Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Still about Thanksgiving

People are already blogging about getting ready for Christmas but I haven't finished up my Thanksgiving blog!  But that's ok.  It is still November.  I won't be decorating for Christmas until next week anyway.

The Christmas celebrating seems to crowd out Thanksgiving.  It gets earlier and earlier.  I don't mind if others want to, but I LOVE Thanksgiving!   It is probably one of my favorite holidays!   So I won't begin Christmas until December.

Yesterday I went through this past year (used my Picasa photos to help me remember - much easier than re-reading my journals!) to think about how to thank the Lord for His goodness and His care for us in 2014.

     .....recovery for Mom from her brain bleed
     .....Dad's health improving
     .....various trips overseas for the family - Jill and Hannah to help in a children's home in Mexico, Allen and Josh to Israel for a study trip, and a medical missions trip for Staci to Ethiopia
     .....the recovery of some very sick children in our young mom's Bible study from HUS and E-coli
     .....the arrival of a new worship pastor
     .....a fun family trip to Dauphin Island
     .....baptisms of 2 of my grandchildren, Hannah and Sophia

The list goes on.

On Thanksgiving Day, it was wonderful to have my parents over.  With Dad's improving health, we were able to bring him to our home!

 We also invited a college student from Japan.  My friend Kaori and I help him with English on Wednesday evenings, and she and him help me with Japanese.  Toshiki had never experienced an American Thanksgiving holiday.  I gave him the assignment of studying what Thanksgiving was about.

 I got out our china instead of the usual throwaway plates that we often use.

See the meat platter?  Always, always, we do the Norman Rockwell turkey presentation thing.  It is a family tradition that my parents and grandparents did.  And we have continued.

But this year, I have been super busy with doing props for the production of The Christmas Birdie and with my time crunch, I purchased a Jennie-O turkey that is freezer to oven.  Unfortunately, I did not realize this but I put the bird in the oven upsidedown!!!  Ha ha!!  Actually, the breast of the turkey simmered in lots of juice and it was probably one of the tenderest turkeys we've eaten, but it definitely was not presentation worthy.  So we sliced it and put it on a platter with some sprial ham.

Of course, we have to insert a cross-eyed Sophie picture, as usual.
 Along with Thanksgiving, we surprised Staci with a birthday pie!
 And birthday gifts, of course!

Using our china, means lots and lots of dishes to wash. 
 But I have a super, wonderful dishwasher!

 And I will soon be ready to celebrate Christmas. Just think, a month to celebrate the birthday of Jesus!  Most people celebrate for 1 day, or perhaps some have a birthday week.  But we get to celebrate His birth on earth for all of December!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Graber Thanksgiving

The extended Graber family got together the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

 I got this cute cornucopia idea from Pinterest.

Our sister-in-law brought some mach-kuchen - or poppy seed roll!
Most of us in-laws think it tastes like dirt but the Graber kids LOVE this!!

Always more than enough food!

 Sophia decided she liked mach too!  She had 2 pieces!

We extended our Mennonite table way out. 
 Tell it, Mindy!

The guys wanted to sit in the living room though.
Reuben has something important to say also, looks like. 

 Brenda brought a new game for us to play.

Not many kiddo pictures - after dinner, they were all busy in the basement playing!

Mindy and  Bryan sneaked this one in!
You guys are silly!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

An art project

A couple of weeks ago, instead of doing our young mom's Bible study (we are studying Nancy Guthrie's book "The Promised One"), we surprised the girls. Kendall had shared an idea with us the week before and I asked her if she would help us do this art project. 

Sarah H. summarized the concept that the paintings represent:

An umbrella is designed to provide protection from various elements of nature: rain, hail, snow, wind or sunshine. 

As long as a person is under an umbrella, he or she finds shelter from harsh weather conditions. If he or she steps out from under the umbrella, he or she is exposed to the environment. 

God-given authorities, such as parents, are an umbrella of protection to their children. By honoring and submitting to parents, children receive protection and direction.  

If children step out from under their parents’ umbrella of protection, they forfeit their place of protection and face life’s challenges and temptations on their own. 

The good news is, no matter where we step or what we face, our children (or any of us adults) are never outside of God’s loving heart. “That you…may have the power…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Ephesians 4:18

Even as a grown up - a grandmother - this painting shows me that God has given me through His Word His guidelines for how I should live.  I can choose to follow Christ, or I can choose my own way.  No matter what, because I am His child, He never will quit loving me.

We were sad that there were 7 girls gone that day - illness and whatnot.  Allison had the best excuse.  She had a sweet little Molly girl!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Japanese meal

Our friends are adopting this little boy from Korea! 

Ben is from the same agency that we adopted Mindy from!
And he arrived to his forever home yesterday!!!

A year ago, there was a fund raiser auction to help with the costs of the adoption.  (costs are 5 times more than when we adopted in 1984!) We auctioned off a Japanese meal.  It has been a long time coming, but finally the people who won the bid for our meal were able to come to our home for sukiyaki!

Allen and I decided to dress up for the part.  The people who came for the dinner came from McPherson.  We did not know them but had kept in touch via e-mail.  The couple also brought along 2 young couples.  One of them is getting married in just a couple of weeks!  

 We got out our low table that my parents brought back with them from Japan.
 Sukiyaki is generally served with several dishes - but we decided against the raw egg (although I love it!!) and it seems like Americans like to just put the rice and toppings all in one dish so we went that way.  Less clean up too.
 After the meal, we went downstairs for some Japanese treats and a short fun quiz on Japan.


How many vending machines are there in Japan?
1) 5,00
2) 10,000
3) 500,000
4) 8,000,000

The answer is over 8,000,000!

How many possible functions are there in the modern Japanese toilet?
1) 3
2) 8
3) 14
4) 20

When I was growing up, there were many of this kind of toilet (picture below)!  Not modern at all!

The anwer is 14.

Anyway, it was a fun evening and we are so happy for Ben's arrival to the United States and to his new family!