Happy Happy Joy Joy!

They all made it to Gramps and Baba’s house for Christmas. This was no small feat this year. Josh and Laura’s flight did not get cancelled and there was a rental car (all wheel drive truck) for them. Andrew and Katie (and Willow) left their house as soon as they heard the Pass was re-opened and they made it to us by dinner time. The Pass was closed most of Christmas Eve day and all night! Our Colville kids came right after afternoon naps. We are so thankful for traveling mercies and safety all around! Thank you, Lord! More to come…

Cousins Christmas California

Because we have 3ish more inches of snow on the ground and we are below freezing (high of 16 degrees) and the next few days are going to be cold and brutal in our area and many other areas, I’m stealing all the joy from photos that our Laura and our nieces Debbee and Kristin shared on Facebook from their cousin time in California Sunday and Monday, where the sun is shining and there is no snow. (That is one long sentence and this is one photo logged post)

Our Josh and Laura are intentional in their relationship building and keeping. God has blessed them with the means to follow-through with the desire to use their discretional time wisely in the love and care of others. Here it worked out for them to fly to Southern California to be at the annual cousin Christmas time with some of our nieces, nephews, and grand nieces and nephew and spouses.

They bumped into Santa at the airport.

The party this year was at our nephew’s home on the beach where the cousins were treated to the extra bonus of the Christmas boat parade that they could watch from the deck. Dave and Kristin hosted our kids overnight, too.

Our kids, Josh and Laura. My sister Kathy’s daughters, Melissa and Michelle with Michelle’s husband and Jack and Avery (our grandnephew and niece). My sister Vera’s son and daughter with their spouses.

Our beautiful girls…we claim them all.

My brother Steve’s son, Tim, and his family arrived so they had a re-do of the deck photo.

Some of the crew gathered at Disneyland on Monday and had a magical time together.

All day and into the night at the Big D.

Josh and Laura made the most of their 2 day stay in Sunny Southern California. They are coming home to snow today on their side of the mountains.

These cousins have had so much fun over the years together. Now they are enjoying the added fun of the spouses that their cousins married. We are so thankful the love continues. My mom and pop would love seeing these times continue.

“Stay together, Love each other” Their Dzeda (grandfather) left them with that encouragement and they are doing a good job listening.

The photos above are from the 80’s in California.

And speaking of World Cup Soccer (Futbol), (That is a weird segue!), here we are arriving at LAX from Seattle in 1994 to attend some of the World Cup Games when Los Angeles hosted the games. My sister Kathy and her girls picked us up from the airport. Our sons were able to get tickets for some of the games in Los Angeles and San Jose. Brazil beat out Italy to win in 1994.

World Cup 2022 just ended this past Sunday and what a championship game it was. Argentina came out ahead of France in the end and are the World Cup Champions for 2022.  It was fun to see Lionel Messi finally add a World Cup Championship to his soccer accomplishments.

Congratulations on making it through this post. I like to document these special times to look back on as a kind of journal of life as it happened. Sometimes they flow well and sometimes they have diversions…


30 Days Hath November Hodgepodge

Here we are at the end of November Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce From This Side of the Pond!

Our yards have been covered with snow since November the 7th.

1. Sum up your November in ten words or less. 

November had a scary start and a grateful, peaceful end.

2. Are you hosting any holiday parties this year? Attending any? Party pooper, party animal, or life of the party…where do you land when it comes to parties? 

No, we are not hosting any holiday parties this year.

We will be attending our first Christmas Party on Sunday December 4th in Chilliwack, Canada. Hopefully the weather will settle down a bit for our drive to Spokane for our flight on Saturday and then our drive from Bothell to Abbotsford on Sunday. It will be our first time back in Canada since the beginning of ‘you know what’. We are so looking forward to being with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook and their hubbies! We will miss our two girls that live in Manitoba for this event.

The last MGCC party we were able to attend was in early December 2019 and this was one of the amazing desserts we enjoyed at that party.

I’m not a party animal or the life of the party or a party pooper. I do like to decorate for a themed party.

3. Do you purchase holiday clothing of any sort (sparkly tops, Christmas jammies, Santa suit, etc). 

There is a festive holiday top or two in my closet. This year with limited time to shop and limited sources I have nothing new. The old sparklies are too snug for comfort, sigh.

Comfy jammies all the way!

4. What’s your go-to recipe when you’re asked to bring an hors d’oeuvre to a party? 

I like to bring a charcuterie board of some sort. This year I’m trying Charlotte’s Red Pepper Jelly Tarts (Mennonite Girls Can Cook) for a ladies brunch I’m invited to on Thursday.

5. December 3rd is National Play Outside Day…what might you do to celebrate? 

We are flying from Spokane to Seattle that morning and will hopefully celebrate our daughter in law, Laura’s birthday in some way that day or evening.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

In World Cup news, the U.S.A. advances to the round of 16 playing against Netherlands on Saturday. It was a brutal 2nd half but in the end we eliminated Iran and we move on.

Wednesday Morning Update on our overnight snowfall which is still falling this morning:

As of 7am we have 8-1/2 inches of new snow. Our neighbor has already plowed our driveway before she heads into work. We are very grateful for her and her kindness to us. I did hop out in my jammies and Uggs and slipped her some cash for gas!

UPDATE at 11:15 A.M.: We have a total of 11 inches of new snow. PTL Dear is healthy enough to shovel snow!

Lots of cancellations in Colville today because of snow. Happy we can be home and today is baking day for my event on Thursday. Perfect weather to bake!

Praizing the Lord…

…as our dear Pop would say. That’s not a typo. Dear had a successful surgery.

It was a very long day. We have to wait until 9am to be able to visit in the hospital…not a minute earlier. Katie and I got to Dear’s room at a little after 9am. He didn’t have any food or drink from midnight on so he was getting a bit dry in the mouth. We were expecting the surgical bed for his transfer to surgery at noon but it didn’t arrive until 1:15. So much in this setting is hurry up and wait. This timing worked out well because although Dan and Jamie left their home in Colville with plenty of time to make it to the hospital to see Dear before he was carted away to surgery there was a fatal crash on Hiway 395 with two Life Flight Helicopters landing on the highway to transport critical patients to the hospital we were at. Dan and Jamie had to detour off the highway which added several minutes to their journey. They made it before the transfer and we were all relieved.

In the Pre-Op room with all the preliminary things to do and a time where we got to meet the surgeon, the Anesthesiologist and the whole surgical team. The Surgeon and Anesthesiologist both took time to explain everything that would go on in surgery and we were confident with the care Dear would receive.

All set and ready to go. We prayed together before we headed to the surgical ward. Dear let the surgeon know that we and many others had prayed for him, too. He gave us a big smile.

Here’s my waiting room team. Jamie is such a gem who thinks of everything and brought some great snacks for us all. While waiting I was called 3 separate times. Once to tell me that Dear was asleep and they were ready to go with the surgery. Then they called to let us know that the surgery was successful and the surgeon was finishing with the final stitching. This was at 5:15 and it would be at least a half hour in recovery. The Surgeon then came to the Waiting Room and let us know in person that the surgery went well and showed us what he had removed from the Carotid Artery. At this point Dear would be transferred from Recovery to ICU and the visiting window was closing fast at 6pm. The recovery nurse gave us a call and asked us where we were and that we could meet her in the hall on her way to ICU so we could get a glimpse of Dear and give him his eye glasses. It was good to see him Post op before we had to leave the hospital. We will be back in the hospital on Wednesday at 9am sharp to see him in a non-loopy state.

We are so very grateful to all of you who have prayed and encouraged us during this first phase of Dear’s treatment and recovery. Prayer has been powerful. Your encouraging words are like balm to our hearts and minds. Thank you so much!

Time will tell if he gets to be released on Wednesday.

Sunday Last…

On Sunday October 23rd we had a church potluck to celebrate our Pastor’s 10 year Anniversary as Pastor of First Baptist Colville.

We have outgrown our gym at our facility so we rented the Ag Center at the Fairgrounds for this event.

One of the families at our church decorated the tables.

Since it was in honor of Pastor Dennis they went with a manly theme.

We surprised Pastor and Lori by flying in Dr. Jim Tillotson, president of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary in Iowa to preach the sermon in the morning. We managed to keep this a secret until Dr. Tillotson stepped up on stage to speak. After the service our church family were to drive over to the Center with their Main Dish or Side Dish to share with everyone. I was way too busy to take a photo of the two rows of 4 tables which meant 48 feet of food brought to share.

This is Dear and Me while we were still fresh before the event began. Since the event wasn’t on our campus we had to haul a lot of things to the Ag Center and when the event was over, haul them back. Our day started at 7am and we were pulling into our driveway at 3:30 in the afternoon. We were going for a solid 7 hours. By cake cutting time my brain was not functioning well. That happens frequently when there are so many details to store in the brain and then the explosion of all the things that need to happen at the same time when you have 100 dishes arriving simultaneously!! When we got home on Sunday we put our feet up and and did a lot of sighing with gratitude. It was a successful event with 300 people fed and satisfied with food leftover.

The important thing was that Pastor and Lori were celebrated well and they enjoyed the love and surprises on this special day.

So thankful for the willing hands to step in and help in any way they could.

Sons and Daughters Hodgepodge

Jo From This Side of the Pond is taking time out of her busy schedule to come up with questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Jo!

1. “A daughter’s a daughter all her life, but a son’s a son til he takes a wife.” What say you? Elaborate.

Thankfully we have daughters in law who aren’t threatened by our sons continuing a good relationship with us. We are thankful for our sons who protect their wives and give them the stability and love that makes for a strong enough relationship so they don’t have to be threatened. As parents we can give them the space to grow in their relationships and not demand undue attention from them.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

We are also so thankful for our son-in-law who loves our daughter and cares for her well.

We are thankful for each one of our children in their uniqueness and for each of our children-in-law/love who compliment each other well.

2. Something you’ve seen recently that was ‘cuter than a June bug’

Love the photos via texts we get of our kids and grandkids having fun and being cuter than a June bug…

3. ‘You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream and that’s pretty much the same thing.’ Agree or disagree?

I have lots of happy memories of ice cream growing up. Our Pop would stop at 31 Flavors when we were all in the car after church or somewhere else and he’d treat us to a 2 scoop cone. I would choose chocolate chip and orange sherbet. This always made me happy. One of my brothers always ordered vanilla.

Later in life I’d enjoy a good scoopage of chocolate ice cream in a glass add milk and enjoy it to the last drop.

And then there was the delicious concept of cooking up vanilla pudding and while it was hot pouring a good amount of pudding over a bowl of Chocolate Ice Cream. Don’t knock it till you try it. 🙂

Last time you had a serving of happiness ice cream?  Dish-cone-milkshake-sundae…which one do you choose? 

Sadly Ice cream doesn’t sit well with my digestive system these days. If I could, I’d pick a dish of Jamoca Almond Fudge, Vanilla Swiss Almond, or just plain old chocolate.

4. What is one way/area in which you’re currently ‘swimming against the tide‘? 

Hate to bring it up but I’m in the process of losing the same 10 pounds I’ve been losing and gaining these last several years. Hopefully this time around I’ll go beyond the 10 and lose another 10. The good news is that I’m just shy of the first 10 pounds and things are fitting better already.

Speaking of swimming our little 5 year old grand is learning to swim and has abandoned her life vest. Great job Addy!

5. Three things you’re looking forward to this summer?

Enjoying summer fruit like nectarines and peaches.

Spending as much time as possible with our kids and grands.

Entertaining visitors.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

It was wonderful to see all the celebrations for the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee!

All Good Things

What fun it was to open up these gifts to me from our kids. It will be fun to add our family favorite in this new recipe journal.

It’s hard to see but there is a line to write down the speaker, the date, the message title and then lines at the bottom to add scripture verses that were referenced in the sermon. I’m looking forward to using this. Our DIL bought it from Target online.

I love the theme of these next gifts and am excited to hear England is totally open to international travelers without any restrictions!

I’ve been enjoying my morning cuppa in this beauty!

The snow has mostly disappeared with our warming temperatures this week. We have even been able to get out and do some clean-up in most of our planters. It feels good to look out the windows and see that job accomplished. Speaking of windows our window cleaner guy called and we are booked for clean windows on this coming Tuesday.  We have a quiet weekend coming up before we move into busy weekends in April.

Thankful to God for the love shown to me and for the ability to do yardwork.

It’s been so good to be in a study of the book of Isaiah as we approach Easter.

Hope all is well in your corner!