Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Weekend in Iowa

It was a fun weekend, and more to come later, but here is the group on Saturday night in Iowa for Dad's 92nd.
Janette and Jim Swenson, Wanda, Glenn and Kathy Johansen
Laila Johansen, Ev and Wally Johansen

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Happy 92

Happy 92nd Birthday Dad!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring brings it on

Starting to see Spring in my yard.  
The peony roots I planted last year are breaking through the soil.  The tiger lily bushes, so hardy and reliable, are up a few inches, daffodils are showing a lot of yellow through the bloom cover and I think they will open within the week.  
On the downside, a Chickadee has fallen in love with the picture window in the living room, which drives the cats insane, so that shade will have to be down until the urge passes for that poor bird.

I planted some seeds on about March 17th, and today had to split some of those pots as the plants are doing quite well.  Nothing fancy, just a plain split today and down the road a bit I'll try to isolate some individual plants to promote some larger seedlings.
Cherry tomatoes and poppies are the most vigorous of my plantings.

Some pots are doing nothing, I'll soon give up on those.

I still have high hopes for the pansy pots and chinese lantern seeds,
I started those a couple of weeks later.
Now it is time for a trip to Iowa to celebrate with Dad.
Life is good!

Friday, April 25, 2014

She wrote in 1948

Recently, a fellow West Denmark community member found a printed letter in his Mother's belongings and had it translated from Danish to English.  
In that letter was quoted a poem written by my Dad's Mother, Frederikke.  The letter was written in 1948 and I have included the paragraph that the author of the letter used to introduce Grandmother's verse.  
I wanted to share it here as it inspires me appreciate nature the way she did.

Mrs. Johansen has never seen Denmark and her Danish is the language she got from the pioneers and the casual teaching in high school.
Never the less she owns a rhythm and tune in her soul which we Danes up here admire.
I repeat the poem in its full length:

West Denmark is forest and hills
Towards the shallow lake
Sweet woodruff, Blue Bells and Lily of the Valley
Bloom in thousands.

A light breeze between the trees
And the day comes to an end
A Whippoorwill sings its evening song
In the peaceful summer eve
And the frogs quarks in the moor
Cowbells sound in the forest.

And the moon throws its shining
Over the lake that glitters like silver
Nature is like a organ's play
That sounds and lures and laughs
There a boat glides out from the bank
Into the stripe of silver

Where song sounds and heart beats
And word comes from chair
And where we depressed people sit
A glimpse of the shining sun
Where source of life springs to comfort the soul
And people find their harbor
There lies West Denmark.

Gods peace to all who builds and lives
In the forest by the lake
The sound of song from a joyful choir in West Denmark from forest and from home
Can never be wiped out
As long we keep pouring of the well
The well that runs from God.

This way the hard working farmer wife sings and writes poetry in 1948.

West Denmark Lutheran Church - 2013
Photo & Waterlogue edit by Mark Petersen

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I sneaked out & then she sneaked out

I saw this robin sitting on a birdhouse in the backyard on Wednesday and I wanted to get a photo.  
I slid the deck door open just enough to slip out 
and then I walked to the edge of the deck and got my photo.

After I took the shot, I heard a meow behind me.  
My little inside cat Barley had slipped out the deck door too.  
Luckily, when I tried to grab her she made a beeline for the door and went back into the house.

Then she took up a pose of innocent house cat in front of the fireplace.

Easter Sunday

The weather on Easter Sunday morning started out to be foggy and damp and chilly, 
but by noon, it was sunny and warm.
I was invited to join the fun at Larry & Lois Skow's house in Luck.
The food was delicious and the kids had fun with the egg hunt.
I didn't take many photos as I enjoyed sitting in the sun, 
visiting and having the first Summer Shandy of the season.

The kids were all in their Easter finery.
Aunt Lois took this photo of the cousins
Stella, Milena, Ruby, Elliana & Jens

Aunt Lois sent me this photo of Jens, he had the cutest seersucker suit & matching cap.

Jens and Jack were enjoying some Creme Soda.

Jens in his Easter best

Another from Aunt Lois
As you can see it was a sunny afternoon.
Milena and Elliana hunting the eggs

 Gage helped Jens with his egg hunt
Gage and Jens

Jens found some eggs on his own too

Jens after an egg in the corner of the deck

Ruby climbing through the snow to get to the eggs

Stella and Elliana hunting for eggs in the backyard
Thank you Lois and Larry for including me in a lovely day celebrating Easter with family.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My new favorite quote

Equality doesn't mean women will all make the same choice. 
It means women will be treated the same 
no matter what choices they make.
Madison Kimrey

Monday, April 21, 2014

If you Moustache...

 My Great Nephew Jake turned 6 on Saturday.   
Dana and Erin are always sure to include me in invitations to the birthday parties at their house.
The party theme:  Mustaches
I knew I was in the right place as I walked up the sidewalk.

Today is all about Jake.
He had a nice party hat and got into the mustache idea as well.
Jake is 6

Erin really decorates the house for birthdays.
A fun photo collage on the wall included pictures of Jake's 6 years.

 Erin has fun putting together the party themes and she sees to every detail to make the birthday boys feel special.  At the yummy buffet, there was a framed bit of artwork.
Framed buffet decor
Erin sees to every detail.
Even the bathroom...
One of the party guests was Jake's cousin,  little Cordell, Kaija's new baby.
I had not had a chance to meet him yet, so it was fun to see him.
He's a sweet baby boy with lots of dark brown hair.
Cordell & Grandma Kathy
Jake with his mustache birthday cake.
 Opening the birthday gifts gets to be quite chaotic and fun for the kids.
Brothers have to taunt each other, they just have to

Cousin Bryce, Jake, best pal Max all got into the gift opening together

Star Wars and Legos seemed to be the perfect gifts for this 6 year old.

This funny card really tickled Jake's funny bone.

One favorite gift was a pair of baby bottle suckers, who knew?
In the background, Jackson on the left and Mom, Erin on the right
Cupcakes with mustaches

Even the dyed eggs were 'stached

Big brother Jackson and the egg he made and his nice mustache

Jackson is getting to be a young man, he'll be 9 this summer.

A fun card from Grandma Lynn and Grandpa Steve

New swim trunks

Some gifts were less exciting, like clothes...

Cards and money from the Vanasse cousins

Lots of laughing
Jake getting a good laugh

Best pal Max game him a giant squirt gun, look out at the lake this summer!

Jake & Max 

Wynni and her little brother Cordell

Wynni had a brand new haircut and it looks cute.

Watching the boys

The birthday boy, Jake, and lunch

The kids lunch table was a busy place

The kids at lunch.  Jake, Max, Wynni, Bryce, Jackson and Milli with back to camera

Jake, Max, Wynni, Bryce, Jackson and Milli with back to camera
Finally, blowing out the 6 candles on the cake.
Milli, Wynni, Jake, Jackson, Bryce & Max

Here is the link to a short video I made of the birthday party.If you Mustache, Jake is 6
The Johansens:  Jake, Erin, Dana & Jackson

The Johansens:  Jake, Erin, Dana & Jackson
Happy Birthday Jake!


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