Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Baby

This is Quincy's newest little guy Daniel Jones from church history and Daniel is a McKinney family name and Jones is my moms moms maiden name. He is such a handsome little guy. He was born December 27th at 1:02 am. We thought he was coming Christmas Day but he teased us....we know he is a McKinney already teasing in utero.
I am so happy being home. I miss the snow though.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Home sweet home

Dang! It has been so good to be home. I got to come home and surprise my family a week early. I first surprised my dad who was cleaning the church with the rest of the high priests. Oh the lies me and mom had to tell to keep him in the dark. It was worth it though. He was truly surprised.

Then I went to momma's where Justin and Amanda and my baby Kade or as we call him Kadekins was. They were so surprised to see me. Justin was still asleep so I got to wake him up. He was definatley surprised to see me. He did not think we were going to get to see each other at all over Christmas. We have gotten closer since Kade has been born. Mom and I drove down (all night) to Florida when Kade was born and we stayed until Luke was born 3 days later...then we drove straight through to see Luke....good times. Justin is a firefighter for Marion County and is going to paramedic school now. Amanda is a teacher at a virtual school. Kade is so cute and eats a lot, he loves Baby Signing Time.

Next on the list of people to surprise was Quincy and Amy because they were the closest geographically. I hid in the bushes outside their house and mom, Justin, and Amanda went in first then I rang the doorbell a couple minutes later. Gabe was screaming and could not believe it. Ben kept saying Katie is here Katie is here; it was so cute!

Quincy then called Jared and Ann Marie to come down to his house for an important announcement from Eldon. Why they came I don't know? Eldon never has important announcements like "I am getting married or having a baby" what is the coolest thing he could have said??..... Someone hit me and I want McKinney and McKinney to represent me. I hid in the bathroom downstairs and after they came in Sam asked Emily, "Who is your favorite aunt?" and then Ben said someone is going to come out of that door and surprise you so at that point I might as well come out. Emily was so excited she ran over and jumped into my arms and cried. Her birthdsay is the 18th and she has been telling everyone that Aunt Katie is coming home for her birthday. We tried to go on an Aunt Katie date the day it started sleeting...we at lunch at Guy Perkins school with Ben, Gabe, and Sam and then went to Conway and had to come back almost immediately because of the weather...but not before I got to see McKinney and McKinney law office and take Jared to lunch at Larry's Pizza ;the best pizza buffet in Conway.

Coley Bob is talking like crazy. He is the cutest little guy ever. Baby luke has changed so much in the last 6 months. When you look at him he looks down at the ground and grins. Bashful one in our family I don't know how this will work out. Jacob is so funny. He plays this game where he will hit you gently on the head and he wants you to pretend he just knocked you out. Then you do it to him and he is so cute when he closes his eyes and says OOOOHHHH. He still loves to sing and Jingle Bells is a new favorite. We had fun playing.

Spencer was at the house when we left Guy. He was cute. He came running across the dinning room yelling KATIE and gave me a big ole hug. He has got to be one of the funniest guys I know...seriously. I have him for Christmas.

Janeen flew in at 6pm. Spencer went to pick her up and brought her to a YSA Christmas party at Angela's. She walked in and I was hiding around the corner....she screamed and we hugged for like a minute. It was so good to see my sister. We shared a room and a bed for EVER. I have missed her!

Family fun. Is there anything better than babies laughs? Or tiny fingers on your face? Or tiny voices saying I lub you aunt katie? rocking these babies to sleep and watching their heavy eyes fall for the last time? I have so much to look forward to.

I am surprised how much I am missing Alaska and my YSA ward people. Alaska living is so great. My job emotionally draining but everything else is fantastic. I still don't know what next year has in store for me.

Church was good. I got to see some angels in my life...and my old kids that I taught in Primary. They were huge!

Tuesday nite we went to the church and played knock out and volleyball with the entire McKinney clan. It was a ton of fun. I don't know what was more fun sliding on the ice in the church parking lot Jared in his van (with me) , dad and mom with Justin and Amanda, or Spencer, Eldon and Janeen in the Saturn. We looked like synchronized sliders all twirling at the same time. Good times! Oh, man we let Gabe and Ben play with us and Jared kept telling mom to pretend "he" didn't other words hit all the balls that come to Gabe got hit in the face and he folded his arms and said, "that is ok I don't exist anyways" I was hilarious! Jared made up for it...he had Justin serve a few balls just to Gabe and he hit them over to us.

Wednesday Justin and Yolanda (that is what I call Amanda don't ask why...I just do) had to leave. It was hard to say goodbye to Kade. He is soooooooooo adorable. He makes all these little noises and giggles. He likes to sign hat which looks like a little kid hitting himself on the head for no reason it is precious.

Wednesday nite me and Janeen went to Rose Bud to stay over at our cousins David and Valeries house. They live a few doors down from another cousin Tana. We had a blast visiting and playing. Thursday we all went into Conway and had a good time shopping and being girls. I love being with the girl cousisns and laughing and having a good time. I got to fill them in on some of my Alaska adventures. Mandy joined us and increased the good times.

Thursday nite was good to see some of the dealers and talk about Alaska. I got asked about Sarah yeah Sarah Pallin. I did get to see her at the kick off celebration of 50 years of statehood for Alaska. She introduced Wynonna at the Airshow and kick off party. I was impressed then and continue to be. I am going to go eat with my students from Greenbrier Middle School..then go to a wedding...then to Russellville to play with Mandy and Shawn and see their new baby Abby. Brady and Lydia too they love it when I speak in my British accent so do my students. Shawn graduates Saturday.....yeah!

Well y'all probably heard enough and are tired of reading this novel.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

More Thanksgiving fun

So Black Friday was spent in PJ the entire was nice I have been going and going and going. Monday nites FHE, Tuesday Institute Council and Institute class, Wednesday Institute class, Thursday Institute Choir, Friday fun with friends, Saturdays ready for Sunday, Sunday well its Sunday. Needless to say it was great to just relax with friends and watch some Christmas movies to set the mood.

Saturday Lisa, Char, and I drove down to Soldotna to pick up some Christmas goods from their storage unit and to hear Char's cousin give his homecoming talk. He just got back from Mongolia. We had an amazing road trip. It is soooo beautiful in Alaska. There really is no prettier place...if you love snow.

Char's family was so fun. We played Apples to Apples and Boggle. I lost at both but had a fantastic time playing; I am sure there is a calorie burn chart for laughter on the Apples to Apples box.

Going to a family ward was nice. Louder than our YSA ward but;I got to hold some babies. =0) Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to hold and love on babies. They are so darn cute, and there is nothing better than those little smiles and laughs, oh it just warms my heart. There building was identical to my home ward building that made me a little weepy, awe Conway II Ward I love y'all! and can't wait to see you soon.

Well got to run for now.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Thanksgiving was so great! There were several of us who were away from home we got together at Cole's place. We played some games, cooked, and had lots of fun. At least I did.

Left to right is Cole, Cristi (my roomate), Mark, Charlotte, Lisa, and me in the front. I wanted us all to have a taste of home; and knowing if were at each other homes then our families would be telling stories on us...I called everyones parents and got some stories on everyone and got their parents to write a little note. I really enjoyed it and hoped everyone else did too. I learned a lot about everyone.

I was very impressed Mark cooked some yam casserole that was yam good, and Cole made our rolls that were delightful! Charlotte, Lisa, and I spend a lot of time together having some crazy dressing up for Haloween, practical joke wars ,{serand wrapping vehicles, balloons in cars, scavenger hunts for presents} and sleepovers. ...anyway we did the shopping and the sides dishes. We all helped prep and cook the turkey that was fun. Mark was gonna do the turkey but overslept by 4 hours. He is a riot!

I am not gonna lie...I missed home like crazy; but being in a homey place with good friends made it really nice. A close second to being at home with family. I have so many things to be Thankful for. First is the knowledge that I have of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ which makes every aspect of my life deeper and sweeter. The scriptures especially the Book of Mormon. My family they are the best especially my nephews and nieces. Hope, hope for my students lives to be improved, hope for someone to love and share a life with, hope to be able to experience the miracle of life, hope for greater happiness and joy....Hope is a needful thing (President Uchtdorf) Good friends another great blessings in my life. Our country a free nation with so many opportunities, a good education, a job/career ( a got a nice carear on me) =0) The Earth and all its beauties...Alaska has its fair share of earthly beauties. That I can walk, see, hear, taste, especially touch..uplifting music, Christmas, Fourth of July, ice cream, chocolate, babies smiles and laughs, grandparents, farms, four wheelers, cousins, camping, road trips, books..being able to read and learn, good movies, sunshine, moon, stars, trampolines, Arkansas, Razorbacks ....this is just a short list.

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No I am not Dead ....yet

Wanted everyone to know I am alive and well. I have some pictures to add from Halloween.

So I have not blogged in a bit. I have been busy with friends and life.

Driving in the frozen tundra is so funny...when it snows and people start driving on the snow they create their own lanes and when the snow and ice chip away you realize how far off you are from the actual lanes. Parking is about the same you just guess where the lines are and hope for the best.

Institute is going great. We had a harvest hoedown and it was so much fun. We had dance instruction had some Frito Chili Pie and Apple Pie yummy! I made the Chili and was nervous about it... they ate it all 3 crock pots full so I guess it was at least edible. I used moms recipe but nothing ever taste quite like moms. (by the way I have the best mom in the world,universe, galaxy, cosmos it is true!)

Having a temple in Anchorage is so nice. After stake conference, where they dedicated a new Stake Center which is gorgeous and having the temple president tells us that the temple is not being used enough; I decided to commit to going once a week. Last week my roommate Cristi, and new BFF Charlotte, and I ( her roommate Lisa is not endowed {yet} or she would have been with us...I spend A LOT of time at their place Char and Lisa are amazing) did initiatories. It was sooo nice! Tomorrow we are going to do an endowment session and I can't wait.

School is going pretty well. I have not had any objects thrown at me in at least a week. Still working on using respectful appropriate language when we are upset though. For awhile I thought my name had been changed.

Well I will write more later.. Just thought I'd let you know I am alive and well. One last thought on one of my favorite things SNOW. The snow is so beautiful. It sparkles in the light. It is so cold now that even the air around the tree limbs is frozen and everything looks like a winter wonderland. The sun is coming over the mountains and into my classroom around 10:30 am and setting around 4:00pm. It is weird coming to school in the dark and leaving in the dark.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekly report

Friday October 17th I spoke at our institute soup and the spirit. It went well, I think. I know I felt the Spirit and hope that others did too. I used a lot of quotes from one of my favorite talks by Elder Jeffery R. Holland it is a CES talk entitled Terror, Triumph, and a Wedding Feast. It is amazing. If you have never read it you should! He talks about how; yes, there is terror in the Latter Days but we are Saints who know that we will Triumph and that ever other dispensation knew we would triumph too. He says that they need us to be successful so they can count themselves successful. He concludes by saying that when the Savior comes we the members of the church of the Lamb of God will turn the kingdom over to the Lamb of God and that we ,who are doing what we are supposed to be doing, will all be invited to the wedding feast.

Saturday I met some friends for pizza at a local favorite called Moose Tooth. It was soo yummy. My two new friends (blessings for reals) are Charlotte and Lisa. They are amazing girls. So hospitable they let me crash at their place anytime. They have done some amazing things in their lives helping each other and serving their families through some hard times. They inspire me.

Sunday we had some wonderful speakers from the High Council. They spoke on service...and how when we serve others our selfish desires diminish and the divine with in us grows. It was great. Monday night I was asked to speak to the Yellow family and I gave the same message about hope in the last days..well I tweaked it a little. Then we played the sign game. It was so much fun. I love the sign game especially playing with my brothers they are so funny sneaking around the person in the middle.

Wednesday night at Institute we talked about the Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith. We looked at some of his books and talked about how much time he must have put in to know and understand so much. People think that others just come by knowledge naturally while they might have some unique talent for remembering things: they still have to learn them in the first place. He was an amazing prophet who truly knew the doctrine of the kingdom and would have no problem helping anyone with any problem by opening the scriptures and teaching directly from them. The word of God is so powerful. I know that the scriptures bring such hope, love, and joy to my life as I read how willing our Father in Heaven is to help us in our weakness to overcome our weaknesses. I borrowed the Emma Smith movie from the Institute and watched it. It was pretty good. She and Joseph went through some ridiculously hard times. I can not imagine loosing all those sweet babies. How grateful we all should be for the principle of compensation as Elder Wirthlin taught about in General Conference. Knowing that every tear cried will be replaced a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing keeps me moving on...doing my best to just be"good."

The movie made me miss my own family like crazy. I'd give anything for a Jared hug, a Coley kiss, a good laugh with mom and neeners and the girls, a signing time video with Jacob, to hear daddy and Spencer play together, ...Christmas is coming soon. =0) Because of Christ I know I'll be with these guys forever.

Thursday one of my students had a major physical blow out. Completely destroyed my room. It was nuts-o I am glad the other students were at PE. I hate it when that happens because I feel like there is always something more or different I can / could have done...even though I probably couldn't in some situations it is just going to happen. Plus all that adrenaline is hard to get rid of.

We are studying wind and energy in science right now and one of my students made me laugh so hard. We were blowing bubbles and I asked the class what direction the bubble were blowing and there were "up, down, left, right, north, and some souths, and then ....his reply was "...towards me." He is like a 10 year old kindergartner. He is so darn cute. They all are. It really baffles me to realize how easily it is to love others you have only known for a short while. Whether they are kids in my class or part of the summer YSA's that I only knew for a few precious months...I love them like I do people I have known my entire life. Love is a beautiful gift.

Our school started a biggest looser competition and I hope to be a fierce competitor. I joined our local YMCA it has a saline pool I had never heard of such a thing...... no worries I have no plans of getting in it ...... for awhile anyways besides I would not share my secrets strategy with them. --those eggs were a lie stephen..a lie =0)

Today is one of my friends Birthdays and we are all going out to celebrate. It should be a lot of fun I am really looking forward to spending time with some of the young singles. We have good times when we get together. Nicole is amazing she is in the air force and her husband in the arm. He is in Virgina and she is here and they don't know when they will get to be reunited. She is always smiling and happy though making me thankful for what I got here and now...on that note y'all have a great weekend. Love ya!

Oh, the October Ensign has a great article (for any political junkies) on Abortion by Elder Nelson. I have friends who try to say that the church supports choice and agency and so then we should be the article! While Elder Nelson does not make the connection that the Church does not support abortion and should not support a candidate who does. I will. Was it a coincidence that that article came out in October before election time? I think not but that is just my speculation. It is crazy to support a candidate who would "not want to punish his daughters if they make a mistake." Sorry if this if offensive... I couldn't resist putting that out there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Late to School

Somehow my alarm got shut off and I woke up at 7:35 am which is precisely when I am supposed to be in my classroom getting ready for the day. I quickly brushed my teeth put on some clothes and rushed out the door. I called the school while I was trying to wrangle some gloves on my hands to let them know I would be late. Then I called my lovely Teachers Assistant Ms. Mandi and asked her where she was knowing that promptness is not her forte she was still clear across town. I hurried and made it to school at 7:55. My students were definintely concerned as to my whereabouts.

Things went down hill from there. We implemented a new classroom discipline system 1-2-3 magic. While I love it the kids are still getting acclamated to it. Like with anything new they wanted to push the limits and see just how it would work and it worked as it should..except for with one student who thought that I needed to be grabbed by the collar, then hit, and almost bitten. We had the principal and two intervention coaches trying to get me freed from the grasp of an upset student. One student brought three bags of candy to class and would try to put some stashes away from later on this week. Another student had "sprung" his right wrist and could not do any written work. What a day! Only at my school...

On top of that I didn't feel well "volcano" in the of my first days here I went to lunch with a T.A. in the room next to mine (who is a crack up hoot) an older African America woman who makes me look small and still lives at least cosmetically in the 80's..girl she loves her some fake eyelashes and she walks with a cane due to an injury restraining a student here last year. Me and Leelah went to Subway after numerous efforts to stretch her seatbelt to subway she was telling me how she was lactose intolerant but was gonna get her some pepper jack cheese on her samwich anyway and that later she might have a "volcano" in the tummy......and felt nasty all day due to the lack of a nice shower in the morning. Needless to say the students picked up on my vibe and it effected the entire day. I will do a double check tonight to the status of my cell phone alarm clock. =0)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The view from my classroom a close up of the mountains. Then a far away view. The sun beams in my classroom every morning. Finally the third picture is me and Mrs. Papacristo--she married a greek...lucky girl he can cook!! We are on the playground. She is also a first year teacher; we get along great and are enjoying our successes and comforting each other in our defeats.
Oh how I love the snow. It is so beautiful. At Family Home Evening I had us sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing for our opening hymn..snow reminds me of Christmas....maybe I am excited because I get to go home for Christmas. I have also been listening to Christmas music in my car Ray Charles, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Celine Dion, Elvis..and more...Did I say that I love the snow? I love how it feels when it lands on my face cold and damp and then it melts and turns warm. I like the sounds it makes when the huge flakes fall and make this soft clicking noise like ant legs against the hot dry sand. I also love how it coats everything and makes it look so clean and pure. I LOVE : it there is something magical about snow. I am not articulating myself very well ;but, just know I love it.

This week at school has been full of adventure. I got hit with a hanger today, shoved on Monday, and a snowball thrown at me. If you have never been hit with a hanger just know they hurt... bad.

My school day has turned into SNOW PANTS DAYS...take snow pants off...put snow pants on for recess...take snow pants off....put snow pants on to go home...take at least 40 minutes out of our academic day all for snow pants. Not'd be amazed how long it takes ADD 5th graders to put on snow pants..much less to take them off.

Institute is going well. I am taking gospel living and the provident life on Tuesday nights..and the institute council meets on Tuesdays night as well. Wednesdays I take presidents of the church. I really love the Institute instructors they are knowledgeable and they invite the Spirit to be the true teacher. Thursday is choir and I am no singing maestro but they need voices and a voice I have.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was this past weekend and man was it wonderful! I really enjoyed Elder Perry's talk about living simply, Elder Holland's talk about Angels seen and unseen ( thanks to all of you angelic people who have crossed my path) , Elder Uchtdorf's talk about hope, and Elder Eyring's talk about zion and unity in our homes and church. I watched Saturday's conference at the Maplewood Institute building ( I am on the Institute council). I watched Sunday am at Baxter building and Sunday afternoon in Eagle River with a friend. It snowed and was so pretty. I also got to talk to some of my new friends Craig who moved to Idaho and Nicole who moved to Provo so it was a GREAT!

Monday was a typical Monday at school. Tuesday I had IEP training at the district building it was a nice day away from kiddos. Wednesday we had a rough start getting back to having the real teacher in school. One of my kids had a major blow out threw his desk and chair and shoved me out of the way to get to the classroom library so he could throw books. After he recovered we had a great day. Social Studies was especially fun. We made treaties! We had 7 new off days given us by Gov. Palin and we had to compromise where to put them. At Christmas break or over summer so it was fun. I spoke in my best British accent and the kids loved it!!

Well I got to go to institute! I love it here!! There is tons of snow on the mountains. Sunrise is 8:30 am and sunset like 7:30ish.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

the view from my classroom is the dark picture. the other one is from on top of the parking deck at cristis hosptial

So the Relief Society General Broadcast was amazing; especially Elder Uchtdorf's address. He spoke about how women often see the imperfections and men focus more on their accomplishments. I know that is true for me. I could always do better at what I am doing. Especially in school. I feel totally inadequate to be working with my special population especially with their special needs. ....anyway I was really touched by his message about creating things and having compassion. I really enjoyed the way he defined creativity by something that was not there before.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fever Blisters and School

How annoying are fever blisters? They are like huge mosquito bites on your lips......lips are a lot like bums not really appropriate to play with or scratch in public. The blisters bleed like mad when they are broken via eating or smiling too fast not thinking that the smile of the night might turn into what resembles a severed artery that needs stopped before serious damage to your brain occurs.

So gross and irritating especially now that I am a teacher and have to answer a billion questions about them "what is that?"" Can I get that from you?"" how do you get it?" "a fever what?" Oh the curiosity of if I could only grow a fever blister on their social studies books I would be in business. =0)

My new student has been a perfect angel these first two days. =0 ) He is a bright student with some issues (like all of my wee darlings.)

This morning there was a momma moose with her baby standing in front of the school. She was HUGE. We had to shoo -and by we I don't mean me- her away before we could unload school buses. We have also had a black bear sighting on campus last month. I need to start circling through the parking lot before exiting my vehicle. Momma moose can be cantankerous I hear...and bears well I don't want to come face to face with one anytime soon.

My 5th grade class ,5 boys and 1 girl, is studying American History, all the science strands (through science kits that I have yet to figure out), reading / writing we are doing the Scholastic Read180 program and a modified reading writing workshop, math we are still reviewing multiplication and carrying numbers ( we are working on a math curriculum). Anyone who knows me must think it is hysterical that I am teaching math. We are also doing WHYTRY which is a social emotional education program based out of Provo, Utah. I think it is great program. (probably ran by Latter Day Saints, just a guess though) We have a teacher provided snack after recess every day and while they eat I read aloud a book. I try to do all the voices. So far we have read "Justin and the Best Biscuits in the Word", "Stone Fox", and now we are reading" Sign of the Beaver". "Where the Red Fern Grows" is on the list to be read as is "Walk Two Moons." I should probably put a WARNING on everything that I write stating.... even though I am a teacher, I am hardly ever grammatically correct; which must really irk some people. ( but details really are not my thing)

My YSA ( Young Single Adult) Ward (Mormon congregation) watched Elder Holland's CES (Church Educational System) broadcast on Sunday. On the way there it was raining and the sun was shinning...we had the most beautiful double rainbow I have ever seen. The rainbow was soooo bright. It was gorgeous. --The talk was amazing! He spoke about prison temples and how when Joseph Smith (restorer of Jesus Christ's Church to the Earth and translator of the Book of Mormon) was in Liberty Jail we received some amazing revelations. He said that when we are going through difficult times that is a time when we are probably the closest to the Lord relying on Him to see us through. He also spoke about cheerfully enduring our trials and that if life was hard for the Savior it would be hard for us. It was a profoundly beautiful talk. You can find it at as well as more information about my faith. I left with a peacefully feeling knowing that God in Heaven knows me and my trials and has He has "planned, prepared, and guaranteed my escape." I also left very excited for General Conference coming up!

How grateful I am to know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us to be able to return and live with Him; Jesus Christ being the central part of that plan providing the infinite sacrifice for our sins. I don't think I will ever be able to put in words my feelings for Him and the love that He has for me.

Sundays the best day of the week...and the day I miss my family the most. We would often have Sunday supper all together (minus Justin and Amanda and baby Kade in Florida) =0( What an amazing group of people to be surrounded with. (Flawed of course! Who is not??) They are the best though. I miss mommas home cooking. Anyone who has eaten at her table can testify of the deliciousness of her meals and of dad and his teasin', great stories, laughter, and doctrine all of which has also been consumed at that big ole McKinney sized table.

I miss Quincy and Amy and their little family of boys. Ben so smart, Gabe so kind, Sam so ready to play, Jacob lover of Signing Time DVDs.( and new baby in January yeah!! ) Especially little Jacob, my nephew with Down syndrome. He is a mess, a cute mess. You never know what he is going to find funny. He loves to empty out cupboards and do ring a round the rosie ..he thought that was a hoot the first time we sang/did that together.

I miss Jared and Ann Marie's little family. Emily Rae with a vivid imagination and an uncanny memory, Cole with his cute little smile and kisses, and baby "Uke" Luke his chubby little cheeks perfect for kissing.

Heck sometimes I even miss Spencer and Eldon. (Eldon and I got to drive up to Alaska together over the summer with mom and dad. It was an amazing trip. That will be a new post all it's very own. )Oh, and Janeen who is off at BYU Idaho for her sophomore year of college. I miss you guys! And countless Sherwood cousins, and second cousins, and and and.....Arkansas in general minus the heat. I do not miss that.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This is Valdez with the sun setting over the harbor. It was so gorgeous! I will try to add more pictures later. I am still trying to figure out how to blog appropriately. Love you guys!! Wish you were here enjoying the bountiful beauties Alaska always has to offer.

Valdez Bear

I got to spend a week down in Valdez in August with my good friend Nicole Kay and Bethany L. We saw some amazing things there. This bear is only one of them. We saw tons of fishes, harbor seals, otters, black bears one with two cubs( so cute), seagulls

Sunday morning in September outside my apartment so I can use the wireless internet. For some silly reason it only works outside my apartment. I am sitting on some hard metal steps in my Arkansas hoody looking at the most beautiful fall leaves. I hear a helio bringing someone into Providence Hospital which is right behind my apartment and rain drops still coming out of the gutters. It rained earlier this worries I am not ruining my laptop. If I could smell I would imagine it to smell clean.

So who am I? and why am I blogging?....well I am a small town Arkansas girl who moved to Alaska for adventure and some romance, hopefully. I have found both in different ways. I have a rather large immediate and extended family and I thought this would be a great way for us to keep in touch..and so I wouldn't have to tell the same crazy stories over and over. You see I work at a special school for children with emotional and behavorial issues. I teach 5th grade and so far I have 5 students who make everyday a challenge and a blessing. They humble me, inspire me, and make me smile. Every day at school is an adventure.

Alaska is so beautiful sometimes overwhelmingly so. I love it here ...winter has yet to come though....