Saturday, January 04, 2014

2013 in review and looking forward to 2014

Dear friends and family and random readers --

During 2013 our household moved from the Wartburg Seminary campus to Harmony, MN for a year of internship and field work. Now that Shawn is halfway through his pastoral internship with three area churches (Greenfield Lutheran in Harmony, St. Paul Lutheran at Big Spring and St. Matthew’s Lutheran in Granger) the rest of us are getting used to hearing everyone in the community refer to him as “Pastor Shawn.” Unfortunately due to Tami’s schedule as a Chaplain Resident at Mayo Clinic hospitals we rarely get to worship together, but that makes the Sundays we do join together to worship at one or more of the churches all the more special.

Nessa is enjoying her year as a 3rd-grader at Fillmore Central Elementary school in nearby Preston, MN, and her obsessions this past year have included the extremes of Harry Potter (all books and movies) and the smurfs (mom & dad are a bit tired of hearing La la la-la la). Thankfully Nessa also enjoys playing in the snow, legos, Barbies, arts and crafts, many games, and still loves to share her love for reading. This year Nessa was a wise man in the Greenfield Lutheran Kid’s Christmas program, and sang a verse of “We Three Kings” solo, and she loved being in the program so much that she was very sad when it was over.

Megan, a sophomore at La Crescent High School, is now driving as often as she can while still dreaming of the day she will own her own car. She started her first “real job” this year working at the Hokah Hardware store which is awesome for spending money although it adds to her busy schedule.

When not working or studying (although it's a lot of work she is happily taking both Chemistry and Biology this year and tells me she loves the lab work they get to do), Megan loves to hunt and participate in shooting sports (bow hunting is her new favorite). She is also a great cook and baker, and we all appreciate that talent!

Now a few photos and tidbits from the past year:

OK, so this first photo is actually from the very end of 2012 ... happy sisters snuggling on the couch in our home in Dubuque, and showing me Nessa has had the same basic hair cut for over a year now (wow, time flies!)

Here is Megan with Grandma Karen holding up Megan's first quilt that she made (with LOTs of help and inspiration from Grandma). Megan and Tami spent part of Megan's Spring Break in 2013 up in Cumberland and most of our time was spent on this lovely quilt! Beautiful memories!

Nessa on her 8th birthday (April 2, 2013). She wanted the log roll cake like we had had at Christmas, so Tami made it happen even in the midst of our busy Spring semester schedule.

And before we knew it, it was time for our move to Harmony, MN for internship year! (Also, Tami apparently doesn't have any great pics from summer ... this is also where you might notice that I do not have many pics of Shawn ... thankfully he hasn't changed except for a few more grey hairs ... but I promise some pictures of him actually in-action sometime this year)

Above is Nessa standing in our "library" in our home in Harmony this summer. Below is Nessa using Tami's well-used yoga mat to spread legos out on while enjoying time in our three-season porch. We used that porch A LOT when we first moved in, and then realized even a 3-season porch can only be used about 6 months out of the year in MN ... Tami misses yoga on the porch every morning and everyone else is probably tired of dealing with the yoga mat and cushions in the family room.

Tami turned 42 this year and the girls helped celebrate with cake while Shawn took a pic:

We spent August unpacking the Harmony house (otherwise known as "the vicarage") and just in time (Nessa was getting bored without a neighborhood full of kids), it was back to school! Below is a pic of Tami and Nessa on their first day to school/Residency.

And then it was time for Megan's hunting season(s) to begin. She had a successful hunting year ... but what I love best is her smile! And those happy eyes aren't bad either!

And finally a few pictures from Christmas 2013 (when I was the only one snapping pics):

 This cold cold winter has made our family room and the fire place that we can turn on with a flip of a switch one of the favorite places in the house! It also makes a great places to hang our Christmas stockings!


This next year should find us moving back to the Wartburg Seminary Campus in Dubuque in August 2014, as Shawn and Tami embark on one last academic year (graduation May 2015!) prior to moving wherever their first ministry calls take them. For now though we take things one day at a time loving each other and those people God puts before us each day in ministry. We hold each of you in our hearts and prayers as we embrace the New Year! As always you can find us sharing frequent funny tidbits, photos, and more on Facebook as well as catch occasional thoughtful blog posts (we promise updates in early 2014!). We look forward to hearing from and visiting with each of you soon!

Tami (,
Shawn (,
Megan and Nessa

P.S. While I get nostalgic when I look at this blog, it's probably about time to actually update the pics and links on the borders of the posts (you know for those actually viewing in a browser on a computer instead of using a phone or tablet like I do most of the time!)