Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall Harvest

The leaves are turning many shades of yellow, red, and orange...the days are shorter...the nights are colder...we have had several morning frosts...and it is time to harvest the garden. On Saturday Steve and the kids dug the many hills of potatoes and harvested the rest of the garden that was still left from the summer. We usually have several hundred pounds of potatoes, but not this year. Steve said we might have 100 pounds...but we have many many bags of kale in the freezer! Guess what we will be adding to every dish this winter...not meat or potatoes, but kale!!

We also harvested alot of yellow squash this summer and we had a great crop of cabbage and cauliflower. Saturday evening we spent many hours in the kitchen washing and chopping the remaining vegetables to be put in the freezer.

As well as the potatoes, cabbage, yellow squash, and kale we also had plenty of broccoli, romanesco, zucchini, swiss chard, some tomatoes, and several herbs, parsley and cilantro. We found that we love fresh cilantro and enjoyed the flavor
in many dishes this summer.

So our freezer is full of bags and bags of vegetables but not any guess we just might have to change our eating habits this winter...think we might be
vegetarians! The fish and moose were hard to come by this summer and fall and for the first time in a long time we don't have any of either one! Guess we are going to have to get creative!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Falling from great heights

Since we didn't get any pictures of Tyler in the ambulance or at the hospital we thought we had better at least get a few pictures to remember the miraculous day!

The EMT's cut Tyler's shirt and pants so that they could remove the clothing without moving his arm since his shoulder was hurting him so badly...we all thought it was probably broken. And then his right leg also started really bothering him so they thought maybe it was broken too, but not to be! So now we have two coats, a shirt, and a pair of pants all cut up! Too bad Tyler was wearing all his favorite play clothes to play outside! Tyler wore his camo coat all the and night if I would let him! He had on his camo pants and his carhart coat too. He has taken it well that t
hey are all not wearable anymore, but he has decided we need to make a hat out of his favorite fleece camo coat. The day after the accident I went to the store and bought him a new fleece camo coat, and he was delighted with his new jacket! The pictures of him in his cut up clothing just reminds us of what this accident could have been!

Tyler is standing next to the tree that he slipped and fell 25 feet to the ground. From the base of the tree to the top of the picture is about 25 feet which is where Tyler's feet would have been. Thankfully Tyler doesn't remember falling or even his time on the ground which was about 30 minutes. His memory doesn't pick up until he was about at the hospital. He remembers climbing the tree with Ethan, but that's all. None of us look at that tree the same these days!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our Miracle Boy!

Tyler's guardian angels were working overtime tonight! Ethan and Tyler were climbing trees this afternoon, something that they do all the time, and Tyler slipped on a branch and fell about 25 feet to the ground. He was briefly knocked unconscious, possibly before he hit the ground from branches on the way down, with his head landing on tree roots and his body in the soft dirt on his side. Several minutes later he was crying, but not coherent. Because of the distance he had fallen we called 911(a first for this family) and the Anchor Point ambulance came about 20 minutes later.

Tyler was complaining that his shoulder hurt badly and we attempted to keep him still and calm while waiting for the EMT's to arrive. All the kids were helpful through the tears as they watched their brother lying on the ground in pain. We prayed for him. Steve went with Tyler in the ambulance, and the rest of us stayed home to cry and talk through the events of the previous hour.

Steve called about an hour or so later and said that Tyler was broken bones, nothing dislocated, everything checked out fine! We believe we had just witnessed a miracle! The doctor had x-rays, CAT scan, and ultra sounds done to check everything on Tyler and they found nothing wrong with him!

Tyler was discharged this evening and is now asleep in his bed...a very sore and tired boy, but miraculously not a broken bone or anything seriously wrong! He suffered a slight concussion, but nothing that they needed to monitor overnight. His right arm and leg are very sore from landing on them, and probably will be for awhile. The nurses at the hospital were calling him the miracle boy!! Thank you Jesus for protecting our son Tyler!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Moose hunting

A couple weekends ago Ethan and Tyler were invited to go moose hunting with Grandpa out to his cabin in the hills. Nothing is more exciting for 12 and 10 year old boys than to ride four-wheelers, hike in the woods, never have to change your clothes, and look for that elusive bull moose!

Grandpa left with Ethan and Tyler on Friday afternoon (those poor boys had such a hard time focusing on their school work...the morning just couldn't pass fast enough!) loaded up with four-wheelers, backpacks, guns and ammo, and food. It has b
een raining a lot so rain gear and boots were a must. Steve was also going out to the cabin to hunt, but work kept him home on Friday and he decided to join them on Saturday.

Hunting was the main reason for making the trek into the hills, but the moose were rather scarce. They all ha
d a great time anyway...eating Grandpa's famous hunting chili burgers, four wheeling through mud, and target practicing with 22's since the moose weren't around anyway! A moose was not to be found this year, but they sure found plenty of adventure for boys!

The boys were proud to report when they came home that they didn't even change their clothes once! (they came home on Sunday) They can't seem to figure out why that is okay out at the cabin, but not okay at home! Oh well, at least we had very little laundry to be done! Their back pack was full of unused clean clothes!!

The view from the cabin is spectacular even when it is foggy and rainy...a view of the river bottom and all the lush green hillsides. The wildflowers out there are amazing as well...I think you could take a four wheeler ride on the trails once a month through the summer and find a wide range of colors each time you went.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

School started...

...over two weeks ago for us! The weeks sure do fly by when our heads are in the books! It sure is a great way to pass the time when the rain just keeps pouring and pouring.

This year all six kids are in school, so....that means I am teaching six different grade levels! Oh my, my days are busy and full! Ann Marie is in 9th grade, Ethan in 7th, Tyler in 4th, Kailee in 2nd, Alyssum in 1st, and Adams is in Kindergarten. Our days are full of multiplying, adding, learning numbers, grammar, phonics, learning letters, spelling, Bible memorization, World History, Zoology 1, General Science, Literature from K to high school, and on and on it goes... I love all the learning and I seem to learn so much every day too!

Adams being in Kindergarten is of course learning his letters and so we are learning a letter a week. Last week he learned the letter Ii and we made Indian headbands on the first day. Kailee and Alyssum enjoy making whatever he is making and then they all have grand adventures together.

I am sure our year will be full of many adventures as we read and discover through the pages of many books!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fair Fun

A couple weeks ago we made our annual trek up to the Valley for several days of fun and relaxation before school starts. We stayed with Charlie and Kristen and my mom and dad came up too. On Friday we spent the day at the Alaska State Fair enjoying the sights and sounds of the fair. The highlights of the fair are the food and the rides! We love eating the fresh corn-on-the-cob, fried cheese curds, pork sandwiches, corn dogs, gyros, kettle corn, and on and on it goes! Something about all that yummy food at the fair...we sure do enjoy it!

While we were letting our food settle we wandered around looking at the many shops and booths, not buying much of anything
since most everything is a little out of our price range, but we enjoy just looking and admiring.

The other main event for our kids are the
rides...we can't go to the fair without getting the thrill of flying through the air on hang gliders, or swinging around and upside down on the latest ride the Apollo. And then of course there is always the fair traditions of riding on the Ferris wheel, and we remind the kids of our story of getting engaged at the top of the Ferris wheel! Such fun memories! This year Grandpa rode the Ferris wheel with Kailee and Alyssum.

Another main event at the Fair this year was the unveiling of the Alaska quarter which happened to fall on the day that we chose to go to the Fair. (it was not planned) The kids got to sit right up front during the speeches of important dignitaries and officials. Sarah Palin was supposed to be in attendance for the ceremony, but Friday was the day that John McCain chose her as his VP running mate so needless to say she couldn't make it! Even though Sarah Palin was not there it was quite the party atmosphere with lots of cheering. (McCain/Palin t-shirts were readily available to purchase hot off the press.) After the speeches the new quarters were handed out to all the kids in attendance. We are now the proud owners of shiny new Alaska quarters.

We ended our day at the Fair with staying until 10pm to watch the fire works show. The kids were tired after the long day on their feet, but we all had so much fun and it was well worth it.

Saturday we woke to sunshine, which has made a rare appearance this summer, so we decided to go ahead with
our plans of hiking the Butte in Palmer. I was thinking, oh a little hike with the kids...not to was a 1.5 mile hike up the side of the Butte. It wasn't a terrible climb, but certainly not just a Sunday afternoon stroll! But the hike was well worth it as the view over the Valley when we reached the top was breathtaking! We took this family photo on top of the Butte.We had a great weekend relaxing in the Valley, spending time with family, and picking up a few needed groceries at Costco(gotta get in that stop at Costco before heading home). Summer is over and now we are on to school...

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Every summer we usually have an abundance of zucchini that we have grown in our garden. This summer the zucchini wasn't quite so plentiful, but we have had LOTS of yellow squash. The other day I sent the kids out to the garden to pick whatever was ready...they came back with this armload of zucchini and yellow squash! These three zucchini were trying to make up for the lack of this summer. One weighed in at 7lbs and the other two at 6 1/2lbs each...wonder if I could have won a ribbon the State Fair?! We have thoroughly enjoyed our garden treasures this summer including these large zucchinis!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Rafting on the pond

The raft got bigger and better this year! Last summer Ethan and Tyler built a raft out of several logs and a 2x4. It barely held them up out of the water, so this summer they decided to add a little more flotation to better be able to stay out of the water and now two kids could be on the raft together. Ethan and Tyler gave Kailee, Alyssum, and Adams rides around the pond, and of course Ginger had to go too. The kids on the raft with their pants rolled up remind me of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn except for the life jackets!