Well, the blogging I had hoped to do a couple of months ago is stalled again. My home computer went belly up and I’m back to checking email, etc. at the library once more. Just too much trouble to try to download pictures and come up with interesting posts doing it that way. So, I won’t be around for who-knows-how-long… Sorry to those who have faithfully stayed with me. I have to be the worst blogger ever. 😛

‘Til next time (whenever that is),

2014 Wrap-up (Prt 1)

Note: I have been working on this post for a month and a half. No joke. Between school, business, travel, sickness and poor Internet connection, it has seemed to take “forever” to get this much accomplished. No wonder I’m not much of a consistent blogger! This post was going to be all of 2014…and then the first half of 2014. But, as you will see, June is not included. Oh well. Close enough for me at this point. It will just have to be included in the second half of 2014. Hope you enjoy what there is and I’ll do my best to hurry with the rest.

Again, the days…the weeks…the months slipped by. Blogging just isn’t high on my priority list when we are busy living life. But, I do want to preserve a little of it the best I can. I gave up trying to scrapbook a long time ago and, instead of a “diary”, I keep a daily “calendar.” My next best attempt is to summarize our happenings here. I used to do it monthly…that’s still my goal…for now this will have to suffice. Without further ado, here is a summary of 2014.


Pretty slow and uneventful after the holidays.

23rd – My bday.


5th – Oldest moved out. Will be staying with friends and looking for a job where there are better opportunities.

8th – Butchered and ate our first home-raised rooster! He was big and meaty and tasty! Mmmmm!

1rst Home-raised Roast Rooster
1rst Rooster Drumstick!

9th – First egg from “Downstairs Bantam-mix.” On schedule for their ages. Egg count will grow quickly now we hope!


5th – First day over freezing. 34F! The chickens were let out for a while. They sure enjoyed it!

Fresh Air Nest   Feb-March2014016_zpsb04f385a

6th – First time getting max. number of 8 eggs!

Eggs!  Beautiful Eggs!

7th – G. bday. 3 years old!
26th – Q. bday. 11 years old!


3rd – Hit 40F for the first time! I say it’s Spring…
7th – L.’s 7th Bday!
27th – P.’s 9th Bday!
28th – E.’s first kill on his own (besides chickens). Look out squirrels!

This…just because he’s sooo cute!

Started off with a bang with 68F on the 1rst! Hit a high of 80F on the 13th! Temps stayed pretty much above normal the whole month (upper 60s & 70s) during the day and dropping off to regular low temps (30s, 40s) at night.

Chickens continuing to lay well.

The day we took everyone to the Yak farm we also spent some time doing a favorite activity when we are down that way. Playing at the “sand hills.” Everyone comes home quite covered from head to toe with sand (the younger ones at least) but they have such a great time it’s worth it. 🙂

Climbing the Sand Hills


P - Sand Hills

L & G - Sand Hills

Sometimes you get sand in your mouth while sliding down…then it’s not so fun any more.

G- Sand Hills

Mama helped him clear his mouth and gave him some water to rinse it and all was right with his sandy world again. 🙂

11th – Mother’s Day was celebrated with a tire blowout on the highway to church. Managed to get most of the children to church with friends while youngest two stayed at my Aunt’s with their oldest sister and W. and I dealt with car. I received some lovely gifts though (along with some handmade cards not shown) and am a very blessed and grateful mother!

May2014073_zpsdc150eb2   May2014078_zps03e7b106

My children are always being creative. This time we discovered a pendent that the 15yo made matched her shirt perfectly – not only the colors but the flower design as well! Totally unintentional. 🙂

C. Funky Pendent 5.14

The creativity even extends to chores. I asked this same child to wash some throw rugs as the weather was perfect for drying them fast on the clothesline. I suggested she hang them up, hose them down, scrub with a brush and hose again. She made a face and was reluctant. So, I suggested she could always throw them in the kiddie pool and stomp on them…half jesting. She thought that sounded like more fun! The video is even funnier…but I promised I wouldn’t post it. 😉

C. Washing Rugs

The boys get in on the creativity too of course. Here is the 11yo’s get-up for the day’s “war game”…

Q. War Get-up    Q. War Get-up 2

His ingenuity and improvisation tickled me! Oh, what would life be like without duct tape… ‘Cuz, you know, a combo nerf / light saber gun is better than a plain one! 😉

My oldest son (13yo at the time) got creative with a dip net and one of our rubber balls. The two older boys were trying to think up a new game to play. The other son had a big stick. He would try to hit the ball after his brother tossed it to him from the net. I think we’ll call it AK Lacrosse-Cricket…AK LaCricket…AK Cricrosse… 😉 They looked like they were having a good time and there was a lot of laughing! Laughing is good. 🙂

E dipnet ball E.'s New Game

We also finished gathering eggs from our own hens (2nd time) to hatch! The borrowed incubator had a capacity of 42…yeehaw! That will be the most we’ve ever raised at once and will boost our hen ratio substantially – Lord willing! Here they are marked, the incubator up to temp, and ready to go in…

Eggs Ready for Incubator

‘Til next time,

ps – The second half of 2014 will be in a future post. Stay tuned…

Books Finished 2014

Here is our accomplished reading list for 2014. The children read many more books independently than are listed. They are voracious readers so the “school” list only shows the books I was actively involved in reading to or with them. Hope you find something to interest you…Happy Reading in 2015!

2014 Books Finished


Marl Fox (Feb.) ( )
Little Britches (Feb.) ( )
Victory in Jesus: The Bright Hope of Postmillennialism (March) ( )
The Sun and Other Stars (March) ( )
Planets (March) ( )
Sunshine Makes the Seasons (March) ( )
Planets (I Can Read About series) (April) ( )
The Sun and Other Stars (I Can Read About series) (April) ( )
Seasons (I Can Read About series) (April) ( )
The Lamplighter (Sep.) ( )
A Journey of Souls (Dec.) ( )
The Five Points of Calvinism (Bible) (Dec.) ( )


Eat, Pray, Love (Jan.) ( )
A Painted House (Jan.) ( )
The Dead and Gone (Jan.) ( )
This World We Live In (Jan.) ( ) Get Big Fast (Feb.) ( )
The Glass Castle (Feb.) ( )
Stranded (Feb.) (previewed for E.) ( )
“ “: Trial by Fire (Feb.) (same) ( )
Stranded: Survivors (Feb.) (same) ( )
The Shade of the Moon (Feb.) ( )
Stop Whining, Start Living (previewed for an older daughter) (March) ( )
Steve Jobs (April) ( )
The Sorcerer’s Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adria’s elBulli (May) ( )
The Shell Seekers (June) ( )
Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier (June) ( )
October Sky (July) ( ) ( )
The Coalwood Way (July) ( )
Cordelia Underwood (Sep.) ( )
Sky of Stone (Sep.) ( )
Cranford (& other stories) (Nov.) ( )
If a Woman’s Hair is Her Glory… (Nov.) ( )
Below Stairs (Nov.) ( )
Daily Guideposts 2014 (Dec.) ( )
Village School (Miss Read) (Dec.) ( )
If Teacups Could Talk (Dec.) ( )
Vegetarian Celebrations (Dec.) ( )

** ADVENT ** – Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent (Dec.) ( )

‘Til next time,

ps – This post contains affiliate links in which I will receive a small commission should you decide to purchase the product but will not incur additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Quick Gift Idea #2

Norpro Deluxe Pastry and Pizza Roller

If you are still looking for a last minute quicky little gift or stocking stuffer, this is a good one! With Amazon’s overnight shipping option, you still have time for it to arrive for holiday unwrapping. I have one of these handy little gadgets and find it quite useful. Again, good product and decent price.

‘Til next time,

ps – This post contains affiliate links in which I will receive a small commission should you decide to purchase the product but will not incur additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Quick Gift Idea

We have a set of these and love them!

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Alphabet

Good quality and decent price!

‘Til next time,

ps – This post contains affiliate links in which I will receive a small commission should you decide to purchase the product but will not incur additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

The Slanted Door (Review)

The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food

I can’t stop looking at this book! I love it!

Hardcover, solidly bound, pleasantly laid out, beautifully photographed!

If you like Asian food and cooking, you’ll want to have this book too.

I’ve only just begun to read the descriptive information which tells the history of this 2014 Outstanding Restaurant award winner. Although, I’ve already picked out several recipes to try! Recipes cover a full gamut – four or five course meals easily. Categories are: Starters, Cocktails, Raw Bar, Salads, Soups, Mains, Desserts and Basics.

I wasn’t the only one drooling over the pictures…

and scanning the ingredients for things we might already have in the cupboard…

(Our resident Chef!)

Seriously, every time I turned around, someone was grabbing my book to look at it!

We will substitute some of the ingredients (depending on the recipe) as we stick more to a whole foods diet and do our best to cut those that are highly refined, processed, etc. No corn syrup, white sugar, white flour, etc. Many of the recipes look like they have mostly good ingredients though.

Definitely a book about food and cooking that will stay on our shelves. You can be sure it won’t be one collecting dust!

Retail price is $40.00 A little spendy…but, with the above link, you can purchase it at Amazon for $23.40 hardcover and $18.99 Kindle version. Use the "Look Inside" feature to browse the book. I don't think you'll be disappointed if you appreciate Asian foods and well made books. A lovely gift for the cook in your life this holiday season!

Did you look through it? Let me know what you think…

‘Til next time,

ps – I received this book free as a review copy. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links in which I will receive a small commission should you decide to purchase the product but will not incur additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

May Highlight

This post could also be titled “Getting to Know Your Local Farmer.”

My husband and I stopped by a long standing farm he remembers from his youth while out on a drive together. It has been a Yak farm for some time now and we’d been meaning to stop whenever we were in the Kenny Lake area in the past. Now that we live closer, we are in the area a little more frequently and spur of the moment one evening we just dropped in. People still do that around here. 😉

We enjoyed an hour or more of conversation…Bob Fithian and my husband reminiscing about old-timers and times…and, after Barb stepped in, all of us discussing new topics of homeschooling, politics and such. We were given a couple pounds of Yak burger as we left with handshakes and encouragement to return with the children. (They homeschooled their boys who are grown and gone.)

A week later or so, we did return with the children. Here are a few pictures:




Part of their glorious view:

Bootprint Mtn 5.14

A down-to-earth Christian couple eking out a unique and thriving farm in rural Alaska! Stop by, visit and support their farm if you are in the area. You won’t be disappointed!

‘Til next time,

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