Things I'm Loving

"These are a few of my favorite things!" (love that song btw) Here, I hope to share a few things that I'm enjoying and an occasional recipe from our Alaskan lifestyle.

Update: February 3, 2024

As I’ve worked full time at Wasilla Bible Church since the beginning of June, I’ve seen the importance of some new family rhythms. There are a couple days a week where I work from 9-5 and then again in the evening, as early as 6, for youth worship and/or adult worship rehearsals.

That 30 min at home is a welcome rest stop, made sweeter by the efforts of my now 11 and 14 year old kids. On those tight-timing nights, one of my kids makes dinner and aims for it to be ready at 5:15 when I get home. 

Matthias is now a master pizza maker (thanks largely to pre-made dough and ingredients, but alas) and I’ve enjoyed watching him grow in confidence around the kitchen. Maya has made burgers, moose stroganoff, tacos, chicken alfredo, and a few other things. She started high school this fall, which is blowing my mind but delighting me at the same time. She is a confident, beautiful, sweet young lady with a servant’s heart. I’m thankful for both of my kids’ forward growth this past semester.

If any of my readers are local south-central Alaskans, and you haven’t tried Big Dipper ice cream yet, consider this my gift to you. A local family started this amazing homemade ice cream shop in Palmer, and it is SO delicious. They will also be opening a location in the clock tower shops IN WASILLA, so stay tuned for their opening! I’ll be sharing ALL about it when it happens.

Update: June 30, 2023

Life has been extra busy these days, so my favorite things these days are simple and sustaining.

Dwell Differently is a company that offers scripture memorization tools including beautifully designed cards and key tags, plus temporary tattoos! I jumped in on the monthly subscription in May, so I've now memorized two verses using this system…and absolutely LOVE it! Each design includes one letter for each word of the verse, so all you have to do is glance down at the tattoo and practice by walking through each letter, and the key tag and card include the full verse for reference as needed. I am really enjoying this simple and beautiful tool for memorizing God's Word, and have gotten to answer a lot of questions about my new “tattoo”…ha!

Coffee is an essential part of our mornings in my home, and getting to enjoy good coffee is a treat! My parents have used Caribou Coffee for years, and we recently decided to treat ourselves to their Mahogany blend…a delicious dark roast. We don't splurge on much these days, but good coffee is worth it in my book!

During the winter, I shared my Salmon Cake recipe and have received some positive feedback from those that have tried it! This round, it is my “infamous” Smoked Salmon Dip. This is my most requested recipe within my family and friends group, so I hope you enjoy it too. And here is a link to ALL of the recipes I've shared too.


Update: December 13, 2022

I haven't been reading for pleasure much these days...must be time for another trip to the cabin...BUT, I am planning an art project that will "require me" to read the whole book of Psalms again.

Our next Arts for the Kingdom event is on February 18th, and the theme is "Psalms". I'm planning something musical, but have missed painting. So, here is my plan ( exclusive bit of news, as I'm not planning on telling too many people in case it is a complete flop).

As I work through the Book of Psalms, I will note how many times the words "love", "heart", and "forever" are said. Then, I hope to divide a canvas into a 10x15 grid (for the 150 Psalms), and paint each grid section according to what I found...maybe a mixture of red, yellow and blue paint colors to form that Psalm's hue? Not exactly sure, but I'm excited to dig in and have a grid to paint! I'll be sure to share the result if I succeed.

My family and I are blessed to have full freezers again this winter, and since I've shared two moose-meat recipes already, I thought I'd share my Salmon Cakes recipe with you. PLUS a bonus recipe for my Tartar Sauce (and homemade mayonnaise). Enjoy, and let me know if you give it a try!

Update: September 9, 2022

My kids both have summer birthdays, and this summer had them turning 13 and 10...big deal for all of us! I have entered into a season of parenting in which they don't need me as much as they used to. Or, rather, they need me in different ways. Praying this sweet entry into the teen years continues to be sweet.

We just took a trip out to our remote cabin, and that gave me "permission" to read a bit more than normal. I finished the second book in C.S. Lewis's Narina series, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. I never tire of that lovely story, and look forward to Matthias enjoying it next!

My current non-fiction reads include finishing Makoto Fujimura's Art + Faith: A Theology of Making and Dane Ortund's Gentle and Lowly. Both are slow, chapter by chapter, reads for me. Both so encouraging and thought provoking. Have you read either one? I'd love to know!

I'm also excited to share another favorite Alaskan recipe with you! This round, try my Moose Stroganoff. It is truly a family favorite, and I made a bunch recently for our upcoming hunting season. Eating moose while hunting moose. Seems fitting somehow. (I've included printable versions for my recipes now too, so visit each link to try them out in your own kitchen!)

Jan 2022

Grocery Pickup - I've recently switched from using Fred Meyer (Kroger) grocery pick up to Walmart, mostly as an experiment in quality and savings. I have to say...they are making me a believer! Their app is nicer, their quality is equal to Kroger, and their service is amazing. I'll be interested to see if the budget is happier after a few months.

Creamy Moose Taco Soup - This one is a crowd pleaser, and couldn't be easier! Click on the link to go to the recipe, print it out, and give it a try. This recipe, and many other healthy alternatives, can be found in the Code Red Cookbook.

Here are my current non-fiction, fiction, and Bible reads:

Ari Herstand's "How to Make It in the New Music Business": I'm enjoying this book, recommended by John Chisum with Nashville Christian Songwriters. Two chapters in, I really appreciate how Ari defines "making it".

"The Magician's Nephew" by C.S. Lewis: I need to feed my imagination a bit, and have loved this series for decades. If you've never enjoyed this fantastical series, I can't recommend it enough.

We also just finished up the Book of Ecclesiastes as a bible study group, and are headed into 1 and 2 Kings next. I won't lie, Ecclesiastes was challenging, but I was ultimately encouraged to seek out joy in the day to day. Dig into it, and feel free to reach out if you'd ever like to chat about it!


Leave a comment