Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Happy Birthday Dear Dustin!

I missed putting Dustin's birthday on this blog!  February 28th, 1991 was the birth of our first child and the beginning of a new life with children.  I have to say that Dustin was one of the easiest children to raise while he was growing up.  Such an easy going guy, and just happy with life.  I am so amazed at what he has done with his life, and the drive he has to be the best he can.  A new chapter will be coming this year in his life.....marriage!  Can't believe it!  This young man is my life!  Love you so much Dust!


Today marks a very special day….It’s Jonah’s Birthday!  He is 21 and I cannot believe it!  Time flies.  I was looking through pictures of him growing up last night and he was such a cute boy!! We are so unbelievably proud of this young man.  One more year of college and he will be off into the world.  Wow.  Love him sooooo much!


Spring is here, and with it brings more time outdoors and an eagerness for school to be over for the summer.  We are slowly approaching Dustin’s and Cassie’s wedding!  We are so excited for them and pray that all goes well with the organizing up to the wedding and the wedding itself (please, nice weather!!).  Taya was able to meet with Cassie’s sister Soraya to pick out their junior bridesmaid dresses, and hopefully they should be here soon.  They are a beautiful sky blue color. Things are all falling into order.

Friday, February 20, 2015


More time has passed and it seems like longer and longer between posts.  I still want to keep this blog up, even if it is just me that sees it as it is the way I want to keep track of our life.  Christmas has past and we had an amazing time with Peter and his whole family who traveled to Minnesota for the first time in almost 10 years!  It was “magical”….really…..to have everyone together and healthy.  It is really something how a severe illness in a family can bring family closer together and REALLY APPRECITATE every minute that is spent together. 

Amelia is doing very well as of right now and we are so thankful. 

We just got back from a February break in Arizona and Peter, Amelia, and Charlie joined Dana, Taya and I.   It was a super great time.  Amelia, in just the two months that had passed from Christmas to this vacation has really improved in all areas!  She has gained weight (still needs more), her color looks better, she is walking better, and the real Amelia is starting to show again!  Praise the Lord!  We were able to spend a full day at a ranch riding horses, jeep riding through the desert, pistol shoot, archery, and axe throwing.  Also had a great lunch served outside in the hills.  We also got to celebrate my mom’s Feb. 14th birthday by going out to a fun steakhouse.  Family conversation was great and everyone was in great spirits.  Those are cherished memories.  The vacation of course came to an end WAY to fast and we went from  80 degree days to 3 degrees in one day!  I love home, though, and it was great to get back to our cozy new home.  The dogs missed us too!

Jonah is now as I type on his way to Arizona to be with grandma and grandpa for his spring break.  He is also going to take a road trip from there to LA to visit a friend, see the play Wicked, and go to a professional hockey game.  He is driving there on his own.  Yes, I am nervous……”I’m a big boy, mom!”.  I have to let go.  It is hard some times.

Dustin is in South Dakota right now.  He continues to make his monthly trip home to see Cass.  The wedding is 4 months away and I think they are starting to feel the crunch.  Lots of planning, but it all will fall into place, I pray.  I am so happy for the two of them.  It sure will be nice when they are both living in California and can start saving money by not flying back and forth every month. 

Taya has 2 more weeks of hockey and then the season is done.  They have done very well as a 10U team and will be playing in the district tournament in one week.  She is excited.  She really has improved and loves playing with just the girls.  Dance will continue through the end of the school year, with a recital the first week in June.  Then, it’s summer and all the fun begins…..wedding, adoption reunion, Hvistendahl reunion, summer activities, and playing on the lake.  Ahhhhhh……

Friday, December 12, 2014


1/2 a school year is gone, and I don't know where it went!  One more full week of school and we are on to Christmas break.  I can't wait.  It is needed.  I am really looking forward to seeing Peter and his family this Christmas.  It has been a VERY long time since we have been able to spend Christmas together in Worthington, and it is going to be great.  A lot is planned.  Amelia wants to ice fish, bake, and have snow (please God, send some!), CJ wants to pheasant hunt, which will be great, as he never has here in Worthington.  The great part will be that he is going to hunt on his great grandfather's land.  Charlie and Clara, I'm not sure what they really want to do, but whatever it is, we will do it!  I want these kids to have a great time while they are here.  Jonah and Dustin will BOTH be home during this time and I am excited that they will be able to spend some quality time together with their cousins.  I pray that all goes well. 
Sweet Amelia is cancer free right now, and our prayers are that his beast is gone for good!  We are in unchartered water with her cancer as it has never been seen in a child or treated.  She is looking fabulous and has her "normal" body back, although she needs to put on weight.  She is just a tiny little one.
We just got back last night from a trip to Minneapolis to hear Jonah sing with the Concordia Choirs at Orchestra Hall.  The Christmas program was amazing, and it really can get a person in the spirit! 
This past year has been full of huge swings of emotions.  Terrible lows and many great times.  I have learned a lot about handling emotions.  Putting my trust in the Lord, which is sometimes hard to do, and laying my fears, concerns, doubts on HIS shoulders.  I have never felt so helpless at times, not being able to "right" a problem.  Helplessness is scary and filled with unknown.  Thanks to family, we can somewhat help each other, although all of us handle emotions differently.  Nevertheless, I am so grateful and lucky to have the family I have.  I can't imagine my life, with its ups and downs, without them. 
As I sit here writing this post, I am totally overwhelmed with the true meaning of Christmas.  God sent His Son to save us from our sins.  To be with us through all parts of life and what it brings.  As I sit with family this Christmas and look around the table, I am definitely going to say an extra prayer of thanks for all the faces I see and having the opportunity to spend quality time with them.  You never know what life will throw at you.  Live in the moment and cherish it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Collage of pictures

One thing that was a goal of mine while blogging was to make sure I had pictures to document our lives and where we were.  I haven't done that in a lot of the last posts, so this post will have a variety of pictures from the last couple months from my phone, which is the best thing to go to in order to SEE where we have been lately!
Our life has been moving along at a fast pace, but the one thing I am very grateful for is that my niece Amelia is now in remission, and I am so thankful for that.  It has affected our whole family, and our life will never be the same again, especially my brother and his family.  I am so thankful that right now Amelia is in a great place, feeling better, and having normalcy in her life.
Jonah is going strong at Concordia and keeping busy with tests, studying, choir, work, girlfriend, computer, and soon to happen-hockey intramurals.
Dustin has continued to make his monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) visits home from Cali to see his fiancĂ© and us, but really not us that much!! ( :  It is great when we get to see him, and I am sure he is counting down the days until June 13th when he will get married and not have to carry on his distance relationship with Cassie.  We all are looking forward to the wedding next summer!  Pertino continues to grow, and Dustin really enjoys working there.
Taya just finished her first report period for school and continues to excel.  She is very busy and grumbles at times that she doesn't get her TV time!!  She loves to relax after school and sometimes there isn't time for that.  Every day of the week she has something:  Monday and Tuesday is hockey, Wed. is dance, and Thurs is 2 hours ballet!  BUT....she loves it.  We are just starting to get into her hockey games, and it should be a fun time this year as she is on a 10U girls team.  They won their first game and that was fun for her!
Winter is definitely on the way, and a polar vortex just hit our area.  It was 18 degrees this morning, on November 11th!!  Hopefully we may get SOME warm days before winter is totally here!  We are looking forward to the Schmidts (Pete and the whole family) coming to Minnesota for Christmas!  Taya is beside herself with happiness, know they will be here!  What fun!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Fall has arrived and I can feel it in the air, as well as my body!  ALLERGIES!  Both Taya and I have the lovely opportunity to experience allergies this time of year.  Mine are pretty manageable, but Taya's can turn quite nasty.  After finishing 10 days of antibiotic, we were back in for a different kind because the sinus infection is so bad!  Poor girl.  She is a hard cookie though, and it takes a lot for her to let you know she is sick, and when she does tell you, it is usually pretty bad.  But, with fall comes the great temps (60's and 70's), which make outdoor activities comfortable.  Football season also starts, bringing with it glimmers of hope that our Minnesota Vikings will maybe do well……as of now they are 1-2.  Ummmm….not too good.

Dustin is home right now for a week, working remotely from work.  I don't get to see him though as he spends his whole time in Brookings with Cassie, which is very understandable.  Hopefully we will be able to get a meal in with him before he flies off to CA again.  They are planning to have engagement pictures on Thursday, so that will be fun!  A date of June 13, 2015 is set.  Can't wait for the fun occasion.

Jonah is busy at school, working part time at Intelligent Insights, choir, and all the stuff that goes along with college.  This year he has a single dorm room, and I think he is very happy having his own place where he doesn't have to complain about a roommates "stuff" all over.

Taya is in her last year of Elementary with me at Prairie, and then she will move into the Middle School for 5th grade.  Can't believe it!  It goes so fast.  I want time to just slow down.  This year she has a male teacher, which is different for her.  She likes school, but says that they sit a lot more in their desks, so that can get boring.  I guess that they are getting ready for middle school where you DO sit most of the time!  Dance has started, Volleyball is in full swing, and hockey is just around the corner!

We have been blessed with great news, and that is that our niece/cousin Amelia is in remission right now.  She is an amazing little girl.  We are so thankful that she is able to go back to school and have some sort of normalcy in life.  She is even back riding horses.
They have decided to come to Minnesota for Christmas and we are thrilled!  I think it has almost been 10 years since they have been in Minnesota for Christmas.  Please continue to keep "MeMe" in your prayers and that this beast that was in her body is completely gone!

Normalcy in our life right now which is great.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Can it be?

Can it be that summer is almost finished?  The answer is a big YES and I am bummed!  It seems like we have just started.  We actually go back to school on August 11th, which is way to early for teachers.  The kids start a week later.  We have been able to jam pack it full, as usual, and it is booked up to school starting.  Taya kept very busy this summer with tennis lessons, swimming with friends, running errands with me, and orchestra lessons.  She is playing the violin this year and really excited.  In fact, today is her first summer lesson.  She will be participating in an intense summer dance camp the first weekend in August and is can hardly wait.  The camp is good timing as Dana and I are headed for an Alaskan Cruise the first week in August to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  We are going with our good friends Sue and Bryan.  Can't wait.  Taya gets to be with Grandma and Grandpa Schmidt, so all is good.
Taya and I were able to go out to Virginia to visit my brother and his family for 10 days.  We helped around the house and celebrated Clara's graduation.  We manned the house to Peter and Lisa while Amelia was in the hospital undergoing chemo treatment. It is now July 21st, and as of 10 days ago, Amelia has been disease free, with no signs of cancer in her brain.  We are so very happy for this news and pray that this monster is gone for GOOD!  To see such a destructible disease first hand deteriorate the life of an innocent child is something NO ONE should have to go through!!  From seeing this, Taya has decided to raise money for thetruth365.org, a non=profit organization that works to raise awareness of childhood cancer and the need for funding.  She has made t-shirts, danced and donated money, and her latest project is weaving drink coasters to put water bottles and coffee mugs on.  Her friend Ivy is helping her and they have raised over 150.00 so far and we have just started!  I am so proud of her.  She chose to do this on her own, in honor of her best of best friend and cousin, Amelia!
Jonah is interning in Fargo with Intelligent Insights.  It is exactly what he is going to school to do, and, as of today, they have asked him to continue working there through the school year!  He is thrilled and looking forward to a great working relationship with them.  Who knows, maybe that is where he will start his career.  If it was his choice, I think he want to!
Dustin is keeping extremely busy in California at Pertino.  He is also shuttling back and forth to South Dakota/Minnesota monthly to see his fiancĂ© .  It is nice to see him.  They will be getting married a year from now in September.  I am getting old!