Sunday, May 30, 2010

Spring time fun!

Yesterday our family was part of the two teams that Coffman Cove put together for the annual Prince of Wales Marathon. We enjoyed the exercise and sunshine even if we weren't the least bit competitive. I never plan on being able to run a marathon, but we definitely plan on participating again next year. I'd kind of like to walk/jog the whole thing. We'll have to see what I think by next spring. Here's a picture of most of the people on our 2 8-person teams.

Geo caching
I know geo caching has been around for a while but I never understood it until a couple weeks ago. I love it. We've only done 4 caches so far, but the kids and I are looking forward to doing more on the island and when we come to Utah this summer. It's a great game to get us all outside doing something and exploring new places. The kids love posing for pictures so here's a couple fun ones we got while on the hunt for a cache. This first one is at the base of a big tree. It just had this big hollow rotted out spot in it - perfect for posing kids.

This one is Josh with a moss wig. He found this big clump of moss and decided it would make a good wig. The girls both tried it on too. We had to wash everyone's hair when we got home.Bird feeder
We put a couple of bird feeders outside the kitchen window a couple months ago. We get a whole bunch of little finches or something, but we also get a couple of these beautiful blue jays. They don't sing nearly as nice as the little birds, but they sure are pretty.Other wildlife
Today on the way to church we saw our first newborn black tail deer. They will probably become a common site in the next couple weeks. They are probably only a little more than a foot tall - so tiny!! We also saw a bear. Not the first, or even the first one of the year, but it was the biggest we've seen by far. And the closest I've been to one. I enjoy seeing them, but I'm glad we don't see them all the time, then I'd probably worry about them more.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Big announcement! We're moving!!! OK so it's not that big of deal to most of my readers that we're moving from one small town on an island to another smaller town on the same island. But we're excited. The town we're moving to is called Kasaan (the "aa" sounds like the a in sand). We'd thought about Kasaan before, but thought that the school would be closing due to a lack of students next year. But the Superintendent stopped in to visit last week and asked us to think about moving there. To his credit, he did not push us or try to make it sound like a wonderful idea. He also did not play the card of needing us to "save" the school by adding our 4 children to the 8 already there in order to make the minimum 10 students to keep the school open. He simply laid out the facts and told us to think about what would be best for our family. We knew what we wanted to do, but put off a decision long enough for me to make a trip over to see the town in person and of course pray about it. But both of those just reinforced the feeling that it would be a good move for us. So at some point this summer when we get all the details worked out we'll be moving to Kasaan. It is a Haida village (Alaskan Indians). It's 60-70 residents are about 50/50 native and nonnative. The school actually doesn't have any Haida or even Tlingit (the other local tribe) students, but it will have three Yupik high school students (from a village somewhat close to Chevak.) We've already met a lot of the people and everyone seems very excited to get a new family in town. This will be a small move in some ways - we get to stay in the same branch for church (the drive to church will even be a very similar length) and we also stay in the same district so all of Stewart's supervisor type people will remain the same (which is good - we like them). But moving to a new home and community is always a big deal. Totem poles are a big part of the local culture. They have a great collection of totem poles and Kasaan is also home to the only remaining Haida clan house in the U.S. We're excited to get more involved in the local culture there and will share pictures soon.