We Gathered First at the Table…

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The sisters from youngest to oldest, Lana, Ellen, Vera, and Kathy.

There is so much to share from our sister weekend so there will be several posts to document our time together. On Friday I picked up my two older sisters from the airport. Even though they flew with two different airlines they coordinated their flights so that they landed within a half hour of each other. We came home to enjoy Marg’s overnight french toast which was delicious. I was so consumed in serving my sisters and all the schedules in my head that I forgot to take a photo. After our brunch we spent a couple hours at Goodwill and a Persian market and bakery.

For dinner we decided on sharing the Raclette eating experience with them.

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Our youngest sister, Lana, arrived later in the afternoon from southern California. Her home is in Washington but she works in California (long story). Lana and her husband Steve got to our house for dinner and we all gathered around as our daughter Katie explained the Raclette method to everyone.

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It didn’t take long for everyone to get involved in the grilling experience and we had a leisurely time grilling meat and veggies, melting cheese and enjoying our food and conversation. For dessert we had good ole fashioned banana splits! I introduced my sisters to Fixer Upper and enjoyed some episodes. We made plans on a starting time for our full day of fun planned for Saturday.

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My next post will be all about our garden stop in Mount Vernon!

Today my sister Vera and I did a little shopping and enjoyed a meal at a Persian restaurant before I dropped her off at the airport. Tomorrow will be a recuperating day for me. Hope all is well in your world…

Y is for Yum!

With all of our celebrations and visitors this time of year I decided I’d feature the yummy food that has been placed before us recently.

I’m linking to ABC Wednesday with thanks to Denise Nesbitt and the pithy team that keeps us going.

Yum, Yum, Yummy food glorious food!

The Girls 021Queen Mary Tea Room ~ Seattle, Washington


Phyllo dough crust surrounds layers of ham, spinach, egg, onion, tomato, plus layers of assorted white cheeses. Served with a side of fresh fruit and a green salad

Seattle FoodBreakfast with family from California at the Portage Bay Cafe ~ South Lake Union, Seattle

CanlisDinner at the Canlis Lounge, Seattle, Washington, with our son and DIL for a late Mother’s Day/Father’s Day celebration.

2014-06-29 Nate's wedding1Dinner at Red Star Tavern in Portland, Oregon, with my cousins during our time in town for a wedding.

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P1050337Yes and Yippy, I even did some cooking. I’ll be posting my Huevos Rancheros with Gluten Free Ranchero Sauce later this month on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog.

Last to make you smile is the wedding cake doughnuts we enjoyed this last Saturday at the wedding we attended outside of Portland, Oregon. It was a morning wedding with Brunch served after the ceremony.

Nate's wedding 055The doughnuts were ordered from Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon.

Hope you weren’t hungry while you visited my contribution for the letter Y! I might be absent for Z and A since a trip across the pond is in my near future.

Thanksgiving Comes Early…

…and continues through November!

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Dan and Jamie (upper right) drove from Eastern Washington to spend an early Thanksgiving with us. They arrived late on Friday night and we were thankful for their safe journeys. Saturday morning Dear and I met Jamie in our kitchen and knew that we liked her easy spirit. My sister Lana and her husband Steve joined us for our early Thanksgiving meal. They had just returned from the Dominican Republic where they were able to minister to the poorest of the poor. They shared their experience and we were thankful for their trip and life changing experience. We stood around the table joining our hands and Dear expressed our gratitude to God for all he has given us relationally and materially. Filled to the gills we cleaned up and Dear and I headed to bed while the rest enjoyed games around the table laughing heartily into the night. God is good to us and we are forever thankful to Him.

For those who are curious about such things, our Thanksgiving meal was very traditional. Turkey, stuffing, yams (with brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows), mashed potatoes, gravy, and rolls. Being concerned about our lack of green on our plates my sister Lana contributed a lovely green soup which consisted of pureed sauteed in onion spinach, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, and jalapeno. It was delicious and we were happy that the green requirement was met. Pumpkin and Razzleberry pie with whipped cream for dessert and some lovely beverages all along the way…

Seattle’s All a Buzz!

You could literally feel the excitement coming from people as Laura and I walked into the Century Link Stadium on Saturday night. There was to be a “huge announcement” before the game and they asked everyone to make sure and be in their seats at 7:15. We complied because we heard rumors and wanted to see if what we heard would be true and it was…

Clint Dempsey

Clint Dempsey is now a Seattle Sounder!

“Dempsey, the captain of U.S. national team who was purchased from Tottenham of the English Premier League, joins a Seattle team that is getting healthier, hungrier and hotter.”

“Going into the season, I thought I was going to be at Tottenham,” Dempsey said, “but MLS and the Seattle Sounders, they moved mountains to get me here. I am excited to be back in America.”

OK…I realize not all my bloggy friends are Soccer fans and some of you won’t even recognize his name but this is a huge development for the Sounders team and it was so much fun to witness and especially hear the excitement on Saturday night when Dempsey peeled off his hoody and revealed his new Sounders jersey.

In case you are wondering why it was just Laura and I walking into the stadium, Josh is at Lakeside Bible Camp directing the junior high camp for this week. Laura was busily texting him with the news that the Clint Dempsey signing rumors were true. Josh was very excited about two of his favorite things on Saturday…Soccer and Lakeside Bible Camp.

Home front news:

My mom has decided to go off oxygen and morphine so as of Sunday the oxygen has been removed from my parents apartment. My brother served my mom and pop communion on Sunday evening and several of us were able to google hangout to be part of the evening at the apartment. We sang together and prayed together. My mom is still very alert and she continues to make us laugh with her down to earth comments. The dialogues between her and my pop are priceless. Our nephew Caleb is getting married this coming Saturday in Gaviota, California so mom and pop in their words are “putting off dying till after the wedding” they call the wedding a detour from dying. We have enough material from our dear parents to make a mini-series.

mail.google.comMy mom with niece Melissa on Sunday. My mom said “I like this gadget”.

From the eternal to the mundane…our floors are now ready to receive their new padding and carpeting. What interesting room landscapes we are living with for a couple days. 2 queen mattress sets are stacked where our dining table usually sits. Fun times! Even with this configuration we enjoyed a wonderful Copper River Salmon meal last night with my sister and her hubby. Before their softball game Lana asked if she could drop off all the supplies for dinner so Dear and I could cook it for the 4 of us while they fulfilled their team duties. Little sisters can make those kinds of requests. I did reply to her “what do you think I am, a Mennonite?” She replied, “yes, I heard you were adopted in.” So there you have it. And because our garage is full of our other furniture which made our barbecue impossible to retrieve I cooked the salmon on the deck in an electric skillet…if that’s not a Mennonite alternative cooking method I don’t know what is!? We had salmon, black rice, broiled asparagus-zucchini and a cucumber heirloom tomato salad. Delicious. Chunky Monkey Ice Cream for dessert.

How was your weekend?

Welcome Here!

Everywhere we went in Canada I was struck with this greeting “Welcome Here”. It’s not a greeting used across the board in the U.S.A. but I’d love to start using it at my house. This post is about the places were were “welcomed here” apart from our book signing locations. I’ve already shared about Charlotte’s home and our wonderful lunch there.


We were also treated to a wonderful meal at the home of Betty’s sister, Norma. What fun we had as Norma’s dear husband served us the meal she planned and prepared. (The Photo above is from our Women Refreshed at the Well Lodgings)


Jack and Norma


A lovely table set for all of us with appetizers before our main meal began.




Not only did Jack serve us but he also washed up all the dishes while we had dessert in the Sun Porch. A great example of a servant that we are all called to be…


All Eight of us tried to trick Norma into giving us the recipe for this delicious pasta dish she made but she held her ground and kept her secret…so far. Time will tell if we can replicate it!


We were going to take these great little pudding/yogurt pies home with us to have at our retreat center but it turned out that we had time enough to eat them in the Sun Porch. Delicious! Aren’t they packaged nicely? That little pouch on the side is granola.


We were so glad to be able to spend time with Betty’s sister and Jack. Thank you so much for welcoming us here! Aren’t these sisters beautiful!?

Dear called from France today and it was so good to hear his relaxed voice. Things are a little quiet at his conference since so many travelers were delayed because of air traffic strikes in France. He’s eaten some Octopus and a Risotto dish that he sent me photos of. He sees me take so many photos of food that it has rubbed off on him. Here’s a photo that he took just outside the conference center.


Marseille, France

Tuesday night I was able to do something that qualifies for my bucket list and I’ll be sharing the experience really soon with lots of photos.

I’m watching and praying for many of our blogging friends in areas of extreme weather and in areas where wildfires are raging. May lives be spared and damage minimal. Blessings and remember you are “Welcome Here” anytime…

Set the Table…

…and they will come!

On Monday night we gathered around the table to enjoy our visitors from California. We had stuffed cabbage that we call Goluptsi. You can see the recipe here. We had a wonderful salad with lots of goodies chopped in it and dressed with our favorite Persian Dressing.

Thursday the MGCC girls are being interviewed by Suzanne Woods Fisher at 2:00 PST and 5:00 EST on her Amish Wisdom show. You can listen in on a live feed here.

I’m linking up with Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen for her weekly Let’s Dish Linky Party!

Celebrating our Sons…

January 16th is our son Dan’s birthday. We weren’t able to be together for his birthday last year so it was great to be together to celebrate this year.

We are so thankful to God for our sons and that includes our new son-in-law. We celebrated them all tonight at dinner in Seattle. The snow didn’t hinder our journey to the restaurant in Pioneer Square and we had a wonderful time.

Joshua’s birthday is coming up on Thursday. We were also celebrating Andrew’s safe return from Afghanistan.

All the kids with dad!

All the kids with mom!

Interesting times in the Puget Sound Area this week. They are predicting a snowstorm on Wednesday that will stop us all in our tracks. Time will tell. Needless to say people will be swamping the stores on Tuesday to stock up on food, batteries and some will be looking for generators. They love to put the fear of the storm in us.

How are things where you are?

A Lighter Spring Table…

…set for dinner with good friends of ours.











It’s fun to set a pretty table but it’s even better to enjoy a meal with our dear friends around the table.

I’m linking to Tablescape Thursday with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.

Photobucket replaced all my photos with blurred out versions 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.

Weekend Fun!


On Friday night we had our good friends over for a meal. Dave, Jody, Bob, and Jan have been our friends since before we moved to Washington in 1988. Jody, Jan and I were walking buddies for years before Dear’s job took us back to California. Now that we are back we have some catching up to do. When the 6 of us went on a walking tour of Great Britain back in May of 2006 we were on a quest to find the best Sticky Toffee Pudding in Britain. If the pudding was on the menu we’d order one serving with 6 spoons. On Friday night we each had our own serving. Good times, good friends, good memories. Um yes, this blogger was so busy enjoying her friends she didn’t take photos of the food…


On Saturday the fun continued when Josh and Laura picked me up for an afternoon Sounders game. Winning was especially rewarding! Note: If you take a little one to sporting events where the crowd noise gets exceptionally loud like Sounders games these little ear protectors are a must! Isn’t little Oliver adorable!?

I’ve been having fun in Picasa using my photos as backgrounds for my mosaics. I’m linking up at Mary’s Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. I’m behind since Friday getting around to blogs but I’ll try to get around soon.

Photobucket replaced all my photos with these blurred out versions 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.

Comfort & Comfort Food

After our Harrison Lake Cruise and BBQ at Bev’s we headed to Marg’s for dessert and the comfort of a massage. Yet again we had 3 desserts which were each delicious.


Marg really knows how to make someone relax and have fun. The sign at her home is appropriate…

The following morning we all met at Minter Gardens for brunch and a stroll. I’ll show those photos on another day.

Our last evening together we had dinner at Julie’s clubhouse. She served us one of my all-time favorite comfort foods borsch. She even made it like my mom makes it with just a few subtle differences.



You can find my mom’s recipe for borsch here.


Julie set a beautiful table for us and before the evening was over she left us with a beautiful devotion to remember. I want to add to the  thoughts Julie spoke and share these verses.

James 1:16-18 (New Living Translation)

16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession


I drove off into this sunset headed back to the U.S.A. My welcome home at the border crossing was a random computer generated search of my car!

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.