Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Alaska...

The woods that back up to our yard after the first snow
After a long wait (we almost broke a record!) it has finally snowed here in Kenai Alaska.  Snow always reminds me of redemption and second chances. All of the dead brown vegetation around here has been covered in crisp white snow.  Alaska daily astounds me with it's breathtaking beauty.

The kids were so excited to see the snow. Other then a couple of trips to Northern AZ where the snow was already on the ground, they haven't really experienced a true snowfall. They were outside with snow pants on before it was even sticking to the ground.

Helping me shovel the driveway- shoveling is hard work!

Making snow angels
So excited for the first day of snow!

Sledding down our driveway
They have spent the past week sledding and playing outside every day after school. We don't have more snow in the immediate forecast, but hopefully we will see some soon. In the meantime, the snow we got is still around because the temps are staying low.

Steve has been really enjoying the classes he teaches at ACC. He also got the opportunity to preach last week at chapel. It was a great sermon about endurance in our Christian walk, and in life in general.
Working hard in his office at ACC
 We have stayed pretty busy, but have had the chance to spend some time with our coworkers. We had several families over for Halloween (many people here do not live in neighborhoods so they used our house as a trick or treat "launch point.") We also got to drive down to Homer for the day a couple weeks ago for one of our friend's birthdays. I feel so fortunate that we have such a great community of people up here already. When I think back throughout our life, I feel so fortunate that we have had such great friends during each phase. The same is true of our life here in Alaska. People here serve as each other's extended family due to the fact that most of us live thousands of miles away from our relatives.
Our family at the beach in Homer

Enjoying the beach in Homer
Steve with the kids in Homer
 Living where it is so dark during the winter comes with some challenges (cue the vitamin D supplements, "happy lights", and extra exercise.) However one of the fun things about the lack of sunlight is the fact that most Alaskans put up their Christmas lights early! When we first saw them popping up around Halloween I couldn't believe my luck! For those of you who know me well, you know that I have a weak spot for a good Christmas light display. Much to my dismay we found that our Christmas lights did not make the moving "cut" (or were forgotten back in AZ) so we had to keep our light display scaled down this year. (I can hear our neighbors chuckling..."scaled down" by my standards is still pretty bright!) We put our lights up the night before the snowfall, so it was just in time!
Noah ready to help us put up Christmas lights
We are continuing to see lives changed here at ACC. One of our students celebrates one year of sobriety tomorrow! Others are learning to persevere through varying challenges including those faced by most college students: schoolwork, time management, figuring out how to make their faith their own. Some deal with even harder challenges such as those that one of our past students, Rae, dealt with. In this video she talks about how God used ACC to overcome some of the difficult obstacles in her life.

Rae Fancher from Alaska Christian College on Vimeo.

Thank you for your continued support as we strive to make a difference in our students lives!

We are looking forward to Steve's parents coming for Thanksgiving- it will be great to have family nearby. We are also planning our trip back to AZ for Christmas. We will be there from Dec 15- Jan 1. We are planning on spending the week of Christmas in Prescott, and the rest of the time in Tempe if you would like to connect with us while we are back and here more about our ministry here at Alaska Christian College.

Hope to see you all soon!