Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Loving Alaska

With Valentines day just behind us, I have been thinking about love quite a bit. There are many things that I would say that I love: God, my family, reading, and getting to do things outside. I am so fortunate to add to this list...Alaska! We truly love where we live, and the people that we get to "do life with." Our students, fellow staff members, and friends have all become extended family to us. Living in a remote location will do that! :)

We have been very busy these past couple months- I got a bit behind on my blogging! The kids started taking ice skating lessons because Noah really wants to join the hockey team next year. There is an indoor rink in Soldotna where they can take lessons. The rink also happens to be where our local team, the Kenai Brown Bears, play their games. The kids think it is pretty cool that they get to skate on the same ice as the "professionals."

Ready to skate

Noah really gets into the local hockey games. 

Although it has been unseasonably warm here, we still have had a few good snow days. Even with the lack of snow it has been cold enough that we still have been able to keep our outdoor ice skating rink on campus frozen. That has been a great source of (free!) fun for both our students and our family.

Noah's getting much better at both skating and using his hockey stick

Fun on the campus rink

Practicing with Dad

Students and staff went head to head for the annual broom ball championship game.

Grace has been doing great with her swimming. She practices twice a week at the high school pool. It is fun to participate in local sports in a smaller town- everyone gets involved! At Grace's first meet her pastor, her school librarian, her gym teacher, and several ACC staff were all working as timers, concession workers, and coaches. This close community has really helped Grace come out of her shell.

Grace and her buddy Eden after their first meet

Proud of my swimmer!

The kids continue to enjoy the Alaskan winter. Even though we have less snow then normal here, it is still more than my kids have ever seen! They have been busy iceskating, sledding, snow-shoeing and of course, building snowmen.

His head is a work in progress...

Over Valentines day Steve had the opportunity to travel to Barrow, AK to do some recruiting. While he was gone the kids and I lived it up back here at home. They had two days off of school due to conferences, so we spent some time at the Moose is Loose (yum, doughnuts!) while Steve froze up North.

Moose is Loose!

Ready to walk across the street in Barrow, AK

The oldest building in Barrow- the whaling station

The frame for a whaling boat they were building. Can you imagine trying to kill a whale on the Arctic Ocean with nothing but this boat and a spear?

The seal skin that they stretch over the frame to waterproof the boat

Steve and James (one of our students) at Point Barrow, the furthest North point in the USA. That is the Arctic Ocean (frozen) behind them.

In other news, Noah finally lost his first (two) teeth. It came down to pure determination to get that second tooth out, and the tooth fairy had to do a late night Walmart run because her wallet was bare. :)

The kids continue to enjoy our church which meets at their school. We enjoy spending Sundays with lots of friends, and with many of our students.

Grace and Noah help present the artwork they made in Sunday School

Valentines day was fun even though we were missing Steve. I helped with the Valentines day party in both kids' classrooms (fortunately they were staggered). One of Grace's friends brought a meat tray to share with the class, and informed me that it was different types of Moose jerky and sausage. She told me that her dad shot and killed the moose himself before making the jerky in their garage. In true Alaskan style Grace's classmates devoured the sausage and jerky without giving it a second thought. :) After school we went across the street to ACC where I helped the staff beat the students in our annual broom ball showdown. The kids enjoyed watching with their new stuffed Valentines day friends.
Grace had quite the V-day haul

Noah didn't do too bad for himself either

Watching broom ball

Cheering on Mom

ACC staff and students after the big game

Sorry for the long post! I will do a better job at staying up to date in the coming months. We would love to hear from all of you, feel free to shoot us an email or give us a call to catch up!