Friday, June 29, 2012

Alaska Job

I have been working at a local behavioral health clinic, it is great since I am able to use my education, the office is only 5 minutes away and I am able to see new areas almost everyday.
The clinic I work for treats children ages 5 to 18 in my department (22 for other areas) with SED's (severe emotional disorders).  The issues these kids have vary from needing help developing social skills, to much more serious problems.  Some have been brought by their parents most of who are great people who want what is best for thier kids, some have much more tragic stories, many are in foster care, lots of trauma in thier backgrounds.
I work in the school based area, so during the school year we do lots of work in the schools with these kids, but for now we are in our summer program. 
The summer program is great, we get all the kids together in the afternoons and take them on field trips.  We do lots of hiking, parks, lakes etc. we like to get them outdoors.  It is great for me since this is our first summer here, I am able to check out lots of areas and get fun ideas for family weekends.
Hatchers Pass is one of my favorite hikes, I have done it twice with work, the last time my client was a seven year old boy so we stopped and "paned" for gold, he really did find a few flakes and was so excited to take them home to show his Mom.
We spent one day hiking next to a river in Palmer, a couple of us and our "kids" (I had a 8 year old boy that day) even hiked down the side of the mountain so we could play at the river for awhile, getting down was not bad, getting back up took some effort.
Today I had one of the girls I really like working with, Friday is free time so we get to choose what to do, we walked to Wasilla Lake, it is a mile each way, so a nice walk.  She and one of her friends who joined us spent the afternoon, the girls caught leeches in the lake, big nasty looking ones, needless to say my girls will not be swimming in the lake, even though it is full of swimmers when we drive by.
Even without swimming it is a gorgeous lake to walk along the shore of.
I split my time at work between kids who are in the 7 to 9 age group and teen girls who are 12 to 18, I like the change, it is nice to work with a variety of kids and the different age groups keeps it interesting.
So far I like the company and the people I work with, they are flexible and that is so important with all I have going on, school, my own kids, home, Richard, all the work the new house needs and so on.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Our first visitor

My brother Clint came for a visit last weekend on his way to Bethel (also in Alaska), he was our first visitor so we were pretty excited to see him.  He arrived on a Saturday, so Rich, Staci, Conner and I (Cheyenne was spending the day with a friend) spent the day in Ancorage while we waited for his flight.  We did some shopping, stocked up on some stuff from Cosco and then took a nice hike in a park by the airport.  The great thing about parks here is they are full of trails so you can park and walk while enjoying the gorgeous scenery. 

Conner loved being out in the sunshine, the rest of us thought it was pretty nice as well.
After we picked up Clint we headed over to the Mooses tooth, the pizza place everyone had been raving about that we had wanted to try, it is popular, we had to wait 45 min for a table.  The pizza was very good but not really great, the price was a pleasant surprise, much less than we expected to pay.
I had a couple options for outing the next day, but Clint was exausted from the move and it was raining so he caught up on some sleep while the girls and I did some errands, then Clint and Richard headed out to find someplace to try out Richards new retirement gift (a new 45) and of course they had to take a shotgun for fun as well.
I worked on Monday while Clint ran errands picking up stuff he wanted to take with him and hung out with my girls, then Tuesday I took off work and the girls and I took him to the airpor.t and hit the mall for some shopping.
It was really great to have him here, and I love that he is only an hour plane ride away from me (there is no road to drive there) knowing he is close makes it seem like we are not so far away from everyone, because while we really really love it here, it is hard to be far from family.
We are looking forward to many more friends and family making their way up for a visit.