Sunday, December 9, 2012

Turkey, birthdays, accidents, and daylight or lack there of

To celebrate Thanksgiving I decided that our school should create a thankful turkey.  I got the idea to do a school wide art project while at an art workshop in Unalakleet.  Each student in the school was given a feather on which to write what they were most thankful for.  We then collected the feathers and made a gianormous (I love the movie Elf) turkey.  Here is the Brevig Mission Thankful Turkey.  Stay tuned for our next school project.

On November 28, Cate turned 6.  The day before her birthday she got a pair of shoes in the mail from her Nanna that were a little too big.  She said, "Tomorrow when I wake up they will fit becasue I will be 6 and my feet will be bigger."  I love that!! 

One morning on the way to school I tripped over Mocha's dog lead and fell six steps to the icy ground.  My right leg took the majority of the impact.  My leg and foot swelled and turned blue.  After being in pain for several days John finally made me fly to Nome to have a doctor look at it.  It was just a bad sprain so they gave me a splint and sent me home on a plane the same day.

The days are getting shorter here in Alasaka.  I have been taking pictures from my classroom to show everyone.  When we go to school in the morning it is dark.   The sun starts to come up at 11am.  The sun stays on the horizon for most of the day and starts to set around 4.  We haven't made it to the solsitce yet so I will update the daylight in a couple of weeks. 
4pm As I am leaving school.
11 am 

What do you do when it is negative temperatures and dark?  Go to a friends house and have a henna party.  My friend Liz was sweet enough to invite me and the girls over and share her henna paint.  She did all of our hands.  Isn't she talented!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Voting and Romance in Bush Alaska

Last Tuesday we had the privilege of voting for the first time as residents of Alaska.  We voted for the president at the Bingo Hall.  It was very official and yet old fashioned.  First, the ladies working knew who we were, but they had to check our I.D. anyway as is required by law.  We voted on paper ballots behind an old fashioned curtain that reminded me of going to vote with my dad in the early 80s.  When we were done we got "I voted" stickers written in Inupiaq.  By the time we got home and turned on the T.V.  the election was pretty much declared. We felt a little sad that our votes were not even counted yet.
Last Wednesday, November 7th, John brought me coffee during my morning reading group.  I was so impressed that he brought me coffee that I didn't notice the huge bouquet of flowers behind his back.  My students asked me if it was our anniversary to which I replied, "No."  John promptly said it is an anniversary for something read your card.  I opened a card that read thank you for saying yes 17 years ago.  I almost started to cry.  It was the anniversary of the day John proposed to me.    My students started chanting, "John loves Misty, John loves Misty."

Now remember we live in bush Alaska, which means the flowers came from Nome on a plane.  I don't even want to know how much that cost.  I do know that I married a sweet, sweet man and I am thankful he asked me to be his wife.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

October Fun!

A Wedding in Nome

One of the best things about teaching in Brevig is meeting Jennifer Diana.  She is a wonderful English teacher from Washington.  When we first met I knew instantly that we would become kindred spirits.  She helped our family get through many lonely, cold days last school year.  She became a permanent part of our family dinners, game nights and occasional trips to Nome.

This summer, Jennifer, called with some exciting news.  She had reconnected with a friend from middle school and was sure that he was her one true love.  We were very happy for her.  Wayne came to live with Jennifer in Brevig this fall and on October 18 we had the pleasure of witnessing their wedding.  It was an intimate ceremony which included the bride and groom, his mom, me and John served as the wedding officiate.  In Alaska, everyone can marry one couple as long as you have official papers by the courts declaring you a marriage commissioner.  The marriage ceremony took place on Middle Beach in Nome.    And that is how Jennifer Diana became Jennifer Miranda!  Here are some pictures of the happy couple:)


Halloween in Brevig can be pretty scary.  Kids love to dress scary, I mean really scary!  This year our school hosted a haunted house ran by the teachers.  Claire and Cate were all ready to go until the lights went off and the music came on.  Needless to say, daddy had to take them home.  I stayed and helped, and had a blast scaring people.  Below are some pictures of Claire and Cate from the Halloween parade, and a photo of my sweet, but scary kindergarteners.

 Isn't she a precious little angel!
Claire as bloody Mary Poppins!

Signs of Winter

On November 4th we walked to the beach to see how icy the water is now.  Here is a picture of chunks of ice in the water.  It will soon be frozen solid enough to drive across to Teller.

 This time of year is Native Alaskans hunt seal.  Here is one we saw on the beach this morning.  Soon it will be skinned and butchered.  Almost every part of the animal is used.  The fur makes very warm hats and gloves while the meat is pretty yummy.
Another one for Team Jesus!!!

This month during a family devotion, Cate asked us to pray with her as she asked Jesus into her heart.  We were so proud of our little five year old.  The next day at school I took our class to the library to pick out their weekly book.  Cate picked a pop up book about Jesus.  The next day I looked up from my desk to see her sharing the book with some classmates and telling them about Jesus.  I pray that this love for God continues to grow and mature in her little heart.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Preparing for the Winter

We live in a village of 400 people with one tiny store.  Our store is a great place to get last minute items, but it not the place to get a weeks worth of groceries.   Plus the prices are sometimes insanely high compared to the lower 48.  So how do we get our groceries you might ask.  We order in bulk mostly from SPAN Alaska, which is a mail order grocery store for people living in remote areas of Alaska.  We also get things through Amazon and Walmart because they both now have free shipping.   If we are really in a pinch for something we email a grocery store in Nome and if the weather is good they will send it on a plane that day.  We also get a weekly box of fresh organic fruits and vegetable from Full Circle Farms in Washington.  They have been a life saver in our endeavors to keep our children on a healthy diet.

Brevig in the fall

We have been super busy with the start of school so forgive me for not updating the blog.  We are excited for Cate to start her first year of big school.  I hear her teacher is really nice too;)  It's me!  Cate has decided to go by Ella at school since it is her first name.  This has been hard for me to get used to.  Claire is now a third grader and is lucky to have Miss Amy as her teacher again this year.

The weather here has been pretty dreary.  We have had lots of rain and in late September we had our first snow.  We knew an early snow was coming because the mountains have had snow on them for a couple of weeks.  So the Moore family will be snuggling a little more this winter.

Here are some new pictures taken this fall.
Nothing says scary like a mutilated doll head at an abandoned fish camp. 

We found this bone on the beach.  We think it is from a moose.
When nature calls you will go any where;)
John's parents boating up river.
Mocha got a new rain coat!  Look at her smile!
Full moon over Brevig mountains. 
Sunset from our front stoop.  You can see Claire running int he distance.
   Another great thing about fall in Alaska is berry picking.  Wild blue, black, salmon, and cranberries grow on the tundra.  Our friends Darla and Nun took John and I berry picking one Saturday.  We picked a gallon of salmon berries while they picked three gallons.  Can you tell who the amateurs are?  Darla makes great eskimo ice cream which is made of berries, reindeer fat, and seal oil.  It is really good!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Summer Fun!

We spent the summer in South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, New York, Alabama, Georgia, and Washington.  We had a whirlwind three months, but we enjoyed spending time with our family and friends.  Here are some highlight pictures from this summer.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

16 Years

16th Anniversary
OK this is not about Alaska, so forgive me if you are wanting to read about our new great state.  John and I will be celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary on Friday, June, 15.  John is super excited about this anniversary because the number 16 is a perfect square, nerd.  I did not have any idea what to get him for putting up with me for 16 years, so after listening to one of our favorite singers, Ben Folds, I got an idea!  I decided to make this slide show of our life over the last 16 years.  Cheesy, I know, but well...I am pretty cheesy.  If you decide to watch the video, I hope that it inspires you to appreciate the love in your life, or perhaps inspire you to make a meaningful relationship with someone.  I also want to say that if you fall in love with someone, why wait, get married and build a life together.  John was 22 when we married and I was 19.  We were young and stupid, but we were sure that our love was real.  The last 16 years have not been perfect and as a couple we have faced many hardships, but our love has been perfect and our faith in God strong!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kevin's Big Adventure

A few days before we left for the summer we got a great idea!  We decided to invite one of John's students to come spend a week and a half with us.   We were really excited that we get to share some of the south with Kevin Tocktoo.  Our trip from Brevig Mission to Atlanta, GA took about 21 hours.  Once in the South, Kevin got to visit three states:  Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.  He got to go to the Braves game and Carrowinds amusement park.  We also shared some of our favorite redneck pastimes such as shooting off fireworks and going to Bass Pro Shop.

My mom really loved Kevin and was impressed by how sweet and polite he was.  He ate her southern cooking and even tried squash and fried okra.  We took him to one of our favorite greasy spots, Krispy Kreme.  He loved the hot glazed donuts, but, then again, who would not?
 Cate, Kevin and Claire in Greenville, SC
 Kevin has one foot in North Carolina and one foot in South Carolina.
 Carolina Cobra, the forward, then backwards, roller coaster.  I promise, Kevin and John are on it.

 Drop Zone. Takes you up 320 feet and drops you.
 Kevin left today to head back to Alaska.  I have to say he is a pretty brave kid to fly 5000 miles by himself with 4 layovers.  I don't think I could have done that at 16.

End of the School Year

The last few months of the school year have been super busy.  We completed standardized testing (yuck), took students up river, celebrated Claire's birthday, prom and graduation.  Needless to say we were exhausted when May 18 finally hit.  Lucky, for us we have a fabulous principal who surprised us with root beer floats on the last day of school.

This was the first Easter where we didn't have a sunny, warm day to hunt eggs.  The  Easter Bunny found us still in Alaska and we celebrated the resurrection of Christ with our new family in Alaska.  The morning of Easter we awoke to a blizzard which caused us to have an indoor egg hunt.  We ended the day, however, with calm winds so our family decided to borrow the schools sleds and go sliding.  It was a fun day.  Below you will see a picture of the ham we ate.  I bet no one in the lower 48 paid that much for their Easter ham:)

Solar Flare
As the days became longer we began to experience some problems with our Internet, satellite, and cell phone connections.  I really don't understand all the science behind it, but I know this is the brightest I have ever seen the sun.  The picture below explains why wearing polarized sunglasses this time of year is a necessity.

Claire turns 8
May 4th was Claire's birthday.  We still can't believe that our oldest is 8.  Time truly flies.  John and I waited 8 years before starting our family.  We often say that we cannot remember life without children. I mean this in a positive way.  John once told me ,when he was 22, that all he ever wanted was a wife and children.  Claire was an answer to prayer and she was brought sunshine to our lives for 8 wonderful years.  Below are some pictures of her celebration with friends.  Her one request for the day was to have Subway, so we called Subway in Nome and had it flown out to the village.  (You don't want to know how much that cost:)

Since our school is so small, prom is open to everyone.  The evening starts with the elementary kids who stay for a couple of hours and then leave so the older kids can enjoy the night without pesky little kids getting in the way.  John was in charge of the music, but luckily he had Helen Bruns and Angela Olanna there to help him, otherwise the kids would have had to endure Def Leppard and Bon Jovi.

 They both have moves like Jagger.
 John and Claire square dancing.
John and Claire doing the Cha Cha slide.
I love these ladies!  Amy in the middle and Ann Marie on the right.

This years high school graduating class consisted of six students.  Since our school is small each graduating senior gives a speech.  One of the elders, Rita, gave the graduates some words of wisdom. A PowerPoint of graduates' baby pictures was shown followed by cake served to the whole community.  It was neat that the whole community attends graduation.  

Another group of students also graduated this year.  The Brevig Mission 4 year old preschoolers graduated from Head Start. Among the graduates was our very own Ella "Cate" Moore.  The guest speaker and presenter of diplomas was none other than John Moore.  

 She was so excited!
 John's speech was short, but sweet.  

Cate with her teachers Liz, Darla, and Hannah.  Oh, and Cate's best buddy Carol.

Saying Goodbye to Friends
On the Thursday before school ended, the Brevig Mission staff put together a dinner to say farewell to two of our teachers who will not be returning in the fall.  Karen and Ann Marie have both decided to take positions on the Kenai.  I will greatly miss them both!