January Birthdays

Jamie and Dan both had birthdays this week so we planned a dinner party. Happiest of birthdays to you Dan and Jamie. It’s going to be another landmark year in your lives as parents!

Jamie loves cobalt blue so I set the table with blues and since it’s winter I added snowflakes and sparkles.

Photos taken with different light in the morning and evening.

The birthday boy, birthday girl and Addy along with Jamie’s aunt, uncle and mother.

Addy loves and is loved by all these guests.

Addy is getting to be a pro at getting on and off Maverick!

Our firstborn son’s birthday is tomorrow. It’s a landmark one. Where did all those years go.

Happiest of birthdays to you, Josh! Glad we could spend time with you last weekend and that we’ll all be together again the last weekend in January!

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.

Moisi and Anna

Brother and sister, 95 and 93. The last two siblings alive. The next generations gathered to celebrate our pop’s 95th birthday. He is struggling physically and emotionally. He is tired and ready to go “Home”. Aunt Anna turned 93 in April and is doing well. It’s fun to see the two of them together and the comfortable love between them.

Josh and Laura shared their travel miles with me and the three of us flew down to Southern California on Saturday evening. On Sunday we packed in all the hours of the day with as many gatherings with our southern California family.

Aunt Anna had just become a great great grandmother the day before our gathering and she was keen to show us the photo of her great granddaughter who just became a mother.

Four out of eight of Moisi’s children could be at the party on Sunday. Aunt Anna had three children but she has survived all of them including one granddaughter. She is living with one of her granddaughter’s which has been a blessing for her.

Several grandchildren and great grandchildren gathered. It was good to catch up with one another.

We sang “How Great Thou Art” and “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and then it was time for cake.

Kathy was determined to fit all 95 candles on the cake and she succeeded with help.

My sister Vera carried the cake in and her daughter was just behind ready to rescue the cake if need be.

My sister in law, Letty, who is a Hospice nurse thankfully had the presence of mind to turn off our pop’s oxygen before that fiery cake reached him. Yikes!

Pop had some help to blow out those candles. Our pop’s favorite is cherry pie but the candles would not fit on a cherry pie.

Oxygen back on now that all the candles were blown out! We served the cake to everyone and cut a piece of the cherry pie for pop. He had it ala mode and enjoyed every bite and by then was ready to head for his hospital bed in his room.

Cousins, our daughter-in-law and nieces.

We flew home on Memorial Day to a meal prepared by Dear for all of us. Soon I’ll share our time with my nephew and niece in Newport Beach. Hope you all have a good week.

One for the Books!

A couple weeks before Addy’s first birthday party we had a little photo shoot. Turns out it was a good idea since Addy was busy with her guests, presents and cake on her party day.

We had a nice sunshiny day for our photos.

This is Addy’s Great Uncle Scott’s chair from when he was a little guy.

Fast forward to the party day and of course our little 1 year old must have sensed the excitement of the day and refused to take a nap on her own so we had to work out some sleep time creatively.

The guests arrived and kept Addy entertained.

She opened her presents with flair.

She enjoyed the Happy Birthday song and mooshed her cupcake covered with yogurt frosting.

Oops, a fair amount was rubbed into her hair. I didn’t take photos of the Baked Potato bar which had many yummy toppings. We were asked to bring a t-shirt or something like it to tie-dye for a party favor. I didn’t take photos of the tie dying, either, but the results were great and something fun to remember Addy’s 1st birthday with.

Meanwhile back at this old house we continue with the selling, packing and staging. Our first shipping container arrives on Thursday. Yikes! We’re finding some things that are bringing back some great memories. If you don’t hear anything new from me you will know I’m knee deep in boxes.

Pie on Pi Day

To celebrate the beginning of my 67th year on this earth Dear and I drove to downtown Seattle for an early dinner. We found a parking garage close to the restaurant we’d be having dinner at and then walked down the 5 blocks to the waterfront by Pike Place Market. We were headed for Cutter’s Crabhouse to enjoy some oysters and drinks at their happy hour. Although the day started out gloomy and wet the afternoon shaped up and was sunny and glorious. When we walked into Cutters trying to decide where to sit a man at the bar suggested that sitting at the bar would be more fun than sitting at a table by ourselves. We smiled, thanked him and took his advice. We were able to engage in conversation with the bartender and the two gentlemen sitting close to us at the bar. One of the men was a Sounders Soccer fan so he and I exchanged some thoughts about “our team”. When we were done with our first round of oysters and drinks I ordered my second drink and when the bartender set it down in front of me he let me know my new soccer buddy had paid for it. What a nice gesture and our three new acquaintances wished me a happy birthday.

We settled our bill at Cutters with a gift card Katie and Andrew had given us for a Christmas gift. Then we enjoyed the views of the waterfront before trekking up the 5 blocks to Lola’s Restaurant on 4th and Virginia. We chose this Tom Douglas restaurant over his other establishments because of the variety of lamb dishes they offer. I had the Lamb Shoulder Tangine and it was delicious. Dear got the Lamb kebabs. The red you see on my dish are a generous topping of saffron threads. Our beet starter and the rice dish loaded with pistachios and Greek olives were delicious, too.

Since it was Pi day we ordered the Coconut Cream Pie for dessert to share.

When our bill came our waitress informed us the pie was on the house. Sweet! We paid for my birthday dinner with another gift card we had from Josh and Laura from Christmas.

All in all it was the most lovely celebration and on the way home I enjoyed several phone calls from our kids and my brother from Texas. His kids serenaded me with their rendition of Happy Birthday Aunt Ellen.  Fun times. Thank you Lord for showering me with beauty, good food and loved ones.