December 31, 2009

Kingdom Dojo!

  Alaska ABKA Martial Arts
White Mountain, Alaska

Dojo Kuden~Jozai Senjo  
                  "Always Present on the Battlefield of Life"
3 Virtues

Over the last two years Clint has volunteered his time to teach Karate to our local community here in White Mountain. Our curriculum is based on the American Bushido Kai Karate Association (ABKA), which we have had the honor to represent here in Alaska. Bushido-Kai is made up of traditional Karate incorporating Shotokan Karate and Kyokushin Kai Karate. The ABKA is designed to nurture inner and outer strength, while building evangelism and discipleship. Clint is currently the Chief Instructor with a class of roughly 25 students participating in our program.

I (Tory) have been an active participant in the karate program since June 2011. I say "active participant" because I have always been involved with the program, just not participating in the karate portion of it. Since the Karate program started back in the fall of 2009, I was pregnant and obviously not in shape to do high kicks and spin around back hand punches :) ... I have very much enjoyed the karate program, not only have I enjoyed the amazing workout you get, I enjoy the spiritual aspect of Karate and I'm learning so much as I'm growing in my faith and also working towards getting my black belt!

Kingdom Karate Dojo Objectives
  • To strengthen spiritual relationships: To spend time in devotion and prayer. To be committed to the commandments of God.
  • To respect self and others: To respect myself, to affirm others and to avoid uncaring criticism, hateful words, physical attacks and self-destructive behavior.
  • To communicate better: To share my feelings honestly, to look for safe ways to express my anger, and to work at solving problems peacefully.
  • To listen: To listen carefully to one another, especially those who disagree with me, and to consider others’ feelings and needs rather than insist on having my own way.
  • To forgive: To apologize and make amends when I have hurt another, to forgive others, and to keep from holding grudges.
  • Respect nature: To treat the environment and all living things including our pets, with respect and care.
  • To play creatively: To select entertainment and toys that support our family’s values and to avoid entertainment that makes violence look exciting, funny or acceptable.
  • To be courageous: To challenge violence in all its forms whenever I encounter it, whether at home, at school, at work, or in the community, and to stand with others who are treated unfairly.
  • To build leadership: To instill positive values that will lead to individual leadership within each persons family, friends, and community.
  • To be mindful: To live in the moment and be aware of our actions.
This has been adapted from Hawaiian Shotokan with their permission. 


2009 in Review:

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

Spending Christmas with my family

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Moving up to White Mountain, Alaska

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

That I really enjoy living in rural Alaska

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

Having to re-do my disposition paper (twice) because my professor didn't explain in the syllabus.

5. Pick three words to describe 2009.

Roller Coaster Ride

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2009 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).

Fun with Clint (just a guess!)

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2009 (again, without asking).

A great Adventure

8. What were the best books you read this year?

Unfortunately I didn't read any books for pleasure-all for school

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

My family of course :)

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

Letting the small stuff slide, and being positive

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

Again, being positive

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

Accepting his will and ways

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?

Following through with a routine of running every day and practicing yoga

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

The challenges that we have faced, has made my relationship with Clint grow in ways I couldn't imagine

15. What was the most enjoyable area of managing your home?

Decorating it with handmade goodies (due to the lack of purchasing stuff @ the store)

16. What was your most challenging area of home management?

Laundry and the fine cleaning (moping, vacuuming, scrubbing toilets and baths)

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

looking at STHM blogs for hours and hours on end while I'm supposed to be doing homework

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

Spending Friday nights at our home movie theatre with Clint and sometimes our school kids.

19. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?

"Do what makes you happy,Be with who makes you smile, Laugh as much as you breathe, Love as long as you live."

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2009 for you.

Come what may and love it. - Joseph B. Worthlin


December 17, 2009

Kids Say....

Today's quote of the day, and something I heard multiple times:

Don't gas in the class, do it all in the hall!

The kids really take this advice seriously and tattle-tale on kids who don't follow this golden rule.


December 16, 2009

Words to live by


Our Kids!

Just wanted to post some pictures of our (canine) kiddos! We haven't really done too much this winter and definitely haven't taken any pictures! So, here are our 2 kids: Jack and Sierra. Jack is the one with the black spot, and Sierra is the one..well, with no black spot!

Jack and Sierra beggin' for food!Looking out the window

Sierra wasn't sharing the bean bag with Jack. Jack, trying to get us to play with him...It worked!


December 14, 2009

When all is said and done....

I am down to 10....10 things on my list that I have to get done before leaving on vacation. It seems that my list is not getting any smaller. For every one item I cross off, I add another 2!!! It seems to me that as Christmas is approaching and the holiday season in full swing, that we never really just slow down and savor the moments that we have with our significant other, children (whether canine or not), and other family and friends. Wouldn't it be nice if all the items on your list for Christmas just suddenly disappeared and wasn't a priority? And instead of spending the time to get things done, spend it with family! I read this article today on It's a wonderful website that talks about spending more time with family and friends rather than spending money and time on gifts.

So...You want to know what I did today? I crossed 3 (I know it's not a big number, but it's a start) things off my list, and it felt SOOO good :). Go ahead, I dare you to cross three things off your to-do list for the holiday's and see if anyone even notices!


December 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Today marks the day that my sweet hubby was born 29 years ago (He probably would not want me to expose his age on the internet-but here ya go anyway :)

I love you honey!


December 10, 2009

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I just realized that being in a kindergarten/First grade class has exposed me to some fascinating and humorous sayings, anecdote, and tattle-tales. I am going to start documenting these so that in the future, I can look back on my experiences and have a laugh. I hope these bring you some laughs as well.

Here is a conversation I had last week with one of my kindergartners:

H: " Is Clint your brother?"
Me: "No, he's my husband."
Me: "I love him, and he asked me to marry him."
H sighs and says: "He's so lucky." and walks off.

This is true my friend...This is true :)


December 7, 2009

10 Thoughts for Healthy Living

During the holiday season there are so many different emotions. At least for me. There are feelings of happiness, sadness, anticipation, kindness, and feeling depressed because people tend to over-eat between Thanksgiving and Christmas!

This is not something I plan on doing, in fact, Clint and I have been diligently working out and eating healthy. I have also been on a quest to make healthier snacks such as cookies and cakes. Mmmm..I recently have been using applesauce and bananas to substitute for butter. But, since we live in a remote village in Alaska (I love saying that!) we don't have access to a lot of healthier foods.

So, in order to stay consciously happy and healthy-and not just about weight, but my overall being- Here is some Thoughts:

"1. Allow yourself the chance to really savor each moment.

2. Optimism isn't just a shift in perspective. It's an act of bravery.

3. Only you can decide the path worth taking.

4. Don't wait for your mood to change; take action despite it.

5. Approach gift shopping as an opportunity to honor the people you really love.

6. Rather than search for a single miracle food, strive for a varied and delicious diet.

7. You can't grow without pushing your limits.

8. Stop worrying about getting sick; focus on your health instead.

9. Don't believe what you hear. Life is good.

10. No one knows what the future will bring. Put your energy into now."

--from the Dec. 2009 issue of Body + Soul magazine.

I love this!

Remember this during the holidays

December 4, 2009

New Sign for White Mountain!

Being in White Mountain this year has given Clint and I more experiences than I could list here. It has been so much fun getting to know the community, students, staff and the land around White Mountain. We have had a couple of artists come here and teach the students an art medium. In the beginning of October, we had Kim Kaiser come and install some gorgeous stained glass windows throughout the school, and just recently we've had Julie Mathews visit and teach the students how to work with Clay, and to create a school sign. The sign would be done in tiles, and incorporate the students artwork of the different seasons in White Mountain.

Today, we, I mean a couple of men from the school hung up the sign in the front of the school. It looks fabulous!
The nice men who put up the sign!

Just Beautiful! The artwork in the middle is done by the students!!!
We have some talent!!


December 2, 2009

Getting Into The Spirit!

Since my college classes are finally ending soon :) I have been itching to get into my crafty mode. I simply couldn't wait until the very end of the semester so I decided that I would multitask. As Clint complains about me taking over the dining room with my glitter, glue, tissue paper, scissors, and paper, I work work work...Not on homework, but this:

I got the template and idea from here it has some GREAT ideas for handmade goodies :)
I'm off to make some snowflakes to decorate our house too :)

December 1, 2009

It's finally over!

Now that I have the majority...No....ALL(!) of my college papers, philosophy statements, dissertations, and weekly assignments done I can now focus on the more important things in life...Like the holiday season, and spending time with family! So, I'm back in action.


14 day's until I'm officially done with this semester

20 days until we are back home for the holiday season

24 until we celebrate my most favorite-est holiday. Ever!


November 22, 2009

Care Package!!

No one creates a care package like my Mother and Sister in-law!!! We received 2...Not 1...But 2!! priority boxes from our family: "The prior residents of Alaska, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming"! It's such a nice feeling getting boxes of goodies near the holiday season! Plus, there were 2!! bags of Jelly Belly's!!

We are very, very spoiled.

Thank you very. very. very. much!!


Around the house!

If you know us, you know that we don't like white walls in our house. When we were painting our new house down in Ketchikan, we painted it yellow. Then, when we moved up here to our new apartment we were itching to paint, but didn't know if we could. Andy, our principal talked with us last Thursday and asked if we were interested in painting our house! So, we painted 3 walls in our apartment RED! Actually, it's a copper color and looks fabulous! It really makes it more homey and comfortable..
Take a look :)

Our living Room:
The dining room
The Kitchen:
Yup, we definitely like the copper/red color much better :)

November 17, 2009

I made the news!!!

Okay, Okay, not really...But, it is a publication of one of my photos in a brochure for the University of Alaska Elementary Program! It's a cute photo, and I'm glad they were able to use it for the brochure. Hopefully it inspires people to become part of the program :)
Take A look:


October 29, 2009

More Bubbles!

It's another Bubble day here in White Mountain! The students have been working on exploring bubbles, and today we made poems! They turned out really, really cute and the kiddos had some fantastic ideas. It's amazing how quickly the younger students become independent with their work!
Here are some pictures:

Click on the picture to get a bigger view!

October 28, 2009


This week we have been learning about Bubbles! My host teacher, Kim has asked the 2/3 and 4/5/6 grade classes to join her class in measuring, making, and exploring bubbles!
It has been an exciting adventure-here are some pictures:

Our Bubble Words:

Making Bubble Prints:

Measuring our Bubbles:

Today we also watched some YouTube videos. It's a nice resource when there are filters in place. Here is the video we enjoyed the most:

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