My Surprising Life Hodgepodge

1. What’s surprised you most about your life or life in general? 
Looking back the things that have surprised me most in life are the people God has put in my life, the places and adventures I have enjoyed and the protection from God that I benefited from on these adventures.
Here’s a short list of some surprises in my life:
That God brought Dear and I together during our time as part of a Christian Rock Band performing in the U.S. and Great Britain.
That we had three children.
That we moved to Washington State away from all our extended family for Dear to pursue a whole new career.
That our three children married helpmates who love God and we’ve enjoyed so many adventures with all of them.
That through my blogging experience God blessed me with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Who would have guessed I would be part of this group of women who love God, their families, are growing disciples of Jesus and who love to feed orphans and widows with our royalties? The adventures I’ve had with this group alone is mind boggling.
That we are now enjoying our first little grand.
That it looks like we’ll be moving away from the City to the Country. I’ve been a city mouse all my life…
That God is good to me and has surprised me my whole life long.
2.  Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin pie…you have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?
It’s a toss up between butternut squash soup and sweet potato fries.

3. What’s a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?

I went to Goodreads and looked at their list of top 200 books from Washington State and I haven’t read even one. My daughter read all the Twilight series. The top votes went to Snow Falling on Cedars. The only book on the list that looks interesting to me is The Boys in the Boat.
4. There are 60 days until Christmas…have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?

No, I have not shopped at all yet. We have just had our family discussion on what Christmas will look like this year. The only thing that is organized for the holidays is the fact that I have everything in the attic in it’s proper containers. The holidays that I choose to gather decor for have their own bins, etc. I hope our kitchen and master bath renovations will be completed (kitchen) before Thanksgiving and (master bath) before Christmas.

5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you’d like to visit one day? The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-

SeaJack #6 010The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis’s Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee’s Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattagnooa and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)

How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?

SeaJack #6 025Back in May of 2014 our daughter and I drove from Seattle to Jacksonville, North Carolina to set her up in an apartment just before her Marine husband returned from a long tour of duty in Afghanistan. We drove through part of Tennessee to get to North Carolina. Our first stop was Hendersonville to spend the night at the home of one of Andrew’s Marine buddies who was in Afghanistan with him. The next day we drove through part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and had a sandwich in Gatlinburg. We drove through Pigeon Forge to get to Gatlinburg. That is one weird town. Click here and you’ll see my post from our drive through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

I’ll have to pass on traveling to Tennessee again.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Mommy and Addy. We had 7 days enjoying her and watching her every move from October 12-19. She cut her first tooth upon turning 7 months old.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond who asks the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge. And thank you to everyone who took the time to read my answers. I appreciate your time and comments.

 

Thankful Thursday

I have two new recipes up on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog this week. The Rustic Potato Salad has been enjoyed already on three separate occasions at this old house and the Chicken Tetrazzini Soup is also a new favorite. It has just the right amount of creaminess and the lemon zest adds a wonderful finish.

Last night my son, daughter in love and I enjoyed a beautiful shirt sleeve night at Century Link field in Seattle at the Seattle Sounders Soccer game. It was especially fun for us since our Sounders finally won a game with a 3-0 shutout. We’ve been on a tying streak and then we lost our last game in Salt Lake City. Winning is a treat and spending time with these two brings joy to me.

In 2007 and 2008 I participated in a weekly meme called Thankful Thursday. Here’s one of my posts from October 17, 2007.

I Will Always Love Your Name

Here I am and I have come

To thank You, Lord, for all You’ve done

Thank You, Lord

You paid the price at Calvary

You shed Your blood, You set me free

Thank You, Lord

No greater love was ever shown

No better life ever was laid down

And I will always love Your name

And I will always sing Your praise

You took my sin, You took my shame

You drank my cup, You bore my pain

Thank You, Lord

You broke the curse, You broke the chains

In victory from death You rose again

Thank You Lord

and not by works, but by Your grace

You clothe me now in Your righteousness

You bid me come, You make me whole

You give me peace, You restore my soul

Thank you, Lord

You’re making me to be like You

To do the works of the Father, too.

written by Paul Oakley (copyright 1997 Kingsway Thankyou Music/PRs/EMI Christian Music Publishing

I’m still thankful and always will be thankful for Jesus and what he’s done for me.

I’m thankful for Dear and the family God has given us to love and enjoy and grow alongside.

I’m thankful for good food and the Mennonite Girls Can Cook who have become some of my nearest and dearest friends.

I’m thankful for good bloggy friends. Some of you I have met and some I haven’t met in person but I cherish you nonetheless. You have encouraged me, prayed for me and my family, entertained me, taught me, inspired me and made me laugh out loud. I’ve traveled to places I’ll never be able to go through your posts and I’ve enjoyed your adventures. I’ve grieved with some of you as you’ve said goodbye to your spouses ad other loved ones. I’ve also grieved the loss and miss posts from bloggers who have died. Blogging has been a good thing in my life, thank you Lord!

And on the lighter side of thankfulness. Thank you Lord for my enjoyment of soccer! 🙂

Linking up with Michelle at It’s a Small Town Life for Thankful Thursday and tomorrow I’ll link up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for Friday’s Fave Five.

A Baker’s Dozen of Love…

11 Collages and 2 singles equals 13, a baker’s dozen.

On Thursday September 21st I left our home at 4pm to head to the airport to pick up our precious cargo from Seatac airport. Our usual 30-35 minute trip to the airport took 2 hours on this evening with traffic and then a major collision just a few miles from the airport. I left in plenty of time because I’m Moisi’s daughter and I had time to park and find the baggage carousel that our kids luggage would arrive on a few minutes before we met up.

I’m so happy to report that Addy May seemed to recognize me and she smiled and giggled when we made eye contact. I held her while we waited for the luggage and everyone that walked past her got a smile and she got lots of compliments. She seems to be pretty social. It took a lot less time to get home from the airport and Dear had his famous Tomato Rice Soup ready for our travelers. Addy enjoyed her new Baby Einstein Walker that Baba and Gramps bought for her, sitting in it and standing outside of it. We all learned colors and numbers in English, Spanish and French!

Addy is enjoying some soft food these days and she had her rice cereal mixed with homemade no sugar applesauce and a little of mommy’s milk for her meal. Uncle Andrew and Aunt Katie joined us on Thursday night for dinner and some Addy time.

On Friday morning Uncle Josh, Aunt Katie and Uncle Andrew arrived in time for some breakfast, a walk and then lunch at our local Mexican restaurant so Addy could meet our favorite waitress who has been seeing weekly photos of Addy since she was born. Auntie Laura had to work on Friday and was wrapping up two weeks with International workers at World Concern, the non profit she works for.

Addy lights up for her uncle’s and auntie’s and here she only has eyes for Josh.

Auntie Katie is making sure Addy doesn’t fall over as she lifts herself up to stand next to the couch and give it a taste.

Saturday morning jammy time and once again the uncles and aunties are over for meals and hands on with Addy May.

Auntie Laura got some looks of love from Addy in the collage above.

The reason the kids flew over for these few days were all about tickets for a concert that were purchased a year ago. This crew above all had seats together at Century Link field for a Coldplay concert on Saturday night. Jamie and Sarly are dear friends of both our boys and their wives. Jamie and Dan have been best friends since 2nd grade. Who could have guessed Dan would marry a Jamie, too. Josh came up with a vehicle that the six of them could travel in together. They had a wonderful time and little Addy May survived her first full night away from mommy and daddy. Not saying there weren’t any tears but we all survived and she did take a bottle from me successfully.

The morning after she was still smiling at me and was happy to come to me. I’m glad I remembered to snap a shot of the these three before they headed back to the airport Sunday morning.

Addy was a great little traveler, granted the flight was only one hour long, but it was still a good start for her traveling memories.

Our time was rich and now Gramps and Baba are recuperating from all the fun, bending down, lifting, chasing and feeding the ones nearest and dearest to us! Thanking the good Lord for all that we enjoyed.

My Mom’s Roolyet

I posted the recipe that we finally perfected that tastes like my mom’s nut roll. Head over to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog to see the recipe and instructions. Click here.

I’m happy to have arrived home safe and sound from Southern California on Wednesday morning. Now I’m doing laundry and sorting through some mail. I’m hoping to get around to some blogs soon.

It was so good to see family and friends over my seven days in Orange County. I arrived on Wednesday and we had a birthday dinner for my pop on Thursday at my sister Kathy’s. Then on Friday we had a sister day in Huntington Beach. On Saturday we had another family gathering at my sister Vera’s and we honored my sister Kathy, my pop and niece Debbee who all have May birthdays.

On Sunday evening Vera and I had a lovely time at Ken and Heidi’s. Heidi was my best friend and partner in crime in my college years and beyond. She and Ken met and were engaged during a period of time that Heidi was living with Dear and me. We have been good friends for all these years and it was nice to enjoy an evening together.

Ken and Heidi have a slice of paradise home with an outdoor space that really reminds you of something you would call a tropical paradise.

Our fellowship, the weather, the setting and the food were wonderful. While we were eating outside a Bobcat chose to walk across the far side of their outdoor space with no interest in us, thankfully. I heard recently that bobcats really aren’t interested in attacking humans.

On Memorial day we enjoyed a barbecue at my niece Debbee and Lenny’s home in Huntington Beach. Red, white and blue were the colors of choice on this day. Before we ate a friend of the family prayed and thanked God for those who served and gave their lives for us and the freedoms we enjoy. We enjoyed burgers, ribs, corn on the cob, salads, sweet watermelon and a few desserts. Thank you Lenny and Debbee!

On my last evening in Southern California Vera and I met up with Dear’s brother, sister-in-law and two of three nieces. It was another good time to catch up with what is going on in their lives. Cell phone photos are hit and miss in the darker restaurant.

Thank you Vera for letting me crash at your place and for being my private chauffeur while I was in Southern California.

Hello June! We are starting the month off with rain here in the Puget Sound area. We’ll see how long June gloom lasts. I have gloomy things to do inside so I’ll go with the flow and soldier on with sorting, trashing, shredding and recycling things I should never have stored away! Addy’s expression in this next photo just about covers the task set before me.

I love her expressions! Thank you modern technology. Snap and send has never been more appreciated!

So Thankful for May!

Addy May that is! Our little triple Y! She’s Y we want to head east and Y we are willing to drive across the pass over the Cascades anytime whatever the weather. She’s Y we bought a car that can manage those driving conditions better, too. Those driving conditions include the driveway to our kids home. All these photos have been shared with us via smartphone texts.

Comforted by her daddy while mommy gets some much needed sleep.

On April 28th-30th Uncle Josh and Auntie Laura got to fly over to Spokane and head north to have a few days of cuddles and walks. Our boys, Josh and Dan were born 2 years apart and have been the best of friends for most of their years and I thank God for that. I thank God a lot for that.

Auntie Laura was determined to catch a photo of Addy smiling. In the meantime Addy had a sweet grip on auntie’s finger while cuddling.

Sweet sleeping bliss.

A wee smile of contentment.

Some sweet sleepy cuddles with Uncle Josh.

Be still my heart for this sweet capture of daughter and daddy!

And then a comfortable sleep in uncle’s arms.

Another sweet pick that is my phone wallpaper right now!

Of course Uncle and Auntie had to try on the Sounders hat while listening to the game on Saturday night. She looks concerned but thankfully the team pulled off an amazing comeback to tie the game.

Auntie and Uncle with miss Addy May just before they said their goodbyes till next time.

Thank you Jamie, Dan, Auntie Laura and Uncle Josh for sharing these photos with us! Love them all and all of you!

Dear and I are planning our next trip over the pass and across central Washington to Spokane and then north to see our kids again soon.

Today on Mennonite Girls Can Cook I’m sharing a recipe Rosella shared with me for Lactation Cookies. I made them for Jamie and if you have a new mom in your community group or family they’d be a good choice to add to that meal you take over.

The Celebrations Continue…

We decided it was good to celebrate Easter again while we celebrated our son-in-law Andrew.

Family on the western side of Washington got together this morning for brunch. Dear and I attend our 8am service at church so a brunch at 11:00 works out well for us. We had Eggs Benedict with hashbrowns and fresh fruit.

Andrew’s birthday was on April 12th while we were in Eastern Washington.  Today he got a small slice of coffee cake with a birthday candle in it. We sang and he managed to blow out the candle. He looks pleased with himself.

Dear, Andrew, Katie and I also celebrated on Friday April 21st at a new place close to us called Korachka, a Russian Tavern. We gave Andrew his birthday gift and enjoyed some Russian food…delicious. Friday was a glorious sunny day…all day and into the evening! On the way home from the tavern I took some shots from the moving car of the sunshine on Lake Washington.

And because this is a post of mosaics here’s one from the day we left eastern Washington of the many faces of our dear little 1 month old Addy. These photos of Addy were taken on April 18th in the morning before we said our goodbyes.

Linking up with Maggie at Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday. Thank you Maggie.

Daddy and Daughter…

Here’s the side by side, Beth! I need to get a newborn photo of Jamie to scan to do a side by side comparison, too.

1 week old sent to us by the kids.

Posting the rest of my random photos until we travel east again to get some fresh photos!

And speaking of random here’s a photo of my dear old Pop with his great granddaughter Ellie taken several weeks ago.

Ellie is about 14 months or so here and Pop is almost 94! We so enjoy the instagram and facebook photos and videos of our dear little grandniece Ellie. Right now our Addy is Pop’s youngest Great Grandchild that we know of.

Continuing on the random theme…Yippee for some random sunshine here in the Pacific Northwest. We had a good church service on Sunday talking about being doers of the Word and capped off with Communion. Came home and had a nice breakfast of eggs and waffles with a couple hot dogs cut up and served alongside the scrambled eggs. Do you ever use a hot dog for your breakfast meat? Nathan’s skinless are my favorite. I donned my grubby work clothes and wellies to pull some weeds while the earth was still moist and weeds were easier to pull. I will also mow the lawn for the first time this year if the sunshine continues on Monday! Here’s a sneak peek at some paths Katie and I walked on last week. I’ll share more as the week progresses.

Linking up to Mosaic Monday with Maggie at Normandy Life.