A Grand Hodgepodge…

img5681. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it’s something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you’re a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

I called my grandparents babushka and dzedushka growing up. My parents both were born in Russia. Their families escaped separately into Iran and my mom and dad met in a village outside of Tehran and were married there and then immigrated to the U.S. after WWII. Most of their family members immigrated after them. My maternal grandfather/dzedushka died in Iran. The top photo is of me with my maternal grandmother, babushka Vera, on my wedding day. The next photo is of my paternal grandparents, dzedushka Timofei and babushka Marfunia Bogdanoff. We were a lot closer to my maternal grandmother than my paternal grandparents.

img5782. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what’s one attraction you’d have on your must-see list?

honeymoon-001Dear and I were born and raised in Southern California. Greg was raised a stones throw from Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Why yes we have taken some road trips along the coast of California. On the first night of our honeymoon we stopped in Ventura and then traveled north making stops in Solvang, Carmel, Monterey and San Francisco.

In 1985 we took a bicycle trip with 2 other couples starting in wine country and to the coast at Mendocino and south to Russian river. This is all north of San Francisco.

Since then we have made trips from Camarillo to the Central Coast of California staying in Pismo Beach.

We lived close to the coast in Huntington Beach (1975-1984), Ventura (1984-1988) and Camarillo (2006-2010) during our married life. The photo below of Josh and Dan at the beach is in Ventura 1986.

venturaI would have to break up the coast of California in sections and pick a favorite in each section. The coast of California is very long and varied. North of San Francisco I’d say Mendocino, but inland of course you have wine country Napa and Sonoma. So maybe a combo trip that takes in Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino. San Francisco is a stand alone city to visit. South of San Francisco I’d say Monterey, Pismo Beach or San Luis Obispo, this is also an area with lots of wineries inland from the coast.  Farther south Santa Barbara is a stand alone destination. South of Santa Barbara is Malibu and Santa Monica. I’d skip the next several miles south until you get to Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar and Laguna Beach are all doable together. Lastly I’d do La Jolla and San Diego together. Besides beaches and wineries there are several California Missions along the coastal areas of California.

In January our whole family was in California for a wedding on the coast north of Santa Barbara. I stayed on in California after my family traveled back home and enjoyed a couple days on the beach in Huntington and Crystal Cove.

joe-hannah-090I’d like to add a northern coastal trip in California some day. From Mendocino up to Oregon.

3. What are three things you don’t know how to do?

Fly, Scuba Dive and Figure Skate.

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, ‘Celebrate what you want to see more of.‘ If that’s true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?

Right now we are celebrating getting past 10,000 steps with our fitbit keeping us informed and motivated being connected with family members on fitbit, too. I want to see more of this kind of movement in my life and I want to achieve those steps out in nature as much as possible.

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What’s something you make that calls for almonds?

Almond Joy! My famous cheesecake recipe calls for almond extract.

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

These days Saturday morning looks like any morning since Dear has been unemployed for 8 months. Last Saturday morning we went for a walk at a local bay park. Hopefully a morning walk will be a habit on Saturday mornings before we have a doughnut!

7. Share with us a favorite book you’ve read this winter.

The Great Reckoning by Louise Penny. The latest Chief Inspector Gamache novel.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are in count down mode for the arrival of our first grandchild a little girl who is already named, Addyson, Addy. We are going to be traveling to northeast Washington for an open house/baby shower for our kids next week. We are hoping for a good travel day across the Cascade mountain range there and back again. While at Dan and Jamie’s, Dear will be painting Addy’s nursery and a dresser they will be using for Addy’s things. Dear’s first job was painting with his father. He’s very good. As soon as we hear that Jamie is in labor later in March we will hit the road again and travel east to catch a very early glimpse of our first grandchild. Not sure what we want to be called. Maybe I’ll stick to my roots and have her call me baba/babushka. Maybe Dear will be called Papa. Time will tell.

Linking up to Wednesday Hodgepodge with Joyce From This Side of the Pond. Thanks for the questions Joyce.

Life is Grand…

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We had a new member delivered to our extended family the day before Christmas. This is my newest Grandniece.

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My little brother became a grandfather for the first time.

Eleanor 2

After a couple of months the great grand girl was ready to travel across Los Angeles to meet her Great Grandfather, my dear old Pop.

Eleanor

Great Dzeda (grandfather in Russian) was quite pleased to meet her in person.

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Looks like my brother is quite relaxed in his new role as a grandfather.

943921_785173274959_6055457304670031754_nMy pop turns 93 in May! There is a very large stretch of history between my pop and his new great granddaughter.

12717705_10156543519695191_6592183693989189909_nI’m sure her Great Grandfather prayed a blessing on his new great granddaughter. My pop prayers for all his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren every day!

I’m sorry that I don’t have a photo of my sister in law holding her new granddaughter but here’s a photo of both happy grandmothers from the baby shower back in October. And here are the grateful parents with their healthy little baby girl.

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I nabbed this photo of the new daddy, my new grand niece, and the new mommy. Good Golly! Truth be told I nabbed all these photos off of social media or text attachments except for the one of the grandmothers! Life really is grand!

I’m linking up to ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and carried on by Roger and a great team!

I’m also linking up to Tuesday’s Treasures with Tom the Backroads Traveller.

I’m happy to announce the sun has broken through the clouds here in the Seattle area and we are promised a nice few days before rain returns. Now my head is spinning on what I should do with this sunny predicament…cleaning house is not on the list!

Family News…

10291122_10152701970813919_9195842261775056651_nI’m so happy to finally be able to show you our new little nephew from the Ukraine with love. Andrew arrived with Mandy to be reunited with my brother Leonard and niece Hope last Friday. Our niece Hope is happy to have a little brother. I literally gasped for joy when I finally saw a photo of Andrew and Mandy back in the U.S.A. It’s hard to imagine all the adjustments this little guy and his new family have to make over the next few months and years. The nice thing is that my brother can communicate with Andrew in Russian but they are also transitioning Andrew into speaking and understanding English. Little Andrew has already skyped with our pop in Russian. If God brings this sweet family to your mind please pray for them.

10583783_10204539924242770_4860498748263058856_nIt’s been a while since I showed you a photo of my dear old pop. My nieces and nephews visited him on Grandparents day this past Sunday.

We are fast approaching the one year anniversary of my mom’s death. I will be flying down to Orange County to spend a few days with my pop and some of my family.

Today is Dear’s birthday and I’m so thankful to God for him. Tonight we will celebrate Dear with our kids on this side of the Cascades.

How’s September shaping up for you?

Lots to be Thankful For…

So many blessings to think about and be thankful for. Today I’m joining Susanne at Living to Tell the Story with Friday’s Fave Five . My Favorites for this week will revolve around Katie’s trip to Southern California. For those of you who don’t visit very often our daughter Katie has been living with us since September while our Son-in-Law, Andrew is serving with the Marine Corp in Afghanistan. She will be with us until his return sometime in the Spring. When we get a more definitive return date she and I will drive their car and some belongings across country from Washington to North Carolina and try to set up some type of living arrangement before his arrival. Now I’m ready with the Five…

1. That Katie could spend some time with my dear old pop while she was in Southern California. The photo above is of the two of them from last year at the senior apartment building where he lives.

Disney winter

2. That Katie was able to spend 2 fun packed days at Disneyland with some of her cousins. The goal was to see Disneyland while it was still all decorated for Christmas. Katie’s cousins have Disney year long passes and Katie was able to get a great 3 day pass for a good military discount.

3. I was talking to my pop this morning and he was telling me that he thanks God every day for his children, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren. It is so pleasing to see how well this group of cousins gets along and how much they love each other. The above photo was taken in Southern California in March of 2013.

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4. From December 3rd thru January 19th we celebrate the birthdays of four of our children. I’m so thankful for each one of them and how unique they are. I’m also very thankful that they love each other and can talk to each other and laugh at each other! Tonight we will be celebrating Josh about 9 days early but he’ll be gone next weekend serving at Junior High Winter camp so like always we go with the flow and celebrate whenever we can.

P1040734This photo is from Laura’s birthday celebration early in December…

Andrew training

5. We are thankful for our son-in-law, Andrew. He is serving all of us in harms way. I like to post this photograph every so often to remind anyone who visits here that many of our young men and women are away from the comforts of home serving our country and to remind us to pray for them that they will return home safe and sound. Semper Fi!

What are you thankful for today?

The Heritage…

I was struggling with how to share all the photos I took at our nephew Caleb’s and new niece Marie’s wedding this past Saturday. This new couple is so blessed with an amazing legacy of marriage longevity so that is where I decided to start. The fathers, the mothers, the grandparents, and the great grandparents. Over 350 years of marriage was represented!  73 years, 70 years, over 50 years, over 30 years, over 20 years…those are amazing numbers in this day and age.

Caleb & Marie7The father of the groom, my brother Steve, with the groom Caleb. Loved watching their interactions while they waited for the Bride to appear in the distance.  (Now I’m struggling with where I should be putting commas! Added pressure with so many English majors in this family!)

Caleb & Marie4My sister-in-law Kelly, the mother of the groom and married to my brother for 32 years.

Caleb & Marie5The mother of the bride, Lizzie. Her husband Todd and she have been married for 25 years.

Caleb & Marie14Marie’s great grandmother and her grandparents. Great grandmother was married for 73 years before her husband died! Each of Marie’s grandparents have been married over 50 years! (53 & 55 I believe)

Caleb & Marie15Caleb’s grandparents, my SIL’s parents, married for 56 years.

C & M wedding 5Caleb’s grandparents (my parents) watching the wedding via facetime at their apartment. How cute are they all dressed up for the wedding from afar!? They have been married for 70 years!

Caleb & Marie12Father walking his first daughter to get married down the aisle. They were both fighting back the tears. Marie has two younger sisters.

Caleb & Marie13Both fathers officiated the wedding side by side.

IMGP0829It was great, Todd prompted Caleb for his vows and Steve prompted Marie for her vows.

And then all the grandparents came up to pray a blessing over this young couple.

IMGP0836What a beautiful moment representing 364 years of marriage!

I’ll be sharing more posts soon because there’s the bride, the groom, the flower girls, the extended families, the venue, the tables, the fabulous way they had us find our assigned tables, etc. etc…

I’m feeling more alive today. Yesterday was a do nothing recuperation day for me. How’s your August going?

Baba and Dzeda

It was such a blessing for all that my folks were able to attend Levi and Kristin’s wedding. My mom got released from the hospital on Saturday, went home and got ready for the wedding. Here are the photos of them enjoying the wedding.

My dad blessing Levi and Kristin along with Levi’s maternal grandparents and Kristin’s grandmother.

The handsome groom and beautiful bride with my parents.

Baba with Jack (great grandson), Hope (youngest granddaughter) and Avery (great granddaughter).

My parents with all their grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. There are 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren missing.

Thank you to all of you who prayed for my mom. We appreciate your prayers and concern. She is so thankful that she could attend the wedding and her pain has subsided.

More photos of the wedding are forthcoming. Two of our bloggy friends are having daughters get married in May, too. Looking forward to Pondside’s photos and Mille Fiore photos.  And then in the summer Rosella’s daughter. Fun times are afoot!

We had such a rain storm yesterday. It really gave our new roof and patio covers a good workout.