Old School Hodgepodge

Thank you Jo From This Side of the Pond for asking the Hodgepodge questions for us.

It’s always so wonderful to see all the little quail show up with their parents. They are hard to capture with the camera through the windows. They react to any slight movement and they move a lot.

1. Is school back in session where you live? Is everyone in person or does your system still offer a virtual option? Are kids wearing masks? 

School starts August 31st here in Colville. As of yesterday, Washington State is back to requiring face masks indoors for all people 5 years and up so school aged kids are required to mask up.

2. Something you still do ‘old school’? 
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I asked this out loud while Dear and I were sitting at our desks in our office. His answer was “Go to Church”. Then he said “Believe the Bible”. I’ll say keep a paper calendar. I still have calendars around the house and in my purse.
3. One lesson you’ve learned in the ‘school of life’? 
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God is in charge and I am not. This is an ongoing lesson in my life.
4. When you were in school did you pack a lunch or buy a lunch? Your favorite thing to see on the lunch menu or inside your lunchbox back in the day? 
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Our mother packed lunch for each one of us everyday and she also made breakfast for us before we headed off to school. In the 6th grade I was a student cafeteria worker and I got a free hot lunch everyday. I loved the fresh rolls those cafeteria ladies baked. I can almost smell the aroma of them coming from the ovens.
When our sons were in high school and I made cold cut sandwiches for them on sandwich rolls I found out they were able to sell those home made sandwiches to their friends for $5!
5. August is National Family Fun Month. Tell me something fun you’ve done this month.
Any day we spend with our grand kids is a fun day. August was less active around here because of smoke and fires but we’ll make up for it in September!
6. Insert your own random thought here.
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Today, August 25th is our son Josh and our Laura’s 20th wedding anniversary! We could not have asked for a better helpmate for our son. They make the best team. Those who are fortunate to be part of their lives and generosity will all give a hearty amen to my assessment.
2013-09-16 Alton to Cotswolds20
Happy 20th Anniversary Josh and Laura! Wish we could be celebrating in Jolly Old England. We love you individually and together. May God give you many more years growing closer to each other and to HIM!
The photo above was taken in Wells, England while we were traveling with Josh and Laura in 2013. We would all love to return someday to visit.

Happy 10th Anniversary!

These four were able to go out together to celebrate Katie and Andrew’s 10th wedding anniversary. They sent the photos via text. I wanted to memorialize ‘as they were’ on their 10th!

Lots to celebrate this month in person or from afar. I’m thankful to enjoy these moments!

Our little grandniece (close to 9 pounds) was born on March 9th and mother and baby are doing well. Looking forward to meeting her in person later this year.

Christmas Spirit Hodgepodge

Wednesday Hodgepodge questions that Joyce From This Side of the Pond asks each week are not surprisingly Christmas themed in December. Here we go…

1. What do you think it means to have the holiday spirit?

Going deep on this one and deferring to my hubby:

“It’s having the Spirit of Christ, who convicts of sin and enables faith in that Jesus is who He says He is and has done what He has says He has done. Without the work of the Spirit of Christ we would have no hope for forgiveness, for eternity with Him, for glory.

Romans 5:1 (ESV)

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

2. What’s one thing you’ve baked this month?

I baked a Chocolate Decadent Bundt cake last week for our card night.

Have you eaten the finished product?

Yes, at the card night last Friday night. It got very good reviews from those who ate it.

How much baking do you do around the holidays?

This varies from year to year. Some years I don’t make any cookies…shock!

What baked sweet something does your family insist is on the menu during this season of the year?

Roolyet is a Russian treat our mom would make every Christmas. A yeast dough rolled with a  walnut filling (walnuts, sugar, egg whites and vanilla). Now that my sister and I perfected the recipe I should make it every Christmas, too.

3. Your most recent ‘half-baked’ idea?

How about thoroughly baked. In January I clicked on the buy button for plane tickets from Seattle to London for September of this year. Then COVID-19 struck us all. Plane tickets, Air BnB deposits and many plans made that had to all be cancelled. Thankfully all was refunded.

4. Where were you the last time you ‘baked’ in the sun?

In my own backyard pulling weeds.

The top ten sunniest destinations in the world (most sun from January-December according to this site) are Dubai, Bali Indonesia, Los Angeles CA, Miami FL, Barbados, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Mauritius, Antiqua, and the Canary Islands Spain. Have you been to any of the cities listed?

I was born in East Los Angeles and raised in the “burbs” of Los Angeles and spent many summers baking on Southern California beaches slathered in Coconut Butter. Craziness!

Which one on the list appeals to you the most?

We do not choose sunny destinations these days. We do not lay in the sun. We look for shade and head straight to an umbrella when the sun is out and the air is hot. The only reason L.A. is appealing these days is because of our loved ones who live there and who we enjoy spending time with.

If the world were not upside down crazy and you could lie on a beach anywhere right now where would you go?

Never mind lying on the beaches, I would choose Jolly Old England any time of the year, walking down a lane instead of lying on a beach!

Now that said, we do enjoy walking on the beach at dawn in the summer and any time of day in the Winter.

5. Today I wish I had more _____________________.

Options for shopping in my little town of Colville.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This past Sunday to Monday we enjoyed a 46th Anniversary night at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Dinner at Beverly’s on the 7th floor made us feel like normal before all this craziness came upon us all.

Our complimentary Anniversary dessert! Vanilla ice cream wrapped in cotton candy with some fruit and dessert bark.

When the Christmas cards are all signed, sealed and delivered to the Post Office I feel like I should get an award. Do you still send cards?

Coeur D’Alene Resort

When we checked into the resort we were informed that they had given us an upgrade to a room with a partial lake view. This was our partial view and we enjoyed it. Our room was on the 17th floor with only the Penthouse above us. Sunday was a beautiful day.

As the sun was setting…

We enjoyed our restaurant experience at Beverly’s on the 7th floor of the resort. We started with Calamari. I ordered a salad and French Onion Soup and Dear ordered the Rib-Eye and shared some of the meat with me.

 

This over the top ice cream surrounded by cotton candy arrived at our table with Happy Anniversary wishes.

After my dessert drink arrived our server informed us that our meal had been paid for by our children. They had called the restaurant ahead of time to arrange that. We were so surprised and grateful for their thoughtfulness. Brought tears to my eyes.

After dinner we got our coats and gloves on to go out and walk along the docks to enjoy the extensive Christmas lights that the Resort puts up. It was well below freezing so we kept walking with few pauses.

The following collages will give you an idea of what we saw.

The interior of the hotel was nicely decorated as well.

This could be a good alternative for a Santa photo in this year of no sitting on Santa’s lap.

On Tuesday morning we watched the sun come up or tried to see the sunrise but soon the fog rolled in and socked us in. These two shots of the water taxi and looking east toward Montana were the clearest shots of the morning.

The hotel staff and restaurant staff all wore masks. Overall our Anniversary was wonderful and it was refreshing to get a night away and to be served a delicious meal in a fine restaurant.

On our drive home we made a few stops at HomeGoods, Harbor Freight, and TJMaxx.

Thank you to everyone for all your kind Anniversary wishes.

46th Anniversary Weekend

Forty Six years ago on December 6, 1974 we were married on a Friday night in Southern California.

img079After our wedding we went to my parents home and got ready to leave on our honeymoon. Our family and closest friends were there, too, and we opened gifts before we changed into our get away clothes and left for our honeymoon. Did any of you do that after your wedding or did you take off and go straight to your honeymoon from the wedding site? We were pretty beat when we finally arrived to our first destination, the Pierpont Inn in Ventura, California.

img080The Pierpont Inn, Ventura, California. Little did we know that 10 years later we would move to Ventura.

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img084From the Pierpont we continued north along the coast of California.

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img092This little log cabin somewhere in Central California was a nice little spot to stop. I can’t find it online anymore but it was called Butterfly Trees Lodge.

img093This was Dear’s car, a 1971 Datsun 510.

img094We went as far north as San Francisco and then headed back home along the 101 highway to our apartment in West Los Angeles. We stopped in Solvang on our way home.

We have had our ups and downs, broke years and rich years, fun years and tough years, apartment years and house years, traveling years and stay at home years, lots of kid sports years (baseball and soccer), college expense years, wedding years, and grand baby years. We’ve had sanctifying spiritual growth that for some years plateaued and other years flourished. We are in a flourishing stage right now that we are thankful for in our retirement years. God has sustained and protected our marriage through thick and thin and we are grateful. He has tried us, kept us and blessed us. Thank you, Lord. May we love you more and each other more in our 47th year!

Back to 2020 and how we plan to celebrate our anniversary. Because of current COVID closures in Washington state we are heading to Idaho to the Coeur d’Alene Resort on Sunday for an overnight and dinner at Beverly’s. We are looking forward to sitting down and eating in a nice restaurant. This will only be about a 2 hour drive for us.

On our way home on Monday we will do some shopping in Spokane.

We haven’t changed much…right?

Kind/Kindness

It is Tuesday August 25th and a special day in our family. Today Josh and Laura are celebrating 19 years of marriage! The word for today is Kind. You can also use kindness.

Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Share your verse/verses in the comments and I’ll add them here.

From my sister Vera:

“Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭11:22‬ ‭NASB‬‬

From Maristella:

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12 | NIV

From Anneliese:

A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself. Proverbs 11:17

From Happy One:

Genesis 1:25 KJV

And God made the beast of the earth after his KIND,
and cattle after their KIND,
and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his KIND:
and God saw that it was good.

From Pat:

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Luke 6:31

Josh and Laura love their niece and nephews and are very kind to them.

It’s a blessing from God that our kids are kind “one to another”.

Can you tell they are brothers?

They are also kind to their friends who are our friends, too.

Happy 19th Anniversary to you Josh and Laura. We love you and thank God for who you are in Him individually and together!

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.

Goodbye June!

Before we welcome July we have some major events that we celebrated at the end of June. Dan and Jamie celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary on Thursday (6-27-2019) and Gramps and I babysat while they enjoyed a quiet meal together. Before they left for their date I captured photos of JJ who only had eyes for his mommy. He cooed and baby talked and smiled at his mommy.

The next day on Friday the 28th of June we celebrated Dear’s retirement from his contracting job he’s had since last August. Our kids sent this great bouquet to congratulate their dad on a well earned retirement from many years of work well done and being a shining example of integrity in the workplace. This is the second time Dear has tried to retire. We are thinking this time will stick.

After we packed up and dropped off his computer/monitors/work cellphone and other bits and pieces at Fedex to ship back to the company we stopped at Colville Pour House for a celebratory pint. Cheers to Dear!

This sign arrived on Thursday. Our niece sent the sign with the farewell message our dear old Pop would always give us when we were ready to leave from a visit with him or end a phone call. Three times sets things in stone you see. “I love you, I love you, I love you”. Thank you dear Miss for having these signs made for us in memory of your Dzeda, our Pop. We love you, we love you, we love you!

A great finish to June included a meal out at El Ranchito on Saturday to celebrate Dan and Jamie’s 4 year anniversary. Dear and I gathered with Jamie’s family for lunch. The next photo is from the drive home from Chewelah to Colville after our lunch.

On Sunday we had our last service in our sanctuary at church which is being extended and remodeled to include room for 100 more seats and a baptistry. We will be meeting at the community college on Sundays until the sanctuary is done the end of August. We had a picnic in the park after our service and it was nice to meet some more folks and have conversations. After the picnic some of us headed back to the church to completely empty out the sanctuary so that it can be gutted this week.

And that’s a wrap for the month of June!

Happy Canada Day to our good friends to the North of the U.S.A.!

She’s One of a Kind…

…and we are all happy to celebrate what she means to our families.

The collage above is of Laura’s family and our family getting together or sending greetings across the miles to wish her a very Happy Birthday. We thank God a lot that he brought our son and Laura together.

Before we headed back across the mountains for home we were able to gather with our westside kids and have a dinner in honor of Laura. We headed back to Josh and Laura’s after dinner to enjoy a pie I brought home from our Mennonite Girls Can Cook party the night before.

I’ll share more about this pie and how it made it across the line with me when I put together my MGCC party post.

We love you, Laura.

The Lord bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you and give you peace!

Today is Dear and my 44th wedding anniversary. We’re celebrating in a new locale and 1300 miles from where our journey began all those years ago.

He’s still the only guy for me then and forever.

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!