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Family Newsletter - March/April 2005


Past Issues: 1998 June July August Sept Oct Nov/Dec 1999 Jan/Feb March/April May June July Sept/Oct Nov/Dec 2000 Jan/Feb Mar/Apr May/Jun Jul/Aug Sep/Oct 2001 Jan/Feb May/June Sep/Oct 2002 Jan/Feb Mar/Apr May/Jun/Jul 2003 Apr/May Jun/Jul/Aug Nov/Dec 2004 Jan/Feb May/Jun Sep/Oct

From: Frank and Jo

We're really enjoying our new home. It's just out of town and we don't have streetlights, so the stars are bright and it's peaceful and quiet here. So far Paul, Loey, Phyl & Elmer, and Michael have come to visit. Anyone else want to visit? Do come.


Our visitors so far

We've been helping Pete build an apartment above their Farmington Subway. It's almost done, and looks really great. I'm also working on the website for our Kodai Class of '55 Reunion (being held near Washington DC in October), with a LOT of help from Steve. You can check it out at: www.kodai-1955.net

This seems to be an issue with lots of quilts. I'll add the one that Gwen made for me, although the pictures aren't very clear. I'll take better shots of this and put them in the next issue since you have to see the neat pictures to get the story. Gwen put together a quilt about our lives growing up together, and the gift is priceless. I have it hanging in our study above my computer area so I can look at it often. Now we need to write up our stories together. Thanks so much, Gwennie.


Early Life of Gwen and Joanne

Harlan and Loey are suggesting another family get-together. I think this would be great. Who would like to start planning this?

Our cousin Marion (Jungas) Franz sent this picture of her family. She and Pete have two sons and two daughters, a several grandkids. If you want to know who is who, contact me.


Marion and Pete and gang


From: Betty

Betty has been ill and in the hospital for some days. She was home for a few days but now is at the Immanuel Fontenell Home in Omaha for rehabilitation to regain her strength and mobility. Her address is: Alegent Health, Immanuel Fontenelle Home, 6809 North 68th Plaza, Room 150B (temporarily), Omaha, NE 68152. She has her computer set up so you can email her at her regular address: bettydahl@cox.net


Handmade valentines by Bets and Margy


From: Linda

I am single now and live in Los Angeles. I moved to Los Angeles in Sept 2003, my last quarter of a 2-year program in interior architecture and design at UCLA. I am now a senior designer at a hospitality design firm (hotels/resorts) in Beverly Hills.

My 3 kids are doing the following:
Jesse - 24 - a mortgage banker for Wells Fargo in L.A.
Christopher - 22 - an editor for a television post production company in L.A.
Dashiell - 19 - a sophomore at San Francisco State, studying journalism


From: Paul

Paul, Eloise, Bria, Holly and her fiance David went to India for several weeks this last December/January. Here are some pictures of the three young adventurers.


Three adventurers in India


From: Michael

I just had an idea for the next issue of the Hiebert website. Have people send in pictures of their pets. This would be a great idea for the oldest-youngest generation of the Hiebert clan to be involved in.


Some of the children at the migrant daycare center where Michael volunteers


From: Loey

Gary and I are now back in Colorado - Gary is working full time on extending an old time bungalow in old-town Longmont while I"m teaching 3 courses at the University of Colorado. We are still trying to figure out what's next in life.....more on that later.

The good news in our family is that Nikhil and Priya now have real jobs...they graduated with their master's degrees in international relations from Johns Hopkins in June but it took a while before things settled out. Nikhil is now in training at USAID (agency for international development) and will learn soon where he will be posted for the next four years. He has a year in Washington DC first to learn the ropes but then its Burundi or Yemen or Ethiopia or somesuch. He and his girlfriend, Jennifer, are hoping to be posted together.

Priya has been an intern at the UN Foundation (Ted Turner's 1 Billion dollar contribution to the UN) and now has a permanent job with them. However, she is on a 3 month consulting position in Seattle, working with the Gates Foundation. Bill seems to be interested in investing in microfinance in India and has Priya to put together a report in 3 months detailing how he can spend 30 million in India over the following 6 months. She flew to Seattle yesterday and has to present some initial ideas on Monday, her first day of work. Then she flies to India for some meetings. So...fourth generation service to India!

Kirby got married in Cancun last October so we all got to go to Mexico for the celebrations and Chelsea has two kids and full time work to keep her busy.

I'm thinking that we need to have a family reunion in Colorado again sometime - I was up at Snow Mountain Ranch over Christmas and could imagine us all back there for a big gathering again. Which year???


Loey sent some of Nikhil's artwork done in pastels. Neat, Niks. The colors and lines are great!


From: Phyllis

News from us is a trip to China to see Lei Dahong, who lived with us for three years, and his wife Chen Hong. We are to meet in Beijing, where their son is in the university. Then one? both? will go with us to sightsee in Xian etc, eventually back to Chongqing, their home city. Elmer had hoped for a short-term teaching position in the seminary in Nanjing, but nothing was available just now. So, ticket prices being low, we will go anyway. Leave March 16, return April 1. Before that, a quick jaunt to Palm Springs for a Martens reunion, Elmer's brothers and sisters-in-law.

Two projects are at the print shop. 1. stories about Hmong culture written jointly by our friend Tong Yang and me, 100 copies to be printed. The books will sell for $15. It is VITALLY IMPORTANT that each of you purchase one! Entertaining, suitable for children, even has drawings (by me). 2. New covers for my Eng 550 books to boost sales, old cover too dull. Expensive project. Need money tree in back yard. CTA (Fresno game co) has agreed to put the book in their catalogue next year. I'm revising my mailing list using Internet, pure drudgery of the worst kind. Why can't they print nice complete directories like they used to.

This afternoon Elmer was making a VCR recording of our last reunion, listened to Paul's head-shrinking ordeal and all those songs. My main impression was that we laughed a lot! Especially Jo.


From Sandra:

Life here is just flying by. Kailey is in 2nd grade, Maddie in preschool til noon daily. They both really love school and their teachers.

Chris, my husband, is working like a dog. He owns an internet store called Allstarsportshop.com and another called RedSoxClubHouse.com which has gone crazy since the Red Sox beat the Yankees for a spot in the World Series playoffs. He literally worked from 11 PM until 6:30 AM the night after they won. Orders are coming in so fast, they can hardly process them. It is a big boost for their 1 1/2 year old business.

I'm continuing my big project, a conversion of my PT clinic into an Integrative Health and Wellness Center. I've got quite the bug and am plowing through all the steps to really making a difference in our healthcare community here. It takes alot of my time but the energy for it just flows. You know, it's like a calling. What can I say?

Lori is still in Reno, and owns a large salon/spa, which keeps her busy as well as her own two kids. (To see her website, go to: Simplyskin.com)


From: Chris

I recently took my first trip to London (something I've wanted to do since high school). I loved the city more than I could have imagined. It makes my old New York seem like a newborn. Saw some great shows, ate some good curry, drank some delicious ale and had a generally wonderful time. I hope to get back once a year (at least).


Recreation of the Old Globe Theater/Sherlock Holmes Restaurant


From: Margy

Hello extended family!

It's been an eventful, even adventurous, 2005 so far. Two weeks ago my company closed shop with no official warning, though we had plenty of vague hints, leaving all of us with no jobs and a month of back pay owed to us. Fortunately ARNP's are in demand down here, so most of us had at least 3-4 job offers almost the same day the company closed. In a week I was already on the job with another company - same work, actually some of the docs and facilities I had in the past - better pay, and nicer company. PLUS I am now moonlighting with my own private practice, with one ALF (50+ clients) to myself. It's really quite a rush to be completely in charge! With the extra income I might even be able to pay off my student loans before I head to a nursing home!!

Michael can write his own narrative, but I will say compared with February a year ago, his life is 1000% better. He's busy testing vocational skills with Voc Rehab, submitting lots of job applications, working out at the YMCA almost daily, taking charge of household stuff, volunteering one day a week at the migrant Head Start nearby, and taking 2 night classes. No more physical illness. He is cheerful and energetic, and I love it.

Jane, a friend and daughter of former nursing home client, is our new housemate, and we have a fun-loving little "family" here. She and michael have become great pals, and she dearly loves our animal menagerie and helps with all their care.

Speaking of which, we have adopted brother and sister kittens dumped on doorstep of our vet's office. Brother cat, Pooh Bear, is off adventuring, and sister cat ( no name yet) is sitting curled up on my lap as I type, sucking her toes like a pacifier and purring contentedly.


Margy dancing with her two favorite partners, Michael and Brian
(Okay. It's not fair that she's so much slimmer than I am. I think it's these new digital cameras that make her look like this - Jo)

Brian stays busy with teaching and computer projects,and dancing with me at our outreach presentations in local nursing homes and ALF's. We're hoping to vacation out in the gorgeous northwest US in June. Any suggestions where to go?

Spring is almost here, and we will head back out to our garden to plant new flowers and bushes.


From: Dave and Beverly

Dave (9.10.51)and Beverly (6.25.63)Zapata are making plans to move to Vancouver, Washington this coming April-June. After living in Dallas, Texas, for 5 years, and searching unsuccessfully for a Pacific Northwest job all that time, Dave's current employer has accepted the concept of having him continue his job from a remote location of his choice. This possibility arose after having to consider that Dave and Bev needed to move to a cooler climate for Bev's sake, and that they (the company) would be better off having Dave working for them than for someone else (possibly a competitor). Bev's mother, Dorothy Laudel, of Yuba City (Sacramento) CA, will also be moving there, to live nearby her only daughter. All three of us agreee that this will work just fine. This has made Beverly very excited, both the move, and living nearer her mother again.

So, Dave will fly back to Dallas on an "as-needed" basis. 80% of his Engineering work is done with computer, and Dave will have a complete functioning home office with continuous communication capability to oversee existing and future projects from his home. Dave anticipates being in Dallas no more than a cumulative total of 9 weeks a year. Dave also was recently promoted to the position of Sr. Project Engineer, in a department that has 5 other Project Engineers.

Beverly has enjoyed her work of the past 18 months in the "inside sales" field, learning a new skill that she never knew she could do. She has received high praises from field Sales people and she hopes to capitalize on her new confidence when she seeks employment in Washington.

Last bit of news: Dave's only grandson, Levi Zapata (son of Aaron and Dawn of Yorba Linda, CA), will be 2 years old on May 16.


From: Harlan

Mary has decided to go to Henry Gunn High School, which is the public high school for the southern part of Palo Alto (where we live). The scholarship people are just fine about this, although it's never happened before that a winner didn't use the money to go to a private school. But she decided that Gunn was the best choice for her, and I agree. (It is the school that most of the kids of senior faculty at Stanford attend, for one thing.)

Katie is playing on a very good soccer team (invitation only), but we've had so much rain in the last couple of months that they've only managed one game, and they haven't been able to practice that much, either. We're all getting a bit of cabin fever, but I think that she might have the worst case.

Carol is now a VP at Oracle, in charge of release management. The promotion has made it easier for her to get things done (she reports to the Executive VP in charge of the server products at Oracle, so she not only has more clout, she has the ear of the guy in charge of all database development), and she now has a large enough staff that she isn't working all the time. In fact, she was able to go back to see Betty and Carl a couple of times this winter.

I've made the transition from software development at Oracle to being a research engineer in the Stanford math department, and am having a great time. I've learned (and relearned) a lot of math in the last 6 months, and am finally up to speed on the project and looking forward to making a contribution. I think that the techniques being developed here have great potential, but peoples' eyes glaze over when I start talking about it, so I won't.


From: Gwen


Gwen and best friend, Margaret (Mugwad) at our 1954 Kodai Class Reunion in September

We are truly enjoying our new, very large, hobby house. Dick has his trains up and running and I have been making all sorts of quilts. The last major project was a queen-sized one for Betty's Mike and Cindy. In progress now is a quilt to hang on the back of a church piano (to match the one I made for my church's piano back).


Home projects: bedroom quilt, study wall hanging, hobby house

Just returned from a trip to visit with Betty while Carl made a fast trip to California for which he was rewarded with a major case of flu and had to return early. This weekend my daughters and some of their friends arrive for a women's retreat which we used to have regularly but which has gone by the wayside with Jean's sale of her lake house. Dick is going to New York to visit his daughters so we have the house to ourselves. When the rain finally stops falling, we can start our spring yard work, beginning with painting another section of fence. Helpers are welcome. Free food and bed.


"Sisters:" Gwen constructed this quilt from scraps gathered from Grace's stash, from the many scraps hidden in Betty's basement, and a few from Gwen's leftovers from past quilts.


From Eloise:

Holly and David Metzler are busy into the planning stages of their wedding. They will be getting married next spring (2006). Meanwhile, Holly is finishing up high school this spring, and heading to Eastern in the fall. (Dave is already here.) Andy is finishing his sophmore year in high school and has a great bunch of friends - six of whom slept over last night! Mike and I are doing well in our respective ministries and really enjoying having teenagers!


From: Barb (Hiebert) Rowe

Bria is studying in the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University, and is interested in studying engineering and missions combined. She loves the environment there, and has taken a class from her Aunt Eloise, who teaches there full-time. In addition to her studies, Bria has learned to swing dance, and goes out often to lessons and dances. She is also on the Ultimate Frisbee team, so she gets plenty of exercise!

Bryan will be giving a benefit concert for Cystic Fybrosis on April 9. Miss USA will be among the honored guests, along with one of Bryan's students who has CF. The student will be performing a ballet piece to a composition that Bryan wrote especially for her. We are excited about this upcoming event!

I am still as passionate about nutrition as when I started my career, and am still working at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. I manage a staff of about 20 clinical dietitians, with only 1 male member on my staff, so you can imagine the challenge! In addition to my work, I have my quilts and poetry, not to mention a loving husband, so I do not have anything to complain about.


Silk Tie Salesman Quilt

"The Silk Tie Salesman"

One night Bria and I were walking around our old neighborhood in Mt. Washington when we came across an old suitcase from around the 1950's that was being discarded. It was in good condition, though a bit odd, designed to stand up vertically instead of horizontally, with wheels. We decided to take it home. When we opened up the suitcase we found it full of silk tie samples, neatly pasted onto cards with corresponding product numbers. What a great find for a quilter! I carefully tore each sample off of its card, and began to experiment with different patterns to see how they would look pieced together. I was single at the time, and had not met Bryan, but I decided to start making a quilt for "my future husband" as a wedding gift. God brought Bryan into my life, and our friendship grew into romance, and eventually marriage. So this quilt is a reminder of God's faithfulness and goodness to us.

Bryan and I bought an old grist mill from 1769 that was remade into a house about 7 years ago. We are told that at one point George Washington's troops stayed in the mill. We have enjoyed filling it with antique furniture and, of course, the Silk Tie Salesman quilt, along with matching pillows, sits on our bed.

My next project is to print photos of our house onto fabric with our inkjet printer to make a quilt. I have sent along the "theme photo" which will be in the center of the quilt, surrounded by other photos, fabrics, and designs.


Paul and Jo holding a unique batik quilt that Barb made for her father


From: Steve

I am still putting in my hours at my "day job" at Raytheon in Denver to pay the bills, but having a lot more fun hiking, taking photos, and trying to get better at my writing.

(now if I could just figure out a way to make a LIVING with any of those...)

I am currently in training to become a Volunteer Trail Guide with Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks this coming year. Basically you spend 6-10 hours a month hiking the trails, greeting folks, answering questions and keeping an eye on trail conditions, etc.

Should be interesting!

Recent photos from a snowshoe hike up in Rocky Mountain National Park


From: Karen

Rick is working at the Mennonite Brethren Seminary in Fresno as the Dean of Students and the Director of Ministry Quest ( a leadership development program for teenagers). He is following in Elmer's footsteps which freaks Karen out but still makes her proud! He is also working on his DMin through George Fox University in Oregon. Somehow he makes time to hang with the family and go skiing, to the zoo, etc.!

Karen is working at Fresno Pacific University as a Thesis Coordinator for the School of Business. This involves adults who are coming back for their BA degree. She loves the challenge and the interaction with these older students (who also exhibit the same symptoms of college age students: procrastination, excuses, pleading for more time, etc.) She also has been a ski instructor this year at a local resort.

Grace is seven and excelling in her first grade class. She often asks the teacher if the school day can be longer because she loves it so much. She is the only Caucasian in her class so she is learning lots of Spanish! She loves gymnastics and we can't keep her off the monkey bars (upside down, of course).

Toby is five and in Transitional Kindergarten one day a week. He's our comedian and also loves sports. Even though he just learned to ski (with Mom), he immediately went up the lift to the jumps! We can foresee lots of hospital visits with his adventurous spirit - his goal is to be a professional snowboarder!

If you're ever in Fresno, we would love to see you and make you a meal, or even put you up for a night or three!