SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend Entertainment

My description of this year's Thanksgiving weekend--a fabulous, fun-filled, friend and family frenzy. We set a record for the number of people gathered for dinner (56) and even added a few more for pie. Our habit for decades has been to open our home for any family and friends who want to gather and/or don't have any family in town. We were thrilled to have so many join us this year! The weather was perfect for the annual football game and gave everyone a chance to get out and run off the meal. I suspect, however, that the old guys were calling huddles just to catch their breath. (Light and Mendo, you remember how cold it was when you were here that we even had trouble keeping warm by the bonfire--this year was warm and I didn't even wear a coat when I went out to take pictures!)

For some people it is strange that anyone would not live near their relatives and for others it is the norm. We discovered that out of the 9 couples present (18 of us) only 2 were actually born in Wisconsin. Even more surprising was realizing that 7 of us were born and/or raised in California. We felt like a real example of the mobility that is available in our modern society.

On Friday, we planned some meals, activities, and game times for our immediate family and one of the highlights was having Bryce produce and direct some lip sync videos. Most of them will remain private and be enjoyed only by the ones who are now regretting letting their inhibitions run away with them. This one, however, shouldn't embarrass anyone and was our favorite of the bunch.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Recipient of TOYM (Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans) Award, 2011. Go Kari! I've seen her "at work" and she is just awesome and amazing and inspiring at what she does. She was probably their number one pick (out of the ten) for this award.

Here's her modest bio:
Kari has been producing human potential events for disease-related causes since 1998. She is the founder and executive director of Charity Events of Minnesota – a non-profit organization created in 2007. CEoM produces the Breast Cancer Ride and in 2012 she and her team will be producing a new event that focuses on men’s cancers. Before founding CEoM, Kari was the original executive producer of the Red Ribbon Ride, which is a four-day bike ride for HIV/AIDS and was also a staff member at Pallotta TeamWorks where she helped produce the AIDSRide and Breast Cancer 3 Day Walks. In the first three years of the Breast Cancer Ride, she has helped raised more than half a million dollars for their beneficiaries: Open Arms of Minnesota and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Minnesota affiliate. In her time with the Red Ribbon Ride, Kari helped raise 2.7 million dollars for nine different nonprofit beneficiaries. Kari also dedicates personal time to serving her community as a member of the Community Services and Planning Commission for the City of Richfield and volunteers her time with organizations like Open Arms of Minnesota, Stone Family, Dakota Woodland Feed My Starving Children, Rosemount Family Resource Center Special Olympics, and serves as a “Big” for the Big Brothers, Big Sisters. She credits the many people in her life who have “poured their life into her” and acted as a mentor. Kari wants to raise young leaders up and lives by the motto “my ceiling is your floor” – words shared by her pastor that resonates with Kari and motivates her to mentor others.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Welcome Veda Dawn!

At 6:31 am EST (this morning, November 19) Chet and Priscilla welcomed little Miss Veda Dawn into the world (pronounced VAY-da). This beautiful little girl weighs 8 pounds 5 ounces and is 20.5 inches long. Priscilla was admitted to the hospital at noon yesterday with high blood pressure and early signs of pre-eclampsia. There was talk of having to induce her amid some concern for her health. God answered our prayers and not only brought her blood pressure back down; but, just as they were beginning to set up for an induction her water broke and labor proceeded naturally! Priscilla felt like she was birthing "forever" because she had spent the entire day in the hospital, but her actual labor was only 9 hours long and everything went very well. Even though she claimed her make-up all got wiped off during labor I think she looked every bit as radiant as Dana.

Two babies in two days! It sure brings back memories. Dana was born just two days after her cousin Mark and she is excited and hopeful that these two cousins will have as much fun growing up with each other as she and Mark did. The two girls are just 27 hours apart.

I mentioned in the last post that we were all together for supper on Tuesday night, but what I failed to include is that we had a cake for dessert that I jokingly named "Labor Cake". It was actually the top to Chet and Priscilla's wedding cake that has been in my freezer for just a few weeks shy of two years! Yes, we all braved it and actually ate a piece. It survived quite well and tasted pretty good. I don't know if it had anything to do with bringing on their labors (both in less than 72 hours). But, just in case there's anything to it our advice is: Save your frozen wedding cake until you're ready to go into labor. And if you want the exact recipe you can contact Priscilla's dad for the recipe (yes, he made her wedding cake).

Here is Veda with her Daddy, her Granddad, and Uncle Gabe.

Veda, 8 hours old, sleeping with a little bit of a scowl

Chet, 24 hours old, sleeping with his own little scowl

Nana holding my 4th granddaughter, the daughter of my 4th child (I just have a thing with numbers!).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Welcome Sadie Jean!!

At 2:12 am (this morning, November 17) Dana and David became the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl. Sadie Jean weighs 7 pounds 7 ounces and is 19 inches long. Wonder-woman-Dana only had 4 hours of labor. I went and saw her this morning and she looked radiant and way too lively for not having slept at all last night. David looked great, too, but I won't say radiant (I think he'd prefer I kept it that way).

Both Dana and Priscilla were here for supper on Tuesday night (both overdue) and I suggested that they each have their baby on the 17th. Our first four grandchildren have birthdates with the numbers 1 and/or 7 in them (11th, 17th, and 7th) which makes it very easy for Nana to keep track of! You can't get any better than 11-17-11. Apparently, Sadie thought it was a good idea because she complied beautifully!

Unhappy Baby Sadie

Almost 21 years ago, an unhappy baby Dana

Holding my 5th grandchild, daughter of my 5th child.