Friday, November 30, 2018

Be still my heart . . .

One thing is certain--Rachel has been paying attention in reading and writing classes this year.
While we were reading a bedtime story earlier this year, she told me, "'Too with two o's means also."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing! (I've become convinced that most of the adult population of this country doesn't know that.)

Last night, we were reading a story together. I read this page.
There was something that caught her attention in how I was reading it, maybe a pause after "to."
She looked back at the page and said, "Oh, yeah, because there's elipses."
I seriously could not believe my ears.
Trying to hide my bubbling excitement, I asked her if she learned that at school.
She nonchalantly said, "Yes."
Teresa then walked over to see what we were talking about. She said, "I didn't even know that was called that!"

Hmm. . . I may have someone to take over the freelance proof reading gig one day. :)

And a bonus note I want to remember . . . Yesterday morning I found a sock in her chapter book. She was using it as a bookmark. :)

Monday, November 19, 2018

40 . . . and One Week

I turned 40 on November 12. It seems pretty crazy since I still feel like I am in my late 20's, but, yet, here I am! I do want to declare publicly (since not even my husband realized my current hair color is my real color), that I made it here without a gray hair. Find one and I will claim it, but I seriously haven't found one myself. I would like to thank my Grandma Joachim for those excellent genes. 
Big time fist bump for that 40th birthday gift. 

What I really felt in the days leading up to and on my 40th birthday was an abundance of gratitude. Mostly, it was gratitude for the beautiful people who were a part of my life from the start and all those who God has provided at all the right times in my life, my husband and children, and both the family and friends who have walked with me in the good days and the bad. 
I am also thankful for the experiences I have had in my 40 years. I've had some pretty great days among the 14,600-ish days I have been here. And the older I get, the more I realize how great even some of those "ordinary" days were spent with those I love.

I recently saw a sign that said, "I remember when I prayed for what I have now." Truly, so many of my prayers as a child have been answered--probably the biggest being that I am still here at 40 to experience the blessings.

Here's to the next 40 years! Thank you for joining me on the journey.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Grandpa Kallas

My Grandpa Kallas passed away October 25--just in time to meet the love of his life in heaven for her birthday and wedding anniversary on October 27. They never had to spend one apart. 
We knew in April that our time was limited, but until then, it was as if time didn't touch Grandpa. Sure, he used a walker for the past several years, but he would sit and converse as he always had, still knowing what was happening on the farm he had once lived and worked on and always interested in what was happening on ours. Above all, his Catholic faith was of the utmost importance to him and he was unapologetic about that fact. May we all live our faith as he did. The second to last time I visited him I had the privilege of receiving communion with him. The last time, we prayed a rosary together. To have those moments as our last together on this earth are priceless in my heart. 

Grandpa was so many things. He was little candy bars he would offer as his guests left--Hershey's miniatures on the farm and Kit Kats in the nursing home. Grandpa was giving his great-grandchildren their first taste of ice cream (preferably Moose Tracks) at much too young an age. :) Grandpa was a booming, "Huh!" and a laugh when you told him something he thought was funny or surprising. Grandpa was milking cows. Grandpa was Saturday night mass in Leola (after which he would visit with his friends at the bar and I would join Grandma and their wives at the D&M Cafe.) Grandpa was his workshop in Leola. How perfect they were able to buy a garage next to their own for his projects. He was his restored Ford tractor. Grandpa laughed out loud at the morning comics--who does that? (Several years later, I would have a son who does the same.) Grandpa was back in his den making rosaries and, at meal times, at the end of the table with a glass of milk. Grandpa was the proud veteran, active in the Legion, where I remember him calling out numbers at the annual Turkey Shoot and where our family celebrated so many joyous wedding dances, and a 50th anniversary dance, together. Grandpa was not perfect. He never claimed to be, but he was one of a kind and an example I am honored to follow. 

I took this picture as we entered the cemetery yesterday. It wasn't until I looked at it on our way home that I realized the story this photo tells. Here is Grandpa's life--his love of faith, his country, his family, and the shadows of family still to grow and raise their families.

My cousin Brandon summed Grandpa's life up best as he quoted Matthew 25:21 last week.

"Well done, good and faithful servant!" 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Cross Country

Nathan had a great cross country season this past fall. He worked his way up to running on the varsity team for Regions . . . which was a snowy, chilly day in Webster! The boys and girls teams both qualified at the Region meet to run at the State Cross Country Meet in Sioux Falls on October 20. 

Northwestern has a fun tradition for teams leaving for state competitions. This was my first time actually being at a send off. Cousins Carter and Lily and Aunt Angela were able to be here, too.
Carter's quote of the day--"Nater is going to Stater!" 
The band comes out on the playground to play the school song and everyone lines up to give high fives as the team leaves the school.

Teresa and I were in charge of posters for the team. :)

Northwestern's boys team tied for 6th place, but points pushed them down to 7th. Nathan finished 108th with a time of 20:30.11.

*Thank you to Heidi B. for most of these photos!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Parents Night 2018

Landen really enjoyed his first season playing high school football.
He played quite a bit in his last game--even getting a sack on his first play in.
That night was double parents night for football and cross country.
I made our family gather for a photo. :)