State Bird...

Ethan and Romay are no longer "skunked" in the "I've never shot anything" category. Well, Jay took them on his daily duty to check his traps, along with the .22. Romay hit her bird right in the head, clean shot. Ethan made sure his didn't get away and shot it about three times. We proceeded to call gram Slwooko, Romay's teacher Corinne, and people in the hallway. They did the traditional give away of the first animal to elders, which was tickling in itself to see and hear about...the elder ladies sure did make them feel special. How did the tradition start (giving away the first animal)? Well, I'll tell you......Hmmm, I don't know, BUT ITS A TRADITION! (Fiddler on the Roof)

The other picture is of the Ermine Jay caught in his trap....he's caught maybe 10 or so, cute little furs and soft as ever. Jay and I dream of making a little parka out of them someday, well, more like me as soon as I can acquire the taste to sit and patiently sew one together. How ever does Grandma Slwooko do it?


Devil's Hill

I can't help and laugh when this afternoon plays back in my head. Mom, the kids, Kemper and I drove the 4-wheeler and trailer for a good 'ol family time. Since we had gone close to town and felt disappointed with the slopes, it was time to just drive to Devil's Hill and satisfy our appetite for going fast. Man was it ever cold riding out there, facing the North wind and the going was slow.

The scence that had me bent over gasping for air was when Jason and Romay decided to walk further up the hill and impress us all. You can see from the picture just how much trail you can sled, also depends on how far you're willing to walk. So they went a ways up and began to zip down the hill. Mom and I were near the middle of the hill. As they began, I heard giggles and pure enjoyment, by the time they reached me, you could tell they were concentrating....simply trying to stay on the trail. Toward the bottom, they were flying, except only backwards and shifting from side to side with Jason's long legs making snow fly into the air. Alas, they decended into the ditch where they disappeared and I enjoyed laughing for a couple of minutes. Awful cute since they were holding hands and walking back up the hill.



How do you break the monotony of work then home, work then home, work then home? 6 am X-Country Skiing above the airport works quite well, it follows the philosophy of "work to live." Cold light winds, around 20 degrees and clear skies allowed us to enjoy the weather, which added to Kemper's mini goatee made of frost. Somehow, I couldn't land the 10 foot jump at the course and that is when Jason snapped this photo, I JOKES REAL HARD. Thanks to Rudy for sending Jeni and I some skis! Now I can have a greater appreciation for work since I won't be taking aggrevation out on the kids!


Fetching Water...

Getting Coal Creek Water is one of our favorite past time activities here in Koyuk. Well, anyone who lives here knows how hard the water really is and can truly appreciate what I'm getting at. Luckily, just a couple of miles out, there is a water source that is water bottle quality. Here is a couple of pictures. 5 gallon bucket + scoop + snogo + 10 minutes of boiling + filtration=Coal Creek Water, mmmmmmmm


Just Startin' Up...

Sometimes I wonder what is worth reading and after examination of this past weekend, well, quite a bit. It all started out with friday, Jason and I did our usual duty for the high school basketball games, that being scorebook and scoreclock keepers. After almost 4 years of marriage, our ability to stay cool under pressure has greatly improved. I can only imagine what kind of bickering would go on, behind the scences of course, had we not gone through "training." (first year of marriage) Of course I love Jason's company and people that hang around us enough know of our playful and joking nature.

Ethan and Romay (9 and 10 year old busybodies) also played in preliminary games. They have been a wonderful addition to our little family and Jay and I have become "momsis" and "dad." Back to the b-ball game...It's kind of hard to miss little girls wearing bright shimmering yellow jerseys, running down the court. She made us all proud, being the high scorer of the game and doing so without complaining how many times she fell down. Ethan was equally impressive as he stole the ball a number of times and impressed his "momsis" with a few of his lightning speed lay-ups. Geez, I was really exposed to their desire and eagerness to play, it really reminded me of what it was like for me to play basketball, 17 years ago when I was just getting started.

Jason and his entourage of hunting buddies did their share of work and also created a mess of work for our family on saturday. A total of 5 caribou were caught and processed with the processing taking place right on our kitchen tables! Joe, our friend, saw the need to shoot three and realized just how much sweat was involved after the fact. Well, our friends got a share of meat and of this always creates good company among us as we support each other. This is what we love about village life, helping each other out. At one time, on saturday night, we paused to have apple cider and juice, just giddy that there lay about 40 pounds of caribou just a few feet away. Alaskans.

So now its sunday and the kids have been put to bed. Mom (Harriette) just delivered the last bit of caribou meat and Jay and I retire in preparation for another hectic filled week. Thank God for friends who make life bearable and enjoyable!