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Lionel Rocha Holmes Memorial DNA Fund

Lionel Rocha Holmes Memorial DNA Fund Lionel Rocha Holmes (1919-2017) was an important part of the Sacramento, CA Portuguese community. H... read more

Our Portuguese Table

My brother Doug ... read more

A few words about my Dad

I tried to come up with the best word to fill in the blank in the following sentence: He was the most _____ man I have ever known. He was certainly the finest, hands-down, bar none. Most fair-minded, too. With seven kids ready to cry ... read more

Taking Elizabeth to skating party

Preparing to take Elizabeth to a skating party, I said, "Here, take some money. Go ask your mom for more." I thought I had at least a $10, but only had $6. When she returned I asked how much she had now. "Forty-six dollars."... read more

Parenting tip #426

Parenting tip #426: When taking out recycling/trash, check its contents. I almost threw out our daughter's purse and wallet! #parentingtips... read more


Me (folding clothes): I need some of your hangers. Elizabeth: Here you go. Me: Wow, a variety of hanger types, thanks. Elizabeth: Well, I am diverse!. Her friends are diverse, actually, but it's an ins... read more

My sister's horse rescue...

... and riding therapy operation now has a GoFundMe page!I hope you've got some pocket change you can ... read more

Avocados poisonous to most pets

Did you know that avocados are poisonous to most pets? Check out these links: petpoisonhelpline ... read more

Elizabeth skiing for the first time

It was father-daughter day (for me, my brother, nephew and our daughters) at NorthStar ski resort in Lake Tahoe. See ... read more

I love my daughter

There's something on the kitchen counter. I'm thinking it's a shriveled, rotting potato. Not that we usually have that sort of thing on the counter, but that's what I'm thinking. I point at it and ask my wife, "What is that?" "Eli... read more

Watch hero cat attempt ceremonial first pitch

Watch Tara the Hero Cat attempt to throw a ceremonial first pitchFor those who saw ... read more

Kids hate broccoli

Elizabeth at the dinner table being forced to eat her broccoli: Ugh, can I throw up? Her mom: Um, no. Me: [trying not to laugh out loud] Mom: You're not helping!... read more

Sunday ride

Elizabeth dragged me onto another one of her outings this morning. If nothing else, she keeps me in shape. This time, she was on her motorized scooter (the kind you stand on), while I rode my bicycle. No fair making the old man use pe... read more

Birthday card from Grandpa

Elizabeth received a birthday card from Grandpa today with $20 inside! She said, "I love your dad! Tell him thank you very much! Your dad is rich! I wouldn't have thought such an old old person would have so much money!"... read more

Dad's 94th birthday, part 3

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 Old ... read more

Dad's 94th birthday, part 2

Dad's 94th birthday, part 1

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 Goin... read more


UPDATE: Franklin has been adopted! Our daughter was sad to see him go, but he's now in a good home. And they're close to us, so Elizabeth might get to visit sometimes.... read more

Can your cat drive you to suicide?

Cat-parasite-drive-to-suicide From: ... read more

Happy father's day

My daughter just made my day. Here's her card to me: ... read more


Chandler's a good dog. He's been through a lot in this life and will probably never fully recover. Never fully trust anyone again. I know the feeling. Maybe that's what we have in common. Whatever it is, I just love the he... read more

What crickets eat

After catching a cricket and putting it into her bug cage (yes, she has a bug cage), my six-year-old daughter Elizabeth asked, "Can you ... um ... look on the Internet and see what crickets eat?" I just laughed and said, "Yes, ... read more

Kite flying

As it turned out, today was a good day for kite flying. Elizabeth, 6, had been bugging me about flying her new kite since returning from the vet this morning. We ha... read more

Lesson learned

I'll be spending all week (Spring Break) with my almost-6-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. Woo hoo! Yesterday was supposed to be my only "day off," as she was supposed to be in school (snow make-up day). But she's come down with the flu,... read more

Sunny came home!

I spent all day today wondering how I was going to tell our 5-year-old that our cat, Sunny, was no longer with us.Literally.After being awakened last night at 2:30 a.m. by the sound of a VERY close coyote, and then not finding S... read more

Elizabeth's first play

Elizabeth, 5, came up with the following play just as we were finishing dinner the other day. Dinner theater, if you will. :) We were in Sacramento visiting my Dad, joined by my brother Greg and his wife June. MOM (Tara): ... read more

Missing cat returns

by Jinx Good news from best friends Julie and Bert in Las Vegas. One of their cats, Tobie, went missing this past January. He was an indoor/outdoor cat and one day just disappeared. Needless to say, they were heartbroken and spe... read more

Fall is definitely here

It was actually cold all day today, but that didn't stop me and Elizabeth, then the pugs, from spending half of our day outside! First, we went exploring the new neighborhood being built nearby. I don't know why they're building. Ther... read more

Saturday with Elizabeth

As Elizabeth likes to say, she and I were "hanging out" today while Tara had a girls' day out with Ronica. I think Tara's was a belated birthday thing. Hers was on the 10th. Anyway, once Ronica finally called — after Tar... read more

Vets and doctors

I took Chandler to the vet this morning to get his teeth cleaned. I know, it sounds crazy, but it's actually very important, just lik... read more

First full week

... of kindergarten! Tara's getting Elizabeth ready now. Elizabeth has been ready to go, already jumping into bed with us, then jumping out almost immediately, I guess because she couldn't sleep. Tara will usually be taking her in... read more

Rottweiler tricks

Here are some videos by my sister's friend who bought a puppy from her: ... read more

A warning to pet owners with kids

I had to take our dog Chandler (my "best puppy", the "big man") to the vet Thursday after I discovered, while giving him a bath, what looked like a bloody gash on h... read more

Our adoption story

My wife Tara has written up our adoption story in response to that woman (living not too far from here, unfortunately) who returned that boy to Russia a couple weeks ago.Here's the local link (... read more

Our Russian adoption story

Petition in favor of Russian adoption

Please sign the petition (at the bottom of this post) in favor of Russian adoption. I did. My wife and I adopted from Russia in 2007. You can watch the videos here and ... read more


Almost stepped on a snake as Elizabeth and I came out of the creek. Yes, we were in the creek. Anyway, I yelled, "Aaaa" when he slithered past me toward Elizabeth and into the water. Elizabeth wanted to get a better look ... read more

Finnegan Walter Brouns hatched out!

Finnegan Walter Brouns. Born April 1st at 9:35 AM. ... read more

An entire week with Elizabeth

You will not believe what I've been through! :) Okay, maybe it's not been that bad. You single parents out there are laughing at me, I'm sure. But I went an entire week taking care of Elizabeth, our 4 year old, while Tara no... read more

Eleven Rottweiler puppies

Help her come up with names starting with the letter "B" by leaving comments below! [comments closed]See NightShadowRottweilers for more details.... read more

Walking the dogs

It's something I do every night. I actually stopped for several months starting in May, I guess, when my back problems flared up. Then came my knee surgery, which kept me from walking much. Then I got to where I enjoyed not having to ... read more

Videos on vimeo

Not much new here, other than Elizabeth's dance class video. They might be new to you, though: vimeo/user767842/albums... read more

Elizabeth's first Halloween

Click here for the video... read more

Happy Halloween

An entire day with Elizabeth

I can't believe I made it. Of course, it's not over yet. It's only dinner time. It's been a LONG day. I'm at McDonald's as I write this. I tried to get online with their free wi-fi, b... read more

Down by the creek

Elizabeth and I went down to the creek this cold fall morning. With all the recent rain, Indian and Mill Creeks both had a lot of rushing water. We walked along the edge of Mill Creek. Usually, we stick to the closer Indian Creek. Eli... read more

Elizabeth cut off all her hair

In the twenty minutes that Tara and I left Elizabeth alone, she found some (child-safe) scissors and cut off all her hair. At first I thought it was just wet. Then I realized she'd cut it all off. I laughed and said I was just glad sh... read more

One hour with Elizabeth

We had a list of stops to make. First came Ace Hardware for a clothes line and a no-pest-strip. Elizabeth had rediscovered her Barbie electric guitar earlier that day and brought it... read more

Elizabeth's house

Elizabeth's birthday

It's this Sunday! Just FYI if you want to send an email or call or whatever.We should have pictures up here from tomorrow's party at Chuck E. Cheese's.... read more

Adoption videos updated

You can watch them here: Holmes Russian Adoption, Part 1 (updated) ... read more

A few more videos

I finally edited these a little bit and uploaded them: Chandler hanging out Elizabeth's baby showe... read more

Elizabeth dancing!

It should be available here: Elizabeth dancing!... read more

Elizabeth's first video!

Had a scare

We had a scare a couple of Wednesdays back with Elizabeth. She was at pre-school/daycare when she tripped and fell head-first onto the pavement outside as everyone was told to get in line to go back inside. We figure, being so competi... read more

More pictures of Elizabeth in California

Bill on Rosie, while Jeannie, Tara, even Shayden, fall for Elizabeth's attention-getting antics.... read more

Holmes Russian adoption videos

The links to both 1 and 2 are here. Part 1 has been updated slightly, in case you want to watch it again. Part 2 might be updated eventually, too, if more pictures come in. Here are the links: ... read more

Adoption videos

California trip

Tara, Elizabeth and I just returned from a trip to California. Ostensibly, we went for my nephew Thomas's wedding (to bride Heather at Lake Tahoe), but it was also a convenient excuse to let everyone on my side of the family,... read more

Sleep-over at Ronica's

I delegated the responsibility of reading Elizabeth her bedtime story :) By the way, she slept great! I put her to bed at 8:15 and she was asleep by 8:30. We woke up at 8:00 this morning. — Ronica... read more

Harmony Haven Therapeutic Riding and Horse Rescue

Cool toys here!We have started our non-profit organization in Cottonwood. Harmony Haven Therapy Riding and Horse Rescue. We will add you to our mailing list if you want upd... read more

My niece Kristen's graduation

Yeah, Kristen graduated tonight from Christian Brothers High. The ceremony was at Memorial Auditorium. Attached is a picture of her, Dad, and me. — Steve ... read more

A very artsy picture of Elizabeth

Just because I liked it, I'm posting it here! :) ... read more

Birthday party

Well, Elizabeth's birthday party is this Saturday. She'll be 3, and it'll be her first "real" party. It'll be outside at a covered table next to a playground in a nearby park. I can't tell you here on the Internet exactly where this p... read more

Family newsletter

Old stuff, but some of it's still funny ... It's basically the precursor to this website. Click the links in the table of contents, above. Otherwise, just do a search in the home page's ... read more


Elizabeth spent her first official full day at daycare yesterday. The teacher went on and on about how wonderful and good and helpful she was. I say "first official" day because... read more

Recent photos

Around the house ... read more

Doctors say she's normal

Tara took Elizabeth to the "international adoption specialist" doctors today for a psychological evaluation and another physical exam. They say she is perfectly average/normal for a girl her age. Of course, that puts her well above av... read more

Baby shower

Tara's female family and friends threw Elizabeth a baby shower last weekend. I was the only man there. The only reason I went was so that any other men showing up wouldn't be the only man. Oh well. I was able to get a lot on video, an... read more


I can't believe how nice my coworkers at Franklin are. On Friday, they had a luncheon at work for Elizabeth and Tara. They invited me, too. :) Great food, several gifts, and the biggest surprise: a money tree. Tara and I were speech... read more

Settling in

I just thought I'd mention that Elizabeth is settling into her new life pretty well. Tara is her full-time parent, I just appear after work and on weekends. :) Even then, it's Tara who does most of the work. Elizabeth's biggest hu... read more


Cool toys here!Pet-related posts Cottonwood Creek Pet Spa (Facebook ... read more


To sum it all up: We love our daughter. Elizabeth is a wonderful, beautiful, intelligent little girl. We thank Russia for giving her to us. Otherwise, we did not enjoy Russia.In their defense, we weren't there under normal circumst... read more

More pics (12-28-2007)

Elizabeth likes bows in her hair ... read more

Stay tuned

I hope to get the rest of the photos and videos on here, at least in raw form, over the next few days. I think I'm getting over my post traumatic stress disorder from the trip and can now face looking at the video again. :) Reg... read more

Airport arrival

Some pictures as we arrived in the airport. There was a great welcoming party there! We've never had an airport welcoming party before! ... read more

A few pictures

Finally, some pictures of Elizabeth. They're not even the latest, but it should hold you over if you've never seen her before. ... read more

We're home!

And now I'm going to bed! :) I'll blog tomorrow.... read more

Riding the Metro, part deux

Riding the Metro

Still in Moscow

We're in a different hotel, the Holiday Inn - Moscow Sokolniki, for the rest of our stay. This is the one that was originally reserved ... read more

Can't leave early

... but at least it's all over. The Embassy visit went fine. Delta said that the only way we could take the available seats on earlier flights was to pay $2800 extra FOR EACH ... read more

To the embassy

Update to the update's update

Moscow update continued

Back in Moscow

Pictures of our life in Astrakhan

Tonight is our last night in Astrakhan. So, I thought I'd post some pictures of where we've been living for the past 19 days.We've had many battles over clothing. She thinks I put too much clothes on her. In the hotel room, she wea... read more

Just another week to go

... maybe less! That cheers me up. That's assuming everything goes as planned ... and it WILL. I believe in positive thinking (when I'm desperate, anyway, because it leads to positive actions, which lead to positive results, or at lea... read more

51-1/2 hours

Nothing much to update about


Sleep, what a concept

Bowel movement

The first hours of parenthood

She's ours!

More pictures (12-09-2007)

Here are some photos from today of the hotel and the closest major street to us. We didn't get very far on our walk because it was too cold. ... read more

Picture of us before court

... from several days ago, the morning of our court appearance. Taken by the other adoptive family in town for their first trip, the Mees. ... read more

Light at the end of the tunnel

We visited Elizabeth again today. We caught her when she was in the music room with all the other kids in her age group. She smiled wide when she saw us, but by the time she reached us, she tried to keep it cool. Like, "Oh, it's you. ... read more

She's warming up to us

It's going to be a good week

That's all I wanted to say. :) We had a shortened visit with Elizabeth today because we had to first stop by the pharmacy and get some Ben-Gay and ibuprofen for my sore neck. Ben-Gay... read more

Went for a walk...

... in the freezing cold, because we were THAT bored. I'm starting to hate this place. There's just nothing to do when we're not visiting Elizabeth or going shopping. And both of those require a driver, and usually a translator. I can... read more

Beet salad

Much better visit today

Saturday morning

The day after


As you probably read below in Tara's post, our court appearance went very well. Ten days from now we will officially be the proud parents of Elizabeth! And now Vika tells us that we get to visit her not just a few times, but every day... read more

And the judge says......


Comments welcome

I set this blog so that you can now add your comments anonymously without logging in. So, comment away! I was afraid that the requirement for a login was keeping people from participating. Now you can go crazy because you're anonymous... read more


Russian adoption consultant

Back in Astrakhan

We made it to Astrakhan, but I've lost my immigration form that goes with the passport and visa. It's just a little sheet that they have you fill out on the airplane before you land. If I'd known it was so important, I would have stap... read more


Time flies when you lose nine hours. We fly to Astrakhan this afternoon. This morning, we'll be having the free breakfast that the hotel offers. Then we'll exchange our dollars for rubles (before the dollar devalues even more). I coul... read more

In the air again

Sunday, November 25, 2007, 5:00pm CST We're in the air on our way back to Moscow. Delta Flight 46. The current in-flight movie is "Evan Almighty," which we saw on one of our oth... read more

Mweh yeddum v aeroport eta ootra

You probably guessed what that means: We are going to the aiport this morning. It's probably not grammatically correct, but I ain't got no time for linguistic correctitude. :) Unlike last time when the cat kept waking me up, this ... read more

Elizabeth's room

OK, here are the pictures: Before ... read more

Internet access

I'm wondering about internet access now that we've tentatively planned to stay in a weekly apartment in Astrakhan instead of the hotel the entire time. We'll probably want/need that internet access for the sake of something to do. Nor... read more

Skora mweh tam boojum

Round two

We're home!


Last visit for a while

Another great visit

Sights of Astrakhan

I'm attaching pictures we made of Astrakhan and our room. We are staying at the Hotel Azimut in Astrakhan. They are going through major renovations right now. It's kind of funny to see the interior design mix. The lobby is decor... read more

Great visit

We had a great visit with our little girl this morning. There were no observers. That happens this afternoon. Vika had mentioned that we should think about showing more affection in front of the observers. It's more in line with how R... read more



It's a girl! it's a girl!


What a day...

It's only Monday?

We're in Astrakhan

After a nerve-wracking trip to the airport and getting through the airport security we finally made it to our plane. We were told that our Rep, Galina, would be flying with us. We never saw her until we were already on the plane. She ... read more

Check out time

We check out in an hour. We got a nice free breakfast this morning. We then went back to that grocery store and managed to pay the right amount for the right kind of water (not sparkling, which is hard to find). Security guard work is... read more


Well, we made it to Moscow!After a long plane trip, we managed to get through passport control and customs with no problems. And all of our luggage made it!Our CHI Rep and driver were late getting to the airport and we were worr... read more

We're in Moscow

We'll be spending the night in Moscow, after all, and flying down to Astrakhan tomorrow afternoon. I was stressed out without an internet or even a usable power connection. But I'm obviously connected now. I had the power converte... read more

In the air

Travel day

The day before


This time next week....

I'm happy to say that this time next week, we will be in Astrakhan, Russia! We leave the States on Friday, September 28 and arrive in Moscow on the 29th. Depending upon the schedule of the flights to Astrakhan, we may have to stay in ... read more



Doug sells power tools Doug's genealogy services ... read more

Eleanor and Lionel

Lionel's sister, Dolores In 1936 after being crowned Queen. Eleanor's back surgery a success! "Everyone warned me against back surgery," she says. "But, I'd b... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 8 no 1

Once in a Blue MoonVol. 8 No. 1, February 1997 A lot has happened since our last newsletter, so let's just jump right in with the "news"... Mike and Evelyn get married Almost two years ago now (June 21, 1995, a... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 7 no 1

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 6 no 7

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 6 no 6

Coyote BreathVol. 6 No. 6, October 26, 1994 Don rides to Denver In August, Don rode his motorcycle from Nashville to Denver. He wouldn't say why or what he did while in Denver. All we know is that he returned to... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 6 no 5

Behind the Eight Ball Who is that behind the eight ball, anyway? ... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 6 no 4

Fish Stories Best when lightly buttered, with just a pinch of lemon. Vol. 6 No. 4[sometime between April and August 1... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 6 no 3

The Obtuse Moose Vol. 6, No. 3, April 21, 1994 Jeannie finds dog Jeannie and John have a ranch in Tracy, California. To ... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 6 no 2

Falling Down a Manhole(can be quite painful and should be avoided)Vol. 6, No. 2, March 1, 1994 Michael mo... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 6 no 1

Itchy Trigger Finger Vol. 6, No. 1, February 6, 1994earthquake in Southern California... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 5 no 8

The Happy Hairball (something we keep coughing up) Volume 5, Number 8 December 20, 1993 Publisher: This guy —>> Editor: Same guy Distribut... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 5 no 7

The Rotten Apple "Journalism with visible holes"Vol. 5 No. 7, December 1, 1993 Mike Rolls Car! ... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 5 no 6

Hoot and a HollerVol. 5, No. 6, September 28, 1993 — Nashville edition... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 5 no 5

the rabblerouser Vol. 5, No. 5, August 8, 1993 Bill moving to Nashville Bill is moving to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue his boy... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 5 no 4

Not Just Another NewsletterMONDAY, JULY 19, 1993CIRCULATION: Fro... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 5 no 3

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 5 no 2

The Sacred CowVol. 5, No. 2, March 15, 1993 Dad sucked from plane!... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 5 no 1

The Stupid Kangaroo Vol. 5, No. 1, February 1, 1993 Editor's Note: This newsletter wel... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 4 no 8

The Leaping Lizard Vol. 4, No. 8, October 20, 1992 EDITOR'S NOTE ... After Gr... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 4 no 7

The Belching Frog Vol. 4, No. 7, September 16, 1992 "Thomas should like thi... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 4 no 6

The Barking Dog Vol. 4 No. 6, July 22, 1992 "Who names these newsletters, anyway?" earthquakes, earthquakes! We're ... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 4 no 5

The Broken Record Vol. 4, No. 5, June 25, 1992 "Predictable, irritating. Really, no redeeming qualities whatsoever." L.A. riots: T... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 4 no 4

The Squeaky Sprocket Vol. 4, No. 4, May 11, 1992"The intelligent person's newsletter of choice." Riots in L.A., earthquakes in So. Cal and Eureka! Is the wo... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 4 no 3

The Leaky Faucet Vol. 4, No. 3, March 18, 1992 "More of the same, basically.&... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 4 no 2

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 4 no 1

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 3 no 8

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 3 no 7

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 3 no 6

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 3 no 5

NEWS Vol. 3, No. 5, July 6, 1991 Northern California's leading newsletter since 1989 (except for those few months when we were Southern Cali... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 3 no 4

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 3 no 3

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 3 no 2

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 3 no 1

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 9

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 8

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Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 5

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 4

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 3

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 2

Bullseye Vol. 2, No. 2, January 26, 1990 [formerly known as Hard Copy; before th... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 15

NEWS, ETC. Vol. 2, No. 15, December 18, 1990 "Christmas Issue" Lucy to... read more

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 14

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 13

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 12

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 11

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 10

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 2 no 1

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 1 no 10

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Holmes Family Newsletter vol 1 no 5

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 1 no 4

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 1 no 3

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 1 no 2

Holmes Family Newsletter vol 1 no 1

Regenerated Oct 16 2019