Signs that Teach…

…Good Manners!

Small Points on Table Etiquette

Delicacy of manner at the table stamps both man and woman, for one can, at one glance, discern whether a person has been trained to eat well-i.e. to hold the knife and fork properly, to eat without the slightest sound of the lips, to drink quietly, to use the napkin rightly, to make no noise with any of the implements of the table, and last, but not least, to eat slowly and masticate the food thoroughly. All these points should be most carefully taught to children, and then they will always feel at their ease at the grandest tables in the land.

I’m linking up to ABC Wednesday for the letter G (Good Manners) with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and to Roger and the ABC team!

I’m also linking up later this week with signs, signs hosted by Lesley!

Tonight we will be going out to celebrate our son and daughter in love’s 14th wedding anniversary. Thankfully we won’t be at the grandest table in the land and we won’t have a lot of pressure to exhibit the most perfect table manners. The celebration itself will be grand with 4 of our 6 gracing the table!

Mister B.

M is for Mister B., the marvelous man I’m married to.

Joining in with ABC Wednesday that was begun by Mrs. Nesbitt and is carried on by the ABC team!

My Dear is quite the man. Not only is he a professional in the workplace, giving out medical information but he’s the most handy of men in the home.

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He’s outstanding in his field.

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Dear with our oldest son.

Here is a photo series of one of his latest home projects. It’s taken months to get close to the end of this project but other projects and weather took precedence during this time period.

Before he started on the siding on this end of the house we decided to take down this tree that was serving as a ladder for varmints to get onto our roof.

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He replaced the attic window.

With this old house there is always another project ready to start. The back side of the house will be the final side to get horizontal siding. We are hoping to get that done by July. The tar paper is up and ready for the first half of that project to start.

I will leave you with my Bible Verse Card for the letter M!

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter and Passover. We had a marvelous celebration. Have a good week!

History and Heritage…

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I posted this on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog on Sunday for our Bread for the Journey and I’m re-posting here for my own records on The Happy Wonderer. That’s wonder not wander. I’m adding a few more photos from Russia and Persia in this post. Today I’m linking up with ABC Wednesday with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt, Roger and the ABC Team! I’m also linking up to Testimonial Tuesday #5 at Jerrelea’s Journey.

We are in the middle of a new series on Sundays called “Movement”. As we launched into this series our pastor encouraged us with this statement: “The book of Acts tells the story of a group of first-century, rag-tag followers of the Risen Christ who became the movement that would change the world; it’s God’s movement because He is a God on the move, and He invites us to get on the move with Him.” As a follower of Jesus “I am an integral part of the most powerful, life-changing movement in the history of the world.”
It’s an encouraging exercise to look back over your life and the life of your ancestors to see how God has led and moved you to where you are today.
 My father’s family
My mother with her brother and younger sister.
 For me part of my story is God moving both sets of my grandparents to flee Russia on foot with their children to Iran in the early 1930’s. Both sets of grandparents settled near Tehran where my parents later met and got married. God moved my father with the desire to come to the United States. One of the things that influenced this desire was how my father was treated while working in an U.S. Army base kitchen in Iran. The soldiers were kind to my father and let him take food home to his family because they knew my father’s family was struggling.
My parents with my oldest sister shortly after arriving to Los Angeles, my mother is pregnant with my sister Vera in this photo.
 My parents filed the proper paper work and were granted permission to immigrate to the U.S.A. With my oldest sister they traveled to the U.S.A. settling in Los Angeles shortly after World War II ended. In 1963 my father went to hear Billy Graham at the Los Angeles Coliseum and my father was born again. My father’s decision to follow Jesus turned my family’s world upside down in the right way. That same year I accepted Christ and my new life in the greatest movement of all time began. We won’t know the whole story on how our own lives impact God’s movement till we see Him face to face but we can see part of the story now and be encouraged to carry on and follow Him where he leads us. He doesn’t call us and then leave us alone. He has given us his Spirit, He intercedes for us, He gives us strength. He multiplies the little that we have when we are willing to step out in faith with Him. What an amazing movement to be a part of! You, too, can be a part of this movement. Ask God to reveal Himself to you, to show you the way.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17
Jesus said to them, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Here are a few more photos from Russia and Persia that I promised… Sorry about the quality of some of these but after all they have traveled a long distance!
This one was taken in Russia before my father’s family fled to Iran. This is my paternal babushka’s relatives, the Sisoev’s, in Prelestnaya Village in Russia.
This is my mother next to her brother Paul on the right. My mother is standing next to her future sister-in-law, Nina. Nina is to the left of my mom and Nina’s brother Nikolai is next to her on the left.
My mother with her brother Paul.
These are two families, who were close friends in Iran and considered family to each other. There were also marriages that connected these two families together further. This was taken in Persia after my parents had immigrated to the U.S.A. I believe all but two of them made it to the U.S. My maternal grandfather seated on the lower right was killed in Iran and my maternal grandmother seated next to him immigrated to the U.S. as a widow with my Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina (pictured together upper right). Aunt Nina was part of the Katkov family and the others in this photo are her siblings and mother and father. The little boy between my grandmother and grandfather is my cousin Alex. One of the sisters from this family married a U.S. Soldier stationed in Iran and she is not in this photo. I’m not sure if who I lovingly called babushka Manya (seated next to my babushka Vera) came to the U.S. as a widow, also, or if her husband Nikolai was able to immigrate with his family.
Well this post is long enough for now. When I scan more photos that I came across from Russia and Persia I’ll share.
Hope you have a happy day…

Forty Days of Lent…

We are on the letter F for ABC Wednesday and it’s timely for Fat Tuesday and the Forty Days of Lent. Thank you to Denise Nesbitt and the ABC team.

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Today is Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday (feast of pancakes) which means tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. I did not observe Lent growing up but I had lots of Catholic friends in my schools and was always curious as to why they showed up with a black ash mark on their foreheads on this particular Wednesday. When I found out they were giving up gum or candy for Lent I was more curious as to why. So here’s a little overview of what all this means. This article from the Liverpool Echo really covers things well.

During my school days I made a decision to follow Christ. This was the beginning of my faith journey. This decision and my changing of allegiance has not cost me much compared to the 21 Christians who were savagely beheaded by ISIS just because they were Christians. My cost has been mild compared. I’ve been mocked at times, disregarded, and made fun of. Among some people who view themselves as intellectuals I’ve been considered brainless.

I’ve also received many benefits that far outweigh the cost. As my faith grows and I deny some of my own selfish desires I’ve received the fruit of the Spirit like love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. I fail a lot but I’m forgiven and I carry on in faith that God will continue to lead me and help me fulfill all I’ve been called to do. Each day I have to decide to follow Christ or follow me me me. Some days, many days, it’s all about me! Every day He is faithful.

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When Dear and I were in Great Britain last year we visited Hereford Cathedral and I took photos of this Shrine that illustrates Luke 9:23.

And He said to all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

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So…are you eating pancakes today? Do you observe Lent? What are your plans for Fat Tuesday?

California

California here I come, right back where I started from.

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Where bowers of flowers bloom in the sun.

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Each morning at dawning birdies sing and everything.

Sun kissed Miss says don’t be late.

That’s why I can hardly wait, Open up your golden gate, California here I come.

I was born in California so this is a song I easily claim. I’m happy for my growing up days and my early married days in California but I’m very content to be living in the Seattle area now. I do look forward to my trips back to visit. The top photo is from the plane on our descent into John Wayne Airport. We turned inland at Catalina Island and this is the first time I’ve seen it so clearly from a plane. The beach photos are all from Huntington Beach where one of my sister’s lives.

It’s time for ABC Wednesday and we are on the letter C so I’m sharing some photos from my trip to Southern California last week and a photo of the bougainvillea from my archives. Thank you to Denise Nesbitt and the ABC Wednesday team.

Unveiling of the Mystery Tree

Some of you are new to my blog and aren’t familiar with a Christmas tradition we started several years back to take the stress out of finding the perfect Christmas tree. Our “Mystery” tree tradition goes like this…

We go to the nearest big box store and look for a tree in a certain height with a straight trunk and grab it with it’s string or netting in tack. This year the 6-7ft. trees in the Douglas Fir variety were about $25.00. We throw the tree in the back of the truck and head home wondering what it might look like once we cut away all the string.

This year it took most of the afternoon for the branches to relax as we had freezing temperatures here in the Seattle area and the tree was frozen. As it thawed we could see that it was another fine Mystery Tree choice. We’ve resigned ourselves to be happy with however it might look. Once the lights and decorations are added I’ll show more photos.

Slowly but surely it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at this old house.

I was so excited to see that WordPress is continuing their tradition of adding snow to my blog for the month of December!

Have you gotten your tree or started your decorating for Christmas?

I’ll be linking up to ABC Wednesday for the letter U soon. Thank you ABC Team and Denise Nesbitt!

The “First” Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the Good ole U.S.A.! Gobble Gobble!

When your family grows and then grows up getting together for Thanksgiving can get complicated. We choose to be flexible and we’ll cook a turkey whenever the time is right for our loved ones to get together. We had our first Thanksgiving gathering with the traditional turkey meal on Saturday the 22nd of November. There were eight of us for our meal.

My sister Lana made these delicious individual pecan pies for our gathering.

Katie and Andrew were not able to celebrate with us on this day but we’ll celebrate with them at our “second” Thanksgiving.

My sister Lana and her husband Steve.

In between our meal and dessert we got into two cars and headed to Everett, Washington to see Katie at her first craft show selling her Chainmaille Jewelery handmade in the Pacific Northwest. She sells from her Simple Complication Etsy shop, too. It was a unique show called OddMall. It was fun to see Katie in action and to find out she was making lots of sales.

We came back home and enjoyed the individual pecan pies that Lana made and then there was a fun game of Sequence.

We will be celebrating our “second” Thanksgiving at the home of some dear friends on Thursday. I will be contributing the Yams. Are you cooking a turkey this Thursday?

Since this Timely Post has Tons of T’s in it like Thanks, Thanksgiving, Turkey, Thursday, Trade Shows, and Tradtional, I’ll be linking up with ABC Wednesday on Tuesday for T is for…Thanksgiving! Thanks to the awesome TEAM for hosting!

Swans

We’ve never ever seen as many swans as when we are traveling in England.

Along the river Thames we enjoyed seeing quite a few.

This was a feeding frenzy. You are able to buy bags of food for the swans along the riverfront in Windsor.

Close to this swan swimming along with it’s cygnet we saw another swan who had ruffled it’s feathers.

I’m guessing it thought these Canadian Geese were getting too close.

hereford 095We also saw these Swans and Cygnets on the River Wye.

hereford 097I’m linking to ABC Wednesday for S is for Swans. Thank you Denise Nesbitt and the hard working ABC Team! As we are nearing the end of the alphabet yet again it’s time reveal new logo designed by Troy. You’ll have to click on over and see the fabulous new logo for Round Sixteen! Thank you Troy!

This week I’m getting my swans ducks in a row since we’re having our Thanksgiving feast this Saturday. Our middle son and his girlfriend are coming for the weekend so lots of plans are afoot. Hope to get around and see everyone in between my preparations. Can you believe we are in the second half of November already!!??

Remembrance Day…

Today is Remembrance Day in several countries.  It’s Veteran’s Day in the United States. A day designed to remember and perpetuate peace through good will between nations. A day to remember those who gave some and those who gave all for their country and countrymen.

I have relatives who fought in WWII, Vietnam, and our son in law Andrew served with the Marines and completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan. We are united in our love for the Lord and our love for our fellow man. Praying for all the men and women who are still serving our countries that they will come home safe and sound. Praying for all those who came home with physical and emotional scars. Today is a good day to pray for our men and women who have suffered much while serving our countries.

John 15:13 ~ Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

How grateful we can be  to live in lands where freedom reigns. How grateful we should be to God who reigns over all.

Looking forward to that day when all wars will cease…

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

This is a photo of our daughter Katie while her husband was serving his country with the Marines. She stayed with us on his tours of duty. These poppies were blooming on the edge of the lavender fields in Sequim, Washington.

The Veteran on the left served in 3 wars, World War II, Korean War, and Viet Nam. The Veteran on the right served in Viet Nam and is now part of the Patriot Guard Riders.

Thank you to all our Veteran’s from all branches of service! Thank you for your service to your fellow man! We appreciate your sacrifice.

I’m linking up with ABC Wednesday for the letter R. R is for Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day).

Quality Time Together…

Last Thursday Dear and I loaded up the car and headed East to enjoy some quality time with our kids. Our son-in-law Andrew wasn’t given time off of work to be able to join us and we missed him dearly.

On Friday (Halloween) we had a great hike on and above our son Dan’s property.

Our sons, Dan and Josh.

A Selfie from Josh and Laura.

Our daughter Katie and daughter-in-love, Laura.

Laura took this photo of Katie on our hike with her phone.

We had some great views and enjoyed lots of fall color.

My son shared some apples from his trees with the deer.

We enjoyed hiking, shooting, shopping, eating, and playing games together. We marvel at the world God created for us to enjoy and the people He has put in our lives to love and encourage us on our journey.

Dear and I stayed at a farmhouse close to our son’s home so the kids could enjoy staying up late and sleeping in while Dear and I tucked in earlier and woke up early each day. On Saturday morning all the kids came over to the farmhouse to enjoy a meal that Dear and I prepared for them. We bought some local made sausages and Dear made his fabulous Swedish pancakes and we added eggs to round off the meal.

Later on Saturday Dan and Jamie made us their famous fish tacos with their home made cabbage salsa. Dinner was so delicious. I’ll share the salsa recipe soon on Mennonite Girls Can cook. I’m so sad I didn’t take one photo of all the good eats we had.

We enjoyed three sunsets in Eastern Washington.

Dan and his girlfriend, Jamie.

Before we headed back over the Cascades to Western Washington we enjoyed brunch together.

We consider any time we are able to spend with our kids quality time.

I’m linking this post to ABC Wednesday for the letter Q. Thank you to Denise Nesbitt and the ABC crew.

Q is for Quality time spent together with family.