Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Leeding's

One of the highlight events of our Oregon trip for me was brunch at Jan's house.
I first have to tell you a little about Jan.
Our blooming family moved into a neighborhood of new homes and young families in 1981.
Jan and her captivating family of 5 moved in straight across the street from us just a few months later and we became fast friends with them all. Jennifer was just barely 4, Matt was almost 2 just like our little Jonathan, and Kelsey was in her second 6 months. I was pregnant with David, so we were all young and energetic.
I always had pretty good instincts when it comes to taking care of the children and being on top of schedules, good eating, etc. I worked at Emanuel Hospital in the orthopedic ward a few days a week, so many things I did were necessary and/or educational. But Jan taught me how to be a mom in many other ways.
She would schedule in walks through the extending neighborhoods, lunch out in the "common area", hot wheels contests, pine cone hunts in the more mature parks of Portland, Rose Parades, birthday parties, doughboy pool days, trampolining, sports, golf tournaments, and just general fun times.

We always had a field day when we were with the Leeding's.
Kim our neighbor up the street with her two cute little girls was also in on the daily life.
Brooke Hikade, Kelsey Leeding, Matt L., Jonathan, Jennifer L (top), Lindsey H. (David - not pictured)
Here is the group of the kiddles at the Sauvie Island pumpkin patch in 1982.
Jan was quite the cheerleader in all areas of the kids life.  Jonathan and Matt were often on the same soccer or baseball teams. "Go Matt!  Pass it up!"
As we added to our family, they were always there to help. Here Jennifer is enjoying Kathryn. She would do Kathryn's hair and play with her for hours.
David (middle) on his first day of first grade. Jonathan  (3rd grade), Kelsey (2nd grade) 1988

We moved away from the SE neighborhood of Portland in 1990 after spending 9 years and having 3 more children. Michael was born the next year so his memories don't go back this far, but for the rest of our children it really all started there.

Well, fast forward to June 2010. I contacted Jan just a week or so before we went to Portland and she, with Jennifer and Kelsey put together a great little party at her home in NE Portland. She invited the Hikade's and the 2 girls were able to come with their new babies although we missed their parents. She invited Scott who still lives out in the Clackamas area, and he, Matthew, and the two girls with their little families all showed up.
The food and set up were simply beautiful and her house is a great, old, well kept house in an old section of town. (I don't know what the style would be considered - probably "Craftsman")
Jennifer, Lindsay, Brooke, Kelsey, Matt, David, Kathryn, Jonathan, Stephanie, & (front row) Michael
Here are the children 20 years later. My now 5 kids, the 3 Leeding's and the 2 Hikade's. What a handsome group.  We will never know those little kids again, but our memories will always be happy and full. They are all finding their way as adults in the world now and creating childhood memories for their own kids.
Quite the next generation. More adorable little ones and their cute parents.
Can't quite believe that we are the grandparents.

Thanks Jan, you are the best! And on such short notice you made us all feel special.


  1. What great memories. Don't you love seeing those old friends who were there when the kids were little? The bonds forged are so strong they just seem to make the years apart disappear.


  2. Vicky,
    It was so great to see all of you and talk about all the great memories we had together. I was so glad that it all worked out and that so many of us were able to be there. What a great day it was. Those old pictures are fun too! Take care!

  3. it was so fun seeing everyone & jumping from place to place. it was a pretty perfect vaca! bytheby you havent posted in a bit... it's almost like you've been busy running someone else's household or something. haha. thank you so much!!