Under the Pier

The beach in winter is a favorite of mine. These were some photos from our time at Huntington Beach during our family vacation in January that I haven’t shared yet.

I find the underside of a pier interesting and love watching the waves roll through.

Our niece Debbee and Lenny were married in 2013 in Huntington Beach and they took their engagement photos here so it was fun to try to recreate that moment.

This day was also Lenny’s birthday.

Today we are nowhere near the coast and we still have that white stuff on the ground and it’s not beach foam.

Our Colville kids are coming over for dinner tonight. Speaking of dinner, tonight will be the third dinner in a row that I’ve made. It’s a Notable February for that reason and others, too. Wednesday we had an Asian Stir Fry with actual vegetables. Here’s the dinner we had Thursday night. Leg of Lamb with vegetables in my Jamie Oliver Retro Roaster. We like lamb and I know many people don’t.

Tonight we’re having Oven Baked Tilapia with rice and vegetables or salad.

Speaking of food, 18 eggs were $4.24 at our local Wal-Mart on Wednesday. They were not the brown eggs, or free range eggs, or Beverly Hills Eggs, just the white caged bird eggs.

What have you been eating these days? Happy First Friday in February.

Not so Fast, February Hodgepodge

February, I’m still cherishing the memories of January, so slow down. 🙂

The Hodgepodge is back for the start of February. Thank you Joyce, From This Side of the Pond!

1. Tell us anything you want about your January. 

From January 13th until January 19th we had our DisneyCaliFam Vacation and it was packed with great interactions with our extended people! Twelve of us spent one day at Disneyland and a great birthday celebration dinner out at Orange Hill Restaurant and quiet times in our VRBO. Ten of us spent some hours with my siblings and our kids’ cousins in homes, at the beach and bowling alley. The two of us spent an afternoon and evening with my bestie from the 70’s. A rich time of relationship sharing and growing.

All of these peeps are ‘Moisi and Nadia’s People’.

2. Lake Superior State University posts a list each year of words they think should be banished from the Queen’s English for misuse, overuse, and/or general uselessness. The 2023 list includes GOAT, inflection point, quiet quitting, gaslighting, moving forward, amazing, Does that make sense?, irregardless, absolutely, and it is what it is.

Which of these words/phrases do you use regularly?


Which of these words would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why?

It is what it is…because it is more than it is. LOL!

Is there a word/phrase not on the list you’d like to add? 

Racist, because lately it is used to gaslight people.

3. February 2nd is Groundhog Day. What’s something that feels repeated in your life right now? 

Waking up to snow on the ground that has not melted.

4. What’s a food you love that’s named after a place?

Mexican food is my comfort food, but I think maybe you want us to be more specific. I do enjoy a good Boston Cream Pie and how about German Chocolate Cake. Now I’m on a roll since I just remembered Belgian Waffles, French Toast, oh, and our family favorite, Swedish Pancakes!

5. What’s the best season of the year to visit your city or your part of the country? Tell us why. 

Fall is a wonderful time to visit our area. Not too hot, not too cold, and full of beautiful color.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We planned our time for our DisneyCaliFam Vacation this past November in lieu of Christmas gifts. Our time in California also spanned 3 birthdays, Jamie’s, Dan’s and Josh’s. Gifts were purchased for the birthday ‘kids’ at Disneyland. Meals were paid for to celebrate the three of them while we were in California. They each got Birthday badges to wear at Disneyland. Addy and JJ got their Disneyland 1st Time Visitor Badges. Special times with memories to store.

Looking forward to catching up with Hodgepodgers!

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.


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.

Crisp to Frozen

California was crisp and we are back to the land of frozen. We arrived home to our winter wonderland safely on Friday the 20th of January. Our ‘DisneyCaliFam’ vacation was full and good. Thank you, LORD, for your goodness to us and our extended family.

Many posts will be coming of our days in Southern California. Where the rain paused for us to enjoy some sunshine in between.