Give Me Freedom to Roam Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday so here are the Hodgepodge questions for this week. Thank you to Jo From This Side of the Pond!

1. What do you wish you’d done more of last year?

More meditating on God’s Word, the Bible. Remembering what the Lord has done for us.

Less of? 

Less watching of mindless TV.

2. What’s the tallest building you’ve ever been in?
~chihuly-065
The Sears Tower was the tallest. The photo at the top of this post is of some of the Chicago skyline.
The Sears Tower is now the Willis Tower. Other tall buildings I’ve been in: Empire State Building, The Space Needle, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Statue of Liberty.
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Do you have a fear of heights
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No but I do have a fear of edges. Edges of cliffs, open edges on winding mountain roads.  A nice handrail or some sort of barrier between me and the edge is always comforting to me.
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3. Do you have a word for the year? Elaborate if you’d like to elaborate. 
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No word for the year as of yet and don’t know if I’ll choose one. I was considering Perseverance.
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4. January 11 is National Milk Day…are you a milk drinker? What kind? Your favorite recipe that calls for milk (cereal doesn’t count)? 

I like milk but milk doesn’t like me. I can enjoy it in moderation. Give me whole or 2% please. Our family favorite, Swedish Pancakes, calls for milk.

5. What excites you most about the future?

That the Lord will return to gather us up to be with Him.

Seeing our grandchildren grow.

What do you miss about the past? 

Freedom to travel without masks and restrictions and having all the resources of travel available like open restaurants and attractions.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Speaking of watching our grandchildren grow. I will cherish all the moments like this one.

Thank you for visiting, fellow hodgpodgers and friends, you make me smile.

A New Year for the Hodgpodge

Hello Hodgepodgers!

It’s Snow Angel season around our parts and…

It’s time for a new year of Wednesday Hodgepodge! Thank you Joyce for coming up with the brain teasers each week.

1. Share one happy moment/memory from the holiday season. 

Seeing each of the three vehicles filled with our most precious cargo pull into our driveway on Christmas day!

2. Let’s be reasonable with our expectations going into this new year, k? What is one thing you’d like to accomplish/improve/complete/do in 2022? 

I’d like to stick to completing a 30 minute cardio workout most days in 2022.  Shoveling off the back deck with Dear on Monday qualifies as a cardio workout! Snowshoeing out my back door is on the agenda this week. After wrapping up this post I’m happy to report I blazed a snowshoe trail in our back acres on Tuesday.

3. Every January 1st (since 1976) Lake Superior University has published a list of words they’d like to see banished from the Queen’s English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse or just general uselessness (go here to read more about how the words are chosen). Here are the words/phrases they’d like to see banished in 2022-

wait, what?-no worries-at the end of the day-that being said-asking for a friend-circle back-deep dive-a new normal-you’re on mute-supply chain

Which of these words/phrases do you use regularly?

‘No worries’ is the one phrase I’ve used most regularly, the others more randomly.  I do say, ‘did you mute your phone’ to Dear before the church service begins.

Which of these words would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why?

‘A new normal’ is a phrase that strikes me negatively mostly because much that comes with this phrase are things that shouldn’t be normal, in my opinion.

Is there a word/phrase not on the list you’d like to add? (I misunderstood this question the first time around and added a phrase I like, oops) Here’s one I’d like banished.

‘Pandemic of the unvaccinated’ is the phrase I’d like to see banished because it is false from it’s root up.

4. Best thing you ate in the month of December? 

Our traditional Christmas dinner. Prime Rib, roasted veggies, creamed corn and Yorkshire Pudding.

5. January 5th is National Bird Day.

Are you a bird lover? 

Yes!

What’s your favorite bird to see in the wild?

Eagle is by far the favorite with hawks coming in at second. I have a strong desire to see an owl in the wild and if I ever do it might win the favorite spot!

Choose a phrase from the list that follows and tell us how it relates to your life currently…eat like a bird, bird’s eye view, early bird, bird-brained, free as a bird, a little bird told me, or kill two birds with one stone.

‘Early bird’ is a phrase that relates to my life currently. Sleeping in has escaped me. I’m up before dark these days. Our pop was always early instead of late and I’m a chip off the old block when it comes to arriving at a scheduled event early, too!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

It looks like 2022 will not be a drought year in our parts! As of Tuesday morning January 4th we have about 20 inches of snow accumulated in our yard. More snow is on the way with temperatures that will not allow the snow to melt for awhile.

Only Joseph is still above the snow. We’ll see if he gets completely covered tonight!

To all my hodgepodging friends, I hope 2022 is a year filled with good things that draw you closer to the God who created you!

Baking and Snowmageddon!

For Katie’s birthday Addy and JJ helped me mix up the cake.

Thank you to Laura for capturing the moments.

Macarons ~ a small round cake with a meringue-like consistency, made with egg whites, sugar, and powdered almonds and consisting of two halves sandwiching a creamy filling.

Our son Dan surprised us all with his perfected Macarons for us to try. They were amazing!

We had our first snowstorm of 2022 starting late Sunday night into Monday the 3rd of January. It snowed all day on Monday. We shoveled off the deck but kept a section to measure our snow falls. Our neighbor plowed our front drive up to our garage on Monday and for that we are grateful. Here are photos of our snow piles!

The photo above is just for perspective. It was taken on Christmas. Notice how far up off the snow laden deck Joseph, Mary and the Baby Jesus are.

Here was the snowfall from early Monday morning with Mary just barely visible.

After we shoveled off the deck.

We have an accumulation of about 20 inches out in our yard right now. This is the most snow we’ve had accumulate since we moved here in 2018. Other years the snow melted off in between storms. This year is different with temps low enough that the snow has not melted off. We have more snow coming.

Snow hats all around!

Hope 2022 is starting off well for you!

 

Celebrating Katie

Everyone gathered at our country bungalow for Katie’s birthday on the 27th of December. Be forewarned that this post has an overload of photos.

We started the day with Dear’s traditional Swedish pancakes that shifted from Christmas morning to Katie’s birthday morning. Dear is the partial Swede who cooks the pancakes perfectly and the accompaniments are always the same. Besides the pancakes you’ll find little smokies (all beef), sour cream, real maple syrup, fake maple syrup, boysenberry syrup, and non dairy yogurt and coffee.

Addy and JJ found the leftover ‘Christmas Crackers’ to pop!

Auntie LoLo and the littles ready to layer up and go outside and enjoy some snow.

We put on all our layers and headed outside for a little snow time. It didn’t last too long because we were in the single digits and teens for temps. That didn’t stop some of us from making snow angels!

It’s fun having a winter wonderland out your back door.

JJ needed help navigating the deep snow.

Dan worked on blazing a trail.

This snow was not compatible to sticking together to create a snowman.

Time to go back inside for a warm-up and some lunch. Errands, a nap for JJ and it was time for dinner and birthday cake!

We had Raclette for Katie’s birthday dinner. Everyone enjoyed cooking their meat and veggies and melting their butter and cheese.

Time for the family favorite Applesauce Spice Cake and some Creme Brulee.

“Happy birthday dear Katie, Happy birthday to you!

It was a Happy Birthday we all enjoyed.

Katie and Andrew hit the road for home early on Tuesday and we were grateful to get the texts along the way letting us know about their journey and the text that said they were ‘Home Sweet Home’.

Happy Birthday Jesus 2021!

 

We woke up on Christmas morning to a little more snow and with lots of anticipation of the day ahead.

Andrew and Katie drove over the Pass on Thursday and on to Idaho to spend Christmas Eve with Andrew’s dad.  At 9am on Christmas morning they left Idaho for our house and pulled into our driveway close to noon.

On Christmas Eve we learned that Josh and Laura’s flight on Christmas Day was cancelled. They made the quick decision to drive instead. They left their home at 8am on Christmas day and we waited on pins and needles hoping that Snoqualmie Pass would stay open. The Pass stayed open and they had a beautiful drive pulling into our driveway at 2:30 ish.

We enjoyed some soup and naan and hummus as we waited for Dan, Jamie, Addy and JJ to arrive after naps.

We were all excited to see them pull into the drive, too. They brought dessert, a Happy Birthday Jesus Cake that Jamie and Addy baked.

Since dinner wasn’t quite ready we decided to open presents before we sat down to eat. We started with the youngest and worked our way up in the gift opening process.

We interrupted our gift opening for Christmas dinner. The Prime Rib was carved, the vegetables were roasted, the creamed corn was hot and the Yorkshire Pudding was out of the oven. Time to sit down and enjoy our meal.

Family photo and on to opening the rest of the presents!

JJ painted this for Baba!

After all the presents were opened we had our dessert and continued to enjoy our time together thankful for each other and the love we share.

Dan, Jamie and the kids left for home and the rest of us decompressed for awhile and headed to bed. On Sunday we had a full day together starting with church and then lunch and dinner at Dan and Jamie’s home.

I’ve got catch up posts from our time together as a family before our kids drove back to the West side of the mountains that will have to wait till next week. Both couples made it home safely with no incidents. We are so thankful for that and don’t take it for granted.

We decided on cancelling our Welcoming 2022 open house here after church on January 2nd. We just got a forecast for 4 more inches of snow on Sunday and we are concerned about our guests safety traveling and walking on our drive up to our door. Too much slipping and sliding around here. We will try again hopefully before Spring for our event!

Still in Party Mode…

 

Our birthday girl and her dear hubby are on the road for the West side of the mountains today but the rest of us are still celebrating our togetherness in very cold conditions. Dressing in layers and donning our snow boots, gloves and hats!

I’ll be back after things get back to normal around here!

 

A Four Year Old and The Nativity

This was how our four year old granddaughter felt the Nativity should be staged. I love her perspective. This was the very first Nativity set we bought. We found it at Disneyland in their Christmas shop sometime in the 80’s. We wanted a set that our kids could handle without fear of breakage. After a few years there was a mishap with one of the sheep losing a leg, the simple creche was broken, too. We have also lost the Shepherd’s staff somewhere along the years.

This week I’ll be sharing snippets of Christmas at our home with less known Christmas Carols.

O Sing a Song of Bethlehem

O sing a song of Bethlehem,
Of shepherds watching there,
And of the news that came to them
From angels in the air.
The light that shone on Bethlehem
Fills all the world today;
Of Jesus’ birth and peace on earth
The angels sing alway.

O sing a song of Nazareth,
Of sunny days of joy;
O sing of fragrant flowers’ breath,
And of the sinless Boy.
For now the flowers of Nazareth
In every heart may grow;
Now spreads the fame of His dear name
On all the winds that blow.

O sing a song of Galilee,
Of lake and woods and hill,
Of Him who walked upon the sea
And bade the waves be still.
For though like waves on Galilee,
Dark seas of trouble roll,
When faith has heard the Master’s word,
Falls peace upon the soul.

O sing a song of Calvary,
Its glory and dismay,
Of Him who hung upon the tree,
And took our sins away.
For He who died on Calvary
Is risen from the grave,
And Christ, our Lord, by Heaven adored,
Is mighty now to save.

Here was one of our beautiful views on the way to church yesterday. We had a joy filled service with the children’s choir singing and congregational Christmas carols and a sermon filled with hope. We love our church.

Last Two Days in North Carolina

Back to our Land That We Love Tour for our last full day in North Carolina and our departures on Sunday the third of October.

On Saturday the 2nd of October we enjoyed park time, lunch at the local Mexican restaurant and then some time at the Bride and Groom’s home for an open house.

Following Baba back to the cars.

After the open house the guys and Katie went on a shopping excursion the rest of the girls and Addy and JJ went back to our VRBO. What we didn’t realize was that the car that went shopping had both keys to the house and we panicked for a short time until genius Laura checked under a planter and found a spare key that the owners left. Whew! Naptime and later a quick dip in the lake and a relaxing evening.

Snuggle time before naps.

Josh was the only one of us who decided to take a leap into Lake Hickory.

The rest of us just watched from the deck.

On Sunday Dear and I left to continue our Land That We Love Tour.

Goodbye to our home away from home.

Our kids loaded up later than us and headed to Raleigh for their flight home, stopping at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast.

More park time before their flight.

We were on the road again heading through the mountains of North Carolina into Tennessee. More about our day of travel later.

Back to the present we had another dusting of fluffy snow on Monday evening. It was fun to watch it fall. Tuesday morning was above freezing and the fluff melted off quickly.

Young At Heart Hodgepodge

Our last Wednesday Hodgepodge of the Year. Thank You Joyce From This Side of the Pond for keeping this going!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Hodgepodgers!!

1. How young is young? In the past, according to various organizations who decide these things, age 60 was the ‘border age’ to old. The World Health Organization has done new research recently and divided up the categories as-0-17 (underage), 18-65 (youth or young people), 66-79 (middle-aged), 80-99 (elderly senior), 100+ (long-lived elderly). Your thoughts on this particular breakdown, and also your thoughts as to where you land?

That youth or young people section is a huge stretch and laughable!  In my opinion the WHO no longer lives up to it’s mission.

2. TIME magazine has declared Elon Musk person of the year in 2021. What say you? If you want to know more about how they choose you’ll find that info in the link here. If you were choosing, who would be your person of the year? 

He’s a very rich and very smart man, I hear. On the standards of Time Magazine I suppose he deserves it. I don’t buy Time magazine.

If I was choosing person of the year I’d choose Dr. John MacArthur, a man of God who rightly divides the Word of God. He and his church stood up to local government overreach in trying to shut their church down and take away a parking lot lease in retribution. The church won their battle in court and the city had to pay their legal fees and their parking lease was reinstated.

3. I read here ten habits of extremely likable people which include-they greet the world with a smile on their face, they ask questions, they’re consistent, they put the phone away, they remember names and use them, they keep an open mind and don’t pass judgement, they’re authentic, they’re kind and generous, accountable for their mistakes, and they send thank you notes.  

So, are you likable-lol? Which one of these habits could use some further developing in your own life? What is one habit/quality you’d add to the list? 

I’d like to send more thank you notes and be more careful in passing judgement.

4. One non-holiday related task/job/goal/dream on your to-do list that you hope/plan to make happen before the new year rolls in? 

Keep up my thirty minute a day cardio workout. I’m slipping during the holidays!!

5. Share with us some of your holiday plans. 

Church this Sunday which will include the Children’s Christmas Choir which is always fun to watch. I’m hoping for at least one nose picker. LOL.

Christmas Eve Candlelight service.

Christmas day when all our kids will gather here and we open gifts and enjoy our traditional Christmas dinner. If we knew before we bought gifts how much the Christmas Goose Prime Rib Roast was going to cost this year we would have cut down on the gifts. Yikes! But for the record we’ll enjoy it all and say thank you Lord for all you give us to enjoy.

The two days after Christmas we’ll spend more time together as a family ending our time off with a birthday party for our daughter Katie who was born on the 27th. Our westside kids will travel back home on the 28th.

10 days till Christmas!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Christmas in the country when you own 20 acres and find your Christmas tree on those acres. This is our son’s family and his land.

The Wedding

Get ready for a photo overload. A friendly warning. Our niece’s wedding took place on Friday October 1st at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, North Carolina. It was a lovely spot for a wedding.

Where’s JJ?

He followed me when I got up to take the photo of the group waiting for the wedding ceremony to begin.

Mother of the bride.

Giving the instructions that everyone will follow but one…there is always at least one in a crowd who doesn’t think the rules apply to them.

Jenna was the first to make us Uncle and Auntie.

Sisters of the bride and our nieces.

Sisters of the bride and our grand niece.

Our grand nephew and our nephew by marriage.

Christina (mother of the bride) and Terry (father of the bride). Terry is Dear’s older and only sibling. Terry and Chris were in our wedding as Dear’s best man and my matron of honor.

It was good to get photos taken before the southern humidity transported my hair to another dimension.

She is one of two of our newest grand nieces and we now have a brand new grand nephew, too.

A cousin shot with the Bride and Groom.

All the extended Bayles’ to date!

Congratulations Chris and Kacie. That’s a wrap!

I’m adding some more photos that I overlooked before to this post.