Here and There…

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with Dave, Beth, Jamie, Sarly, Raelynd, BIL Steve, my sister Lana, and our son Dan yesterday in the Pacific Northwest.  Our son Josh and Laura were celebrating with Laura’s family just a few miles away from us. Our daughter Katie called from their celebration with Son-in-law Andrew’s folks in the middle of Florida.

I nabbed this photo off facebook of part of my family enjoying their feast in Dallas, Texas. My sister Kathy’s family drove from Southern California to Texas to spend time with my brother Leonard’s family.

Then I nabbed this photo of my mom and dad enjoying their Thanksgiving feast with my sister Vera’s family in Huntington Beach, California. I really love that my dad has his napkin tucked into his waist. I can almost hear his voice and I know he is praising God and being thankful to Him for his family gathered around that table and scattered all over the U.S.

My brother Tim and SIL Letty joined them. My brother Steve’s family drove from Southern California to Arizona to celebrate with my SIL Kelly’s family. Dear’s brother Terry’s family celebrated in Fullerton, California.

Here there and everywhere we all joined in being thankful to God for all “he did to us” over the years!

Speaking of Celebrations…

…Menno Press has released our new Cookbook Cover and you can see it on the MGCC Blog. Head on over and leave a comment to be entered to win our new cookbook when it is released May of 2013!

And because I like food and eating food and celebrating with special people around the table here are some more photos from our time in Atlanta with Katie and Andrew.

On Sunday morning we caught a taxi to Ria’s Bluebird across the street from Oakland Cemetery. I was so pleased to kill two birds with one stone, eating good food and visiting a very cool old cemetery.

I ordered the small stack of buttermilk pancakes with Georgia pecans. Dear ordered an omelette with grits. We split the items between us except he ate all the grits himself.

Andrew had the Meyer Rum dipped brioche with caramelized bananas. Katie had the same omelette Dear and I shared. We all had good cups of coffee. Dear and I ordered the “shot in the dark” and Andrew and Katie had mochas. I’m always happy when my internet choices for a restaurant in a city I’m not familiar with turns out well, especially when I’m dragging 3 people along with me.

After our delicious breakfast and good coffee we walked across the street to explore the Oakland Cemetery. I’ll share more photos of the cemetery another day but I did want to share one more photo of a Seafood Pub and Restaurant that was directly across from a side entrance to the cemetery.

The name made me chuckle as I stood amongst the gravestones looking out the gate…

Hope you are having a good week. Things are busy around here and the weather has cooled. We are promised a dry night tonight for which I am happy because I’m going to another soccer game with Josh and Laura tonight. Blessings…

Sweet Sixteen

Our second celebration in Southern California on Saturday was a Sweet Sixteen party for my older sister Vera. Are you wondering why we had a Sweet Sixteen Party for a 64 year old? Our sister Vera was born on Leap Year so she’s only had a birthday that landed on her actual birth day 16 times now.

Happy Birthday Vera!

Vera’s kids decided to throw this party for their mom and the creative wheels started turning. They did a wonderful job.

My nieces on the right put together the decorations. Melissa is my sister Kathy’s daughter. Kristin is my sister Vera’s DIL and Debbee is her daughter. Kristin is married to my nephew David and they hosted the party at their beautiful home. There were about 50 guests.

They had each guests name written on the cups which was a great idea. Everyone was able to keep track of their cup throughout the evening.

As each guest arrived they were guided into the photo room with this prompt…I Love Vera because…

There were blank white boards for us to write our reason for loving Vera. Such an affirming act to encourage her with!

My parents lasted a long time at the party. It was great to see them. There were lots of friends from our former churches at the party and we were able to get caught up a bit on our lives.

We took advantage of the photo room for a cousin photo.

Katie and I had a quick sleep at my nieces house and headed back to the Bob Hope Airport at 6:00 A.M. Sunday morning. We were pretty useless the rest of Sunday but after a good nights rest on Sunday night we were good to go and got back to finalizing all the wedding details.

11 days to go!

In Just 24 Hours…

Katie and I flew South at 8:00 A.M. on Saturday and flew back North at 8:00 A.M. Sunday. We were able to attend 2 very special events within a 12 hour stretch of Saturday. We are back home recuperating from this Jet setter schedule. I’m not too proud to say that I am wiped out! I’ll share more details during the week. In the meantime here is a mosaic of many of the loved ones we were able to see and to hug. Good hugs, not polite hugs!

If I have the energy I’ll link up with Mosaic Monday with Mary at Little Red House.

The countdown continues….14 days till the wedding!

Sassy at Sixty!

Well I for one am thrilled that a couple more of our Mennonite Girls are joining me in the Sixties Club! We still have 4 young-uns among us that help keep us in line and in style. Eight of our Ten girls converged on Harrison Hot Springs for Judy and Marg’s party on Monday. You’ve seen photos from some of the other girls and here is my contribution to our wonderful day of laughter and celebration.

Marg and Judy made the cutest place settings for us with our personal apron patterns to lead us to our seats. Sixty jelly beans in a vintage 1952 jar with a photo of Marg and Judy were at our setting also. Here are the party guests…

Guest of honor and one of our hostesses, Judy.

 Judy with Bev.

Kathy and Lovella

Julie and Anneliese

Guest of honor Marg with me

Time for some gifts…why not it is a birthday party after all. We had to take a break from gifts to order our food.

Lovella decked me out in a fascinator she purchased for me…

The hot pools were calling out to us and if you’d like to see photos from the pools you’ll need to visit Lovella, Judy, Marg, Anneliese or Kathy’s blogs. My camera stayed under cover during this time of our afternoon.

After the pools it was time for cake! Marg made a special gluten free dessert for our dear Julie to enjoy while we had cake.

Of course we sang the Happy Birthday song in harmony for our birthday girls. They got to sing, too, since they were sharing this birthday party.

There is still a mystery afoot as to the maker of this beautiful cake. Time will reveal the truth…

I don’t know when the last time was that I had 2 desserts in one seating but hey…2 birthday girls=2 desserts…right? I knew you’d see it my way.

As the sun started setting it was time to leave the beautiful Harrison Hot Springs Resort and head back to our homes. We give permission and encourage Judy and Marg to keep celebrating this milestone birthday the rest of the year. Happy Birthday girls! I’m so happy that God brought you into my life!

And That’s A Wrap…

or…the rest of the story. These are Polaroids taken mostly by Jamie, Katie’s Maid of Honor, at the shower. Before I show the rest of the photos here’s what’s happening around here and we’ll title it Yes, it’s possible to accomplish anything while feeling like a Zombie

Thanksgiving: We had a wonderful celebration at Dave and Jody’s house with about 50 or so people. Pictures coming some time in the future.

Black Friday: My sister Lana and I continued our tradition of going to Goodwill on Black Friday. We had no problem finding a parking spot and we got some really good bargains. Everything was 50% off. My best purchase was a Tumi computer backpack (when new $260) used for $25. I’ll be using it for travels to North Carolina on Monday. Lana bought a beautiful Tommy Bahama linen jacket with the tags still on it ($160) for $20.

Packing: After Goodwill Lana started the daunting task of trying to pack 6 suitcases with all of Katie’s clothes, coats, shoes, hats, scarves, gloves, makeup, jewelery, etc. etc. My sister is a master at packing. We were able to get those cases as close to 50# each as we could. We have one more suitcase to go that I can put some of my stuff in, too. One of the 6 cases also has Andrew’s civilian clothes.  Now we just have to figure out how Katie and I will be able to manage 7 large suitcases, 2 carry-ons, and 2 backpacks. I’ll be stuffing my pockets with cash to tip Porters!!

Mailing: Today we are mailing all Katie’s media to North Carolina. She doesn’t want to be without her favorite books 4 large boxes worth and her favorite DVD’s and CD’s 4 boxes worth.

Family: We are getting in as much family time as we can before Katie and I take off on Monday.

Cookbook: So much great cookbook news. If you’d like to enter to win a cookbook click on the link and leave a comment at Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Lovella and Anneliese are demonstrating the Hazelnut Roll today at noon on Global T.V. in B.C.  If you live in B.C. tune in!

Offline: I’ll probably be scarce around here for a couple weeks. I’ll try to visit and see how you all are doing…

Myself and Lana showing our guests where the food is…hilarious.

Katie with her brother, Josh.

Katie with our Daughter in law’s mother and grandmother.

Girlfriends since forever…Katy K., Jamie, Katie, Kristen, and Heidi.

Blessings on all your preparations for the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

I’m looking forward to preparing a place in my home to honor the King of Glory when I get back from North Carolina!

Sixty Years from the Day…

… I was born I was given some royal treatment!

Monday March 14th was my birthday and I had no idea what was up the sleeves of my kids. I knew we were going out to dinner at an Italian Restaurant downtown and we’d be leaving just before 6:00 in the evening.

When we stepped outside to get into what I thought was going to be Laura’s car I saw this!


The kids had ordered up a limousine to take us to our dinner in Seattle. “No Way”, I said!


I never dreamed they would come up with this special treat. Dear and I had never had a ride together in a limousine before last night.




The kids weren’t the only ones with surprises. The restaurant managed to surprise us all, too.


We had a private area behind some sheers with this pretty chandelier and then we were handed our Menus.


A personalized menu just for my birthday. How great is that!? There even was a cocktail with my name on it. The cocktail is on their regular menu. They didn’t make it up just for me but I pretended they did and indulged!


The Ellen…

They turned the lights down very low in the restaurant so my pictures are all dimmed, too.


This is our table behind the sheers.


This made our meal together very private compared to other areas of the restaurant.


Dan and I had the Ossobuco di Vitello with saffron risotto. It was so delicious.


This was Dear’s dessert a ricotta cheesecake.


My complimentary birthday bite. I’m thinking at 60 all desserts should be this size.


I was impressed with the bathroom mirrors.


Such a wonderful evening and we still had our limousine ride home. When we got home there was more. Josh and Laura gave me a gift certificate for a massage with a handmade card that is priceless. Dan paid for dinner and also gave me a card that made me want to cry. I received other cards with gifts of manicures and pedicures and a handmade card from my BFF from junior high and high school. Before dinner I got a special phone call from Texas and my sweet little 3 year old niece sang Happy Birthday to me all the way through by herself. Oh my…that was precious. My heart is full and I am grateful for all the wonderful birthday treats and wishes I have received. I’m savoring my moments.

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.

FFF ~ Celebrating, Good News, and Sunshine

It’s time to look back over this last week and share your favorites. Visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story to join in.


1. Having a good time celebrating our son’s birthday on Saturday and then celebrating a day off with my sister Lana on Monday. Lana and I made our traditional trip to Goodwill on a holiday. It is our tradition, too, that the person who spends the most at Goodwill has to buy lunch. She won again. I bought some exercise pants, a table runner originally from Pier One, a book on the back roads of South Carolina, and some fabric that I’m considering making napkins with.


We stopped at a restaurant in Bellevue, Wa. called Brief Encounter. They have great food and their potato pancakes are my favorite.


2. Good news. The best news. My father called to let us know that my 86 year old aunt decided to make peace with God by facing her sinful condition and accepting what Christ did for us on the cross. She is finally at peace and says she’s ready to go and be with Jesus. Remember the Billy Graham Crusades and singing Just As I Am? These are a couple stanzas from the song…

Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just a I am; thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be thine, yea, thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

3. Reading and studying. I’m reading a couple books right now, a fun entertaining mystery and a heavier book by Philip Yancey. I’m also continuing in a woman’s Bible study in Philippians. Have you ever read these two passages (Philippians 2:5-11 & Isaiah 14:12-15) and considered the contrast in attitudes?


4. Sunshine in the middle of the week. A full day of sunshine that made me grab my camera and head to Lake Washington to get a good dose of vitamin D.



5. Seeing a new kind of duck that I don’t think I’ve seen before…on that sunny day.


Thanks to one of my MGCC girlfriends Bev,  I now know this is a  male Bufflehead Duck.


Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be around later today and tomorrow to check out your favorites.
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.


…continues here.

What a wonderful Saturday. We woke up to a nice dry spell. I met up with my walking buddies and we trekked our 5 miles getting caught up on our lives. At noon Josh and Laura joined us to celebrate Joshua’s birthday early.


We had brunch at The Barking Frog in Woodinville. Joshua’s 32nd birthday is on Wednesday.


I thought the parking signs for the restaurant were very clever.

Sunday at church I had to chuckle to see the Seahawk Football team colors lit up on the stage. Sad to say the game didn’t turn out the way Seattleites had hoped.


Even though we lost the game…the turkey chili and cornbread brought some comfort to the day…


Today is our son Dan’s birthday! Happy Birthday Dan! Hope to see you soon.


So thankful to God for our sons and how God has blessed them and kept them these 30 and 32 years!

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.

60 in 2011!


This won’t be the last time you hear about this but I’m turning 60 this year. 60! I saw this great idea when I was visiting Pink Purl, Tracy’s Blog in Norway. She had a list of 40 things she was going to do before her 40th birthday in 2 years. I really liked the idea but I don’t have 2 years until I’m 60 so I’m trying to come up with 60 things to do this year. If you have any suggestions leave me a comment. Some good ideas I’ve gotten so far are:

~ Take $60 in dollar bills and hand them out randomly.

~ Send your parents 60 cards thanking them for having you and the way they raised you.

~Take a cross country road trip with your daughter.

~Do a book signing in a local book store and invite some friends to join you!

~Each month drive 60 miles on a different route……

~ Do 60 posts about one memory for each of your years – granted you may need some help for the earlier years!!

I’ll be coming up with some of my own and then honing the list down to 60 things soon. Or maybe I should start on some and keep adding others till I get to 60. Time will tell.

This weather we’ve been having has given us some real nice sunrises. I took this one at the top of the post on New Year’s Eve morning.

Hope your week is going well. I’m getting back in the regular groove around here.

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.