Saturday, December 19, 2015

November 2015

     November became the month of waiting but that is not all that took place.

     During the month of November my oldest boy decided to move out.  He is living with a group of other boys at a guys house a few miles away.  The guy is single and has had many boys stay at his place over the years and he also holds a boys Bible study on Saturday nights.  We've known many of the boys who have lived there over the years.  This is kind of a stepping stone between moving out and being fully on ones own.

     November also brought some strange weather - like 60 degree weather which is not normal this far north in November.  It was followed by 2 inches of rain and then a quick freeze creating a large skating rink in our front yard and the kids had a lot of fun strapping on ice skates and skating around on it.

     Around the middle of the month we got some fire wood cut and stacked so we can have some fun fires int he fireplace and got the snowblower running.  I also took off on another business trip.

     For Thanksgiving, we stayed home to celebrate and then the next day we went to Bemidji to do some shopping on Black Friday.  It was an enjoyable day with family and got some of our Christmas shopping done a long with stocking up on some needed house hold supples.

     On the last weekend of the month we put up the Christmas tree and finally ordered my oldest son's graduation gift - a big tool set

     On the last day of the month it looked like the waiting for baby to arrive may finally becoming to an end as my wife said she had one long uncomfortable contraction which brought us into December and a time of sweet sorrow as we did have our baby but he didn't survive.  More on that to come.

Monday, November 9, 2015

October 2015

     The first days of October brought an end to our soccer season.  Starting on the 1st our Junior kids won their game 5-2.  On the 3rd we had our tournament, hosted by Thief River, and, well, we brought the trophy home.  In the first game we 6-4.  We gave up a few extra goals than planned but we were in control the entire game.  IN the second game we played against the harder team and we won the toss and chose to defend against the wind.  I played all my top players in defense and we held the game scoreless in the first half.  In the second half we came out and scored first.  Than the apposing team scored and tied the game before we scored the winning goal.  The one who scored the winning goal not only scored the winning goal but it was his first goal ever.  As a result of the win we decided to go to A&W and get a gallon of root-beer for the ride home which itself provided more excitement.  I thought the adrenaline was running high after the win but missing the deer on the road really got it flowing.  Only by God's grace did we miss hitting three deer in the road.

     October also brought two more trips for work to work on a machine we are getting.  The first of the two trips was October 6th - 8th and the second the 26th - 29th. The new piece of machinery we are getting has to to many things and it is slow going, getting it ready to come to Warroad.  We still have two more trips planned. I'm not sure I can keep handling a bed all to myself and going out to eat for every meal - it makes dieting hard.

     The second Sunday of the month brought a 90 degree day and we had to run the AC.

     During the second week of October I took a trip to Grand Forks to see the urologist.  Nothing to worry about though as it was just a yearly check up and all was good.  I enjoyed the trip as I got to take my wife out for lunch and we didn't do fast food.  We were almost in an accident on the way home bu thankfully someone else was watching this time.

     Our new printer also died during the week and after talking to support from HP they decided to replace the printer since it was still under warranty.  I think it was about a week and the new one arrived and I had us printing again.  We had to send the old one back Fed-X and since my oldest boy had ordered some car parts Fed-x came right to the door and we were able to hand it off.

      On the third weekend My wife took several kids to Bemidji to visit cousins which was a fun thing for them but we also got a call that a deputy sheriff who was my third cousin was shot and killed on duty.  My mom and sister did make it to the funeral in which there were around 2000 officers and over 3000 people in all attending.

     On the fourth weekend of the month we headed to Brainerd to go to my brother-in-law's "celebration of life" gathering in honor of his passing  My sister and her boys seem to be doing alright and are planning to move back to Minnesota.
     On the 26th we celebrated my oldest boy's 20th birthday - well the family did as I was gone on one of the business trips.

     Through all of this my wife has gotten bigger as the baby has continued to grow and I have gotten smaller as I have continued to lose weight and I actually hit my first major goal of losing 30 pounds.  My next goal will be to try and lose another 15 pounds and then just hold it steady.

     Next time I post, I should be posting about the Baby being born

Saturday, October 10, 2015

September 2015

     September around our house is Soccer month as I coach the junior home school league and have 4 kids that play soccer.  That meant practices on Monday nights and Thursday nights for the juniors and the seniors and practices on Tuesday nights for the seniors unless of course there was a game scheduled.  Most weeks were busy 4 nights a week.  The juniors started the season off with a win and by then end of the regular season they had won 5 games and lost 1.  I even found my self scrimmaging with the senior kids on many occasions.

     September also brought to us temperature extremes from temps in the 90's to temps in the 20's.  Of course, it is that time of year.

On the day after Labor Day I did something I had not done before - I went flying - for work.  Since I represent quality, I became a part of a team that flew out of Warroad to the cities and then up to Princeton to do a run off / buy off on a new piece of equipment for the department I cover at work.  My wife and youngest 4 kids saw me off at the airport and the pilot even took the kids in to the plane to see it.  It was an enjoyable trip and a great learning experience.  I'll have more trips like this in October - after soccer and before baby comes.

     The second Saturday of the month was a fun day for the kids as the local sporting goods store puts on a day for kids 8-16 including things like rock climbing, water and fire safety, bird identification, and even shooting.  afterwards they give away many prizes including guns for the kids.  I went along to help chaperon kids and get them from one event to the next on time. Afterwards I spoiled my kids with ice cream cones.

     On the third Wednesday of the month our local AWANA club started.  Our family not only has several kids participating at different levels but we also help as leaders.  My wife is secretary and I am game leader for the sparks age group, my one daughter is going to lead the Cubbies group and my married daughter works with the T&T girls group.

     On the 18th the Jack Pine Retreat started.  This is a church retreat that we host every year.  It is camping in the woods and this year we had over 70 people join in the activities. Our theme this year was change.  When all was done, my wife and youngest kids decided to spend an extra night as the weather was so nice.

     Wedged in amongst all the activities were several trips to the local corn maze.

     Not all things that happened is September were positive.  On the last Saturday of the month we received a news that my middle sister's husband died.  He had a heart condition and had, had a small heart attack early on that he did not know about. I'm hearing that my sister will likely move back to Minnesota.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

August 2015

     The month started with a trip to town to the pool in which I took the kids so my wife could stay home alone and rest.  What does she do but decide to load the riding lawn mower up on the trailer and go mowing resulting in popping her back out of place and a trip to the chiropracter.
    The start of the month also brought the start of school for our kids.  As we home school we can start early and we can take days off when we need to and since we often loose many days to soccer, we start early.  And yes soccer started as well but that was toward the middle of the month but before that.... we had a 3 1/2 inch rain fall and then...

     On the first full weekend of the month we enjoyed the Family Music Festival just outside of Itasca state park.  It was a great time of music and train rides for the kids.  I took off on Friday morning with 4 of the kids and my wife brought another the following morning as the last child was at a birthday party and didn't get home until after midnight.  While there the kids even got to meet up with their cousins from the cities and had a blast playing with them.  My wife also met up with our midwife at the festival - had her check up in the tent - and we got to hear the babies heart beat for the first time.

     Following our return home came the start of soccer.  While the younger kids attended a soccer camp the older ones started practice for our home school soccer team. The following week the younger kids also started practice for our home school soccer team for which I am the head coach.  Soccer will continue into October.

     On the second Friday of the month I changed out some seals on our water softener for my wife.  I asked her if I needed to turn on the bypass before I opened things up and she said i didn't because the repair man never did - I got a shower - it did need to be turned on.

     The last half of the month was pretty much routine with not much happening other than the local corn maze opening up and spending time there.  I have been there every year it has been open and I still have not gone through the maze.  I go to visit.  This years theme is dinosaurs.

    Well, that's it, now to see what September holds.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

July 2015

     July started with the installation of our new printer. and it was followed by lots and lots of walking for the walk around the world challenge from work.  On my best day I topped 15 miles and our team came in 8th over all for our plant.  I saw many interesting things along my walks and met new neighbors as well.

     Of course, July means we celebrate the fourth of July and this year we did so with my folks who came up from Brainerd.  We had a great time and when it came time for the fireworks, God provided some of his own.  The rain came down so hard at time I could hardly see the road on the drive home.

     On the 7th of July several of the kids went to Bemidji for a swim meet and brought home several ribbons.  The seventeen year old boy, Jason, impressed the Bemidji coach and I've heard the Warroad coach wants to get him on a neighboring town's boy's team if possible.

    The second weekend of the month found us in Brainerd for a 60th anniversary of the church I grew up attending and where my dad was a founding member.  It was a great time with many great messages on the will of God.  That same weekend I felt the baby move for the first time.

     After returning home, a couple days later Shelly had to take the youngest to the cities for a follow up appointment, however, less then ten miles down the road a call came in canceling the appointment.  Thankfully someone was still home to get the message and stop her from driving all the way to the cities.

     That same week the 17 year old turned 17, the youngest lost his second tooth (of course dad had to fork over some money for that) and several of the kids went with my wife to a Baby Birthday Party hosted by our midwife, which she holds each year for all the babies she has helped with.

     July also means its time to go picking blueberries and on two different days I took kids out looking and found very little.  While conditions seemed great for a good year, a late frost killed off our chances for berries.

     And that's not all.  We also received a second piano - which needs tuning - celebrated my wifes birthday - I won't say how old she is - sent girls off to another bible camp, went to a going away party for friends, had a couple of soccer meetings and I can't wit till school starts so things will slow down....

Sunday, July 5, 2015

June 2015

     Well, June is over with no big surprises.

     Early in the month my wife left - for town - to house sit for about a week and a half for some friends.  I still got to see here everyday.  She enjoyed the quiet and saved herself on gas so I was able to go in an hour late each day to bring kids to town and then home afterward.

     During that week the kids also went to a VBS which they enjoyed and my oldest son took a trip to Thief River with my wife to finish hi GED testing and passed.  So, he is done with school.

     On the 10th of the month I hit something - the half century mark, as I turned 50 years old. While I received many birthday wishes, we did not do anything special. - I did get a puzzle and some candy.

     The same week I turned fifty we started a six week walking challenge at work so I've been working on walking.  At the same time I have been working on loosing some weight.  I've been successful on both attempts.  It has been enjoyable seeing all the things I've seen while walking - wild flowers and wild life.

     We received a new to us table and chair set for our kitchen which is a little bigger then our old table which we had since before we were married over 22 years ago.  Also new to the house was a car - Aaron bought another used car so he has a running one to get him to work and about.

     On the 17th I came home to a gaggle of giggly girls as the girls had a pool party.  It was the perfect day with the temps in the 80's.  I think they even had the canoe out in the pond.

     Father's day came on the 21'st and the day started out with home made glazed donuts.  That was later followed by home made taco pizza.  This was all followed by a trip to town because Jason - the life guard - got called into work, so we went out to eat and I got a free Sundae.

     The last week of the month our printer died and I found a new one on sale at Tiger Direct.  With its arrival we can print again.  Which will be needed as School season closes in which reminds me that school books were ordered this month as well.

     The last week end of the month found my wife house sitting again.  This time for her parents n Bemidji as they need her to take care of several farm animals while they were in Iowa.  The weekend also saw our youngest three girls off to Bible camp for the week and so concluded our boring month of June.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

May 2015

     The Month of May was busy starting with my daughter's wedding.  The wedding took place May 2nd at 2:07 - starting at 7 minutes past the hour was their humor.  It was a beautiful day with over 260 at the wedding.  The bride and groom quietly disappeared during the reception for a honeymoon up the north shore of Lake Superior.  They have been enjoying married life. 

     Along with the wedding brought family to visit which stayed around until Sunday after the wedding.  Once they left we were off to the next event a piano recital for my middle boy.  From the recital we went to a home school graduation ceremony and reception.  By month end we had went to two different home school ceremonies and around a dozen open houses.  Over all I think we handed out 20 grad cards this year.

     The second Sunday of the month I updated the family computer from Windows XP to Windows 7.  Later in the week,  the oldest boy went to Thief River Falls to work on taking his GED tests.  He completed two of the tests and passed both.  The week also brought over 2 inches of rain.

     During the third week my wife lit the big bonfire and burned up a bunch of brush.

     The month also brought some vehicle problems.  On my car, well, it was being backed out of a driveway by my oldest boy and he backed it into the ditch thinking the driveway was on the other side of the driveway marker.  That wasn't a problem until they decided to pull it out and wrap the tow rope around the stabilizer bar and, well, it didn't like being pulled on and, well, it wasn't stabilizing anything once the car was out of the ditch.  He replaced the part but it still needed alignment done.

     The car was not alone as our 12 passenger van also developed a problem - a blown brake line.

     During the last week of the month the pool began going up and being filled but time had taken it's toll.  The air tube around the top kept splitting open and would not hold air.  The fix that my wife found was to place some tubes inside the ring and it worked but then - the pump quit so a new pump was ordered up.  Even before the pool had, had a chance to warm up, kids were already in it.

     The last week of the month also brought a new swing set to the yard put together by Grandpa.

    After all that we celebrated a birthday for my third daughter who turned 11.  For her birthday she had several friends over.

     On the last Saturday of the month we went to another wedding.  We still have more wedding for the summer and I think it is now here.

Friday, May 1, 2015

April 2015

     The beginning of the month brought temps in the 70's, snow and the celebration of the Lord's resurrection.  On the day of celebration we watched our three youngest girls participating in an Easter play on the true meaning of Easter, the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.  Later in the day the kids did and egg hunt around the yard for 48 eggs stuffed with candy.  I got to eat the candy in the ones they couldn't find.  I guess I didn't hide them well enough as they found all but 2.

     A couple days after later the kids enjoyed a day at a home school tournament.  It was a fun day of various activities for the kids in which they could win ribbons.  Some of the categories included backing (done ahead of time), Piano (my wife helped judge this event),jump roping, writing of a story, penmanship, driving a remote control car, putting together a map of the US, etc. and then there was the big.....


      My wife, wondering why she was tending to be getting a little bigger, took a pregnancy test and - it was positive.....  I guess we are getting a replacement for the one who is getting married and moving out.  After a visit with the midwife later in the month, we decided to go with November 12th as the due date.  This will be child number 8 unless there is another surprise........

     The month of April also brought several red flag warning for fire danger.  On one of those days we lost power at the house due to the wind and several fire started, one which ended up burning over 400 acres in the state forest close to where the youngest got hurt sledding earlier this year.

     Being low on a few needed supplies, on the third Sunday of the on th we decided to head to Bemidji for the day to do some shopping and visiting.  As a result, we were even taken out to lunch by the in-laws.  I would say it was a great day.

     Well, Now that May is here, what kind of surprises do we have in store...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

March 2015

     So, March was not so crazy but it had its moments.

     Early in the month, with the ground still covered with snow the kids were begging to put up the trampoline.  They even went so far as to shovel out all the snow from within the trampolines base and a path around the trampoline.  I gave in and with the ground still covered, I helped get the trampoline put up.

     March also brought more driving time for the third child.  My wife and him picked me up one day from work and he was in the drivers seat.  My wife said I didn't do to bad.

     March also brought more preparations for my daughters wedding (things like sewing dresses and getting reception supplies) of which I didn't do any of the work.  It also brought a bridal shower for the ladies.

     Not to miss out on the spot light..... my oldest boy (not sure what he was trying to prove or if he was trying to show off in front of girls) jumped off the back of a moving car scraping up his face, badly bruising his arm, shoulder and elbow (which a cow later kicked) and giving himself a concussion.  Maybe he just wanted to be like hi little brother.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Febraury 2015

    February has come to a close and a look back over the month shows surprises can still happen.

     Winter stayed on for the month of February bringing temperatures in the 30's below zero and when it's that cold who wants to deal with water problems.  Working with Awana's we occasionally have a night off and that came in February on the 18th.  I was looking forward to a relaxing night that night but when I arrived home I was informed that we had no water.  Living in the country we rely on a well pump for water and ever since last spring the well has been slowly dying.  In the few days leading up to the 18th, the pump had acted up and popped the circuit breaker.  Each time I was able to get it going but on that Wednesday, well, it happened while I was at work and my oldest boy tried to get it going but failed. 

     Knowing it was going I decided it was time to replace the pump I grabbed my second boy and measured up some stuff and headed to town for a new pump.  As long as we were replacing the pump I decided to replace the tank as well since it was small and it had been something we've wanted to do for a long time.  After returning home with the new pump and tank, I preceded to put everything  together in the kitchen before heading under the house to a 3 foot crawl space to remove the old system and replace it with the new.  With the help of my future son-in-law, we soon had the old system out and the new one in and presto, we had no water.

     With no water running for the course of the day and with breaking the seal to the crawl space letting in cold air, the water lines froze.  Working with a small portable heater and a hair dryer we tried to get the water going.  Soon we had water to the pump but not into the house.  As I was preparing to give up for the night, the water finally went.  I cleaned up for the night went into the house and a few minutes later I hear the words "We have no water."

     A quick check and she was right.  I was too tired to work on it any more so I left a heater on the water pipe and went to bed for I knew that we wouldn't need the water for the first part of the following day.  When I got home on Thursday I headed back down to prime the pump and get the water going.  It didn't work. so I moved the heater and left it for an hour and a half and headed back down under the house.  This time the pump started to draw in water but very slowly.  I also found I had some leaks to deal with.  After the pump had run and shut off a couple of times I headed back up into the house and opened up the faucets and let the water run.  Soon the lines were clear of ice and I was able to take a hot shower.

     February also brought a trip to Bemidji for a church retreat.  It was a great time and for one of the highlights was going shopping with my wife.  I found a couple pair of pajamas on sale and got some new pants - for an upcoming wedding.

     Somewhere in all of this I received my annual revied at work and it went well.

     David, after last months scare and trip to Fargo has continued to improve.  My wife did end up taking him back to Fargo and to the U of M for check ups and he did receive a clean bill of health.  He appeared to have set back earlier this week but seems to be doing okay at the moment.  Time will tell.

     Time will also tell what adventures await our family in March.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015

     January brought our first significant snow for the winter but....  when I went to fill the snowblower with gas to blow out the yard - the gas ran right straight through and onto the ground.  To make it worse, I didn't catch the leak until I had filled the tank.  I was able to find an older gas can that was small enough to get under the stream of gas but I had to stand in the cold tipping the snowblower just right to get the gas into the can.  I still haven't started the blower.  Between shovels and my future son-in-law's plow, we survived.

     January also brought my wife's piano recital for her students which went over very well.

     January also brought a ski trip for the kids which was fun for them.

     Some where amongst all of this, my wife has been busy sewing for the upcoming wedding in May.   She now has the men's shorts sewn up except for the button holes and button and has started preliminary work on the dresses.

     January also brought a helicopter ride for my wife and 5 year old.  It started on a Sunday afternoon when the kids decided it would be a good day to go sledding at the local sledding hill.  As the youngest was being pulled up the hill after one of the runs to the bottom he was run into by someone going down the hill.  He was hit hard.  My wife decided to take him tot he emergency room at the hospital in Roseau.  After examining him they decided to fly him by Helicopter to Fargo ND for he had a concussion, a couple fractures in the head, some bleeding and a very black eye.  The following day they did release him and I took a trip to Fargo which is about a 5 hour drive one way with the stops  along the way.  I think we faired a little better. I brought an extra driver.

     The end of the same week was not any more fun as I had a trip to Grand Forks for a root canal of a root canal or something like that.

     With all the extra time off my wife has been teasing me for being a bum :)

What will February bring?