Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tooth Removal

Yesterday Anna lost her front tooth. She was thrilled since she has been waiting for this to happen for the last two weeks. Every morning she'd ask me to pull it and when I got close to doing it she'd chicken out. This reminded me of dad's remedy for loose teeth. He'd always tell us that he was going to tie a string to the tooth and tie the other end of the string to a door knob. He'd threaten to slam the door and we'd run away! I don't think he ever tried this with any of us but we all feared the tooth pulling treatment.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Whoopie Cushion!

Let's face it. Farts are universally funny. Our family went years where we always celebrated a holiday with a whoopie cushion. It's October and the leaves are falling...we must need a jack o' lantern whoopie cushion. It's December...what better way to celebrate the birth of Christ than a whoopie cushion with a manger scene. It's the fourth of July...nothing more patriotic than a red, white and blue whoopie cushion. Dad should rest easy knowing that this tradition is alive and well in the next generation. Stella's big purchase in the Dells was a whoopie cushion.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blu Hollow Resort

Mom has been spending the week in the Dells with Myndy's family and her mind must be on past family vacations. When she called today she thought I needed to write something in the blog about Blu Hollow Resort and our family memories there. We started going to Blu Hollow when I was in about fifth grade. Dad loved fishing on Blue Lake and so we started to rent a cabin there each summer. Bob and Candy Peters owned this resort for a few years and dad made a lifelong friend in Bob. One of the most vivid memories from Blu Hollow was when the power went out. Dad always wanted to help out in situations like this so he got out his climbers, climbed the electric pole and tried to fix the wiring. Can't you just picture him up there tinkering!

Monday, February 25, 2013


Myndy, Jason, Stella, Mylee and Grandma Susie are enjoying the week at the Wisconsin Dells. They spent part of today at the cheese factory and now are enjoying fresh cheese curds. These were dad's favorite treat. Stella was excited and said, "Mom, they really do squeak in my mouth."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snow Fort!

As I did my walk/run around the block yesterday I had to smile at a family I saw making a snow fort. The mom was cutting out bricks and the dad was working on a tunnel through the snow. The three year old was sitting contentedly watching mom and dad work. This made me think of the amazing snow fort my cousins Jenny and Heidi and I made at our house. Dad helped us cut the bricks and the fanciest feature was a tunnel you could slide through to get to the bottom. This was all great until Cousin Jenny got stuck and dad had to shovel her out. Great memories!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Up North at the Cabin

Erik is pining away for a little cabin time. Every day he wakes up and says, "Let's go see Grandma Susie at the cabin." Tonight we read his favorite "Up North at the Cabin". He looked at the picture of the grandpa in the boat and said, "There's grandpa Myles." Here's my own version of Up North at the Cabin. Up North at the Cabin the walleye are always biting and my dad is always with me in the rumble of the Coon Truck, the sweetness of the pure maple syrup and in the middle boat seat my dad is always with me Up North at the Cabin the walleye are always biting and my dad is always with me in the "Folsom Prison Blues" sung round the camp fire, the neon lights from the juke box, and the Scrabble dice box my dad is always with me.

Friday, February 22, 2013


It's just about the time of year when Dairy Queen opens up again which means spring is just around the corner. Today I was reminded of my dad's favorite...a hot fudge, marshmallow sundae. I have great memories of sitting at the Lover's Lane Park enjoying our ice cream and shooting the breeze.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The all day dinner preparation

Katy and I were reminiscing about the things we missed about dad today. There was a laundry list, of course, but one of the things that came up today was how much dad loved to put together a fancy dinner with full family participation. His favorites were Chinese food or Kabobs. He loved it when he could get everyone in the household chopping or preparing something...even the kids! I can't eat a steak kabob or an egg roll without thinking about those awesome family dinners.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Erik woke up this morning wanting to go to the cabin to see Grandma Susie. He said,"Mommy, I'm not going to Auntie and Chiefy's today. I'm going to see Grandma Susie at the cabin." I told him that we'd be going there soon but that Grandma Susie was in Thief River. I thought that was the end of the conversation but then he said, "Grandpa Myles isn't there. He's home with Jesus." Sometimes our kids are so smart, aren't they?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Woodpecker Worries

We hosted playgroup tonight and my friend Christy was talking about the trouble they were having with pilliated woodpeckers. This reminded me of how much my dad hated those darn birds. Living in a house with wood siding the woodpeckers just loved our house. I dinstinctly remember waking up at 6 am to the sound of them pecking on the wall right beside my bed. Dad tried everything to get rid of them but he was never completely successful.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine's Day

All of the hoopla around Valentine's Day this week got me thinking about my dad and the way he showed his love. You will not be suprised to find out that he was not one for extravagant gifts or sweeping gestures. Rather, he showed his love to his family by doing the little everyday things to make things easier for us. He'd be the first one up to shovel and snowblow the driveway, he'd wash our cars and vacuum them out so we didn't have to think about this, and he'd do the bulk of the mowing around the place. I think mom would agree we'd take the thoughtful everyday gestures over the grand shows of affection any day. Right mom?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Jump Rope for Heart

Anna just got done collecting money for Jump Rope for Heart for her phy ed class. She is so proud to be jumping in memory of Grandpa Myles.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Memory

This is s story my cousin Jenny shared about my dad on a past Valentine's Day... Last Sunday we got the ad for Papa Murphy's pizza where they have the heart shaped pizzas for Valentine's day. It reminded me of your dad. A few years ago Darren had foot surgery and was laid up for a few months. It was Valentine's Day & your mom,Deb & Jim were on their way to the Hobo Haus. Your dad had been in GF for meetings that day & had to pick us up one of those pizzas because he knew we would be staying at home! He even came in and put it in the oven as Darren could barely walk! How thoughtful!He had a heart of gold and when I came home I could not figure it out how Darren could make pizza!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dear Dad

Dear Dad, It's been Valentopia around here tonight. Grandma Susie sneakily mailed some cards a few days ago so each kid got a Valentine in the mailbox. Grandma Wendy also stopped by with Valentine gifts galore. The highlight was Steve's superman underwear that Erik wore around the house for the rest of the night. The best Valentine present is that mom is on the mend. She still has some pain in her shoulder (probably due to the C02 gas that they used to blow up her stomach for the procedure). You would have been proud of her...she did not take the private room in the hospital because she said she could hear you whispering in her ear, "You don't need to waste $70. You can be a little friendly." Turns out she didn't have a roommate anyway. We'll be meeting Myndy, Jason, Stella and Mylee in Cannon Falls tomorrow night so that mom can head up there and get ready to fly home on Saturday. Let's pray she can get in the driveway. Little Fia will be baptized on Sunday and mom is insisting on making an egg bake. See...some things never change! We love you and miss you every day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fitness Mouse

Yesterday I started the morning out at the Rochester Athletic Club for a little cardio. I had been on the elliptical for a few minutes when I noticed a brown, furry rodent scurrying around the floor. I started moving a bit faster and kept my eye on the mouse. I hadn't seen it in a while so I felt it was safe to get down. Sure enough, the minute I got down on the floor my furry friend was right at my feet. I thought of how much my dad would have enjoyed that story. Part of me thinks that little mouse was dad just checking up on us on the day of mom's surgery. If so, please try and find another way to show yourself to me, dad! I'm not a big fan of rodents.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dance Party!

Tonight we decided to have a dance party to wish mom good luck on her surgery. We all tried to make sure we included dad's signature moves....clapping off beat, the fist pump, and a random leg kick here and there. We'll find out at 8:15 tonight when her surgery is scheduled but it will be sometime tomorrow. Hopefully the dance moves will bring a successful surgery and a speedy recovery. Contemplating one last run to Cherry Berry before the dietary restrictions begin.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Style Show

Grandma Susie is in town so you know what that clothes for the kids! Anna got a fantastic new black, leather skirt yesterday (the trashier, the better for her) and she modeled it for all of us. This reminded me of the many "style shows" that we put on for dad. He'd watch patiently, rolling his eyes occasionally and every once in a while he'd say, "Did we buy all of this?" "Yup, dad. That's what happens when you have three daughters."

Friday, February 8, 2013

How do you mend a Broken Heart?

As many of you know mom is staying with us while she is getting ready for surgery on Monday. Two nights ago she woke up and said, "What are the words to How Do you Mend a Broken Heart? I dreamed that the surgeon played that song for me and said he couldn't do anything for me because my heart was broken." I guess there is a bit of truth in that. We looked up to the words to that infamous song by the Beegees and she and Erik danced cheek to cheek in the kitchen. Although I know the surgery will not mend her broken heart, hopefully it will give her some relief from pain. She has lots of cheek to cheek dances left with her grandkids.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Johnny Appleseed

Tonight we sang our family's favorite table grace "Johnny Appleseed". The kids love to hold hands and yell Amen very loudly. As I looked around the table I thought about how much my dad loved singing that Grace. He learned it from Rufus and Vi and he always got a big kick out of the kids and their expressions as he looked around the table.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dear Dad

Dear Dad, Mom and I are getting ready for our big trip to the Mayo Clinic tomorrow. We'll check in at 7:30 AM and hope these docs can get mom feeling better. Of course, we are hoping to squeeze in a little shopping too. You know us! We'll keep you posted on the progress.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Frozen Doors

Today's story come from a Christmas quite a few years ago. I believe Steve and I were living in Rochester. Mom and dad had come as far as Myndy and Jason's and they were scheduled to come to our house the next day. There was freezing rain in the night but dad really wanted to get on the road and make it down to our house the next morning. As he went out to start the car he realized the car doors were frozen shut. Determined, he started to try and thaw the car doors with an acetylene torch. Luckily Jason's neighbor Greg came out and helped him out before anything on the car was damaged. He did make it down to Rochester that day!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bethany Cemetery

Today was a tough day for some reason..sometimes it kind of sneaks up on you. I woke up thinking about dad and the whole day was tinged with a bit of sadness. I got to thinking about Bethany Cemetery where dad is buried. It is a beautiful spot and even more meaningful for our family because of our history with the church and cemetery. Dad was the sexton for the cemetery so his job was to be sure everyone was plotted correctly and that the maps of the cemetery were accurate. Grandpa Rufus had this same job many years before dad. When dad retired from his job as sexton the first person buried was Grandpa Rufus. Dad's cousin Janet Burrows made the charts of the cemetery at Bethany in memory of Grandpa Rufus and his sister Ione, her mother. Being the sexton of a cemetery isn't a flashy job. It takes a steady, quiet leadership. I can see why both Grandpa Rufus and dad were perfect for this job.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Buddy, Ritchie and the Bopper

Last night we went spent the evening in Clear Lake, Iowa. As we listened to the encore of Gary Busey at the Surf Ballroom I thought of how much dad would have enjoyed listening to the music and seeing all the memorablia at the ball room. It was like taking a step back in time. Mom's cousin Deloris Fjerstad Spencer was waiting to see the concert in Fargo that fateful night. I hope that dad, Deloris and Ray are all listening to a few tunes with those three musicians in heaven.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Last night Myndy and Mylee came to visit. It was fun for the kids to play with Mylee. As we always do when together, we started to talk and reminisce about dad. Some other friends were visiting and we tried to explain some of the things we loved most about our dad. The topic of willpower came up. We shared the story about how he quit smoking to gear up for his big trip to Hawaii. It seemed to us he was able to quit cold turkey but I know there was a great amount of willpower and self-discipline needed to make this big change in his life.