Starting Fresh with Hodgepodge…

1. Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday.
 15747502_10211510518384524_8505381520756214670_nOur Nutcracker Christmas Crackers had little whistle/flutes in them and instructions to toot some Christmas songs together. It was so much fun with us laughing so much we snorted and maybe drooled a bit while trying to toot our whistles upon demand. Each whistle was numbered to created the right tone/note. Oye…it was fun!
2. What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?
swedishSwedish pancakes on Christmas morning are the best. 1st because Dear cooks them. 2nd because we all love them. A tradition that will not be broken.

3. What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

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People, people, people are the most beautiful things we saw over the holidays. A very beautiful thing was that our oldest flew to eastern Washington to help his brother and sister in law move into their new home in frigid temperatures. Our boys have a way of being able to motivate and help each other in good and tough times and it’s a beautiful thing to see and hear about.

4. What does fresh start mean to you?

Fresh Start was the name of my home cleaning business that I started in the late 80’s and early 90’s and that’s the first thing that came to mind with this question. Dear was in Pharmacy School for a mid-life change in his profession and I cleaned toilets to make money in several homes and at a medical and dental clinic. Of course I cleaned more than toilets but you get the idea. The work was so aerobic and I was so skinny.

5. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain.

If I take my fluff out of the equation I’d give myself an 8!

van 2 035I’m still fluffy but besides that my health and outlook are good. I am not taking any medications. An IT Band Syndrome is still plaguing me even though I’m not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. Exercises to strengthen my core and take the strain off my IT band are helping. It generally takes a lot to get me down and I’m thankful for that. So…I’ll stick with an 8!

6. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they’d like to see banished from the Queen’s English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you’re like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it’s used. There were quite a few on this year’s list I’d never heard before. Here’s the 2017 list of banished words-You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption. Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

I’m tired of hearing about Town Hall Meetings. Another one I’d like to not hear again is “Gun Control”.

7. Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year.
misc-stuff-028I got this fitbit for Christmas and I’d like to add the light goal of moving more.
My deep goal is to pray more.
 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18:
Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I’ve got a recipe for Crock Pot Potato soup inspired from bj’s blog and Paula Deen up on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog. It was easy and satisfying. Click on over to see it.
The illustration at the top of this post is Russian and the words translate Happy New Year. I wish you all a very Happy New Year!
Linking up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond. She provides the questions and we provide the answers.

Merry Christmas!

May your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day be filled with lots of love and joy and a little ho ho ho!

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This afternoon we’ll be at a Christmas Eve service and then come home and have some fresh hand made tamales for dinner.

Twinkle 003By midnight tonight or a little after all our kids except for Andrew will be under our roof. Hopefully they’ll beat Santa here. Dear and I will be fast asleep by the time they arrive but we’ll let Katie greet the late comers and welcome them here.

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IMGP1037Christmas morning we’ll open stockings first with a cup of coffee and then we’ll have our traditional Swedish pancake breakfast that Dear makes for us.

IMGP1039After breakfast we open up the gifts under the tree. This year after we read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2 we are going to have Katie read a very interesting article on some of the Christmas story that has been ingrained into tradition that might be on the urban legend side of things and not really historically and culturally accurate. Don’t worry we don’t have our knickers in a knot. We still know the best truth of Christmas is that God came down and we can now be lifted up to Him through what Jesus did on the cross for us.

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Mystery Tree 2013 027After we open up our gifts I’ll start preparing for our Christmas dinner. We will have our traditional Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding with roasted root vegetables, creamed corn from scratch, and a salad. For dessert this year I’m planning on making an apple tart from apples off of Dan’s property in Eastern Washington.

IMGP1046Of course all through the day we’ll have our favorite Christmas Cd’s playing in the background. Knowing our kids while the roast is cooking there will probably be some games around the table.

Praying you know the real Joy of Christmas!

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Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

God bless us everyone…

Beginning to End…

…It was a wonderful day!

Josh and Laura arrived just after midnight and tucked themselves in for the night. We woke up on Christmas morning to familiar Christmas music. Dear mixed up his Swedish pancakes and we had Judy’s famous bacon wrapped smokies along side. Yum.

We opened up our gifts to each other saving the rest for our 2nd Christmas on Saturday. We will have the whole crew here on Friday night and Saturday to enjoy all our Christmas traditions once more.

Dinner was the usual prime rib and Yorkshire pudding with added roasted root vegetables and Brussels sprouts. We had Betty’s Cinnamon Bun Cake for dessert.

Thankfully before the kids loaded up their car for home we remembered to take a photo by the tree.

Today I’m preparing for Katie and Andrew’s arrival this evening. The fun will continue all week long. Tomorrow is our Katie’s 27th birthday…27 on the 27th. I guess I better bake a cake.

Happy Boxing Day to all our friends in Canada and the U.K.!

If You Steal…

…them from family is it really stealing? I right clicked on these photos my niece took while they were visiting us here in the Northwest. Thank you niece!

Dear is making his famous Swedish Pancakes for the crowd below and they were all very happy to eat them! And yes we serve them with sour cream and syrup!

Family time at Qwest Field for Seattle Sounders Soccer! Ole Ole Ole Ole!!

Our sweet little Soccer Fan!

Our beautiful daughter!

Dear and me enjoying dinner out with the family.