Home to Alaska!

I found this amazing blog where the blogger wrote about why she stays in Alaska. Her wording is perfect! . Here is her link:

http://onehotmessalaska.blogspot.com/2015/02/why-i-stay.html

It made me think about why I stayed. I was born and raised here, so no fancy story about being relocated to Alaska or stepping into the wild on an adventure. Being born was the start of my adventure. Me, my husband and two kiddos were all born in the same hospital (not at the same time, of course). All grew (or are growing up) in the same town .I wouldn’t want it any other way.

The longest I’ve left the state was 3 weeks for vacation and that was about two weeks too long. The people in this state are unparalleled. Alaska is so big and so small at the same time. Instead of 7 connections away, you’re more like two… maybe three if you didn’t grow up here.

I have had lots of friends who felt the pull to move away. I grew up hearing people talk about how they can’t wait to ‘get out of here’. I never could ‘get’ that… or identify with it. I already knew that I lived in the best place in the World… and had no need to test that out.

The people, the adventures around every corner, the ability to slip into the woods right outside our door is amazing. People here are self-sufficient (well, for the most part) and skills like sewing, gardening, wilderness first aide, farming, small engine mechanics, internal gps (not a skill I have, but my hubs does), canning and preserving food, hunting/fishing, construction,etc… those are things that are celebrated and desired.

I want my kids to grow up learning to love and respect nature. I want them to know that while it’s our job to be weary of strangers, it’s always our job to help those in need (whether we know them or not). I want them to think of others ahead of themselves, but always be prepared to take of themselves. These are values and life skills I feel like can be emphasized anywhere on a small scale, but are community attributes in Alaska.

Also… I cry every time I hear the ‘Home to Alaska’ song. So there’s that.

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Graduation from the Prek 2015

The time has come!! Some of my sweet preschool friends are moving on to the ‘big school’ next year. To celebrate we have graduation… imagine it like a wilder version of the traditional graduation scene. People in gowns, hats and tassels, nervous parents and siblings seated in the audience, speeches given by teachers who prefer to not talk in front of large groups of adults, and students being bribed… with bubbles … to sit nicely and listen.

It’s a impressively organized (not to toot my own horn, but TOOT TOOT!) and well put together event. I might be jinxing myself… maybe I should have written this the morning after graduation.

Watching a group of five year olds march down the aisle to ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ (in an actual line without poking or running into anybody) will make any teacher tear up with pride and joy. Viewing our slideshow of the last two years they’ve spent with me generally has the parents pulling out the Kleenexes. But the best moment has to be watching them all march out at the end, holding their diplomas and bubble wands, smiling their biggest smiles at their parents.

The joy in that moment, for all involved, is what I hope they carry with them. The love, pride, sense of accomplishment (even if all it really amounts to was surviving preschool!) and feeling of community is one I hope transcends our hour long celebration at a random point of their lives in Alaska. It’s something I think a lot of people forget to give themselves: a moment to celebrate.

So tomorrow at My Favorite Preschool’s Graduation in Chugiak, Alaska- We Will Celebrate!!! And then eat cake.