Thursday, October 29, 2009

St. Michael's In-Service

This year's Bering Strait School District in-service was held at the village of Stebbins for some sites and at St. Michael for the rest of us. I was really hoping my brother's school, Elim, would be at St. Mikes, I was glad to find out we were at the same location and I got to see quite a bit of him.

In-services are a bit different for bush teachers. We stay at a school, sleep on the floor with co-workers and shower in locker rooms for four days. Some parts stink, but for the most part it's quite a bit of fun. Who else gets to do this with their coworkers?

Like last year, the organizers of the in-service week had some evening activities for all of us. This year's feature was the band, Landbridge Tollbooth, from Nome and a "caller" from Fairbanks to teach us how to Contradance and Square Dance. It was a blast!

I think this picture of John and my co-worker friend, Amy, learning some new dance moves sure turned out cute.

The following night we were treated to the performances of the Stebbins dance group. (Stebbins and St. Michael are only a few miles apart and are connected by road so they just drove on over.) Eskimo dancing is a lot of fun to watch. I enjoy seeing the ladies sport their colorful kuspuks and dancing in unison.

Brevig Mission Staff getting cozy.

Oh, and we did attend professional develpoment sessions as well. But that's just details. =)

Monday, October 26, 2009


It's that time of year,

Time to go out and retrieve your snowmobile from wherever you left it when the ice melted in the spring.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ice Skating

The lagoon behind our house froze nice and smooth this year.
We took the opportunity to start Harold out on ice skates.

Listen carefully and you can hear Harold sing as C.O. takes him for a ride.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What's Inside?

Harold and I had an Etch A Sketch that didn't work anymore. I have often wondered what kind of mechanism was inside that made those things go. So we took it out to the shop to see what we could figure out.

They are not really meant to be opened, so it took a lot of work to get it apart. Some of the pieces inside got misplaced while opening it, so we couldn't tell exactly how it works, but it is some sort of system of pulleys and wires that move the pointer around. The back of the Etch A Sketch says that the powder inside in non toxic, what they don't tell you is what a terrible mess the stuff makes if you let it out.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Harold spent some time with me in the workshop this past weekend. We built a little sailboat and sailed it in the lagoon behind our house.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Playing in the Sand

Harold and I spent some time playing in the sand on the beach today.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Faster, Faster!

Our friend Chris took this picture this summer. I love how it turned out. It captures how much Harold loves his little bike that dad built and how he has mastered riding it. He continues to use it regularly in Brevig. Now he goes even faster and down bigger hills.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Patching the Roof

Harold helped me spread some tar on the roof of my workshop today.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stunt Man

So the thing is, we encouraged him to perfect this move.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Young Adult Choir

My friend Darla (sitting to the right of me) and I are starting a young adult choir for church. We are meeting at our house every Tuesday evening. So far we've had a great turn out, about 15 - 20 people each time. Let me tell you, our tiny house is crowded with that many people all at once.

I'm playing the music and leading the singing. Darla is helping choose songs, bake goodies and teach us some choruses translated into Inupiaq. It's been a lot of fun and a blessing to have young people singing with us at our home.


Monday, October 5, 2009


This afternoon Harold and I stopped out at the airport to see what was happening. Arctic Transportation Services was there with a CASA C-212.

This is the largest plane that we normally see in Brevig. It is a twin engine turbo prop that can carry 5500 lbs of freight. ATS flies this plane into Brevig three times a week. They normally just have freight for the store, mail for the post office, or boxes that have been shipped UPS.

Today they were hauling metal posts for the guard rail that is being installed on one of the new roads in town. As they were unloading the posts out of the back of the plane, we noticed that they had a flat tire. The pilots ended up spending the rest of the day waiting for someone to fly a spare tire out for them.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sunrise, Sunset

While Mollie was visiting us, she took some pretty amazing photos with her fancy camera. I stole them from her so I could share some fall scenes with you all. Here's some of the sunsets and sunrises we had during Mollie's stay.

--AnnMarie (photos by Mollie)

Thanks to Mary

It all happened at once. We had to move to a different house, C.O. got hired to do construction work around Brevig and I was starting back to work. We had to move into a house about a third of the size of our previous one and it's a "fixer upper". Therefore, C.O. had to do quite a bit of house maintenance, the construction job had him working ten hour days seven days a week and the first few weeks of school are crazy busy for me. All this, not to mention we have a child to care for. What's a person to do? Hire live-in help, that's what.

We called up C.O.'s mom, Mary, on Sunday to see if she was willing to come live with us for a few weeks to help with everything. She agreed, left home on Tuesday and arrived in Brevig on Wednesday. It was the best decision we could have made.

Mary took care of Harold, washed our dishes, cleaned house, shopped for us, got our mail, helped pack boxes and clean the new house. We were busy, we felt overwhelmed but without Mary's help we would have been seriously stressed out. We can't thank her enough for all she did. It's also pretty great that Harold got to spend so much quality time with his grandma. Since we live so far away, any time Harold gets with grandparents is pretty precious.

I wish we would have done a bit more fun activities with Mary but we did get out a couple times to show her around. The last time Mary and Mac visited it was February and a horrible blizzard hit that lasted for most of a week. Brevig is just a bit nicer in the fall. =)

The three weeks Mary was here, sped by and before we knew it, it was time for Mary to go.

Thanks again, Mary. We couldn't have gotten through gracefully without you.