Sunday, February 11, 2018


We lost Andy's dad, Butch, after a long battle with cancer on November 21st.  While we knew the cancer was terminal, he had been doing so well that it was a shock that he went downhill so quickly the week before he died.  

His death was hard on everyone, but Kayley took it especially hard.  I hate that my kids never got to meet their Grandma Florence and now lost Grandpa Butch when they were so young.  I lost my grandpa when I was Ryan's age and I don't have any memories of him.  I hate to think that Ryan won't remember Butch.  I have a lot of pictures, but it isn't the same.  Our kids have learned a lot about death and dying these past few months.  You want to shield them from that for as long as you can so it has been tough. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Fall Fun

I can't believe it has been so long since I updated our blog.  We had a busy fall with the kids' activities and work.  Drew played football, Kayley was in swim club and Ryan played flag football and took swim lessons.  Drew usually had practice every week night, but we got "lucky" and Kayley and Ryan's practices were opposite nights.  So, we were all gone every night, but Andy and I were able to handle it.  :-)

Ryan is ready for the play.

Drew throwing a touchdown:

Drew on the quarterback keeper:

Ryan learned to ride his bike without training wheels!

I forgot clothes for him to wear home...

We took our annual trip to Tanner's Orchard.  Ryan is the perfect age for it, but the older kids still love it too.

Our kids and their cousin Jackson had the same fall break so Matt, Kim and Jackson came for a visit. We watched the Hawks lose, but we still had fun.  I have no doubt that the highlight of the trip was watching me fill in bartending at The Pour House.  Or maybe that was the funniest part of the trip.  :-)

Trick or treating.

Football awards day.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


We had our annual Lake Okoboji trip over Labor Day.  We had a big group this year - the five of us, my parents, Matt and Janelle, and Janelle's parents and her sister's family.  We all had a great time and the kids had fun with Janelle's niece and nephew at Arnold's Park, swimming off the dock, and boating.  I love the lake, I just wish it wasn't such a long drive!

Horseback Riding Lessons

Kayley is our animal lover.  She loves them all, but especially dogs, cats and horses.  We bought her one horseback riding lesson for her birthday to see how she liked it.  She LOVED it.  So did Ryan.  The teacher was so sweet and let Ryan get on for a little bit too.  Kayley has been begging for more lessons so I took her another time and she is hooked.

August Omaha Trip

We made a quick road trip to Omaha in August for Matt and Janelle's Omaha wedding celebration.  We got to spend some time with Andy's side of the family and see my extended family that came to town for Matt and Janelle's party.  It was a quick trip, but a great time!

Sox and Mitch reunited

The local high school marching band was
practicing Saturday morning and we got
a special performance right in front of
Mitch and Kate's house.  

Ryan, JD and Drew in the pool

This might be the smallest hotel pool
we have ever seen!

Ryan and Grandpa

The kids were dying to go down the
water slide into the pool!

Grandma and Kayley

Kalkwarf Family

Kalkwarf and Swanson Families

Mom and 3 of her siblings - Jan, Sharon and Larry

Kalkwarf and Swanson Families again

First Day of School 2017

We have a 5th grader, a 4th grader and a Kindergartener!  I still remember very clearly holding an infant Ryan in my arms while sending Drew off to Kindergarten.  Unlike with Drew, I didn't cry sending Ryan off to Kindergarten.  It helped tremendously that he didn't cry.  And the thought of not paying for daycare helped too!

Back to School Night - Ryan got to meet
his teacher (same teacher Kayley had)
and see his classroom the night before
school started.  

4th grade, Kindergarten, 5th grade

Neighborhood friends

Excited to get on the bus

So tired after his second day of school!