3 Alarm Fire!

Welcome to Fire Station #3!

Here’s Engine #3! Our daughter in law created another fabulous cake.

Stop, Drop and Roll!

All the usual suspects and more were in the station enjoying each other before lunch was fired up on the barbecue.

The spotlight this day was on Fireman Jaymison.

Some people came dressed to the T with flames on!

We had our lunch of brats, hot dogs, coleslaw, potato salad and other goodies. We cleaned up after lunch and then we were all surprised to hear the fire alarm go off. The fire chief and fireman pulled on their boots and headed outside to see what the alarm was all about. Sure enough there was a fire that needed to be put out!

The Fire Chief supervised as Fireman #3 helped to put out the fire!

Fireman JJ was relieved of duty while the Fire Chief took over and was helped by other guests at the party.

JJ kept an eye on the action from a safe distance.

The fire was put out successfully.

All those from Fire District #3 posed for their photo.

After all that hard work it was time to light the candles and sing Happy Birthday!

Two fires put out in one day!

We had two other April birthdays to celebrate with a candle on this day. Our Andrew and Jamie D. had a dessert made in their honor.

Time for presents!

Fun with his very own Pop up Fire Rescue truck. Room for JJ and his friend David.

Now for all the guests.

Granny Great and Jim


Great Uncle Scott and Aunt Rhonda

Uncle Josh and Auntie Lolo.

Auntie Katie and Uncle Andrew

The Dickinson family, long time friends.

Mylee and her family. Long time friend of the family.

Gramps and Baba

Brother and sister.

This 3 year old was a real trooper through all those photos and all the action of the day. His birthday this year landed on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter. Not every birthday will land on Easter weekend, thankfully.

Baba and Gramps love you JJ and we are thankful that you are growing strong and healthy. It’s fun to watch you build things with blocks and Construx. Bikes, your jeep, swings, sticks and rocks along with dirt keep you occupied outside. You love being outside and thanks to your mom and dad you are allowed to spend lots of time in the fresh air. Thank you for your cuddles and hugs. You are our favorite 3 year old in all the world!

If Memory Serves Me Hodgpodge

Time for the Hodgepodge where Jo From This Side of the Pond asks the questions and we all answer.

1. What’s something you wish you had spent more time doing when you were younger? Explain. 

Memorizing portions of scripture in the Bible since the verses I did memorize when I was young are easier to call up now!

2. Who inspires you to be better. Tell us how. 

The obvious answer is Jesus because He was on earth as a man and lived perfectly. Looking to Him the Holy Spirit helps us to change. Many others at any moment inspire me when they shine in their love and responses. They inspire me to be better, too.

3. Share a money saving tip with us. 

Splitting a meal when you go out instead of taking half home.

4. It’s National Garlic Day…are you a fan? Your favorite dish that includes garlic? 


Yes, I am a fan of garlic. Many dishes call for garlic which I enjoy. My husband’s Tomato Rice Soup is a stand out that includes garlic. Hummus is a favorite, too.

5. Would you describe yourself as decisive or indecisive. Elaborate. 

Mostly decisive. If I’m indecisive I’ll do the research to make a decision.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Enjoying recalling all the glorious events over Easter Weekend.

This little guy turned 3 on Saturday and Fireman was the theme!

Our Easter/Birthday company are still with us today. They fly home this evening. I’m guessing my visits will be late.


No Hodgepodge this week so I’m serving leftovers from our March Spring Birthday Weekend!

Sister teaching older brother how Wordle works.

After Addy’s birthday party and naps everyone gathered at our place for a Shepherd’s Pie meal. Addy came dressed as British royalty for the meal.

Brothers and Grands learning how to catch a Unicorn.

On Sunday after church we had our final gathering before Andrew and Katie hit the road and Josh and Laura flew home.

Uncle Andrew is a fun Uncle, Funcle.

Sunday the 20th of March was a perfect first day of Spring.

Another weekend packed with memories. Soon we’ll gather again to celebrate JJ and Andrew, our April birthday boys!

All Good Things

What fun it was to open up these gifts to me from our kids. It will be fun to add our family favorite in this new recipe journal.

It’s hard to see but there is a line to write down the speaker, the date, the message title and then lines at the bottom to add scripture verses that were referenced in the sermon. I’m looking forward to using this. Our DIL bought it from Target online.

I love the theme of these next gifts and am excited to hear England is totally open to international travelers without any restrictions!

I’ve been enjoying my morning cuppa in this beauty!

The snow has mostly disappeared with our warming temperatures this week. We have even been able to get out and do some clean-up in most of our planters. It feels good to look out the windows and see that job accomplished. Speaking of windows our window cleaner guy called and we are booked for clean windows on this coming Tuesday.  We have a quiet weekend coming up before we move into busy weekends in April.

Thankful to God for the love shown to me and for the ability to do yardwork.

It’s been so good to be in a study of the book of Isaiah as we approach Easter.

Hope all is well in your corner!

Taking Time for the Hodgepodge

This past weekend we celebrated Addy’s 5th birthday on Saturday and my belated birthday on Sunday since our whole family was together. Addy loaned me her birthday crown for my celebration. She’s wearing her queenly outfit that her Granny bought her for her birthday. Her favorite color right now is yellow.

Jo From This Side of the Pond has some timely questions for the Hodgpodge this week. Click over to join in the fun.

1. What’s something you never seem to have enough time for? 

Being retired, I have a lot of time to do a lot of things. It’s a lie that convinces me I don’t have time. It’s an excuse. Getting my heart behind something I need to do is the struggle. The thing that is the biggest struggle for me is consistency with exercise. I should be getting my heart rate up everyday with a 30 minute cardio workout. That ‘not enough time’ excuse is really time I wasted away doing something else that isn’t as important.

I’ve done a simple exercise in the past to show just how much I can accomplish in 15-20 minutes time. Set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes and get after a task you have been putting off. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish in that time. Do that once an hour for 8 hours in a day and you’ll really be impressed with your accomplishments.

2. If you could turn back time and relive just one day in your life, which day would you choose and why? 

Truthfully I wouldn’t want to relive any day just as it was. I’d want to go back with what I know now and improve on the day by being totally there, relaxed, aware of what was going on around me, engaged and content.

3. Something you enjoy making that takes a long time to prepare/cook? 

Blintzes or what some call crepes. First we make the blintzes and then we fill them, roll them with either savory or sweet fillings and bake them to enjoy, with a crowd.

You can see the process and recipe by clicking here.

4. A time recently where you needed/gave yourself a ‘time out’? How do you do that? 

I give myself a ‘time out’ at least once a week. I choose a day that is event free and stay in my robe for most of the morning. When there isn’t a scheduled event in a day it is a most relaxing day for me even if I end up doing a project or two or three with no time limits or deadlines.

5. Something you’ve done recently that you’d describe as a ‘good time’? 

This past weekend all of our kids were together and that’s always a good time. We ate together, partied together, went to church together, listened to each other commiserating with one another, laughed together, and prayed everyone back home safely.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Our dear granddaughter Addy turned 5 this past weekend and we celebrated her with a wonderful Tea Party that her mom put together.

Addy’s mommy made the cake and in the next photo you’ll see the teapot pinata she made with Addy getting the first blows in to try and break it open for all the treats that were inside!

Full Tea Party post is here.

Happy Hodgepodge everyone. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and scroll through my post. I appreciate it!


Miss Addy’s Tea Party!

We enter Addy’s 5th Birthday Tea Party. Addy requested a Tea Party Theme and her Mama delivered big time!

I’ll mention it now that this post has an extraordinary amount of photos.


The Birthday girl’s brother hiding under the gift table.

Auntie Katie arrived to help with the party preparations. She was in charge of the balloons for the photo op!

Aren’t these the cutest paper tea cups and saucers?!

Jamie baked and decorated this amazing cake with layers of different flavors. Addy’s favorite color right now is yellow and she wanted yellow and pink at the party.

This is the teapot piñata (/pɪnˈjɑːtə/) that Jamie constructed. It is filled with treats that will be released once it is broken with a stick or bat. 

Peanut butter and jelly mini sandwiches, rolled tortilla cheese and lunchmeat bites, bagel bites, cucumber sandwich bites, egg salad sandwich bites.

I loved this idea of bacon, lettuce and tomato bites with small cut out slices of bread.


West Coast Chicken Salad Croissant sandwiches, veggie cups and fruit cups.

Look closely and you’ll see that the strawberries have pretzel tea cup handles on them!

The birthday girl and friends table.

First we had our savory course.

After savories it was time to break the piñata open. No blindfolds for this age group.

The break open moment caught by Laura with her phone!

Time for cake and sweets!

Dan made the macarons! The lemon macarons were incredible!

Have you seen this Safari book? The animals featured are in motion. Photicular.

I wish I would have gotten a photo of the three pretty dresses that Addy will be able to twirl in from Uncle Josh and Auntie Lolo. The musical jewelry box was also a hit.


After the party was over and most guests had left mom and dad remembered they forgot to give Addy the present they bought for her. So much going on…

She was happy to have a new bike that is a better size for her.

Happy 5th birthday Addy. Baba and Gramps love you and we thank our God that you are surrounded by family and friends who love you, too. You are a quick learner and eager to help. We are thankful for all your learning experiences at Homeschool and Homeschool Co-op, Awana, Children’s church, Piano lessons. We pray that God will continue to ‘bless you and keep you, be gracious to you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.’ 

Birthdays and Spring!

A beautiful first day of Spring in our neck of the woods after the early morning fog burned off making the glorious blue skies visible. We had a full family weekend. Our west coast kids arrived on Friday night. Addy’s 5th birthday party was on Saturday. A wonderful Tea Party theme. On Sunday after church our kids put together a brunch to celebrate my birthday which was last Monday. Our west coast kids traveled back home on Sunday. I’ll be posting all about our times together as soon as the internets allow me to upload all the photos. Things are very slow going right now.

Our snow is almost gone. The clean up list is getting long. Happy Spring Everyone!

The Decades of My Life

The first decade of my life was from 1951 until 1961. Born in East Los Angeles, moved to Montebello Gardens and then at the end of this first decade we moved up to Montebello. Warning up front that these decade posts will be a photo and information overload for many of you.

Somewhere in East Los Angeles possibly on Humphreys if my memory serves me right about the street name from our Pop. My sister Vera is telling me to shush. My brother Fred is not happy about me crying.

Yikes, I’m crying again. My little babushka is standing behind my mom. My parents good friend Zena Katkov next to her and my Uncle Paul holding my cousin Valia and then my Aunt Nina with my cousin Walter beside her. The lady sitting next to mom is a friend from San Francisco (Mrs. Hamzieff) with her son. Not sure who the lady is between her and my Aunt Nina.

These next photos are from our home in Montebello Gardens/Pico Rivera, California.

My sister Vera’s birthday party with many of our cousins on our Father’s side.

Camping in Big Bear, California with our maternal cousins.

The paternal side of our family.

Our cousin Johnny’s birthday on our Pop’s side of the family.

Maternal side of the family on Easter. Our Babushka with her grandchildren.

That’s a pigeon on my head.

Paternal cousins on another Easter.

Berry picking somewhere in southern California.

Paternal grandparents.

Our brother Tim was born and he usurped me of my title of being the youngest in our family.

My seventh birthday.

Cracking up at the way I lay my hands for photos.


I’m on the rug in front of my sister Vera, sister Kathy holding our new baby brother Tim and our brother Fred with the accordion. Love my goofy expression!

Easter 1958. We always got new clothes and shoes for Easter and Christmas.

Christmas 1958

Another photo from Christmas,1958. I’m on the left at seven years old. Our little brother Tim was 11 months old. There’s a reason I’m the only one who isn’t dressed in their Christmas clothes in this photo. I had some medical problems that I can only remember as some kind of kidney infection that I was hospitalized for. I ended up having to have a teacher come to our home for a couple months in the new year, (1959). By Valentine’s Day I still wasn’t back to school because I remember that my home school teacher brought me Valentine’s Day cards from my classmates.

Easter 1959

My birthday in 1961 and our last year in Montebello Gardens. Our next little brother, Steve is on the left barely in the photo. Cousin Vera and Johnnie on my Pop’s side of the family. Our cousin Valia, Tania and Walter on our Mom’s side of the family and my two little brothers, Tim and Steve and older brother Fred who is not quite visible.

My 5th grade photo. I sent this photo to Paul Kushnerov when he was in the service. His girlfriend at the time asked me to write him while he was serving our country in the 50’s. This little act inspired me to be more of an encourager with letters and cards. It was always a joy to receive something in the mail. Paul and Vera were married and would be our youth leaders for a time at Bethany Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Paul’s son shared this photo he found in amongst his parents keepsakes after Paul passed away a few years ago.

At the end of my first decade I was still in elementary school. We were living in Montebello and we walked to school crossing busy Whittier Blvd. There were six siblings and our parents living in a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. In my next decade our family increased.

Because I skipped a grade (2nd or 3rd). I’ve always thought it was 2nd grade that I skipped but now with a little detective work I think it was third grade since I do not have a school photo for the third grade nor do I remember a teacher from the third grade. Now I’m also wondering a lot about 3rd grade. What is 3rd grade known for? 4th grade you have multiplication. From 4th grade on I was a year younger than most of my classmates.

In this first decade of my life my parents socialized mostly with our relatives or Russians who we went to church with. Both of the churches we were a part of had services in the Russian language. Our pop made friends that were non-Russian at work but not lifetime friends. Work is where he picked up most of his English. My mom became friends with an Italian lady who lived across the street named Lucille. Lucille gave me simple jobs around her home and paid me. She made the best Italian cookies. She would let me have some out of the oven, delicious! She baked them for weddings and I remember them iced green and pink and stacked on every surface of the house! When I cleaned the detached room that 2 of her sons lived in she said if I found any money under their beds I could keep it. I did find some! Maybe that was a way of getting me to clean thoroughly. My mom learned a lot of her English from Soap Operas. As the World Turns. Lucille helped her, too.

There was another friend across the street who had an Avocado tree in her backyard. We learned to really enjoy Avocado on toast in the 50’s long before the current trend.

We had a lot of Hispanic neighbors. Rosie was my next door neighbor who’s dog bit me on the mouth. Not a fan of Boxers to this day! Her mom seemed to have a pot of beans simmering on the stove most days I visited inside the home. It was an aroma I had never experienced. Rosie and her cousin betrayed our friendship one day by jumping me and beating me up and ripping my favorite blouse when we were walking to the store. Our friendship ended. Needless to say I didn’t smell beans simmering after that day until high school days with my very good and faithful Hispanic friends!

Speaking of being beat up there was a day that I angered someone at school who let everyone know they were going to beat me up when we got off the bus after school. There was more than one school bus stop in our neighborhood of ‘The Jardines’ and at the last minute I jumped off the bus at the stop before our stop and ran home avoiding the fight.

We would watch TV as a family. Shows like Art Linkletter, Micky Mouse Club, I remember Chucko the Birthday Clown (popular in L.A.) because I went on the show for Victor Katkov’s birthday party. I would like to have footage from that show. I ended up winning a prize on the show, too. Can’t remember what it was. Other L.A. based shows like Engineer Bill were popular, too. “On the green light you go, on the red light you stop because no engineer would ever run a red light” They used that to get kids to drink a glass of milk. Sheriff John was another popular show and here’s his birthday song!

We were able to go to Disneyland shortly after it opened. We also would get in our jammies and load up in the car to go to the Drive-in to see all the latest Disney releases. Bambie was sooo sad. I couldn’t keep my eyes open for the sad parts.  Falling asleep in the car on the way home was a regular occurrence. Knott’s Berry Farm was another experience we enjoyed. If my memory serves me right the first time I ever ate in a restaurant was at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Chicken Dinner restaurant.

Many families that we knew had a story about one of their kids falling out of a car from leaning on the door or from the door opening going round a corner. No seat belts and no car seats in those days.

This post is an ‘all about me’ historical post and if you made it all the way to the end congratulations. Maybe my grandkids will enjoy reading about their Baba in the future when I’m not around to answer all the questions.

Happy Birthday to me and I thank the God who loves me and called me, Jesus who saved me from my sins and the Holy Spirit who indwells me, Three in One, that I have made it to my 7th decade 8th decade and to my 71st year. Thank you to Anneliese for noticing I’ve entered my 8th decade!!

March In Mud Hodgepodge

Jo is back this week with Hodgepodge questions. You can join in HERE.

1. Somehow it’s March? Is it coming in like a lion where you live? 

It has come in like a Lion in parts of Western Washington State with heavy rains that have caused mudslides, flooding, and downed trees. Here where we live in Northeastern Washington we are having gentle rains and our snow is melting bringing us into the season we call mud. This next photo of our grandson shows the reality of the mud season. Fun for littles, not so fun for adults. 🙂

Tell us one fun thing on your March calendar. 

Our granddaughter is turning 5 in the month of March which is fun and exciting. My birthday falls in March, too. Our daughter and her hubby will celebrate their 11th anniversary this month. Auntie Lolo’s dear Grandma Wilma turns 98 on Friday and gatherings and celebrations are afoot!

2. In what way(s) do you ‘march to the beat of your own drum’? 

I’m finding this one hard. God has created me in a unique way and my hope is to march to the beat of His drum. It does not pay to kick against the goads!

To “kick against the goads” is nothing less than an exercise in vanity; futile and pointless. The Greeks and Romans used this saying to imply “ruinous resistance.” Paul had to learn the hard way that resistance to Jesus was a losing battle — hopeless. God is sovereign.

3. The Hodgepodge lands on Dr. Suess Day (March 2nd). Do you like eggs? How about ham? Share a favorite quote from one of his books. 

I do like eggs and I do like ham. Make me some Eggs Benedict ma’am, I am!

That’s my quote since Dr. Seuss is not a favorite of mine and we don’t even have one book of his on our bookshelves. His books were never a favorite to read out loud either. I did have to read many out loud when the children in my 2nd grade classroom picked them for me to read in class. I never denied them that pleasure.

4. Have you read Little Women? How about Alice in Wonderland? Did you love them, like them, feel just eh about them? Why is this question in the Hodgepodge today? 

I think I did read Little Women, but I honestly can’t remember for sure and part of my memory is mingled with the movie. I know for sure I have not read Alice in Wonderland.

5. How do you meal plan? How often do you shop for groceries? One homemade meal that was on your menu last week or is on your menu this week?

Oh boy. My meal planning is hit and miss and mostly centers around who is coming over for a meal. I shop for groceries when we are in town. My shopping lately focuses on what I need for a particular meal. Last week we had Taco Salad for a meal when our daughters in law and grands came over for dinner. We had trifle for dessert.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We are counting the days until we celebrate her 5th birthday. The theme she has decided on is Tea Party. Now her mom is busy coming up with all the creative ways to make that theme happen!

Thank you Hodgepodgers for stopping by and leaving a comment. I understand that some of you have issues with commenting on my WordPress blog. I don’t know how to remedy that. Thank you for trying.

Happy March everyone!

Enjoy the Little Things Hodgepodge!

It’s time for Wednesday Hodgepodge with Jo From This Side of the Pond.

1. Besides the predictable name-rank-serial number, what’s something you know by heart?

Birthdays. For some reason birth dates stick in my brain. I still remember some of my high school friend’s birthdays.

2. Something recently that had you tickled pink?

These two serving tea.

3. How do you define the word romantic, and are you one? 

I’m more down to earth, not a romantic.

4. Finish this verse with your own original thought….’Roses are red, violets are blue…

I asked Dear to finish this one for me. He said…

Roses are red, violets are blue, false doctrine teachers aren’t anything new. 

We’re studying 2 Timothy right now and avoiding false teachers and false doctrine has been a theme…

5. Five little things you are loving right now? 

A day free of scheduled activities, our forced air heater, my desk in our study, sunflower seeds, a good bowl of soup.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

If there is any romantic in me it finds it’s way out when I cook and set a table for my loved ones.