Twas a Few Nights Before Christmas…

…and a variety of activities are stirring in and out of houses. No sitting on Santa’s lap this year for photos but Santa flew into the Colville airport to hand out gifts to kids. Our grands were there on Saturday morning.

Also on Saturday Dear and our son Dan started installing the siding on the back side of the shop. Earlier in the week Dear installed the back pull up door.

I missed getting outside to get the final photo. They have 3 panels left to go on this side and all the siding will be done. We are so thankful for the help!

Our daughter in law sent us these next photos of Addy and JJ enjoying each other on Sunday. Sibling times like these make our hearts glad!

We had a good trip to Spokane yesterday and found all the things on our list and more.

One of our stops was at the Kiev Market where we load up our freezer with Pelemeni, a family favorite that I’d rather buy than make. While there we bought these lovely Piroshky, two cabbage and one cheese…delicious.

At Costco we filled up our cart with other goodies, some necessaries and a few un-necessaries. I was going to go into TJMaxx but the people line-up outside the store because of “you know what” wasn’t appealing to me and we carried on. Our refrigerators and freezers are full now so no more shopping until after Christmas!

Way down south in California my family was having their annual Christmas Vareniki making day. Vareniki are a Russian treat we’ve enjoyed at Christmas for many years. This year the crew included my two older sisters, one sister-in-law, 4 of our nieces and one grandniece. My mom would be so proud of them all!

My oldest sister Kathy with the finished product which is first boiled and then ready to freeze and then bake in half and half and butter on Christmas Eve. Our family tradition is to stuff these dumplings with a sweet cheese mixture and serve them as a dessert or for breakfast in place of pancakes. We serve them with a dollop of sour cream and maple syrup.

Pierogi and vareniki are actually the same thing. Again, stuffed dumplings, they are common throughout Central and Eastern Europe and most of the old Eastern Bloc states. While vareniki is the more commonly used term in Russia, pierogi are the national dish of Poland, Ukraine and Slovakia.

Today I’ll continue on some cleaning and cooking up some things I can make ahead for all the Christmas meals.

I forgot to mention that for the next two weeks the Thursday Bible Verse Challenge will not be happening. We will resume the challenge the first Thursday in January, January 7th on the letter O.

It’ll Heal Before Your Wedding

Dear found this site, lingua junkie, that explains some Russian sayings/proverbs that we have found humorous.

They happened to have one of my favorites that I’ve quoted over the years.

До сва́дьбы заживёт.
English pronunciation: Do svadbi zazhivyot.
Literal meaning: It’ll heal before your wedding.
This idiom is used for cuts, bruises and other petty things that kids will cry about. Parents say this, because, you know, for kids – a wedding is still very much far off. Unless you’re arranged to be married at the age of 10, then that just sucks.
Vocab:
свадьба – svad’ba – wedding
зажить – zazhit – to heal
Do you have any favorite sayings or proverbs?

My Little Babushka

I received a couple old photos new to me of our little Babushka Vera and I wanted to put all the photos I have of her in the archives of this computer together in one post. She’s sitting on the bottom row of this photo taken in Iran in the late forties. My grandfather that I never met and who was killed in Iran shortly after this photo was taken is on the right. The gal above my grandfather is our aunt Nina. She was married to our uncle Paul, our mom’s only brother. He’s next to Aunt Nina on the end of the top row. The rest of the people in this photo are Aunt Nina’s people and her mother and father are sitting next to our maternal grandparents. The little girls in this photo are the only ones still alive. They all live in Southern California. The two girls flanking the bottom row are both suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.  The little girl in her mother’s arms is alive and well in Southern California. My cousin Alex who is standing next to our Babushka died in an automobile accident in Wheaton, Illinois in 1979. The two grandmothers sitting next to each other, Manya and Vera were close friends and at the end of their lives they lived next door to each other in an apartment building a couple doors down from our Russian Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Several of our Russian widows lived in that apartment building. Our mom and pop had already immigrated to the USA when this photo was taken.

These are our little babushka’s three children. Our mom, her sister who died and her brother Paul.

This photo is from 1951 with friends and family after they all immigrated to the USA. Our little babushka is above our mom who is holding me. Our Pop next to our mom. Uncle Paul is holding our cousin Valia and next to him our aunt Nina is holding our cousin Walter. Next to our little babushka is our Aunt Nina’s sister in law Zena. Next to our mom is Mrs. Hamzieff from San Francisco and I’m not sure who the lady next to her is. The little boy, I believe belongs to Mrs. Hamzieff. Babushka immigrated from Iran as a widow to the USA with our Uncle Paul’s family.

These are our Babushka Vera’s 7 grandchildren as of 1956 ish. Cousin Alex, Babushka, sister Kathy, brother Fred, cousin Valia, Me, cousin Walter and my sister Vera. One more cousin and four more siblings were added to these two families. We had a sister that died in Iran so Babushka had 13 grandchildren in total.

This is a new to me photo of our babushka at a beach in California.

This is Babushka Vera and Babushka Manya in Arrowhead in California.

The two of them again in this photo. Our little Babushka lost her left hand and arm up to her elbow when she was young. Her arm was injured and got infected and had to be cut off at the elbow to save the rest of her arm and her life. She always positioned herself so that her missing hand was not in view in a photo.

Not a well preserved photo but this was our growing family with our Babushka at our Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina’s home in Huntington Park in California.

Me and Babushka at my 9th grade graduation and my high school graduation. I remember shopping with her for a dress at Sear’s once and she wore a size 16-1/2. She always searched for a dress with 3/4 length sleeves.

Our parents and Babushka at our home in La Mirada in the 70’s.

Cousin Walter, cousin Tanya, Babushka, our Pop and Uncle Paul.

Babushka, mom and me at Laguna Beach in California.

Kathy, Babushka and our mom.

Christmas at Babushka’s with our sister Lana in the late 60’s.

Our Babushka at Nick and Vera’s wedding in 1969.

Our little Babushka enjoyed embroidery and made a special gift for each of her grandchildren for their weddings. The tablecloth above was given to our sister Vera for her marriage to Nick.

Babushka at our sister Kathy’s wedding with our sister Vera in August of 1974.

Babushka, me and our mom at Dear and my wedding in December of 1974.

The center front row with our pop, mom, Babushka Vera, Babushka Martha and Dzeduska Timofei.

Dear’s family and my family at our wedding.

For our wedding Babushka Vera embroidered this tablecloth along with 8 napkins. A treasured gift. It’s amazing to us that her embroidery was so beautiful even with the handicap of having only one  hand.

Christmas morning at Babushka Vera’s. See all those baked goodies that our Babushka baked with one hand! Grandkids with their spouses and our cousin Alex’s in laws. This was mid-1970’s.

Babushka would tell us to not stay out after dark. She said nothing good happens in the dark!

I think Debbee was Babushka’s first great grandchild. This was in 1976.

This last one is at our second home in Huntington Beach in early 1977.

I hope to add more photos to this post as I find them.

Our Babushka Vera died in March of 1980. She was a Godly woman who prayed for all her grandchildren and for all her grandchildren’s future spouses. She prayed for our Pop’s salvation and for the salvation of her own husband. Our Dzedushka Fedot became a Baptist Minister before he was killed in Iran. I am so looking forward to seeing Babushka in heaven and seeing Dzedushka for the first time in heaven.

I Know Whom I Have Believed ~ Hymn

I Know Whom I Have Believed

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.

Refrain

But I know whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

Refrain

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.

Refrain

I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.

Refrain

I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.

Refrain

Words: Daniel W. Whittle, 1883.

I’m adding the Russian lyrics, also.

Не знаю, почему открыт
Мне благодати дар,
Иль почему спасенья щит
Мне дан от вечных кар.

Припев

Но я знаю, в Кого я верю,
Ничто меня с Христом не разлучит;
И Он мне спасенье вручит
В день, когда опять придет.

Не знаю, как мой Бог дает
Мне веры слух живой.
И как та вера мир несет
Скорбящему душой.

Припев

Не знаю я, как Дух Святой
К греху внушает страх,
И как дает Христос благой
Прощение в грехах.

Припев

Не знаю я, что в жизни мне
Назначено нести,
И как меня к родной стране
Бог хочет довести.

Припев

Не знаю времени, ни дня,
Когда Господь придет,
Иль как чрез смерть иль Сам меня
В тот день Он позовет.

Припев

Friday Finale

While I was back in Colville recuperating from my solo drive home from the “Coast” it was Russian cooking day in Bothell. (October 9th, 2020)

The gals had fun cooking up a big pot of Borsch and making Blintzes in sister Lana’s kitchen.

Later in the evening the crew gathered for this classic Russian meal at Steve and Lana’s.

The night before was Italian night at Josh and Laura’s and these family shots were taken.

The oldest in our family and the youngest, twins.

Our Father’s dying wish…“Stay together, love each other.”

What’s New?

Dear and our son laid out and fastened all the rebar over the vapor barrier last Saturday.

Now all we need is the Concrete contractor to fit us into his busy schedule. We hope that’s soon!!

Addy started Awana this week for the first time. She’s in the Cubbies class. She thought it was GREAT!

I was gifted this new puzzle and it’s not an easy one. This will be our 7th COVID puzzle to date.

Even though it’s not easy I love it. Thank you, Linda!

We are still smokey but we are suppose to get some rain on Friday or Saturday.

We have a pie social tonight with our JOY group at church. (Just Older Youth) I’m bringing a cherry pie. What would be your favorite pie?

True Confession: I do not bake pies but I did find a handcrafted frozen cherry pie that looked real good at the store. It was pricier than the name brand frozen pies. I’ll put it in the oven to bake tomorrow before our event. I’ll let you know if it was worth the big bucks!

True Confession #2: I am not fond of cherry pie. Other pies were already signed up for and no one had signed up to bring cherry and that’s why I ended up with it. Dear enjoys cherry pie.

***Update on the store bought pie…It was delicious per Dear (he had two slices) The crust was flaky and the filling was wonderful. The pie maker was Village Pie Maker. I think I bought it at Wal-Mart in the frozen section.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Melissa’s Tribute

This is a photo and tribute our niece Melissa wrote about her Dzeda, our Pop, Moisi, on May 7, 2014.

“My Deda….he loves his Bible. Tonight he told me that he doesn’t rush when he reads. ‘I meditate on it,’ he says. His goal from now on is to start memorizing more of it. He’ll be 91 at the end of the month and questioning his purpose on this earth without Baba is a daily struggle. Yet despite his broken heart, he has never lost sight of what is truly important. He presses on, striving to live for Christ every single day. The man never ceases to amaze me. He is a true inspiration.”

This photo was taken of our Pop in his bedroom when he was still living in the senior apartment in Brea, California. He would soon move in with our oldest sister and her family, Melissa’s mom.

My prayer for you is that if you are meditating that you would only meditate on the Word of God, something from the Bible.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” Psalm 18:28

“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:20-23

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me -practice these things and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4: 8-9

Wednesday Hodgepodge~ Music (A to Z)


I’m combining the A to Z with Wednesday Hodgepodge on this tax day that isn’t really a tax day. Our taxes were filed but we won’t be sending that big fat check until July 15th. How nice to have that delay! Hopefully we won’t have to delay the Hodgepodge and Joyce will have her internet up and running in time. For A to Z we are on the letter M and Music is my M in this Meme.

1. In Monday’s post I mentioned I would incorporate the word I was given for letter K into this week’s questions. That word was karaoke. On a scale of 1-10 how excited would you be to find out there was karaoke happening at your next gathering/outing with friends? 10=gimme that microphone!, and 1=I suddenly remembered there’s somewhere else I need to be. Have you ever actually done karaoke? If you had to perform karaoke what would be your ‘go-to’song?

I’ve only done Karaoke once. I have been on stages singing with a mic right up to my face several times, long ago and far away. If I was on stage doing karaoke with my friends it would be a 10. If it was a solo it would be a 1. The photo above is of the Christian “Rock” group Dear and I were part of in the 70’s.  I’m the one on the right and Dear is next to me. I am not a soloist except for in the shower and in the privacy of my own home. I love the idea of Karaoke. My go to song would be…

2. How do you listen to music these days? Favorite app or do you listen the old fashioned way? Do you have music playing often in your home? Is there still a CD player in your car?

This is my old fashioned playlist and my CD changer. I’m so thankful to still have a CD changer that works and is connected to nice speakers so I can hear my music from anywhere in our country bungalow. We have a relatively new 2019 Highlander and I’m also thankful to be able to say it does have a CD player. I know most new vehicles do not have a CD player as standard equipment. On road trips we enjoy listening to books on CD.

3. The HP lands on US tax day this year. Or what used to be tax day before everything including filing your taxes was cancelled, delayed, postponed or extended. FYI- filing your taxes has not been cancelled, only delayed for a bit.

Besides staying away from anyone and everyone, what have you found taxing lately?

I have found it is hard to know what day of the week it is.  Concentration has been taxing.

4. You’re without power so no oven, and you can’t open your frig or freezer in order to keep what’s in there from spoiling. And you don’t have access to take out. What will you make us for dinner?

I will go to the outdoor barbecue that is powered with propane and use the side burner to heat up a can of pinto beans, a can of black beans, a can of green chilies, a can of chopped tomatoes all together, add some chili powder and cumin. I’d serve that in a bowl with tortilla chips unless I had a fresh package of flour tortillas that haven’t been opened. I’d toast those tortillas on the grill. If I had an avocado and tomato in my fresh basket I’d cut them up to add on top. It you don’t have a propane powered barbecue you could do this over an open fire.

5.  I’ve seen this exercise going around Facebook and thought it would be a good one to include in the HP…what are five things everybody seems to love and go crazy for that you personally don’t care for?

Don’t Judge!

  1. Sushi
  2. Cruises
  3. Protein Drinks
  4. “Facebook Chain Letters” example “If you love your sister copy and paste”
  5. Women in Power (I could explain this better in person)

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of old school/old fashioned this is an album that some of our family and friends were part of.

The Russian Sacred Singers of Los Angeles are a group of California young people of Russian background. They sing in English and Russian under the inspiring leadership of director Leonard Wozniuk. The unique bi-lingual choir responded to our challenge to record their selections for radio use. Today, their joyful singing is heard world-wide over several short-wave radio stations and over local broadcasts in North and South America.

Hymns of Praise was recorded in stereo in the Lorin Whitney Studios with the creative accompaniment of organist Bill Fasig and pianist John Innes of the Billy Graham Association. Tom Keene on guitar and Paul Stilwell on bass add their distinctive sound to several selections. ~ Andrew Semenchuk, Producer.

The songs sung in Russian include: The Lord is my Light, Like a River Glorious, Jesus Name I Love, Hallelujah What a Saviour, The Good Shepherd, What A Friend, Glory in the Highest, Blessed Assurance, Submission, Let the Beauty of Jesus, Praise Ye the Triune God, Why Not Now, and Peace Perfect Peace.

Five of my cousins and two of my sisters sang on the album along with a future cousin-in-law and the director became my brother-in-law. 

We now have the album on CD so we can listen to it more easily. We don’t have a phonograph anymore.

Music has been a big part of my life and it has enriched my life in so many ways. Being part of music groups I met some of the most important people in my life namely my dear husband. Music took me across the pond to Great Britain. I would have never traveled as extensively as I did were it not for music. Music that honors God and is true in lyrics moves  me to worship my God and Saviour. I hope to be singing when my time comes to leave this earth. I know I’ll be singing when I get to heaven.

Thank you to Joyce for coming up with the questions! Click here to see more answers.

Grandchildren

For Wednesday April 8th we are on the letter G and I’m choosing grandchildren and grandmothers for my theme.

Both of our daughters in law are the cream of the crop. During this distancing time Jamie had Addy and JJ’s hand prints made for the sweetest hugs I could get when hugs are out of the question. This is the note that came with the handprints connected with yarn:

Here is a hug with a handmade touch. Reminding you I love you this much!

So sorry but the internets at this country bungalow are not uploading my photos of my handprints. boohoo. As soon as I can I’ll add them to the post.

In the meantime here are the latest photos of the grands that I have from our DIL.

We’ve had some beautiful sunshiny days and the grands have enjoyed the sunshine. Addy is enjoying painting rocks and JJ is supervising.

The whole family have enjoyed some walks in the sunshine.

Addy received her birthday present from Uncle Andrew and Auntie Katie and this is one of the creations from these magnet blocks.

This little guy is 9 days shy of being a year old! He will not have his epic 1st birthday party on his day or anywhere near his day. It was going to be a lumberjack birthday with ax throwing and log rolling for the adults!

Here’s the latest photo of me, the paternal grandmother/baba of these two…

Here I am in the mask I made from my Beatrix Potter fabric that is from my stash. It’s over 40 years old.

The following photos were posted randomly as they showed up in my media library. They are not in chronological order. With my internet issues right now this is the way it is…

This is a photo of me with my mother and maternal grandmother. We called her our little Babushka. This is in the early 70’s. April 8th was our mom’s birthday. She would have been 97 today.

After our little babushka had an apartment of her own that was just a few doors down from the Russian Baptist church that we attended we’d enjoy Christmas breakfast before church services at her apartment. The photo above is of her with our sister Lana.

Photos from our wedding at the end of 1974.

My paternal grandparents at my sister’s home in Huntington Beach in the 70’s.

Our maternal grandmother with all of her grandchildren in the mid fifties. She would enjoy 5 more grandchildren born in the late fifties and early 60’s. Our mom only had one brother who survived into adulthood. Our mom’s only brother, Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina had 4 children. Our parents had 4 more children after the time of this photo which happens to be an Easter photo.

Our little babushka is in this group. Can you find her? This was taken at our second home in Huntington Beach where our 2 sons were born. Our little Babushka Vera died in March of 1980.

These photos with me and my babushka are at my 9th grade graduation and 12th grade graduation, 1965 and 1968.

Our maternal babushka had a more hands on relationship with all of us but that is not to say we didn’t have a relationship with our paternal grandparents. We honored them and loved them but we didn’t enjoy as close a bond with them as with our dear little Babushka. Since she immigrated as a widow she was more free to spend lots of time with us.

I’m sure all grandmother’s are looking forward to spending hands on time again with their grandchildren. We are missing those sweet hugs and face to face interactions.