Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Letter 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Before I begin to ramble on, I will address the most obvious change to our family: Lilly. She is a native Alaskan who is in the foster care system along with 4 of her other siblings. She came into our lives at the end of October when a family from church decided they were no longer able to foster her. Initially we had intentions to foster then adopt, but over the past 7 weeks we have decided that it would not be the best thing for us or her. The state was not able to get her plane tickets in time to fly home with us to SC, so my good friend, Neve and her husband James are going to take her over the holidays. I know the Lord will make sure she ends up in the right home for her.

Another big piece of news for us is: I'M PREGNANT! I'm almost 9 weeks along and due July 22. Praise God for that! We are very excited about it and would appreciate any prayers as I have had 2 previous miscarriages.

Ok, as for the past year I believe the best word would have to be TRANSITION.
I left Oklahoma in May, went to SC for about a month, moved to Alaska, stayed here a couple rainy months, went back to SC for Raegen's wedding and Ross' farewell, and now we're back in Alaska. Details and pictures on all of that can be found on previous posts.

The cold, dark, and snow has really set in and it has defiantly taken some getting used to. Most people agree it's hard to get out of bed in the morning and with a pregnancy on top of it, I am really having to have some self -talks to get going. We leave for SC in a few days and I think it's coming at a great time because I need a break from the climate up here.

Scott is wonderful as always...such a great husband and dad! He's an Instructor Pilot on the AWACS and enjoys his job here. Being in Alaska has awakened a hunting passion in him neither of us knew existed. Thankfully hunting season is only 2 months long...mid-August through mid-October. Jackson is doing well and continues to be a huge source of joy in our lives! He is into a lot and is the reason there are no pictures attached to this post....he peed on my computer and now it's dead. So you can guess what's on my Christmas wish list. As for me I stay busy as usual taking care of my boys and the house, exercising, Bible study, etc.. Also, God has blessed me with a great prayer group and those 3 girls have been such an encouragement to me...and I am really needing it these days!
Thanks for caring enough to read about us and I hope your holidays are wonderful!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Family Visit

We went shopping Saturday downtown where there was a large building full of local vendors with booths set up.
Me, Rochelle, Raleigh, Mom, and Lilly We did a lot of hanging out at home since the weather was bad Monday and Tuesday. There was freezing rain instead of snow, so schools were even shut down.
Rochelle and Jackson

We had dinner at home every night. We had salmon, halibut, moose loaf, and kabobs made out of moose steak.
Raleigh and Jackson
Dad did a lot of this. He also exercised a lot too.
Raleigh and Rochelle straightened my hair one day.
Not sure why this picture is turned like this. Anyway, Wednesday we went snowmobiling. Here we are geared up for the cold.
Me and Mom
The whole snowmobiling gang

I was so cold. My fingers and toes were numb.
Being attacked by a stuffed bear
For Thanksgiving we went to Seven Glaciers Restaurant on the top of Alyeska Ski resort. This is the tram we took to get up there.
This is everyone at Thanksgiving. It was a very cool place to go to and eat, the only downer was that is took FOREVER to get our food!
My family left at 5:00 on Thanksgiving afternoon. Because it took so long at the restaurant they almost missed their flight by 4 minutes! The Parks invited us to come over after my family left, so here is a picture of us hanging out with them that night.


Cortney had Sarah Taylor on November 23rd! Check out her blog for more pics, but I had to put one up since I am so excited for her! My prayer group: Neve, me, Lindsay, and Devon.
God has really blessed me with these 3 girls since moving to Alaska. Earlier this month we had a prayer group in Devon's parent's hot tub then went inside and had a wonderful home cooked meal prepared by Devon's mom. I wish I had taken a picture because it was so relaxing and beautiful sitting outside in a hot tub surrounded by snow covered eveything. A winter wonderland here

Jackson in the snow

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lilly & 1st snow

Lilly is the newest member of our family. She is 9 years old and is a native Alaskan with an Eskimo backgroud. The Lord seemed to just place her in our laps. If you want more details, I'll need to send you and e-mail , so just let me know.

This past week Anchorage has had it's "first snow". Here is a sample of what it looks like...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October Highlights

The past 5 days we have focused on potty training Jackson. I decided we should let him run around naked so that when he pooped or peed we would know it and also so he would learn to recognize the sensation and learn to go on his potty and not the floor. He took to peeing on the potty very well, and by now he poops on it most of the time. This potty training business is a lot of work, but I'd say we've been successful! Now we have to figure out how to transition him to using the potty when we are away from home. Way to go Jackson! We saw this moose in our neighbors front yard on the way to church. Last week 3 were in our yard but I was not able to get a picture. Apparently the colder it gets the more moose you see in the city limits.
I discovered this place called Bouncin Bears. It is a great way to let Jackson burn off some energy and stay warm!

If we won't rock him, I guess he'll rock his own self to sleep. Poor baby.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Arctic Hunting

My friend Buddy and I went up the Dalton Highway (Haul Road) to hunt caribou last weekend. We did not get anything, but it made for a really good story. The Haul Road is the same one you see on Ice Road Truckers. Its not as bad as they make it out on TV, but I'm not hauling 40 tons of cargo either. Needless to say, it was an interesting trip, and it allowed me to check off some of the things I want to do while in Alaska. The picture below is me standing at the arctic circle. There is a turn off and a little rest area as well as a sign and some information about it.

The following pictures were taken as we went along the road. In some of them you can see the Alaska Pipeline which follows the road all the way to the north coast of Alaska.

There is one mountain pass that goes through the Brooks Range. It is called Atigun Pass. As you can see it was covered in snow and ice. It was very cold up there!!

This was on the other side of the pass. The weather was beautiful except the temperatures. It was around 0 degrees F.

This was around where we stopped to hunt and camp. This was about 112 miles south of the north coast. The temp was around 0 to -2. On the Haul Road, you cannot hunt with a rifle within 5 miles of the road. This meant we had to walk off the road 5 miles before we could shoot any caribou. It was a hard hike! Later that night I saw -18F on my truck thermometer.
This was a sunset we saw on the way back to Anchorage.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This is my baby brother Ross. He and his wife Heather just left for Africa with 3 other couples. They are on a mission team whose goal is to disciple the Makonde people. They are going to be in Tanga, Tanzania for the first 4 months learning the language then they are going to Mtwara for the rest of the time. Ross plans on going into the villages and wherever else the Lord takes him. Ross is very gifted at evangelism and I know the Lord is leading this team so I am excited to see what happens. Please Please Please keep Ross, Heather, and the rest of the Makonde team in your prayers! Mom, Raegen, Rhett, and I visited Ross the days leading up to his departure. Here Rhett and Ross are spraying Ross and Heather's clothes with something to repel the mosquitoes. Malaria is bad where they are going.
I flew from SC to AL to visit my Grandmother for her 80th birthday. I got to stay with my cousin Gian and his wife Mandy since my grandparent's house was full. I really enjoyed my stay with them. We were able to get our very own tour of the fire station thanks to my cousin Neil who works there. Below: Neil, me, Jackson, Griffin, Alanah, and Mandy
Me and Jackson at Grandmother's Birthday party dinner
Mom, me, and Grandmother
Most of the Kellis cousins: Ryder, Jackson, Bella, Rom, and Maya
My niece, Sophia, turned 3 while I was in SC visiting. so we were able to go to her birthday party at Monkey Joes. Here is Jackson going down the slide.
Little Rom is always good at helping me with Jackson.
Me and the Birthday girl!
Anton is the foreign exchange student that is living with my family this year. He is from Sweden, he is very good at football, he fits in very well with my family, and is a great addition!
After Raegen's wedding we went to Greenville to visit Scott's friends and family. Here Jackson is playing in Scott's parent's backyard.
Jackson with Grandmomma Watson (Scott's mom)
We got away for a bit, just me and Scott, to go to his family's lake house and swim. It was a nice little get-a-way.