Thursday, February 17, 2011

Already I Beat You!

A good snow machine costs $2000 and lasts 4 to 5 years. With dogs you've got regenerative powers. Snow machines don't have pups." ~Lou Schultz

"Well, if you would just drive like your from Wisconsin not Minnesota..." says to me the Principal who shows up this morning to rescue us in our beloved and buried Magic School Bus with a 'SERVING SPOON! You're also probably wondering who's futilely, yet courageously digging away under the bus with the only tool we had aboard (our window scraper) none other than Connie! Jills of all trades we bush teachers are! Always be prepared: That's our tundra motto. "A serving spoon???!! Are you serious???" Connie and I wondered at Principal Eric. "The message I got was that you guys couldn't figure out how to get the bus into 4 wheel drive." So evidently a serving spoon was going to be our humble pie as he gloated around 'putting it in 4 wheel drive'. At least I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, I hate to imagine the alternative, that after his 10 years in the tundra he thinks a serving spoon is sufficient. Much to his dismay, we KNEW and "ALREADY!!!" We had a blizzard blow in last night, and though it doesn't look like it from the pics we had cleared the other seven drifts 'Minnesota style': Can't go over it, Can't go under it, Can't go around it, We're gonna have to go through it! We seriously had no choice as the other route we normally take was blocked with someone else's buried vehicle. The kids were cheering "Yay Connie and Rachel We Can Do This! Go Bus Go!" Connie and I were determined. All riders bared down. I revved the engine more for the show than speed, got a nice run at it and...'POOF'. Sadly, for Mudville that last drift proved to be too much for even the Magic School Bus, posing more as Rollagon. We ended up sending the kids 'by walk' and a few others 'by 4 wheel' since we weren't too far from the school. Principal Eric tucked his tail and went back for shovels. We spent the next 20 minutes unearthing the Magic Bus. Of course today was the only day I have ever decided to leave my house without a hat and mittens! Murphy's Law;) All in a school day's work!
Warm Fuzzies Alive and Well in Quinhagak
Thanks to Mrs. B everyone has been telling everyone else how much they appreciate one another lately. Kids and teachers alike wander by the 'Warm Fuzzy' board to see if they might have a note of kindness. I remember my high school geometry teacher Mr. Simon reading us the Warm Fuzzy story. Funny how things come full circle.
The Pups They love to crawl under my bed, relentlessly chase Ani and their mother, Seeker around the house until they finally find short lived relief on the couch (which the pups will be able to jump up on in a few more days I'm certain). They climb the kids, pull the blankets off the couch, drag shoes and boots all over the house. They are so cuddly and adorable and so hard to keep up with! LOL Principal Eric is threatening to take them home today. Good thing I won't be around after tomorrow. Surly I'd be going through heavy duty puppy withdrawals.

Yeah but what's up with that title you ask? Today in Ali's math class I was playing an intense game of Place Value Top It against Jeremy. Having been beaten twice I was overly zealous to shout out my victory half way through the 3rd round "Already I beat you!" I cheered at Jeremy. Ali was walking past as I declared his defeat. "Spoken in perfect Yup'ik," she observed with a grin. It's true. Much like Spanish reversals, Yup'ik has the same kind of thing going on when a fluent speaker uses English. Apparently I'm picking it up (the reversals, not the Yup'ik;)

Shout Out To: Quyanaqvaa Megan and Bridget for spreading the word to Joy and Karen who sent us a box of beautiful brand new prom dresses! A few of which are already on display in the hallway!

So for real I think this is my final post for awhile! Have a great spring break.

He orders the snow, 'Blanket the earth!'
and the rain, 'Soak the whole countryside!'
Job 37:6

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"She Maqiis Like a Man"

"I'm grateful to you. If it weren't for you, I'd be in Cicely right now and I'd still be running that rat race, still locked in that commute. I'd be totally stressed, I'd be totally ignorant of what my life could be. I'm happier now than I've ever been."

- Joel to Maggie after his time upriver, Northern Exposure

The Yup'ik Maqii

Salmon spots, hhhhooooo weeee, hot, everybody in we're going to pour, everybody out it's too hot in here! Add a little more water, it's good. (To the right a typical steam house with wood someone collected up river drying out and ready to burn.) Owww, my skin is burning turn around and put your behind to the stove and your face on the floor just like you learned in elementary school fire safety, hot air rises. Are you sure we can fit more? There's always room for more! Don't forget your maqii hat so your hair doesn't burn your face and your ears don't melt! Let me out, let me out, let me the outside door a a smidge, could you? So we can get some frigid air in. Time to wash, stove is cooling. Fill up you basin and grab your scrubber. That's how we do it. Add a little cold river water from the barrel and a little hot water from the stove. Suds it up and rinse off same way clean water. Back out to the drying/cooling room and your on your way. (To the left several artifacts they found at the dig site this past summer what you see is what they still typically use in a steam bath: the dipper for pouring water on the hot rocks, and the basin to wash with.) In the steam is where you learn stuff, stuff that you wouldn't get to know unless you steamed. Traditionally that was how it was, the older women would educate the younger women and the same with the older and younger men. I thought of this the other night while we were all in the cooling part of the steam when Liz, my friend Karen's mom was turned facing the rest of use almost as if she were teaching a class. She was telling stories, her sisters would jump in with more tales and we all listened intently. I thought that this might just be a peek at what it was like traditionally. Made me feel honored to see and be part of this strong even ancient tradition carried on. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure I can go without a steam every weekend. My body craves it now. Anyway regarding the title of this blog post... while steaming the women were talking about a friend of theirs who they steam with now and then. Evidently she takes super hot steams and can withstand the heat much longer than anyone else (this is a thing that men are known to do, they try to see who can stand the heat the longest). So one of the girls made the comment,"Yep, she maqiis like a man!" It made me laugh.

Excerpt taken from:
The Aleknagik Way: Alaskan Style
5th to 8th Grade Student of Aleknagik School

In our community we also have maqiis that our elders taught us how to use and make. Maqiis are steam houses that we wash with the same gender. The room is heated by a wood stove that is an old gas tank made into a barrel stove. The chimney is aluminum and sticks up through the ceiling and is changed once a year. On top of the stove there is a small wired fence that holds about twenty rocks and a water basin. We use this water basin to have hot water. The rocks get heated by the stove and when heated they get very hot. Then we put water from the water basin over the rocks and this makes steam. We call this splashing. The dipper we get the water from the basin with is a one quart coffee can on the end of a stick that is about two feet long. There is usually a large basin that holds a lot of water for the dipping. There is also a cooling room and that room is bigger than the heated room. The reason it is bigger is because it will have less hot air and this helps the people that are too hot to cool down. The heating room is smaller so the hot air is suffocating. Most of our village elders use maqiis,rather than a shower or bath. Most even say it is better than a shower or bath. We have two-three people (in Quin we have no limits if you can squish in you're good) in at a time in the maqii. Usually these people will sit together on bench chairs (in Quin we don't have bench chairs we use Le' Floor) and have conversation and bathe. Sometimes it gets so hot that people will get as low to the ground as they can. They do this so they can stay cooler and breathe.

We picked up a couple kids on our way home from the basketball game last night. Where are you going they asked. "Uptown." I joked. Jerilyn laughed from the seat behind me then corrected, "That's downtown, we are uptown." "Really?" I inquired surprised. "Really, " she again informed. "So I live downtown?" "i ii," she responded with a Yuktun affirmative. "Then I live downtown but I work uptown!?" I again questioned putting it all together in my little brain. "i ii," she again confirmed. "Wow, that 3/4 mile commute just got a whole lot longer. It must hard to live all the way downtown and work way uptown. You know how it is, fighting all the rush hour traffic. Everyday part of that crazy rat race. Poor me I never realized how tough I had it in this bustling village." I never knew I was a downtown girl.

I forgot my student today! We have an after school program in Quinhagak. Everyday from 4 to 5 students come in for extra tutoring in math or reading. Well tonight I had one student. How difficult is that? She came in quietly sat down behind my make shift wall/partition (one of the big, blue wrestling mats I stole from the gym) and waited for me to finish what I was typing. The problem? I completely forgot she was there as I excitedly made plans to walk down to the store (a relatively big deal since the store is the only place in town you can go ) besides and the post office (which is often closed by the time I get done with work) with Connie and Ken. Out the door we went. She didn't say a word. The only reason I know is because her teacher, my friend Alison, came in later and said, "Wasaa came back to my class and said you left to go to the store?" I don't think I've laughed so hard in at least 2 days or so! Alison joined me. Oh, my goodness! I did totally leave her sitting there behind the blue mat and she must have heard me all happy to get out of school. I hope she realized I'd forgotten she was there and wasn't just ignoring her! Luckily I was able to tease her because she skipped out on me last week so I told her it was my turn to ditch. Tomorrow we're even and we start fresh. She came over to visit tonight so we are square.

Carlton, one of our district superintendents is here in Quinhagak visiting us! He is actually the man who recruited me way back 2 years ago (which feels like yesterday and ten years ago all at the same time). Principal Eric couldn't resist the opportunity to take a walk down memory lane asking permission of course to drag me my first 24 hours in Quinhagak, Alaska... little did I know but they actually had bets on whether or not I would make it. Sherry gave me 8 days and the Boss Man had me packing up and sneaking out in the shadows of the night. We all know my ability to transition is rocky at best but experience has shown that if I can just ride it out it usually turns out okay, not always but usually. Trust me it stems way back to needing to call home in the middle of the night for my parents to come get me at my own cousin's house 1/2 way across town and it hasn't changed all that much except for prayer. Isn't it wild what God can do! I really was in shock when the plane dropped me off on the runway August of 2009 and headed back to Bethel, "Wait for me!" I silently cried watching it fly away. Three rainy, windy, gravely miles through the vacant, treeless, flat Alaskan tundra separated me from the village I was to call home for the next year. I was offered a ride by my now good friend Lily in the back of her little Ranger pick up then kindly plopped down at teacher housing in the middle of the road wondering which tin sided trailer was mine. I distinctly recall Principal Eric popping his head out his doorway and surprisingly calling out "Rachel? Is that you?" I don't even think I could squeak a word out I'm sure I just nodded. "How did you get here? We didn't know you were coming? Welcome to Quinhagak!" From there I was whisked away in the rusty, old, broken, down suburban as he excitedly gave me the 5 minute grand tour which was entirely a blur. My stomach progressively tightened, my throat was trying to choke me and I fought tears with all the energy I had left. All I wanted was nothing more than to go home to my cozy comfort zone where nothing stretched me or caused me pain, to wake up in my own bed surrounded by my own family, friends and stuff. Oh, that God would always, always, always, push us out of our 'zones' because out there on the the edge...that my friends... out there is where you really begin to live...and learn to trust Him! Obviously all bets were off and I'm happily on year two, Praise the Lord and give Him all the credit! Never ever would have imagined it in my first 24 hours, that the tundra would become my play ground, the ocean a back yard and the people my close family. But it has and I am such the better person for it. What can you really tell in the first 24 hours of change anyway? Nothing, best I can figure. Thoughts go something like this: I don't know where I am, nothing is familiar, I don't know anyone and that all makes me sick to my stomach and I have to pee in a bucket. At my loneliest moment...seriously that's when God really said 'Trust Me.' And I really said back, "I can't." And He really responded,"I know you can't. But I can." Then somehow with my weakest crying-est puny-est microscopic-est ounce of trust He did! One moment, one hour, one day, one month, one year at a time...He did. But what he did was simply reveal to me what I couldn't possibly see in the first 24 hours... you see I've been blessed beyond comprehension out here on the edge of nowhere. Met the dearest of friends who I do not deserve, experienced real living from the heart that I never could have understood, was given respite for sorting out what is important and what is not in life, and learned to be more thankful. I absolutely know it in my knower that this is one of the most precious gifts from God and I nearly missed it for wanting my comfort zone, but for the grace of God, eh? So my wonderful friends I hope and pray you have moments on the edge with Him that make you know it in your knower too:) All that from a visit by Carlton. And Carlton...Quyana for making the effort to meet with me 2 years ago at the Perkins in Hayward, it has made all the difference.

To Anchorage and Beyond! We're gearing up to head into Anchor Town to attend the statewide special education conference next week, hopping a prop plane on Friday night. Then on to Wisconsin and back. Don't know if I'll be posting while globetrotting around. Lord willing, I can give you the low down on the adventures upon my return maybe even get to run into a few of you live! How bout that! Have a great couple of weeks everyone!

Shout Out to: All you Februarians!!! Happy Birthdays! to Melissa Dawn, John Teddy, Miss Alicia Weaver, Auntie Shelly, Cousin Stu, Jenny and Christopher Lewis (if yours counts) belated to Donna, Jerilyn, Jasenut and Justus! Let's here it for the amethysts! You all have the best birthday month ever.. but what can I say I'm biased;)

"There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after." Ecclesiastes 1:11

Saturday, February 12, 2011


We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time.
~Vince Lombardi
(That quote was chosen in your Packer honor too, Principal Eric)

Ref Felipe/Yute Air Extraordinaire
The T-shirt he wore underneath his ref shirt said
"I'm just gonna nod my head and act like I'm listening."
I had to laugh as he was getting read the riot act after the game by some fans,
took off his ref jersey, smiled at them and nodded.

If you didn't get a chance to make it the the Quinhagak School Jim-nasium this weekend, especially Friday night's game, you seriously missed out on some good old fashion basketball like it was meant to be played. When all was dunked and swished the Kwig Eagles won by a heart wrenching point. But our Seahawks rocked the court like champions. I don't think there was a fan in the bleachers that could stay seated more than a minute or so we were jumping around as much as the players! Bleeding black and gold folks. Intense was an understatement, not sure the Delta has ever seen a game so good. It didn't really matter who officially won the game, those boys on both teams were busting at the seams with giving it their all. This morning's game was no different, we've definitely got some talent running around up here. Seahawks made an amazing comeback after the 3rd period closing a 15 point lead to 6 points in the last minute of the game. If I was ever not a basketball fan I am converted. My team of choice though, forever when asked will be the Quinhagak Seahawks, end of story!
Nice work out there guys! You make us proud! The sportsmanship between the teams was humbling. After each game the opposing teams would huddle up and chant for whoever they had played, example, the Kwig Eagles after winning Friday night chanted "GOOD GAME SEAHAWKS!!!" and vice versa.
And let's hear it for Coach Jim (the Hallelujah teacher) Barthelman. Way to go Coach!

Don't be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves.
Philippians 2:3

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spirit Week

~Our Quinhagak School Cheer (you should really hear us live in the Jim-gym)

It has been a week of Sea Hawk Spirit up here! We have our annual Boys Basketball Tournament this weekend. Students and teachers of all ages have been steeped in preparation by partaking in Hat Day, Qaspuk Day, Blue Clothes Day, Sweats Day and Black/Gold School Colors Day! My personal favorite? 'Sweats Day'! Who can seriously resist rolling out of bed in the morning and trotting off to work in your favorite pair of cozy sweatpants??? This is Karen and I sporting our matching Qaspuks complete with the school mascot embroidered on the front pocket that Anya made for us.

As I type games are being played in the gym. The whole staff jumps into action volunteering for all kinds of duties: set up, break down, scoreboard, contribution of food for the coach's lounge, shuttle service from the school to the airstrip and back, working door collecting money (my job;) and general supervision. Some of our stellar students in Mrs. B's class assisted with crowd control by making and posting helpful signs to remind everyone about the rules:) (See the pics, look closely you'll giggle) The school is transformed into a hotel as the teams are assigned a classroom to call home for their stay in Quinhagak. It's a time for families and friends from different villages to reunite! Everybody around the Kuskokwim Delta knows everybody else but you don't always get to see each other for the lack of accessibility. Enter school sports tournaments! They are like a big party and such fun to be part of:) Our Seahawk boys play tonight at 7:30! Come on out and cheer if you are in village:)

UAF We've had some new friendly faces around the school this week. Through a grant the The University of Alaska in Fairbanks gives future teachers in the education program the opportunity to spend one week in Bush Alaska at a village school shadowing, participating and even jumping in to teach a few lessons.
What an incredible experience for these up and coming teachers and what a great way to broaden some horizons to get more excellent new teachers into our rural Alaskan communities! We've been fortunate in Quinhagak to have 3 such future teachers with us since last Monday! The kids (and teachers) have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them and seeing their faces popping in our classrooms. What a blessing they have been! They have saved the day several times when we needed another body to keep things moving smoothly, being more than willing and capable to step right into the teacher role! Quyana Ashleigh, Kelly and Nick! You all are going to be stellar teachers. I hope some of you decide to join us out here in the 'real Alaska';) Aside: they shared with us that other future teachers placed in different villages said to them "No fair you get to go to the Hallelujah Village!" What beautiful thing to be known for:)

I guess winter
decided to stick around a bit longer too. Our springlike temps took a nose dive 60 degrees two days ago. This morning's numbers were "take away 18". Return the typical tundra February. Tell tale signs: two sets of frozen pipes in teacher housing. And the kids are playing in more than out, "Can we visit?" They have been good company over the last few days as you can tell. And yep, that's my Tak in the pics. Those puppies just keep on growing! They are hilarious when they're out running around the house. They pull my rugs all over the place. Trying to corral them is like herding cats. It amazes me to think that some day they will be part of a sleek uniformed dog team working together to pull a sled across the frozen tundra doing what they were made for! Right now they seem to be made for peeing on the floor, crawling under the beds and licking our faces:) "Eewww," Tyrone proclaimed pulling Tak away from his face and setting him on the ground, "He smells like spu-gudy!"
"Spu-gudy? What's spu-gudy?" I wondered out loud what Yupik word that might be, never having heard anything like it. "You know, like what we eat.." he stated as if I was from the moon " Spu-gudy."
"Spa-ghe-tti," Wasaa jumped in with the well enunciated translation, "He's saying Spa-ghe-tti."
"Oh," I laughed picking up Tak to verify, "Hum, Tyrone you might be right. His puppy breath does kind of smell like spu-gudy."

Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.
The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the
Spirit and life.
John 6:63

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spring? You Sprang?

"You know what I prayed? In February I actually prayed for spring to come to relieve us of this oppressive, relentless, dismal, dark winter. What was I thinking? I must have been out of my mind. How could I forget the mosquitos? It's like the state bird of Alaska."
- Joel, Northern Exposure

Is there something wrong with this picture???
We sloshed and slid to school today. A good inch of water is now lapping the sheets of ice after the rain fall all last night. Slippery is an understatement for our ground conditions. Bus almost slid off the road into the telephone pole in slow motion this morning. "Are we okay?" one of our little passengers inquired. Tom slid past the bus trying to get on this morning, Connie to the rescue again. Slid right into the bus making my way over to get it started. Sidney reported he slid down his steps and had to go back inside to change his soaked pants. And when Adin and I tried to return to the kindergarten building which we have to travel outside to get to, we found an ice bottomed puddle about 4 inches deep awaiting us at the last step.
"Well, climb on!" I squatted down enough for him to become my piggy back passenger. "Good thing for the Xtra Tufs today!" Splish, splash, slish, splash "Sure hope we don't fall..." I love my job. "Weeeee!" Adin giggled. I also hope he doesn't expect that chariot ride everyday from now on. Seems we all had some kind of slick story to share this morning. Trying to keep the rubber side down up here! Hope your weather is better than ours.

Now in Quinhagak, Alaska

36 °F

Feels Like 30 °F


Sunrise / Sunset
9:38 AM
6:19 PM


38 °F


100% chance of precipitation

"God alone knows the way to Wisdom, he knows the exact place to find it. He knows where everything is on earth, he sees everything under heaven. After he commanded the winds to blow and measured out the waters, Arranged for the rain and set off explosions of thunder and lightning, He focused on Wisdom, made sure it was all set and tested and ready. Then he addressed the human race: 'Here it is! Fear-of-the-Lord—that's Wisdom, and Insight means shunning evil."
Job 28:23-26

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Til Skogen Jeg Ski

"I'm going to Seattle. The gateway to Alaska. I want an adventure."

-Marilyn telling Joel she is going on vacation, Northern Exposure

Just have to share my enthusiasm today! I'm so excited for our own approaching vacation adventures! Not that everyday isn't an adventure cause it is you know:)

American Birkebeiner Main Street Hayward

The Call of the Winter "Spring Break!" This insinuates that spring is here. Not so much. Around this neck o the tundra it's more that somewhere out there in the future of our seasons spring may or may not be awaiting...but until then a break is entirely appropriate. Will we go to Hawaii or to some hot Caribbean Isle like many fellow Alaskans do to gobble up some much needed rays of sunshine??? NOOOOOOoooooo I'm making a b line for Wisconsin (Lord Willing) via Seattle to enter my favorite main street cross country ski race Ye ol Birkebeiner, which happens to fall on my birthday this year! Only to then turn around and hop a jet back to Anchorage for front row main street seats to the Iditarod! Of which we've all become groupies. Somehow Columbo was convinced to join in on the festivities, he's coming along to experience Hayward in all of it's Nordic Glory. Here in Quin 'spring break' is an opportunity to celebrate the general greatness of winter activities. Yay! A vacation from the snow to the snow! You can just never get too much of a good thing, or so it seems. Must be my Scandinavian-Canadian roots kickin in, "Bring on the break! To the woods I ski!!"

Iditarod Main Street Anchorage

So Here We Are...

Just sitting round Quinhagak waiting for spring...

Shout Out To: All you Cheese Heads back home in Wisconsin. Congrats. I was almost happy for you guys, but it passed;)

“Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you.”

Matthew 11: 28-30

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ice Road Runners

"Gray hair is God's graffiti."
~Bill Cosby

Karen Un-cleated

Karen and I went running the other night. I had my nifty cleats that pull on over my shoes to hinder the very likely chance that I would otherwise slip and fall to my death. Karen however in true Yup'ik fashion navigated the slick roads uncleated, somehow managing to stay upright. In hindsight we could have gone speed skating down the road instead. As you can see the conditions were perfect. Caught a couple of the kids out taking advantage of the ice covered tundra byways. How fun is that? I might just have to join them before the weekend is over. Speaking of Karen...Did I mention she is the one who fulfilled my Wednesday's Resolution, my 'do something that scares you' opportunity. Yeah, she did! She broke into my house and did my dishes even going so far as to pack her own water (apparently mine wasn't good enough for her, lol;) So when I got home from school there was no mountain to wash. I stood in shock at the sparkling clean way more neatly than I ever would have stacked them, pile of dishes. Unreal, what a blessing I did not deserve. Reminded me of how God is with us, isn't it true. Quyana my crazy Cinderella friend. Quyanaqvaa. You bless me.

"You have gray hair." 13 year old Diya more than willingly pointed at the side of my head as she sat next to me during church last Sunday. "It's blonde." I clarified in a low whisper being sure to keep staring straight ahead in a futile attempt to remind her we don't talk in church. "NOOOO it's gray!" She hissed back, "And there's more than one, I see three even!" This time I rolled my eyes at her confident she was mistaken then proceeded to ignore her so we wouldn't get in trouble. Once home I headed directly for the tiny honey bucket room mirror to examine the right side of my head. AH HA! "PLUCK!" Had to get a better look...maybe over in the kitchen lighting, hum, maybe by the window against something dark, maybe my dishwater blonde roots are just going platinum???? I left the other two shining strands attached to my head for further inspection over spaghetti dinner at Alicia and Allison's later that same night (aside it was a delicious feast Quyana ladies). Nope, everyone in teacher housing concurred, No way, those were definitely NOT platinum. The general consensus is that I have sprouted my first gray hairs!! And without much fanfare at all. I'm actually relatively unmoved. A few of the other teachers just passed it off and said they'd already found gray hairs too. No biggie, pluck em, dye em, Thank the Lord for Salons and move on:) Sounded good to me, and business continued as usual. Almost poetically later in the week one of my little guys approached me cautiously after school, getting 3 inches away from my face with a very intense, determined expression before he began to share his thoughts..."Rachel." Chuck said gravely. "Yes, Charles." I responded, turning from my computer and sharing his expression but not knowing what to expect from his furrowed little brow. "I love... your hair," he finished and stepped back, proud to have shared his mind. I stifled my laughter at the seriousness of our exchange then smiled thinking of the week's earlier discovery, "That means more than you could ever know Charles, thank you! You made my week! I love your hair too." "Okay." he said, pleased with himself and walked out the door. Kids are Wonderful!!!!

Alden Healing his Hand He heard Connie talking about an old remedy of tying a red piece of yarn around a person's hand if you think they might have blood poisoning. It was thought that the red yarn would stop the poisoning from going any farther up the arm and heal the injury to the hand. That was the day before he showed up to her class with his snow go injured hand all wrapped in red yarn. He loves to tease. He keeps us in stitches all the time. What a kid!

Puppies and Kiddies:) While Principal Eric is on training in Bethel again this weekend I conned the Pederson's into letting me and Ani have Seeker, Jet, Tak and Car ('Tessa', I believe is what her dad, Paul, is calling her over Good News Bay way;) for a few days! Kids stopped in to play. They are all getting so big!

"Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained by living a godly life."
Proverbs 16:31

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Do One Thing Each Day that SCARES You!" ~Just Good Advice

Looks like it's straight from the pups' mouths...
There are many wonderful things that will never be done if you do not dare to do them.
~Charles D. Gill

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.
~Author Unknown

The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.
~Author Unknown

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.
~Thomas Alva Edison

The shell must break before the bird can fly.

Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right.
~Henry Ford

I quit being afraid when my first venture failed and the sky didn't fall down.
~Allen H. Neuharth

Talking with a friend last night...
Part of the conversation was about change and growth. How it's never easy. How you can get caught in a comfort zone, content to stay put, not motivated to move beyond it for fear of... whatever you name it. Anyway I was inspired. Hence my million and one quotes today. More to encourage my own self than anyone else but I'm willing to share. Sometimes it's interesting to meander back through the chapters of your life to peek at all the events that have led you up to where you find yourself right now! Then it's kinda scary and exciting to guess where your headed, as if you can ever really tell ha ha ha . You just never know what God has planned. That, I think is a blessing. Many times we (by we I mean I) couldn't have handled knowing. God knows. That's sufficient. He'll fill me in when appropriate. In the meanwhile I'm supposed to be about the business at hand. Watching for the moments when He surprises me with a curve ball or maybe a dip...kinda like a dance. LOL, yeah, that's more like it. Twirling around the dance floor with God, let Him lead and try to keep up! Woooooowhoooooo! What a ride:) Sometimes fast songs, sometimes slow...just stay with Him.

Walking home from school
the other day I stopped to chat with a couple of the kids who were playing on this little ice hill that has formed on a small elevation next to the building. They would climb to the top then ride the slight incline down to flat ground on their feet. The whole thing couldn't be more than 8 feet long. Anyway when we had sufficiently exchanged pleasantries I said good bye and turned to start plodding home. I was a good 50 yards away when I heard little Katie call out after me "See you around Crocodile!" I had to laugh out loud at her experimentation with language... "Okay then After Awhile Alligator!" I hollered back.

A Pair of Skiers
Students and teachers alike have been swishing about on the school skis the last month or so. You might even say that cross country skiing is going viral in Quinhagak lately. Principal Eric even order us 6 more pair from one of our favorite ski shops back home in Hayward, Wisconny New Moon! But the sight I witnessed the other day took the cake, Michael and Karen evidently were only able to check out one pair between the two siblings. Apparently they had compromised by making the most of their set dividing it down the middle. Each of them step/sliding along - one boot, one pole and one ski. That's how much we love skiing right now in Quin. Better to have only 1/2 a set than to not ski at all.

At Least He Thinks He Knows His History
One of my high school students forgot my name today, some impression I must be leaving, eh? Pay no attention to the fact that he has been my student since the start of the school year and was on my cross country team. "Hey little girl," he directs my way. "Alden!" I respond " I know you aren't seriously referring to me right now??" " Yeah, yeah I was. Who else do you think I was talking to?" he confirms unapologetically as though this was a normal occurrence. "'Hey Little Girl', is not what you should call me," I reprimand ready to seize this proper etiquette teachable moment. "Well, then what do you want me to call you??" He shoots back, "Sacajawea with bling?" The moment was lost as Connie busted out laughing from the other side of the room having overheard our conversation while I was doubled over snorting around in my own right. Alden. Enough said. So we took a picture of me to capture the moment, here's posing to give you a visual of his witty comeback. This key chain was actually beaded by a former student back in Wisconsin. I've gotten tons of compliments on it. Everyone loves it up here as much as me, so it truly is 'bling'!

My Wednesday's Resolution: Also known as My One thing that Scares Me Today! Tonight I will do the Dishes! Yes, my friends I've been ignoring them for over a week now, there I said it. I just needed to rebel, if only against myself! But now there are no dishes left and the counter space is rapidly disappearing so I am letting go of this rebellious stand off with me starting tonight. Bring on the dish pan hands!

To those of you down states: Happy Ground Hog's Day! Dang hogs don't even live in Alaska. 6 more weeks of winter always 6 more weeks... Connie enthusiastically chimes in, "But we do have squirrels."

Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it? There it is! I'm making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands." Isaiah 43:19