July Photo-A-Day Challenge!

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do on the July photo-a-day challenge that Kati is hosting at Kati’s Little Corner of the World. The link up page can be found here.
1. Outdoors…
2. Flower
3. Food
4. Sparkle
5. Grass
6. White
7. Words
8. Drink
9. Calm
10. Busy
Thank you Kati for the photo prompts.

November Photo Challenge

Photo*A*Day Challenge ~ Days 24-30

Apple * Shine * Food * Thankful * Makes Me Smile * Home * Scarf

P1050573Apple on our apple tree in late August.

Oxford Day 6 136Shine – taken in a chapel at one of the Oxford colleges in England.

Sat. July 5-Chipping Campden 016Food – yummy and comforting pub food in England.

our wedding1-001Thankful for 4 marriages that have lasted 40 years in our family, my sisters, ours, and two cousins. Dear and I will celebrate 40 years next Saturday!

early September 011Makes Me Smile ~ Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle

before and afters 004Home ~ Where you can put your feet up and relax.

P1040224Scarf ~ My favorite scarves are my soccer scarves. This is me and my son Josh enjoying a U.S.A. National Team game at Century Link field in Seattle. Sunday night we’ll be wearing our Rave Green Sounders Soccer team scarves and hope that we can pull ahead of L.A. Galaxy to advance to the M.L.S. finals.

 Soccer scarf in Milan, Italy

Man U 034Old Trafford in Manchester, England. Manchester United vs. Sounders FC friendly scarf!

Our favorite scarves…The Seattle Sounders Season Ticket holders scarves!

Thank you to Kati for her Photo*A*Day Challenge for November.

We have put away Fall decor and we have brought down all our Christmas boxes from the attic. I started full speed ahead on decorating and then I walked into a chair full speed ahead and I think one of my toes is now broken. Oye and bother! Hopefully I’ll be able to walk about better tomorrow. We have a promise of a dry day and we need to go and buy our mystery tree. Have you started your Christmas decorating?

 

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

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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.

Fun with Football

My post for ABC Wednesday and the letter F is all about fun watching football when your home team is in the Super Bowl and they win.

2014-02-02 Gameday!1We are first and foremost Soccer fans at my house but the Seahawks made it fun to watch football this year. This was their first Super Bowl Victory. We tailored our food around the team colors and even made blue drinks. Fans of Seahawk football will be forever faithful and enjoyed the final score. I’ll continue to be a fair weather fan.

To see more posts featuring the letter F click on ABC Wednesday. Thanks again to the host and hostesses of this weekly meme.

Fashionably Late…

Here I sit on this Friday after, Black Friday, It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Friday, still in my robe Friday but still very thankful Friday!

I’m joining in with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story with my favorites from this past week. Five (or so) faves but lots more than five photos!

1. I’m thankful for this leftover photo of when my kids were all together a couple weekends ago.

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2. I’m thankful for our Son-in-law, Andrew, serving his country in Afghanistan. He had to have Thanksgiving in what he calls the sandbox.

Andrew trainingThis photo is from his cold weather training for Afghanistan.

3. I’m thankful for some leisurely shopping the evening before Thanksgiving with Dear and Katie topped off with Happy Hour at Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue. I know from here on out it will be crazy out there in the stores. I am still sitting here in my robe on this Black Friday with no intentions of going anywhere.

Bellsquare-H1A good meal with a lovely view with people you love…priceless.

P1040722We could see all the way across Lake Washington to downtown Seattle.

P1040725I’m always grateful to see a glorious sunset!

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4. We were invited to our friend’s home for Thanksgiving. There were forty five of us gathered and the food was amazing and oh so plentiful. I made double the amount of yams needed and I could have fed a whole neighborhood with just the yams. Oye. By the time we ate my memory card was full so I can’t show you the ginormous pan of yams with marshmallows on top browned to perfection. You’re going to have to take my word for it.

2013-11-29 T-Day at SpirosThe cousins table, the kid table and the collective table. The collective table was for those of us who had the most collective Thanksgivings…translation ~ the old people table! We had those of us starting in the 50’s to two matriarchs that are very close to 90 represented.

T-Day at Spiros 007Some of the younger guests!

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When you see a crowd on the deck poised with their phones, quick, grab your camera and fun out there, too!

T-Day at Spiros 013There was a cloud layer resting above the Puget Sound and at sunset we got a fun view of the Olympic Mountain range peeking out above the fog with the lovely colors of the sunset above. What you see with the naked eye is very hard to capture with a camera or phone. The view with the eyes God gave me was so much more spectacular than this photo.

5. I’m thankful that with our technology we can talk to and communicate with people across the world and in a different hemisphere than us. Our hosts’ youngest daughter is on a 2 year trek around the world living in different countries. We were able to communicate with her and see her on one of the I-phones from Australia.

T-Day at Spiros 017Hi Jamie!! We love you and miss you! (Jamie was our Katie’s maid of honor)

Did I mention I’m still in my robe? I love the morning after Thanksgiving when there is nothing on the calendar and I can just dilly dally the day away!

Sunday starts another week of celebrations around this old house. Now that Thanksgiving is behind us I’ll start getting serious about Christmas, too. How about you? Have you started on Christmas?

The Village…

The Mennonite Heritage Village helps preserve the history of the Russian Mennonites.

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The outdoor village takes you back to 1874 when the first Mennonites arrived in Manitoba. Over twenty historic buildings, including Mennonite homes, schools, churches, and small businesses line the village street. You can absorb the history as you walk through the village and the buildings.

This is a replica of the turn of the century General Store.

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The original Klass Reimer general store was the first in the village of Steinbach back in 1884.

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Lichtenau Church was built in 1930 by Mennonites who emigrated from Russia in the 1920’s.

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We had an appointment at the Livery Barn Restaurant for lunch so I’ll stop here for a bit before we continue our village tour. This is Betty and her daughter Allison.

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All of us chose to order the Bestje Dit enn Daut. Sample of a little this and that. All of this plus it came with a slice of rhubarb plautz. A very traditional Mennonite sampling.

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Marg decided we could all sample the Cinnamon roll, too. Yummy!

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Mennonites used windmills to grind grains and drain marshes throughout their history in Europe and Russia. The first windmill in Steinbach was built in 1877 by Abraham S. Friesen. A replica was built at the museum in 1972 but was destroyed by fire in 2000. Now Canada’s only operational windmill, reconstructed in 2001, is an exact replica of the 1877 windmill of Steinbach and sits in this village.

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We didn’t have enough time to walk into all the buildings but I was interested in seeing the inside of one of the school buildings. This school was built in the village of Blumenhof, near Altona, in 1885.

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Dear’s mother taught in a one room school house and I can imagine it was not unlike this one.

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Lunch boxes or I suppose they should be called Lunch cans!

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The teacher could live right in the school in an adjoining room. I think I would have preferred to have quarters elsewhere.

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Old Colony Worship House

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The house and barn connection and dwelling layout of this home can be traced back to Prussia/Poland, where the Mennonites settled from the 1500’s onward.

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This is a Semlin which was made of sod, soil, grass and wood. These were the materials used in the first homes bulit by Mennonite immigrants in 1874. Although very crude, these sod buildings provided the shelter necessary for survival on the Manitoba plains.  The house above and below this Semlin was a vast improvement built with oak logs and larger rooms. IMGP0216

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Hope you enjoyed my little tour of the Mennonite Heritage Village. Putting something together on this scale must have taken lots of hard work and volunteer hours. From what I’ve seen and experienced, Mennonites aren’t afraid of hard work. Volunteers put in hours to mow the lawns on this 40 acre site, too. It really is a great destination to visit if you travel in this area.

I have one more post to wrap up our time in Manitoba.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

Ht: Mennonite Heritage Village Brochure

At the Villages

During our short time in Winnipeg and Steinbach we had book signings in 3 different Ten Thousand Villages. Each one of the stores served food that the staff prepared from our cookbook. If you aren’t familiar with Ten Thousand Villages here is a short description of who they are.

TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES

A Fair Trade Retailer We create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.

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You might want to have something to eat before you scroll through this post. Just thought I’d give you fair warning..

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At two of the stores we ended up right next to the jewelery. I ended up coming home with 4 pieces of jewelery. That was good marketing for sure.

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Have you shopped in a Ten Thousand Villages store? This was the store in Steinbach. Our last 2 signings of our days in Manitoba were at 2 different Ten Thousand Villages in Winnipeg.

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This time we were right across from the jewelery instead of sitting in front of the jewelery. At this store we met many people who had connections to some of our own girls. This was TTV Henderson.

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Judy was able to meet up with family for breakfast who dropped her off for our signing.

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This little guy was my favorite fan for sure. He was so interested in getting one of our books and being able to enjoy some of the recipes. He never left our table even when his sister next to him found toys to play with in the store. He was more interested in making sure he got a book from us.IMGP0327-001

He watched each of us intently to make sure we signed the book just right. It was so much fun to talk to him.

Our next signing would be at the larger Ten Thousand Villages in Winnipeg but before we headed there we were invited to lunch at Margaret’s home who is Charlotte’s cousin. She was working at the store the whole time we were signing and left just minutes before we did but still had a wonderful table and food ready for us at her home nearby.

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We had a wonderful time at Margaret’s table, thank you so much! This was the first time that I had Obst Moos (a cold fruit soup) and it was delicious. Margaret said she followed Charlotte’s recipe in our first cookbook. From here we went to our last signing in Winnipeg (TTV Plaza Dr.) where more dishes from our cookbook were served.

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Genevieve made my Dear’s Tomato Rice Soup and it was delicious. I wish I would have thought to take a photo of sweet Genevieve next to the soup. By this time my head was spinning from all the fun! I still have a couple more adventures to document from the Mennonite Girls trip to Manitoba.

In the meantime my Dear is back from France and we spent a nice Father’s Day at church and brunch and then enjoying some relaxation as each of our kids called to wish him a Happy Father’s Day. We’ll celebrate next weekend with our kids who are near. On Saturday to help the hours go by before Dear came home my sister Lana and I went on a Secret Garden Tour in a neighboring city. We had a great time and I’ll be sharing about that soon, too. Hope you had a nice weekend. Spring is coming to an end. What are your plans for the last week of Spring?

Two Country Drive…

Have I ever mentioned I love being able to take in 2 countries on a drive starting from my front door? Two countries in one day with beautiful weather is a special treat. Having Katie along on this road trip was a delight for me. As we started out our trip we started singing “Oh Canada” and Katie managed to sing most of the words!

This wasn’t our best view but I found out that when I’m the driver on a road trip fewer photos are taken. Our views were truly magnificent and I don’t think a photo could have really captured the glory anyway. We saw our wonderful Cascade range of mountains starting in the U.S.A. with many more glorious views in British Columbia. An eagle flew over us on our way up and on our way back. We drove through a lot of country that these creatures call home…

The photos from the road that I took like this one were when we were stopped for road works or at the Border Crossing. Speaking of Border crossings, I am always appreciative of the kind courtesy we receive from Border Crossing Agents from Canada and the U.S.A. I am grateful for the work they do, as thankless as it might be, to keep both our countries safer.

Our primary reason for traveling to Chilliwack was to pick up a shower gift I ordered for our niece Debbee from Winks. Katie, Laura, and I will be traveling to California soon for her bridal shower. I was so excited about seeing Kathy (one of our Mennonite Girls) at Winks I forgot again to take any photos. Kathy did a lovely job of bagging our purchase. This photo was taken after we got home. Sorry I can’t show you the gift until Debbee unwraps it. We were only at Winks for a very short time as we had a very important date down the road.

Meeting up with these Mennonite Girls was the best part of Katie and my trip. It was fun for Katie to meet them all and to see Bev again. We chattered for quite a while over our nice lunch and then parted ways. What? You want to see what we ate? Wouldn’t you know I at least got a few photos of our food.

I was real happy to see the pickle spears on our plates. Here is another question for you. Do you eat the pickle or leave it on the plate? It seems Marg and I both enjoy eating ours and are willing to eat yours, too, if you leave it there too long!!

From lunch we followed Bev to Yarrow to check out a local pottery shop that her friend Ted Dreidiger owns and where he throws and fires his beautiful creations. Umm, it’s not food, so again my camera stayed in my purse. Oye! I did take a photo of my purchase when we got home. It’s a great piece that’s perfect to warm a round of brie in or to serve other hot or cold dips in.

It was fun to visit Ted in his workshop and to see all his great pieces. Thanks Bev for suggesting this stop on our way back to the U.S.A.

As we continued home after our nice chat with the U.S. Border Officer Katie was game to see the downtown area of Lynden, Washington. Can you guess what we brought home in that box?

Bumbleberry Pie! We wanted Dear to get a taste of our trip, too.

Look at all that yummy filling!

We will be having a nice quiet day at home today with more excitement starting on Friday. It’s good to pace yourself…

What have you been up to?

The Five…

Today is Friday and I’m joining Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for her Friday’s Fave Five. It’s good to think back over the past week and see the good things in life that God has blessed you with to enjoy.

1. Vareniki have become traditional for my family to prepare together before Christmas and then to serve on Christmas Eve for dessert. My mom’s version are larger and fancier than these but when I don’t get my mom’s these are the next best thing. I can buy them at a European Deli not too far form my home. They call them perogies but the Russian on the upper left translates to Vareniki with cheese. After they are formed, filled with cheese and sealed they are boiled cooled and frozen. We like to serve them hot out of the oven after they are cooked from their frozen state with butter and 1/2 and 1/2. Then we plop some sour cream on top and cover them with good maple syrup. Delicious! We had these for breakfast last Saturday before we started in on cleaning out the garage loft.

2. When we crave a good meatball sandwich we drive to a pizza joint in Lynnwood. We’ve tried to find a good one closer to us but they always disappoint. These were delicious as usual. I brought half of mine home for another day. All my favorites aren’t about food but it seems the freezing snap we’ve had since last Friday made us seek out some of our favorite comfort foods.

3. Our favorite sons both have birthdays this week. We are so thankful that God blessed us with them. Each one is unique and appreciated!

4. I’m thankful for the local library where I can put books on hold and then check out to enjoy without spending lots of money. The book in the middle is co-authored by our friend Lela Gilbert. Lela has a new book out that I’ve ordered from Amazon called, Saturday People, Sunday People. I’ll share more about it after it arrives. Without Reservations was recommended to me by Susan in Switzerland after she read about our upcoming trip to Milan. The Unofficial Downton Abbey cookbook is just for fun.

5. We are excited about finally sending our chairs out to be reupholstered. They were in sorry shape after 36 years or so of wear and tear. We are looking forward to their new look and feel.

In the meantime the table is very lonely.

Looking forward to coming around and seeing your favorites this week. What’s in store for your weekend? Some of us in the U.S. get a long weekend since Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. observance. Dear’s company doesn’t give him the day off. We hope to celebrate with Josh and Laura on Sunday if they are well enough. (Lousy illnesses gripping our world!) We also are plowing forward to try to  finish the clean up in the garage. Blessings!!

The Majority…

It was nice having the majority of our children around over the 4 day Thanksgiving Holiday. We are looking forward to seeing Katie and Andrew the day after Christmas for the majority of their trip to the West. They will be in Salt Lake City for 4 days before they continue their flight to Seattle.

I made my first dutch baby the morning after Thanksgiving. I will definitely make it again. This one had blueberries in it. The photo of  our 3 kids above was taken on the same day at our favorite Mexican restaurant. And yes, we ate our way through the 4 days…

All the Christmas containers are down from the attic. Now I need to decide what to put up. We won’t be getting our tree until the weekend of the 8th.

How’s Christmas decorating shaping up at your house?