The Finale

The finale of our DisneyCaliFam vacation was on Thursday January 19th, which is the birthday of our firstborn, Josh. His birthday was spent in service to the rest of us. He made an early morning run to the Orange County Airport to deliver our Daughter-in-law’s mom and granny for their morning flight back to Spokane, Washington.

The remaining ten of us packed up and cleaned up our VRBO and headed to my sister Vera’s home in Huntington Beach to see what leftovers we had that she might be able to use. She definitely wanted the 18 count package of eggs. Our flight out of Orange county was at 8:40 pm so we had some time to kill. Vera joined us for a trip to Fiesta Grill for our reminiscent Mexican meal. All the years Nick and Vera lived down the road from this great Mexican Joint, we enjoyed walking to get take out to bring back to their place. Nick is with his Savior now in heaven and Vera is in a new home but we cherish the memories.

Back at Vera’s, JJ and Addy were laid down for a nap and the ‘kids’ enjoyed playing UNO.

Vera had a meal in the slow cooker for us for dinner. Our sister Lana would be joining us for dinner.

Up from their naps there was a rainbow to enjoy. JJ was in Lana’s room napping and quietly got up and went about discovering some things like her radio to which he declared “I did not touch any buttons”. When I walked in the room he had a water bottle with the top off and declared to me, “Baba, this water tastes funny.” He also thought the 20# weights were too heavy for him, but the 5# weights were fine. OYE.

When Lana arrived she had animated stories of some events at her new home in Dallas and everyone gave her their full attention.

From bursting water pipes to destructive squirrels, she had everyone’s attention.

Three of our four sisters, Me, Lana and Vera.

Too soon it was time to head to the airport to turn in our trusty 15 passenger van and check in for our flight back to Washington.

Did you know there was a pilot shortage these days?

These two enjoyed meeting the pilot and sitting in the co-pilots chair!

The flight home was non eventful which is the best kind of flight and we made it into Paine Field in Everett at 11:45ish and home in bed at Josh and Laura’s by 1am. We would still have a 5 hour drive to Colville later that day, Friday the 20th. We slept as long as our bodies allowed, got up, packed the car, had some breakfast and got on the road at 9:30am. We were home after a stop in Spokane for gas and a meal in Chewelah. We made it home before dark.

A very meaningful trip for all of us. Thanks for following along.

Orange Hill Celebration

On our last full day in our rental home during our DisneyCaliFam Vacation, we spent some time relaxing in the spa in the morning.

When the Minneolas were hanging over the fence onto the property we were staying at, was it okay to pick them? Asking for a friend.

These two shared a muffin treat that was purchased at Disneyland the day before.

During naptime Josh drove some of the gals to Downtown Disney for a little shopping venture. He dropped us off at the Disneyland hotel and then picked us up a couple hours later. We enjoyed walking through the lobby of the hotel to get to the entrance of the shopping area. We had to go through extensive security to get into the area.

The Lego structures at the Lego store were impressive! No Lego purchases on this trip. Everyone made purchases at a couple of the other stores but me.

Josh picked us up where he dropped us off and we went back to get ready for our fancy dinner out at the Orange Hill Restaurant. Did I mention we only had the one vehicle for the twelve of us during our time in Southern California and that Josh was our trusty chauffer back and forth to everywhere?!

The skies were putting on a show of God’s Creation and Glory. The twelve of us arrived in our van at the door of the restaurant in time to further enjoy the sunset and views.

Cheers to our extended family and our three birthday kids, Josh, Dan and Jamie! The Twelve of us enjoyed our food and our time here.

Our grands’ Granny and Granny Great. Granny Great picked up the tab for our drinks. Thank you, Florence!

We’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy! Or in Colville. 🙂 Crispy Whole Snapper above and Half-chicken below.

I had the Short Ribs, and most of the rest of us had the Prime Rib.

The Sticky Toffee Pudding was so good. And the restaurant brought out 3 complimentary desserts for the three birthday kids we were celebrating.

I would have said this was the grand finale of our trip but we ended up having another full day of fun our last day before we flew home.

Fast Forward to the present here in Colville, Washington.

We had another light dusting of snow here on Friday and Saturday. Starting Sunday our highs have been below freezing. So far the predictions say we won’t make it above freezing until Thursday, February 2nd.

These are some of our views from our windows!

We finally enjoyed a full day of sunshine on Sunday with clear skies. Hope your week moving into February is a good one.

Disneyland 2023

DisneyCaliFam Vacation day at Disneyland, Tuesday January 17th, 2023!


This post is going to be a photo dump of the photos Auntie LoLo and I took during our day at Disneyland. Fair warning: It’s a long post!

We decided to order matching shirts for our day so it would be easier to spot each other. At Christmas we had Katie draw out a design we wanted for the shirts. We have a company in town called ‘Your Design Here’ that ordered the shirts and printed our design on the shirts. There were twelve of us at Disneyland on Tuesday January 17th. We had sunshine with cool temperatures for our day.

These days you have to reserve your spot and purchase your tickets ahead of time for Disneyland in Anaheim. You also have to reserve parking in their structure at the park. Because we had an oversized van we were directed to park on the main level which worked great for us.

From the structure to the Tram. They have a wheelchair car that worked our nicely for Granny Great.

Jamie made special ears for Addy and JJ. Dan ended up wearing JJ’s because JJ’s Dinosaur ears didn’t cooperate with his three year old self.

Pins are a big deal at Disneyland and Auntie LoLo surprised us all with a special pin for the day. I wish I would have thought to get a photograph of each special pin. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, LoLo! Update: After reading this post dear Auntie Lolo sent me a collage of all the pins! Thank you, LoLo!

It was Addy and JJ’s first time at Disneyland so they picked up their First Visit Buttons. Josh, Dan and Jamie picked up their birthday buttons. The Disney workers and cast members (or are they all called cast members?) noticed the badges throughout the day and acknowledged them. That was fun.

Badges all set and ready to go. Strollers are a must for littles, in my opinion.

You can see Andrew and Katie’s pins here on our first ride of the day.

Dan decided to wear JJ’s dinosaur ears.


The Disney characters rotate out during the day getting breaks. Before we made it to the characters Minnie Mouse rotated out much to Addy’s dismay. We assured her we’d do all we could to meet up with Minnie sometime during the day. Every character that walked off the job for their break stopped to greet Granny Great waiting out of the line in her wheel chair.



The Star Wars Ride, Rise to the Resistance, was the longest wait we had for a ride. Addy and JJ did so well in the waiting. Addy was not pleased with the ride, though. She did not like the drops and wanted calmer rides after this one. JJ had no problem with the fast more roller coaster type rides.

It was my favorite ride. It is one of the ‘newer’ rides and they have done an exceptional job making you feel like you are soaring through space.


Chewbacca and Rey greeted our family and we had a great interaction with them.

Time for a turkey leg break.

I had cheetos and a banana for over $6. Yikes! I needed something on my stomach as I was taking Ibuprofen to try to keep my back and legs going!

On the wishing well bridge we were able to witness a proposal of marriage. Fun! She said yes.

Promises kept, Auntie Lolo asked a employee where we could find Minnie and she made a special effort to call and find out for us!


JJ was content with Mickey.

After the castle photos Josh took myself, Dear, and Granny Great back to our home away from home. Granny Great was a trooper but it was time to get out of the cold and put our feet up. Josh drove us home and we all enjoyed leftover soup. He went back to the park to join the rest of the family for the next couple hours until the park closed at 8pm.

This crew enjoyed dinner from Galactic Grill before Josh made it back and they finally got to step into the boat at Pirates of the Caribbean. Earlier in the day when we tried to get on that ride the whole French quarter of Disneyland shut down just as our crew’s boat arrived for some reason that we are not privy to. They had to turn around and exit the ride and the French quarter. This was a ride that the whole crew enjoyed!

Addy and JJ saw so many kids in the park with these Micky bubble machines and their mom and dad surprised them with their own at the end of the evening. I think they were delighted!

Goodnight to Disneyland. A very good day at the Happiest Place on Earth.

As I promised this was a very long and photo intense post. It will be something to look back on over the years and a benchmark for Addy and JJ’s future trips to Disneyland, Lord Willing. Thank you to Auntie LoLo for all the photos added to some of mine.


Sand and Water

After we walked the pier on Monday the 16th we headed down the steps to the sand and on to the shoreline.

Brothers born while we lived in Huntington Beach over 40 years ago in January.

And yes, JJ ended up falling in the water and getting soaked so we stripped him of his wet clothes and wrapped him in some dry coats before hypothermia set in.

Monday afternoon Josh, our trusty 15 passenger Van driver made a trip to the airport to pick up Jamie’s mom and her granny who would spend the next few nights with all of us. We enjoyed soup for dinner. We made a special trip to Rockwell’s Bakery to pick out a cake for Dan’s birthday.

Addy chose the cake. Her daddy bakes the best macarons and Addy spotted this cake and decided it was the one.

Good choice Addy! Happy Birthday Dan. The birthday celebrations keep coming.

Monday Birthday Beach Day

During our ‘DisneyCaliFam’ vacation we spent a few hours at Huntington Beach on Monday January 16th. Some of our Cali family met up with the 10 of us at Fred’s Cantina on Main street for a bite to eat before we braved the high winds on the pier and at the seashore. Two of my sisters and seven nieces and nephews joined our ten for a lively few hours. The Swordfish tacos were delicious!

This guy saves me a seat next to him 90% of the time.

Happy Birthday churros for these two who share their birthday.

Off to the pier with Main Street behind us and Fred’s Cantina on the corner upper floor on the right.

Leaving the pier and heading to the sand and shoreline. That is another photo intensive post that will be coming soon.

Sunday Birthday

Sunday of our ‘DisneyCaliFam’ vacation was Jamie’s birthday. Dan and she had a nice breakfast date alone where Jamie could enjoy one of her favorites without any interruptions from the kiddos.

They brought treats back for us to enjoy from the bakery.

Sunday afternoon my friend Heidi and her husband Ken picked Greg and I up for an evening together at their home. Heidi has been part of my family’s life since the 60’s and we were besties in the 70’s and beyond. I was her Matron of Honor when she and Ken were married in 1978. Our two families spent lots of time together while our children were growing up. She took the photos of our kids here.

Friends for life are the best kind of friends. We had a wonderful evening enjoying dinner and conversation in their beautiful home. While we were away our kids went bowling with a few of the cousins joining them.

The birthday girl was the champion of the night!

Back to the present…we had a dusting of snow on Saturday night that has covered some of the dirty snow. We are now in a cold trend with temps predicted to get done to single digits soon. It’s still winter after-all.

Hoping to catch up with you-all this week.

Airport to Our Vacation Rental

This year we are celebrating all the January birthdays in Southern California…in the rain!

On Friday the thirteenth all ten of our family traveled from Everett Paine Field to John Wayne in Santa Ana, California.

Andrew and Katie brought their special carry-ons, Unicorn and Dinosaurs! wink, wink

Our boys…

At John Wayne airport our 15 passenger van was delivered and we loaded all our bags in and hopped in for our short drive to Orange, California. Sadly Addy is behind my big head so we’ll have to try the van selfie again on one of our many rides in it.

We made it to our home away from home after a very long day of traveling with delays and the grands had a few minutes of calming viewing before they were tucked in for the night.

We checked out the supplies at the VRBO and were reassured we’d have enough peelers!

Saturday morning we enjoyed the spa in the rain.

The spa will definitely be a highlight for the grands. We’ll see if Disneyland can surpass it!

Apologies for not visiting. It’s been nonstop fun and busyness living with ten people including our two grands!

Piano Recital

There were 9 of us at church on Tuesday night to listen to Addy’s two pieces on the piano at her recital. Many others were in the audience to listen to their kids or grands.

Addy is Miss Darcy’s youngest student at present.

Music set and she’s ready to go.

Her feet barely reach the floor. She was not distracted by the crowd.

She shyly/humbly accepted the applause.

On to the treats which Addy and JJ enjoyed.

Well done Miss Addy!

Good job in the audience, JJ!


Christmas Decorations 2022

Our tree is the same fake tree we’ve had the last couple of years. This year I held back and only put a few ornaments on it.

I was supposed to hang a couple starts on those exposed nails that fit the other artwork we have up in this space the rest of the year. Oops.

We bought this ornament from Blenheim Palace this past September.

We had another several inches of snow over the weekend. Thankfully the snow has ceased for a while. If our grands come over we’ll have to watch them carefully so they don’t get lost in a snow drift! They love the snow!

We’ve received several cards already and our cards are being mailed today. I always feel relieved when I drop those down the mail slot!

How are preparations in your corner coming?

Rounding Out November

Our Thanksgiving weekend was completed Monday morning when we said our goodbyes to Uncle Joshie and Auntie Lolo praying for a good drive home especially over the passes. Auntie Lolo shared more of her photos with us on their drive and I’m using them to round out November here on my blog. Thank you Lolo!

Our November has been a wintry one with temperatures in the teens and below freezing for a lot of the month.

Addy has a recital coming up in December. She’s the youngest in the bunch so she’ll start the evening off with this song she is practicing.

Addy is practicing her selfie skills in this one.

Me and my guy.

Uncle Joshie captured this shot.

Thank you for making the snowy drive to Colville and home again Uncle and Auntie. We miss you already!

Monday night I had a Women’s Ministry meeting at church with a light meal of appetizers shared. The meeting was short and then the fun task for the evening was decorating the church for Christmas. Our head of services gal was in charge of that and had already gotten a good start so the task was lighter than usual. I opted out of the decorating and headed home on the snowpacked/icy roads.

Today is a quiet day here at our Country Bungalow. We started the morning off at 10 degrees. Brrr. I’ll be watching World Cup Soccer today as the USA plays Iran. My parents were married in Iran and our oldest 2 sisters were born in Iran. We’ve mostly called that country Persia. So thankful God led our people out of that country back in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Our parents were the first of their family to immigrate to the USA in 1947.

Thankful for this quiet day and hope the predictions of up to 14 inches of snow into tomorrow morning is an exaggeration!