MGCC Christmas 2019

This year our annual Christmas event with the Mennonite Girls was hosted by Julie and her hubby at the clubhouse in your community. It was a great space for a party and Julie went all out with the decorations.

Julie folded the napkins to look like angels.

The appetizers were delicious.

 

We had some fun catching up moments. The guys had some rip roaring games of pool while we waited to sit down for dinner.

Judy and I were fashion twins…and this wasn’t the first time we showed up at a Christmas party dressed similar.

Zwieback (double buns)

Whole Wheat Sourdough loaf

Stuffed cabbage rolls (Golubtsi), a special chicken dish and a yam casserole were the mains with homemade buns and bread along with two fresh salads.

We all had more then enough good food and we still had dessert to come.

And boy were the desserts masterpieces in themselves.

Judy made this amazing cake. It was light and it’s flavor was gingerbread. Correct me if I’m wrong, Judy.

Julie made this light gluten free roll which seemed to pretty to cut.

And Anneliese made her classic fruit and nut wreath.

We had our gift exchange which had a “basket of goodies” theme this year. Instead of numbers drawn to know in what order we would be able to choose a basket from under the tree, Julie had lines from a classic Christmas carol that we drew and had to sing our line in the order that it came in the song to be able to pick a basket. Hope that made sense. It was a fun method.

I wish I would have gotten photos of all the different “baskets” none of which were actual baskets but different containers to hold the goodies. One of the containers was a large lantern!

Dear and I were fortunate to be hosted overnight at John and Marg’s home. Since the party ended after ten it was nice to just drive down the hill from Julie’s to head to bed at John and Marg’s.

With this party at Julie’s clubhouse we can now say we have all hosted a MGCC gathering with our husbands in attendance. We missed our Manitoba girls and their hubby’s.

Thank you Julie and Vic for a wonderful time at your clubhouse. Here’s the carol we sang line by line to be able to pick our basket of goodies. We concentrated on the first stanza and refrain.

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.

Refrain

I’m happy to report that all I have to do is seal my Christmas greetings and take them to the post office. We had two inches of snow last night into the morning so everything is white and lovely. We’ll see if the other couple inches they predicted will fall tonight. Our mystery tree is a beauty and I’ll share the steps to the reveal after we get the lights on the the ornaments hung. I came up with a great way to display the cards and photos that come in the mail and I’ll show that in a later post, too. Addy and JJ got to go and see a couple of Santa’s reindeer today. It is so nice for our son’s little family to be reunited now that daddy is home from a 30 day work assignment in Texas. We are a thankful bunch.

I’m joining all creation in praising God, the Father, Spirit, Son this Christmas season!

The Highways Less Traveled

On Friday the 6th of December we left our home early to drive to the Coast via highway 25 and US Route 2 in Washington State.

U.S. Route 2 is a component of the United States Numbered Highway System that connects the city of Everett in the U.S. state of Washington to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with a separate segment that runs from Rouses Point, New York, to Houlton, Maine.

The only hazards on the roads that we encountered 4 separate times on highway 25 were flocks of wild turkeys that decided to cross the road in a line and not in a hurry.

We passed through many small towns miles apart with limited services.

When we finally got to US Route 2 we found a great little Corner Cafe in Creston, Washington.

Now we were starting the climb over the Cascade Mountain Range.

Leavenworth was decorated and ready for their annual Christmas tree lighting. There were many people milling about. We drove right through without stopping.

We arrived to Josh and Laura’s home for the late afternoon and night. On Friday evening Josh and Laura took us out for our anniversary to a new spot to us, Emory’s on the Lake. It’s such a blessing to have a home base on the other side of the Cascades where we are always welcomed.

On Saturday we met up with friends for breakfast and then packed up the car for our trip to Chilliwack, British Columbia for our annual Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas celebration. I’ll save that for a separate post.

On the way home from the Coast on Monday we stopped in Spokane and purchased our Mystery Tree for 2019. It’s still in the car while I type and as soon as we put it in it’s spot we’ll have the reveal and see what it looks like in it’s stand.

We made it back to our country bungalow before dark after stopping for Linner in Chewelah at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Our drive back from the Coast was on Interstate 90 and we encountered several miles of fog which was hard on our eyes. We were so happy to see some clearing after Ritzville. We did not see blue skies until we came down into the valley before Chewelah. That was a welcomed sight for sure.

Now that we are home for the rest of December my Christmas decorating will begin in earnest. Are you all decked out yet? I’m working on our Christmas letter. When that is copied off I’ll be able to send our Christmas cards. I’m happy to say they are all addressed already. Do you still send cards?

I’m headed out the door to a Bible Study and lunch. I hope to make some visits to blogs this evening.

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a king,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Words: Charles Wesley

Forty Five and Counting…

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Today Dear and I are celebrating the day we got married forty five years ago. We were married on a Friday evening in Southern California. The minister who officiated at our wedding, Andrew Semenchuk, celebrated his 94th birthday this week. Dear’s brother was best man and his sister-in-law was my matron of honor.

We thank God for his mercy and grace in our lives and for leading and guiding us these forty five years. There have been ups and downs, hard times and easy times, rich and poor times. We thank God for holding us fast through all these times and trust Him for the years to come.

Come Lord Jesus, Come…

We wait with expectation in this season of Advent.

I was happy to put all the Fall decor away. Today I pulled out all the Christmas bins and am starting slowly to put things up here and there. The Christmas Carol music is on the piano.

Addy loves to help whenever and wherever she can.

On Sunday the guys offered to watch Addy and JJ while the girls got in a couple hours of Christmas shopping without them tagging along. When we came out of North40 snow had begun to fall.

JJ survived well without his mommy close by and even had a wee nap.

We said our goodbyes to Josh and Laura and then Addy and JJ went home for their afternoon naps.

Have you started decorating for Christmas? Are you sending cards this year?

Trusses and Thanksgiving

On Friday November 29th, Josh and Laura arrived to our country bungalow just before 1pm. Katie and Andrew had arrived on Thursday afternoon driving from the Coast. After we all had a hot bowl of Dear’s famous Tomato Rice Soup with Granny Great’s rolls we headed out to man our winches to lift the center trusses. It was very cold. This building is going to be Dear’s Shop. A place for our larger equipment and Dear’s truck and other projects.

4 people cranking to cadence set by another one of us. Slowly but surely the trusses gained height. The three of us gals took turns with our crank.

We raised the trusses up to about 10 inches shy of reaching the notches where they would rest and had to call it a day. The trusses were secured with blocks of wood and chains and and straps and we came inside to get warmed up and have a thrown together meal of pasta, ravioli, and steamed broccoli. We would wait until Saturday to do the final raising.

Saturday morning after a hot bowl of oatmeal we headed out again to lift the trusses the final 10 inches. At this point Katie noticed some fraying of one of the cables.  We halted and the guys put their heads together to fix the problem.

New cable was added and we manned our stations again to continue lifting but then…

…disaster! We didn’t notice that the cable on this side had frayed and after a fatal crank it snapped and the truss came crashing down landing on one of the splash boards. Thankfully the cable just swiped Joshua’s arm and no one was hurt. Now heads would have to come together again for a solution. The girls went inside for intervals to start work on our post Thanksgiving meal.

To lighten the mood we did a little jump roping. We did a lot of praying and asked God to give the guys a solution that would work for the trusses to be raised and secured. We also called on some prayer warriors to pray along with us. The girls went inside again for more Thanksgiving meal preparations.

We introduced Addy to the art of putting marshmallows on top of the buttered and brown sugared yams.

JJ enjoyed watching. Jamie took Addy and JJ home for their naps and would return later in the day for our Thanksgiving meal.

Did I mention it was really cold?

After hours and a double winch/cable solution from a different angle it looked like we were just about there.

The girls watched and prayed.

Hallelujah! One last adjustment and all went into place in the notches and it was now time to secure each end to the posts. That would take a while so the girls went inside to continue on our meal and get warmed up singing praises to God all the way into the house and for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Laura and Katie headed to Super 1 for some Brussels Sprouts and bacon to add to our meal and were happy for that short distraction after all the stress of the day.

The turkey came out brown and beautiful. Our meal together was one filled with more thanksgiving that you can imagine. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, candied yams, Brussels Sprouts with bacon, and Granny Great’s rolls. While Addy and JJ napped Jamie made a dairy free pumpkin pie to add to her apple pie for our dessert.

Before we ate our pie we were also grateful to be able to celebrate Laura’s upcoming birthday with a special gift from all of us. She adds so much care and love to our family and we are all thankful to God for her. Happy birthday dear Laura. You are precious to us.

This was a very long post but it represents two very long days of labor in freezing temperatures. There was joy, disaster, grief, perseverance and then ecstatic praise and relief for a final good result. We are so grateful for the help from Josh, Andrew and the girls. Gramps couldn’t have done it without us all pitching in together.

We were sad that Dan, Addy and JJ’s dad, had to miss out on this two day adventure.

Thanksgiving decor is all put away and I’m slowly bringing out the Christmas decor. Josh and Laura left on Sunday and Katie and Andrew left on Monday.