The Hard Good went well. The girls (and Bible Babes) and I are now halfway through the study and still finding it applicable in unexpected ways. 

Allie spent some time working with Lady, BreZaak's German Shepherd, this week. 

The girls have created action plans from their Career and College planning class. Michael and I are going over them with each girl. Allie is closer to college than Stacia by a year. We've spent some time exploring college programs. Allie took her first college tour this week (virtual as the campus is not nearby).  I sure wish all these virtual options had been available when I was a senior in Manila exploring options in America. We are in the midst of evaluating various ASL/Interpreter programs. Beyond the action plan, both girls are preparing to conduct interviews with those who currently work in the career fields they are considering. 

We also "watched" Lost. We tend to fast forward through intense spots and have skipped a couple of entire episodes. However, we are enjoying it - and enjoying the conversations which spring from it. I simply plug my ears and close my eyes for the more intense scenes. When the recliners are pulled around, we know it's time to watch an episode. This week we set the "rule" that no episode may begin after 8:15 p.m. 
Yes, I DO still have a tree up! 

Into every life a few rotten lemons must come. I've been thinking about spoilage as I volunteer at co-op. Note how spoilage spreads through contact. This seems to illustrate the age-old admonition, "Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character." 1 Cor 15:33 (NIV) Of course there is room for being salt and light IN the world, but I have learned it pays to give attention to Scripture.  I'm still pondering this as well as the needs in our community and researching what we may be able to do to impact this same community. 

No, we did not pay for this box of lemons. These came this way from Wholesome Food Co-op, and we received a refund for them.

I made up a couple of boxes of produce to deliver to CoRielle and BreZaak. I'd share with other Gherkins, but they don't live nearby. Of course, delivering produce has the added bonus of visiting these darling grandblessings.  While at CoRielle's, I worked on a painting project with Benny. 

A day later I collected hugs and snuggles from Gideon and Annie at BreZaak's. 

The kids were happy to display a bit of their schoolwork.  They are doing so well this year. 

Is it springtime in your area? The hint of spring has arrived. I'm not totally convinced winter is done with us. We don't really do spring in Alaska; we do break-up.  The packed snow in our driveway has turned to ICE.  Michael cuts channels across the way to get the water to flow, he also sprinkles gravel, ashes and sand on the's a mess!

I've learned a new tip. I carry a little bucket of sand and gravel and throw it in front of me as I walk up the driveway or around the chicken yard. The chicken yard is a sloppy mess right now. There are still a few feet of snow over most of it; the part under the roof is muddy (as snow melts and runs into the spot), and the walk into and out of the yard is pure ice...You simply haven't felt an adrenaline rush until you've slid a few feet with fresh eggs in your hands. 

Spring cleaning involves a bit of snow. 
Alex beats the rug from their room 

The week has been filled with subtle pranks. It's the Gherkin way of TP' began with a stack of paper left on the back of the toilet by one of the girls after cleaning the bathroom. Then "someone" stacked them in a different spot in the bathroom. This has gone on for weeks. It was noted NOLAN was the someone messing with the TP pyramid.  One morning they were stacked on a little table outside the bathroom. WHAT? A traveling TP pyramid?  Here, the girls "TP" the guys' room...I caught them in the act when I went down to see how that college prep stuff was going. ::snort:: 

Nolan retaliated by stacking the TP on the chair lift. Unfortunately, Michael didn't realize what was going on and took the TP hostage - he moved it to our bathroom. He thought it simply was waiting to go up the stairs. This was a fair assumption.  We are all on the edge of our seats to see where it will turn up next. 

I discovered 1/4 case of green beans was more than we would eat in two weeks. I took some to both girls and decided to can the rest. I got 6 pts of organic green beans on the shelves. We can enjoy them without binging on them in one week. 

Six pints does not fill up the canner. I added 10 pts of rice...all now cooked and canned.  Why? Well, it IS handy to add to soups or stir fries. I've also discovered it's a time saver for camping meals...simply make the Chicken Divan or Hawaiian Chicken to serve over the rice.  I've been meaning to open a jar and try to make some rice balls. I have molds but don't have sticky rice. This is a bit sticky. 

In other news, Stacia is now having two tutoring sessions a week with her Japanese teacher. One of Stacia's personal goals is to be able to quickly hear and respond conversationally in Japanese. Allie will shortly begin tutoring with her ASL teacher who is an ASL Interpreter.  Allie has finished 3 years of high school level ASL and a class on Deaf Culture this school year.  The plan with one-on-one tutoring is to help accelerate her march to fluency and passing various competencies she will need for future college programs. It will also help her move into "flowing in ASL."  Her teacher has noted her most recent videos are starting to show the flow.  This is the moment when an interpreter is thinking and signing ASL rather than translating English into ASL.  The way I understand it, when one speaks ASL, one speaks in meanings rather than strict word-for-word translation. 

Dad had a TIA (mini-stroke) after I blogged last Friday. This led to a few days of craziness, but he has mostly regained the ground he lost. He is doing well and looking forward to church on Sunday. 

Nolan's work schedule has changed from closing to openings! He is working the same number of hours, but we see him much more. I think the closing may be easier with his college schedule. In any event, it has been wonderful to have everyone home for dinner all week. 

Alex has decided he wants to continue working while he works towards his next goals.  He called his supervisor and asked to begin working again and is back on early mornings this week. 

Another busy week is concluding.  I've only to make a pot of smoky salmon chowder and then slide into the weekend. 

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