Thursday, May 30, 2013

Clam Digging: A Real Alaskan Field Trip

Harold's kindergarten class took part in a unique field trip this spring. His very brave teacher took the kids to a nearby beach to dig for clams. Wow, were they into it! And why wouldn't they be? "O.K. kids, here's some shovels, go dig in the mud and look for buried treasure." What kid wouldn't be excited? C.O. was one of the parent volunteers for this class trip and had the chance to learn a little more about this local past time.

So what's involved in clamming? 

First find a muddy beach, grab a shovel and start walking.

When you see a small dimple in the mud start shoveling. That's your clue as to where a clam dug himself a hole.

Then reach down in that hole, don't be shy now, and pull yourself out a clam.


The kids went home with a couple clams each. I don't know what the other families did with their's but this mama wasn't quite prepared to make clams for dinner. So ours eventually made their way into the trash can. Harold really wanted one for a pet but we finally convinced him they wouldn't make the best companions.

Oh and there was a little tag-along on this adventure. 

At the end of the day, the entire crew warmed up with a fire and marshmallows on the beach.

Mrs. Vasilie's 2013 kindergarten class.
(Harold is hiding in the middle of the three kids standing in the back.)

We were shopping the other day and Harold saw a clam gun for sale. He walked up to it excitedly and asked if we could buy one. Then earlier this week as we drove along the Homer spit Harold noticed the tide was out leaving the mud flats exposed. Harold wistfully said it looked like a great place to find clams. I think he's caught the bug. With every new experience we have in this great state, Harold proves that he is an Alaskan boy through and through.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Shifting Gears

This story begins in September of 1985. This was the year that would set the stage for the rest of my life (Dramatic hey?), it was the year I started kindergarten.  Since that fall, I have spent most of my days involved in education in one way or another. My experience morphed from elementary school to high school to college with an opportunity to studying abroad to a teaching practicum and finally into being a teacher myself. School has been my life for as long as I can remember.

Despite the fact that I enjoy my job, it has been a difficult year for me as a working mom. I feel like nearly all of my creative energy goes into my students and very little is left for my children. I miss out on spending week days with Tizita, volunteering in Harold's class or doing all those fun projects I see on Pinterest. ;) When it was just Harold at home, I felt like I could manage everything and feel good about my life as a working mom. Having a second child has changed that. Now I mostly just feel exhausted. I know that stay at home moms are tired as well but holding down a full time job compounds the struggle of being a parent.

C.O. has done a fantastic job the past few years of managing our household, being the primary caregiver, running his own business and working various jobs on the side.  Meanwhile, my job has provided a steady income with health insurance, a retirement plan and all that good stuff but best of all it allowed us to have summer vacation. Every year we've had two and a half months off together as a family. How many families can say that? I will forever be thankful for those summers at the cabin, traveling and spending time with our friends and family in Minnesota. But our plans and lifestyle are always evolving. This winter, C.O. and I decided it was time to switch rolls. I will temporarily be putting my career on hold and C.O. is looking for full time employment, ideally in the field of engineering.

C.O. is actively searching for a job and I am just two weeks away from living the new dream. I still have professional goals I'd like to pursue in education and I plan to go back into teaching sometime in the not too distant future. In the meantime, I will continue on with this story of being active in the school setting but this time as a "parent volunteer".

I think I will miss teaching but then I take a look at these two . . .

and I know we are making the right decision.