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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Look up...

Can you see my weather widget?

It says MINUS 38 degrees outside today. (Coincidentally, the wind chill is minus 45.)

And that's in the sun.

Whoa, someone remind me why I live here again???

That's all.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Baby Showers!

My baby sister is having a baby of her own.

I could cry. Wait, I did cry. And cry, and cry, and cry!

But that's OK, I've had seven months to try to be OK with it. And I think I'm doing a great job!

So, my mom, sister and I are throwing her a Baby Shower. It's no thousand dollar soiree, its just a fun, game filled night with snacks and cookies, and cupcakes.

And prizes. Lots and lots of prizes!

Sigh...its all just getting too real for me. Hold on while I wipe my nose. Sniff...

P.S. no matter what she names the baby girl, we'll still call her "noodle" cause we love her already!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yes, I'm THAT parent...

And I don't know if I'm sad, or happy about it. I guess maybe Happy, cause I just keep doing it!

This week was Spirit week at JNES with today being "Career Day." Kaisa and Clara were discussing what they wanted to be when they grew up. At first I could hear them saying, "I'm gonna be like my Nona Marie," and "I'm gonna be like my mom and be a NANA worker."

"What we gonna wear then? Our mom's glasses?"

Then they wanted to figure something that they could actually dress up as, so they decided on Nurses.

And since I'm THAT parent, I made them both a set of their own Nurse Scrubs. Pants and all. Complete with pockets trimmed in butterflies, stuffed with Telfa non-stick pads and IV tape.

Every year, Kaisa and Clara get new Cheerleading outfits, trimmed in blue and gold, full of spirit.

I'm That parent.

For Valentine's Day, we made Chocolate Covered Strawberries and delivered them to friends, parents and siblings. She handmade her Valentine's cards and wrote a personal sentiment on each one. "You are smart." "I like you." "You have nice hair!" She thought long and hard about each of her classmates before making them a perfect color and design.

For and "end-of-school" gift one year, Dean and her made Eskimo fishing sticks, "Jiggers," and strung 50lb. test line on them with a swivel at the end and burned each of her classmates Eskimo names in them. Because at the end of school, we are still ice fishing, and I'm that parent.

For birthday parties, I usually make gifts if I have time. Aprons with baking cups attached, leather and rabbit mittens, Mukluks, etc. I like to sew, but I'm that parent.

My daughter has been able to sing the National Anthem since she was just about two and a half, and has done so in front of crowds, and family. She always makes sure she has her hand over her heart and is LOOKING directly at the Flag. Scoldings ensue if she plays around during that time. I'm that parent.

My husband is an avid hunter, and by "avid" I'm using the tightest form of the word. He hunts just about every day. But, when you live in Northern Alaska, you CAN hunt every day. We don't bait, or feed our game, we just let it roam the wilderness. You want an adventure, come up north, no tree stands, no whispering, no feed boxes, or alphalpha fields. Just plain adventure. Like Dean, he loves adventure. And when his parky cover got all bloody from a year's worth of animal kills. I made him a new one in just under an hour and a half. Cause I'm that wife.

At Christmas, Kaisa didn't have a dress from JC Penny, like she usually does, so I just made her one. And her and Clara wanted to dress as I made them costumes too. Cause I'm that parent.

Both my children went to the Inupiaq Immersion School here, where Wednesday's were Atikluk days. (Eskimo shirt) And some days, I just didn't feel like doing laundry, so I just made them one on Wednesdays. I think my son had just about 18 when he finally moved to the "big school." Yes, I'm that parent.

And when my daughter's teacher said that Kaisa needed to read and memorize the title's and author's of this years First grade Battle of the Books, we didn't hesitate to read ONLY those books for a couple of weeks straight. Do you know any other 6 year old who can say, "Esphyr Slobdkina?" or "Else Homelund Minarik?" Like ice cream rolling off their tongues! And, it pays off, because they won the JNES battle with 100% correct and are going on to the District Battles next week. I'm that coach.

I don't think I'm one-upping anyone, I just LOVE to sew, and read, and play. And bake, and all things crafty. If I can make something for less than I can purchase it, then why not make it?

My child loves to read, so we don't force her to do anything and its almost a "prize" in her eyes that she gets to read for an HOUR rather than a half hour at night. She likes to dress up and it doesn't take me long to sew anything, so why not?

So, I think I like being THAT parent. It suits me, and my kids, nieces, nephews, and kids friends like it, so I just don't think I'll change.

Anyone want to learn how to sew? We sew just about every night.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


In 1982, my mom was VERY pregnant. I was four and she used to bring me for walks with her in the dead of winter, when the snow is so frozen that it crackles under your soft bottom mukluks.

I used to stare at her belly and smile. My very own play thing was coming soon. I would no longer be an only child to my parents, or an only grandchild to my dad's parents. I'd soon have to learn how to share.

Oh how I looked forward to feeding and dressing and playing with a baby sister. I KNEW it would be a girl. Cause no one who I prayed to would allow my mom and dad to have a BOY (GROSS) especially since the boy's name they picked out was Elbert. I prayed and prayed for a girl who looked just like me, acted just like me, loved me like me!

And on the evening of February 23rd, my mom's contractions started. Since it was so stormy, you couldn't see a foot in front of you, she said she'd be fine until morning. But that wasn't the case. In the middle of the night, my dad packed my mom up on the Qammuns (hauling sled with no handrails) and hitched her to the snowmachine. The distance from our house to the hospital was just about 1/2 mile. It took them almost 45 minutes to get there. And only after my mom had pushed the snow machine out of many drifts.

I was home alone with the mice and nuvivaks.

When I woke up, my dad was there and he said, "you have a sister!" I thought to myself. "YES, I KNEW IT!"

"When can we take her home? When can I play with her? Where are the clothes that we got!?"

We arrived at the hospital and being that I was FOUR years old, I was a big girl, so I was able to walk right into the room and declare that "THAT BABY IS MINE." It was the baby with big brown eyes and dark dark hair and a snow white complexion that Michael Jackson dreamed of.

I was the happiest girl in the WORLD.

Then she got older. She was wiggly, and messy, and GOD FORBID, she did NOT listen to me. AT ALL.

And worst of all, my mom and dad made me SLEEP with her, and WATCH her, and make sure SHE was happy. I mean, I didn't sign up for this. The only saving grace that I had with my parents was that they believed ME rather than her. So, when she got hurt, I didn't do it. "She's lying."

When we moved into the "big" house, we had to share a room AGAIN, and dammit, she did NOT SHUT UP. What happened to that baby who was so quiet and perfect and pretty. All I was stuck with was a 7 year old with snot issues who liked to sing and rub up on all kinds of puppies any chance she got. DOES SHE NOT UNDERSTAND that MY LIFE was important at 12 years old??! I mean, SERIOUSLY!

Then all my resentment faded when her and I BOUND together with the sister-strings against our parents when I was 13 and she was 8. We HAD to. It was our SISTERLY duty! AGAIN, we prayed for a better name when my mom was in labor. We promised each other that we would call our NEW baby sister "UGLY POOPY PANTS" if our parents named her Alma. ALMA?! Did our parents not understand how important in the social circle a great name would be? I was hoping for Tiffany, or Debbie, and Saima was hoping for Labrador, or Husky. (Seriously she was that into dogs!)

So, in the end, our cohort paid off, they named our NEW sister Elsa. (Elsa, you can thank us later!) And the same spark that I had when Saima was born was in her eyes when Elsa grew up. Its the circle of sisterhood. I'm stuck with Saima who's stuck with Elsa, who's stuck with Koy, who's stuck with Clara who's stuck with Kaisa who's stuck with Noodle. (Noodle will be born on April 11 or April 25, I've already decided as head sister that will be that.)

We have been tested and we have tested each other over the years. But of all the things in the world I am so happy that I was left alone on February 24th, 1982 so my mom and dad could "rush" to the hospital to have Saima.

I love you so much Sister. And I swear I only tried to choke you like three times in your life.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Husbands Love...

I came across this letter via a friends blog and it drove me to tears. Now, it may just be that Cancer has ripped our family apart and driven us to our knees in tears, but this woman has 16 month old Triplets and only wants to live in peace at home with family. I am such a crybaby. But wouldn't you be reading these kinds of stories? I just hurt for the husband who had to swallow his pride and post this.

Click Here to read the Blog.

The letter to family and friends.

I am writing you with an urgent appeal.

As I am sure you know by now, Antonia and I are moving to Slovakia at the end of March. We are moving there so that Antonia can be close to her family as she deals with cancer. She wants this more than anything else in her life right now. She wants the security of knowing where her children will be raised – that they will be raised surrounded by her family. Her parents, grandparents, Godparents, and brother all live in the same town. Her mother and father have given us a small piece of land next to them to build a house on.

This is where I need your help. I have reached the conclusion that I can not do this alone. This past year has been difficult as we have given up everything, including our home and car, to pay for medical bills to fight Antonia’s disease. And we are still fighting. There is one thing we do have however, and that is a piece of land in Slovakia called Hope.

The bottom line: Antonia is 32 years old, battling cancer, and a mother of three children, all 16 months old. All she wants at this point in her life is to live in one small peaceful corner of the world close to her family.

I have sent this to you asking that you help raise $2500 to build a house for Antonia. The cost to build a house in Slovakia is around $75,000 from the ground up. Our goal is to do it for $50,000. And with the help of 20 volunteers raising $2500 each this can be done. The construction will be done by myself, her father and her brother.

This is my last hope of trying to create something stable and certain in Antonia’s life. Now is the time. Not 2 or 3 years from now. I feel that time is running out. Whether this feeling is founded or not, I do not know, all I know is that the feeling is real.

I have contacted Habitat for Humanity including their international office requesting assistance, but my application was denied twice. Even my repeated phone calls and emails fell on deaf ears.

So now we have reached this critical point in our lives. We know we will be sacrificing the conveniences we are used to here in America, but it is for one thing – and one thing only – and that is for Antonia to be able to raise her children next to her family.

I have one goal in my life right now and that is to provide Antonia with this wish.

I am aware that you have your own families to think about and I understand that not everyone is going to care. However, I am asking that you care just this one time.

Please help me do this for my wife.

I am asking that you call everyone you know and have them give a little. The goal of raising $2500 is doable and it can be reached. People do it all the time in raising funds for cancer walks, school & team events, Boy Scout, Girl Scout projects, etc.. This is a one-time event that does something Big. Your part actually builds a home for a family. It builds a home where two brothers and a sister can grow up laughing and playing together. But more importantly, it’s a place where a beautiful young woman called Antonia can close her eyes at night and know her children will be safe and secure surrounded by the closeness of family for years to come.

This is a moment in your life that comes around where you can look back and say, “I made a real difference in someone’s life.” “I made a real and tangible difference.” Because IT DOES. Your help is something that will last forever, as long as Antonia walks this earth, and beyond through her children.

Please write Antonia and tell her you will be one of the 20 fundraisers that will build her a home.


David Broadwell
5 Glengyle Lane
Potomac Falls, VA 20165 email:

You may send donations to the address above.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Its raining in my house

And that means only ONE thing... it's SPRING!

I think I need Holmes on Homes from HGTV to come look at our house. I rains and rains in there. No matter what we do, its still dripping in 4 or 5 locations at once.

But, that's a good thing right?! When the temperature above the Arctic Circle is so warm that the snow that's accumulated in our attic, on our roof and in every crevasse is melting and causing torrential downpour in most of the houses in Kotz. that means it MUST be spring!

Whatever the case at home. It also means that its time to go FISHING!

IN the Eskimo Sled the holes glowed! Very cool.

We eskimos like to eat fish. One of the fish we eat is a shii-fish. Some sort of white fish that grows larger than a king salmon and tastes better too. For me, Kings just make my stomach acid call out for Heartburn medication..."ROLAIDS, where ARE YOU!?"

Shiifish though, its nice, flaky, white fish. BETTER than halibut. But, since no one has EVER been able to track shiifish, no one knows a lot about them. All I need to know is where to catch them and that they're good.

So, since we're on perpetual Eskimo Time, we were a little late getting going, but eventually hauled all the kids off in a sled and drove to the mouth of the Noatak River where the fish are usually found this time of year. (Thanks to many GPS markings from years on end!) No such luck though. I caught one bullhead, that was it. The kids mercilessly tortured it until it was "bait" for the next one. (Just kidding, but seriously, the fish are DEAD and inedible so we just let the kids play with them, so go kiss your pound puppy and stop reading my posts about killing animals!)

Because it was beautiful out, we just let the kids play in the Eskimo Sled and throw things down the holes, like M&M's and crackers and gloves.

We had a visitor come fly in to our setup too. He easily landed because we only have about 2-3 inches of snow on top of the ice. Kaisa said she was going to bring her skates and a shovel next time.

The only thing I like to do when I fish, is eat crackers, spam and tang. OR Cheez-its and Dt. Dr. Pepper. Whoa golly, those are so good. Sometimes we even bring out a little grill. Thanks CATHY for the photo!

If you're up to an adventure, come on up to visit. We'll take you fishing. Who might even catch something.

I might even let you borrow this! haha. (Just kidding honey!)

P.S. Two of our great friends FINALLY got married this weekend as well. So the combination of a wedding (and reception), fishing and the weather makes for a happy person. :) Congratulations Bree and Derek!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Well, I know some Huskies...

And I think they're if you keep the'll never be BEAT!

Look at her...isn't she just beautiful?!

The Kotzebue Huskies are my alma mater... my mom's and both my sisters too. Though I never did get to be a cheerleader (LIKE I WANTED SO DESPERATELY TO), I did play basketball. I think I was part of the team that won regional's my freshman year, and then we got blown out by the Nanooks and the Wolverine's after that!

LET'S go Huskies!

Maybe cause we didn't have anyone specifically TALL on our team! Or maybe it was just cause they were better than us!

I remember not being too interested in playing basketball. I just wanted to CHEER so badly. My mom forced me to play ball. But as many chances as I got, I was in the mascot uniform and I still don't know anyone who can do a cartwheel-front handspring and land in a split with a heavy, stinky Husky suit on except me! (P.S. I can STILL do the splits!)

Whoot whew!

Every time I see cheerleaders, it brings me back to the "what if" days. What if my mom let me cheer. What if I didn't play ball... What if I hadn't run as far away as possible after high school and never called then showed back up a few years later, married and with a baby. Oh...oops, did I say that out loud? Anyway...What if?

I took a lot of photos that looked like this. Thanks guys.

Ok, nevermind. Let's talk about the CURRENT cheerleaders!! They. ARE. AWESOME. And I mean that in the most endearing way to my former cheerleaders (I love you becky, missa, pauline, gorgina, meleri, chelsi, etc.) (OMG, don't let me forget anyone!). But these girls...they ROCK.

Rock, Rock, Steady Steady, You're team ain't even ready!

Denali and Hannah, A-W-E-S.O.M.E!

They have the entire package. Peppy, BEAUTIFUL, technical, and there are a WHOLE lot of them. I mean, their beautiful pregnant coach might have something to do with how great they are too! hehe... I love watching them cheer. They are exactly what a cheer squad should look like. (P.S. if you were a former KHS cheerleader, you were good too, but we're talking about these girls right now, ok?!) Shame on those who say they are too peppy. I mean, when Lainey Beaver and Christina Fields (both Kotzebue girls playing for Mt. Edgecumbe) are ripping up the Basketball court and beating the crud out of the Huskies, and the cheerleaders STILL yell and scream for "KHS, can you dig it?" then you KNOW they LOVE THEIR TEAM! And that's what its all about.

Lainey Beaver, she had some crazy amount of points...something like 30! (I'm probably wrong, but dude. She killed us.)

Oh, and they also happen to be the #1 TOP OF THE WORLD Cheer Squad in the whole WORLD! OK, maybe not the world, but that sounds great don't you think?! Maybe the best in Alaska at least, according to their HUGE trophy and super bright halogen smiles.

She is SO pretty...(and I'm not biased because my daughter looks just like her!)

Keep up the good work girls. And ROCK MY WORLD! Great coaching.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I have been SUPER busy this week, so no posting until now. I have lots to say and sometimes that gets me in into trouble.

*Disclaimer When you're in a big city, its a little easier for you to say what you feel like saying. But when you live in isolated Northern Alaska, you just can't come out and say, "that' is YOUR fault, and GROW UP!" to people. Apparently people hold grudges a long time here. But anyway...this is my personal blog. If you don't like it. Don't read it. Duh. Seems simple enough for me! haha. Oh well. No skin off my back! :) hehe.

Anyway...I don't know if y'all know, but I love hanging out with little girls. They have the BEST imaginations. The BEST stories. The BEST thank you's. They are not all dramatic (well, SOME of them aren't!) yet like tweens and teens are...and I just pretty much enjoy them!

So, we have a lot of "Sleepovers" with the girls in our community. Clara is staying with us while her mom is in Vegas, so her and Kaisa had a sleepover this weekend.

They were doctors, who took care of me. Their names were, "Selena, Taylor, Demi, Rosalina, and Miley!" Can you guess that we do have the Disney Channel!?

Playing outside they were puppies who were sent to earth to brig back their families to their home planet...wait for it....PLUTO! (I know, funny. haha) They were moms and dads, patients and doctors, friends and enemies.

We made t-shirts, watched movies, made Chocolate Covered Strawberries, cut paper until only a vacuum could pick it up, played out, made "no boys allowed" signs, and talked about fun girly stuff. Like which country you'd like to rule as a princess.

OK look, the girls are the following in age: L-R 9, 8, 8, 6 & 7. Just another notion that my child is an AMAZON girl!

It was a good NO BOYS ALLOWED weekend! Do you have girls? How do you have fun!?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Like D-day for parents...


That's what we call it. There are SOOO many cute things you can make/bake/craft for Valentine's day, but the real reason we call it V-day is because we find out, as parents...who our kids like.


"I'm gonna make a special one, just for _____."

"Mom, do you have any sprinkles for ____'s Card?!" (Sprinkles=glitter)

"If I write I <3 U, do you think he will heart me too?!"

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Since my wings were cut (my husband quit at Alaska Airlines), I haven't much had the enjoyment of going to Wal-mart for some heart pencils and notepads for a dollar, so now, we have to make everything. Sure, I could have totally bought Valentine's Day cards from the AC, but then everyone would have the SAME cards...and who wants that?!

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So, instead...between work, Saladmaster dinner, a basketball game and baking cookies for the classes, we made 40 handmade Valentine's with short encouraging words like, "You R Smart!" "You R my friend." "You R cool!" among the regular V-day themed ones like, "Be mine," and "I like you!"

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Since my mom also works at the school and it was only 10:30 p.m. we were really on a roll, they also made special one's for my mom, Dean's mom and their teachers. (I let them sleep until after 8:00 a.m. this morning...and tonight, they're going to bed at 8:00!!!)

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This morning...I woke up and started melting chocolate for Chocolate Covered Strawberries, cause you know, we have to send something HEALTHY for a school treat. Besides the low-fat, low-sugar cookies (yeah right) what's better than low-something Chocolate smothered over strawberries...on sale to boot!

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Clara - 8, Kaisa - 6

I only have to worry about one (two with Clara) kid though. My son is on a school trip. Lucky for him, they traveled in a 1900, which has 17 seats and a twin turbine engine (pilot's feel free to correct me!) rather than the usual 9 seater, single-prop caravan they usually use to get to Point Hope for a basketball tournament. So, no Valentine's for him. Yay. But, I wonder though, middle school boys and girls together on Valentine's weekend. Hmmm... That's OK, I told my son that every SINGLE person in his school was his cousin. The Whites, Blacks, Asians, Indians, and Eskimo's. EVERYONE. I totally made him believe it too! It's easy to believe though, since I have just about 72 first-cousins. (whew...THANK YOU Aana and Tatta for having SOOO many siblings who had 10 or more kids!)

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My husband and son are gone until Sunday, and my sister is on her way to Vegas, so its just me and the daughter and niece, Clara, this weekend. Sounds like a perfect weekend to watch girly movies and play with makeup. The girls were SO excited to go to school this morning, their lack of sleep didn't deter them from bounding out of bed to rush and get ready. They had Valentine's, Treats and most importantly, their BRAND new outfits from Grandma! Clara mentioned to Kaisa, "Man, it woulda been perfect if we got to curl our hair huh?!"

I'm thinking more like, "Man, it woulda been perfect if we didn't make such a mess last night and a clean-up fairy would make my house clean for the weekend!"

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Happy Valentine's Party Day!