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.

A Full Sunday and Goodbyes…

 

Sunday breakfast was more casual and simple since we were all getting ready to go to church together.

Herb captured this photo of our breakfast gathering. Yogurt, granola, bran muffins and cinnamon rolls.

I drove the “girls” to church and Dear drove the guys. Lovella captured this selfie of the “girls”. Pastor delivered an inspired message on the Preeminence of the Word that motivated many good conversations through the rest of the day. “We know where we are headed, Being real is Not an excuse for sin, We wrestle until we are transformed, we submit ourselves to an Absolute Standard” Once again we were in awe on how the Holy Spirit delivers congruent messages all across the globe.

After church we all gathered at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Chewelah, El Ranchito. The waitstaff entertained us and took good care of us. Straight from lunch Herb and Anneliese said goodbye and headed to their border crossing which would close at 5PM. The rest of us took a more scenic route home to enjoy more of this part of Washington State.

Home again to our front yard campground we were all talking about all the food we had enjoyed and decided a hike would be in order.

We headed to nearby Douglas Falls Campground and hiked. Back home we refreshed and later enjoyed leftovers from our previous meals.

Monday morning dawned with pack up activity as all the campers would be heading out after breakfast. We enjoyed an egg scramble, some leftover bran muffins and toast.  Bev has taken up sketching and we got to see some of her art work. She is gifted.

We suggested copies of this work of art for Christmas!

Final conversations and goodbyes.

It was sad to see all the campers head out to the road.

Dear and I had our cup full from all the good times. Our guests left us gifts that will remind us of our epic camping experience with these Mennonite Girls and their hubbies.

We have found some perfect spots for the barn wood, barbed wire cross, the windmill bird house and ceramic plaque.

We were also gifted certificates for a couple more meals at El Ranchito! This is a generous and thoughtful group. Having this group at our home was gift enough but we appreciate their thoughtfulness that goes the extra mile.

Come again, come often! God be with you till we meet again.

Birthday Fun on Saturday…

When Herb and Anneliese arrived to our camp on Saturday morning we all greeted Anneliese with Happy Birthday to You in song. It was a good beginning to a very full day. The day was full of food, fellowship, music, playing, shopping, more food, and it was all capped off with so much laughter that many of us were in tears, happy tears!

Dear made his famous Swedish pancakes on Saturday for breakfast and the pancakes, smoky links, fruit, sour cream and real maple syrup hit the spot.

Our Colville kids arrived late morning to meet our campers and Addy and Lovella delighted us with beautiful piano music, well mostly Lovella. We enjoyed singing some hymns and Sunday School songs that Lovella played from heart and from hymnals and other sheet music we had on hand. Glorious! Addy was very comfortable with each of the girls and invited them to play with her in “her room”. We hope she realizes that the room is JJ’s, too.

The guys enjoyed peppering our son Dan about his work. There are always tales to tell. Bev captured the following photos of me and Addy. Thank you, Bev.

The guys jumped in their car and the girls jumped in our car and we headed to downtown Colville to do some shopping. The girls enjoyed the end of the Farmer’s market and a few other shops on Main street before we headed home for appies. The guys ended up in Kettle Falls and enjoyed a “snack” at Backyard BBQ before they headed back to our campsite.

Harv and Bev made their famous Coconut Prawns for our Saturday dinner appetizer and Lovella added her mango salsa.

 

Forgot to take a photo of all the goodies we had for dinner. Marinated Chicken thighs off the Traeger along with an amazing rice, bean and veggie salad that Anneliese, the birthday girl, made. Lovella made scalloped potatoes and Judy made coleslaw. Judy also made a beautiful Raspberry Ripple cake for dessert.

We sang again to the birthday girl and then the laughter started. Terry got us going with hilarious stories recounting the day and other stories from days gone by, some real and some fictitious.  Pretty soon we were drying the laughter tears from our eyes.

Laughter is good medicine and we had an amazing jolt of that medicine this night. I’ll never forget it.

So happy that Anneliese’s birthday was filled with the best kind of fellowship and laughter!

Here we go into the last week of August. Are you ready for September?

Mennonite Girls Can Camp or…

…glamp.

Glamping: Glamping is a portmanteau of glamorous and camping and describes a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with “traditional” camping.

Dear strung a clothesline between two of our trees out front and I gathered up every apron I own to hang on it along with a welcome sign for four of the Mennonite Girls who would be arriving along with their husbands from British Columbia for our first MGCC RV Resort Camp in our front yard. It was so much fun to see the campers turn into our driveway.

The three with campers/trailers picked their spots and set up their sites. Anneliese and her husband stayed at the nearby Comfort Inn but joined us for all the festivities.

They pulled into our drive shortly after the campers got settled.

Once we had everything set up hands came together for appies. Anneliese threw together a big bowl of guacamole. She also had some spreadable brie with hot jelly for crackers. Bev put out some sugared salmon.

We enjoyed our appetizers out back on the deck and under our sunshade.

Then it was time to fire up the Traeger.

Dear prepared and grilled tri-tip.

Lovella made a Capreze salad. Judy shared some buns. Bev prepared asparagus with garlic and a buttermilk dressing along with Parmesan cheese. It was clear that no one would be hungry on this camp out!

Lovella finished off our meal with piroshky baked in her trailer oven. The meal was a great collaboration and it was delicious. Definitely glamping!

And that was just the end of our first partial day together!

We were full to the brim with good food, good friendship and good fellowship. We said goodnight with plans on breakfast starting at 9 AM Saturday morning.

Eleven Years and Counting…

On Wednesday, June 5th, eight of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook gathered at Lovella’s for a luncheon to celebrate our 11th year together.

Lovella provided all the oh so delicious food except for that beautiful cake that Anneliese made and brought to share.

Prayer For Friendship

You have blessed us, O God,
with the gift of friendship,
the bonding of persons
in a circle of love.

We thank you for such a blessing:
for friends who love us,
who share our sorrows,

who laugh with us in celebration,
who bear our pain,
who need us as we need them,
who weep as we weep,

who hold us when words fail,
and who give us the freedom
to be ourselves.

Bless our friends with health,
wholeness, life, and love.
Amen.

This poem by Vienna Cobb Anderson was shared with us by our dear Betty who lives in the same Province as Charlotte so neither of them could be with us for this celebration at Lovella’s home. The weather did not hamper our wonderful time under the tent. Our time and our ongoing friendship is all this poem expresses.