Thursday, January 31, 2008

Around town

This is the view off the end of the Island.
I only found out yesterday that there was a "dog pound" and we went there today. It was very hard not to bring home 10 dogs.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Congratulations!

A big congratulations to my blogger buddies Jen and Jackie for winning the first Nunie Awards! Jen won for Best Nunavut Blog and Jackie won for Best New Nunavut Blog. For those of you who haven't read them (shame on you!) you should!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to one of my cherished friends, who I miss very much. ( I tried to call you but the number is wrong). Lots of love from all of us up here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

More from today

Joey's deep dark secret - he's a thumb suckin' sookie blanket snuggler!

Someone needs to take up a collection for my poor children - I'm such a mean mom that the only toys they have to play with are boxes of kleenex!

Colby and Nanny Joey after his nap

Damn that's cold!

I couldn't leave my hand on the door long enough to melt it to the glass.
This is what -42 does to my door.

Ice Road!

This is the house that Rob took a picture of this summer that we called "Lake House" in the cards we make. This was taken from the window of the truck.
The ice road in Yellowknife.
Me pointing to the crack in the ice! Stopped on the ice.
The cracks in the ice.
Shows you how wide the road is.
This is by far one of the coolest things we have done here so far. We went to Yellowknife yesterday and drove out on the lake. Poor mom was scared to death but handled it like a trooper.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Happy Birthday JoJo

Happy birthday to my other sister! Lots of love from all of us on the top of the world.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Just maybe....

I am sitting here at midnight thinking about the past week. I have been substituting at the elementary school all week, teaching grade 1 (Colby's class) through Grade 6, which I had today. I know a lot of the kids in the school from the Northern, and unfortunately not in the best of circumstances, as I have kicked many of them out of the store for either attempting to shoplift or just being a pain in the ass. These are kids that I have known for the past several months, and really haven't made an effort to get to know them. It hit me for the first time on my very first day when I was helping out with a gym class. They were having so much fun, playing together and laughing like I have seen kids do back home all the time before we moved here. No sideways hats, no attitudes, just kids playing. It was quite a humbling moment for me, as I realized I was being like many others and just "writing these kids off" as bad kids. I've made a real effort this week to try to learn names, which is very hard as I am in a different class everyday. What I love the most is now, after only 4 days of being in the school, all the kids know me, and at least 10 hug me when I walk through the door. These kids LOVE to hug and be hugged. It honestly breaks my heart because I know, in some cases 1st hand, that these kids do not get this at home. How can you NOT hug your child? When I'm out on the playground supervising recess, I have at least 3 with me at all times, 1 under each arm and one standing in front of me leaning back, just so they can get that little squeeze and hug before they go back to class. As I really looked around the school today, all the teachers are like this. Kids just cling to them, and I love the fact that I am now in that same catagory. Kids who wouldn't look at me without distrust in the Northern are now stopping me, either to just say hi or get a hug. There is one little boy in particular in this community that I have a real soft spot for. I only found out yesterday he is in the 6th grade, but he is not much bigger than Colby. He comes from a very broken home with no supervision and does what he can to survive. That's a lot to have on your shoulders when you are only 10 years old. Another one of the teachers and I were in the hallway today and he was between us. I put my arm around him and told his teacher that I wanted him in my class and I was stealing him. We then started "fighting" over him, saying that we "had to have him". There is nothing more heartwarming to me to see a face that I normally see so tough and guarded, laughing and loving the fact that 2 people were fighting over him. We were both holding on to him and pretending to push each other off him, and he was beaming. I met up with him and 3 of his friends in the Northern a few hours after school today when Mom and I went over. For the first time, he spoke to me in the store and called me by name. When I was at the check out, he asked me if I would buy him a bag of chips. I am always very careful when it comes to this, because as you can imagine if you do for one, they will all hound you. Knowing what I know about this boy, and knowing he probably hadn't even been home since leaving school, I tipped his hat back so I could look at him, grabbed him on either side of his face with my hands and said to him

"If you weren't so cute I would be able to say no to this face"

The smile he gave me lit his face, and at that point I would have bought him everything in the store and took him home with me. I told him and his 3 friends to go pick out a bag of chips each and I would treat them, as long as they promised me they would not cause trouble in the store for the rest of the night. 4 smiling faces quickly nodded and brought back 4 bags of chips, and all said "thank you" to me when they handed them to me. Thank you is a word that is not heard often here.

Yes, I know I will now be the "favorite" one in the Northern, and the boys will now more than likely be asking me all the time to buy them things. Will I? Of course not, that would be silly and would quickly get out of hand. What I will do, which is what I do for my own kids, is occasionally treat them to something if they are around. If a 1.00 bag of chips is all it takes to make a little boy or 2 (or 4) feel loved for even a few minutes, then I'll do it. And the more time I spend in the school, getting to know these kids, I'll see what it is that draws teachers from the south to come up here for 1 year and stay for 10, because they love the kids. I know I'm quickly losing my heart to all of them. And maybe, just maybe they'll feel the same for me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How to make my 6 year old go foolish

Colby is foolishly obsessed with the original Knight Rider. He has all 4 seasons on DVD and has watched all of them repeatedly. He nearly peed his pants with excitement when I saw this. It's going to be a 2 hour TV movie on February 17th.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How Rob spends his days off

For an explanation and other pics equally as funny, jump over to Nunavut Nonesense

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Heaven's hockey rink has another "corner boy"

WILSON, Harold William - Lower Sackville, passed away January 16, 2008, at home after a courageous battle with cancer. Born in Louisbourg March 23, 1948, he was the only son of Jessie (Hanham) Wilson, Sydney, and the late Harold Wilson (2006). Harold taught for 30 years with the Nova Scotia Community College, retiring from the Nova Scotia Institute of Technology in 2004. He was active in the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and served as president of the Nova Scotia Community College Teachers Association from 1994-1998. Following his retirement from teaching, he continued working and enjoyed many shifts with his colleagues at the Halifax Metro Centre. A resident of Sackville for 35 years, Harold contributed greatly to his community, his church and many professional committees and associations. Harold was actively involved in Sackville hockey programs for more than 25 years and for the last 10 years was president of the Sackville Junior B Blazers. His community involvement extended to positions as a school board trustee, service with Scouts Canada, and numerous committees supporting Sackville community development. His greatest roles were husband to his wife of 36 years, Colleen (Monk) Wilson, and father to Karen Wilson (Jim Howard), Lower Sackville, and Alan (Amy) Wilson, Ottawa. He is also survived by sister, Caroline (Calvin) Pitcher, Louisbourg; nieces, Melanie and Jennifer, and cousins, aunts and uncles. He will be fondly remembered by Colleen's parents, John and Iva Monk, and extended family of the Monks and Keatings. He will be missed by his many colleagues from NSCC, friends, and his cottage neighbors from Canoe Lake. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. W. Moryzcki, Veronica Tanner, Dr. Ron Killeen, Linda Killeen, Continuing Care and the Palliative Care Home Unit for their care and compassion. Family will receive friends from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. on Sunday, January 20, in Atlantic Funeral Home, Lower Sackville. Memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Monday, January 21, in Bedford United Church, Bedford. Reception in church hall to follow. Interment in Willow Grove Cemetery, Louisbourg will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Harold's memory to a charity of choice. On-line condolences may be sent to: www.atlanticfuneralhomes.com

Anyone who spent any time at the Sackville Arena or the Community College knew Harold. Harold was a great friend of my dad's for many years, and we all knew him well. They spent many nights travelling with the Blazers to away games. Harold volunteered much of his time with the Blazers, which is how we all got to know him and his wife. It was just as much of a family thing to them as it was to us. When Harold was first diagnosed with cancer, he stepped back from his responsibilities with the Blazers and became a "corner boy". The corner boys are at every hockey game. They are the older men who always sit in the top corner of the opposing side and cheer for the home team. They were the ones who yelled the loudest at the bad calls, and loved to torment the players from the away team. This is where Dad also sat when he was not able to participate, and I know they were both proud to be called a "corner boy".

Much of the week that Dad died is a blur to me, but I do remember Harold. Harold was very ill in November, as cancer was ravaging his body. I remember seeing him when we walked in the church sitting in the very front with his wife Colleen. He was very upset during the ceremony and stopped me afterwards. He told me that even towards the end when my Dad was sick and on oxygen, he always stopped in to see him and chat. Harold was too weak at his point to be out and cherished the times that Dad stopped in. They would talk about hockey and just "shoot the shit". They talked about how each was sick, and Harold told me that he never expected that dad would "go before him". I will always remember him whispering to me in a hug as we were both crying " it should have been me, I should have went first". He was such an amazing man and I will miss him just as much as I miss Dad.

I'm so proud

For those who don't know, I have a younger sister. Today, she passed her driver's test and is now a licenced driver! This has been a very long time coming for her, and to say we are proud of her is the understatement of the year. I'm beyond thrilled. This is something she has put off for quite a while due to circumstances in her life, and we are estatic that she has finally reached this independance. Enjoy budgeting for gas kid!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Let there be Light!

I know we have only been here a short while, but I don't think I will ever get tired of the Northern Lights.
Out playing around with the camera Sunday night. I wish the lights would come out a bit earlier! I took these photos at midnight.
Photos by Rob

My all time favorite picture

Rob and I have been taking a lot of pictures lately, as is obvious with the photo cards. I took this picture in the summer or 2006 when Joey was 5 months old. I have this picture enlarged on my wall.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Moments to be proud of

video

The song I hear over and over. I had to share this with everyone and hope it gets stuck in your head as it is in mine.

They're done!

Ptarmagan in Winter

The Boat House

Tracks

(left) Mid afternoon Winter (Right) Winter Grace

Midnight Tranquility

Midnight Sunset

A Glimpse of Heaven

We finally have the first set of pictures done and have decided on a price. For anyone who is truly interested in them, we are selling them individually, in sets of 5 and sets of 10. All cards come with white envelopes. More will be added as we take them and will be posted here. I am going to the post office tomorrow to find out how much shipping will be.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Help from my Northern friends

I was given a plastic bag full of dry caribou meat from one of the women I know at the school. My question is: What do I do with it? We tried eating a little bit of it as it is, as it looks just like jerky. Neither one of us like it. What uses can I use this for, or is eating it as it is the only way? And, how long is it good for? I currently have it in the fridge, though I'm sure as it is dried it does not need to be refrigerated. I didn't want to appear rude and ask her what I do with it, so I thought I would throw my question out here. I don't want to throw it away but we certainly won't eat it in the state that it is now.

Masi Cho (Thank you in dogrib) *grin*

Northern Update

As all of you can see, Tina, the kids and I are doing quite well here in the North. Colby can't wait to get to school everyday despite some of the issues he had before Christmas with some minor bullying on the bus home from school. He likes his teacher and his classmates. Tina is now back to Subbing at the school in Edzo, generally just elmentary classes but the money is good. Ed, the Northern Store Manager is hoping that Tina will be able to help us out by training to work in the gas bar, looks like that might happen. Unfortunately, she will be only able to work for the store when I am off, so I have no idea if this is going to work or not. We had a breakthrough with Joe the other day. Apparently he had a great day at the day care, spent a lot of the time playing with one of the little boys in there and slept in the hammock for 1.5 hours. We are having some issues at night now after we put him to bed, I think he wakes up and wants to be put in the hammok. He absolutely loves it! It is about time. Things at the store are going ok. I am going into my 4th month in the grocery department and I am about 75% along in my training. According to the training manual I have another 4 months in the General Merchandise Dept however with my work background, it is the area of the store that I know the most about. I simply need to know how the department operates more than I need training on how to merchandise. It looks as though my first relief will be sometime in March. It will NOT be here in Behchoko that much I know for sure. I have no idea where and I am very much looking forward to the experience. I have been told that I am a little over anxious...GUILTY! I have been doing the same thing for 4 months and things are finally coming together in my training and I can't wait to get into my own store. So, with the next 5 months I have to do 2 reliefs and I still have to go through the GM dept and then I am thinking that we will have our vacation and then return from vacation to our new home. I only hope that I don't go crazy in the mean time. Oh yeah, I just thought I would defend myself on getting the truck stuck. The best thing I came up with is....I'M A GUY! What was I suppsed to do, the snow was mocking me!

Friday, January 11, 2008

I love Jen

I was reading facebook tonight and Jen made a post on my wall. In true Northern style she has started a new blog. There's a contest going and for those of you who don't already know about it there is a certain little man who is part of this contest. Take a peek here

The Legend of the Caribou Boy

This is abook that was given to Rob by the illustrator. The book is a legend that was told by an elder in this community that was published into this book. The book is written in both dogrib and english and is signed by the illustrator, who also lives in this community. I'm thrilled to have such a momento to bring with us from here.

A blogger moment

This is a conversation that happened between Colby and I this morning as he got up:

"Mommy, what is the temperature out today?"

Me, looking at the thermometer outside the window

"It's -32 today"

"Oh, that's not so bad"

I can certainly tell he's getting used to the cold!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New adventures

When we first moved up here, I was excited about expanding my photography skills. My camera has been going nonstop since we moved here, as is quite obvious with the pictures you have all seen on this blog. I am beyond thrilled that Rob also has the same passion for photography that I do. Rob has the patience to learn how to use the different functions and settings on the camera that I just couldn't seem to grasp. I feel that our photography is reaching a new level, and we are thrilled to take it "to the next step". We were inspired by Jen who is also a phographer. She makes cards and postcards out of her photos. When we first moved here, I always said that the one thing the store was missing was postcards of local scenery. We have decided to put that idea on "the back burner" for now until Rob is in his own store, and then we may persue this. For now, we have decided to make cards of the scenery around here. We are in the process of having pictures printed and then will be assembling the cards. Here is a sample of some of the pictures we have done so far. As I am typing this Rob is outside in his heavy winter gear as the Northern Lights are out for the first time in over 2 weeks. We'll see what he brings in, and will keep you posted on when the cards are done and ready to be sold!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Happy Birthday Uncle Jim

I'm thrilled to share my birthday with a man cool enough to wear a shirt that says "Roll it, lick it, toke it". Happy birthday my birthday buddy!

Yesterday

I took this picture for Kara. She made a comment about how the kids are always smiling and happy in the picture. Joey is actually stuck in this picture. So, being the mom that I am, I left him there to grab the camera and capture it before I freed him! This is his favorite spot to sit and play with is toys, and his new favorite toy is a broom. I'm going to start calling him Harry Potter.

This was our adventure yesterday. We went for a drive and Rob wanted to get some pictures of the truck going through deep snow. The pictures that were not taken are the ones of me standing on the side of the road flagging down a truck to help Rob push the truck out of the snow. Luckily they were guys from here in town and great guys. As I was standing on the side of the road waiting for someone to come by all I could think of was the country song by Corb Lund "The truck got Stuck". I need to re-write the lyrics to include "The Pathfinder lost the path"

Am I the only one that thinks Joey looks possessed in this picture? Look at his left hand. FREAKY!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Best Friend

We first met 13 years ago and we have been best friends ever since. I know your birthday will not be the same this year, but know that Colby, Joey and I love you very much. Have a great birthday!

Friday, January 04, 2008

New stuff

I had on MMM today and there was a special on videos from the 80's. This is Joey trying to figure out Twisted Sister's "We're not gonna take it"

Busted!

We went to Yellowknife yesterday and I was chatting with Jen on MSN before we left. I told her we were going to the new Staples store and she admitted she was very jealous (she lives in a fly-in community). I told her that I would take a picture of it. Here ya go Jen! :)

Joey and Colby.

We went to lunch at Boston Pizza. Poor Rob is still not on solid foods yet due to his belly issues so he had French Onion Soup.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Goodbye 2007, hello 2008

I sit here, with the laptop on my lap, pondering this first post of 2008. 2007 was by far the hardest year of my life, and helped me grow stronger as a person, a wife, a mother, a daughter and a sister. Each part of me was put to the test this year in one way or another. If someone had told me this time last year what 2007 had in store for me, I would have laughed. It was this time last year that Rob and I decided to actively investigate this company that kept harrassing him to work for them, the Northwest Company. By April we decided we would accept the job, by May the house was sold and all our belongs were dispursed between friends and family and Metro Self Storage, and by June 1st we were in NWT. We have grown much stronger as a family because of this move, and even with everything that has happened I wouldn't change our decision to move here. We have made some great friends since being here, both in person and through the many "blogger" friends we have made. We have learned the invaluable lesson of patience and tolerance by living where we do. November 2007 turned out to be the hardest month of our lives, and it has made us realize we need to cherish what we have and enjoy everyday to it's fullest.

Now, as 2007 has ended and 2008 has begun, we will be making extra effort to enjoy what we have while we still have it. 2008 already holds many unknowns for us, and I can say for sure that this time next year we won't be here. We do not know where we will be, which is exciting in itself. We have a very special visitor coming to stay with us in 17 sleeps and will be here for a month. Rob has at least one adventure he will be taking by himself when he will be running a store for a period of time while that store manager is on holidays (called a relief). Due to Colby's schooling we will not be going with him. We will then be heading back to NS and then NL in June, and after that we anticipate we will be transferred to another location as Rob's training will be completed and he will be ready for his own store. That in itself will be a new adventure as Rob leaves the role of manager-in-training to store manager. It will be a very adventure packed 12 months. But, as all who read this blog know, it will all be posted here for all to read and share with us.

Happy New Years to all of you, thanks for making us part of your regular reading.