Mennonite Girls Can Camp or…

…glamp.

Glamping: Glamping is a portmanteau of glamorous and camping and describes a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with “traditional” camping.

Dear strung a clothesline between two of our trees out front and I gathered up every apron I own to hang on it along with a welcome sign for four of the Mennonite Girls who would be arriving along with their husbands from British Columbia for our first MGCC RV Resort Camp in our front yard. It was so much fun to see the campers turn into our driveway.

The three with campers/trailers picked their spots and set up their sites. Anneliese and her husband stayed at the nearby Comfort Inn but joined us for all the festivities.

They pulled into our drive shortly after the campers got settled.

Once we had everything set up hands came together for appies. Anneliese threw together a big bowl of guacamole. She also had some spreadable brie with hot jelly for crackers. Bev put out some sugared salmon.

We enjoyed our appetizers out back on the deck and under our sunshade.

Then it was time to fire up the Traeger.

Dear prepared and grilled tri-tip.

Lovella made a Capreze salad. Judy shared some buns. Bev prepared asparagus with garlic and a buttermilk dressing along with Parmesan cheese. It was clear that no one would be hungry on this camp out!

Lovella finished off our meal with piroshky baked in her trailer oven. The meal was a great collaboration and it was delicious. Definitely glamping!

And that was just the end of our first partial day together!

We were full to the brim with good food, good friendship and good fellowship. We said goodnight with plans on breakfast starting at 9 AM Saturday morning.

Wednesday Medley

Joining Terri, Your Friend From Florida, for Wednesday Medley. She provides questions for us to answer on our blogs and then we can visit other blogs that answered the same questions.

Here are the questions for this Wednesday:

What is your claim to fame?

My claim to fame is that I am one of the ten Mennonite Girls Can Cook. We met because of Lovella’s blog and eventually Lovella started a recipe blog called Mennonite Girls Can Cook. She invited me and other gals to join the blog and provide recipes. The contributors were capped at the ten of us current gals and the rest is history. We’ve co-authored three books, had a play named after us, and provided cooking demonstrations/classes and a few of our gals even made it onto Global TV. All of our royalty money has been contributed to helping children, orphans and widows. I am the one American in the group and I’m also the one non-Mennonite. They adopted me because of my Russian heritage and our similar cooking heritage.

What is something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

I like to hold and read a book and turn the pages.

What did you think you would grow out of but haven’t?

Haha, there are a lot of things I’ve grown out of, like all my clothes from a decade ago. Oye. Something I haven’t grown out of and would like to is being concerned about what other people think of me. I’m less concerned then in my youth but it still nags at me.

What is the dumbest thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?

I gave a ride to two criminals to get them away from my house and was able to drive into a driveway down the hill from us where a sheriff vehicle had pulled in looking for them. I jumped out of the car ran over to the policeman and said the guys you are looking for are in my car. He was dumbfounded and within a minute about 6 other police vehicles pulled up. They all told me I shouldn’t have done that. No duh! My husband was really upset with me for doing it, too. The two young thugs were, as the police detective put it, really bad guys. I had to go to a disposition hearing but did not have to go to trial. The two thugs had robbed a couple houses down the hill from us. I knew they didn’t belong on our hill and they cornered me in our driveway asking for a ride. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to get into our house with them right there and our daughter was in the house so I chose to give them a ride away from our house. I talked to them the whole time they were in my car letting them know I had to get home quickly because my sons would be coming home from school, etc. I even asked them if they were a couple of bad boys and they said, “no maam, no maam, as they slid down in their seats when they saw the police vehicle ahead of us on the road. The two thugs were shocked that I did that and were stuck to their seats instead of jumping out of the car and trying to get away. My angel was on overtime!!

If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?

Hmm…I’m going to choose Grace because I’m grateful for God’s amazing grace in my life.

What is something random you can tell us about this week?

It’s getting colder and colder here in our northeast corner of Washington State. I’m going to have to consider my wardrobe and add some cold weather items.

Ten Glorious Years

The Mennonite Girls Can Cook have some announcements. We started our journey together when I was still covering my grey roots and now I’m letting my grey shine. On 6/8/2018, Lovella posted one of the first recipes that appeared on our blog in June of 2008. Here’s that post with our first announcement, Zwieback. Judy posted our last Bread for the Journey on Sunday. On Monday June 11, 2018, Lovella posted Ten Years of Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

I’m putting this post together to help me remember much of what went on with the “girls” the last 10 years with links to some memorable posts from the other “girls”. This will be an ongoing post as I search and find posts to add links to.

When I first met the girls in person in April of 2010. (Lovella)

The Book Arrives (Judy)

Our First Cookbook. (Lovella)

Book Launch (Judy)

A Tribute (Anneliese)

Cooking Classes(Judy)

 

West Coast Women’s show kitchen stage.

Marg and Judy’s epic birthday celebration at Harrison Hot Springs.

Mennonite West Coast event in Fresno, California, where plans begin for our next cookbook.

To Fresno and Back (Judy)

Mini book tour in Bellingham and Vancouver.

Celebrations Book Launch in Chilliwack and Abbotsford.

Winnipeg book signings.

West Coast Women’s Show

Some of the girls traveled by train to spend the day in the Seattle area ending at my home.

Visiting Ellen (Anneliese)

Lepp Farm Market Paska Cooking Class

Lepp Farm Market Christmas Cookie Class

Bread for the Journey Book launch

Indiana and Ohio for the openings of the play using our name.

Post by Anneliese

 

Christmas gatherings over the years.

At Our House seen through Anneliese’s Eyes.

 

l

Some of us were able to gather on Monday June 11th in British Columbia to celebrate the end of this chapter in the Mennonite Girls Can Cook’s lives. Thank you to Lovella and her beloved for a wonderful evening reminiscing and doing what we do best, sharing the food we have cooked.

It’s been a great 10 years and I thank my God always when I think of these girls and all I’ve been privileged to experience because of our growing friendship filled with encouragement, laughter, conversation and prayer. This Tenship will continue with my everyday friends.

Anneliese’s Thoughts

 

From Afar…

…enjoyment through photos. These are photos our kids took (Laura) while spending time together in snowy Colville. I loved seeing the fun in the snow and happy faces from this side of the mountains where rain persists with no snow.

I think she likes her ride.

Hey mom, why can’t I move my legs?!

Our first born with his love.

Our second born with his favorite girls.

Our youngest with her love.

All of our favorites in one photo! Thankful for each one of them.

Awesome mama and our little delightful granddaughter.

The snow angel!

The early morning snow warriors.

I’m a grateful mom and baba for this time our kids had together. Addy got re-acquainted with her aunts and uncles. Now I’m praying for safe journeys home for Josh, Laura, Andrew and Katie.

Meanwhile back at the ranch (this old house) and at Mennonite Girls Can Cook I posted a One-skillet steak meal for two. Enjoy.

Happy President’s Day!

The Weekend Roundup “C”

Tom is hosting the Weekend Roundup. I’m joining in from the Seattle area.

This weeks prompts are:

1. Starts with “C.”
2. Week’s Favorite.
3. Clouds.

Let’s “C” what I can come up with…

Starts with C

Cabbage Rolls or Golubtsi, Голубцы, a Russian version of cabbage rolls. Recipe here.

2. This weeks favorite.

Cute climber!

3. Clouds

Wispy clouds over Elliott Bay Marina, Seattle. Seattle Space Needle in the distance amongst the masts.

Next weeks prompts: Starts with “D.”  A Favorite.  Details.

An Adoring Hodgepodge

1. Where have you found unexpected magic or delight this holiday season?

See collage above. We decided last Friday night to take a quick trip to northeastern Washington state to see our kids who can’t make the trip to be with us on Christmas day. It was worth the drive to enjoy the day and a half and to see all Addy’s new skills and expressions and to enjoy time and meals with her fabulous parents.

The other delight for me is sitting in view of the Christmas tree with it’s lights on and enjoying Christmas music.

2. What’s your favorite type of holiday gathering? Will you/have you gathered in your favorite way this month?

Gatherings that include good food and Christian fellowship are my favorite. Besides my immediate family gatherings on Christmas Eve and Christmas day my favorite is our annual Christmas gathering with the Mennonite Girls and our husbands. The only thing that would make it even better is if our Manitoba girls could fly in for the party.

3. Time has named ‘The Silence Breakers’ (women who came forward with stories of harassment)  ‘person of the year’ for 2017. Would you agree? If not, who do you think deserves the title?

I’ll consider the source for this yearly announcement and honor in giving my opinion. I don’t expect high standards from “Time” anymore. It really is the season of discontent and finding fault in our nation. I don’t discredit women who have suffered harassment. I hope women in the future will be able to speak up boldly as it happens and not hold onto the grief for years.

Who I think deserve the title this year are Firefighters and other First Responders who have come to the aid of so many during hurricanes and wild fires, sacrificing their own lives!

Then from a Christian perspective I’d have R.C. Sproul on the cover, the founder of Renewing Your Mind, who went to be with His Lord this past week. He was a faithful servant and teacher of God’s Truth.

Renewing Your Mind is an outreach of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian discipleship organization founded in 1971 by Dr. R.C. Sproul. We know that God uses his Word to change lives. In Romans 12:2, Paul tells Christians to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” That is our aim. We’re committed to faithfully presenting the unvarnished truth of Scripture, helping you to know what you believe, why you believe, how to live it and how to share it.

4. How did you spend your time this year? Are you happy about that? Elaborate

Accepting and embracing changes that have come to us. Accepting the retirement stage and the reality of what comes with that. Accepting the fact that we will be making a major move across our state next year and preparing for that. Accepting the new aches and pains that come with our stage of life. Embracing our freedom of doing what we want each day without many time restrictions. Totally embracing our new family dynamic with the addition of sweet little Addy into our family. This has been fun from a grandparenting perspective but also amazing to watch our children in a parenting role and our other children in an auntie/uncle nurturing role.

Yes, I am content and happy about it.

5. Bid farewell to 2017 in ten words or less.

Thank you for introducing us to the world of grandparenting.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

As I’m typing this my tree is getting it’s last string of lights so I can start putting the ornaments on it. I’m okay with the delay since our 3 day travel diversion yielded some sweet memories of Addy’s new skills.

We finally figured out her little tongue was feeling a new upper tooth that was trying to pop out.

Yum, unsweetened canned pears from Baba’s and Gramps’ pear tree.

She’s standing a lot more without holding on and still only takes a couple of steps at a time. Walking isn’t far off.

I just want to clap my hands! She really is enjoying clapping.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my answers.

Yahoo! The tree is finally decorated so soon I’ll have my Mystery Tree post ready to go.

What About You Hodgpodge

1.  What’s something blogging has taught you about yourself?

I’m social and I like to meet new people and see and experience new things. Blogging has opened up a whole new world to me with a walking buddy while I was living in Southern California (Willow’s Cottage), tour guides on trips to Canada (Pondside), outings with blogging friends to museums in California (Willows Cottage and Sara), a meet up and shopping trips with a blogging friend from Orange County who is no longer blogging, a meal with another blogging friend in the Sacramento area (Scrabblequeen) Lunch in Kansas with another blogging friend who is no longer blogging. The most amazing impact on my life that came to me through blogging is my association with the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. These nine women have enriched my life in more ways then I can count. I’m so thankful to God for them and the lives they lead in service to others and all the dear friends I’ve met in person or enjoyed by visiting their blogs. I’m ready and willing to meet any more of you who travel to my part of the world.

2.  Leftovers…are you in the ‘reheat and eat’ camp or the ‘put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them’ camp? What’s your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?

Both. I like small amounts of leftovers but I get tired of some things that linger in the fridge. I really enjoy Stroganoff and tuna noodle as leftovers. Soggy salads aren’t my cup of tea.

3. ‘Me time’…your thoughts?

At this stage of life I have plenty of “Me Time”. When my children were living under our roof “me time” was a rare commodity. I don’t think it’s too healthy to think too much about ME. There are seasons of life where we have more time for self and seasons with less time for self.

4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?

Emotional support.

5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.

 Cabbage as in Borsch. Marinated lamb cooking on the barbecue. Lots of rice.  Sour cream as a side dish. Blintzes swimming in butter and half and half. Good fresh bread. In other words heritage food was the smell of my childhood. My mother’s and father’s love language was providing good eats for their family and others. We would probably be considered poor growing up but one thing we never lacked was tasty food.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Yippee, Yahoo, our countertops are being installed this morning, one week late! Better late then never! In the meantime I’ve accomplished some organizing and thinning out of stuff at this old house with the anticipation of moving next June! No Christmas decorating at this old house yet till we clean up the mess from the new countertops going in. Next week sounds like a good week to get a tree and start decorating.

Thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions!

Three Days Shy of 7 Months…

These photos were taken Tuesday October 17th. Auntie and Baba were Addy sitting while her mommy was at Bible Study.

We got a kick out of all her expressions and those eyebrows!

Looking at Auntie Katie and reaching for her hand.

We were tiring her out.

Tuesday the guys made a run to the dump and then were in the forest getting a supply of wood with a permit. When they brought the Lodge Pole Pines home they cut it down into sixteen inch rounds to Chop later.  I was watching Addy while all the wood activity went on so I didn’t get a photo of the wood. After they cut and stacked it we got ready for dinner out at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Chewelah, El Ranchito.

Addy looks like a pro in the restaurant highchair. The padded high chair and shopping cart seat covers are such a great invention. I found this one in near new condition at Goodwill for $3.99. This was another full day with everyone dropping into bed early.

Back to the present: Our kitchen is ready for measurements to make templates to cut and prepare the quartz for installation. The new sink arrived today and the new cook top arrived last Friday. We picked the tile company we are going with for the back splash. We won’t purchase the tile till after the counters are installed. I’m parting with some items that have been on my counters forever and a day. I hope to get good photos for the before and after.

Today is Halloween. No tricks but I have a treat for you over at Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Click here to get the recipe for this treat…

I’m looking forward to seeing all the cute little trick or treaters tonight and shouting out a hello to their parents standing back and watching them approach our door. I’ll try to keep track as to how many come. I’ve got my old tupperware bowl full to the brim with a variety of candy. Do you get many trick or treaters?

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 will be completed before Thanksgiving or 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.