Friday, August 22, 2008

A little fill in.

Just a few photos from August 21 when Susan G. left her children with us.


You judge whether or not she made a good decision

From Vacation to Matthew's Birthday

This post is backdated. I actually wrote it on Sept. 5th, so some of my recollection may be incorrect.

First, we got home late Sunday night on Aug. 17th. Monday 8/18 was a day of recovery from the drive.

I tried checking on Naomi H. to see how she was doing with her pregnancy, but couldn't get in contact with her.

We got the tents set up so we could clean them out for storage. We spent a lot of time putting the camping equipment away.

I have to say that I'm glad we tented and had times when we were staying with friends in their houses. I think I like camping again. Usually camping for me means rain (since 1989--somebody remind me later to tell you all about the Custer State Park, SD camping trip).

We had 2 mornings when we had rain. Of course one was while we were packing up at Coleta, IL and going to Marge's cabin. But even that was kind of fun-though I was sick through the time of our visit with Marge. I wish I could have spent more time talking with you, Marge. Thank you so much for taking care of us and me so well.

Tuesday, Aug 19th, I went to Crookston early in the morning so I could be there for Gloria R. Gloria has had severe pain for a long time with a shoulder rotator cuff problem. This morning she was having a shoulder replacement surgery. The surgery went fairly well. Only one problem. Gloria's Osteoporosis had made the bone of her shoulder blade soft enough that using physical screws to attach the replacement was not possible. The surgeon opted to use a contact/super cement. Gloria's daughters and I took the news fairly well. We hope that Gloria could have a good recovery. But Gloria won't be able to use her arm to lift anything weighing more than her purse (she doesn't have a big purse).

Please keep Gloria and her family in your prayers.

Also, that day while I was arriving in Crookston my breaks began to squeak and lock. I stopped at a friend's auto shop. He apologized to me for the expense after I got back from the hospital. I was happy that my car worked.

When I got home I checked on Naomi and Nancy. I couldn't get Nancy or her husband. I called the hospital about Naomi and found her.

Wednesday, I think, I went into Thief River Falls to see Naomi and her new baby boy. Let me brag for her about one really significant point of his birth.

His name is Carter. He weighed 11 pounds and 11 ounces.

Gasp.

Labor was 1 and a half hours.

They are both doing well. And Carter's father is beaming with happiness.

Please keep them in your prayers.

Thursday I stopped at Nancy T's. Nancy was doing very well at that time. She had chemotherapy the day before (I think), so the effects would hit her soon. Nancy was very interested in any news from her friends, family, and congregation. We talked for a short while and had devotion with the Lord's Supper.

Please keep Nancy and Gene in your prayers with their family.

Thurs eve we had Ladies' Aid at OP. I was informed that Leonard R. died this past Monday and that our neighbor, Robert R., passed away a week and a half ago--while we were on vacation.

Friday, August 22, is Matthew's birthday. Matthew is our $110 thousand dollar boy. He was born premature, and we are thankful that God had worked out insurance, location, hospital, doctors, and nurses at the time.

This boy would have died his second night out of the womb except for what God provided through Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL.

Some of you who don't have much experience in having and raising children might wonder about my $100 Thousand dollar description about Matthew.

The actual bills that we dealt with through our insurance (VEBA--at the time) included $89,000 for the life support bed that Matt was in.

I'll get back to the point. We are grateful to God for all our children. Each one is special and precious. Matthew went through some extremely dramatic things with his premature birth.

Mary and I don't deserve to have him. We thank God for His providential grace to allow us to keep Matthew these past 14 years. And we thank Him for all our children, their good health, and the simple good fun we have in playing with them and teaching them.

God Bless, I'll try to fill in on what's been going on up here, way up North.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Technical Difficulties, Please stand by

This post is backdated.

Back in the golden age of TV the words "Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By" sometimes were shown on the TV screen when something went wrong.

Something has gone wrong. Whether on Windows or Linux my web browser crashes when I'm trying to put images up to blogger. Mac fiends will have a joy day.

I've been trying to post for 2 weeks. But I have so many other things to attend to that I can't afford the time to trouble-shoot this problem. I get something written up then poof, the post disappears. GRRRRR.

I hope to have some solution next week (the second week of September), and I will backdate some posts.

I've got so many photos to put up, but I'll probably have to forgo them if the problem continues.

Please be patient.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Evenings at Char and Dave's

Just a last note here about our stay at Char and Dave's home.

Char and Dave are our kids' sponsors and guardians. We've known them since the late 1980s. And we're so glad that God placed us together in this life.

So the evenings were either having a campfire or watching Michael Phelps win a gold medal.


Dave has a "Port-a-pit": a large foam block made for pole-vaulters to land on. So the kids have been playing on that in the back yard. I did a foreward flip. I landed ok. I did a backward flip, I landed on my shoulder. Ouch. John scraped his elbow. He wanted a photo to show how tough he is.







The fire-pit had a pretty big radius, so I cut some longish marshmallow roasting sticks. They were between 8 and 12 feet long. The kids liked them.




One evening I put a copper pipe stuffed with a chunk of garden hose into the fire. It gave off beautiful green, blue, magenta, and purple flames for quite a while.

Char, Dave, Madeline, Henry, and Grace, thank you for a really nice time. It was great to be with you this week.

In the morning we'll have church with Char and Dave and then head home after church.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bay Beach Amusement Park, Green Bay, WI



Thursday we went to the Bay Beach Amusement Park.




There were a couple of rides that required two tickets to ride on them, but most were only 1 ticket. And the tickets were 25 cents each.

The giant slide is 100 feet long.



Stella, Grace, and Sophie on the Boats.



Grace and Stella shooting each other on the Sky Fighter.



At the top are John, Dave, and Henry.



The interior of the Pavilion-Dance Hall.



John, Stella, and Sophie on the Helicopters.




Madeline and Elsie on the Yo-Yo



Stella, Donna, and Grace on the Dave powered scooter.



Stella and John on the Race Cars.



An external shot of the Pavilion where Al (I'm-full-of-greenhouse-gass) Gore spoke last year.


The Bay.




Riding on the train.

A very nice day. Thanks, Char and Dave.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Char and Dave take good care of us

Char and Dave's kids have a Wii. Guess what all the kids wanted to play with this week?

This is the first time we've been at this house. They bought it a couple of years ago. It's big, it's nice, and it has a great porch.


So Dave and I jammed together on the porch and in the living room. (He's got a Gretsch--truth be told, I am a bit envious--shame on me.)

Mary was trying to help out one day. Dave thought she should relax on her vacation so he told her to "Embrace her inner Sloth."

Char had everything covered for food and all. It was a wonderfully relaxing time.



Louisa, Madeline, and Elsie kept good company with eachother. Matthew and Henry had fun getting reacquainted.





And I put this photo here just to annoy Louisa.

Love ya, Louisa.


Tomorrow (Thursday) we go to an amusement park in Green Bay.

Monday, August 11, 2008

To Shawano via Ralph and Diane's

On the way to Char and Dave's we stopped by to see some other family friends in central Wisconsin. Ralph and Diane have a nice place. Ralph has a great workshop with way too many projects going on.

We followed HWY E up to Shawano after this nice visit.




We got a kind of family shot on their porch.

Lake Kegonza St. Park

We left Marge's cabin for Lake Kegonza St. Park.

We spent from Wed the 6th through Mon the 11th at the park. Friends from the Madison area came to visit us at our tent site. Lydia and her family came out to camp with us thursday night.

I put a lot of photos in this post for flavor. I was still pretty weak and sick through Thursday. But the kids seem to have had a good time

Shelley and Keen's kids came over to play.


I didn't get a photo of Bruce and Kathy when they were here, but Louisa got a photo of a power substation that Bruce built. I hope this will work.

MacKenzie kept getting more and more chips.

We had campfires nightly.

Ben came out to visit us a couple of evenings.

One of our tents sleeps 9 fairly comfortably.

Our campsite neighbor was a magician. I'll try to post his website when I find his card again. Nice family.

Jim and Nancy brought Aree out to play with the kids.
The park had a beach (with an E. Coli warning-though the beach was not closed). One day the girls went into Madison to see a movie (Kit Kitteridge or something like that)


So, Lake Kegonza St. Park campground is a place one could go to in hopes that one could see, hear, smell, experience Nature (or something close to it). Poison Ivy is common. The campground is a mile and a half away from the interstate (90) so one can still hear the highway sounds. Madison's airport has a flight path for landing directly above the campground. And the pit toilets were about 50 yards away. Sights, sounds, smells.
Actually, it wasn't that bad. It was really nice, actually, with the friends visiting.


Lisa, Michael, Lydia, and Joshua came out to visit several times even after Lisa and the kids camped with us the second night.


Beth came out from Madison several times, once on bicycle.


A nice big group shot with Beth, Lisa, Lisa's kids, and Shelly's kids.

Sunday we went to church at Grace in Madison. The Yagla's were there, Pr. Gullixson preached a great sermon, and Joyce was there with many other old friends. Ed was sick and in the hospital. So I stopped by to visit him before we went back to the campsite to be with other friends.
I know this was a pretty scattered post. Tough.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Jaime, Laura- go get em.

I hope you've been able to get some himmelbeeren.












I also found this nice photo of the girls together at your place on the 26th of July. I hope you like it.

Mary wants me to explain

Mary wants me to explain a bit about her high-school. Some of you might have followed the link to the following picture of her high-school:

But you might not have followed the link to the Wikipedia page. So, here's about her high-school in brief.

The campus started in 1880 by Fr. Campion as a Jesuit school (a very good web page here). In 1975 the Jesuits closed the school.

In 1979 the Wisconsin Ev. Luth. Synod opened the campus as Martin Luther Prep School. This operated until 1995. Mary graduated in 1985.

The campus was sold to the state and became a boys reformatory after MLPS closed.

Whenever we get the opportunity to drive through town I like to point out the big letters MLPS on the smokestack behind the razor-wire fence and tell the kids "Hey, kids, you think homeschooling is tough, look where your mom went to school."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

At Grandma Marge's I get sick

The trip from Clinton, IA to Bagley, WI took us through Dubuque. We crossed and re-crossed the Mississippi several times today.

The bridges were pretty and downtown Dubuque looked nice.


Here's the rest stop on The Wisconsin side of the boarder. A couple of the girls want to pose with Buckey the Badger.








We got to Marge's cabin in the late afternoon.









We arrived at Bagley, WI on the evening of Aug 6th. We stayed at Kristi's Mom's cabin. Marge has been kind of like a mom-away-from-home to Mary ever since she was in boarding school at MLPS. (Martin Luther Prep School, Prairie DuChien, WI)

Marge has a cabin on the Mississippi in a nice backwater. She took in all 11 of us for a couple of days.


I don't remember too much of the time because I had a high fever, chills, and was sweating all the time in bed. I do remember Marge's kindness.

She took the kids fishing, swimming, and had evening camp-fires with the kids. She and Mary did our wet dirty laundry and dried out our soaked camping equipment.

Thank you Marge. I'm sorry I was so sick while I was there.


Donna has a lot of little spots on her. We think it's mosquito bites, but.... well, it's starting to look like chicken pox.

Hrmmm...