Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Culture Night At Wonder Park!

Talofa! or should I say "Ohla" This is my little girl at the Culture Night at her school. I dressed her in her "pulatasi", (a traditional Samoan dress for all you none Samoan speaking folks) and then she won the sombrero for a door prize. Cute Hugh! We had over a 100 people there which I'm told was a lot more than last year. I made a photo backdrop (below) ...simple but the kids and parents liked it. I also brought costumes for the kids to wear to take pictures in.
I loved working on this project. I really felt like I was helping out my community. I think sometimes in the church we don't get out of our own circles and share our talents and friendship with people of other faiths. I think it is mainly because we don't see the opportunities to help or we don't seize them when they are there! Well taking on PTA President this year was not my first choice but it has been really rewarding. Our involvement this year has been very minimal but the Principle has supported us every step of the way and I've really had my eyes opened to what a difference I can make in my community.
My sisters, Leilani, Rachael, and Kaye (below) came to help with the evening. They were sweating as they made who knows how many candy leis for the kids and their parents. I am so lucky to have family that enjoys serving. Not to mention we always seem to have the best time, what ever we are doing.
I was so happy to see Kaye. She assisted at the food table or I really should say our "International Marketplace", with some of the other parents who had volunteered to help that night. We had parents bring in sample dishes from their cultures. Then they filled out cards which had their names, the country it was from and the type of food. people had a blast trying out the exotic dishes and the best part is that we had a lot of food! I was so happy with the turn out.
Yes, those of you who have see those mission photos will recognize this pose from the MTC. I took my cue for this station from my MTC experience. It was fun to have everyone find the places they were from and mark them on the map. My little multi- cultural people on the wall were colored by Leilani and Lilly. They did a great job!
Here's Leilani and her helper Julie (a parent that just sat down and started helping), making leis faster than lickity split! Leilani is concentrating really hard.......Leilani and Rachael are both so good with kids and working with people. It is such an asset to have them on any project I work on because they are reliable.
Here are some helpers from the night! CUTE HUGH! They had a blast!

Some of the other booths included African Masks, Family Crests: this is wear they took a shield and made a symbol that stood for their family, native yo-yo making and there was a place were students could play some traditional native Olympic games. During the evening we had some Polynesian dancing and I taught some hula to a group of kids. All in all it was a wonderful night.

I felt so good afterwards and as I thought about it I came to realize that the feelings I was feeling were the spirit. Funny Hugh....a school activity and I felt the spirit but I did. You see it all had to do with the people who chose to show up and participate. Family (members of the church), Polynesian singers (members of my ward), and an awesome Beehive class that came with their leader and helped people they had never meet before, enjoy an activity that promoted unity, tolerance, and appreciation for their own cultures as well as their neighbors...basically individual worth.

Isn't that one of the main principles of the gospel? That we are all children of a Heavenly Father who loves us. If anything that is what makes us all the same, and I felt that that night with all these strangers that I meet and I know from parents I talked to that they felt it too. Comments like "it just feels so different this year." "I don't remember ever having so much fun at a school party" It may not make sense to you but I it was another testament to me that I can make a difference. That all of you who came to help, YOU made a difference because of who you are, and we can bear testimony through our actions were ever we may be and whatever organizations that we may be a part of. Thank you everyone for your help..........Felicia

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Well Merry Christmas Everyone!!! Oh yes, I know I'm late but I am here and I am posting some of my Christmas Eve Holiday Photos. This year we had a Pajama party! All the families wore their matching PJs. Taryn was so excited when she saw her "Fancy" pjs and her pink slippers....Yes, mom came through for her girl! Jeremy and I wore a patriotic assortment, (blue & red pjs) that Jeremy picked out for us. For some reason he didn't want to be in "Fancy" pjs. I personally would have paid big money for a picture of that and then I would have blogged about it for all of you to see........He-he!!!

The party was so much fun...We played pictionary with Christmas themes...and that was fun. I had Dad prepare a little spiritual thought about the season. He had mom gather some pictures from her personal library and then he proceeded to tell the Christmas story. Well let's just say that Dad was a little tired that night from working all day. Most of what he said came out all mixed up and for those of you who know my father, know that he is somewhat of a scriptorian. So this was a little unusual and comical to say the least. So we all burst in to laughter when he said .."amen" and then Seth, (my brother) said now let's play correct the false doctrine. Oh yes we all just laughed our heads off. Kudos to mom for assisting dad. She was at least trying to get the pictures in the right know the star before the baby Jesus was born.....Great job mom!!!!

Well there were a lot of gifts given this night. All the siblings picked names and all the cousins did the same. We tried things a little different and had all the gifts given one at a time so that we all could enjoy the process. Surprisingly there was minimal chaos! The best part was watching Ikaika's face as Noa opened the gift that he had supposedly purchased for him. (Of course he had no idea what it was because his mom bought it for him.)I don't think
I've ever seen a more disappointed face on a child. You could see it all over his face that if he had known what it was, he would've never given it up!

Yeah the sad part is that Taryn does the same thing when we shop for others. You know those occasional B-day parties etc. Except she tells me up front that she likes something and then in the same breath says that we can't get it for whoever because it won't be fair to her if they have that nice thing. Yeah, we have lots of talks about how we should treat others. I wonder if it is getting through.

Well here's to another awesome year...I hope that is a great one for you all too! Love Ya, Felicia

P.S. If you haven't noticed Jeremy has been keeping up with the blog. I do appreciate his dedication to keeping you all informed. Unfortunately, I don't get to surf the net at he does. You know those air traffic controllers and their MANDATORY breaks...Ha-ha.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ice Candles

I've been promising my parents and sister that I would be posting a picture of our luminaries made from ice. With our warm spell, I thought we were going to loose them, but they survived...barely. The temps are starting to fall and the streets are getting cleaned up, so with any luck, I'll start making some more luminaries soon. They are easy to make and really look good lined up around your yard. I made this one with a 30 gallon garbage can that we were using to store my fishing boots and other gear. I filled it up with water and left it outside to freeze; a few days later, I used my ice auger to cut a hole down the middle. But, if you keep a close eye on the freezing process you don't even need the ice auger, just chip through the top of the ice every morning and night until you have the thickness you want and then dump out the water from the middle of the luminary. You should leave a few inches of water in the bottom to freeze overnight as the bottom of the container will be the last part to freeze. Then bring the whole thing into your garage to thaw for an hour or two. You can then turn your container upside down and dump out the luminary. For one of this size you should use two or three people to move it around. You can either place a candle in the bottom and light it, or invert it over a bunch of Christmas lights or maybe over a landscape light.
With all the rain we were having I had to invert them over the Christmas lights to keep it from filling up water. A friend of mine used 5 gallon buckets and ended up making 30 of them to go around his yard last year, he just used the 8 hour candles to light his, they were pretty spectacular!
My parents make something similar out of round jello molds that they freeze in their freezer, they then stack a few of them together and take them to the cemetery to place on my brothers grave site with a candle in the middle. I hope this gives you an idea of something you'll try at your house to brighten up the dark winter nights, or as a nice way to share your light with a loved one who has passed on.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Schools Closed

One thing we Alaskans pride ourselves in is rarely if ever closing the schools for inclimate weather. If it snows 18 or 24 inches problem; a little bothersome maybe but we live in Alaska, that's expected to happen a couple of times during the winter. Our roads never get completely plowed clear of the snow in the winter time, we usually have 2-3 inches of snow that gets compacted down on the roads and turns to ice, especially on the side roads which may not get plowed until 3 or 4 days after the snow falls depending on where in town you live.

This morning we woke up to a heat wave, it was 35 at my house and is expected to warm up to 39, which is great, except for the rain that came with it. If it wasn't freezing rain when it was falling, it froze on the ground which has not yet warmed up with the rising temps. While we are used to driving through blizzards, through deep snow covered roads, and on 4 inches of ice; Mother Nature has found our Achilles heel, we can't drive on wet ice. Needles to say, the roads are very treacherous this morning and they have closed the schools. Besides the warm weather and the rain, we are experiencing high wind warnings of gusts up to 105 miles per hour. Lucky for me, I don't live in the part of town that will feel the brunt of the storm.

Felicia still made it into work this morning and I will be dropping Taryn off at her Auntie's house so I can go to work at 1. I expect it to be a very busy and lousy day for me at work with this bad weather spreading over much of the state. Airplanes don't handle freezing rain very well, nor do they handle icy runways with very much grace either.

I found this this morning about what we had at work yesterday:

KODIAK, Alaska - An Alaska Airlines jet has been grounded to check for damage after its pilots maxed out the engines trying to get it stopped on an extremely icy runway.

Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Caroline Boren tells radio station KXMT the flight crew found the runway far slipperier on Tuesday than the airport had led them to expect.

Boren says the pilots were able to get the plane stopped by the time they reached the end of runway 36 by using maximum power on the engines' reverse thrusters. The runway ends on the bank of the Buskin River.

The plane, a 737-400 with 34 passengers and five crew members aboard, taxied under its own power to the terminal. There were no reported injuries.


The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Freezing rain is causing havoc in Alaska's largest city.

Schools and universities were closed Tuesday because of the treacherous driving conditions. The city's transportation department also has suspended bus service because of the icy roads.

Anchorage police reported 46 accidents between midnight and 8 a.m. Eight of those involved injuries. Another 100 cars were in the ditch.

Police are advising people to stay off the roads, if possible.

The Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood also closed Tuesday because of the conditions. High winds, with gusts of more than 100 mph, are forecast Tuesday afternoon in higher elevations and through Turnagain Arm.

Hopefully, this weather wont last for too much longer (forcasted for the next 2-3 days), I'd rather be back to -20 to -30 than have to deal with the freezing rain.

Hopefully, your weather is much better wherever you are!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Was the Summer of 67

It was the last Sunday of June 1967 when they first met...or rather he set eyes on her.
Dad was sitting with his Aunt and Uncle's family in Sacrament Meeting when she walked in...but walked in is not how he described it, Dad said "with each step, her dress flowed as if she were walking on a cloud; her radiant smile was framed by her beautiful blond hair." Dad was smitten--never to look toward another. He said that time had long since erased the life's lessons that were taught during the services that day, yet time could not erase the memories of their first moments together (I can hear birds twittering and bunnies sighing in the background, as a lovesick scene of Bambi runs through my head).

It just so happened that Dad's aunt and uncle were best friends with her parents, they were formerly introduced; her name was Connie. They visited for a few minutes, she got into her car with her family, then as the story has been told, Connie immediately informed her mother she was going to marry Phil. Connie kept the announcement a secret from him until they were engaged six weeks into their courtship.

41 years ago today (January 12, 1968) my Father made the best decision of his life in marrying Connie Koldewyn in the Salt Lake Temple.

They had five children...Amy Kay, Becky, Jonathan Philip, Jeremy K , and Thomas Sidney; all of which later married and started families of their own except for Tom, who passed away November of 1996 from complications of Leukemia.

Mom and Dad built their marriage on the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ with Love and Respect for one another and tried to instill in us their children the same qualities they knew to be true. Many a time Dad has told me, and still does; "treat your beautiful wife like the Queen she is, and she will treat you like the King you can become".

After all these years they have only left me with one question: Where does my middle name come from? Is it for Mom's maiden name Koldewyn? Or am I named after Dad's cousin "K", the person he went to listen to speak in church that last Sunday in June 1967. Maybe I'll never know. Dad said that time had erased the lessons taught in Church that Sunday, personally I don't think he was paying attention to the speakers.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! The first 4 songs on todays playlist are for you, have a dance on me.
We love you! - Jeremy K

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jack Frost is Nippn' at our noses!

Todays Forcast...still COLD!

Current Condition

Partly Cloudy
Feels Like -28°F
Wind:ESE at 5 mph
Pressure:29.68 in. steady
Dew Point:-21 °F
Visibility:10.0 mi
UV Index0 Low
Current weather condition updated: 1/7/09 7:53 AM Alaska ST

This is the current weather for Elmendorf Air Force Base just 4 miles away from where we live. I think its funny that they list the UV index this time of year since we wont see the sun until 10:30 or 11:00 am and it will be down by 3:30 pm

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year changes

Taryn sure didn't waste any time making changes this new year. Yesterday she started her swimming lessons with two other girls about her age. They practiced kicking, blowing bubbles, holding their breath, floating on their back, floating on their stomachs, and doing the crawl stroke. Taryn's instructor told Taryn that she was a natural! I was very impressed watching her swim forward with her head under water, when she ran out of breath, she rolled over to her back, took another breath and rolled right back over with her head under water and kept doing the crawl stroke! Her instructors kept her in the shallow end of the pool to build her confidence. Taryn loved the swimming, and can't wait till tomorrow when she can go back for her next lesson.

Taryn was excited to go back to school to see her friends and to see her teacher Mrs. Sandoval. Mrs. Sandoval is a wonderful teacher and really pays attention to needs of the kiddos in the class. I was a bit worried last night when I received a call from Taryn's teacher; I immediately thought that something bad must be happening in class or Taryn was having some type of problem, but that was not the case at all. Mrs. Sandoval told me that she had discussed Taryn's academics with the Principal and felt Taryn was being held back in her reading and writing by staying in the First Grade. Mrs Sandoval and the Principal felt it would be in Taryn's best interest to jump up to the Second Grade for at least part of her day. We agreed; and so, begining today, Taryn will spend the first part of her day with the second graders and then come back to her regular class for Math, Health, and Science. Taryn was a bit nervous about having to make some new friends, but we trust that she will have no problem doing so.

We feel so blessed that Taryn has a teacher who cares enough about her to look for ways to continue her education in a way that is challenging. We are also so proud of Taryn and her accomplishments, she never ceases to amaze us!

I can't post this without adding something to help cure the winter blues. It has been so coooold! With night time lows dropping to -23 F and day time highs at only -3 F this past week I've been warming my spirits with memories of last summer (like this nice Kenai bow) and by looking forward to next summer. Felicia is looking forward to trying out her new 5wt on a place I like to call birthday creek (because the creek is full of so many gifts). Taryn also got a new spinning rod, she was dissapointed she didn't get a fly rod like Mom's...maybe for her birthday I told her.