Saturday, December 31, 2011

Off to Sahlstrom's Farm!

The day after Thanksgiving, Mom and Dad and I and the kids piled into their car and took a six hour drive to southern Minnesota to visit my sister's family. What a fun time we had!

Amelia and Simeon took Mariah on a quad tour of the farm. She thought that was exciting!

Surrounded by cousins...and they have all gotten so big since we last saw them!

I FINALLY got to meet Naomi, my nephew's sweet new wife. She is lovely. Here they had just stopped in on a break from working on their new house.

My gorgeous big sister to whom I look up to so much! I love you Mis!

Micah sitting at the table with Amelia and Becca.

And here he is again, getting some lovin' from Annika and Auntie Missy.

There is never a dull moment at the Sahlstrom's, always full of life and fun! We loved our visit and miss them all so much.


Just doing a wee catch up of highlights from our trip to the States. This was our Thanksgiving. I have to say that I am abundantly blessed and have so very much to be thankful for this year. I could never even list it all as it would be miles long, but at the top is the love of my Savior and the privilege of serving Him. And very near to that is my incredible husband and the two blessings we call our children. And following close to that is all of my family...David and I have the BEST families in the world. How is it that I got to be so very blessed!? Thank you Lord!

Micah is fresh and clean (and cozy in Grandma's arms) and ready for a big day of feasting and merry making.

Check out that food! It was sooooo good!!
Note: my angelic brother...don't be fooled!

Micah enjoying Grandpa's spoon.

Uncle Matt reading an after dinner story.

Uncle Matt had all the kids sitting on the couch playing the "Quiet Game". They were hilarious. Unfortunately, Mariah lost...she just didn't get it. But she was impressed with everyone's silence as you can see by her admiring look at Elijah.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Deer hunting finale party!

NOTE!: If you can't handle the gore that comes with butchering deer, than these pictures aren't for you!

Every fall for as long as I can remember, our family has gone hunting for deer. The excitement of the season approaching was contagious, even as a little girl. The guys would dust off all their hunting gear and hang them in the frosty outdoors to get rid of any human smell. Then they would carefully inspect and clean the rifles and sight them in. Safety was always a HUGE thing, which I really appreciate now that I'm a "big girl" but at the time I didn't really get why they would nearly flip out if we even thought about touching the rifles! Eventually, I was allowed to hold my dad's rifle, with supervision, and feel the cold, heavy metal of the barrel and the intricate carving of the stock (that my Grandpa Berge had done...beautiful!). And now I have my very own rifle and 6 deer 'under my belt'. So to be missing out on this yearly ritual the past 3 years has been a bit sad.

BUT....this year was different. Our surprise visit just happened to catch the very last weekend of deer hunting and we were able to get in on the butchering party. As horrible as that sounds, I was happy about it! I just love the atmosphere of the gathering together to harvest the meat into the freezers and the feeling of provision that is brings for the winter.

Mariah LOVED the poor little deer heads...I was a bit freaked out when I found her hugging one.

The babies got to hang out up at the house while everyone was cutting up down in the shop. Micah loves his great-grandma!

Then there was a welcomed midway pizza break. (I have to confess, that I was strictly on baby duty and never once soiled my fingers. Felt a bit guilty but then again, I don't get to eat any of that lovely meat so I don't feel too bad). I did eat pizza though!

Back to work! Many hands make light work!

And Dad, getting down to business.
In the end I believe they butchered 8 deer and split it up between 6 or 7 families. So there should be some happy freezers and yummy, healthy suppers in the very near future. Good stuff and happy times!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

And the eating begins!

While in Minnesota, Micah had his first try at food!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

My Surprise Visit!

On November 17th, the kids and I boarded an airplane and headed across the ocean toward the USA! My hubby wasn't able to make this trip with us but he sent us off with his blessing and good wishes (and lots of prayers that I would survive travelling for 14+ hours on an airplane with two babies!). I was so excited to see my family. It had been a year and a half since I had been home. The fun part...nobody knew we were coming except my brother and his wife! It was so fun and the suspense was almost too much!

Flying over Greenland

We made it and the kids did so well on the flight. They even slept for the last 3 hours as we flew from Newark to Minneapolis...bliss! I was, however, VERY happy to hear the captain say that we would be landing in good ol' Minnesota in 20 minutes. I was tired and SO ready to see my family.

Matt and Beth took us out to eat and we went to Cabella's. Mariah loved it.

I loved it too...the taxidermy is quite stunning and realistic. Though I have never actually seen a pair of lions attacking a water buffalo in real life before, I felt as if I had after this...Once we arrived at my parent's house, Matt and Beth went in and said that they had gotten something heavy and needed help bringing it in (uh...thanks matt). So out comes my dad who opens the back door only to find us in the back seat. He was totally stunned. Then we went in and stunned my mom too. It was great! Later that day my sister, Mindy, came by as well and the stunning continued (it was her birthday so that made it even more fun)! Mariah was trilled to see her cousins again and it was Micah's first time meeting most of them.

(Mariah looks a bit jet-lagged in this one)

The timing was such that I was able to join in on a concert that they had commited to playing for the bank Christmas party. It felt sooooo good to be singing with them again. Ahhhh...heaven!

(practice session)

We did a LOT of hanging out with the cousins. It is great to watch them get aquainted with one another. I think they will all grow up to be great friends.

I feel so blessed to be able to actually sit in my beautiful sister's house instead of just seeing it all through Skype. It feels like a dream! God is so good. be continued.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Photo shoot with a 2 year old

"Somethin' in my toe"...

Disappearing act...

I can still see you...

And she's back!...

Tripod ownership disagreement...

Toes again...

who knows...


YooHoo, over here...

Ahhhhh, that's better...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mariah turns TWO!

2 years old!
on September 9th, 2011

My little baby girl is not so little any more!

We had a little Teapot themed birthday party for her since her very favorite song was "I'm a Little Teapot" and would make us sing it for her every single night before bed. :)

We played, Pin the Top on the Teapot...

Pass the Parcel...

Opened presents...

Served cake...

Listened (intently) to everyone singing Happy Birthday...

And blew out the candles...!
We thank the Lord for blessing our lives with this sweet little girl. She is so precious to us and brings our home so much joy!

We love you Mariah Grace!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Family Get-Away: Part II

The Beach!

The ocean is one of those things that I never experienced much of in my childhood except in books and movies. We had plenty of lakes and streams near us, but no salt water. So being near the ocean is a thrill for me. I LOVE going to the beach and feeling the rush of the waves sweeping the sand out from beneath my feet. The taste of salt spray on my lips, the smell of seaweed (even though is stinks sometimes), and discovering treasures that the tide has uncovered. Such a lovely and wonderful place!

Even though it wasn't exactly warm, we had lots of fun anyway.

Mariah really loved it and was so brave. She scared me sometimes with her fearlessness! It was good that "daddy" was there to save her from the big waves!

"Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure."
Proverbs 4:25-26

Family Get-Away

For our "holiday" this summer, instead of taking a big trip someplace or heading out of the country, we decided to just take advantage of some good rates at a hotel not too far away that had a swimming pool (for the kids and I) and a golf course (for David). It was great and so relaxing. I think we all really enjoyed it.

David and his wee shadow getting limbered up to play some golf.

First time swimming in a pool! So excited.

Totally lovin' it!

Mariah's first ice-cream cone was a big hit!

All pooped out...