My Favorite Valentines

I bought these cute felt envelopes a year ago at the after Valentine’s Day sales. They are about 9 x 12. Addy got some leggings, long sleeve tees and a book plus a little stuffed Valentine bear.

Jaymison got some clothes and a stuffed Valentine doggy.

I got to babysit early this morning while Dan and Jamie went out for breakfast.

JJ was asleep and woke up after his parents were gone and I was relieved he didn’t seem to mind that they were gone and that I was on morning duty. He ate all his breakfast for Baba.

Addy came out to the living area after waking up and before her folks headed out the door. She was fine staying with Baba, too. We read her new book and waited for JJ to wake up. The photos I have of her are from yesterday when we did some baking together with her mommy and while JJ had a nap.

Baba, take a picture of the chocolate!

And I cannot forget my Dear who has been my very favorite Valentine since 1972!

We are eating in today having steak, baked potatoes, butternut squash and something green. A Strawberry Boston White Creme cake/pie for dessert that called out to me at Safeway Grocery Store. It was only $5.00 today. Speaking of calling out when I was shopping in the aisles I heard a familiar little voice say, “there’s Baba!” What fun it is to live in a small country town and be able to bump into our loved ones at the stores!! Addy and I had some unexpected extra time for hugs and a kiss. Hope you have a day and weekend filled with lovely things.

Valentine’s Day Antique Postcards

Dear’s Great Great Aunt Emma received these postcards over the years. The postmarks are from 1901 to 1909. She had quite a collection of postcards for every holiday and birthdays and from around the world.

We have some special things planned around Valentine’s Day. Baking cookies with grands tomorrow. We will be eating in not out on Friday. Are you doing anything special?

Heart to Heart

Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (1Peter 3: 3-4)

As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man. (Proverbs 27:19)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

Thinking about my heart condition while preparing my Valentine decor post.

We had light snow throughout Wednesday. We expected an inch and a half and it looks like we got about 4 inches instead. Just when the driveway was clear.

Dear is shifting from the kitchen painting project to our laundry room instead for a few days. He’s been painting non stop for over a week and needs a bit of a break from painting before he starts up again. He will be moving the door into the laundry room 6 inches. This project will involve some dry walling and framing of a new doorway.

With 6 more inches on the washer/dryer side of the room we’ll be able to move the over sized refrigerator to that side of the room and get it plugged into the appropriate type of outlet. The refrigerator is so deep we needed the extra 6 inches so we could open and close the door. We are looking forward to better use of our laundry room space.

Have a good Thursday and remember to guard your heart!

My Favorite Valentine

For Mosaic Monday this week I’m sharing photos and mosaics/collages of Friday last (2-15-19).

Before we left for the Spokane airport on Friday morning I had the table set and ready for our Friday evening dinner for 6.

We picked up our granddaughter’s granny at the Spokane airport and stopped for lunch in Deer Park on our way back to Colville. The roads were fine for us even with the snow falling in Spokane. We enjoyed a new spot to us in Deer Park called the Salty Dog. At the Salty Dog we took this selfie to send to our granddaughter letting her know that Granny and Baba love her.

We made it home by 3:30 and began food preparations for our dinner together at 5:00. Filet Mignon, roasted vegetables, salad with Persian dressing and a Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake for dessert.

Addy was sporting some new clothes that Auntie LoLo (Laura) sent her in the mail.

Addy loved seeing all the hearts and was skillful in taking them off and putting them back. She has great small motor skills.

We’ve had more snow since Friday and I’ve been enjoying taking lots of photos of birds that have congregated on one particular bush in our back yard. For now I’m sharing these photos for Angie’s Mosaic Monday. I really appreciate you, Angie. You are a great hostess for this meme!

Thoughtful Thursday

This thoughtful Thursday happens to be Valentine’s Day, too.

Here’s a heart shaped box of handpicked See’s chocolates. True confession: I bought these as a gift to myself a few years ago to fulfill a wish I had in my head for a heart shaped box of candy. Some of the desires in your head won’t be fulfilled by wishing. Truth be told I’m not comfortable with some earthly person knowing the thoughts in my head. Many thoughts and desires aren’t worthy to be known or fulfilled. I’m thankful God is gracious and kind and He will not keep His justified wrath against me. This graciousness and kindness comes to me because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross for me and because God called me to follow Him. His kindness transforms me and my thoughts.

Here’s a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I didn’t buy these for myself. I don’t expect flowers on Valentine’s Day or any day. When flowers do get delivered I really appreciate them.

While I type I’m listening to a sermon on Biblical love by John MacArthur. Some of my takeaways: I need to be motivated and guided by self sacrificial love if I’m following Jesus. Biblical love is self-sacrificial love that motivates me to serve friends and enemies in love.

Hope you can accept the love that God has given to you in Jesus Christ.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine Mosaics

This Thursday is Valentine’s Day. For mosaic Monday I’m featuring a few pieces of décor I’ve purchased in the past for this day. Last year after Valentine’s day I added some pieces that I was able to pick up at Hobby Lobby for 90% off the original price.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

I prefer the Valentine’s Day Cards from the 50’s or antique cards.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Time will tell if we will have some company to sit around the Valentine Day table for a meal.

And here’s our favorite little Valentine enjoying her M & M treats for being a big girl.

Do you make plans for Valentine’s Day or do you just let it slide by?

Linking up with Angie for Mosaic Monday. Thanks for being a great hostess for this meme, Angie!

Heart Felt Hodgepodge

1. When’s the last time you had a heart to heart talk with someone? A change of heart? Experienced figurative ‘heart failure?’

We’ve had lots of heart to heart talks recently around our Pop’s failing health.

A change of heart: I’ve had a change of heart by praying for some folks in my life that I’ve wanted to give a piece of my mind to or punch. Praying for them gives me a different perspective.

Heart Failure: Watching the Olympics and seeing some crashes or falls or amazing spins in the air. Yikes!

2. Champagne, chocolates, flowers…what’s your Valentine pleasure? Any special plans for the day?

A confession about the heart shaped box of chocolates above. I had never in my life received a heart shaped fancy box of candy on Valentine’s day and a few years ago I decided to treat myself to one. I’ve received flowers or chocolates (not in a heart shaped box) or a nice card but that evasive heart shaped box of chocolates was haunting me. It haunts no more! See’s Candy’s are favorites in these parts.

I like all three of those things but I don’t need them on Valentine’s Day. Tonight we are having our weekly small group gathering at our house. No one had plans so they all opted to continue on. I did a little decorating for the day.

3. Are you a hopeless romantic or do you fall more in the category of practical and pragmatic? What’s a gesture you find romantic?

Absolutely more practical or pragmatic. I find kindness, encouragement and service on Dear’s part to be romantic.

4. Do you ask a lot of questions in life or are you pretty content with what you already know?

I wonder a lot and that’s why I named my blog The Happy Wonderer. My wondering leads me to research and find out, to travel and see, and sometimes that involves verbal questions.

5. Your favorite power ballad?

First off, I had to google Power Ballad to see what it was. I’ll have to go with Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. I went to our Junior/Senior prom at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1967 and my date made reservations for dinner at the famous Cocoanut Grove where the Righteous Brothers sang. Pretty amazing. Then in 1968 I was watching television when presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel. Talk about a heart failure moment. If I hadn’t packed away my scrapbook from those years I would have taken a photo of some memorabilia from that time. Here’s what I wore for the prom and the Righteous Brothers. My dear mom sewed this dress for me.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Bottoms up! Still basking in the hours I got to spend with this little one who has learned so many new tricks. Our kids will all be together this coming weekend and that makes me smile. It’s been a long time since uncles and aunties have seen Addy face to face. Dear and I will be heading to eastern Washington the end of February.

Speaking of love…

These two are the last of the Bagdanov siblings left who fled Russia walking to Persia and later immigrating to the U.S.A. My Aunt Anna came to visit my pop last week and she walked into the room with her walker and took a few steps on her own to hug him, give him a kiss and then she asked him not to leave her alone on this earth. She said, “Don’t leave me”. The doctors told Anna she had a month to live several years ago. That comment from the doctor made her consider her future and she told our pop that she was ready to listen to him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and was ready to be born again. Such a sweet moment for our pop and mom and all of us a few years ago. My pop and mom witnessed to all of their siblings over the years from 1963 on when my pop was born again.

Linking up for Wednesday Hodgepodge where Joyce asks the questions From This Side of the Pond and we answer.

We’ve had a lovely string of days without rain and with lots of sunshine. It’s good for the soul. It’s been quite cold but the sun warms things nicely.

Shrove, Fat, Mardi Gras, Ash and Valentine’s

Tuesday of this week is Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday for our friends across the Pond and Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday for some in the U.S.A. Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s day lands on this day this year. That’s a cruel calendar joke if you are giving up sweets or sugar for Lent.

My Christmas poinsettia that I bought for ninety seven cents after Christmas is now a Valentine’s day poinsettia with the glittery hearts I added to it. It’s holding up with no help from me.

I brought out the red and pink for Valentine’s day and I am ignoring the purple/green/yellow of Mardi Gras. I’m considering making a good batch of pancakes for Shrove Tuesday joining our friends across the pond for Pancake Tuesday.

Pigs in a blanket for Shrove Tuesday?

Or Potato Pancakes? I’ll probably try some yogurt pancakes because I got a free tub of plain yogurt this week.

No heart shaped box of chocolates this year but I will buy a couple bags of chocolates for our small group who will be gathering here on Valentine’s day evening. We gave them the option to cancel but no one had plans so we are forging ahead with the group gathering.

The vintage Valentine’s are the best…do you agree?

I haven’t decided if I’ll set something aside for Lent this year. I will do some reading and listening to devotionals that prepare my heart and mind for this Lenten season culminating with Easter.

Head over to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog for my Ground Chicken Chili recipe.

Happy Valentine’s Day

v-day-004We invited Josh and Laura over for an early Valentine’s Day meal. (We also invited Katie and Andrew but they were booked solid for Sunday and Tuesday) This happened on Sunday late afternoon. At first I set the table with these plates but then decided the main course would be served better in a bowl.

v-day-009

v-day-006Dear and I tackled Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon buying all the ingredients on Saturday and starting some of the steps then and finishing it on Sunday.

v-day-017This one is a bit blurry, so here’s another one.

v-day-016This meal deserves lots of photos since the process was more complicated than it needed to be. I love Julia but her editors could have made the instructions easier and more precise. The final product was delicious and we’ll make it again with just a few adjustments.

v-day-013One of the steps was preparing these lovely pearl onions and then adding mushrooms cooking them to their delicious state and then adding them to the beef that had cooked for a few hours.

p1070146On Saturday we picked up several meaty soup bones and per Jacque and Julia’s instructions (a little vague) we made our own beef stock after roasting these bones topped with these vegetables. The steps after the roasting were the really vague part but we used our own skills to pull it off and the stock was delicious and ready for our Sunday Boeuf Bourguignon creation which is simpler to just call beef stew. Everything came together nicely even though we laughed and scratched our heads about some of the instructions, reading them out loud to each other several times. Besides Julia’s 2 classic cookbooks we have a cookbook called Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home (Jacques Pepin). This cookbook also has the stew recipe in it so we were flipping back and forth between the two books.

p1070147It was a fun thing to do together. I got the idea for cooking a Valentines meal with your love instead of going out from a blog post and I forget who is the one who suggested this. If it was you, please let me know. The suggestion was to pick something you had never tried cooking before. There were only a couple times we stepped on each other’s toes.

v-day-005When we got the text saying Josh and Laura could join us on Sunday I realized I was so wrapped up with Julia I forgot about dessert so before church we stopped by the store to buy a chocolate cake mix and raspberries. It was my plan to make these small heart shaped cakes but there was enough batter left to make this medium heart shaped cake, too.

v-day-011This medium sized cake with pink pearls went home with Josh and Laura so that Laura could take it to work and share it with her co-workers. It was devoured and enjoyed.

v-day-019I served the little heart shaped cakes on a bed of raspberry coulis (sauce) for the four of us.

I forgot to take a photo of the four of us while we enjoyed our meal so I’ll add this photo of Josh and Laura taken another time and in another place.

16002909_10211736628877145_8481448021831948219_nAnd in the “spirit” of selfies I’ll add this one of Dear and me taken yesterday with our shades on, too.

16711954_10212184236749413_1190845926328543452_nOur evening together was so enjoyable and it was good to get caught up on some current details of our lives. After dinner and dessert we watched a couple episodes of Hunted together. It was new to all of us but Josh and we all enjoyed it. I may or may not have watched a few more episodes after Josh and Laura headed home. It’s a little disconcerting learning how much of all of our lives can be found out if someone with skills wants to find out. Big brother really is watching us.

I’ll leave you with a couple sentiments and a solid truth for this and every day, not just Valentine’s Day!

16729031_10212190183378075_7140222896236361334_nThe upper sign was a gift from Josh and Laura for our anniversary one year. The heart has part of the solid truth you can depend on. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (KJV)

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Hug your loved ones and tell them you love them!