May Note Card Party!

Pop over to Vee’s at A Haven for Vee to join in on her May Note Card Party.

Thank you Vee!

Road Day 11-001

2014-05-002

2014-05-003

Pictures18-001

I guess you see where I was going with my May Note Cards. We are so thrilled for our Son-in-law Andrew’s homecoming from Afghanistan.

Collages9Late August 2013 they drove from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Seattle in their car packed with all they could carry. Katie moved in with us. Andrew flew back to Jacksonville. Andrew was deployed to Afghanistan in September. Katie sent packages, wrote letters, communicated via the internet. We all prayed. September, October, November, December, January, February, March went by and April came. Andrew’s time was extended in Afghanistan. We kept praying. We started making plans to get Katie and their car back to Jacksonville, North Carolina. I made a road trip map. Andrew got tentative word about his possible return dates. We packed the car. We set out on our SeaJack trip on Sunday April 27th. We arrived in Jacksonville on May 4th. We found an apartment. We carried their minimal possessions up 3 flights of stairs. We ordered a bed. We shopped at Wal-Mart and the Commissary and the Exchange. Katie made a Welcome Home sign. Everything was ready. I flew to Orlando to meet my Dear on Thursday May 15th. Andrew returned to Katie’s arms at 11:00 P.M. Saturday May 17th, Armed Forces Day. Happy Happy Joy Joy! We prayed again thanking God for His great gift to us!

I’ll be coming around to see your note cards soon. I’m flying this evening from Orlando to Seattle. Looking forward to being back in our home.

A Picture…

…is worth a thousand words!

Pictures19

 He’s home and back in the arms of our daughter Katie.

Andrew’s Battalion landed at Cherry Point last night (May 17th). Before being bused over to meet their families they had to check in all their gear. Agony in waiting knowing their loved ones were so close but joy when they could finally see their loved ones’ faces!

Thank you to all of you who have prayed for Andrew during his deployment in Afghanistan. We thank God for keeping him safe all these long months. We are overjoyed to see this photo and this reunion.

I just had to interrupt my usual Sunday Hymn posting for this gift from God to us. If you scroll down you will see my hymn for Sunday, too.

Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree

April yard 007

“Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree”

Don’t sit under the apple tree
With anyone else but me
Anyone else but me
Anyone else but me
No no no

April yard 005

Don’t sit under the apple tree
With anyone else but me
’til I come marching home
Don’t go walking down lovers lane
With anyone else but me
Anyone else but me
Anyone else but me
No no no

Its lyrics are the words of two young lovers who pledge their fidelity while one of them is away serving in the war. Made popular by Glen Miller and the Andrew’s Sisters during World War II. Just yesterday as I walked under our apple tree and commented on the beauty of the blossoms, Dear called out “Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me”.

Seems somewhat appropriate that I post this song and my apple blossom photos as our daughter Katie and I think about packing the car to head to Camp Lejeune for her to be reunited with her beloved who has been serving with the Marines in Afghanistan since September.

No, don’t go walking down lovers’ lane
No, walking down lovers’ lane till you see
When you see me marching home
Then we’ll go arm in arm and
Sit down under the apple tree
Baby, just you and me
When I come marching home

Apple Blossoms 026

Apple Blossoms 013

Apple Blossoms 010

Apple Blossoms 003

artworks-000044042799-9yvvew-t500x500

Happy Friday to you all. Today Katie and I have hair appointments and Dear and I have eye appointments. Am I packed? No. I do have some piles going. Katie has made some good progress. We both have 1 P.M. events tomorrow and then tomorrow evening we’ll pack up the car.

What’s going on in your part of the world?

Andrew and Katie

Today is our Katie and Andrew’s 3rd wedding anniversary. He is in Afghanistan and she is in the Seattle area. Quite far apart but close in heart.

BP03112012_194cKatie was trying to calculate how many days they’ve actually been together in these 3 short years. They’ve spent a lot of days apart because of Andrew’s service in the Marines. That’s the way it is and that’s what they signed up for. It’s good to understand that going in and then it’s good to have the support of God, family and friends to get you through.

Happy Anniversary you two. May God bring Andrew home safe and may he bless you with many years of growing together in love for each other and for God who is the architect of marriage.

HT: Jeremy Leffel Photography

Fashionably Late…

Here I sit on this Friday after, Black Friday, It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Friday, still in my robe Friday but still very thankful Friday!

I’m joining in with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story with my favorites from this past week. Five (or so) faves but lots more than five photos!

1. I’m thankful for this leftover photo of when my kids were all together a couple weekends ago.

T-Day and after 001

2. I’m thankful for our Son-in-law, Andrew, serving his country in Afghanistan. He had to have Thanksgiving in what he calls the sandbox.

Andrew trainingThis photo is from his cold weather training for Afghanistan.

3. I’m thankful for some leisurely shopping the evening before Thanksgiving with Dear and Katie topped off with Happy Hour at Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue. I know from here on out it will be crazy out there in the stores. I am still sitting here in my robe on this Black Friday with no intentions of going anywhere.

Bellsquare-H1A good meal with a lovely view with people you love…priceless.

P1040722We could see all the way across Lake Washington to downtown Seattle.

P1040725I’m always grateful to see a glorious sunset!

Bellsquare-H

4. We were invited to our friend’s home for Thanksgiving. There were forty five of us gathered and the food was amazing and oh so plentiful. I made double the amount of yams needed and I could have fed a whole neighborhood with just the yams. Oye. By the time we ate my memory card was full so I can’t show you the ginormous pan of yams with marshmallows on top browned to perfection. You’re going to have to take my word for it.

2013-11-29 T-Day at SpirosThe cousins table, the kid table and the collective table. The collective table was for those of us who had the most collective Thanksgivings…translation ~ the old people table! We had those of us starting in the 50’s to two matriarchs that are very close to 90 represented.

T-Day at Spiros 007Some of the younger guests!

T-Day at Spiros 010

When you see a crowd on the deck poised with their phones, quick, grab your camera and fun out there, too!

T-Day at Spiros 013There was a cloud layer resting above the Puget Sound and at sunset we got a fun view of the Olympic Mountain range peeking out above the fog with the lovely colors of the sunset above. What you see with the naked eye is very hard to capture with a camera or phone. The view with the eyes God gave me was so much more spectacular than this photo.

5. I’m thankful that with our technology we can talk to and communicate with people across the world and in a different hemisphere than us. Our hosts’ youngest daughter is on a 2 year trek around the world living in different countries. We were able to communicate with her and see her on one of the I-phones from Australia.

T-Day at Spiros 017Hi Jamie!! We love you and miss you! (Jamie was our Katie’s maid of honor)

Did I mention I’m still in my robe? I love the morning after Thanksgiving when there is nothing on the calendar and I can just dilly dally the day away!

Sunday starts another week of celebrations around this old house. Now that Thanksgiving is behind us I’ll start getting serious about Christmas, too. How about you? Have you started on Christmas?

We Honor and Remember…

O God, the Strength of Those Who War

O God, the strength of those who war,
The hope of those who wait,
Be with our sons gone forth to fight,
And those who keep the gate.

Give to our hosts in battle’s hour
Firm hearts and courage high,
Thy comfort give to those who fall,
Thy peace to those who die.

Breathe on our land the spirit calm
Which faith in right bestows,
And in the hours of dark suspense
A faith which stronger grows.

In Thee alone we place our hope,
Thou Keeper of the just,
And Thou, through fight and fire and fears
Wilt justify our trust.

Thy ways are wonderful, O God,
Who makest wars to cease:
O let this be the final war
That ushers in Thy peace.

Every year, on 11 November at 11 am – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – we pause to remember those men and women who have died or suffered in all wars, conflicts and peace operations.

Pub Night 049

Marine Birthday BallWe have our U.S. and Marine flag flying today and yesterday. Yesterday was the Marine Corp Birthday. Our Marine was given a nice meal and a piece of celebration cake in Afghanistan yesterday. We are wearing our Poppy broaches yesterday and today.

Pub Night 042

And until our Marine comes home from his deployment we keep our Blue Star Service Banner in our window.

The Blue Star Service Banner was designed and patented in 1917 by World War I Army Capt. Robert L. Queisser of the 5th Ohio Infantry. Queisser’s two sons served on the front line. His banner quickly became the unofficial symbol for parents with a child in active military service.

There are businesses that offer Military dependents discounts today. Not sure if Katie and I will head out and take advantage of some of those. What are your Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day plans?

Remembering…

We are taking time to remember the fallen and to also remember our Veterans and those serving our country right now. This is a photo of Dear’s father who served during WWII. This is Rex and Verna’s wedding photo. Dear’s father passed away in 1985. Dear’s mother passed away in 1997. Verna’s father and brothers served in WWII also.

I’m going to start with today and then backtrack to yesterday to share our weekend events so far. Today after church we had a couple over who have a son serving in Afghanistan right now in the Army. We talked about his service now in Afghanistan and his past service in Iraq.

We had this dish I used to make years ago and was happy to revive. I’ll be posting it on MGCC in the near future.

Our lives with this couple have intersected in different ways over the years. The wife we knew first years ago. Her new husband we just met a few months ago. He and his first wife were our daughter’s camp leaders for a special training of young leaders in the late 90’s. His wife died and over the course of time our friend from years ago ended up marrying this man. Are you tracking here? Anyway it has been nice to catch up with them as a new couple and enjoy talking about the intersection of our lives.

Both of our “boys” have been in Afghanistan and we pray for the safety of the one there now and for our son in laws future deployment.

Too bad I didn’t have an army flag to add to our centerpiece.

On Saturday we got lots done around this old house. We cleared out and organized in our basement which included shredding a lot of old papers we do not need to save anymore. Dear cleaned out and rearranged a few vehicles in his shop and he’s happy with the results so far. We planted 3 large bushes. There were a few neighborhood garage sales going on so we took advantage of the constant traffic by putting out some items we wanted to get rid of with a FREE sign on them. Boy did that stuff disappear fast! We barbecued hamburgers and corn on the cob for a late afternoon meal with Josh and Laura. We also had barbecued beans and watermelon. A nice time of catching up.

The weather on Saturday was nice enough for us to be able to eat outside so this table setting was put on hold for our Sunday company.

I had to share this photo that I blatantly nabbed off my niece from facebook. This is my dad and oldest sister Kathy. They are celebrating their May birthdays today together at a family favorite restaurant in Montebello called Golden Skewers. Yum! My dad’s birthday was the 25th and my sister’s birthday was the 23rd. Wish I could have been there with them but I’m happy to have this photo I could steal to see their celebration! They both look fabulous for their perspective ages! My dad is now officially 90!

What a nice feeling to know we still have one full day left with nothing on the schedule. Wonder what projects we’ll come up with for the observed Memorial Day on Monday the 27th? What have you been up to?