Wednesday, December 29, 2010

looking back at 2010...

As the year draws to a close...I like to look back at the year that was!

January...snow high on the peaks of  'The Four Sisters' but none in the valley.

February ~ The Winter Games 2010

March ~ vacation on the Big Island of Hawaii

 April ~ Tulips of the Valley

May ~ a bumper first crop of grass

June ~ a family picnic at Benanna Lake

July ~ a road trip to Colorado, new Mexico, and Utah.

August ~ farming and taking time to smell the flowers!

September ~ The first 'Mennonite Girls Can Cook' Summit

November ~ beautiful weather and fall leaves that hung on!

December ~ good times with friends and family...often around the table.

Year was a good year.
I am thankful for the many blessings that have been mine to enjoy this past year.  
God is good!

The new year is just around the corner, and I am planning an extended blogging break.  For the first time in three years...I promise you I will not be posting from My Front Porch for at least a month.  Nor will I be visiting you on your front porch...or anywhere else in blogdom.  How's that for resolve?  Fear not...I will be back one day.  And in the can be sure I will think of you all often...and wonder what you are all up to...but I will not peek!   I'll be missing you...all my blogging friends. 
With warmest wishes for 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

signs of the times....

How is it...that the kids always seem to find the perfect gift for us...
when we think we don't need a thing?

I unwrapped a rather long flat gift on Christmas Day...
to find a sign.

Rather an appropriate sign!

I know exactly where it will hang...
once I figure out how to put nails in Hardie board.

I'll  always be sure to find my way to the right porch...
 from now on!

And I have a new piece of artwork hanging in my office.
Artwork with a message...
that seems to ring true!

I think my kids must know me.

And hubby got exactly what he wanted...
though he never even knew he wanted it!
The kids got him a 'smoker'...
and he's raring to start smoking.

Smoked salmon is one of his favorite foods...
and now he can smoke his own.
I'm not too sure who will do the catching...
but he will do the smoking.
Oh...and smoked Maui ribs sound good to me.
Or smoked Gouda cheese.
The possibilities are endless!

Did I tell you my kids know how to give good gifts?

Monday, December 27, 2010

so this was Christmas...

Christmas 2010.  
Old traditions memories made.
The same story retold...
the one that never grows old!

And having the story of Jesus told on Christmas Eve... the wee ones is a favorite part of the Christmas season. 

Especially if that 'wee one' happens to be Maelyn...
and she tells the story with such enthusiasm!

And these three did a fabulous job of singing their hearts out...
with their Sunday school choir as well!

Christmas Day Brunch...
a tradition with a menu that never changes.
Though I would be quite happy to cook up something new...
they insist we have 'Christmas Morning Wifesaver' every year!

Santa usually shows up with the stockings right after brunch.
He does change things up a bit though...
at times arriving with a knock at the door...
and another time found in a rocking chair by the tree.

This year he announced his whereabouts with a loud honking of the horn.
The grands all ran to the garage...
where Grandpa Santa was sleeping in the old Monarch.

He attempted to distribute the stockings...
but it seems he had lost his glasses somewhere along the way...
and was forced to enlist the help of the oldest two grands who could actually read the names on the stocking.

Oh, what fun!

Once the stockings were all in the right hands...we began the gift-giving marathon.
That too is done the same way every year.  
The gifts are all distributed...
and then we begin to unwrap the parcels...
from the youngest to the oldest.

As you can tell...
he who got up at 4:30 a.m. to milk the cows needed a little R & R before the gift exchange.  
He woke up once the unwrapping began!

Good gifts...
given in love...
and received with a heart of gratitude. 
I'll be back to show you a few...tomorrow.

Ranen insisted on modeling her new 'slipper jammies'...
and willingly posed with her brother by the tree before they left for home.

The house is quiet again...but the memories remain. was a lovely Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jesus is the gift...

Every good and perfect gift is from above.
James 1:17

With joy we receive Him.
With hope we share Him.
With love we celebrate Him.
May the gift of Jesus
bless your life all year long!
 Wishing you and yours a most blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

five star lodging for the birds...

Though most gifts are safely under wraps...and under the tree...there are a few that I have already been enjoying!

My brother-in-law showed up at the door on Sunday with a 'hostess gift' for he had made.  Little did he know that my birdhouses were about ready for demolition.  The birds will not believe their good fortune this spring...when they arrive to find five-star lodging!  The new barn birdhouse comes complete with milkmaid, cattle and even a farmhand.  How special is that?  The 'bentwood' wheelbarrow that the birdhouse is perched on...was made for me by the same BIL many years ago.  Thank-you, Ron!

These cookies were delivered by a neighbour last week...and though they were wrapped it never took us long to break into the tray.  And cookies on the counter don't stay there for long!

I know it is more blessed to give than to receive...but the receiving has been good.  What can I say...but thank-you! 

Enjoy the day...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

a laughing matter...

We laughed until our cheeks were sore...
and our sides ached. 

Who knew that a 'white elephant' gift exchange could be such good medicine?  
We had a seriously good time!  
What a fun group of friends.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

pass the turkey please...

Our family turkey dinner came...and went...on Sunday.

Somehow we still manage to find enough tables and chairs to accommodate us all...

...there were 26 of us this time and a few who couldn't make it.

We weren't really expecting sunshine and balmy temperatures...and had to pull the blinds to keep the sunshine outside. 

Since Marge (my step-mom) is celebrating a very BIG birthday soon...we thought we should get the celebrations started and be the first to sing 'happy birthday to you'.

Our afternoon entertainment was a 'white elephant' gift exchange.  As you persons junk can become another person's treasure.  Spencer opened a gift that included a long play record (she had no clue what that might be!) and a cassette. It seemed some were not that excited about their newly acquired treasures...and left them behind when they departed.  That's OK...we have another 'white elephant' gift exchange tonight!

Broni modeled her 'treasure' seems someone does not appreciate that we are in for a cold winter and decided to part with fur 'undergarments'.  We all had a good laugh!

Another Christmas tradition upheld...table games.

Emme is teaching Auntie Heidi the wonders of the new cashless Monopoly...Canadian edition.

The Blokus tournament was quite intense...though we never heard the final outcome.  Some of us just simply sat around the munchie table...and talked.  It was a good time together...with my sisters and their families.

As for the beverage of can find the recipe for Christmas punch over at MGCC today.

Monday, December 20, 2010

no peanuts for our little peanut...

I can pass on the candies...and the chocolates over the holidays (I'm not saying I do, but I can!)...but I must have my favorite munchie mix every year over the holidays.  Hot and spicy nuts and bolts is what they are called...and addictive is what they are. As I was about to make up a batch last suddenly occurred to me that it might not be a good idea.  Nuts and bolts have peanuts...and my youngest granddaughter has a severe allergy to peanuts (and many other things, including strawberries).  I would never be serving munchie mix when the kids are home. 

Here's what I discovered...munchie mix is also a hit without peanuts!  I threw in some goldfish crackers and some hickory stix...omitted the peanuts...and everyone was happy.  (Though I will admit that I made a secret stash with peanuts...since I really DO like peanuts.)

She may be barely two...but she does not argue if she is told she can't eat something.  She knows bad things happen when she does!  This whole food allergy concept is quite foreign to me...but we are catching on quickly. 

We had a big family gathering/turkey dinner here yesterday (well, actually today but I'm not posting this until tomorrow!)  I'll tell you about it some other time...when I have a little more energy.  Right now I'm off to have another cup of coffee...and some munchie mix. 

Have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, December 17, 2010

concerts at Christmas...

It really feels like Christmas...once you have taken in a concert or two.  For me...there have been two school concerts this week.  Ranen's pre-school participated in the concert presented by Chilliwack Christian School.  The kids sang their hearts out...and I so enjoyed it!

Yesterday I took in Emme and Spencer's school production.  Why did it all seem so familiar?  I clearly recall being on stage myself at a Christmas concert at the same elementary school some five decades ago.  We sang the Huron Carol way back then...and I still know all the words.  I really don't think we sang as well as the students did yesterday though!

And they played their they knew what they were doing...
especially the angel in white at the far left!

And they had their choreography down pat...especially the one on the far right.  (You can tell who Grammy was watching.)

They did a fabulous job...all the classes.  It was a true Christmas told the story of Christmas!

And afterwards we chatted with a teacher...who wondered what brought us to their concert.  He was our daughter's teacher some twenty years ago...and he had no idea he was now teaching one of our granddaughter's.  It's a small world after all!

Tonight we have tickets for another concert...'It's a Wonderful Christmas' featuring Michael W. Smith with a choir and orchestra. I'm looking forward to it.

Concerts at Christmas...may you all enjoy at least one or two!