Merry Christmas!

Highlights from 2014.

Music. Heard almost daily in our house, from drums, to piano, to trumpet.
ESU. Elizabeth has completed her 1st semester.
Run. Erik has developed a new passion for running and he is very good at it.
Races. Erik competed in 2 races after cross country was over. Elizabeth did the color run in Emporia this fall.
Yellow brick road. You are always welcome to visit us in Kansas.

Church. We continue to be active in various roles.
High school. Erik is a very busy freshman at Newton High.
Red! We continue to cheer for our team to the north.
Intentions. I have the best intentions to write on this blog, but for the most up to date happenings; we all can be followed on facebook and Instagram.
Surprise. Jim, Elizabeth, and Erik surprised Jonni with a small gathering for her 50th birthday.
Trip. Jim and Jonni travelled to Branson for a few days in August to celebrate their anniversary.
Maisy. She still enjoys her daily walks and loves when everyone is home.
Always. We are always happy to hear from family and friends during the holidays.
St. Louis. Jim spent a week there in April accepting a national award-related to Jump Rope For Heart.




Mom-Son Date Night

2 years ago we went to the Harlem Globetrotters as a family.  I think we all had a good time, but that is all Erik could talk about for a long time following the event.  He was very disappointed when they came back to Wichita last year and he was told that we couldn’t attend because it was too expensive and it is something you do for a special occassion.

Shortly before Christmas he found out that they were coming back to Wichita. It was the topic of conversation for many days. Once again, we told him that it was too expensive to go and thinking that really we had been 1 time, already.

Erik received money as a Christmas present and offered to buy his ticket and then when he realize he needed an adult to go with him he offered to buy an adult ticket as well. What’s a parent to say when he wants to use his own money except, “I guess it is a date!” Jim and him decided it should be a mom/Erik date.

The show was a little different than we saw before including a female player and one that was called “tiny” but he was almost 7 feet tall and our seats were closer than last time so he was on cloud 9. I had a fun evening with my “little” boy who is growing up way to fast!

It’s beginning to feel like Winter….

and with winter we anticipate the celebration of our savior’s birth, Christmas!

In Kansas this year we have had some very dry and unseasonable weather.  We received our first snow fall late Wednesday night waking up to some white covering the ground on Thursday morning.  By this morning the snow was wet enough to hold together to make snow balls for a friendly “fight” between siblings.  It is so nice to think they can dress with all of their snow gear by themselves and I can sit back and enjoy the fun they have together.

It becomes more difficult for me to write this update  as I truly reflect on how much everyone is growing up and changing.  When Elizabeth was little, everyone would say enjoy the time because they grow up way to fast…well  this Moma is having a hard time with how fast they are growing and the changes that come  with growing up.

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ERIK is now 12 and a 7th grader at Chisholm Middle School.  He is very active in sports and does very well, from the parent who is not at all athletic.  I enjoy watching his skill and his love for all sports.  This fall he ran cross-country for the first time.  I think he may have a new favorite, but he tells us his favorite is baseball.  Erik continues to play the piano and percussion in the band.  He is also beginning to show an interest in the trumpet so during the fall when there was a student teacher in band, he was able to have a little instruction and has picked some up while practicing.  Last summer, Erik and his Boy Scout troop travelled to Spanish Peaks in Colorado for a week.  He also went to church camp.


ELIZABETH is now a junior at Newton High School and 16 years old.  We were able to purchase a car, 1996 Toyota Corolla for her this fall which makes scheduling and getting 4 people to different locations much easier.  She continued to work at the pool during the summer as well as help at church camp.  She is planning to take a lifeguarding class so she can work more, paying for gas can get expensive.  Elizabeth continues to do well academically, earning another letter even though she is busy with many extracurricular activities.  During the school year she has participated in drama productions, swimming during girls’ season and managing for the boys’ swim team, and is active with the youth group at church.  She also works at the nursery at church on Sundays.  Elizabeth has started to think about her plans for college next year and gets mail on a weekly basis from several prospects that would like her to attend their schools.


JIM AND JONNI continue their teaching jobs with the Newton School System.  Many changes continue to rise to the fore-front in education so we are always trying to keep up with those changes.  Jim continues to be a Nebraska Sports Fan and St. Louis Cardinal Fan.  Jim and Erik were able to attend a football game in the fall.  He is also active with the Boy Scout Troop which Erik is a part of.  Jonni has started teaching the preschool Sunday School class at church.  She also continues to be available to provide respite care to families when her schedule away from family/school commitments allow.


We have travelled to Nebraska several times over the year to see family and friends.  The highlight of our travels this summer was a trip to West Virginia.  It has been 20 years since Jim and I went there on our honeymoon.  Jim promised Elizabeth a trip to meet relatives on his mom’s side of the family before graduating from High School.  We spent a week travelling through 5 states and 2 time changes.  There were changes, but a great learning experience for all of us.  We loved seeing family that we rarely see or talk to!  (the pictures are all from vacation since I never was able to get a post done about the trip.)

We are wishing you and your family a Blessed Holiday Season..

Kansas State Fair

Can you believe that I have lived in Kansas for 20 years and have never went to the State Fair?

Well, Erik and Elizabeth have talked about going the last couple of years and it never seems to work out because of our other activities.  Well, this year we made it a priority to get there.

I think for the most part we had a good time, but as the mom it was hard because I was trying to keep everyone happy during the day with the chosen events.  This becomes harder as the children get older and can express their opinions about things.

Here are a few pictures from our day!









butter sculpture, a Kansas State Fair tradition

Elizabeth’s trial run with some awesome ink!

School Year 2012

Erik started school on the official first day of school.  He is entering 7th grade and when I asked him what he was most excited about he said algebra.  Some of his buddies from 6th grade will be taking algebra with the 8th graders  this year.  He wasn’t too excited about the picture, but I told him I would probably be taking 1st day of school pictures when he left for college.














Elizabeth had an extra day at home and started school on Thursday with all of the 8th graders and upper classmen at the High School.  It is hard to believe this will be her Junior Year!  The time has went really fast, I still remember when I cried her last day of preschool because I wasn’t ready for her to start kindergarten.

A picture of them together at the end of vacation, just about a week before school started.  I hope to get the vacation pictures posted soon.  They are standing in the Mississippi River in St. Louis which has become a tradition, starting when Elizabeth was 3.


The summer has gotten away from me without a post about 2 of my favorite children and their birthdays.


She turned 16 this year.  I thought it was worthy to post 16 things about her.

1.  Your hair.  Your dad loves it when it is curly and long, but I like it when you spend the time to straighten it.

2.  You have a beautiful singing voice and I love listening to you sing.

3.  I am glad that most of the time you and your brother get along so well,  and you aren’t afraid to show it.

4.  You are determined to finish things once you start them, especially if it is important to you.  Swimming comes to mind, you have worked hard and continue to work hard to be the best you can be.

5.  I like that sometimes you can be silly and you aren’t afraid to laugh…it makes us laugh too.

6.  You enjoy spending time with children.  You work in the nursery at church,  teach swimming lessons, and was a CIT at church camp.

7.  You enjoy cooking by yourslf and with us.

8.  You help around the house even though it is not your most favorite thing to do.

9.  You have a strong devotion for GOD.

10.  You are a goal setter and aim to achieve the goals you set.

11.  You worked at the pool the last 2 summers.

12.  You are a leftie.

13.  You have been driving by yourself and you are doing a great job.

14.  Dad says you are a free-spirit.

15.  You have become very interested in acting and participating in school productions.

16.  At the present time, you say you want to do something in the medical field.


Erik turned 12 and it is hard to believe that we almost have 2 teenagers in the house.  I thought it was only fair to post 12 things about Erik.

1.  You are very athletic and interested in a variety of sports including soccer, basketball, and baseball.  You are going to try cross country when school starts.

2.  You are senstive and wear your heart on your sleeve.  You take after your grandpa.

3.  You have a great sense of humor and you always know how to make someone laugh.

4.  You love to read.

5.  You play the piano and drums.  Your piano teacher says you are very passionate about your interest in the piano.

6.  Erik you have a great memory and seem to remember the things I forget.

7.  Sharing a birthday with his mom makes the day more special.

8.  I am glad that you have the opportunity to be in Boy Scouts so you can learn about the outdoors and the things that you are interested in like fishing and camping.

9.  Once you have a friend, they will be a forever friend.

10.  You are very persistent and don’t let things go easily.

11.  You are a good student and are often interested in many different things.

12.  Erik sings in the community choir and has had several solos.

I love you 2 very much and glad to have you as my kids!

A great weekend for Soccer

The last couple of seasons have been rough for the Newton United team Erik plays on.  In fact, they did not win any games in the fall.  As a parent, it is hard to watch your child’s team play hard, but never come out on top.

Well, this weekend they tied a game and won a game!








Erik is #5 and loves to play forward.