Merry Christmas!

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it”


Merry Christmas! This year has been a doozy for this McCumby clan. It was chalked full of school, sports, shaved ice, work and fun.

In December of 2017 I decided to pursue my graduate’s degree in education at UAF. My entire packet was due in February and let me tell you what, this packet was HUGE! Graduate school doesn’t mess around. I was accepted into the program and was set to start my classes in the summer. Oh man, there was a lot of planning to do and we did it with help from friends and family. I am now halfway through the program and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Going back to third grade has taught me a lot that I must have talked through the first time around. If all goes as planned I should get my teaching license in May of 2019. Fingers crossed for a job! This year I also took an awesome photo of our dog Linus that was recognized by National Geographic and featured in their Daily Dozen lineup. You can see that photo here on my blog.

Scott and I went on a cruise this year to the Caribbean with some of our friends. It’s always wonderful to get out and warm up with some sunshine during our Alaskan winters. This year Scott added cotton candy to our shaved ice hut sales. I’m not a fan of making cotton candy inside my home! Though it smelled nice, a hazy cloud of sugar hung inside my living room. Scott worked a lot this year and he started running the Facebook page for the Valdez Police Department. The Chief has also given him liberties with the weekly VPD police blotter. If you haven’t read the one about the greasy chicken, you’re missing out! You can find all the funny stories on the VPD Facebook page. Other than work he’s been thinking about retirement and what the future holds for career number two. He’s got another year and a half until he is eligible for retirement so he still has time to figure it out.

Barrett, 12, joined track and field this year and did good. He was conditioning himself for fishing season I guess. Barrett got a ton of fishing in this summer! I would drop him off at Allison Point, Ruth Pond or the docks and pick him up hours later or whenever he called. Every time I picked him up the people standing next to him would tell me what a great help he was to them. He taught people how to cast, how to choose the right type of bait, he’d help his neighbor knock the fish out and was handing out pointers like a pro. Too bad fishing isn’t a school sport here. Besides fishing, he worked the shaved ice hut this summer. There was a learning curve when it came to work ethic but by the end of the summer the hut ran like a well-oiled machine. This school year he continues to do well and took up cross country skiing. He doesn’t like the cold so I’m not banking on him becoming an avid skier.

Merrick, 10, did a lot of growing up this year. He hit double digits, stopped believing in Santa (that made me sad), acted in a community play and started playing basketball. He became hooked on basketball when he was at a friend’s house and I was running late picking him up. He got dropped off at the school with his friend who happened to be attending the first practice of the season. When I got to the school the coach asked me why he wasn’t on her team. I pled my case and Merrick said he wanted to play so I signed him up. He is pretty good! He scored more than a few times and learned a lot about team sports. He’s pretty aggressive which was a little nerve wrecking at times. In the summer community play Merrick played Templeton the rat in Charlotte’s Web. He did such a wonderful job! He also continues to do really well academically.

Ohh Kierran. Momma’s baby boy is no longer a baby and turned 6 this year. He also lost his first two teeth (which he let a friend pull out of his mouth in the school bathroom during a basketball game!). He really wants to start swimming again, but it’s put on the back burner for my schooling and his brother’s sports. Poor boy. We’ll get him into swim this next year. He may not be a star swimmer yet but is kicking butt in math and reading. He’s also sprouting into a wonderful little boy who cares for his friends. This year we had a large earthquake that was followed by a tsunami warning and school evacuation. As we were getting back into the school a parent stopped me to tell me how grateful she was for Kierran who she saw comforting her daughter as they were evacuating. Her daughter was crying and looked distraught so Kierran put his arm around her and kept talking to her. Man, what a proud moment for Scott and I.

Linus, our lab, has stopped growing physically and mentally I’m sure! He turned 2 this year. Besides his photo being picked up by National Geographic he also made local headlines when he was caught on camera by our neighbor getting into trash cans. UGH! How embarrassing. Linus was in trouble as well as the kids who let him wander off when they took him out to play. Oh man, I almost forgot! We went on a walk this November and Linus fell through the ice on the Lowe River. He couldn’t get out so I had to slide on my belly over to him and pull him out. It was a scary situation.

Like I said this year had a lot of moving and shaking, and I’m not just referring to the earthquake! All five of us wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic 2019!! Cheers to another year of family, friends and lots of stories to share.


  • Melissa, Scott, Barrett, Merrick, Kierran and Linus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s