A Whirlwind of Activity!

Bright and early on Saturday morning I’m flying to Southern California for a whirlwind day. The original reason for booking the flight was to attend a high school mini-reunion that my dear friend Nancy is hosting at the clubhouse in the development where she lives.

We from Montebello High School were known as the Oilers.

I enjoyed being a Song Leader for my Junior and Senior years of High School.

img347We had some fun and crazy times at Montebello Dear Old High.

251579_261130540566499_100000086664820_1179545_1986015_nOur high school was fed by a couple Junior Highs back then. I really loved the old architecture of Montebello Junior High which had to be torn down since my time there.

High School scannedTime will tell how many of my friends from the class of ’68 I’ll get to see tomorrow.

But…that’s not all I’m doing on Saturday. On Saturday morning I get to see my dear old Pop!

I’m happy to report he is thriving now that he is living with and being cared for by my sister Kathy and her husband Len. I’m so grateful to them and to God for the despair that has been lifted off my pop’s heart.

After a visit with my pop and on the way to my reunion I’m popping in to a baby shower that our dear family friend Alice is giving her daughter in law. This will be Alice’s first grandchild. The timing of the shower works out perfect.

My sister Kathy with our friend Alice.

Stopping in on the shower I’ll be able to see many of my friends from the church I grew up in. Good thing I’m not an introvert! All this people time would be overwhelming.

I’ve got to get organized now for my trip. If you don’t hear from me for a while you’ll know I packed in way too much even for an outgoing person for a day in sunny California!

A Thankful Rebel

It’s been ages since I joined in with Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five but this morning I’m going to post some favorites from my time with family last Thursday thru Saturday in Southern California. And because I’m overwhelmingly blessed with a wonderful family there will be more than Five photos! I’m a rebel that way…

The reason for my trip down was to meet my new little nephew Andrew (he’s 5). My brother’s family lives in Texas and they were flying to California for Miss Hope’s 7th birthday and a trip to Disneyland and my extended family filled in all the edges of their trip with parties and fun. Andrew became a part of their forever family last August and is already a U.S. Citizen. He was adopted from the Ukraine. He now sings God bless America! So cute. I’ll share more photos from Miss Hope’s birthday party later.

Fresh off the plane last week I met up with Dear’s SIL, Christina, and my best friend from college days Heidi. Heidi, Christina, Dear, Dear’s brother and I were all in a Christian Rock Band in the seventies. Heidi and I attended the same Russian Baptist Church in Los Angeles and had lots of adventures together! We caught up as much as we could in our couple hours together.

What a blessing to spend some time with my soon to be 92 year old pop. He’s a sad guy without my mom by his side.

He was surrounded by some of his grandchildren at Hope’s birthday party.

Josh and Laura took the long way home to Seattle from their trip to Kaui through Southern California so they could meet Andrew, too, and visit with my pop and their cousins.

All my pop’s kids except for one were together in one spot so we took some photos.

Our youngest siblings, the twins, are flanking my father on the couch.

I love this photo of my older sisters and I love them, too.

Andrew is fitting right in and it’s so much fun to listen to his half Ukrainian and half English sentences!

When we all got together this time my Father prayed a blessing over his new grandson Andrew and over his great grandson Thomas. My brother thanked all his friends and family for praying them through the adoption process and helping financially to bring Andrew to the U.S.A. We all sang Great is Thy Faithfulness and another of our Russian favorites together acknowledging the fact that God is the faithful one in our lives. Of course we had lots of good food and good conversation and laughter.

DSC_0967So I’m thankful for my Faithful God, my faithful pop, my family, my friends, and all our fun times together! We’re not perfect, mind you, but we have practiced forgiving each other and keeping our relationships going. We try not to neglect each other. What are you thankful for?

Signs of Huntington Beach

Hope y’all aren’t getting tired of Huntington Beach. Some of these shots are conventional signs and the others are things that are “signs” that let you know you are definitely at the beach.

The Huntington Beach Pier was full of signs advertising their upcoming Surf City Marathon and Half Marathon.

It’s good to know the beach rules!

Glad he didn’t stop…

Pelicans are a good sign that you are close to the seashore.

Oil rigs and surfers are another sign that you are at Huntington Beach.

I’m linking to Signs, Signs with Lesley. Click over to see more signs from around the world.

Beach Fences…

I was in Southern California last week. My sister lives a few blocks from Huntington Beach. On our way back to her house from our walk on the promenade I captured these shots of some waves through the fence while we waited for the light to change so we could cross PCH. (Pacific Coast Highway)

I’m not a fan of sitting on the beach but I do enjoy walking along the shore.

Winter is my favorite time to enjoy California Beaches.

I’m linking up to Good Fences #45 with TexWisGirl at Run*A*Round Ranch.

It’s great to travel but I think I picked up a bug on the airplane and I’m a little under the weather. I hope it stays at the “little” stage and doesn’t go into anything full blown. How are you feeling?

Walking at the Beach

Last Friday I had a wonderful walk on the beach. My sister Vera lives a few blocks from Huntington Beach in Southern California and we always enjoy walking down and taking in the sea air. On this day we walked down with my brother Leonard, SIL Mandy, niece Hope, new nephew Andrew, and my sister Vera.

We were wondering how Andrew would react to the ocean waves.

Hope went in with no fear and Andrew watched from the sand.

We left my brother to enjoy watching the kids while the three of us walked along the tide line for an hour.

We walked up the beach and then down again to the pier.

Andrew kept quite busy building in the sand.

Do you live anywhere near an ocean shore? We live close to the shores of Lake Washington and a short drive to the Puget Sound but we have to travel a few hours to get to the Pacific Ocean.

What A Day…

Last Thursday I left our home at 4 AM to get to SeaTac Airport in time for my early 6:15 AM flight to John Wayne Airport in Orange County. The initial purpose of my trip was to meet my new nephew who was adopted from the Ukraine. My brother’s family was traveling from Dallas to Southern California to celebrate their daughter Hope’s 7th birthday at Disneyland and to have their new son Andrew meet his grandfather and aunts, uncles, cousins and our family friends. It’s easier to fly to Southern California then to fly to Dallas so I took this opportunity. It was wonderful to spend some time with some of our family and friends who live in Southern California, too.

My first stop from the airport was in the city of Orange to meet up with my good friend Heidi and my Sister-in-law Christina for breakfast and a little catch up on what is going on in our lives. The top left photo is of Heidi’s view from her back yard. Everything was so clear and it was great to see the green hills. We ate at the Pancake House.

I said goodbye to Christina and Heidi and headed to my Pop’s apartment to wait on Leonard, Mandy, Hope and Andrew who were arriving from Dallas a couple hours after my flight. Even though Andrew had talked with our pop using facetime he was shy at first but soon warmed up to all of us.

Miss Hope with her cousin Melissa.

My brother with Andrew and our Pop.

We had a nice lunch together at the apartment that my sister Kathy prepared and then we decided to go to Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor and believe it or not after ice cream some of us went out to dinner to celebrate my brother Tim’s birthday.

We all were in the mood for something savory after the ice cream from Farrell’s. From dinner I drove my brother to my sister’s in Huntington Beach where his family was staying and I headed to my niece’s in Huntington Beach where I was staying. We are fortunate to have hospitable family for our trips to Southern California. A plan to go to the beach on Friday was already in the works.

I am quite tired from all the sea air and fun family times we enjoyed. Looking forward to getting caught up now that I’m home again.

Here we go into the last week of January. What’s going on in your world?


J is for…JOY

IMGP0179If I made this sign I would have left off the It’s All Good part. There are things that are not good and in fact quite evil that happen every day, but today I’m concentrating on Joy. You can have joy in the midst of hard times.

Christmas Eve 006Joy is contagious!

IMGP1052So today as I experience another 100+ day in Southern California I will choose Joy in my journey, especially since I’m journeying home to the Seattle area and cooler temperatures today. While down here I have found a lot of joy spending time with my dear old pop (91), visiting with sisters, brothers, and nieces and nephews and old friends. I’ll leave you with a photo of the joy my little grand niece showed when we celebrated her 5th birthday.

Open house 016

I’m linking to ABC Wednesday with thanks to Denise Nesbitt and the ABC Team.

I hope you find Joy today!

Hot Town…

…summer in the city…walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head.”

I’m in Southern California for their most recent heat wave with red alerts and warnings being issued left and right. Temperatures over 100 degrees are about 25 degrees above my comfort zone! When I get home on Tuesday to the cooler Northwest I’ll fill you in on all the hot doings down here.


P1050631Hope your days are moving along nicely.


Memorial Day Weekend

 We take time to stop and remember the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom.


This weekend we remember those who served our country and died in combat. This is the Veteran’s Memorial at the Riverside National Cemetery in Southern California.


IMGP7120Part of our family was able to spend some time at this cemetery in May of 2012. Dear’s father is buried here and we had never seen his grave marker.


There were many sobering monuments at this National Cemetery. The Veterans Memorial was one of them. Another sobering monument was the POW/MIA monument.




We remember that this isn’t just a long weekend and a barbecue but a significant time that has been set aside on our calendars to acknowledge that sacrifices have been made for our nation and our well being.


We do also plan to celebrate the living this weekend with a barbecue timed strategically between the rain showers! What are your plans?

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.

T-Day and after 001

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?