A Surprise…

I had no idea of the scope of the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach. When we pulled up in front I still didn’t realize what was waiting to explore within and beyond the museum building. For this post I’ll just share the Center and the Museum with our signing photos and in another post I’ll share the Village and the Barn Restaurant where we enjoyed some heritage food.


The Village Centre contains the main exhibit telling the Mennonite story from the 1500s to the present.


The whole time we were in the center signing books there was a steady stream of elementary students arriving in school buses to have a tour of the center and village.





The Museum gift shop had a great collection of Mennonite books and they had our cover aprons from our first cookbook for sale in different fabric patterns.



A walk through the museum took you on a time line of the migration of the Mennonite People over the years. There were many great photos and items from Russia in the museum.


Even though I am not Mennonite these photos could have been a photo of my relatives from Russia. They look so similar to the few photos we have from our ancestors in Russia.



Kathy’s cousins came to the center and it was fun to take this photo with Kathy holding her cousin’s Draft Horse Calendar that is sold in the Heritage gift shop.


How cute are these little girls with their braids? We asked permission to take their photo.


It was fun to meet Jeanine from The Baking Beauties who is actually only one baking beauty right now. She has a great Gluten Free Baking sight and you can click over to check it out. She’s in the middle in the back row.

When we were done with our signing slot we headed out the back doors of the center and I was pleasantly surprised with the sites I saw. I will share more in my next post.

We are busy now working on options for easily storing some of our larger pieces of furniture while we have all of our floors replaced. We are having it done in two stages and will be moving things in and out for the hardwood floors first and then following up with the carpeting. We are still trying to choose the color and pile we want on the carpeting. Everything you do opens up the door to more things that need to be done. Any big projects at your house?

Sophie Wozniuk ~ December 25, 1913-July 9, 2009


What a wonderful celebration of Sophie’s life we had at her funeral on Wednesday. Sophie is my oldest sister Kathy’s MIL. Kathy and her husband Len cared for her for several years right up to her death last Thursday night. Sophie was a spunky hard working lady. She has 3 daughters Lil, Laureen, Ruth and one son, my BIL Len. Len charged us from the beginning of the memorial service that we were going to rejoice with his mom who was finally in heaven. Sophie loved her Savior Jesus Christ.  Heaven was her theme and desire for the last 20 years. This last year it became her daily prayer to God, for Him to please take her home.


Len and my sister sang a duet in Russian and English. Len’s sisters Ruth and Laureen, 2 of my sisters Kathy and Lana G, my niece Michelle, and an lifetime friend Diane sang a sextet of Psalm 121 put to music. My father gave a word from Micah. My nieces shared some stories about their Baba. The oldest grandson Phil (Lil’s Son) read her Eulogy. Another Grandson Greg (Laureen’s son) spoke of remembrances of her and read her favorite Psalm 121. My brother Steve spoke and wove a wonderful message about Sophie’s Song using some great old hymns and referencing the songs of women in the Bible.



Len was our choir director at Bethany Baptist Church in L.A. (A Russian Baptist Church) many years ago and we were led in song again by him at the funeral. It was a great reunion of so many of our Russian friends and relatives who have all gone their separate ways. Fun times looking at a face we recognized but forgetting the name attached to it. Wozniuks, Semenchuks, Leonovich, Katkovs,  Menns, Bagdanovs, Titovs, Shvetzovs, Kudraves, Kaluzny, Goncharenko, Rudametkin, Kowalski, Wlasiuk, Poulsons, Kuzichev, Moure, Philipchuk and more.  We sang at the service, we sang at the graveside and we kept singing at the dinner reception afterwards.


My nieces are trying to sneak a photo of me taking photos but I caught them!


All Sophie’s grandchildren that were at the funeral released a balloon for her…


My niece Michelle with her husband Ryan and their son Jackson. Doesn’t she look so cute pregnant. They are expecting a little baby girl in September. I got my sister Lana G! to pause a moment to get a photo taken with Michelle. The case that this bouquet of flowers are in belonged to Sophie’s husband Tony.


My cousin Jim and his wife my friend Jeaneen and my friend Heidi and her husband Ken. Heidi and I met and became friends at the Russian Baptist church. I met Jeaneen in college and introduced her to my cousin Jim.


Shirley, Bobbi and their mom Nura Menn. Shirley is another one of my buddies from the Baptist church. Her mom Nura is my Aunt Nina’s sister. Phil Semenchuk (Phil’s mom is one of Sophie’s daughters) with his fiance Anna. Milla and Susie. Milla’s father was our aunt Nina’s brother. Milla’s parents were friends with my parents in Iran and remained close when they both immigrated to the U.S.A. Milla’s sister Tamera was at the funeral, too, but I didn’t get a good photo of her. We always called their parents aunt and uncle.


My brothers Steve and Fred with my sister Lana G!  This is the very first current photo you’ve seen on my blog of my brother Fred. I was happy to see him at the funeral.


My brother Fred and my cousin Jim with my nieces, nephews and SIL Kelly in the background.


My partner in travel and crime in my early college years…



My cousin Jim, sister Kathy, brother Fred, sister Vera, our Aunt’s niece Milla, ellen b, my sister Lana G!, and my brother Steve.


Kathy, Vera, Fred, Ellen, Lana, and Steve. (Tim and Leonard are the two siblings missing in this photo)

I have found that people are so loving and attentive at funerals. It’s as if our mortality sinks in for a time and we take care to let each other know that we love them and care for them. It truly was a great time of reunion for me. We ended our time by singing  “God be with you till we meet again”

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

He Is Risen Indeed!

Christos Voskress! Voistina Voskress!

Христос Воскрес!

Воистину воскрес!

This is one of my favorite Easter Hymns that we used to sing every Easter at Bethany Baptist Russian Church in Los Angeles!

Low in the Grave He Lay

Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!


Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!


Death cannot keep its Prey, Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!


Tablescape Tuesday ~ Bar Scapes for Two

Time flies when you are having fun! It’s almost Tuesday again and time for some more Tablescaping fun. Today I’m showing two variations on table settings at our bar in our little condo. Susan at Between Naps on the Porch is the hostess for this fun event. Click on over and see the variety of fun, romantic, elegant, practical table settings that have been created.

I’ve been away from the computer for a couple days so I’ll be playing catch-up on Metamorphosis Monday and Blue Monday.


The chargers are from TJ Maxx clearance. I used my everyday white dinner plates and then added the salad plate that I found at Marshall’s on clearance. I love plates with country scenes on them. The martini glasses, that I use for pretty desserts, too, were from target a couple years ago.



I changed up the tablesetting at the bar with these square grey chargers and square white plates and a small decorative plates that are “White Russian” plates. I love the little cocktail glasses I found with the Russian Cossack dancers on them. The napkin rings were a gift from my DIL and Son last Christmas.



My true confession for this week is that we did not eat at these settings. Don’t judge me too harshly, though.

Now head on over to Susan’s for more Tablescape inspiration.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007 to 2015 hostage and has replaced them all with ugly black and grey boxes asking for a ransom to have them re-published. Such a frustrating bother as I go through each post to delete the ugly boxes.

The Extended Bagdanov Family!


We got the all in the family photos from my niece Debbee yesterday. I kind of like the whacky one myself.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007 to 2015 hostage and has replaced them all with ugly black and grey boxes asking for a ransom to have them re-published. Such a frustrating bother as I go through each post to delete the ugly boxes.

The Bagdanov Christmas Eve in Huntington Beach!

My dear parents, Moisi and Nadia Bagdanov, with their newest granddaughter Hope. This picture represents the oldest and youngest at our family gathering at my sister Vera’s home in Huntington Beach. My parents have 8 living very adult children and 7 of those children with all their children and one great grandchild were all together for the first time at Christmas since 1991. We have one brother whose family does not celebrate with us.

My kids with their grandparents (Baba and Deda).

Katie and her cousin Melissa (one of my sister Kathy’s daughters). My kids with their Aunt Lana and cousin Caleb. Levi and Joseph (Levi, Caleb, and Joseph are 3 of my brother Steve’s boys).

My brother Leonard’s family. Leonard, Mandy and Miss Hope! They flew in from Dallas to celebrate with all of us.

We decided to walk a few blocks to the beach to take some family photos. This photo is of our girls, 3 nieces and auntie Lana.

Our kids.

All the cousins and spouses of cousins. We are missing 8 cousins including spouses in this photo…

The Ladies!  Kristin (my sister Vera’s DIL), Melissa (my sister Kathy’s daughter), Katie (mine), Miss Hope (my brother Leonard’s daughter), Debbee (my sister Vera’s daughter) Jessica (my brother Steve’s DIL), Laura (my DIL), Michelle (my sister Kathy’s daughter).

The Gents! Caleb (my brother Steve’s #3 son) Ryan (my sister Kathy’s SIL), Jackson (my sister Kathy’s Grandson), Levi (my brother Steve’s #2 son) Joseph (my brother Steve’s #4 son) Timothy (my brother Steve’s #1 son) Dan (mine), David (my sister Vera’s son), Josh (mine)

The Newlyweds, Timothy and Jessica.

David and Kristin.

Jackson with one of his favorites, Debbee!

Katie down by the water. A storm was rolling in and we just finished our photo shoots before the rain started.

And here’s ellen b. having so much fun with Miss Hope!

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007 to 2015 hostage and has replaced them all with ugly black and grey boxes asking for a ransom to have them re-published. Such a frustrating bother as I go through each post to delete the ugly boxes.

I was able to restore this post as of May 2021 after we did a back up of all our photos off a very old computer!

A Russian Christmas Cooking Day!

For the first time in well, ever, I was around for the annual making Vareniky for Christmas Eve Event. This year we all gathered at my niece Debbee’s house for the cooking. My mother Nadia was at the helm keeping us on track. Here’s the crew of mother, daughters, daughter in laws, and granddaughters, and great grandson. The youngest granddaughter was here, too, with photos to follow…


We were making Vareniky, which we have for dessert on Christmas Eve. The recipe and description of what they are is here  from last years event if you are curious…



I think we ended up making close to 200 of these lovelies!!


Some of the guys showed up, too, hoping for a treat or two!


And Miss Hope is here from Dallas for her very first Christmas!

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007 to 2015 hostage and has replaced them all with ugly black and grey boxes asking for a ransom to have them re-published. Such a frustrating bother as I go through each post to delete the ugly boxes.

Married Molokan Women


This is a photo taken in Mexico sometime in the late 40’s I think. A Molokan Community was established in Baja California years ago. This shows the typical Molokan outfit that married Molokan women wear to Church functions then and now. The head coverings are called a Kasinka. If you visited a Molokan church today you’d see this exact look that the women are sporting here. I think it’s a wonderful photo and wanted to add it to my Molokan Posts. My other posts besides my Russian Recipes can be found here and here. If anyone out there knows who these ladies are just leave a comment and let me know. Most of my immediate family left the Molokan church in the 60’s. I left well before I’d have to wear this outfit and I never intended to marry a Molokan so I never was in the position to have to wear it…

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and demanding a ransom for me to access them. I’m slowly cleaning up many of my posts where PB have added ugly black and grey boxes where my photos used to be. So frustrating!

Pink Saturday ~ My Babushka Vera


This is my Maternal Grandmother at my sister Vera’s wedding in 1969. She looks so sweet in pink! I really loved my grandmother. She only had one hand. One of her arms was amputated from her elbow down when she was young. She immigrated to the U.S.A. alone without my grandfather who was murdered in Iran in the late 40’s. She did more with her one hand than a lot of people do with two. Her embroidery was amazing. My Babushka Vera died in March of 1980. She was a Godly woman who prayed for all her grandchildren and for all her grandchildren’s future spouses. I am so looking forward to seeing her in heaven.


This is a tablecloth and napkins my babushka embroidered for us for a wedding gift. In keeping with the Pink Saturday theme here’s another tablecloth I have that she embroidered.


For more Pinkness visit Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and demanding a ransom for me to access them. I’m slowly cleaning up many of my posts where PB have added ugly black and grey boxes where my photos used to be. So frustrating!

Michelle’s Birthday Party


My niece Michelle turned 30 this year and a celebration was in order so family and friends headed to Orange, California to Debbee’s townhome for a party. There was lots of great food including everyone’s favorite Piroshky. We had meat filled piroshky, potato filled piroshky and a cabbage filled pirog.

Here are some of the usual suspects.

The Parentals/Grandparents ~ Nadia and Moisi

Some of Michelle’s aunts and her mommy

Michelle and her auntie ellen b.

Michelle and her son Jackson

Nana and Jackson

Jackson making a serious point!

This photo turned out so tiny in the collage I wanted to add it here since it’s the only shot of Ryan I managed to get and I wanted M. Lou to see her son. So here’s Michelle and Ryan (Jackson’s Dad)  with cousins David and Kristin. I also realized that this is the only photo I took that has Michelle’s sister Melissa in it. There she is way back there behind Michelle.

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I posted on my blog from 2007-2015 hostage and replaced them with big black and grey boxes with threats. So discouraging…as I’m slowly trying to clean up thousands of posts!