Three Years Later…

…we were able to cross the line into Canada for our annual Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas Dinner/Party.

We drove the couple of hours from Bothell to Abbotsford crossing at the Sumas Border Crossing and arrived at Anneliese and H’s home. They had graciously reached out offering us their guest room for the night and a ride to the party in Chilliwack.

On the way to the party at Judy and Elmer’s we made a surprise stop but that’s not my story to tell.

Here we are, 7 of the 10, Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Our two Manitoba Girls and Kathy could not make it to the party.

It was so good to see these ‘Girls’ face to face after 3 years.

Lovella and Anneliese brought the appetizers.

Judy’s punch was festive.

Speaking of Judy, the hostess with the mostess, she single handedly cooked us the main meal portion for the evening. Her hubby Elmer is always available to lend a hand, help serve and wash up the dishes!

 

She set a beautiful table and created the live runner.

She sewed the napkins and made the place cards.

Marg brought the salad and she had help plating it from Bev.

Bev baked the buns.

Judy’s Saucy Cranberry Chicken was the main event on our dinner plate, delicious. Get her recipe here.

She also made the sides, carrots and peas, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad and a cranberry gravy.

Our sweet ‘captain’, Lovella!

The wonderful dessert finale to our meal was this trifle that Julie made. Refreshingly delicious! I did not get a photo of the Black Forest Trifle that Judy made. When I lived in Western Washington I would contribute to the menu but because of the extra traveling this year they let me slide.

After our meal the guys headed upstairs to play Crokinole and chat while us girls exchanged gifts and did some catching up downstairs. We finally wrapped up the evening shortly after 11:00 PM!!

Here’s the gift I brought home from our exchange.

We count ourselves blessed and fortunate to be able to meet up again for this wonderful yearly event.

You can now look away for the saga part of the story of Dear and me getting from Colville to Abbotsford. For those of you who are more curious here goes…

Originally we had flights out of Spokane to and from the Seattle area for our Saturday to Tuesday trip. We booked a hotel room at the Spokane airport for Friday night since we had an early flight on Saturday to Seattle (7am). It takes us 2 hours plus to get to the airport from our home in Colville. Our flight back home on Tuesday was scheduled for 7:30am getting us back to Spokane at 8:30am.

On Friday we had a leisurely morning and packed for our trip. We left our home at noonish with a stop at the post office to pick up a package that was too big for our mailbox. My haircut appointment at 1:00 got cancelled at the last minute so we decided to just carry on down the road to Spokane to have a meal before we checked into our hotel. We tried The Elk in The Browne’s Addition neighborhood of Spokane. The food and service was good and we enjoyed our time there. The drive to the airport from the restaurant was short and we checked into the hotel.

We woke up very early on Saturday morning and discovered both of us had never thought about bringing our passports even though we knew the purpose of our trip was to travel into Canada. OYE and BOTHER. We as a couple are not firing on all our cylinders. Every flight on Saturday was overbooked with one flight before ours cancelled which put even more pressure on the remaining flights. We made the decision to cancel our tickets for our 7am flight and drive back home (2 hours) and get our passports and make the 5+ hour drive to Bothell instead of flying. Driving the roads back to our home we gained confidence that the roads were in good shape and the drive would be okay. We made it home, grabbed our passports, had breakfast and packed a few more things in the car for our trip.

Back on the road at 8:30am we had an uneventful drive through the eastern and central part of Washington and over the Cascade mountain range into Western Washington. We made a stop at Chateau Ste Michelle in Woodinville for some wine to take with us to Canada and then filled the gas tank at the Woodinville Costco on the way to our kids’ home in Bothell. We were at our kids’ home at 3pm. (BTW: since Greg’s stroke I’m the sole driver)

Saturday night we had a nice meal out with our Western Washington kids to celebrate Laura’s birthday. On Sunday we worshipped at Josh and Laura’s church, grabbed some lunch items at Central Market, ate our meals and got ready for our drive to Canada. Our route to Abbotsford would take us about 2 hours. We stopped at a carwash in Bellingham to get all the dirty snow off our car before heading into Canada. The Border crossing and banter with the Agent was pleasant and once across the border we found our way to Anneliese and H’s home.

We drove with Anneliese and H. to the party in Chilliwack (a 20 minute drive) and the winds were blowing across the valley and it was frigid. We were welcomed into Judy and Elmer’s warm and festive home and enjoy our long anticipated party. After the party we slept fast. Monday morning we were served a delicious breakfast and we set off back to the USA. We were at the Border bright and early and had another pleasant encounter and crossing.

Our kids were busy with work and other events during the day on Monday so we contacted some dear friends to meet us for lunch at our old stomping grounds. We had a leisurely couple hours with them over delicious Mexican food and then made it back to our kids’ home. Laura made dinner and we packed up to leave on Tuesday morning. On the road again at 8:30 Tuesday morning (our anniversary). It took us an hour to get to traffic free I-90 and off we climbed over Snoqualmie Pass again. The roads were clear with no restrictions. (Thank you, Lord). Once over the pass we stopped in Cle Elum for a break which included breakfast. Back on I-90 we made it to Spokane by 1:30pm. We stopped at Costco to pick up a few items and were back on the road lickity split. Got another snack in Deer Park and started the final leg home arriving at 5pm. Whew! Greg figured out that we were driving for a total of 22 hours all told. That 22 hours didn’t count the stoppage times.

We are still covered in snow here with no melting in the forecast. In fact we have more snow in the forecast for Thursday and Saturday.

Greg is continuing with his Occupational Therapy. We’ll be traveling to Spokane again on Monday for his follow-up with the surgeon.

And that’s the rest of the story.

Forty Eight and Counting

A quick post since we have been away and today we are on the road. Today is our 48th wedding anniversary and we are thankful to God for all we’ve been through over the years. God is good. We are thankful.

When I recover from all the fun we’ve had the last 4 days I’ll fill you in whether you want to know or not, chuckle.

Angels From the Realms of Glory

Angels From the Realms of Glory

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.

Refrain

Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn king.

Shepherds, in the field abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing;
Yonder shines the infant light:

Refrain

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations;
Ye have seen His natal star.

Refrain

Saints, before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear;
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear.

Refrain

Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes the sentence,
Mercy calls you; break your chains.

Refrain

Though an Infant now we view Him,
He shall fill His Father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down:

Refrain

All creation, join in praising
God, the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore your voices raising
To th’eternal Three in One.

Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn king.

Call It A Foot!

Tuesday night into Wednesday we had a significant snowfall here. By the end of the evening we had at least a foot of new snow.

These photos were from Wednesday the 30th of November. The rest of the photos are from Thursday December 1st which turned into a beautiful sunny day.

We are going into a frigid 4 degrees Thursday night into Friday and we have nothing over freezing on the forecast for the next week. Yikes! We put out bird seed for our little feathered friends. The Quail were enjoying our Oregon grape plant gathering the berries from it. This chubby guy was the lookout and a few other Quail were in the plant finding the berries.

Dear’s occupational therapy is going well. Hope all is well in your corner.

Willow

Andrew and Katie were given permission to bring their cat Willow with them for Thanksgiving. This was a first for us and the first cat in our Country Bungalow.

She had many new discoveries to make and routes to enjoy that no human could.

There were two rooms where the doors were closed and she was denied access. She became obsessed with wanting to get into our room one night and we saw her little paw under our door and then she rattled the door and meowed. Hilarious.

She knew where she could hide when the grands were here and were playing their hardest.

She survived and by the end of her time with us was making a little contact with me and Auntie Lolo. We’ll see if she wants to come back at Christmas.

Welcome to December!

30 Days Hath November Hodgepodge

Here we are at the end of November Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce From This Side of the Pond!

Our yards have been covered with snow since November the 7th.

1. Sum up your November in ten words or less. 

November had a scary start and a grateful, peaceful end.

2. Are you hosting any holiday parties this year? Attending any? Party pooper, party animal, or life of the party…where do you land when it comes to parties? 

No, we are not hosting any holiday parties this year.

We will be attending our first Christmas Party on Sunday December 4th in Chilliwack, Canada. Hopefully the weather will settle down a bit for our drive to Spokane for our flight on Saturday and then our drive from Bothell to Abbotsford on Sunday. It will be our first time back in Canada since the beginning of ‘you know what’. We are so looking forward to being with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook and their hubbies! We will miss our two girls that live in Manitoba for this event.

The last MGCC party we were able to attend was in early December 2019 and this was one of the amazing desserts we enjoyed at that party.

I’m not a party animal or the life of the party or a party pooper. I do like to decorate for a themed party.

3. Do you purchase holiday clothing of any sort (sparkly tops, Christmas jammies, Santa suit, etc). 

There is a festive holiday top or two in my closet. This year with limited time to shop and limited sources I have nothing new. The old sparklies are too snug for comfort, sigh.

Comfy jammies all the way!

4. What’s your go-to recipe when you’re asked to bring an hors d’oeuvre to a party? 

I like to bring a charcuterie board of some sort. This year I’m trying Charlotte’s Red Pepper Jelly Tarts (Mennonite Girls Can Cook) for a ladies brunch I’m invited to on Thursday.

5. December 3rd is National Play Outside Day…what might you do to celebrate? 

We are flying from Spokane to Seattle that morning and will hopefully celebrate our daughter in law, Laura’s birthday in some way that day or evening.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

In World Cup news, the U.S.A. advances to the round of 16 playing against Netherlands on Saturday. It was a brutal 2nd half but in the end we eliminated Iran and we move on.

Wednesday Morning Update on our overnight snowfall which is still falling this morning:

As of 7am we have 8-1/2 inches of new snow. Our neighbor has already plowed our driveway before she heads into work. We are very grateful for her and her kindness to us. I did hop out in my jammies and Uggs and slipped her some cash for gas!

UPDATE at 11:15 A.M.: We have a total of 11 inches of new snow. PTL Dear is healthy enough to shovel snow!

Lots of cancellations in Colville today because of snow. Happy we can be home and today is baking day for my event on Thursday. Perfect weather to bake!

Rounding Out November

Our Thanksgiving weekend was completed Monday morning when we said our goodbyes to Uncle Joshie and Auntie Lolo praying for a good drive home especially over the passes. Auntie Lolo shared more of her photos with us on their drive and I’m using them to round out November here on my blog. Thank you Lolo!

Our November has been a wintry one with temperatures in the teens and below freezing for a lot of the month.

Addy has a recital coming up in December. She’s the youngest in the bunch so she’ll start the evening off with this song she is practicing.

Addy is practicing her selfie skills in this one.

Me and my guy.

Uncle Joshie captured this shot.

Thank you for making the snowy drive to Colville and home again Uncle and Auntie. We miss you already!

Monday night I had a Women’s Ministry meeting at church with a light meal of appetizers shared. The meeting was short and then the fun task for the evening was decorating the church for Christmas. Our head of services gal was in charge of that and had already gotten a good start so the task was lighter than usual. I opted out of the decorating and headed home on the snowpacked/icy roads.

Today is a quiet day here at our Country Bungalow. We started the morning off at 10 degrees. Brrr. I’ll be watching World Cup Soccer today as the USA plays Iran. My parents were married in Iran and our oldest 2 sisters were born in Iran. We’ve mostly called that country Persia. So thankful God led our people out of that country back in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Our parents were the first of their family to immigrate to the USA in 1947.

Thankful for this quiet day and hope the predictions of up to 14 inches of snow into tomorrow morning is an exaggeration!

It’s Still November

The last days of November have been filled with lots of food, laughter, noise, World Cup Soccer, puzzles, dishwashing, and best of all family time.

Our Thanksgiving meal was on the Mountain and Andrew tried to channel our LoLo and her selfie skills. He did a good job. Our Grands had their Granny Great, Granny, Gramps, Baba, Auntie and Uncle at their house to enjoy our Thanksgiving meal.

Uncle helped them create and build serving as a living ladder.

On Friday before Uncle Joshie and Auntie LoLo arrived the fun continued.

Baba pulled out some old jewelry and it was fun to see just how many pieces would fit on fingers, wrists and necks.

Auntie Lolo has a new tripod to aid her in taking selfies! I suppose they would be called tripodies, not selfies. We took this family shot since Katie and Andrew and Willow decided to beat the snow in the passes and head home on Saturday instead of Sunday.

The sweet goodbyes.

On Saturday Jamie organized a Sign Painting event at our Country Bungalow and we enjoyed creating these signs. It was fun to see the personal twist on each sign. We had a lovely charcuterie lunch that Jamie prepared while we waited for our paint to dry so we could glue the 3d parts on the signs.

On the right side of this photo are 4 generations with our granddaughter being the 4th!

While our sign event was going on the guys were busy on another errand.

We all gathered again on Saturday evening for soup.

Sunday we gathered to worship at our church with a sermon from 2nd Timothy and our service ended with the Baptism of 4 people. Always a great way to end a Sunday Worship service. Lunch at the Colville kids and then dinner back at our Country Bungalow.

The dishwashers have been going nonstop here in Colville. Hope y’all had a good Thanksgiving long weekend or a regular weekend!

Sweet Will of God ~ Hymn

Sweet Will of God

My stubborn will at last hath yielded;
I would be Thine, and Thine alone;
And this the prayer my lips are bringing,
Lord, let in me Thy will be done.

Refrain

Sweet will of God, still fold me closer;
Till I am wholly lost in Thee;
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

I’m tired of sin, footsore and weary,
The darksome path hath dreary grown,
But now a light has ris’n to cheer me;
I find in Thee my star, my sun.

Refrain

Thy precious will, O conquering Savior,
Doth now embrace and compass me;
All discords hushed, my peace a river,
My soul, a prisoned bird, set free.

Refrain

Shut in with Thee, O Lord, forever,
My wayward feet no more to roam;
What power from Thee my soul can sever?
The center of God’s will my home.

Refrain

Words: Lelia N. Morris, 1900.

Applesauce Raspberry Jello

This Applesauce Raspberry Jello recipe has been around a long time. I added a few options in presentation this time around including the parfait version above. You can use a parfait presentation or a simple square pan presentation to enjoy this easy dessert or side salad dish.
Applesauce-Raspberry Jello

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 3oz. pkg. raspberry jello
    1 – Cup hot water
    1 – 10-oz. pkg. frozen raspberries
    1 – Cup applesauce
    1 – Cup sour cream
    1 – Cup miniature marshmallows
Method:
  1. Dissolve Jello in hot water.
  2. Add frozen raspberries and blend carefully.
  3. Add applesauce and blend gently.
  4. Pour into 9-inch square pan.
  5. Chill until set.
  6. Combine sour cream and marshmallows and spread over top of set Jello.
  7. Cover and Chill.
  8. Serves 6-8.

If you want to present this dish in an individual parfait glass do not spread the sour cream mixture on top of the set jello. Keep it separate and layer the ingredients.

I have doubled this recipe and put it in a 9 x 13 pan. It’s a refreshingly cool salad!
If you aren’t fond of marshmallows omit them and add a tablespoon or two of sugar to your sour cream.

You can also just put a dollop of the sour cream mixture on top of the jello squares instead of spreading the topping completely over the jello.

It’s fun to transform a simple recipe with an eye catching presentation.

Thanksgiving decorations are put away and today I’ll ask our sons to get down all the Christmas bins which require a ladder. Not promising the bins will get emptied but at least they will be where I can get to them easily in the next several days to empty. Time for me to pull out our Christmas CD’s. I’m aging myself and not apologizing. CD’s are very much appreciated at our country bungalow.

Katie and Andrew decided to make the drive for home today with Willow their cat (there will be a Willow post, soon) since there are some snow forecasts that show significant snowfall in the mountain passes later on Saturday and into Sunday. The rest of us will carry on with activities after they hit the road. The girls are going to paint signs and the guys might be pushing around some snow, after they get those bins down for me.