Starting Fresh with Hodgepodge…

1. Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday.
 15747502_10211510518384524_8505381520756214670_nOur Nutcracker Christmas Crackers had little whistle/flutes in them and instructions to toot some Christmas songs together. It was so much fun with us laughing so much we snorted and maybe drooled a bit while trying to toot our whistles upon demand. Each whistle was numbered to created the right tone/note. Oye…it was fun!
2. What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?
swedishSwedish pancakes on Christmas morning are the best. 1st because Dear cooks them. 2nd because we all love them. A tradition that will not be broken.

3. What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?


People, people, people are the most beautiful things we saw over the holidays. A very beautiful thing was that our oldest flew to eastern Washington to help his brother and sister in law move into their new home in frigid temperatures. Our boys have a way of being able to motivate and help each other in good and tough times and it’s a beautiful thing to see and hear about.

4. What does fresh start mean to you?

Fresh Start was the name of my home cleaning business that I started in the late 80’s and early 90’s and that’s the first thing that came to mind with this question. Dear was in Pharmacy School for a mid-life change in his profession and I cleaned toilets to make money in several homes and at a medical and dental clinic. Of course I cleaned more than toilets but you get the idea. The work was so aerobic and I was so skinny.

5. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain.

If I take my fluff out of the equation I’d give myself an 8!

van 2 035I’m still fluffy but besides that my health and outlook are good. I am not taking any medications. An IT Band Syndrome is still plaguing me even though I’m not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. Exercises to strengthen my core and take the strain off my IT band are helping. It generally takes a lot to get me down and I’m thankful for that. So…I’ll stick with an 8!

6. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they’d like to see banished from the Queen’s English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you’re like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it’s used. There were quite a few on this year’s list I’d never heard before. Here’s the 2017 list of banished words-You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption. Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?

I’m tired of hearing about Town Hall Meetings. Another one I’d like to not hear again is “Gun Control”.

7. Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year.
misc-stuff-028I got this fitbit for Christmas and I’d like to add the light goal of moving more.
My deep goal is to pray more.
 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18:
Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I’ve got a recipe for Crock Pot Potato soup inspired from bj’s blog and Paula Deen up on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog. It was easy and satisfying. Click on over to see it.
The illustration at the top of this post is Russian and the words translate Happy New Year. I wish you all a very Happy New Year!
Linking up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond. She provides the questions and we provide the answers.

Happy Birthday to Our Katie Kat…


She is such a great character. She is comfortable in her own skin and in other skins or onesies, too. The “Kat” photos were all taken on our Christmas morning walk.



p1060982 p1060981early-norway-hill6

She’s the little girl we didn’t know we wanted but are so thankful to God for blessing our home with. The collage above are photos of Katie in 2016.

Christmas Eve 013She has been an avid reader since very early on. At the age of four she read a sign at the beach “caution low head clearance” out loud while walking with our friend. We knew we had a prolific reader. What we didn’t realize is that she could read even before she was four!

We think she’d be a great books on cd reader. She’s read so many genres and she has dramatic skills. So if anyone knows of a lead for her to get into that line of work let me know.

Tomorrow we will have a little outing with Katie and Andrew to celebrate her so our festivities continue which is why I’m scarce on line.

Happy Birthday Dear Katie!

We just got word that our Eastern Washington Kids have made it safe over the snowy pass and are through Spokane with about 60 miles to go before reaching home sweet home.


More snow has fallen since they left here to come to our house for Christmas. We hope they can make it up their drive without having to plow it!

Are you all recovering from good food and frolic? Hope all is well and that you are content.

So Very Merry…

15741187_10211822772990622_5530026256367300875_nMy sister took this photo of my dear old Pop with his youngest great granddaughter on Christmas Eve in California. Christmas Eve happens to be her birthday, too. Happy first birthday dear one!


These are Pop’s grandchildren and great grandchildren that were able to gather together this year 1200 miles from us.


Our kids from Eastern Washington made it over the pass and to our home in time to attend a Christmas Eve service with us.


Katie treated us to a whole lot of laughs when we woke up to see her donned like this for our Christmas morning festivities.


We checked out what Santa had left in our stockings and then had Dear’s Swedish Pancakes for Breakfast. When breakfast was done we crossed hands to pull apart our Christmas Crackers. Our nutcracker themed crackers had whistles in them and instructions to make music together. Katie directed us and we laughed so hard as we each blew our different toned whistles to create some popular Christmas Carols.


We had our annual after Christmas walk and yes Katie was still in her wild cat onesie. Some of us wore our crowns.

15747385_10211510518224520_1859000651677937365_nI have not uploaded any of my regular camera photos. These were all taken with other peoples phones. We are still celebrating together and it will be awhile before I recuperate from all the fun. The girls are thinking about doing a little Boxing Day shopping today.

Joy to the World ~ Merry Christmas


Joy to the World

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her king;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Words: Isaac Watts, The Psalms of David, 1719.

Christmas Eve Day 2016



img520Today we are anticipating the arrival of all of our kids from different parts of Washington and the U.S.A. That makes it sound like we’ve got lots of kids. Our youngest ones, a daughter and son in law are traveling from Florida back to Washington State arriving at SeaTac Airport at 6:30 pm. We are driving their car to the airport in the morning and parking it for them so they can hop in it and drive themselves to our home to spend the night. Katie and Andrew live on our side of the mountains just 20 minutes from us and left last Sunday to visit Andrew’s father and step mom.  Because we didn’t want to miss the arrival of our middle son and daughter in law from Eastern Washington or our Christmas Eve service dropping the car off at the airport was a good option. Dan, Jamie and their dog Rayna are driving over the Cascade Mountain range and will arrive sometime in the afternoon (a 5-1/2 hour drive). We will head to a Christmas Eve service with them and then come home and wait for Katie and Andrew to arrive. Dear is making his yummy Tomato Rice Soup (a Julia Child inspired soup) for all our tired travelers. Our oldest son and wife will be spending most of the day and evening with our Daughter in love’s family whom we love, too. They will be celebrating just 15 minutes from our home. Josh and Laura will arrive late on Christmas Eve and let themselves in since Dear and I will be fast asleep by then. For the record we love and get along with all of our kids and their families. A rich blessing for sure.

So thankful to our God in the Manger who left His throne to bring us salvation by His sacrifice on the cross. Thankful, too, that our three guest beds will be occupied tonight and tomorrow morning we will enjoy a full day of celebrating all that Christmas brings to us. This old house will be overflowing with God’s blessings to.

Praying God will bless your gatherings with His presence and peace today and tomorrow!

Christmas Past…

This is probably Christmas 1957.


Christmas 1958. My brother Tim was 11 months old. I was seven.

In December of 1959 our brother Steve was born. This photo was taken at my Uncle Paul’s home in 1960. My babushka lived with them and we would go and visit on Christmas. My dad has his Molokan shirt on (think Dr. Zhivago) but I’m not sure if this is before church or after church. We would have two more siblings added to our family in 1963.

high-school-scanned5Christmas 1968 is my guess for this one. Me, Kathy and Vera. Look at those shoes.

los-angeles-ave3Christmas 1969. Tim is eleven, Steve is ten, and the twins, Lana and Leonard, are six.


los-angeles-ave4At my little babushka’s house for Christmas breakfast before church.



Christmas 1974 in our apartment on National Blvd. in the neighborhood of Mar Vista, Los Angeles. We had been married for two and a half weeks.


Our oldest niece Jenna, 1974.

Our first home in Huntington Beach, 1975.


Christmas 1977 in our second home in Huntington Beach.


Christmas 1978 in Huntington Beach. I am pregnant with our firstborn Josh and Chris is pregnant with Jenna’s little sister Annie. These are Dear’s mother and father.

josh-dan-79-837Christmas 1981. Josh and Dan are almost 3 and almost 1.



Christmas Eve 1982 reading the Christmas story with the Bagdanov side of the family.

ventura9Christmas tree 1986 in Ventura. Josh is almost 8 Dan is almost 6 and Katie is almost 1.



I think this one is from 1988 in Bothell. Our first Christmas in Washington State.


Late 1980’s in Bothell Washington.

early-1990s3Christmas on Norway Hill 1992 in Bothell, Washington.


PM1912 Postmarked 1912.

We are moving along with all things Christmas at this old house. Food shopping mostly done. A few things to add on Friday. I also am waiting to see if I’m inspired to bake one more favorite that my mom baked for all of us every year. My Bagdanov family had a cooking day today making my mom’s Vareniki for their Christmas Eve celebration.