Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mid-day on Christmas Day

The sun never really gets very high, but it is pretty

The firepit

A silly thing to happen, but big consequences (warning graphic foto)

I broke my second toe on my right foot.  I wish you could  see the xray.  It is terrible.  It was a little over  week ago I was walking down our hallway in the dark in the morning.  I tripped on a wooden legged footstool that was misplaced in the hall.  I knew right away that I had broken it.  It was jagged out to the side and didn't feel like any jam I'd ever had (I am a former basketball player and I've had plenty!).  I went to my bed and told my husband that I broke my toe.  We turned on the light and looked at it.  It was hanging out to the toe side.  I straightened it up the best I could.

Since this picture, it got more purple, then all the middle toes were purple, now it is almost back to normal color, but it is still very sore!  I had it xrayed at work and the break is nasty with jagged edges.  One of my orthopedic colleagues looked at it and told me all I need to do is buddy-tape it.  The other people at work insisted that I call him since it still looked displaced.  He said it would heal fine :D.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our first introduction to Alaska

In February 2010 my husband and I flew to Alaska in a 3 day, very full weekend of interviews at Peninsula Community Health Services and were introduced to the Alaskan winter. 

Tim near Ninilchik, Alaska over the Cook Inlet

Me at the end of the spit in Homer

Orthodox church in Ninilchik

Over Homer - this is the Homer Spit reaching out into Kachemak Bay

Eagle at Homer
We flew up early on a Thursday, interviewed all day Friday, explored the area on Saturday and flew back home Saturday night.  The days were short and snowy.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Making a Dream a Reality

January 2010 our family came to a crossroads.  We had been in mission work for 4.5 years in Colorado working with Youth with a Mission.  It was a hard time to be in missions.  Support was difficult to raise.  I was going through a lot of changes spiritually - moving to a more Torah-based theology - and I was having a hard time fitting in.  Tim was getting burned out working in the kitchen.  We both were ready to move on.  I had homeschooled for the past 6 years, and even that was getting hard.  I felt I was finally ready to let go of the kids, and to trust God to help us raise them, even if it meant I wasn't fully going to be the one educating them.  This was a crucial turning point, because outside of YWAM I have been the major bread-winner in this family, and if we were going to be going back into "the real world", I'd likely have to go back to working full-time.  We had very little resources, and to move meant we'd have to find a job in a bad economy that would be willing to foot the bill to move us.  It made sense that I would need to be willing to go back to the workforce, at least in the beginning.  We put my resume online and "threw out the fleece".  If God wanted us to move, He'd have to show us.  It didn't take too long. 

Alaska has been in the top 5 of every crossroad decision we came to in our lives.  I wanted to go do a mission trip to Alaska when I was 17 and graduating from high school.  I ended up doing a YWAM DTS at that time instead.  Since Tim and I were married in 1994, we've moved four times to start over in a new state or a new place.  Alaska is number 4.  We started in North Newton, Kansas, as I went to physician assistant school at Wichita State University.  When I was done with PA school, we moved to Horton, Kansas where I took a position in rural Kansas to pay off my National Health Service Corps scholarship time (two years)  After that was done, we moved to Illinois "temporarily" so we could figure out what to do with ourselves.  We ended up living in an intentional community of anabaptist believers there for almost 7 years!  From there we moved to YWAM in Colorado.  Every time we came up to one of these crossroads, we thought of Alaska.

Originally, Tim and I were very interested in homesteading.  Something about moving to the "final frontier", living like pioneers, building our own home, living off the land, was very appealing to us.  However, we read books about people who had done this,and we saw a trend of how this life broke up marriages and families, and it sobered us. 

In Colorado we had a few friends who were interested in doing YWAM here (there are at least 3 bases that I am aware of).  That is what first started us thinking again about it.  We kept finding ourselves looking at one base's website in particular - in Homer, Alaska.  I figured if they would let me work part time as a PA, we could easily do it.  I looked for jobs in the Homer area, but none came to fruition.  In the job-seeking however, last January, we found the clinic where I am currently working, about 2 hours from Homer.  Tim was burnt out on missions and he'd already made it clear that he did not want to go overseas.  I still wanted the adventurous life that missions brought me when I was in YWAM from 1986-1991.  I wanted to do full-time work in an underserved area.  I figured Alaska would give us the adventure I craved and the Americanness Tim clung to.  When the clinic administration asked us to come interview in a week, we prayed and decided to see what they wanted to offer.  Their offer was better than anything I'd ever had in my previous 14 years of practice.  It was a dream come true.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A July update in words and pictures

Watching Fourth of July Parade in Kenai

The couple on the right are our new good friends Heather and Gary

Pastor Bryan and Chanda
Little Critter and Bubbies listen to a story at a Medieval feast activity day held by friends in their yard
Little Critter works at being a young warrior

Bubbies' new little friend, Little Critter and Bubbies in the castle tower. "Hurry and take the picture, we're squished!"

Bubbie, the medieval princess in crocs
Bubbies turned six on the seventh of July

What Bubbies got for her birthday...

Bubbies got a new haircut the next weekend
Snow Crystal and Bubbies enjoying a nice day
Helping daddy
It's cold!
Snow Crystal playing soccer
My sweet family

Dh caught some of his first Alaska Red Salmon
A backyard visitor. Mountain Princess could hear it breathing outside her bedroom window!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I can't get this smile off my face

I wrote the following on my way to Atlanta yesterday:

I can’t wipe the smile off my face.  My world has changed so drastically, so wonderfully in the past four months.  In January I sat in my beautiful home in beautiful Colorado with my beautiful children.  I didn’t know I wanted a change.  I didn’t know any change could be this good.  Homeschooling had become such a struggle.  I wasn’t sure I was really the best answer to my children’s educational needs.  I wondered if I was failing them, if our life choices were not as perfect as we had thought they would be for the children.  They had no friends where we lived.  My husband was not happy in his job.  We lived way below the poverty level.  We had to choose between driving in to town to go to church and being able to buy things like food or medicine.  It was the best of times and the worst of times, as the famous saying goes.

Today I live in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived (Colorado was beautiful too).  We have the ocean within 10 miles of our front door. An amazing volcano that looks different every time we see it can be seen on our way to and from my job.   There are white gorgeous mountains on three sides of us.  This morning Tim and I saw several moose on our way to the airport, and a few caribou too.  Eagles are a dime a dozen, but they never seem to lose their majestic awesomeness.

My work is more fulfilling now than it has ever been.  I think I can even say that I have traveled more in the last four months than I have in the last 4.5 years doing mission work.  That is not what I expected.  I do admit that most of that traveling has been back and forth between Colorado and Alaska (3 times), but right now I’m sitting on a huge plane that is carrying me to Atlanta, Georgia for a week of medical educational conferences.  I love to travel.  I love to help people.  I love my family.  Life is good.

 It is so cool that I am loving what I am doing, and I am at peace with what is happening with my children too.  We’ve found a great Christian school where the girls are going to start their new educational journeys in the fall.  Ciara (Mountain Princess) will be in 7th grade.  The second week of school, I will get to go with her and the 7th and 8th graders of her school, along with some other staff and parents, on a week journey up north.  We will be visiting some of Alaska’s historical sites, and finish off the week with a couple of days on the Yukon in canoes.  I can hardly believe it.  The kids have already made several friends each, and have been able to hang out with their friends at least once a week.

Spiritually, our lives are good.  It isn’t the same as it was in YWAM.  We don’t get the blessing of a new speaker bringing the Word to us each week half of the year at least, but the Lord has brought us to a place of fellowship with several families who believe very similarly to the way I do.  I can’t believe it!

Socially life is better than ever.  I've got great coworkers.  Before we came, I had met one woman online in a forum who I knew was from Alaska.  I never dreamed that one day we would be friends in the same local area.  This woman and her family have opened their arms to us and welcomed us to this place with a hospitality I’ve never seen anywhere before.  She brought us food when we first arrived.  We were so broke…there was no way should could have known…yet she brought us enough food to get us through to our first paycheck.  Good food too that met our special dietary needs.  She invited us to the park to meet other homeschooling families, and helped Tim and the kids get plugged in to a group of homeschoolers right away.  She and her husband invited us to the beach for our first Shavuot (Passover) celebration.  She introduced us to other likeminded families there too.  She and her husband have invited Tim and the kids into their home on several occasions, and Tim is feeling like he and her husband have a lot in common.  I am so happy for this too.  Although I work 40-50 hours a week, and although I don’t get to hang out with them as much, this woman is regularly sending me private messages to include me and make me feel special and my friendship needed and wanted.  I am amazed and so pleased.

I know many people thought we were crazy to go after a vague dream of living in Alaska on the final frontier.  The adventure allured us most, probably, but never in my wildest dreams would I have realized how God-prepared this place is for us, and how special and wonderful it would be.

Friday, March 26, 2010

My first week in Alaska

It is hard to believe I have been in Alaska for just over a week.  Last weekend I was anxious about whether I would find a place suitable for my family before I return home on the 30th.  Now here I am with a week behind me, a lease for a rental home that is more than suitable for us, and a postal address in Alaska.  I praise God!  This week I also began learning the ins and outs of my new job, a computer medical records system, and met many new friends that I am loving.  On Saturday afternoon I wondered around the area with two of my new coworkers seeing the sights.  Last night I went to dinner with one of my colleagues and enjoyed it very much.  I can tell I am going to make some great friends here.

Here is a link to our new rental home.  It is on the market to be sold, so it has a link to a realty site.

This week my dh, Tim, headed to Illinois with the children.  He had a dreaded time of it on the way as they got caught in a terrible snow storm, but after riding it out several hours he managed to get in front of it.  They spent a day with my sister Becky and her family in Wichita, KS.  My other sister and her family also came down to visit.  They had a lovely restful day.  On Sunday they drove on to Illinois and stayed with Tim's parents until this morning.  They were able to see several on Tim's side of the family and also reconnect with old friends.  We used to live there until 4.5 years ago when we moved to Colorado.

Tomorrow I may visit a Messianic congregation for the first time in Kenai while I take my Sabbath rest.  I am also considering taking a drive and enjoying some of the area around here that I haven't visited yet.

I hope you all are having a great week also.

If you are looking to join the Weekly Wrapup, I have handed it off temporarily (perhaps permanently?) to my dear friend, Mary at

Feeding on His Faithfulness,