Goodbye and Hello…

We had a wonderful finale to 2017 this morning with brunch at Palisade in Seattle. Josh and Laura treated us to a belated anniversary celebration.

Such a cold beautiful day with the sun shining…hello.

The Space Needle is being remodeled right now and it will be fun to see the results from that. We saw Mt. Rainier to the south and the Olympics to the west.

The only thing that would have made the very last day of 2017 better is if we could have had cuddles with Addy and a hug from her mommy and daddy. They were busy snowplowing their driveway so they could get out for New Year’s Eve festivities!

We welcome 2018 with hope and are excited to see all that it holds for us.

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends and those of you who visit my blog throughout the year. I appreciate you all and the comments and encouragement you leave for me.

Again the Rounded Year ~ Hymn

Again the Rounded Year

Again the rounded year has brought
Its bloom and harvest glory,
And every smiling Sabbath taught
To us the Gospel story.
Again our voices join in song,
And bring their glad thanksgiving,
To Thee, to whom all years belong,
To Thee, the Ever-Living.

We meet with gladness on each lip,
And kindly warmth of greeting,
And, in Thy boundless fellowship,
Each heart to heart is beating.
And for this day, and for this hour,
We bring our glad thanksgiving,
To Thee, the ever gracious Power,
To Thee, the Ever-Living.

How oft has lighted every brow
To see Thy love upspringing!
And some who joined our songs, are now
Amid the angels singing.
But friends below and friends above
Unite in glad thanksgiving
To Thee, whom all the children love,
To Thee, the Ever-Living.

Thy power in prayer we oft have felt,
Thy sympathy most tender,
And seemed to see, as we have knelt,
Thy face in veilèd splendor.
For all these joys of Paradise,
We bring our glad thanksgiving,
To Thee, who every good supplies,
To Thee, the Ever-Living.

So may we join from year to year,
Thy goodness ever singing,
And, after faithful service, hear
The bells of glory ringing.
Then, safe with Thee, again we’ll raise
Our voices in thanksgiving
To Thee, in more exalted praise
To Thee, the Ever-Living.

Words: Hezekiah Butterworth

To wrest the power of death from Satan’s hand, God sent Christ into the world. If you have a greater weapon than your enemy, then his weapon is useless. You can’t fight a machine gun with a bow and arrow. Satan’s weapon is death, but eternal life is God’s weapon, and with it Jesus destroyed death.

How was He able to do it? He rose again, proving He had conquered death. That’s why He said, “Because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19). His resurrection provides the believer with eternal life. ~John MacArthur (Drawing Near Daily Devotional)

Starting Fresh with Hodgepodge…

1. Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday.
 15747502_10211510518384524_8505381520756214670_nOur Nutcracker Christmas Crackers had little whistle/flutes in them and instructions to toot some Christmas songs together. It was so much fun with us laughing so much we snorted and maybe drooled a bit while trying to toot our whistles upon demand. Each whistle was numbered to created the right tone/note. Oye…it was fun!
2. What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?
swedishSwedish pancakes on Christmas morning are the best. 1st because Dear cooks them. 2nd because we all love them. A tradition that will not be broken.

3. What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

pictures65

People, people, people are the most beautiful things we saw over the holidays. A very beautiful thing was that our oldest flew to eastern Washington to help his brother and sister in law move into their new home in frigid temperatures. Our boys have a way of being able to motivate and help each other in good and tough times and it’s a beautiful thing to see and hear about.

4. What does fresh start mean to you?

Fresh Start was the name of my home cleaning business that I started in the late 80’s and early 90’s and that’s the first thing that came to mind with this question. Dear was in Pharmacy School for a mid-life change in his profession and I cleaned toilets to make money in several homes and at a medical and dental clinic. Of course I cleaned more than toilets but you get the idea. The work was so aerobic and I was so skinny.

5. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain.

If I take my fluff out of the equation I’d give myself an 8!

van 2 035I’m still fluffy but besides that my health and outlook are good. I am not taking any medications. An IT Band Syndrome is still plaguing me even though I’m not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. Exercises to strengthen my core and take the strain off my IT band are helping. It generally takes a lot to get me down and I’m thankful for that. So…I’ll stick with an 8!

6. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they’d like to see banished from the Queen’s English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you’re like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it’s used. There were quite a few on this year’s list I’d never heard before. Here’s the 2017 list of banished words-You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption. Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

I’m tired of hearing about Town Hall Meetings. Another one I’d like to not hear again is “Gun Control”.

7. Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year.
misc-stuff-028I got this fitbit for Christmas and I’d like to add the light goal of moving more.
My deep goal is to pray more.
 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18:
Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I’ve got a recipe for Crock Pot Potato soup inspired from bj’s blog and Paula Deen up on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog. It was easy and satisfying. Click on over to see it.
The illustration at the top of this post is Russian and the words translate Happy New Year. I wish you all a very Happy New Year!
Linking up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond. She provides the questions and we provide the answers.

Standing at the Portal ~ Hymn

Standing At the Portal

Standing at the portal
Of the opening year,
Words of comfort meet us,
Hushing every fear;
Spoken thru the silence
By our Savior’s voice,
Tender, strong and faithful,
Making us rejoice.

Refrain

Onward, then, and fear not,
Children of the day;
For His Word shall never,
Never pass away.

I, the Lord, am with thee,
Be thou not afraid;
I will help and strengthen
Be thou not dismayed.
Yea, I will uphold thee
With My own right hand;
Thou art called and chosen
In My sight to stand.

Refrain

For the year before us,
O what rich supplies!
For the poor and needy
Living streams shall rise;
For the sad and sinful
Shall His grace abound;
For the faint and feeble
Perfect strength be found.

Refrain

He will never fail us,
He will not forsake;
His eternal covenant
He will never break.
Resting on the promise,
What have we to fear?
God is all sufficient
For the coming year.

Onward, then, and fear not,
Children of the day;
For His Word shall never,
Never pass away.

 Words: Francis R. Havergal, January 4, 1873.

img525

Happy New Year everyone. Here’s a antique post card from one hundred seven years ago.

 Glory to God in highest heaven,

Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.
~Martin Luther

С новым годом!

Happy 2017 dear readers!

Super Lunar New Year!

super sunday

We had a fun celebration on Super Sunday starting with a exhilarating church service. Two of our pastors squared off with a sermon duel with the theme of finishing strong. Quarter one was about Solomon and his varied appetites that kept him from finishing strong. Quarter two was about Moses and his anger that kept him from finishing strong. Quarter three was about Judas and his greed that kept him from finishing strong. Quarter four was about Jesus and although it seemed that He wouldn’t finish strong because of his crucifixion he rose again to victory over death and sin. In order for us to finish strong we need to follow Him. There were penalties thrown and commercials in between quarters, a half time show, and Bibles with football binding given out to kids in the end zone after touchdowns!  In the end and maybe a bit prophetic Pastor Alexander with the help of his stand in after his injury on the field (sprained tonsils), pastor Goetze, edged out Pastor Wolfgang for the win.

We came home pumped up and started a few preparations for our Super Lunar New Year Bowl party.

Chinese New Year 007

Chinese New Year 022

It was fun to gather up goods to set a Chinese New Year themed table for our party. This inspiration started in January while I visited San Francisco’s Chinatown with an old friend of mine.

2016-02-05 Chinese New Year3

2016-02-05 Chinese New Year

These three wine covers were the instigators for the table. A large variety of these were offered for sale in every shop Alice and I went into on our visit to Chinatown. I kept handling them but walking away. Finally in the last shop we visited my resistance was depleted and I bought these three. Look at those little hats with the braid attached! They were only $1.99 each!

2016-02-05 Chinese New Year2

Now I was in search of more items to complete my table and room decor. There are several large Asian stores around our area and I went to one where I found the Lucky pockets, candy, almond cookies and fortune cookies.

2016-02-05 Chinese New Year1

The lanterns, dragons, plates and napkins came from a party store.

2016-02-05 Chinese New Year4

Before hand I queried each of our guests for the party about their favorite Chinese take out dish. We ordered each of these dishes and picked them up just before our planned start time. This take out idea really made hosting the party easy peasy. We heated up the Panko shrimp from the frozen section at Costco that went real well with sweet chili sauce. We would recommend it if you ever need an appetizer for a party.

Chinese New Year 013

quesadilla egg flower soup 012

The one thing I prepared from scratch for our party was this Egg Flower Soup. You can click over to Mennonite Girls Can Cook to get the easy recipe today!

Happy New Year to all our Asian friends who are celebrating today!

Prepare

I was thinking about the idea of choosing a word for the new year instead of making resolutions. My friend Willow at Willow’s Cottage chose Simple. Jerrelea at Jerrelea’s Journey chose Rest. I decided on the word Prepare.

Snow 2016 004

: to make (someone or something) ready for some activity, purpose, use, etc.

: to make yourself ready for something that you will be doing, something that you expect to happen, etc.

: to make or create (something) so that it is ready for use

Snow 2016 011

One challenge we heard at the first worship service of this year was not to focus on ourselves but to ask the question, How can I make the world a better place? Now I wonder what will help to prepare my heart for this challenge? Time will tell.

This year there are new things that I need to prepare for, too.

Medicare, banking online, a home office space for Dear, to name a few.

Some other things I’d like to continue to prepare for through the year are hospitality, good meals, organized spaces.

Way back in elementary school I memorized the following verses that have been favorites and a comfort through the years.

John 14: 1-3 (ESV)

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

I memorized these verses in the King James Version below.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

It’s amazing to think that the God of the universe is preparing a place for me!

Do you make New Year Resolutions or do you pick a word or verse for the year? Let me know if you do/did.

The photos that I included in this post are from a week ago when we got a little dusting of snow that came and went during the course of one day.

Out the Old, Ring in the New! Hello 2016!

1934948_10208452229131555_248701231534360309_n

Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New
~Alfred Tennyson 1850

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife,
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweet manners, purer laws.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

~

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.
~Martin Luther

С новым годом!

Hoping that 2016 is a year with new things that draw us closer to each other and to our Lord! Happy New Year everyone!