28 December 2011

Scenes of the Season

Advent has ended,

the season of waiting is over

and yet the celebration of Christmas has not ended.

Christmas carols continue here in the 12 Days of Christmas--

traditional melodies mixing with contemporary ones.

Simple decorations continue to be added;

memories of times gone by--

they bring a smile to my face.

New memories being made-

time with family,

awesome weather,

wreaths and garland,

special gifts


the smorgasbord that was missing the most important, quite essential food--


forgotten or lost somewhere in my rush to get everything else :)

The memory of a scrumptious, tender roast beef on Christmas Day


of course

sweets for the Farmer Boy

and I.

New this year--pizzelle (bought not made),

which reminded me, in ways, of krumkake.

Similar crisp texture,

also with a beautiful design,

equally fabulous taste.

The season has brought some journeys too-

this one up in the hills was on a beautiful foggy day

And lastly this season has been one of light,

and for that I am grateful.


How has your Christmas been?



23 December 2011

Christmas Blessings

The hours are passing moving us ever closer to Christmas.

Seasonal carols and songs are being sung by the St Olav choir--

an annual program on the local PBS channel.

Outside a chill has settled on the land;

inside my mom's rose throw and the heat ward off the cold.

Our refrigerator, cabinets and countertops are filled with food that will soon become part of a Christmas Eve smorgasbord and

then a Christmas day roast dinner, complete with yummy savory yorkshire pudding!

Of course, seasonal treats will be served too--

some for the first time.

Gifts still to be given--my heart is already filled with delight at two received today:

an unexpected extra day off for my hard-working Farmer Boy


a card bringing news that a family in need will be receiving livestock given in our honor!!

I am so totally touched and incredibly blessed by the thoughtfulness of the gift givers--

words don't seem adequate!

I've already asked God to bless both these animals

and the family that will ultimately receive them;

I know God will bless the precious gift givers too!

And now, I bid you a blessed eve from the Pacific NW.

I pray that you will be filled with the joy and peace of God.


19 December 2011


I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 KJV

Holidays can be a mixture of good and bad; stressful and peaceful experiences;
family time and memories of times past;
feelings of loss mixed with those of joy.
And so this Advent has been.
But through tears of loss and pain, through times of joy, stress, love, frustration;
I am thankful that Christ came to earth so that I might have life--
and I am reminded, yet again, to keep my eyes--my focus--on Him.

Advent Blessings, Aimee

Photo: from times past; too busy to upload more photos:)

08 December 2011

An Advent Journey

I have been on a journey this Advent.

Sometimes I have chosen the right path--
the one that led me upwards and closer to the Light.

But sometimes I have taken my focus off that goal and become lost.
Recently though,

I found my way back.

I found the way after I realized that I had, again,
been drawn away, by the allure of man-made things--
beautiful things, yes,
but things that ultimately failed to truly satisfy this deep thirsting of my soul and also

things that were quickly becoming obstacles in my Advent journey.

Now, I have learned that the beauty I was seeking this Season
is to be found only in Him and

that if I trust Him and keep my eyes on the reason for the Season,
that He will lead me
by His never-ending grace and mercy.

That He will show me more of the Living Water, if I take time to let Him,

and that when this Season of Advent is over,
I will find that my thirst has been quenched and my spirit blessed.

May you find blessings this Advent also.

Note: Photos #4 + 5 were taken at the site of a man-made dam that failed decades ago.

07 December 2011

December Roses

Jewel colored leaves still on many trees,

late autumn harvests,

days and days of dry weather

and now I present,

for your viewing pleasure and mine..

roses from our garden earlier this week!

You gotta LOVE Advent roses:)



05 December 2011

A Sunday Drive with DDD

It was time for another drive with dear daughter dog-

after all her older brother is always going bye bye without her.

It all started out well--

excited daughter dog;

avid and equally excited photographer and dog loving mom.

Up-up-up winding, twisty, narrow mountain roads.

Past forests, past scenic viewpoints...

more winding road.

Note to self: DDD doesn't do winding roads;

DDD definitely doesn't do winding, twisty mountain roads.

Poor baby daughter dog--

getting carsick twice is no fun at all

and a doggie cookie will definitely NOT make it better:(


December Leaves

Not sure what to think anymore.

Sunny skies day after day are NOT part of late autumn in the PNW

(at least west of the Cascades that is).

And leaves?

Leaves still on some trees?

I don't think so--but this year they are.

All I can say is beautiful...

and amazing!

I wonder what winter will bring;

I wonder if we will have a normal NW winter.

I guess we'll soon find out--

don't let my neighbors know,

but I am hoping for snow.

Advent Blessings, Aimee

Photos: taken this weekend.

01 December 2011

Fragrances of the Season

As I surround myself with a little bit of Advent and Christmas everyday (both outwardly and inwardly) my mind turns to seasonal foods and of course two of my favorites--fattigman and Finnish pinwheels.
Awhile back I bought the equipment I needed to make fattigman and some other Nordic treats; this year I hope to be able to put them to use---even though I LOVE any excuse to go to Astoria--home of my fav bakery--I really can't go there everyday (or can I)?

What treats will you be baking this year? Do you have a family tradition of baking during this time of the year (or would you like to start one)? The thought of filling my home with the smells of cardamom, nutmeg and other spices makes me smile and makes me hungry too!

Advent Blessings from my home to yours,

Photo: photo taken earlier this year after one of those trips to Astoria. Shown: one Finnish pinwheel (yummy prune filling) and several fattigmann. China tea things and lace 'tabletopper' (which is now being used as a valance in our kitchen) are from my mom's collection. Since her death I have tried to surround myself with special items that remind me of her.

30 November 2011

Step by Step

Step by step, little by little. day by day our home is changing--
taking on the elements of the season of Light.
Step by step, little by little, day by day I pray my heart is changing too--
becoming more like Christ--the Reason for the season;
that would be the best gift I could give to my friends and family this year.

Advent Blessings,

Note: this almost finished wreath contains three things I LOVE: the colors light blue and white,
reindeer and snowflakes. What are your favorite colors to use at Christmas? What elements do you like to use in your home at Christmas time?

28 November 2011

Welcome Advent!

The beginning of Advent saw me at my sibling's home taking care of my dad. Together we spent many hours welcoming in this holy season, watching a Christmas pageant and other seasonal programming. Later that day, my DH and I made our way through a NW Oregon town where the town's firemen were busy stringing Christmas lights on the tall trees and putting out decorations which would be hung later. Finally, that evening found me savoring, with great delight, an Advent reflection in the Retreat book I am using.

I honestly must say, I am filled with great joy that Advent is here. As I put away our Thanksgiving decorations and begin to decorate the table with what will be an Advent wreath I cannot help but smile as I place items here and there. It is more than just the decorations--although I LOVE the outward things that mark the season; it is an inward joy at the chance to welcome Christ, again, into my heart and let His light shine through me to family, friends and those I meet.

How do you celebrate this season? Do you have snow yet?

Advent blessings, Aimee

Photo notes: No, we do not have snow yet--although the Cascades certainly do! But this past winter we did and this is a photo of the Old Scotch Church we went by on one of our historical church trips in the areas west and nw of Portland.

25 November 2011

Thanksgiving 2011: The Day After

Thanksgiving dawned-

on a very sick Farmer Boy...
so we went with the flow and dined mainly on soup, apple cider and ginger ale.

Today saw my DH feeling a bit better,
so Thanksgiving meal preparations began and several hours later
our feast started .

We had
multi grain rolls (bought)

Herb-apple turkey breast
(there were just the two of us),
stuffing with cranberries,
mashed potatoes
(yea for potato ricers),
southern green beans,
cranberry sauce with orange zest
(I LOVE my microplane zester)

flavored butter

sweet potatoes topped with maple syrup-cranberry-hazelnut streusel.

And all I have to say,
besides thank you to God for all we have been blessed with,
hope your Thanksgiving was a great one
after all the clean-up,
it's time for a snack!

Be blessed,

Thou art my God, and I will praise Thee: Thou art my God, I will exalt Thee.
O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever.
Psalms 118:28-29 KJV

24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all

a blessed Thanksgiving!

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving…

Let the heaven and earth praise Him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.

Psalms 69:30, 34 KJV

Be blessed,


17 November 2011

Of Lingonberries

I wish this growing season had been kinder to our lingonberries.

I left them on the plants for as long as I dared...

but finally decided to harvest them before they fell off, rotted, were eaten

or we got a really hard freeze...

I LOVE lingonberries and couldn't bear to not try and save those I could.

Most of the itty bitty berries came off this bush--

it takes awhile to pick them as they are so small.

A few had already gone soft and bad,

some were still not fully ripe,

but still there are quite a few that are ripe.

Yield: about 1 cup of berries

Plan: perhaps a lingonberry whip or small pie.

Hope: that the 2012 harvest will be a better one-

for us

and more importantly,

for the PNW lingonberry farmers.

How's your Thanksgiving preparations going?

One week to go!



Note: Balsgard lingonberries.

15 November 2011

Getting Caught Up

In the last two weeks I decided:
1. I will never, ever eat cookie dough with raw eggs in it again (sigh).
2. I am again spending too much time on the Internet and watching TV.
3. I can and will get caught up again with chores...and that momzoo's schedule is awesome!
4. That Thanksgiving is NEXT week and I better get to #3 NOW :)

Wishing you a blessed Tuesday from the (temporarily) blue skies of the Pacific NW,

11 November 2011

Giving Thanks: November 10

I had a dream and yesterday it became a reality.

It was a dream of walking along the bank of a river.

It was a dream of seeing the waterfall there.

But the reality was so much better;

for in my dreams I had not imagined the

beauty of the rock walls which surrounded the falls.

In the dream I had not imagined the beauty of the fallen leaves which carpeted the ground

and were scattered over the rocks.

In my dream I had not imagined the tranquility of the pool below the falls

nor the beauty of this tree I found nearby.

A tree sculpted by the Creator.

Nor the ducks flying to warmer locales.
Yes, yesterday a dream come true;

a dream SO perfect it must have been given me by God.

Blessings, Aimee

Photos: taken along the Little Luckiamute River and near Baskett Slough NWR

03 November 2011

Giving Thanks: November 1-3

I LOVE the month of November

and I LOVE the holiday of Thanksgiving!

In fact, to tell you the truth, I can hardly wait for October to

end just to get to the month of November.

Thinking of November brings up many happy thoughts and one of these is being thankful for all the blessings we have in our life and that is just what Lime (one of my fav Norwegian bloggers) and some of my friends and family are doing. For the whole month they are posting something they are grateful for each day...because, really, we should be thankful daily.
SO I am going to try my best to do the same thing,

but, as usual, I am a bit (ha, ha) behind--having lost myself in the colors of this day:

the blue of the sky (in places), the color of the dogwood outside my window, a friend's adventures, my daughter's texts to me, the music on my favorite radio...

that's it!

November 3:I am SO thankful today that Jesus loves me,

Jesus loves even me!

I am so glad that our Father in Heav’n
Tells of His love in the Book He has giv’n;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see,
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.


I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me.
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.

Though I forget Him, and wonder away,
Still He doth love me wherever I stray;
Back to His dear loving arms do I flee,
When I remember that Jesus loves me.


Oh, if there’s only one song I can sing,
When in His beauty I see the great King,
This shall my song through eternity be,
“Oh, what a wonder that Jesus loves me!”


Jesus loves me, and I know I love Him;
Love brought Him down my poor soul to redeem;
Yes, it was love made Him die on the tree;
Oh, I am certain that Jesus loves me!


In this assurance I find sweetest rest,
Trusting in Jesus, I know I am blessed;
Satan, dismayed, from my soul now doth flee,
When I just tell him that Jesus loves me.

Yes today, and everyday, I am SO thankful that-

Jesus Loves Even Me!

And to catch up on my thanks-giving...

November 1:

I am SO thankful for a husband who God has blessed with SO many talents,

especially this week when our kitchen faucet handle broke off . TY Farmer Boy:)

November 2:

I am SO thankful for having been blessed with a mom who called Jesus her Friend, her Savior and her Lord. I am SO thankful to have been blessed with a mom that made her family and her God her priority. I am SO thankful that her legacy is written, not on some stone monument but on hearts and souls that will live on eternally. TY mom--we will never, ever forget you:)

Do you have anything you are thankful for today?

Blessings, Aimee
Notes on Hymn: Jesus Loves Even Me, Philip P. Bliss, 1870

For the entire lyrics and tune to this well known song, see this link: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/l/jlovesem.htm

Be blessed--

and now I am on my way to our kitchen to make cookies to bless my Farmer Boy with this evening.
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