Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Daniel's an EAGLE SCOUT!

Attaining the Eagle rank is often the ultimate goal of a scout and his parents. It looks good on a resume and shows commitment to a program over an extended period of time. We are so proud of Daniel for accomplishing this goal!

Daniel John Drake, Eagle Scout

Daniel's Eagle Board of Review, April 15th, 2010
Scott Mosher, Brian Symons, Daniel Drake, Greg Whitaker, Brian Weinert

An Eagle Court of Honor was held on Wednesday, December 22nd... recognize the achievements of our son, Daniel Drake, and his fellow troop member, Daniel Merrill.
Bishop John Dokos conducted and offered some opening remarks.
Brian Weinert, Young Mens' President, gave an inspiring message.
Brad Shumway, our good friend, lead the boys in the Eagle Charge.
Greg Whitaker, the boys former Scout Master, shared his thoughts and memories of the boys.
Brother Whitaker also presented the awards..
...and pins.
Daniel gave some closing Eagle Scout Remarks.
He was followed by Daniel Merrill.
Both boys recognized Brother Whitaker with the Eagle Mentor Pin. He presented them with these unique hand-carved, hand-painted walking sticks.
Proud Parents
Time for cake!
We express sincere thanks to Danile's scout leaders, fellow troop members, family, and friends who helped him accomplish the rank of Eagle Scout. He could not have done it without you! Daniel's Eagle project was to provide large shelving for Heart to Heart International--a relief and development organization that specializes in volunteer action and worldwide humanitarian assistance. Thank you to all who assisted with his project!

Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of America)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Eagle Scout
Eagle Scout
Medal, palms, badge and square knot
OwnerBoy Scouts of America
CountryUnited States
Recipients56,176 (2010)[1]
Scouting portal

Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). A Scout who attains this rank is called an Eagle Scout or Eagle. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2 million young men. The title of Eagle Scout is held for life, thus giving rise to the phrase "Once an Eagle, always an Eagle".

Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit through the Boy Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. Eagle Scouts are presented with a medal and a badge that visibly recognizes the accomplishments of the Scout. Additional recognition can be earned through Eagle Palms, awarded for completing additional tenure, leadership, and merit badge requirements.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Kansas Drakes - Reunited

It's so good to have everyone together again. For a couple weeks anyway...

The day after David returned from his mission, we had family pictures done by Mark Lineback Photography. Mark, and his assistant Kelly, did an incredible job and we had such a great time. Check out more of Mark's work here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

He's Home!

David returned from his two-year mission in Japan on Friday, August 6th, 2010.

We, of course, went to the airport toting signs and balloons to welcome him home.

When the "V" and the "I" finally arrived, we no longer spelled "DAD".

His favorite convert, Mai Miyamoto, flew in to welcome him home as well.

I was kind of happy to see him.

Mai can't believe this is real.

He keeps speaking in Japanese. Mai's laughing, but we have no idea what he's talking about.
We went straight to Chapala for some good Mexican food.
I think he's happy to be back.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pieces of Irene

Irene with her first husband, Allan Seidcheck

I'm gathering pieces--puzzling them together in order to complete a picture; that picture being the story of my biological mother's life.

Irene Georgia Kosloff was born January 21, 1926 in New York, NY. She was the only child of George Kosloff and Liliane Baratoff Kosloff, both immigrants from Russia who arrived in the U.S. in 1924 and married in New York in 1925. At some point between age 9 and 14 (1935 to 1940), Irene and her parents moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles. They found their new homes at 1823 Garfield Place (1930), 2590 Beachwood Drive (1940) and 2604 Glen Green (1942) in Hollywood Hills. Her father worked as a "Theatrical Agent" and she most likely attended Hollywood High School. It was here that Irene met and fell in love with Allan Seidcheck, a "bad boy" from Chicago who had lived in California since he was about 12 years old. Irene became pregnant with Allan's child when she was 16--practically a baby herself! Interestingly, about the same time period, Irene's parents were having marital issues and they divorced in 1943. All this during World Ward II, a challenging time for the nations as well as the Kosloff family. Allan and Irene's baby boy, Thomas Louis Seidcheck, was born July 6th, 1943 in San Francisco County.
How many women wore slacks in the 1940's?
I don't have much detail about the years that immediately followed; I've tracked down a few photos of Tommy as a baby and small boy. At some point, Allan and Irene divorced. He went on to have several other wives and eventually passed away in Missouri in 1998 still sporting the tattoo on his arm with Irene's name. Thomas attended boarding school from the time he was seven since Irene had to go to work.  Tommy was a rebellious teen and caused his mother a lot of grief. He was into drugs and in and out of jail. Emotionally, it took it's toll on Irene who was a single mother.
Irene Seidcheck with mother-in-law, Laura; nephew, Leonard; and son, Tommy

Irene, Laura, Len, and Tommy (cropped)

Allan and Thomas Seidcheck

In October of 1962 (when Tommy was 19) Irene gave birth to a baby girl, Darlene Kay, in Los Angeles. I was that baby girl. Irene's name at the time was Mrs. Irene Kay. I'm desperately searching to find her "Mr. Kay" and determine if he was my biological father. One source mentioned that her husband left when she became pregnant. I was told that because Irene was in poor health and had no one to help her care for me, she considered giving me up for adoption...a decision she struggled with for months before it happened and for years afterwards.

I have a card Irene sent me when I turned five. She was living in Venice and I was in Mar Vista...just minutes away. She signed it "Irene Herrlinger--your other mommy". I'm convinced she didn't just have the flu, but was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis which caused her handwriting to be quite shaky and her speech to be slurred.

That's where the Herrlinger name comes in. Apparently, Irene later met Richard Herrlinger who was 13 years younger than she was. They had one son, Rich, born in May of 1968. After Rich was born, Irene's health declined severely and she was placed in a nursing home. Her death certificate confirms that she had developed multiple sclerosis. Richard Herrlinger died of an epileptic seizure when baby Rich was only two years old. Since Irene was in a nursing home, Richard Herrlinger's brother (George) and his wife took in baby Rich and raised him as their own.  

Irene died in Los Angeles on April 24, 1977. She was 51; I was 14. Her address at the time was 11620 Washington Blvd. now known as Vista Del Sol Care Center. It's located just blocks from the home I grew up in. She was right there the entire time! Her name on the Certificate of Death is Irene Kay.

I couldn't be more grateful that Irene was unselfish enough to give me up for adoption. She made a vital decision on my behalf that provided me with an ideal life; something she certainly didn't have. My only wish is that I could have been there to take care of her when she was so alone.

Still gathering pieces of Irene.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thirty Years Later...

I left home for the first time as a 17-year-old California girl and headed to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I could not have been more excited to meet new people, experience new things, and embark on this new adventure called "college life". I had no idea that 30 years later I would still be great friends with some of the girls I met in those freshman dorms. Here I am with my favorite BYU roommates at our recent "Roomie Reunion". We had a fabulous time in Myrtle Beach at Lori's luxurious condominium. We talked and laughed all hours of the night like young college girls do...even though most of us now have children older than we were then. It's strange...and wonderful... how we pick up right where we left if no time has passed. Our last little retreat was a ski vacation to Kelly's mountain-home condo in Keystone, Colorado. Next year, the plan is Lisa's houseboat on Lake Powell. All I have to say is, don't be disappointed when it's my turn to host and we all hang out at my humble home in Olathe, Kansas. :/