Before the New Year

I posted this collage of our daughter Katie on Facebook with this birthday message;

Happiest of Birthdays to our little girl who was a special surprise from God all those years ago in Ventura, California. Your dad and I are so thankful to God for His watch care over you and for the place He has brought you to in your life. We love our beautiful, smart, kind, precise, meticulous, precious girl! We pray that the Lord will guide you continually. From Spurgeon, “There are no dilemmas out of which you will not be delivered if you live near to God and your heart is kept warm with holy love. You will not go astray in the company of God.”

Sunday December 27th was our Katie’s birthday and it was a full day of fun in the snow and then a snowflake taco dinner party with Spice Applesauce birthday cake.

The kids spent the day at Dan and Jamie’s playing in the snow and the guys helped Dan get caught up on chopping wood for their fireplace.

Santa brought JJ a new battery powered tractor.

Some steamed frothy milk to warm up before naps.

And a great finale to the B-I-B-L-E…Bible!

Now for some cuddle winding down time to calm down for his nap…JJ’s not Joshua’s. 🙂

The older crew came back to our place to get ready for the Birthday party.

It was a snowflake table setting for our winter girl. Now here’s the funny story about the candles on the table. The center candle in the table setting was a battery operated candle. All eight of the other candle holders had votives in them that needed to be lit. I asked Dear to please light the candles on the table while I finished up the taco shells for dinner. I heard some belly laughter from the dining room when everyone realized Dear also tried to light the battery operated candle. That candle looks even more authentic now!

Cake first or presents first?

A delightful birthday from beginning to end! We love you Katie!

Praying that God will increase your love and devotion to Him in this next year!

Family Moments Hodgepodge

1. Tell us about your favorite moment or share one of the bright spots from the year we’re leaving behind.
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My favorite moment was when our Colville kids decided enough was enough and we were allowed to hug our grandchildren again. Oh Happy Day!
2. What do you wish you’d known at the start of 2020? Elaborate.
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I wish I’d known that travel would be so adversely affected because of the COVID. I wouldn’t have booked our flights to London and our lodging in Oxford. Then I wouldn’t have had to spend any time cancelling and wondering if we’d get our money back. Thankfully we were refunded for everything.
3. Best book you read this year? If you did not read any books this year, what’s the best thing you ate all year? We’ve all eaten, right?
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Nonfiction: Besides the Bible which is by far the best, Only Jesus (What It Really Means To Be Saved) by John MacArthur
Fiction: All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
This was the only nonfiction book I read all year and it wasn’t until December that I read it!
4. The Pantone Colors of the year for 2021 are ultimate gray and illuminating yellow (a bright shade)…are you a fan? Would we find either of these colors in your home or wardrobe?
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The ultimate gray could be found but I would not choose the illuminating yellow. We have some gray in our home and wardrobes but no illuminating yellow.
5. If you were/are making a list of 21 things to do/accomplish in 2021 what is one thing that would be on it?
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Weeding out things that I don’t want to leave to our children to deal with is one of the 21 things to accomplish in 2021!
6. Insert your own random thought here.
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Our family of 10 had a wonderful few days together over Christmas and we are so thankful for the relationship strengthening time we had!
Our 4 kids from the other side of the Cascade Mountain range left on Tuesday for home. We are thankful for how they honor us, their parents, and how they contribute to our family unity!
Addy asked our “Coast Kids”, “Why don’t you live here with us?” She loves spending time with her aunts and uncles. Addy had several deep questions during our times together. Out of the mouth of Babes…
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Thank you Joyce From This Side of the Pond for your faithful weekly questions that add a midweek boost to our blogging!

Ami the Amish Snowman

Snow!

It started snowing Christmas night and into Boxing day morning. We got between 2 and 3 inches. We bundled up and went outside and tested the snow to see if it was snowman worthy. YES!

Josh had help rolling the snow into the 3 portions we wanted for the snowman. He was placed in the back yard so that we would be able to see him from the family room.

How’s this for a fashion statement. I still had my festive jammies on!

Here’s Josh with Ami the Amish Snowman!

All the helpers.

We think Ami is going to be around for a long time…

Yesterday we celebrated Katie on her birthday. We ate tacos at a snowflake table. That will be a separate post.

Our travelers leave on Tuesday before the next snowfall that is predicted for Wednesday. That one promises several inches of snow.

Boxing Day 2020

We are all awake and Premier League Soccer is on the TV while Dear begins to make his Swedish Pancakes for us to enjoy for Boxing day breakfast. I can hear the false crowd noise while I create this post. All the photos are from Christmas Day 2020. Our Coast Kids arrived to our home shortly after noon and we enjoyed Dear’s Famous Tomato Rice Soup. Our Colville kids arrived to our home after the little ones woke up from their afternoon naps!

So happy to see their aunts and uncles again!

This “Dapper Dan” found his Baba in the kitchen.

Standing Rib Roast, roasted veggies, creamed corn and Yorkshire Pudding. The Christmas dinner tradition continues.

This year we had our first ever birthday cake for Jesus. Addy requested the birthday cake for Jesus.

Her mommy made the cake and we sang Happy Birthday and this little guy…

… covered his ears. Our singing wasn’t that bad!

Christmas Cracker Crowns all around. JJ ripped his off his head!

The artists at work.

She captured the reason we celebrate. Baby Jesus in the manger with Joseph and Mary by his side in the stable.

Thank you to Auntie LoLo for all the great moments she captured with her phone!

Hope you all had a good Christmas Day…

Merry Christmas 2020

From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

С Рождеством Христовым (S Roždestvom Khristovym)

John 1:14 (ESV)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

I’ll see you all after Christmas! Hope all will be merry and bright for you!

Comments are off today! Enjoy your day!

Christmas Eve Day 2020

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!

Happy Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Eve!

Comments are closed today.

Christmas 2020 Hodgepodge

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It was very windy which made it icy cold! The big news from yesterday is that the siding on our new shop is complete! Still lots to be done but what a relief to have all the steel panels on the shop and off our garage floor. I can now park my car in the shop/garage that was already on our property when we bought this country home.

Time for Wednesday Hodgepodge #400! That’s a lot of hodging or podging or hodgepodging. Thank you to Jo From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions, all 2000 of them!

1. I feel like episode 400 cannot go without comment. That’s a whole lot of Hodgepodging folks. 2000 questions if my math is right. So, what’s something you feel like you do 400 times a week?

Good thing you added the feel part. At this stage of life, nearing 70, I feel like I double check a lot. Did I turn out that light? Why did I walk into this room? Did I put deodorant on? Are the doors locked?

2. Tell us where you were and something about what your life looked like in the year 2000?

Yikes, that was before blogging so I pulled out the photo album that had photos from 10/23/99 thru 5/27/01 to get my bearings for the year 2000. We had been living in Kenmore, Washington since October of 1998 in the same home we sold in 2018 to move to Colville. Our oldest turned 21 in January of 2000. We had two family weddings that we traveled to Southern California for in May and July. On December 20th our oldest, Josh, asked his high school sweetheart, Laura, to marry him and she said yes. We are forever blessed by their union.  Dear was working for Immunex in downtown Seattle. I was enjoying my last year in my 40’s.

3. Do you like cinnamon? What’s something you make and enjoy that calls for cinnamon? Of the cinnamon ‘foods’ listed which is your favorite-red hot cinnamon candies, cinnamon toast, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon toast crunch cereal, apple cinnamon oatmeal, churros, an Indian curry?

I do enjoy cinnamon. The Applesauce Spice Cake is a family favorite requested for birthdays and it has cinnamon in it.

Click here for the recipe for the cake.

In that list I’ll choose cinnamon toast as my favorite.

4. Does Christmas 2020 (or Hanukkah) look much like it has in years past, or is this year vastly different for you and your family? How so? How are you feeling about it all?

We are gathering with our children and grandchildren this Christmas as we have in other years so that isn’t changing. Other gatherings aren’t happening like our annual Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas dinner which was sad. Since that is something we travel to Canada for it couldn’t happen because of the border being closed and because of the lockdowns in our countries. I know many are not gathering as usual and I’m sorry about that and for many who are compromised and need to be extra careful. May God bring joy to your gatherings no matter how small.

5. What’s one thing you need or want to do before this year ends?

Plan our daughter’s birthday dinner which will be at our home while they are here for the Christmas celebrations. Her birthday is on December 27th.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Along with my morning Bible reading I’m slowly going through a work by Spurgeon called, Christ’s Glorious Achievements ~ What Jesus Has Done For You. Yesterday I wrote down this quote:

“Man’s books have usually far less in them than we expect, but the book of the Lord is full of surprises, it is a mass of light, a mountain of priceless revelations. We little know what yet lies hidden within the Scriptures.”

I’m hoping that more is uncovered in 2021!

Reminder: We won’t be having our Truth from A to Z Bible Verse Challenge tomorrow or next Thursday. We’ll resume the first Thursday in the New Year!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Twas a Few Nights Before Christmas…

…and a variety of activities are stirring in and out of houses. No sitting on Santa’s lap this year for photos but Santa flew into the Colville airport to hand out gifts to kids. Our grands were there on Saturday morning.

Also on Saturday Dear and our son Dan started installing the siding on the back side of the shop. Earlier in the week Dear installed the back pull up door.

I missed getting outside to get the final photo. They have 3 panels left to go on this side and all the siding will be done. We are so thankful for the help!

Our daughter in law sent us these next photos of Addy and JJ enjoying each other on Sunday. Sibling times like these make our hearts glad!

We had a good trip to Spokane yesterday and found all the things on our list and more.

One of our stops was at the Kiev Market where we load up our freezer with Pelemeni, a family favorite that I’d rather buy than make. While there we bought these lovely Piroshky, two cabbage and one cheese…delicious.

At Costco we filled up our cart with other goodies, some necessaries and a few un-necessaries. I was going to go into TJMaxx but the people line-up outside the store because of “you know what” wasn’t appealing to me and we carried on. Our refrigerators and freezers are full now so no more shopping until after Christmas!

Way down south in California my family was having their annual Christmas Vareniki making day. Vareniki are a Russian treat we’ve enjoyed at Christmas for many years. This year the crew included my two older sisters, one sister-in-law, 4 of our nieces and one grandniece. My mom would be so proud of them all!

My oldest sister Kathy with the finished product which is first boiled and then ready to freeze and then bake in half and half and butter on Christmas Eve. Our family tradition is to stuff these dumplings with a sweet cheese mixture and serve them as a dessert or for breakfast in place of pancakes. We serve them with a dollop of sour cream and maple syrup.

Pierogi and vareniki are actually the same thing. Again, stuffed dumplings, they are common throughout Central and Eastern Europe and most of the old Eastern Bloc states. While vareniki is the more commonly used term in Russia, pierogi are the national dish of Poland, Ukraine and Slovakia.

Today I’ll continue on some cleaning and cooking up some things I can make ahead for all the Christmas meals.

I forgot to mention that for the next two weeks the Thursday Bible Verse Challenge will not be happening. We will resume the challenge the first Thursday in January, January 7th on the letter O.

No Place Like Home

Today is the 5th and last Monday for No Place Like Home hosted by Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage. Thank you, Sandi, I’ve enjoyed this weekly blog carnival.

Today I have some more of our Christmas Decor to share.

 

The vintage angels and Santa and Mrs. Claus were my mother-in-law, Verna’s that got passed down to us.

The hanging wreaths and stars were made by our sons in Sunday School when they were little tykes.

 

These mugs belong to our three children. I can’t remember what year I purchased them but probably the late 80’s.

Four more days if I’m counting correctly. I’m tidying up the bungalow and getting the guest rooms ready for Christmas Day. The only things left to purchase are food items for our meals to have on hand. We already bought our Rib Roasts and I’ll be roasting root veggies plus brussels sprouts and we can’t forget the creamed corn and Yorkshire Pudding. Haven’t decided on dessert yet.

We are on our way to Spokane today (70 miles south) for the last of our shopping. Heading to the Ukrainian Market (Kiev) and Costco to name a couple stops. I’ll visit blogs later tonight.

Hope all is Merry and Bright at your home.