Family News
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Making Mike & Sandy feel older, their Great-Grand Daughter Kerri turned 18, has a steady boy friend, and went to the Prom.
Mike took Great-Grand Son Colby, soon to be 7, to see the model railroad layout at Walnut Creek's Larkey Park recently.




Addison Faye Basman, Sandy and Mike's newest Great-Grand Daughter, is already 3 months old, and enjoying lots of attention, including from GrandMa.
Sandy and Mike's church has a 7-year missions project at Sintaro, a small village in Eithiopia. So far, they have installed a water system bringing clean water directly to the village center, and have built the first half of a village school, covering grades K-4. (The next phase builds space for grades 5-8). Solar panels on the new building's roof provide some lights for evening adult classes -- these are the first electric lights many of the villagers have ever seen. Mike and Sandy are providing a school scholarship for Tinsae, an 8-year old boy in 3rd grade.




Mike and Blake recently enjoyed a water-side tour of the Port of Oakland, which bills itself as the West Coast's largest container port. Here they passed near the two largest container cranes at the port.
You can see more here about previous Mike and Blake adventure trips.
Sandy was busy, but Mike braved the crowds and attended the MoneyShow, an annual investing conference and show in San Francisco.



Mike's daughter Patty is now settled in at her new apartment in Concord, and enjoying being closer in than at her previous digs.

Sandy's niece Erin married Jason Miller at a beautiful outdoor location near Denver. Here's Mark O'Leary walking Erin down the aisle. The bride and groom exchange vows while Sandy and relatives huddle under blankets. (There was snow the day before the wedding, but things cleared up for the big day -- just a bit chilly.) The newly weds posed at the dinner and reception afterwards.




Mike was at Mt. Herman near Santa Cruz for his church's annual Men's Conference. (Hint: he's at the left edge, about half way back.)
Great Grandson Colby posed with Sandy this Christmas, apparently happy with what Santa had brought him.



Mike's daughter Patty and friend David joined Mike & Sandy for a Christmas lunch.

Mike's daughter Patty was ready for her birthday lunch, but watch dog Fuzz sadly had to stay home.

Mike worked the polls for the November election again this year, but had little time to relax -- turnout was almost double the usual level.



Grandson Ryan had a birthday, but why stick with a traditional birthday cake when you can enjoy Grandma Sandy's famous cheesecake? Here's the birthday boy, with Dad Mark, sister Trisha, and nephew Colby looking on.

Labor Day each year sees the annual Jacaranda Drive block party, held at the end of their street. It's a cul-de-sac with no traffic, so there's plenty of room for tables, umbrellas, etc.

Son Rick continues his hobby of skateboarding (even though he could be called a "senior skateboarder" from several perspectives). Here he is at a friend's house, who has a swimming pool-shaped skate bowl in his backyard.




Mike and friend Marv sometimes bicycle all over the Bay Area, but this day they went into San Francisco during Fleet Week to tour a U.S. Navy guided missle cruiser.

You can see pictures of some other adventures Mike and Marv have tried here.



Mike accompanied Sandy to the 60th reunion of her San Mateo High School class. It was a rather quiet evening, as there wasn't too much shouting or jumping around in a room filled with 78 year-olds.

Great Grand-son Colby stayed with Mike & Sandy for a few days, during which a ride on the famous Tilden Park steam-powered train took place!
Sandy made the local newspaper, with her group of ladies that provides birthday gifts for Meals On Wheels receipients.


The Daniel (Sandy's maiden name) reunion coincided with Mother's Day. Sandy and Great Grand-daughter Kerri joined in for double the fun!



When a certain person was a senior in high school, her Dad, a car dealer, bought her a new red-and-white 1956 Ford Fairlane -- quite similar to this one seen recently at a local car show.
Easter brunch was even more festive this year with two pre-schoolers searching for the elusive Easter eggs!



Mike went to Mexico for a week camping out with 210 teenagers (and some other adults) from Mike & Sandy's church to build new houses for 14 poor families. The project was in a "shanty town" area east of Tijuana. You can read more about the project, and see some pictures, here.

Sandy continues in the cast of the Assistance League's "Show On The Road" production which entertains twice a year at area Assisted Living facilities. (Assistance League is one of Sandy's main philanthropic efforts.) You can see her in some earlier year's costumes by scroling further down this page.



City Team is a mission in downtown Oakland supported by Mike & Sandy's church which, among other things, operates a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in a historic building formerly housing a hotel. The hallway on the residential floor was dimly lit at night, but not any more! Mike and his friend Dave installed a new light fixture at the end of the hall, and ran conduit to connect the new light to the old one.

Sandy and some women friends recently toured the new Levis Stadium ("Home of the '49ers").

Grandson Ryan Darius recently married Courtney, expanding our family. The newly-weds just bought a house in Martinez, and like new home-owners everywhere, are repainting and tailoring it to their needs.

Mike again this year joined other men from his church in Danville for the annual Retreat and Conference in the Santa Cruz mountains. Can you spot Mike in this picture?

Grandson Jon was up from Bakersfield for a visit, so he and his Dad walked the Golden Gate Bridge with Mike.



Sandy has never played Bocce Ball, but gave it a try when a friend celebrated his 60th birthday (just a kid!!) at an Italian place in Livermore.

Well at least Sandy got into the Halloween spirit! Here's she's in costume heading out to a bridge group event.
Grandson Jon in Bakersfield continues his Martial Arts studies, recently earning his Orange Belt. Here he is with his instructor.


Sandy's son Rick bought a 2nd home in Kernville, in the mountains east of Bakersfield, where he is a river rafting guide many summer weekends. Sandy was invited down to admire the new house, and Mike was invited dow to fix some things on the home inspection report. Here's Sandy and Rick overlooking the nearby Kern River.



Mike and Sandy enjoyed a trip to Yosemite recently for the wedding of friend's Pat and Jesse's son and a beautiful young lady whose family hails from Fiji.


Grand-daughter Trisha was the host for the Christmas morning brunch this year, giving Sandy a break. Son Mike and Grandson Jon, up from Bakersfield, get the "longest distance traveled" award. Here's everyone, except for Mike the photographer.




Son-in-law Blake chose an Italian restaurant to celebrate this year's birthday, maybe because of the yummy deserts they offer (which somehow got slid over in front of Mike).


Son Rick has a day job, but one of his loves is being a guide on river rafting trips. Here he is coming through the Grand Canyon on a recent Colorado River trip.



The video camera platform at Mike & Sandy's church needed to be a little bit higher, but there had already been several near-misses when chairs rolled too near the edge. Mike solved this problem by designing two new vibration-isolated but connected booths, and building them with help from some friends. They're styled to match the adjacent sound and lighting booth.




The Assistance League of Diablo Valley, where Sandy spends countless hours volunteering, had Elvis as a guest entertainer at one of its Christmas parties. Here's Sandy (on right) and friend Joni.




Mike convinced Sandy it would be great fun (just once!!) to join the New Year's Eve crowd in New York's Times Square. Here they are about an hour before the ball dropped, and the view down the street -- about 1 million people there -- cold weather, but no snow. Along with friends Buzz and Doreen, they also took in the 9/11 Memorial, the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, and other New York sights.

You can see more here.

Sandy is a regular performer in the Assistance League's "Show on the Road" troupe, which visits assisted living facilities around the area. In past shows, Sandy has appeared in many roles, including a "flapper" in a Roaring 20's production, in a "Grease" -type show, as one of Snow White's dwarfs, as a lion, etc.




Mike was one of many volunteers for the complete rebuild of the San Francisco City Academy building in San Francisco, a major project of Sandy and Mike's church in Danville. This took almost 3 years of work, and almost $1.5 million in fund-raising. The Academy, a Christian K-8 school, is very successful, with over 100 students now enrolled.
You can see some pictures of this big project, Mike's work there, and a little of its history, here.



Grandson Jon and Dad Michael recently visited the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and ventured out on the glass walkway over the canyon edge.



We don't have a current picture of Grand-daughter Carina (now 13) and Grand-son Avery (now 10), but here they are posing for a portrait a while back.


The big day finally arrived, and Sandy officially reached 70. She has had many good wishes from near and far. Here she is with all the guests at the big family party at the El Dorado Hills home of one of her sisters -- what a crowd! (Wait 'till you see what happens for her 80th birthday in 2018!)




Mike and Sandy recently joined a family party which saw Sandy and all 3 of her sisters together, a fairly unusual event, as the four live in different towns, hundreds of miles apart. Here's Sheila, Barbara, Sandy (the oldest), and Carla, in a rare picture.