The Finale, at the Zoo

On Sunday we decided to have a last hoorah with our guests and 8 of us headed to the Woodland Park Zoo. It took a while to find parking spots since it seems several thousand other folk thought it was a good day for the zoo, too.

This heron wasn’t part of the zoo but was watching the penguin feeding area carefully to see if there would be any leftovers.

While walking at the zoo Josh called and made reservations for dinner in the Greenlake area of Seattle, next to the zoo.

Dukes was a great choice and we all enjoyed our choices.

At the zoo promises were made for ice cream and we convinced the 2 littles that they would enjoy the ice cream more after dinner at an ice cream parlor a few doors down from Dukes instead of the choices at the zoo.

The kids were satisfied. Josh was excited to see some dairy free choices, too. Thanks Ben and Jerry’s for making his favorite, Chunky Monkey, dairy free. This was a great way to end our time on Sunday. This was National Ice Cream Day after all.

I’ll be linking to Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters.

We are headed up to Canada on Saturday for a party, it will be groovy and we’ll catch you on the flip-side.

First Time at Gramps’ and Baba’s House

While niece/cousin Jenna visited with two of her kids and with their grandma we had as much family time as possible. Our kids from Eastern Washington traveled the five plus hours with our little Addy to enjoy the time, too. Saturday at Gramps’ and Baba’s house there was lots of activity and Addy was happy to sit with her Auntie or cousins when she was fed and awake.

Games and discussions were enjoyed. Little T-Rex has lots of questions that need to be answered.

When it was time for a little nap Baba’s lap had just the right cushion for comfort and when Addy woke up she had some words and love squeezes for Gramps.

Later in the day after we had yummy taco salad and pica de gallo we started a fire to enjoy S’mores.

Addy expresses herself well without words.

Love this expression with her mommy and daddy and the way she has her hand resting on Sky’s head in the grandparent with grands shot.

More shots with mommy and daddy.

Addy laughed out loud with her cousin once removed, our niece Jenna. The expression in the center photo cracks me up. Mister (T-Rex) was quite proud of being able to walk along our wall and our tree stumps.

Cousins!

These are 3 of the “B” grands all together at our house 2017.

And here’s a flashback to when Dear and I were able to enjoy our first little niece, Jenna, back in the 70’s. So happy that we could get the chance to enjoy her and two of her kids at our house in 2017. We need a proper “B” reunion with all the B’s together soon.

Blest Be…

…the Tie That Binds.

On Friday we all gathered at Josh and Laura’s and enjoyed some bonding time with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmas and grandpas. Uncle Andrew finally got to meet Addy in person. Our grandniece was at Katie and Andrew’s wedding (a wee babe) but little grandnephew was not born yet. We all were meeting little “Mister” for the first time.

Addy enjoyed watching “Mister”. He was entertaining the adults with his knowledge of States and Capitals. We yelled out a state and he gave us the capital. He’s three and he knows capitals better than us adults.

Sister-in-law, Christina is married to Dear’s only brother and they have 3 daughters. Jenna was their first daughter born and she has two children that we got to know during their 5+ day visit from New York. Jenna is Dear and my first niece and we spent lots of quality time with her in her early years since we all lived in Southern California. It was nice to see her as a mommy.

“Sky” is five and she got a kick out of little Addy. Addy likes to stare at her, too.

Uncle Josh, Addy, and “Mister” with the cool reflections I didn’t know I was capturing in this photo.

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.

We share each other’s woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.

From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free,
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.

Words: John Fawcett, 1782.

This hymn was sung in the 1940 mo­vie Our Town, which was nom­in­at­ed for sev­er­al Acad­e­my Awards.

And here’s Baba reunited with her sweet grandgirlie, Addy.

I’m busy catching up with many of your posts that I’ve missed over the last several days so I’m not joining memes today since I won’t get a chance to visit other participants. Can you believe we are halfway through 2017 already! Praying for some of our blogging friends, bj at Sweet Nothings who just lost her Mr. Sweet, Cuisine Kathleen who lost her dear husband suddenly the end of May, and others who are suffering from long term illnesses. May you be revived by God’s “glorious hope”.

Cousins

These are the cousins on Dear’s side of our family, missing Jenna’s husband and her two sisters. We had 5 full days of fun and it’s time for our niece Jenna and her 2 little ones of the walking and running variety to head back to New York. Our little Addy was very interested in these smaller humans that moved fast and were interested in her, too. I’ll be posting a bunch soon. This Baba/Great Auntie is a little tired but full of joy with the good fellowship we had.

Picking Berries…

…and other things with my grand nephew and grand niece who are visiting with their mom, our very first niece and their grandmother, Dear’s SIL. I will be scarce on the webs these days. See you next week.

While we were in the Country…

…our oldest kids flew to the big city of Los Angeles.

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While they were there for a quick weekend with friends to enjoy a special concert together they managed a getaway to see my pop, their Dzeda.

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They also managed to get all these cousins together for brunch.

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Beautiful girls. Two of my nieces with our dear daughter in love, Laura.

We are all back in our own homes again. Home from the big city and home from the country.

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This country scene is from our middle son’s neck of the woods.

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On our way home today we stopped at the scenic overlook of the Columbia River just before you get to Vantage. A selfie was in order. This is about halfway in our trip.

It’s good to be home after six days away. Watering was the first thing on my list to do and now I will relax till tomorrow. We are finishing up listening to a Bruno Chief of Police novel. On our trip to the country we finished Louise Penny’s The Cruelest Month.

Hope all is well whether you are in the big city or the quiet country.

Five More Hats!

Five more hats that I have worn from college on…

# 1 ~ I was part of a Christian Rock group where I met Dear and we fell in love with each other and with Great Britain in the early 70’s.

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“Hymns give way to Jesus Rock in morning assembly at St. George’s Church of England School, in Meadow Road, Gravesend yesterday. The concert was given by the Contemporaries, 14 musicians from the United States who are in the middle of a world tour. They have already completed a number of successful “gigs” in Liverpool. They are all professional musicians but they are giving their services free”…

Dear and I are in the center of the photo on the bottom row. 1974 was the last summer tour Dear and I participated in.

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#2 – I was a bride and became a wife to Dear and changed my name in December of 1974.

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#3 ~ I was an elementary school teacher in the Montebello Unified School District until our first son was born.

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#4~ I’m blessed to be a mother to these three children and my mother in law sheet is complete with two daughter-in-laws and one son-in-law.

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#5 I’m an auntie and great auntie to so many lovely human beings! I’m sharing a few photos so I can get all of the nieces and nephews and great nephews and nieces in. I haven’t met two of the latest greats in person yet.

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Our family and Dear’s brother’s family from Katie and Andrew’s wedding in 2012.

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Dear’s only brother’s family and our family in 2015 at Riverside National Cemetery (missing Jenna, Justin, Skylar and Travis).

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My kids and nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews surrounding my pop at my mother’s memorial service in 2013.

Our kids plus my nieces and nephews with my youngest niece Hope and youngest nephew Andrew in 2015 at my brother-in-law Nick’s funeral. So let me count. 7 brothers and sisters. 7 brother and sister in laws. 19 original nieces and nephews. Many of those nieces and nephews are married now and I have 9 grand nieces and nephews. I have 4 nieces and 2 nephews who aren’t married yet.

I have one brother (out of my 7 siblings) whose family has estranged themselves from all the rest of us siblings and our families. They are not enjoying the love and support and comfort that the rest of us enjoy when we are together. I’m adding this truth here to let my dear readers know that things aren’t all rosy in my family relationship category. My brother and his wife have 4 kids and we know for sure 3 of them are married. We aren’t sure about our oldest nephew from this family. We have at least 3 grand nephews or nieces that I’ve never met. I also have never met two of my nephew’s spouses and the oldest niece’s spouse. They have chosen to cut off all ties and relationship with us. Haven’t seen my brother since 2009 and haven’t seen my sister in law since 2004. So sad but true. We pray that there will be reconciliation in the future. Gott Kann!

I have a few more current hats to share before I totally bore you to tears.

I’m linking up with Amy at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday and with Susanne for Friday’s Fave Five.

I’ll be on the road for most of Friday and hope to check in once we arrive at our son’s house in Eastern Washington for the weekend later on Friday. Blessings…

A Thankful Rebel

It’s been ages since I joined in with Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five but this morning I’m going to post some favorites from my time with family last Thursday thru Saturday in Southern California. And because I’m overwhelmingly blessed with a wonderful family there will be more than Five photos! I’m a rebel that way…

The reason for my trip down was to meet my new little nephew Andrew (he’s 5). My brother’s family lives in Texas and they were flying to California for Miss Hope’s 7th birthday and a trip to Disneyland and my extended family filled in all the edges of their trip with parties and fun. Andrew became a part of their forever family last August and is already a U.S. Citizen. He was adopted from the Ukraine. He now sings God bless America! So cute. I’ll share more photos from Miss Hope’s birthday party later.

Fresh off the plane last week I met up with Dear’s SIL, Christina, and my best friend from college days Heidi. Heidi, Christina, Dear, Dear’s brother and I were all in a Christian Rock Band in the seventies. Heidi and I attended the same Russian Baptist Church in Los Angeles and had lots of adventures together! We caught up as much as we could in our couple hours together.

What a blessing to spend some time with my soon to be 92 year old pop. He’s a sad guy without my mom by his side.

He was surrounded by some of his grandchildren at Hope’s birthday party.

Josh and Laura took the long way home to Seattle from their trip to Kaui through Southern California so they could meet Andrew, too, and visit with my pop and their cousins.

All my pop’s kids except for one were together in one spot so we took some photos.

Our youngest siblings, the twins, are flanking my father on the couch.

I love this photo of my older sisters and I love them, too.

Andrew is fitting right in and it’s so much fun to listen to his half Ukrainian and half English sentences!

When we all got together this time my Father prayed a blessing over his new grandson Andrew and over his great grandson Thomas. My brother thanked all his friends and family for praying them through the adoption process and helping financially to bring Andrew to the U.S.A. We all sang Great is Thy Faithfulness and another of our Russian favorites together acknowledging the fact that God is the faithful one in our lives. Of course we had lots of good food and good conversation and laughter.

DSC_0967So I’m thankful for my Faithful God, my faithful pop, my family, my friends, and all our fun times together! We’re not perfect, mind you, but we have practiced forgiving each other and keeping our relationships going. We try not to neglect each other. What are you thankful for?

E is for Ellen…

ABC Wednesday is already on the letter E. Thank you to Denise Nesbitt the proud founder and to the whole ABC team!

E is for ellen b. and a few of her favorite things…

Bozeman 009 This is a theater on Main Street in Bozeman, Montana spotted by daughter Katie on our cross country road trip back in April.

2012-12-031Ellen loves and enjoys spending time with her family.

Mom's services 180Ellen loves her brothers and sisters and her dear old pop. This photo was taken last September at my dear old mom’s funeral.

Mom's services 172Ellen loves her nieces and nephews. These cousins have so much fun together!

IMGP9112Ellen b. with her sisters and mom enjoying each other 6 months before her mom died.

BP03112012_586cEllen loves Dear’s brother’s family to the left of the groom and below.

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BP03112012_584cEllen loves her whole big family including her brother in laws and sister in laws.

cropped-imgp9985.jpgEllen loves the girls from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook and is so thankful to have them as her true blue friends.

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To Windsor 123Ellen loves to travel to England and all of the United Kingdom.

Man U 034Ellen loves Soccer/Futbol and has been to games in Manchester and Milan. Her favorite team is the home team, the Seattle Sounders.

P1030567Ellen is a Seattle Sounders season ticket holder along with her son and daughter in law.

pike place g & eEllen loves Dear. Their 40th wedding anniversary celebrations have begun already.

Oxford Day 6 089Ellen B. and Dear started celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary with a trip to England in July where they spent one of their days in Oxford.

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Oxford Day 6 086Ellen likes to read Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers and a little Chesterton so it was a treat to eat in the Pub where these authors were known to meet.

The Thames 107Ellen loves God and His son Jesus who has given her eternal life through his death and resurrection.

Congratulations if you made it to the end of this very long post!