Last Minute Trip…

…over the mountains and through the woods to see this little one and her parents!

We decided Friday evening to hit the road on Saturday morning to see our kids in northeastern Washington. We wanted to see them since they won’t be traveling to be with us at Christmas this year. I’ve been absent from visiting blogs because all my time has been spent chasing and enjoying our little Addy.

Addy recognized us and was willing to come to us with no hesitation. That is always a relief since there are weeks that pass between our visits.

Addy is cutting a new tooth and she continues to take a few steps at a time. Snow fell for most of the day on Sunday. We are heading home on Monday because of weather forecasts and the conditions on the roads and…I still need to decorate our tree.

It was a short and sweet trip getting caught up on all the new things Addy is enjoying from food to chatter to movement.

Fun times with gramps!

The Christmas tree was found and cut down on our kids’ property.

You have to catch a photo of her fast as she’s always on the go! She’s enjoying “pat a cake” and she can really move about in her walker!

It was fun to visit and have some sweet cuddles until next time.

The adults were able to complete a couple of projects, too, with extra hands keeping an eye on Addy.

We are hoping for clear sailing on the roads between Colville and Seattle today. Christmas is just one week away. Are you ready? We are more ready now that we’ve spent time with our kids in Colville.

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.

Refrain

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

In Bethlehem, in Israel, this blessèd Babe was born,
And laid within a manger upon this blessèd morn;
The which His mother Mary did nothing take in scorn.

Refrain

From God our heavenly Father a blessèd angel came;
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name.

Refrain

Fear not, then, said the angel, Let nothing you affright
This day is born a Savior of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him from Satan’s power and might.

Refrain

The shepherds at those tidings rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding in tempest, storm and wind,
And went to Bethl’em straightaway this blessèd Babe to find.

Refrain

But when to Bethlehem they came where our dear Savior lay,
They found Him in a manger where oxen feed on hay;
His mother Mary kneeling unto the Lord did pray.

Refrain

Now to the Lord sing praises all you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface.

Refrain

God bless the ruler of this house, and send him long to reign,
And many a merry Christmas may live to see again;
Among your friends and kindred that live both far and near—

That God send you a happy new year, happy new year,
And God send you a happy new year.

Saturday’s Critters

Our little Addy loves Rayna. Addy’s mom says that Rayna tolerates Addy. I’m sure when Addy is older Rayna will appreciate her more.

It’s been almost a month since we’ve seen little Addy face to face. Hope a trip across the mountains can be accomplished before too long.

Here’s some other critters Dear and I saw on our overnight trip to La Conner. These lovelies were very curious when we stopped on the road to take photos of them at South Fork Farms in Mount Vernon, Washington. Love their faces!

The alpaca is a member of the camelid family, which also includes the llama, guanaco, vicuna and the camel.

Alpaca produce a specialty fiber in 16 different natural colors – white, beige, lt. fawn, med. fawn, dk. fawn, lt. brown, med. brown, dk. brown, bay black, true black, lt. silver grey, med. silver grey, dk. silver grey, lt. rose grey, med. rose grey, dk. rose grey.

Alpaca fiber is five times warmer than sheep wool and more durable than cotton.

Linking up to Saturday’s Critters at Viewing Nature with Eileen. Thank you Eileen!

Happy to say our mystery tree is up with most of the lights on it. As soon as another string of lights go up I’ll be able to put the ornaments on and show you what it looks like this year. Are you ready for next weekend? We’re enjoying our Christmas music and worshiping the one who came for us to live among us and to die on the cross to save us, Emmanuel.

Christmas Past and Present

These vintage cards are from my mother-in-law’s stash of Christmas goodies that ended up with us.  Happy to know our cards with our Christmas greetings are on their way to friends and family. We also have antique postcards from Dear’s great great aunt. The postmarks are from 1908-1912.

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We still need to buy our tree to bring home and decorate.

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We’ve had several dry and very cold days. That is about to change so I’m telling myself that today might be the day to go buy our Mystery Tree before the rains come. For those of you new to my blog our Mystery Tree tradition is an idea I borrowed from my sister-in-law Kelly several years ago. We go to the local big box home improvement store and grab a tree that is wrapped with netting and throw it into our truck or car and bring it home without knowing what it will look like. The one thing we look at carefully is how straight the trunk at the bottom of the tree is. When we get it home we set it in it’s tree holder in the right spot in our living room before we cut away the netting and see what we got. We choose to enjoy it no matter what. We’ve found it to be a tradition that works well for us instead of searching for that perfect tree that caused a lot of stress in the past. (The only problem with this reveal is that we don’t get the chance to shake out all the needles that might have accumulated in the netting)

Do you have traditions that carry on from year to year? Do you still send out Christmas cards? Do you do live or artificial for your tree?

Happy Hanukah to any of my Jewish friends who stop by here.

Purple Haze Hodgepodge

1. ‘Hurry less, worry less’…what’s your strategy for making that happen this holiday season? How’s it going so far?

Well, we threw in an overnight getaway to La Conner to celebrate our 43rd anniversary and that included lots of country roads less traveled instead of the interstates. It was good to take the time away from our renovations and decorations. Our leisurely walk along the waterway in La Conner was relaxing. So far so good.

2. Do you have a list of to-dos that need accomplishing in order to prepare your home and/or property for the winter season? What are some of the jobs on your list? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone to accomplish these tasks?

Winter is not that harsh in the Puget Sound area. Generally all we need to do is lock the windows so they are shut tight and disconnect the water hoses so they don’t freeze. Sometime after Christmas and before Spring we need to prune the apple and pear tree. We do all these things ourselves. I still need to cut back my lavender plants!

This is what the apple tree looks like before pruning and all the branches that are growing straight up need to be cut. After pruning it looks more like this with still a few more branches to cut. Ignore the evergreen in the background.

3. According to dietitians surveyed, the most popular health foods for 2018 will be -turmeric, sprouted foods (bean sprouts, breads with sprouted grains, etc), veggies in place of grains, dairy free milk, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, etc).  What’s the first thought that ran through your head when you read this list? Of the foods listed which one might you add to your regular diet? Also, can milk really be dairy free? Is it still milk?

The first thought I had was healthy trends aren’t my thing. Maybe I’ll add more veggies.

4. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. According to the Pantone site ‘Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking pointing us to the future.’ What say you? Do you like the color purple? Did you see the movie or read the book-ha!?  Is purple a color you wear often? Describe for us one purple item in your home without using the word purple.  If you were in charge of such things what color would you select for 2018?

I don’t mind the color purple. I did see the movie. We have three University of Washington alums in our family and we live in Husky country where slogans like “let purple reign again” are alive and well.

Purple evokes passionate pride. It’s the color that stands out as most quintessentially to our University and is therefore the dominant color in our communications. Gold symbolizes excellence. It’s a sophisticated hue that speaks to our extraordinary standards and immense quality. And when you combine the two? That’s the UW.

Sometimes I wear purple. The little girl with the W on her shirt is now an alumnus of Udub and her husband will soon be a graduate of the Udub, too. I helped put my Dear through the UW school of Pharmacy so I wear my purple with pride.

We do have some walls at this old house that remind me of lavender sprigs . Not the vibrant variety.

You can see that color in what used to be my master bathroom? Here’s what it looks like now.

If I was in charge of such things the color of the year would be China Blue.

5. Favorite book read this year?

Glass Houses by Louise Penny

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today I’ll be mailing our Christmas cards. We’ve received a few already and I always enjoy being brought up to date on what is happening with friends from far and wide. We still do not have our tree and that’s the last purchase we need to make for Christmas. Once the tree is up I’ll start thinking about wrapping the presents that will be going under it.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you to whoever takes the time to read the answers.

Angels From the Realm 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.

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

The heavens roar, the angels sing, all glory to our God and King ~ Chris Tomlin

This little one continues to delight us. We were texted a video of her taking steps already. The video showed her taking three steps. Yikes! She’s not even 9 months yet. Mommy and Daddy are going to have to be on their toes to keep track of her.

All our Christmas decor is up now and all that is left is the purchase of our mystery tree and decorating that mystery tree. In the meantime Dear and I are escaping  for a night away to celebrate our anniversary. Hope you all have a good week and that you are enjoying holy nights with the bright lights of Christmas.

O, Come, Little Children

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Oh, Come, Little Children

Oh, come, little children, oh, come, one and all,
To Bethlehem’s stable, in Bethlehem’s stall.
And see with rejoicing this glorious sight,
Our Father in heaven has sent us this night.

Oh, see in the manger, in hallowèd light
A star throws its beam on this holiest sight.
In clean swaddling clothes lies the heavenly Child,
More lovely than angels, this Baby so mild.

Oh, there lies the Christ Child, on hay and on straw;
The shepherds are kneeling before Him with awe.
And Mary and Joseph smile on Him with love,
While angels are singing sweet songs from above.

Words: Christoph von Schmid, 1794

A friend of ours faxed me the music and words for O Come Little Children in the Russian language. I learned this song by heart in Russian and it’s been fun to sing it this week. We have started the Advent Season and I’ll be posting Christmas Music for the rest of the month. Some of the words in Russian translate different than the English version.