Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Story My Dad Told

We didn't have television when I was young and we heard very little radio. I do remember listening to the radio when our President John F. Kennedy was shot. My sisters and I cried while we listened as I am sure the rest of our world did. I cried some more when I saw the pictures of his family and his casket. Didn't we all love them? I loved that family. Picture is of some Irish women thrilled to greet our Irish-American President while he visited in Ireland.

Anyway, there really was not all that much to do in the village after school was out for the day. Do our chores and read. I don't know how kids can even have time to learn today with their cell phones, iPods, computers, television, new movies - which can be downloaded and watched on computers and iPods! The opportunities of busyness on the web is amazing! (MySpace, Bebo, chat rooms, blogging!) So when do they study?

Back to my childhood. I had books. I had the occasional opportunity to see Life or Look magazines with their photos to the outside world. I loved reading them and would sit and stare at the pictures so long. I can remember sitting and looking at the magazines with my sisters.

Check out the links for more old pictures and you can even order old magazines! They must be reprints.

Sometimes in those days Dad would tell stories that he grew up hearing. I wish I would have listened and wrote down what he said, but I didn't. I want to share this one that I can remember. The story had a moral to it and I am sharing it as I remember it.

Once there was a young man a long time ago. He was very big, and he was very strong. He always would win the other boys in the village at everything. Arm wrestling. Lifting heavy fishing nets. Carrying big, heavy logs. Whatever it was, he was so strong and everyone grew to know that.

As time goes by he begins to let his incredible strength go to his head and starts to strut around being the big guy.

The time this story happened was when the tides went way out. The men would go hunting for octopus then. They would find their dens in big rocks when the tide got low enough. Octopus was a delicacy and they were sought after with great anticipation when tides went way out.

The men carried long poles with them. When they found a den, they would put the poles into the den and pull out the octopus all together. Because octopus are strong and several men are needed to pull them out of their dens. They put the pole in and the octopus will wind his arms around the pole after being jabbed a few times and then they pull him out.

This day they found a big den and a big octopus. Several men jabbed in there and said, "Oh! This is a BIG octopus!"

The young man could see the octopus that they already had found and thought to himself, "I am much stronger than that!"

He told the men, "let me pull it out with my own arm!"

"Duh wuh!" the older men said. "No! You can't do that."

He insisted and the men stepped aside.

He got down onto his knees and then stuck his arm way down into the den totally covering up the den; all the way up to his shoulder. He felt around and then told the other men that he could feel it. He told them it was wrapping its' arms around his own arm. He waited. When he felt it was hooked to his arm really good he tried to pull. He could not pull one inch! No matter how he tried he could not pull his arm back out. The other men tried to but could not help him. When the tide began rushing back in they had to leave him there.

The moral of that story goes to show that one should not think himself to be so good or so much better at knowing things that you can't listen to the older and the wiser among you. You must listen to the words of those that have lived longer than you and be wise from them or bad things like this will probably happen to you.

Hope you enjoyed that memory I had of my Dad's story telling.

The picture of Old Harbor is from the National Geographic Photo Gallery. National Geographic Photo of Old Harbor.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Jackson's and the Howling Huskies

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Kene & Milly have been traveling to Alaska to sing for different events in different towns for a long time. They are a favorite with the Native Alaskan Christian crowd. I enjoy listening to their country twang too!

Coming up the "last weekend in July in Palmer, Alaska" is the Howling Huskies Gospel Festival. Singing, eating and being outdoors. This is Anchorage Native New Life Fellowship's summer time event. If you are in the area that weekend be sure and check it out, especially if the weather is fine! Kids love playing on the grassy fields all day too.

The board of Anchorage Native New Life Fellowship tries to have Native foods there for sale too. They usually will have "alagiks" and have had salmon chowder too. Indian tacos are big sellers and of course the hamburger is always on our minds, especially when smelling hot charcoal!

I had to put a plug in for Howling Huskies on my blog, it's that time of the year again! Can you believe it? Millie? Mil? Did you wake up yet?

I heard Mil might be making a move up to the Valley! I usually get her updates right into my email but for some reason... no update! I had to zoom over there to find it for myself. So if you are subscribed for updates, they don't appear to be working right.

Can't believe that June 21st has come and gone!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Twenty Something

My husband Doug made it on to the local television news! He is somewhere in this little picture of him and his fellow workers out on the BP lawn! ha. See the ADN story here. KTUU - Celebrating the Pipeline's 30th Birthday. Also watch the video of this story here. Video - Pipeline's 30th Birthday

Way back when our oldest son Klinton (our fourth baby) was four months old things did not look very good for us, financially. Doug had just completed his Bible schooling and we were back in Wasilla in our first "wooden" house. Previous to that we had purchased a broken down and very dirty mobile home which we cleaned up, fixed up, lived in for two years then sold to make enough for a down payment on our first home.

Doug had a job with Mel's Air Op but try as he would, Mel (the owner) could not keep Doug on through the winter. He was laid off. Doug took jobs here and there to keep paying the bills. I always tell my kids that I never did ever worry that we would ever not be taken care of! I was probably very naive but I totally trusted that our needs would always be met.

Things did get bad enough that we had to ask the State of Alaska for help. Doug did not like that. We were always so incredulous at the amount of money that they gave us for food! Every first of the month we were told that we should return to get new food stamps. When I went in the following month I brought my unspent food stamps and told them I didn't use them all and that they just needed to give me that much less. "No!" The woman at the counter pushed the unspent stamps back to me and said, "Those are yours! You have to use them!" then she proceeded to give me another bundle of food stamps! We never ate so good as we did on food stamps!

As time passed with Doug unable to get enough automotive repair work to keep paying the house bills things began to look bad. The bank was calling and they were going to start foreclosure proceedings. That was so stressful. Doug kept telling them that he was doing his best to find a job and would they please wait. There were so many others in the same place as we were that I think the banks felt their interests were better off if they allowed the owners to continue to live there and care for the houses. So months went by without making a house payment and foreclosure was hanging over our heads the whole time.

Just before Thanksgiving one of the North Slope companies that Doug had filled out work applications at and kept calling and checking for work every week called! If he could be on the next plane, he had a temporary job. Doug jumped at this opportunity and he gathered all his cold weather clothing and was gone.

There I was with four babies and I was a very needy person! I didn't even drive! I didn't know how long Doug would be gone because it was not ever said how long he would have to be gone. I didn't even know when I would hear from him again. This North Slope world was foreign to us.

Now twenty something years down the road we both look back with THANKFULNESS for all the blessings a job up there brought to our struggling family. Doug is such a great worker that he was able to secure a permanent job with BP, the company he continues to work for today. We have been blessed through the oil industry in Alaska. Many other Alaskans are thankful for the jobs that oil brings too.

There always is some sort of controversy going on with big companies everywhere. Always, there is someone that is disgruntled and squawking about something that someone did or didn't do that was something awful for everybody and most definitely it always involves our environment. I know that we have to take care of our world! I also know that babies get hungry! Cars need to go!

I believe that God has blessed us right now with oil. I think God knows just how long this world needs to survive and I believe He has provided all that we will ever need to live in it as long as we have to live in it.

For us, Doug and I, the oil industry has been good to us for almost 27 years now. I am thankful for the job that Doug has been faithful to for twenty something years. 26 years he worked away from home a week on and a week off or two weeks on and two weeks off, now he has a job in Anchorage and has been commuting. He comes home every night! What a blessing to have a husband home everyday! When a date is being set aside for a special event, I still find myself wondering if it will be on a week that Doug is home ----but he is home all the time now! HOORAY!

Today I want to say kudos on BP Alaska's 30th Birthday, from one very thankful wife and mother. Thanks BP and Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What An Example To Us Women!

One of many soaring eagles that we saw this past weekend.

I have just spent the last few hours reading about Ruth Bell Graham. I watched the slide show that my blogger friend Connie H. shared at her "Slimpickin's" blogspot. Thanks for posting that link, Connie. I meant to get to the Ruth Bell Graham - Time To Adore site a few days ago but was busy. This morning I visited at Chrysalis-eMom and read her blog on Ruth and was reminded I did not do that yet. I finally got over there and right now my node is plucked up from sharing the loss her family is experiencing now. She was indeed a woman that loved Jesus Christ and her beautiful family.

I loved the featured poem that she wrote:

Time To Adore

And when I die
I hope my soul ascends
slowly, so that I
may watch the earth
receding out of sight,
its vastness growing
smaller as I rise,
savoring its recession
with delight.
Anticipating joy
is itself a joy
And joy unspeakable
and full of glory
needs more than
"in a twinkling of an eye,"
more than, "in a moment."
Lord, who am I to disagree?
It's only we
have much to leave behind;
so much...Before.
These moments
of transition
will, for me, be
time to adore.

-Ruth Bell Graham 1920 - 2007

May God bless Billy Graham and their family today with Comfort we all can only know through Jesus Christ when dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Trophied Dad!

Watching the kids race is scary all the time for me, I being the "do it the safest way" type of person that I am. I always wonder why they think it is fun to jostle down the track with a bunch of other kids that like to go fast.

Klint did really good at the Motocross Championship Races in Homer. He raced in two classes Quad Pro Open and Quad Intermediates. He placed high enough in Quad Pro Open to win money and won the First Place trophy for Quad Intermediates! What an exciting race that was! Both he and the second place winner RACED hard the whole entire race! (They don't run laps, they run minutes.) Klint was able to keep up in first place through the whole race on Sunday and when he got the checkered flag the second place runner was roaring at his heels!

The whole weekend his Dad was on top of the RV with binoculars and worrying me that he just might jump off the top of that roof! That last race was too much to even look and see what he was doing! I tell ya, between him and the kids on the track - I have to get my rest between races! Just before Klint and Calli left to get back home Klint brought his trophy to Doug and said, "I got something for you Dad - Happy Father's Day!" So Doug is a trophied Dad!

Doug is such a great Dad. He comes from a long line of men that loved God. He had a very good example of loving God and loving his wife from his own Dad, John. I am blessed to know Doug and many times I have thought of the history that comes down his Dad's family. They were a family with a history of giving God His place in their lives. I always believe that the blessings we enjoy are from God honoring the prayers of those long ago faithful followers of Christ. It is a good lesson for us all.

The sun was hot this weekend. There was a cooling breeze so I sat out in the sun WAY TOO LONG and I am paying for it now! Ouchie! Sunburn hurts!

Here are a few pictures I took on the ride back home overlooking Cook Inlet and just an ol' tree near the used to be City of Portage. Not much remains of that area anymore since the 1964 earthquake sank the area six to ten feet and it got swamped with tidal waters.

I stopped by to see Millie yesterday on the way home. Gave her hugs and kisses. She was responsive as in moving when I touched her. I tried to turn her a bit so she didn't stay the same way too long. She lifted her left arm and scrunched her face as I pulled on her right arm and shoulder, which made me laugh and I said, "Yes Mil, help me!" Thanks to all of you that continue to pray for Millie to heal.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I received this in email this morning. Thanks Carol C.!

It doesn't hurt to take a hard look at yourself from time to time, and this should help get you started.

During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."

"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

"No." said the Director, "A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?"

A normal person. Is there such a thing?

We are all so different. What is the standard that we are going to compare ourselves to? Everyone has their own set of rules, said or unsaid. Everyone has a conscience, more or less, depending on how much of it we have either buried or allowed to rule our lives. This affects our choices every day. Our choices, good or bad, shape us to become who we are.

I have allowed my passions, emotions, wants or stubborn will to selfishly shove aside my conscience before. Then there are times that my conscience is so strong that I can't do things I thought I wanted to do.

I am thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit who came to reside in my heart when I believed the Bible story of Jesus Christ. I am thankful that God knew that I needed the Holy Spirit to teach me, comfort me, lead me into the Way everlasting. So much potential for a beautiful relationship when I am willing. He is sure Helper "in time of need."

Today is my son Kristopher David's birthday. He is already 23 24. He is our baby boy. I used to call him our "bonus boy" because we had Klinton, then I began to lose weight and start planning a life of no more babies. I am being painfully truthful when I share that I did not want to be pregnant ever again. I was so disappointed when I found out that the two-week flu I thought I was having was actually our Kris.

I carried my son up to ten weeks in an angry depression. I did not even listen to my conscience when it advised me that this was not right. When the Holy Spirit suggested that this was a blessing, I did not want to hear.

At ten weeks along Dr. Werner ordered a sonogram because, as always and after already having twins, I was carrying much larger than I should have been for the weeks that I knew that I was. So they looked to see if there were twins in there.

I had never been able to see the previous babies I had in those sonogram pictures. That day I turned my head and watched. Surprisingly, I saw plainly, Kristopher's small body! His arms, his legs, everything! Tears trickled down my cheek as I laid there quietly and kept watching. Just before the sonogram was over, Kris' little hands came up (at ten weeks!) and he appeared to clap his hands together!

I knew that was just for me - from God.

He is an incredible God and we love so much our Kris that He gave to us. Without Kris here we would not have experienced his loud, happy, singing character in our young family. He used to go all over the house tapping on things with either a stick or a spoon or what ever he had in his hands and singing and annoying his older siblings.

One day he was supposed to be doing the dishes in the kitchen, I was probably crocheting in the living room when I stopped to listen to him.

Tap, tap, tap, BANG! Bang, bang, ratta-tap-tap! I said, "KRIS IS A DRUMMER!"

He does have a set of drums that he plays. He does really good and without having any lessons! He is a natural-born, drumming, gift from God. I am so happy we have him.

After four kids already, maybe I reacted "normally" to the news of another baby on the way, but my conscience and my LORD told me I was wrong. If I carried this ugly side of me as far as to totally wipe out their prodding, I could have even had a selfish abortion. Kris' influence in our lives would have been wiped out forever. I know that I would have suffered an even greater depression and would surely have missed out on such a BLESSING!

So, listen to your own God-given conscience and if you are gifted with the Holy Spirit, listen to Him. God knows what is normal, He made us! Who better than Him will teach us how to live?

I love you Kris, our "bonus boy"! Happy Birthday.

It's been 168 days since Mil went to the hospital. Come back to us Millie!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Here Ya Go BBF!

She came to visit so I grabbed the camera. She is still sweet and full of cuddles!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Amazing Morphing Job

Women In Art

See more of EggMan films at his YouTube channel.

I could not help but wonder if somewhere in all those faces is the face of Eve, the very first woman peeking through. After all we all come from her. Every woman has her own beauty that comes from the most beautiful woman that God created. It will be fun to see her when we can finally see her!

The women in the pictures of art all appear so perfect, sweet, delicate, proper, wise, beautiful, all at the same time.

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." I Peter 3: 3,4.

I find that last statement "the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God" interesting, coming from Peter.

Through the years of listening to sermons and Bible studies I have picked up that Peter was likely a brash, and abrupt man. He would jump into things without a thought about what could become of it! Peter was the one that asked to walk on the sea too when he saw Jesus walking out there. He cut of the ear of Malchus, the high priests servant! When Jesus was preparing to wash the feet of His disciples Peter said, "You will never wash my feet!" until Jesus said, "If I don't wash your feet you shall not have any part of Me." Then Peter said to Jesus, "Not only my feet but my hands and my head too!"

Peter was not naturally a gentle and quiet spirited person, yet after time passed he could teach that this was PRECIOUS in the sight of God. Not only for us women, but also for men too. I believe that by the time Peter wrote this letter he had learned many hard things.

God never gave up on Peter. From the time Jesus chose him to follow Him, through his three-time denial of being a friend to Jesus Christ during Christ's crucifixion, and after Christ's death, resurrection, and the time all the disciples taught others just who Jesus Christ was, Peter was learning how to be quiet and gentle.

Eventually, he used that spirit to persuade others who were as brash and hard-headed as he used to be, to know and love Jesus Christ. When that happens, the Holy Spirit of God quietly, and gently morphs us all. That is what becomes a woman, or a man.

God's spirit is beautiful and He shines out through us, without all the gold, braids and fashion. I believe that is what Peter was referring to when he wrote this letter.

Gentle and quiet. To God it is precious. When we are quiet we can hear our hearts, and that is when God communes with us and gently morphs us into the image of His dear Son, the most beautiful of all Spirit's! That is the most amazing of all morphing jobs!

Glory of the Gentiles:
"To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Apostle Paul. Colossians 1:27.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Did You See This Yet?

The whole bunch of us! I got it from Marie's blog. That was during our first camping trip up in Talkeetna area.

I just had to make sure you all saw this! My big, beautiful family!

Be Encouraged!

I woke up to a beautiful sunny morning; no wind and lots of birds chirping in the trees. God has created such beauty all over the world, and Alaska has scenes of grandeur around most every corner here. I am fortunate to live where I do.

My sister Kotya called me last night, she wanted to be sure I was okay and not depressed. My writing can sound as though I am depressed. My other younger sister Ruth talked to me on the phone and she said I sounded depressed. No. I am not really depressed. I get depressed waiting for Mil, but in general I am not depressed unless I am not seeing it. I get tired, I get headaches, I have aches and pains that maybe they are hearing too? Not any different than anyone else.

I have always been a quiet person. I observe a lot. I read an article Dorcas Smucker of Life In A Shoe had a link to on her blog Caring for your Introvert. I believe that I have introvert tendencies. I guess that is okay to say, ha! Jonathan Rauch wrote "it is probably due to our lack of small talk, a lack that extroverts often mistake for disdain" that introverts may be considered arrogant. It's not true here, I am just quiet and I am not depressed. I do get annoyed about things, especially things that are said. But, most of the time I can say that others are probably having a bad day then I give them the benefit of the doubt and go on.


I hope you have as beautiful a day as the one I woke up to today.

"It is good to let a little sunshine out as well as in."

"The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days."

"Activity and sadness are incompatible."

And here is the excellent verse my sister shared with me last night:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8.

That verse taken from the New American Standard Bible version is where I got the abbreviated form to remember the verse. THRPLGEW.

T - true
H - honorable
R - right
P - pure
L - lovely
G - good repute
E - excellence
W - worthy of praise

Translations (going from Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, or whatever - to English) are always just a bit different but they all pretty much say the same thing.

THRPLGEW everyone!

Thanks for caring Kotya! HUGs

Monday, June 04, 2007

Too much? Too Little? Just right?

"[This guy] talks real fast at the rate of 140 words per minute or more. His voice is grating, harsh, irritating, excessively loud, and just generally unpleasant. His posture is tense with abrupt jerky movement. Every few minutes, he raises his eyebrows in a tic-like fashion. Likewise, every few minutes, he raises or pulls back one or both shoulders in a tic-like fashion.

His tongue is indented due to chronic pressure against the back of his upper incisor teeth. When he speaks, you can hear a click because he has to separate his tongue from his upper teeth in order to open his mouth. You can hear his breath as he continuously sucks in air to speak rapidly. He sighs as he exhales which is not a sigh of relief but a sigh of frustration and emotional exhaustion. He blinks every couple seconds. He frequently exhibits beads of perspiration on his forehead and upper lip even at normal room temperature.

The skin of his lower eyelid has become brown because of a diffuse and permanent deposit of melanin. His facial expression with glaring eyes and lowered eyebrows make him look hostile. His lower eyelid is raised permanently which makes him look like he's staring at you. He looks aggressive and determined because the muscles surrounding his mouth are always tight. His thin lips are slightly pulled on both sides, and a visible bulge is created by tense jaws which make him look angry with an artificial smile. He has a habit of rapidly retracting the sides of his mouth that sometimes bare his teeth."

I read that online while reading about personalities. Wow. I can't even imagine someone like this. Everyone around me is opposite of this poor guy. Physicians say that individuals like this are prone to cardiac arrest, but so too are the slow, and sedentary. There has to be a happy middle in everything. Moderation is the key to all things.

Not too much food, not too much exercise, not too much study, not too much quietness, not too much talking, not too much computer time, not too much wine, not too much you name it. On and on.

I think the poor Colorado spruce tree maybe had not too much water this spring. It seems to be struggling this spring. I sure hope we don't lose it to bark beetles. I watered it really good this morning and Doug already fertilized it for me. It has orange sprouts on it. Last spring it had so many new shoots and that tree probably grew two feet or more, that is a lot of Alaska.

Just like my poor tree we also could suffer from not enough food, not enough exercise, not enough study, not enough quietness, not enough talking, not enough computer time, not enough wine, not enough of whatever - you name it! On and on

Marie has her lighthouse rock garden going. Beautiful isn't it?

I went outdoors early this morning and was cleaning up some of the wood chips and bark left from a winter of wood gathering for the wood stove. I think maybe too many of those ants and beetles hide in there and might try to take over the world if I leave them be. So I raked up that stuff and got a bit of a burn going. (Keeping my eyes on it while I type.)

Rose trees of china are beginning to fade, but the lilac bushes are gonna be beautiful soon. Right now, I don't think we can ever have TOO MUCH SPRING/SUMMER! I want to have some of that for a long time yet.

Seems like I should be adding something here at the bottom of this post. Something in italics. Something about my sister who has been in hospitals now for 160 Days! Love you Mil!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Okay, Try This!

Here is a math trick so unbelievable that it will stump you.

Grab a calculator. (you won't be able to do this one in your head)

1. Key in the first three digits of your phone number (NOT the Area code).
2. Multiply by 80.
3. Add 1.
4. Multiply by 250.
5. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number.
6. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number again.
7. Subtract 250.
8. Divide number by 2.

Do you recognize the answer ??

Got that from my niece, Kendra. She belongs to my brother Don. He is the oldest one in the family. Then there is Toby. Millie, me, Kotya, Ruth, SJ, Rebecca, Rachel and Mark.

When I got married, Millie was married in June and then Dad made an announcement - "No more weddings for another two years!" I think he could see that Doug and I were pretty seriously involved.

Doug and I got married in September ---that year.

We didn't make any points with Dad by doing that and... he made sure we knew that too.

I am thinking I will stop the numbers of days since Millie went to the hospital now. She has been opening one eye. So, I can't really say that she is fully asleep. With one eye opened, she is half-awake. ??? So, this will be the last time I do the number of days she is asleep ...maybe.

Day 157.