Friday, September 27, 2013

I Am Behind!

Surprise! We are still alive and well in Alaska. I cannot believe that next week is October. Let me see what I can do to catch this Blog up. Forgive me if I say things I have already said. Summer came and went. Once we returned from Oklahoma the weather was BEAUTIFUL here in Alaska. Fairbanks broke a record for the number of days reaching 80 degrees - which were at least 30 and maybe more. I actually wore shorts and sandles this summer and got a tan. I spent many afternoons in the yard with Charlie. I could stay forever if we could have weather like we had in July and August. We really didn't venture too far this summer as I worked at Summer School and Richard was the only Optometrist on Post. Speaking of Richard, he still loves his job. I'm not sure he is ever going to want to leave Alaska. YIKES...that thought kinda of scares me. School started in August and I am back at the Star of the North as a Special Ed Aide. It is a new adventure everyday. They are still trying to get me to become Alaskan certified. I only have four students that I am responsible for this year and sometimes those four are more than enough. I still keep my eyes and ears open for other job possiblities. Honestly, I really miss being in the classroom as a teacher. Two weeks ago we rode the train to Denali and spent the night there with another couple from church. The ride was amazing and the colors were beautiful. I will try to post some picture at a later date. If you are on Facebook, all the pictures are there. We only saw one moose on the way up and one moose on the way back. We see another train adventure in the future. We have already had night temperatures in the 20's. The daytime temperatures seem to vary from 25-60. We have had snow twice. Thankfully it hasn't lasted long, but I know those days are not far away. I did see my first bull moose on the way to work recently. Unfortunately for him he was dead. He was hit by a truck. He was HUGE and only one-half mile from our house. Next week I will fly to Seattle for a few days. Eric will be meeting me there. It is Don's birthday, so I am excited to not only spend time with Eric, but to spend time with Don and see the sites of Seattle. Plans are in the making for Christmas. We really haven't decide whether we will fly mom, Eric, and Myles (if he will fly) here or if we will fly home. It is actually cheaper to fly them here than for us to fly to Oklahoma. I know...that is CRAZY.... I guess you could say we are settled in Alaska and it is life as normal so there isn't always alot to write about. However, I will continue to keep this Blog updated, but probably not as often as I did the first year we were here. Hope all of you are well. We still think of you often and miss you all. Be Blessed....enjoy fall.... Sally

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Already July!

Wow am I ever behind.  Let me try and fill in the missing adventures since Mother's Day!

Break-up finally happened on May 22.  Break-up is when the ice finally breaks in the river and it is no longer winter! We were told that the snow and ice would be gone in about two weeks and it really was - that was so amazing.  When I left to come to Oklahoma everything was still brown and when I returned 18 days later it was green and blooming!

I finished school on May 22 and flew to Oklahoma.  Arrived on May 23 in time to attend Eighth Grade Promotion.  So proud of Derrek and the young man he is becoming.  He received the Masonic Award and he was so excited he said he almost cried. The next evening was High School graduation! So many kids are growning up and moving on - guess that means I'm getting old!

I spent from May 23-June 10 in Oklahoma.  It was a storm filled, whirlwind, exciting trip.  I visited my WTC family, visited our neighbors Ruby and Delmer Sawatsky (so glad we were able to visit, as Delmer went to be with Jesus this weekend), spent TONS of time with Eric, Derrek, Makayla and Lisa. However, it is never enough time.  We had mani/peds, went swimming, ate alot, BUT I didn't even make it to the mall.  Richard arrived on June 6 - a very important day - my birthday.  It was so good to see him...this was the longest we have ever been apart.  On June 8 we attended the wedding of Rachel and Trey.  She was a beautiful bride and we wish them a world of happiness.  On June 10 we headed back to Alaska with mom in tow.  Richard was on a different flight, but we all arrived safely and on time.

Mom spent the next week with us.  We visited the Farmer's Market, Botanical Garden, Riverboat Discovery, Morris Thompson Culture Center, and simply enjoyed spending time together.  From Alaska she spent a week in Seattle with Don and then a week in Sacramento with Dan and his family.  She arrived back in Oklahoma at 2 a.m. this morning. I haven't talked with her yet, but I know she had a good time and is probably tired.

This has been an unseasonably warm summer.  We have actually seen temps in the 90's and I will say with no air conditioner it has been HOT. Along with the hot weather comes fires.  We have many smoke filled days.  Some people have asked how long before winter returns.  The story is look to the fireweed.  Fireweed is a flowering plant that grows everywhere.  When it begins to bloom it blooms from the bottom up.  You then count the blooms that have not opened up and that is approximately how long before winter returns.  Is that full blown winter or simply the temperatures dropping - I have no idea.  A friend showed me the fireweed and the plant we looked at showed that we have about 8 weeks before the return of winter.  Guess we will find out.

I am teaching computer classes, three days per week to senior citizens in North Pole. I am also working in the Special Education department for summer school four days per week.  My summer is going by fast. School starts back August 21 and as of now I plan to return to my position as SPED Aide at Star of the North.

Richard is coaching the church softball team.  He is having a good time.  He is also playing in a summer golf league, so he is a happy camper. 

There you have a quick update on all that is happening in our life.  I will try to post some summer pictures later. 

Hope  all of you are having a good summer.  Be blessed!

Sally & Richard

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Hope all of you are enjoying Mother's Day and treating your moms very special today.  I believe this is possibly the first Mother's Day that I have spent away from my mom and Eric. They however are enjoying the day together.

Last Sunday at church we had a baby dedication.  It was the neatest thing I have ever experienced.  The family has been fostering and/or adopting children from the village for awhile now.  If I counted correctly this makes 5 or 6 and they also have kids of their own.  Anyway, they had a glass vase and many different colors of sand.  White represented Christ the head of the house and that sand was placed in the vase first.  Then each parent, sibling, grandparent and godparent placed a spoonful of different colors of sand in the vase representing the blending of family and the prayerful support for the child.  After service anyone in the church who is praying for and supporting this family then put a spoonful of sand.  Very moving celebration.

This past week was graduation at the school that I work.  The day before graduation they have what is called Senior Passage.  It is a time of congratulating and recognizing each senior individually.  Scholarships are also awarded at this ceremony.  But the most  touching event happens when each senior is presented a handmade quilt.  There is a small Baptist church that at the beginning of the year gets a list of the seniors and their favorite colors.  The church prays for each senior throughout the year as the quilts are being made.  Once the quilts are finished they are hung in the church sanctuary where the entire church prays for these seniors.  We have 12 seniors and there were 12 different and unique quilts. The next evening was graduation and it is a combined graduation with the other Star of North campus.  There were 60 graduates.  It was so exciting to watch these students receive their High School Diploma.  Many of these students were given very little hope of graduation and had no parental support. 

I do believe spring has arrived and break up is happening.  Actually, most of the snow is GONE.  We now have about 18 hours of daylight each day.  The cleanup has begun.  The rocks are disappearing off the roads and Richard is so glad as he not only has a cracked windshield but about 5 different rock pings.  Makes driving and seeing very interesting. One bank actually showed that is was 70 degrees yesterday. 

Today we had a Mother's Day brunch as church.  The sanctuary was filled with beautiful flowers and tables.  Following the brunch, Pastor Aubrey brought the Mother's Day message. 

Well, I believe that sums up this past week.  Did I mention TEN MORE DAYS and I will be in Oklahoma.  Looking forward to being with friends and family for about 2 1/2 weeks. 

Hope you all have a blessed week. 


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Is it Really May?

It is a beautiful, sunshine day in Alaska.  One catch...we STILL have snow and I personally am a little tired of the stuff.  The people who have lived here a long time are even tired of the snow.  We keep hearing that this is very unusual and that by this time the snow is usually all about gone.  They have changed community clean up twice now because of the new snow.  A good note, no snow is in this weeks forecast.  We may even see the 50's by the end of this week. YIPEE!!!!

It is so hard to believe that we have been here going on 11 months.  This year has gone by fast in some ways and slow in others.  Richard continues to love his job.  The Major will be leaving this month for Korea, one of the military techs is on maternity leave and the other still doesn't have security clearance so the civilians are running the clinic.  Richard is going to help with the church softball team this summer - that could be interesting and he is also helping to teach Sunday School and continues to play drums at church and in the community Jazz Band.

Me...well I will be teaching computer classes this summer at the senior citizen's building beginning the middle of June and will attend church camp with the 7-9 year olds in July.  We hope to be able to go to Valdez or Seward this summer and take in some more of the beautiful sites of Alaska.  Next Wednesday is our last Wednesday night kids service until September. My job, well all I can say is it is a different challenge everyday.  If this is where God wants me to stay I will, but if he chooses to move me, I won't argue. I'm still planning to get my Alaskan certification this summer.

In 17 more days I will be boarding a plane for OKLAHOMA.  Hopefully there will be no delays and I will make it Clinton for 8th grade graduation, then the next day is high school graduation, the next day is class reunion.  Then I will have about 2 weeks before Rachel's wedding. Not sure how Charlie and Richard will handle being in Alaska that long all alone.  Well, Richard will be fine it is Charlie I worry about since he is a mama's boy.  Richard will join me just in time for the wedding and then he and I along with mom will fly home on June 10.  Mom will be here a week before going to Seattle for a week and on the Sacramento for a week. When she returns, Rachel will be married and out of the house.  Not sure if she is going to want a new house guest or if she wants to try it on her own for awhile.

I walked (yes I am out of shape) in the Autism 5K last week.  Very different from walking/running in Oklahoma.  Coat, hat, gloves, etc...and no time piece on my shoe.  It was cold but not too cold.  I hope to eventually get back to running.  Okay, stop laughing but at least it is a goal. LOL..

That about sums up our recent events/days in Alaska.  Take care. Have a blessed week.

Love to all and for those in Oklahoma..SEE YOU SOON!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ice Park

Anchorage Pictures

More Than a Month Has Passed

Where has time gone?  It is already half way through April and I haven't written since February?  Let me see if I can catch this up.


Snow, Cold, Snow, Cold...that pretty much sums it up. 

In March we did celebrate our 13th year anniversary.  We had a quite celebration for our actual anniversary.  We went to eat and a movie.  But the next weekend we went to Anchorage for our anniversary and Richard's birthday.  Wow, what a difference 6 hours makes.  Anchorage is what I thought we were moving to when Richard said we were moving to Alaska.  Mountains and beautiful surroundings. Not only that there were malls and Olive Garden.  I will try to post pictures.  We toured downtown, shopped and ate.  During the drive to and from Anchorage we saw Mt. McKinley and an Eagle.  Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the eagle.  We also saw the place (sorry Richard isn't home and I can't remember the name) where they put a tripod in the middle of the frozen river and it is attached to a log or something similar.  You can by tickets guessing when break up will happen, based on when the log begins to float. (This may not be the accurate description but it is the best that I can come up with.) The jackpot is several thousands of dollars.  Oh, break up is when everything begins to melt and turn green.

School for me is getting better.  Either I am adjusting and getting "mean" or the kids are adjusting to me and not pushing their limits as much.  I am going to test this summer for my Alaskan certification.  Say a prayer - I panic when it comes time for taking a test.

We went to the World Ice Sculpturing park in Fairbanks.  I will post a few of my favorite pictures.  It is amazing what they can do with a block of ice.

We keep missing the Northern Lights.  The best light show thus far was while we were in Anchorage.  There was a fairly good showing last night, but I slept right through them.  Something about getting up at 3 a.m. to look at the sky just doesn't excite me too much.  I always regret it when I see the picutures.  Time is running out for good Northern Lights, so we may have to wait till next year.

It is hard to believe that we have been in Alaska for 10 months.  Time is flying in more ways than one.  We do love it here but are ready to see the grass. And YES we miss everyone in Oklahoma.

Last weekend through Tuesday, we had an unusual snowstorm (at least that is what everyone tells us). Everything had begun to melt and then we received 8 inches of fresh snow.  This is alarming for Alaska due to the fact that it will probably warm up way too fast and cause flooding.  Guess we will find out.  The sun has been shining since Wednesday and even though the temperature remains in the 20's, it is still pleasantly nice.  I actually had the sun roof open yesterday.

I will be flying home on May 22 and stay until June 10.  Richard will join me on June 6 or 7 for a wedding and then Mom will fly back with us on June 10.  She is going to stay a week here, a week in Seattle with Don, and a week in Sacramento with Dan. 

Our summer plans are to enjoy more of Alaska.  We hope to be able to go to Valdez or Seward and take a day cruise to see the glaciers and hopefully some whale.  I will be teaching computer classes 2 hours per day at the senior citizens center and attend church camp for a week with the younger kids at church.  Before we turn around it will be August and back to school.  There are some budget cuts in the school system, but so far my job is still secure. We also hope that both of the boys and any friends who want to will come visit us this summer.

Easter we had a community service.  There were two services with about 900 people in attendance.  The kid's service was at our church and there were about 150-200 kids in attendance there.  It is so exciting to see a community that doesn't care what church you are from, they are willing to join together to worship and praise the Risen Savior.

Richard is currently in the air somewhere between Dallas and Seattle.  He flew out Wednesday for a meeting in Norman.  While his flight got messed up and he didn't get to see everyone he planned, I still think he enjoyed his short time in OK and the warmer temperatures.  Believe it or not, I actually survived my first stay in Alaska all alone, but I'm ready for him to get home - which isn't until 1:45 in the morning or tonight however you want to look at it.

I guess you can say we have established a life here (for now) and things are beginning to be more and more routine, so there isn't always much to write about. However, I will try to keep this BLOG a little more uptodate.

Hope you all have a blessed week.  See you all soon.