The House

I have wanted to share some pictures of our house for a while now.  
I finally got around to taking pictures, so here it is!
This is our bedroom, in the mid morning sunlight.

I love my bedside table, with my basket of goodies (lotion, pens, chapstick...) and my frames filled with photos of me & my kids.  

I also love my bookshelf. Full of books I've read, photo albums, empty journals and books I've yet to read.

The bottom two shelves are children's books for the boys,
and I also have a special shelf for my jewelry box.

I have loved having a couch in our bedroom.  
We read to the boys on it at night sometimes, and it makes a cozy spot for them to read when I'm laying Wyatt down for his afternoon nap. (One brother reads in the playroom, the other upstairs in our room.)

This is the view out my window.  The mountain just past the tundra, sun rising... It's gorgeous.
At night, when the stars & moon are out, it's even better!

On our dresser we have a few knick knacks and our ever-important humidifier. We would be lost without that thing here.  We fill it to the top every night, and by morning it's empty.

I recently hung this necklace hanger that my grandma got me when I was a little girl. I love it.  
Above that is our Senior Homecoming Picture from October 2000.

April 11th marks 14 years since we started dating...
Some mornings I stand in front of that picture, staring at those youthful faces,
and I just can't believe it's been that long already!

In addition to showing you my (recently cleaned) bedroom, I wanted to show you my linen closet.  

Upstairs in the hallway we have a really good sized linen closet, and I put my organizational skills to the test stocking it with everything we could need in rural Alaska.

On the back of the door I used a shoe rack to store personal care items.
Here we have:
Baby oil, my inhaler, mousse & extra facewash,

Rubbing alcohol, lots of mini lotion, and two nets full of shaving cream,

Deodorant, a variety of chapsticks, my ProActiv, Josh's Rx,

Extra toothbrushes, hairspray, even more ProActiv, and Josh's deodorant with my razors,

Cream, shampoo & conditioner, coconut shampoo, hair gel for Josh,

Lint rollers, more shampoo & conditioner, & some Herbal Essences.

In addition to the back of the door, I also extended my organizational skills to the shelving.
Here we have Kleenex, and a bag of all our travel-size toiletries.

Stacks of Dove soap purchased on Amazon,

Qtips purchased while home in Washington this summer,

Towels for the kids' bathroom which is downstairs,

Medication for any and all ailments we could possibly catch.
We have a veritable drugstore-- tylenol, maalox, cough drops... 
You name it, we got it!

On the third shelf I have all my Bath & Body products lined up.
Body scrub, hand soap, bottles of lotion...

As well as towels for our bathroom, which is directly across the hall from the linen closet,
and a scale.

On the upper shelf I have an iron (which has never been used in all our time here), my sewing kit, and my heating pad as well as some of the flax-seed heat-packs I own.

On the tippy top shelf I have water proofing (for boots & such) and a shoe shine kit that I use for my Dansko's. 

On the floor you can see we have a cow humidifier (from when Wyatt slept in the playroom), Wyatt's old bath seat (which he has outgrown) and an extra sleeping bag for Josh to use when he has to travel & stay in other villages'.

I am very proud of the fact that we rarely run out of anything.  I consider it my responsibility to make sure we have plenty of everything on hand, and I take my job very seriously!

I posted this mostly because I love seeing what other people's houses look like (particularly how they are organized)-- I'm a bit of a voyeur that way-- and I thought if I shared mine, maybe you all would share yours!


The Last Week in February!?!

 The weather this week has been very warm for this time of year.  
In the upper thirties with mild wind some days.  

So I geared these crazy boys up, and out we went.

(And yes, this is what getting three boys out the door in snow gear looks like. Lots of unnecessary wrestling & an overabundance of boots and bodies in the arctic entry.)

 At the park we played with this puppy & the student who owns him. 
He was so cute!

 The twins brought their bikes and rode around in the snow.

 We also climbed on the play equipment.  I pushed boys on swings and we laughed, and the entire time, I never thought of my anxiety once.

It's been a week since I took any anxiety medication.
It's been a week since I woke up crying.
It's been a week since my heart pounded in my chest & my thoughts raced.

 I feel like I am living for the first time.

The sun shines brighter,
things smell sweeter,
and it seems even the kids laugh louder.


 We're potty training this cutie.  It's going well!  Wednesday he had no accidents at all!

 Homeschooling is going well, too.  The boys reading has really taken off, and last night they read their first "real" books to Josh.  They were so proud of themselves!

 The three have been fighting constantly lately, so I was happy (as were they) with the opportunity to get outside and run off some steam!

Today we got the tent they ordered, along with the fake campfire (which is really just a glowing light) and their kid-friendly Swiss Army knives.  

 I will be posting pictures soon. They were all so excited! I'm excited, too, because it will entertain them for days!

I love this series of pictures:

 They had so much fun crashing each other on the slide!


 I have been making dinner every night for two weeks, and it's amazing how much better I feel.  It's a lot of work to get in the kitchen with three boys running around, but when we sit down to a meal together as a family, it's all worth it.

I feel like their manners are improving with more meals taken together, and I just like the feeling of providing my family with a well balanced meal that I put a lot of effort into. 


Josh is currently taking a super hard class for his Masters Program.  This makes for long days followed by lots of homework.  The nice thing is that the end is in sight. He'll graduate in June.  In the meantime, I am grateful to be feeling better and carrying my weight around here so he can focus on his schoolwork & job.

Contracts for next school year came out, 
and Josh was offered one.

We are excited to be coming back to Marshall for another school year,
and I think we are both (finally) feeling optimistic about the future now that I am well.

Happy weekend!!!



 About two weeks ago, mama was burning out.  I found that by bedtime, my patience was gone, and I was not enjoying the whole routine like I used to.

I talked to Josh about it, and he agreed that it wasn't working.  Many times he's not here, so I am at it, all alone, all day long, until they are asleep.  

 We figured out that the main problem was my singing them to sleep.  I would sit in the rocking chair with Wyatt and sing until the twins fell asleep. Then I'd lay Wyatt down in his crib.

Used to be that Wyatt would fall asleep in my arms. But recently he's become a sleep fighter and instead of drifting off, he'd play with his tongue, make clicking noises or try to sing over me, which drove his brothers crazy.  

I agreed with Josh that the singing had to go. It was hard to decide, especially us not being sure if Wyatt is our last.  If he is our last, I wonder if I'll regret not rocking him for longer.  But neither of us seemed to be enjoying it anymore.

And the transition has been really smooth.  We transferred the twins' Baby Genius sleep CD to my iPod and are using it to help them fall asleep.  The twins adjusted really quickly, whereas Wyatt took a while.

He asks every night if I will sing to him in the rocking chair. But my sanity is worth saying goodnight with a hug and a kiss. I am out of there so much faster than in the past, and with falling asleep on their own, it seems the twins have been up less often at night as well. 

We are still doing the rest of our bedtime routine (pajamas, brush teeth, read stories, go potty, say prayers and have hugs & kisses) and honestly, knowing I'm not going to be in there fighting with Wyatt for 45 minutes after lights out, I am enjoying each step more than ever.

We have talked in the past about separating the boys into their own rooms, but the convenience of having them all in one room on the nights I am doing bedtime by myself outweighs any benefit to separate rooms.  Plus, they like being together. Jack said if we get a bigger house someday he would like his own room, but he wants it next to Wyatt's so he can hear if Wyatt needs him.

So for now, this is what bedtime looks like.
And I'm happy about it.


A Teacher Is Born

{Class Field Trip :: Berry Picking}
In 2006 Josh found his calling.  He had been working for two years as a sign language interpreter/staff assistant in an elementary school and one day he came home and told me he wanted to be a teacher.  He had witnessed a student being taught the same lesson over and over, and finally, that afternoon, the light bulb had gone off.  The student had finally grasped the concept.

A teacher was born.

Now, three years into his teaching career here in Marshall, Josh's classroom has some needs that are beyond the scope of our budget.  Using the site DonorsChoose.org, he has set up fundraising to get his classroom a Mac Mini.

The Mac Mini is a tiny computer that will link directly up to his SMART board, so his computer doesn't have to travel from his desk to the front of the room every time he uses it.  The SMART board is an interactive display that he uses for everything.  The Mac Mini will improve the classroom and allow students to take charge of their learning.

Here's a link to the site for his DonorsChoose Account.

Please also feel free to share a link to this blog post or his DonorsChoose account.
Thank you so much for choosing to support Josh's classroom.
These kids deserve it!