Singing My Heart Out…

When we can’t see her in person and are 6 hours away my eyes light up when I see the little green light on my phone saying you’ve got a message. Our daughter-in-law is good at sending us photo updates of little Addy May. Thank you dear Jamie!

Our two girls from across the state staying warm in their icy cold conditions.

Here she is just chillin in the kitchen while mama gets something done. Dan and Jamie are going to have to make a more secure play area for her since just this week she’s learned to use her play toys to climb up onto the couch and be able to escape her cordoned off play area.

What does all of this have to do with singing?

I’ve been singing all my life and it’s an important part of my life. My love for singing started in church. In my father’s Molokan church growing up into my teens singing was acapella. There were no instruments in the church and the songs were mostly from the Psalms in the Old Testament portion of the Bible. My father was a “songleader” in this church. For Easter and Christmas we would visit my maternal grandmother’s Russian Baptist Church where we enjoyed singing with piano and organ. In junior high school choir was one of my classes and I was introduced to notes and music. After my father attended the Billy Graham Crusade in Los Angles in 1963 he started a new life of following Christ as his Savior and we eventually left the Molokan Church. We started attending my maternal grandmother’s church. At the Baptist church my sisters and I were part of the youth choir which eventually worked on recording tapes of Russian hymns for Far East Broadcasting and Slavic Gospel Association to be broadcast into the Soviet Union over radio waves. During my high school years our youth choir went out every Christmas Eve to carol in Russian and English at old folks homes. We’d choose the homes where folks from the Russian churches were housed. There was one apartment building a couple doors down from Bethany Baptist Church in Los Angeles where several of our widowed grandmothers lived in separate apartments next door to each other. We’d always start our caroling there. I have to add that in my junior high and high school years I memorized and sang along with the Beatles and Leslie Gore and with whatever other group was popular. I was a “songleader” in high school. We were part of the cheer squad at sporting events and mostly yelled chants while performing routines with pom poms. “Push em back, push em back, waaaaay back. LOL!

In my college years our Los Angeles Russian Choir added some Russian voices from around the state of California and we recorded an album in a professional studio. During this time we met a studio musician who directed a Christian singing ensemble that toured the states and Great Britain. My best friend at the time auditioned for his group. She was added and toured England with them in the summer of 1972. I met the members of Tom Keene and the Contemporaries before they left for England and when they returned an alto left and I auditioned and joined the group in fall of 1972. Dear, his brother and sister in law were part of the Contemporaries. Dear and I started dating. We performed most every Sunday evening at a different church in the greater Los Angles area singing and giving our testimonies. We had weekly practices. Dear and my relationship grew and we got married after our second tour of Great Britain.

This was a newspaper article from a British paper about our group touring and singing in local schools.

Chalk church in Gravesend

All this talk about singing was inspired by the fact that today Laura bought tickets for me, my sister Lana and Katie to attend The Sound of Music sing along at the 5th Avenue in Seattle. The four of us are meeting for lunch and then popping into the theater for what I’m sure will be a fun time of singing our hearts out! Have you ever attended one of these sing along events?

Looking forward to spending a few hours with these girls. Wish our girls from across the mountains could be with us.

My semi professional singing days are well over and now my favorite times to sing are still in church and to little Addy May. I sing nursery rhymes and other songs to her. She doesn’t care that my voice cracks and I don’t stay on key or…if I make up the words! Looking forward to when she can sing along with me!

Till next time, The hills are alive…

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.



“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.



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


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


#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.


#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.


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

Nick's Funeral 140

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

Mom's services 172

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…

Singing Across England

The summers of 1973 and 1974 were highlighted by tours in England with the Contemporaries. The Contemporaries were a Christian Rock Group on a mission to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ with concerts and personal testimonies. This last weekend some of the members of this group from forty some years ago got together for a reunion in Southern California. Dear and I were not able to attend but we were texted photos of the event.

Five of these members that got together this past weekend are in the photo below from the seventies.

We are all a little bit older today.  Dear and I are in the upper row on the right.

My pop and me at the airport before we left for one of our tours to England in 1973.

Tea was delivered to our bedroom door each morning and I enjoyed it in bed…

I was always taken aback when we’d be surrounded by school children wanting our autographs.

Chalk Church in Gravesend


A drawing by one of our fans!




The coast in Cornwall.

1974 departure from LAX to London.


Stratford Upon Avon

An early wedding gift from our dear hosts in England.

Once in a while I’ll be posting flashbacks on Fridays as I catch up on scanning old photos. It’s another way to document some of the events in our lives. Wow! It’s Labor Day Weekend already. We will mostly stay at home except for a Sounders Soccer game on Saturday night and church on Sunday. What do you have planned? Do you get Monday off?