Sunday, August 19, 2007

Brave Halibut Fishermen...

Uncle Jim and Aunt Joan took Steve, Ethan, Tyler, and Kailee on a halibut charter on Saturday. Everyone got up early to be on the boat by 5:45...gotta catch the tide just right to catch the big ones! And boy did they catch the BIG ONE...a 245 lb. halibut!! Not to mention the fact that everyone caught their limit of 2 halibut per person. The next biggest was 62 lb halibut that Steve caught and then Kailee caught a 45 lb halibut plus a sand shark, the rest were about 35 lbs each. The story goes that Aunt Joan hooked the big one, but then everyone else helped bring it in! As the halibut charters come and go from the harbor they go thru beautiful Kachemak Bay where all the sailboats were seen!
Kailee and Tyler working hard to bring in those halibut! They had so much fun being out on the water and no one got sick!
Aunt Joan and Ethan working their lines in the water...hoping to catch the big one!

Tyler hugging his halibut with the captain of the boat...what fun fishing!
Kailee with her big catch of the day...a 45 lb halibut!
Steve with the big catch of the day for the boat...the 245 lb halibut that was a group effort to bring in!! It really wore everyone out to finally get this big fish up in the boat!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hidden Lake such a beautiful place to take a family for our annual camping trip with extended family and friends! This year was no exception and so we loaded up our motorhome (or should I say borrowed motorhome) and headed for the mountains just on the other side of Sterling before you start heading into the mountains on the way to Anchorage. It is absolutely beautiful at Hidden Lake and the perfect place to spend four days with our kids enjoying God's beautiful creation!

We went loaded with bikes, helmets, boats, oars, life jackets, swim suits, and plenty of extra clothes because in Alaska we are never sure what the weather will be like...could be warm and we would need shorts or could be cold and we would need sweatshirts!! Thankfully this time shorts and t-shirts were in need and we got to enjoy the warmth of summer.

The kids had so much fun swimming in the lake for several hours each day...and then rowing around a small part of the lake...jumping off the boats and swimming to shore...having a water fight...or just sitting at the edge of the lake with the adults and soaking in the sun!! During our hours at the lakes edge it sure felt as though we were somewhere other than Alaska as it was busy with lots of people coming and going from the lake with boats and lots of kids were playing in the water.

When we were not at the lake we were hiking on the many trails around the campground, or biking on all the paved roads that make up Hidden Lake campground. I know, a paved campground doesn't seem much like roughin' it, but our kids sure enjoy the pavement to ride and ride their bikes since they don't get to do it that much at home!
Playing games and fun around the campfire in the evening with family and friends always makes for a great camping experience!! I
t was such a fun relaxing time for Steve and I as we played with our kids and watched them enjoy playing with each will tell of the fun we had at Hidden Lake.... what boy doesn't enjoy playing in the campfire? And ours seem to be no exception!!

Tired out kids at the lake who are now just enjoying relaxing and watching the other kids in the water!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Devoted Dog

Ethan and his miniature poodle Ginger are an inseparable pair! Ginger attached herself to Ethan and is such a devoted little dog. She can hardly stand it when Ethan leaves without her so sometimes when he is going on a bike ride he will take her along and she just enjoys the ride. Ethan is so patient with Ginger and enjoys taking care of her, and she so patiently follows after him wherever he is going!

Smoked Salmon

We decided to try smoking some salmon this year as well. I had tried to do it myself one other year and it didn't turn out well, so I kind of gave up and left it to my mom who makes great smoked salmon. But this year I decided to try it again for several reasons. One being that all our kids really enjoy the smoked fish, and the other being that it brings back lots of memories for Ann Marie of her birth mother smoking fish in a smoke house. Ann Marie said her mother would get up early to either buy or catch fish at the wharf then bring it back to the house to clean it and smoke it for her family. We really enjoy hearing Ann Marie's stories of her life in Sierra Leone and how some of the things we do here can be so similar.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Garden Harvest

Alyssum is holding our first yellow squash and zucchini that we got out of our garden this year. Actually these came out of our greenhouse; they do so much better when they are grown in a just a little more warmth. And we love to grow them BIG!! It is always so much fun to see the small plants grow and then start producing!

And then how would you like a slice of this warm homemade bread? Mmmm it tastes so good!! I have taught Ann Marie how to make our bread and she so easily mixes up enough bread dough to make these four loaves of bread. Everyone much prefers the delicious homemade bread so we try to make it at least once a week. It doesn't last us all week, but we enjoy it while we have it!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Fish, fish, and more fish...

It must be that time of summer...time to harvest some of the garden and canning fish. We got 15 silver salmon yesterday from a local commercial fisherman. We like to eat lots of canned salmon as sandwiches or one of our favorite is salmon quesadillas. So yesterday Steve, Ethan, and Tyler cleaned and filleted the fish and then Ann Marie and I cut it up and stuffed it in the jars. Kailee and Alyssum helped by putting the salt on top of each jar full of fish and then some minced garlic, jalapenos or chopped onion....mmmm, makes it so yummy!! Alyssum then put the lid flat on each jar while Kailee came along with the rings on her arm and screwed one on each jar. It is always so much fun when everyone can get involved in putting up food for the winter. Oh yeah, then Steve cured the eggs so that the boys could use them later for bait for fishing. So today I am sticking close to the stove to watch the canner as we can 50 pint jars of fish!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn

...or is it Ethan, Tyler, Brandon, and Jordan? The boys are standing proud with their raft that they made and are hoping it will float with them on it! They did all the work of cutting the right size logs, hauling it all down to the pond, and then nailing it together. The moms just showed up to watch the maiden voyage around the pond. They were so determined to get it done in one day that they took turns eating at lunch time so that the work could continue without a break!Heave it going to float?

And Ethan is off on the maiden voyage!

Brandon is all smiles as he rows around the pond!

Good work Tyler! (notice as each boy is lighter the raft lifts a little more out of the water)

Keep rowing will make it!