From California With Love…

For the last 5 days we have been enjoying visitors from California at our house. My oldest sister and her daughter Michelle along with Michelle’s hubby and two kids have been staying with us. On Sunday we gathered at Josh and Laura’s for a birthday celebration for their Aunt Lana, my sister. Three out of the four original sisters were able to enjoy this time together. Our oldest sister, Kathy, on the left was born in Iran. Lana and I were born in California. Kathy and her family have been caring for our dear old pop. He’s getting a little lonely since she’s been gone but Kathy’s husband and her other daughter are keeping a close eye on him. I hope it’s a nice break for Kathy.

Sisters, Aunts, Mothers, Nieces, Daughters…

The current batch of Californians visiting and celebrating with most of the Washingtonians.

The weather was just right for an outdoor event.

During the visit Pandemics were halted and the world was saved by different groups of players in different locations. There were fairy worlds to discover by others.

On Monday some of the ladies headed to Snohomish to do some shopping along First Avenue. Since we only managed to hit about 1/16th of what this shopping district had to offer a return trip in the future is on the to do list.

The youngest among us on this family visit enjoyed using the fruit picker to help Great Auntie out by picking a small fraction of our apples.  Our white hydrangea has some huge blooms as you can see with Avery standing next to it.

This extended family photo from our nephew Joe and Hannah’s wedding just popped up on facebook. In this photo from my side of the family there are 11 Washingtonians, 4 Texans and the rest are Californians. This wedding was in January just north of Santa Barbara, California. It’s nice to have visits from our family a fraction at a time. We have another small fraction of family arriving on Monday!

The Pacific Northwest is bracing itself for a heat wave. It’s all the news up here. Hope you are staying cool and comfy where you are.

A Groovy Party

Thank you my Lord
For a beautiful day
Thank you my Lord
I’m so happy to say
Thank you my Lord
For the flowers that grow
There would be nothing I know
Without You
Thank you my Lord
For the sun in the sky
Thank you my Lord
I’m so grateful that I
Thank you my Lord
For the rivers that flow
There would be nothing I know
Without You

To God be the glory
To God be the glory
To God be the glory
For the things He has done

With His blood He has saved me
With His power He has raised me;
To God be the glory
For the things He has done

For all the music
And the songs that we sing
For all the laughter
And the joy that You bring
Thank you my Lord
I have nothing to fear
As long as I have You here
Beside me
Thank you my Lord
For the birds in the trees
Thank you my Lord
I am down on my knees
Thank you my Lord
For the rain and the snow
There would be nothing I know
Without You
Just let me live my life
Let it pleasing, Lord to Thee
And if I gain any praise
Let it go to Calvary
For all the mountains
That You give us to climb
For all the valleys
Yeah I say one more time
Thank you my Lord
I have nothing to fear
As long as I have You here
Beside me

Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend. Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
Oh, yeah, yeah, you’ve got a friend.
How can I say thanks
For the things You have done for me?
Things so undeserved
Yet You gave to prove Your love for me;
The voices of a million angels
Could not express my gratitude
All that I am and ever hope to be
I owe it all to Thee
I mixed up some lyrics from a few songs from the 70’s to give words to this post about the wonderful birthday celebration for Herb and Anneliese in Canada last Saturday. It was a wonderful thought out celebration with a 70’s theme. Herb and Anneliese’s kids brought things together well for a lovely celebration. New friends and lifelong friends came together to celebrate. The lyrics are from songs by B.J. Thomas, Andrae Crouch and Carole King.

Our Little Warrior, David

This very special little guy had his 2nd birthday party on Saturday and we were happy to celebrate the miracle he is. He was born very premature and only weighed 1# 9oz. He spent well over 100 days in NICU with surgeries and emergencies along the way. The day he was able to come home was a huge milestone.

Family and friends gathered to celebrate. It was fun to see a few of our son’s high school friends with their fresh little ones, too.

We love this family and are thankful God brought us together in friendship 29 years ago.

If you’d like to pray for little David Daniel specifically, please pray that he gains weight. Thank You.

He’s Another Year Old Today…

Technically he was another year old yesterday.

14317439_10210161594261007_2186919252756866346_nMy dear old Pop turned 94 years old on Thursday. This photo is from last year when he was 93 at his great granddaughter’s birthday party. Vera and I drove to Kathy’s yesterday to wish him a happy birthday and to have dinner with him and Kathy’s family. Before dinner we all prayed individually to our God to bless our dear Pop in his final days on this earth with peace and joy.

This is my pop and me in 1973 and 2017. We both have aged a bit. I’ve put on weight and he’s lost a lot of weight and muscle.

Last year he got cherry pie which he really enjoys.

This year Vera and I baked my mom’s signature nut roll called Roolyet. My pop talked about the fact that my mom’s Roolyet was the best. He said no one made roolyet like mom. We were hoping ours would measure up.

We put the candle in his birthday roolyet and he enjoyed blowing it out. He did say, “I’m 94 why only 1 candle?”

Pop loved our attempt and he teared up because it brought back good memories of his bride. He told us to make it again on Saturday when we have another party on the books. I’ll be posting the recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook on May 31st.

This is my sister Kathy’s family minus their son-in-law Ryan who is busy wrapping up his teaching year. Vera and me are flanking our pop with Avery. Pop got calls from his other kids and even got a call from our younger sister who is vacationing in Iceland to wish him a happy birthday. After dinner and all the excitement of the day he sat down to watch Jeopardy and then excused himself and retired to his room to read his Bible and pray for all of us like he does every night. Vera and I hit the four freeways we needed to take to get back home. There are a lot of freeways in Southern California!

Friday is sister day and the three sisters that are here right now will have some fun. Lana is on her way to Scotland with her hubby after spending time in Iceland which is an okay trade-off for not being here for sister day.

The Celebrations Continue…

We decided it was good to celebrate Easter again while we celebrated our son-in-law Andrew.

Family on the western side of Washington got together this morning for brunch. Dear and I attend our 8am service at church so a brunch at 11:00 works out well for us. We had Eggs Benedict with hashbrowns and fresh fruit.

Andrew’s birthday was on April 12th while we were in Eastern Washington.  Today he got a small slice of coffee cake with a birthday candle in it. We sang and he managed to blow out the candle. He looks pleased with himself.

Dear, Andrew, Katie and I also celebrated on Friday April 21st at a new place close to us called Korachka, a Russian Tavern. We gave Andrew his birthday gift and enjoyed some Russian food…delicious. Friday was a glorious sunny day…all day and into the evening! On the way home from the tavern I took some shots from the moving car of the sunshine on Lake Washington.

And because this is a post of mosaics here’s one from the day we left eastern Washington of the many faces of our dear little 1 month old Addy. These photos of Addy were taken on April 18th in the morning before we said our goodbyes.

Linking up with Maggie at Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday. Thank you Maggie.

Three Days Old…

The view outside the kids windows on day three, Thursday March 23rd. It was nice that the sun was shining this day as this would be Addy’s first appointment at the hospital after being discharged. Later we all ventured over to Jamie’s Uncle Scott and Aunt Rhonda’s home for a birthday party for Uncle Scott.

Addy’s first party gathering. We are all hoping Addy will be sporting a cute dimple like her daddy and mommy.

Four generations here with Jamie’s Granny, Jamie’s mom, Jamie and Addy. Granny’s middle name is May and our Addy’s middle name is now May, too.

Linda (Jamie’s mom) with her brother Scott. Great Uncle Scott got to hold Addy since it was his birthday party but then somehow Addy ended up in the arms of…

Great Aunt Rhonda and Great Granny, too! Addy is blessed with lots of love.

It was a short time at the party then Addy got tucked in her baby car seat and off to home just a couple miles up the road.

Thanks for letting us celebrate with you Scott and Rhonda!

The College Years

My college years spanned from 1968 to 1973. I had a fifth year for my teaching credential and student teaching.

For my first year of college I went away about 60 miles east of my home to the University of Redlands.

My college roommate was Violet (Violeta). Her major was Spanish. After my first year I decided to move back home and commute to Cal-State Los Angeles to finish my college years.

Back in the Los Angeles area Heidi’s family and mine attended Bethany Baptist Russian Church in L.A. and we became the best of friends. This friendship continues to this day. In fact, all these friendships that I show here are still intact.

We went on an a trip together in the summer of 1970 to Michigan and New Jersey with side trips to Buffalo (Niagara Falls), New York City, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C. This was the first time I flew in an airplane.

These are my and Heidi’s Russian friends from Buffalo, New York and San Francisco. None of us went to Stanford although I did apply to go there but was not accepted. The photo above was taken on the day of the Rose Parade in Pasadena. Stanford was playing someone in the Rose Bowl Game. This was either January 1st, 1971 or 1972.

While in college Jeaneen and I met in our Home Economics classes and a new friendship was started. I introduced Jeaneen to my cousin Jim and they ended up getting married. We’ve had many great times together through the years. After marriage the four of us continued our friendship. We both had homes in Huntington Beach and we attended the same church while we lived in H.B.

I met Dear in my college years in 1972. My friend Heidi auditioned for the Christian singing group that Dear was part of and I met him at the concerts that I’d attend with Heidi. After a summer tour in England the group needed an alto so I auditioned for the group. That fall Dear and I started dating and September 6th of 1973 he asked my father for my hand in marriage.

While in college at Cal-State L.A. I had a part-time job at Montgomery Ward in their parts department. I paid my own way through college but I lived at home so my parents fed me and never charged me rent.

I graduated from Cal-State with a degree in Home Economics and earned my teaching certificate. The photo above is myself and Dear and my brother and me. Besides Fred and me graduating at this time my cousin Jim and my friend Jeaneen and another friend from my Russian Baptist church, Alex, graduated with us.

Some significant things that happened while I was in college besides what I shared already:

My sister Vera got married in November of 1969.

During Summer quarter in 1970 I came down with a terrible sore throat one week before finals. Then I broke out in a rash all over my body. When I went to the doctor they had me come in the back door and straight to an examination room. The doctor diagnosed Scarlet Fever and sent me home on bed rest with medications. While in the doctors office the doctor kept bringing in all the nursing staff there to see what Scarlet Fever looked like. OYE. I was flat on my back in bed and very sick for a couple of weeks. My sister Kathy was planning a trip to England with her best friend so the doctor put her on antibiotics (precautionary). My poor sister ended up being allergic to the antibiotic and broke out in hives all over her body on the day of my cousin Alex’s wedding. She was quite upset but went to the wedding anyway. I missed all my finals and had to take them the beginning of Fall quarter. Needless to say that wasn’t a great quarter for my grade average!

My brother Fred got married in April of 1972.

There was a gasoline shortage in 1973 where there was rationing and we could only buy gas on odd or even days depending on our license plate ending number.

Lynden B. Johnson (63-69) and Richard M. Nixon (69-74) were the Presidents of the United States during my college years.

My next post will be about post college years with my engagement and wedding.

My youngest brother and older sister both commented on my Hume Lake post that I forgot to mention another epic thing that happened in 1963, the year I was saved. How could I ever forget the fact that my mother delivered twins at the end of July that summer?  A little girl and a little boy born and my parents now had four boys and four girls under their roof! My father had no idea my mother was having twins and only found out when he got home from work. (no cell phones and my father worked at remote sites with no phones) My little brother Tim ran out to the car to greet him when he pulled into the driveway from work and said, “Pop, not one baby, two babies!” My poor father was in shock!

I leave you with this sweet photo of our little twins Cvetlana (Lana) and Leonard from 1963! They are the icing on the cake for our family.

twins

People! I’m seeing sunshine outside my window and blue skies and very few clouds. This is cause for a celebration here in the Pacific Northwest! We have had rain, rain and more rain for a nice long stretch now and what a welcome sight the blue skies are this morning.