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.

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.

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.

Anniversary Hodgepodge

1. What title would you give this current chapter of your life?

Preparing for Change

Today is our 43rd wedding anniversary and we are preparing for another major change in our lives. We were married in 1974 and in 1975 we bought our first home moving to Huntington Beach from West Los Angeles. In 1976 we moved to our second home in Huntington Beach where our two sons were born. The photo above is from our first Christmas in that home. In 1984 we moved from Huntington Beach to Ventura, California with our two young sons (our hearts and minds are with the people of Ventura during the latest Thomas Fire). In 1988 we made the huge move from California to Washington State with our two sons and 3 year old daughter so Dear could go back to school (University of Washington) to become a Pharmacist. We settled into Washington State nicely but in 1996 we experienced a major landslide behind our dream home and after many setbacks and huge costs mounting on saving our home we walked away and gave the home and all our equity to the bank. We lived in 3 rentals. A month after moving into our 3rd rental home in 1998 the owners told us they needed to sell the home even though we had a 1 year lease. We could not face another move and offered to buy the house and were surprised that the bank would give us a loan since we had defaulted on our landslide home. We have been in this old house, the only house we didn’t really choose to buy for almost 20 years. I’ll need to add that because of a job change we moved to Camarillo, California for 4 years from 2006-2010. We did not sell this old house but left two of our adult children to live in it and to care for it while we were gone. Now we are making some extra improvements on this old house to get it ready to sell in Spring of 2018 and make a major move across the mountains to a small country town in northeast Washington. I have to say that change at this stage of life is a little more scary then when we were in our twenties, thirties, forties, or fifties!

But…the consolation is that we will be close to one of our sons, daughter-in-law and little miss Addy!

2. December 6 is National Microwave Oven Day. Who knew? Besides popcorn and coffee reheats, what’s the most common thing you microwave? Could you get along without a microwave?

Frozen entrees like lasagna or corn on the cob or artichokes. Yes, I’d be able to survive without a microwave.

3. If you could insert yourself into any Christmas carol and experience the lyrics in real life, which Christmas carol lyric would you choose and why?

Away in a Manger

4. Describe the most beautiful drive you’ve ever taken.

We’ve experienced so many beautiful drives that it’s very hard to choose one. I’ll choose drives in the Cotswolds on narrow lanes that were so scary but beautiful.

5. What’s something on your Christmas list this year? (an actual list or figuratively speaking, either one)

I went with actual. Gift cards to nice restaurants in Seattle. We are moving to a very small country town 6 hours from Seattle and I want to get my fill of the restaurants I’ll miss.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance,
baptism without church discipline,
Communion without confession….
Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for providing the questions and to all of you who take the time to read our answers.

This morning we see that there are multiple fires in Southern California fanned by Santa Ana Winds. A few freeways have been shut down. I’m sad to see the fires near the Getty Center, Santa Clarita, San Bernardino and of course Ventura. Prayers are up for the people in the paths of these fires and all those who have to evacuate. So frightening, thinking of all my family and friends down there. Go outside and water down your roofs! Be wise about evacuating!

This and That…

It’s still a little messy around here but we are enjoying running water and a cook top again.  The backsplash should all be on the wall sometime later today and then tomorrow or Monday the grouting can be done. It’s nice to know that for sure it will all be done well before Christmas.

Our little Addy is enjoying new foods introduced into her diet. Our DIL sent us this latest photo. It makes me smile. She’s eating pumpkin, chicken, and pear. Jamie makes Addy’s food instead of using overly processed baby food from the store.

Last night we had a little birthday party dinner for our Daughter in law/love, Laura. We enjoyed Lovella’s Cocktail Sausage Wreath as an appetizer and it was a big hit! I’m going to make it again on Wednesday for our Small Group Christmas gathering. Click on Lovella’s name to head over to Mennonite Girls Can Cook to see the method.

I’m learning so many new things from my SIL Kelly’s Advent in Art series. Today is Day 2 Mosaic in Chora Church, Turkey. I’m getting an art history lesson that I’ve never had before.

Happy first Advent weekend everyone!

Eight Months

And so it begins. Two teeth and more to come.

Addy’s mom was happy to capture these photos of Addy before she crawled away as fast as she could go, out of the room and down the hall. We say it over and over again…these little ones grow so fast and change so much in the first year of life!

Our counter tops will be installed late Tuesday or first thing Wednesday. Then Dear has to hook up the sink, disposal, dishwasher, attach the fixtures and install the cook top. Good thing he’s retired! After all that is said and done, he’ll be working on the backsplash. I’m happy it will be done and beautiful by Christmas! I will not start decorating for Christmas for at least another week or so…

Since things are already chaotic here, I cleaned out and set aside many glasses, goblets, vases, and other tchotchke to donate to Salvation Army. It’s amazing what you find in that cupboard above the refrigerator that you need a step ladder to get into!

tchotchke: (/ˈtʃɒtʃkə/ CHOCH-ka) is a small bauble or miscellaneous item. The word has long been used by Jewish-Americans and in the regional speech of New York City and elsewhere. The word may also refer to free promotional items dispensed at trade shows, conventions, and similar commercial events.

I would like you to all be thankful for your counter tops and sinks with running water to wash up or rinse and cook tops with power to boil or saute! Blessings!

Overflowing With Gratitude

We had 4 days of family time living under the same roof and enjoying cooking for each other, eating together, working together, and play time, too. We had a sit down Thanksgiving meal together on Saturday evening with all the trimmings and we were stuffed.

Dan showed us the skull and antlers of the Buck he preserved from our first annual family hunting trip in October.

Dan and Jamie indulged me and let Addy have an early Christmas opening the stocking filled with little things from Gramps and Baba. We will not be with Dan, Jamie and Addy on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day this year so it was fun to enjoy this early gift giving.

The elephant was her favorite and she really wasn’t too sure about the soft dolly.

Josh and Laura flew home on Sunday and we enjoyed some family shots before they left for the airport.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!
 It is like the precious oil on the head,
    running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
    running down on the collar of his robes!

Psalm 133:1-2 (ESV)

The family selfie. We were sad that Andrew was not able to travel with us this time. A degree in Aeronautical Engineering takes lots of study and class time and his fall quarter is overloaded with classes.

Katie, Dear and I had one more evening to spend with Dan, Jamie and Daddy’s Girl.

Early on Monday morning we posed for our obligatory goodbye photos.

So thankful for this little girl and all the joy she has brought into our family dynamic.

We thought we’d have rain for our full 6 hours of travel time but thankfully we had some very short periods of sunshine breaking through and we enjoyed several rainbows on our drive home.

We spotted this rainbow passing through Ellensburg, Washington. Yep…I have a burg.

Back at the home front Dear went right into action removing the old counter tops. We are currently without counters, our cook top and our sink. Yikes. Hopefully things will get installed for sure on Wednesday so I can cook our portion of the Thanksgiving meal we are taking to our friend’s home on Thanksgiving Day. Good thing we did not plan on a Thanksgiving meal at this old house this year!

We are thankful to the God who is who was and who is to come for all he has done for us and to us during our lifetime.

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
    who was and is and is to come!” Revelation 1:8 (ESV)

Hope your Thanksgiving week is shaping up nicely. Are you cooking or is someone else doing the hosting and cooking? For our Canadian friends who have already enjoyed Thanksgiving, have you started your Christmas decorating?