Anniversary Hodgepodge

1. What title would you give this current chapter of your life?

Preparing for Change

Today is our 43rd wedding anniversary and we are preparing for another major change in our lives. We were married in 1974 and in 1975 we bought our first home moving to Huntington Beach from West Los Angeles. In 1976 we moved to our second home in Huntington Beach where our two sons were born. The photo above is from our first Christmas in that home. In 1984 we moved from Huntington Beach to Ventura, California with our two young sons (our hearts and minds are with the people of Ventura during the latest Thomas Fire). In 1988 we made the huge move from California to Washington State with our two sons and 3 year old daughter so Dear could go back to school (University of Washington) to become a Pharmacist. We settled into Washington State nicely but in 1996 we experienced a major landslide behind our dream home and after many setbacks and huge costs mounting on saving our home we walked away and gave the home and all our equity to the bank. We lived in 3 rentals. A month after moving into our 3rd rental home in 1998 the owners told us they needed to sell the home even though we had a 1 year lease. We could not face another move and offered to buy the house and were surprised that the bank would give us a loan since we had defaulted on our landslide home. We have been in this old house, the only house we didn’t really choose to buy for almost 20 years. I’ll need to add that because of a job change we moved to Camarillo, California for 4 years from 2006-2010. We did not sell this old house but left two of our adult children to live in it and to care for it while we were gone. Now we are making some extra improvements on this old house to get it ready to sell in Spring of 2018 and make a major move across the mountains to a small country town in northeast Washington. I have to say that change at this stage of life is a little more scary then when we were in our twenties, thirties, forties, or fifties!

But…the consolation is that we will be close to one of our sons, daughter-in-law and little miss Addy!

2. December 6 is National Microwave Oven Day. Who knew? Besides popcorn and coffee reheats, what’s the most common thing you microwave? Could you get along without a microwave?

Frozen entrees like lasagna or corn on the cob or artichokes. Yes, I’d be able to survive without a microwave.

3. If you could insert yourself into any Christmas carol and experience the lyrics in real life, which Christmas carol lyric would you choose and why?

Away in a Manger

4. Describe the most beautiful drive you’ve ever taken.

We’ve experienced so many beautiful drives that it’s very hard to choose one. I’ll choose drives in the Cotswolds on narrow lanes that were so scary but beautiful.

5. What’s something on your Christmas list this year? (an actual list or figuratively speaking, either one)

I went with actual. Gift cards to nice restaurants in Seattle. We are moving to a very small country town 6 hours from Seattle and I want to get my fill of the restaurants I’ll miss.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance,
baptism without church discipline,
Communion without confession….
Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for providing the questions and to all of you who take the time to read our answers.

This morning we see that there are multiple fires in Southern California fanned by Santa Ana Winds. A few freeways have been shut down. I’m sad to see the fires near the Getty Center, Santa Clarita, San Bernardino and of course Ventura. Prayers are up for the people in the paths of these fires and all those who have to evacuate. So frightening, thinking of all my family and friends down there. Go outside and water down your roofs! Be wise about evacuating!

Merry and Bright

We met at Herb and Anneliese’s home this year for our annual Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas dinner party. We were greeted to their beautiful home and enjoyed many well thought out details of the season.

We all contributed some dishes for our gathering from appetizers to main course and dessert. Julies gluten free roll-ups were a big hit.

It had been a while since this many of us were together and it was good to catch up with one another.

Anneliese went the extra mile with veggies, fried potatoes, cucumber salad and home made rolls along with her Rouladen.

It was Dear and my first time enjoying Anneliese’s Rouladen and Bev’s Spaetzle and both dishes were delicious. Judy’s salad was a great starter to our meal.

For our exchange we decided to each bring one gift from our kitchen or something gathered for our kitchens to share with one another. We brought one gift and left with one gift.

We roused the guys to help take our annual Christmas shot and Lovella’s beloved captured both sides of the photo shoot.

Lovella’s Black Forest Torte and Marg’s Hazelnut Roll topped off the evening.

Dear and I headed for the border at 9:30 and were safely home by 11:10. We had two great border crossings and safe roads. We are in recuperating mode here at this old house. No decorations here yet so it was really nice to enjoy Anneliese’s home all decorated and ready to go.

First Christmas Party of 2017

Dear and I traveled to Abbotsford, Canada yesterday to start off the Christmas season with these “girls” and their husbands. Herb and Anneliese opened their festive and warm home to the 16 of us for the evening. We missed our two Manitoba girls and their husbands. I’ll share photos from our evening together soon. Today I’m recuperating from all that good food and the drive to Canada and home again.

The Prince of Peace Is Come ~ Hymn

The Prince of Peace Is Come

The Prince of Peace is come,
Ye nations shout and sing;
Let men and angels join their songs,
To hail this glorious King.

He takes the servant’s form;
He lays His glory by;
His heavenly Father’s bosom leaves,
And throne of majesty.

Light of the world He comes,
The blind receive their sight;
The mind now feels His gladdening ray,
And all within is light.

Physician blest He came,
And well employs His art;
With ease He makes the bruisèd whole,
And heals the broken heart.

His tears, His sighs and pains
Ease to the wounded give;
The kind physician dies to make
The dying patients live.

The great Redeemer comes,
And sounds a jubilee:
He burst the prison doors, and bids
The captive souls go free.

Evangelist divine,
He makes the Gospel known;
The poor the joyful tidings hear,
And their great prophet own.

Whilst gracious God I hear
Thy Gospel’s joyful sound,
May my glad heart, my tongue, my life,
Be all obedience found.

Words: John Needham, 1768.

This and That…

It’s still a little messy around here but we are enjoying running water and a cook top again.  The backsplash should all be on the wall sometime later today and then tomorrow or Monday the grouting can be done. It’s nice to know that for sure it will all be done well before Christmas.

Our little Addy is enjoying new foods introduced into her diet. Our DIL sent us this latest photo. It makes me smile. She’s eating pumpkin, chicken, and pear. Jamie makes Addy’s food instead of using overly processed baby food from the store.

Last night we had a little birthday party dinner for our Daughter in law/love, Laura. We enjoyed Lovella’s Cocktail Sausage Wreath as an appetizer and it was a big hit! I’m going to make it again on Wednesday for our Small Group Christmas gathering. Click on Lovella’s name to head over to Mennonite Girls Can Cook to see the method.

I’m learning so many new things from my SIL Kelly’s Advent in Art series. Today is Day 2 Mosaic in Chora Church, Turkey. I’m getting an art history lesson that I’ve never had before.

Happy first Advent weekend everyone!

Sneak Peek

So happy to announce that our counter tops were installed on Wednesday by noon. We are still miles away from a fully functioning kitchen. Our cook top is connected to gas and ready to go. Our sink and dishwasher still need some plumbing parts to get things running well. The new sink is deeper than the old one so we have to make adjustments. Dear started the layout and planning for the backsplash and as soon as the sink and dishwasher are up and running he’ll start on the subway tile. Last but not least will be the window trim. Good thing he’s retired!

When it’s all done I’ll do a full before and after post. We are pleased with the quartz! It’s called White Peppercorn.

I’m off to a Seattle Sounders Soccer game with my kids tonight that will determine if we go to the finals again this year. Go Sounders!

UPDATE:

We won! The Seattle Sounders are Western Conference Champions again this year!

The Sounders will play Toronto in Toronto on December 9th.

These two booked their flight to the game and now all they need are tickets for the game!

What a fun time celebrating together and now we are looking forward to watching the final.

My Sister-in-law Kelly has been an educator for many years and she’s posting an Advent Series called Advent in Art. It’s free and you can sign up to receive the daily prompts by following the link. If you are homeschooling this will enrich your art history program.

The Advent Season has begun and it’s snowing on my blog again. Thankful!

What About You Hodgpodge

1.  What’s something blogging has taught you about yourself?

I’m social and I like to meet new people and see and experience new things. Blogging has opened up a whole new world to me with a walking buddy while I was living in Southern California (Willow’s Cottage), tour guides on trips to Canada (Pondside), outings with blogging friends to museums in California (Willows Cottage and Sara), a meet up and shopping trips with a blogging friend from Orange County who is no longer blogging, a meal with another blogging friend in the Sacramento area (Scrabblequeen) Lunch in Kansas with another blogging friend who is no longer blogging. The most amazing impact on my life that came to me through blogging is my association with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. These nine women have enriched my life in more ways then I can count. I’m so thankful to God for them and the lives they lead in service to others and all the dear friends I’ve met in person or enjoyed by visiting their blogs. I’m ready and willing to meet any more of you who travel to my part of the world.

2.  Leftovers…are you in the ‘reheat and eat’ camp or the ‘put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them’ camp? What’s your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?

Both. I like small amounts of leftovers but I get tired of some things that linger in the fridge. I really enjoy Stroganoff and tuna noodle as leftovers. Soggy salads aren’t my cup of tea.

3. ‘Me time’…your thoughts?

At this stage of life I have plenty of “Me Time”. When my children were living under our roof “me time” was a rare commodity. I don’t think it’s too healthy to think too much about ME. There are seasons of life where we have more time for self and seasons with less time for self.

4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

Emotional support.

5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.

 Cabbage as in Borsch. Marinated lamb cooking on the barbecue. Lots of rice.  Sour cream as a side dish. Blintzes swimming in butter and half and half. Good fresh bread. In other words heritage food was the smell of my childhood. My mother’s and father’s love language was providing good eats for their family and others. We would probably be considered poor growing up but one thing we never lacked was tasty food.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Yippee, Yahoo, our countertops are being installed this morning, one week late! Better late then never! In the meantime I’ve accomplished some organizing and thinning out of stuff at this old house with the anticipation of moving next June! No Christmas decorating at this old house yet till we clean up the mess from the new countertops going in. Next week sounds like a good week to get a tree and start decorating.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions!