Irises

We have one Iris bush and it’s always a treat when it blooms. When the plant is spent this year we will try our hand at digging it up and putting it in another spot where it will be enjoyed more. Right now it’s position is between our garage and new shop. We also have 4 Peonies to move.

Wednesday I finished up JJ’s 1st year Memory book and then went out to mow the front and back. When we were done with our outdoor work we decided on enjoying a meal out at Backyard Barbecue in Kettle Falls. They opened up to indoor seating today and wanted to support them during this hard time. The food was delicious.

Thank you dear blogging friends and others who check in and wonder how we are all doing during this time. You remain a good normal constant in our lives right now when the world seems to be turning upside down. Keep shining God’s light in these dark times. God is still in control and that’s not to say things will be easy on us but we will make it through.

New Favorite

Last year (2019) I was bugged beyond comfort while working in the yard either mowing or pulling weeds or watering. I ordered this bug net in the fall and finally was able to test it out this Spring. I am so happy with it. Those pesky bugs can’t get to my face and eyes and I don’t have to constantly try to swat bugs away from my face. Such an easy solution to my buggy problem!

There are more bugs at our country bungalow then we had on the “Coast”.

The net fits over this hat and it works with a baseball hat, too. Since I have to wear headphones while I mow to protect my ears and to be able to listen to sermons while I mow I can’t wear that wide brimmed hat and my baseball cap fits the bill.

Last October before my bug net and probably the last mowing of the year.

Last May and probably the first mowing of the season before we got our grass catcher unit.

Mowing happened twice this past week. I’m glad we have most of the Fall and all of Winter off from mowing. It takes a little while into Spring to have to mow for the first time, too. Loved wearing my net over my baseball cap and headphones.

Had online church again this morning. Our church we’ll be meeting in our building next Sunday. We are looking forward to being together as a family again. Online church is not the way it was meant to be…

Adieu to May. Hope you all have a great first week of June.

Number Your Days Hodgepodge

1. In a single sentence tell us something about your 40’s. If you haven’t reached that milestone yet tell us (in a single sentence) something about whatever decade you’re in now.

The decade in my 40’s (1991-2001) was the most tumultuous of my life.

(Photo above taken at 2nd rental home 1998ish)

2. Life begins at forty. Agree or disagree? Tell us why. And if not at forty, when?

I don’t agree. I’m too black and white. Life began for me in my mother’s womb. From birth on life has been shaping who I am now. I was born again in 1963 so I’ve been in the sanctification process for 57 years. I wish I had been more obedient in this process.

Sanctification: When you were justified, you were declared righteous by God. Now that you are justified, there is a process of growth and transformation in which you are enabled more and more to grasp the reality that you are dead to your old sinful life and that you actually become more and more like Christ. There are three aspects to our sanctification: definitive sanctification, progressive sanctification, and ultimate sanctification.

3. Share a favorite book, song, or quote with a number featured in it somewhere.

I didn’t remember this great song with a number in the title but Theresa posted it on her post and it really has meant a lot to me over the past several years so I’m adding it in here. Thank you, Theresa!

This quote from the Bible is one I wrote down after reading it.
Jeremiah 32:39 ~I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever for their own good and the good of their children after them.
~
And this quote that I forget who said it…maybe Steve Lawson: “Don’t let your feelings get captured. Your feelings can suffocate your understanding of God. Gaze on the Lord 10x more than you concentrate on your feelings.”

4. A picture’s worth a thousand words, a stitch in time saves nine, back to square one, catch-22, on cloud nine, my two cents…pick a number phrase and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

I will pick “A picture’s worth a thousand words” or 1,000 pieces and 500 pieces. One of our COVID-19 stay at home activities has been putting together jigsaw puzzles. Some of these puzzles we’ve had for years and others were acquired before COVID at garage sales. The Fireside Embroidery one was a purchase during COVID-19. I was happy to see our local grocery store had a rack of puzzles a couple weeks ago and I grabbed this one.

 

Buying a threefold poster board has really aided our puzzling endeavors. We can move it off the dining room table easily if we are having the kids over for a meal. It also gives a nice flat surface.

5. Last time you drove more than 40 miles from home? More than 400 miles from home? Where were you going? Was it before or after this current season of social distancing?

Today bright and early we are driving to Spokane for a follow-up eye appointment. My surgery was last August. This will be a 70 mile drive from home. This one is during social distancing and Dear will have to wait in the car when I go in for my appointment.

The last time we drove closer to 400 miles from home was December 2019 when we drove to the Seattle area to stay overnight with our “Coast Kids” and then continue on to Chilliwack, British Columbia for our annual MGCC Christmas Party. This was before we knew about this Pandemic.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m going to go deeper into that decade in my forties. Dear’s mother was living with us in a Mother-in-law apartment in our basement. In that decade Dear completed his Pharmacy degree at the University of Washington, had a year of residency, got a job at Immunex Corporation in Seattle Washington. While he was in school I started a house cleaning business and added a medical clinic and dental clinic at night as part of the job. Dear and I worked together in the evenings at those clinics. Because Dear’s mother was living with us we could leave at night after the kids were in bed. I was the skinniest I had ever been with all that aerobic scrubbing.

When Dear’s new career was going well I retired my cleaning business just in time to pull our daughter out of public school and home school her for 4th, 5th and 6th grade. She was experiencing heart wrenching persecution at school. During those homeschooling years with our sons in high school we had a major landslide on our back slope and long story short we walked away from our dream home and started the very new to us need to rent homes while still having all of Dear’s mother’s stuff in our possession. When the major slide forced us to walk away from our home, Dear’s mother moved out of our home to Yuba City, California to live close to her younger sister.

In May before our oldest son graduated from high school, Dear’s mother passed away and we were in Yuba City for the funeral and then having to divide up her stuff between Dear and his older brother and haul it back to our place. In August I drove Josh to Westmont College in Montecito , Califonia. (Santa Barbara), on my own. An emotional time for this mom. We were in our 2nd rental home at this time.

In Dan’s senior year we moved to our third rental home in October of 1998. In November of 1998 just one month after moving all our stuff to this third rental home the owner of the home told us he had to sell the home. We were devastated with this news not knowing where we could move next. We decided to try to buy this rental and were amazed to find out that there was nothing on our record showing we had defaulted on our landslide house loan! We bought our home in Kenmore not because we chose it but because we couldn’t face moving again. We enjoyed 20 years in that home and made some amazing upgrades to the property. Dan graduated from high school in 1999. We had Josh and Laura’s rehearsal dinner at this home in August of 2001 and then in September of 200l life changed for all of us because of 9-11. And that my friends was my decade in my forties.

That’s just a little of the story of my 40’s! I’m happy to say my fifties and sixties have been less tumultuous and filled with some wonderful adventures and travel. In my late fifties I was connected to the Mennonite Girls. In my sixties we enjoyed the weddings of our daughter Katie and our son Dan. We made a major move again this time to the country from the city. Blessed with two grandchildren in our sixties. And now Dear is officially retired.

But…we press on to the upward call…

Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV)

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Thank you to Joyce for coming up with the questions for Hodgepodge!

Thursday Thoughts

This is the view from our desk where I read, study and blog on most days. I really appreciate the view. One of the books I am reading right now in my morning devotions besides the ever constant Bible is One Foundation (Essays on the Sufficiency of Scripture) compiled by Grace to You. This post is for me so I don’t forget what I’ve read and want to remember.

This is a quote from Spurgeon that Steven J. Lawson shared in his essay on The Standard of Sound Words: A Mandate for the Pulpit:

Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 1:13)

Spurgeon maintained,

Theology hath nothing new in it except that which is false. The preaching of Paul must be the preaching of the minister today. There is no advancement here. We may advance in our knowledge of it; but it stands the same, for this good reason, that it is perfect, and perfection cannot be any better. The old truth that Calvin preached, that Chrysostom preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be a liar to my conscience and my God. I can not shape the truth. I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again…For wherever there is not the old gospel we shall find “Ichabod” written upon the church walls ere long. The truth of the Covenanters, the old truth of the Puritans, the old truth of the Apostles, is the only truth that will stand the test of time, and never need to be altered to suit a wicked and ungodly generation. Christ Jesus preaches to-day the same as when he preached upon the mount; he hath not changed his doctrines; men may ridicule and laugh, but still they stand the same–semper idem* written upon every one of them. They shall not be removed or altered.

Spurgeon rightly understood the necessity of this theological continuity from one generation to the next. Cultures change. Seasons change. Fashions change. But the truth never changes.

From our house to yours, some views of our Country Bungalow yesterday when the sun was shining and the skies were blue.

And…

…so thankful for these boots that I bought at Goodwill before we moved to Colville. They were a bit pricey for Goodwill at $14.99 but I knew they were quality boots. Keen Dry boots which sell new at $100 or more. They are perfect for snow and temps below freezing. Great for snowshoeing, too.

We had a couple more inches of snow overnight.

Today is our son Dan’s birthday. We are happy and thankful to live in the same zipcode as him and his family. Happy Birthday to you dear son of ours!

We’ll be celebrating both Jamie and Dan’s birthdays tomorrow evening with a dinner here at our country bungalow.

Happy Thursday everyone!

*semper idem: always the same

Eye Has Not Seen…

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

It’s time for me to forewarn that ellen b. will be away from the computer and all reading material for a time. On Monday I am scheduled for Vitrectomy Surgery in Spokane. My right eye has enough floaters to form my own galaxy. They affect my vision in my right eye. The surgery will involve removing the vitreous (the clear jelly like substance that fills the middle of the eye). They will replace it with saline (a saltwater solution). I’ll be under Dear’s care who will have to instill 3 different eye drop medications in my eye at different intervals for days. I don’t really know how long it will be before I feel like typing or reading so when you don’t see anything on my blog you will know why. I hope some of you will pray for me when God reminds you by His Spirit. Thank you in advance!

This is the latest devotional book that I am reading along with my daily Bible passages.

It’s proving to be a book I copy quotes from into my journal. Piper shares this quote from C.S. Lewis and then I’ll share a subsequent paragraph from Piper.

In the middle of the last century the British writer C.S. Lewis got it shockingly right:

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His fee and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. (Mere Christianity)

Then Piper goes on to say:

In other words, Jesus will not be domesticated. But people still try. There seems to be something about this man for everybody. So we pick and choose in a way that shows he is on our side. All over the world, having Jesus on your side is a good thing. But not the original, undomesticated, unadjusted Jesus. Just the revised Jesus who fits our religion or political platform or lifestyle.

These quotes are just from the preface. I’ll be jotting down many more thoughts to ponder as I continue to slowly read through this one.

Happy Monday to you all. Hope to have Dear add an update on this post on Wednesday to let you know how things are going.

75 Years…

Before I share about my day in Canada I want to acknowledge the 75th anniversary of D-Day.  A day that stopped a force of evil that threatened the well being of mankind. A great evil was restrained that day. Thank you to all the young men who stormed that beach.

Have a thoughtful day…

 

Thoughtful Thursday

On Tuesday we met with the pastor and deacons of First Baptist Colville to give our testimonies for consideration for church membership. I rewrote my testimony to share with the deacons.

Nestled close to  Kings Canyon National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada is the Youth Camp that I was able to attend in 1963, 1965 and 1967. I was 12, 14, and 16 during these wilderness adventures.

I was raised in a family who attended church regularly and often, very religious. The church I was raised in gave me the impression that because I was Russian and a member of their church that I had an exclusive connection with God. What I learned at Bible Camp was that the only exclusive connection I could have to God was through Jesus Christ and what He did for me on the cross. Being Russian and being a part of my father’s religion did not give me a direct link to God. In 1963 at Hume Lake while listening to a speaker talk about Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross to save sinners I was moved to step out and become a follower of Jesus. God’s plan of salvation was exclusively through his perfect son Jesus, who is fully God and came to earth to live a perfect life among us and be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. I knew I was one of those sinners and I needed a Savior. This decision began a journey of ups and downs, highs and lows, but a journey forward with my God and Savior. When I began my new life following Jesus I was clothed with His righteousness and reconciled to God. I continue on this walk, never perfectly but with God’s grace I carry on. He will be teaching me by His Holy Spirit all the days of my life. My God and Savior is and will be faithful to see me through all of my life on this earth and I look forward with the Hope of seeing Him face to face in heaven. During this same year, 1963, my father began his journey of following Jesus after hearing Billy Graham at the Los Angeles Coliseum share the truth of Jesus Christ and why He came to earth over 2000 years ago. 1963 was an epic year for me and my family. For my father and me we became part of God’s movement of love and grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My mother was a follower of Jesus when she married my father. My two older sisters had started following Jesus before my father and me.

I’ll share this verse that Billy Graham proclaims in every interview I’ve ever heard him give. John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

High School scanned4HUME LAKE CHRISTIAN CAMP 1967

Fresh quotes from my reading this week and a quote from Dorothy Sayers that I read on Thistle Cove Farm blog:

“It is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to men, but men to Christ.” ~ Dorothy Sayers

Form Piper, Taste and See:

“We should continually look to the cross and the work of God in Christ because this is where God makes the light of the gospel shine. If we become excessively introspective and analyze our emotions too much, we will sink into hopeless doubts because the self-authenticating light shines not from within us, but from Christ in the gospel. We must look outside ourselves to Christ and his work if we hope to have assurance sustained inside ourselves.”

Second, we should continually pray for God to enlighten the eyes of our hearts.

Third, we should express our trust in Christ by loving each other.”

1 John 3:14 ~ We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren.”

Hope you have time to pause and consider what God has done for you on this Thoughtful Thursday.

Falling Behind

Hoping to catch up again, soon. In the last 5 days we had a road trip 6 hours each way with 2 days jam packed with family time and then on this side of the mountains we had a birthday dinner party at our country bungalow last night. Today I’m regrouping in my robe and slippers. Onward we go…

Getting to Know You…

I enjoyed reading Eileen’s Getting to Know Me and Mildred’s, too, so I’m answering the 25 questions.
1. What is your middle name?: 
I do not have a middle name on my birth certificate. In my Russian culture I would be introduced as Ellen, Moisi’s (daughter) Bagdanov. Everyone would then know that I was Moisi’s daughter not Ivan’s daughter.
That’s my maiden last name in Russian on my paternal grandparents’ gravestone.
2. What was your favorite subject at school?:
Any class where the teacher made me feel like they appreciated having me as a student especially my English teachers in high school. I enjoyed Home Economics and ended up majoring in Home Economics.
Mrs. Nicolaus was my favorite primary teacher.
3. What is your favorite drink?:
Morning: coffee  Cocktail: Gin and Tonic
4. What is your favorite song at the moment?:
Great is Thy Faithfulness
5. What is your favorite food?:
It’s hard to beat a good Ribeye steak or Osso Bucco or Prime Rib. I can’t narrow it down to one. My easy go to comfort food is probably Mexican food but I love finding good Persian restaurants that take me back to my food roots. I’m going to say my favorite food is food!
6. What is the last thing you bought?:
A large angel at Homegoods today.
7. Favorite book of all time?:
Yikes! Another hard one to narrow down. Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter Series.
8. Favorite Color?:
Blue
9. Do you have any pets?:
No
10. Favorite perfume?:
I don’t wear perfume and if you do please spray lightly. Thank you. 🙂
11. Favorite holiday?:
Easter is my favorite.
12. Are you married?:
Yes, this month we’ll celebrate 44 years!
13. Have you ever been out of the country?:
Yes. Great Britain seven times, Italy (Milan) once, Mexico once, Canada too many times to count.
14. Do you speak any other language?:
I can speak Russian poorly. I understand it better than I can speak it.
15. How many siblings do you have?:
Eight, 4 brothers and 3 sisters.
This photo is from my sister Kathy’s wedding. The groom and best man that are flanking Kathy aren’t part of the my 7 siblings and Dear is standing next to me. All the rest are my brothers and sisters who are now 44 years older! Kathy, Vera, Fred, Ellen, Tim, Steve, Lana and Leonard. The last two are twins.
16. What is your favorite shop?:
Homegoods
17. Favorite restaurant?:
For a nice hunk of meat, Metropolitan Grill. My all time favorite places to eat are Pubs in Great Britain.
18. When was the last time you cried?:
Last week. I cry easily during worship services.
19. Favorite Blog?:
I like a variety of blogs and especially enjoy visiting blogs that don’t bombard me with ads. I’m sad that a few of my favorites aren’t up and running at present.
20. Favorite Movie?:
The older Pride and Prejudice series with Colin Firth. Does that qualify as a movie?
21. Favorite TV shows?:
Great British Baking Show, Alone, Top Chef, Project Runway, Live PD, Survivor, NCIS, just to name a few.
22. PC or Mac?:
PC
23. What phone do you have?:
Samsung 4 or 5 , probably time to upgrade.
24. How tall are you?:
5′ 4-1/2″
25. Can you cook?:
Yes I can and I’m part of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. My mother was a great Russian cook. Her love language was to cook for others and to feed them. She loved to listen to cooking shows on the radio and try to write down the recipes. Since she didn’t know how to write in English this was a challenge for her. She enjoyed trying new things and inspired all of her kids to cook. The photo above is from our humble home in Montebello at a dinner prepared for the cheer squad by my mom, Borsch, Meat and Potato filled Perishky and Blintzes. My parents modeled hospitality even though they always struggled financially while we were growing up.
Thanks for visiting today. We are hoping our counters will be able to be cut and installed on Monday!

Down With Photobucket!

Photobucket is holding all my photos hostage from me that I added to their site from 2007 and beyond. When I got to 99% full of my free photo storage space they wanted me to pay for more space. I stopped adding photos to the site. I chose not to pay for more storage and now they have deleted all my photos from my blog posts. I am more than miffed because to free my photos from their grasp they want me to pay $$ a year.  What a bother. I worked all day on Friday trying to fix some of my many many posts. I’ve also had to restore many posts on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. I’ve got miles to go before my posts are restored.

Addy is a bit concerned, too. I’m so glad that not one of Addy’s photos is stored at Photobucket!