The Wedding of Joseph and Hannah


By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea. Dos Pueblos Orchid Farm is located in Goleta just north of Santa Barbara. It is a venue that can be rented for many different types of gatherings and it turned out perfect for a wedding.


Our nephew Joseph married Hannah last Saturday the 14th of January. Joseph is the youngest of four brothers. My brother Steve and SIL Kelly are his parents.


The majority of the guests rode a shuttle bus to the venue from a nearby elementary school. The walk to the wedding ceremony site was about a quarter mile from the reception area. After several days of rain and clouds in southern California Saturday’s weather was clear and warm with beautiful blue skies.


Our Washington Family really enjoyed soaking up the sunshine since we left Seattle in 20 degree weather. Dan and Jamie’s home in eastern Washington varied from 8 below to 15 degrees before they flew south.


Our dear old pop was so happy he could manage the trip and the time spent at the wedding. He got a special ride to the ceremony stage.



Before the Processional there was a reading of “The Marriage” by Rumi.

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.


The procession began with Joseph walking to his parents and on to the platform.



Now the attendants (all 28 of them) two by two made their way to the platform.


Joe’s three brothers and their wives were part of the wedding party. Levi and Timothy with their wives in the upper photos and Caleb in the lower right photo. Caleb’s wife is in the lower left photo. Caleb was one of the best men so he is walking with one of the maid’s of honor. Two of Hannah’s sisters shared the maid of honor roll. Caleb and Joe’s best friend growing up shared the Best Man role.


It was now time for the cutest flower girl there ever was! Eleanor is Joe’s first niece and belongs to Tim and Jessica. She is our grandniece.


Here Comes the Bride! Hannah was escorted by her mother and father. When Hannah and Joe were hand in hand the families declared their support and the Officient asked everyone to refrain from taking photos. The Officient, Jim Wright led a semester in Istanbul from Westmont college that Joe was a part of as a student first and later as a leader.  I’ll write more about that in my post about the reception. A Prayer began the ceremony, O Come, Oh Come Emmanuel and For the Beauty of the Earth were the unique songs that were sung and scripture readings from Numbers 13. That’s not a typo for those of you who are familiar with the book of Numbers in the Old Testament. The personal Homily, vows, and exchanging of rings and declaration of marriage wrapped things up!


Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bagdanov were introduced and the recessional signaled the time I could turn my camera on again.


My brother’s family.


Dzeda Bagdanov with Joe and Hannah.

16142708_10155070822573029_160087478280951245_nI didn’t take this photo and I’m not sure who to give credit to but it is a gorgeous shot!

I’ll be sharing the reception photos soon and all the unique details that Joseph and Hannah chose and why.

Congratulations Joseph and Hannah! Your wedding was a joy to attend and one that will not be forgotten!

Dear is home now and I’m still in California for another week. I’m staying with my sister Vera. She’s getting a new internet company on Friday with speedier connections so it should be easier for me to post. This post has taken me a very long time. Besides the beautiful wedding that will take another post or two my nieces had a baby shower for Jamie on Sunday which was so much fun. Our Addy was showered with love and gifts and delicious food. I have the beach house and beach time to share and now I’m getting in sister time and more time with my dear old pop. On Monday I’ll be attending a memorial service for a friend’s mother from the Russian Baptist church we were part of in the 60’s and 70’s. Dear says it’s raining in the Seattle area.


Thanksgiving Mosaics


This is a big week in the U.S.A. with our annual Thanksgiving Day on Thursday. My mosaics this week are all about Thanksgiving.


A few weeks ago I went to a sign making class and it was fun to make the sign above and then find a spot in our home for it.


This mirror has moved around our home but it’s always the spot for our THANKFUL blocks.


Gobble gets it’s spot on the hutch closest to the table where we will gobble our Thanksgiving Meal.


Some different settings over the years.


The food that our plates are never big enough for. Always turkey, always stuffing, always candied sweet potatoes/yams, and always gravy. We can take or leave mashed potatoes or something green. Desserts include pumpkin pie and or pecan pie.


The most important thing is to have people we love sitting around the table. Most years besides our immediate family we have my sister and her hubby with us. She’s the only one of my 7 brothers and sisters that live in the state of Washington. We’ve also had my brother Tim and his wife Letty fly up to spend Thanksgiving with us.


Most years we have two gatherings one at home on any day before or after the big day and one at our friends home with all of their family and friends on the actual day. We work around our kids for this big day. Every other year Josh and Laura trade off being with us and being with Laura’s family. Next year Dan and Jamie will stay home with their new little one. It’s hard to trek 5-1/2 hours over the mountain pass to get here. Andrew missed a few Thanksgivings because he was in Afghanistan or at his base in North Carolina. Katie spent a few Thanksgivings without him by her side.

When your kids get married and have more than one family to enjoy you have to let them have the freedom without nagging and guilt to enjoy holidays elsewhere. We are happy to celebrate anytime we can with our kids. It doesn’t have to be on the given day.

Growing up in my family celebrating Thanksgiving was not a given. My parents immigrated to the U.S. after WWII and it took a while for this holiday to set in. Then the church we were part of had annual conventions over Thanksgiving weekends so the meal was big and in a church hall. Dear and I spent most Thanksgivings after we were married at his mom and dad’s. After we moved our family from California to Washington state we started hosting Thanksgiving. This next photo was our one and only Thanksgiving in Washington State with Dear’s family with us. Dear’s father died in 1985 a couple months before our Katie was born. We moved Dear’s mother up to Washington with us in 1988 and built a mother-in-law apartment for her in our daylight basement.


I’m guessing this was 1989 or so. Dear’s brother and SIL at the head of the table, to the right their two oldest girls (they have one more daughter born in 1991), our three, BIL Steve with glasses that rival mine, sister Lana, me, brother Leonard (Lana’s twin) and Dear’s mother Verna. We left this house behind in 1997.

If you live in the U.S.A. where are you celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Do you cook or are you invited elsewhere?

I’m going to link up with Maggie from Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday and later this week to ABC Wednesday for T is for Thanksgiving with additional thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger’s team of ABC’ers.

ABC Wednesday is close to starting their Farewell Tour in Blogdom and we were challenged to come up with our first ABC Wednesday Post.

You can see my first post in February of 2008 by clicking on, D is for…

Meeting Halfway…

…or Over and Back Again.

Our young marrieds planned a weekend trip meeting halfway with our DIL’s family and our family. At the end of this month they will have been married 1 year!

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We all gathered in Leavenworth, Washington. Everyone else arrived on Friday and stayed till Sunday. Dear and I traveled over on Saturday morning and came back home Saturday evening.

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Our family above and the whole crew below.


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One of the main events that was planned for the weekend was a river rafting trip for the brave amongst us.

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Here’s the crew ready to go!




Our three sons pulling together!


While this crew were river rafting, Dear, Laura and I shopped about the town of Leavenworth dodging the crowds that flock to this picturesque Bavarian like town with the Cascade Mountains as it’s backdrop. I bought a few little treasures from the Russian shop, a free trade shop and a kitchen shop. We survived the Kris Kringle shop, too. If you love all things Christmas, this is the shop for you!

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Dear, Laura and I enjoyed lunch at the Icicle Brewing Company while the rest of the crew enjoyed a barbecue spread after their river rafting experience.

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We had beautiful weather on the eastern slopes of the Cascades while there was a lot of rain on our western side of the Cascades!

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We all got together and enjoyed a potluck taco meal on Saturday evening and on Sunday morning the crew enjoyed a potluck breakfast together.

On the final morning of the weekend our guys got together for some miniature golf fun. Not sure what the girls were doing but I’m guessing they did some shopping.

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So thankful to God for all these dear people that we get to enjoy life with. That includes all of life, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Joy and sorrow with the comfort of the God who created us and loves us more than we can comprehend. Love one another, forgive one another, keep moving forward together with the hope of a glorious reunion with our Lord and Savior. Yes, and Amen!

HT: Rafting photos courtesy of Osprey Rafting Company.

Favorite Five on Friday

The Lord is good to me and my family. Last Friday I flew from Seattle to Southern California to visit family and friends while Dear traveled to Chicago for an Oncology Conference. When I exited the plane in Santa Ana, California, my sister Lana was at the gate ready for her flight to Seattle. She is a beloved passenger on Alaska Airlines from John Wayne Airport and her friends at the gate decided I was special because I’m her sister so they booked me in first class for my return flight to Seattle. Yes and amen to that!

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Here’s my baby sister with her sassy new hairdo. I’m so thankful that she shares her flying privileges with me. She’s a million mile traveler with Alaska Airlines and she doesn’t lord it over the airline employees but treats them with kindness and love and that trickled down to me.


My brother Leonard, Lana’s twin, and my sister Vera met me outside of baggage claim to take me to lunch. Yes…my family is always there for me. We had lunch at South Coast Plaza before Leonard and I headed out to Neuvo, California to visit another brother and his dear wife.

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Spending time with my dear old Pop (93 years old) and meeting my sweet little grand niece (5-1/2 months) was a treasured experience while I was in Southern California.

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I also spent a few hours over lunch with my Russian Baptist best friend, Heidi. Upper left hand photo from 2016 and the rest from the 1970’s. We were marveling at God’s goodness to us in allowing us to survive some crazy choices we made.

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My flight home in first class was very nice. Beautiful views of the California Coast with a nice meal and more great views of Mt. Rainier when we reached Washington State.

Home again, home again, jiggety jig! We are working on a new phase of our yard project putting a border along our front planter.

Phase nextWhile I mowed and weed whacked Dear worked on digging out the trench to add the blocks for our new planter border. Woohoo! Hard work with us now sitting and wondering how we can manage getting up and down with our aching muscles!

Thank you to Amy at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday and dear Susanne at Friday’s Fave Five.

V is for Vera…

Vera is one of my older sisters. She was recently widowed and has moved into a 55 and over community not far from her old home. While I was visiting she had an open house to share her new home with friends and family.


Her manufactured home is open concept with 9 foot ceilings that give it a spacious feeling.

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There are 3 bedrooms which include a large master suite with a walk in closet and large bathroom with a separate tub and shower. My younger sister Lana lives with Vera part-time when she is in Southern California working. Lana got to decorate her own room. Since Lana was in Washington while I was in California I got to crash in her room. My brother Leonard from Texas was also staying with Vera and he got the bedroom/office and the blow up mattress.

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It was good to see some of our cousins and old friends during the open house. Vera used an old email list for her invites so if she missed you she apologizes.

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It was a nice day and we set up tables and chairs in the carport. I did not get photos of everyone, oops.

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On Sunday Leonard, Vera, and I met some of our family for brunch in Newport Beach at Sol Cocina.

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Leonard and I got to meet our newest grand niece for the first time.

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Ellie with her Baba, my SIL Kelly.


Later in the day some of my family gathered at Vera’s again for more food and fellowship.

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I’ve posted this photo before but I love it enough to post it again, Pop (dzeda) and Ellie. My dear old pop made it out to Vera’s twice and he lasted for several hours which was good for him.

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My pop with 5 of his 8 children.

Leonard and I managed to be with our pop for dinner at Kathy’s on Friday night, open house on Saturday, Dinner at Vera’s on Sunday and then we drove out on Monday morning to go out for breakfast with him and my sister Kathy and to say goodbye to him until we meet again. He got his 2 eggs sunny side up with hash browns, sausage, white toast and coffee and even though it was at Coco’s instead of Denny’s he said it was good. He also insisted on paying. He says he needs to get rid of his money. From breakfast we headed straight to the airport for Leonard’s flight back to Texas. I still had 24 hours left in California.


The fun just kept coming. After I dropped Leonard off I met up with my BFF from my Russian Baptist days and we had lunch and a few hours of catching up. Would you believe from this meet up I headed to the third restaurant of the day, Zov’s, to meet my sisters for dinner?


Kathy and I split our Kebob dinner and we all shared the dessert tray. Kathy, this could have been your late birthday celebration if my brain wasn’t completely fogged up by then! Oye!

When Vera and I returned home Dear’s brother and SIL stopped by for a brief visit since they couldn’t come to the Open House. It was good to see them face to face. BTW, Dear wasn’t with me in Southern California because he was working at a conference in Chicago.

I’m now home after flying first class and that’s a fun story all by itself. This post is way too long already. It’s good to be home and I thank God for watching over me and giving me valuable moments to treasure with my Pop, family and friends.

Since it’s Wednesday and ABC Wednesday is on the letter V this post will be linked up for V is for Vera! Thank you Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger with his team of ABCers.

It Was the Best of Times…

…it was the worst of drives!

13061943_10209470854876562_4327377309614113889_n-001On Friday I got a rental car and drove north on I-35 from San Antonio to Austin. The goal was to meet up with my brother Leonard and his family. I made it to Austin to the spot where we were to meet up for lunch.


This is the original Chuy’s in Austin and it was hopping all afternoon long. When I got here I got a call from Leonard saying they had a flat tire that came with a very long story we won’t go into. The short part of the story is that they got to a Honda dealership in Waco and the dealership gave them a loaner car to continue on their journey to Austin. We had a good meal at Chuy’s and headed to a home of one of their friends to spend some time together.

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When I was at El Mercado in San Antonio I picked up a little something for Hope and Andrew. Hope is wearing her flower head piece and Andrew is strumming his gift.

Austin-S.A 002After dinner the kids got ready for bed and my brother drove me back to my car so I could head back to San Antonio. It was real good to see them all face to face.

Now the road drama started for me. After I was out of Austin with an hour to go to get back to San Antonio the flashes of lightning lit up the sky and the rain started. The conditions got really bad for a good stretch of time and I was praying hard. All the cars on the freeway slowed way down. I have never in my life seen so much lightning in such a short period of time. Thankfully there was only one time that I could not see out of the windshield because of water thrown up from another vehicle onto my car. I was so so relieved to finally get to our hotel exit from the freeway and out of the car!

We will be flying home this evening and I’ll share more about the things I saw in San Antonio next week. Hope y’all are doing well!