Tag Archive | family

Family Vacation 2016

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Our big vacation as a family this summer was a trip to Minnesota, prompted by my cousin’s wedding. We headed to Duluth for the wedding and used the opportunity to stay with Hans’ cousin and family. They have four boys and our boys had a blast playing with their second cousins, which was wonderful since they stayed behind while we went to the wedding! The wedding was nice, other than the thunderstorm that cut power to the area for three hours during the reception… but the party continued and it was a nice wedding. Hans, my brother, and I even played a game by the light of the centerpiece during the reception, which was laughed at by my cousin and her new husband, who are big gamers.

Rocks in the lake

Lake Superior with our boys means we spend lots of time throwing rocks into the lake. It was fantastic.

After the wedding festivities were over, we took a few days to stay with our friends in Grand Marais, MN. We had a great time catching up with them and exploring the town. Then we made the two hour trip to Aurora and spent the rest of our trip at my parents’ house. My high school was having an all-class reunion, and we took advantage of the extra family-friendly events in town. Unfortunately the reunion part was disappointing, with really low attendance for the younger classes (I saw two others from my class of 68). But it was great being with family and playing lots and lots of board games.

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Yes, Elliot is riding a moose.

UntitledOne thing that is hard for me about living away from the hub of my extended family is being absent for big family get-togethers, so being able to be there for this one was refreshing. It was a little crazy with 10+ people in my parents’ house, but that made it fun, too.

Lion Caleb

Caleb showing off his lion face, from the family time in the park for the all class reunion. He was pretty excited about becoming a lion!

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Fall is a busy time!

The last few months have gone the way they tend to in the fall… entirely too fast! It is hard to believe that November is here already (especially since the weather this week was in the mid-60s!) and that the fall semester is over half finished.

We’ve been keeping busy – enjoying the beautiful fall weather, spending time with new neighbors, making pear and apple sauce, filling our house with students, hosting Sarah (our planting coach with InterVarsity) for a visit, two fall conferences, garden and yard work, hosting our parents, and seeing our kids grow right in front of our eyes.

With all of the activity, I think a photo update will be more interesting than reading my account of these activities. Enjoy!

Happy 4th Birthday, Caleb!

Caleb turned four in August. He’s such a big boy and has embraced his role as a big brother!

Painting trim

Our old house has gotten more updates this fall – and the trim on this window now matches the rest of the house. We’ve removed more trees from the yard, painted a little more in the kitchen, and are halfway through adding more insulation in the attic. (Hopefully it will be done in a few days!)

Big boy!

These days Elliot is sitting up unsupported, cut his bottom two front teeth, is eating solid foods, and giggles (often with Caleb) all through the day.

Making pear sauce

Our pear tree gave us a ton of pears, and we made 20 quarts of pear sauce this fall!

Ridiculous-looking pear tree

The pear tree got a makeover when it was time to harvest the pears, since it had been allowed to grow waaaaay too tall. It looks ridiculous right now, but we’re hoping it will grow well so we can remove the really tall part next year.

Sunset

When Sarah, our planting coach, came to visit, she spent a lot of time on campus with Hans – meeting students, learning about Michigan Tech, and helping with an interactive gospel display. We also showed her the Keweenaw, and went up to Brockway to watch the sunset.

Merry-go-round!

October had wonderful weather, and one Sunday it was in the 70s. We enjoyed a picnic after church and spent time playing at the park.

Halloween - a mailman and a little envelope!

Halloween seemed to last forever this year – our little mailman dressed up four times for Halloween events. (Thankfully only one of those gave much candy.) Elliot went to Safehouse at Michigan Tech as an envelope. (pictured)

Training, Visiting, and a Wedding

We're traveling!

It’s time to travel! (This was taken at our first stop of the trip!)

Two weeks ago we left for a two-week “vacation”. Most of the two weeks weren’t really vacation (although not having to cook for two weeks made it feel that way) since we spent one week in Madison, WI, for training with InterVarsity and half of the next week visiting supporters (which also felt like vacation… we love getting to spend time with people!). The last part of our trip was spent in northern Ohio, visiting part of Hans’ extended family and attending his cousin’s wedding.

The training we attended was for planting an international InterVarsity chapter* at Michigan Tech. We’ve been trying to get something going for the past few years, and the training we received is going to help make that happen. We were matched with a coach (another InterVarsity staff who has experience planting a chapter) and were brought through several cycles of activities to help us really see how we can grow a student group that multiplies itself.

Our biggest takeaway from the week in Madison?

Students are seeds to be scattered, not sheep to be gathered.

Read More…

Saying Goodbye to Grandpa

May was not the month I was expecting. We entered the month with crazy end of the semester life while Hans, Caleb, and I experienced bouts of the flu. Then it got a little crazier…

Hans left for his first week of Chapter Focus Week on May 2, the same morning the boys and I left for Minnesota to spend most of the week with my parents. While we were there my grandpa went to the hospital when his defibrillator zapped him 30 times or so in a few hours. He was life-flighted to Duluth (at 10pm) and I woke up the next morning to find out that my parents were both in Duluth (and had been all night). Two days later my grandpa went home from the hospital, to die.

It was a good week, but a hard week. The boys and I extended our stay and spent the next days with the whole family crammed into the two small rooms in my grandparents’ assisted living apartment. I left Minnesota to come home on Monday, May 11th, knowing I would never see my grandpa alive on earth again, and the next morning he passed away.

Four Generations

Four Generations: Taken just a few hours before Grandpa went into the hospital.

 

I am so thankful that we were there before my grandpa went to the hospital. We had two wonderful visits with my grandparents before Grandpa got sick, and lots of good time with the whole family after that.

We travelled back to Minnesota the following week for the funeral, and I gave the eulogy. I thought I would post it here, in memory of my grandpa.


Looking around, I know that many of you knew Gene as a friend. A few called him Dad… and some of us knew him as Grandpa. I want to share with you what Grandpa meant to us – sharing some of my memories of him and some memories that I have received from my cousins. Read More…