Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January 2017

I left off last year at the wedding that we attended on December 31st.

The next morning we woke to this beautiful landscape.
We had stayed the night in the city but since things were not as they should be at the farm, we woke up early and made our way home.

Not both of us loved seeing this weather.  
I'll just say it that way. 

However, January 1st comes with important traditions in the lives of Mennonite families and ours is no different.

I called the extended family and invited them to come if they didn't mind venturing out in the ice and snow. 

Those that love a good Portzelky,  came and we had a great time visiting.

After the first Friday back at school, we picked the littles up for the afternoon, dinner with us and we dropped them all off at bedtime. 

This is so much of how it looks when they are over that even if it looks like a messy scene, it isn't at all... it is just the way artsy little folks work.  

On this particular day, one of the family groups was talking about how they like to watch old episodes of the famous artist Bob and so that ended up being how they were inspired that day.  

We wondered the one day early in January if we could live without a tv in our main space.
We always had the little tv in that big antique wardrobe and we knew that if we moved that old wardrobe to the back room, we would have more area for seating.

So, that is what we did.  

Soon after that, I wondered aloud what it would be like to put an open looking cabinet in the corner.  I wanted it to have glass sides, glass doors, and glass shelves.  

We found the perfect cabinet at Ikea. 

I had a marvelous time arranging the items of nostalgia that I have never had a place to display. 

My mother's original wrist watch, her original engagement ring box with rings worn through, her jewelry box still with the little ballerina that I've loved my whole life.

I put some of her brooches in a trinket box and her mirror that I gazed into many times as a child now has a place as well.  

I have the lace that was crocheted by my grandmother in the cedar box where she kept it.  

Also in the top photo is the fan that still would run today if I hadn't deliberately cut off the worn out cord that wasn't beautiful to me. 

Also, on that shelf are books and Bibles that belonged to my parents. 

We continued to have cold but clear weather and I couldn't believe how wonderful the sheets and pillowcases smelled after being dried outside.  I do this often in summer but somehow, the outdoor fragrance lasted much longer than it would in the summer months.  There must be some scientific reason for that! 

When I thought about next months Valentine's Day, I enlisted the help of all the grandkids on two separate days to help me with a recipe post. 

They are so fun to work with in the kitchen already.  

They have their Valentine Cookies tucked away in their freezer and I'm wondering if they will call me from their IPad before the 14th to tell me they are fresh out. 

Since I was at this house, I thought I may as well help them make some pizza pretzels for their lunches. 

Do not underestimate what kids can do.  

While a lot of the world posted that they would not be watching this... I went ahead and watched it.

I wasn't about to miss history in the making once more.  I wasn't glued to the entire day but I did watch and pray.... and I did love that blue coat. 

On a Sunday afternoon, these two came over and I worked with them to make their cookies for my recipe post.  

Part of being a Grammie is teaching life skills, right?  

Everyone should know how to properly make and drink tea and how to eat a cookie taking tiny bites.  
Who knew that was such a challenging concept?

Then, during the last week of January, the unthinkable happened.   One of our dear Mennonite Girls lost her son in law in a tragic accident.  We as a group shared truths and promises from God's word and have held them all in prayer.

I realized today that I stopped taking pictures on that terrible day and I think we all realized within our tight knit group that we love each others children more than we even realized.   

That was January 2017.  

May February fill you with hope and joy knowing that signs of Spring is not too far away!  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

December 2016

OK... there is lots to show for the month we've had so hang on to your hats!

On the first day of December I picked the last of the dill in the garden since the weatherman said it was going to freeze!

We fretted about our hummingbirds getting out of bed before they did to get their breakfast set out. 

And then, just as promised the cold snap began and  we had a bit of snow to make it feel like Christmas. 

This bird, not one of the regular flock showed up and tried without success to be like a hummingbird.

I had never seen a bird like this around these parts.  Any idea what kind it is?
We put out some chicken feed for it but it didn't fancy it and flew away.

This young man turned 9!   I baked a Buche de Noel to go with the theme he picked of woodland. 

He is a kind, considerate, strong, athletic, and he loves Jesus!  

We love him more than he knows.  

OH the snow was pretty.  
I'm sorry but you will have to indulge me with extra photos of snow.  

As it typical in the Pacific Northwest, just when you think the snow is going to stick around awhile, it doesn't.  
The temperatures hover around 0 and the precipitation turns to rain. 

I'd have liked to cut some branches off to take inside,
but we know how that would go.

We went away for one night and so we had to come up with a more permanent solution to the feeding situation

Heat tape, pipe insulation, and a heat lamp has these little ones basking in warmth while they sip their drinks. 

Feeling assured that the farm would survive one night without us, we went into Vancouver to enjoy the Chris Tomlin concert. 

The Sutton hotel is always beyond beautiful at Christmas time.

We next morning we went home early to do chores and then to my Aunt Tina's funeral.  
Aunt Tina was the sister next to my Mom in age.  She lived 20 years minus one month longer than my Mom did.  

Her family rejoices in the knowledge that her deepest desire to go home to be with Jesus became a reality.  They'll miss her but know they will see her again. 

The next day, Anneliese and I along with the ladies in our Community Group and a few more besides,  served dinner to the Pastors, Staff, Elders and all the spouses. 

It was an experience to cook for a group that large.
We would never in a million years been able to do it without the great help we had.

A decorating team led by Jennie Loewen came in and made Center Court beautiful for the evening.
The men from our Community Group and a few extra, set tables, did dishes, and what ever else we needed to be done!  

The day after that we attended the most delightful dance recital where these two darlings, danced with delight!

They didn't wear those boots though when they danced!

After the recital, we rushed off to church to attend the Children's Progam.
We took the other kids out for dinner and I quickly grabbed my phone when I saw this darling girl have a cuddle with her Daddy! 

The next day,  we realized at about 4:30 on Sunday evening, that they were serving farmer sausage on a bun and Jeff was preaching so we hustled ourselves to church.
When we came out, the poplar trees were glistening with ice.

The next morning, I finished packing all the gifts for Christmas. 

What better way is there to end the work week before Christmas than to ask you mama to bake cinnamon buns for the steel workers.  I hashtagged that one #softbunsforhardworkers

One of my favourite things to do when the different dishes are as prepped as they can be is to putz with the little details like where everyone will sit.

I made little scrolls which had the Christmas story in them and tied them to a placecard which was stuck between two sticks glue gunned to together.  

It worked with my natural greens theme. 

On Christmas Day, the family came around noon for dinner.  
I looked out the window and saw that someone had opened a fun present that morning.  

These three little ladies came in looking ever so festive!

We dished out the kids food first and they patiently waited for the Christmas crackers to be snapped!

We ate our meal together and before we left the table, we read the Christmas Story, taking turns opening our scrolls. 

I loved that they mostly knew their part by heart but read it because it's fun to show you can read!

After sitting around for awhile, we decided we would open up gifts. 

The kids all had the same things in their big sacks so they tried very hard not to see what the others had if they got theirs open first.  Some even went and hid in other rooms to open theirs. 

When they saw the pajamas that went with the camping theme in the sack, they had to try them on.
Only the littlest who was fighting an earache didn't feel the need to swap clothes for pajamas.

Everyone was happy!
I am getting regular reports since this day on how the baking is going and how the family is enjoying the skills she is learning. 

This one wanted a fun keyboard and she worked all day to get a song down pat. 
She can play by ear and if she keeps this up, I think Santa will want to do some upgrades on those keys. 

Once the gifts were opened, they took their new pillows and new sleeping bags and went to watch a movie. 

The day after, is the best food in my opinion.  

It snowed again and I asked if our real vintage cross country skiis and poles were fairly accessible.
They were.  
These skiis, shoes, poles etc belonged to my beloved parents.
It's fun to remember how they skiied together but we always feel sad when we think that Dad has been gone so long.  

He skiied up to me and said,  hashtag this! 

Funny guy! 

Sometimes you just have to create a picture op when it is so easy.  

The next day we woke up to this! 

The temperatures soared to 6 degrees and the snow melted as fast as it had come. 

Our digital box in our main living space was hissing and driving us nuts.  
We asked our techie what we could do and he said well, you can get rid of that TV if you don't watch it much anyways.

When my beloved came in for lunch I asked him what he thought.

The big old cupboard that has been perfect to tuck the little tv away when we are not watching it 

I feel like I have more space! 

On the last day of December,  I made a wedding cake for a friend's daughter. 
It was an honor to be asked even though it was a scary fun project.  

When I got to the part of making little bouquets to tuck into the cake...
it was all fun!

and I held that cake with both hands all the way down the snowy roads to the venue.    
  ( I did change for the wedding =)

Wishing Rachel and Dave God's very best for their marriage!
May they love each other well as long as they live. 

And may they always eat cake together!

That was 2016.

A new year is ahead of us and I'm thankful that God knows all that is coming our way and we can trust him to lead and guide us.  

Happy New Year!