Now and Then

Our daughter in law posted this great selfie of her and our little grand. Mommy and daughter, love it.

Our other daughter in law posted this photo to facebook on Mother’s day with a lovely tribute. This was taken before Addy was born. Our girls with me.

These are two of our rhododendrons that are in their glory. I took this photo on Mother’s day. They are generally in their fullness for Mother’s day each year.

Hope you had a good weekend. We enjoyed a meal downtown with our western Washington kids on Saturday evening. On Mother’s day we worked hard with temps reaching 85 in Seattle. Mowed the lawn and finished an addition to our landscape with one more section of privacy fence and a new arborvitae.

Here’s the sad long story of my arborvitae purchase at the Home Depot. While Dear was finishing the staining of our new fence section, I took the truck to the HD to purchase the Arborvitae. It was close to noon and the HD was hopping with people buying plants with or without their mothers in tow. With difficulty I pushed and shoved the heavy potted plant onto one of those rolling carts to take it into the store for purchase. The line to the cash registers was circling around the indoor plant section and it was a nice breather after my muscle man effort getting the plant on the cart. When I reached the register the employee said she’d call for someone to help me load the plant into the bed of the truck. With high expectations of help I walked quickly to the truck which was a fair distance in the parking lot and drove without running over the groups of humanity walking down the center of the parking lot and reached the designated loading area. A young man was waiting by my cart to “help” me. He was 25ish, I’m 67ish. I had to help him get that heavy plant into the truck. Poor young man was weaker than me. I still said thank you but truth be told he should have thanked me.

Katie and Andrew arrived shortly after me getting the plant home to borrow the truck to move some of their stuff to their new apartment which is a lot closer to us. Andrew single handed picked up that Arborvitae and set it on the ground. That was the kind of help I was expecting at the Home Depot. Sigh…

How was your weekend?

Off the Grid

blessings-003 These new areas in our stairwell that head up to our Master Suite warm my mom heart and I can focus on them as I walk up or down the stairs.

blessings-001I’ll be counting my blessings throughout the weekend and into next week.

We are going to be spending lots of time with all our kids and our extended family over the next several days so I’ll be far off my normal grid.

Hope you all have a good Friday and weekend. Here in the U.S.A. we have an extended weekend since Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Our banks, post offices and schools will have Monday off. I hope to catch up with you all next week.

2016 January-June in Mosaics…

2016-01-24-sat-morn-s8January: Dear started a consulting job from home. We celebrated January birthdays. A business trip to San Francisco with reunions with old friends from my college days.

2016-02-11-february-plants-and-food6February: Our Lenten Rose bloomed early. We had a Superbowl party with a Chinese New Year theme with souvenirs I bought at San Francisco’s Chinatown. We also enjoyed a Valentines day lunch with a view in Bellevue.

2016-03-18-van-23March: We had a sister’s weekend. We celebrated my Medicare birthday in Bellingham with the Mennonite Girls and our hubbies. Dear and I had an overnight in Vancouver, B.C. to continue celebrating my birthday. Katie and Andrew celebrated their 5th anniversary!

2016-03-27-easter-20164Easter landed at the end of March and deserved it’s own mosaic. Our family was all together. Kulich baking, Seerney Paska, Easter egg hunts and Raclette all happened during Easter weekend.

2016-04-28-trolley-tourApril: We took a quick trip to Eastern Washington to work on some projects at Dan and Jamie’s. Late in the month I went along with Dear on a business trip to San Antonio, Texas. While there I drove to Austin to meet up with my brother’s family for a few hours.

2016-05-13-bow-edison5May: Mother’s day with the kids on this side of the mountains. Dear and I took a road trip to Whatcom Falls and on the way home enjoyed stopping at a restaurant on Chuckanut Drive for lunch.

2016-05-31-rosella4May: Two trips across the line to Canada to meet our play writer and later to meet a favorite blogger who gives so much encouragement to us Mennonite Girls, Rosella.

2016-06-05-more-of-ellie2June: I flew down to be with family and enjoy my sister’s open house in her new digs.

mohai65June: A trip to Leavenworth where our family and our new daughter in law’s family enjoyed a weekend together eating and river rafting.

2016-06-19-fathers-day-20167June: Father’s day brunch downtown Seattle with a photo op on Queen Anne Hill overlooking downtown Seattle.

2016-06-24-yosemite-2June: We finished off June with a road trip to Yellowstone National Park and Cody Wyoming with stays in Montana coming and going. June really was packed full!

Six full months of blessings with people we love and trips to places we had never seen before. I’ll share July to December later. Dear’s consulting job ended in June and we began our time of wondering if we were unemployed or if we were retired.

How are you spending the last days of 2016? We are planning a little get together on New Year’s Eve after the Peach Bowl between our Washington Huskies and Alabama. We are the underdogs and will be cheering our Dawgs on to victory. Time will tell. Win or lose we will ring in the New Year with gratefulness to God for all He has done this year in our lives and the lives of our friends and family.

Looking Back…

…before Fall is fully upon us and counting my blessings.

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We’ve had some lovely weather lately and when we travel to see our son and daughter in law in Eastern Washington we get some beautiful views of the Columbia River Gorge.

We will travel east again sometime in mid October to help with some projects. We are thankful we can travel and help where needed.

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When all the kids are going to be together I make this treat that is enjoyed by all. If you haven’t made this simple Rice Krispie treat you should try it. I posted it again on MGCC this month and you can find the recipe by clicking here.

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Anytime of year it’s fun to have an indoor picnic like the one above. Besides the pita crackers we always slice a nice baguette in thin rounds to enjoy the charcuterie and added cheeses, fruits and pickled vegetables. This is an enjoyable meal to have in a hotel room when you are traveling and tired of eating out, too.

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We were at our state fair last week and we enjoyed this barbecued pulled pork sandwich. I posted about the fair yesterday. This weekend Dear will be smoking a pork shoulder roast to make our own sandwiches at home. My cousin and my college friend who married my cousin will be with us this weekend before they venture north and across the water to Vancouver Island. We will enjoy catching up and eating together, too.

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Last week I also went on a shopping trip with our daughter Katie. After shopping at Nordstrom in Bellsquare we ended up at Crossroads in Bellevue where there is a food court that has a Russian stall. We shared some beet borscht (not the kind that we grew up with) and bought a variety of piroshky. Yum. We shopped some more after eating and it was a successful shopping day.

Counting my blessings:

  1. Being able to travel and help our kids and seeing beauty along the way.
  2. Treating my kids to their favorites and hearing their appreciation.
  3. Simple picnic pleasures with Dear. I love food!
  4. Our trip to the fair and guests arriving soon.
  5. Successful shopping trips with our daughter. Happy she still wants to shop with me.

I’m linking up to three Friday memes that I can relate to.

Foodie Friday and Everything Else at Rattlebridge Farm

Friday’s Fave Five with Susanne at Living to tell the Story

Five on Friday with Amy at Love Made My Home

Reflecting…

Reflecting on my many blessings this past week and thanking God.

This was taken out one of the windows at the Bellevue Art Museum in Bellevue, Washington.

1. A super filled Saturday where I re-connected with dear friends from my church growing up, my high school, and with my family and dear old Pop. It was good to see so many people I love in only 12 hours!

2. Beautiful Spring blooms are everywhere here in the Pacific Northwest and it makes me smile to look out my own kitchen window and see these Dogwood blooms.

3. A successful shopping trip where our daughter found her dress for a wedding she is in and I found a comfortable pair of shoes for our son’s wedding. Little blessings that will make for a more comfortable day of celebrating!

4. A Low Key weekend ahead. The last three weekends have been filled to the brim and it’s nice to know this weekend we’ll be able to catch our breath.

At the Art Museum…

5. Besides shopping on Tuesday Katie and I hopped across the street from the mall to the Bellevue Art Museum and enjoyed Madeleine Albright’s collection of pins together. No photos allowed of the pins but we found some other things to photograph!

Katie took this one looking up. Always remember to look up!

Do you have some blessings to reflect on this week? Here’s something more to consider…

I’m linking up with the lovely Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for Friday’s Fave Five and with Weekend Reflections.

Have a wonderful last weekend of April everyone!

Every Good Gift…

It’s Friday again and I’m joining Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for Friday’s Fave Five. So many good gifts come to us to enjoy and here are five from this past week that were perfect.

2015-02-01 Super Sunday6We had our second annual Super Sunday at church and it was so fabulous. Two of our pastors went head to head with short sermons on the great Comebacks in the Bible. In the end Jesus’ Comeback from Death had us all cheering. The perfect ending to the sermon. My church, pastors, and staff are a gift.

10945612_10205969125695521_2137270504244193458_nFor our afternoon festivities after church Dear had ribs in the smoker that came out just right. A great meal is a gift I enjoy and enjoying it with our daughter Katie and son in law Andrew made it perfect.

 

10437688_10205867108578790_4313922370450234755_nOur two sons were able to spend the weekend together and I love the photos they send my way. They had a nice snowy hike out the door of our son Dan’s home in Eastern Washington. It’s a good gift to Dear and me that our sons love each other.

310005_585390848160419_526762518_nThese girls (Mennonite Girls Can Cook) are a gift from the Lord to me and every week we share our joys, struggles, triumphs, and failures with each other holding each other up in prayer and giving each other encouragement. This gift of friendship is straight from the “Father of lights”.

1959399_10205999747661051_7491996857274709490_nJosh and Laura gifted me these cool ABC verse cards and I display one card each week so I can see it and work on learning the verse. I’m on the letter e. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) Since I’m a visual learner this gift was perfect to help me learn and retain the 26 verses included.

What gifts did you receive this week that brought some joy and light into your world?

I Love This Time of Year…

The beginning of the traditional school year is a favorite time for me. I’ve been absent from Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five for a while but I wanted to chime in with some things this week that make my favorite’s list.

My exercise regiment has been totally non-existent for quite a while. It’s been hit and miss at best. Today I hope I’ve found some things to remedy this problem in my life. So here are my five…

P10506181. I’ve had a hard time finding a regular walking buddy since I’ve come back to Washington. If you are part of Susanne’s weekly fave five you know who Willow is. Well…she used to be my walking buddy when we lived in the same city in Southern California but since I moved back to Washington in the Spring of 2010 I’ve been without a regular walking buddy. Boo hoo. Today I joined up with a group from the Senior Center who walk every Tuesday and Thursday rain or shine on a great walking trail close to my home.

P1050624What a beautiful day it was to walk and a nice bunch of ladies. We saw this wonderful view of Mt. Rainier at our turning point on the trail.

2. After being encouraged with being out of doors and walking, I showered and headed to the Senior center to sign up for an exercise class that meets Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. I’m excited about my daily exercise commitment.

2014-08-29 August recap33. I’m happy to be done, done, done, with the Bathroom Renovation company. I’m looking forward to Dear finishing up the bathroom and sharing it with you all in the near future.

10291122_10152701970813919_9195842261775056651_n4. This new expanded family will be my favorite for a long time. I am really looking forward to meeting my new little nephew from the Ukraine.

P10506135. Celebrating Dear’s birthday with most of our kids was another favorite for sure. It is so good to be together and enjoy each other.

I found a photo I took on September 11, 2001 and wanted to share it here, too. We can never take for granted the freedoms we are afforded here in our country and we can never forget that there are those who would love to destroy those freedoms. So thankful to God for his protection over us and that no matter what, we have a hope in our future that cannot be taken away!

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What makes your thankful list this week?