Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wraping up Summer

With a morning frost on the grass and garden, I believe Fall is here. 
This summer has been amazing! Warm and full of adventure.  The cold weather must be due to the fact that our President is here for the "Climate Change Conference."  A hearty "Welcome to Alaska!"
Back to Our Family...
We had the pleasure of going flying with Grandpa and Grandma last week.  It was the most beautiful day.  We finished up homeschool and went out to Scott Rd., to Moffit's field.  What a view!  And we have pretty amazing stunt-flying Grandparents.  The kids were loving it, but not quite as much as the open fields to run and roll in... Sorry Grandpa.
Actually Calvin was the most enthralled with the planes.
That and Grandma's lunch.
Grandpa had to make some adjustments to the biplane, it was worth the wait. 
End of Summer Reading Program at IDEA. Henry and Lydia were top readers in their grade, and I missed at least half of Henry's reading minutes.  He's a voracious reader, I love it.
The reading program partnered with Bricks for Kids.  They were able to build their own Lego men/women and a merry-go-round that ran off of a battery pack. 
So I didn't grow up with Lego's, and I haven't gotten any for my kids either.  I was amazed at how able they were at following directions and building working models.  Especially Lydia, she kept getting irritated at me for helping.  It was a great day! Guess I will have to invest in some Legos.
Our next great adventure was Hiking in Eklutna.  I have only been out there one other time, last summer.  It was beautiful! There's a hiking trail up to Twin Peaks, about 2.8 miles to the top.  There was supposedly a look out half a mile up the trail... 2.3 miles later... we found the bench and the view was well worth it.  Next year we are planning on hiking up to the top and into the bowl.  There's supposed to be amazing blueberries up there.  (Not many people want to hike the three miles to get the blueberries and then haul them down)

Our best friends showed us a great spot up in Hatchers Pass for picking blueberries.  We went twice and found the mother load :)  It was a very successful pick.  Daddy even got to go with us!
Other berry picking was less "fruitful".. But we were taught a new way to "pick" raspberries by our youngest.  Skip the middle man!
And these are the fruits of our labor! 
17 quarts of Jam
Rhubarb Blueberry
Raspberry Rhubarb
Rhubarb Cherry
Rhubarb Lemon
For now... More to come :)
More summer time adventures.. we hiked the Butte nearly every week.  Next summer we are planning bigger and better adventures. Maybe some winter hikes too... Summer time we will miss you! 
My baby isn't so much a baby!! UGH!
What a ham!
My successful Hunter!!
He went out to get a Moose, the Lord provided a Caribou.  Which we accepted gratefully.
And the next week a friend got a moose, too much meet for his family, so he gave us a leg and some ribs.  We didn't have room in the freezer for a full moose and caribou.. thus the mass jam making.  But now we have both.  The Lord blesses us with miracles daily and we are ever grateful for his hand in our lives. 
There are great blueberries up in Denali too I guess :)
Fresh Blueberry oatmeal for the hunters.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

So it begins...

(Baby Elizabeth) 
 Tomorrow we begin a year of home School for Elizabeth, Henry & Lydia!
I was really excited and then hyperventilating, sure I was going to ruin their brains... and now after a night of prayers on my knees and lots of tears... I think I am ready.  
Saturday is Elizabeth's 9 birthday!! 
This year will be a wonderful, eye opening year for her I hope.  
 And this kid begins his second year of home school and is still excited to do it.  I love sitting down with them and discussing their interests and what they want to learn about.  
I LOVE learning! I wish I loved it as much while I was IN school! 
But seeking out good books and learning is exciting and fulfilling. 
I started reading "Famous American Women" by Hope Stoddard last night and forgot to get the kids to bed :)  American History, here we come! 
(Henry age 1)
While I still worry about failing my children, I know that with the Lords help anything is possible.  I have been counseled, as we all have, to keep our priorities aligned, and the Lord would bless me in my endeavors. Put the Lord First, Marriage second, Family third, Church callings and then all else.  We learned this scripture in Primary today,  "But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe."  Faith in the Lord produces Miracles.  

Friday, August 7, 2015


 I can't believe how much he has grown in the last few years, well months even! 
We looked at pictures and ate red velvet cupcakes with tons of friends and family
His visit was great, he's a normal healthy boy! 
He does still have high Ferritin levels and low Transferrin and TIBC(something like that... the things responsible for taking free iron out of the body).  So he has lots of iron in his body and the guys responsible for cleaning it up are tired or out to lunch :)
Normal levels of iron range from 20-330 or something like that and Henry is at 838.
So a bit high. 
We are waiting to hear back from Seattle, if they want any further action taken to remove the excess iron.  
He lost his first tooth, is starting 2nd grade and healthy!
He's amazing! Loves being a missionary to his friends, telling them all kinds of bible stories.
And reads as much and as often as he can.  Right now he's reading "Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe."
I testify of the Lords law of compensation, Elder Scott spoke of it once, that every tear would be repaid an hundred fold... and it truly has! The Lord doth visit his people in their time of affliction, and carries the load so that even they cannot feel the weight of it.  I can look back with great joy and happiness and mostly forget all the heartache and struggle.  We can go through struggles and hard times with out the Lords help, but with His strength and support we can bear our burdens with ease and with joy.

The Eye

 This day has been a day of tender mercies and incredible learning.
Miss E had vision therapy today.  Wednesday she got her first set of glasses! Don't have a picture yet... not sure why.  I was so excited for her to "see" a whole new world, however, the glasses weren't as "corrective" as I thought they would be.  Thus the vision therapy today. 
Tender mercy: Neighbors plans got canceled at the last second so she was able to take all my kids while we went to therapy. 
I learned so much about the human eye!!
And my poor sweet daughter's struggles everyday of her life to be able to "see!"
BINOCULARITY: the ability for each eye to consistently and equally input information to the brain.
Fusion: the ability to use both eyes together comfortably for sustained periods of time.
Tracking: the ability to move the eyes accurately to process visual information quickly
Visual Discrimination: the ability to automatically recognize small differences in similar objects
Visual Memory: the ability to store, retain and retrieve visual information
Eye Teaming/Aiming Flexibility: the ability for the eyes to automatically and comfortably make the numerous aiming adjustments needed to maintain clear, single vision
Our eyes do incredible tasks, involuntarily, more often then our heart beats every day. That is, unless there is some sort of imbalance. Her eyes can't consistently do any of the above tasks!
When asked what her favorite subject in school is, she will reply reading. Yet it is the most difficult task for her to accomplish!  I can't wait to see her reading explode when she is able to do all of the above mentioned.  Imagine as a reader, you read the word "country," it's a new word, three pages later you see the same word, "country," our brains remember the form of the word, and read from sight the same word.  Miss E's brain can't do that, yet.  She has to sound out this "new" word all over again. 
I have been fighting back tears all day! Excitement at finally understanding what she was struggling with, and heartbreak at not knowing sooner.  All the frustrating homework sessions, my angry words at her because she wasn't understanding something her younger sibling could.  Forget that I automatically receive the bad mom award, my heart broke for the frustrations she was having and that I was unable to understand or listen or help her understand why everything was so hard!  She's amazing in my eyes, because she's done so well, and persevered through it alone.
This year we are homeschooling all three school age kids! :)  Another tender mercy: going through therapy and relearning all of this at her own pace through homeschool.  I will be able to understand her frustrations, give her the support she needs and watch her grow leaps and bounds. 
Truly the Lord is in our every day lives, constantly there to support and assist us, even when we don't know we need it. What peace and joy I receive from know that.  And what an incredible creation we have been given in the human body!  These things that function and do more than I ever realized they could and needed to do. 
We will be reporting back Soon, with progress :)