Friday’s Fave Five #77

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Susanne hosts Living to Tell the Story and encourages others to share blessings of thee week on Fridays. Here are a few of mine from this week.

1. Beautiful ice fog We had three full days in a row that were foggy so that many surfaces had layers of ice fog (hoar frost) on them. It made everything picture postcard beautiful.

January ice fog

January ice fog

2. Family night Our daughters and son-in-law joined us on Monday to celebrate my husband’s birthday. I tried out a couple recipes to cook both grouse and venison. Both meats were tasty and the time together as family was a blessing.

3. Borrowed grandchildren I always enjoy visiting with my surrogate grandchildren. This week these precious ones came over with their mom for a lunch visit. I hope they have as much fun visiting Purple Grandma as she has hosting them!

Borrowed grandchildren

Borrowed grandchildren

4. Church growth Our church continues to grow, both organically and from new folks joining with us. We have two baby showers for church ladies over the next couple of weeks. When these little ones are born, we will have added 10 new babies to the church family over the last year and a half or so. We’ve also been blessed over the past few months with a number of new individuals and families choosing to worship with us and attend membership classes in preparation for joining the church.

5. Photography The beautiful ice fog days inspired some interesting photos. I played with different filters this week. Here are a few of my favorites.

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Ice fog acreage

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Cottony cold

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Ice fog branches

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Directional ice fog

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Looks like fake spray-on snow!

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Shivering sunflower

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Frosty splendor

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Frosty raspberry

I began working on some Valentine cards this week. Here are the latest cards from Purple Grandma Designs.

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Friday’s Fave Five #6

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Welcome to Friday’s Fave Five, hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, in which we can share five of our favorite things from the last week, a wonderful exercise in looking for and appreciating the good things God blesses us with. Click on the button to learn more, then go to Susanne’s to read others’ faves and link up your own.

1. Is it spring yet?  Because of my limited mobility, this year I find myself REALLY longing for winter to be over.  The ice is enemy to my ability to get around on my own.  But as in all things, we can turn our thoughts, this time to the blessings that accompany wintry weather.  The past week as been full of sunshine!  I am very grateful for the longer days and that it has been warming up to minus eight to ten during the day.  My kitchen is particularly sunny in the afternoon because it faces south.  This is a view from our kitchen garden doors:Sunshine on the snow

Plus the trees and bushes look pretty when the sun shines on the ice and snow!

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2. Mondays are family night.  Our daughters and their roommate come over and we share a meal and talk or watch a favorite BBC program.  Sometimes I make the meal and sometimes they pick up a roasted chicken and a salad from the store on the way home from work. It’s a real blessing to have them living nearby and for the fellowship we enjoy together.

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3. Hangout with our kids in China. Our other two children live in China.  I am extremely grateful for Skype, Hangouts, and other media that allows us to have a weekly face to face chat.  It’s great to be able to talk with our youngest daughter then have our son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren pop into her room and visit with us too.  One of the greatest sacrifice missionaries of old had to face was the possibility of never seeing family again once they left for the field.  We are so blessed to be able to communicate every day if we wish.

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4. Memories of my mom. As I was cleaning out 2013 files in order to prepare for tax time, I came across the results of old allergy testing I had when I was ten.  I had uncovered it when going through files I had collected from my parents’ home when we sold their house.  Because I had food sensitivity testing last summer I stuck the ancient file in with my current one.  In various places on those test results I saw notations in my mother’s handwriting, and loving memories of my mom flooded my heart and mind.  I was blessed beyond measure to have a godly, loving mother and I look forward to seeing her again in heaven one day.

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5. Taxes The thing I hate most to do every year is taxes.  Because we are dual citizens we have to file in two countries, and because my husband’s work does not fall into one simple category, we have to keep track of a lot of things for tax time.  Normally it is a very stressful time for me.  However this year I got an early start, did not feel at all stressed by doing it, and am actually almost all done with my part.  This is a big, big blessing to me!