October 2009


As I’m perusing the Frontier Wholesale sale flyer for the month, I’m reminded that I’ve been meaning to update you all on our adventure with Wolf Lake Wellness, a local food co-op. We first began ordering with Wolf Lake Wellness in February of this year. You can see my excited first post on the topic here. WLW is a cooperative that ships up fresh produce from Organically Grown, out of Oregon. They also take orders for Azure Farms, out of Darfur, Oregon (grocery and household items). In addition, the coop has also begun ordering with Frontier Natural Products coop (bath and body supplies, household goods, teas, and spices).

Since my first post the co-op has grown in size, and now the organizer has a great website and database system for online ordering of produce. Check out the website here. There is a once yearly $10 fee per member to maintain the site. The organizer, Ludie, has lots of info on the main page, including a sample price list. Orders typically arrive the second Monday of each month. Produce ordering lasts a week and tbbbggggggggggghis (sorry, little goat commandeered the keyboard for a moment) the next round begins this Sunday, Nov. 1st and ends the following Sunday. Azure orders this month are due Nov. 6th.

How do we use the co-op? We typically place orders with all three companies once a month (Produce, Azure, and Frontier). Azure and Frontier both put out sales flyers each month, and I usually order primarily from those. With the produce I plan for the WLW order to last us 3 weeks, and then buy a small amount of produce the last week. I LOVE just swinging by the co-op once a month and picking up the majority of our groceries, but I still have to find the perfect balance between getting everything shipped and shopping only at the local store. Right now, it’s been helpful to just have hubby swing by after work and pick up milk and eggs each week. He’s not prone to buying extras as I am 🙂

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We’ve made it a tradition to get away for the weekend as husband and wife prior to each new baby’s arrival. Before #1 we ventured down to the Land’s End Resort in Homer, and then before Little Goat’s appearance we stayed at the Anchorage Captain Cook (curtesy of Kevin’s employer). This time around we opted for a wee adventure in Seward. What a blast!

  • Thursday: errands in Anchorage (including cobbling together some forgotten swimsuits, and picking up a Northern Lights Coupon book), Dinner at the Apollo, staying at Holiday Inn Express (in-room microwave and mini-fridge). Food network (deep fried pickles, anyone?)
  • Friday: Terrific continental breakfast courtesy of the hotel (eggs, biscuits and gravy), SeaLife Center, Extremely fun and rainy trek up to the Exit Glacier (no one else ventured out, wonder Why? :), more Food network including a hilarious and intriguing interview with Ted Nugent at his ranch.
  • Saturday: back to “real life”

We had a great time, and would definitely recommend this adventure. We hadn’t quite realized how much Seward shuts down in the off-season, so we had a lot of down time to just relax at the hotel room. Kevin says that the town motto should be “Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner; but not in the Winter”.

Stopping by and picking up a pre-order of the Northern Light Coupon Book before our trip was a good choice. We saved over $45 by using coupons from the book (just enough to pay for the book itself). Coupon Book Coupons: Snow City Cafe – $9 saved, SeaLife center – $20 saved, Sea Bean coffee – $4 saved, Cristo’s restaurant – $15 saved

SeaLife CenterIcky bottom-dwelling fish. You know in a movie when you see fish like these, something bad is about to happen. It’s just one of those things. I have to remind myself that even these freaky lookin’ dudes point to a glorious Creator who holds power over both life and death.

Exit Glacier - kissA sneaky last-minute cheeky kiss at the base of Exit Glacier. The camera (perched on a rock) wasn’t safe from the rain, but weathered the wet activities well. We were drenched by the time we reached the car. Dontcha just love memories like that?

Exit Glacier WarningNotice the “Danger, Area Closed” sign, and hubby several meters beyond. He promised me that he wouldn’t get too close and be sucked into the raging river we could hear moving under the ice. He told the truth. Sweet, daring man. I can’t blame him. In my younger, wilder days I might also have been tempted to step beyond the rope border. But only if a uniformed, authorized personnel gave me the “ok” first, of course 🙂

A photo of #1 in his new glasses. Who doesn’t love a 3 year old in glasses? Too cute!

JimmysGlassesRight now I’m reading Hide or Seek by Dobson. With a 3 (almost 4) year old around the house I’m finding that a lot of the parenting books I own are finally starting to become interesting. Hide or Seek is one of Dobson’s lesser-known books. This book is all about instilling self-confidence in children in a world that is constantly trying to erode their confidence. From the book’s description:

From the moment they are born, children experience an unfortunate value system that reserves respect and esteem for a select few. Those who fail to measure up end up resigning themselves to a lifetime of feeling inadequate and inferior.

Since it’s by Dobson, you know it is NOT a book about teaching kiddos to become little snobs, but instead teaching them through loving parenting that they are innately valuable as God’s creation. Love, love, love this book. If only reading this book through a bunch of times would actually remind me to be that loving parent all the time 🙂

Today, Oct. 8th, is the day that automatic PFD drafts begin filling up bank accounts across the great state of Alaska. Yahoo! Thus, it’s time to revisit (yet again) saving for college. Here is the original post regarding savings options. I won’t re-hash these options this time around. Just take a peek if you’re interested. In order to attempt to entice you to save those kiddo’s PFD’s (where possible) for their college/future/retirement, here are a few future value scenarios (conservative):

  • $1,300 (this year’s PFD) invested for a 5 year old at an average interest rate of 8% will become approximately $3,500 by their 18th birthday
  • $1,300 plus an additional annual investment of $200 (just a small chunk of a PFD) at 8% will become approximately $8,000 by their 18th birthday
  • $1,300 plus an additional annual investment of $500 at 8% will become approximately $15,000 by their high school graduation

And finally:

  • $1,300 plus an additional annual investment of $1,000 (a conservative PFD estimate) at 8% will become approximately $26,000 by the time they’re ready to leave the nest.

Interested? Check out the original post on savings vehicles here. Also, savingforcollege.com by Bankrate has great information. You can see our own future/college savings choices here. We’ve chosen to utilize both a conservative 529 plan and a UGMA/UTMA to cover all our bases in case the boys choose to forego the typical college route. Jimmy’s account (with a lot of help from Grampy the financial guru) was timed just right to maximize the low performing stock market and his initial investment gained 50% last year. Whoa. That will be extremely atypical but I’m thankful nonetheless! Poor Jacob won’t be able to get into the action until next year (when we’ve saved enough of his PFDs to begin the initial $2,500 investment Fidelity requires). Too bad little man 🙂

JimmyGrace

The past couple of months I’ve been having some interesting conversations with Jimmy regarding grace. We memorized Ephesians 2:8, “By grace you have been saved”. I was trying to explain to Jimmy what grace means. I told him that grace is when we don’t deserve good, but we receive it anyway (through the grace of a benefactor). The example I used was when Jimmy deserves a swat, but mommy chooses not to give him one (which happens rarely). In retrospect, a better example could be conjured, but oh well. For the next several weeks, any time Jimmy got in trouble and was sent to his bed to await sentencing, he would exclaim “Grace, grace!” whenever I came into his room to mete out the punishment. I think he grasps half of the concept 🙂

Seeing “grace” through the eyes of a 3 year old is helpful for better understanding the extreme gift of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross, and the tidal wave of grace that was unleashed on that day. I deserve a really big swat. A swat all the way into H-E-double-hockey-sticks. It takes some serious grace to forgive me of my sins, forego that deserved punishment, and instead allow for citizenry in the eternal kingdom of God. Sweet, sweet grace.

We’re on our way to making up our own rugby team. Results from Friday’s ultrasound (done in Anchortown at Advanced Sonograms of AK which we highly recommend) show another man child in incubation. All his little parts and pieces looked well formed and healthy. We were both amazed at all the things they can look for in an ultrasound nowadays. Deformations such as heart and kidney problems which once eliminated the possibility of survival can now be determined and surgery performed in-utero to give wee babies a high chance of a healthy life. Amazing! A couple of photos. I was too lazy to scan them, so I just took a pic with my webcam. Ignore the fuzziness and glare.

Photo on 2009-10-04 at 13.14His hands were at his face the entire time, and we even got to see him suck a finger a couple of times.

Photo on 2009-10-04 at 13.15Little feet. For a couple minutes he grabbed his toes with his hands – too cute 🙂