Another Year Older

A week ago we celebrated our daughter, Katie’s, birthday. It’s been sweet being able to celebrate her birthday at our place even though she lives over 300 miles from us. Since we typically all gather for Christmas in Colville we can add another celebration together to honor her day.

We used to have our traditional Swedish pancake breakfast on Christmas but lately it’s been happening 2 days later on Katie’s birthday. Dear managed the two pan feat with his damaged left hand and was humbled with thoughts of my dear maternal grandmother who went through most of her life with just one hand.

The photo above is of Father and daughter in a morning conversation.

The grands arrived later in the morning and helped me mix up Katie’s birthday cake, Applesauce Spice Cake. Into the oven and time for some piano interludes with Auntie Katie.

We had a taco lunch prepared by our Colville kids and then it was time for a trip home for naps before our dinner together.

During the quiet of the afternoon Katie and I started this puzzle and when everyone arrived again for dinner it was finished off with the help of Dan and Addy.

The Happy Birthday to you singing this year was epic sending us all into belly laughs!

After cake JJ and I had some fun times together while the rest of the crowd played Mexican Train.

This photo was a leftover from Boxing day night when we all had leftovers for dinner.

Here are the Birthday thoughts and prayer for our dear Katie that I posted on Facebook…

It’s our little girls birthday today. She was our little surprise years ago and we thank God that He gave her to us. She has enriched our family with her wonderful talents and wit. She’s a sweet Daughter, Sister and Auntie.
Dear Lord God Almighty,
“As she traces out the trails you put before her; may she pray and strive to follow straight and strong,”
“Give her wisdom at each turning, Lord we pray”
Give her grace and understanding and more love for You in this coming year!
We love you dear Katie!

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!

Sweet Hodgepodge

Sweet Southern livin Jo has come up with questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.
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1. Let’s start things off right…Wednesday is National Dessert Day. What are we having? How often do you  make/serve dessert? Store bought or from scratch?
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We can have my signature Creamy Cheesecake, pictured above…
or a family favorite; Peanut Butter/Butterscotch Rice Krispy bars
memorial-010
or in the cake realm; Another family favorite, Applesauce Spice Cake.
We added a new favorite in 2020, Strawberry Ice Cream Cake.
Lately I only make a dessert when we are having company. I made this Ice Cream Cake yesterday for dessert after our Raclette meal that we introduced to my brother’s family.
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I like scratch desserts but am not opposed to store bought. In fact see question #3 for something I always buy instead of bake.
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2. Slow as molasses, icing on the cake, that’s the way the cookie crumbles, have your cake and eat it too, half-baked idea, that takes the cake…which phrase might be applied to something in your life in recent days? Explain.
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I’m going with icing on the cake. Since my brother’s family (originally from Texas) landed in the Pacific Northwest on their RV journeys around the USA some other members of our family gathered here, too, and we were able to have a mini family reunion of sorts.

My sister Kathy sitting to my left is now our matriarch. Four out of 8 siblings plus two spouses and eleven cousins rounded out the group for a few days of food and fun.

3. Something that’s ‘easy as pie’ for you to do?

Sticking with the pie theme here I’m confessing that making pie is not in my wheelhouse. It is not something easy for me and I choose to avoid it by buying good quality pies in the frozen section of the grocery store and popping them in my oven! So ‘easy as pie’ is not a phrase that pertains to me.

4. Are you someone who likes to ‘sugarcoat’ news you think might not be well received, or are you more of a tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may? Do you like to receive your news the same way you give it?

Please don’t sugar coat it. Get it out now and let me know what’s up! I’m a tell it like it is person. Don’t beat around the bush, either.

5. Something you did recently that made you feel like a ‘smart cookie’?

Driving for over 6 hours by myself from Bothell to Colville with stops at the Home Depot and Costco in Spokane. I was smart to bring a book on CD to listen to. That makes the hours go by quicker for me and keeps me awake. For this trip I listened to “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe read by Michael York, delightful.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

 

Looking forward to our Western Larches (Tamarack) to turn golden.

October is a busy busy month here at Our Country Bungalow. Still ahead is our annual family hunting weekend and this year we are throwing in our first professional family photo shoot. It’s been fun coming up with a clothing theme so we look a bit coordinated. For the majority of the days in October all of our guestrooms are full to the brim.

Fulfilling Promises…

When I showed you the cake for our daughter’s birthday a couple weeks ago I promised to share the recipe. I have shared this recipe on my blog before but I’m posting it again. This cake is a family favorite. When I asked my daughter what she’d like for her birthday cake she requested this one.

The photo below was added in 2022 and is from our daughter’s birthday party in December of 2021. She’s still requesting this cake.

Applesauce Spice Cake

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 pkg. 4 serving size Jello instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1 cup applesauce
1/2 C. water
1/4 C. oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. all-spice (optional)
1/2 cup raisins, finely chopped (optional)

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl of electric mixer and blend then beat at medium for 4 minutes. Pour into well greased and floured 10 inch tube or fluted tube pan. (I’ve used a bundt cake pan and angel food cake pan). Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. DO NOT UNDERBAKE. Cool in pan for 15 min. remove and cool on rack. When the cake has cooled and before I serve it I give it a dusting of powdered sugar.

When I went out to purchase ingredients for the cake I forgot to buy applesauce. I didn’t want to make another trip to the store so I checked my cupboard and found a jar of spiced pear butter that my friend Sandy from the Reluctant Entertainer gifted me when we met for dinner earlier this year. Here’s her recipe for Sweet Spiced Apple Butter which looks just like the Pear butter.  Since the pears were already spiced nicely I omitted the spices from the recipe and just added the jar of goodness to the recipe. It turned out very nice and the spices were just right. Thank you Sandy!

For the record, I’ve never added the raisins to this recipe. My family prefers it without.

Photobucket replaced all my photos with ugly black and grey boxes and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.