Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Dad

My dad passed away November 8, 2011. My brother, Mark and I gave the eulogy at his funeral November 14. 2011. Here is my portion, you can read my brother's at

It hard to pick out just a few memories from a lifetime of them but here are just a few thoughts of my dad.

Dad loved Mom’s cooking! He enjoyed a good meat and potato meal but Sunday suppers he would sometimes give Mom a break. I remember him making tuna salad sandwiches served with potato chips, no meal was complete without potatoes, red jello with real whipped cream and Pepsi and we would watch The Wonderful World of Color in black and white.

I remember Dad with a pencil behind his ear. Usually one of those wide carpenter pencils that he had sharpened with his pocket knife. When we were cleaning out his nightstand we found 6 pocket knives and some pencils  in the drawer. He would stick the tip of his tongue out when he was concentrating hard or drawing, I have seen this same trait in my kids and grandkids.  I remember the sketches he would draw for us kids, mostly horses and dogs, he loved animals. I am sure my sister Cheryl’s artistic abilities were passed down from Dad. He was so proud of Cheryl and her art.

Dad was a hard worker and a lot of my early memories were of his after dinner naps which I now also seem to take. Dad could sleep through just about anything except turning the channel on the show he was ‘watching’.

Dad was a builder and had always wanted to build his own house so in 1971 Dad started building our house in Lakeville. Dad with the help of a few guys built the whole house while continuing to work full time. We moved in when school started my junior year without windows or running water and we were SO excited when the main level was mostly done by Thanksgiving!

I really started to get to know Dad when we lived in Lakeville. I was very involved in my youth group at Oxboro Free church in Bloomington and Dad would drive me into church very time they unlocked the doors, it seemed and then came back to pick me up. He never complained to me, at least, even though gas had gone up to 65 cents a gallon. This is when I discovered Dad was a great listener which was good because I was a great talker! We had 80/20 conversations, I talked 80 % of the time and he talked 20% but I started to get to know him in that 20%.

I was a young adult when my parents moved away from home. Dad, Mom and my brother, Mark moved up to the farm where Dad had grown up after my sister, Cheryl, graduated from high school. Dad loved North Dakota; it was home to him even though he lived in Minnesota more years of his life. In his final days he was there in his mind and talked of it often. All three of us kids got married during this time and started our families. In 1991, due to the economic conditions in North Dakota, my parents moved back to Minneapolis.

At the age of 65 Dad didn’t want to start back into the carpentry union again and my husband, Peter, was looking for another person for the maintenance staff here at church so Dad started working here. While there were many aspects of the job he did not enjoy he did enjoy the building projects and the people. You could usually find him at break time having coffee and chatting with someone. Dad and Mom were a part of my family’s daily lives. Peter and Dad worked on the maintenance staff and Mom and I worked in the kitchen here. Whenever my family did something we always included Dad and Mom.

We went on many road trips together and in 2006 we took a road trip to Virginia and Washington DC with Dad, Mom my youngest son, Andrew, and niece, Chelsa. We knew it was going to be one of the last ones Dad would be able to take as his health was starting to decline. He had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure the year before.

We had so much fun! One of my favorite memories of Dad was the day we went to the White House. We were staying in Virginia so we got up early and took the subway into the city. We walked long and hard to get to the White House in time for our tour. It was such a thrill for us all but Dad especially enjoyed it. After the tour we walked many blocks to the Senate offices for our tour of the Capital. On the walk Dad started to really slow down and that is when we realized while the rest of us had worn our tennis shoes Dad had put on his dress shoes because he was going to the White House!

Mom and we kids have gotten to know the ER at Methodist hospital quite well over the past few years as Dad’s health continued on a downward spiral. Dad’s activities now revolved around games with his family. He loved being surrounded by his kids, grandkids and friends while playing King’s Corners, Oh Shoot, and Mexican Train. He loved the fun and laughter and could still win at King’s Corner at least.

Dad never went on a mission trip but he loved hearing about the ones his children and grand children went on. His heart was tender to the stories of people hearing about Jesus.

The last couple of months even simple games were too much for him so I would pick up a book of Bible trivia and we would do the finish the verses. I would start a Bible verse and he would complete it. Sunday, November 6, was the last conversation I had with Dad. I prayed over him and read many psalms as he lay with his eyes closed. When he opened his eyes I started, ‘The wages of sin…”
“Is death” he whispered.
“But the gift of God is …”
” Eternal life” he replied.
“Jesus Christ”
“Our lord.” We said together.
Because of the truth of this I am confident Dad is with Jesus now!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Where has 2010 gone?!!!

I know this life is a journey but for the last while I feel like I have been sitting at a 4 way stop sign. I know God is in control and in charge of my life but I don't know what exactly He wants me to do. I know He wants me to be a godly wife to my husband and to be a part of my children and grandchildren's lives and I love doing that! I know He has placed me in the work environment I am in and I love the people I work with. But beyond that I have not sensed where I am to serve, there was a silence that kept saying, 'Wait'. Now, there seems to be a door or two opening. I am praying I am making choices that will bring honor and glory to God! I don't know exactly what this blog will be about in the future but I hope to be more faithful in writing on it.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Last Day of 2009

I heard someone say, "From now on we will say twenty and the year instead of two thousand and the year." This is too much change for me!

I won't cover all the changes that have occurred in the last ten years, they are too numerous to list so I just wanted to reflect on some of the highlights! The main four being my wonderful, adorable, incredibly brilliant, hilariousness funny, loving, caring, beautiful grandchildren. While I could have lived a perfectly fine life without them, they add such a joyous dimension to an otherwise mundane daily existence! Thank you Emmett, Wyatt, Eisley and Icyle for bringing Papa and I such joy! We love you SO MUCH! You are the apple of our eye!

I did also get a fulfillment of a small dream I always have had since we moved into our house - a fireplace. I have enjoyed it so much! Small thing but much joy.

May the new Year be filled with as much joy as the last. And as always may this be the year of the Lord's return.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

And Then There Was One

We had our pictures taken for the church directory this week. Our last picture for the church directory was with Eric, Amber, Andrew, Peter and I. We even got a fun one with Eric's girlfriend(now his wife) Alyssa. Now, two marriages and 4 grandchildren later, it is just Andrew, Peter and I; our last picture with children (actually child, if you can count someone almost 20 years old a child). Last night we celebrated Peter and Eric's birthday, Eric turns 30 on the 22nd. THIRTY! Three oh, Where did the time go! I am so grateful that we spent a lot of time together as a family when they were growing up.

Just a recap of the last 6 years since the last picture was taken (Just the high lights):
  • January, 2, 2004 - Eric and Alyssa were married.
  • January, 18 2004 - Peter and I went to Hawaii to celebrate our 25th anniversary. (Oct. 13, 2003)
  • February 29, 2004- Amber talked on line to her husband-to-be, Chris Hughes, for the first time
  • April, 2004- Chris came up from Texas to visit Amber.
  • Middle of June, 2004- Amber went to Texas to meet Chris' family.
  • End of June, 2004- Chris moved to Minnesota, he lived with us and Amber lived at Sturm's house that summer (while it was being remodeled) and then at Crown.
  • July, 2004- Celebrated my parent's 50th anniversary with all the family at my brother Mark's house (the Barn was just beginning to be worked on)
  • November, 2004- Amber and Chris got engaged
  • July 9, 2005- Amber and Chris got married
  • March. 2005- Eric and Alyssa announced they were expecting
  • September, 2005- Andrew went to public school for the first time
  • May 13. 2006- Amber graduated from College and found out she was expecting. (They announced it on Mother's day)
  • July 14, 2006- Amber and Chris moved to New Braunfels, TX taking my unborn grandchild with them (boo hoo)
  • August 8, 2006- Bought Town and Country van
  • Mid-August , 2006- Went to Virginia; Glenda, Phil, Chelsa Haaland, Andrew, Peter and I drove there and back. So fun!
  • August, 2006 - On the vacation Andrew's foot was hurting, went urgent care as we arrived home because of HUGE ABSCESS on the bottom of his foot.
  • Mid- November, 2006 - Went to Oklahoma for Dane and Dianne's wedding; Eric, Alyssa, Andrew, Peter and drove down in van; Amber and Chris drove up from Texas.
  • November 22, 2006 - Celebrated Thanksgiving at Mark's with my mom and Dad, Mark's family, Cheryl's family, Andrew, Peter and I. Eric and Alyssa celebrated at home with her parents.
  • November 24.2006- Our first, precious, grand son is born! Emmett Peter Daniel Theisen. We arrived at the hospital from ND shortly after his birth.
  • January 18, 2007- Our second, precious grand son was born! Wyatt Moses Hughes. I flew down to TX and arrived hours after his birth.
  • End of March, 2007- Drove to TX for Easter. First time Peter, Andrew, Phil and Glenda saw Wyatt.
  • August 6, 2007- Started working as a nanny caring for Mary, Libby and Will.
  • September 6, 2007- Sad day! Our 3rd precious grandchild went home to be with Jesus but Alyssa's life (and one ovary) was spared.
  • December 25. 2007- First Christmas without Eric or Amber home, didn't hardly decorate!
  • March, 2008- Emmett writes on his tummy I'm a Big Brother! (actually Eric wrote it)Alyssa is pregnant!
  • June 6, 2008- Andrew graduated from Armstrong High school
  • August, 2008 - Amber and Chris come for visit, We meet Andrew's girlfriend, Nikki, for the first time.
  • September 5, 2008- Dan and Alisha Theisen get married.
  • September 6. 2008- I wake up with a stomach ache by midnight my appendix is gone!
  • November 10, 2008- Our first precious grand daughter arrives! Eisley Cyanne Theisen. We were actually at the hospital when she was born.
  • December 18,2008- Peter had knee surgery on right knee to repair torn meniscus.
  • December 25, 2008- All my kids and grand kids were home for Christmas! Best present ever!
  • March 1, 2009 - Change nanny position, now caring for boys 8 yrs,, 5 yrs., and 3 months.
  • May 5, 2009- Our second, precious, grand daughter is born! Icyle Jean Hughes. We are unable to go to see her until end of month.
  • May 6, 2009 - My dad, Phill Haaland, has both knees replaced. He is in the hospital for a week before going to a nursing home for almost 3 weeks.
  • May,2009- Peter and I fly down to TX to finally meet Icyle!
  • End of June, 2009- Peter and I drive to TX. We celebrate 4th of July with Amber, Chris, Wyatt and Icyle in there new (to-them) home in San Antonio.
  • July 26, 2009- Amber, Wyatt and Icyle come to Minnesota for visit. We find out my dad, Phil, had fallen the night before, breaking his pelvis in two places. 6 weeks of bed rest prescribed.
  • July 29, 2009- Peter bought his first new car, a Scion XD

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Disappearing Pie

I made a peach pie tonight. I had been promising to make one since Tuesday but I didn't get started on it until about 7 p.m..

My mom, my sister and I had go to see The Time Traveler's Wife this afternoon and we went for coffee afterward. When I dropped my mom off at home I had to run in to see my dad and that lead to a few games of Kings in the Corner. So by the time I left their house and got to the store for the ingredients for pie it was already 6 o'clock.

I had the crust baked and cooling, the mixture for the bottom mixed up and the glaze cooling when my son and his girlfriend arrived with the game Blockus. We started playing the game, which was easy to learn and fun to play, until I had to drop out to peel and slice the peaches. They were SO juicy and slippery, I knew they were going to make a great pie. The peach slices were piled high and the glaze covered them and I put the pie in the fridge to cool. Everyone was waiting to have a slice of pie but I said that it need to chill for awhile.

Finally, it was time! The pie sliced perfectly and I topped each piece with a generous swirl of whipping cream. My husband pour fresh coffee and we lifted our forks. The first bite was an explosion of flavors! It was like heaven! By 10:10 my son was licking the pie plate. Luckily, I have enough ingredients to make another one, this time to share with others!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beautiful Summer Say

It was such a wonderfully, beautiful day yesterday and the boys I watch were into Legos. Moe wanted a batman cape for one of his Lego guys and kept asking me for architect paper. His dad is an architect so I thought maybe it was graph paper or the thin paper used for blue prints but I didn't know where any of that was. He was very insistent that I get some architect paper for him and frustrated that I was not complying. Finally his big brother, Qwerty, saw I was clueless! "Do you mean construction paper, Moe?" "Yeah, construction paper!"

After the cape was made I bribed the boys into a walk, stroller, scooter, bike ride around the lake. Little Guy was in a delightful mood (before he fell asleep) and was getting all sorts of attention and comments about what a happy baby he is. (A true statement) He just started squealing with delight and it is such a joyful sound it makes you laugh. Then came the hard part, the bribe was a treat at the store (we were going to pick up some needed groceries) but Qwerty decided it had to be Jelly Bellys. You know they are everywhere when you don't need them! We FINALLY found them at Target. (The Southdale Target has a nice assortment of them if you are a Jelly Belly fan!)

After LG's nap (and dinner prep) the boys' friends came by and we all went for a walk with their mom so I had some time of adult conversation!

The day was topped off with a soup and salad supper with some dear friends, SO FUN!