A Day to Remember and Honor…

Thank you to all who have served our country and who lost their lives protecting us!

Blades of grass and pure white stones
Shelter those who’ve come and gone.
Just below the emerald sod
Are those who reached the arms of God.

Buried here with dignity
Endless rows for all to see,
Freedom’s seeds in sorrow sown,
‘Neath blades of grass and pure white stones.

Blades of grass and pure white stones
Cover those who left their homes
To rest in fields here, side by side,
Lest we forget their sacrifice.

Buried here with dignity
Endless rows for all to see,
Freedom’s seeds in sorrow sown,
‘Neath blades of grass and pure white stones.

It was written by Lowell Alexander, Orrin Hatch, and Philip Naish.

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart ~ Hymn

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art;
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies;
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heaven descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

Words: George Croly, 1854.

Huntington Beach

On Thursday the 25th of May my sister Vera and I had a walk in Huntington Beach and on the pier.

It was fun to see the pelicans. They look so prehistoric, don’t they?

We took the obligatory selfie.

On Friday Kathy joined Vera and me in Huntington Beach for a sister morning. We had breakfast and did some shopping together.Our youngest sister, Lana, is traveling in Scotland right now.

Before Kathy left we took another sister selfie.

On Saturday we are going to have another family gathering with more of our family at my sister Vera’s. It will be nice to see two of my brothers and my sister-in-laws. Vera and I will be baking again on Saturday morning because our dear old pop told us it would be good if we baked another roolyet (nut roll) for our family gathering.

I’ll be posting the recipe of this family favorite on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook on the 31st of May.

Hope you are having a good long weekend and can pause to remember those who have fallen in service to our country.

He’s Another Year Old Today…

Technically he was another year old yesterday.

14317439_10210161594261007_2186919252756866346_nMy dear old Pop turned 94 years old on Thursday. This photo is from last year when he was 93 at his great granddaughter’s birthday party. Vera and I drove to Kathy’s yesterday to wish him a happy birthday and to have dinner with him and Kathy’s family. Before dinner we all prayed individually to our God to bless our dear Pop in his final days on this earth with peace and joy.

This is my pop and me in 1973 and 2017. We both have aged a bit. I’ve put on weight and he’s lost a lot of weight and muscle.

Last year he got cherry pie which he really enjoys.

This year Vera and I baked my mom’s signature nut roll called Roolyet. My pop talked about the fact that my mom’s Roolyet was the best. He said no one made roolyet like mom. We were hoping ours would measure up.

We put the candle in his birthday roolyet and he enjoyed blowing it out. He did say, “I’m 94 why only 1 candle?”

Pop loved our attempt and he teared up because it brought back good memories of his bride. He told us to make it again on Saturday when we have another party on the books. I’ll be posting the recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook on May 31st.

This is my sister Kathy’s family minus their son-in-law Ryan who is busy wrapping up his teaching year. Vera and me are flanking our pop with Avery. Pop got calls from his other kids and even got a call from our younger sister who is vacationing in Iceland to wish him a happy birthday. After dinner and all the excitement of the day he sat down to watch Jeopardy and then excused himself and retired to his room to read his Bible and pray for all of us like he does every night. Vera and I hit the four freeways we needed to take to get back home. There are a lot of freeways in Southern California!

Friday is sister day and the three sisters that are here right now will have some fun. Lana is on her way to Scotland with her hubby after spending time in Iceland which is an okay trade-off for not being here for sister day.

Spokane’s Torchlight Parade

During the Lilac Festival in Spokane there is a Torchlight Parade that honors all branches of the military and law enforcement. There are other entries in the parade, too. Many high school bands, drill teams and parade floats from cities around Washington State and Idaho participate. Many of the bands play military music like Anchors Aweigh and other songs.

This was Addy May’s first road trip. It’s about 70 miles from her house to Spokane.

We shared our parking space with some horse trailers and a few horses.

After we found our parking spot and the parade was about to begin Addy was tucked into her front carrier shielded from the sunshine and we headed for the downtown area. Before we crossed the Spokane River we got to see some floats that were lined up in order ready to proceed to the parade route.

Lots of water this year and the river was churning.

The Red Hot Mamas were very entertaining. They had some great moves and lively music. It was fun to see bands in kilts.

This was the most sobering part of the parade. Each one of the men and women pictured here lost their lives in the line of duty. After this board went by friends and family members carried large poster boards with a photo of their loved ones with their service dates and the date that they died. There were rows and rows and rows. Everyone stood and took their hats off to honor the fallen. May God comfort all the families who have lost their loved ones.

We left after the portion of the parade we came to see went past us. Addy slept the whole time and didn’t wake up when she was gently tucked into the car seat and then she slept all the way home! Woohoo! A very successful first long outing.

I am safe and sound in California at my sister Vera’s home. Tomorrow we will head over to our sister Kathy’s to celebrate our Pop’s 94th birthday. We will be celebrating again on Saturday with a dinner here at my sister Vera’s home in Huntington Beach. I’m happy to say that Southern California is not scorching on this visit of mine like the last few trips have been. On the airplane today I was reading a portion of Psalm 119 and had to write out these verses.

Psalm 119: 133  Keep steady my steps according to your promise and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
Psalm 119: 160  The sum of your word is truth and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
Psalm 119: 175  Let my soul live and praise you and let your rules help me.
Hope all is well with your soul…

And Now I’m Headed South

We arrived home from northeastern Washington just after noon on Tuesday and now I’m packing to fly to Southern California early on Wednesday morning. But in the meantime I’m relishing all the time we had with little Addy May and her parents.

Mommy and Addy have lots to share with each other.

While the grown ups enjoy their dinner Addy sits and watches from this little baby lounger.

Some views from around our kid’s property. The lilac is such a rich beautiful color. The chicken coup got moved in a new position and cleaned out. The new position will make it easier to retrieve eggs in the winter and also make it easier for the chickens to get in and out. Speaking of chickens some animal has been killing them and only leaving a pile of feathers. They are down to only 2 chickens. Maybe this hawk that likes to circle above the chicken coup is to blame or a fox.

I take this shot every time we visit. This is taken from the drive down from the kid’s home to the main road. Above taken on May 20th and the photo below was taken in April.

Most of the water that you see in this shot from April has been absorbed and there will be lots of dry grass to deal with come summer. We plan to get back to visit our kids again in the latter part of June.

I’m hoping I will have more time while I’m in California to visit and see what you all have been up to.

Rest Stop

Last Friday on our journey from Western Washington to Northeastern Washington we stopped at a rest area we hadn’t stopped at before on our past trips.

The rest area in Sprague had some beautiful Spring views.

It was good to stretch our legs and enjoy the views before we drove into Spokane and then headed north to our destination.

I’ve been quite busy at our kids home holding sweet Addy May and helping out here and there so I haven’t been able to visit much if at all. Hope all is well in your corners of the world. Happy Victoria Day to our Canadian neighbors!

Here’s one of my great views with more to come.