Monday, April 3, 2017

Quick Update

Life has been an adventure!
Here are some of the projects we have been working on...

Volcanoes and Earthquakes.  Henry build and designed his volcano.  Elizabeth was working on an eagle project. 
 Solar System and Constellations
We learned about each planet and they each wanted to design some sort of solar system project.
It has been a hard year for me as teacher/Mom.  I have daily debated the merits of homeschool vs. public school.  We filled out an intent to enroll in Birch Tree, a Waldorf based learning school, for Elizabeth.  Honestly she and I butt heads more than any of the other kids.  Maybe its because she's so much like me or because she's the oldest, but I really want to do what is best for each of my kids.  So for now, we continue on our homeschool journey.  The kids are going to attend the Curriculum fair with me in May so they can help make decisions.

Henry participated in his first Pinewood Derby!
He designed the car and build it with a little help from Dad.
He ended up winning third place out of 25.  It was a very fun derby!

Another scouting event with some fun face painting. Henry has loved boy scouts, he finished all his badges and moved on to Bears.  I love his excitement about all things scouts, and his desire to be the best scout he can be. 

Lydia and Porter are growing like crazy!  Lydia is reading so well and loves reading to others.  Porter is also beginning to read, he's on lesson 25 of 100.  I am forever grateful to my mother-in-law for introducing me to that book! The kids love it!

We finally had winter!
With so many winters devoid of snow it has been an exciting winter with lots of snow.  The only complaint is that the kids were ready for spring and bike riding, but instead they received another load of snow. I keep explaining that we need it, and the benefits to the land.  Hopefully it will make summer that much more enjoyable. These snow piles are in the parking lot of the church, they are literally half way up the trees!

J and I have been busy with work and callings and having tons of fun with the Elders Quorum, and other members of our ward.  This is one of our favorite activities, Nerf Gun wars! We even learned some tactical entry/clearing rooms.  Mostly it's just a ton of fun to spend time with our ward family!
We participated in some night photography with Shane Lamb and some of his friends, I will post some of those pictures when I get them from J.  It was lots of fun!

We are busy as always, but loving life!  We are looking forward to summer and some hiking and swimming and biking.  Three of the kids and I are participating in a triathlon in June.  And have lots of family camping planned.  Maybe some renovation of the bus :)  The kids are growing so quickly and while I sometimes miss the baby stage, I sure love the new stages of life.   

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A beginning to My Family History

This week Henry began a small project for Scouts.  Bring an old picture of Palmer and a new picture of Palmer.  On my computer I have a few files of old family pictures, we have begun a new and exciting chapter in our History class.  This month and maybe next we are working on OUR HISTORY.  Above is my Grandfather Merritt Long and my Grandmother Phyllis Mae Erickson. 
Phyllis came to Alaska from Minnesota when she was 16 or 17, to be a Nurse. My Grandfather was working in Alaska on the Highway I believe ( My sister and Mother will probably cringe at my lack of knowledge, but I'm just beginning.:).  They met when my Grandfather got hurt working and ended up in the hospital.  Grandma was encouraged by her charge nurse to go care for and meet this handsome patient.  Although she refused at first and was forced by her out ranking superior, they were married soon after.  

 One of the great things about small towns in the Parades
this picture is from 1968, down Main Street in Palmer AK.  
We have a tradition of meeting together at Grandpa's, now Aunt Jo's, Office on Main Street, to watch the parade together.  
Unfortunately I couldn't find any recent pictures of the parade gatherings for some reason, we have recently been having hamburgers or chili (Parade of Lights During December).  Aunt Jo was feeding any and everyone wanting some healthier refreshments.  
 This is my Grandmother in her yard 1970, notice the lack of houses here as compared to the present day picture below, taken in almost the same location. 

These are old and new photos of the Palmer Train Depot in Downtown Palmer, found via the internet.

While my Mother may kill me... haha
This is my favorite comparison
1968 First Day of School for My Beautiful Mother outside my Grandmothers house
and below a picture of my son Henry on the same front steps taken yesterday. :) 

Funny story, I went up and knocked on the door, well more like met a very nervous home owner on his steps wondering who and what I was doing... 
I explained that it was my Grandmothers home and every year they took pictures on the porch before the first day of school and we were doing a History project and I just needed a photo of my son on said porch.  He was impressed with the age of the house and graciously allowed us to take a photo. 
My kids thought I was crazy.. haha all in the name of Family History. 
Also not pictured are some very large birch trees that my mother planted for 4H I believe that are now humongous!  

Recently the Old Pink Church was torn down, located on S Chugach near the Pioneer Home and Middle School.  That was the first meeting  house for Saints in this area and also the place my parents were married.  Sadly I don't have a photo of the building yet, but this photo was the day they were married. :)  So much awesomeness I can't contain myself!! :) 
Fun side note, I wore that blue dress my Grandmother is wearing several times in highschool, 
 Here is another parade photo, the little boy is my brother Brian
I remember very well a parade when I was very little which included a life size Ronald McDonald and when he approached me I ran away terrified and screaming.  Not a fan of clowns back then. 

This one is a picture of me and my Grandmother Phyllis, oh how I loved going to visit her.  She always had awesome Dinosaur cookies and a wall of mugs that I got to choose from for some water or milk.  

This is where my Grandfather Merritt Long is buried, in the Palmer Cemetery.
He died when I was 5 or 6 from Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS).  My most prominent memory of him was a day we visited their house.  He sat on his big brown chair and I asked him to read me a story.  Something about an abominable snow dog, and although he protested saying he couldn't read very well anymore, he read anyway and then let me sneak into Grandma's almonds.  She always had a jar of almonds on her shelves, we weren't usually allowed to touch.  I love almonds because they remind me of him. 

And this is a photo from April 16, 2016 
My Grandmother's 90th Birthday!!!! 
She doesn't always remember who I am, she thinks I am her daughter, my mother, but oh how she loves to see the children! They love to visit her and even if its only a few minutes it's wonderful.  I miss the wonderful lady I knew and wish I could ask her questions and hear all kinds of stories about her youth, but this it the joy of family history work.  It's recorded somewhere by someone. 
So here is my start to my own personal Family History. I feel such a great joy and love when I do what little work I am able to.  I am excited about learning more and especially teaching my children. 
Hopefully there will be much more to come! :) 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


It's been 7 years!! Tomorrow is the day, Henry's Transplant Birthday! Last night we couldn't remember which day it was exactly (I consider that a good sign, not a sign of old age :), so we went through all the old posts from August 2009.  I think it's a little like child birth, after a while your forget the bad, horrible, sad and rough days. Looking through the posts it all comes back, and my heart starts to race, and my anxiety rises, but I also can see the many, many miracles we received daily.

Transplant Day

 Oh there were hard days....

 Traditional Red Velvet Cupcakes :) 

 Love from the Pioneer Peak Ward Nursery... That was a wonderful day! 

And today...

 Goofy, silly, funny, adorable, crazy, bottomless pit.... A joy and a miracle and a blessing 

Today we met with the Doctor to discuss medication to control his iron overload.  He will begin taking Jadenu, a drug that helps the body regulate and break down iron.  There are many serious side effects, many resulting in death! However, with out it his liver and heart are in jeopardy, so we move forward with hope.  He is needing to visit with a Thyroid Dr. as well.  We have floated by with out much maintenance at all, a pill or two a day wont bother me!  
I will post pictures tomorrow on THE DAY! :)  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Miner Adventures

Our latest adventure involved the whole family, and a new--to--us bus!  
We flew with just carry-on's to Seattle, WA. 
Three changes of clothes and necessary toiletries. 

C wanted to sit with Daddy in the back most of the flight, but he was in the back of the plane, infants aren't allowed.  Had great flight attendants though, gave us extra food and coloring books and pins. 

Uncle T picked us up and we spent a wonderful Memorial Day with family.  The kids were sooooooo excited to see the cousins; although some of them were sick and quarantined to the basement the first day.  Uncle T graciously painted the bus for us, and helped remove excess bunks/tables/benches.  Auntie M is a saint for allowing it! :) I was very grateful to arrive and have beds already set up for us. (flying red eyes out of AK is killer)  

Don't let this picture fool you, they live in a suburb with lots of houses, very close together, at the end of a cul de sac.. I am in awe of his parking skills!  

The layout for now: four bunks, with a small one in the very back, that later converted to luggage storage, queen airbed and seven benches with a few tables. Those rings were used by the prior owners for fishing poles.  I used it to hang shoes. 

Our First Mission: Stock the newly bought bus. A full day of shopping for tools, coolers, camping stove, etc. And Groceries.  Mommy's no good at planning meals and groceries for camping.  I bought too much and seemed like all the wrong stuff.  
Then Dinner with Auntie S, Uncle Tim and Auntie M and the cousins, dutch oven style.  Delicious! Definitely need to get one for our family. 

Second Mission: Get said Bus registered and Titled. 

While the boys were away getting that done, we played and explored the neighborhood park.  It was a HOT day! They found all sorts of wonderful things, in the shade, snakes, bugs and berries that look like blackberries or raspberries, but weren't.  Huge trees and new trails.  

Then off on the adventure.... first stop Coeur d'Alene, ID.  
The first pass we had to get over was a bit challenging.  The bus would overheat, so we would pull over and take a few minutes to check out the scenery or climb the rocks or play in waterfalls. H climbed a rocky hillside that turned into very loose rock that left him with a huge bump on his arm and a gash on his nose and head from rocks falling on him... good one Mom ("H, think you can climb that?") 

 Third Mission: Bus Check at a shop just outside of Coeur d'Alene,
 make sure all things are running as they should. 
The kids and I played at a Kiwanis Park on the Spokane River most of the Day. 
After a day at the shop, we were able to meet up with a wonderful friend and her family from College.  The kids hit it off and played for a bit.  Then back on the Road.  

Oh yeah,  P man started the trip off with a nice Dino cast.  
Small fracture on the tip of his radial hard to keep him out of the water! 
How you ask???  Well big brother ran him over with his bike.  I guess in all fairness, P man did run in front of the bike and said older brother couldn't stop.  

 Next Stop: Sugar City, ID.
  Arrived late night/early morning hours.  Spent the Day with Great Grandparents, exploring city parks and getting some school work done.  Laundry Day. (They fell in the Spokane River with their clothes on, because we didn't bring the swim suits.) 

Pictures got out of order, this was our first night in the bus, well H's second, but they were all really excited. 

The Snake the kids found in Sultan WA at Uncle T and Auntie M's. 

By far one of my favorite stops along the way to Coeur d'Alene was just outside of Leavenworth, WA.  It's the cutest little German town.  We bought a 10lb bag of apples for like $5, Honeycrisp!  It was fantastic.  AND they had the funnest little carnival games for free, and tractors to climb on and other great things for the kids to get out and do to burn off steam.

 Sugar City, ID waiting for Daddy to wake up for breakfast. At Grandparents house. 

It was a great start, beautiful scenery, wonderful family and friends.  

Second Installment of Adventure to follow tomorrow. :)