Traditional Hodgepodge

1. Tradition…how tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations? For instance do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma’s, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2 PM, etc.?

No set time, no set home, sometimes I cook it all, sometimes I take a dish to someone’s home, but never change the main menu. You have to have the turkey, the stuffing, the gravy, the yams with marshmallows on top. Even though I don’t have room for pie please keep the pumpkin and the pecan in the round up!  Feel free to add interesting appetizers and drinks. Those don’t have to stay the same. I always miss the parade and never watch football on Thanksgiving but I’m okay if you have to.

Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family? How did that feel?

Our first married Thanksgiving everyone we knew and were related to were out of town so Dear and I found a restaurant in Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley that was serving Thanksgiving with all the trimmings. It was so weird. I think this motivated me to learn to cook a turkey and all the fixins so we would never have to do that again.

We have celebrated Christmas away from home in the past. We do enjoy Christmas mornings at home with all our kids emerging from the guest rooms for our stockings and then Swedish Pancakes and then opening the other presents under the tree.

2. Help…is it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer? How is that a good/bad thing?

I am such a do-it-yourselfer because I don’t like to impose on others or so I like to say. The reality of this is that this is more of a personal flaw of mine having to deal with pride more than anything else. I’m practicing in giving things up and letting others help more in my life.

3. Abundance…what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?

Oh my, I have an abundance of pots and pans and serving bowls and plates and cups and goblets, and platters, etc. etc.

4. Name…the smallest thing you’re thankful for? the biggest?

The smallest is food and drink. The biggest is family and relational harmony.

5. Key...What do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?

Knowing what a miracle it is that Jesus died for my sins so I can have peace with God. And after this knowledge, praying for others before I pray for myself.

6. State your own random thought here.

On this Thanksgiving week and for this Thanksgiving Hodgepodge I am so thankful for all my blogging friendships. You mean so much to me and I’ve enjoyed growing close through your posts and life experiences that have touched my life and enriched my life. Thank you for keeping on and continuing to post about the everyday and the beautiful things in your life!

Choosing joy despite the fact that I do not have a sink or a stove top in my kitchen for the next several days. Our counter tops were due to be installed by Wednesday but the company we are dealing with is having major issues with their machine that cuts the tops so we might not be kitchen functional until Monday of next week. So we are choosing not to rant but to enjoy this little glitch in our everyday adventures at this old house. So grateful to be invited to our dear friends for Thanksgiving again this year!

Thank you to Joyce from This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family in the U.S.A.

Thankful

So thankful that she remembers us when we are able to visit her and she lights up and puts her arms out for us to hold her. Her many expressions captivate us and make us smile and some make us laugh out loud. We’ve been busy the last four days and we will hit the road back west over the Cascades early tomorrow morning. We’ve enjoyed work and play together. After Josh and Laura arrived from the Spokane airport on Friday we headed to El Ranchito for an early dinner. On Saturday the guys worked on the winter wood supply and the girls prepared a Thanksgiving meal and were able to fit in a craft show and a girls lunch out with Jamie’s mom, granny and friends.

Saturday night we enjoyed turkey, yams, stuffing, homemade rolls and gravy plus homemade pies. Sunday was a more relaxed day with Dear’s Swedish pancakes for breakfast and then more work on the wood supply followed by some family photo shoots. We said goodbye to Josh and Laura and are relaxing for the evening before our trek home tomorrow and back to work for Dan.

So thankful for our time together!

Out with the Sink Hodgepodge…

1. In a rut, in a jam, in the groove, out of sync, off balance, out of touch…which saying best fits some area of your life currently (or recently)? Explain.

I’m literally out of a sink. The only thing that is still standing in our master bath is the toilet. The photo at the top of this post is what this area in our master bedroom looked like on Monday. Demolition started after I took the photo. Because of this chaos I am out of sync and off balance right now.

We are extending the bathroom wall into the bedroom by a foot and the wall will go all the way on the right instead of having that useless desk area. A new double vanity should be delivered on Tuesday. The new toilet will be in a different spot. Instead of a tub/shower unit we installing a shower stall. New flooring and two new smaller windows in different spots which means the siding on the outside of the house will need to be re-done, too. Dear is doing all the work himself. He will get some advice from a plumber along the way.

2. What is it about somebody else’s style of work (coworker/employee/shared volunteer project/household chore) that makes you crazy? Why?

Oh dear, this question can get me in trouble. I get antsy around laid back, do it the last minute kind of people. I might start tapping my foot wondering when the job is going to get started. Now I’ve learned over the years that these types of workers still get the job done but I’d rather not be there to watch. I like to plan and plan and make a list and start things early and have everything ready on time. For unplanned last minute things I’m good with fly by the seat of your pants.

3. What’s a tradition that always makes you feel at home?

Having a meal with family and friends sitting together around a table holding hands while saying a prayer of thanksgiving to God before we eat.

4. A favorite song with a girl’s name in the title or lyrics? Any reason why this is a particular favorite?

Michelle by the Beatles. Beatlemania was alive and well in my junior high and high school years.

5. Share a favorite quote, verse, or saying relating to gratitude or thanksgiving.

Psalm 118: 28-29 ~

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God; I will extol you.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

On Sunday I posted this for Bread for the Journey at Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog.

More and more it seems the world around me is choosing to come against the truth of God’s Word. Some of these voices, strong and bold, can confuse me and sometimes because of the labels they attach to anyone who does not have their strong point of view I am silenced. What should I do? …read more at this link.

I’ll be linking up with Joyce From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. She asks the questions and we answer them. Thank you for stopping by and reading my answers. I appreciate my fellow bloggers and others who stop by, too.

Twice is Nice

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On Saturday while the guys held the fort and watched over the turkey on the Traeger grill my girls and I took a quick shopping trip to World Market and then to Molbak’s. Molbak’s is a local garden and gift shop that has an amazing array of poinsettias this time of year.

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Katie chose a small variegated variety to take home.

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p1060952There were many displays of Christmas trees decorated in different themes.

p1060950There is always a huge poinsettia tree for photo ops. Our girls…Laura, Jamie and Katie.

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After we got home from shopping the kids had time to play a board game together before the rest of our dinner guests arrived for our 2nd Thanksgiving meal.

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We took the ottomans out of the family room to add a round table for the older ones of us to sit. The younger ones sat at the dining area table.

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The turkey on the Traeger grill was a hit. It was moist with a subtle smoky flavor. We had the regular sides our family enjoys, mashed potatoes, stuffing dressing (we usually have stuffing but since the turkey went on the grill we stuck with dressing), candied sweet potatoes and Sarly brought a delicious spinach salad. My sister Lana brought an appetizer tray. Our DIL Jamie made a pie with her delicious home canned apple pie filling.

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Raelynd, Sarly, Jamie, Laura and Katie. There’s a 6th little girl who is not visable in this photo, yet.

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Rayna (Dan & Jamie’s dog) Katie and Andrew.

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Our dear friends Jamie, Sarly, Raelynd and David Daniel. Many of you have been praying for our little warrior, David Daniel. He is now 16 months old and getting stronger every day. Please keep praying for his development. We enjoyed watching him crawl and pull himself up. We enjoyed a group game of hangman with Raelynd, ending with a rip roaring Sunday School song “I’ve got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart!”

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We tried a huge group selfie with all our guests for the evening. Friends and Family all together.

2nd-t-day-038This morning Dan, Jamie (with our developing granddaughter), and their dog Rayna packed up to head back over the mountains and onward to the far eastern part of our state.

We are now laying low after emptying the dishwasher and putting away the extra chairs and tables. We also put away all the Thanksgiving decor. Dear vacuumed for me and I’m grateful for that. This week I’ll start thinking about bringing all the Christmas boxes down to make this old house look a lot like Christmas…

Linking to Mosaic Monday with Maggie at Normandy Life.

Thinking About…

…where to hang my new sign.

15179065_10211384824404604_2422017100556303695_nBut before I move on to decorating for Christmas we are going to celebrate Thanksgiving again today with turkey, stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and some pie.

15094290_10211352865765658_904969171776975063_nThis time we’ll have the meal and our loved ones under our roof. This old house will be full to the brim. There will be 16 of us. I hope to remember to take some photos, too.

15134678_10211344843205099_3740942303318054460_nDo any of you still have one of these vintage nut bowls? This was Dear’s mothers.

We had a full day with our kids yesterday. Dear made Swedish pancakes for brunch and we celebrated Laura’s birthday early. The guys went to see a movie while the girls watched the new Anne of Green Gables on PBS. When the guys got home we enjoyed chili and some episodes of The Crown. My dishwasher is getting a good workout.

15241842_10211385034569858_278018624717762034_nWe also have a four legged visitor, Rayna, right now and she gets very excited to see anyone coming to the door. Her tail is wagging as she see’s Dear coming in from gathering some rosemary for the turkey. We’ve enjoyed some walks during breaks in the rainfall. Animals are not the norm at this old house but Rayna behaves herself and is a mostly silent visitor. The swish of her tail hitting furniture and the click of her paws are the only noises she makes.

Happy Saturday to you all.

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all our friends in the United States a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! I’ll be off the grid for a couple days so I’m posting this the day before the big day.

May God bless you with a peaceful gathering enjoying good food, friends and family! Count your blessings, name them one by one!!

Psalm 28:7 ~

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.

and in Russian…

Господь–крепость моя и щит мой; на Него уповало сердце мое, и Он помог мне, и возрадовалось сердце мое; и я прославлю Его песнью моею.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone…Gobble Gobble!

Thanksgiving Mosaics

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This is a big week in the U.S.A. with our annual Thanksgiving Day on Thursday. My mosaics this week are all about Thanksgiving.

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A few weeks ago I went to a sign making class and it was fun to make the sign above and then find a spot in our home for it.

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This mirror has moved around our home but it’s always the spot for our THANKFUL blocks.

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Gobble gets it’s spot on the hutch closest to the table where we will gobble our Thanksgiving Meal.

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Some different settings over the years.

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The food that our plates are never big enough for. Always turkey, always stuffing, always candied sweet potatoes/yams, and always gravy. We can take or leave mashed potatoes or something green. Desserts include pumpkin pie and or pecan pie.

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The most important thing is to have people we love sitting around the table. Most years besides our immediate family we have my sister and her hubby with us. She’s the only one of my 7 brothers and sisters that live in the state of Washington. We’ve also had my brother Tim and his wife Letty fly up to spend Thanksgiving with us.

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Most years we have two gatherings one at home on any day before or after the big day and one at our friends home with all of their family and friends on the actual day. We work around our kids for this big day. Every other year Josh and Laura trade off being with us and being with Laura’s family. Next year Dan and Jamie will stay home with their new little one. It’s hard to trek 5-1/2 hours over the mountain pass to get here. Andrew missed a few Thanksgivings because he was in Afghanistan or at his base in North Carolina. Katie spent a few Thanksgivings without him by her side.

When your kids get married and have more than one family to enjoy you have to let them have the freedom without nagging and guilt to enjoy holidays elsewhere. We are happy to celebrate anytime we can with our kids. It doesn’t have to be on the given day.

Growing up in my family celebrating Thanksgiving was not a given. My parents immigrated to the U.S. after WWII and it took a while for this holiday to set in. Then the church we were part of had annual conventions over Thanksgiving weekends so the meal was big and in a church hall. Dear and I spent most Thanksgivings after we were married at his mom and dad’s. After we moved our family from California to Washington state we started hosting Thanksgiving. This next photo was our one and only Thanksgiving in Washington State with Dear’s family with us. Dear’s father died in 1985 a couple months before our Katie was born. We moved Dear’s mother up to Washington with us in 1988 and built a mother-in-law apartment for her in our daylight basement.

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I’m guessing this was 1989 or so. Dear’s brother and SIL at the head of the table, to the right their two oldest girls (they have one more daughter born in 1991), our three, BIL Steve with glasses that rival mine, sister Lana, me, brother Leonard (Lana’s twin) and Dear’s mother Verna. We left this house behind in 1997.

If you live in the U.S.A. where are you celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Do you cook or are you invited elsewhere?

I’m going to link up with Maggie from Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday and later this week to ABC Wednesday for T is for Thanksgiving with additional thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger’s team of ABC’ers.

ABC Wednesday is close to starting their Farewell Tour in Blogdom and we were challenged to come up with our first ABC Wednesday Post.

You can see my first post in February of 2008 by clicking on, D is for…