Monday, July 30, 2012

Tundra School

Last week was Beautiful! So we did the bulk of our schooling outside....and took Thursday completely off. Hey when the mercury soars to 70 here and the sun is shinning, you have to get out and squeeze every drop out of the day. 

We did accomplish a lot from our school week though, felt relaxed, and seemed to get into a groove that I help will stay with us this year. We cracked open the 4th grade math curriculum and I am loving it. A is doing great and we finished chapter 1 today. The sun has been out, the berries are getting close to ripening, and it is almost fireweed honey making time. Life is good...simple, calming, happy.

Dh netted the last of the reds for the year, and we spent all weekend smoking them. Living off the land is satisfying. Cooking and knowing right where our food comes from makes me feel more connected to this beautiful land. I am aiming for preparing fish 3-4 times a week. That, couples with the crab we catch, and the start of duck season this fall, I see a self sufficient life style in our future LOL. You can imagine that makes A very happy with all of here "live off the land plans".

Today A started a week long afternoon day camp. It is taught by a wonderful native woman here on the island and the kids are learning all about native food, medicine, arts, and crafts. Today she came home with medicinal knowledge of 4 local plants, several knew Unangan words, and was able to experience pickling salmon. Something I may have to try  my hand at one day. She is loving every minute of it. 

Alright, I am off to bed, but first I thought I would share some pics of our "tundra school" :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

First day of school!

I'm back! Today was out official first day of school for the 2012-2013 school year and I have to say, we were both pretty pleased with it. We took a 6 week break for summer...we don't take off the entire summer since we break for a month during the spring to travel and several other longer breaks throughout the year. It works well for us.

Dh was sick with a horrible flu that is raging though our community last week, but thankfully all of us were healthy for the start of our school year. We woke up about 8:30, had breakfast, showered, dressed, and started our school day about 9:30. While my mom was here we reorganized and rearranged the school room and built a desk for A. Here are a few pics of where we spend our school hours.

 A couldn't wait to start. She loves the routine and after a few weeks off she starts itching to do more.
 I start everyday off with giving A her written schedual for the day. 
 I am trying something new this year. We are having a tea/snack break during our morning. A loves it and says it is definitely something she wants to keep doing.
 After tea, we headed back to do our math and history work.

 We always try to wrap up around 12:30 for lunch and today I served cheese tortillini, a tomato and cucumber Greek salad I whipped up the night before and fresh cherries that I splurged for at the store last week. And trust me, at $8.99 a lb here on the island they are a rare treat even though A and I both love them.

I have been blessed with my mom working at an elementary/middle school. It has served as a wealth of curriculum for us and has helped keep the cost of homeschooling down as we decided not to go with the state program I blogged about before for several reasons that I'll go into on another blog post one day.

Anyway.... here is our current curriculum for this semester.

Math- Harcourt Math- grade 4
Vocabulary- Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop- Level Green and Orange (grade 3&4)
History- The Complete Book of United States History- grade 3-5
Grammar- McGraw Hill Grammar Practice- Grade 4
Science- Evan-Moor Daily Science and Science Explore:Earth's Changing Surface
Spelling- 3rd grade spelling list
Writing- Brave Writer Curriculum
Literature- Ambleside online grade 3 and 4

Now I am off to bed, ready for another great day of home education :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pioneer A and her off the grid plans

My beautiful A is so happy. She is in love with this awesome pioneer outfit that her MeMom sewed for her. It is amazing and she never want's to take it out.

Now that she has her pioneer outfit she is ready....ready for what you might ask? Well, she wants to move to the "real Alaska" and live off the land. She has it all planned. Complete with what preperations we need to start making, skills we need to learn before we move, and how many dogs we need for her dog sled team. (13... "because we can't have 14 mom, if we have an odd number we won't have a lead dog. You have to have a lead dog, so we need an odd number. 13 would work") LOL

"I know it is a lot of work. You can't just sit around and relax and watch TV. You have to work hard. But that's okay because I'm not the type of kid that likes to just lay around. I like to be out and doing things. Not just hanging out outside, but I am a workin' outside type of kid. So I wouldn't mind one bit"

We have been enjoying her plans. She has really thought of everything LOL. I love this kiddo.

Monday, July 16, 2012

More fish?!

My super fishergirl. She caught 13 cod and 3 halibut today. DH headed out early this morning with a friend to fish, and A and I got to head out with some other friends this afternoon. Our freezers are stocked!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More fish....halibut time

It's summer, and that means fish here in Alaska. My mom enjoyed going out with us to net salmon, but she was hoping to get a chance to go out halibut and cod fishing as well. The day we planned to go, the weather looked really iffy. Actually it was gorgeous at the house, but a THICK layer of fog sat right over the sea all day. 

In the early evening it started to lift just a bit, maybe 100ft, and we made a run for it. We got in about 3 hours of fishing before the fog started to close back in around us and we needed to head back to shore.
 For the short time we were out, it was a pretty successful trip. I caught a 20lb halibut, and we ended up with 2 rockfish, and 4 cod. This should help round out the salmon in my freezer.

 Remember I said the fog closed back in? Well take a look at this shot of the sunset above the fog I snapped that night. Living high up a mountain does have it's advantages.
Amazing isn't it?

The weather has been pretty icky today. Just a wet, windy day, but DH is hoping the weather breaks and he and some of his buddies are planning to go out for the day. Between all the crab and the fish, I think we may need a bigger freezer!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Random pics from a beautiful day

Just a couple of random pics of a beautiful day during mom's visit. 

Greenpeace showed up in town on their way to protest the drilling in the arctic by Shell. They were only here for a few days, but it made for some interesting pics at least.
And of course we drove around for awhile and took pics of mom, A, and I an the beautiful scenery.

We have had a great time and are really sad to see mom leave tomorrow.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Small town 4th of July

Holidays are just one of those times that I realize how much I LOVE living in a small town. 
We may be out here in the Aleutians but we truly experience an all American 4th of July.
 We have an awesome parade every year and the weather while chilly, cooperated again this year.

 For the first time, Dh's work had a float, and to top it off, they won the best float prize!
 DH drove the truck. There he is, my love :)
 After having a lot of fun in the afternoon, we spent the evening hanging at the house and cooking out with friends. We had to wait till about midnight for it to get even close enough to being dark for the firework display to be seen. The sunset was amazing. To give you an idea, this photo was taken at midnight!
 And just a few minutes later the show started. We have an amazing view from the comfort of our home.

Happy late 4th of July everyone!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Lupine Summer

The lupine is in full bloom here and it is just so pretty. We can't help but fill the house with vases of it. We took Nana out to pick some more the other afternoon and took some great pics while we were at it.

I am loving summer. The warmth and colors are filling my soul after the long winter.

Salmon hearts

It's been a while since I posted, and boy do I have a lot of posts to share. We have been having so much fun here. My mom is in town and we are on the go! .... Squeezing out ever second of fun and daylight that we can. 

After 27 hours of straight traveling, my mom arrived last Friday around lunch time....exhausted of course. After recuperating a bit the next day, we took her out to the beach to net salmon on Sunday for a true Dutch Harbor experience.

Not only did she get the chance to see salmon, but there was also a whale that decided to grace us with his presence and frolicked in the bay for several hours blowing water and making himself seen :)
A also made a cool discovery....salmon hearts keep beating outside the salmon's body for quite a long least 15 mins in all 3 hearts she examined.
and yes....that is a salmon heart in my sweet child's hand. Got to love her. "Please Kyle, will you fillet another salmon and give me the heart?" was a phrase heard many times that afternoon.
Another salmon to fillet!
Look at Nana! That's going to make a tasty dinner.
We had the unique opportunity to meet some Italian tourists, who had come out to explore the island (Pretty rare, since we really don't have much of a tourism industry). They were really nice, and quite interested in everything we were doing. After they took lots of pics of us, and our friends son roasting some salmon he had just filleted over the fire, I got to snap a pic of them trying that very salmon. They loved it!

And in case you were wondering, here is how you net salmon. One end of the net is attached to the beach and the other end to the buoy. The fish swim into the net and get tangled.

And this is what they look like after...all ready to go into the freezer! LOL. YUM!
What a great day!