Family News…

10291122_10152701970813919_9195842261775056651_nI’m so happy to finally be able to show you our new little nephew from the Ukraine with love. Andrew arrived with Mandy to be reunited with my brother Leonard and niece Hope last Friday. Our niece Hope is happy to have a little brother. I literally gasped for joy when I finally saw a photo of Andrew and Mandy back in the U.S.A. It’s hard to imagine all the adjustments this little guy and his new family have to make over the next few months and years. The nice thing is that my brother can communicate with Andrew in Russian but they are also transitioning Andrew into speaking and understanding English. Little Andrew has already skyped with our pop in Russian. If God brings this sweet family to your mind please pray for them.

10583783_10204539924242770_4860498748263058856_nIt’s been a while since I showed you a photo of my dear old pop. My nieces and nephews visited him on Grandparents day this past Sunday.

We are fast approaching the one year anniversary of my mom’s death. I will be flying down to Orange County to spend a few days with my pop and some of my family.

Today is Dear’s birthday and I’m so thankful to God for him. Tonight we will celebrate Dear with our kids on this side of the Cascades.

How’s September shaping up for you?

What September Holds…

We are aware of some things that September holds for us and we aren’t naive enough to think we know all that it holds.

My mom’s life is still in the balance.

Here are some things we are looking forward to…

A milestone birthday for Dear on September 9th.

This photo is from 2006 in Conwy, Wales taken by our friend Dave.

My parents 70th wedding anniversary.

(Technically they have already been married for 70 years since their wedding in Iran was in mid summer but the official date on their U.S. papers says September 13th)

This photo of my parents was taken in 2006 in Dallas during our celebration of Leonard and Mandy’s marriage.

A milestone trip to England with our son Josh and DIL Laura from September 12th thru the 23rd.

We know we’ll be seeing so many wonderful sites. I’m so excited to be going again with a digital camera this time. It will be Josh and Laura’s first time there. EXCITED!

Some of the planned events are:

Going to Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester for the Manchester United ~ Crystal Palace soccer game on Saturday the 14th.

A night in the Cotswolds.

This was taken in the Cotswolds in 2004. Can you see why I’m excited to go back with a digital camera?

Lacock Village and the Abbey on our way to stay in Wells. If any of you watched Cranford and Return to Cranford they were filmed in this village along with other scenes from other well known favorites. The Abbey was used to film some scenes in a couple of the Harry Potter movies.

A night in Wells so we can explore the cathedral and walk around the castle moat.

3 nights in Southwest Cornwall doing whatever we decide to do which will include hikes to the beach and St. Michael’s Mount.

Ending our trip with a weekend in London where we have rented an apartment home near Portabello Road. We will try to get in as many landmark London sites as possible and hope to be able to also see a play or musical.

Other things to look forward to in September after our trip are:

Day trip adventures with our daughter Katie while she is living with us for this new season which may or may not include tea. I’m also going to take advantage of Katie’s technical skills to help me hook up our new slide and photo scanner and for her to help me learn to use it!

Starting up our weekly Small group meetings again.

Our Fall Women’s Bible Study at church.

What are you looking forward to in this month of September?

Taking Flight…


We are flying to Southern California for a wedding on a Blueberry Ranch Northeast of Santa Barbara. We meet up at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) with our daughter Katie who is flying from North Carolina. Our flights arrive 30 minutes apart. We’ll head north to our hotel and then on Saturday go farther North picking up Josh and Laura who are flying into Santa Barbara and on to the wedding we will go.

On Sunday we will trek across L.A. headed east to visit with my mom and pop before we fly home on Sunday evening. A whirlwind trip covering many miles on the 101 Fwy and interstate 5. It will be nice to be with my family and friends at Caleb and Marie’s wedding and have a visit with my mom and pop before we all head home on Sunday night. Katie will head back to North Carolina just in time for Andrew’s return from a month long training. As a dear friend of mine has coined…”Life is Rich”!

The photo above was taken by my sister Lana on Thursday night at the apartment. My niece Melissa was celebrating her birthday with my mom and enjoying strawberry cupcakes! A very special birthday to remember…

I’ll be sharing lots of photos of the newlyweds soon…

My computer will not be traveling with me so I’ll check in with y’all on Monday! Have a lovely weekend!

Duomo Milan

Milan Cathedral is the cathedral church of Milan, Italy. Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Cardinal Angelo Scola. The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. I’ll be sharing several posts on the Duomo. My first photos will be of the front of the Duomo. My future posts on the Duomo will be from the interior, the roof and the rear.

The cathedral of Milan holds over six centuries of history and the entire building is made of pink-hued, white marble that comes from the quarries of Candoglia. Its construction began in 1386 on the area where the basilicas Santa Tecla and Santa Maria Maggiore stood and later became “encompassed” in the new cathedral. Architects, sculptors, artists and thousands of specialized workers became involved in the Fabbrica del Duomo (the construction of the cathedral) which, it can easily be said, has never stopped operating. Even today, in fact, work still continues on this extraordinary piece that is the symbol and heart of the city.

This was one of the highlights of Milan but it also has it’s downside. Tourists are bombarded by pickpockets here that work in tag teams trying to distract you while they try to steal your valuables or just con you out of your money. We enjoyed the views of the Duomo away from the crowds.

I am finally feeling well enough to get things done around here and to go out and about again. It was so good to be back in church this morning and to reconnect with friends. After our morning Palm Sunday service Josh and Laura picked us up for a belated birthday meal in Seattle. We had a great time together catching up and planning some future events together. Hope you had a good day!

Today We Celebrate…

…the Mother of the Bride.

It’s my birthday and I’m being taken out to brunch and dinner today. My sister, niece, my grand nephew, and my grand niece are still here from California so my Daughter in law is bringing them to join in for brunch together before she takes them to the airport. Tonight Josh, Laura, Dear and I are going out to dinner.

Meanwhile back to the wedding. My friend and hairdresser Sherri came to the venue on Sunday to attend to our hair. What a treat that was. She does a beautiful job on Katie’s hair and always makes my hair behave.

Since all the sisters were together we had to make sure and get plenty of photos. This one is from oldest to youngest starting from the left. Kathy, Vera, Ellen and Lana.

Right to left oldest to youngest.

Me and my sister Lana. Partners in crime and tablescaping…

Love this photo of the Father of the Bride walking our daughter down the aisle. Thanks to Harv and Bev for this one and the next few photos.

The wedding party walked in to the theme from Anne of Green Gables and I really had a hard time keeping it together.

Dear and I really were blessed with our daughter and son-in-laws day and we were filled with joy for them and us.

We were surprised when the guests applauded as we walked out after the ceremony.

Dear thanked all our friends and family for coming to the wedding and prayed a prayer of blessing over our food and time together.

I had to add this photo my niece posted on Facebook today. Me and my brother Leonard cutting the rug!

There are plenty more posts coming with all the Bride and Groom’s special moments and more family shots, too.

Thank you to all of you who have held us up with your prayers over these last few weeks as we prepared for this day. Those prayers were answered and we felt the peace and joy we prayed for. Truly a day that love was poured down on. Katie and Andrew traveled back to North Carolina last night and should be home by now.


Snowflake Tablescape

Our daughter Katie turned 25 last week and on the morning of a little dinner party planned for her it snowed here! A theme is born…the snowflake table.













Her snowflake taco party was a success!


The cake was a spice cake with snow on top. Yes of course that’s snow in the form of powdered sugar! The only problem with snow on top of a birthday cake is when you go to blow out the candles you also get a snow flurry!

I’m linking to the lovely Susan at Between Naps on the Porch please click on over to see some very nice tables set for our enjoyment!


Plates: Nikko – Vintage Lace Platinum from Marshalls  ~ Snowflake tablecloth, centerpiece, napkins and napkin rings are from Martha Stewart K-Mart collection  ~ Candle holders are from a garage sale ~ Goblets, cut glass dessert plates, cake plate and scarf I used as a runner are from thrift stores ~

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.

Short Week Favorites…

When the ole girl parties downtown on Thursday night her Friday post comes late to the table! Never-the-less the party must go on…

Thank you to Susanne for reminding us to take a look back and see the favorites that came our way since last Friday.

1. My number one favorite was spending Dear’s birthday with our son Josh in downtown Seattle. We met Josh at a Park n Ride and then drove together to Seattle. We had dinner at the Wild Ginger Restaurant and then headed to Qwest field for the Seattle Sounders F.C. game against Real Salt Lake. It was fun spending the evening with our first-born. On Saturday we are going to have a family birthday celebration with Josh, Laura, and Katie.


It’s truly a blessing from God for me to be married to this man!

2. I got 2 new books in the mail this week. So for my #2 favorite I wanted to share my friend Sandy Coughlin’s new book with you. Sandy is a blogger at the Reluctant Entertainer and she’s had a book published about simple and gracious hospitality. It is well written with great ideas on entertaining that won’t break your budget. There are lots of recipes in the book, too. This would make a creative Bridal Shower gift! I ordered my copy from Amazon but you can click over to her blog and order it there, too. She’ll also sign a copy if you order it from her. You won’t be disappointed with the reluctant entertainerevery woman’s guide to simple and gracious hospitality

3. Speaking of books, I also ordered the new book in the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series by Susan Wittig Albert, The Tale of Oat Cake Crag. I really enjoy these mysteries surrounding Hill Top Farm. I’m looking forward to reading this new book.

4. I bought some granola that was good for you but didn’t taste good to me so I came up with a cookie recipe using it. It’s fabulous in the cookies. I’ll share the recipe later this month on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog. I’m calling them Granola Chews.

5. And last but not least I’m still savoring and remembering with contentment and joy my 3 days in Canada with these Mennonite Girls that cook!


So what have you been up to and what are some of your favorites?

Have a great weekend and NEVER FORGET!

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.