Weekend Roundup X

1. A Word with an “X.”


An Antique postcard from 1909.

2. A Favorite.

X marks the barn.

3. Looks like “X.”

Our daughter making a snow angel.

Parting shots:

The J.M. and Birdie Nix House in San Antonio, Texas. (mostly the sign and not the house)

Here’s the house which is located in the King William Historic District of San Antonio.

Thanks to Tom for hosting The Weekend Roundup.

We traveled south to the big city of Spokane today to do some shopping. The roads were clear and the weather was dry which was a win win for easy access on streets and into shops. Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday Medley

1.  On November 28th, 1995, President Bill Clinton ended the 55 MPH nationwide speed limit that began in 1974 as an energy saving measure during the Mid-East oil embargo.  If you are old enough to remember this (I sure am) did it make you happy?  Do you have a heavy foot when driving or does 55 MPH sound good to you?

It made me very happy. I do have a lead foot and try to stay at 5mph over the speed limit…most of the time. I do go 20 or 25 in school zones. This is all with good road conditions. I do not have a lead foot in the rain, snow, or sleet! I slow way down.

2.  You are home alone on a rainy/snowy Sunday afternoon.  What Christmas movie will you watch?
Home Alone or Miracle on 34th Street depending on my mood.
3.  What is something you have tried that you will never try again?
Liver and Onions. I only tried it because I was served it and out of appreciation to our hostess I ate it all trying not to gag.
4.  Today is National French Toast Day!!  Will you have some?  Do you like French Toast?
I do like French Toast but will probably wait to have it for a weekend breakfast sometime.


5.  The Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center will be lighted today, as will the one at the White House in Washington, D.C.  Do you have your tree up and is it lighted?  Have you ever been in New York City or Washington, D.C. to see the trees all lit up during the holidays?
I’ve only been to one Christmas tree lighting ever and that was in Seattle several years ago. No tree at our house yet. We will probably cut one down at our son’s or in a National Forest later this month.
6.  Tell us something random about this week of yours.
I have started Christmas decorating pulling out all the Christmas bins. It’s been interesting and fun finding new spots for old things at our Country Bungalow. Some things have been moved a few times to find the best location. We are still in the midst of painting so some decorating will have to wait. When our EWK (Eastern Washington Kids) were here last Friday Addy and I opened up her Little People nativity set for her to play with at Baba and Gramps’ house until Christmas.
Linking up with Terri in Florida for Wednesday Medley.

Christmas Past and Present

These vintage cards are from my mother-in-law’s stash of Christmas goodies that ended up with us.  Happy to know our cards with our Christmas greetings are on their way to friends and family. We also have antique postcards from Dear’s great great aunt. The postmarks are from 1908-1912.


We still need to buy our tree to bring home and decorate.



We’ve had several dry and very cold days. That is about to change so I’m telling myself that today might be the day to go buy our Mystery Tree before the rains come. For those of you new to my blog our Mystery Tree tradition is an idea I borrowed from my sister-in-law Kelly several years ago. We go to the local big box home improvement store and grab a tree that is wrapped with netting and throw it into our truck or car and bring it home without knowing what it will look like. The one thing we look at carefully is how straight the trunk at the bottom of the tree is. When we get it home we set it in it’s tree holder in the right spot in our living room before we cut away the netting and see what we got. We choose to enjoy it no matter what. We’ve found it to be a tradition that works well for us instead of searching for that perfect tree that caused a lot of stress in the past. (The only problem with this reveal is that we don’t get the chance to shake out all the needles that might have accumulated in the netting)

Do you have traditions that carry on from year to year? Do you still send out Christmas cards? Do you do live or artificial for your tree?

Happy Hanukah to any of my Jewish friends who stop by here.

Christmas Eve Day 2016



img520Today we are anticipating the arrival of all of our kids from different parts of Washington and the U.S.A. That makes it sound like we’ve got lots of kids. Our youngest ones, a daughter and son in law are traveling from Florida back to Washington State arriving at SeaTac Airport at 6:30 pm. We are driving their car to the airport in the morning and parking it for them so they can hop in it and drive themselves to our home to spend the night. Katie and Andrew live on our side of the mountains just 20 minutes from us and left last Sunday to visit Andrew’s father and step mom.  Because we didn’t want to miss the arrival of our middle son and daughter in law from Eastern Washington or our Christmas Eve service dropping the car off at the airport was a good option. Dan, Jamie and their dog Rayna are driving over the Cascade Mountain range and will arrive sometime in the afternoon (a 5-1/2 hour drive). We will head to a Christmas Eve service with them and then come home and wait for Katie and Andrew to arrive. Dear is making his yummy Tomato Rice Soup (a Julia Child inspired soup) for all our tired travelers. Our oldest son and wife will be spending most of the day and evening with our Daughter in love’s family whom we love, too. They will be celebrating just 15 minutes from our home. Josh and Laura will arrive late on Christmas Eve and let themselves in since Dear and I will be fast asleep by then. For the record we love and get along with all of our kids and their families. A rich blessing for sure.

So thankful to our God in the Manger who left His throne to bring us salvation by His sacrifice on the cross. Thankful, too, that our three guest beds will be occupied tonight and tomorrow morning we will enjoy a full day of celebrating all that Christmas brings to us. This old house will be overflowing with God’s blessings to.

Praying God will bless your gatherings with His presence and peace today and tomorrow!

Christmas Past…

This is probably Christmas 1957.


Christmas 1958. My brother Tim was 11 months old. I was seven.

In December of 1959 our brother Steve was born. This photo was taken at my Uncle Paul’s home in 1960. My babushka lived with them and we would go and visit on Christmas. My dad has his Molokan shirt on (think Dr. Zhivago) but I’m not sure if this is before church or after church. We would have two more siblings added to our family in 1963.

high-school-scanned5Christmas 1968 is my guess for this one. Me, Kathy and Vera. Look at those shoes.

los-angeles-ave3Christmas 1969. Tim is eleven, Steve is ten, and the twins, Lana and Leonard, are six.


los-angeles-ave4At my little babushka’s house for Christmas breakfast before church.



Christmas 1974 in our apartment on National Blvd. in the neighborhood of Mar Vista, Los Angeles. We had been married for two and a half weeks.


Our oldest niece Jenna, 1974.

Our first home in Huntington Beach, 1975.


Christmas 1977 in our second home in Huntington Beach.


Christmas 1978 in Huntington Beach. I am pregnant with our firstborn Josh and Chris is pregnant with Jenna’s little sister Annie. These are Dear’s mother and father.

josh-dan-79-837Christmas 1981. Josh and Dan are almost 3 and almost 1.



Christmas Eve 1982 reading the Christmas story with the Bagdanov side of the family.

ventura9Christmas tree 1986 in Ventura. Josh is almost 8 Dan is almost 6 and Katie is almost 1.



I think this one is from 1988 in Bothell. Our first Christmas in Washington State.


Late 1980’s in Bothell Washington.

early-1990s3Christmas on Norway Hill 1992 in Bothell, Washington.


PM1912 Postmarked 1912.

We are moving along with all things Christmas at this old house. Food shopping mostly done. A few things to add on Friday. I also am waiting to see if I’m inspired to bake one more favorite that my mom baked for all of us every year. My Bagdanov family had a cooking day today making my mom’s Vareniki for their Christmas Eve celebration.


Hello Winter Hodgepodge

1. What’s left to be done on your Christmas to-do list? 
Buy the ingredients for our Christmas Eve and Christmas day menus. Dear will be making his famous Tomato Rice Soup for Christmas Eve and then on Christmas day we will have Swedish Pancakes for breakfast (Dear makes those, too) and Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding for dinner. Oh my, looks like Dear will have the lion’s share of cooking duties since he’s throwing the Prime Rib on the Traeger this year, too. I’ll work on the sides. Daughter in love is bringing the homemade pies.
2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What’s your favorite thing about winter? 
Since we moved to Washington State from Southern California twenty eight years ago I have enjoyed having 4 distinct seasons. I appreciate different landscapes throughout the year. Winter isn’t my favorite but I appreciate it’s difference.  Winter clothing is my favorite thing about winter. I like comfy clothes.
3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not. 
First I’ll choose this definition of immature; not fully developed.  I am not fully developed in my life as a follower of Jesus. I still have lots to learn about trusting God in this daily walk. Obedience does not come naturally and easily to me. So in this I am immature. I thank God He loves me and doesn’t abandon me. He will never leave me on the side of the road and drive away like I threatened my children I’d do on some of those road trips when they were little.
4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016? 
I can live with my husband under foot every day and still have joy. He’s been unemployed since June and from January till June he was a consultant working out of our home.
5. It’s Fried Shrimp Day…are you a fan? What’s your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings? 
Shrimp is not a staple in my culinary world. My favorite way to eat shrimp is coconut crusted as an appetizer at a restaurant. No we will not have shrimp in our feastings.
6. What sound lulls you to sleep? 
The lack of sounds is what lulls me to sleep.
7. What one word best describes your 2016? 

PM19088.  Insert your own random thought here.

We wish you a Merry Christmas,  we wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Good tidings we bring to you and your kin, Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank you Joyce for asking the questions. To see more hodgepodge click over to From This Side of the Pond.
Happy First Day of Winter y’all!

The X in Xmas…


PM1909 (postmarked 1909)

X has a long and sacred history

The idea of X as an abbreviation for the name of Christ came into use in our culture with no intent to show any disrespect for Jesus. The church has used the symbol of the fish historically because it is an acronym. Fish in Greek (ichthus) involved the use of the first letters for the Greek phrase “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” So the early Christians would take the first letter of those words and put those letters together to spell the Greek word for fish. That’s how the symbol of the fish became the universal symbol of Christendom. There’s a long and sacred history of the use of X to symbolize the name of Christ, and from its origin, it has meant no disrespect. (from Ligonier, R.C. Sproul)

img519These are both antique postcards from Dear’s great great aunt Emma. I’m posting them to share with ABC Wednesday for the letter X.

X is for Christ. Thank you to Mrs. Nesbitt and her helpful elves, Roger and company for keeping our ABC meme moving along.

The Xmas news from this old house is that what is done is done except for preparations for our meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and some baking. I will wait to shop for the meat and side dishes early on Friday. On Wednesday I will do a little baking to make cookies to take to some neighbors with an invite to our church’s Christmas Eve services. I am also spending time adoring Christ and all He has done for us.

Mystery Tree…


PM1910 (postmarked 1910)

Today over at Mennonite Girls Can Cook I’m sharing our Mystery Tree Tradition that we have embraced the last several years.

This antique postcard is a favorite one that we have from Dear’s Great great Aunt Emma. We still have snow on the ground but it has melted off the streets.

This afternoon we will celebrate the life of a friend who died suddenly a week ago Friday. He was only 69. We will see many old friends from our former church. I hope to hug his wife who was a faithful Sunday School teacher to our boys and several others and cherish the reunions. We are again thankful for the Hope we have in Jesus and the Hope Mick had in Jesus, our Redeemer.

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.

  • Refrain:
    But “I know Whom I have believed,
    And am persuaded that He is able
    To keep that which I’ve committed
    Unto Him against that day.”

Cherish those God has put in your life today. Don’t put off giving words of affirmation to those around you. Choose joy!