Thankful for Extended Family

***Please scroll down for Fridays Fave Five…

Thankful in November

I am thankful for family and friends that go back to Russia, escaping to Iran, and finally by God’s grace immigrating to the U.S.A. Our families used to be more connected when they all first arrived as immigrants to the USA after WWII and through the 70’s. After the first generation kids got married we drifted off from each other. We always enjoy getting together for big events and reconnecting.



This photo was taken in Iran in the late 1940’s after my parents and sister Kathy had left for the U.S.A. The two families represented here are the Shvetzov Family (my mother’s family) and the Katkov Family (my Uncle Paul’s wife’s family). My Maternal Grandmother and Grandfather are seated on the right. My Uncle Paul and his wife Nina are standing on the right. My cousin Alex is at my grandmother’s side. The rest of the family are all Katkov’s and their spouses. The little girl standing on the left is the lady in the collage below with the yellow mickey mouse hat on. :0) The gal with the red and white polka dot hat on is the little girl being held in the top row of the photo from Iran. She was 5 when her parents immigrated to the U.S.A. The three young girls in this photo from Iran are the only ones still living, Tamara, Vera, and Zena. My cousin Alex died almost 30 years ago in a car accident.


Dear and I traveled across L.A. to Mission Viejo for a Nifty Fifty birthday party for Tanya, my youngest cousin on my mother’s side of the family. My mother had one brother Paul Shvetzov and he married Nina Katkov. My uncle Paul and Aunt Nina had 4 children. We were able to spend a few hours reconnecting with my cousins Valia and Tanya and some of their Katkov cousins and aunts that we all grew up with. It was great to get together for a fun celebration because we’ve had our fair share of funerals in the last few years. One of our Shvetzov extended Kasimoff cousins was there too (Hi Helen). It’s confusing people and that’s why we called everyone our cousin and our aunt or uncle growing up!


Aunt Nura is the oldest surviving Katkov. All her siblings except for her two youngest sisters, Zena and Vera have all gone to be with the Lord. She’s not in the photo from Iran either because she married a U.S. soldier and came to the U.S. before this photo was taken, too. Top row is Tamara, the daughter of Nura’s brother Vasilli, (Tamara is the little girl in the photo from Iran being held by her mother Zena in the top row) Valia (my cousin) the daughter of Nura’s sister Nina, Michelle (Valia’s daughter) and Shirley (Nura’s youngest daughter). Shirley and I have some fun history together from our teen years.


This is my side of the family that attended the celebration photographed with the birthday girl Tanya in the middle in red.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and demanding a ransom for me to access them. I’m slowly cleaning up many of my posts where PB have added ugly black and grey boxes where my photos used to be. So frustrating!

About Ellen am a wife, mother, baba (grandmother) and a loyal friend. Jesus is my King and my hope is in my future with Him.

10 thoughts on “Thankful for Extended Family

  1. I can’t even imagine. I think my entire family in this country is under 20 people and that is three generations. How wonderful that you can gather to celebrate family.

  2. don’t you just love big families?? Thanksgiving always reminds me of my Dad’s family as when my group were kids we’d get together at Grandma’s house (she of the famous sayings) every Thanksgiving.

  3. WOW – Ellen, what a blessing to be able to meet with your extended family. Growing up in my mother’s hometown, I remember those wonderful get-togethers with MANY cousins too. My oldest cousin on my mother’s side is I think at least 20 years older than me. But once we grew up, most of us drifted apart…

    It’s good to see that you are still in touch with your side of the extended family – too precious!

  4. Love it! Fun to see the cousins!

    MIL wants to go to Michaels and Goodwill! YIPPEE! Bless her heart. Anything you need? 🙂 I think we will stop at Whole Foods as well and pick up ingredients for New Orleans Bourbon Bread Pudding for her birthday dinner tomorrow night.

  5. What a lovely looking family. I enjoyed looking at the photos.

    I have an award for you on my blog. Please stop by when you have a chance.


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