Sunday, February 22, 2009

Crazy Alaskan kids!

The kids decided it would be a fun challenge to see if they could brave the cold and spend the night outside in their tent. Mom didn't sleep too well...possibly wondering if they were warm enough??!! But apparently they were because they slept all night despite it being 15F! And then they came in this morning quite proud of themselves having conquered our Alaskan winter in a tent!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And the weeks go by....

A whole month flies by and not a single new post...hmmm, that's not good! Our weeks just pass so fast as we are busy with school, work, and play! After the almost complete thaw in January and then it froze again, the kids got in several days of ice skating before it snowed too much for the ice to be any good. As the weather snow, below zero, above freezing and wet snow...the kids have something new to do outside. One day it might be building snow forts or snowmen out of wet snow, then flying around behind the snowmachine on a sled, and now they are building a snow fort town complete with "paved" streets and a bakery. They have such great imaginations when they are all playing together outside!

School consumes most of our days and the funnest part of the day is reading books out loud to the kids. We always have several books that we are reading at one time...the Bible, a missionary story, history books, and a just for fun book...and the kids each have their own book that they are reading for literature. So not sure how we manage to keep 'em all straight, but we do and we look forward to hearing the next chapter in each book!

This year we have been going through World History...a simpler lesson for the younger four and a harder book for the older two, but somewhat the same for all. It makes it so nice to somewhat be studying the same thing for everyone. So for the younger ones we just completed the Roman time period. They really enjoyed learning all about the Roman Empire, and the mo
vie Ben Hur really helped bring it all to life. Adams and Alyssum were always drawing pictures of Roman ships and the chariot races!

So now we are on to the Medieval time period with castles and knights... I love the ha
nds-on that we get to do with homeschool and bringing the time period to life in so many ways. For the older kids they recently finished reading about Martin Luther, so we rented the movie about Luther's life and accomplishments. Reading so many books has really helped us all to understand history so much better.

Aside from school we have also been making several trips to Anchorage for Adams to get fitted with a palate extender and headgear. Adams has not had any more surgeries for his cleft since the initial ones to fix the cleft lip and palate, but we have been taking him yearly to the Cleft Clinic in Anchorage to be seen by a team of doctors. This year they recommended that he get started with the palate extender and headgear to widen his palate for a future bone graft and the headgear to correct his underbite. He has been a great trooper and really doesn't seem to mind the inconvenience of his new mouth piece and headgear. His palate extender is a large piece of metal on the roof of his mouth that is glued to his teeth. Twice weekly a little screw is turned to widen the palate. Hopefully this will do the job within a years time and then he should have the bone graft surgery sometime soon after that. He "gets" to wear his headgear all night and half the day!!

Last weekend we spent Valentines Day with our cousins! Katelyn and Bethany, and S
ela and Damon came to spend Saturday with us as their parents went to Anchorage for the day. The kids had fun playing with playmobile, building snowmen outside, and decorating cookies for Valentines Day. We all had so much fun, but this mom was very tired by the end of the day!! :)

Steve has continued to stay busy catching up from our galavanting around the world the last couple years. He has found plenty of projects that had been put aside as we traveled the last two years this time of year. We have several employees that are staying busy for a couple days a week, taking down winter lights and getting equipment ready for summer jobs. He has also been helping out with grading school papers and keeping track of Ann Marie and Ethan's math and science...answering questions when they don't quite understand. We all love having dad around and he makes such great breakfasts for our school days!!