Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Next Step


Well, the only logical thing to get after cross country skis are water skis. These were the last pair Harold's size at L&M the other day. We can't wait to get him behind the boat but for now the lakes in Minnesota are still pretty cold.

Side Note: We will be leaving for Guatemala on Saturday and will be returning in three weeks. We plan to leave our computers in Minnesota and will not be blogging or in contact via e-mail or facebook. We’ll post a bit about our trip when we get back. Adios mis amigos!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One Big Small Town -- Love is All Around

There’s about 600,000 people in Alaska and over the past nine years, we have gotten to know quite a few of these people. No matter where we go throughout the state and beyond, we run into people we know making Alaska feel like one (big) small town. 

We left Brevig on Saturday night in pursuit of summer vacation and once again drove our 4-wheeler the 80 miles into Nome. There we met my brother John and good friend and college roommate Mollie for dinner at Airport Pizza.

The restaurant in Nome and the flight to Anchorage was filled with friends and acquaintances. During the flight, Harold drew a picture and delivered it to his Uncle John. Our friends a few rows back let Harold play games on their iPad. From Anchorage to Seattle we sat across from the kindergarten teacher in Teller. From Seattle to Minneapolis we sat in front of Dana, my roommate my first year in Brevig. These stories are not uncommon as we travel within and out of Alaska.

All that just to say, we live in a unique place, have come to know and love the people around us. We have even convinced some loved ones from our past life to join us on this crazy adventure. I just realized Harold is growing up thinking that knowing half the people in the restaurant and on the airplane is normal, but it’s just not for most people. But in our small (big) town love is all around.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Harold's Preschool Graduation


Tonight we celebrated Harold's graduation from the Head Start program in Brevig Mission. Harold has learned so much at school this year: academically, behaviorally and socially. We are very thankful for his teachers and all the hard work they put into his class throughout this school year.

Harold is technically not old enough to enter kindergarten next year but since he has passed all of the academic standards associated with preschool and has done quite well on his state tests, he has been exited from the program. One of two things will happen next school year, he will either enter kindergarten early (with his mom as his teacher) or he'll begin his first year of mechanic's apprenticeship schooling at Rudstrom Repair (his dad being the instructor). The paperwork for early entrance into kindergarten hasn't been officially approved and won't be looked at until Fall. He's definitely ready so we're hoping that everything will work out in that respect.

I shot a little footage as the graduates were taking the stage. Harold's the sixth one in line, acting shy as he buries his chin into his chest.

Head Start Graduation 2011 from AnnMarie Rudstrom on Vimeo.

Cute, cute, cuteness.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Blinked and Nine Years Went By


My very first group of students graduated from high school this evening. I had them as fourth grade students in 2002 as a first year teacher back when I didn't really know what I was doing. Those were tough days of immense growing pains. But it turns out, they survived, thrived and made it through . . . and so did I.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Many Thanks

The principal at Brevig Mission School, Robin Gray, has been with us for six years now. Next fall she will be moving on to her next job in education working as a director of special education in another part of the state.


Because of her years of service and the positive impact she has had on the school and students, we wanted to say, "thanks" with a surprise party.


For the past month or so, the ladies on staff have been working together to make a t-shirt quilt for Robin using various Brevig Mission School t-shirts. 


We think it will be a wonderful way for her to remember her time here in Brevig Mission.


She was also given some beaded earrings, a sweatshirt picturing dry fish and an angel wall hanging made of seal skin. All ring with the culture and talent of Brevig Mission.

We all wish you the best in the future Robin!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Graduation! (aka Mother's Day)

Harold woke up this morning and yelled, "Happy Graduation Mom!!!!!!"  He has his special occasions a little mixed up but he sure is exuberant about the whole thing. 


He also informed me that he loves me thiiiiiiis much.
So I say, Happy Graduation to all you mother's out there.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ptarmigan Hunting

Harold and I decided to go ptarmigan hunting.  But first we needed to put a new chain and sprocket on his snowmobile.  Here he is tightening the bolts on the exhaust.

When we finished working on the machine we went out cruising on the tundra and shot one bird.