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.