Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Fun

 The past few days have been way too much fun!  The Halloween celebrations began on Friday afternoon at school.  The kindergarten and head start joined together and did a few fun Halloween activities together before the big parade and costume contest.  I even had a costume of my own for the first time in, oh, 12 years or so.  

Anyone recognize this character?

Harold the ferocious lion.
Turns out, adults don't want to be left out of all the Haloween fun.  The bingo hall hosted its annual costume contest for those 18 and older.   What a goofy fun lovin' crew of monsters, zombies and kooks.  

It was fun trying to figure out who was who under all the disguises.

Then time for a little bingo with the added bonus of a pile of candy to carry through all the daubing (is that a real verb, daubing?). 

Then the moment Harold had been waiting for . . . trick or treating (a.k.a. the great candy exchange).  It was a blast to be with him on his first ever trick or treating experience.  I don't think he quite understood the magnitude of what was about to happen.   He was ready to go home and eat his candy after the first couple houses.  I had to convince him to continue on and explained that the bounty would be so much greater if we kept on going.  He did catch on soon enough but we pretty exhausted by the end of the night.

Happy Halloween:
hope it was your best one yet.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TOMS on the Tundra

My coworker friend, Barnabas, introduced me to TOMS shoes this fall.  I had never heard of TOMS until I noticed Barnabas wearing them at work.  (My life is a bit sheltered from main stream culture these days.)

I was attracted to these simple little shoes right away AND I later found out they're working for a good cause.  "One for One" is their motto, for every pair of shoes sold, a pair is given to a child in need.  Over a million shoes have been donated since the start of the company in 2006.  Awesome!

I jumped right on ordering a pair for myself.   I was  tempted to buy Harold a pair of Tiny TOMS (the name is too adorable) but resisted the temptation.  Now, if you should happen to visit the Brevig Mission School, you just might find a pair or two of TOMS proudly roaming our halls.  The first ones this far north?  They just might be.

Folks post photos on the TOMS website of the shoes being worn here and there.  We thought the tundra would be a unique place for TOMS to be seen.  So on Saturday, we did an official photo shoot.  Good times but to be honest we did froze our patooties off!  I think the pics turned out pretty neat.

Photos taken by C.O.
Artsy fartsy editing done by Barnabas

On a side note, check out Barn's blog if you get a chance.  Just the title cracks me up, V-Neck in Alaska: Going where no v-neck has gone before.  He's got some great photos if you'd like to see Brevig and the surrounding area from another perspective. 


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Silk Screening

Last weekend I had the opportunity to take a silk screening class at the school.  It was offered through UAF's Northwest Campus and held at Brevig Mission School.   It would have been silly to let this opportunity pass me by.  I mean, a real art class practically at my front door step.  I'm telling you, Brevig is the land of opportunity people.

Our professor/ teacher/ a.k.a. the professional artist was Jody Isaacson, who traveled all the way from New York state to be with us.  She was awesome (!) to say the least and a great lady to have around the school for a while.  Though she did work with the teachers and staff, most of her time was spent teaching high school and middle school students how to create, design and print their own t-shirts.  I was very impressed with how the students' work turned out and they were pretty proud of their creations as well.

After a long week of working with students, Jody's real challenge began . . .  working with the teachers.  ;-)  We spent one evening and the entire weekend learning silk screening basics and creating our own designs.  I decided to get in way over my head and do a rather complicated (well complicated for an amateur) picture on a large piece of fabric.  I intended it to be a table cloth but since that didn't exactly work out, I came up with a back up plan.  Anyway,

the process:

I started with a concept.  This photo, taken in Teller looking toward Brevig, was my inspiration.

I then created stencils for each "layer" of the picture.  One for the sky, one for the water, one for mountains, rocks and lastly grass. 

First I printed the image onto newspaper print to see that it was indeed what I was envisioning.  Then the image was printed on the registration that was used as a guide for placing .  .  . bleh, never mind, it's too hard to explain.  It just went something like this:


My final product:
on paper

 on fabric

So instead of using it as a table cloth, my vision for the fabric images (there are 3 total like the one above) is to have C.O. make me some wooden backs the exact size of the picture and have the fabric wrapped around the wooden boards.  Each picture turned out slightly different so I think the three of them displayed together would look kind of neat.

I'm fairly happy with how it turned out.  I had a lot of frustrations along the way to be honest, but in the end it was worth it.  It worked out as well as it did due to Jody's patience and positive, constructive feedback along the way.  My coworkers were also very kind and lent a hand when they could.  Thanks everyone!


Friday, October 22, 2010

3rd Annual Gotcha Day

Hard to believe that three years ago today our lives changed forever.  This beautiful child was handed over to us to care for and love.  Turns out there's a whole lot of people who love him as well.

Happy Adoption Day Harold, we're so glad we gotcha!

Mom & Dad

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making Friends

We have been active on our blog for about three years now.  RFB has been a nice way to share our day to day lives with our friends and family far away.  An unexpected bonus to blogging has been the opportunity to connect with some folks we might not have otherwise known. 

One of these connections that come to mind is Nancy M. of Southern Blessings.  Nancy is very sweet and has been probably the most consistent commenter here.  I hope that our paths meet someday Miss Nancy M.  =)

More recently we "met" Anita of Living the Alaska Dream.  Anita is originally from Minnesota and is someone I know of but don't know, ya know?  She takes gorgeous photos that do an amazing job of capturing the beauty of central Alaska.  My hope is to someday take pictures that are at least half as lovely as hers.

Then there's the G family.  One of my coworkers, Zach, moved to Brevig last year to teach math.  Around the time Zach got the job, his folks were searching for information about Brevig Mission and happened upon our blog.  Since then, they have been keeping up with our posts.  About a month ago Marla and Bill G were in Brevig to see their son and we were fortunate enough to have them over for a visit.  It was a wonderful opportunity to hear about some of their interesting jobs and adventures.  It made us feel pretty special (maybe even a little famous) that they knew about some of our shenanigans through the blog.

Shortly after meeting the Gs, we received a box in the mail with all kinds of goodies from central Illinois.  It was from Marla and Bill and was filled with fall treasures.  We're enjoying it all very much and are still smiling from the kind words that also came in the box.

So thank you to those of you who follow our blog, to those who comment and let us know your thoughts and to Marla and Bill for your kind words and thoughtfulness.  You have brightened our days and been a true encouragement.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Surprise Visitors

We had a fun surprise this weekend when we received an unexpected call from our friend James.  He said he just happened to be at the Brevig airstrip and was wondering if we'd be up for having some visitors.  Of course! Of course we would!  Harold and I quickly buzzed out on the 4-wheeler and took James, his father and his friend Nate (the pilot for the day) back to the house for a little visit.  

James' parents came from Texas all the way to Nome to spend some time with James, Amy and their two sons.  For a real Alaskan adventure, the guys decided to rent a plane for a few hours and do some sight seeing around the Seward Peninsula.  Since they were in the area, they decided to drop in.  We are sure glad they did and we feel pretty darn special to have guests arrive via private aircraft.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jacking up the House

We needed to jack up our house to fix the foundation and to make room to insulate the floor.   Luckily we have a friend from Nome that is a house mover.  Roger, his son Amos, and Roger's friend Tim drove up to Teller and then took their boat across to Brevig.
The first step to raising the house was to dig holes under the edges so we could get the jacks underneath.
Roger brought his air jacks with for the project.  They are basically heavy duty rubber bladders that you inflate with an air compressor.  We lifted one side of the house at a time, using four of the air jacks.  When we were done with the project the house was almost 2 feet off the ground. 
Here is Roger, eyeing up the house while he adjusts the pressure in the jacks.

Teacher! Teacher!

These two little darlings, who happen to be my students, showed up at my door the other day. They had found rocks more or less shaped like triangles, squares, ovals etc.  They were so excited, they just had to bring them to me right away.   It's times like this that make a teacher's heart happy.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Daniel Lee

We recently welcomed a second little godson into our hearts.  It was an honor to stand up with Kenny and Christine when Daniel was baptized a couple weeks ago.  We celebrated with cake afterward and look forward to watching this little man grow in his knowledge of the Lord.

 Pastor Brian writing down Daniel's baptismal information in the church's big black book.