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.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


We started homechool today!!! Finally!!! Our original plan was to allow Liberty to wait until after her birthday to begin her homechool studies. Then John stopped for a visit on his way to Alaska, so we pushed her start date even further. To top it all off, the products we ordered took about one week longer than anticipated to get here. Lesson learned: I will be better prepared and ON TIME next year!

Deciding on cirriculum was the hardest part of our whole plan. There are so many different ways to educate a child. There are complete programs available, literature heavy programs, an a la carte method and of course you can switch up and create your own program. That's what great about homeschooling--you are FREE to educate your child as you please!

We are using the Switched On Schoolhouse program that the Duggars use (from TLC's 18 kids and counting). So far--no complaints. Libby loves the videos, slideshows and games. I love how easy for me (so far). It's nice to be able to allow Libby the freedom to learn at her own pace, which is probably much faster than in a public school setting. She breezed through three lessons in about one and one half hours! I think we'll have the entire week's lessons complete in a couple days--which is good because we're getting such a late start!

I chose the SOS program because this is my first year homeschooling and I wanted to be sure Liberty got a complete education. I looked into a state sponsored homeschool program, but decided agianst it since the main reason I chose to homeschool was to give Libby a Christian education. In addition, the state sponsored programs make you check in with educators and I just feel that's too much intrusion. If I wanted Liberty to get a public education, I'd send her to public school. I also chose SOS because Libby loves playing on the computer and it seems like all the schoolwork is "play".

I'm excited to see what the school year brings and how wonderful it will be to watch my daughter learn--and learn alongside her!

In case you're interested, you can go to:, or to find the program we're using and thousands of other homeschool products.
Have to complete my post because Libby is begging me to "do more homeschool". I LOVE THIS!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

John headed north to Alaska

So for those of you who don't know:

John has moved to Alaska to get a job. He left Les Schwab September 8th and hasn't regretted one second.....although when payday rolls around and there's no paycheck, we'll both be a little hesitant. Thankfully, we have wonderful families that are holding our hands through it all!

So far he's had two job offers, one interview and pounded the pavement yesterday and today looking for opportunity--because opportunity doesn't knock on its own, you know. I'm proud of him for taking a leap- a very scary one to better our lives. There's more opportunity for him in Alaska and he loves it there, so I know this is a step in the right direction.

The kids and I will move on up with him as soon as we can, but most likely that won't be until spring because Alaska is nearing freeze season and we don't want to move in the winter--although I would do it! I just wouldn't move all my belongings up. Living in two rooms of my parents' place (thanks again mom and dad!) has proven to me that I have TOO MUCH STUFF! The kids, John and I all need to do a good once-over of all our stuff and donate the things we don't need! (But don't try to pry my decorations out of my hands as soon as I get to Alaska.)

For the time being, we're keeping in touch through text, facebook and telephone calls. Hard for us all (especially the kids) but we'll be stronger in the end for it.
Here's his "Hire Me" face---think it'll work?

Why We're Blogging

Well, I am just getting started at our blogs. Yes, blogs.

"The Pierce Update" will be used to keep updated on the Pierce Family in general. Our whereabouts, current events, photographs, etc.

"Freedom Is All We Ask" will be used to journal all our freedom activities. Tea Parties, homeschooling, everything that we celebrate as FREE Americans.

Truth of the matter is, months ago I set out to start a blog, named it, but never posted to it. then just this afternoon, I named another blog. So now we have 2.

So, have fun watching from a distance--since we're miles from most friends and family!