My Favorite Laborer

Time for Wednesday Hodgepodge where Jo asks the questions and we answer them.

1. Something you’ve done in recent days or months that might be described as a labor of love?

I think my labor of love these days is watching and running after our dear grandchildren.

2. Last time you ‘worked your fingers to the bone’?

The latest is transplanting some peony plants and weeding. My fingers get numb after a while.

3. According to a recent survey people named the following ten jobs as the hardest-nurse, doctor, paramedic, police officer, firefighter, surgeon, healthcare worker, bomb squad, farmer, and prison warden. Of the jobs listed which would you say is the hardest? The one you’d most like to do? Least like to do? What’s one job you would add to the list?

Honestly…I wouldn’t want to do any of these jobs but I’ll play along. The hardest right now is being a Police Officer. The everyday stuff they have to deal with is unbelievable and now they are being attacked by those they are charged to protect. The one I’d most like to do is none of them. The least I’d like to do is farmer because I think a farmer’s work is never done. The one hard job I’d add to the list is being a Pastor.

4. A recipe you make that is labor intensive, but worth it?

I have a easy stroganoff recipe that I can make in a pinch but my Sirloin Stroganoff with buttered noodles is a cut above and worth the extra effort!

5. Last job you did or task you completed that required teamwork?

This past Sunday we had some ladies over after church for brunch. Dear was in charge of the Swedish pancakes and I managed the sides, setting the table, making coffee, etc. Whenever we have company we work as a team to get-er-done.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today is Dear’s birthday. This guy understands hard work and doesn’t shy away from it. God was good to me when He brought us together. 

Happy Birthday Dear!

I appreciate your integrity, work ethic, love for God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Thank you for your faithfulness to me and our marriage. Your steadfastness in the Truth makes today and the future peaceful and joyful. May God continue to build you up!

Colossians 2:6: Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

This photo is from birthday brunch a few years ago at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle. Tonight our kids in Colville invited us over to celebrate.

Tomorrow I’m starting a new challenge on my blog which will be a recurring event each Thursday. We will be sharing verses through the alphabet. Tomorrow is the letter A and we’ll be sharing a verse or verses with a key word starting with the letter A at the beginning of the verse or within the verse. More explanation HERE. Join us if you can.

From the Farm…

…to the Farm Market!

We so enjoy the relationship the Mennonite Girls Can Cook have with Charlotte at Lepp Farm Market. Many of our girls were raised on farms and now live off their farms. We are always treated well at Lepp and Sunday was another great day here. Our day started with a very good and challenging message from Lovella and Anneliese’s pastor on being sacrificially generous. After the service we all headed to Lepp Farm Market to enjoy brunch before our book signings began.

Lots of  delicious options plus ingredients to choose from for the chef to make your own personal omelette.

The weather was gorgeous and Charlotte had tables set beautifully for our outdoor brunch.

While having brunch I looked up and spotted Josh and Laura walking up to the market. I was busting at the seams with joy to see their faces and to know they trekked all the way from Seattle to bless me with their presence. It was so much fun to introduce them to all the girls and the husbands. Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart.

Our Josh is a real “people person”, can you tell? I’m glad Marg captured these moments! Thank You Marg! Josh and Laura joined the men and Amy on a grand tour of Lepp Farm Market while the girls got busy signing books.

After the farm market tour Josh and Laura picked up their books that were all signed and headed back across the line.

Then we had a another special visitor arrive!

Marg’s 101 year old Father in law arrived to see what we were up to.

I think he is quite pleased with his daughter in law.

We all decided we should take a photo with our oldest supporters that came to Lepp Market. Along with Marg’s Father in law and Helen, Bev’s dad who is 90 drove over for the event, too. What a blessing!

Another sweet moment from the weekend that made me tear up was when Marg’s grandsons came to Wink’s with their personal cookbooks in hand.

They had marked their favorite recipes in the book and wanted us authors to sign on the page where their favorites were pictured.

It seems little Silas really likes my Blintz recipe and requests them at Oma and Opa’s house. For the record Marg and Silas call them crepes. Don’t tell my Russian friends! This little guy made my day!! Thank you to Judy for capturing these moments!

Another guy that’s going to make my day shortly is Dear. He’s on his way home from the airport right now. It’s been a long 5 days without seeing him. Blessings on your day!

It Arrived!

The real exciting thing that happened this weekend is that my copy of our new Celebrations Cookbook arrived on Saturday!! Oh how wonderful to hold the final product in my hands after the months and months of planning, cooking, perfecting, cooking again, photographing, photographing and more photographing. Then there was the initial editing before it went to the Editors. Maybe now you get the picture as to how wonderful it is to hold the book in my hands finished and ready to share.

Our author royalties from our new book will all be going to a Clean Water WASH Program in Africa. Our author royalties from our first book will continue to go to the Good Shepherd Shelter in the Ukraine funding the new greenhouse. Make sure and check our MGCC blog as there are some giveaways in the works. We are looking forward to several book launch events in British Columbia in early May and more events in Winnipeg in early June.

Now more everyday news back in our humble dwelling in the Pacific Northwest. We actually saw blue skies around fluffy white clouds today and we had to pull out our sunglasses! We don’t count on this lasting so we headed out to finish up the mowing I started on Friday. Don’t you just love a freshly mowed lawn? I know there are a lot of you out there that are still looking at snow and I hope that changes soon. Some of you had ice storms and were without power, like Rosella and other weather blasts like Vee. I’m sorry I use my fellow bloggers to be thankful for our clouds and rain when I hear about what’s going on in your neck of the woods. I’m sure like us the excitement of the beauty in our world and good weather days are that much more appreciated!

One more thing before I go scrounge something to eat…

We (Dear and I) were on the speaker phone with 2 of our kids (Josh and Laura) and we made some initial plans for a trip together. When we hit the purchase button together it was exciting and scary all wrapped up in one click. Now to decide on all the other details. I’ll share more later!

Have a wonderful week and oh my don’t forget to file your tax returns if you haven’t already!!

1,000,000 Celebrations!

In Celebration of over 1,000,000 hits on my blog I’m giving away our new Celebrations Cookbook to one of you who leave a comment on this post. Oops!! I forgot to mention that the giveaway will close Saturday night and I’ll announce the winner on Monday!

In March of 2007 my brother Steve sat me down and told me he was going to help me start my own blog since I was enjoying visiting so many. Since that time I have learned so much and I understand a few more things about my computer. One of the best things that has happened from my blogging experience are the new friendships I’ve enjoyed. Meeting some of these friends in person has been such a special blessing. One of my meetings resulted in a walking buddy for the years that Dear and I were living in Camarillo, California. Now that we are back in Washington, I miss my walking buddy, Willow.

During my blogging I stumbled upon Lovella’s blog and noticed that she baked Paska at Easter time. I was curious because being from a Russian Immigrant family we always had this same Easter treat year after year. I started following her blog and soon realized a lot of her recipes were similar to the Russian recipes my mom made in our kitchen. Soon Lovella decided to start a cooking blog where recipes were posted every day. She asked if I’d like to contribute. I started slow but then became more regular when I embraced this fun concept and my responsibility of being a contributor. Over the course of time the  Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog was cemented with 10 contributors and I was one of the 10. After this point Lovella was contacted by Menno Media with the idea of a Mennonite Girls Can Cook cookbook. The ten of us met for the first time all together in Canada and signed a contract and got to work. Even though I’m the one contributor of the 10 that is not Mennonite or Canadian, I’ve been embraced and accepted as their “Russian American Cousin”.

Our first cookbook has been a fun venture and has afforded the 10 of us the opportunity to share all of our royalties to build a greenhouse at the Good Shepherd Shelter in the Ukraine. From the beginning we as the authors agreed that we have all we need and we wanted to help those less fortunate with our portion of profits from our book. The whole story of the Mennonite/Ukranian/ Canadian connection is explained in the book and on our blog. Our first book is still available and you can click over to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog to see where the book can be purchased. It is also available at Amazon.

This is the greenhouse at the Good Shepherd Shelter in the Ukraine. They are already growing food year round in the greenhouse!

Our 2nd cookbook will be published May 1st of this year. For our 2nd book our author royalties will again go to a mission project that we are deciding on together. The photo above was taken during our time together to sign the contract for our 2nd book. These 9 wonderful women of faith have become my partners and dear friends all because of my little blog. Who could have ever dreamed this? It is amazing what God has given to me through “The Happy Wonderer” I wonder who I’ll meet in the future?

We are excited about our new book and the themes and recipes included this time around. I really love the cover and am looking forward to seeing all the recipes and photos put together and having the hard copy in my hands!

If you leave a comment and are chosen for my giveaway please understand that I won’t be sending you our new cookbook till May of this year. Besides your comment you will need to leave a reliable email address so I can contact you to get an address to mail the book. Your email address won’t be visible to anyone but me. Thank you to all my regular readers and bloggy friends for supporting me with your kind thoughts and comments. I appreciate all of you!