Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving and Birthdays

I don't know where the four-day weekend went!  It was over just like that...

We had brought a big turkey to Perryville when we moved because we didn't know if we would be able to get one out here.  We wouldn't have...  So, the Mister and I got up early on Thursday morning and put it into cook.  I made a pot of dressing and got my dough into rolls so they could rise.  I made jello and green peas.  Another teacher from school came over about 1:00 with home-made mac and cheese and a pumpkin pie with real cream.  What an excellent meal!

On Friday, the Boy and I put up the Christmas tree.  Then I got to thinking about how something didn't seem right .... no leftover dessert.... sooooo.... the Boy and I experimented and made pie dough.  Then, since pumpkin is his favorite, we made 2 pies.  WOW!  We're not bad at making pie!
Later, I wrote my paper for my oceanography class that I am taking as well as the 3rd test for the semester.  I will be so happy when that class is over!  It was a full day.

I guess Friday was full enough because I didn't want to do anything on Saturday.  I can't hardly remember the day.  I guess we had it, though.

Sunday was my birthday.  The Boy remembered it about mid-morning.  The Mister had ordered for my day but of course, it hadn't come in ---- it never does when you have a specific day you want it!  We ended up working at school most of the afternoon and went home to a dinner of chicken enchiladas and spanish rice with pineapple upside down cake.  I didn't wash a dish all day.

For anyone who is trying to call us.... you can't.  GCI is messed up all along the peninsula.  Everyone is having problems.  If you really want to talk.... email me and I'll call you. 
 polarbearbait  @  gmail.com
(without the spaces.)

We're in the countdown for the Girl to come home.  Only 17 more days !!!!  IF the weather cooperates.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Perryville - First Photos

Perryville is situated on a lava flow.  The black sand is beautiful.  The ocean is to our south and there is a volcano to the north.  So is the tsunami shelter!

The top pic is from the plane looking out from Perryville Village.  The other 2 pics were taken as we made our descent to Perryville.  It is breathtaking!

Happy Thanksgiving!

How can Thanksgiving be here in less than 36 hours?  I guess we've spent our whole fall counting down days until this or until that, so that now here we are --- starting the holiday season.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Yesterday was my first full day in the classroom without the sub.  The kids were wonderful.  We got through the reading, re-started math and even did some writing.  While that may not sound like much --- I have 4 reading levels and 4 math levels and (on paper) 4 writing levels.  The reading program here is scripted, so that means a different lesson for 4 groups --- 3 groups have only 1 person in them.  Math is better but it's still 4 lessons.  I did rearrange the topic order so that every group is basically dealing with the same concepts.  I also have an aide during those two subjects but it takes 2 hours to get through reading  and then another 70 minutes for math --- add P.E., lunch, buddy reading, writing, music, and play practice and the day is gone.  We think that when our head teacher returns --- the Mister will get to come back into our classroom and help out as well.  He plans to start science and social studies in January.

The Boy and the Mister worked hard over the weekend to re-do the classroom.  The theme is Dr. Seuss.  They put up all new bulletine boards, washed the desks and put on new nameplates, moved books and materials around the room, cleaned, and brought 4 of the 14 tubs of "stuff" I thought I needed in the room.  By Sunday night, we were all exhausted but very pleased with the end result.  The students responded well to the changes on Monday.  I think it's going to be a good year here in Perryville.  I am thankful for such a nice place to live and work!

Our school hours are 9-4 ----- teachers start at 8.  The kids are eating breakfast now.  I've got to get down there for morning assembly.  We make announcements and say the Pledge of Allegiance.  It's a good way to start the day ----- Have a great Thanksgiving.  Thanks for reading about our lives!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Perryville, AK

We arrived in Perryville on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 4:15 pm.  WOW!  There is black sand everywhere.  It right on the coast.  There's a volcano behind our house and water in front.  There's even a tsunami shelter up the road from our house.  Some big rock islands jut up out of the water in front of the village.  The mountains around us have snow.  There are alder bushes and a "few" trees.  It is a truly beautiful place.

The teachers met us at the plane.  Again, we were so thankful for the help.  We got everything off the plane and he took off.  I went to the housing first and it is great.  We have terrific views of the ocean and village.  The old Russian Orthodox church is in front of us.  We are about 100 yards from the school -- if that far.  We have a good boardwalk so it's an easy walk.

I will be teaching in the K-3 class.  I have 7 kids.  The Mister is subbing for the head teacher.  He has 6-12 graders and there are about 14 of them.  He'll be covering social studies and English.

The Boy is happy here.  He has gone to gym night and he's gotten started with his classes. 

The people here have been just as nice as the Pedro Bay folks.  We are looking forward to meeting everyone (there was a potluck Tuesday night for us and the sub who is leaving --- but we didn't get to know everyone!)  Oh!Our apt. is GREAT!  It has 2 bedrooms and a large living area.  We have about 16 feet of windows on one wall that looks out to the beach.  The kitchen has lots of cabinets and a good pantry.  There's also a large store room by the kitchen.  The floors are wood laminate.  We are very happy to be here.  Our Alaskan adventure continues!

Last days in Pedro Bay, AK

I'm writing this in retrospect and I'm sure I'll leave something out - how could I even try to get it all in?!  The Mister and the Boy left last Wednesday and went to Levelock for the district volleyball tournament.  PB ended up sending 4 players.  They had a bye for the first game, played one game on the second day and played the semi-finals on Friday.  They played for the championship and won.  The Mister said the whole crowd seemed to be cheering on PB.  Everyone realized that the school was closing and that would be the last thing the kids ever did as PB students.  I think it was a tear-jerker.

Soooo... I was left in PB with 3 students and the end of the packing.  We had saved boxes all fall and ended up using every last one of them.  On Sunday, the Pilatus from Illiamna Air picked us up.  We were supposed to start loading at 10:00 am but snow showers kept pushing back the time.  Finally, at 2:00 we started loading tubs on to the plane.  We had 2 pick-up loads and a few items in another truck to load.  We think it was about 2000 pounds plus the three of us.  The plane was packed.  They had taken all the seats out and then packed tubs right up behind us.  The Boy got to ride in the cockpit.  Big stuff!  We took off at 2:45 --- 15 minutes earlier than the pilot had wanted --- something about getting that plane off the ground and away from the snow!

On Saturday night, the village had cake and ice cream for us.  The beautiful cake said Thank You and Good Luck Wards.  It was so nice.  I think Courtney brought the cake back from Anchorage.  It was very good cake.  One of the girls from school brought me earrings she had made and Becca, a student's mom, brought me a fresh spruce wreath with berries and a gold bow --- I've already put it on my front door.  It SMELLS so good!

Verna came by Sunday morning and visited for a while and then the Jensen family came to help us load up the truck.  We couldn't have done it without them.  In fact, our stay at PB was so much nicer because of them and everyone else at PB.  We felt so accepted and at home.  People were very nice to us.  I was sorry to leave the village.  Those students and their families will always hold a special place in our hearts and memories of Alaska.