Mystery Tree 2019

On our way home from the Coast this past Monday we stopped at the Home Depot in Spokane and picked out our wrapped Mystery Tree.

Dear did the honors of cutting off the string to reveal our tree.

We were pleased with what we saw.

The lights went on and then I added all the ornaments, or most of the ornaments.

Ninety Nine percent of the decorating is done at our country bungalow. I’ll share the rest of the decor in another post. We are happy once again to continue our tradition of the Mystery Tree.

I’m relieved to report our Christmas photo collage and letter were dropped off at the post office yesterday. “Fly away little letter make the heart of someone glad” Now I need to figure out where we stand on Christmas gifts and if anything needs to be added and then there’s the wrapping to tackle.

Our Colville kids are coming over for dinner tonight and it will be fun to have them all here and give Dan a hug after not seeing him for over thirty days.

We still have some snow on the ground as you can see but a lot of it has melted.

Hope all is cozy and bright in your corner of the world. Have a wonderful weekend!

MGCC Christmas 2019

This year our annual Christmas event with the Mennonite Girls was hosted by Julie and her hubby at the clubhouse in your community. It was a great space for a party and Julie went all out with the decorations.

Julie folded the napkins to look like angels.

The appetizers were delicious.

 

We had some fun catching up moments. The guys had some rip roaring games of pool while we waited to sit down for dinner.

Judy and I were fashion twins…and this wasn’t the first time we showed up at a Christmas party dressed similar.

Zwieback (double buns)

Whole Wheat Sourdough loaf

Stuffed cabbage rolls (Golubtsi), a special chicken dish and a yam casserole were the mains with homemade buns and bread along with two fresh salads.

We all had more then enough good food and we still had dessert to come.

And boy were the desserts masterpieces in themselves.

Judy made this amazing cake. It was light and it’s flavor was gingerbread. Correct me if I’m wrong, Judy.

Julie made this light gluten free roll which seemed to pretty to cut.

And Anneliese made her classic fruit and nut wreath.

We had our gift exchange which had a “basket of goodies” theme this year. Instead of numbers drawn to know in what order we would be able to choose a basket from under the tree, Julie had lines from a classic Christmas carol that we drew and had to sing our line in the order that it came in the song to be able to pick a basket. Hope that made sense. It was a fun method.

I wish I would have gotten photos of all the different “baskets” none of which were actual baskets but different containers to hold the goodies. One of the containers was a large lantern!

Dear and I were fortunate to be hosted overnight at John and Marg’s home. Since the party ended after ten it was nice to just drive down the hill from Julie’s to head to bed at John and Marg’s.

With this party at Julie’s clubhouse we can now say we have all hosted a MGCC gathering with our husbands in attendance. We missed our Manitoba girls and their hubby’s.

Thank you Julie and Vic for a wonderful time at your clubhouse. Here’s the carol we sang line by line to be able to pick our basket of goodies. We concentrated on the first stanza and refrain.

Angels From the Realms 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.

Refrain

Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn king.

Shepherds, in the field abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing;
Yonder shines the infant light:

Refrain

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations;
Ye have seen His natal star.

Refrain

Saints, before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear;
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear.

Refrain

Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes the sentence,
Mercy calls you; break your chains.

Refrain

Though an Infant now we view Him,
He shall fill His Father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down:

Refrain

All creation, join in praising
God, the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore your voices raising
To th’eternal Three in One.

Refrain

I’m happy to report that all I have to do is seal my Christmas greetings and take them to the post office. We had two inches of snow last night into the morning so everything is white and lovely. We’ll see if the other couple inches they predicted will fall tonight. Our mystery tree is a beauty and I’ll share the steps to the reveal after we get the lights on the the ornaments hung. I came up with a great way to display the cards and photos that come in the mail and I’ll show that in a later post, too. Addy and JJ got to go and see a couple of Santa’s reindeer today. It is so nice for our son’s little family to be reunited now that daddy is home from a 30 day work assignment in Texas. We are a thankful bunch.

I’m joining all creation in praising God, the Father, Spirit, Son this Christmas season!

The Highways Less Traveled

On Friday the 6th of December we left our home early to drive to the Coast via highway 25 and US Route 2 in Washington State.

U.S. Route 2 is a component of the United States Numbered Highway System that connects the city of Everett in the U.S. state of Washington to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with a separate segment that runs from Rouses Point, New York, to Houlton, Maine.

The only hazards on the roads that we encountered 4 separate times on highway 25 were flocks of wild turkeys that decided to cross the road in a line and not in a hurry.

We passed through many small towns miles apart with limited services.

When we finally got to US Route 2 we found a great little Corner Cafe in Creston, Washington.

Now we were starting the climb over the Cascade Mountain Range.

Leavenworth was decorated and ready for their annual Christmas tree lighting. There were many people milling about. We drove right through without stopping.

We arrived to Josh and Laura’s home for the late afternoon and night. On Friday evening Josh and Laura took us out for our anniversary to a new spot to us, Emory’s on the Lake. It’s such a blessing to have a home base on the other side of the Cascades where we are always welcomed.

On Saturday we met up with friends for breakfast and then packed up the car for our trip to Chilliwack, British Columbia for our annual Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas celebration. I’ll save that for a separate post.

On the way home from the Coast on Monday we stopped in Spokane and purchased our Mystery Tree for 2019. It’s still in the car while I type and as soon as we put it in it’s spot we’ll have the reveal and see what it looks like in it’s stand.

We made it back to our country bungalow before dark after stopping for Linner in Chewelah at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Our drive back from the Coast was on Interstate 90 and we encountered several miles of fog which was hard on our eyes. We were so happy to see some clearing after Ritzville. We did not see blue skies until we came down into the valley before Chewelah. That was a welcomed sight for sure.

Now that we are home for the rest of December my Christmas decorating will begin in earnest. Are you all decked out yet? I’m working on our Christmas letter. When that is copied off I’ll be able to send our Christmas cards. I’m happy to say they are all addressed already. Do you still send cards?

I’m headed out the door to a Bible Study and lunch. I hope to make some visits to blogs this evening.

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a king,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Words: Charles Wesley

Come Lord Jesus, Come…

We wait with expectation in this season of Advent.

I was happy to put all the Fall decor away. Today I pulled out all the Christmas bins and am starting slowly to put things up here and there. The Christmas Carol music is on the piano.

Addy loves to help whenever and wherever she can.

On Sunday the guys offered to watch Addy and JJ while the girls got in a couple hours of Christmas shopping without them tagging along. When we came out of North40 snow had begun to fall.

JJ survived well without his mommy close by and even had a wee nap.

We said our goodbyes to Josh and Laura and then Addy and JJ went home for their afternoon naps.

Have you started decorating for Christmas? Are you sending cards this year?

New Toys…

We wrapped Addy’s gift with a plastic table cloth. She noticed something different in the family room.

Baba and Gramps bought Addy a pony and Laura captured Addy’s curiosity about what was under the wrapping.

Uncle Josh and Auntie Laura bought Addy a mini trampoline.

Mommy and Daddy bought Addy a four wheeler and a helmet! It is good to learn country skills early.

On Wednesday the 2nd of January I worked on packing up Christmas and re-organizing our storage area. Things look so bare now. I wonder if Addy will notice all the bling put away? We are being warned of some new winter weather coming in the wee hours tomorrow morning. I’ve been patting myself on the back for getting out there and driving on the winter roads here. Hope 2019 is starting out well for you!

Christmas Mosaics 2018

Our Western Washington kids arrived on Christmas morning just before 11:00 a.m. I was watching expectantly at the living room window. They flew into the Spokane airport and rented their bright sleigh for the drive north to our house.

Our Eastern Washington kids arrived after Addy’s nap, about 3:30. We opened stocking gifts and then got ready for our dinner.

Prime Rib off the Traegar this year and it was delicious. It was nice to have the oven free for our side dishes, roasted vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and creamed corn.

 

On Boxing day we all gathered again for another batch of Dear’s Swedish Pancakes.

After our breakfast we played some games until it was time for Addy to go home for her nap. We gathered in the afternoon at Dan and Jamie’s for fun in the snow and for dinner. I’ve posted already about our fun in the snow.

Thank you, Vee, for suggesting PhotoScape for a collage making program. I went a little overboard but had fun.

I’ll wait and see if Angie has a link-up for Mosaic Monday or maybe I missed the fact that we are taking this Monday off.

Happy last day of 2018 everyone. What a year it was. I’ll put my New Year greeting up tomorrow but for now I’ll consider 2018 and all that God has guided us through.

Here’s the first paragraph and following sentence from a daily reading by Spurgeon for December 31st:

From day to day and from year to year my faith believes in the wisdom and love of God, and I know that I shall not believe in vain. No good word of his has ever failed, and I am sure that none shall ever fall to the ground. I put myself into his hand for guidance….