Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Try, try again - Olivia's choir video

Her duet is from 3:10 - 3:30 on this video. Words can't describe how proud we are!!! 50 kids tried out for these parts - 6 were chosen. GO OLIVIA!!!

Its official too... her first play performances are...

Fri Mar 19 & 26 @ 7:30pm OR Sat Mar 20 & 27 @ 2pm

I have no clue what size her role will be - she's a frog in the chorus - Ugly Duckling is the play.

Oh the weather outside is frightful!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Here are some pictures of our Christmas Eve. Everyone traveled safely and what blessings to see all our family within a week. Whether its Christmas or New Years it's great to see everyone for the joys of the season! We are thankful for each & every moment we have with all of you!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

We have video~ well, not high quality but we have it!

Oh how I couldn't wait to try this! First of all, my new phone has a video option. And then Daren is like the super star that acted perfectly like he knew what I was saying & even talked back (even though he hasn't said his first word yet)!

Olivia's choir concert is tonight so I'll post more later.
I just wanted to see if I could get the video to work!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We are blessed!

Last post I said bye bye warm weather. God proved me wrong - I also said if we get any more warm days we are blessed - well November has been perfectly beautiful for a fall month!!! No complaints here! The kids have been venturing out every late afternoon to welcome Owen off the bus then play outside until we make them come in!
The big news of our past couple weeks... DAREN IS TURNING 1! What better way to have a party than have a multitude of special people to celebrate with... Below are all the special birthday kids in our life within a week of each other of course. Tim's godchildren, Kaylee & Grant. Daren concludes the week with his special day - which is tomorrow!!!
Sincerely thank you to all who made our baby's 1st birthday party so special!
A good time was had by all even though we had a couple of flying friends trying to crash the party.
This isn't a great quality picture but too cute not to share. Here are a couple of future BFF's. :)
11 mo. - Daren & Ezra - 1 yr, 2mo

And then to secure a post for the near future - and since our lives aren't completely consumed by Daren... Olivia said something about a solo, a concert & 105 kids in the 6th grade choir... I am not going to miss this one!!! I'll tell ya all about it! What is more exciting than seeing a child be so excited they can barely talk about it?!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!! Count all the things you are truly thankful for & share what you can!!!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Bye Bye Beautiful weather

Oh what a weekend! It was SO nice - I hate winter so much. (OK, besides ice skating there is nothing good about it.) We were so busy Saturday my body still hurts. Tim was even taking Advil after hauling about 8 loads of manure out of the pasture. It was SO cute watching Gloria proudly going back & forth with Tim on the tractor between the stinky pile & field to unload the rich compost. Yuck! We got plenty of apples picked; leaves raked into piles & then wildly spread out again - mostly by Owen & Sylvia. I moved a shrub to a new location - I'm interested to see if it survives - this isn't always a successful thing for me - still not much of a natural green thumb. :s Most of the time I was trying to salvage this wonderful flower garden we inherited with the property. We'll see what grows next year. Its amazing how the kids want to help when you bring out the big trimming equipment. Then again on such a beautiful fall day it can't all be work, work, work...

OK, I am cheating here a little but this is one of the pictures I caught of Daren when enjoying the gorgeous weather on Saturday. We did snap a perfect-to-be-his-1-year picture but you'll have to wait for your Christmas card to see it.

Did I mention that it was really, really nice this weekend?! (Oh, I am going to miss it & really feel spoiled if I pray enough for 1 more weekend like that and actually get one!)

Life goes on I know!

Below is an unedited picture of Sylvia during her photo shoot last week for her 4 year snapshot. She had fun with it, and her sisters were pretty agitated that they weren't getting their pictures taken. The "final cut" will be in your Christmas card too.

And I can't believe it has been about 10 months since we have taken a picture with our entire family in it (yep, all 7 of us). We received a gingerbread cookie/Halloween house kit from a dear neighbor. We had a GREAT family night last week in working on this (when it was fairy chilly & dark by 5 - great reasons to stay inside). I am starting to get pretty excited for taking a family picture for our Christmas card. No animals this year - Tim says anything would be better than the overalls & pitchfork idea I have for including every living being we can get to be in front of a camera for a picture. You'll just have to wait & see.

We've been trying to instill in Sylvia already that Jesus' birthday is why we celebrate Christmas Day. It is quite funny. She knows Jesus and Christmas, but you can just read her face - "they're really connected - are you sure?!" Too funny!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween Picture

This is kind of a follow up. I had to post a picture from Sylvia's birthday party since she is still talking about it. I can't believe how grown up a 4 year old can look!!! They do grow up too fast!

You all requested it...
No that isn't our kids - it is Winnie the Pooh, the Mighty Red Power Ranger, Hannah Montana, Lil' Pumpkin & Oliver the boy (a.k.a. Tim at age 12).

Ok, whirlwind of what's been going on in our home...
(I don't even think I can slow my thoughts down enough to put them out here.)
Time change - check
Cupboard full of candy - check
Daren's bday next - check
Mom's first day of JO volleyball - check
Super cleaning (even moved furniture) in kids' bedrooms - check *This was manditory before dressing up for Halloween. Worked well! :)
I am sure there is plenty I forgot, but trust me it's getting done.
This is about how I felt after the month of October. Apparently Daren was just as wore out as I am! Yep, he fell asleep sitting up - well at least leaning on the bars of his crib.

My sister Stacey email this picture to us siblings this past week. I can't even put words to it - NOTHING COULD BE MORE FITTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! November 7th will be the 2 year anniversary of my dad's passing away. This picture was taken in about 1989. We all know he is looking down on us just like in the picture. It's like a little reminder/gift from God. (Sylvia is still convinced it is her in the picture & not Stacey. Too funny!)
Don't forget to count your blessings each day!
Speaking of counting blessings...
Daren turned 11 months last Sunday. On Monday he was officially crawling (4 days off on my last blog's estimate). First birthday here we come! He has no interest in standing alone or walking. (Yep, you probably can hear my cheering from where ever you may be!)

Technical Difficulties

I had such a nice post all ready to go & the stupid website - whatever wouldn't let me publish the post & now I am too tired to care. I'll try again tomorrow - if I find time!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seasons' Change

There are plenty of seasons changing...
*9th grade volleyball is all done. JO coaching season starts soon. (yep, that's more volleyball.)
*Halloween costumes are coming out & duck hunting gear will get packed away.
*Sylvia thoroughly enjoyed getting many birthday gifts that she is super thankful for & Daren is unknowingly anxious for turning 1. :) (And he'll be officially crawling in 2 days for sure!)
*The winter sleds are sitting on the grassy hill next to the tree that has the kids' pool wrapped around it after a few windy days.
*Apples are coming off the trees as fast as the leaves.
*Oh dear Lord get us through another laundry switching of the clothing season... Right now there is everything from fleece sweatshirts to bikinis going through the washer & dryer then mounded into a laundry basket awaiting a box if it is a summer clothing item or the winter clothing will hopefully make it into a dresser drawer. Needless to say we are trying to figure out who actually wears what size in the winter season clothing!

I had to post this picture - it is of a quilt we received as a gift.

AMAZING!!! It is like a little story of our beautiful homestead.

The gifts that people share sometimes are so touching & eye opening. Thank you to ANYONE who has ever given us a gift - we still appreciate it to this very day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Only October?!?!?!

"Ugh" is right. As darn cute as Daren is who knew we'd be bundling everyone up in October already?!?! You can't read the thermometer in the one picture but let me tell you it is ready WAY lower than it should be for this time of year!!! We were at about 27 degrees this morning; not good. Yesterday I scraped a heavy 4 inches of snow off my van to get to fall teacher conferences! Like I told a few people the other day. Spring lasted until August, then summer started as soon as school did. Now fall lasted about 2 weeks & winters here.
Is this what Tim always dreams of when it gets close to North Dakota time?!?!? I like this weather WAY better in his dreams!!!!

I don't know what party bug has bit us these days but we had a Mary Kay spa party & a women's softball party here last week. This week its Sylvia's birthday party & 4H Halloween too! Who doesn't love a good party for a foot massage or hay ride. The bonfire was a chilly one - I stayed in the house... a party with more desserts than food can never be a bad thing!
And how about the sickness looming over our country?!?! This is NUTS!!! I felt silly at teacher conferences not able to remember which kid missed which days of school. Now I know we've all have/had something & run plenty of temps, coughs & now taken stock in the tissue industry! Its only October...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where did the month go?!

Kids are in full swing with school. Owen has been to the apple orchard; Olivia has lots of homework every day; Gloria is going to the MN Zoo soon!

Apples are done - finally!!! We have been snacking on them for a few weeks now. YUM!!!

So much to share - its easier when someone is asking me questions I guess. Either that or I am just too tired to remember what we've been so busy with - actually... Dozinky was awesome - we got our picture in the local paper. Too funny! My 9th grade volleyball team took 3rd in the conference & we beat the 10th grade in a scrimmage. 27 days & counting until season end. I'll miss it the second its done. Religion classes have started! I love it - too bad the kids don't quite as much as I do.

Tim's plans are nearly set - Devils Lake here he comes. Our freezers are full of turkey and beef! Where will the ducks & geese go?!?

Sylvia asks every day if it is her birthday yet. Why do they want to grow up so fast?!?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

School days, school days. Time for golden rule days...




...Reading & writing & arithmetic. Watch out for the hickory stick.

Does anyone remember that song?!!? My dad used to sing it all the time as we drug ourselves out of bed day after day years ago. Funny how I am now dragging myself & Olivia out of bed. That's right- 6:35 A.M. she's outside waiting for the bus. Owen's bus time is 8:05am. This is such a delicacy these days! Of course we had to have an eventful 1st day - Olivia managed to get on the wrong bus after school - 4 or 10 does the bus # really matter?!?! I watched bus 10 zoom by our house & never came back. Needless to say about 1 1/2 hours later Owen's school called (after calling about every other district building) to let me know Olivia would arrive home with Owen. Since I was at the high school trying to work thru all of this my volleyball team was freaking out way more than I did. Just about the same thing happened when she was a kindergartner except she made it home in a much shorter amount of time~ enough about school!!!

Labor Day weekend was another GORGEOUS WEEKEND!!!!!!!! We nearly froze in the tent Friday night but Saturday & Sunday was not so bad. No ones fingers or toes turned black. :) Just about everyone looked like they had the chicken pox (except Daren) from all the small, tricky, nearly invisible mosquitoes they have up north. Still itchy...

Labor Day can never go by without the McGregor cornfeed!!! It was a mildly off year - The Lemke family only ate about 146 cobs of corn in 5 hours this year which ties last year's number. Tim & Josh tied for the guys at 16 cobs each usually its over 20. I'm not sure where I put it but I blew everyone out of the water in the women's division (again) eating 13 cobs. I am proud of this but keep thinking I must have miscounted?! I know I wasn't that far from Tim in the last hour - he was at 14 & I at 10. I threatened to catch up & thus we both added a few more cobs before it was all over. Man it was fun!!! I even took 2 of the nieces, Syli & Glo to the dance area to polka for a little while.
I love bragging, I mean updating... since it was so beautiful I couldn't wait to go water skiing again - its been about 10 years. Tim claims he has never seen me water ski but his memory deceives him since I know I did once at the cabin. Year after year I watched him get better & better being pulled behind the boat (although he can't do one ski yet) while I sat in the boat with a child in my abdomen. :) This year it was going to be me back there!!! So finally Monday as we ignored the fact it was time to go home I jumped into the freezing cold Lake Minnewawa & slipped on those skis. It was great to be back there - no matter what Tim tells you I loved it! Maria asked if I got to go skiing & all I said is I decided I am getting older. I need to figure out how to use these muscles that are so super sore & get them back into shape before next year.
Have to throw this out there...Dozinky is only a week away!

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24th

Where do I start?!? (I think I will regret staying up so late to update but I guess its worth it!) I don't know what it would take to end up having a nervous break down but I can honestly say with the chaos around here these days I am doing pretty well!

This picture kind of sums up our weekend. No animals to show this year, but we worked the food stand for 5 hours on Sunday! What projects shall we take up for next year!?

I can't leave out the Saturday morning that we had... 2nd place in our end-of-summer volleyball tourney!!! It was awesome - why does it have to end?!?! We had another totally talented great wonderful team this year. I can't wait for next season/summer already! A total of $200 in prize money for the year - not too shabby!!! Oh and really the best accomplishment is we were voted by our peers as Most Sportmanlike Team - that is truly an honor in an adult league for any sport!!!

Work - is that something I am supposed to update you all on?!? 1 week down & about 10 to go... 9th grade volleyball that is... we scrimmage Belle Plaine Tuesday - we'll see if this year's freshmen players learned anything in the past week.

We had a huge meeting at church tonight. It is completely amazing how one little idea can turn into a meeting of 100 people. I love God.

And then there is August 24th... our beautiful daughter had a birthday today. We used to refer to her as pumpkin some time ago. Middle school here we come! If I could only share every moment we've ever had with our oldest... she didn't think it was the greatest of ideas either - I love being a mom. (Imagine what it was like giving birthday spankings - holding back 4 younger siblings waiting their turn!) Hahahahaha!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Where does the time go?!?

I can't believe it was August 4th since I posted. Sorry - too much enjoying summer - who has time for computer?! I think I'm finally catching on the options in making this better than just words! :)


The most important thing I can update you on the the enormously pleasant time we had celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary!!! It was great pretending there was nothing to do for 2 days. I didn't realize how nice it is to give my husband all my attention. (I am trying to keep that in mind now that the weekend is long over.) What better place to go than a bed & breakfast in Duluth?! It is a Minnesotans' Hawaii, right?!?! Funny thing is on Saturday it was November-like weather. Sweatshirts, jeans, & fog - not Hawaii-like!

What a great time we had!!! (We really couldn't tell there was 12,000 extra people in town for the legendary annual Duluth Blues Festival every 2nd weekend of August. Our Inn Keeper informed of this as we checked in & asked how many reservations for meals we had. Really we never had to wait for anything & enjoyed music any where we walked!)


I was amazed at how much we did in essentially 29 hours: dinner at elegant restaurant(we now know what "creme bruulA" is), walk miles around Lake Superior & Canal Park, receive a new diamond ring, tour the US Navy Museum of ships in Canal Park, lunch at Green Mill, snacks from a candy factory, elegant dinner on a scenic train ride, hang out at various places in downtown Duluth (listened to a Blues/Jazz band at a club), Sunday Mass, renew our wedding vows/ring blessing, scenic drive up-shore Lake Superior and finally hike around Gooseberry Falls.

It was absolutely perfect, sunny warm weather on Sunday...

...and life goes on...

School here we come... Olivia has 3 different days to be at school before it starts & I know Owen has an Open House we need to go to also. Backpacks are filling up with all the goodies on those dreaded school shopping lists.

Hunting season isn't too far either. Tim was gone all evening yesterday with the new work buddy shooting clay pigeons & having a beer or 6 afterwards. I think there is a few reasons beside the work why he likes his new job! (Scary thing is Ryan, the work buddy, last name is Lemke too!!!!! No relation to our Lemke family! Weird.) Tim & I are trying to figure out how to make it thru another hunting/volleyball season without getting wires crossed & keeping schedules straight for 7 people. Oughtta be interesting!!!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Not enough time

Sorry to make this short... it's like going through a tunnel. Summers coming to an end. Is the air running out in here?!?! Olivia's birthday isn't far & hey wait - mine is on Friday!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

See- I almost forgot!

It only took 3 weeks for me to forget to post something. Things are kind of a blur right now... is summer really over?!!? There is the looming school supply list calling my name already. Nanny plans are set for starting in only 3 1/2 weeks; then it is school every day! Volleyball season here we come. I wonder how many freshmen girls will take on the great sport of volleyball this fall?

So we spent the weekend running to Montgomery & back. (Kolacky days & I didn't even have a kolacky?! Not right!) It sure is fun to dress up to show off the Czech culture. The girls did a great job dancing. There are so many people that appreciate what they do (especially mom & their dance teachers)!

I can't forget about the fun 4H meeting we had too... Sunday about 4pm almost the whole 4H group took over the state biking trail in Waterville. 6 miles to Elysian & 6 miles back... we had our monthly meeting at a rest stop in Elysian to take a nice little break. The kids would probably say the ice cream shop was the best part. There was 5 adults & 12 kids that went 12 miles; it was so fun. We used to bike a decent amount (when there was like 1 kid instead of 5) so it was just like old times again.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer Fun

First things first - Prayer requests please...
prayer of thanks, the doctor figured out what is wrong with my horribly sleepy brother; Kevin was diagnosed with Lyme disease but handing it quite well. Our niece Genna Lemke (1 month old on the 17th) is being treated for meningitis; she has spent way too much in the hospital for being a month old. God please guide her nurses and doctors; give Jim & Angie the strengths they need each day. Thank you very much for keeping our dear family in your thoughts.
OK, summer fun it is!!! Where did the weekend go?!? Friday night we spent at grandma & grandpa Lemke's. It's been a while & it was very nice to see them again! Needless to say we enjoyed celebrating cousin Lauren's 3rd bday again; who doesn't love having extra dairy queen treats even though you celebrated earlier?! Can't forget to mention the delicious BBQ sandwiches we had for supper from BBQ days in Belle Plaine. Saturday there was Czech dancing practice before packing for camping. We were off to the BBQ days parade & then The Steele's for a party-like-rock-star-volleyball-playing-nuts evening... the kids had fun too since I truly couldn't count how many kids were at their house!!! No giant slip-n-slide this year since the temp was only 65 degrees around 4pm. Bummer. Sunday we visited a little longer with our friends before coming home & essentially wasting an absolutely gorgeous day by watching Parent Trap to catch up with the energy we lost the night before. No question it was nice sitting & watching a movie with the kids. (No one napped of course.) I don't know what will come of it but we ended up in the plot we call a garden for an hour or so. If any veggies grow before November I'll be shocked (although the handful of peas pods I got were pretty good!). Let's see and after the little bit of weed combat we ran to Le Center to cheer on the older 4H kids in the end of the season softball tournament. Supper was a quick stop at the grocery store in town for hot dogs we threw in the microwave along with some watermelon. Time for fireworks!!!!! We settled in nicely to the blanket-city on the Belle Plaine baseball field with the rest of the Lemke group. 10pm sharp the lights went out & NOT KIDDING the best fireworks ever (for a town of about 4000) began. It was SSSOOO cool! And that was a summer fun weekend!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Everyone needs to pray for rain! We have been watching cloud after cloud go by & just a few drops come out. God bless our wonderful guests that were at our home for a week! May their trip back to the mountains be safe and relaxing. (Just about anything is more relaxing than our house!) :) Softball was fun tonight; the whole family came to cheer. Losing by 3 was mildly painful~ there is always next year I suppose.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Throwing in the towel

So I may actually try to keep up with this... most of you know I am anti-facebook so I am not giving out more than anyone needs to know. :)
We'll see how it goes...