Monday Birthday Beach Day

During our ‘DisneyCaliFam’ vacation we spent a few hours at Huntington Beach on Monday January 16th. Some of our Cali family met up with the 10 of us at Fred’s Cantina on Main street for a bite to eat before we braved the high winds on the pier and at the seashore. Two of my sisters and seven nieces and nephews joined our ten for a lively few hours. The Swordfish tacos were delicious!

This guy saves me a seat next to him 90% of the time.

Happy Birthday churros for these two who share their birthday.

Off to the pier with Main Street behind us and Fred’s Cantina on the corner upper floor on the right.

Leaving the pier and heading to the sand and shoreline. That is another photo intensive post that will be coming soon.

Sunday Birthday

Sunday of our ‘DisneyCaliFam’ vacation was Jamie’s birthday. Dan and she had a nice breakfast date alone where Jamie could enjoy one of her favorites without any interruptions from the kiddos.

They brought treats back for us to enjoy from the bakery.

Sunday afternoon my friend Heidi and her husband Ken picked Greg and I up for an evening together at their home. Heidi has been part of my family’s life since the 60’s and we were besties in the 70’s and beyond. I was her Matron of Honor when she and Ken were married in 1978. Our two families spent lots of time together while our children were growing up. She took the photos of our kids here.

Friends for life are the best kind of friends. We had a wonderful evening enjoying dinner and conversation in their beautiful home. While we were away our kids went bowling with a few of the cousins joining them.

The birthday girl was the champion of the night!

Back to the present…we had a dusting of snow on Saturday night that has covered some of the dirty snow. We are now in a cold trend with temps predicted to get done to single digits soon. It’s still winter after-all.

Hoping to catch up with you-all this week.

The Celebrations Begin…

These five represent 233 years of life and we enjoyed celebrating them on Saturday night the 14th of January.

Crumble Cookies for the win!

 

The siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews and grands were a fun, noisy crowd. We enjoyed build your own tacos before the crumble cookies.

The girl cousins.

My siblings in order of birth.

Sisters

Cousin once removed love!

Thank you to Debbee and Lenny for hosting all of us!

Another Year Older

A week ago we celebrated our daughter, Katie’s, birthday. It’s been sweet being able to celebrate her birthday at our place even though she lives over 300 miles from us. Since we typically all gather for Christmas in Colville we can add another celebration together to honor her day.

We used to have our traditional Swedish pancake breakfast on Christmas but lately it’s been happening 2 days later on Katie’s birthday. Dear managed the two pan feat with his damaged left hand and was humbled with thoughts of my dear maternal grandmother who went through most of her life with just one hand.

The photo above is of Father and daughter in a morning conversation.

The grands arrived later in the morning and helped me mix up Katie’s birthday cake, Applesauce Spice Cake. Into the oven and time for some piano interludes with Auntie Katie.

We had a taco lunch prepared by our Colville kids and then it was time for a trip home for naps before our dinner together.

During the quiet of the afternoon Katie and I started this puzzle and when everyone arrived again for dinner it was finished off with the help of Dan and Addy.

The Happy Birthday to you singing this year was epic sending us all into belly laughs!

After cake JJ and I had some fun times together while the rest of the crowd played Mexican Train.

This photo was a leftover from Boxing day night when we all had leftovers for dinner.

Here are the Birthday thoughts and prayer for our dear Katie that I posted on Facebook…

It’s our little girls birthday today. She was our little surprise years ago and we thank God that He gave her to us. She has enriched our family with her wonderful talents and wit. She’s a sweet Daughter, Sister and Auntie.
Dear Lord God Almighty,
“As she traces out the trails you put before her; may she pray and strive to follow straight and strong,”
“Give her wisdom at each turning, Lord we pray”
Give her grace and understanding and more love for You in this coming year!
We love you dear Katie!

Birthday Dinner on the ‘Coast’

Our kids on the coast planned a birthday dinner for their dad since we had to travel to that side of the state to fly out on Sunday. It was a lovely dinner and time together. I wanted to document it before Oxford takes over in my posts. Our kids on our side of the mountains had a delicious meal for Gramps on his day and we didn’t take a photo. Addy and JJ made cards for Gramps. All the kids went in on a very nice gift, too.

Off we go. We arrived and we are settling into our apartment for the next 9 days.

After we got settled we stepped out to find something for dinner. We passed the Wesley Memorial Methodist church. I’m always attracted to old substantial doors and doorways.

We enjoyed a traditional steak and ale pie and conversation with a couple from Finland and a young lady from Thailand.

Hopefully we’ll have a good nights sleep after being up for many hours and crossing too many time zones. Cheers!

Another Year

We grieve with Great Britain at the passing of beloved Queen Elizabeth II on her death yesterday. Shedding tears here. It was her appointed time dying at Balmoral, a place that seemed to bring her lots of comfort. We have no idea how the grieving period in Great Britain will impact our trip this coming week but our time will be historic. 

Today is Dear’s 69th birthday.  We will be celebrating his last year in his 60’s tonight and tomorrow, too. All these photos I’m sharing today are from 2006 when he was in his 50’s. We recently copied the photos from a disc from our trip with friends on what we called a Walking Tour of Great Britain. We were in Conwy Wales, The Lake District, Oban, Edinburgh and York from May 2nd until the 12th, 2006.

We flew into Manchester. There were six of us on this trip. We rented a vehicle and headed to Conwy, Wales.

The view from our bedroom at our Bed and Breakfast in Conwy.

The 2nd day in Wales we attempted to climb Mt. Snowden.

Still smiling at the beginning of the hike. It really was a difficult ascent and much more difficult descent because of the slipping steep shale path. Jan and I made it 2.6 miles and we decided to turn around and head back. The other 3 troopers carried on for another mile but had to turn back because of the high wind. It was windy enough to move our bodies. In total 5.2 miles for Ellen and Jan, 7.2 miles for Bob, Dear, and Jody. We were sore and our knees suffered for the rest of our trip.

The very bright side to this day was our dinner at Bistro Conwy. One of the best meals we’ve ever enjoyed at a restaurant. Leek soup w/potato and bacon, Casaba salad with melon-strawberries-kiwi-with a raspberry sorbet sauce-mushroom tartlets-lamb shoulder in reduction with potatoes and vegetables. Sticky toffee pudding with chocolate sauce for dessert.

From Wales we traveled to the Lake District and stayed on a working farm. We had a few Derwent River walks.

While Bob, Jan and Jody scaled this path to the top of Cats Bells, Dear’s knees stopped here on this grassy knoll and we made our way back to our Farmhouse B&B.

From the Lake District we traveled to Oban, Scotland.

From Oban we took a ferry to the Isle of Mull and traveled across the island to catch a ferry to the little island of Iona.

From Oban we traveled to Edinburgh.

In Edinburgh we visited Elephant House with ties to the writing of the Harry Potter books.

Our last stop was York and we enjoyed our favorite Sticky Toffee Pudding here.

We won’t be enjoying Sticky Toffee Pudding today but hopefully within a weeks time we will.

Grow Old With Me Hodgepodge

 

If it’s Wednesday, it must be Hodgepodge. Thank you Jo From This Side of the Pond for gathering the questions.

1. Tell us a little bit about the best birthday you’ve ever had. 

My 60th and 70th birthdays were over the top wonderful. Filled with face to face time with friends and family. Delightful surprises planned with love. Delicious food, beautiful flowers and precious gifts. So thankful for the time and energy and travel my dear friends and our family honored me with. The bonus on my 70th were the addition of one more daughter, son and two grandchildren.

 

2.  In what way(s) have you changed in the last five years? 

Four years ago I became a country mouse after being a city mouse for 66 years! My role as a Baba (grandmother) is a change in the best of ways. My body is letting me know I’m aging. The mirror is confirming that fact.

I’m becoming more reformed in my faith concentrating on a Biblical world view that is shaped by a better understanding of the Providence of God and the Sovereignty of God coming from the belief in the inerrancy of scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Truth Matters!

3. What’s your favorite thing about the street on which you live? 

It’s mostly flat and I can make it to town when it snows.

4. The Hodgepodge lands on National Beer Day…are you a beer drinker?

Dear bringing our pints at the Castle Hotel in Conwy, Wales.

I’ve been known to enjoy a pint here and there. Soon I’ll be enjoying half-pints in cozy pubs. Reminds me of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Pippin’s exclamation when Merry sits down next to him with a pint of ale, “it comes in pints?!”

Pippin:
What’s that?

Merry:
This, my friend, is a pint.

Pippin:
It comes in pints?

Pippin:
I’m getting one.

Buttermere Ale IPA at the Bridge Hotel in Buttermere in the Lake District 2006

What’s a recipe you make that lists beer as one of the ingredients? If not beer, how about yeast?

We have used beer in some marinades or in a stew here and there.

5. As I grow older I would like to be a woman who __________________________.

loves my God and Savior more, with the proof in the pudding…

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

This is our granddaughter’s drawing of me at my 70th dinner celebration. She was so enamored of the crown and the birthday sash.

3 Alarm Fire!

Welcome to Fire Station #3!

Here’s Engine #3! Our daughter in law created another fabulous cake.

Stop, Drop and Roll!

All the usual suspects and more were in the station enjoying each other before lunch was fired up on the barbecue.

The spotlight this day was on Fireman Jaymison.

Some people came dressed to the T with flames on!

We had our lunch of brats, hot dogs, coleslaw, potato salad and other goodies. We cleaned up after lunch and then we were all surprised to hear the fire alarm go off. The fire chief and fireman pulled on their boots and headed outside to see what the alarm was all about. Sure enough there was a fire that needed to be put out!

The Fire Chief supervised as Fireman #3 helped to put out the fire!

Fireman JJ was relieved of duty while the Fire Chief took over and was helped by other guests at the party.

JJ kept an eye on the action from a safe distance.

The fire was put out successfully.

All those from Fire District #3 posed for their photo.

After all that hard work it was time to light the candles and sing Happy Birthday!

Two fires put out in one day!

We had two other April birthdays to celebrate with a candle on this day. Our Andrew and Jamie D. had a dessert made in their honor.

Time for presents!

Fun with his very own Pop up Fire Rescue truck. Room for JJ and his friend David.

Now for all the guests.

Granny Great and Jim

Granny

Great Uncle Scott and Aunt Rhonda

Uncle Josh and Auntie Lolo.

Auntie Katie and Uncle Andrew

The Dickinson family, long time friends.

Mylee and her family. Long time friend of the family.

Gramps and Baba

Brother and sister.

This 3 year old was a real trooper through all those photos and all the action of the day. His birthday this year landed on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter. Not every birthday will land on Easter weekend, thankfully.

Baba and Gramps love you JJ and we are thankful that you are growing strong and healthy. It’s fun to watch you build things with blocks and Construx. Bikes, your jeep, swings, sticks and rocks along with dirt keep you occupied outside. You love being outside and thanks to your mom and dad you are allowed to spend lots of time in the fresh air. Thank you for your cuddles and hugs. You are our favorite 3 year old in all the world!

If Memory Serves Me Hodgpodge

Time for the Hodgepodge where Jo From This Side of the Pond asks the questions and we all answer.

1. What’s something you wish you had spent more time doing when you were younger? Explain. 

Memorizing portions of scripture in the Bible since the verses I did memorize when I was young are easier to call up now!

2. Who inspires you to be better. Tell us how. 

The obvious answer is Jesus because He was on earth as a man and lived perfectly. Looking to Him the Holy Spirit helps us to change. Many others at any moment inspire me when they shine in their love and responses. They inspire me to be better, too.

3. Share a money saving tip with us. 

Splitting a meal when you go out instead of taking half home.

4. It’s National Garlic Day…are you a fan? Your favorite dish that includes garlic? 

 

Yes, I am a fan of garlic. Many dishes call for garlic which I enjoy. My husband’s Tomato Rice Soup is a stand out that includes garlic. Hummus is a favorite, too.

5. Would you describe yourself as decisive or indecisive. Elaborate. 

Mostly decisive. If I’m indecisive I’ll do the research to make a decision.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Enjoying recalling all the glorious events over Easter Weekend.

This little guy turned 3 on Saturday and Fireman was the theme!

Our Easter/Birthday company are still with us today. They fly home this evening. I’m guessing my visits will be late.

Leftovers

No Hodgepodge this week so I’m serving leftovers from our March Spring Birthday Weekend!

Sister teaching older brother how Wordle works.

After Addy’s birthday party and naps everyone gathered at our place for a Shepherd’s Pie meal. Addy came dressed as British royalty for the meal.

Brothers and Grands learning how to catch a Unicorn.

On Sunday after church we had our final gathering before Andrew and Katie hit the road and Josh and Laura flew home.

Uncle Andrew is a fun Uncle, Funcle.

Sunday the 20th of March was a perfect first day of Spring.

Another weekend packed with memories. Soon we’ll gather again to celebrate JJ and Andrew, our April birthday boys!