Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Return to the Seward Peninsula

This is our friend James, the guy standing on the right there.

James Adcox is our very talented artist friend. In fact, he painted those scenes you see behind him. Let's just take a moment to say "wow" shall we?


O.K. now we can move on.

We first met James years ago when he was painting murals for the newly remodeled Brevig Mission School. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

James was one of the artists chosen to do an art piece for the newly built hospital in Nome. James formerly of Nome now live near us in Soldotna. The pieces were painted here on the Kenai then shipped north and installed at the Nome Regional Hospital. James so kindly asked C.O. to be one of his crew members for the installation.

It sounded like a great experience, so of course C.O. agreed. C.O. now gets to add "Professional Art Installer Guy" to his resume.

This lovely set of paintings captures the process of a whale hunt in three scenes. Knowledgeable art folks would call it a triptych. I wish you all could see them in person. If you're ever in Nome, stop by the hospital and admire them for a while. You can also read more about the paintings from their infancy over on the Adcox's Blog. I also found this blog post that has many beautiful pictures of the new facility in Nome.

This is James's wife Amy, she's also our friend. I'd just like to point out that she threw a lovely art viewing at their home before "Spring Whale Harvest" went to its forever home in Nome. We sure have cool friends.

Side Note A:
C.O. and James took this little trip in early November and I'm just now getting around to posting about it. Please don't judge.

Side Note B:
C.O. also got to travel to Brevig Mission and Elim to do some wrap up work for Kawarak's Head Start buildings that he has maintained for the past few years. He was able to see many of our friends in Brevig during his few days there (I was terribly jealous).  He also got to stay with my brother John for a couple days in Elim.

Side Note C:
My mom came up to stay with me and help take care of the kids while C.O. was gone. Thanks Mom, I couldn't have done it with out you.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Over the Holidays We . . .

We kicked off the holiday season with some Christmas Tree hunting. Our friends the Millers have property in Nikiski a few miles north of Soldotna. They were kind enough to invite us to come with them to find The Rudstrom Family Christmas Tree (I just can't help but think of the Griswolds right about now). Kids, dogs, fluffy snowfall finished off with some chili and beer bread made for a perfect day.

That same weekend, our church hosted the dinner theater production, "A Night at Bethlehem Inn". The audience members were dinner guests at the inn as they watched the drama take place around them.

I played the part of the Senator's Wife. The Senator was the guest of honor and a representative of Caesar Augustus as he collected taxes from the guests. 

Harold performed as part of the children's choir that was to entertain the Senator.


We spent Christmas Eve with our friend Andy and crew but Christmas Day was just the four Rudstroms and Aussie dog. It felt good to stay in our pajamas and eat pizza for dinner. It was restful and relaxing like holidays ought to be.

I managed to get nice Christmas photos of the kids. It seems impossible for the four of us to take a decent photo these days so we have to be happy with a couple family members at a time.

It was New Year's Eve that our social calendar really filled up. My childhood friend, Wynnie, has lived in Palmer for many years now. She drove down on New Year's Eve to spend the night with us. It wasn't long after she arrived that we all piled in the car and began the two and a half hour drive down to Seward to meet up with some teacher friends from Brevig Mission.

I taught with John and Misty Moore last year in Brevig. When they invited us to meet them in Seward at the Sea Life Center, we were sure to take advantage of the chance to see them and their sweet girls. Harold talks about the Moore girls often and misses having them nearby.

Only a few hours after Wynnie left, my brother John flew into town. The kids loved playing with Uncle John. He brought them some pretty awesome Christmas gifts too. Tizita got the Princess Tiana doll with a matching dress.


While Harold got his first working train set. They played with it for hours and hours. 

We drove John to Anchorage where he would see friends and continue his journey North to Elim. While we were in Anchorage we stayed with my cousin Jenny and her family, played games and let the kids stay up way too late. 

The next day we saw our friend Kenny at the hospital, unfortunately. He had been in a bad snow machine accident and was flown to Anchorage to have surgery to stop the bleeding in his brain. This guy has more lives than a cat, let me tell you. It is no small miracle that he survived. Kenny looked pretty rough so we used this opportunity to reinforce the importance of wearing a helmet with Harold. Kenny is a good friend of C.O.'s from Brevig Mission, we hope next time we will meet under less traumatic circumstances.

We continued our Anchorage tour with another hospital visit. This time to see our friend Angie, also a resident of Brevig Mission, and her newly adopted son Levi. Levi was born 3 months premature so they have been spending a lot of time at the hospital until Levi is ready to go home.  I don't have pictures of this handsome little guy but you can read about their journey starting here, then continue on here.

How wonderful it was to keep up with friendships we made in Brevig Mission.

Phew! That was a lot of goings on but we enjoyed every minute.

Happy New Year everyone!