As you might have seen on the website, I totally missed the highlights for last year! The year 2020. Ha! Well, here goes this years' family highlights.
again, we did not take a family vacation this year because we were not able to travel to the destination to which we had made reservations: Hawaii. I am used to it now, though. The kids are grown up now and God got me used to not taking yearly family vacations
anymore, for which I am grateful.
- Last year we adopted a black and white stray kitty and named her Joy. She got pregnant this year in the spring and had four beautiful babies the last Sunday of June.
Joy is no longer with us, but her babies are. They will be 6 monhts old the 27th of this month.
- Cutie never really got used to having so many other kitties in the house. She spent more time outside,
where she got more attention from the neighbors. In October this year, she started not wanting to eat anymore. She ended up passing away, peacefully, in our back yard on my birthday: October 24th.
Jazzy got parvo at the end of last year, after getting it from a puppy we had gotten for Ziedite in November. The kitty passed away 6 days after getting her, after suffering terribly for 3 days. Jazzy, recovered well, though, thank God, and is doing okay this
year, though she developed quite a bit of anxiety once again (like she had when we first got her). She still struggles with digestive issues and skin problems, but we are keeping it all under control through natural methods.
- Emmanuel started working again at Knotts in the spring. In the fall he also got a job as an actor in a mystery thatre dinner show. He loves doing that and plays different roles whenever he is asked to participate in it,
which is normally 2-4 times a month. He turned 22 in August. He has enjoyed being able to attend shows put on by some famous comedians, and also got the chance to meet a famous actor, who is also a chef and the author of a Mexican cook book he purchased a
week ago. Next week he travels to Seattle for a couple days to see another famous comedian; first time in Seattle, and he is looking forward to it. He goes to the gym three times a week still, and enjoys staying fit and healthy by means of healthy lifestyle
- Ziedite graduated from high school in June and worked as a waitress in Dennys for a few months after that. She turned 18 on September 25th. She is no longer a waitress, but is applying in
some places to get a job, though hasn't landed any so far. She went to Mexico for a week in November with the family of a boy she has been dating, so that was a nice little vacation for her. She recently joined a gym and loves going there and working out for
hours. Keeps her out of truoble and gets her into loving exercise, so that is a great thing. The latest thing for her is that she got her driver's license this week!
- Dana moved into an apartment
with his girl Marlie. They are expecting their first baby girl, who is due to arrive next year in February. He is still working with his dad in the plumbing, heating and air business, and also has enjoyed learning about and investing in the stock market this
- Dylan recently moved into a friend's home, renting a room there, since his roomate moved out of the place where he was renting up here in Garden Grove, near us. He still works as a photagrapher
in a car dealership.
- Dana, my husband, continues to work hard in his own company: HELP Plumbing, Heating and Air. This year he made it into a corporation. He still only has one worker: Dana JR.
- I continue to take care of the home and do my best to ensure we live in a healthy environment through means of purchasing products that are not harmful to our physical, mental, and emotional health. I love
sharing about essential oils with others, especially on social media, and how these can be incorporated into our life to help us physically, mentally, emotionally and spirtually. I also love sharing that the company from which I get the essential oils, and
many of our household use products, also offers a great financial opportunity, if they want to take a look at it. I recently published a book titled "A Wounded Healer: Revelations on my Journey to Royal Crown Diamond"; it can be purchased on Amazon. The Spanish
version will be avalable for purchase around February of next year; it is being translated by a professional translator, who also happens to be a childhood friend.
For those of you who don't keep up with my posts on social media, I'd like to highlight some of major things that happened this year in the lives of our family.
Ziedite is now in 11th grade and still attending Rancho Alamitos highschool. She is keeping up with her school work and hangs out mostly with her friend Kaitlyn. She is no longer in choir nor cheer, but has taken up
basketball this fall; the season starts in January, but they have been practicing for a couple hours every day and have been having practice games with other schools.
Emmanuel is very much into fitness; he exercises five times a week at Chuz fitness center and fits in a lot of healthy foods so he can stay healthy, energetic and fit. He continues to work at Knotts Berry Farm in
the entertainment department; his work schedule changes weekly, but it's steady work and he enjoys it a lot. He's got lots of friends there, so when they are not working they have fun just hanging out at Disneyland or at a place called the "Hangout". He participated
once again in the Knotts Scary Farm event, but next year may be taking a break from that.
Dana Jr still lives in the same place with
his steady girlfriend, Marlie. He continues to work with his dad and does some side plumbing jobs as well on his own.
Dylan continues to
live in the same place and has a steady girlfriend as well - Bereniz. He works as a photagrapher in a car dealership right now.
My husband, Dana, continues
to stay busy in his H.E.L.P Plumbing, Heating and Air business; next year he will be a corporation! The customers love him and continue to call him back. God continues to provide for us financially through him so I can stay home and take care of the house
affairs. We are certainly very blessed in so many ways, and we are very grateful to be able to help others because of that.
And here's what's going on in my personal life:
I still continue to be a stay at home mom and wife, though my years homeshchooling the kids are over. I still exercise daily for 30-40 minutes, plus a nightly walk with our dog Jazzy, and help others get into the habit of exercising 30 minutes daily as well;
currently I am holding a "Fitter Moms" 90-day challenge to encourage moms of every age to exercise daily and adopt other healthy habits. I also continue to be a leader in Young Living. I do this by focusing on helping people, mostly via social media, adopt
10 healthy habits; I also give them the option to switch over the Young Living brand of products in order to simplify their quest of searching for products that actually support and enhance their physical, mental and emotional health. I'm grateful that God
has helped me persevere on my journey to be the exemplary leader He desires me to be until the day I leave this earth.
I'd like to highlight for you what happened in our Hayden home this year.
- We took our summer family vacation to Cartagena, Colombia, in June. We were there for a week enjoying the warm ocean waters and site seeing. Mirdza
had not been there since, she was in her teens (she will be 50 next year!), and Dana, Emmanuel, and Ziedite had never been there. It was definitely a wonderful vacation. Some of Mirdza's childhood friends met up with them - "Galo Lando" met up with them
in Bogotá for a few hours, Laura and her nephew Nico, as well as Kico met up with them for a few days in Cartagena, and Laura Sofia met up with them at the airport for about an hour on their way back here to the States.
started 10th grade at Rancho Alamitos High School in the fall. We celebrated her 15th birthday at the end of September with a semi-big quinceañera party which was held at the Our Redeemer Lutheran church event hall; it was definitely bigger (and
I think more memorable) than Mirdza's was. Jim and his family flew in from Colorado to celebrate - literally! They flew in Friday night, celebrated the next evening, and flew out early Sunday morning. John and his family attended - they still live in Diamond
Bar - so about a half hour from us, using freeways, so it all depends on traffic. Dana's sister Karen and her husband drove down from Riverside to attend; her son Tommie and his girlfriend also were able to attend. And then she had several of her friends attend
as well. I've posted pictures and videos on Facebook in the album titled "Ziedite's Quinceañera" if you would like to check those out. We've also experienced some crazy times with her as she fights for independence; we've had to work with a counselor
to help us with some behavioral issues, but it's all working out just fine. The good thing is that she will carry those coping skills into her adult years, and we are learning some more parenting techniques. It's all a learning experience!
- Emmanuel continues to work at Knotts. He got a job in the entertainment department, so he works in different areas in Ghost Town - sometimes Pan for Gold, sometimes the museum, and at times at the jail. He's had to work some cold nights, which isn't fun
for him, and he's had to learn to deal with some disappointing and frustrating moments, which is also all part of growing up. We all need to learn those kinds of skills. He's becoming a more skillful piano player by the day and still enjoys acting.
- Dana has had steady work in his HELP Heating, Plumbing, and Air Conditioning business so our income has been steady, thanks be to God. He continues to work hard and is very reliable; his health has been good, which is a true blessing. He
celebrated a year of being sober this year, so that is a big milestone for him! He attends meetings at least twice a week and really enjoys meeting up with the people there. He enjoyed going fishing with friends this summer once again on most weekends - his
favorite hobby when the weather is warm.
- Mirdza continues to be a stay at home mom and wife and continues to work as a leader in Young Living helping people get fit, healthy and energetic. She mostly works online, posting things on social
media that could be helpful to others, and holding a few helpful classes on Facebook. She loves doing Bible Studies now to learn more about Bible heroes and has been in awe of everything God has taught her throughout the year. Her personal relationship with
God has gotten stronger by the day, for which she is very grateful. During this final month of the year, she got the chance to work on a big translation job for the UNESCO to help her friend Sandra out, who has had her translation company for 12 years now;
it's been quite a challenging experience (and we are still not done!)
- Dana Jr continues to work with his dad and live on his own; he is still dating the same girlfriend (Marlie). Dylan continues to live in the same apartment, is working
as a photographer at a car place, and is still dating the same girlfriend (Berenice)
- For Christmas, we met up with Johnny and his family on the 24th, as is our tradition, and made piragi (traditional Latvian breads) and Christmas
cookies. On the 25th we got together with Dana and Dylan and Dana's girlfriend Marlie for lunch and fun afternoon. We also got to have brunch a few days before Christmas with Dana's sister Karen and her husband, Aaron. On Christmas Eve, Mirdza got to sing
with her church choir once again at the candlelight service (at 9 p.m), which is always a special treat for her.
Here we are at the end of 2017 already! We will soon be celebrating Christmas and then we have a week to reflect on our year before we start a new one. There have been quite a few changes around here this year, so let me highlight them for you.
- We had a small high school graduation event for Emmanuel at the beginning of the year at Our Redeemer. That's the beauty of homeschooling! We get to choose when to graduate them.
- Ziedite had an 8th-grade
graduation ceremony from CHEP - the Community Homeschool Education Program - in June. It ended up being a "graduation from homeschool" itself as well. In September she started attending a public high school near our home - Rancho Alamitos. She is constantly
busy with cheerleading activities, school work, and friends. She sometimes still goes out to lunch with us on the weekends or goes camping with her dad, but it's not as often anymore.
-Emmanuel auditioned for and was accepted as
a scare actor in Knotts Scary Farm, so he worked there for six weeks, from the middle of September until Halloween night. He loved it! He is now working a seasonal job as a cashier in a Kohls department store and will be accepting a full-time position there
starting in January. His desire to entertain people as a comedian continues to increase, so he also actively studies at home on how to be a stand-up comedian and has taken the first level Improv class with the "Improv for Life" group; he will be taking
the Level 2 course starting in January. He continues to play the guitar and sing, and he helps out with the Audio Visual projector in church on most Sundays, though sometimes he gets to sing with the Praise Band, in which case, Mirdza now takes over with the
- In May we took a family vacation to Hawaii to celebrate Dana and Mirdza's 15th wedding anniversary, as well as Mother's Day. It was loads of fun and very relaxing! Next year we have reserved two rooms in a De Cameron
hotel in Cartagena, Colombia in June, when Ziedite finishes 9th grade. The De Cameron hotel, which is an all-inclusive resort, so super-excited about spending a week there!
- Dana continues to work in his own business - HELP Plumbing,
Heating and Air. He is in good health, except for a hernia, and he will get that operated on at the end of this year. It should be a simple out-patient procedure.
- Mirdza continues on her path to Royal Crown Diamond in Young
Living, helping the people that God puts in her path. It brings her so much joy to serve people in this way! Her faith and trust in God steadily increase day by day as she perseveres in spite of rejection and other challenges. She knows full heartedly that
God always keeps His promises and that He is with her every step of the way, as it was He who called her and asked her to go on this journey. As with Joshua, He constantly reminds her "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear, for I am with you."
- No major changes in Dana Jr and Dylan's lives. They continue to live on their own and they each have their same girlfriend, but no plans yet to get married for either of them. DJ continues to work with his dad, and Dylan's job changes pretty regularly.
It's all good.
"And now to Him who can do ABUNDANTLY MORE then we could ever ask or imagine, to Him be the glory now and forever." (Eph 3:20-21)
This year was full of testing. My faith grew stronger through all the difficult times. I am reminded that difficulties and hardships are not a a time to "grin and bear it", but rather a time to come closer to God so that HIS POWER AND STRENGTH
may be shown even more powerfully, and so that the peace that God gives us through it all will point to God as the source of hope in the midst of despair.
- I broke my wrist on January 2nd rollerskating at the beach
with Dana, and had to have surgery to get the bone realigned, and then through physical therapy to get it strong once again. God gave me the wisdom to know what to do so it woud heal quite quickly... within 6 weeks. The doctor was amazed! I continue to be
able to exercise daily. Only wasn't able to exercise for a couple of months!
- My mom' health started downspiraling quickly around February. She ended up in a rehab center without being able to stand any longer.
She could not control anything anymore. She went from being completely independent to being completely dependent on others. She was in pain most of the time. The Lord took her to her eternal home on my anniversary day... May 17th. Her body was cremated and
her ashes with spread in a beautiful area that looked kind of like the mountains in Colombia. I look forward to the day I see her again in heaven.
- Dana's mom's health kept downspiraling, but she stayed home during most
of the year. The last part of the year she spend in a nursing home though. She ended up passing away peacefully on Dec 4th. Dana had been with her for a couple of days. Her body was cremated and they had just a small ceremony with immediate family (her husband
Ray, Dana, and his three sisters)
- Ziedite continued her homeschool studies through CHEP so that she can graduate from elementary school next June. She plans on going to Rancho Alamitos for highschool next fall. She will
walk daily to school with two of her neighborhood friends. She continues to do gymnastics, actually Tumbling 2 class, at Kidnastics. She recently expressed her desire to become a gymnasticcs teacher once she finsihes high school. She also added ballet; she
is quite the gracefull little ballerina.
- Emmanuel got the opportunity to travel to Colombia for a month in the middle of November. He still got to participate in the youth musical at church, along with Ziedite;
he sure did not want to miss out on that. He will graduate from high school on January 7th next year; we will be having a party at church in his honor with a few of his friends and the church youth group. He continues to love music, and he loves film making;
he actually went to film camp for a week this summer!
- Dana and Dylan are still living on their own. Both have steady girlfriends, but no talk of marriage as of yet.
- Dana continues
working in his own plumbing, heating and air conditioning business and is doing quite well, thanks be to God. God always provides enough money to pay for all that we need, sometimes through his business, and sometimes in other ways that help us remember
that HE is the provider of all that we have.
- I continue to build a business with Young Living, which I actually see as a ministry disguised as a homebased business. I love the personal development journey I've been on
since I started the business back in 2007. I have grown so much! I love learning about essential oils and about the network marketing profession. I love helping others in any way I can so that they can be fit in every area of their life. It's truly a very
meaningul profession, which I can do alongside being a stay at home mom.
- We took our first cruise ship in May! We celebrated our 14th anniversary by going on a famiy cruise down to Mexico from Sunday to Thursday. I
also took the kids to Colorado Springs in August to see my brother James and his family. Dana did not go since a week before that he traveled to Maine for a week with Ziedite to visit his family. We had gone together last year, so we try not to travel
to Maine all together every year.
So there you go! Those are the main highlights of the year. Through all the good and bad times, I learned to trust God more daily. My relationship with Him gets stronger each day, which
gives me so much peace and joy, even through the hardest of situations. God is good all the time. I look forward to many more learning opportunities in 2017.