Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Months In!

Wow! I can't believe we've been in Alaska two months already! In the past two months the weather has gone from temps in the 90's and almost continuous daylight, to a GORGEOUS Fall with perfect temps in the 60-70 range, to snow falling this past week and temps dipping down into the 20's! My Southern mind is having trouble comprehending all of this!

Well, where to start?... There really is soooo much to share, and I apologize for taking so long to getting around to it! I guess I'll start at the beginning... When we first got here, we experienced something truly brand new! SMOKE! Wildfires were burning hundreds of miles away, but when the wind blew just right, we got tons of smoke! Some days it was so bad you could barely see across the street! Fortunately that only lasted about two weeks and then the rainy season started! After a few weeks of rain, we were treated to an ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS fall! Unfortunately, fall only lasted about 3 weeks, and now we are waiting for the snow to come upon us! It has actually started snowing already, but it hasn't been cold enough for it to stick for more than half a day, yet...

Enough about the weather, on to more important things, like the wonderful people we've met here, and how God is continuing to amaze us with His provision! Seriously, I'm almost speechless at how WONDERFUL the people at this church are! They have welcomed us with open arms, and gone completely out of their way to make us feel at home! I think this is especially making an impact on me, because Rob naturally draws people to him, and I'm more of a "behind the scenes" person. The ladies of Fairbanks First Assembly have just drawn me in and made me feel at home! I've been invited out for coffee, gone to the movies for a "ladies night", flown to Seattle for a "girls weekend" with some ladies I barely knew, and on and on...God has truly blessed me! Rob has had a few adventures of his own... He went fishing for Silver Salmon down in Valdez and brought home about 50-60 lbs. of fish for us to put in the freezer! He's been four-wheeling out in the middle of nowhere, gone moose hunting (didn't see anything), and toured a goldmine. Coleman went on a Youth trip right after we got here to Denali National Park and went camping and whitewater rafting, then a few weeks later he went paintballing with the Youth group too! One of my prayers before we came was that the boys (especially Coleman) would make friends easily! Believe it or night the very first night of Youth that Coleman attended, he made a new friend! I guess I shouldn't be in shock by now, but I was blown away at the goodness of God! Riley has made quite a few new buddies both at church and school, and so far they are both enjoying Alaska, and are eagerly awaiting the snow! We've also been on a few adventures as a family since we got here... we went four-wheeling with a family at the church, went to Anchorage with our Executive Pastors, which took us right past Denali, went hiking at Creamer's Field with the Revells, and have been to several different families' houses to eat!

God has continued to amaze me at His provision for us! Most of you know that we either sold, or left most of our furniture in storage... we only brought the boys' beds, Avery's crib and highchair, a desk, and mine and Rob's king size mattresses, not our bedroom suite. Well, we bought a metal frame to put our mattresses on, and were getting "creative" with storing our clothes between one dresser and rubbermaid tubs under the bed. After we had been here only a few weeks, we were offered a brand-new bedroom suite from a local furniture store where someone in the church works! I couldn't believe it! We accepted it of course, and are now enjoying a VERY NICE, new, complete bedroom suite! It came with a king-size bed frame, a dresser and mirror, a chest of drawers, and a bedside table! I still can't believe it! God is so good to us!

Now, as far as Rob and worship goes... let's just say he's doing what he was created to do! Sure, a new job comes with a few stresses, but NOTHING like running a construction company! He's so much more relaxed now, and enjoys what he is doing! I'm truly amazed at how "giving in" to God has already produced so many benefits in our lives! The staff at Fairbanks First Assembly is fantastic! I really had no idea what to expect, because we really didn't know them when we agreed to come to Alaska. We have been so blessed by the staff already! We've already made friendships that will last a lifetime! Since coming to Alaska, Rob has written a song, which means more are on the way! He's also been asked to lead the Saturday morning worship service at the Youth Conference in Anchorage coming up in October. In addition to that, he's going to be the host for the Katinas, the main guests for the Youth Conference! Very cool! He gets to take them out to eat, show them around Anchorage, etc...

Well, I think we've established that we ARE in God's will for our lives, and that is right here, in Fairbanks, Alaska! I'm sure we've only been shown a glimpse of what God is going to contiue to do in us and through us here in Fairbanks!

I'm sure I've left a lot of things out, but now that we've gotten pretty much settled in, I should be able to update the blog more often. I have tons of pictures I need to post, so I'll keep working on those. The slide show of Seattle is from the one night we stayed on our way to pick up Rob's parents to start our vacation with them before we came to Alaska. If you double click on the picture it will take you to another page, which you then click "full screen" and it will enlarge the slide show... I hope you enjoy the pics! Everyone back home, we love you and miss you! Please keep in touch with us, we'd love to hear from you!

One more thing... we still need to either rent or sell our house back in Greenville! We would appreciate your prayers for that matter! I KNOW God will take care of that in His timing too!

The Ruccis