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!

2016 in Review July-December

2016-07-07 4th and beyond1Fourth of July with family, friends and neighbors.

2016-07-19 Canada new book launch3Book launch for Bread for the Journey at Marg’s home in Chilliwack, B.C.

2016-07-19 Canada new book launch4

2016-08-02 kids weekend1July 30th we received an announcement from Dan and Jamie that they were expecting our first grandchild!

museum book launch6August Book launch celebration at the Heritage Museum in Abbotsford, B.C.

2016-08-25 pump house and homeTravels to Dan and Jamie’s to help with projects in August.

Pictures62Memorial service for our dear friend Dave Dickinson late in August with all of our family.

mohai66August/September visits to Eastern Washington and visits here from cousins.

danjam-home-020October Western Conference clinched and another trip to Eastern Washington where I was able to hear Baby Bayles’ heartbeat, attend a sign making class and see that beautiful rainbow above.

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15036604_1356018304417236_4867337359558403527_nWe found out we are having a little granddaughter!

 

2016-11-27-2nd-t-day2November day trips and wonderful Thanksgiving gatherings with friends and family.

2016-12-05-mgcc-xmas16

mgcc-162Early December trip to Canada for our annual MGCC Christmas dinner.

pictures66Our 42nd wedding anniversary meal in La Conner at the Oyster and Thistle a day late but just as good .

recently-updated-001December 11th our Sounders beat Toronto to win their first ever MLS Cup!

15390853_10211460213602920_8728460629010838251_nDowntown Seattle for the MLS Championship parade and celebration with Josh and Laura.  (December 14th)

pictures65Dan and Jamie moved into their new home in weather that ranged from 8 degrees to 22 degrees. Josh flew over to help them move the weekend before Christmas!

mohai67Christmas day with all of our kids and then a trip to La Conner with Katie and Andrew to celebrate Katie’s birthday.

We ended the year with a nice chilly walk and then a Raclette dinner at this old house with dear old friends. Sad to say I forgot to take a photo! Here’s the table set in Husky gold and purple even though our dear Huskies lost to the Crimson Tide after a great run in 2016!

pictures67Today on New Year’s day we managed to put away Christmas decorations and drag the tree out to the yard waste bin. Woohoo! Tomorrow I will enjoy sitting and watching the Rose Bowl Parade and maybe the Rose Bowl game.

Hope that 2017 is having a good start at your house!

Numbers 6: 24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Anniversary Jaunt…

…a short excursion or journey for pleasure.

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Yesterday the 7th of December we took a little drive north to La Conner for a anniversary meal together a day late.

anniv-16Cheers to us and our 42 years together!

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Our choices off the lunch menu were Puttanesca above for the mister and Beef Bourguignon below for the missus.

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We shared a bread pudding for dessert.

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The day was very crisp, cold, and clear.

Later today they are forecasting snow for our neck of the woods and several school districts are releasing students two hours early so buses don’t get stuck. We have our Small Group Christmas Potluck tonight and I hope that our guests will be able to make it up our hill if it snows and home again safe and sound. We are putting off buying our Christmas tree until the freezing temps we are having change to more normal temps next week.

Do you have snow yet? Do you usually get snow?

Celebrating Together…

We came together on Sunday morning to celebrate Dear and my 41st wedding anniversary and our dear daughter in law’s birthday at Palisade Restaurant in Seattle. Our daughter Katie has a birthday at the end of the month so we started her celebration, too.

Have you seen these great nail wraps from Jamberry? Katie added these Christmas wraps on her nails for December.

Four of our six were able to celebrate together. We missed having Dan and Jamie with us but a 6 hour drive is a little tough to make especially when there is a snowy mountain pass between us.

Love these faces!

Forty one years together that we are thankful to God for.

This was a first for Dear and Me! Neither of us had ever had a Santa photo taken before!

We didn’t take our kids for Santa photos either. We all had fun taking one this year since Santa and Mrs. Claus were in the buffet room at Palisade! Speaking of the Brunch Buffet…it was amazing. I think one of my favorites was the Prime Rib Hash…

The views from Palisade are fabulous. Can you see the Space Needle?

Zoom, zoom…

We really had a wonderful weekend. Now we are full speed ahead on our Christmas preparations! We don’t have the tree up yet but I’m done with the Christmas cards except for two illusive addresses…

How’s it going at your house?

Our Anniversary Dinner

Nell Thorn2We traveled north from our home to LaConner, Washington for our anniversary dinner at Nell Thorn.

Nell Thorn1The food was delicious. We started with Polenta Cakes smothered in a creamy Shitake Gorgonzola sauce. For our main course Dear enjoyed a Rib-Eye steak and I enjoyed a Lamb Shank with a stew of beans and greens with a lamb jus. Because I’m a lover of all things lamb this hits the spot for me.

So this new week brings some fun preparations at this old house for a much anticipated Christmas Party coming up this next Sunday. I will share fully next week. We were challenged today at church to slow down, enjoy the wonder and receive God’s love. I will consider how to do that in the midst of preparations. How are you doing?

Forty Years and Counting…

December – When December’s snows fall fast, marry and your love will last.

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Today Dear and I are celebrating the day we got married forty years ago. We were married on a Friday evening in Southern California.

img568I love this photo of my dear maternal grandmother and me. She was a gem.

img567My grandmother, my mom and me.

img566Our sweet and oldest niece was at our wedding.

img578My paternal grandparents came to the wedding, too. This was not a given and we were pleased that they came.

img576This is Dear’s paternal grandmother and she was not able to travel to the wedding but she visited us in our first apartment.

img560Out of order but this is a photo from the rehearsal for the wedding.

img570Here we are heading off to our honeymoon.

As my dear old Pop would say we are so thankful to God for all He “did to us” these forty years! “Thank you God for what you did to us” was my pop’s prayer. He has given us peace and joy through the hard times and good times. He continues to lay His hand upon us and lead us beside still waters. We already had a wonderful anniversary celebration in England in July but that doesn’t stop us from continuing our celebration today. We are headed to a little town north of us to enjoy dinner at a restaurant we enjoy on our actual anniversary day! We trust God for the future of our marriage.