January - March 2011

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2011 is just flying by. We are writing this in March so memories of January are sparse. We had a moose wander through our yard and we were able to get close up pictures. Then at the beginning of February we had a gorgeous snowfall that flocked all the trees and they stayed that way for a good two weeks. Then around the end of February we had a mama moose and her yearling spend several hours resting in our yard after browsing on the trees. I did not know that moose chewed their cud like cows. We had a fantastic stretch of sunshine and clear skies that lasted about four weeks. It was a little chilly (-20 deg F) but the sun was worth it. In the middle of March some clouds returned and the temperature went up into the forties – downright balmy. We haven’t had a lot of snow this year so maybe breakup will be shorter – we already have a lake in our driveway.

Click on picture to see more photos ...................................................................Winter and Moose Around Home

At work I have only flown once taking two Alaska Christian College leaders and seven students out to Hooper Bay. There was not a cloud in the sky over the whole state so our trip out through Bethel (for fuel) was incredible. The students were going out to Hooper Bay as part of one of their courses to apply what they had learned in class to the village setting while working with the youth. On our way back Bob & I were treated to a priceless view of the Alaska Mountain Range and Mt Redoubt as the sun was setting. I marveled at the huge expanse of virgin white snow that allowed no hint of rock to show through.

Click on picture to see more photos .....................................................ACC Leaders & Youth to Hooper Bay

Then as the sun set, there was a crimson tinge to the mountain tops.

I have been alone in the scheduling office for the last four months while Tom was on his every-three-year trip to talk with his supporters. We have not been too busy in January and February but March has looked like a summer month as far as the number of flights we have been flying. I have managed to stay up with the workload, but only just. In the last week I have started to fall behind in the post flight procedures that documents passengers & cargo flown, flight costs and hours flown (used to predict when aircraft maintenance inspections are due). I spend some time fixing the Excel spreadsheets we use as I come across problems and am constantly adding things into the master file to reduce the workload involved in producing the flight slips that we give the pilots (it’s just software and as such can be changed; therefore it must be changed – think iPhone apps). For a two week period we had a person working with me that we were evaluating as a potential MARC person. Although I appreciated the help, I used all the time gained training him. Another part of my job is to answer all the requests for future flights and collecting all the information needed to produce the flight slips.
Cat’s health remains about the same. She will start to feel stronger as the days get warmer and longer. We both enjoy playing card games on the internet with our children and friends several evenings during the week, it is a good way to stay in touch with what is happening in their lives. We also enjoy the emails we receive from you after we send out our newsletters. It is good to stay in touch with all of you, too. We enjoy hearing about your activities as well as get a touch of home. We were fortunate to be able to take a couple of days and travel from Anchorage to Fairbanks on the Alaska Railroad in February. We stayed two days in Fairbanks and then continued to Chena Hot Springs about an hour by car from Fairbanks. It was a nice short break. Cat loves to ride the train and she was lucky to see her first Aurora at the Hot Springs. Very exciting! The next weekend we helped the local Emmaus community as they began a new activity focused on helping women who have family and friends in prison. It is called Kairos Outside and is connected with Kairos Inside which is done inside the prison with the prisoners. It was truly wonderful to see what God can do in just three days with the help and love of a few people. Don was a cook and the meals were great! Cat spent as much time as she could helping the music team.