2005 Updates

Many things have happened since you have last heard from us, we will try to bring you up to speed.  Winter has come with a vengeance, we have above normal snowfall with wild swings in the temperatures (+35 to -57) and more wind than we care for.  With the deeper snow comes problems with “overflow” (water flowing over the ice) on the rivers and lakes that are so important to our travels in the airplane.  The airplane continues to perform well and is a vital part of our work in the “bush”.  We are also extremely grateful for the new-to-us Suburban that is much more comfortable in the winter, it’s nice to have reliable ground transportation and a good heater when you are driving in subzero weather.
Speaking of travels Adam has been out by himself more lately because of the pregnancy, more on that in a bit.  We were able to travel as a family quite a bit before the end of the year.  It was great to spend the holiday season sharing special times with friends in the “bush”.  Adam has used another means of transportation from time to time this winter, a snow-go (snowmobile).  It’s an easy and quick way to run errands here in town but it also was a wonderful way to help “break trail” for friends dog mushing in from Lake Minchumina (150 trail miles west of Nenana).  The snow-go has allowed us to be even more helpful and mobile during the winter months.
Lyndy is doing fine and ready for things to be over soon.  We are expecting another girl around the middle of February but have yet to agree on a name.  We will be sure to update the website with pictures and specs when she arrives.  We have all been working on projects to get ready for the new one.  Lyndy has been getting the baby things dug out of storage and ready to use again.  Sabrina & Miriam have been deciding which toys they want to give to their new sister and making room for her stuff on their shelves.  Adam has been doing a little remodeling of the sleeping quarters to make room for the new one.  Babies sure have a way of changing everyone’s life.  We are all excited that Granny (Adam’s Mom) is coming up for a couple of weeks to help around the due date.  Please pray that the baby comes close to the due date so all the schedules mesh together
There have been a lot of other projects and activities going on recently.  Adam is now a full fledged EMT B after several weeks of evening classes and an all day exam.  AWANA is every Monday afternoon, it is fun playing the games and wonderful seeing kids learning scripture.  Adam has filled in a little more lately at the radio station as they are short on staff for the winter.  We installed a wood stove in the container, heat is always nice.
We are also busy coming up with various options to our living arrangements.  As you know we live in a small (12’X16′) cabin and it’s been tight fitting four of us in here but with the new baby we are wondering how much more we can squeeze in.  We would like to build a “full size” house someday on our property but due to budget and time constraints that won’t happen this summer.  We have explored several other options and have concluded that we need to build a “wing on the white house” as a short term solution to our housing needs.  We can more than double our current area with a 15’X20′ addition.  The estimated cost would be $12,000 and with the help of work crews it could easily be finished by fall.  Several of you have asked if we had any projects that you could come up and help with, well here you go.  Of course, all of this hinges on having the funds to purchase the materials, we have a “house fund” set up with TMM and right now have enough to build the foundation and part of the floor.
You may notice that there are a few subtle changes to the website.
We have expanded the Archives page to include older prayer letters and streamlined the past web updates.
More audio and video files are available on the A/V page.
Biography page was added to give a little background to folks who may not know us.
Added a Family Photo page for the most current photo to print and post on the refrigerator or dart board.
Additional links added to other websites.
So spend some time looking around and see what may be different.  As always thanks for wanting to know how we are doing and for keeping in touch.
Natalie Joy
It’s A Girl!
I know folks want all the specs. so…..
Natalie Joy White
8 lbs 5 oz  21 inches
02-14-05 @ 7:58 PM AST
Lyndy and Natalie are doing great and we are trying to get back into the routine of a newborn in the house.  Labor and delivery went easier than expected and the weather was wonderful for traveling to the hospital on Monday.  Granny stayed with Miriam and Sabrina for the time we were in Fairbanks, thanks again Granny.  One thing you could be praying for is the colds and fever Sabrina and Miriam are fighting.  We waited an extra day before coming home to give them time to recover more before exposing Lyndy and Natalie but they are still trying to get better.
     We thought we were busy with two kids, the pace increases exponentially when a third is added to the mix.  Natalie is growing fast and is now 11# 4oz & 22 “.  She is starting to laugh at her sisters follies and when she is not fighting sleep she is a lot of fun to have around.  She seemed to enjoy her first airplane ride Easter weekend and loved all the extra attention from the folks in Minchumina.
     Easter is always a big weekend for us and our friends in “the Bush”.  Besides the obvious celebration of Christ resurrection we try to all get together and enjoy the time as a group.  It’s a rare thing to be able to fellowship together when so many miles separate everyone.  The girls always enjoy the egg hunt in the snow and telling everyone why we have Easter.
     Spring is well on it’s way now and the snow is almost gone, we have over 16 hours of sunshine now!  The rivers are starting to fill with snow melt and it won’t be long before they are ice free.  With the changing of the seasons come the almost frantic pace to finish certain projects, we have had several opportunities to help friends during this crazy time.  One of the most notable was helping move 14,000 pounds of fertilizer over 50 miles by snowmachine to a friends bison ranch. (take a look at their website)  As with any expedition there are “adventures” that make it more memorable, falling off the hard pack trail with 1,000 pounds of freight on the sled and the “fun” getting it back on the trail.  Having an alternator go out on the Blue Suburban only to buy a faulty replacement all as we are needing to get out of town 4 hours ago.  The adventures didn’t end there but I’ll save those stories for another time.
     We were able travel to Kenai not too long ago and Adam was able to participate in a Mission Safety International conference.  It was a great time to network with other missionary pilots in Alaska and there was a lot of great information shared back and forth.  Lyndy and the girls spent time enjoying the warmer weather and playing outside during the day.  The girls also got their hair done while we were there and it was the first time for Sabrina and Miriam to have hair cuts.  Folks say they look more like twins now then ever before.
     Our flying this winter was paired down a bit with the arrival of Natalie but we still got around quite a bit.  We are done with Ski season and hope to be on floats in another month.  The floats sustained quite a bit of damage over the winter due to snowload and the collapse of the cover over them.  The damage was limited to the struts and will be easy to fix but rather expensive, thankfully we have enough set back in reserves.  We don’t anticipate any delays in our travels as we are only able to fly on wheels during break-up.  As I’m sure you are all aware, fuel prices continue to rise and we feel the pinch especially with AVGAS.  Thankfully we have been able to absorb most of the increase but if it continues to rise we will have to start limiting our flight hours.  With summer coming we are not wanting to cutback our outreach in the “Bush”, please pray that fuel cost will decrease.
     We are still planning to build onto the cabin this summer.  The list of materials is coming together and the timelines are being worked out.  If you would like to come up and help let us know.  The plan is to start in a few weeks and get the materials and start peeling the logs and getting the floor done then start stacking the “Lincoln logs”.  We will work as fast as the weather and money allows us, hoping to be done soon enough to move in before the end on the summer.  A group is planning to be up from Savannah the last week of July, anyone want to come up sooner?
     A lot is going on and we hope to be able to do a full update very soon.  We are posting pictures of the cabin expansion as we make progress.  Keep checking back for more updates.  We have also posted our latest paper prayer letter on the Archives page.
     Things are going well here in Alaska and we are enjoying the summer.  Sometimes we ask why we look forward to these 80 degree days but then remember it won’t be long before it’s dark and -40 again, even as we are now swatting away the mosquitoes.  This update will cover a lot of ground; it was barely Spring and life was slower the last time we posted.
     When the snow melted this spring we found the airplane’s floats had been damaged as a result of the snow load over the winter.  Thankfully the damage was easily, though not cheaply, repaired by replacing the struts and flying wires.  It was a hard lesson to learn but we won’t store the floats that way ever again.  While on the subject of fixing things, you may remember from the latest paper prayer letter the green suburban’s transmission went out but it is back on the road after a rebuild.
     “Break-up” time in Alaska (also known as Spring) is always a difficult time to travel; rivers are barely flowing, packed with ice floes and the lake ice is unsafe so we are not able to do much in the “bush”.  During break-up this year I (Adam) took the opportunity to help friends get their airplane home to Alaska from Ohio, flying their Cessna 150 some 4000 miles in 40 hours flight time across the farmland of the U.S. and Canada.  It was a great trip; great to be able to see a few of you along the route, enjoy the small airports, and watch the crops being planted as I flew along.  The expressions of folks at the airports when they found out where I had started and where I was going, was great and stories of the adventure would fill several pages.  Perhaps the best story is of the town that didn’t know they had an airport.  The “cliff note” version: with weather closing in around me in South East Montana I had to land soon and the only airport close enough was in Ashland, MT, a small town with a small dirt runway.  I landed just as a wall of rain came across the airfield and it was two hours before I could even get out of the airplane as the rain continued to pour.  When I did get out, mud was so deep that the airplane got stuck and I had to pick up one wing at a time to walk it back to solid ground.  After the airplane was secure I called the local motel on the satellite phone, as there was nothing at the airport, and asked if they had a room for the night and directions from the airport.  The owner, who had lived all his 60-some years there, was surprised to hear I had landed at the airport, and after asking me several times if I was really in Ashland he remembered that there was one in town but only fire helicopters had used it during the past 20 years!  I had a conversation with the local Sheriff later and he didn’t even remember where the airport was.  It was two days before the ground was dry enough and I could continue on my way.  Overall it was an excellent trip and fun to fly that far while only landing at three towered airports, but I don’t have any desires to fly cross-country in a small, slow plane again anytime soon.
     We have started the “East Wing” on the cabin and if you haven’t looked at the pictures you should.  Tremendous progress has been made with some wonderful help.  The plan is to have things finished before moose season in September.  We are updating the pictures as we make progress so keep checking back from time to time.  With the work on the cabin and the delay of getting back on floats we have not been out visiting as much as we want but this week we are taking a break from the cabin and plan to make up for lost time.  Our monthly trip to Minchumina for Bible study is scheduled (we’re working through Ephesians) and hopefully there will be time this week to fly out and visit a family we haven’t seen in a year.
     The girls are doing great and enjoying the summer.  Natalie continues to grow and learn new things from her sisters.  Sorry about the lack of pictures lately, we hope this update helps some.
Has it really been four months since we have updated you?  My how time flies when you have so many irons in the fire.  The house is coming along, although it wasn’t done before moose season like we hoped.  The outside was finished before the cold came and we are getting closer to being finished enough to moving things in after Thanksgiving.  It’s been difficult for Adam to work on the addition with the rest of the family running around.  So the girls and Lyndy are going to spend a few days with friends in Minchumina while Adam works night and day to get things finished up.  Thank you to all the folks that came to help and thanks to those that help financially, the extra room is badly needed.
After the group from Grace Church of Rincon, Ga. blessed us with several days of incredible work in July we took some time to catch up on some visiting and ministry.  We hadn’t seen several folks in awhile because of all the work on the house.  Every August we have to do the annual inspection on the airplane and it went off without a hitch, we are grateful for such a wonderful tool.  Moose season was getting close by that time and Adam was able to hunt with friends out in the bush.  He brought home enough meat to feed us for quite some time.  Sabrina and Miriam both say that Moose meat is their favorite!
The big event in October was the Ministry Family Retreat organized by Arctic Barnabas held in Port Alsworth (300NM south west of Nenana).  We had hoped to attend last year but we were “outside” driving up the green Suburban.  It was a much needed chance for us to meet other missionaries and pastors that are working in bush Alaska and be refreshed.  The speaker was excellent, the activities were fun and the fellowship was priceless.  The girls enjoyed meeting other kids and enjoyed their time too.  We are already looking forward to next year.
Of course it was Miriam’s third birthday October 15th and that was a lot of fun.  We are looking forward to Sabrina’s 5th birthday next month and it’s hard to believe that Natalie is already 9 months old.  Lyndy continues to do some homeschool things with Sabrina and Miriam.  Sabrina is chomping at the bit to learn more and we are setting up a schedule so we can start a more formal time for her to finish learning to read.  It’s a special thing to train up such a special gifts from God as we go about our daily routine.
Winter has come but it’s hard to tell by the lack of snow.  The temperatures have been close to normal but we only have a skiff of the white stuff.  The airplane is still on wheels and we are limited to where we can go.  The ice is getting thicker and is good enough to land on in some places but it would be nice to have some snow.
We have posted our latest Prayer Letter in the Archives section.  Take a look and print off a copy to pass around for the rest of the family.  As always it’s in PDF format so if you are unable to open it there are plenty of free readers available online.
We trust that your Christmas was a time of celebration and enjoyment.  Sabrina not being satisfied for pat answers wanted to know why folks talk so much about Santa Clause (the funny guy in his red pajama’s) when it’s really Jesus’ birthday.  Miriam spurred on by Sabrina’s curiosity wanted to know all the details of the Christmas Story.  It is so much fun teaching our children the truths from scripture and watching their excitement as we did an advent calendar leading up to Christmas.
On the Cabin progress, we were able to stand up and take a shower for the first time in almost five years!  That may sound odd to some of you but until recently we only had a bathtub with not enough room for even Sabrina to stand in.  We are slowly getting closer to being done with the addition.