Merry Mid+Month of May

This past week we had beautiful days like this one. This is a photo from our kids’ drive. We had darker, rainy days. This Spring in general compared to last Spring has been colder and wetter. After a very dry Spring and Summer last year the ground is soaking up all the rain which bodes well for the summer and possibly less fire danger. Time will tell.

We spent a few days this past week tuning in to a livestream from the Truth Matters Conference staged at The Ark in Kentucky. It was so worthwhile to listen in. If you want to hear some good truth you can find the different sessions on YouTube soon. Just look up Truth Matters 2022 put on by Grace to You. I’ll sign off with this quote.

“The Kingdom of Light needs no help from the kingdom of darkness”

Hope your days are filled with God’s light!

Memories Hodgepodge

 

borsch-snoqualmie-001

It’s Wednesday and that means Jo From This Side of the Pond is asking questions for us to answer. Thank you Joyce!

1. What’s something that makes you feel stressed? How do you cope? 

Confrontation makes me stressed. If I can I walk away, I do. One of my coping mechanisms is to avoid it altogether. That’s okay unless I’m the cause for the need of the confrontation. Asking for forgiveness is a good solution. There are other situations where being a peacemaker is the solution.

2. What’s a food you eat that evokes a memory? Explain. 

Borsch (Borscht) evokes lots of memories of growing up. I hated it when I was little. The cabbage was not a pleasant texture to my palate. Having to sit at the table until I finished my bowl is not a good memory. I sat there for what seems hours after everyone else left the table. My solution was rebellious and I suffered for it by the reprimanding from my mom. While I was alone in the kitchen I decided the solution to my problem was to pour my bowl back in the pot. This would have worked except for the fact that I had soaked lots of bread in the bowl of soup. It was clear to my mom that I dumped my bowl of soup back in the pot. Oye, was I in trouble!

I love borsch now! Here’s our mom’s recipe.

3. This week’s Hodgepodge lands on National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate by visiting a relative? If so is travel involved? Geographically, who is your nearest relative (not counting those living in your own house)?

No, I will not be visiting a relative. Our nearest relatives live 8 miles away from us. They are enjoying sunshine elsewhere right now. I will travel to their property to water the garden and maybe check the chicken coop for eggs. Our other relatives (children, siblings, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins) live in Western Washington, California, Colorado, Texas, North Carolina, New York, Illinois, Florida and Israel. Dear and my parents, grandparents, uncles and all but one aunt are deceased.

I will see some of our California relatives and friends when I travel to Southern California for a Memorial Service in June.

4. What’s your most frequently used emoji?

Probably a heart or smiley face.

Do you make more phone calls, send more emails, or mainly text to communicate with friends and family? 

It used to be phone calls and emails but now it’s mainly text. Phone calls are few and far between because our country connections are dismal.

5. Tell us the story behind a favorite piece of furniture. 

We have an eclectic collection of furniture with lots of stories behind them but one of our newer purchases of an old piece is my current favorite. I wrote about it here.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

It’s Ice Cream weather for these two! Love seeing their faces via texts!

Mother’s Day Weekend

Dear and I drove over to the West side of our state to spend time with some of our family and friends who live there. We met up at two separate restaurants on Thursday afternoon and then Saturday morning with dear friends and spent a couple hours eating together and enjoying conversations and catching up. On Mother’s Day we attended our kids’ church for a great time of worship and preaching. I’ll share some quotes from the sermon at the end of this post. Words I want to remember.

At 1:00 on Sunday this group met up for a Mother’s Day Brunch. It was an honor to enjoy this meal with our westside kids and my sister and her husband. Thank you to Laura for making the reservations and getting everyone together.

Me and my baby sister.

Me and our firstborn son.

Josh and Laura on the waterfront in Kirkland, Washington. The sun finally crept out from behind the clouds for a glorious afternoon.

Josh and Laura created this embroidery together for me as part of my Mother’s day gift. They also treated me to an ornament and tea towel commemorating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. We enjoy so much about Great Britain and remember fondly traveling together in England back in 2013!

A meal out with our daughter and her hubby was another special treat and this lamb shank was a delicious surprise to see on the menu.

We drove back home on Monday morning and it was a rain free event until we entered Spokane, on our last stretch home. We stopped at our Eastside kids’ home to deliver gifts and greetings and were happy for sweet hugs and time with our grands. Home again we get busy with laundry and the need to mow the lawns!

Back to the Sunday service we attended at Canyon Hills Community Church in Bothell, Washington. Dr. Nicholas Ellen from Houston, Texas was the guest preacher for this Sunday. His sermon was titled The Premise and Process of Trusting God. I’m sharing the link.

Some quotes from the sermon that I wrote down…

“The God of reality is bigger than the God of your imagination.”

“Stand Under so one day you will Under Stand”

You Can Obey God ~ some hindrances…

  1. Lack of knowledge
  2. Lack of skill
  3. Lack of will

Don’t be strong and wrong!

God has called us to the process. We need to follow God’s direction. He gives promises and in those promises we need to follow the process He provides.

May is ticking away at full speed. We are enjoying all the color that Spring brings.

A Valuable Hodgepodge

It’s the last Wednesday in April and here’s a peek into how our backyard is shaping up. We see lots of green growth. I mowed the lawns on Monday and soon perennials will fill in much of the bare spots. We bought some solar lights that Dear installed around the shade structure. What’s fun about them is that we have a remote to turn them on and off.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking all the volumes of questions for the Hodgepodge!

1. What does the word values mean to you personally?

Something worthy and true that will guide me on the right path.

Where did your values come from?

My values initially were instilled in me by my parents, shaped by God and then deepened by the Word of God.

What are some of the values that have guided you throughout your life? 

This verse I read at the end of Ecclesiastes sums it up:

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. 

2. Your favorite vanilla flavored something? 

Haagen Daz Vanilla Swiss Almond Ice Cream.

3. What’s something you’ve seen/done recently that you found to be very difficult, very confusing, very helpful, very interesting, or very special. Elaborate. 

I’ll pick very special.

On Easter day after church and lunch we traveled to the Kettle River for a very special baptism. You can read about it here.

4. Something you own and love that is violet in color? 

Love is a strong word for what I own that is violet. This is the one display in our home that has some ‘violet’ items on it and it’s above our master bathroom toilet. The photo of me and Dear from 1973 is something I love.

5. Do you have vacation plans on the calendar this summer? Tell us more. 

Nothing set in stone of any kind but we are toying with the idea of making it to England come September.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

Speaking of the word value, I value good relationships that are tried and true. The kind that even when you haven’t seen each other for a long time you can step into easily and be in sync.

I value my role as a parent.

They are adults now and our relationship has changed as it should and it’s good to see them in loving relationships.

I value my role as a grandparent ‘baba’.

So thankful we only live 8 miles away from these two and that we have regular interaction with them.

I value my relationship with God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, three in one. The sacrifice Jesus made for mankind on the cross opened up the door of peace with God and through repentance and calling on the name of Jesus I was born again to a new life in Him. This is the most foundational and important relationship in my life. It’s value cannot be exceeded.

Well here we are in the last few days of April. Our April was filled to the brim with good things and some sad things, too. Looking forward to May flowers.

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!

Celebrating Our Risen Savior

After church we all gathered at Dan and Jamie’s for a delicious lunch of several different soups, chili and homemade bread. Before the day progressed to the Easter egg hunt and opening the treats in the Easter Baskets we stepped outside for our Easter photos.

There were some serious conversations going on while enjoying the soups.

Four baskets full of fun to dig into after the hunt. I found these cute baskets at the Dollar Store, which is now the $1.25 store.

The dad’s snuck out to hide all the eggs. Ready, set, go!

Everyone got a basket full.

There was lots of delight in opening the eggs to see what was inside.

The adults and kids enjoyed Dan’s creations. He is perfecting his macarons masterfully!

The day was not over yet because before dinner we all jumped into our cars and drove north several miles for Jamie D’s baptism. It was the perfect culmination on this Easter Day.

I still will be posting all the photos from our grandson’s 3rd birthday party that we enjoyed on the Saturday of Easter Weekend. That will wait until Monday. Happy weekend to all!

So Much to Share…

We have had wonderful days together and a glorious Easter day filled to the brim. This is our crew that have enjoyed several days together.  Once I have some time for creativity to flow I’ll share more.

Lately in some of our family texts we prompt each other to continue the next line of a hymn we all know with a prompt like the following. Sing along with me if you would like and have a great day everyone!

Until then, my heart will go on singing…

Because He lives…

Twas grace that brought me safe thus far…

Easter’s Coming Hodgepodge

It’s time to answer the questions of the week that Jo From This Side of the Pond has gathered for us.

1. Do you celebrate Easter? If so what are your plans this year? Did you have egg hunts as a kid? 

Yes, indeed, we celebrate Easter, our risen Savior and what His death, burial and resurrection means to all of us. We will be in church Sunday morning and then gather at our kids home to watch the littles hunt for eggs and have a meal together. All of our family and our daughter-in-law’s family will be together and this year dear friends will be with us, too.

My growing up family did not have egg hunts. We did enjoy hard boiled eggs and hitting them on top of our siblings heads to crack them before we peeled them.

When our kids were little we had hunts of m&m’s and other candy in cupcake paper sleeves around the house before we went to church.

One Easter when our kids were married and before grandkids we had a hunt in the yard with a golden Easter egg that had $50 in it!

2. What’s your favorite bread to find in a bread basket? 

Any bread that is fresh and soft. I have favorites that go with certain dishes. I love many kinds of bread, French, Italian, Rye, Farmers, Sourdough, Challah, Pita, Lavash, Flat Bread, Kulich, Paska, Pishky, Indian Fry Bread…

So thankful I’m gluten tolerant!

3. Your favorite chick flick? 

Pride and Prejudice, the original BBC version with Colin Firth.

4.Tax day is rapidly approaching in the US of A…what’s something you currently find ‘taxing’? 

There’s a thing I’m in charge of that is mostly out of my control. I just have to be there and make it work at the last minute. I’m in charge of other people who will show up and depend on me to tell them what to do for this out of my control event. That is not my comfort zone. I’m working hard to organize the un-organizable. I’m feeling taxed!

5. Have you ever ridden in a taxi? Do you have a funny-scary-crazy-interesting taxi story to share? Do you use any of the newer taxi-like services such as Uber? 

Yes, I have stories. Dear and I had an awful, harrowing ride from O’Hare airport to downtown Chicago for one of his conferences. You know how you have to stand in line and wait for the next available taxi? Well we got a real doozie. We should have refused his ride and waited for another after he opened the trunk and there was no room for our luggage because he had a molded plastic outdoor chair in the trunk. What? Then the taxi smelled of tobacco. Ugh. Then his driving skills were horrendous. We think he might have lived in his taxi. Oye. We praised the Lord when we made it to the hotel.

When we were in D.C. for another conference I ordered a taxi to take me to a Hillwood Estate a Russian treasures house in the outskirts of D.C. When the taxi driver saw where I wanted to go he wasn’t pleased because it would take too much of his time instead of getting quick easy money making rides from the conference attendees. Short hops from the hotels to the convention center where the conference was being held. He drove me to the convention center stopped and had me get out. I was a wee bit shocked at this treatment. At least I was a little closer to the estate where I desired to go. The attendant they had outside the convention center managing all the taxis found me a willing driver to take me to the estate. I tipped him well.

We have used Uber services.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Last year’s Easter egg hunt at Baba and Gramps’. This year JJ’s 3rd birthday lands on Easter weekend which makes for a very full fun filled weekend.

Apologizing ahead of time if my visits are scarce this week.

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!

Fun With Gnomes

With the help of my daughter we finished this huge puzzle Saturday the 19th of March. I started it well before and worked on it for a couple of weeks. It was good to have the help of Katie at the end. It was challenging but fun. I like this scene and the shades of blue and green.

Forest Gnomes by Jeff Tift. Item no. 36510

Me and my puzzler.

Oh…the weather outside has been lovely. We even pulled out a couple patio chairs to soak up some vitamin D.

We have a busy week and weekend ahead. How is life where you are?