Our Dog Jake

Our Dog Jake
Jake's a happy dog

Monday, December 22, 2008

Akin Adventure 2008 in Brief

We have had quite a year. Raven and Luke are doing very well in school, Karate & Scouting.
We ran in our 1st 5K at the Spirit of Survival in the Wichita's this year. JB, Ben & Felica did the 5K up Mt Scott too. It was a great experience and set our family on the road of running together.
JB is still with Sandridge and very happy there. They moved into the old Kerr McGee Building this year. He has a good view of Downtown from his window. JB and Ben have had a number of rock climbing and hiking adventures this year. Some are pictured throughout the blog. One was JB's solo trip to summit Wheeler Peak - which he did & I'm really proud of him for that achievement!
Raven and Luke are recommended Black Belts as we end 2008. They will test for their 1st degree Black Belt in March 2009. We have been working on this goal for 2 years and are happy finally to be this close.
Raven is a 5th year Girl Scout this year. This is her last year as a Brownie and will bridge to Junior Girl Scouts in May 2009. I am one of Raven's Brownie Leaders again this year. Although we do have a new troop, (Troop #840 - Best 'lil Brownies Blog has all of our latest news) we have a great group of 12 girls and are working on leadership and service as our main goals for this school year.
Luke is a Wolf Cub Scout this year, and LOVES it! He was such a good sport for all the years of going to Girl Scout meetings with Raven and me. He is an avid reader of the Magic Tree House series. He has one more to read to complete the series this year. He loves playing the WII, especially his Lego games (star wars, batman & Indiana Jones).
I love being at home taking care of my family! We had a great garden this year. I am learning more each year about better ways of taking care of our large garden. (I learned even more this year by reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - check it out and believe me that the irony of me listening to it on my iPod while shopping through WalMart was not lost on me!)
I have started substituting at the kids' school this year and really like it. I had my ACL repaired in May - my knee is doing really well, although the injury did put me behind the kids in training for my Black Belt :)
I love to be in my kitchen - experimenting, creating and nourishing my family. I have started putting some of my newest recipes on the blog. Now that we have 200 lbs of buffalo meat - New creations of Mexican Meatloaves and Southwestern Buffalo Balls roll out of the kitchen weekly.
As far as trips go, we went back to Hawaii in March. It was a wonderful trip. It was nice because we knew what we wanted to see again and didn't need to bother with again. The lava flow was different this year - check out the blog section of this year's Hawaii trip for some great pics and day-by-day recount.
For 2009, we plan to spend even more time together as a family, hiking, biking, climbing, kicking (karate) and looking for new adventures. We wish you all the best in the New Year.
Many Blessings and Merry Christmas -

Love,
The Akins

JB, Amy, Raven , Luke & Jake the Dog

Meet Earl

For the new year - we aspire to attain new adventures and achievements.
I think that JB's transformation was his first step!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Ya'll!


No further comment necessary . . . .

Akin Christmas Cookies

Decorating Sugar Cookies is one of Raven's favorite Holiday traditions in our home.
This year our neighbor Becca helped us.

I used a new method of decorating these cookies with little Wilton squirt bottles for the icing and chocolate details.
It worked great!

My favorite cookie I decorated was the tree covered in little candy canes -
Raven was happy to devour it for me :)


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Do you like Egg Nog??

I do. I look forward to it coming available each year around Thanksgiving. I am the only one in my house that likes it and we are about to be gone for some time so I needed to come up with a recipe to use up some . . . This is the cookie that I conjured up today.

EggNog Almond Treats


cream:
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter

add to mixer & beat until batter forms:
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups AP flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Drop by teaspoon on to ungreased baking stone. Place 1 whole natural almond in the center of each cookie. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges are turn golden brown. Let rest on stone for about a minute, then remove to rack to cool.

EggNog Glaze

1/2 powder sugar
2 tbs egg nog (more if needed to thin out)

Stir until drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cookies - Enjoy!

Southwestern Buffalo Balls

Here is my creation for JB's office Christmas Party. JB asked me to make something containing buffalo. So, I came up with the following concept for Southwestern Buffalo Balls in Hatch Green Chile Verde Cream Sauce.
Yes, it is a mouthful to say, but when asked "what's that?", the answer of "Buffalo Balls" just doesn't describe it fully. Not to mention the raised eyebrows that follow. Then feeling the need to explain that the meat came from a Buffalo Cow - and that these are not actually "Buffalo Balls"

Being a Christmas party - I was going for a concept that was fitting to the theme of Christmas. So the Buffalo Balls have roasted red peppers and the sauce is based on a Hatch green chile sauce.

Southwestern Buffalo Balls

1st step:

1 medium onion finely diced
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
olive oil to coat saute pan

saute onion & garlic until almost caramelized - set aside to cool

Ball Mix:

2 lbs ground buffalo meat
3/4 cup wheat germ
2 large eggs - lightly beaten
1 roasted red pepper - diced (if you have pimentos - those should be OK)
onion & garlic mixture from above
1/2 tsb kosher salt
1/2 tsb ground black pepper
1 TBS ground cumin
1 TBS smoked red paprika
a few shakes woshshire sauce

Mix all of the above together -well. I like to line a cookie sheet with wax paper to lay out my balls. If you wet your hands - the meat doesn't stick as badly. Form your balls - what ever size you prefer. About a Tablespoon's worth is a good size, in general.

Cooking the Balls:

In a saute pan or fryer pan on meduim heat - coat with olive oil and work in small enough batches that you can turn all of the balls. Drain on paper towels. If this is just for at home, everyday good for you buffalo balls - your done with this part. If you are taking them out, then melt 2 tablespoons of real butter and add back in the pan all of the cooked balls to coat with the melted butter, then spoon them into a 9x13 glass baking dish to wait for the sauce.


Hatch Green Chile Verde Cream Sauce


8 to 10 roasted Green Chiles, peeled, seeded and diced (8 oz of roasted canned green chiles work too)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion finely diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp dried cilrantro
kosher salt & pepper to taste

In the pan that you cooked the Buffalo Balls, add the olive oil and saute the onion & garlic until translucent.
Whisk in the flour and cumin, when starting to brown reduce the heat and add the chicken broth and heavy cream.
Stir constantly and slowly, then add chiles and cilrantro.
Keep heat low - allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Then pour over the balls. Turn them to coat.

If you are ready to serve them: cover with 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and place in a 350 degree oven until melted and bubbly.

If you have made these ahead of time (which is what I did): cover with foil and put in a 200 degree oven until about 30minutes until service Then uncover and add cover with 1/2 cup shredded cheese - turn the oven up to 350 degrees until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Luke & Papa make a bird house


As a part of one of Luke's Boy Scout Wolf Cub Achievements, Papa helped Luke make a bird house over Thanksgiving break. Luke's den voted on bird house plans, and this one won - so the den will be making this one after the 1st of the year. Luke is very proud of it :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Kid's Programs 2008

Raven's 3rd grade program was about Oklahoma, featuring such songs as "Don't lay that Trash on Oklahoma" and "Rhinestone Cowboy". They did a really nice job, and I think Raven did not stop smiling on stage.
Luke's 2nd grade program was the Christmas program. The song the boy's in his class danced to was "We need a Little Christmas". They did a good job and all had fun!
.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving Climbing


The Friday after Thanksgiving, the plan was for both families (Akins & Crawfords) to get in some good family time working with the kids on climbing - but Raven came down with a high fever and chest cold, so she and I stayed back at Lynda & Hurstons. Raven spent her day in bed or on the couch or in a bath. I cooked.
JB & Ben worked with Luke and Delia, begining to teach them the ropes of climbing. Luke is a mini-JB so he takes to it really well. Both kids did really good and they all had a really good time.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Freezable "Chicken Nuggets"

Like most kids, mine like "chicken nuggets". I really do not like to fry food, but even less like buying fast food for my kids. So, I have come up compromise: spend a few hours cutting battering and frying lean chicken breast in pure vegetable oil, then cooling, freezing and packing in a resealable plastic bag. This makes for super quick and easy lunches or dinners for the kids during busy times. They call it "Chinese Chicken", but it is really just a simple seasoned batter with 2 tablespoons of corn starch to give it the special crisp. They reheat beautifully too!

I usually do 6 to 8lbs at a time and like to fry it in my dutch oven.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 1/4 cups self-rising flour (I use All Purpose and add about 1 tsp baking powder & 1 tsp baking soda)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (use about 5 turns of fresh ground black pepper)
  • garlic salt or garlic powder - about 1 tsp
  • ground cumin - about 1 tsp OR ground ginger is going Asian with them
  • paprika - Spanish or smoked - whatever works - about 1 tps
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups water
  • Mix all of the batter ingredients together,
  • i usually do 1 to 2 chicken breasts at a time, cubed & coated w/ batter.
  • fry in veg oil until golden brown.
  • drain & cool on a wire rack on a covered cookie sheet,
  • then freeze on the rack on the sheet before moving to a zip top freezer bag for storage
  • reheat in 400 degree over for about 10 minutes

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Buffalo Hide in Progress


Thank goodness the weather has been cool - That's pretty much all I can say about it.
The hide has a home on the side of ours right now. JB scrapes it from time to time. It mostly only stinks when it rains now. The head is another story. . . . Although it's not driving the neighborhood dogs nuts.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008

We trick-or-treated with our friends, the Sollebergers, Friday night.
The weather was wonderful, so we had 2 hours of walking, visiting and gathering sweet treats!

Raven & Luke were a Pair-o-Dice, Carson was a ninja and Alex was Christine and Derek was the good sport of being the Phantom. More than once, when Derek & JB were on the street, people thought Alex was Little Red Ridding Hood, but she seemed happy to inform them that she was in fact Christine of Phantom of the Opera.
It was a very good Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween Week!

Raven's Halloween week started this past Friday with a costume birthday party. She dressed up as a vampire - a pretty good one, if I do say so myself.
Then Saturday was a busy day of Halloween fun. We had the annual Morey Halloween party, the kids were a "pair-o-dice" for the party and will be again tomorrow for Trick-or-Treating.
Saturday evening we took our Brownie troop to the Camp DaKaNi Haunted Hayride. It was a bit more haunted than any of us leaders expected :) The girls had fun - if you want to check it out - here's the blog that I keep up for our troop. (click on that link & it will take you there)
We have a GREAT dozen Brownies this year!
Raven is getting quite a bit of of scouting this year, maybe it's her age, maybe a new troop dynamic, who knows.

On Sunday, my birthday, we spent the day as a family in the car going to Altus to pick up the buffalo parts (head & hide) from the processor. I hear that the meat will be ready this weekend, but Ben is going to hold it for us for a week or so - we are splitting it with the Crawfords. Here's the link for JB's interview the day of the auction at the Wichitas. He was a local celebrity when we stopped in Frederick on Sunday for lunch!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Luke's Bobcat & High Seller for Den 2

This past Thursday at Pack 90's meeting, Luke received his Bobcat badge!

The custom in this Pack is a face painting ceremony. It was really neat and Luke enjoyed Mom painting his face :)


They also announced the top popcorn sellers for each den, and Luke achieved that for Den 2. That meant that he got to pick someone to "pie" in the face. He wanted to get Raven, but she hid and they didn't want to let kids-pie-kids, so it was Mom by default; I think that Luke enjoyed it a little too much :)

Way to go, Luke!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Quartz Mtn Saturday



While JB & Ben rock climbed with ropes, Raven, Luke & I hiked up Quartz Mtn. It was a great hike and a good combo of hiking trails, bolder hopping and navigating around while off the trail. The kids were great! Luke found this little alcove that the kids took a brief rest in - and it was a nice view from there, it took a bit of coaxing to get Raven to make the rest of the trek up the mtn. We had a snack at the top then headed back down.
Another day of wonderful fall weather.
The Quartz mountain area was teaming with people, as was the Wichita Mtns, for Fall Break. We (me & the kids) were fortunate enough to not run into too many on our hike, the dad's not so lucky :)

Me, the kids & a buffalo on Mt Baldy




Raven, Luke & I hustled up Mt Baldy on Friday while JB & Ben looked for caves on top of Elk Mtn. The dad's didn't have much luck finding the caves they were looking for, but we found a lone buffalo on the way down Mt Baldy. The fall weather was wonderful! It was a great day for a hike.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

JB's Wheeler Peak Summit

Wheeler Peak NM'>Click here to see all 27 of the pics.
JB will update with his commentary later. I don't know what all to say except - what a view!


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Monday, October 6, 2008

Spirit of Survival






This weekend was our family's 1st 5K run, Spirit of Survival. We enjoyed the weekend with the Crawfords in Frederick.
JB, Ben & Felisha got up before the sun on Saturday to head to Medicine Park for the 5K up Mt Scott. I brought the kids over for the family 5K at noon.
Everyone finished their races, the dads did a total of 10K - 5 up Mt Scott & 5 with me & the kids.
It was a great event and our families had a great day on Saturday in Medicine park and the Wichita Mountains. I think we are all hooked and look forward to our next run.
Luke wanted to win, but towards the end, just wanted to finish. He ran with JB and they finished the 5K in less than 40 minutes. Raven & I took longer, but this was my 1st 5K and longest distance since knee surgery (ever actually).
Delia & Ben did really well too. Delia ran across the finish line like a little trooper!
As far as the 5K up Mt Scott goes - wow! Ben, JB & Felisha did GREAT! If you're interested in finishing resluts - they are posted online.

SOS part 2

Here's Ben & Felisha finishing the Mt Scott run.
And Raven Luke and Delia at the end of the Family 5K.
Then the kids at lunch at the Riverwalk Cafe in Medicine Park following the races.
It was a GREAT day!
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Raven's Special Sunday


The tradition in the United Methodist Church is to present Bibles to 3rd graders each year. Raven received her's Sunday, September 21. She was excited about the day and to make it better, Jeni asked her to help serve communion. That was very special to Raven. We are very proud of our girl. She is growing so fast!
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Some of our YouTube's

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Coco's demise

Coco's demise
Luke's coconut cut open and not liked!

Green Sand Beach

Green Sand Beach
yes the sand is really green!

Easter 2007

Easter 2007
Akin & Puryear kids

Red River 2006

Red River 2006
New Mexico w/ the Hager/Puryear/Lee Family

New Mexico 2006

New Mexico 2006
Raven, Luke, Noel & Trey 1 year ago

JB & Kids in Bishop Castle

Field of Flowers

Field of Flowers
Elk Mountain's colorful wildflowers in early June