26 September 2008

Brooklin's principal called yesterday.....

...and told me that she had a really boring progress report. There were just a bunch of A's on it. Then he said, "Oh wait! There are pluses after a few of them!"

He just called to tell us that! Pretty cool!

We are excited that she has an A in math. Last year she had straight A's except for math, and that was always at a C.


Also, she ran in her second cross country meet yesterday too. They had to run the course twice around. There were two huge mud bogs to run through, and up (in Brooklin's words) "a 90 degree angle" each time. She improved her placement in the race by one (from 10th to 9th) and will find out on Monday if she improved her time. I didn't have my camera this time because we went straight from the little's school to a Dr. appt. for Caleb, and then right to the meet. We missed the boys race, and didn't even get to see her start. The first time we saw her, her legs and shoes were covered with mud...and she got to run through it again. =)

Good job Brooklin!

24 September 2008

Soaking and nearly Freezing

Saturday afternoon, we drove up to the glacier to take our pictures for our Christmas cards. I didn't want everyone wearing coats in the picture, and it was mostly sunny and still warm enough to take off the jackets for a few pictures. After getting some good pictures, it started to sprinkle, so I put the camera away, and Darwin decided that we should go on a hike. He promised he would buy bear spray and bear bells for me...but he hadn't gotten around to it yet. So here we go on a hike at the glacier with no bear spray, no gun, no dog, blah blah blah, and it is raining. Then it starts raining harder....then then even harder. It is pretty much pouring now, and I am about as uncomfortable as I've been in 3 years...no bears in Hawaii... I really am terrified of seeing a bear while hiking. I didn't think we were making enough noise, so I scuffed my feet the whole way. Darwin thought this was humorus, so then I got mad. I was also complaining a lot. He kept telling me to just go back to the car, but there was no way that I was going to go hiking by myself back to the car! I finally whined enough that he consigned to turn around and go back to the car with us. The rain had soaked through all our coats, and we were really wet. We went straight to Western Auto, and bought me some bear spray and bear bells...laugh all you want...they tell my brain that I am ok, so I won't whine as much. And did you all know that bear spray is $50 to $90!! Anyway....

Here is a picture of us after the hike. I am happy to be within sight of our van (it is the green one) and Darwin is like, "So what's everyone's problem...it's just water...I'm just glad my wife isn't complaining anymore."

This morning (Wed). it was the coldest it has been so far. I took a picture of my computer screen...hehehe. I went to get in the car, and my van doors were frozen shut! The kids were chanting "Snow, Snow, Snow!" and running around like crazy people this morning. They can't hardly wait for it to snow, since they haven't played in any for three years. I can wait...it is only Sept! =)

22 September 2008

A future promotion and a calling

This Saturday, Darwin got an email from the Coast Guard that was great news.



We are very excited that he was selected to promote to Lieutenant Commander (O-4). The list had 342 names on it, and you can see that Darwin is 245 on the list. Basically, the email said there were eight "super stars" (my words) and they were at the top, and then they kind of go by when he graduated from Officer Candidate School...which was Sept of 1999. The guy who graduated at the top of their class is #229. Now I asked him a ton of questions about what this actually all means, and pretty much, it takes about a year to actually get the promotion, and technically they could move us again, but they told him they probably wouldn't shop his job, because it is hard to fill. (No one wants to come to Alaska.) So anyway, within a year or so, he will be promoted, and we are really excited.

Darwin also got a calling at church this Sunday. He was called (and sustained) to be the 2nd counselor in the Elders Quorum. The bishopric actually came over two weeks ago and asked him to do another calling (that he honestly wasn't very excited about but said yes to) and then last Sunday when they were supposed to sustain him, they didn't. It was kind of weird. Then the Stake President found us, and asked him to do this job. I think he was kind of glad that it is not scouting again. He has been the scout master for the past 7 years, and he was really ready for a break, even though he does like working with the scouts.

I still don't have any callings at church...hehe! I did play the piano and give the lesson in Relief Society yesterday, but that was just filling in for people that were gone. I've never taught in Relief Society before, so I was really nervous, but it went ok. Guess that is all for now. ~MeJ

21 September 2008


My brother Micah, his wife Cori, and their daughter Aria welcomed a new member of their family today. Teagan Arthur Strasser was born yesterday afternoon in Twin Falls, ID. I don't know his height/weight/etc. yet, but his birthmom called them yesterday morning to let them know she was in labor. They drove two hours to Twin Falls and got there just after he was born. They were supposed to be signing the paperwork today at 4pm to adopt him. We are so excited that our family has been blessed so richly these past few weeks with the adoptions of two new little boys. Micah and his family have been patiently waiting to adopt a child since August 2006.

Congratulations Strasser Family on your newest addition!! We love you!!

Adoption Profile Updates

We are in the process of transferring our adoption files from the Hawaii office to the Alaska office. We met with one of our new workers on Tuesday last week. The office we are attached to now is actually in Washington, but the guy comes up here to Juneau every month. I think he does more than just adoption stuff...like counseling and whatnot...anyway I talked with Mark on the phone on Monday, and he was going to be here the next evening, so we met with him on Tuesday night. He had looked up both of our profiles, and said they looked really good. He even asked if we had had someone help us write them...hehe... He said that the only thing he noticed was that they hadn't been updated for quite awhile. I went in this week and put up our new house picture, and updated all our ages and years we have been married info, and then made new collage pages for the kids' pictures. These are the new pictures of the kids. I had them this way before, just they were all from last year. Most of you have already seen many of these pictures, but it is nice for me to have them "backed up" on the blog...just in case. =)

Brooklin's first race

Brooklin ran in her first cross country race this past Thursday. There were three schools (I think) running, and they ran two miles. They had all the girls from every grade run at the same time. Brooklin came in 10th overall. They didn't give her (or anyone) their times, but from my camera, it took her somewhere around 13 minutes to run two miles...part of that uphill. She told me that she never stopped running for the whole race. We are very proud of her.

Brooklin and her friend Bailey.

17 September 2008

What's on TV?

The kids asked me if they could watch TV yesterday. I told them maybe in a while...which basically means no, but without saying it outright...so they took a box I had cut a hole in and turned it into a TV! Smart little muffins! If you look on the side, they were very thorough and wrote down all the buttons that our TV has, and they even made a remote that had all the right buttons. Caleb got inside and was reading the weather off of the back of the newspaper. London was doing a "live" ("Get it Mom?! LIVE" she was poking her head in and out of the tv "screen") news report and Isaiah was changing the channels with the giant remote. They played with the box TV for like an hour!! So cool!

14 September 2008

The salmon and what became of her

Darwin went fishing before work on Thursday morning and caught a silver salmon. We didn't measure it, but it was a really good sized one. This is him with his catch.

Tonight we had the salmon for dinner. It was pretty good...and I am not a salmon eater. I have found though, that if I cook the fish, I like it way more than if anyone else does. In fact until last week, I hated salmon. I've tried it several times, several different ways, but I can never eat more than a taste. Last week I cooked the earlier salmon that Darwin caught, and I liked it then as well. It was fried. This was a stew. I thought I would put the recipe down for it, if any of y'all would like to try it.

Salmon Stew

4 slices
bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 large potatoes, diced
1 large can (28 oz.) tomatoes
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 whole bay leaves
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 lbs salmon fillets cut into 2-inch pieces

In a 4- or 5-quart pan, fry bacon over medium heat until browned;add onion and potatoes to bacon and drippings and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until onion is limp. Add tomatoes and their liquid and break up tomatoes with a spoon. Stir in water, lemon juice, Worcestershire, bay leaves, garlic, salt, and pepper; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add salmon, stirring gently to mix; cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serves four to five.

12 September 2008

Comic relief...

Another email turned blog. I just thought these were cute. I'm a republician and although I'm not really impressed with John McCain, I think he really threw everyone for a loop with his chioce for VP. Everyone keeps asking us what we think of Sarah Palin because we live in Alaska. I really don't know. She seems like a great choice, but I am not as educated on political issues as I should be. We have only been here for six weeks, so we have some catching up to do. I know a lot of people here like her, but when the announcment was made, most people's reaction was "Huh....Interesting." Again, these are from my mom. She never fails to send me email forwards. Lots of them I just read and delete, but this is the third one from her that has made it to my blog.

09 September 2008

Back to normal....BLAH!

Well, I have finally hit reality. I had to do actual housework yesterday! I have been taking a break from it for the past 2 1/2 months, and yesterday Darwin told me there was mold growing in the downstairs bathroom, and I should probably clean it...but he wasn't telling me what to do...hehehe. I dug out my house cleaning book, and right there on Monday, Sept. 8, 2008 list of chores was "Clean toilets". BLAH! Don't get me wrong, I haven't been totally slacking, but I have been too distracted with unpacking all the boxes of stuff, starting school, homework, and then of course, playing on facebook and reading everyone else's blogs. What a reality check for me.
Yesterday I:
*made the bed
*washed 3 loads of laundry
*folded 2 loads of laundry
*cleaned the counters
*cleaned the bathroom sinks (B. did the one downstairs)
*changed the towels in the kitchen and bathroom
*cleaned the top shelf in the fridge
*B. vacuumed the living room rugs
*C. swept the stairs, entry, kitchen, and dining room
*C. took out the trash
*cleaned the toilets
*made real dinner
*practiced piano
*and did homework until I cried (I really couldn't figure out two math problems, and had to email the teacher)

For those who don't have the awesome house cleaning book, I am a total list person. If I can check something off of a list, I completely feel like I have accomplished something. The lists are really good, and have stuff on them like; clip children's nails, work on a hobby, pay the bills, plan for birthday cards/gifts, change furnace/ac filters....etc. Very thorough. I found my list at motivatedmoms.com. They even have Bible chapters to read everyday! I'm not sure that I have ever finished an entire page before, and I know that the sinks need to be cleaned every day now, but being able to check off the list makes me feel like I did something and I can prove it! =)

Well, I must be off to school now....Math. I really love math, I am just getting so many rules mixed up in my head, I don't know which one to do first! And this morning, I have already cleaned mirrors, washed laundry, and emptied the dishwasher....and played on facebook and blogged! hehehe!

04 September 2008

Hot Tub Baby

Our house came with a hot tub. While the movers were here, and I was at orientation, Darwin let the kids play in it. They had a blast. Two nights ago, while I was getting ready for bed, Darwin went out by himself because he thought I was going to take a shower and take forever, so he went out without me. Last night, I finally got to try it out.

I am a baby.

I could barely get up enough nerves to walk the 15 feet from the back door to the hot tub. It was in the 40's and I couldn't make myself step out the back door wearing only a swimming suit. I put on a sweatshirt and wrapped up in a towel. I walked out to it, and then couldn't make myself take off the warm clothes (right now, there isn't any place to hang a towel or anything) so I went back in the house and found a little rolling wire shelf thing (it doesn't have a place right now) and brought it out with me. I was able to get the towel off, and then froze my legs trying to get in without touching the sides of the hot tub. After getting my legs in, I took off my sweatshirt. My jaw went nuts chattering, and didn't stop for a few minutes after getting in. Then I complained...a lot. I was cold, the water wasn't hot enough, I didn't like the smell of the chemical mist... Luckily, my husband knows that I have a hard time with new things in the water...have you read about my first time snorkeling?? Anyway, I was finally able to relax, and next time I will have more fun and not whine so much. It was a little fun, but I am too cautious for my own good sometimes.

02 September 2008

1st day of school...finally!

First day of 7th grade

First day of 5th grade

First day of 3rd grade

First day of 1st grade