Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas highlights...

Here are some more of my favorites from this month.

What a sweet suprise it was to open our front door and find a group of christmas carolers gracing our front step. They sang to us in amazing four-part harmony. It was so beautiful.

The Kastner and Berge crew singing in the snow

Thank you Kastners and Berge girls for that sweet music!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I took a bit of a break from blogging over the Christmas season here because, Wow!--it has been crazy. But now that it has quieted down and I have some time, I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite Christmas moments...

Here are 5 Christmas blessings that I LOVED having here over Christmas. Becca, Katrina, Charisma, Amelia, and Annika--my sweet neices. It seemed like I just couldn't get enough hugs in before they had to leave yesterday. It sure was nice while it lasted though!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A frozen expedition

My Berge cousins and the Kastner family invited me to go skating out on their lake. I had a few foreboding thoughts of cracking through the ice and getting trapped underneath, but despite that horrifying notion I went anyway. I am so glad I did…the ice was beautiful, smooth and so clear. We even saw a fat snapping turtle under the ice on the bottom of the lake. It was pretty amazing.

Me, Amanda B., Erica, Janna, Elizabeth, Lilia, Amanda K., and Katelyn

I am so thankful for these girls (in the picture) and their sweet spirits. I felt blessed just being around them. They exemplified to me the verse found in 1 Peter 3:4...

"but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart

with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,

which in God's sight is very precious."

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Happy Birthday to my dear sister!

I have been so extremely blessed with such a wonderful sister. I wish you all knew her as I do, she is so selfless and giving and so fun to be with. I've watched her as she has encouraged others, given of herself selflessly, supported her husband, and tirelessly served others--all with a cheerful smile and sweet spirit. She is my inspiration and encourages me to be more like Jesus everyday.

I love you Mindy!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gone Huntin'

We had a beautiful weekend for hunting. Our hunting party consisted of my Uncle Albert and his daughter Audra, my dad, me, Ben and Mindy, and Ben's dad Dennis. Between us we got seven deer and had a big packaging party last night at Grandma Berge's. Even though it isn't the most pleasant job butchering deer, the atmosphere is always fun and full of dramatic hunting stories. It is always good to be together. Plus, every few hours Grandma appears in the shop bearing delicious baked goods and refreshing drinks. She is so wonderful.

Here is the deer stand that my dad built for me out behind our house...

It is a wonderful stand and yielded two deer this year! I also saw a porcupine meandering through the woods--he was kind of cute but I was hoping he wouldn't start coming my way. Thankfully he didn't.

Here is the eight-point that came by on Monday morning. He is now in our freezer--poor guy. Someone asked me if I felt bad shooting those cute little deer and I said that after having your garden ransacked beyond recognition and having one run into your car you begin to lose a little of that compassion.

I guess I never realized what a huge thing deer hunting was around here until I started teaching. The little boys in my preschool play "hunting" almost all day and even pretend to track their "elk" and "deer" after they shoot them. I was amazed at how much they learn from just being around all of the hunting talk at home.

Here they are with their Lego guns and blaze orange hats. They are so cute and have such amazing imaginations. I love it!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Love that lutefisk!

Lutefisk is a big tradition in the Berge family. For decades it has been a staple at our Christmas Eve celebration at Grandma Berge's. Some people say it smells bad but don't believe it! To me it smells like Christmas and all the wonderful feelings that come with it.

Every year in October there is a big lutefisk supper at a local Lutheran church and of course we couldn't miss it. This annual supper is actually one of the first places that we ever performed as a family band so it is always wonderful to go back again.

Here is a picture of my plate

(the white glowing mass is the lutefusk is case you weren't sure).

A little history on lutefisk: literally translated, lutefisk means lyefish, which refers to the early process of soaking where a lye solution made of birch ashes was used in the luting process. Lutefisk is actually dried cod, or stockfish and is probebly one of Norway's oldest trading commodities. It has been used for trading with foreign countries for centuries, along with skins and furs. In Viking times, stockfish was both a main part of the diet, and a trading commodity on long voyages.

Here is a Norwegian now, drowning his lutefisk in drawn butter! I guess that Viking blood just can't resist a little "lute-ing" every once in a while.

(Ha Ha--ok, I know that was a really bad attempt at humor, but that's what happens when your main social interaction all day is with 3-5 year olds.)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Blog brain

Have you ever had that overwhelming problem of having too many things to blog that you can't even start. Well, that has sort of been my problem the last while--that and my very busy schedule. Just wanted to pop back in and let you know that I am still breathing and I will post some stuff soon.

To tide us all over, here is yet another sweet picture of my dear little neice, Elianna Grace.

She is a sweetie!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Elianna faces

The Briggs Boys...

We have a delightful little family in our church who asked if I would take their twin boys' 1 year pictures. They have a 2 year old little girl, 1 year old twins, and another one on the way this winter. It is a busy houshold but their parents are joyful and amazing. They delight in their children and by the pictures, you can see why--they are precious.

Monday, October 09, 2006

In His presence

"...the times of refreshing
shall come from
the presence of the Lord."
Acts 3:19
This verse is so true. We came back yesterday from travelling for the weekend and I was exhausted. Shortly after we got home I realized I had to go to a meeting at church that night and I really didn't feel like it. But as I arrived and we were praying and worshiping the Lord, my spirit became so completely refreshed and revived--it was like a drink of cool water on a hot day. What a blessing to be with others who are in God's presence and carry His presence with them wherever they go.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Colorado wedding...

Last weekend we had the blessing of travelling out to Colorado to witness the marriage covenant of my cousin Krista Schmidt (Dad's sister's daughter) to Delchi Fafach. It was a beautiful day. Krista and Delchi's commitment to the Lord was such a testimony to all who were present there. Here are a few highlights from the weekend...

Here is the crew of us that flew down a little early to help out. We were able to visit the famous Pearl Street, downtown Boulder and eat at the Cheesecake Factory.

Danny (Delchi's brother) and I played "Canon in D" as Krista walked down the aisle.

Mindy and I singing "How Deep the Father's Love for Us"

Mindy and Kaye, caught red-handed decorating the get-away car

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Little gifts

I am so grateful for all of the little gifts that God places in my path everyday. It is sad to realize that I miss a lot of them because I am "too busy" doing other things. I have been trying to stop being so project oriented and learn to see things around me for the blessings that they are. Rather than just running out to the mailbox to mail a letter, I am trying to take the time to realize that "Wow, God made this day and I am living in it! What a gift it is!" It really can change any mundane task into a privilege.

"Many, O Lord my God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou hast done..."

~Psalm 40:5

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Talitha's Wedding

Introducing the new Mr. and Mrs. Brandon Anderson!

Don't they look great in love!
Talitha is a sweet friend who lived with our family for a while last year. It was right during the time when Mindy and Ben were engaged and we were preparing for their wedding. It was such a huge blessing having Talitha here then and last weekend it was her turn to get married. She was a beautiful bride and Brandon is a really great guy--they are perfect together.
I was asked to do the bridesmaid's hair and we had so much fun! This is Rachel, one of the bridesmaids who was so much fun to be around.

The bridesmaids: Me, Rachel, Hannah and Mary Beth (Talitha's sisters), waiting for the signal to head down the aisle.

Nadia (the flower girl-Brandon's little sister) and Erina.

Mindy and I also sang and played that wonderful hymn "Nearer, Still Nearer" during the wedding. It was such a blessing to sing with Mindy again. I've missed it so much.

Congratulations Tilly and Brandon! Thank you for your beautiful example of a godly man and woman seeking Christ in everything. Your wedding was a testimony to that.

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Monday, August 21, 2006

One tough little cookie!

Ok...I realize the last two posts have been about baby Elianna, but I just can't resist one more. Here is a little update on things. Mindy is feeling much better and is gaining her strength back. Ben is struggling with the effects of the flu so pray that he will get better soon. Elianna had her PKU test done today (which requires needles!). Mindy and Ben were prepared for a very unpleasent event but she is a tough little girl and slept right through it! Praise the Lord.

My sister Melissa and all the kids (except Reuben) came up this weekend to see the baby. They loved holding her and gave her plenty of loving. She has it made in the wonderful cousin department, that's for sure.

Thank you Lord for children! What a blessing they are.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Elianna Grace Caron
Meaning: God has answered me
"I will praise Thee: for Thou hast heard me, and hast been my deliverance." ~Psalm 118:21

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Welcome Baby Caron!

Today has been one of the most incredible days of my life. I was blessed to witness the beautiful birth of my dear little neice (she has yet to be named!). Starting at 4:00 this morning, Mindy began having contractions and at 3:58 we met the efforts of her labor...a darling baby girl, 9 lbs-8 oz. and 22 1/2 inches long. Mindy's labor was very intense and exhausting for her but she did so well. She was amazing.

Getting started

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." ~Psalm 127:3

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them." ~Psalm 139:13-16
Thank you Lord for this sweet baby girl. You are a good and awesome Creator!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Farm Life

Amelia and Tiger...the much loved kitten (maybe a little "too" loved?)

After Camp Grace I was able to spend a week and a half at my sister Melissa's home and help out around their beautiful little farm. Something about that rigorous, healthy lifestyle really appeals to me. All of the fresh garden vegi's and outside time felt so good. I am sure when you live there all the time it must become work but for a short week it was an experience to remember. Here are a few photos of my darling neices and nephews...I am very biased! :)

Sisterly love...Annika and Katrina

Katrina, Becca, and Charisma with the baby goat

little Erina Peace

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Camp Grace

I had the privilege of counseling at Camp Grace once again this year. My nieces and nephew go to this camp and so I got to tag along to Teen Camp (Ben and Annika) and Junior Camp (Charisma and Becca). It was a great time for everyone to really learn how to love God by serving and worshiping Him. Here are some highlights…

Studying the Word of God during quiet time

Making new friends

...and more new friends!

Singing and testimonies around the campfire

complete with a good old fashioned marshmallow roast!

All together...a great week!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Berge Family Reunion are some pictures from our Berge family reunion. It was the weekend of July 14-16 and what a beautiful weekend it was! We spent a LOT of time swiming, canoeing and fishing in Grace Lake.

Becca gets a lesson on tying on a lure

Enjoying the lake with Amelia

We were also able to celebrate the upcoming marriages of two cousins, Krista and Delchi and Karla and Mike, by throwing a double wedding shower. It was was fun celebrating the addition of two more members to our family. Mike and Delchi are great guys who both love the Lord dearly. What a blessing to have them apart of the Berge crew.

Delchi and Krista

I am excited to travel out to Krista and Delchi's wedding come September 30th to participate in their special day. Their relationship is such a testimony of the Lord and His goodness. Praise the Lord for His great faithfulness to those who love Him.

"...His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness." ~Lamentations 3:22, 23

Monday, August 07, 2006

Back Home...

I am sorry about the lag in my blogging. I am now FINALLY able to get on here after several weeks of crazyness. There was the Berge family reunion, then counseling at two camps, then 10 days with the Sahlstroms, and then our Family music festival, all back to back. I am excited to show you pictures from each of these wonderful events. I will post those soon.

Before all of that however, we were sad to say goodbye to two members of our family: my uncle Rob (Mom's brother) and my Grandma King (Mom's mom). They died two days apart quite unexpectedly. My uncle Rob was a generous man. He gave me his vintage Gibson four string banjo which he lent to me to learn a few tunes on. Pray for his family.

My Grandma King was a godly woman who loved to sing the old hymns and talk about her Lord. She was a blessing to me and I am grateful that I was able to know her. At her funeral a lady who lived at the nursing home with her came up to my aunt and told this story:

"I don't think your grandma even knew me but she blessed me so much I just had to let you know. Several times over the years I have struggled with depression and despair and all I had to do was roll my wheel chair back and forth in front of your mother's room and listen to her soft humming of those good old hymns and my spirits were lifted. I don't think she even knew I was out there but what a blessing she was!"

Celebrating Grandma's Homegoing

What a testimony of her life! Praise the Lord that she is with Him in glory.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Home Improvement!
For a long time we have been wanting to give the end of our garage a facelift. It is a place that likes to collect "stuff" and manages to slowly disintegrates into a mini junk yard all by itself (imagine that!). So finally we'd had enough and launched project "Fix-Er-Up!". It really was inspired by my brother Matt. When he was visiting from Texas a while back he did the preliminary landscaping but now it was up to us to do the rest.
Dad had a load of rocks delivered and he then proceeded to build the neatest looking rock retaining wall. It really is a work of art. I don't know if you all realize it, but my dad is quite the artist. I really enjoyed watching him pick out just the right rock and set it perfectly into place.
He even let me try. Scary, isn't it? Nothing is safe now!
Here is the before picture.....


And after!...

We are still working on filling it up with some flowers so I think by next year it will really be beautiful. You will have to stop by and see it for yourself!