Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer is officially over

Seriously, it is.  Termination dust on the mountains.  A really good frost last night.  Moose season has started as well as grouse season.  Gotta dig up the potatoes today, as well as bring in the last veggies from the greenhouse.  The tourists are heading back to the lower forty-eight.  First fire in the fireplace. 

So what to do in a small town, in the middle of no-where, during the winter months?  Bake, can, craft, write, read?  I guess the one thing I do miss is my country music.  Yes, I could buy CD's and I do have a few, but you memorize them and always know which song comes next.  I don't have radio reception at the house.  During the summer months we do alot more traveling and I can listen in the car.  But at home, no.  Well, enough camplaining.  I will get more cards made and plan to do some scrapbooking.  This summer I got the house more together, so that housecleaning will be faster and I can play more.  So where was I, oh yeah, what to do in a small town when winter is 8 - 9 months long.  In a house of seven people, we have a variety.

Let's start with the youngest age 6, in school, 1st grade.  Off to school at 7 home by 4:30.  Time for homework, play with trains, and video games, his new favorite is Portal 2, supper, shower, storytime, bedtime.  Such a long day for a little guy, but he is as cute as can be. 

Next child age 11, in school, 6th grade.  Off to school at 7 home by 4:30.  Full or preteen hormonal energy.  wanting to grown way too soon.  She is ready Harry Potter.  Fixing her hair, dressing up.  Won't be too long she will have out the crochet needles and sewing machine for what ever project she decides this year that she wants to complete. 

Next child age 16, in school, 11th grade.  Off to school at 7 home by 4:30.  Excited about doing well the next two years and move off to college.  Loves to read, her new favorite is Peter Pan.  Awesome to see her still interested in childs fantasy and still have the flare to plan for a future.

Next adult son age 21.  Very helpful.  Keeps me smiling.  Chops wood, stacks it.  Trying to figure out comes next in a young man's life.  Plans for hunting, camping, keep gear ready to go. 

Next adult son age 23.  My how the time has flown.  His winter activities, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling.  Enjoying life.  His job keeps him busy otherwise. 

All  five of the love to pick at one another.  Keeps the house full of energy.  Feels like the Cosby house at times, with screams of, "He's touching me", "He's looking at me", the oldest saying, "I'm not touching anyone", as he holds his hand in front of their faces, just instigating.  Gotta love the fun in a full house.  Makes me smile, laugh and yes, cry.  I know all too soon, they will be grown and gone.

And of course, there is us, Dad and Mom.  Struggling to keep everyone happy.  Allowing them to make their mistakes, pick them up when they fall.  Knowing we brought them up to know God, and pray they never loose sight of Him.  Cuddling by the fire, sleeping in when possible.  And always thinking, of course we can sneak a hot bath together.  But, knowing, the kids will be louder and banging on the door.  Life with a family.  I wouldn't trade my life for any other. 

Thank you God for the blessings of a long winter, where our family, with all the pent up energy of a herd of elephants, can still come through a long winter and still love one another.

Pray you see the special blessings in your life.

Hugs and Smiles

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Paradise

What do you think of when you think of Paradise.  The blue waters, sandy beaches and nice breezes of Hawaii, the Bahamas or some other tropical place?  For me, It is where I live.  Not just Alaska, but my home, the property where my family lives.  So much so that when my husband asks where I would like to vacation, my answer is always, where would we go, you bought me paradise.

Why here, you may ask?  Oh, why not?  On Sunday, the mountains were gorgeous.  The sun was shining, the wind a little cooler than the day before.  Monday, I could not see the mountains, they had their heads in the clouds, it was pouring rain.  A new canvas, still just as awe inspiring as the day before.  Then today,  I wake up and look out it is still raining, the clouds have lifted and we have had the first snowfall of the season.  Today, my favorite!  God paints me a new canvas almost daily.  There is no way to put into words how spectacular it is.  It is an experience that must be felt, smelled, walked though, pick berries from, seen your children run around, watch the ATV's roll back in with the day's fresh kill, even the tourist that has run out of gas and stops for help, sunrise and sunset admired, the amazing auroras dancing overhead or as our daughter prefers spirits of the earth.  Yes, I have it all.  Paradise!

Thank you Lord for the most wonderful place to live my life. 

May you all find what your looking for and I pray you find it right in your backyard.

Smiles

Monday, August 27, 2012

Alaska story

I am often asked about the daylight and darkness in Alaska.  Does it really stay dark all year round?  Do you get depressed from the darkness?  And so many more.

So, to the first question, no it is not dark year round.  Darkness is happening now.  When it is dark it is pitch black, we have no street lights.  The kids will eventually go to school in the dark and come home in the dark.  The school takes advantage when they can to see to it that the kids go out to play.  One of the teachers even wrote a book Recess at 20 Below.  Yes, the kids really do go out at 20 below.  They love sledding, the static the dryness puts in their hair, and even eyelashes that freeze to crystals. 

Do I get depressed?  Not usually in the winter, but I did last year.  I always look forward to winter.  Alaska is beautiful year round, but winter has captured my heart.  Makes me feel like God has wrapped the earth in a beautiful blanket.  It makes you want to get cozy by the fire.  I am sure that is probably because I am a woman and my husband and adult boys do the shoveling, plowing and carry in the wood.  What can I say, I am spoiled and I know it.  But I do make cookies and homemade breads.  I love to bake.  Especially, homemade breads.

But, what brought me to this subject is one of the fun things to do in Alaska.  You remember the stories and tell them.  It brings smiles and laughter when you talk about it being tourist season.  And people asking if they can use American money here.  Yes, they really do ask.  The story I will tell today, is about our dog, Moses.

Moses is about 6 months old.  We had decided, no dogs.  We didn't want to be tied down to a dog when we went on vacation or to shop  in Fairbanks, which is an all day event.  I especially was saying no. I knew I would be the one to have to train him.  I have 5 kids, really train a dog in my spare time, when the kids are at school, a dog is for kids.  Little did I know.  I went to the local IGA grocery store and there he was, cute as can be.  I actually walked away.  I went in the store to shop, but he stayed on my mind.  I finally said, Okay God if he is still there when I leave, I will get him.  Of course, he was still there.  So I bring him home to the kids.  You know, like I said, kids dog.  No, Moses is ver partial to momma.  I love having him around. 

Anyway, back to the story.  Tonight I let Moses out.  It is pitch black.  I go out a few minutes later and yell for him, no Moses.  I come back in and sit for a while, then I hear barking.  I go out on the deck and holler for him again, several times really.  Silly dog, he ain't listnin' to me.  My son comes upstairs to help out.  He yells too.  No Moses, just barks.  My son then gets a flashlight, and this silly ol' dog is barking at a moose.  Granted, when he jumps up to give me a hug, his head is at my chin.  But, a moose is as big or bigger than a horse.  And this dog is not just barking but taunting this moose.  He would go up to about 10 feet away and lay down, then jump up and bark then run, and come back and do it again.  The moose is looking at him like really?  So my son get on the Ranger (6 wheeler) to chase off the moose.  He is out there for a while, dog still barking, son hollerin'.  Finally, I get in the car and drive over and honk the horn and the moose leaves.  My son gets Moses and brings him in.  Just another adventure in Alaska.

But as Mater would have said, "Dogs is so dumb.".

Have a blessed day!
Love and Smiles
Shelly

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It fell right on the cardstock!



I made this card from Stampin' Up's Happy Hour Stamp Set.  It was so much fun.  It fell right out of my head onto the cardstock.

Creating cards is a wonderfully relaxing experience for me.  I love getting my creative energies flowing and see what comes out.  Hope you enjoyed this card.  As Rush Limbaugh would say, "Talent on loan from God".

My Aunt and I talk for hours on the phone, so I made this card for her bithday.

Take time to love what you do.  Smiles from Alaska!

Cards?????

You may be asking yourself, "Does this lady really make cards, I never see any on here?"  Yes, I do and love what I do.  I finished 50 birth announcements today.  But why am I so behind on posting, when this is a Stamping Out SAD blog? 

I have been in the process of making a craft room that is efficient.  I am finally getting close to achievement.  I am truly getting excited about making cards again and being able to find what I need to make what is overflowing in my head.  People ask, "How long does it take you to make a card?".  I always laugh at this question, because I really don't know.  Some cards are in my head for weeks before they end up on card stock. 

I do apologize if you have come by to see a card and can't find a new one.  I promise there will be new ones coming soon.  I am always open for new ideas, so if there is something you would like to see, please let me know. 

I will rattle my brain tomorrow and see what falls out.  Come back to see what fell out. 

Love and Smiles from Alaska

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thank You God for Cymbalta

Is it really August?  And it is half over?  Sounds strange for all of you, I'm sure.  But for me, what a hurdle.  I made it through July.  Seasonal Affective Disorder really hits home for me and July is usually my worst month, and I just realized I made it through.  I had many hurdles during the month of July this year and I made it through.  I am so excited!  A couple of years ago I had told my doctor my life would be so much easier if we could just wipe July off my calendar.  Come to find out I have reversed Seasonal Affective Disorder.  The summers too much day light affects me. 

Last year I started going down in July and by November found myself so depressed, yes, I wanted to leave this beautful place, didn't know how, just wanted to leave.  My doctor then prescribed me Cymbalta.  I feel refreshed and new.  How amazing is that?   I am able to live my life without wanting to stay in bed.  I am not crying everytime life gives me a little jolt.  I can stand on my own two feet and tell others that today, I need to take time for myself and my family.  And the housework I have accomplished.  AMAZING!  You probably couldn't tell if you walked in today, but I have been decluttering, totally rearranged my kitchen cabinets.  There were things in there I forgot I had.  Most of which had to go, because evidentally I didn't need them. 

Am I a rambling Idiot?  Okay, maybe.  But in high school I took a psychology course and the motto was, "Get high on Life".  And I truly am.  God has given me my life back with an awesome med call Cymbalta.  It may not help everyone, but I know my family and myself are very happy it has helped me.  Now let me see if I can catch up that pile of laundry.

God's Blessings to all of you
Love, Hugs and Smiles

P.S.  Did it really take getting off of Facebook to realize this?  I guess so.  I pray you can get your life back too.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Regaining My Life

Have you ever thought, "There is not enough time in the day?".  I know, I have many times.  Today, I decided that I am making more time in my life. 

I deleted my FACEBOOK!!!!!!!

I am very excited about my new life.  I went out on the Ranger (6 wheeler) for 2 hours with friends and my kids, then went berry picking with them and we picked over a gallon of raspberries. 

I believe my life will be happier, more fulfilling and full of life with my loved ones.  I will keep you updated on how it is going. 

Love to all

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Life Happens...

...Love Follows

Bad things happen to us all.  Whether is comes in the shape of a death, a financial crisis, personal or family health, bad decisions, car accidents, what ever the case maybe, we have all been there. 

No one can truly tell us why.  But we can say, that after a bad time happens, it brings us closer to the ones we love. 

So, the next time, life happens, focus on the love that is coming, rather than the saddness you feel.  I know it is hard.  I know it all too well.  And no I haven't always focused on the love surrounding the crisis, but in hindsight, I totally see it. 

If you have someone in your life that you wonder, do they really care?  Think about the last crisis, where were they in your life at that time?  Whether they were by your side or praying from a distance (and you may not have even known it) the love was there. 

Give them a chance now in your life...Show them the love you want to feel...Don't wait for life to happen.  God has put them in your life for a reason, don't miss His gift.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dirty Laundry

Let's face it, we all have it.  It is part of life.  We don't like others to see it.  If you hang it out, you don't like others to see your families personal items, especially when they are well worn.  If you have someone come help you clean, you wash your families personal items yourself.  We are uncomfortable folding others clean personal items.

So what is my point?  We are more protective of our families dirty clothes than we are of our families lives.
As with our laundry, there are things in our families lives that are considered dirty laundry.  It makes others uncomfortable.  It hurts the people involved when it is shown.  But yet, we get on Facebook, our phones, face to face, and let the world see.

I ask you today to make a change.  Care as much for your families wounds as you do their personal laundry items.  Be supportive.  Pray for them and for yourselves to contain yourself when you feel the need to air things others have done.  Remember, we have all done wrong in our lives and have things we don't want aired in public. 

I hear you, I hear you, oh, but it is just constructive criticism.  I do believe there is a time for constructive criticism.  But that should be between you and that person, not you and the world.  It is time for compassion in our world.  I say what better time than now to make that change.  Write the word "compassion" on your hand today and see how much it will make a difference in the way you speak to others.  Love, Hugs and Smiles



Sunday, August 5, 2012

Are you Hungry?

Do you spend your days, like something is missing, like you are not feeling your life is being fulfilled?  Hunger pains are not comfortable.  They can make you miserable and grumpy because you are missing something.  Like your stomach, your life needs to be fulfilled with Christ.  You need your daily prayers and vocations to fulfill the hunger. 
Daily prayer takes worry off your plate and into God's hands, where they should be.  Daily prayer of thanks puts food back in your plate and keeps you full.  So why do you go around hungry?  Afraid others will look at you or talk behind your back?  Pray for them, that is their sin, don't make it yours.  Take it off your plate, for a healthier relationship with God.
So start this week off with a full healthy plate.  You will be glad you did.  Keep it going daily.  You can only control YOU, give the rest to God.
Love, hugs and smiles
Have a very blessed week

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Life Changes

Yes, life changes.  We don't always know when or why, but it does constantly change.  Not always for the good and not always for the bad, but still guaranteed to change.  This was sent to my by a dear friend, and like most, I knew the beginning and didn't realize there was more to it than that.  I pray for you that this Serenity Prayer will help guide you throughout your life.  That you will daily remember that God is in control, when we remember to give him the wheel.  He is here to help us through and although He prefers to not see us fall, He will allow us to fall so that we learn.  Keep Smilin'.  Find reasons to love your life and yes, accept hardships as the pathway to peace.  Love and Hugs to all!