Thursday, September 24, 2009

Berry Picking

Toward the end of July the blueberries turn ripe and we head up into the hills to pick them. You have to go on a day that has a little breeze or the bugs will eat you up.
We also get lots of blackberries and around the middle of September the cranberries are ready to be picked.
The kids are pretty good pickers, although the little ones eat most of what they pick. The hardfast rule is, "you don't eat out of the bucket, you pick what you want to eat!" Even Sarah follows that rule. I set her in front of a bunch of berries and she loves picking and eating.
Quentin and Sarah





Abigail, Sarah and Princess
The tundra is very soft and squishy. Great for taking a nap when you get tired of picking.
Sarah, Joshua, Caleb & David

One of the advantages of living in a small village with no law enforcement, is that you get to learn to drive fairly young... Sarah does so well that Paul doesn't even have to watch where she's going anymore.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

All Ye Nations - David's new CD

The Martins house sat for us while we were on our trip. David was able to use the time to turn off the noisemakers in their apartment and finish recording his 3rd album.
Pictured below are Gilana, Kinsey, David, Myron & Teri Martin on the hill above Nondalton.
David finished editing his album and then he gave us a concert to celebrate it's completion.
It's good, really good!
Click on the link below to go to his webpage and sample some of the songs.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jansie & 7 Highways

God connected Jansie (Yansie) and I through a mutual friend in Israel. Jansie is from South Africa and felt God calling her to travel the African continent to act as an intercessor. The vision expanded to traveling from the ends of the earth to Jerusalem. She started from Wales, Alaska on her 3rd highway with her friends Rene and Cecilia. They are traveling with Jansie for two weeks and then one of her sisters and then the other are going to travel with her all the way down the west coast of North, Central & South America in 50 days. They have made many contacts with believers along the way and are praying that God will continue to connect them with His people. You can follow their journey at
After their return from Wales, I picked them up late at night at the Anchorage airport in our motor home. They had a whole day to wait until their bus left at 5:30 am Sunday morning to continue their journey. So, we turned the motor home alternately into a bed and breakfast and a prayer mobile. We spent the first night in the Fred Meyer parking lot with the other motor homes and then drove to Wasilla to meet with Regina. a teacher from Nondalton who fellowships with us during the school year. We had a good time of prayer together in the motor home.
Regina is on the left. Cecilia is on the right.
Deborah and Sarah got to make the trip with me. We went down to the lake in Wasilla to gather a stone. Jansie will take all the small stones she collects on her way and make them into an altar unto the Lord in Jerusalem from the ends of the earth.We had another appointment later that afternoon with a group of ladies I had never met, but we connected with through God's leading. We had another good time of prayer and intercession and then we spent some in praise and worship. It was a beautiful day and God's creation made the perfect backdrop for our worship. Jansie is below.

Next we headed to the Golden Nugget campground. They've got a nice laundromat with an internet connection. (Jansie might not agree as the dryer melted some of her warm clothes. Hopefully she won't miss them as it will be winter in Chile.) They were able to catch up on their trip blog and answer emails. I took a picture of them through the window. It made for an interesting picture as I caught my reflection as well as the camper pulled by a semi-truck behind me.
By the end of our short weekend together we felt like old friends. We'll have to keep in touch... The ladies had asked God to help them pick out a few gifts for the contacts they'd made but never met, before they started their trip. They gave me a beautiful necklace and a shofar made from a South African ram. The shofar has become a most treasured possession which we blow regularly. Sarah loves it and wants to blow it whenever she sees it. She also loves to dance whenever we sing praise songs. In fact as we sang yesterday she walked around to several of us and put her little finger out to beckon us to dance with her. She wasn't satisfied with just one, she wanted several of us up dancing with her. We'll have to make space in our worship service for Sarah to lead us in dance!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sarah Walking

Sarah is walking. Even after nine kids those first steps are very exciting. She had to walk early with eight brothers and sisters encouraging and helping her walk daily.
She's figured out how to get her socks off too.
Quentin thought it would be cool to trace Sarah on freezer paper.
Sarah found some left over spaghetti on the table.
Sarah is down on the swing in the basement where we keep the thrift store and teach GED classes. The girls are sorting out clothes. They found Sarah a cute hat and jacket. We sell (a dollar a bag) a lot of clothes, but we are the biggest recipients. The kids love going through a bag of clothes when they come in. It's a little harder to get them interested in sorting them into totes for the thrift store.
All the hard work sorting and trying on clothes wore Sarah out.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Salmon Fry on the Beach

We put up about 60 Salmon this year between canning fresh and smoking them. One fish will fill five jars. After we filled our jars we cut up some to smoke. We smoke them for about three days and then can them. One of the best parts of Salmon fishing is the fish fries we have on the beach. When we cut the fish to smoke we have to get it thin enough so it dries quickly. That leaves plenty of fillet left to grill. We freeze fillets for frying all year.
Below Teri, Kinsey and Gilana Martin are waiting for some delicious Salmon fried over the open fire.

Lavonne is feeding Sarah some fresh grilled salmon.
Deborah is keeping Myron and Paul supplied with fish to fillet from the fish box.

Joshua's trying to knock off some kindling to start a fire. The hatchet works better...
Quentin and Geronimo are playing a game of horse shoes we set up near the fire pit.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sockeye Salmon Fishing with a Set Net

We made sure we got back from our trip in time to put up Salmon. The most delicious Sockeye Salmon (Reds) swim right by our front door. We put out our 25 fathom (150 ft) net, one end tied off on shore and one end attached to a buoy. The first year we fished here we left the net out all night and got 117 fish by morning. That was a little too much for us to handle all at once so now we just put the net out during the day.
Below Quentin, Deborah and Abigail are getting ready to go out with Paul to put the net out. You can see it in the boat. Once they put it out the first time for the year, they'll leave it attached to shore and just pull it in and out.
This picture was taken July 12th as they are going to put the net out for the first time, you can still see some good patches of snow on the mountain across the lake.As they put the net out, they herded about five Salmon into the net and then they picked them before they came back. Abigail is looking at them in the tote below.Paul is taking another crew of kids out to check the net again. We check it about three times a day and then pull it at night. After two days we had all the Salmon we needed.Deborah, Quentin and Paul are gutting the Salmon. Then we put them in the fish box until we are ready to put them in jars and can them.Deborah and Anna are getting the jars ready to put in the pressure cooker. Everyone has their own way of putting the fish in the jars. We have started putting the whole fish in after we gut it, take off the head, tail and fins. The omega 3 oils are stored right next to the skin and the bones are a great source of calcium. They soften up during the canning process and mix right into the fish when it is prepared for eating. The elders in the village love the fish heads so we give away as many as we can.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cooking over the Fire - Catching Pike

The kids love making fires down by the beach. I let them make as many as they want because I figure the more they make the better they will be at making them. I also don't mind when they want to cook over the fire. It makes an easy meal for me and it's a lot of fun. In the picture below they cut up some Caribou and are roasting it over the fire.
Paul and the kids don't get to go fishing near as much as they'd like to because Paul stays too busy. But they have gotten out a few times to go after something besides our yearly Salmon. Below Paul has a boatload to go find some Pike.

Caleb didn't get to go, but he did get to carry the Pike to the house.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Home in Nondalton

We had an awesome trip! We were gone 78 days and we traveled over 12,800 miles. We renewed old friendships, met many new friends and got to help my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed the closeness of 11 of us in 29 ft.; it was great family time.

Coming home was great too... The Martins house-sat for us while we were gone and it was wonderful to come home to a house that was sparkling clean. Lavonne and Josh couldn't believe how fast the time went while we were gone. They had a great time and a sad time while we were gone. Two youth groups came and did fun bible activities in the village and Lavonne's step-father passed away. I believe one of the reasons God sent those groups here this summer was to be here along with the Martins for Lavonne and Josh during their difficult time.
It was fun for Lavonne and Josh to see how much Sarah had grown while we were gone.

The kids loved getting back to their mountain lake even if the water was a little cold.
David Martin gave Teri and the little kids a ride on the raft.
Benjamin, David, Caleb and Josh A. out behind them.
A toy elephant that shoots butterflies up it's trunk came into the thrift store while we were gone. The Martins saved it special for Benjamin's birthday which they missed. Below Lavonne and Sarah, Zoe, Tia and Alexia are having fun collecting the butterflies in their nets.