Month: June 2014

Fun, Faith and Family

The past week has been an experiences of fun, faith and family.  I have decided to do this blog post a little different.  I want to tell the story of this past week through pictures and few words.  I think a central theme is water.

This past Thursday my dear daughter, Greta, decided to be baptized.  Greta was baptized as an infant but she choose to make that decision herself and I couldn’t be prouder.  She is becoming a wonderful young lady and she spoke with pose and intelligence.  A friend of mine took these wonderful photo’s and I am in wonder of Greta’s smile.  It was truly an experience for our whole family.

Greta Baptism water Greta Baptism

The very next day we travelled to my hometown across the state of Minnesota.  I grew up on the St Croix river which has experienced a lot of flooding this past spring.  So many things are under water and parks and homes are flooded.  We took some time this past weekend going to different areas on the river taking pictures and just enjoying our family together, laughing, and taking pleasure in watching all the baby ducks and geese.

flooding HudsonHudson, Wisconsin if you look out beyond the kids you can see the picnic tables and benches.

stillwater bridge bridge closed greta and the stillwater bridge

These pictures were taken in Stillwater, MN.  As you can see the water was quite high and the bridge is closed until this water starts to recede.  I have seen this area flood before but it gives you a whole new outlook on the power of water when you see it.  Driving around I saw childhood friends homes that had water up to their door and I am sure in their homes.  Just a sad site.  I have to laugh at the picture of Chad and the bridge closed sign.  Chad doesn’t want harm to come to anyone but he has a running joke that he calls Stillwater, Snobwater.  The size of the boats on that river I have a hard time dispelling that name except I grew up there and we didn’t even have a rowboat.

flooding beanies

This picture is the Marina and boat landing by my parents house.  This establishment is owned by church friends of ours and horribly flooded.  This is usually parking lot out to the dock you see you in the middle of the picture.  My heart is heavy when this is their business and this is happening to them.  I hope the river starts going down soon.

The rest of the weekend was very special to me.  My grandmother died this past fall and it was her job to keep the family together and get them together for life events.  Saturday afternoon my mom and aunt planned a party at the park, again at the river.  My sister and her family were there and my cousin and his family were there.  It was so nice to visit and see family again.  Family is so important to us all.  They were the first one in our corner when we were small and will be the last ones to be with us at the end.  It was a great picnic where we all made some great memories.  One special memory was at the same park many many years ago,  probably nearing 30 years ago.  At that picnic my grandma and grandpa were both there and we played a softball game.  My grandpa died when I was Greta’s age so yes a nice memory to think of again this weekend.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer and making some memories of your own.  It was a wonderful few days of faith and fellowship of the water of baptism.  It was fun with family taking pictures around the St Croix River.  It was family who we were able to have a meal with and make memories with at the park.

 

 

 

No More Rain, PLEASE

I live in Minnesota which is the land of 10,000 lakes.  There has to be at least another 10,000 lakes being made with all the rain we have gotten this spring/summer.  It is absolutely nuts the rain that has been coming.  This isn’t a little spring shower either this is like 3 inches of rain in a short time numerous times a week, where roads flood, basements are flooded and my garden is underwater.  I had such high hopes for my garden, it was to be my stress reliever, family activity, and a place to get in tuned with my thoughts and conversation with the Lord.  Well if I had a raft and maybe planted rice that would be happening.  I went out to the garden this morning and it is still surrounded by standing water, like a world convention for the mosquitos.  My plot amazing is not underwater but I couldn’t get to it.  My soil looked like a mud stew.  I had weeds/corn/other plants up but can’t tell what is what from standing 20 feet away.  I did notice in the midst of a mess my tomato plants look very sickly BUT I do have yellow buds on them.  Maybe just maybe it will dry up and I will get at least one nice tomato for a BLT.  That is my new goal.  I went from canning all the tomato sauce, salsa, spaghetti sauce one could fathom to a BLT.  Kinda sad but gotta adjust those dreams once in a while.  When life doesn’t go the way you want it to go just yell PLOT TWIST.  That is how we get from a full pantry to a BLT.  I really shouldn’t be complaining in other parts of the state they are uses boats to get to their houses.  A major medical facility in the Twin Cities had their foundation compromised when the earth under it just collapsed.  Streets are being washed away and cars are being stuck in water up their windows.  It is a crazy spring.  

I guess I just needed to vent that enough water is enough water.  I sure hope this has taken us out of the drought.  I do have to end with a positive note in the weather.  Last week we had bad weather again, I know a shocker.  We live in Swift County and their were 10 count them 10 tornados around the town.  I heard right from the chef of polices mouth that they were out tracking and chasing the weather and one of the tornadoes was 1/2 mile wide at the top.  Our town isn’t more then 2 miles across this twister could demolish the town.  The Chef of Police is a godly man and was praying out loud to please spare our town.  Please go around town.  He watched as this tornado went right over our town and right over our house and right over the plant my husband was working in and never touched down once while in town.  That is a miracle of all miracles.  Why our town was sparred I don’t know but I am thankful that our family was together at supper time and no one or no damage was done.  

So lets just have a wonderful summer, unsure that will happen since we have rain this whole week in the forecast.  Oh well maybe we will need to just start planting rice.  

Waiting to Wake Up from a Dream

hearstrong me greta and allison

On June 10, 2014 I was invited to attend a ceremony at Starkey World Headquarters in Eden Prairie, MN.  I traveled the near 3 hours to the headquarters,  I was full of nerves, and excitement since I had no idea what I was to expect.  I was presented a HearStrong Award.  It was a wonderful honor and experience.  I hope I can get into words what I experienced and what transpired on that wonderful day.

HearStrong is the nonprofit that is held by the  company EarQ.  It honors individuals that have overcome hearing loss and decide to do something about it.  The way they heard about me is they happened upon one of my blog posts on the SWC Blog.  I was given a gold medal and a framed certificate from two great gentlemen from EarQ and from Tani Austin from the Starkey Hearing Foundation.  I was accompanied by my good friend Allison and my daughter Greta.  It was an honor I will take seriously and keep advocating all I can.  HearStrong asks you to take the challenge to be a Champion and bring attention to hearing loss and help make this stigma the that hearing loss affects all not just a certain generation.  I do take this challenge and I hope to be kept accountable that I will continue to do so.

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After a wonderful ceremony and pictures we were handed over to Starkey.  I had no idea what the rest of our time there would be but I was told it would be worth it.  We were told to drive to another building (huge complex) and they would take care of us.  Well what I didn’t know and was a surprise is I was given a hearing test and given a new set of hearing aids and lots of fun gadgets to go with them.  I was in shock, in no way was I expecting anything at all.  It started out with a video of the inside of my ears.  The neat part of this whole process was that my daughter and friend were with me and asking question and taking pictures of all of it.  Greta wants to do a project on hearing loss and hearing aids for the county fair this year.  I think she got lots of first hand info on Tuesday.  I was then given a hearing test by a Starkey Audiologist.  We were then treated to lunch.  Anything we wanted at no cost to us.  Another high point for my daughter, you can tell she is 11.  Impressions and molds were made next again pictures and my daughter and friend were right there.  They got to watch the whole process and ask any questions they wanted.  In fact my daughter got to come home with a few ear molds that were made.  They are now prized possessions.  Now the waiting game started.  We waited a few hours while custom made hearing aids for me.  I was given XENO RIC with a custom earmold around the receiver.  Much more powerful than my last pair.  During the waiting period my daughter was able to have a private meeting with Tani Austin about the hearing missions the Starkey Hearing Foundation have done all over the world.  Greta is inspired and would love to go on a mission with them someday.  Who knows anything is possible.

Finally at 6pm my hearing aids were done.  I was also given two additional items, one is the SurfLink Media which plugs into my TV and I can listen to the TV wirelessly directly into my hearing aids.  Very cool item and having fun trying it out.  I can even have the TV on mute and I can listen to it at a good level for me and not disrupt anyone else in the house.  My other gadget is the SurfLink mobile.  This is a remote I can use for my hearing aids I can change programs and change the volume.  I can use it as a bluetooth for my phone so again the sound is wirelessly sent to the hearing aids and I don’t need to use the actual cell phone.  The one feature that I think is the most fun is I can stream my iPod and listen to all my music through my hearing aids instead of taking them out and using earbuds and complaining the volume doesn’t go high enough.

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It was a day I will never forget.  I am still waiting to wake up from an incredible dream.  I thank my friend, Allison, for taking 14 1/2 hours away from her family to be there with me to experience this once in a lifetime day.  I thank my daughter, Greta, for being so grown up and asking questions and being engaged.  Her project for the fair should be blue ribbon all the way.  Most of all thank you all for reading my writing and keeping me accountable.

 

SUMMER is Coming

Open windows, fresh cut grass, the prickling of the hot sun on the cheeks and your shoulders.  It is the last week of school.  The days are getting longer and the kids are bucking bedtime.  Soon very soon it will be summer vacation.  There will be activities, hours at the pool, weeding a garden.  It will be a carefree couple of months.  

It is 12 weeks of very little schedules and trying to have fun and enjoy our family.  I want to try some creative activities this year.  We want to try camping, fishing, and swimming and fun.  Maybe a couple baseball games who knows just some fun!!!  

I will cry on that last day of school.  I don’t cry because the kids will be home I cry because I will see what they started the year at and how far they have come.  They have both matured so much and made great strides in school and home.  

Yes it is almost summer, summer vacation.  The time for sleeping in, peanut butter sandwiches and afternoons at the pool.  Playing ball at the park in the evenings and having dad grill more than the stove is turned on.  

Summer, bring it on.