Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Gideon Around 8 Months

Michael and Bre took Bella to the doctor today and we got to play with Gideon! I can't tell you how much I am enjoying having the grands on the place! Bella plays coy with me. She keeps me on my toes. Sometimes she wants to be with me, other times she prefers Nolan or Stacia. But Gideon and Benny - Ah! They smile every time I talk to them. Well, Benny is about at 90%. LOL

Note, Yuuki sulking as we won't let her near the blanket. We'd "brushed" and vacummed the carpet, then put his blanket down. She thinks any blanket is fair game for her.

Hey sweet boy! 

Then it was tummy time! He's trying to hard to get the crawling down! 

Benny and "THE CRADLE"

Here is our favorite 2.5 month old baby boy in the whole world! Bennett Lee, Benny Bear, Benny Boy...Benny Boo
That smile melts hearts
 CoRielle had some concerns about the sleeper/rocker they were using. It keeps babies in one position so they are SAFE, but has led to problems with muscle development and shapes of heads. They were looking for a solution for Benny to sleep in now....and we just happened to have a very old-fashion solution.

Michael's father, Earl, made this cradle for Mary K, Rebecca and Michael. I've seen pictures of all of them sleeping in it. He was excited to pass it on to us for his grandchildren to sleep in....and they all slept in it to one extent or the other. In the past 11 years it has been Stacia's toy box.  Today, it was brought out of storage, decals scrapped and thoroughly cleaned, so Benny Bear can sleep in it for a few months/weeks - however long he fits.
What's with the space? 
 Mom? Dad? I don't know about this!!!!

Ah, I guess it will work. 

I know Grandpa Earl would be thrilled to see his great-grandson sleeping in the cradle he made over 1/2 a century ago.


Super Red Blue Moon Total Eclipse....

Michael's camera was ready to go....hooked up to the telescope lens. Unfortunately, it was too much for our tri-pod and the pictures are out of focus due to movement....he's figured out how to compensate for this and is ready for the next eclipse. I have to put a couple in - regardless.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Bella Came to Play

Bella Boo came to play with Gemma today!!!! Bre and Gideon went to MOPS. We were happy to have Bella stay. The kids did school. I played.  I pulled out bubbles. 

She loves the nook, so I supplied her with colored pencils and paper - both things I have handy in the nook. 

We had a "tea break" - she seemed to like sitting in the chair by herself with her cup and cracker. 

Bella loves cleaning. I got a lot of work done, she thought it was all a great game. Win/Win. We vacuumed, dust mopped, swept and wiped down counters.  

Bella wasn't the only excitement in the day. We also had a productive school day. Stacia and I selected recipes and started pricing them out to see what we may be able to produce and sell to increase our seed.

We tried two new recipes tonight - one for chicken thighs and one for CRISPY oven baked fries. Both were hits....Note Yuuki guarding the oven for us. She also loves the new clear glass door and oven light. LOL

In a fun turn of events, Bre's ride to MOPS lives down the road and around a couple of corners. She recognized Bre's maiden name as my last name. I'm on an Alaska Chicken Raising facebook group. She said to tell me if I want to come sit and chat about her chickens, I can. Yay!


I was so happy to find this recipe! Layers of Happiness is a blog to spend some time exploring.  I am "saving" this in it's entirety so I don't lose it. Sites with my favorite recipes have been disappearing - a  drawback to cooking from the internet rather than Betty Crocker. 

ANYWAY - with the discovery of this technique (I've tried a variety of seasonings), I no longer NEED an air fryer! These are crispy and healthy. 
Just to prove I really did make these! 

Visit this blog! You'll be happy you did! 

Extra Crispy Oven Baked French Fries

Crispy edges, soft centers; extra-crispy French fries baked not fried – so you can feel good about eating them!



  • 2 Tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For the Fries:

  • 3 medium russet potatoes (russet are the best choice for perfect crispy fries)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional)


  1. Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut off the ends. With a very sharp knife, cut the potatoes into thin slices about 1/4 inch wide.
  3. Add the fries to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes but they can soak for as long as overnight. (Place in the fridge if soaking more than an hour).
  4. After the fries have soaked, drain, rinse, and lay the fries on a paper towel lined cooling rack to dry while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blot the tops with additional paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.
  5. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with non-stick spray. Make sure the previously used bowl is dry and add the potatoes to it, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon of the seasoning mixture based on how much salt you prefer. Toss around to mix.
  6. Evenly line the baking pan with the fries in a single layer. Don’t overlap or they fries won’t cook properly. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping with a spatula once or twice after 15 minutes of cooking. Increase heat to 425 degrees and continue baking until the edges look a little burnt!
  7. Sprinkle the fries with the other half of the seasoning mix and Parmesan cheese (optional). Serve immediately.

Monday, January 29, 2018

More Nekkid Moose or Northern Fever

Monday!!! Therapy. Michael did really well with the peanut butter today, I do think he's improving and praying Friday's test shows the right amount of improvement for him to continue receiving the electrical stimulation for another 12 weeks. We would really like to see even more improvement. He's been faithful to do the 2 hours of swallowing exercises at home each day. Thanks for your prayers.

It's become our habit to do the week's grocery shopping after Monday's therapy, when we are in the big town. WOW - it is WINDY today when you get out of our mountain enclave.  Our wind "gusted to 16 mph" - it was 67 mph out in the valley today.  The snow out here in this part of the valley doesn't melt - it blows away!

The kids did a great job with laundry while we were out. Cory took a full trailer load of garbage to the landfill. We haul or own, and we recycle copious amounts of trash.  Michael and I got the wood floor shining, and I cleaned out a couple of closets. I find, since living in the RV for two years, I really like simplicity and dislike clutter. I want to know where to locate everything at a moment's notice. LOL  Stacia made a narrow pillow for Bella's is like a bumper pad and will cover the slice of window by her bunk.

We began preparing the cradle Michael and his siblings slept in for Benny.  Stacia has used it for a toy box for the last 11 years and it needed a good scrubbing. CoRielle have a little swinging thingy that is popular these days - but read some more and discovered it contributes to a flattened head, and to babies liking to look one they are moving him to the old cradle for a bit.

Sometime in the midst of it all - the moose showed up. I missed them. Alex sounded the alarm. He told me not to worry, they'd be back.

I seem to have caught some sort of northern fever that causes one to run outside in their stocking feet, short shirt sleeves, with camera in hand. What else would explain how often I find myself standing in snow, coatless, hatless, shoeless, with camera in hand?

It is 16 degrees outside and I came to myself out on the deck, shoeless in the snow, with camera in hand....I heard branches breaking and rustling.....being dusk, it took a bit of time to find them. I was rewarded with finding two more nekkid moose. That makes four today.

Nekkid moose? Facebook has taken to removing my blog posts as they "violate community standards." I think most are volume related - but I was told two of them were "reported." ::snort:: Friends have decided it must be because of all the naked moose goal is to get them clothed in Bullwinkle scarves to alleviate this grave offense.

Isn't she lovely?  Can you spot her? 

I did worry just a bit she'd discover my buried strawberry bed.....

Moose #2  - right where I plan to put my raspberry bed. Do moose like raspberries? 

I continue to research homesteading, chicken and gardening in Alaska. I'm also trying to map out the rest of the study year for Bible Babes so Shelly and I can discuss it. Tuesday is an "at home" day - I'll try to work a bit on those projects, "tomorrow."

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Seeds and Sundays

I do love our ordinary was a fairly ordinary Sunday. We were sad Pastor has the flu....but Barney, one of our wise, elder members, presented a great message. 

We've been working through a series on Seeds at church. It's been good to contemplate as we enter 2018. A few statements which have stood out to me are:

  • ANYTHING and everything can be a seed (possessions, time, talent, energy,  money)
  • Sowing is not losing, it's investing
  • When we sow seed; we reap later and greater! 
  • Everything that comes TO me should flow THROUGH me. 
  • Our ultimate harvest is eternal - invest in the eternal! 
  • Relationships are all that will last - invest in relationships!
  • We are called to sow seed to THIS generation
  • Satan always seeks to steal identity (Daniel) 
  • Daniel allowed God, not culture to define his identity
  • This generation's identity is under attack
  • Gospel comes down to relationship 
  • Invest first in my relationship with God; then others.
I missed a week, and Pastor missed this week - but there has been much to chew on. Our family is currently deciding how we will take $10 each and  invest it, for kingdom business.  Actually, we are brainstorming on how we can increase our meager amount for an offering coming in a month which provides Bibles, in various languages to various peoples. I would post a link, but we're new to this denomination and I can't remember if it's Light for the Lost, or Send the Light or Speed the Light.....but the point IS.....we are excited to apply the idea of investing what comes to us in a tangible way. Stacia and I are going to make up a flyer and FB ad and take orders for some yumminess.....Michael is making some oak and pine coasters....Don't think Nolan has decided what he is doing....we'll donate proceeds to the offering in March. I'm currently trying to figure out how to package an 8 in cheesecake....I may have to make a lot to practice getting it OUT of the pan and into some packaging - in tact.

After church we went to a local restaurant. We drove by a home/land BreZaak are considering. We received  a text Josiah and Jamin were on their way to hang out. YES - this is what we envisioned Sunday afternoon being - a time for family and friends to gather at our home. I actually envisioned providing Sunday lunch and inviting folks from church maybe we'll be doing a bit of tweaking. But at this point, we've loved a set time each week for those  family members who can make it, to reconnect. 
Monopoly and Dominion were the agenda of the afternoon

S Family

I love seeing moose along the side of the road. We saw this little one on our way home from Church. 

Tonights family dinner highlights the S family! LOL  I didn't set out to do that - it's the way the photos went. 
Benny (2 1/2 months) & Mommie (Arielle) 
  Like Father Like Son
Cory and Benny
 That smile!

Since I have pictures right here - how about a quick S family update? Both Arielle and Cory are back at college.  They're amazing at juggling "it all."

There is this too - Stacia keeps us in fresh squeezed lemonade! 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Enjoying a Winter Day

It was a beautiful mountain out here in our slice of heaven. The sun rising was gorgeous, and gets earlier and earlier every day. It was light by 9:30 a.m. 

FOUR moose came to visit this morning. We love the moose - and they pretty much go where they want. This one, however, stepped on the sledding ramp the kids had worked so hard on yesterday. A bit of yelling and he scooted over a bit, with his two friends.  

We took a drive over to the next mountain to look at a mobile home on an acre....owner will finance....would be paid off in 5 years. Then we saw a service project in town and stopped to do it.  We headed home when we heard from Jared that the Eagle River Contingent was thinking of coming our way to play. 

Jamin sold most everything and planned to be here for the summer. Plans change and he now lives in Alaska. He's been looking for a car and this one finally surfaced. It's a Honda Accord Hybrid - it gets 55 mpg.  He won't be off-roading but it's a great commuting vehicle. 

We told them the Eagle River contingent were coming over.  They started sledding anyway. It was fun to see Arielle out playing too. Benny slept and then Cory played with him.

We had a lot of snow the last two days! Unfortunately, it was powdery - not great for sledding. The kids took the time to pack their "run" down, and to build little barricades around things like a sewer pipe, a big stump, and the tree. We were thinking a bit of a melt and then it would ice over again and be very fast. We knew it wouldn't be so fast today - but hoped it would be fun.

Larissa's mom has been visiting this week. We were thrilled they were able to work in a bit of time out here. It's always fun to spend a bit of time with our new "kids" families. Here Veronica and Larissa try out a sled. They had gone ice-fishing earlier in the day. Both were first for Veronica.
LOVE the sun on the mountain 
 Lassie must be included. ::snort:: 

Arielle, Nolan, Stacia, Cody and Lassie

Jamin, Jared, Josiah 

Each on their own saucer. We need to go buy a toboggan or something before the winter is over.
The kids and I need snow pants....
 We have three grand dogs. Roscoe fell in the lake when they were ice fishing this a.m. and they left him home. Lassie and Cody  made the trip out. Cody found a shrew in the yard and began to channel his inner wolf from there on out. LOL 
Lassie - JaRissa's dog

Cody - Cy's dog
 Bro Bonding 

Me and Larissa 

Getting a fire started....


If you watch the video linked at the end of this post, you will see the run that goes with this scene. They had a giant long train with all of them, added in the canine chaos factor and had a crash. LOL

Sledding, a bonfire, hot chocolate....and then a fun visit inside the house. It was perfect. 

At some point I suggested Cy throw his hot chocolate in the air.  Everyone thought it had to be colder - but we knew it worked out here at 0....and sure enough at 2* - it snowed hot chocolate.

I had a hard time getting photos - will try sports mode next time. 


We really are enjoying this Alaskan winter. The wood stove helps a lot! It's doable.....and has charm and fun all it's own.

If you'd like to watch and hear some of the fun - click here - for a video summary.