Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Birthday to Greg!

Big 35 years old.  Wow!  This is a picture of his first birthday cake.  The second one turned out but I forgot to take a picture.  I put this one in too small of a dish, and it started bubbling over and making the house smell really burnt.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pasta and Bean Balls

The kiddos love pasta with sauce, so I decided bean balls to go on top.  Moxy liked them, but Ruby turned her nose to them.  I made them with Aduki beans.  I usually fried bean balls which make them crunchy and yummy, but with these I baked them.  They came out edible, and only okay.  I am going to post the recipe as it was really hard finding because some people believe that recipes should not be posted.  

Recipe from the website of

Black Beans - 1 can (Can be substituted with Kidney Beans, Garbanzo or any other bean - If using dry beans, soak in water for 8 hrs & pressure cook before use)

Red Onion - 1 medium - finely chopped

Wheat Bread - 2 slices - corners removed

Green Chillies - 3 - finely chopped (Optional)

Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp

Dry Mango Powder/Amchur - 1/2 tsp

Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp

Italian seasoned Bread Crumbs

Salt as required

Monday, July 20, 2009

A birthday present that keeps giving.

Ruby was given a small starter, one strand of a single plant for her birthday.  She has watched and watered it since May.  Currently it is producing beautiful blue flowers that are heavenly.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Camping on the Kwethluk comes the Simmons!

Ruby and Moxy on the river headed to the mountains. The weather was beautiful all last week, as soon as we left for our camping trip it started to rain. The kids were really tough though.

Here is our first camping site. We are not far from the first mountain called "Three step". It rained and rained. Greg was singing the "Rain, Rain go away" song at one point. The rain definitely added another twist on things. Changing diapers in the rain was an experience.
Ruby is opening her mouth like a little bird, saying "Feed me."
Moxy staring at the dinner getting heated. Their appetites increased while camping.

Three step mountain. This is the next day. Still raining, but we are getting used to the rain at this point, and have decided we better enjoy the rain and beauty because things could still be worse, like thunder, or the boat stops working. (This did not happen).
Our boat set up. We brought the chariot along because it gave the kids a nice comfortable dry seat. You can see oars because we needed the oars when we could not start the engine. Our starter cord was not working correctly, and we lost our anchor when it got snagged on something deep in the water. The boat would drift in to the current and we would get swepped into trees and gravel bars, so the oars came in handy "kind of".
Enjoying a camp fire and eating a chocolate snack. The rain started to slow down, and surprisingly the mosquitos were not too bad.
Safe in the tent, the kids would have wrestling matches inside the tent, and Greg looks tired of being the referee.

This is the morning. Greg was trying to distract the kids while cooking and told them to check the fire to see if it was hot (Don't worry we knew it was out and cold.) Moxy really got into playing with the coals. It kept him very distracted.
Moxy really looks like my dad in this picture to me.

Bear track. We did not see a lot of bear tracks, but I know they were there. We frightened them with lots of loud noises coming from the kids.
Our second camp site. We are not sure what mountains we have a view of. We lost track of the river at one point, and were not sure where we were on it, but it doesn't matter because all rivers flow back to Bethel. :)

Moxy was throwing rocks into the river and fell into a foot of pooled river water. He got pretty clean, but wet. He is dry in this picture and much happier.

This chum salmon jumped up on shore. Greg told the kids that it was saying "Hi" to us. The kids were so excited. Ruby kept saying "silly fish."
Beautiful morning. We decided to go farther up river and test our luck. The mountains in the distance were very inviting on this day. Because our boat starter was not working really well, Greg started using the emergency starter, this made the engine start a lot more easily.
Ha ha. This is Greg using the oars because the emergency starter is not starting correctly and we are drifting big time. On the island behind us, there is a few Fish and Wildlife workers doing something. Probaly laughing big time at us as we turn into spectacles. There goes the Simmons Family.

Greg navigating the waters at top speed so we don't get stuck on gravel bars. It was like we were in a video game, zooming around, ducking from trees, manuevering around logs and floating tundra.

Bald eagle, near it's nest. Let us stare at it while we watched it from the bottom of the tree. Huge and Beautiful. We saw a golden eagle up close also. Much bigger than this eagle. It was eating salmon on the river.
We came across this "fish counter" also called a "Wier" near Three step mountain. We saw a sign that said. "Caution stay left Fish Wier, no fishing 30 feet of Wier". Luckily there were two Fish and Wildlife people standing on the wier. They told us to jet quickly across that small opening with the orange floats. Crazy. It worked though.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Independence Day

Ruby very serious, because she is concentrating on the candy being thrown from the floats. One of the troopers said, "here ya go," and threw a piece of candy up high for her to catch and it hit her in the head.

Moxy found the nearest pair of legs to hold on to because he was scared. He does not know this man, and I have a feeling that Moxy's long finger nails were hurting this poor guy.

This is a national guard toy. We call it the catapillar. We are told it is a tundra toy specifically for Alaska.

Our little friend Jackson Bolt Iverson. Cute blanket. He was named after that Jamaican runner.

One of the popular toys to buy was air guns. SO many kids running around and shooting at each other. Ruby found a gun on the ground and started shooting it at Moxy. Most of the parents were teaching their kids not to point their toy gun at people.

Andrew singing at the gathering...far left.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Boating in Bethel

Introducing our new boat the sea ark. We have not named the boat yet. We decided to go with a boat that we could afford, so it comes without all the fancy stuff; such as a windshield, canopy, or a steering wheel. So far I love it. Greg has seemed to learn quickly how to drive it and manuevers around the water really well.

This is the village of Kwethluk. It is about 15 miles up river from Bethel.

Fish camp, drying king salmon.

This is a church with an orphange. It is not used anymore, but when we first moved to Bethel we knew the man that used to live here with his parents whom were Moravian Missionaries. There used to be a lot of native children who lived here many years ago. It is now abandoned. The church is just sitting in the wild along a curve of the river.

Ruby at Dorothy's fish camp playing in the mud on the beach of the river.