Friday, December 30, 2005

I'm Done!

Doug's Guitar StrapWell, at least with the beadwork!

I am very happy about this progress. So far I have glued the beadwork to a piece of thin leather and it's drying tonight.

I will attach it to Doug's bass guitar strap. I wanted to add a border of beads to it, but I will wait and see what it looks like attached and complete first.

This stupid blog editor bugs me so much! Oh well, you can see the pictures and see the words, I will be happy with that and go to bed!

I will post a final picture after this project is done.

Have a happy day!

Thursday, December 29, 2005


I have been reading about light. There is much I can't fathom about light. I read about spectrum's and how Scientist's can look at the light coming from the stars and tell you what elements it is made up of! You can heat things up and look at it with special glass and tell what is in the stuff. I had a CD out and was walking around looking at the light reflected in the shiny side. The CD separates light too. All this is hard for me to absorb, but I know this, I appreciate light!

After December 21st here in South Central Alaska the amount of daylight begins to grow. YIPPEE! Way up on the North Slope where Doug goes to work, light is very scarce this time of the year and the sun does not even show up. Even up there light begins to make a come back after winter solstice. By summer, they will have light all day and the sun won't set!

I ran across some information about SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder. An actual ailment many suffer from when they do not have enough daylight. Just like my poor Shamrock plant!It has just one little shoot left. I guess that is the little lucky shamrock there in the picture!

I moved it closer to the window. I will show a picture when it begins to revive. We have done this for years. It looks so lush and full and keeps sprouting flowers when we have a lot of daylight, but right now it shows you just how much daylight we have been having up here. Not much. BUT, December 21st has past and we are going to be looking for signs of Spring before too long!

For ten days after winter solstice the length of daylight remains about the same at both solstices. This website has a cool picture taken of the sun at the same time every day for an entire year. Curious About Astonomy? After this ten day period we start gaining daylight 3 minutes each day and working up to 5 minutes a day.

I was at this website playing with creating colors while I read different articles about light. There is a java program there that lets you mess with color percentages to create colors. It's fun. Try it. The Science of Light.

A few light quotes:

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong. Abraham Lincoln

Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness. Mother Teresa

If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning. C. S. Lewis

My darkness has been filled with the light of intelligence, and behold, the outer day-lit world was stumbling and groping in social blindness. Helen Keller

In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength. Robert E. Lee

We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine. Dwight L. Moody

May your new year be filled with lots of Light! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

His Name Is Jesus

"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
Luke 2:14

The last few posts were a sad attempt at trying to present a picture of a very dark world. Then a tiny light (Jesus) that draws your attention with it's shine. And the light also give a hint (cross)of the death that this Babe would die someday.

I was in the template messing around with all that code, when I noticed things beginning to move around and change on the webpage. I got out of there before I messed this up so bad I would not be able to get back!

I wanted to show pure darkness, which would represent the world before Christ. Today, we live in a world that is ruled by the Prince of Darkness. This prince continues to do all he can to slander the name of the Person he hates so much, Jesus Christ. He especially wants to blind the spiritual eyes of the whole world, keeping people from seeing the gift ---Christ's salvation out of spiritual darkness.

Back in the days when I was busy with running kids to games, practices, having birthday parties and sleep overs, we were at Colony Middle School and the wind, (which gets really bad there sometimes in the winter), blew something too hard and all the lights went out. Suddenly it was so dark!

The emergency lights came on. That was enough to take us to the doors safely. I counted heads (five of them) and when I knew all the kids were with me, we headed out the door into the pitch black darkness.

I can remember how dark it was and trying to see. I was also trying to figure out- where in the world did I park and are we even walking in the right direction? Just when I was thinking this might take awhile, someone across the parking lot turned on their headlights.

Everyone's eyes immediately turned towards the light. I heard a lot of loud sighs and laughing as people struggled against the wind. After we got our bearings and turned in the right direction we all walked to our cars in that light. Soon other drivers had turned on their lights too.

Light is incredible. It is something we can easily take for granted.

Jesus said that He is the Light of the World.

We who know Him can also shine as lights in a very dark place as He is reflected in our lives. Even a feeble light can still light the way for those stumbling around in the dark.


Merry Christmas to every one of you that stops by here. I pray that your Christmas is filled with His Bright presence.

Happy birthday, Jesus. I love you, only because You loved me first and came as a Babe to thwart the plans the evil one had for my eternity... I am so thankful.

Yippeee! Winter solstice today! Look out Spring! Here we come! (I am very optimistic on this day.)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Snapshots From Twin Lake

Three tent builders.

Unwilling tent dweller.

Busy bee station.

I had a bad dream this week, I dreamed that I could not get things done in time for Christmas! It was not a restful sleep. When we get too busy something has to slide and this time it was blogging! Here I sit, with a table full of written, addressed, licked and stuck shut Christmas cards that now need to be mailed out. Better late than never! That's a great quote!

I came in to share this cute Christmas story with a lesson that I read:

The African boy listened carefully as the teacher explained why people give presents to each other on Christmas Day. "The gift is an expression of our joy over the birth of Jesus and our friendship with each other," she said.

When Christmas Day came, the boy brought the teacher a seashell of lustrous beauty. "Where did you ever find such a beautiful shell?" the teacher exclaimed. The youth named the spot---a bay several miles away. The teacher was touched. "Why... why, it's gorgeous... wonderful, but you shouldn't have gone all that way to get a gift for me."

His eyes brightening, the boy answered, "Long walk part of gift."

Some gifts may seem insignificant, but they may be the best ones to express something more important, love.

We had HAIL today! Strange.

I shall return!

Friday, December 09, 2005

A Cave

Jesus was born in a cave!

I was reading Our Daily Bread this morning and The Door of Humility is mentioned. Sounded like a great topic to surf! So I did. I found a great site! Homelands of the Bible.

Interesting facts about Biblical places including O Little Town of Bethlehem. The reading was all very interesting to me. The cave that is said to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, where Mary and Joseph stopped in Bethlehem, we now know as the inn that had no room. I learned that many times homes and other buildings were built in front of a cave, then the cave was used for storage or a place to keep their animals.

This knowledge has changed my idea of how I see the manger scene. My stable has wooden stalls! The Biblical manger was carved stone and probably not a wooden manger like I have drawn and pictured for my whole life.

In the Matanuska Valley (at least in Wasilla) we are still able to see Nativity scenes displayed. Some cities which celebrate Christmas forbid this! My guess is that majorities of citizens have no problem with seeing the Nativity here and there while they are out looking for places to spend their money! The majority of the rest don't care one way or the other! I also believe there are more people who have a problem with it NOT being displayed than those who don't want it displayed! How did it come to be that they are removed and forbidden from our cities?

Someday the One that was born in a hidden, back-room cave is going to return as a KING and no one will be able to ignore Him! Then what, you self-important cities? Who can you hide behind when He returns as the Mighty King of Glory that He is! You will have no excuse worthy enough to be excused!

"Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory."
Psalms 24:8-10

You probably already heard that Jesus was not a tiny baby when the travelers from the East saw him? I've heard that because King Herod had all the male babies two years old and under killed, Jesus may have been as old as two when they saw Him.

Three magi? There could have been and likely was more than that. Many say because of three gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh) there were three visitors from the East. There could have been as many as 12 traveling in a caravan that followed that star.

If you enjoy reading about Biblical places then you will enjoy this website. Check it out when you have time to read. There is a lot of information there. I loved the pictures!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Sidewalk lights covered in snowslide.

Christmas At Our House
By Connie VanWingerden

We are going to do
Christmas in the snow!
Snowflakes are still falling
And Christmas tunes play low.

Gramppa's kept the sidewalk shoveled,
Dreaming of a snowy ride!
We could have a weenie roast!
While the grandkids play and slide!

Temper'ture's dropped! It's very low,
So we'll bundle up for the cold.
Snowy Christmas fun's still planned,
The cold won't make us fold!

In came the clouds all dark and black,
They hovered big and wide.
Rumor says: "It's gonna warm up and---rain?"
Good grief, let's set that story aside!

The wind blew all that night-
Then the snow slid down the roof!
Oh my, now look all the drips!
Our snow-- it's melting! - Poof!

If this keeps up 'til Christmas,
I guess we'll have to say---
Bring your Christmas mud boots!
It's warm outside! Let's play!

It's warm today in Southcentral Alaska. Warm, cold, warm, cold! Weather can't make up it's mind, just like me!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Happy Christmas Fido!

Now here is something for that dog for Christmas. NOT! But if it's out there I suppose there are a lot of people willing to give the money for this gadget. It's a phone that you can call when you lose your dog. It even has gps in it.
"PetCell is a cellphone specifically designed for pets that comes with its own dedicated phone number. You can call the number, enter a code, and connect to your mutt to talk to him/her. The PetCell also features GPS for tracking your pooch and will support a wireless camera for checking in on him." Gizmodo

This blog has been having problems the last few days, anyone else notice? Strange! I could not see the blog for a whole day, but I could go to the Dashboard! Then I could not see other friends Blogs too. Now, this editing program seems to have some problems! I hope it all gets fixed soon. Maybe Blogger is doing updates???

The weather here has warmed up so much. Now it is 30 f ! The snow is drippy and the icy snow is sliding off of the roof! It can be deadly when it slides off of the roof like that. I am always glad no one is here, especially the grandkids when that decides to go! I tried to shovel that up, but it's going to take this ol' Gramma a while to get that done. Maybe... days! :-D

Back to that doggy phone. I call my dog and leave a message on the answering machine sometimes when we are gone a while. I say something like, "ChewChew? Be a good boy! I will be right back, ok?" When I get home I play it back and he runs over and sits down below the phone and listens!

My big dog, Chevy would totally scratch that thing off of his neck, and who knows whose phone number he would dial while he was scratching! I can imagine, people getting phone calls that go something like this someday:

Ring! Ring! (Or maybe a cool song or laughing little critters, whatever ringtones you use!)


Scritch, scritch!


Snuffle, snuffle!



"Alright Mister! I hear you! You better hang up now or I will have this call traced and you will be in big doodoo bub!"



Sit! BooBoo! Sit!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Wreath Party

Wreath I made at Kar's wreath partyThis wreath was made using a wire frame. The spruce limbs were harvested by Karla's husband Chris.

We wired short pieces (6 to 10 inches) to the frame. I made sure I used gloves this time, since the last several times working with the pokey needles made me get itchy. It was MUCH easier on the skin and fingernails!

After completely covering the frame with spruce I added other evergreens to the wreath then wired on the bow and the sparkly decorations then sprayed it with fake snow.

Now it is hanging on the front porch.... a whispering picture of God's gift of eternity, well... eternity will be a gift only if you go to Heaven!

The night of the party (friday) the roads got a bit slick and it was lightly snowing. Some of the invited guests called to say they could not make it for that reason.

While she was on her way home from work my daughter slid part-way into the ditch. She has four-wheel drive but could not quite climb back on to the road. She tried to rock the car back and forth but finally called me to come and get her. By the time I got to her, she said that a kind man had helped her out.

She also told me that four guys stopped to ask if she needed help before I saw her and she was just right down the road a little bit! (Not a long drive away.) Two of those persons drove past her, turned around, came back, to be certain that she was okay. I was very encouraged to know that we still can see chivalry on our streets in Houston, Alaska.

Just in case you forgot what it means:

knightly skill
gallant or distinguished gentlemen
the system, spirit, or customs of medieval knighthood
the qualities (as bravery, honor, protection of the weak, and generous treatment of foes) of the ideal knight
chivalrous conduct
Hip-hip-hooray for chivalry!

Chivalry is alive and well in Alaska least it is in our neck of the toolies!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Baby KlintonPicture of Baby Klinton.

Doug and I had three daughters before we had Klint, our first son and later Kris, our second son. When the nurses laid Klint into my arms, we cried (Doug & I, & Klint too!). He was born in June, but when they laid him into my arms thoughts of Mary and the Son she gave birth to, filled my mind.

A son.

The story about Jesus coming, His life and His death. These thoughts brought tears to my eyes many times during those first few days together with Klinton. I don't know if I would have experienced that so strongly without having a son. During that time, I wondered if all women thought of this like I was. For me, having a son born, definitely shed a new light on the birth of Jesus Christ and the unanswered questions that had to have been a big part of Mary's life after.

I've written before of the Christmas song, "Silent Night". It could not have been a silent night when Jesus was born. It was busy, busy, busy. Every place was full. No room for a pregnant lady to rest! Just a stable out back. The stable animals had to be disturbed having a woman in labor in there with them. Then sometime during that night a newborn baby cried out.

The manger scene.

The main focus for many during the Christmas season. An unequalled gift was given to mankind that night! God born as a babe. The mystery of His birth, His life, His death and His ressurection is now revealed to those who really want to know. (It's all found in a great book, The Bible.)

I've been reading a little book called "Christmas Is..." (Created by Honor Books)was given to us in 2000 by Doug's parents. It is a little book full of interesting things about Christmas traditions. It gives just enough to whet your appetite for more information!

From the book:

"In Italy, the Presepio or crib is as characteristic of Christmas as the tree is in Germany."

After reading that I got online to look for pictures. I googled presepio and came up with bazillion sites -----written in Italian. I looked at pictures of creches. Some life-sized scenes, which most presepio's in Italy are. I tried to find the original site in Bethlehem, but it has been destroyed.

The first re-enactment using a manger, crib or presepio is said to have been set up by St. Francis.

"St. Francis wanted people to remember that Jesus was born in a humble stable. He asked a farmer friend of his to help by bringing an ox, a donkey, a manger and some straw to a nearby cave. On Christmas Eve, St. Francis and the people of Greccio met in this cave. By candlelight, they acted out the story of Jesus' birth." Read more by Bill Petro.

..."consider this rare, raw, real point of fact regarding the original manger scene. Jesus was born at night into a dark, dirty, working stable with dung-crusted straw among filthy, unsanitary animals. But you know what, in some ways it was cleaner than some of the sin-crusted hearts where He would choose to live right now if He was welcome. The inn was full, yet God’s glory brought light into the darkness. Is there room at the inn of our hearts this Christmas season?" Read more about Christmas by Randy Weiss.

The manger, the crib, or the presepio, the place where Jesus was born.

I believe it --- this story did happen.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Too Much, Too Little

This picture of O. Kraft & Son store in Kodiak was found here. There are a lot of other pictures there including some of the 1964 Earthquake & Tsunami damage.

I've been thinking about too much of a good thing and too little of it today.

I wanted something sweet so bad that I went to scrounge around in Mom's kitchen. I just had to have something! I looked high and low but could not find anything. I guess it was past time for my parents to make out another order to O Kraft & Son (Est. 1903) in Kodiak, because after my search I realized that we could definitely be mistaken for an outhouse!

I kept rechecking the cupboards when I opened a drawer and I saw a bag of brown sugar. Ah-ha! That will fill the bill! I got one of Mom's ol' green bowls, opened the bag and shook a bit of it in. I stopped, looked and thought oh I want more than that! I shook in a full bowl, quietly closed the bag and went back to my bedroom to read.

I read a lot when I was young but I don't know what I was reading then, maybe Gentle Ben by Walt Morey, one of the books I enjoyed very much about that time in my life. It was a story about a bear cub, raised in the Kodiak area, first by a drunken man and then, thankfully, by a young boy.

Other books I liked to read were in the school library and were about men and women from long ago. I liked the stories of the women most, but did read some of the guys stories too. Clara Barton, Florence Nightingale, Danielle Boone, Abraham Lincoln, etc. I wish I had this series of books. I've tried to find them online but I am guessing that they are out of print. :-( I don't even know where they were published or even what the series is called. I know the books were blue!

I plopped down onto my army cot bed and began to read while dipping my fingers into the sweet, sweet brown sugar. It would have been better for me and for the whole family if I had taken the time to bake something, but I had the "I want it and I want it now!" syndrome.

As I read, I wasn't aware that my body was gently saying "enough" and only realized that after I ate the WHOLE bowl! *bleah* "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!" (Remember ol' jello commercial?) Wave after wave of nausea made it difficult to enjoy the rest of the day as I paid for that brown sugared "too much".

After we finished reading our Bible together this morning, I commented that fire is so good. (It is -20 F this morning! Doug said, "Fire can be a friend and it can be a foe". So true. "Everything can be like that," he said.

Everything of anything when over indulged can become something not so good. Like brown sugar. :-)

Too much food = clothes don't fit. Too little food = brown sugar binges.

Too much fire = heat rash. Too little fire = everything freezes.

Too much talk = too much information. Too little talk = no communication.

Too much light = headaches. Too little light = bruised shins.

I can go on and on, but then that might be too much!

"Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit."
Proverbs 25:16 Don't you just love the Proverbs?

Today in the Matanuska Valley... you should wear too much clothes!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

-10 F

The Thanksgiving turkey took longer than the instructions said it would take to cook it. 7 minutes per pound? We had a 13 lb turkey and it was supposed to take 40 minutes to cook. I am bad at math. You figure it out. :-)

I left all that figuring in the capable hands, of Doug and Kris. The time to eat was set for 2, but we were seriously late! Due to a slow cooking turkey or a couple of late turkeys (the guys were in the shop too long!).

When the turkey was finally done, it was so delicious. We really enjoyed it and the whole family liked the flavor, even if we did use the cheaper oil. I think we might just have to try this again for Christmas dinner.

We had a beautiful Thanksgiving, fellowship-wise and weather-wise. It snowed and snowed and then the day after TG, all the ones who could -went for a snowmachine ride. The temperature has been steadily dropping since TG. When the guys (and Kim) went riding it was 0F. It is -10F cold now! I am once again thankful for the woodstove! Right now, the snow is sparkling like miniature Christmas lights outside.

Beautiful lights just like the ones we put on the tree last night. Today we have been putting up the rest of Christmas tree decorations. We want to put more lights up around the windows and the deck, but it's too cold to be outside right now.

Keep warm Alaska!

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, but when they lit a fire in the craft it sank -- proving once and for all that you can't have your kayak and heat it, too.
(Online groaner joke)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Away From Home

I received A Thanksgiving Message from [Alaska's]Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman in my email and he says,
"As we gather in relative security to celebrate Thanksgiving, nearly 150,000 Americans are guarding our freedom in countries overseas. Many of these are Alaskans. They will not be able to be with their families. Their Thanksgiving dinner may be eaten in a tent, in a Stryker vehicle, on board an aircraft carrier, or even in a military hospital. If you would like to learn more about what you can do for our military, please visit a new feature on my website called Support The Troops."

There are a lot of ways we can support the troops and he has a list on his website that explains what each service can do for our family and friends who aren't home for the holiday season.

Thanks Lt. Gov, for sharing!

I thought the Treat Any Soldier program was so good and convenient! Using this service you can choose out of several care packages that are assemblied and then sent to a soldier of your choice, or choose "any soldier" if you don't know anyone over there but you still would like to share with someone. Their legwork takes the guesswork out of picking out stuff for your care package, stuff that may end up not being acceptable for sending overseas too.

I baked those ginger cookies today. Hmmm. They are definitely not anything like the cookies of yesteryear. I had to press them to get them to flatten, otherwise they are more of a mounded cookie than a big, flat cookie.

I need to do somemore looking and baking. I may have to pull out the bigger stretch pants after this holiday season!

We plan to deep fry the turkey this year. A first for us. Will be interesting.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cookies & Wreaths

Picture: Kim with her wreath.

I was looking at all the cookie magazines at the grocery store the other day. So many cookies, so little time!

My daughter, Karla, hosts a wreath making party at her home every Christmas season. She invites friends and family to come over and we all bring a wreath wire, or straw wreath or whatever we want to decorate and hang on the house for the season.

Wreaths did have meaning before the buy, Santa, buy, Frosty, buy, presents, crowded elevators & the poor ol' run over Gramma frenzy took over. (Personally, I enjoy all of that too.) It's so good to slow down and remember or learn anew the thoughtfulness that spurred the Christmas events and traditions that sadly have become many of the mindless actions I do during this holy season. I know many holidays have fingers in pagan practices, but to me, Christmas is holy and each tradition I am trying to attribute to them the truths of God's love.

This wreath making tradition can be used to pass the story of eternity on. The circle shape represents eternity. A very real upcoming event! I look forward to eternity. No more sickness, no pain, no heartaches. I believe it. I can't be swayed to think otherwise. If that belief is taken away, what is there? Nothing. That is an important truth to pass on to our children and grandchildren.

Here is a site that gives a good description of why we have the wreath.

"Some believed that hanging a wreath was a sign of victory, be it political, personal or religious."

Traditional Christmas wreaths are a symbol of faith. Since Christmas wreaths are a circle with no beginning or end, they symbolize God's eternity and mercy during the Christmas season. When Christmas wreaths are decorated with evergreen leaves and branches they symbolize everlasting life and God's everlasting love. Their green color is a representation of hope and new life.
(As read at the above link about Christmas wreaths and the story, meaning behind them.)

While reading magazine front pages, I saw a cranberry/white chocolate chip cookie that looks soooo good. So I did a search and found an Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe. Makes my mouth drool typing it out! They should be yummy. I plan to make them for the cookie exchange that is part of Karla's wreath making party.

Here is the recipe:

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies (drool)

2/3 cup butter/margarine, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 6 oz. pkg. Craisins or dried sweetened cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F Mix butter & sugar until fluffy, stir in the eggs. Mix the dry ingredients well and mix into the butter mixture a little at a time, making sure to mix well each time. Stir in the cranberries and the chocolate. Drop by rounded teaspoons on to ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack.

I also found a recipe for an Amish Ginger Cookie I hope to make these for thanksgiving. My daughter Kim's husband, Tony does not care for pies like we love, but he loves gingerbread cookies.

Amish Ginger Cookies (Makes 48)

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Extra granulated sugar

While reading recipes, this site included a Comments section. Here is a cute little comment I read there. The successful baker said something like:

"I loved these cookies, but I didn't have extra granulated sugar, but regular granulated sugar works great too."
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Beat butter & 1 cup of sugar until creamy. Add egg & molasses, beat until combined. (This would be a good one for easing those frustrations, beat it and beat it again!) Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Make 1 inch round balls, roll in the "extra granulated sugar", place balls on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 5 to 7 minutes, until barely turning brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to cool on cookie rack.

I sure love molasses cookies myself!

When I was a little girl, we had a Missionary named Violet Able living in Old Harbor. She would have children's Bible classes, and game nights. At the end, many times she passed out a big, huge molasses cookie to each child. They were so good! I don't think I have ever had a molasses cookie so good ever since those days.

Sometimes, she would let the big kids into her home during the week to help with Sunday School lesson cut-outs and after they finished the work, she gave them a molasses cookie!

One day, I knocked on her door and asked if she needed help, (I was almost a big kid, I thought). As I stood tall as I could she looked me up and down and then said, "Okay, you come in and we will see what we can find for you to help me with."

She found several sheets of Old Testament Bible story characters to cut out. I had quiet fun studying the pictures before I carefully cut each one of them out. When I finished and as she took the last of the cut-outs she said, "Let's see what we can find for a treat to pay you for your work."

She went to her kitchen, looked through the cupboards and brought a carton over. Hmmm, no cookies. Okay I thought to myself, what could they be? She opened the box, put her hand in and then set before me --------TOO MANY vegetable crackers!!!!!

Have fun baking and wreathing everyone and pass on The Story, the real one of Christmas!

"O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" I Corinthians 15:55

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Lazy Snow

Front PorchSnowy logsThe CabinMelting Twin LakeSnowy plantsSnowy day

We had a busy night. We had snow yesterday then it warmed up and turned into a stormy, rainy, noisy night. I was woke up several times from the wind hitting the house and the rain on the window.

There was another earthquake.

Soon after that we were woke up by a sharp, static noise coming from downstairs.

Doug checked it out and found that while the rain was being blown against the house, it somehow had worked it's way into the top of the kitchen window, through the trim and then began to drip on the radio/tape recorder I keep there. That began to short out and that is what we heard.

Soon after that it quieted down, the snow resumed and we fell asleep.

The lazy snow kept on all day today.

Very pretty and thankfully it is not extremely cold.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bigger Piece!

Most of the wood in the pile is not big and bulky and it is easy for me to handle. I don't have trouble picking it up and carrying it in to be loaded into the woodstove.

I decided to bring in a bigger piece to keep the stove going for a longer time. I picked up a heavy birch log and while I was loading it into the stove my back popped and out it went.

So, I have been on my back the last few days. Today it is about 75% better. I am still in positional pain but I can sit up longer and walk around without looking like a living "S". Not back to normal so I have to be careful.

Yesterday evening, I was tired of reading (Travels in Alaska, John Muir)so I picked up some pillows and set them just so on the couch. I carefully leaned back into them to see if I could sit and bead while I was in slomo for a while.

It worked and now the length of the strap is at 19+ inches (it is 3 inches wide)and I am feeling like I can see a light at the end of the tunnel with completing this project! (I have to get to 24 inches before I can shout, "I'm DONE!")

The design is taken from a watercolor painting that I did. I will show the painting another time. Doug liked the idea of depicting the teaching of Jesus Christ, "I am the vine, you are the branches..." on his guitar strap.

The rest of the beading should not take much longer. I need to figure out how to attach it to the leather guitar strap. I feel very uncomfortable about spreading goopy glue on this item I worked so hard on and for so long. But, that is the way the beaders do it. I will show a picture here when I complete the project.

Have a happy day.... and thank God for your strong, pain-free backs! If you are suffering like me.... get well soon!

Monday, November 14, 2005

The "Twinz"

I received an email from a friend this morning, it brought me back all the way to a heavy milestone in our family's life. If I had to try to swim (I can't anyway) with that around my neck, I would surely have drowned. It was a difficult time for me as Mom and the rest of the family too. It opened a long chapter in our lives.

The milestone I am talking about is the horrible day we took our twins, Marie and Karla to the airport to leave for Bible school. Don't laugh. It was hard for me!

Until that point we had never been separated. I thought of them returning during Christmas break but decided that was so far off and it was no comfort to me. I was positive I would not survive the separation until then.

No one told me that my babies were going to grow up and want to leave!

If you are a young parent right now, let me warn you ----that sweet little one who is clinging to you now will one day decide to leave and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it but wave good bye!

"When I left home at 19 to come to Oregon, my parents and two sisters took me to the airport. "The ride home was really quiet," my sister told me later. "Even Dad had tears in his eyes."

Why in the world, I wondered at the time, would anyone would be sad, let alone shedding tears, at my going away? Kids are meant to leave home someday, after all, and my parents' lives would be easier and quieter without me. Life was all future, then. The present was endurance and impatience; what mattered was the next door to open, the next adventure." ~Dorcas Smucker, The Register-Guard.

I had more than tears in my eyes in the days that followed. I cried. I bawled. I had no shame. I begged their Dad to bring them back sooner than they were supposed to come home. "For just a short visit, please!" Even he was surprised at the reaction I was having to this new way of life.

I knew for a long time they would be leaving. I had even helped them pack. When the actual time came, I fell apart.

Having five babies, this was just the start of these kids growing ... out!

A new baby brings change into our lives and they are such a big adjustment. But when your baby decides to leave, it is so hard. Being a MOM, was my career! All I ever heard from experienced parents?

"All our kids are gone and it's so nice!"

So where is the "nice" I thought, when does "nice" begin?

All I could see was they were not there at the table with us for dinner. Their places were empty in the van when we drove to church. They were GONE!

The rest of the family adjusted too. Kim had the whole basement bedroom to herself. She had the downstairs bathroom, no more fighting for mirror space.

I think our youngest son had the greatest adjustment to make when his siblings all began to leave. God bless the kid that is eventually left home alone with dear ol' Mom and Dad.

With each change after that, the death grip on my kids was easier to loosen. Just because, I learned that there is no place like home, and they WILL come back....bringing gifts even! Our babies are bringing home babies and it's all good.

I am an experienced Mom now and it is....nice.

Check out Dorcas Smucker's Newsletter. It's good reading. She also blogs! Life in a Shoe.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

OK, I Felt That!

Earthquake. It was only 4.08 but felt like it was right under the house. One big jolt. Recent Earthquakes.

Friday, November 11, 2005


It's snowing in Big Lake, Alaska!
Our youngest grandson, Baby Calvin is smiling like how I am feeling!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Just As If...

"No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris...[because] no known motor can run at the requisite speed for four days without stopping." Orville Wright

Many, many villages and towns in Alaska can only be reached by flying. Most fly home or to Anchorage on small planes like the one pictured.

While I was surfing blogs yesterday I ran across a topic directed toward Christians. It spoke of getting our walk as Christian's right. (Sorry, I didn't think to bookmark it.) Believers, maintaining certain styles/behaviors as if we truely are Christian's. Getting it right. Becoming like your Master. Example: Christian's don't do this and they don't do that ---because they are Christians.

I've heard this said, "I would never be a Christian, because I know one."

When I fail in my walk as a Christian, when I do and say things that are not consistant with what I believe, when at the end I've realized my error or errors, I am always reminded of how much I need my Savior!

Without Him, I am a miserable Christian when it comes to being perfect, in all places and circumstances. When God the Father looks at me, He sees me as forgiven, because of His Son, Jesus Christ. Justified; just as if I had never sinned! What a beautiful salvation we have access to, just for believing the Gospel story!

My husband works away from home for two weeks. When he returns, we can do things together for two weeks. He used to work on the North Slope for one week and home one week for many years. (He's been working this away/home schedule for 20+ years now.) I love email! While he is away, we can email each other.

I got up yesterday, opened my email and found that he had shared these thoughts after reading Romans 7 & 8. I thought it was very good and wanted to share it here today.

"Example of pilot following instruments.

When I was learning to fly, one of the things that I had to practice was to maintain the airplanes straight and level flight. This was accomplished by observing the altimeter, attitude and directional indicators. These showed when there was any deviation from straight and level flight. They indicated when I was going up or down, turning right or left, and when I wasn’t flying level. When the instruments showed a deviation, I wasn’t supposed to adjust the instrument to make it look like I was flying right, I had to identify what was causing me to deviate and adjust that.

This is what the lists and examples presented in the Bible are to us as Christians. They are our instruments to show us when an adjustment needs to be made. When we see jealousy or anger or lying or any of these things identified in scripture as sin, in our life, we realize, like the pilot, that something is not right. The problem we often get into is that we try to try to get rid of the jealousy or anger or lying. This is like the pilot trying to adjust the instrument when he sees it is not on course. The things of the flesh we see evidenced in our life are an indication, like the pilots instrument, that something is wrong. In the life of the believer, that something is sin. We have taken our eyes off of Christ or have allowed something to compromise our relationship to him. The answer is not in trying to live a better life, but to go to Him in confession and repentance. Re-establish that relationship, which will, by the work of the Spirit of God, correct the external evidence of the problem which shows up as jealousy, anger, lying or some other manifestation in our attitudes and actions.

The Mosaic law is the instrument God gave to humanity to show the problem of sin. The pointer on the instrument is my life and actions. In Romans 7 we see man, like a pilot adjusting his instrument to attain straight and level flight, weaving back and forth but never able to get it right. Eventually this will lead to a fatal crash. In Romans 8 we see the believer, like the pilot who realizes an adjustment needs to be made in what is causing the deviation, living in the Spirit of God, which produces the evidence of a holy life. The only way straight and level flight can be maintained in a person’s life is through our relationship with Christ and the working of His Spirit in me. Not by trying to do better."

Thanks for sharing this Doug.

(Picture is of Denali Mountain, taken in Talkeetna and a small plane flying by.)

Monday, November 07, 2005

January Weather!

It's so cold this morning. -10 F but feels like it is worse. My hood even froze while I stood outdoors waiting for Chewy to do his business. The house is even cracking and popping (log house). This is January, February weather!

As I stood outside freezing, I thought of the words Mom used to tell us: "Pray that your flight be not in the winter." I know it is part of prophecy but I don't really understand what it means. I don't know who's flight it is. I can clearly see the mercy of God showing through.

We have had the wood stove going full blast today. I am so thankful for fire today. What a blessing. I pray that those without shelter will go to the shelters set up for them in the cities.

So many natural disasters. I cried when I heard on the radio this morning about Evansville, Indiana. Considering all the talk one hears about abortions and the horrible fact that so many babies are destroyed before they even see the light of day, I was interested to read that "Authorities also are counting as a fifth death the 8-month-old fetus of one of the victims." God bless those authorities for that right statement.

Stay warm Alaska and remember to pray for the ones dealing with this new natural disaster in Indiana!

"And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter." Mark 13:18

Read more on this subject.
Mark 13
Matthew 24

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Guess Which Hurricane This Was

I know there is nothing humorous about the troubles caused from the hurricanes. I found this in my email box and thought it was cute.

Friday, November 04, 2005

50 Days!

...left to Christmas shop! ha!

I never liked that Christmas came around before Thanksgiving in the shopping malls, but here I am contributing to this crazy time of the year. This link will take you to's website which has a countdown you can check to see how much time you have left before you need to panic! Right down to the second...even in your own time zone! To get some of us slowpokes started (I know some ladies that are DONE Christmas shopping!) I will share pictures or links to things I have found that might be cool gifts. Today I wanted to show you things I saw as I was looking through a catalog. For the man who has everything ---gift ideas. I love this stocking for the hard working man in your life. Or woman too! Sometimes after a long work day...these might be nice, if they WORK too! Hey! Now we don't have to go to the dentist. Let's do our own teeth! No doctor kit though! And my favorite---- Do you know someone that would love to open this up on Christmas morning? I loved the shocked look on the lady behind him. lol All these gifts can be found at Duluth Trading. (My son's catalog.)

Last year we made some of our Christmas gifts. I think Christmas is just way too commercial. How about a quiet evening with hot cider, thinking about the Lord's birth?

It's hard to try to change, because it affects those we love. We think we show love by what kind of gifts we recieve and give. Most of the time the ones in our lives make the mistake, (I do too!), that the amount we are loved is shown in the $$$$ size of the gift.

Love is Dad taking out the trash for the gazillionth time. Mom baked that birthday cake for the 30th time! Jesus showed His love, when He became obedient to even death.

Love does things. $$$ gifts are so dissatisfying. They go away, they get dusty, they fall apart.

Okay, enough of my thoughts, this is all for this post! I might find more gifts to share from my travels. Have fun shopping$$$$

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Spiderman Shoes!

Today is Doug's birthday. We are going to have a taco feed and I just put in two blueberry pies. While I prepared the pies I thought about the beautiful weekend we had together when Doug and I picked the blueberries. First batch we picked in Thompson Pass on a return trip from Valdez. The second batch we stopped at Puritan Creek along the Glenn Highway and picked some more. What a hot day that was! Yesterday I asked him what kind of pies he wanted. "What kind do you want to make?" That is how he is, never imposing, always tries to be sure he is never demanding of anything! Even his birthday dinner meal or dessert! I replied and asked, "How about blueberry pie?" "Won't you use up all your berries?" Anyway, the pies are baking and I decided to share this story about Gramppa Doug and shoes. Tucker came over one day and he was so excited about his shoes. "Look Gramppa! I have Spiderman shoes!" "Wow! Look at those," said Doug. They admired the shoes a bit and then Doug said, "Look at my Spiderman shoes!" Tucker stopped and looked, got quiet and stared at Gramppa's worn out shoes. Then he said, "Those are not Spiderman shoes, Gramppa!" "They aren't???" "No!" Then after a few more seconds of staring and thinking about them, Tucker says, "Those are Batman shoes!" Happy birthday to the best man in the whole wide world! I love you Dougie.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Discarded Candy Wrappers

The Cute Under the Pooh! Calvin minus the Winnie-the-Pooh costume.

The Party's Here! Halloween House-hoppers!

We waited and waited for our Grandkids to show up. Suddenly they were all here and right behind them our neighbor Mont showed up. For an hour the house was bustling with laughing, flashing cameras, hungry parents getting a bite to eat and then.... just as fast as they showed up, they all disappeared! We sat here watching the fire in the stove, with bones, pumpkins and a mosaic halloween critter hanging on the windows and discarded candy wrappers lying on the floor. There were a few last minute character changes. No Batman and Spiderman or Angel. Instead we had a Cowboy, Indian and a Florescent Witch!

Sunday, October 30, 2005


I am expecting Spiderman, Batman, a Tractor, an Angel, a Dragon, a cute little baby and two tired out Mom's tomorrow evening. These pumpkins are filled up with goodies and sitting here waiting. When my kids were young they participated in the door to door trick or treat night every year. I know many Christian people feel that it is wrong. We decided that it can be enjoyed as a family event so we all climbed into our van and stopped in the neighborhoods with brightly lit homes. Usually someone was at home to give out treats too, or if not, we got home early enough to catch the 100+ little people that came to our door every year. Mom and Dad allowed us to go trick or treating too. I remember one time when I was a little girl and my Mom worked so hard fixing me up to go out. She took a cloth diaper and tied it very snug around my face after she had cut holes for my eyes and mouth. Then she drew a face on it and combed my hair down around it, tied a scarf over my hair and the whole time she was softly laughing. Then she said, "Okay, you want to see?" She lifted me up to look in the mirror and I was so shocked at how awful I looked that I tore the mask off and would not go trick or treating even if it meant no candy for me. It's sad that now that many times our children are not as safe during this time of the year as we used to be when we were young. I hear of more and more parents bringing their children to or else planning an evening event that is just as fun for the kids in order to avoid making the rounds in the neighborhoods. Whatever you do tonight, make sure you all watch out for each other and make the evening fun for our little ones!

Friday, October 28, 2005


Doug and I went out for a walk after it had been raining for days. The sun finally peeked through one evening and it was so nice, out we went. I stopped and took a picture of a perfect mushroom I saw. We continued walking. I noticed more mushrooms ---different mushrooms! I took more pictures. Now my interest was peaked. I would disappear into the trees and shrubs and when Doug would turn to talk to me, I would be in the bushes kneeling down taking another picture. Earlier that day, our neighbor's goat happened to come over. Doug had hooked him up to Chevy's long dog run to wait until we had a chance to walk him back. We did not expect the owner to show up to get him. It was such a nice evening, Doug got a rope, secured it around the goats neck and we started off to take the goat back home. I saw so many mushrooms as we went along! Soon Doug was pointing them out to me too. Huge ones, teensy ones. I took over 25 different pictures. Soon Doug left me far behind. When we got home I had wet, cold knees. Since that day, I have done some mushroom reading. I found out the climate has to be WET and at least 50ยบ(F) cool, in order for them to flourish. Our fall weather is perfect for mushrooms. I learned that we don't have Alaskan mushrooms, there aren't Australian mushrooms, or Californian mushrooms, etc. Mushrooms appear to be native all over the world! Each decaying organism has it's own kind of mushroom. The mushrooms break down organisms into food that a tree or other plant can utilize to grow strong and healthy. One article I read at told that according to Eef Arnolds of the Netherlands, there is a catastrophic decline of mushrooms in Europe. They don't know why, but think it might be because of air pollution, and this was written in 1993! I like to have mushrooms in my salad, on pizza and they are yummi in spaghetti sauce. Kind of sad to think these little things are declining. It is not evident here. This past fall, there were so many mushrooms and so many different kinds! I saw some with little bites out of them, maybe a mouse was eating them. I figured, that must be an edible mushroom but I would not want to try it. Bugs like them too for eating and they lay thier eggs in them too! bleah! The very showy mushroom, Amanita Muscaria is also referred to as the mystical mushroom. I have always been told they are poisonous and stay well away from them. I read online that some people smoke them and get high! Siberian reindeer have been seen eating them and squirrels store them way in their coffers! There is even suggestions that the Santa Claus and his reindeer story is related to smoking amanita muscaria 'shrooms. Something about Shaman's and how they delivered the red mushroom, and when reindeer eat them they --fly high! After our nature walk and after reading about the lowly mushrooms, I must say that mushrooms are alive and well in Alaska, at least it looks that way to me. ....but I am not a "fungal ecologist." There is a spider in this picture, can you see it?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I can't post without adding a picture! That's sort of like the saying my hubby always said when he grew a moustache. "A kiss without a moustache is like an egg without salt." A blog without a picture is like ... A puppy without a lick! A star without a twinkle. A baby without a cuddle. An ark without a flood. A lake without a fish. A bouquet without a flower. You get the idea. So, here is the pizzazz for now: "Axenia" the Alutiiq Teddybear! A friend of mine just created her for me. She dresses teddybears and I suggested to her that I would love an Alutiiq doll. I sent her the drawing, on the left. She did some research then she sewed and beaded this beautiful doll for me. She worked so hard! I named the teddybear after my paternal gramma, Axenia. Vicki, the artist, lives in Idaho. She does beautiful work. I have not received "Axenia" yet, but she should be winging her way to Alaska real soon! I can't wait to look at every bead and the details Vicki sewed on to this bear. Speaking of looking, here's something else you may be VERY interested to look at. There is a wealth of information found on the Internet anymore! You can find out most anything about anything or anyone! This website was passed on to me by my son Kris. It allows visitors to view drivers licenses! You need to know a person's full name then you can view their personal drivers license data!!!! (Their REAL age and even their weight, hehehe.) Look up yours, see if you are listed. P.S. If you want to you can remove your information, if you prefer to remain as private as possible.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Last Night!

Our Northern Show
The lights first showed up as a large, bright band.
It spanned the whole northern sky.
We watched.
We rode home from Anchorage.
16 degrees F, 10:30 p.m.
We arrived at home.
Tending to the dogs outside.
Looking up and watching.
The show continues.
Just for us!
We go inside.
Sitting in the dark.
Watching lights dance in the woodstove.
Stoking the fire, quietly talking.
Aurora's keep dancing!
Around to the side of the house now!
Private livingroom show now!
We get up.
We watch from the window
We share our show here.
P.S. These pictures were taken within one minute.
They were really being showy!