Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The Horsman Family came over last night to celebrate Ryley's birthday. Uncle Nate picked out the perfect shirt for a 12 year old boy. See the look of sheer joy on his face?
Josiah suggested that the kids decorate their own cupcakes, which was quite fun. Thanks for coming over, Horsmans! We love you!

Fishin' with Friends

This past weekend found us on the Kenai with our good friends, the DeLongs. They, like us, have three boys and one that order. We were also married on the same day in the same year. So naturally, we've become friends. ;-) They invited us along to go dipnetting, where they don't camp. I wondered why a camping-loving family would choose to get a room instead of pitching a tent. I soon found out their reason. (We've never dipnetted there before; Jeremy has always gone to Chitna to get our limit of salmon.) Boy was it an experience. I was astounded by the vast amount of people camping out on the beach. There were thousands of tents, vehicles, four wheelers and people lined up on the beach. Both sides of the river were crowded with people out in the water, shoulder to shoulder, trying their luck.

The kids had a great time building sand castles decorated with fish heads while we cheered on the dipnetting dads.

We shared adjoining rooms both nights. The second night, Chris and Karla tried out their new airbed. Here the kids sat, waiting for the evening's entertainment and the big unveiling of the bed...

Thanks, DeLongs, for a fun-filled family weekend!
We stopped by a good kid-fishing spot on our way home. The light drizzle was nothing but a mere annoyance, and the slight breeze had us looking forward to calling it quits to eat a picnic lunch in the truck with the heat on full blast. After cleaning up and stopping in town for a Blizzard to-go, we were on the road again for our long, cozy drive home.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ryley's 12!!!

We celebrated Ryley's 12th birthday last Thursday. We are so proud of him as he begins the transition to young adult-hood. We Love You Ryley-Boy!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Gluten Free Goodness

We have been gluten free around here for almost eight years, since Josiah was diagnosed with Celiac Disease as a toddler. There are now four of us who have to avoid gluten, but the other three of us were just diagnosed about a year ago, so although we're excited about cold cereal, none of us is more excited than Josiah.
Cold cereal would not make an appearance at my house any more often even if we could eat gluten, because of its lack of nutrition (might as well just eat half a dozen cookies to break the fast ) and exorbitant price, but we're thrilled to have more choices for an occasional easy, quick breakfast (so we can then fry up some eggs about an hour later because we're starving due to the lack of protein at breakfast, therefore extending our breakfast hour almost up until lunchtime).
I had to snap this picture showing Josiah's excitement, although I've always chosen not to make a big deal out of the dietary differences. Years ago I was asked by the specialist in Anchorage to start a gluten free support group here in the Valley. I declined. I inwardly cringe when people refer to Josiah's food as "special", as in, "No, Johnny, you can't have any of those cookies. Those are Josiah's special cookies. Here, have some of these [not-so-special] cookies." Last time I checked, cookies are special just for being cookies! In an effort to make a gluten free kid not feel unusual, well meaning people make him feel "special" instead. Just like those "special" Olympians. Food is food! There is a magazine out there which is filled with great information, but I absolutely refuse to subscribe because of the victim-like mindset obvious in the title, Living Without. We don't "live without", we live with! The amount of creativity and new grains introduced to our family's meals after Josiah's diagnosis has been nothing but a joy! (Okay, sometimes it's not so joyful, as I've been through frustrating times with baking. But my baking skills sure have been challenged and refined.)
Don't get me wrong; I don't advocate being in denial. I have always tried to validate frustration (either within my kiddos or myself). But after we've had a few minutes feeling sorry for ourselves, we take the Pollyanna approach and remember that if we have to have a disease, this is definitely is the one to have. And if they still feel bummed, I can remind them that it could be worse. They could be without gluten and dairy, like their mother...;-)

3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th of July

We celebrated the 4th in a fun way this year. The Murphys, my sister and her family, came down to Wasilla from their new home of Fairbanks to camp out at our property with us. We set up camp on Thursday evening and came home Sunday afternoon. On the 4th, Nate (brother)and his family came out to have fun with us. The kids all had a great time. They played in the creek on and off all day. They caught fish, dared each other to sit down "all the way", and of course, threw rocks. Quaid and Roanen especially enjoyed that part! The weather couldn't have been more perfect. We skipped the Wasilla 4th Parade this year in favor of having one of our own. The kids got started working on putting it together after breakfast and the event took place about 3, when the Horsmans arrived. At the end, we spectators threw candy at the participants! Here is Isaac, in his "army guy hat".

We were saturated with smoke and the dirt was well glued to faces via marshmallow residue, although it sure was nice having the creek there for those brave (crazy?) enough to wash off in it. Here Brendon helps Roanen roast marshmallows.

Thanks, family, for helping us break in our new property! We enjoyed having all of you there. And a double-thanks to Jeremy, Brendon and Ryley for getting the outhouse built! It's got to be one of the nicest outhouses in town.
Ruth and Nate
The kiddos and their catch. Farthest on the right are Kaylie and Jacob, Ruth's kids.

"The Mama", the elusive fish they finally caught

My Little Helper

This morning after Anna woke up, she came and asked me if I was going to make my bed soon. I usually do that right after I get up, but today I was too intentional on updating my journal first. When I walked into my room, here's what I saw! Not only had Anna made my bed for me, but she'd also picked flowers to lay on it, and written little letters to both "Daddy" and "Mama".