Thursday, May 31, 2012

Seasons Change

Wow! So much has happened since my last post. John came home from work and said he wanted to move back to Washington in February of 2011. I was settled in up there in Alaska and was working part-time in the kids' school as substitute teacher, librarian, and office staffer. I really enjoyed it. Learning all the kid's names was fun and challenging. I learned that I prefer the older crowd, and didn't like teaching first grade so much. In May, I found out I was pregnant and we made our move back on June 10th. Wow! Looking back, that was INSANE!

So we moved back to Washington and began our house hunt. We finally signed our closing documents and moved into our first home on December 30, 2011. My due date was the 20th of January and I was really hoping the baby would come a little early so John could be present for his birth. Well, he didn't come early. John went back to work and I went to a doctor's appointment. Our doctor said, "You'd better tell John to come home." So I called him at work and told him to come home. He began the 24 hour trip back home and arrived just in time. He walked through our door at about 4 p.m. and I was admitted to the hospital at around 8 p.m. Tarver didn't arrive until the next evening at 8:02 p.m. weighing 8 lbs 12 oz, measuring 19 inches long and fuzzy with auburn hair.

Now we're settled into the house (although it's not decorated--we have a lot of painting to do first). The kids are attending the wonderful school right down a walking path from our house. And Tarver is fitting in quite well with the rest of the family. I'll post some photos of the house. Just realize that lots of changes are in store. On our agenda we have: a kitchen to re-do, every wall to paint, the kitchen and bathroom floors to re-do, a bathroom remodel (maybe two), LOTS of landscaping work, and two decks to add-on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Settling in nicely

We've been in Alaska for four months and 26 days or so. We have furniture! We have a routine again! And I'm really enjoying my home. The piano was tuned for the first time--after 17 years! Which means I have been playing and it sounds so lovely! Liberty will soon be taking lessons.

I am enjoying the time I have during the day while the kids are in school. But still ache for homeschooling somedays. Mostly when I'm not seeing eye-to-eye with the school district employees. I am getting used to John's work schedule, and can even find joy in the time he's working.

I look forward to my first winter in Alaska and the quick spring that will follow. And boy, I can't wait to capture more photos of Alaska's beauty and uniqueness!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

We're Home!

We've made it safely to Alaska. Wow! Today, we have have been in Alaska for 2 weeks. Our first day here, we hiked at Hatcher's Pass, about 30 minutes from our home. Then, Liberty had her first sleep over with her new friend. It was a good day.

John had to go to work soon after we arrived and we had just three days of him here to help us unpack. This hasn't been my quickest move-in job, and I'm not even halfway done. Oh, well. There will be plenty of that when the kids go to public school in a week.

We live across the Cook Inlet from Elmendorf Air Force Base, so we've had fighter jets (I have no clue which kind), and HUGE cargo jets flying overhead. John loves airplanes--since he grew up an Air Force brat. I think he'll really enjoy teaching the kids about the planes that fly over. Canyon runs to the windows and screams "AIRPLANE!!!" whenever one flies over, so it's been exciting.

One thing I haven't seen yet is Sarah Palin. And believe me folks--you'll hear about it when I do! You betcha you will!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Heading North!

We've finally found a place in Alaska to call home (at least for a year). Thankfully, I can trust my husband to find us a nice home, a clean home, in a good neighborhood. I am looking forward to decorating our home again. But before we can move into our home in Alaska; John has to drive down the Alcan, then together, we'll drive to California to retrieve all our belongings from storage, John will drop me off in Clarkston, I will fly to Alaska with the kids and he will drive back up the Alcan again!

It's going to be a busy month. I've already begun packing the things we have here in Washington. I've decluttered the kids' collection of stuff--a little bit. And I've been daydreaming all day about my new house--it'll be a home once we settle into it.

People always ask me what I'm going to do in the winter and how I'm going to cope without daylight. Well, since I've never lived nor even visited Alaska, I don't really know. But....I will say I am a crafty person. I scrapbook. I sew. I want to sew a few quilts. I clean. I organize (over and over again)! I play piano and cannot wait to tickle the ivories on my piano again! I want to learn how to play guitar. And on my bucket list is "learn to play fiddle." I also love to workout, just haven't had the time lately. I think I'll have plenty to keep me busy!

I am SO EXCITED to see Alaska. I was really scared 8 years ago when John said he wanted to move to Alaska someday. My thought was, "Alaska?!!!? It's like a whole other country up there!? Is he joking?" Of course, he was serious. Had you asked me 12 years ago, a couple months before John and I got married, where we'd be living now, my answer would have been in the Puget Sound area. But then I went to college in Pullman and fell in love with the Palouse. After I graduated, we moved to California--NEVER in my wildest dreams--no, nightmares, would I have said we'd live in California! But I survived California, thanks to wonderful friends and a great church. I never would have guessed that John and I would have lived apart for a year either. Today marks the one year mark. YIKES! Time flew by.

So here we are. Thank God we've made it. And thank God I have an adventurous soul.

If you had asked me 12 years ago, where I pictured myself, I would have said "In John's arms." And that's where I'll be! I'm counting down the days.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

John's on the top of the world!

Well, John finally got a job in Alaska! YARHOO!!!! I knew it would happen, it was in God's hands all along. And as I heard in church today, God's timing is the perfect timing. As a Christian, many non-believers may ask how I know there is a God. This is how (in a tiny nutshell):

When John and I moved to CA, we loathed it. (But enjoyed our friends and trips to Reno). I had to open an in-home daycare to make ends meet in the very expensive CA. I soon fell ill with Mononeuclosis and was sick for a little over two years. After less than a year of illness, I began thinking of moving home to live with my parents so I could recover and move on with my life. I finally made the move last summer, after non-stop urging by my mother. My father fell and broke his neck and leg in July, a few weeks after arriving at Camp Dubberly (My parents' home). I soon took over the outdoor responsibilities--because dad couldn't mow the lawn anymore. Dad spent the next six months of his life in a neck brace. He became ill in January. He was diagnosed with Acute Myleoid Leukemia (I think that's the name) on January 30, 2010. His body stopped working on February 5, 2010. Six days after the diagnosis.

I learned God is merciful, his neck and leg had not healed, and probably never would have. He would have had to spend the rest of his natural life in a neck brace. He was in pain. A lot of pain. So God relieved him of his pain and made him whole again.

Sure, I am sad for me. I'll always miss my dad. I heard Peggy Sue today at the restaurant and immediately thought of him. How he'd be singing along. He loved music. But as a Christian, I know where Dad is. I know when I'll see him again. I know who he's visiting with in Heaven. I know there were so many people waiting to welcome him with loving arms. And I know God wanted me here for the last six months of his life. For that I am grateful.

Let me say that John and I were both praying fervently for a job so that we could be together as a family again (and the kids prayed every night too!). Six days after Dad passed away John got a job offer, and I got called back to work after a short lay-off! God provides! Prayers are always answered. Not always how we want them to be answered. Not always when we want them to be answered. But prayer takes persistence and patience. And God hears our prayers.

Luke 11:9, 10: "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Had John moved to Alaska and landed a job immediately, as we thought would happen, I may not have been here for my dad. And had he landed a job soon after arriving, I may not be here for my mom, as I am now. God's timing is the perfect timing. It may be hard to wait for your prayers to be answered, but it will happen---on God's watch.

As a "born-again" Christian, I am learning so quickly. I'll end with this, "Not infrequently our God brings His people into difficulties on purpose that they may come to know Him as they could not otherwise do." J. Hudson Taylor.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Fun

One great advantage to homeschooling is being able to take the kids wherever--whenever! We decided to go to the pumpkin patch on Monday. The kids looked around for a while and with some convincing by grandma and me, finally decided on one each. Unfortunately, Liberty's got a little rotten (by rotten, I mean had a crack with juice oozing out). So we pitched the first one and bought her a new one at the local year-round produce stand. It was a large pumpkin. It weighed 35 pounds!

Since John is in Alaska and was touching down in Fairbanks at the time we began carving, I had to cut open, scrape out and carve the pumpkins without the extra set of hands. One thing I have to admit is that I loathe the feeling of pumpkin. It makes me itchy and it's cold, so my fingers get a wee bit frozen.

When all is said and done, and I step back and look at the cutely carved, amatuer looking gourds, I feel joyful. I have two hands that are capable, a creative eye, and still have both my hands after slicing and dicing away at the extra large vegetable.

This year, Liberty chose a headstone, and Canyon chose Thomas the Tank Engine. Funny thing, Thomas was really difficult (and Canyon's pumpkin is beginning to get a little soft) and the headstone took me about 5 minutes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lost in the Wilderness of Alaska

Lost in the wilderness of Alaska.

John wnet bear hunting with some friends in Alaska over the weekend. The hunters were: John, Johnnie and his two boys, and a guy named Chris. (I believe that's all.) They were expected home Sunday evening and at around 9 p.m. Washington time I got a little worried. I hadn't heard from John yet even after sending him a text to tell him to get a hold of me ASAP. I decided to text his sister Sandra, who he's staying with in AK just to make sure he hadn't forgotten to call me. Turns out he hadn't forgotten...

Here's the timeline breakdown through texts:

  • 8:47 p.m. - I text Sandra to Ask when John is expected home.

  • 10:58 p.m. - Sandra texts "tonight"

  • 10:59 p.m. - I tell her thanks and I haven't heard from him and wanted to hear his voice.

  • 11:00 p.m. - She says she hadn't heard from him either.

  • Sometime after 11:00 p.m. Sandra called to tell me she talked to Johnnie's wife Sherry, and that the Haviland (enclosed ATV that runs on tracks) had lost a track sometime around 3:30 p.m and they were walking to find a road. They could hear a road, but so far hadn't found it.

  • 3:28 a.m. - Sandra texts me to tell me that Johnnie had been picked up by family rescue crew. That where they were was a "swampy mess" and John and Chris (and Johnnie's two boys) were still out there and waiting for morning for daylight for rescue ("pickup" in Alaska standards).

  • 3:32 a.m. - text from Sandra saying that it was hard to get out and she wasn't sure why John and Chris hadn't followed (although in hindsight, probably because you wouldn't want a couple kids trapsing through the swamp and getting hypothermia.) They had built a fire.

  • 3:33 a.m. - Sandra tells me Johnnie says John and Chris are fine. They'll come on out in the morning.

  • 3:42 a.m. - I start panicking and thinking John must be hurt and they're keeping him stable by the fire (you know how creative a mind I have and boy was it working overtime last night!)

  • Hours passed and I got more confused and worried and popped a Xanax knowing that at least I could sleep a little and not go into complete panic mode!

  • 7:27 a.m. WA time, 6:27 a.m. Alaska time -Sandra texts me to tell me "it's not daylight yet."

  • 10:56 a.m. - Johnnie texts me to tell me that he "got ur (my) hubby and heading back"

  • 11:03 a.m. - I text Johnnie "Scared me to death!"

  • 11:10 a.m. - Johnnnie texts me to say "He is fine lost some weight" (HAHA-my addition)

  • 11:12 a.m. - I told Johnnie "Well, I married a big guy I want a big guy back!"

  • Waited and waited and waited to hear John's voice.....

  • 2:02 p.m. - John finally calls me from a cafe they all rode 4-wheelers to so they could eat.

Oh my good grief! John has survived his first Alaska wilderness adventure and I am still a little groggy from the anti-anxiety meds I used to keep me from completely losing my mind! Keep in mind the last time I'd heard from John was at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday-- 48 hours prior! At that time he told me they'd arrived at the cabin and it was awesome up there. Right on a lake, mountains in front of them, he wished I could be there, I would love it.

Items on John's Christmas list (my creation): sattelite telephone, personal GPS, survival kit, rifle with lots of ammo, trained pigeon (so he can send it out to deliver the message of his whereabouts).

John jokingly said the next time, it's my turn and he's sending me out with Sherry, Johnnie's wife. She's an Alaska gal through and through and a heck of a baker from what I hear, so I'll be OK. My toes may freeze off---literally, but I'll survive.

Sigh. And I'm off to take a 5 hour energy shot.