Monday, August 15, 2016

We are Home!

Our last summer with GraceWorks has ended.  It was a very good summer, but it is getting harder and harder for us.  We had such a great staff this summer, and they were a great help.  I thought I would show you what a typical day might look like.

This is our staff the second session.
Robin, Howard, Ann, Anne, Debbie, Butch, Beverly, Juli and Shelby
Howard, Anne and I are kitchen staff.  The others are ministry hosts that work with the teams in the park, and Butch was our director

Our alarm goes off at 5:30 and we try and be in the kitchen by 6:00.  Breakfast is at 8:00.  We take that long to prepare everything, get the ice cubes bagged up, put ice in the igloo's for the teams cold water.  We usually fix a fresh fruit platter or cut up canned fruit.  We also have oatmeal.  This morning was french toast.  You probably don't make this much batter when you make french toast.

 french toast batter

french toast grilling

This morning I'm doing pancakes

Howard is cooking up the reindeer sausage.

Anne is keeping up with the dishes we dirty!!

Some meals it is just the three of us that serve.  
Anne, Howard and Ann

Sometimes more of the staff are needed to help us serve.
Anne, Debbie, Beverly, Howard and Ann

Howard loves to do pies once a week.  We did that almost every week.

One week one of the ministry hosts brought us a huge zucchini.  There is a farmers market once a week where they serve.  They will sometimes make sandwiches for the people that work there.  She wanted to give us this.  So what do you do with it?  I made zucchini bread.

Howard is making rhubarb custard bars.  They are so good!!

I usually post the menu everyday (if I don't forget)

On Mondays and Fridays we cook the noon meal.  On Tuesday - Thursday the teams pack their lunches.  They usually find a pretty place to eat it if it isn't raining.  On Saturday they pack their lunch again and take it with them on their sight-seeing day.  They eat at Anchorage that night before they fly out.

Butch wanted Howard to teach him how to make biscuits.  He really enjoyed working with Howard when he had the  time.

Here is Butch cutting his biscuits getting then ready to bake.

 This is the finished product!!

This is the dining hall our teams eat in.  Behind the divider is the men's sleeping area.

Once a week every park has a block party.  We have hot dogs, chips and a drink for everyone who comes.  The gospel is also presented that night.  This was the last block party of the season at Wonderland Park.

When the summer is done, we have to pack up and store everything.  The staff all stayed to help.  All the air mattresses have to be rolled up and crated. the blankets all have to be washed before we put them in containers to store until next year.

I washed about 50 blankets.  The washer will only wash two at a time.  The staff sleeps on beds, so I also washed all the mattress pads and all the pillow protectors (50+).

Here are our things ready to be stored.  We store quite a bit of the things in the camping trailer that GraceWorks owns and we keep in Wasilla.  The rest of the stuff goes under a stairwell that Wasilla First Baptist lets us use.
Every one laughs at me, but I make an inventory list, so that next year they will know where every thing is.

After we are done packing we have a staff dinner.  Howard fixed ribs this year.  We invite the pastor and his wife, the janitor and the secretary and Stacey, who came and washed our dinner dishes almost every night all summer long.

Jim and Juanice, a couple from our home church in TN, finished a cruise in Alaska, and wanted to come help us and to do some service projects at the church.

They painted the women's bathroom and fixed the doors.
The doors used to be pink!

It really looks nice now. 

Jim also replaced some of the boards on the pass through that we use when we do dishes.

The last Sunday we were there the staff of GraceWorks (from all three locations, Anchorage, East Anchorage, and Wasilla) were invited to Danny's house in Anchorage for a cook out.  Danny is the pilot that will take the teams for plane rides for a fee if they sign up.

Our staff with Danny.

Howard and Butch took pies that day.  Butch wanted to do a lemon meringue pie, so Howard showed him how to do it.

Looks pretty good to me!!

Jerry and Melissa work in Anchorage.  This is their last year here.  They do just about everything at the Anchorage site.  Great workers!!

 We went out looking for moose one night.  Anne had not seen one.  Usually we are in bed when the teams go out and look. Butch had taken Anne and others out a couple of nights and they hadn't seen one. This Sunday night was our last chance before Butch left.  We spotted this one and then drove down a side road and saw it was a big cow with 2 calves.  She moved too quickly to get a picture.
While we were driving around Howard spotted this water falls.  It was beautiful and easy to get to.  It is called Pioneer Falls

 Every fish night we take dinners out to Raime and Barb Reddington at the Iditarod Headquarters.  Raime's family have been and are racers in the Iditarod.  We take our teams out every Tuesday to see the headquarters.  We went out to take them some dessert and tell them good-bye.  They gave us a ride on the wagon with the dogs.

 Anne, Ann, Juanice and Jim

First Baptist Wasilla had one more block party after GraceWorks left.  It was the last Wednesday  before school started.  First Baptist keeps in contact with the kids in that area.

 Saying good-bye to the staff at First Baptist was not easy!
Dana and Pastor Stephen, Anne, Howard and Ann
First Baptist is our church away from home!!
Howard, Ann and Carolyn.  She is the secretary and has become a very good friend.

We went out to eat at The Lucky Wishbone in Anchorage before we went to the airport.  They are known for their fried chicken.
Jim, Howard, Juli, Robin, Ann, Anne and Juanice.  Juli and Robin were flying to N. C.
We took Jim and Juanice to the airport about 6:30. They were flying home on American. We went and did some shopping.  We were taken to the airport at 10:00.  Anne was leaving on United and we were flying Alaska Air.
Imagine our surprise when we saw this couple at the airport about 4 hours after we dropped them off.
Their flight was cancelled and after they stood in line about 3 hours they were booked on Alaska Air, two hours after our flight.  We did meet up in Seattle and they flew on the same plane with us into Nashville.  Anne ended up being in Chicago for 11 hours.  Needless to say we were all tired when we got home!!
Saying good bye to Alaska

 We bought this picture with the barn and the northern lights.  The photographer told us the picture was taken near Palmer.  We asked someone in Palmer where it might be.  He told us the general area it might be, so we drove around until we found the barn.

 We recognized it by the hole in the roof of the barn, and Lazy Mountain in the background.
The farm where it is located is called the Tiny Moose Farm

We love the scenery in Alaska

Yesterday afternoon we had a church picnic.  It was nice to connect with people and spend some time just talking.
But it was hot.
Notice the temps here and in Wasilla where we have been used to those temps.

Thanks for journeying with us this summer.  We are trying now to get used to this time zone.  It's going to take awhile, I'm afraid.

PS  We had a new great grandson born this month.  Marion (Mario) Stephen Amelung.  They live in Grand Junction, CO.  We are enjoying getting pictures of him.  Laurie and Brett are going out there later this month to enjoy being grandparents for the first time.

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