Sunday, September 30, 2012

Summer into Fall 2012

Hello All,

Minus the horrible heat the lower 48 had this past summer, it was everything I could have asked for.  I was able to relax, refocus, and even prep a bit for teaching year number two.  Even in the heat, it was so nice to get out running and biking almost every day.  I enjoyed buying fresh cut flowers, veggies and drinking plenty of lattes!  I loved all the traveling to visit family and friends I was fortunate to do.  Thank you to all who housed me and took such great care of me while I visited – from Washington to Connecticut all the way down to Florida. It was a blast! I also was able to join my previous church's high school youth team on their outreach to Standing Rock, South Dakota.  So, now it’s your turn to come north and visit me, send me your itinerary!

School has been off to a great yet, as always, busy start.  I have 16 third graders this year.  After my first year of teaching and having such a wonderful class I thought it might take longer to “like” (as much as last years group) this new group, but they got me on day one.  They are such a funny and positive group of kids!  I have been taking some “school” myself; all online courses, which I have learned, are not my favorite.  I now appreciate my professors and class discussions that were face to face so much more. Nothing official in terms of a master program, but credits that will help me move in that direction one day.
 I picked a bunch of berries this season.  I really found my liking for it; I think it’s a mix of competition in filling my bucket faster and faster each time and then finding the good spots.  But even more than that, it has been really relaxing for me, and then you know me, feeling productive at the same time. I wish I could bottle the smell of tundra.

I am co-coaching volleyball again this year, which started up last week.  Lots of athletes this year and a young group! We head to St. Mary’s this coming weekend for our first games. Also, at school I’m co-leading a high school group called, Natural Helpers.  It’s a group of students that are picked and dedicated on making our school and community better.  We have weekly meetings and will be doing elder visits, big brother/ big sister program, teen suicide prevention discussion/retreat, and family events throughout the year.  It was kinda unexpected and last minute thing to be apart of, but I’m really looking forward to working with these high schoolers.

It has been so encouraging getting back to church here in Scammon Bay.  There are lots of neat things God has been doing with the youth.  As you feel lead keep us in your prayers as we seek to follow the Lords direction.

My friend's daughter who is also Addie's trainer.

My roommate and I gave in and took in a pup a few weeks ago.  Her name is Adalae, (Addie).  We are pretty sure she is mostly a Labrador, but may have a few other breads mixed in.  I have had a family dog my whole life, but it’s a whole different deal trying to figure out the best training tactics on your own.  But I’m glad we have her, she forces me out walking/hiking even when I think it’s a little too chilly.

our group

We just got back Friday from a two-day teacher training in Hooper Bay.  All the primary teachers in the district met there.  I had such a neat time with my colleagues, I’m so glad to work with these ladies, they have taught me so much!  We laughed so hard together they are such a hoot.  I was even given my Yup’ik name, which was very special.  Quyana for making trainings fun!
flying home from Hooper Bay

Well, I think this blog post is my longest yet. Hopefully I will find more time to update! Thanks for reading.  Have a wonderful fall; drink a pumpkin latte for me!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

March, April, May Happenings ---

Since I have missed quite a few blogging weeks, long details aren’t going to happen. Here are a few key events that have taken place this spring.

-       Ice Fishing for pike at Mt. Kuzilvak, caught 17
-       Learning how to cut fish with Carolyn.
-       Gemma and my students made me my first Kuspuk.
-       Easter weekend in Hooper Bay also our churches conference.  Lots of singing and fellowship. BIGGEST white out storm I have ever been in, stuck in Hooper for an extra day.
-       Went for my follow up appointment in Bethel for my broken thumb, everything is two thumbs UP!
-       Friend took me Ptarmigan hunting in Bethel, caught 9!
-       Church/ Youth Leadership training with CYAK, a very encouraging and learning time with some old and new friends. God is faithful.
-       Riding and exploring on the other side of the mountain, more hunting, looking for birds and rock climbing with friends.
-       New teacher's mentor Kathy's last visit!  She has been SO good to us this year!
-       High School Graduation!  So many volleyball pros, what will we do without them next year?!?!


One more week of school!  I totally have mixed feelings about the end of the school year.  I have been blessed with such a great first group of students.  I’m excited for them, and yet sad they will not be with me next school year.   It was snowing earlier today, so still very much winter here.  There are signs of spring and we have had a handful of warm sunny days, so I know my snow machining days are coming to an end for the season.  I will be heading south this summer, of course home base will be in Westmont with my mom, but some fun traveling here and there till I come back up in August to start the school year.  Happy almost summer!  See many of you soon!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Forward

Sun setting over Scammon.
Springing forward in daylight savings really is a lovely thing. I’m getting less and less sleep because it’s hard to feel tired with so much more sun everyday! This evening I watched the sun say goodnight at about 9:15pm. Beautiful, beautiful. I don’t mind this at all.

Going out for a ride.
I officially signed on for teaching year number two with the Lower Yukon School District. I’m very happy to know that I will be here come fall. This week will start the first week of fourth quarter. It’s had to believe how quickly the year has gone by. I’m truly blessed and honored to be teaching, learning, and living here.

It has been unseasonably chilly this winter. I believe I’m able to say that if locals said it to me first. ☺ Close to two months of not going above zero! But with the right gear it does not stop anyone from getting out especially when there’s hunting to do or basketball games to cheer for. I was able to travel to Hooper Bay a few weeks back with friends from church to attend service there. Also have been twice to Chevak to cheer on high school basketball games. The snow-go (snow mobile) really has been fun and worth it. Just getting out in fresh air on beautiful days feels so nice. Sadly I’m on the injured list right now as heading to Chevak to watch ball games 2 weeks ago I got into an accident. Thankfully it is just a broken thumb and pretty sore, swollen right hand. Writing is a challenge, and I will not be driving for a little bit longer, but it’s getting better each day. Had a go into Bethel to have it x-rayed and taken care of. It really was scary, but I know I have to take it and get back on. Brett welcomed me to his club of “Not so Graceful Dismounts” off of moving machines (motorcycles/ snowgos/ ect.), so I guess that’s an honor in a weird way.

Learning how to cut caribou.
Spent a Saturday a few weeks ago learning how to cut up caribou.  My friends husband caught 2.  From what I understand we don't have caribou around Scammon Bay.  They live inland in the Kushokwin region, towards Bethel.  Therefore it is about a 5-6 hour trip by snowgo to get to an area where there are caribou.  They are pretty yummy, so defiantly worth it!

Big wind/snow storms like to trap us in our house.
Shoveling a way out to get to school one morning. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy New Year!

I arrived back in Scammon Bay on New Years Eve to ring in the New Year Scammon Bay style.  I was able to spend 10 days back in Chicago land celebrating Christmas and visiting.  It was wonderful catching up with family and friends.  Many days were busy with back to back dates seeing loved ones, but I tried to keep it relaxed with plenty of time to eat missed foods, go for runs (OUTSIDE!), soak up some sun(which I never thought I would say about an IL winter), and chill with my family. I especially love that Brett is back at home, and I'm working on him getting up here sometime! 

My pastor during the mid-night Christmas Eve service at church pointed out the line from Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem “The hopes and fears of all our years are met in thee tonight” Over the last few weeks, this line has come more and more to mind as I have reflected on 2011 and moved on into 2012.  It’s comforting to be reminded that all that I am; every hope to every uncertainty or fear is held in Christ.  I’m just thankful for that.

UNK vs. SCM in the boys championship game! 
I came home to full swing basketball!  Our first week back we hosted a tournament with 16 teams!  Every classroom had a team to host.  I gladly took the Unalakleet ladies, which was fun to see and catch up with some bible campers.  

Leaving my home to walk to school, so
nice and close! 

I also came home to the coldest temperatures I have ever been in. I was told that one day it got down to -40 with -55 wind-chill! Last weekend our heater was not working properly so I spent the weekend at neighbors, and came back to our bathroom pipe frozen! Thankfully it has warmed up to -4! I’ll take it! Trying to get out riding on the snow-machine as much as possible, but when it is this cold it makes it hard to stay out (or go out) for long.

Wrapped up the end of the second quarter last week! Which means I made it through a half of year of teaching, whoot whoot! I’m up to 16 kiddos now, had 3 new students join us after Christmas! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011


View out my window, flying
on clear days are the best!
Nome is were the Iditarod dog sled
teams finish.  I just may have to get
back up here for this event... 

There was so much to be thankful this thanksgiving.  I’m continually amazed and humbled when I think about this last year.  I’m thankful for a God that continually provides for me, comforts me, and challenges me.   I’m so thankful for family and friends back home and the new family and friends that I have here in Scammon Bay. I’m happy for students that have taught me WAY more about teaching and myself then I could have ever imagined!  I was able to spend the holiday in Nome with a friend from college who now lives there with his sister and her beautiful family.  I was so thankful and blessed to be around people that I have known for a few years.  It was a great time of catching up, relaxing, and of course eating.  Nome is a beautiful place, as you can tell by the pictures! It is only about 160 miles north of Scammon Bay, yet there is no direct flight.  So I flew to Bethel then to Anchorage to finally get on a plane to Nome!

          Famous Nome reindeer that
       rides in a truck. :-)

My friends back yard.  Sunset over the Bering Sea.

The weekend before thanksgiving I was in the village of Marshall coaching in our districts regional tournament.  Well, we won!  First time in Scammon Bay history that the volleyball team has won districts!  I never knew how nervous a coach could get; they get a lot of butterflies! ;)   So, now we leave for the state tournament this Tuesday, which will be held in Anchorage.  This will be my first time back on the road system since leaving in August.   So I’m excited for that Starbucks latte!  The team has had such a great season, I’m excited for us to have one more trip to play some volleyball games and have a lot of fun celebrating their hard work this season.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

bump, set, spike

My wonderful classroom helper made this to hang
in the gym for our tournament! 

I have spent the last few weekends traveling and coaching.  I have been having a blast getting to know the sport of volleyball and our team.   We play mixed- 6. So it is a co-ed team with 3 girls and 3 boys on the floor.  I’m thankful to be coaching with someone who knows a little more than me about volleyball. The team has been working hard. We hosted the first tournament here in Scammon Bay playing Russian Mission, Mountain Village, and Hooper Bay.  The following weekend we were in St. Mary’s and this past weekend in Hooper Bay.  This coming weekend we will be traveling to Alakanuk.  Our record is 7wins-0, so we will keep pushing it hard these next few weeks till the district tournament, which will be in Marshall in 3 weeks.  GO EAGLES!

Snow is here, not TOO much, but it’s here! Flying last weekend to St. Mary’s the tundra was still its fall golden brown, this weekend mostly all white!  Snow go’s (snow mobiles) are off and running! 

Hopefully this will give you a better idea of my travels.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Welcome October

Last week was a short week of school for the kids because teachers had in-service training on Thursday and Friday.  All the down river sites of my school district went to Hooper Bay for these trainings. (which include Alakanuk, Emmonak, Kotlik, Hooper and Scammon of course).  Hooper Bay is a village around 30miles south west of Scammon; it was about a 20min flight. There are over 1,000 people living there, so it is much bigger than Scammon.  Hooper Bay is a coastal village with a beautiful beach. They also have a large grocery store, big enough to have carts!  So I was able to get some fresh produce and treats that have been hard to come by. (yes, a grapefruit!)    

This weekend I also decorated my classroom for October/Halloween. It was so fun to have the kids walk in this past Monday morning and have a spider’s web hanging over their desks!  I told them we must have had a spider visit our room this weekend!  A little girl looked up and said, “It’s Charlotte's!”  So happy October!  Enjoy the pumpkin patches, pumpkin breads, cookies, seeds and please drink a pumpkin spice latte for me! :-) My roommate’s parents sent up a little pumpkin and harvest pumpkin hand soap so that will satisfy my craving for the season!

I’m co-coaching high school volleyball, which started up last week. We have are first games this weekend at home.  We will be hosting Hooper Bay, Chevak, and Mountain Village.  Go Scammon Bay Eagles!

Last week we also had snow on top of the big hill here!  My class was so excited! It melted away by afternoon, but it was a nice dusting. Good thing my winter parka came in the mail today!