Two for the Price of One
Timothy (a younger and bulkier version of Rob … what Rob should have looked like if he hadn’t inherited his mother’s skinny Irish genes) wed the beautiful and vivacious Sara over an already full Thanksgiving holiday. Sort of a wham-bam wedding, nevertheless it was wonderful. It was the first time in five years that the entire “Bob and Carol” clan of 25-odd people assembled in the same place. Grandparents, Ratzlaffs, Lusks, and Mardocks enjoyed four days of food, fun, fellowship, and festivities in Springville, CA.
A couple of months ago, Bob and Carol saw the light and moved from the sprawling, over-developed mass that is “LA-SD-Riverside/San Bernardino” to the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. (It would have been better if they moved into a townhouse in the foothills of the mountains, but such is the appeal of the American Dream!). Fun fact: Bob and Carol were recently awarded Azusa Pacific University’s “Alumni of the Year” award for their indefatigable non-profit and humanitarian aid efforts – including helping to place over 3,500 orphans in loving homes across the 50-states (and Americans living overseas).
About four years ago, Matt and Jen were asked to be executive director(s) of the famous 67-year old Quaker Meadow Christian Camp – nestled 7,000+ ft in the heart of the Sequoia National Forest. Thankfully the entire forest burned down all around the camp two years ago, so the camp itself should be safe for another 60 years. (I’m such a pessimist; I don’t know how my family puts up with me). I can’t imagine a more fairy-tale job than being the boss of a summer / winter camp. Fun fact: Matt, a singer and songwriter in his spare time, was recently asked to be part of a MAJOR contemporary Christian music band until the original members decided to retire early.
Mitch & Kel live in Dallas, OR where Mitch operates his own State Farm agency. He is nearing the end of the tortuous start-up phase of his business and continues to be a top-rated agent. He founded the Dallas (Oregon) chapter of Le Tip, and still has time for his other passion: bird watching and sportsman-stuff. Fun fact: Mitch is an avid ornithologist with articles published in birding periodicles, and leads university ornithology trips to eastern Oregon. He has also been assistant coach of the George Fox men’s basketball team.
Grandpa and Grandma had the financial foresight not to count on social security and had a portfolio of fixer-upper homes in the LA area. Today Grandpa spends his autumns growing "giant pumpkins" and eviscerating his church denomination's political-correctness. He's a giant among men. Fun fact: in addition to being a PhD and former professor of English, Marvin Mardock was also honored as NAIA's track and field coach of the year in 1980. Don't believe it? Check here. At Azusa Pacific University, he trained Dave (of 1992 Barcelona Olympics' Dan and Dave) and personally brought the Kansas City Chief's Christian Okoye from Nigeria to California to throw the hammer on APU's track and field team (Marvin was also director of international student admissions).
Of course, there's the rest of the family ... but I'll give them a couple more years to start making the world a better place. In the meantime, Tim, Sara, Nick, and Angela are leaders in their own circles and I know they all will go far in life.
Hannah and Christina sporting their chic Urban Outfitter t-shirts; each representative of their unique personalities
Mitch and Matt carving two of the three birds (Dad in background)
Monster table at Matt and Jen's house
Even our photogenic Uncle Richard and Aunt Linda came up from Hollywood!
Tim and Sara: no longer "living in sin," or, final picture as virgins. Whichever.