Sunday, August 21, 2011


A week ago I was ready to go out to pick lingonberries, or what Alaskans call lowbush branberries.  The day was beautiful and the kids were wanting to get out of the house, so we loaded up and headed for Watson Lake, about 20 miles from home, with one extra kid (Jordan).  The kids were very excited to get in the lake to find fish and other lake dwelling things, but I was able to convince them that we should pick the lingonberries first and then we would have lots of time to play in the lake.  They agreed to my wishes, and we all set out in search of the berries.  On a previous trip we had stopped at this lake and found lots of them, so I knew they were there, but I found out the hard way that letting the kids lead we went further into the forest and the berries became less and less and the kids became tired of I let them go to the lake to play and I picked around by them.  In the 20 minutes that the kids and I picked berries I got 6 cups, which was enough for 2 quarts and 1/2 of a pint of jam.  I tell you what, trying to find a good jam recipe for lingonberries or under any other name that they are called is quite difficult.  I wanted to put it through a hot water bath to can them, and all the recipe's called for just putting it all in the fridge.  Anyway I think that they turned out wonderful, and I think I will go back out to pick more soon! 

The look that says "I am done!!"

Watson Lake

Climbing trees and finding lake life!

Lake creatures

All done and ready to head home!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fireweed-Adventure #7

I have been wanting to go out and pick fireweed to make jelly out of it for years now, and I finally got a trip planned to do just that!  My friend Farrah and her daughter Luthien accompanied us on our little "fireweed" adventure.  We left around 10am and drove for about an hour, when we found the perfect spot by a mining road just past Cooper Landing.  We were able to stop there for an hour and between Emma and I picking, we got about 16 packed cups of flowers....which equals 1 quart of juice to be made into jam or syrup.  After we had finished picking fireweed we moved on to the wild rasberries, and ate and ate to our hearts content....especially Madison and Mason!!!  We all got back into the car and drove up into the pass by Hope, and stopped ate lunch, explored a little, and Farrah hid one of her letterboxes.  We then stopped at the rest area by the Hope cut off, and walked on the path to the old bridge, and hid another letterbox, as well as meandered along looking at the river below and playing.  Farrah and I are thinking that it would be fun to float the river on innertubes, but we will have to investigate that a little more!  After all that we jumped back into the car and headed for home.  We made one little stop at a lake called Watson Lake, where there are hundreds of lillie pads, and lots of cute little fish running around.  Farrah also pointed out that there were hundreds of lingonberries there, as well as blueberries, so we will be making a trip back there in the near future to grab some of those for more jam and syrup and stuff! :)  The day was beautiful with hardly a cloud in the sky, and the temperature reaching 70, we were so thankful for time out of the house and the friends we could share it with!!!  I was able to finish the day off with a piece of Farrah's homemade chocolate cake and yummy tea, and then at around 10pm a great swim in the lake as an end of the day workout!

With the fireweed came lots of bugs!!!


Mason insisted on carrying his own bag so he could fill it with "flowers." :) 

Luthien and Heidi spent their time racing about, climbing on rocks, and eating rasberries!

I loved this pinetree that was growing out of the rocks....maybe it could be my christmas tree this year! LOL

The old "Seward Hwy" bridge

Watson Lake

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Playing Close to Home

On this fine sunny day the kids got out the bubbles that my mom had sent up and started playing with them.  We were sent a really cool bubble maker that Emma is holding in the picture below, and that kept the kids entertained for an hour or so.  The dog also had lots of fun running around jumping into the air to catch the floating bubbles!  In the afternoon, we went on a little walk down what is called powerline (because that is where the powerline goes), and found different kinds of plants to bring home and use for a craft.  We had fun eating the watermelon berries, lingonberries, and blueberries that we found.   Just a little excited about finding blueberries down there, because in past years the plants have not been producing any.  When we came home, we got out solar print kit out and placed our plants in various places on the special paper and set it out in the sun for a minute or so, then we brought them inside rinsed them in water for a minute and set them out to dry, and the spot where our plants were turned white, and the rest of the paper blue.  It turned out beautiful and the kids are eager to try it out some more!!!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Bridal Showers

This past weekend we had a bridal shower for two of our counselors that are getting married soon.  I was asked to make the cake and I hosted the party at my house.  We had fun laughing, sharing advise, eating, and opening presents.
JC and Lindsey :)
Triple Chocolate Celebration cake!