Monday, May 31, 2010


How about quilting the winter away and getting school credit for a job well done?  Ann Marie and Kailee each took on a quilting project for the second semester of school and recently completed their individual quilts. 

My mom was their sewing teacher and she did such a great job of teaching the girls how to sew.  They chose their fabric colors and got busy measuring a grid on their different fabric colors.  A grid of six squares with each divided to make 12 triangles.  A grid makes quick work of creating lots of triangles and squares! 

Ann Marie's quilt is for a twin size bed with a flying geese pattern, made from bright batik fabric.  She spent about 60 hours making her quilt.
Kailee's quilt is a lap size quilt with a diamond pattern.  She spent about 35 hours working on her quilt.
Great job girls!  And thanks Grandma for helping them complete such wonderful quilts that they will have for many years to come!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Across the Bay

With such beautiful weather we just had to take a boat ride across the bay!  We met up with my parents at the harbor to load up on their boat the MoJo and head out.  Dad's boats are always a quick ride across the bay.  My kids no longer think it's fun to motor slowly across the bay, they've been spoiled with the fast Bay Weld boats!

Black bears are usually rather easy to spot in the spring in Sadie Cove, so we went there first to see if we could find any...none to be seen today.  But we did spot several mountain goats high up on the mountain side.  A small white dot on a dark background isn't too hard to find and then binoculars bring them into full view.  We saw several eagles and an otter too.

We cruised out of Sadie Cove and around the corner into Tutka Bay.  I am always amazed at the many bays and coves on the other side of the bay from Homer.  No wonder so many people find that area irresistible for a summer home or getaway.  It is absolutely breathtaking in between the mountain peaks! And the depths in those valleys are amazing...the depth finder on the boat read 220ft and from shore to shore was only about 1/4 mile. 

We meandered up into the bay and stopped at a beach with a cabin just up in the woods.  Some friends of my parents own a little property and are busy clearing trees and getting the land ready for a house and shop.  Their friends live in Anchorage and are down for the weekend, so we stopped in to say "hi" and look around.

The kids had a lot of fun combing the beach for shells, and searching the edge of the water for starfish and jellyfish.  Our study this year of swimming creatures makes going to the beach a lot of fun...knowing so much better what all those creatures are and how they live makes beach combing that much more enjoyable!  The first thing the kids picked up was a rock with several barnacles and other creatures attached to it...all attached with God's super glue!  You ever try to remove something like that without destroying it...nearly impossible.

They also found several small jellyfish and caught one in a cup, careful not to let its long tentacles touch them!  Such interesting creatures as they move in the water.  The kids observed the jellyfish for awhile and then let it go.

The sun was still shining bright as we cruised across the bay back to Homer.  An otter seemed to wave to us as we passed by!  We arrived back in the harbor as the sun was getting lower in the sky(10:30)...what a beautiful warm glow of the late evening sun!

Dad and mom...thanks so much for the wonderful evening of a treasured boat ride across the bay!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


We always look forward to these visitors in our yard each spring!  Cow moose and two newborn calves came wandering through our yard.  The calves must have been born nearby since mama moose doesn't take them too far at first.  The calves' legs were wobbly as they stood beside their mother.  Such cute little moose...if you can call a moose cute!?!  They stayed in our yard  for several hours eating fresh green grass while keeping an eye on the noisy kids and workers nearby.  They eventually ambled across the lawn and down the road, as though saying, "Thanks for the grass, we'll see ya later!"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Master Designer

Science continues to be one of our favorite subjects as this year we are learning about Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day.  We have enjoyed learning in depth about whales, seals and sea cows, various types of fish, sharks and rays, crustaceans, mollusks, and cephalopods.  Recently we were studying about the many different kinds of mollusks.  Too bad Alaska's beaches don't have a more interesting variety of shells to offer. 

We talked about the mollusks we have seen on our beaches here, but then when we finished our chapter that not only talked about clams and mussels but also whelks, conchs, winkles, moon snails, cowries, wentletraps, and more, I remembered a bag of shells that I had stashed away.  I thought it would take a bit of searching, but I found it easily.

Never would I have dreamed of the treasures that small bag would hold!  All the mollusks we had discussed in science were in that bag!  I am continually amazed at how God surprises us!  What seems so small and insignificant as a science lesson, yet He cares about even those things.  He wants us to see that He is the Creator and Designer of all.  Nothing happened by chance, but there is a Master Designer of every living creature great and small.

The cup of small shells came from an island near Davao, Philippines.  The large nautilus and other shells came from the Palawan Islands, Philippines.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Adoption Day!

April is a busy month for adoptions in our family!  Alyssum's adoption was the end of April and we celebrated by her and I going out for lunch.  She couldn't wait to go to Glacier Drive In...a spring/summer time favorite of most in Homer!

Alyssum's adoption was a whirlwind experience!  We found her photo on a waiting child list on-line in December and by April she was ready to come home!  Steve and I traveled to Korea for just six days to see the sights of Seoul and to bring Alyssum home.  She was the cutest bundle at 13 months old with so much wavy black hair.  Her adjustment to our family was a little more difficult since she was a little older, but within a few weeks she was adjusting well.  Alyssum had lived with a foster family and enjoyed her foster father, so whenever Steve came home from work she wanted his attention.  When she was sitting on his lap she would put her ear to his watch...she was listening for the tick-tick of his watch!  Too bad he had a digital watch!  Obviously this was something she had done many times before!

Korean adoptions are not completed in country, but six months later in the United States.  These pictures are from her adoption here in Homer and the celebration we had to follow with family and friends.  We all enjoyed the delicious Korean food!

Alyssum has now been part of our family for seven years!  So hard to believe its been that long and yet we look at our beautiful Korean daughter and see how she's growing into an amazing young lady!  We are so thankful that God brought her into our lives!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Open House

As a homeschool family we don't get an opportunity to show off what we are learning very often, but this year we decided to put together an Open House with a couple other homeschool families, the Millers and the Sochas.  The kids all had a lot of fun displaying their talents to family and friends and the kids really enjoyed getting ready for their big night!

We began the evening with a Piano recital as five of our kids are taking piano lessons.  Alyssum was so excited to finally get to play in her first recital!  So our five plus three others played a couple songs each for the piano recital.

Then we had several memorized pieces to be shared.  The Millers did a fun "rap" rendition of Ecclesiastes 3..."A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot..."  Our kids shared their Bible memorization of Psalm 8..."O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth..."  We enjoy memorizing and putting motions to our words.  We have done several simpler texts this year so as to include the younger kids.

Lego Robotics demonstration came at the end and was done by Ethan, Tyler, Jayce, and Jacob.  The boys worked hard for many months this winter and even though they didn't get to go to the state competition, they still had a lot of fun and learned so much.  They each learned how to build a functioning robot and then programed the robot to accomplish various tasks.  Programming turned out to be much more challenging than anyone thought!  Like I said, we all learned a lot!! 

Part of the Open House was displaying craft projects from this year.  Ann Marie and Kailee got the opportunity to show off their quilts!  The quilts are not quite finished as they need to put the binding around the edge.  They have worked so hard on their masterpieces and the finished product is quite inspiring!