Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Rose Hills

Last week our youngest brother traveled to Southern California to surprise our brother Steve and his wife Kelly at a 60th birthday celebration for them. While he was there our older sisters and he decided to go to Rose Hills to see our parents’ headstones. It took a while for our Pop’s to be done right.

On the bottom of the stones, our Mom’s says “The Lord is My Shepherd…” and our Pop’s says …”I Shall Not Want”

Pop’s wasn’t supposed to be larger but that’s the way it turned out and we are just letting it be.

Always happily side by side.

Our mom was famous for her cooking and she would be pleased at how our Piroshky turned out that we made on Saturday. Here’s a sneak peek of part of the process with Moisi’s great niece and his great granddaughter.

More photos and recipe coming soon.

Baking Day

Today, Saturday the 2nd of November, we are having the first Piroshky baking day at our Country Bungalow. I hope to document every step and let you know how we bring everything together to make these lovelies. Our 3 fillings will be tasty ground beef, braised cabbage, and potato. Our baking crew will be managed by my older sister Vera, the rest of us are eager to learn, Jamie, her mom Linda, our cousin Cindy, and myself. Addy will be here, too, and we will let her join in on the fun.

Stay tuned for recipes and photos to come.

Saturday, Bath Day

It’s fun to see our birdbath in use from time to time. Sitting in our family room I have a clear view of the birdbath through the sliding glass doors that open to our back acreage. I keep a camera handy with a long lens on it to capture moments like these.

In for a dip and then it was all in.

All washed up and ready for church tomorrow morning.

If I recall correctly, growing up we only had baths once a week on Saturday evening so we were all nice and clean for Sunday church. Every morning we’d have to wash our faces but baths were once a week. Things changed when we hit junior high and high school. When we had kids of our own it was normal to have a bath a day instead of once a week. I wonder sometimes if our little ones are too clean and not able to fight off common infections as when we were little. I remember having the diseases like measles and chicken pox but I don’t remember having lots of colds or the flu and we were never on antibiotics. I do remember having pink eye. I also had some mystery ailment (kidney infection?) that landed me in the hospital when I was in first grade and I was in recovery at home for a long enough time that I had a teacher come to our home for studies. The reason I think it might have been a kidney infection is because I had to drink a lot of water and I wasn’t allowed to have salt. My parents probably didn’t really understand what was wrong with me because they were never really able to tell me when I asked them about my mystery ailment. On the subject of communicable diseases I recall standing in a very long line with my family at the local junior high for polio vaccinations when I was elementary age. We also got smallpox vaccinations in elementary school. That smallpox vaccination was pretty primitive and left an interesting scar. Since we are on this subject of communicable, thankfully I only remember having lice once, in elementary school. Oye! My mother worked very hard to eradicate them. When I was an elementary school teacher there was an outbreak of lice and it made me squirm.

Hope you have a nice last Saturday in June! Happy Canada Day weekend to our friends to the North.


Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 16

Our Pop’s story continued…

This is our Pop’s story dictated verbally by him a few years ago. I’ll be sharing excerpts every Tuesday. When I add to his story or explain a photo I will Italicize my words. Our Pop’s words will not be italicized. Our mom does not come into Pop’s story until “Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 9” even though I’ve posted photos of her before #9. I have very few photos from our parents’ life in Russia and Persia. At the end of my Tuesday posts I’ll add links to all the other posts.

My parents in front of our home in Montebello, 305 Los Angeles Ave.

In 1971 we moved yet again to a larger home in Whittier.  I became a pastor to a small Russian church in Orange County for a year.

Our parents and the twins in our home in La Mirada/Whittier, California, on Arroyo Dr.

Our next move took us sixty miles southeast of Los Angeles to the town of Wildomar where I built a house in 1983.  In 1987 we moved to Yorba Linda in Orange County.

Christmas in Wildomar in the home our Pop built from the ground up. Our mom with all her daughters/daughters in law as of 1984.

In 1990 I returned to the place of my birth in Russia.  Some things there had changed while others had not. It was then that I began to be concerned for the eternal welfare of my relatives still living in the same place where I grew up.  Specifically, I was concerned that they come to know Jesus Christ as I had come to know Him. In 1992, I returned and stayed for two and a half months. In 1993 I stayed for three months.  I went twice in 1994 and once in 1995. In all my visits I was striving to point my relatives to Jesus Christ. In 1996, while I was there, my grand-niece, Natasha, was the first convert. It was then that I saw the need for mentoring and discipleship on my part.

Moisi baptizing his grand niece, Natasha. (this photo is missing and I’ll try to replace it soon)

(Our parents in front of their home in Yorba Linda)

So in early 1997 we sold our home in Yorba Linda and Nadia and I went to Russia for an entire year.  To begin with, we began a Sunday School ministry. The first Sunday saw sixteen visitors – mainly children.  The next Sunday, attendance jumped to sixty.

Our next step was to develop a church along with the Sunday School.  Attendance was small at first but then began to grow to twenty, then thirty, then fifty. We came back to the U.S. in 1998, stayed home for three months and then returned to Russia for another full year of ministry.  From 2000 to 2006 we returned for three month ministry stints each year. As a result of our ministry, thirty-six people, young and old, came to the Lord and were baptized – for which we are most thankful. In addition to this, I estimate that I took about $250,000 into Russia to meet the various financial needs of both Christians and non-Christians alike.

My parents in Russia. They prepared a meal every Sunday for all those who came to the church gathering.

This is the home that was purchased that my parents lived in and held church services in.

Moisi built this baptistry in the yard of the church so they didn’t have to go to a local lake or river for baptisms.

I am so thankful for the unseen hand of the Lord guiding my life.  I give all the praise to Him. It is my prayer that readers of my story will come to know Jesus as I have come to know Him.

This is the end of the story our Pop dictated. I will be filling in some blanks in future Tuesday With Moisi posts. Next week I’ll share a YouTube video our brother Steve recorded at the family Christmas gathering in 2012.

Tuedays With Moisi 1

Tuesdays With Moisi 2

Tuesdays With Moisi 3

Tuesdays With Moisi 4

Tuesdays With Moisi 5

Tuesdays With Moisi 6

Tuesdays With Moisi 7

Tuesdays With Moisi 8

Tuesdays With Moisi 9

Tuesdays With Moisi 10

Tuesdays With Moisi 11

Tuesdays With Moisi 12

Tuesdays With Moisi 13

Tuesdays With Moisi 14

Tuesdays With Moisi 15

Tuesdays With Moisi 16 is this post.

Tuesdays With Moisi You Tube Video.

Thinking of Retiring   A post I wrote from April of 2007


In January of 1958 our little brother Tim was born. I was so excited to have a baby brother. I’m seven in this photo. I was the baby of our family for seven years until Tim was born. We had to put the tree on a table to keep it out of Tim’s reach. That tinsel is so inviting to those little fingers along with everything else that sparkles. It was fun to enjoy Christmas with an 11 month old. I was a sick little girl during this time. The best information I have is that I had some kind of kidney infection that required a hospital stay and then a few months of recovery. I remember having a home teacher and missing Valentine’s Day at school. My home teacher brought me a bag full of Valentines from my classmates. I also remember not being able to have any salt and having to drink a lot of water. After a while a glass of water looked like medicine to me. Hmmm, maybe that’s why I don’t like to be told to drink water to this day. I enjoy it in moderation. 🙂

Bloggers are very busy this week and have little time for visiting so I’m taking the opportunity to put a little Christmas history on my blog that will help my memory now and later.

We’re having a little Christmas Open House on Sunday and I need to come up with a few appetizers and some sweets and we need to decide on some festive drinks. There are so many great choices out there, I just need to choose from among them! Glad our first beyond the family event at our Country Bungalow will be small.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 5

Pop’s story continued…

This is our Pop’s story dictated verbally by him a few years ago. I’ll be sharing excerpts every Tuesday. When I add to his story or explain a photo I will Italicize my words. Our Pop’s words will not be italicized. Our mom does not come into Pop’s story until “Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 9” even though I’ve posted photos of her before #9. I have very few photos from our parents’ life in Russia and Persia. At the end of my Tuesday posts I’ll add links to all the other posts.

Photos are not mine.

My mother had been in the habit of attending a Molokan church service in a neighboring village every Sunday.  She had done this quite a few times and because she always returned, she was able to gain the trust of the Uzbek guard.  The Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles, which Molokans celebrated, was approaching. My mother asked permission of the guard for our whole family to attend this feast at that church in the aforementioned village.  Permission was granted. We started off for the village that Sunday morning, but as the camp receded from view, we totally changed direction. I asked why but was told to keep quiet and keep walking. Our destination was the city of Samarkand, because we had distant relatives there.  We arrived there around midnight. The next day we had one of the relatives buy us train tickets back to Ashkhabad. Before we departed for the station, my brother John surreptitiously scouted it in advance and saw the camp officials there, evidently looking for us. We had to postpone the trip until the following day.  The coast was clear that day and so we left. Our family was scattered throughout the train in various cars. One of the stops the train made was where the camp was. Trains were routinely searched there for escapees from the camp. As we approached that stop, my mother emphatically told us to face away from the aisle and under no circumstances were we to turn toward it.  As the guards came onto the train, my mother fell to her knees in prayer. The guards roamed through the cars more than once but, praise God, none of us were recognized. As the train left the station we all heaved a sigh of relief.

Our troubles, though, were not over.  That evening, the lights in the train suddenly went out.  All hell broke loose in the train as those who were stronger began to forcefully plunder the weaker.  I’ll never forget those moments. Nobody came to anybody’s aid. It was every man for himself. I specifically remember how one man was screaming for help as two others were trying to take his possessions.  He would not let go. They finally dragged him and his possessions into another car. I don’t know what happened to him.

It was terrifying.  All authorities were absent.  No conductors, no militia. Yet, by God’s grace, none of our family was plundered.  Finally, conductors appeared at the next stop.

And so we returned to Ashkhabad.  It was September of 1933. We had nothing-absolutely nothing.  We begged a widow to take us in. She acquiesced. She only had one room for us  and so we had to make do. I remember she was growing onions on the roof so that was all we had to eat for a while.  One day a knock was heard at the door. The widow answered. Some men were at the door requesting able-bodied workers for a roofing job.  The widow relayed their request. We replied that we lacked the necessary ID papers to be able to work. The men at the door replied that papers weren’t necessary.  So my two brothers and mother went to work. This happened more than once and this is how God took care of us.