Monday, August 10, 2009


He was God's child. He was Dale and Celeste's son. He was Amber and Lynn's brother. He was Dawn's husband. He was Caleb, Levi, Seth and Chloe's daddy. He used to live in Nairobi, Kenya. Now he lives in heaven.

His life suddenly ended at age 33. There was no warning, no long term illness, no reason to anticipate this loss. There was only an airplane flight that ended in flames. We may not know why for a long time, but someday we will know why Ryan had to go to his eternal home so soon. And because we never know when our last day is approaching, I am writing this blog to encourage everyone who reads it to live your life to it's fullest. Make your life count. Live with a purpose. Love your children. Make your actions matter. Speak with patience. Decide with wisdom. Ignore the things about your spouse that drive you crazy and love them like crazy instead. Take the risk. Go on the adventure. Leave the dishes till morning. But eat really good food. Cherish every kiss, every snuggle, every giggle. Forgive things that others have already forgotten. Release any bitterness. Say Yes more often. Assume the best. Be inspired. Know there's a Plan. And most of all, accept Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior. Knowing Him fully will give you the wealth of joy needed to get through the times in life when despair wants to take over. We can have JOY knowing that Ryan is healed, rejoicing in heaven, having true life. We also know that when we finally make it to heaven, Ryan will be waiting at the gates for us. It's not good-bye. It's see you later. And until then, let's live!! Really Live.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Birthdays are so bittersweet.

Sweet: It's the most incredible experience to watch your child grow into the person they are to become.

Bitter: Every year older is every year further away from what they used to be.

And it's because we love our children at every stage they are in that we are sad to see them leave it behind with only pics and vids to remember their bubbly faces and funny words. And it's because we love our children at every stage they are in that it is exciting to see them grow and flourish and learn new things. Birthdays.

My children have all now celebrated their 2009 birthdays. Sam is 9. ugh. We told him he's not allowed to go past 10. He still cuddles with me on the couch. He still tells me he loves me. He still holds my hand in public. Please let that never end. Elle just turned 7. SEVEN! Her independence is growing, right along with her sense of fashion. Please don't turn 16 too quickly. And Jack is 5 1/2. He's entering kindergarten in the fall. I hate that. He's my side-kick. But no longer. School is coming, along with a new job for me. Changes are everywhere and I can't stop them from happening.

Time to embrace the new normal.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My Kids

I'm having a 'Staycation' right now. Home alone. Kids are in Michigan. Turns out I miss them. Alot. This pic was taken on the 4th of July. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The River Wild

Our rivers are not wild (really) but they are beautiful and so close to home. When we moved up here, we had no idea how much we would love all the nature. We are discovering that not only do we love what winter has to offer, but we are also loving summer for the rivers and lakes that run through our town. Last summer, we bought a used canoe. This summer, we added a kayak. This past weekend, we enjoyed both!

We had some great friends visit us for the weekend, and between meals and catching up on each other's lives, we hiked our mountain all the way to the top, and spent all of Sunday afternoon on the Big Rib River. Our friends brought their own canoe, and we borrowed another kayak, so between the 2 families, we had enough space for all members to be on the river together.

Most of the 4 hour trip, Sam manuevered the kayak all by himself...under fallen trees, scooching across shallow parts,and finding his way between logs. He was a natural. In the meantime, Dean was the captain of our little ship while I sat in the front of the canoe and Elle and Jack rode middle. I like to do that I have termed "Princess Canoeing". You know...I sit in the front and..well..sit. I help out Dean when he needs it, and we actually make a really good team. But then I go back to, well, sitting. It works for us. Dean doesn't mind at all. He's just happy I'm there :o)

After about 3 hours, Sam was tired of kayaking. Who could blame him? So I offered to kayak the rest of the trip. I had never sat in a kayak before, much more been in charge of my own trip down a river. But I liked it. Until the very end. I always get a little "buggy" while on a river. After 2-3 hours, I just need it to end. I feel as though the Twighlight Zone is upon me and I'm never going to get off of the winding river that doesn't seem to end. And there I sat, in a kayak, by myself, with no one to get me back but myself. The last 30 minutes was tough, but it was more mental than physical. I've always told Dean he needs to find me a river route that is no longer than 2 hours. That would be my perfect adventure.

The kids' favorite part of the river trip is getting out and playing in the river. They were finding beautiful, big healthy mussels all over the place. Some mussels even came home with us (yeah for us!) They also found a rare soft-shelled turtle, and lots of polliwogs. Sometimes they just like to get out of the canoe and walk down the river with us. They truly love it. And of course, Jack fell asleep in the canoe. I couldn't get a picture of it, but I would have if I could have!

I should also mention Dean. He has been kayaking several times already this summer, to include a moonlight adventure. He and our friend went out Saturday night at 10pm and did not return until 2:30am! According to them, it's a lot easier in the daylight. Go figure :o)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Sprinkling of Summer (thus far)

Now that summer has finally decided to show up, the summer activities have begun! Here is the latest rundown of stuff that should have been blogged about and haven't been yet:

1) I should explain the gruesome pic first. Yes, that is my head. Yes, those are staples you see. Yes, it is Dean's fault. He was hanging up his new kayak in the garage and having me help him. Needless to say, while screwing the bracket in the ceiling, he missed the stud completely. So when he was raising the kayak up to the ceiling, the weight of the kayak pulled the bracket out of the ceiling and right onto my head! Tears, Blood, and a trip to the ER followed. Oh, and then a trip to Pier One too :o)

2. I've already mentioned the kayak. Dean's new favorite summer sport is kayaking. He'd gone out a couple of times with friends and borrowed a kayak everytime. He loved it so much he had to get one for himself. We have rivers all over here, and just like skiing in the winter, it's foolish not to take part in all our town has to offer! SO.. kayaking in the summer it is. In the pic with Dean and Sam, they borrowed a kayak and went together for the first time. Sam was a natural. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure my time is coming.

3. I finally got a new oven/microwave!! Thanks to the military discounts given over Memorial Day Weekend, we were able to replace the old, crusty, "only 3 burners worked and the numbers on the clock "flipover" OVEN with a new one. Heavenly.

4. The kids have been loving the warm weather with trips to the pool, a free trip to the Dells, and the slip 'n slide.

5. I got a job! In May, I interviewed for a part-time elementary music teaching position in the kids' school district and they chose me! It's such a blessing in this economy, and I am looking forward to feeling "professional" again. The great thing is that the kids will barely miss me as we will all get home from school/work at the same time. I think subbing last year really helped prepare me mentally for this transition. It's going to be tough, but it is still a blessing for our family.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


So I'm stuck. My computer will die a fatal death if I add all the Disney pics to it, so I'm at Dean's mercy for the use of his work laptop. This means that I cannot post any pics or videos until he comes home from work. I'm hoping to get some done tonite. Or maybe spend some time using my parents' computer (they have all the pics too). Either way, I have to wait until I can post pics :o(

My dad has already edited the "Reveal" video and I'm really hoping that gets posted to YouTube sometime today, and then I can post it on facebook. It's priceless. You will love it. Again, it's just a matter of waiting on other people. Sigh.

Until then, it's raining. And cold. Why did I come home again????? :o)