Monday, March 30, 2015

The Great Eagle Rescue

It was early.

Really early...

And I had made Quinn get out of bed.

He wasn't the happiest.

But it was a lovely morning! It seemed like every bird was singing in chorus with one another as we walked with Cedar along the flats right outside our home. 

The sky was a brilliant light blue, the tide was low (but slowly coming in) and the sand under our boots reminded us of the summer fun that was soon to come. 

Little did we know that our quiet walk would turn adventurous in just a short while...

After fifteen or twenty minutes of walking, we were greeted with a shock: what seemed to be a lifeless eagle was laying face-down on the beach. Upon our approach however, the eagle jumped to life, but couldn't lift it's head off the ground or get it's wings beating fast enough to take off.

It was heart-breaking to see the poor creature like this.

Immediately Quinn took out his phone and called our local raptor center. They quickly called us back and said they would be on they're way once hearing where we were located. 

But there was a problem: CedarWe had to hold her back, the silly dog wanted to eat the dying eagle! Whenever the eagle would move or try to fly away, Cedar would try to run after it. Quinn, thankfully, kept a good grip on her collar and she never got close enough to hurt it.

After forty-five minutes of waiting, Quinn ran off to the trail we use to get to the beach to meet up with the ladies from the raptor center, while I stayed with the eagle and held Cedar back from trying to eat him.

Once they arrived, we watched as they carefully wrapped a big sheet over the eagle. And very slowly (with careful watch on Cedar) we walked them back to the road.

The two ladies explained that a euthanized dog had been dumped on a road not to far from us and the eagles in the area had been feeding on it. Because of the poisons in the dog, the eagles were getting sick. Ours had been the second report in two days of an injured eagle found in the area. 

We were so happy to help the raptor center! To see such a majestic creature up close was exciting.

But the best feeling ever came in helping the eagle. We hope it has a speedy recovery and is released again soon!

   We have heard back from the raptor center! Two days after we helped take in the eagle (who wasn't able to fly or stand), they have reported he can now stand up and perch all on his own! They reported he was doing much better and that they would be transferring him to Sitka where he could get better care. Sadly, we probably wont hear anything once he goes to Sitka, but it's good knowing he's already doing so much better! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Preparing For Easter - Part 3

All the house is aflutter with excitement!

The blueberry branches are blooming!

Pretty pink buds shaped like fairy bells greet us wherever we look. 

And our lovely painted eggs look right at home in these spring branches... that a TARDIS I spy? 


It looks like Quinn has been up to some mischief, but we've been up to even more mischief together! 

Not long ago during a trip to the store we happened upon something quite exciting: confetti eggs!

Yes, these brightly colored eggs may look normal, but I assure you they aren't! Inside each cute little egg is a bunch of confetti and the goal is to crack them on someone's head!

Which is just what we did...

But before cracking them on each other's heads on the trampoline, Quinn and I hatched (haha! Get it?) a different plan.

We had everyone line up as if we were going to take a picture of them (we had a camera and everything) then when they were least expecting it we cracked eggs on their heads!

Everyone thought it was hilarious (mom had confetti in her hair for the rest of the day). However, we don't suggest you do this unless you have a very good vacuum cleaner on hand, for obvious reasons.

Don't worry though, they got their revenge on us!


We realize it's a bit early, but we wanted to wish all of you a Happy Easter! 

He is risen, yes He has risen again!

 "He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: 

'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' "
Luke 24:6-7

May you feel the same joy and victory we do in the knowledge that Jesus our Savior has risen from the dead and that soon, one day, He will return! Amen!

This is part 3 of our adventures, to go back and read part 1 click here!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Potato Chip Cookies

Yes, you read that title correctly. Today, we're going to be making potato chip cookies
This is an old recipe from my mother who (looking at her recipe card) got it from her friend Debbie.

Notice how Debbie didn't write down how many people this recipe serves? It's because there's a pound of butter in this recipe and (I'm speaking from experience here) you probably don't want to tell people that when you're sharing these cookies with them...especially if they're trying to be health conscious. 

But then again, you may not want to tell them the name of the cookie as well! 

Okay! For those of you who are still with me and want to try this recipe (hello? You're still there right? I hope I didn't scare you off with the pound of butter?), we'll start with four sticks of butter (softened)! 

To the butter you'll add 1 1/2 cups of sugar, then you'll need to cream those together with your mixer. 

After that, add 3 1/4 cups flour and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to your creamed butter and sugar. 

Once you've poured those in, use your mixer to combine all the ingredients and set them aside.

Now its the fun part: 
Licking the beaters!

Now it's time to grab a bag of potato chips!

Pour some of the chips in a ziplock bag and start crushing! You need 1 1/2 cups of crushed potato chips, so start with less then you think you need (because eating crushed chips is a sad thing). 

Use a wooden spoon if needed to really get the pieces small.

Once you have them all measured out, pour them into your cookie dough and stir them in!

Next, roll balls of dough with your hands or use a cookie scooper and set the cookie on an un-greased baking sheet (because these have enough butter in them already). 

Place them in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges get golden brown.

Don't those just look yummy? Now, if you've never heard of potato chip cookies, I can see how someone would be a bit nervous to try one, but believe me: you don't taste the potato chip. It simply adds a crunch and a bit of saltiness to a sweet sugar cookie.

Yes, we could stop there.

But we're not going to.

Adding a little bit of powdered sugar is the icing on the cake!

Now for some unsuspecting parents to taste test!

Paul gave them a thumbs up and had no idea there were potato chips in the cookie till we told him.

Melissa loved every bite of hers until she heard how much butter was in them...then she promptly handed the rest of her cookie to Paul.

Sorry mom!
Next time I'll make...kale cookies.
Or something.

Even Xochie loved the cookies (but she loves junk food, so this wasn't a surprise). 

Well I hope I haven't scared you all off by making these! I promise they're super yummy. I do have something to admit though: Quinn and I did not make them all. In fact we only made one pan full. To make sure we can still fit into our clothes tomorrow (and for the sake of the rest of the family as well) we'll be taking the remainder of the cookie dough over to my parents house so that my siblings will eat all the cookies. 

We recommend sharing them with your friends and family too, otherwise you may find yourself sick having eaten a pound of butter (in the form of cookies).


Potato Chip Cookies
     Taken from my mother's old recipe card (from her friend Debbie)

1 lb (or four sticks) of softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 1/2 cups crushed potato chips
powdered sugar (optional) 

In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter together. Add in flour and vanilla, stir together. Pour in crushed potato chips and stir to combine. Roll into balls, set onto un-greased cookie sheet and put in oven at 300 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown. Optional: sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Puttering in the Garden & Quinn's Slip-N-Slide

It was a beautiful early spring day. The family was gathered out on the porch, all of us wishing we didn't have to go in and practice (as our lunch break had just ended). 
I frantically searched my mind for a reason we could maybe skip practicing(just for today). 

After all, it was such a sunny afternoon, and the weather was supposed to turn to rain the next day! That was it..."What if we spent this sunny afternoon in the garden?" I asked.                                                                                                                         It worked! Melissa jumped at the chance to putter in her beloved garden! 

Soon we were all working together in the bright sunshine, listening happily to the chorus of birds over our heads (and often suffering scolding from the stellar jays, who were impatient to start digging in our newly turned over garden beds).

Melissa told me later that she's usually the one preparing the garden every spring, all by herself!
I'm sure the job went a lot faster with all of us pitching in. 
Paul had just erected the garden framework the previous day. It doesn't ever get quite warm enough during the summer for the vegetable garden to thrive, so making the garden into a greenhouse does wonders! 

Here's Quinn spraying off the huge sheet!
It covered up the whole yard! 
Paul had gotten a big sheet of plastic to put over the garden, but it was covered in dirt and sand. Quinn and I were given the task to wash it off the night before, which we did. But little did I know that Quinn was hatching a plan...(you'll find out about that more later!).

Melissa and Paul had not yet had a chance to get into the gardens and do any work, so it was nice to dig and get things ready for planting! 

The usual time Melissa starts planting is the first week of May, but because of the mild winter we've had, planting will be getting done early! Quinn and Abigail may still be sad about the lack of skiing, but Melissa and I are excited about the flowers that are starting to grow!

Like I said before though, Quinn was busying himself with something else. Paul had him help cut the giant sheet of plastic that was to go over the top of the garden to keep it warm, this was his chance...

Any ideas of what he was up to?

He was constructing a slip-n-slide! Yes, he had taken a sheet of the extra plastic and had covered it in dish soap and (very cold, cold) water from the garden hose. The temperature outside? 45 degrees. 

Abigail wasn't totally convinced this was the best idea. Neither was I really. But we both went inside and got our bathing suits on. After all, we're Alaskans. And we don't shirk away from the cold.

Doesn't Abigail just look thrilled? Yes, she is wearing a blanket. 

Quinn tried to do some jumps on the trampoline to warm up: 

I guess he was a bit cold too...

Maybe jumping jacks will warm them up?

Even mom helped out! Though she wouldn't agree to go down the slip-n-slide with us. 

Finally, Quinn could hold it back no longer, 
he dove!

Abigail soon followed after him!

And even though it looked super cold, I did it as well (and am very glad I did!):

Overall, a very happy day filled with sunshine, gardening, and very cold water! We've all promised that this slip-n-slide will be making another appearance later down the road this summer! We simply can't wait for warmer weather (anything over 45 degrees will be great!).