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Family Newsletter - May/Jun 2004

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

From: Frank and Jo

Sorry this newsletter is so late; some of the "future" news has now become history. Life just doesn't slow down; in fact it gets busier and busier.

We just got back from a family get-together in Colorado. We stayed in a beautiful cabin at the YMCA of the Rockies and had a great time. Pete and Kristin's three boys (Gentry - 8, John - 5, Noah - 2 1/2) had lots of good mountain experiences--hiking, hunting for rocks, watching birds, feeding chipmunks, looking for wild flowers. They really enjoyed doing things with Steve and Chris. It's a great place for families.

Having fun together in Colorado

We still want to put together a Hiebert Art Book. This can include any and all artistic endeavors:

Visual Arts:
paintings/sketches, photography, computer art, games, carvings/woodwork, ceramics/pottery, jewelry, origami/paper art forms, house decorating, flowers,, illustrations, quilts, sewing, dolls, crochet/knitting/embroidery, greeting cards

Photos of creative activities:
dance, music, drama, cooking

Language Arts:
(can be complete work if short; excerpt if lengthy)
poetry, screenplay, short story, book

Check with me on how to send in your work, okay? Let's make this a really great book. Thanks!

From: David and Beverly

1. Dave's youngest daughter, Crystal, will be graduating from Cal State Fulleton on May 30, with a degree in geography. Her future plans may include a Masters program.

2. Dave's first grandson, Levi, son of Aaron and Dawn Zapata of Yorba Linda (So. CA), will celebrate Levi's first birthday on May 15th.

3. Beverly recently adopted a new "baby", a white male kitty, which makes "Mama Bev" very happy and giddy. That brings to three the number of feline boys roaming the house, all being very lovingly cared for.

4. Dave and Bev recently became members of the Carollton, Texas, Christian Life Assembly church. This is the first time that Bev has been a member of a church. CLA is a growing, outgoing, dynamic expression of Christ's love to the world, and we're excited about being identified with it. Dave joined the choir, which just completed it's annual Easter program.

From: Barbara

Watch out world; here comes Bria!

Bria is a senior in high school this year, and making us all very proud. She aced the SAT exam with a perfect math score and a near perfect English score. She will be attending Eastern University (where Eloise teaches) for the first year of college, and then will transfer to a school with a good civil engineering program. She continues to be very active at Central Presbyterian Church as a middle-school youth leader, and member of the high school youth group.

As many of you already know, Bryan and I are getting married in Oxford, England on August 8th. Bryan is studying for his Doctorate in Sacred Music there this summer. My dad will be performing the ceremony, and if we can work it out, my Aunt Delores Wiens (my mom's sister), who is an Episcopal priest, will participate. Bria will be the bridesmaid, ring bearer and photographer. Jackie and Richard Block (my mom's sister and husband) will be our congregation, together with my Uncle Paul Wiens (if they can come). We will be staying at a B & B, and the way I picture it, we will get up and have breakfast in the morning and when we all feel ready, we will walk out to the riverside and have the ceremony. We have had so much going on, I haven't had a chance to think about announcements yet, but hope to send those out eventually.

Bryan with his friend Bo

As for me, I am still working at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center as the Senior Clinical Dietitian. I am about to take a promotion into clinical management, which should be fun. Even more rewarding for me is the seminary class I am taking through the Episcopal church. God is blessing us all with His grace and mercy, and I am full of excitement for what the future will bring for us as a family.

Paul and his buddy Nicholas

From: Betty

I had a bad fall and hit my head against my power chair. I was really black and blue but am getting better. Can't afford too many of these falls.

Dan is the head of residency training programs at the University of Alabama and keeps very busy. Carol still heads a team of over 2000 engineers at Oracle producing their data base. David is busy at his real estate law and was promoted to manager in his division. Mike is one of 15 directors at PEW. They are a favorite organization for attacks by the far right. So all four are all doing well telling other people what to do!

The kids travel quite a bit. David is in Charlotte SC, Mike in Toronto, Dan in NYC and Carl was in Vancouver. Earlier he went to France to learn to cook and plans to go again in fall. Carol interviewed for VP of Google. Makes life interesting for them and continues the travel bug for another generation. I am too weak to travel far and even in town, but I can live vicariously. I keep painting off and on as I feel up to it. I have watched more old movies to pass the time. I seem to fill the day.

Betty would like all of us to send her any good Indian recipes we have. Loey is going to help her put these together and Madison is going to type them up. So: SEND BETTY YOUR INDIAN RECIPES!

From: Priya

It's been a long time since we've been in touch. I think during the past year I have been swamped with school, school and school!

But the news from Washington is that both Nikhil and I will be graduating from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies with Masters in International Development and Economics (wow, what a mouthful!). After two long years, we will receive our diplomas on May 20.

As for jobs.....that's still a mystery! We're going to India for a month as a way to postpone the "Oh No! What do I do now?" feeling.

Loey's home during her last months at Kodai

From: Loey (note from Thailand)

Hi all,

As a major transition from Ladakh the 3 of us are sitting in a new Reliance Web World with air conditioning, fast computers, and chai - the computers actually connect to the outside world and we can send messages again.

Ladakh was amazing - after the first trip to the high altitudes to see the nomadic way of life we decided against trekking and went jeeping some more - over the highest motorable pass at 18,500 feet to the beautiful green Nubra valley and then back over the pass to some of the oldest monasteries - Alchi and Lamayuru, both over 1000 years old and still functional - with paintings that look like new but were painted in 1035.

High mountains have always been associated with religious experiences and meditation - while there we felt quite prayerful - so I thought I would write our collective prayer for you:

-Thank you for the existence of an occasional western toilet in the far reaches of the mountains--though they might not have running water to pass through them;
-thank you for the ladakhi boys who are willing to bring up buckets of water to use in the toilets and for warm baths in the morning -- though I feel guilty of child labor;
-thank you for mattresses and pillows to sleep on -- though they are made of straw and poke one all night long;
-thank you for food to eat -- though a 6 day diet of rice and dal can get monotonous (usual conversation at the guest house = "What would you like to eat, sir?" "What do you have today?" "Rice, dal and mixed vegetables." "Well, after thinking about it we think we will have rice, dal and mixed vegetables."
-thank you for getting us safely over the high pass in 5 hours both ways -- though we might have gotten stuck like those the day before us and after us due to avalanches, blizzards, etc. (They all had to return to try another day.)
-thank you for internet shops and worldwide communication -- though the server in Jummu was down for 10 days, there was a communication strike, and we never were able to send a message despite many hours of clicking keys for all we were worth;
-thank you for kids that can sleep 3 to a room, manage cold baths, lack of b's, and rocky rides with good humor -- though they also may take the time to point out parental faults and deficiencies...;
-and thank you for our parents who have passed on some notion that a picnic of bread and cheese by the Indus is somehow the best thing in the world....

So that time is finished and we are on to the 2 dollar huts by the beach in Ko CHang, a Thai island towards the coast of Cambodia. We are looking forward to Thai iced tea, hammocks, and spicy curry.

Trip to Ladakh (from top right):
mountain slopes, buddhist painting, monastery village, ladakhi woman, camoflauged house, Loey, Priya and Nikhil riding on camels

From Phyl:

Our main news is a projected summer trip: camping in southern Colorado with Vern & family, driving to Chicago area for Paul's celebration; driving to Canada Maritimes for a week or two; driving back to Omaha for our reunion; and driving back home again. This circuit of about 5000 miles will possibly bankrupt us as gas prices keep rising.

I sent in my last (I hope) writing assignment for Children's Lit course, story about Koda, am working with Cheryl at Creative Teaching Associates on the advanced vocabulary project and possibly the board game that I can't afford to publish myself--she says the ESL market is "hot and hungry." Elmer has been encouraged to start writing his memoirs, but first we must do something about the jam-up of books and papers in the study.

(Here are some pictures of a quilt Loey helped the co-op in Kodai make for Phyl. Thought you quilters would like to see this amazing creation.)

From: Harlan

Our news is that Mary took the SAT (she's only in 7th grade, but needed it for the Johns-Hopkins CTY summer programs that she enjoys). She got a 1400 (750 verbal, 650 math). The verbal score was high enough that she was in the top six 7th grade girls in the US (among the hundreds of CTY students taking the test).

From: Gwen

Other than Dick's heart attack - or because of it - things are very quiet here. All our children came for a reunion in the middle of March. They were together for the very first time.
(Note just received):
Just returned from a week's cruise to the Caribbean with Jean and family. Just wonderful except the coming home part and seeing all the yard work we have to catch up on and the large pile of laundry with white sand sprinkled in it.

From Margie:

Here are some pictures of Margy and Brian in Italy. For the full version, go to: http://homepage.mac.com/briang27/PhotoAlbum25.html

Margie and Brian in Italy (from top right):
Leaning Tower of Pisa, Venice, Brian and Margie at the top of the tower, Roman fountain, Margie giving a "thumbs up" at the colliseum

The following are two email notes I received from Charlotte Boychuk, Calgary, about our web page. These contacts about our web page have been interesting. - Jo

From: Charlotte@canhydro.com

Email #1:

I've just had an enjoyable few minutes reading through your website, and checking out some of the recipes you've posted.  I thought you might be interested in just a little information about "pluma moos".  You have it listed under desserts, but in fact, it is actually a side dish, traditionally served with fried potatoes, sliced ham, pickles, tweibach, etc.  After the meal which included moos, we would then have dessert, usually a pie or even freshly made doughnuts (particularly on Saturday nights).  Pluma moos generally does not have any dairy in it, but the "milch moos" would of course be milk based, with cornstarch used for thickening. A typical milch moos would be made with canned pears, apricots or gooseberries (must be very ripe or they would curdle the milk).

Email #2:

Hi Jo - you ask me how I know about pluma moos, etc.....Don't let my surname fool you. I grew up as a Mennonite (my mother was a Friesen, my dad a Matthies), was married to Mennonite (Schroeder) (divorced after 24 years of marriage), and then married a man of Ukrainian origins - that's how I possess the name "Boychuk".

Anyway - Mennonite cooking was a way of life for my family, and I continued the tradition with my own children as they grew up. My youngest son is turning 30 this weekend, and for his birthday celebration, has asked if I could make a pot of pluma moos. There won't be any Mennonites there other than our immediate family, so I'm wondering what they'll think of it.

As I read your family website, I see references to Reedley and Fresno. I also have family in that area, although it's been many years since we've seen them. In fact, my Great-Grandparents on my mother's side (Giesbrecht) both died and were buried in that area back in the 1930s.

Thanks for getting back to me. It's been fun making a new connection.

p.s. are you close to Mt. Lake, Minnesota?