January 6, 2016 – the day my grandfather took his last breath then passed away.  I was getting ready for work when I got the call from my aunt.  I was crushed.  I loved my grandfather.  He was the sweetest man I’ve ever known.  His love for his wife, family and God was overwhelming.  Even though dementia had been taking over him for a few years, there was still a lot of Grandpa left the last time our family was together this past Thanksgiving.  Realizing that he was now gone and would no longer be a part of our family celebrations was hard to fathom at first.  Thinking about making the drive from Michigan to South Dakota and not seeing him sitting in his chair when I got there instantly brought tears to my eyes.  I wept uncontrollably and openly as I tried to put on my makeup and get out the door for work.  I knew there wasn’t anything I could do at that moment and that I needed to move on with my day until details were available.   Continue reading


Fun Family Games – Minute to Win It

Winter 2011 177

I have been packing, packing, packing for the last week.  Tonight I’m taking a break and relaxing on my couch.  I decided that while I was watching TV I could take some time to write a blog.  While packing I came across my Minute to Win It supplies and thought pulling together some pictures from playing it and some info on the games could be a fun blog post.  So here it is!

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Vacation Rental – Briggsville, WI


For the last 20 years my family has vacationed in west central Minnesota.  We found a couple great resorts and spent one week a summer hanging out together and making memories.  This year we decided to change locations to help reduce travel time for some of the family.  We ended up in central Wisconsin, about 10 miles from the Wisconsin Dells.  The home we stayed at was named Dells Edge Retreat.  It was a beautiful home and was the perfect fit for our family.  It was only 9 of us this year, but we could easily have a few more.

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Yankee Doodle Pops


I enjoy establishing traditions.  Sometimes these traditions are based around holidays, or family gatherings.  Whatever the case, they are something to look forward to throughout the year.  Tomorrow night I get to enjoy one of my favorite summertime traditions.  In celebration of the 4th, the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra puts on a concert called Yankee Doodle Pops.

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Fun Family Games – Skunk


As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my family likes to play games when we all get together.  One of the first games that we played as a whole family was a game called Skunk.  We only played it once a year when we spent a week at the lake.  Usually 2 or 3 nights during that week we would all gather in one of the cabins and prepare for a few rounds of skunk.  It is a simple game with a little bit of risk involved.  My Grandma made it a little more interesting by throwing some money into the mix.  Just some nickels and pennies, but having that dish of money in front of us made the game more exciting for my brothers and me.  I’ve never seen the actual rules for the game, but below is how we played it. Continue reading

Family sayings

Do you have sayings in your family that you use without thought.  You grew up using the saying, or word, as part of your vocabulary.  It is an accepted word, until you say it in front of someone outside your family and they give you a funny look.  Then you quickly remember that not everyone speaks the same fun language as your own family. Continue reading