Year in Review

Happy New Year! As we say goodbye to 2009 and prepare to welcome a new decade, I thought I'd reminisce the best way I know how....through photos.


1. January: Miss J competes in and wins first gymnastics meet.

2. February: Miss J turns 8 and competes on her birthday at TNT Gymnastics. Gym Dad celebrates a birthday. Miss J competes in Kim Lupo Memorial Gymnastics Meet in Minot and places first.

3. March: Miss J competes at American Gold Gymnastics and at home meet at Red River Valley Gymnastics.

4. April: Miss J competes in ND Gymnastics Association State Meet and wins the all around gold.

5. May: Lake season officially begins with unseasonably cold temperatures.

6. June: Summer's arrival fails to spur warmer weather, however any weekend is a good weekend at the lake.

7. July: Miss J learns to drive four wheeler and time is spent in the woods on the family hunting grounds.

8. August: Sister K and I process endless pints of salsa, tomatoes and green beans. Two dear friends, Chad and Val, marry in Devils Lake and we enjoy a weekend of camping and fishing. Miss J begins third grade.

9. September: Sister K, Brother J, Gym Dad and I vacation in Las Vegas.

10. October: I have reconstructive knee surgery. Our new godson, Carter Jay Yonke, is born to best friends Kari and Jason.

11. November: Hunting season opens and despite being at a disadvantage with a bum knee, I bag a 11 point buck. I celebrate another birthday. Thanksgiving is celebrated at our house.

12. December: Many hours are spent shopping, decorating and cooking, readying for Christmas. Despite the first blizzard of the winter dumping over 25 inches of snow on our city, our Christmas celebration goes on as planned.

It is a little surreal that we are about to put 2009 to rest. Without warning it has come to an end. I wish you and yours health and happiness in the new year! Welcome 2010!



was what a three year old Miss J affectionately called her favorite movie. In those days we watched the movie almost on a daily basis. Maybe it was because the movie was repetitively played, or because Crazy Canadian Kramer is a simple soul, but he loves this movie. As soon as he hears the opening theme song he comes running to the TV. He also has been known to jump at the screen and attack the subwoofer.

For old times sake, Miss J wanted to watch Monster's Inc. over Christmas. True to form, Crazy Canadian Kramer jumped from his perch on the chair and stationed himself in front of the TV.


Let it Snow, Let it Snow....

Let it NOT snow any more this winter!! In my previous entry I mentioned that our city got hammered with over 25 inches of snow! TWENTY-FIVE inches of snow! It was one for the record books. Gym Dad spent a total of eight hours snow blowing and shoveling and the city streets still are a mess. It looks more like mid February rather than December with walls of snow making it difficult to see around corners and at crossings. That being said, this would be a great time to review my earlier post about winter driving!


Christmas 2009

Christmas 2009 turned out to be an interesting one indeed. Over 25 inches of snow fell from December 24th through December 26th in our fair city. My parents, grandmother and Sister K were all stranded at our house for the duration. This did not prevent us from carrying on with our celebration. Miss J was delighted to receive the gift she had been most hoping for from grandma and grandpa.


"Oh Come All Ye Faithful...."

was among the songs sung at Emma's annual Christmas Program on Tuesday night. The auditorium was stuffed from wall to wall with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and everyone in between.

The packed house was wonderful to witness. It has been obvious to me that there has been a migration away from the Christ centered Christmas. Secularizing Christmas into a, plain ol' vanilla sort of holiday. I truly feel that it makes little sense to completely ignore all religious connections to Christmas, but hey, I'm an open minded person (insert laugh and snort), so I think it would also be wrong to assume that those religious connections are all that matter or that everyone shares the same religious beliefs about the season. I am, however, very grateful that Miss J belongs to a school that focuses on the reason we celebrate Christmas; the birth of Jesus.

Every year when we gather together for this event, I am reminded why we made the decision to enroll Miss J in Sacred Heart Catholic School. We certainly didn't take this decision lightly, or make it in haste. Both Gym Dad and I were brought up Protestant. Would this/should this be a deal breaker? Thankfully the answer was no. SH offered small classrooms, a small student body and a sense of community that the public school lacked. SH students are taught to exercise good manners, self discipline and to respect others. All are essential values we hope to instill in Miss J.


Attention drivers...

Winter is upon us, so it seems. We will most likely have snow on the ground until April. I must admit, I was a bit excited to see the snow finally fall and remain on the ground. Then reality hit. Winter driving!

I will confess that I am an aggressive driver by nature. I anticipate every move I make on the road, the flow of the traffic, and the change of the stoplights. I'm impatient...leisurely Sunday driving is not for me! I may be aggressive, but I am very conscience of everything I'm doing, and for that matter, what you're doing next to me, behind me, and in front of me on the road.

Every driver expects the snow to fall in the winter. The roads change from snow to slush to ice. It is a known fact that this will occur, there's no debate, it happens every year. That being said, why is it that most drivers completely forget how to drive once the snow falls? They completely disregard all of their past experience on snow and ice and become morons on the road. Over the last few days I've been witnessing some exceptionally bad driving taking place. Take heed, bad drivers, here are some tips to help you avoid the horn honking and one fingered salutes you've been experiencing.

1. Get OFF your phone

2. Don't pull out right in front of me and proceed to drive 15 miles per hour.

3. Don't tailgate me; I am leaving safe stopping distance between me and the car in front of me and I don't want you in your stupidity to slam into my back end if I need to suddenly stop.

4. Don't drive in the middle both lanes; there are two lanes for a reason, to aid in the flow of traffic.

5. Just drive already! Hesitating, slamming on your brakes every block, and driving half of the posted speed limit only impedes on traffic and makes you dangerous.

Happy driving everyone!


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