Tuesday, December 30, 2008

30 Dec 2008

Well, another year has come and gone ... kids grew taller, a little more wiser, and me--another year older. In our little corner of the world, 2008 brought us:
  • a drivers license for Kayla and her 2005 Ford Taurus (that smells of nasturtiums, even with dousings of Febreeze)
  • back surgery for the dog, who without it would have been paralyzed from the backlegs and probably would have had to be put down (he's his old self now, his back legs can't keep up with him though)
  • an 86 pound halibut for Stevo! in beautiful Homer Alaska. It probably weighed more, it bled out a lot before we got it weighed. Big fishy!
  • Jeffrey started Kindergarten at North Pole Elementary and he loves it
  • Nagyuk D grew leaps and bounds and is in the 3rd grade and did so good in soccer
  • I went and worked for our Wing Commander for half a year (tomorrows my last day :( ...)
  • Our whole family spent a lot of time on our boat (and on the road) traveling to where we could take it out. Spent a few weekends in Viva Valdez and Memorial weekend in Ho ho ho Homer.
  • Jeffrey tried his hand at shaving and cut up his upper lip with Stephen's razor
  • Raven gave herself a little hair cut, it wasnt bad at all, maybe about 20 strands of her bangs - which is much better than her first attempt at 2 when she cut to the scalp on hairs on top of her head (more than a handful and very noticeable)
  • Sarah Palin ran for vice presidency and lost out
  • My truck's fuel pump gave out
  • Stephen got (shhhh, dont tell anybody, BIFOCALS)
  • Gas was at its highest at almost $5 in Fairbanks
  • Our dividends included an extra $1200 (exact amount $3269.00)
  • Christina graduated from highschool
  • Reached -40 on Dec 29 in North Pole and will stay cold and temps go even lower this week
  • Donna moved out of mom's and into her new place
  • Lenna had her beautiful baby girl Robin Leena
  • Jeffrey and I spent at week in Kipnuk and went clamming in the Bering Sea and berry picking in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta

So many good memories to cherish -- another year for more memories ... Have the best one!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas in Kipnuk

In my home village, for as long as I can remember, the Moravian Church has held a community wide gift exchange. Those who want to participate, write down their name and clothing sizes and turn it into a proffer for the church, who compiles that list and then goes around to each residence participating to have individuals pick a name to gift that Christmas. The little strips of paper would be separated into two separate coffee cans. One containing male names and the other female - females would pick from the male can and the males from the female can. It was an exciting time when these people came around - it was exciting just to see whose name you picked. The proffers kept track of which name which person picked, because with a village of almost 500 people, there were times when a participating individual didn't get gifted for whatever reason. Money for gift buying would run out or spent elsewhere.
All these gifts were brought out to the Sunday School house or the Mission house, both buildings housed next to the church. There they are grouped by families, and alphabetically. After what seemed the longest Christmas Eve program, the gifts would be ready for pick up. Kids fidgeting and growing impatient minute by minute anticipating the service leaders request for a final song or the benediction of the service. I wonder if some leaders purposely prolonged the service just for that reason.
Families attended church dragging wooden sleds to haul wrapped boxes of all different sizes. Back then, when most people in the community just had CB radios to communicate with, about 10-15 minutes after the service was over, the radio would come to life with chatter thanking their gifters and wishing everybody a Merry Christmas. Most of the usual gifts received would be clothing and useful items like a bath towels, etc.
That same night after the gift exchange is community wide caroling. Those 12 years old and older participate. Individuals meet at the church and are grouped by which section of the village they will be spreading Christmas cheer. At the houses, the whole group enters, sing a Christmas song, and the hosts would have candy to pass out to the singing group. In the houses, stockings would be hung up with care and the carolers, fill up the stockings with goodies they've been given out from house to house.
On Christmas Day, kids go on stage at church and recite individual verse readings dressed in their finest. There's also the candle light service after the readings. Its beautiful singing "Morning Star" in candle light (I don't know if the song's title is Morning Star, taking a guess on it) After the service, the church hands out candy bags to all those that have attended and gives out extra bags to other family members that weren't able to attend.
I miss Christmas in Kipnuk, I hope we'll be able to spend it out there next year.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dec 6

Yay! Happy Birthday to me today

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

The past 13 days, I have:
1. Got the kids much needed haircuts and the hairstylist did a wonderful job on both, (clap clap clap) and worth the $37.00 for the two haircuts. We're definitely going back next month to the same place for cuts again.
2. Had my truck repaired by my private car mechanic (Stevo), thank you thank you! Truck starts up like a champ!
3. Read two books, "Plain Truth" by Jodi Picoult (very good storyteller) and "Salem Falls", by the same author - I'm reading up all the books she has out
4. Watched Fred Claus, twice with my kids ... its an okay movie .... it came out on DVD last Tuesday
5. Got a silver star in two levels of Legend of Zelda shooting practice game on the Wii
6. Crocheted a scarf and then unraveled it more than half way through because I didn't like the way it was turning out and restarted and finished it, now crocheting a matching hat
7. Wrapped three Christmas presents for my kids the day after Thanksgiving dinner and they can't wait to open them up
8. Sorted through my kids dressers/closets for clothes that they've grown out of - and bought underwear and socks for them after seeing whats in stock now
9. Decorated a gingerbread man project thing with Jeffrey for school with buttons, gumballs, a swatch of his old jeans and a patch to go with it
10. Updated antivirus definitions files for the two computers in the house
11. Forgot to bring my gym bag 3 times in a row to bring to work with me .. darn!
12. Cooked up chicken and sausage gumbo - yummy! I'll be cooking that up again
13. Bought hot pork rinds, had a weird craving for that time of the month, and now almost a full pack is sitting in the pantry because nobody else likes them