Wednesday, April 29

Stacy's Birthday

We celebrated Stacy's 8th birthday last Friday and had her party on Saturday.  Kelsey made her these colorful leggings which are right up Stacy's alley!


Scott and I got her this microscope and her reaction was hilarious!  "Mom! This is SO COOL!!"  {long pause} "What is it?" After I explained it to her though, she got right down to business.  We've looked at everything from spit to dryer lint under the microscope.  We're hatching brine shrimp (the stuff came with the scope) right now to examine as well.  Nothing is safe from her curiosity!


She got the star treatment at school, too!


I'm going on 37 and I've never had a birthday candle in my biscuits and gravy!  She Skyped/Face Timed, and called our extended family, even talking with her birthday twin great aunt in Kansas!


We made a small cake for the birthday day dinner, as well.


Saturday we had her party.  She came up with the idea of a maker faire party which was so much fun!


We did all of the things listed and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves!  Making things light up and move is guaranteed fun!  Here are some friends making pom pom critters...


The weather was fantastic, so after the party we headed down to the triangle and barbecued with some of our friends.  It was a great way to end the day!




Stacy chose a pound cake for her birthday cake and as you can see, it wasn't my best baking ever.  I got the recipe from a friend of mine who is famous in Whittier for her pound cakes.  I think it needed a little more time in the oven though.  It was yummy, but not quite as fabulous as when she makes them!

We wrapped up the day with one more invention, this brush bot.  Stacy and I made it just before bedtime and she told me the next morning that she dreamed about "batteries and motors and making stuff move"!


It was a happy day for a creative , curious 8 year old and for her family and friends too!

Monday, April 27

20 Questions for an 8 Year Old



1.  How old are you?
     eight 

2.  Who is your best friend?
     Leainna & Jeffrey

3.  What is your favorite thing to do?
     play with my friends

4.  What is your favorite color?
     every color in the rainbow except dark green

5.  What is your favorite food?
     seaweed (she likes the dry sheets)

6.  What do you like to do with your family?
     have a barbecue

7.  What is your favorite toy?
     my stuffed penguin

8.  What do you want to be when you grow up?
     a nurse or a doctor or a vet

9.  What makes you happy?
     when people are nice to each other

10.  What makes you sad?
     when people exclude other people

11.  What is your favorite show to watch?
     Guy's Grocery Games

12.  What is your favorite book?
     Catwings

13.  What do you love to learn about?
     math

14.  What is the best part of your birthday?
     getting older

15.  Where do you like to go?
     sushi restaurants

16.  Who is your teacher?
     Mrs. C

17.  What is your favorite treat?
     getting to have a barbecue

18.  What do you think about before you fall asleep?
     it depends--when I do think about something I think about all the times that have   
     made me sad.  Then I think "Oh my gosh!  Why am I thinking about this?"  Then I think 
     about other ways I could have handled it.  

19.  If you could meet someone famous who would it be?
     Guy Fieri 

20.  What kind of cake did you have this year?
     Ms. Debra's pound cake

************************
The answers on on her 7th birthday
The answers on her 6th birthday
The answers on her 5th birthdayhttp://northernlightsmama.blogspot.com/2012/04/birthday-questions.html

Friday, April 24

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.   

Inspired by SouleMama.


Wednesday, April 22

Preparedness and Prevention

I spent this last weekend observing the training that fishing vessel owners go through to participate in Ship Escort/Response Vessel System known as SERVS around here.  SERVS is funded and run by the Alyeska Pipeline Company which is a group of oil companies that own and run the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) and the Valdez Marine Terminal (VMT) where the oil is loaded onto tankers.  I am a board member of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council (PWSRCAC) that is made up of citizens from communities affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  We work to give citizens in those communities is voice in the safe transport of oil through the sound.

So...back to the weekend...the training was both Saturday and Sunday from 7am-6pm with an hour off for lunch.  It included a 5 hour HAZWOPER training along with sessions to familiarize fisherman with all of the various equipment they might encounter in cleaning up a spill.  On Monday and Tuesday fisherman have an opportunity to practice with all of that equipment on the water.

I learned so much from this training and I was only an observer!  The days started early and were long, but went by quickly.  The weather was a total disaster the three days I was involved, though folks on the water on Tuesday saw mostly sunshine.  My long johns and rain gear got a good work out, that's for sure!

Here are a few pictures from Monday when I spent the day on the barge where they stage the response gear.  We got to watch the gear being offloaded to various boats and see it in action all around us.  In the afternoon we took part in a 'fly over' where we went out in a little boat to check on everyone and see how things were going up close.  I know I keep saying it, but it was such a learning experience for me!

Friday, April 17

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.   

Inspired by SouleMama.


Wednesday, April 15

The Final Day of Ski PE

After having our last lesson cancelled last week due to high winds, we wrapped up ski lessons on a make-up day yesterday.  The kids had a blast and I stretched my wings a bit farther, too!


Those are my skis in the tram, headed to the top of the mountain.  Well, not quite the top (refer to map here), but pretty close!  Everyone kept on telling me it wasn't that steep, not that scary, you can do it and all that.  I didn't believe them but I was tired of skiing the slush at the bottom so I let my friend (and pastor, so I was pretty sure he wouldn't kill me--that would make for a bad headline!) Brian take me up and lead me down.  Turns out nobody was lying to me!  It was fun!  The snow was better, it wasn't that steep, and I can do it!  In fact I did...twice more!  So here's to stepping out of the comfort zone AGAIN.  If you had told me last April (or in December for that matter!) that I would be skiing from up there I would have laughed right in your face!  Why do I always do that to myself?  I limit myself all. the. time.  Silly me.

The girls and I did one final run at the end of  ski lessons.  They were pooped.  Here's Stacy as we waited in line at the tunnel.


Next winter they're going to be the kids just flying around while Mom and Dad slowly make their way down the hill.  Maybe they'll even be nice enough to wave at us as they go by?  They've learned so much--it's amazing, their capacity to learn new things!!

Monday, April 13

The Weekend

On Friday the girls and I attended a performance of Mummenshanz in Anchorage.  It was really neat!  There was lots of personification of shapes and objects that made you think about things in a different way.  I liked that!  The kids did too!  While we were waiting for it to start I snapped this photo of the beautiful stage in the Atwood Concert Hall at the Alaska Performing Arts Center in Anchorage.  It's so cool, all those lines and angles!


We also did a little shopping while we were out, complete with a beloved Cabbage Patch Kid in our shopping cart!  This made me smile so big my face hurt!!


Saturday found us outside in the sunshine as much as possible.  We took our lunch outside and picnicked right next to the slush...


We also took advantage of a free bike workshop a friend of ours was offering and worked on our bikes.  The kids both needed some handlebar fine tuning and my brakes needed some work.



Sunday found us back in town because less than an hour after arriving at home on Friday night one of the nose pads on Kelsey's glasses popped off.  Rotten timing!  Oh well--we took advantage of it and made some stops we don't often have time for like Jo-Ann Fabrics and PetCo (the kids like to check out all of the animals).  We also stopped for ice cream on the way home...'cause what's a girls day without ice cream?


Hope you had a great weekend, too!

Friday, April 10

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.   


Inspired by SouleMama.


Wednesday, April 8

New Roles


Some pretty exciting stuff has been happening around here the past few weeks!  In the midst of all my coming and going I also filled out a job application.  There will be an opening at the girls' school next year (the only school around!) and I applied for and got the job.  I'll be back in the classroom next year!  I am beyond excited!  There are some inservice days next week that are used for planning the upcoming school year, so I'll get to be part of that planning and start to really dig into what next year will look like.

On the other hand, I am sad to have to leave my position on the school board.  I have learned so much about how school districts function and their organization and leadership.  I know that this understanding and the experiences that I have had with the board will make me a better teacher, but I will miss collaborating with board members around the state.

So back to teaching.  I haven't talked very much about it on the blog, but our school district rocks my world.  It's an amazing system that I am proud have been part of as a volunteer, parent, school board member and now as a teacher.  If you're curious, Google "Chugach School District" some day and do a little reading.  I'll even link you to a series of articles that was written this winter about our district.  Read carefully, yours truly was interviewed for this series and is quoted in one!

It will be a great year.  It will come with challenges as our family gets used to Mom working, as we adjust to a new role in the community, and as I learn to juggle work and family again.  It will also come with huge rewards as we all stretch outside of our comfort zones and learn to take on some new responsibilities.  It's going to be great!!

Monday, April 6

Easter

Sometimes I really want to be able to be in two places at once.  Wouldn't that solve so many problems?  When we looked at Easter weekend a month ago we knew we'd have to choose though; a series of wonderful services and community events here in Whittier, or a weekend with friends in the wilderness.  In the end, we let the kids choose and Friday night found us headed north to Trapper Creek.  It's usually about a 4 hour drive up there, by the time we stop for last minute supplies on the way up.  It was at least 6 this time though.  We were caught in a traffic backup on the Glenn Highway following a horrific accident that left at least two families morning the loss of loved ones over a holiday weekend.  As we spent two hours creeping along the 10 mile stretch of highway we kept reminded the kids and ourselves that although waiting is not fun, at least we were all safe and sound.  Luckily I had packed dinner to eat in the car, so we didn't have hungry kiddos and we were able to be {mostly} patient.  The girls did an excellent job of entertaining themselves.  We finally pulled into our friends' driveway around 11:30 and fell into bed.

Saturday was a beautiful day!  We had our Easter meal Saturday so we could linger over it rather than be rushed since we had to return to Whittier on Sunday.  The weather was warm and mostly sunny, so the kids spent most of the time outside.  Saturday they jumped on the trampoline for hours, rode snowmachines on the lake, rode bikes, blew bubbles, colored with sidewalk chalk, made cookies, and helped the adults with firewood cutting.  It was a full, busy day!



Sunday the kids did more trampoline jumping (best yard toy ever!!!) and we also hunted plastic eggs, dyed real eggs, did a craft, and worked outside a bit more.


Our drive home was much quicker.  We made it all the way to Anchorage before we stopped (about 2.5 hours) and then grabbed a few things at the store and came the rest of the way home.  It was great to be unplugged from the 'real world' and plugged in with great friends for a few days...it was just what we Korbes needed!

Wednesday, April 1

Juneau


I just looked at the calendar and realized that of the last 15 days I have been away from home for 9.  No wonder I was glad to get home last night!  I am slated to be at home now until May...though we are headed up to the cabin this weekend we're all going together!

Before leaving Juneau yesterday I go to do a few things I hadn't done before.  I started the day with all of the school board members having coffee and hot cider at the Governor's Mansion.  Here's Governor Walker speaking to us a bit at the end of our reception.  That's Lieutenant Governor Mallot to his right and the Commissioner of Education Mike Hanley to his left. 


The Lieutenant Governor sat next to me and we chatted through most of the morning.  I'm a total dork, I know!  It was fun to chat with him about education, though.  He has a real heart for Alaskans, even in tough times.


They served us scones, fruit and your choice of coffee or hot cider topped with whipped cream and drizzled with carmel sauce.  I chose the cider and it was amazing!  Here are a few random pictures inside the mansion...



read the sign...it's hilarious!
Later in the day a Juneau board member offered to take me out to Mendenhall Glacier.  I accepted the kind offer and was glad.  It was beautiful!  I can't imagine how magnificent it must look in the sunshine!


And a few random shots from around the capital...




Monday was Seward's Day and there was a group of folks passing out these fun Xtra Tuf marshmallows to all of the offices.  They are fondant covered hand crafted marshmallows.  I have no idea how they tasted, but I thought they were pretty cute!


The purpose of my visit was to advocate for funding for education.  The economy in Alaska is not very pretty right now and we're facing some major cuts in all areas.  The hardest part it knowing that this is likely only the first round of cuts.  It's hard to be hopeful in the face of such a bleak picture, but as we all know it politics, it's not over until the final gavel bangs.  Fingers crossed!

PS--have I mentioned how glad I am to be home?? :-)