Meeting Some California Family…

Dan, Jamie, Addy and I arrived at the Orange County airport on Saturday evening, February 3rd. It was going to be a weekend filled with new people for Addy to meet.

D, J, and A stayed with our niece Debbee and husband Lenny in Huntington Beach. Debbee and her brother David lived around the corner from us when Josh and Dan were little and they enjoyed lots of time being together. We missed seeing David and his wife Kristin this time since they were enjoying Maui.

I stayed with my sister Vera, Addy’s Great Aunt Vera. Vera is Debbee and David’s mom.

On Sunday at our Super Bowl gathering, Addy met a few more of her people. Great Aunt Kelly had interesting earrings.

Cousin Melissa once removed and great Auntie (Nan) Kathy.

Cousins once and twice removed. Our niece Michelle’s family. Michelle and Melissa are my sister Kathy’s girls. Our Josh, Dan, and Katie spent lots of time growing up with Michelle, Melissa, Debbee and David.

This is Great Uncle Terry, Dear’s only brother, and Auntie Christina.

Being social is very tiring.

On Monday the meetings continued with Great Aunt Lana and our dear old pop and Great Uncle Len.  I’ll have a post of it’s own on Addy’s meeting with her Great Dzeda (grandfather). The evidence is in that Addy is comfortable around people and is very social. She is especially willing to go to you if you have some jewelry on.

Monday evening Addy got to test out the sand on her toes, too.

It was so good to have many hours with Addy May and to spend time with Dan, Jamie and the members of our family that could come out to Huntington Beach for the Super Bowl party. We packed in a lot of extended family time and Addy adjusted well to everything new to her. All of my sisters were together on Monday with our dear old pop and that was good. Didn’t see any of my brothers this trip. I didn’t get a chance to walk the Huntington Beach Pier this time around, either. Next time…

So thankful to God for safe travels, seeing loved ones, cuddle time with Addy, being able to pray with our dear old Pop and that Pop could meet Addy and pray a blessing over her, Dan and Jamie.

Back here at home we are waiting for a promise of weather that is dryer and brighter next week. Hoping for a dry morning on Friday for a walk with Katie and Laura. Other than that we are having a quiet weekend. Hope you all have a good weekend.

Keep the Old ~ Monday Mosaics

16265595_10212122633486947_7943960224829511106_nMake new friends but keep the old, one is silver the other gold. A week ago Monday I was able to attend the memorial service for my long time friend Heidi’s mother in Tustin, California. We had a message in Russian and a message in English. Heidi’s son, son-in-law, and brother gave eulogies and remembrances of their grandmother and mother. My brother-in-law led us in singing familiar hymns and the singing was robust with organ accompaniment.

2017-01-24-miscThe service was held at the same church that Ken and Heidi were married in back in 1978. I was her matron of honor. Heidi and I have been the best of friends since 1969. We spent countless hours in each others homes and around each of our sets of  parents and siblings. Heidi lived in Dear and my home during her engagement to Ken.

2017-01-24-misc1The photo on the top of the mosaic is of me, George (Heidi’s brother), and Heidi. The lower photos are of Dear’s brother and sister-in-law and friends of ours from our Christian Rock band years.

misc-so-cal-1-17-034Me and two of my sisters with our dear old Pop. Our extended family and Heidi’s family attended the same Russian Baptist church growing up.

misc-so-cal-1-17-032Two of my sisters with a cousin and cousins by marriage.

2017-01-24-misc2My cousin Jim with my pop, Jim’s uncle. Can you see some resemblance? Jim’s father was one of my father’s older brothers. Me and my bestie from college days, Jeanie, who married my cousin Jim.

arroyo-dr3Heidi and I had many adventures together from 1969 and on. We traveled the East Coast of the U.S. in 1970 and traveled to England with our rock band more than once. Our kids were born in alternate years, our Josh in 1979, their Nikki in 1980, our Dan in 1981 and their Nathan in 1982.  We added one more with Katie in 1985.

ventura11Our kids enjoyed their times together when they were little. We moved to Washington State in 1988 and then our visits were few and far between and the times we get together now are for events like weddings, baby showers, or funerals.

mohai70After the memorial service two of my sisters and I spent late afternoon and early evening with Ken and Heidi in their home with their kids and grandsons. So many good memories shared. It was so encouraging to see the relational dynamic within their growing family and get to know Nikki’s and Nathan’s spouses better. We loved those kids as little ones and really enjoy them now as adults. I wish I would have thought to take a photo during our time. Our hearts are with you as you miss the presence of your mother, grandmother and Gigi here on earth.

Linking up to Mosaic Monday with Maggie at Normandy Life.

While we were in the Country…

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


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.


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


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.

country scenes 005

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


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.

The After Glow…

After the ceremony was over we quickly filled the appetizer table with goodies (forgot to take a photo) and the wedding party went off to take photos at a spot nearby. Many helped to set up the tables for dinner.

We were thankful for the ever increasing shade.

Father and daughter!

Katie and Andrew

Our nieces on Dear’s side of the family, Jenna and Annie. Their sister Kacie was unable to come.

The Bayles cousins!

Dan’s hunting buddies!

The Bayles, Bagdanov cousins!

The wedding photographer is also a friend!

Father and sons…

A photo bomb by dear little Andrew, our newest nephew!

Waiting for the first dance!

Dan and Jamie’s first dance…

Cheers! Until I get permission to post some of the professional shots this will be the last post from the wedding!

This morning our house is quiet as all the wedding guests are now in their own homes tucked into their own beds. My brother and his wife were the last to leave last night and before they left they vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the main floor bathroom and washed and put clean linens back on their guest bed. That is quite a nice treat for me.

I’ll be taking it slow and easy today, how about you?

Here and There…

Here on Friday night we had our nephew Caleb with his wife Marie with us for dinner and dessert and a little catch-up on what’s going on in our lives. Caleb and Marie live in Santa Barbara so we don’t get to see them often. It was fun to have these cousins together in Washington. This might have been the first time that Andrew met them in person.

On Sunday we went “there” to Tacoma to spend a few hours celebrating with our beautiful friends that include our family in many special occasions.

Wonderful food, drink and conversations with these treasured friends celebrating our Savior.

Lucy * Katie * Jamie * Bridget

It was great to see these four beauties together. It’s been a long time. Jamie has just gotten back from a two year trip around the world on her own. Lucy, Jamie and Bridget are sisters and Katie has pretty much grown up with them as her friends. Jamie was Katie’s maid of honor.

Just in case you missed our great news that I posted on Saturday, I’ll repeat it here. Our son Dan asked his girlfriend Jamie to marry him and she said yes. We are looking forward to a wedding in 2015 over there in Dan and Jamie’s neck of the woods.

Palisade 003I’m happy to report I’m headed to the post office on Monday to finally mail off our Christmas cards. We have a few free days until Christmas. We’ll have a quiet Christmas Eve attending a service at church. On Christmas day we’ll have a full day of celebrating. Josh, Laura, Katie and Andrew will spend the night here on Christmas Eve and wake up for stockings and breakfast. Dan and Jamie will arrive from Eastern Washington in time for dinner so we’ll wait to open gifts till after dinner. We are looking forward to seeing the ring in person and hearing about details and plans.

I’ll probably be scarce for a while. How are things coming along at your house?

Forty Years Ago…

…my cousin Vera married John. This was the second of four weddings in our two families in 1974. Vera’s brother Jim got married in April of 1974 to my college best friend, Jeanie. In August my sister Kathy would get married and Dear and I would be the fourth wedding of this year in December.


This is a photo of my father in the glasses standing next to my paternal grandmother and grandfather.

img125The bride and groom arriving at my cousin’s home for the after party.

img126My cousin Alex from my mom’s side of the family was in the wedding and here he is with his wife Nadine (they were married in 1970) My cousin Alex died in an automobile accident in 1979 in Wheaton, Illinois.

img124This is my cousin Katrina, Jim and Vera’s youngest sister.

img128John and Vera relaxing in my Aunt and Uncle’s back yard in Bell, California after the wedding. Two of my younger brothers are sitting in the background, Steve and Tim.

img130My sister Kathy with her fiance Len. They would be getting married on August 17th.

img129College friends Jeaneen and Ellen and now cousins by marriage.

img127My parents with one of my cousin’s aunts. Vera who is this with my mom and pop?

Happy 40th Anniversary John and Vera! I hear we’ll be seeing you the last weekend in June!


Forty Times Four…

In 1974 my extended family had four weddings. Two of my cousins from the same family got married and my sister Kathy and I got married. The first wedding that year was on April 6th. My cousin Jim married my very good friend that I met in college, Jeaneen.


Happy 40th wedding anniversary Jim and Jeanie.


I was in the wedding so there aren’t a whole lot of photos from me. Jim and Jeanie got married at Hollywood Presbyterian Church.


My cousin Jim. Boy were we young forty years ago!


My brother Fred and me.


Dear and me. We were engaged looking forward to our wedding in December.


img504That’s the extent of the photos I have. We’ve enjoyed a very good friendship with Jim and Jeanie all these forty years. In June of this same year my cousin Vera, Jim’s older sister, would get married. In August my sister Kathy and Len got married and then to top off the year Dear and I got married in December. I’ll post photos on each of the anniversaries. It would have been a good idea to plan a fortieth year celebration together…it might not be too late!

our wedding1-001