Thanks for stopping by!

Family photo 2020: Jamie, Jaymison, Addyson, Dan, Dear, Me, Katie, Andrew, Laura and Josh. This photo was taken on October 25, 2020.

My updated family photo as of the end of 2019 with Josh, Laura, Me, Dear, Katie, Andrew, Jamie, Jaymison, Addyson and Dan.

Monday home 056

Me, Addy and Dear.

Me Addyson and Jaymison December 26th of 2020.

2007: My name is Ellen B. I’m one of 8 children born to Russian Immigrants and raised in East L.A., California. I’ve been happily married to “dear” for 33 years. We moved to the Seattle Area in 1988 and now 20 years later find ourselves living in Seattle and Southern California. We have 2 sons and a daughter. Our oldest son is married to a lovely lady whom we count as our 2nd daughter. I was educated to be an elementary school teacher but today my only employ is to spend “dear’s” money. What a wonderful job he has blessed me with. Besides taking care of our homes, I spend time in Bible study, bargain hunting, walking and reading. I love to search and find any information that helps me to honor my King, Jesus. I love to laugh and to smile. (I have the wrinkles to prove that) I hope you find some encouragement in what I share on my blog. I especially hope to honor the KING!

Blessings on your heads,

Ellen B.

Here are the contrasts I live with moving back and forth from the Seattle Area to the LA Area:

SEATTLE AREA                                                 LOS ANGELES AREA

1. With my kids                                                     1. With my husband
2. With my closest friends                                   2. With my siblings and parents
3. Good water from the tap                                 3. Bottled water
4. 4 distinct seasons                                              4. Sunshine most every day
5. Courteous Drivers (bad but courteous)        5. People that can merge
6. Well equipped large kitchen                            6. Small condo EZ to clean
7. Lot less dust (wet)                                            7. Lots and lots of dust (dry)
8. Fred Meyer                                                       8. Homegoods
9. Burke Gilman trail walks                                9. Neighborhood walks
10. Dick’s drive-in                                               10. In and Out
11. Tub’s Sub’s                                                     11. Jewish Deli’s
12. Lake Washington 2 miles away               12. Pacific Ocean 8 miles away
13. Whidbey Island ferry ride                       13. Santa Barbara close drive
14. Gasoline $2.50 a gallon (2007)                  14. Gasoline $2.99 a gallon (2007)
15. Many fine restaurants everywhere       15. Mexican restaurants everywhere
16. A Lawn to mow                                           16. A small patio to sweep
17. Old house with shop                                    17. New condo 1 car garage
18. Blueberry Bush                                             18. Strawberry stands
19. Pear Tree                                                       19. Avocados from sisters tree
20. Small Church                                                 20. Big church

I had this lined up well but for whatever reason it went wobbly on me. But alas, we’ve already established the fact that I am not a computer program wizard! 🙂

Update June 29, 2007 ~ Starting mid July I will be living full-time in Southern California with holiday and vacation trips to the Seattle area. We are keeping our home in Seattle and two of our adult children are living in it and taking care of it for us. Dear and I hope to return to Seattle when the Lord wills it…

UPDATE: As of March of 2010 we are living once again in the Seattle Area. Dear took an early retirement from his company so he could pursue other opportunities in the Seattle area. Our condominium is up for sale and we do hope it sells sometime soon. We are so thankful to the Lord for opening the doors for us to return to our home in the Northwest.

UPDATE: June 30th, 2010. Our condo finally sold and we are thankful to only have one mortgage again and to not have to pay monthly homeowner’s dues. Dear is working in Seattle and we are continuing on many projects at this old house. We are still in the hunt for a local church to plant ourselves in…

Update: As of March 11, 2011 we have a new Son-in-law. Our daughter Katie married Andrew. Andrew is in the Marines on deployment in Afghanistan. We are planning a wedding celebration on their one year anniversary in Seattle. Andrew and Katie were married at the Magistrate’s office in Jacksonville, North Carolina with no family in attendance. We are all looking forward to witnessing their marriage vows after Andrew returns.

Update: We had a wonderful wedding ceremony for Katie and Andrew on their 1 year anniversary in the Seattle area March 11, 2012. On September 13th, 2013 our dear 90 year old mom died. As of December 2014 our son Daniel is engaged to Jamie. We will be having a wedding June of 2015. Our family grows. Andrew and Katie are now living in our neck of the woods and Andrew is no longer in the Marine Corps. We are planted in a local church called Northshore Community Church.

Update: August of 2015. We now have all three of our children married. Our son Daniel married Jamie the end of June in a beautiful ceremony in the Northeastern corner of Washington state.


As of March 20th, 2017 we are now grandparents! Addyson May was born to Dan and Jamie.

Addy5 024

Update for 2018, 2019: 

Our dear old pop died at the end of June, 2018. We sold our home in Kenmore, Washington in July and moved to Colville, Washington in September. In April of 2019 our grandson was born, Jaymison Joshua. June of 2019 Dear was officially retired. We’ve now been married 45 years.


81 thoughts on “Profile

  1. Thanks for giving me your blogsite. You have been such a faithful reader of my blog and now I am excited to dive into yours! Love the WA vs CA contrast list! So true!

    btw…also love the pic on the home page!

  2. You have a great site. And thank you for adding me to your blogroll. It is a privilege and an honor that I graciously accept.

  3. Hi Ellen; You have a lovely blog. Listen I am doing some research on the Molokan community, religious-based research (is that how you spell it?). What is the story you know about origins? Do you trace it back to 1550’s or the 1800’s?

    DO let me know. You can visit my blog and email me from there…


  4. Howdy Pistol Pete,
    Thanks. Glad someone found their way to my profile page.

    I emailed you so I hope you got the info. Yes it is spelled Molokans, “milk drinkers”.

  5. Hello dear friend,
    I love everything on your website! It is interesting, insightful, uplifting, educational, and good for the soul! Thanks for including Jim and I as one of your special friends – I am honored! Jeff graduated from Fresno Pacific U on May 5th too. What a fun day.
    Love, Jeanie

    Ellen backatcha: Hi Jeanie, Thanks for your encouragement. I just got into Seattle last night and saw the Graduation announcement. Congratulations!

  6. Thanks for stopping by my site the other day. I have enjoyed reading a bit of your blog and about you. I spent 3.5 years living in WA as a youngster. Some of the prettiest areas around. A toss up between “The Big Blue Sea” and “The Sea of Grass” (wheat fields of eastern WA). I look forward to reading more.
    Blessings and Shalom,

    Hi Kim, Western and Eastern Wasington are so different. Thanks for stopping by and shalom malekhem to you.

  7. Enjoyed your “1st time post” on Tuesday’s Other Words! You have a great blog! Sounds like you stay very busy going back and forth!
    Have a blessed week!
    Angie from NW Florida

    Hi Angie, Thank you…

  8. hi ellen,

    it was fun reading some of your posts and getting to know you better through your profile here.

    i grew up mostly in southern california so everything seems familiar. my husband, which i also call dear, and i, moved to colorado over 17 years ago. but all of our family is back in california, so we visit often. we miss the ocean more than anything.

    you have so much here to look at, so i’ll be back.

    Diana, Welcome to my blog and do come back. Blessings.

  9. I have to “wonder”:

    Are you a “wonderer”, or are you a “wanderer”?

    Mohawk Chieftain, Well you’ve certainly got me wondering about your name 🙂 Mostly I wonder but sometimes I wander…

  10. Hi Ellen,
    I appreciate your checking out my blog and the Moss Rose Tea Party. I wish you could see the view out the window. It’s of Eagle Lake. It’s hard to take a picture inside without a glare on the window.
    You can see this God Given View on my other blog. Just had to share this with you since you mentioned the green trees that could be seen in the window as I took the picture.

    You can see what our “Tea Guests” are actually seeing out the window!


    Jan, Thanks. Your retreat looks wonderful. I’ll have to bookmark you for the future…

  11. It’s a lovely place you have here Ellen, so glad i’ve found
    you in my search for ‘Contemporary’ info!

    Thanks Steve

  12. I live just North of Spokane 🙂 I love the 4 seasons we have here.

    Hi Jana, Ahh a fellow Washingtonian! I too love the 4 seasons. Born and raised in southern California we didn’t get many seasons but warm…

  13. Thanks for visiting my site – I’m returning the favor. Isn’t it so exciting to see how many women are all eagerly pursuing Him together in this great big world of the web? Keep on being passionate for Him!

    Hi Heather, Thanks for stopping by, blessings…

  14. I’ve enjoyed your blog, its content and leisurely pace…love the name too. Have added it in my Blog Surf. I write movies, books and entertainment reviews, a leisurely pursuit as well, and welcome you to stop by and visit. We’ve got the whole eternity to explore, to wonder, and to wander I suppose.

    Artidkc, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’ll check out your blog soon…

  15. I am looking forward to reading your site. My mother was born in Compton and my hubby and I moved to the southwest from Oregon. So I enjoyed your comparison list. I am a Christian stay at home Mom of two boys. If you ever have any advise you want to share please do so on my blog:

    Hi Debbie, thanks for stopping by. I’ll be stopping by soon…

  16. How delightful. Thanks for sharing such an interesting life. I love how you spend “dears” money. Bwahahahahah. 🙂

    CP, Thanks for leaving a comment and for always making me chuckle…

  17. Having lived in Nor Cal, and now living in WA again (lived in Tacoma until 89) I’ve got to say I love WA more, but what a great list. It’s cool to see how you are grateful for the unique culture of both locals.

    I just don’t know that I could live somewhere that has more sunny days then not. Even people up here in WA think I’m crazy about that. But the seasons and the changes somehow are so important to my mood. And summer is my least favorite month. I am so jazzed that it’s really fall right now, all the leaves falling and such, and it seems like winter is coming soon this year. Sorry, I don’t mean to make you homesick for your other home. I just wanted to post that I appreciate your lists!

    Crystal, I understand what your talking about. Don’t worry about making me homesick, I’m already homesick 🙂 Blessings…

  18. I have always wanted to live in Seattle. I think I would like it better then Southern Cal. I am originally from Switzerland, so the rain, bad weather, etc.. doesn’t scare me. I actually MISS IT ALOT!
    Where in WA do you live?
    I love your list!

    Hi Sabine, I really think you’d love Seattle. My home in Seattle is on the East side of Lake Washington about 12 miles northeast of Seattle.

  19. Found your blog through Bridget’s and love it! (Bridget and my daughter Kara were college roommates and Bridget is the DIL of my good friend Dani.) Happy wondering!

    hi Doreen, I left a comment at your blog! Blessings…

  20. I’m new at blogging and found your blog under heritage. You sound like a fun person to know. I’m curious about your Russian background.

    Hi queen b, I went over to your site and couldn’t find anywhere to leave a comment. I’m glad you stopped by. Welcome to blogging…

  21. Hi Ellen!

    I was asking my Mom who we knew in the LA area, and she said YOU AND GREG were living down there! I had no idea!

    We’re going to be in the area for a wedding and a “day-after-wedding” brunch, the weekend of February 16 – 18.

    I was curious to know if you and Greg would be willing to have Aaron and I crash at your house on Sunday night? We got a free hotel night our first night, so you’d only have to put up with us that one night. 🙂

    But really, it would be really great to see you guys! It has been so long since we’ve seen you and it would be great to catch up!

    Will you let me know if that would work and if you’re willing to have a few house guests? Its ok if it doesn’t work out, we just thought of you as our best option! 🙂

    Kelly Leffel Tuski

    Hi Kelly! I’m emailing you…

  22. i’m sure i’ve commented here b4, but i’m adding favs to technorati and came here to get more specifics on your site — i know. i’m totally procrastinating but having so much fun. but, i digress. Your comment about your King, Jesus struck me so hard, I had to say something. God bless you for stating this. Because of the way I was raised, I can’t get myself to tell people I feel that way. Some day, maybe; in the interim, I have to compliment those who share my love. I’m so happy you’re in the “sphere”! *huge huggies*

  23. Well… I get wrinkles from smiles and laughter, too. If you must get wrinkles, those are the best to get! 🙂 Thanks for visiting my site. You are certainly on an adventure. Perhaps it’s also a blessing for your son and daughter-in-law to be able to live in your Seattle home?

  24. NO “fine” mexican restaurants in Southern California?.. Look for one with “chiles in nogada” or “mole poblano” exquisite plates that combine peppers, nuts, pomegranate and pumpkin seeds and chocolate in their respective recipes. Real jewels now adopted by the finest chefs of the so-called “nouvelle cuisine”. Compliments to you and “dear” for your beautiful family. Good luck!

  25. Thank you for the banner compliment! I’m new to this blogging, etc. And what do you know, my first real comment recieved, and it’s from a fellow direct descent Russian/American!
    Great info on the samovar. I’ve got my Mom’s old one, and a couple extras. One for each of my three children(21,18, and 12). On the web looking for a wooden cheese Paskha mold, as my grandfather’s broke. I’m Russian Orthodox and this year our Easter is sooo late-on 27 April:)
    Thanx for stopping by from the tea blogathon:)! Your children are beautiful! Wonderfullly positive blog site:) Lydia

  26. thanks for visiting my blog. I love that tea cup-it’s a treasure of mine. I look forward to coming back and reading more of your posts! Feel free to visit me as I am adding more content on day two of my tea blog.

    have a lovely day!

  27. I have been happily married to hubby for 32 years as well! and we have 2 boys and girl in that order as well! no marriage’s yet…a small world…..
    ok….I have a choice in my settings for blogspot…..
    Anyone-includes anonymous (which I don’t want)
    Registered users-includes open ID(which I have checked)
    users with google account-which I HAD checked
    only members to this blog
    let me know how that works for you and thanks for trying to help….I love comments as we all do and I hate to arrive at a blog and have to mess with extra stuff that is just annoying and sometimes I just leave….not nice…but if it takes too much time…it cuts down on my blog reading! let me know if I helped or hindered you!

  28. I never read this page before…great photo by the way…but I’m thinking you need to update the gas prices. $2.99 was making me feel nostalgic.

  29. Hi Ellen, I haven’t looked at this before now. Great idea…or is it a method? Would it be alright if I put you on my blog? This will be something new for me!

  30. Hi, Ellen. I came over to this page looking for a way to email you but can’t find an address.

    I found your blog through the Spring Reading Thing, and I noticed that you have some children’s books on your list.

    I’ve just started a blog tour group that will be touring children’s books–picture books, middle grade and YA.

    I love your blog–your artistic bent–and I’d love to have you join us. If you have time, you can read about our tour at . Check out the “Bloggers and Bystanders” page and the “Bloggers Guidelines” page.


    Sally Apokedak

  31. Dear Ellen, I heard your name “Happy Wonderer” used by one of the men in “Mama Mia” last night. Of course when he refered to his self as the “Happy Wonderer”. I was taken to Hershey Theatre in PA by my daughter for my 72nd B-day. It was so full of good Abba music. I smiled all evening.
    I love your blog and feel like I know you and where you live, as I have lived there also. Keep sharing, I’m sure you cheer more than myself out here. Thanks

    Pat! Thanks and I’m happy you enjoy my blog. Congratulations on your 72nd birthday! Blessings…

  32. Hi there – thanks so much for your kind comments on Tyler Florence’s recipe – glad you enjoyed it! Tyler’s new book is coming out this Fall and I’d be delighted to send you a copy if you’re interested…we love the blogger fans and you guys don’t ever get the review copies you deserve! Email me info and I’ll send.
    Brianne Miller
    Tyler’s publicist

  33. Hi Ellen

    I was so pleased to find your blog as I was searching the web for a quince preserve recipe. My grandparents on my father’s side came from Russia (Georgia) in 1903 and their religion is called Molokan (milk drinkers). My father was born in East Los Angeles (Boyle Heights) and so was I (1948). I use to go to the Molokan church with my grandmother (Mary or Manya) and I remember how beautiful the singing sounded. Such harmony and such joy! I also serve My Lord – King Jesus. I remember drinking chai with grandma and eating her blintzes and borscht. No one could cook like my grandma. When someone arrived at grandma’s door – she started making chai and of course she served her home made parashke and nachenk turnovers. Yum…..I sure miss grandma but I know she is happy living with the Lord.

    Your Sister in Christ

  34. Hi Ellen! Thanks for stopping by! Did your comment mean you will be participating in TT (Tablescape Tuesday?) Hope so! 🙂 Great pic! Your children are precious! Susan

  35. Hi Ellen B,

    So, you’re not the only one not a computer wiz~ Yet, I think you’ve done a fabulous job with this one! I joined Tablescape Tuesday today for the first week and stayed up till nearly 4am trying to get Louis Armstrong music attached to the blog and just couldn’t figure it out., see, you’re way ahead of me!

    I see we may tons in common, our choice of music, our love for family and faith, and our love for blogging. I’m sure once I read more of your blog…we’ll have more in common. Until seven years ago, I traveled all over the world extensively. The photo you show on your banner reminds me of those travels. I was in sales and earned all these extravagant trips every year. The trips are what kept me working for them and then one day seven years ago, the company went under. =(

    Well Ellen B…gotta get to see what Tablescape you are sharing today. Please visit me on one of my blogs., “Staying In The Day” at or my “Catherine de th`e Cups”, #26 on the Linky line up today! 8=)

    Au Revoir
    ~CC Catherine

  36. During my search for more lapsha (lopsha??) recipes, I came upon your site. My parents were 1st generation US offspring of pre-1919 Russian immigrants (Molokan & Sabotnik) who settled in East LA. I found your chronicles very nourishing, since I’ve been away from my Russian and So Cal “roots” for so long. Thank you for your sharing.

    (By the way, my Los Angeles UMCA Ladies Auxillary cookbook -Molokan Favorites- was published in 1963. Would love to get a copy of -Recipes of San Francisco Russian Molokans- which you reference. Can you suggest a source?

  37. I stumbled upon your website while looking at one of your pics from england in Google image. I visited England in spring awhile back and sometimes get homesick for the place. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your website. God is using you in a special way to uplift and encourage others. I know because I am one of them. God Bless your ministry, Maddy

  38. Visited your blog for the 1st time today. Enjoyed it immensely. I’m a native Washingtonian; I live near the Canadian Border in Lynden. Just north of Bellingham. It’s a quaint little Dutch community. Can’t imagine living anywhere else, but I do envy your snowbird lifestyle.


  39. Back on 2/5/09, Linda Samarin Winter mentioned the “Molokan Favorites” Recipe book. At that time, Alice W. Stupin was President of the UMCA Ladies Auxiliary. I knew Alice from my Russian Language Classes I took at ELA College after a long day at work. She was a wonderful person and her friendly personality said it all. Bob Koretoff was another classmate of mine in that Class.

    Linda: Are you related to Mike Samarin who is married to our niece Elaine Halopoff? Elaine is John and Eleanor Halopoff’s daughter. Mike & Elaine have three beautiful daughters who sing, play the piano, guitar, etc. – classical music. Also, my hubby’s sister Rusty was married to John (Sheriff) Samarin, who comes from another Samarin family. Sheriff’s sister was Nellie and there were other siblings I didn’t know as well. Sheriff & Rusty had three girls and one boy. And, the years go by faster than what we want them to.

    How was your day?

  40. Came by via Mary’s Mosaic Monday. Was so surprised to read you were raised in East L.A. … so was I! I lived in ELA (off & on) from the day I was born in 1953 until 1995 when I sold the house I grew up in. And YES many of my childhood neighbors were Russian and Japanese immigrants. But eventually the youngsters moved away as soon as they could and the oldsters passed away when it was their time. Alas, as with life, neighborhoods change. But you did help bring back many pleasant memories of my childhood and a by-gone era. Thank you!

  41. Hi Ellen,
    Thank you for having this blogsite, you have inspired me and calmed my nerves! I am about to have a tea party for 10 that I donated to the auction at my youngest boy’s christian school. Little did a know that a fun (4yr old) tea party would go to a realtor and her office friends!! Ouch. I am excited by the challenge, taking the opportunity to give my house a little love and care, and Oh so much more knowledgeable now that I have seen your blog!!
    …I love the idea of having one once a month!
    Blessings and good luck with your new start.

  42. Ellen! I loved this page! I don’t know why I’ve not seen it before! How great it is to be able to settle where you desire! I am thankful with you that God indeed planted your feet back to a sweet spot in life! 🙂

    Hope your day is filled with fun blessings–and sweet ones!

  43. Hi Ellen,

    I too come from east Los Angeles and from Molokan family, but my mother was Russian Orthodox, so i was raised in this religion, but have been to Big Church many times. I have many Shubin cousins. Great Website

  44. Hello, Ellen. I found you through the Mennonite Girls Can Cook website and was intrigued to find that you were from Seattle, my current home-town. I’m a pastor at Seattle Mennonite Church, although I am on sabbatical in South Korea for the year. Reading your list of Seattle stuff made me a little homesick…Dick’s! Tubs! The Burke Gilman!! All in my old neighborhood of Lake City. I look forward to following your blog. Congratulations and a blessing on your re-settlement.

    • Hi Amy,
      I’ll have to look up the Seattle Mennonite Church now that the MGCC have adopted me and call me their Russian Cousin.
      A sabbatical in South Korea for a whole year? That must be interesting.
      Thanks for leaving a comment…

  45. Hello,

    I have been looking for a borsch recipe that is similar to my Bunya’s and I found it on your blog! I was born in Montebello, CA to a molokan family and spent most of my childhood in East LA at my Bunya’s home. It has been a joy reading your blog. I live in Missouri now, and it’s nice to read about someone from the same background. Thank you for posting your recipes! God Bless!




  47. I love your LA/Seattle contrasts. I can relate to much of it, spending the first half of my life in Lincoln, NE, and then the most recent half in Denver, CO. Thanks so much for finding my recipe blog today and commenting…I love hearing from new friends! I’m guessing you found me through Miss Debbie and Life in the Sandwich Years.


  49. Hello… Love your site.. I stumbled across it doing research on my Kosareff family line.. I am also from that east Los Angeles line of Russians.
    The recipes look great… thanks.. Cynthia

    PS.. I also now live in Washington.

  50. You brought back alot of memories with pictures you posted. Remember alot of people in your pictures, ollie for one. God has truly blessed you.

  51. Thanks for all the treasured memories and recipes on this blog. Saw your FB post tonight and it led me to wander through these pages. I recently bought some King Arthur flour and hope to make some of your Bagdanov goodies. Your mom and family are a treasure to me.

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