Friday, December 16, 2011

Holidays and a Birthday!

This year was one  of the first Thanksgivings in a while that we did not spend in Virgina with my sister and parents.  We only had two days off for the holiday as opposed to a whole week in Georgia.  All of the teachers spent Thanksgiving at Ginger Crockett's, the junior high teacher's home.  She lives above the Lutheran Church, her husband is the minister, and has an awesome view of the ocean.  Each teacher made yummy dishes and brought them to share.  John cooked the turkey and surprisingly he did a great job. Our friend AnnMarie made some kick butt eggnog!! John was in heaven ( In case you didn't know he is a connoisseur of  eggnog.)  We ended the night playing games, while our kids played with their friends.  It was overall a relaxing holiday.

  I called my sister and asked how dinner went for them, she said, "We missed not having you here to sleep to 11am and then get up to make silly hats for everyone to wear."   When you have great cooks like my mom and sister, I have to do something to show off my talents, which is bringing the festiveness. I missed having dressing, giblet gravy, and squash casserole, but mama said she would make it for Christmas:)

Our friend, AnnMarie, made kuspuks for me and the girls!  We wore them on Thanksgiving.
Here is a picture of my class as Pilgrims.

After Thanksgiving, our next big event was Cate's 5th birthday.  I made the cake this year, which is a big deal for me.  We had a low key birthday party with homemade pizzas, made with the help of my super neighbor and friend, Jennifer, and a few friends.  She had a great time even though we had homemade cake and decorations.  I realized this year that the parties I have thrown in the past for our children were really too extravagant, expensive, and stressful.  They really are just happy being with their friends.
Snow! Snow! Snow! Snow! Snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have now been through a couple of blizzards.  We have a snowdrift in front of our house that is about five feet high.  The girls and their friends spent a whole evening digging tunnels into the snowdrift only to have it covered the next day by another blizzard.  The pictures below were taken at 4pm.  As you can see the sun is setting.

 Cate and her BFF Carol -- or Carold, as Cate calls her.

Sunrise! It was taken about 11:45am.

Mocha, Mocha, Mocha!!  Look how sweet she looks.  Don't let that smile fool you because apparently she is a very popular lady and has had many gentleman callers.  We have not yet gotten her fixed since there is no vet in Brevig.  We were hoping she would not blossom until after we were able to get her to either a vet in Nome or one down south this summer.  Her time came this week, however, and I was shocked to come home the other afternoon, open the door to the qanitchaq (porch) and find Mocha entertaining a friendly male husky.  She was not too happy when I shooed away her friend.  Will we have puppies?  That is a story that will have to be continued later...

Christmas is almost here!  We had a great last week in my classroom.  We read the Polar Express, made homemade ornaments, a vase for parents, and sang Justin Bieber's Santa Claus is Coming to Town for the Christmas program.  A couple of my students looked at me the other day and said, "Teacher you are coming back after Christmas?"  This just broke my heart!  I said, "Of course!"  Teaching in the bush of Alaska is hard, and teachers sometimes do leave at Christmas and never come back. 

Going home has been tough!  As I type, I am sitting at the Aurora Inn in Nome.  We are here spending the night before our flights to Anchorage, Seattle, Houston and then finally Atlanta.  How we got to Nome this evening is pretty interesting.  We were scheduled to leave Brevig at 10 am this morning, however, because of bad weather our flight was cancelled and we were bumped to the afternoon flight.  When that flight started to look like it too was going to be cancelled, we decided to go to the neighboring village, Teller, to catch a flight to Nome.  Teller is only seven miles away, but the visibility there was better.  To get to Teller we had to snow machine across the frozen sea.  We were nervous about this prospect, but our friend CO, a mechanical engineer, assured us that a bulldozer could cross safely at this time of year.  Our custodians, Norman and Robin, hooked the school sled to a fellow teacher and Georgian, Amy's, snow machine.  We then piled onto the sled with our luggage.  Two other teachers, Jennifer and Greg, went with us, but rode on the snow machine.  Once we got to Teller we crashed at the school (thanks Teller staff!!) until our plane arrived.  Their wonderful custodian, Jonathan, drove us to meet the plane.  And here we are sleeping in a nice hotel room waiting for the next leg of our trip home.  The rest of this story is to be continued...


  1. It so good to see what you guys are up to! I am so happy that you will get to be home and with family for Christmas, hope you have a wonderful holiday!! It's great to see all of the adventures you are having, via the blog. We miss you guys!!!

  2. You will be the stars of any conversation this Christmas. Your stories will be almost too much to believe I think. Turns out truth is stranger than fiction, especially when you live somewhere like Brevig Mission.

  3. awww Misty!! What a wild adventure compared to boring life here in Georgia! hahaha I'm so happy that you guys have been given this opportunity. I think of you all and pray for you often. Thank you for sharing all your stories with us! I wait in anticipation for every new one!
    God Bless you all and Merry Christmas!!