Christmas

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Christmas was a nice, simple day but I think it actually started many days earlier as our friend Lynn came over with her 9 children to sing Christmas carols (picture). They sounded so beautiful when they opened their mouths to sing that I had to hold back the tears. I would have pictured them all wearing white robes or something it sounded so holy. Anyways, this lady is amazing as she homeschooled all her children and they go to nursing homes every other Sunday to visit and sing hymns. God really put this lady in my life and I hope to get to know her more.
Several days before Christmas the packages started arriving from friends and relatives. We received some good coffee and food items and the girls received tons of gifts. I should have taken more pictures and plan on taking some more as the girls received a table from their grandmother (it is beautiful) and Elisabeth received a talking bear that she just loves. I will include these on this post soon so you’ll have to check back on this one for more pictures.
A couple of days before Christmas we had a friend over with her granddaughter to spend the night. We sang some Christmas hymns that evening together. We didn’t sound like my friend with her 9 children but I’m sure the Lord was pleased and it meant much more to me than just listening to a cd.
On Christmas we started off by having homemade coffeecake, thick cut bacon and a couple of fried eggs for breakfast. We had a relaxing day and watched Elisabeth play with her toys she received and just spent time together. For dinner I made our best meal yet – Beef Wellington. I made it with the tenderloin cut of beef and had Matthew sear it for 5 minutes then cool to room temperature. I then sauteed chopped mushrooms and shallots and a smidge of bacon from breakfast. I topped the tenderloin with a huge heaping of this then put the pastry over and placed in the oven for 15 minutes. We could almost cut it with a fork and the flavor….. We can’t wait to have it again next year.

Christmas Extras

 

 

 

Here are a couple of homemade gifts we received from some people: Some delicious cookies from Matthew’s mother, remember, she’s the gourmet cook! And a lovely Christmas decoration made by our friend’s seven year old granddaughter – it’s made with cinnamon sticks and smells oh so good every time I walk into the living room!

 

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Child Proofing

I originally set this tote behind our desk so Elisabeth wouldn’t crawl back there to play with the wires. She has found yet another way to get past our barricades as you can see (I also can’t keep a barrette in her pretty hair for nothing at this age – little stinker).

Truly a Storm We Won’t Forget

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Thank God it’s over! Many have heard of our great storm. Matthew’s mother whom receives the New York Times read about it even from there. We lost our lights sometime on Sunday I believe and were out for nearly a week. I remember laying in bed the first night of the storm and actually feeling our house move pretty good with some of the gusts. I could tell the gusts were nearly 100 mph as they were just as powerful as some of the gusts we had here a couple of years ago in which they were 100 mph.
The next day: Our electricity was out so we did not have running water either as we are on well water. Since we couldn’t flush our toilets we would place a container under the gutter and let it fill with the semi-clean, semi-dirty gutter water. I’d then bring it in once a day and pour it in our toilets as this would make it flush. On my way out to get some gutter water I stood in the doorway of the garage while one of major gusts was building up it’s momentum. I knew it wasn’t safe to retrieve the water then so I just stood and watched. I saw debris flying by faster than any car I’ve seen speeding on the State Route road down below. I was actually scared while watching the power of the wind, yet I was awestruck at the ferosity of the storm so I just had to sit and watch. I knew that if I stepped out of the doorway that I could be struck by a flying branch or other item and be killed. I’ve never seen wind of such magnitude before.
After coming inside we checked the phone number for PUD. The message was that we would be out for a long time as there was major, major damage. I was guessing a minimum of 10 days. We knew then that we would need to get a generator, but this was on everybody elses mind too.
Day three: We found that our major highway was closed to get to Olympia and having only 1/4 tank of gas in the car made it even riskier but we had to get out to get water as well. So, off we went. We followed the alternative route and listened to the devastation on the news. I got scared as I just couldn’t comprehend the damage everywhere else – even I-5. We got to Montesano and the lineup at the gas station was atrocious. We decided to try to get to Elma. We waited for 1 1/2 hours for gas as this was one of the few gas stations opened in Grays Harbor. We got a generator in Lakewood near Tacoma and it just happened to be the last one. A hot shower felt good at our friend’s home as well as cleaning some laundry. We didn’t know that this would be our last shower for a while!
The next several days were a work! I washed baby bibs and cloths on the stove every day as you can see by the picture. I’d cook some yummy dinners on the wood stove though – steak, brocolli and more. We weren’t lacking here. Only our yams that we wrapped in foil and placed in the fireplace burned down to about the weight of a feather. We threw them out to our dog. Dinner dishes – we used paper plates and paper bowls. I’d then warm a huge pot of water on the woodstove each evening and clean up the whole kitchen cleaner than when I think we have electricity.
Water – I bought over 12 gallons of water on our day out to get the generator. We went through this quick so I contacted the fire department and they referred me over to the City of Aberdeen Water Department. I could fill up our containers for free. Our neighbor behind us has a natural spring or artesian well water he gave us (5 gallons), he shared that it would be the best water we ever did have. He was absolutely right!
Our generator was so wonderful to have. To have the freezers and refridgerators going full speed as to not lose our beef was so worth it. To have a lamp on or a heater to warm up Elisabeth’s room was secondary but so appreciated. Having a bowl of water and disinfectant in the bathroom and the kitchen sink, those things you just don’t think of having to do when you have running water. I never so much appreciated running water as I have. Electricity is one thing but for me it was the running water that was the greatest need for running the home. I hope to have a hand pump for our water one day.
So, we’re all up and running now. The storm is already quickly being forgotten, but I know I won’t forget it yet either.

Good Ole White Bread

Here’s a loaf of white bread I made just a day or two before our storm. It was delicious with fresh butter. I love making bread now. I started last year and it was a bit of a struggle – not to mention the flatest bread I ever did see. I put it down for a time but recently decided to give it a try again and now it seems so much easier and enjoyable! I don’t even follow measurements but do it by the feel of the dough.