Welcome to the mayhem

Hope you enjoy your visit!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Things Learned

Life is interesting.  How things happen, what you learn about yourself because of them.  When grandpa passed, I slowed my life down.  I let the dog hair pile up, I didn't do a load of laundry everyday, the dishes I used on one day, may have sat for a week before I bothered with it.  I didn't work on future lesson plans for students I haven't met yet.  I didn't meet with my collegues to make our tests, lessons, etc. better.  I just went to grandpa's house and sat in a chair and watched the Lord prepare to take him home.  I visited with my extended family for hours.  I was comforted by the Holy Ghost and I learned things.
I learned that I don't always stop long enough to be comforted/taught by the Spirit.  That Heavenly Father is so close to me, but sometime I let my life's noise overpower the sweet whisperings of the Spirit.  The closeness of heaven is, but a choice for me to quiet myself and listen.

While in this state of quietly listening I learned a lot of things.  Most are personal to me, to my calling at church, why I am teaching instead of principaling (is that even a word? lol).  But, one thing I learned, that I had buried from myself is that I am hiding.  When I first became a member of the church I was picked on by my family, mostly my siblings.  My new choices for myself and my children were foreign to them.  So, what did I do, I quit hanging around them so that I did get picked on.  I immersed myself into my new church family and by doing so took away what I was learning from my family.  I took away the happiness that I have gain.  The freedom, the knowledge and understanding.  I hid it away from them.

I've decided not to hide anymore.  That I am comfortable in who I am and what I believe.  I am happy.  I am blessed.  But, most of all, the knowledge I have gained over the years is not just for me, but it is to be shared.  So that other people can learn what I know.  So that other people can see that it is not the worldly things that make men happy, but it is the spiritual peace of knowing the plan of salvation that makes this life worth it.

I had the opportunity to speak at my grandpa's funeral.  I asked for it, because I wasn't supposed to hide anymore.  I was bold, and asked if I could say something.  I got permission to do so.  I talked about what kind of a man grandpa was, kind, generous, hard working, and most of all that he was the most Christ-like person I know.  I ended with our purpose in life, the plan of salvation, it wasn't the missionary version, but it gave hope to those in the congregation.  I had several people comment and thank me for those words, but they aren't my words, they are just truth.  Truth was recognized that day, and truth helped my family feel hope.  I'm glad I didn't hide, because what I know is for everybody.

I'm glad I learned these things...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Karl Clifford Steigerwalt

Grandpa was born December 13, 1923.  he passed away peacefully in his home Wednesday, July 22, 2015.  Grandpa had Alzheimer's for the past several years and really didn't know most of us.  I think he would have remembered if we were children, but he did not know us as adults.

Grandpa was the best at spending time with the grandkids.  He would load as many of us as he could and head over to his Sister Aunt Verna's to fish her pond on Sunday after church.  most time it was catch and release, but sometimes we would have a fish fry back at grandma's house.  In the winter he'd take us skating on the creek behind the house.  We often found ourselves making homemade ice cream and sharing with all the cousins.  We would all get together usually in the beginning of November to butcher cows or pigs and divide up all the meat between the families.  It was a whole day process, but everyone worked hard together.

As we have grown and the family has gotten bigger we don't often meet with the cousins because we all have our own families to take care of...

but, Tuesday the whole family came in...my dad and three aunts, all the cousins came, a lot with there kids.  And for a moment it felt like it used to, everyone there.  Talking and remembering the good ol' days.  Catching up, sharing our lives, being together.

I'm not sure why time pulls us apart, but we all shared a piece of ourselves, linked by one great man, who taught us all what matters in this life: family.  The purpose we come to earth for, to come and be part of a family.  To learn about our Heavenly Father, to be a good person, and to return to our heavenly home.

Grandpa is home, back with Grandma and other family.  He will be there waiting on us to return, one by one, until we can make it.  

God be with you Grandpa; until we meet again.  I love you!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Minnesota Vacation Fishing

We went with Robin and Toby to the Mississippi River up by Grand Rapids, MN to go fishing.

 There was a nice little dock and the river was beautiful.  We cast several times.
 But the fish weren't really biting that day.  Kyle taught me how to tie on my own lures that day.
I wasn't very good at, being a novice and all.  I cast one of his more expensive lures and it flew right off my pole.  Thank goodness Kyle is a patient man and it didn't even make him angry.  We just went to the store and bought a few more lures for the next day.

 After giving up on the illusisive fish, we cooked our brats on Kyles new stove.  This little stove is amazing.

Toby was the only one who caught a fish that day.  He ended up giving his fish to a couple other anglers sitting on the dock later that day.

The next day we went fishing with Kory and his children on Stoney Lake in Hackensack, MN.

 Captain Kory took us all over the lake.  We met him at his house at 7:30 in the morning and we were on the lake before 8 am.  It was beautiful. 
 I caught the first fish.  There is nothing like tugging a line and reeling in a catch.  It is a lot of fun.
 Kyle is my hero and never makes me touch the fish.  Phew, because I don't mind reeling them in, but taking them off the hook is a whole other level of yuck!
 Everybody got to catch at least one fish, but some of us caught several.

 Kyle caught the biggest fish, too bad the photographer missed part of it in her shot!
So you remember the picture of me without my glasses....I put my glasses on top of my hat to put on sunscreen, as the day began to get hotter.  Dang fair complexion I tend to burn easy.  So, I bent over to put the sunscreen back in the bag and the glasses slid off my hat.  Had I let them hit the boat floor it would have been no big deal, but reflexes got the best of me and I tried to catch them.  With my quick hands I had them in my hand, but the speedy catch and the dang laws of newton made those glasses react in an equal and opposite reaction.  As soon as those glasses hit my hand they bounced right out again.  They bounced right over the edge of the boat.
Then they sank to the bottom of the lake.  Gone!  The lake has a clearer view, but the rest of my trip was a little blurry.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Minnesota Vacation in Reverse

So we left for Minnestoa to visit family on June 25th.  Our niece Kiley graduated and we wanted to attend her party.  But, I started loading the pictures from the end of the trip so we will just go in reverse!  Ha!
One of the things we wanted to do was look for land while we were up there.  One of our dreams is to build a cabin, over time it has morphed into a cottage, but you get the idea.
 So somewhere between Grand Rapids, MN (home of Judy Garland) and Virgina, MN we found this beauty.  So beautiful if this were the purchase year in the five year pland (1.5 years into the plan mind you) we would have purchased.  Crossing my fingers that it will still be there, but I'm not holding my breath!
 So what is the 5 year plan.  Kyle is ready to move home.  Or closer to home that it.  He wants 40 acres of property to have a self-sustaining mini farm.  I just like him so much I'm willing to go along for the ride.  I like the idea, but I also like to be able to travel, so we will see what we really end up with.  He is trying to brib the kids with land, so 40 is narrowing down to maybe a 20 and 2 tens...  It is beautiful country up there.  Maybe if we live there I will get to see my illusive moose and black bear in the wild....still working on those items for the bucket list.
 The last night up in family territory was Klayton's 27th birthday.  Holy cow, he was five when Kyle and I got married....time flys....
 I love Trisha's sign so much I took a picture so I can recreate it some time...we have enough wood sitting around here it shouldn't be a problem.
 Trisha tried so hard to get Klay to blow out the candles, and she ended up getting them for him on accident...hehehe!
Nicole is expecting her third child with Kaleb.  That will bring the grandkid talley up to 23 in November.  The kids are arguing about who will fill the quota ordered by Robin...I'm out.  After that ablasion a few years back, I'm toast!  Literally!

 Well the fun part about hangin' out with Robin is you never know what food adventure you'll get hornswaggled into.  When you have a big family cooking for several goes from easy to hard and 0.5 seconds....We endedn up making 5 large (ginormous) pizzas for the family, because that was a bit more thrifty on our pocketbooks.  They were very yummy.  I learned you need to put salt and sugar in your pizza dough...my recipe didn't call for them, but the crust was yummy.
 Kiley (in yellow) was the graduate we came to see and her mom Hope. 
 Some of the 22 almost 23 grands playing outside.  There is nothing better than cousin friends!
 This little guy, Briar; the last picture I got of just him was his birth announcement.  I took a single just to make into a wallet.
 Baby Kooper is such a snuggle bug and is so happy.  He is always similing.  If there was a guarantee that you'd get a baby like this, I would have ordered up a couple more, but alas, no guarantees.  I am glassesless, that story is for the next post.
Yum, the lovelies that Robin and I made.  Oh, so good.  What do you think Robin, Granny's Pizza, when you retire for some spending cash?!  :0)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

4 Decades

Sunday I turned 40.  It was such a weird day...we woke up in Gaylord, Michigan on our way home from vacation.  We made a couple of stops on the way home one to pick up some groceries for dinner.  I decided to get a beef tenderloin.  Kyle trimmed it all up and made excellent steaks for us.

I got my birthday calls from my parents each bringing its own level of bad news.  Mom is losing her job.  She was very upset about it and talked along time about why it upsets her.  Dad called earlier and he found out is kidney is failing.  That he will need the one my aunt gave him 37 years ago replaced.  He is supposed to have his children tested, I told him to let me know when to get this checked out.

I'm not sure I like this 40 business,  I've been brooding all week.  I need to shake out of it...