Friday afternoon we said farewell to our home in southern Illinois (SoILL). We made the five-hour trek from our home to my parents home near Chicago. Our car was packed a little too tightly. So, we will be leaving a load or two of stuff with my mom to mail to us in Juneau.
Cody & I packing the trunk
Cody strapping down the turtle shell
Getting in the car to leave
There will be plenty more pictures when we leave northern Illinois. We will have party pictures, packing pictures, and departure pictures. We will be driving the trip in a few legs. Our definite stopping points will be Colorado, Utah, and Washington. Everything else we will play by ear. I will try my best to keep everyone updated through the blog and Facebook. I am hoping to get some amazing pictures as we drive!
This past year has been a wild adventure, and Pilot Point has been the central setting to that adventure. Our time here has been largely shaped by the people, and more specifically the other teacher and her husband. Unfortunately though, Melissa and Ben will not be staying in Pilot Point next year. This means that the secondary position at our school is open. I, of course, am anxious to see who will fill the role. Pilot Point is a wonderful little community, and I want the very best for our kids. It's hard to recruit good teachers for the bush, and it's harder still to recruit for such a small site. However, even though we are small, there are a lot of good things about teaching in Pilot Point.
Lake and Peninsula School District is one of the best rural districts in the state. LPSD is the third district I've taught for in my career, and it's the best by a mile. The benefits package is great. The administration is supportive, consistent, and easy to work with. There is v…
Alaska is still somewhat of a mystery to people in the Lower 48. It isn't a typical vacation destination or a place that children grow up wishing they lived in. With the surge of Alaska-affiliated reality shows over the last few years though the interest has really grown. I've found that a lot of people are interested in our lifestyle up here. I get asked a lot of questions both personally and through my blog about life in this beautiful state. These questions are what inspired my post today. So, without further adieu, here is my list of Alaskan pros and cons :)
1.) Outdoorsy Lifestyle: If you love the outdoors and don't mind braving the elements, you can really have a good time with recreational activities. Hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, camping, ice climbing, rock climbing, etc. There is never a shortage of outdoor activities (year round). Hiking, climbing, and fishing have really shaped our personal lives, and helped us make really valuable connections with…
Winter has officially arrived on the Alaska Peninsula. The snow arrived about two weeks ago, and it seems set on sticking around for awhile. With the snow, comes the cold - and temperatures in the -20's have been making regular appearances. Despite the cold, winter has always been one of my favorite seasons. I love celebrating the holidays with my family, watching fresh snow quietly settle over the landscape, spending the afternoons ice skating on frozen lakes, and snowshoeing through the hills.
With winter in Alaska also comes the darkness. Sunrise is now at nearly 10am and sunset is at 4:45pm. The shortened days make me feel like a hibernating bear, sleepy and ready for a long rest. I'll admit that winter always makes me sleep more, which I don't mind at all. I also spend a lot more time indoors doing little projects, watching movies, cooking, and reading.
When the sun does show its face, I try my best to find my way out into it for awhile. After school, I rush out th…