From California With Love…

For the last 5 days we have been enjoying visitors from California at our house. My oldest sister and her daughter Michelle along with Michelle’s hubby and two kids have been staying with us. On Sunday we gathered at Josh and Laura’s for a birthday celebration for their Aunt Lana, my sister. Three out of the four original sisters were able to enjoy this time together. Our oldest sister, Kathy, on the left was born in Iran. Lana and I were born in California. Kathy and her family have been caring for our dear old pop. He’s getting a little lonely since she’s been gone but Kathy’s husband and her other daughter are keeping a close eye on him. I hope it’s a nice break for Kathy.

Sisters, Aunts, Mothers, Nieces, Daughters…

The current batch of Californians visiting and celebrating with most of the Washingtonians.

The weather was just right for an outdoor event.

During the visit Pandemics were halted and the world was saved by different groups of players in different locations. There were fairy worlds to discover by others.

On Monday some of the ladies headed to Snohomish to do some shopping along First Avenue. Since we only managed to hit about 1/16th of what this shopping district had to offer a return trip in the future is on the to do list.

The youngest among us on this family visit enjoyed using the fruit picker to help Great Auntie out by picking a small fraction of our apples.  Our white hydrangea has some huge blooms as you can see with Avery standing next to it.

This extended family photo from our nephew Joe and Hannah’s wedding just popped up on facebook. In this photo from my side of the family there are 11 Washingtonians, 4 Texans and the rest are Californians. This wedding was in January just north of Santa Barbara, California. It’s nice to have visits from our family a fraction at a time. We have another small fraction of family arriving on Monday!

The Pacific Northwest is bracing itself for a heat wave. It’s all the news up here. Hope you are staying cool and comfy where you are.

Five More Hats!

Five more hats that I have worn from college on…

# 1 ~ I was part of a Christian Rock group where I met Dear and we fell in love with each other and with Great Britain in the early 70’s.

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“Hymns give way to Jesus Rock in morning assembly at St. George’s Church of England School, in Meadow Road, Gravesend yesterday. The concert was given by the Contemporaries, 14 musicians from the United States who are in the middle of a world tour. They have already completed a number of successful “gigs” in Liverpool. They are all professional musicians but they are giving their services free”…

Dear and I are in the center of the photo on the bottom row. 1974 was the last summer tour Dear and I participated in.

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#2 – I was a bride and became a wife to Dear and changed my name in December of 1974.

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#3 ~ I was an elementary school teacher in the Montebello Unified School District until our first son was born.

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#4~ I’m blessed to be a mother to these three children and my mother in law sheet is complete with two daughter-in-laws and one son-in-law.

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#5 I’m an auntie and great auntie to so many lovely human beings! I’m sharing a few photos so I can get all of the nieces and nephews and great nephews and nieces in. I haven’t met two of the latest greats in person yet.

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Our family and Dear’s brother’s family from Katie and Andrew’s wedding in 2012.

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Dear’s only brother’s family and our family in 2015 at Riverside National Cemetery (missing Jenna, Justin, Skylar and Travis).

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My kids and nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews surrounding my pop at my mother’s memorial service in 2013.

Our kids plus my nieces and nephews with my youngest niece Hope and youngest nephew Andrew in 2015 at my brother-in-law Nick’s funeral. So let me count. 7 brothers and sisters. 7 brother and sister in laws. 19 original nieces and nephews. Many of those nieces and nephews are married now and I have 9 grand nieces and nephews. I have 4 nieces and 2 nephews who aren’t married yet.

I have one brother (out of my 7 siblings) whose family has estranged themselves from all the rest of us siblings and our families. They are not enjoying the love and support and comfort that the rest of us enjoy when we are together. I’m adding this truth here to let my dear readers know that things aren’t all rosy in my family relationship category. My brother and his wife have 4 kids and we know for sure 3 of them are married. We aren’t sure about our oldest nephew from this family. We have at least 3 grand nephews or nieces that I’ve never met. I also have never met two of my nephew’s spouses and the oldest niece’s spouse. They have chosen to cut off all ties and relationship with us. Haven’t seen my brother since 2009 and haven’t seen my sister in law since 2004. So sad but true. We pray that there will be reconciliation in the future. Gott Kann!

I have a few more current hats to share before I totally bore you to tears.

I’m linking up with Amy at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday and with Susanne for Friday’s Fave Five.

I’ll be on the road for most of Friday and hope to check in once we arrive at our son’s house in Eastern Washington for the weekend later on Friday. Blessings…

Lift, Pinch, Swipe, Nick…

…is what this post is all about. The following photo collages from Dan and Jamie’s wedding day were nicked from my sister, nieces, or whoever shared them on Facebook!

Thank you Melissa!

Thank you Lana!

Thank you Michelle!

Our family on the top and our nieces on Dear’s side in the bottom shot, too.

My brothers and sisters.

I will be sharing more individual shots from the wedding that I managed to take on another day. We are still celebrating here at this old house with family. It’s still really hot! Yesterday a few of us went canoeing on Lake Washington. Fifteen of us enjoyed Tequila Tuesday at Dear and my Mexican haunt. We came home to watch the U.S.A. women win their World Cup Game against Germany and then despite the heat lit a fire so the kids could make s’mores! The fun continues…

Birds of a Feather…

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We have had birds and more birds pecking about our yard the last couple of weeks. It has been fun to see the many varieties.

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This European Starling is a new addition in our yard this year.

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They like to stick together and they fly off together, too.

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We had a fun time this weekend with a few members of our family. Girls of a feather that enjoy sticking together, too. It wasn’t the whole flock but we take what we can get. My oldest sister Kathy’s two daughters were able to fly to Seattle to stay with my baby sister Lana. Our daughter Katie and DIL Laura joined the girls at Lana’s for a few days of nonstop fun. Fall-girls 015

Michelle, Melissa, Katie and Laura

Fall-girls 016Our hostess, Auntie Lana,  joined the girls for a photo!

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And Auntie Ellen, too.

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Between seasons of Downton Abbey we were able to fit in a trip to Country Village in Bothell where we made some fun purchases and after the shopping trip we met up with all the guys for dinner at the Purple Cafe.

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There were 10 of us at dinner but I couldn’t get a great shot of everyone. Lana’s husband Steve, Dear, Ryan (my niece Michelle’s husband) and our son Josh joined the girls for a lovely meal out and then it was back to Lana’s for more Downton Abbey…

The guys were very accommodating to the girls this weekend and we appreciate them very much. We only had enough time to make it through 2 whole seasons and the Christmas Special from Downton Abbey. My sister Lana is the only one of us who hasn’t seen season 3 yet and we left the DVD’s with her so she can finish off the series before Season 4 starts here in the states in January.

We said our farewells and our guests headed back to the airport to fly back to Southern California. We all look forward to the next time we can be together.

We are in a foggy pattern here in the Western part of the Puget Sound that has extended up to British Columbia. We are hoping the sun can break through the fog in the next days ahead.

Joining Families…

It would be good for me to make myself a list before I arrive at major functions like weddings. After the fact I realize what I missed because I get distracted in the moment. Heat and sunshine take a lot out of me and I find I’m less successful in catching everyone and everything at an event.

Enough excuses already, here are the shots I got of the families that are joining each other in this latest union in my family.

IMGP0766Dear, Josh and Laura…

IMGP0850Niece Melissa with Grand niece Avery!

IMGP0875Our daughter Katie who flew out from North Carolina for the wedding!

IMGP0880Niece Melissa with Katie.

IMGP0884My brother Steve and SIL Kelly, parents of the groom.

IMGP0817Father of the Bride.

IMGP0891Mother and sisters of the bride.

IMGP0886The Bride’s sisters, Katie and Annie.

IMGP0888Marie’s Dad’s side of the family with Great Grandma who is 93 years old. Oops…I didn’t get mom’s side of the family. Oye!

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IMGP0896My brother with my wonderful SIL Kelly and their sons.

IMGP0898Cousins on the Bagdanov side of the family.

IMGP0899Caleb’s grandparents on his mother’s side.

IMGP0901My SIL Kelly’s side of the family.

IMGP0906Cousins from my SIL’s side of the family.

IMGP0910Candid of our Katie.

IMGP0915Candid of our niece Kristin.

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IMGP0755Candid of my brother Leonard with my niece Michelle and SIL Mandy!

IMGP0923Nieces and nephew and I wonder who David is looking at? I also got some other members of my family in the background.

Yippee for Friday! We are inching closer to having everything back in place including bedroom doors and closet doors. We had to make some adjustments in closets so Dear still has to go to the basement to find his hanging clothes. We are looking forward to a weekend at home to be able to wrap up some things around this old house. Our daughter Katie and our Son in law Andrew will be hitting the road from the East Coast to our coast early on Saturday. They should be arriving here next weekend. Katie will be staying with us for up to 7 months while Andrew is deployed. Hopefully the door on their bedroom will be back in place this weekend. Oh dear, I just realized I need to clear out the closet in that room for them, too.

What’s on your agenda this weekend?

Of Showers and Blessings…

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps
covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
to a thousand generations, (Deuteronomy 7:9, ESV)

The next bride in our family, Debbee.

Our family had a bridal shower for our niece Debbee this past Sunday in California. The shower was at our niece Michelle’s home. This first photo is of my mom with all the granddaughters that could attend the shower.

Debbee with her Baba.

My sister Vera is Debbee’s mom.

Deb with her mom and future mom in law

My three sisters with our mom. Lana, Kathy, Nadia (mom), Ellen and Vera.

Our cousins on my mom’s side of the family were able to attend the shower. My mom only had one brother who had 2 sons and 2 daughters. His two daughters are in this photo along with one of his DIL’s.

This one also has 2 of my mom’s DIL’s in the photo (my SIL’s). Top row Letty, Lana, Kathy, Kelly, Debbie, Tanya. Seated are Valia, Vera, Nadia, and Ellen.

My sister Vera has 2 children. David is married to Kristin on Vera’s left. Kristin, Vera, Vera, Debbee, Debbee, Lenny’s mom Linda, and Lenny’s sister Tina.

Debbee’s Bridesmaids

The cousins at the shower…Melissa, Michelle, Kristin, Debbee, Jess, Katie, and Laura.

My niece Melissa and my niece Debbee were roommates for 10 years! They are both adjusting to a new place to live until their next chapter begins.

My girls and my sister Kathy’s girls.

Debbee and me.

My family does not take lightly the blessings that God has showered us with. The times we have together filled with love, fun, and laughter will always be cherished and enjoyed.

I will share photos of the food and table settings at another time.

Tomorrow Dear and I are headed to Milan, Italy. Time will tell how much I can keep up with all the happenings online. Blessings.

She Loved it…

My niece Debbee’s shower was so lovely. The embroidered pillow Katie and I traveled to Canada to purchase from Winks Home Garden & Gifts was a big hit.

We are still running down here in Southern California. I’ll share detailed shots from the trip and shower sometime soon. We fly home tonight. Hope all is well in your corner of the world!