Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Twins – Fun Photos for Friday!   22 comments

Did I mention I’m a twin?  I have a twin brother.  We were born 6 minutes apart and we were both over 7 lbs! My mom was 40 when we were born.  Oh, and the most important note – she never told my dad she was having twins!  He was at work when we were born, so he found out when he got home from work and my brother Tim exclaimed, “Pop, Pop, Mom had two babies not one, two babies!”

That was her little surprise for my dad.  They already had 6 kids – 3 boys and 3 girls.  So when my brother and I were born, we kept it even – 4 boys and 4 girls. 

Twins have a very special relationship; a very special bond.  I love you dear brother of mine!

Here are some pictures of us through the years! 




I’m working on a twin poem.  Here’s the start…

Two tiny hearts beat in the womb
A beautiful duet singing in tune.
Two babies growing side by side
A boy and a girl, together abide.

You’ll just have to wait and see how this poem ends!

Update!  Just heard about Show and Tell Friday over at There’s No Place Like Home.  Check it out!

Happy Memorial Day   2 comments

statue1.jpg  statue.jpg  statue2.jpg


Posted May 28, 2007 by Lana G! in Events, Family, Fellowship, History, Holiday

Replica of Noah’s Ark Opens Doors to Visitors   Leave a comment


Planning a trip to Amsterdam? Check this out – Noah’s Ark

Huibers said he hopes the project will renew interest in Christianity in the Netherlands, where churchgoing has fallen dramatically in the past 50 years.

Additional stories on this project – Dutchman , BBC

Posted April 29, 2007 by Lana G! in Entertainment, Events, History, News, Travel

History of the Matroyshka Doll   11 comments


I have had several inquiries regarding Matroyshka Dolls so I decided to share some facts on what I could find on the history of the Matryoshka Doll.   The above picture is of my biggest matryoshka doll which is a little over 8 inches and has a total of 15 dolls. My mom and dad brought this doll back for me from one of their trips to Russia.  Below you will see how small the smallest piece is in this collection!

The History:

The “Russian” matryoshka doll came to Russia from Japan at the end of the nineteenth century. Little more than 100 years ago, Russia was experiencing an economic boom and a rising sense of culture and national identity. New artistic trends were developing, and a “Russian style” was growing and focusing on the revival of traditions that were in danger of being lost. 

In St. Petersburg, Russia, in December 1896, an exhibition of Japanese art opened. Among the exhibits was a doll depicting a Buddhist wise man named Fukuruma. The sage was shown as a bald-headed old man with a wooden body that could be split at the waistline into two halves; nested inside were the images of the man when he was younger and bearded and still with hair on his head. The doll came from the island of Honshu; the Japanese claim that they are the inventors of nested dolls or matryoshka, but they also generously admit that the first nested dolls made on Honshu were carved and painted by a Russian monk. That first set of dolls showing Fukuruma is in the Artistic Pedagogical Museum of Toys (APMT) in Sergiyev Posad, a city in Russia that is a cultural center for the making of matryoshka dolls.

Meanwhile, the matryoshka began developing its Russian identity thanks to an industrialist Savva named I. Mamontov (1841-1918). Mamontov was also a patron of the arts and a believer in traditional and nationalistic artistic expression. He established an art studio at his Abramtsevo estate near Moscow. This studio was also an innovation and was the first of a number of “artistic units” around the country where folk craftsmen and professional artists worked together to preserve the skills, techniques, and traditions of Russian folk art including peasant toys. Mamontov’s brother, Anatoly Ivanovich Mamontov (1839-1905) created the Children’s Education Workshop to make and sell children’s toys.

The first Russian matryoshka set worked by Vassily Zviozdochkin and painted by Sergei Maliutin (an illustrator of children’s books) was made at the Children’s Education Workshop and shows a mother carrying a red-combed rooster—inside are her seven children, the smallest being a sleeping, bundled baby.


 The Name:

Russian “nesting” dolls were called matryoshka because in old Russian among peasants the name Matryona or Matriosha was a very popular female name. The Latin root of this name – “mater” means “Mother”. This name was associated with the image of a mother of a big Russian peasant family who had a portly figure. Even today, when artists are painting a variety of subjects, the image of the robust and cheerful mother is still one of the most popular. Depending on the artist’s imagination the themes on these dolls can be anything from Russian fairy tales, Russian churches and architecture of the Russian cities and towns, and traditional scenes from Russian life.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted April 14, 2007 by Lana G! in Art, History, Life, Matryoshka Dolls, Random, Russian

Where has the Passion Gone?   3 comments

Although our trip to Italy was remarkable, even more remarkable was the realization that the churches did not seem to have a passion for Christ.  They were beautiful masterpieces of art; mere museums.  It was not until we reached Assisi that I felt that there was more of a passion for the Word of God. For in Assisi, I learned that the pictures, frescoes and art pieces were there to tell an amazing story. The gospel story of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Art, frescoes and stained glass windows, taught the worshipers the stories of the Bible in the early days.  These worshipers could not read, they learned the story of Jesus through the picture books surrounding them in the church.  Oh that the passion would burn again and the people could see the “writing on the wall.”

  pictures-382.jpg pictures-378.jpg pictures-041.jpg pictures-365.jpg



I’m at a loss for words, there’s nothing to say
I sit in silence wondering what led me to this place
How did my heart become so lifeless and cold
Where did the passion go?

When all my efforts seem like chasing wind
I’ve used up all my strength and there’s nothing left to give
I’ve lost the feeling and I’m down to the core
I can’t fake it anymore.

Here I am at the end I’m in need of resurrection
Only You can take this empty shell and raise it from the dead
What I’ve lost to the world what seems far beyond redemption
You can take the pieces in Your hand and make me whole again, again

You speak and all creation falls to its knees
You raise Your hand and calm the waves of the raging sea
You have a way of turning winter to spring
Make something beautiful out of all this suffering

chorus 2:
Here I am once again I’m in need of resurrection
Only You can take this empty shell and raise it from the dead
What I’ve lost to the world what seems far beyond redemption
You can take the pieces in Your hand and make me whole again, again

You have a way of turning winter to spring
Make something beautiful out of all this suffering


Resurrection by Nicol Sponberg

Posted April 5, 2007 by Lana G! in Art, Christianity, Church, Encouragement, Faith, God, History, Italy, Jesus, Travel

Pictures from London   3 comments



We made it to Italy.  Italy is amazing and I will post more pictures and info later today!  Ciao

Posted March 28, 2007 by Lana G! in History, Italy, London, Travel

Italy via London   1 comment

We arrived in London safe and sound; checked into our hotel and freshened up. Then it was off for touring and tea at Claridge’s. We took the tube from Heathrow into London. We arrived in Westminster and started our walking tour of London.
The weather was pretty nice.  It was around 60 degrees out. We walked out of the tube and there was Big Ben in all his finest.  The sun was peeking behind some clouds and it made for some great silhouette shots. 

We walked toward the London Eye.  We didn’t have time to go on the Eye.  The wait was pretty long and it is a 30 minute ride.  We did get some great shots of the Eye though. We then decided to walk to Claridge’s.  We went past Westminster Chapel and Trafalgar Square and  Buckingham Palace.  We decided walking was a great way to get over some of the jet lag. We walked a couple of miles and the fresh air was definitely doing the trick


Claridge’s for Tea – Highly recommend.  The nice thing about Afternoon Tea at Claridge’s is that men don’t have to wear a tie like at the Ritz.  Our last trip we had tea at Harrods.  Steve and I both like tea at Claridge’s better than at Harrods.


We ate in the Foyer.  There was music and the choice of teas was amazing.  I started with a nesChinese white tea with silver needles.  This is a rare tea and only available for a limited time.  Steve chose a Japanese green tea.  Our sandwiches were ham and cream cheese, organic chicken, cucumber, egg and salmon with a horseradish mayonnaise.  We were so hungry we had two plates of sandwiches!  Then came time for scones and desserts – we decided to switch out our teas and Steve chose the Mediterranean Mint and I went with the Earl Grey and Lavender.  LOVED MY TEA!  The scones were moist and delicious.  The clotted cream was perfect in texture.  The jam was, the right balance of fruit and sweetness – neither over powering the other.


The desserts:  Chocolate box cake, Strawberry Tapioca Delight, Fruit Tart and a Rose Cookie Sandwich.  The Rose Cookie sandwich was interesting.  It tasted like roses!  Weird sensation to taste roses rather than smell them! 

We then headed back to the hotel and the jet lag started to hit.  The bed was calling our name – loudly!  We had a great day in London and it will be an early morning to catch our flight to
Rome so Toodle Loo for now! 



Posted March 28, 2007 by Lana G! in Entertainment, Food, History, Italy, Travel