Sunday, May 30, 2010

Adult Basic Education / GED

I teach GED (General Educational Development- equivalent of a high school diploma) classes in Nondalton. It is a very part time job, although sometimes the kids get on a roll and come every day. I'm available for two hours a day. Class is on a table in our basement, if more than one student comes at a time I hurry up and get my kids to clean up the projects they've started on the other two tables. Math is my specialty. I was a math major in college and I love helping the kids understand how to do problems that have always eluded them.
My supervisor is in Dillingham and her specialty is writing. This spring I had her come and give my kids a writing seminar for two days. We had a good turn out and the kids got some really good tips for writing their essays. I got some really good tips for teaching kids to write their essays. I say kids, but I've had older adults in class too. Once I had a mother daughter team and that was really fun. Mom was there mostly for moral support and she quit coming once her daughter was almost complete. She wasn't afraid to ask questions and her daughter was good at answering them. It reinforced for her daughter the things she was learning.
We had class in the community building for the writing seminar.
I had three graduates this year. The program flies them to Dillingham so they can walk in the graduation ceremony with the community college students there. One of our graduates was at firefighting training, but the other two were able to attend.
Paul is the examiner in Nondalton (nice husband and wife team) and Lake Clark Air got the bid to fly the students to Dillingham. Since Paul is a pilot for Lake Clark Air, he got to fly the graduates from here and stay with them for the ceremony. He got a few pictures of our students as they graduated.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spaghetti & Marshmallow Towers

The school had one more Family Fun night that was open to the community before the teachers left for the summer. We took the family up and joined them. We had to split up into three different teams. Paul and the boys made one team, the girls joined up with Lavonne and Tia, and Josh and I joined our friend Darcelle and her girls. The first activity was to see how many worksheets each group could complete in a given amount of time. They had them color-coded for different age groups.

Paul had his hands full helping the little boys figure out what they were supposed to do.
The girls got second place even though they didn't have anyone young enough to do the pink sheets.
The other activity was a contest to see which team could build the tallest tower out of spaghetti sticks and little marshmallows. It's harder than it looks, it would've been easier if they'd given us big marshmallows. (Do I sound like I'm complaining?)

It was a good teamwork exercise, it took several hands to hold up the spaghetti and marshmallows so they wouldn't slip around until they got balanced.
Below Josh A. and I are working on ours. Everyone was having so much fun they extended the time by ten minutes. Big mistake, we would have done okay if it had ended on time, but our tower collapsed before they came to measure it :(

The girls also came in second place in the tower building contest. In fact, they have come in second place in every Family Fun night activity we have participated in.
Paul and the boys came in first (Paul got to put his Mechanical Engineering degree to good use). Mr. Metzger measured their tower just in the nick of time as it was slowly collapsing.

A very pregnant Mrs. Metzger is calling out the winners. Everyone got to pick out a prize.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Grandma O. 1912 - 2010

Paul's Grandma O. died yesterday at the glorious age of 98. She was a wonderful lady who we love very much. She was gentle and kind and at the same time very strong and, when she needed to be, quite feisty. She loves the Lord with her whole heart. As it says in Philippians 1:21, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." And in Psalms 116:15 "Precious in the sight of YHWH is the death of His Saints." (NKJV) As I was writing this, I was using the past tense in describing our love for her, but as I quoted the verses I recognized my error. Even though we can't communicate with her at this time, she is very much alive. I plan on loving and following Yeshua (Jesus) until I am one day reunited with Grandma O. I know that her greatest desire in life was for her children, grandchildren and friends to know and love her Saviour so that she will one day be reunited with them too. Her life was a testimony to her love for Jesus and I pray that her death will be a call for others to love Him too.

We got to see her a year ago on our trip to the lower 48. Though frail and tired, she still had that twinkle in her eye.Below is a picture from long ago, Paul is young, Joshua is in the high chair and Paul's nephew Jared (he's graduating from high school this year) are all sitting with Grandma O.
Below is another picture from long ago. The kids thought it was great that Grandma O. would play spoons with them.
Caleb was born just before we left for Alaska. Below we are showing him off to Grandma O.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Picnic

We went with Lavonne & Josh, her Mom, her Auntie Dorthy and Alec and the Martin's up the lake for a picnic on Mother's Day. It was a gorgeous day although a bit cold and blustery. The water in the lake is lower than we've ever seen it and it makes the shore line a beautiful road.
The boys in the trailer behind our ATV got a little spattered with wet sand. They thought it was great.
We brought lots of food, roasted hotdogs and huddled around the fire.

Paul and Deborah with Claudine's new puppy.

Sometimes Paul is like a little kid taking a bath, he doesn't want to get in and then he doesn't want to get out. He wasn't too excited about the picnic because it was cold and windy and the ATV had just started leaking gas the day before, so he had to fix it before we could go. But, after we got there, Paul started having fun. He had always heard about people tree-topping, where you bend a tree down to where you can hang on and then swing over to the other side of the tree. He'd heard that it works well with birch trees and he'd always wanted to try it. He didn't have any problem getting the kids excited about trying it with him.

Paul quickly found out that he weighed too much for the tree to lift him. So he became the guy that climbed the tree and bent it down so the kids could hang on and try to soar.
He started with the older kids, and thankfully for the Mom (that would be me), they didn't soar too well either.
As the kids got smaller they bounced around a little (especially with the help of the older kids) and had a lot of fun.


Benjamin probably could have soared the best, but he didn't appreciate the opportunity and didn't want back on after one half turn.

I caught Benjamin off by himself practising a little later.

Even Sarah wanted to try...

After trying every tree that looked at all promising Paul and the older kids gave up and turned their attention to spear making. By this time, Alec had caught three beautiful lake trout and the rest of us were cleaning up and about ready to go. Paul, on the other hand, was just warming up. The boys had seen some spruce hens, so all the kids from Caleb on up took thier spears and went with Paul to see if they could hunt up some supper. They didn't spear any spruce hens, but they had a wonderful time spearing other things...

And then, we loaded up and headed home.

We would have driven home into the sunset, but already the sun doesn't set until close to eleven o'clock at night.