Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gingerbread Houses

On December 4 we hosted a gingerbread house decorating party for our homeschool group. We had more than 20 kids over, in two shifts. Much sugar was consumed and a good time was had by all.

December 3, many hours were spent rolling, cutting and baking the gingerbread house pieces.

10 down, only 16 to go.
(I made a total of 26 houses...you have to have a few extras!)

Josh snapped this picture while we were getting ready for guests to arrive, I had to include it because I think it's cute.

Royal icing...turns out you can make quite a mess making this stuff.

Our first guest arriving.

Hard at work.

Miriam uses mints as roof tiles.

Busy, busy.

A few of the houses lost structural integrity during the decorating process. Samuel chose to re-fashion his into a 'tent'.

Time for more candy!

The second shift.

These guys really put some thought into designing their houses.

I love this. That is a helicopter and a helo pad.

Miriam and one of our guests do a little impromptu 'ice skating' as we say goodbye.

It was a lot of work but well worth it. I'm thinking this may have to become an annual tradition.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Decorating for Christmas

Here are a few pictures of our Christmas decorating this year. I have pretty much given over the decorating of the tree to the kids. This was difficult the first year because I usually place each ornament with care in 'just the right spot' and they tended to put five ornaments in a 6 inch square and leave large areas bare of any ornaments. But the kids wanted to decorate the tree so I got over it and every time I looked at the tree and saw what silly things they'd done I'd think of them and smile. Now I am completely content to let them decorate the tree, and they get better every year. (-:

First, Isaiah decorates the dog.
(while Samuel tries to untangle another strand of Christmas lights.)

Can you tell what famous lady Samuel is impersonating?

Miriam's version. She's not unhappy, just taking the part seriously.

Our tree.

Isaiah putting up some garland.

Lights on our living room windows. We later added a red and silver garland to the center but apparently I didn't get a picture of that.

All this decorating put Joshua in the mood to sing Christmas carols. I love him!

Merry Christmas!


This year we enjoyed a very relaxed family Thanksgiving. We watched some football, played some games, did some sledding and ate a lot of good food. My mom sent me some Hershey's cinnamon chips (since you can't find them here) so I could make our traditional breakfast of cinnamon crescent rolls...and I didn't tell Josh or the kids so I was able to surprise them Thanksgiving morning! That was fun. (-:

This was our simple Thanksgiving menu:

Au Gratin Potatoes
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots mix
Brown and serve rolls
Sparkling apple cider
Vanilla cream pie
Lemon meringue pie
Chocolate pudding
Coffee ice cream (for Joshua)
Chocolate chip cookies

Josh and the kids preparing to pile it on their plates.

Our Thanksgiving table.

It was a wonderful day for all of us. I am thankful.

Friday, December 18, 2009


We had our first real snow a few days before Thanksgiving. At first it was just a couple inches. Still, the kids made the most of it. (-:

Rolling snowballs in the field behind our house. Notice the snow angel in the lower left hand corner. (-:

The snow made the dogs a little crazy. They enjoyed running like crazy things, snapping at snowflakes, eating and rolling in snow and generally having a good time.

Then we got some more and the fun really started.

Uh-oh! Isaiah taking aim!

I got a picture of my honey! (-:

Daddy sending Miriam down the hill.

Celebrating a good run!

Just so we're clear this is the very small hill just behind our house. Still, the kids have managed to have a great time playing on it - in all weather. (-:

Some pics of the town and bay in the snow:

Isaiah and Samuel built this 'snow fort' in Samuel's front yard. They piled up a large mound of snow then tunneled into it and hollowed out the center.

Inside the fort.

Ambushed by unruly neighborhood kids, Isaiah and Samuel abandon their fort building for a few minutes in pursuit of the enemy.

Isaiah and Samuel slept in their snow fort the night after building it. This is it the next morning, they used the purple sled as a door and those are Isaiah's snow boots outside...frozen solid.

This is the closest I could get to a picture of the boy sleeping in their fort. They actually slept quite well and were happy to come inside and enjoy some hot cocoa the next morning.

Lastly, a couple pictures of 'my mountain'. There are pictures of this mountain, the one that I can see from my kitchen window, in earlier posts (June/July) all green. Now here are some snowy ones:

Halfway covered in snow.

And almost fully covered.

We love the snow! (-:

Isaiah's First Drumming Performance

Isaiah has been a member of the Kodiak Island Drummers (K.I.D.) for almost three months now. A few weeks ago they had a fundraising auction and dinner. It was Isaiah's first public performance with them.

On a side note there was a pretty good storm that night, lots of snow... blowing sideways. This made it a lot of fun transporting kids and drums to and from the restaurant. When we got home we had to shovel the driveway before we could pull in. A true Alaskan experience. (-:

The Josh's, waiting for the show to start.

Setting up. Isaiah is in the lower left hand corner.

During the performance.

Isaiah is the 3rd kid in. It is really cool to listen to these kids play. They did a great job and the night was quite a success.

You can do a search for Kodiak Island Drummers on youtube to here them yourself - not this performance but other ones - if your interested. (-:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Camping Trip 2

We spent the last couple days of October camping out with our neighbors. They ended up being some of the coldest days we'd seen yet but we still had a great time. I just can't get over how beautiful it is here!

Joshua and Miriam shortly after we arrived at our campsite.

Our neighbors brought their two quads and we all piled on and had a blast exploring the area. Miriam became quite the 4-wheeling addict and wouldn't stop asking to go on them!

View of beach over Joshua's shoulder.

The dogs had fun running with the quads. Henessy proved to have the greatest endurance by far! (-; But Haley tried her best.

The beach, the other direction, over Miriam's shoulder. It felt weird to be on this gorgeous beach in the bright sunshine while it was only in the 20's out.

Joshua, enjoying himself.

Riding through the trees.

We found this perfect swimming hole...again, if only it was not 20 degrees out!

Happy kids!

Josh and Daniel warming up by the fire. No, Josh's pants are not on fire...nor did they catch on fire at any time during our trip...still a scary pic though as I see it now! A fiery stick in the hands of a 3-year-old is always a little scary, lol!

Our poor short-haired little dog really got cold, you can see she is practically laying in the fire. Henessy did just fine in her thick fir coat, however. She picked a spot in the long grass on the edge of our campsite where she could keep watch and was quite content.

Isaiah chopping a piece of driftwood we collected from the beach for our fire.

We dug out the fire pit and made it much bigger the second day, we were all much happier after that.

This just cracked me up. The bustling Chineak post office.

Three happy boys give the trip a thumbs up as we head home.

The end.