Thursday, February 27, 2014

89 full years of life

No matter how much you prepare yourself for someone you love passing away, the moment you learn of them going to heaven is still hard. Grandma Irma's health had been dwindling in the last few months or more. She has spent about 2 years in the very nice St. John's Lutheran Home in Springfield. Grandpa was also able to be in Springfield near her each day since shortly after her being taken in to the home, they sold their house in Jeffers. He lives in a very nice apartment style facility that can eventually provide him assistance if needed. We're blessed they found a place to be near each other for those 2 years.

A few weeks ago, Mom, Dad and I stopped in to visit her. She rested peacefully while we were there, and we held her hand and spoke to her and prayed while she rested. The kids stayed in the car with Cody, because I didn't know how they would react to her being so weak and tired. I'm glad they stayed there, not because I didn't want them to see her, but because I wanted them to remember her in a better way. Just last month, we gathered in the basement of St. John's for the Bierman Family Christmas, Grandma was able to be there that day. She was awake for much of the time she spent with us - Grace got to squeeze her, Grandma smiled, and Grandma got to see Annie too. I want the kids (or at least Grace) to remember Grandma that way and I think Grandma would too.

My Dad called late this last Monday night sharing the news of Grandma's passing. She passed away at St. John's Lutheran Home in Springfield at the age of 89. It was a bittersweet phone call. I am so glad she is comfortable now, I know she will so dearly enjoy being near to Jesus and in the comforts of heaven. I know she'll have a massive garden, and I know she'll attend every event of her grandkids and great-grandkids. I know she'll send rain to David's field, I know she'll be camping with Lowell & Pat, rummaging with Carolyn, and gardening with my Mom and Dad this summer. But it's bitter because she will be dearly missed by me, my family, my cousins, my parents, my aunts and uncles, her great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, brothers, relatives, friends, and her beloved husband Grandpa Wally. It's my mission to be trusting and faithful like she was - to teach my children about Jesus, I know that would make her proud.

I am so grateful she passed with family by her side, and with prayers surrounding her. She passed away peacefully; and I  know she was swiftly taken into the hands of Jesus into the gates of heaven. Grandma was strong in her faith, and I'm so grateful that they took good care of her spiritual needs at St. John's.

I will miss you everyday Grandma!
Just a random collection of photos below...

All of the Great-Grandparents that were alive when Grace was born, and still are now apart from Grandma Irma. 
Front row: Marcella Richter, Frances Moret, Irma Bierman
Back row: Cecil Richter, Wallace Bierman 

Grandma Fran and Grandma Irma

January 2013

January 2013

Summer 2013

Fall 2013

I know there are lots more photos of Grandma and I when I was younger, I can't wait to dig through some photos at Mom and Dad's sometime soon to see what I can find!

We will miss you everyday Grandma!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pierre Olympics

Last weekend we had a little something called the Richter Family Olympics, Pierre 2014 version. We were ready to get out of the house - it has been so cold and windy here lately we've been just tired of it. Running in and out of Wal-Mart doesn't count.

Saturday was a decent day out, so we snugged up the kids and took them to the hill. We love this hill. The dog loves the hill. The kids love rolling down the hill. I do not like hiking up the hill or pulling children in a sled up the hill. But we love this hill. 

Olympic games....she wins the gold at whatever pose she is doing here? Beached dolphin on a dirty snow pile? Sure, gold medal for you Grace!

LET THE SLEDDING BEGIN! This was Annie's first time sledding. It's safe to say she loved it.

That face!!!

Look how cute that face is!
Closer!!!! :) I love it.

The boots kill me. Love their matchy snowy boots.

A girl and her dog. 

Back to the hill again another day we will go soon. We had to promise all three of them that. When any of them see a ball or hear the word hill they all start drooling and begging profusely. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

On my mind....

Lots on my mind these days, and this blog is meant to be a place to share thoughts, photos, updates to the house, and random thoughts from our everyday life.

Lately, this space has been mostly about the kids and less about our DIY projects around the house and random thoughts from us. But that's okay too. This is a space that I commemorate the happenings around our house - big or small, fancy or plain. It's a space that I use to look back on how things have changed and stayed the same over time. I need to keep reminding myself that this is a space for me, to do with what I wish. It's a space I know close family and friends enjoy to read, and I hope to keep it that way. I need to remind myself that if someone isn't interested in the post, all they have to do is click escape.

Seeing my Grandma Bierman this last month has inspired me and reminded me to enjoy every moment. To make the most of the moments we have. We never know how many days any of us will be fortunate enough to enjoy, or how many days those closest to us will have either. And for me, it's solidified the goal I have this year of collecting all of our photo memories and actually doing something with them. To make them tangible. To allow my kids to sort through them, to reminisce, to ponder, to wonder, to ask the questions "remember when..." It's encouraged me to make sure I'm capturing things now that my kids will feel are important pieces of their life that they can look back at someday.

For me, I catalog and remember information by the photos I take. The posts I write. I want to write more about the little things - try going back to the series from my children's perspectives. The good and the bad. I'm not always the best journalist, nor do I always hand write in my journals at night. I go months between entries. I need to remember that the littlest things are sometimes the most important.

Other random things on my mind...what does it mean to be blessed? Our pastor asked this question of us in a recent sermon. Several answers from the crowd were "we're blessed when things are going our way," "when we can say we're fortunate," "when God is in our lives." But she turned that on it's head. She wanted us to remember that blessings come in the best times and the challenging times.

So what are my blessings? Can I see the blessings in my life in the easy times and the rough times? How can I count my blessings more often and how can I teach my children about the blessings in their lives?

The little things on my mind, the big things on my mind. They all matter to me.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Just Like Sissy

When we went to my parents in January, there was a moment that was a major flashback to when Grace was a baby. Since Mom and Dad don't have a bathtub, we stuck Annie in the sink for a bath. Instant flashback to Grace in the same sink. 

Those baby blues eyes get me every time. I can't get over how sparkly they are! Love this little baby.

Christmas III

The weekend after Christmas my parents were able to come and hang out with us and celebrate. We were able to hang low around the house with little no nothing on the agenda. We built lots of legos and played lots of babies(and polly pockets...more on that later)! The way it should be!

The girls are all around spoiled and blessed. Even though we went to Disney World for Christmas with my parents, they brought gifts too! And too many of them! Mom and Dad gave Cody and I an icecream maker so we've had fun making different flavors - my favorite so far is mint chip made with Andes mint chips.

I wasn't very good at having the camera out this particular weekend. I need to leave it out and tell my OCD husband to let things be sometimes!

Can't believe how big this girl is getting! 

Back to Polly Pockets...Mom called one day and asked about a collection of Polly Pockets she found on a really good deal in Marshall and wondered if she could get them for Grace. I said "sure!" When she dug them out (when Annie was sleeping) this is what was discovered. Dozens upon dozens of dolls, HUNDREDS of pieces of clothes and shoes, and dozens of little pets to go with them! Us gals got to sorting and organizing right away! It was fun to look through it all and both Annie and Grace love tinkering around with these toys - Annie is even great about keeping things out of her mouth. Grace has had a play date and they spent a lot of time with these. Good find Mom!

Merry Christmas at Home

As I mentioned previously, we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning/afternoon in Spearfish with Cody's family. We packed the car full, literally COMPLETELY full and headed back to Pierre early in the afternoon after a great lunch in Spearfish. We still needed to celebrate Christmas with our family at home.

It was fun to watch Grace and Annie exchange gifts, even though Annie didn't get who got her what, Grace certainly did. It was adorable to watch Grace's reaction to the gift that Annie got for Grace. Annie got a sweet head-grabbing-kiss from Grace!

We played with new gifts, snacked and cozied up for the night.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Christmas at the Richter's

A couple weekends ago, we officially wrapped up all of our Christmas gatherings and celebrations. We're blessed to celebrate the reason for the season with many.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year was spent with Cody's family in Spearfish. I can saying lovingly that it's organized chaos! There's always way too much (yummy) food, loads of (welcomed) noise, and piles of (thoughtful) gifts. Blessed beyond measure our family is.

I have lots of pictures to share, so I'll let the pictures lead the stories.

On Christmas Eve, we're often treated to Grandma Michele's silly Christmas gag gifts. She had pretty good ones this year!

During hunting season, Cody was getting really made because a blue truck was showing up on his trail cam he had set up for deer hunting....he soon remembered/was told that his Dad had a new blue truck this year and it was probably Cody himself driving it around! He was given a photo with the works "Dad's Truck" on it for the reminder!

Annie got her beloved fruit pouches, Grace got McDonald's gift cards, and I got Bailey's! 

There were two pretty trees at Grandma's house this year. Downstairs were the family gifts and upstairs was the tree Santa left the gifts under on Christmas Eve! 

Santa came!!!

Cameron loves his Uncle Cody, and is a bear to wrestle with! Silly boy. Growing up so fast!

Christmas morning breakfast! All tummy's have to be filled up before opening gifts! Makes for happier bodies!

Grace helping Great Grandpa with a gift.

 Organized chaos is the name of the game!

These two excited faces take the cake for me! 

Grandma found so many great gifts that inspire Grace's imagination! 

We were able to have Great Grandma and Great Grandpa ride with us out to Spearfish this year, and all behaved in the car - we didn't even have to stop for potty breaks for anyone - young or old! :) We had a great time with everyone and made it home for us to celebrate our family Christmas at our house too on Christmas night.