Photo Album Christmas 2019

This will be a photo overload post. You have been warned.

On Christmas Eve Andrew and Katie arrived and we headed over to Dan and Jamie’s for dinner before the Candlelight Service at church.

Christmas Day dawned and Josh and Laura boarded a plane from Seattle to Spokane.

When they arrived at our place we enjoyed some Swedish Pancakes. After pancakes and before Dan and Jamie would arrive Josh, Laura, Andrew and Katie took the short drive to Douglas Falls Grange Park for a Christmas day hike.

Naps were over and Dan, Jamie and the kids arrived for our family Christmas. Auntie Lolo got a good long hug from Addy. Jaymison and Addy’s Granny joined us for our celebration, too.

Before we had our dinner we gathered around the tree and enjoyed our stockings filled with goodies.

After dinner (Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, Creamed Corn, Brussels Sprouts, Fruit salad) and after our Christmas Crackers we gathered around the tree again to open up our gifts to each other.

Before we began opening our gifts, Dear read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2. I wish I would have gotten a photo of Addy being very still while seated on Uncle Andrew’s lap with her eyes on Gramps for the whole reading. A sweet update, Laura did take a photo of Addy and I’m adding it below. Thank you, Laura!

Let the paper and tissue fly!

Katie pulled out the presents and read the tag to Addy so she could deliver the right gift to each of us.

Jaymison was content for a few minutes in his baby walker but soon ended up in someone’s arms.

Addy was on the move most of the evening.

These well thought out gifts made us all get a good laugh especially the one for Laura that says, “Just the Driver”.

Dan’s gift to his father got the biggest laugh of the night! That’s a good solid fork attached to a lanyard that Dear can wear around his neck. Dear has a pet peeve about wimpy forks that practically bend when you use them and he has frequently complained about wimpy utensils. Dan got this bright idea for this gift to his dad when he passed some solid flatware in a store and he drilled a hole in the handle to attach the fork to the lanyard!

Belly laughs people, belly laughs. So much fun.

A glorious time of celebrating our Savior and the gifts of Christmas.

On Boxing Day we all gathered for our 2nd breakfast of Dear’s famous Swedish Pancakes.

Jaymison gently pulled on the Christmas tree branches.

Addy enjoyed time in her playroom which is also Josh and Laura’s guestroom when they are here. She enjoyed the marble game and looking for things with Gramps’ flashlight.

The kids went home for naps and we were all going to meet up and enjoy our Boxing Day dinner at El Ranchito in Chewelah.

Dear surprised everyone at El Ranchito when he unzipped his vest and revealed his fork on a lanyard around his neck. We had a good round of belly laughs again!!

On the morning of Katie’s birthday (December 27th) we all gathered at Dan and Jamies for waffles and eggs. Dan was our cook of the morning.

Addy enjoyed showing us many of the new toys she and little brother received. Dear and I headed home right after breakfast to prepare for Andrew’s father and his wife’s arrival and so that I could bake Katie’s birthday cake.

Addy wanted to help light the candles and I said no thus this expression found it’s way to her face. Love the furrowed forehead! Another photo fail as I forgot to get a photo with Andrew, Katie and Andrew’s dad. Oye!

On Saturday morning we all gathered at Dan and Jamie’s again and Josh made his famous Huevos Rancheros ala Josh. I left the breakfast early as I was not feeling well and didn’t want to pass anything on to the grands.

Our boys with their beards before Dan shaves his off.

Josh and Laura left to the airport from Dan and Jamie’s. I spent the day at home doing nothing but trying remedies to fight my cold.

Katie and Andrew left early on Sunday morning for home after an egg scramble and packing up their car to the gills with all their gifts and Josh and Laura’s gifts.

A family challenge has been thrown down for us all to commit to some healthy habits before we have the family photo shoot our kids all gifted me with. We plan to take those photos in March or April when we are all in Colville for Addyson’s birthday party or Jaymison’s birthday party.

My goals are to drink more water, take my D3 everyday, walk at least 5 times a week for the length of a sermon, memorize scripture and look into the WW groups in our area and maybe join up with a group.

This morning I finished my Bible reading plan for 2019. I’m researching others and if I don’t find something similar I’ll just carry on again with this 5 day a week program that worked well for me in 2019.

“God’s Word is always true and His promises are sure.” Jack MacArthur in “The Finding of an Old Book”

Boxing Day…

Christmas Eve and Christmas day were such wonderful days. They started slow and ended in a whirlwind of paper and glitter. So fabulous. Today I feel like I was boxing all night so it will be a few days till I can recap the wonder of it all.

“Oh that the Lord would come! He is coming! He is on the road and travelling quickly. The sound of his approach should be as music to our hearts! Ring out, ye bells of hope! ~ Spurgeon

This made me think about how I was anticipating the arrival of our kids for our celebration. I kept looking out the window to see if they were turning into our driveway. So thankful they were on the road headed our way. So thankful when they arrived. So thankful our Lord is coming, too.

Merry Christmas to All…

For Unto Us A Child…

С Рождеством Христовым (S Roždestvom Khristovym)

John 1:14 (ESV)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

I’ll see you all after Christmas! Hope all will be merry and bright for you!

8 Months Old and Growing…

Time flies when you are growing! Jaymison is now 8 months old.

We all love to see his smile. What’s even more fun is to hear him laugh at his sister’s antics. Belly laughs!

This past weekend is was time for our kids to hunt down their Christmas Tree. Sledding and snow and cutting down a tree were all firsts for JJ.

The little family trudged out on their 20 acres to find the right tree for 2019.

Addy got right in there to help her daddy cut it down.

Back up the hill to the house for Addy’s new favorite drink…

Hot “toe toe”

He doesn’t seem too sure about this white stuff.

Sister will help him enjoy the snow! Next year he’ll want to pull the sled.

Do you have any snow in your neck of the woods? Looks like we are going to get some more snow on Thursday and then on Friday and the weekend temps are going up so we will have a lot of slush. Tomorrow will be a good day to stay in and finish up my wrapping.

Today we bought our Christmas Rib Roast on a good sale at $6.97 a pound! The butcher cut us a nice center section and trimmed it and cut the ribs away and then tied them all back on for good roasting. We’re set for the meat and we bought some other things for our traditional Christmas dinner. Lots of hams and turkeys were being purchased while we were at the store.

Christmas 2019

This is the very first nativity set that we bought for our family back in the nineteen eighties. We bought it in a Christmas shop at Disneyland in Anaheim. It’s wooden and we wanted something the kids could handle.

We’ve added a few more Nativity sets in the last few years. I wait for the after Christmas half price sales.

The manger and babe are from Verna’s stash (Dear’s mother). Don’t know the history but I like to pair it with these newer wise men.

Addy is a lot more interactive with this Fisher Price Nativity this year than she was last year. She had all the figures lined up in a row the other night when they were here for dinner. I was keeping a close watch on her mobile little brother so didn’t get a photo of the line. It made me smile real big.

Another vintage piece from Dear’s mother is the Santa and his reindeer.

This year I bought some little crafting clothespins and am using these wall pieces that decorate the entry all year round for our Christmas cards. I’m pleased with how it is working.

Our outdoor space is lit up with stars.

Now all I need to do is to wrap the gifts. Addy looked at our tree the other night and asked, “Baba, where are the presents?” I told her they would soon be under the tree.

Arise and shine, thy Light is come,
O humankind, O Christendom;
Thy glory and thy peace is here;
The Savior of the world draws near.

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.