Overflowing With Gratitude

We had 4 days of family time living under the same roof and enjoying cooking for each other, eating together, working together, and play time, too. We had a sit down Thanksgiving meal together on Saturday evening with all the trimmings and we were stuffed.

Dan showed us the skull and antlers of the Buck he preserved from our first annual family hunting trip in October.

Dan and Jamie indulged me and let Addy have an early Christmas opening the stocking filled with little things from Gramps and Baba. We will not be with Dan, Jamie and Addy on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day this year so it was fun to enjoy this early gift giving.

The elephant was her favorite and she really wasn’t too sure about the soft dolly.

Josh and Laura flew home on Sunday and we enjoyed some family shots before they left for the airport.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!
 It is like the precious oil on the head,
    running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
    running down on the collar of his robes!

Psalm 133:1-2 (ESV)

The family selfie. We were sad that Andrew was not able to travel with us this time. A degree in Aeronautical Engineering takes lots of study and class time and his fall quarter is overloaded with classes.

Katie, Dear and I had one more evening to spend with Dan, Jamie and Daddy’s Girl.

Early on Monday morning we posed for our obligatory goodbye photos.

So thankful for this little girl and all the joy she has brought into our family dynamic.

We thought we’d have rain for our full 6 hours of travel time but thankfully we had some very short periods of sunshine breaking through and we enjoyed several rainbows on our drive home.

We spotted this rainbow passing through Ellensburg, Washington. Yep…I have a burg.

Back at the home front Dear went right into action removing the old counter tops. We are currently without counters, our cook top and our sink. Yikes. Hopefully things will get installed for sure on Wednesday so I can cook our portion of the Thanksgiving meal we are taking to our friend’s home on Thanksgiving Day. Good thing we did not plan on a Thanksgiving meal at this old house this year!

We are thankful to the God who is who was and who is to come for all he has done for us and to us during our lifetime.

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
    who was and is and is to come!” Revelation 1:8 (ESV)

Hope your Thanksgiving week is shaping up nicely. Are you cooking or is someone else doing the hosting and cooking? For our Canadian friends who have already enjoyed Thanksgiving, have you started your Christmas decorating?

Historical Hodgepodge

1. What takes you out of your comfort zone?

A very manicured home or a completely cluttered home. I like something in the middle with comfortable places to sit.  Driving on snow and ice throws me over the edge. Lying in a dentist’s chair makes my blood pressure go up. Right now because my master bathroom is totally gutted (see photo above) I’m way out of my comfort zone.

2. Your least favorite spice?

This is a tough one for me. I like a variety of spices but not used in an overpowering way. I’ll say my least favorite is curry.

3. What’s a small change you’d like to make?

Flossing so I can use up the 500 free floss containers the dental hygienist has gifted me over the years. BTW: she wouldn’t think this is a small change.

4. Do you enjoy visiting historic homes?  What historic home near you is open to visitors? Have you been?

Yes, and yes. The closest historical buildings I’ve been to are located at Bothell Landing. Yes I’ve been to the landing but I’ve only seen the outside of the buildings.

Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they’re as follows-

Monticello (Jefferson’s home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway’s home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington’s home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA)

Have you been to any on the list?

img317In the early 1970’s my best friend and I made a trip east from Southern California and one of the places we visited was Mount Vernon. I have a post about my first plane ride and all we saw and experienced here.

Biltmore 004

Biltmore 002Our daughter and I were at The Biltmore in Asheville in May of 2014 on a cross country trip we made. I have several posts of the gardens and grounds. One of the posts and photos is here.

If so, of the homes you’ve visited which one was your favorite?

I’ll have to say that the Biltmore was my favorite of these homes.

Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit?

Since I’ve never been to New Orleans I’ll say Longue Vue House and Gardens.

5. What’s something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Does that make you sad or glad?

Dvd’s and dvd players. I’m pretty neutral about it.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are having an early family Thanksgiving this weekend. We are going over the mountains and through the woods to granddaughter’s house. She’ll be 8 months old on November 20th. We’re slowly accepting some big changes at this old house. We are finally saying that Dear is retired instead of unemployed. With that fact there are many new choices to consider.

Here we are halfway through November! How did that happen?

Linking up with Joyce From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Barns, Pumpkins, Corn Mazes and More!

On Sunday October 15th the girls headed to Knight Farm to enjoy the corn maze and pumpkin patch. The Barn built in 1907 is on the Washington State Heritage Barn Register.

With corn maze map in hand (Katie’s hand) we set off for the maze entrance.

Katie masterfully led us to each checkpoint in the maze never making a wrong turn.

Addy started out awake and soon fell fast asleep.

We started at the bottom at station #10 and ended our trek at station #1.

When we were done with the maze Addy woke up and we picked out 3 pumpkins. One for daddy, one for mommy, and one for Addy.

Yep, the cutest little pumpkin in the patch!

While in the maze I spotted these farms with barns in the distance.

The guys were done hunting on Sunday with early success bringing a buck home just after noon.  Andrew had to leave us all to drive the 350 miles back to Seattle so he could be in class on Monday morning. Dear, Josh and Dan started the hard work of prepping the venison while we were away at the pumpkin patch.

I spared everyone the full image of the buck in the back of our son’s truck but you can see the antlers if you look closely. One side of the antlers look like they are growing out of Joshua’s head. Andrew left before they had the celebratory toast.

Addy with auntie Katie before we got dressed for the pumpkin patch. She was interested in the guys excitement in retelling the story of how their successful hunting morning unfolded.

Linking up with Tom for The Barn Collective and Maggie at Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday.

My Surprising Life Hodgepodge

1. What’s surprised you most about your life or life in general? 
Looking back the things that have surprised me most in life are the people God has put in my life, the places and adventures I have enjoyed and the protection from God that I benefited from on these adventures.
Here’s a short list of some surprises in my life:
That God brought Dear and I together during our time as part of a Christian Rock Band performing in the U.S. and Great Britain.
That we had three children.
That we moved to Washington State away from all our extended family for Dear to pursue a whole new career.
That our three children married helpmates who love God and we’ve enjoyed so many adventures with all of them.
That through my blogging experience God blessed me with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Who would have guessed I would be part of this group of women who love God, their families, are growing disciples of Jesus and who love to feed orphans and widows with our royalties? The adventures I’ve had with this group alone is mind boggling.
That we are now enjoying our first little grand.
That it looks like we’ll be moving away from the City to the Country. I’ve been a city mouse all my life…
That God is good to me and has surprised me my whole life long.
2.  Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin pie…you have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?
It’s a toss up between butternut squash soup and sweet potato fries.

3. What’s a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?

I went to Goodreads and looked at their list of top 200 books from Washington State and I haven’t read even one. My daughter read all the Twilight series. The top votes went to Snow Falling on Cedars. The only book on the list that looks interesting to me is The Boys in the Boat.
4. There are 60 days until Christmas…have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?

No, I have not shopped at all yet. We have just had our family discussion on what Christmas will look like this year. The only thing that is organized for the holidays is the fact that I have everything in the attic in it’s proper containers. The holidays that I choose to gather decor for have their own bins, etc. I hope our kitchen and master bath renovations will be completed (kitchen) before Thanksgiving and (master bath) before Christmas.

5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you’d like to visit one day? The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-

SeaJack #6 010The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis’s Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee’s Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattagnooa and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)

How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?

SeaJack #6 025Back in May of 2014 our daughter and I drove from Seattle to Jacksonville, North Carolina to set her up in an apartment just before her Marine husband returned from a long tour of duty in Afghanistan. We drove through part of Tennessee to get to North Carolina. Our first stop was Hendersonville to spend the night at the home of one of Andrew’s Marine buddies who was in Afghanistan with him. The next day we drove through part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and had a sandwich in Gatlinburg. We drove through Pigeon Forge to get to Gatlinburg. That is one weird town. Click here and you’ll see my post from our drive through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

I’ll have to pass on traveling to Tennessee again.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Mommy and Addy. We had 7 days enjoying her and watching her every move from October 12-19. She cut her first tooth upon turning 7 months old.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond who asks the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. And thank you to everyone who took the time to read my answers. I appreciate your time and comments.

 

A Worthy Side Trip

On Thursday October 12th we struck out early from our home in Western Washington for our first annual family hunting trip in Eastern Washington. Our kids, their spouses, and our little grand enjoyed several days together all sleeping under the same roof.  I will be sharing posts from our times together over the next several days. First we had to get there. Our trip from our home to our son’s home in Colville, Washington is about 351 miles.

We generally leave our home before 6am and our first stop is breakfast at The Cottage Cafe in Cle Elum on the eastern side of the highest pass we cross over the Cascade mountain range. Continuing on we descend into Central Washington with rolling hillsides and lots of farmland. One of the highlights of our trip is crossing the Columbia river at Vantage. On this trip Dear was getting sleepy and we pulled over at the Wild Horse Monument just after the Vantage Bridge to switch drivers. This was about 135 miles into our trip. I drove the next 147 miles to Spokane and since I was at the wheel I veered off our normal route turning right on Division instead of left to try to find this beautiful church.

The bell tower of this church can be seen from many parts of Spokane and I had seen it on so many trips always wanting to get to it and inspect it closer. It proved a little elusive but with Dear’s help we finally found it and we parked and enjoyed a walk about it and were so happy to see the front door wide open so we could go inside, too.

The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

St. John’s Cathedral is one of the few examples in the United States of classic Gothic architecture. The Cathedral, begun in 1925, is the fulfillment of the dream of the Right Reverend Edward Makin Cross, third Bishop of Spokane.

On our drive looking for this cathedral in Spokane south of I-90 we discovered some very nice neighborhoods and a beautiful park we’d like to return to in the future. We had the cathedral to ourselves on this day and we were happy to take it all in. After our side trip we headed north on Division to stop at Costco before we continued the one hour north to our kids’ home. More posts on our family time to come soon.

Linking up to Tom’s Tuesday Treasures and also Our World Tuesday. Thank you to our hosts and hostesses.

Home Again…

We had a lot of joy being with this little one for several days in a row. Lots to share from our family time in northeastern Washington. We drove home today and we were happy it only poured down rain when we approached Snoqualmie Pass and descended on this side of the Cascades. The vibrant Fall colors out the windows as we drove entertained me as well as a book on cd by Louise Penny.

Lots of fallen leaves welcomed us home on our driveway and yard. Do you deal with lots of leaves in the fall where you live?

Wednesday Wonder

Isn’t this a welcoming autumn driveway? I wonder who lives at the end of it. This was taken last Thursday when we arrived in Colville. Today is our last full day here and we’ll be heading home to rain, rain and more rain if the forecasters got things right. We had quite a wind event come through here yesterday that caused a few problems in the county but thankfully power stayed on here on the top of our kids’ mountain. I wonder how things are where you live.