Tag Archives: #family

Give Thanks

As we think about the holidays and the recent celebration of Thanksgiving, we give thanks.  We give thanks for so very much… and even more than we really thought about before… We are thankful for the relationships that we have with the people we hold dear.  We are thankful for family and friends – new and old – and those yet to be made.  We give thanks.

JR thankful

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here are just a few of my thousand words possible as I remember and give thanks…

Thankful. Home. Son. Prayers. …Rewind several days – Basketball. Fastbreak. Dunking? Maybe, Maybe Not. Bleacher Steps. Base of Head or Neck. Frozen. Shock. Caring Coaches and Volunteers. Ambulance. Scared. Prayers. Emergency Room. Disbelief. Possible Paralysis. Helpful and Kind Medical Team. Prayers. CT scan. Helicopter. Prayers. Hurry. Pack. Family. Prayers. Drive. MRI. Involuntary Movements. Prayers. Wait. Swelling. Spinal Concussion. Spinal Contusion. Prayers. Wait. Texts. Calls. Questions. Concerns. Community. Prayers. Voluntary Movements. Prayers. Family. Smiles. Relief. Future Surgery. Anxious. Prayers. Wait. Smiles. Family. Amazing. … Thankful.

This wild roller coaster ride reminds us to give thanks for family, friends, and community.  Without each other what a lonely world this would be. Thank you.

Stay Calm & Give Thanks!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

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Hey Carter

It is this date again – June 30th. I remember walking with Stella in the early morning sunshine last summer remembering a year before that – in the hospital watching my nephew die.  We prayed for a miracle so that he could stay. We prayed for a miracle so that he would peacefully let go.  It was a struggle that we all shared. It is a struggle that we continue to share.  Today’s blog is in memory of Carter Joseph Boerboom; it is written by his father, Wade Boerboom, for families who are fighting cancer and praying for their own miracles.

Father and Son Carter

Anyone who knew Carter knew how much he liked his gift of gab.  We can’t imagine where he got that from… Have you met his parents and extended family? 😉 These are the real words and raw emotions from his dad in a letter to his son, putting into print the many chats they frequently have.

Hey Carter,

So get this, Aunt Sonya asked me to guest blog for her website.  Yeah I know, homework in the middle of summer, right?  But she asked that I use it as writing a letter to you.  I guess she didn’t realize I talk to you every day.  Oh well, I guess to humor her I will pretend I don’t and write this out to you.

So, what else has been happening you ask?  Well, I suppose we should catch up on everyone.

Freaking Lebron & the Cavs won the NBA title in 16, but the Warriors got them back in 17!  Kevin Durant ended up going to the Warriors this last summer in free agency.  I think just to stick it to Lebron.  They went 16-1 in the playoffs.  Only lost one game to the Cavs.  I wanted the sweep, but losing just 1 isn’t too bad either.

Oh, I feel bad about this one.   When we were told your cancer was back, on June 10th, 2015; you said “does this mean we can go to Duke?”  You were too ill to travel, so Joy and I decided to check it out this fall.  What a cool place!  They beat up on Grand Canyon. The kids/crowd were going nuts the whole time.  You would have loved it.

Katie is on her 3rd college & 3rd car.  Yes, she really is.  She attended Morris for her freshman year.  She did ok, but I think she spent more time in Alexandria with Tom than she did in school.  She wanted to try St. Cloud fall of sophomore year.  She lived in Tom (Geske) and your mom’s house in St. Cloud.  There was a crazy stabbing in the mall where she worked.  Thank goodness she wasn’t there.  I’m thinking that was the turning point, and they both just didn’t really love St. Cloud anymore.  She came home to SMSU, and is a 3.9 now.  Yes, she really is!  She just rented a little house in Marshall.  She’s growing up, I guess.  Tom is working at Action Track Chairs.  As for the cars…  The Dodge basically just died.  Then last week we had hail & it took out the Focus we replaced it with.  Damn kids and their cars…..

Belle went to Mankato last year.  She lived with her cousin Alex and a few other girls.  Interesting year.  They had a gathering that got busted before school started & then got robbed over Christmas break.  She is doing well in school.  She job shadowed a chiropractor and a dermatologist this summer.  Let’s hope she really makes money after graduation, lord knows she likes to spend it.

Sam graduated this year.  Get this, he has a girlfriend!  Yes, our Sam.  She came to the house the other night for venison/b-day picnic.  Our tradition of having those for you kids continues.  We had yours this year too.  Sam is planning on going to SDSU this fall.  I can’t wait.  Division 1 hoops!  They actually made the big dance this year.  Sam and his buddies have a company now –  Average Angling.  They upload videos, and get paid for it.  I think they have made something like 17cents off their fishing videos now.

Maddie is driving now.  Katie and your mom go to lunch with her from time to time.   She looks like she is doing well & having fun in school.  We see on Facebook that she does lots of sports & time with friends.

Sam and your buddies all miss you too. I think they are still up to the same shenanigans – maybe not shooting hoops off the top of the golf cart anymore though.  Sounds like Sam is going to St. John’s University for school next year. Of course we figured he would.  His family brought you to a couple of Johnny’s games.  I think they are pretty big fans of SJU.

Joy is training and coaching full time now.  She left Schwan’s to start a gym at the office.  She started with personal training and expanded to Rock Steady Boxing.  It’s boxing exercises to help Parkinson’s patients with their symptoms.  Her clients seem to really like her, even though she yells at them & beats them up.  The Rock Steady Boxing thing was something we saw on 60 Minutes.  The best part was that her training was in Indianapolis.  Joy worked, and I got to go to the Big 10 Tournament.

Kailen & PJ are workout bffs now.  Both are getting pretty fit too.  I think they work out twice a day.  Sounds like Kailen will be the running back in Cottonwood this fall.  Should be fun to watch.

Lori, Tori, and Tiffy moved to Bloomington.  Lori is a VP or something I guess.  Big time, right?  Tori is driving and will get her license soon.  Tiffy is in basketball, softball and volleyball.  All this summer.  They are pretty busy.  I think the Beer-Straights think they live there, too.  They are up there usually three weekends a month.  They usually bring the dog too.

Jack is going to camp after camp for football.  Sounds like he is headed to Ohio for one in July.  He just got his moped license.  Crashed the other day.  Just a little skinned up.  Not bad enough to come see you.  Jonah and JR both played SW Slam this spring.  We caught a few of their games.  JR seems to favor the 3 pointer.  He is not as proficient as you, but he is still young.

Bill and Missy are doing well.  Still camping & riding motorcycles.  They went to Arizona and rode to Vegas last spring.  No pictures of ass-less chaps have shown up, so we are all good.  They chase Wyatt around a lot.  He is pretty good at hockey now & made a couple traveling teams.  One tourney was up in Duluth.  He lifts weights now at the high school.  I think he is finally starting to grow.  Cody is buying Lori’s old house, and has a roommate-Dylan.  Let’s hope they don’t kill each other.

Braden bought a house in Cottonwood and got engaged to Amy.  20 years old,  going on 30.  He is farming with Ron and building a hog barn.  I bet Ron never thought in his wildest dreams that he would have hogs on that farm again.

Tam is not an empty nester yet.  She still gets one more year of chasing Kailen around to games.  They like to fight a little, but I think they are both going to miss each other.

Grandma Glenda sold the store.  Yep, the days of free ice cream are long gone.  She travels a lot.  She likes the bus trips they do around the different parts of the country.  She lets the kids drive her corvette for prom.  Sam went and then kept the car for about two months now. Nice grandma, huh?

Grandpa Ron and Lois like to camp & travel.  They went to Hawaii last year.  He still farms with Braden.  I think he plans to delegate more of the work soon.  He is just waiting for Braden to get the barn done.  He wanted to see his “home” farm last year in Belgium, but there was a bomb at the airport so we all chickened out.  Looks like we are finally going to get there this fall.

Grandma Nancy wants to retire, but Grandpa Steve doesn’t want her to yet.  Maybe another year.  She has shorter hours in the summer so she can spend more time in the garden and tinkering around the farm.  Grandpa still drives all the time.  He still loves to catch the grandkids’ games and tries to get to as many as possible.  He of course runs a little hot when things don’t go quite right, but he is getting a little more mellow.  Maybe that is where Bill gets it???? 

Grandma Betty and Grandpa Joe have an apartment at Boulder Estates now. They still visit the farm and like to have coffee there. They are as funny as ever. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in May. They are looking forward to seeing you again one day, too.

Your mom & Tom are also doing well.  They like to get to the cabin as much as they can.  I’m glad you got there a few times before you had to go.  They named it Carter’s Cabin.  Lynd just got hammered with hail, so we won’t have to worry about siding contractors for quite some time.  Tom will stay busy!  Your mom started teaching – subbed at Holy this past year.  I think she really enjoyed that.  That gets me thinking of all the homework we tried to make you do your last year.  It’s like you knew you really didn’t need to spend a lot of time with that.

The Pats and Ore & Jenny are doing well.  Morgan is getting married and has a baby. So I guess that makes you a second cousin? Or a first cousin once removed? I don’t know. They are well and miss you.

So now that you are all caught up on everyone, what’s been going on with me.  Get this, in the fall of 2015 I was told I have Melanoma In-Situ.  So cancer, but just on the surface of the skin.  99.5% curable.  Nothing like what you went through, but still cancer.  AGAIN, the same year????

The Agency is doing well.  I just keep plugging away.  After 30 years of eating and drinking, we finally have KB’s as a customer!  Persistence pays off.  You know, you were supposed to come work with me and take over one day.  I still have the letter in my office from when you were in 1st grade.  It said you want to sell insurance and take pictures of houses.  That’s not all it takes, but you had about 90% of it down.

We are repeat “Over 30” city league champs!  I know, my 3 point per game average is not the difference anymore.  It has a lot (everything!) to do with Shuan Wisdom.  I like to golf as much as I can.  Somedays it goes well, some days it doesn’t.  I like to get up early and play.  Gives me time for our “talks” early in the morning.

Carter and his dog

One thing I have been thinking about as your anniversary comes around is that I don’t think I took the time to realize everyone lost you.  I was pretty wrapped up in feeling sick/sad/pissed/poor me, that I sometimes forgot that everyone else lost you too.  The thing that really struck me was even though I was shook up, you took it pretty well, and it was happening to you.  That really helps me believe we will have this talk in person again one day.

Friday is two years since you moved away.  I gotta tell you, it was rough at first.

Carter 123

A couple things I will never forget about that day.  You were all sweaty, so we decided to change your clothes.  We kicked everyone out of the room except Tom, nurse Dan and myself.  We figured we would put you in Duke apparel.  If you are going to go, go in style right?  Anyway, as we are changing you (yes, shorts and all) your eyes popped open and you threw a punch right at nurse Dan’s face.  I guess waking up with ½ your clothes on caught you off guard.  He didn’t get hurt too bad… you were high on morphine after all.

The last two things you said in your first life will remain with me forever.  First, you said “I was chosen, I am going to die”.  What an incredibly profound statement to hear.  Even more so from a 14 year old.  Always wise beyond your years.  I couldn’t believe it.  Was it faith?  Was it God talking to you?  Was it to comfort all of us?  I think it was a little of all those.  I also believe it was your way of telling us that you were going to be okay.  For you to know it and accept and acknowledge the situation was incredible.

You said something about “My babies! Where are my babies?!”  We all leaned in close & asked “What babies, Carter?”  You said, “I have two babies.”  “The dogs?” your mom asked.  “No, I have two babies.”  I like to believe in some life you do. One bit of advice for you.  If your kids want to shoot hoops in the driveway when it is late and cold out, do it anyway.  In April of 2015 when you were feeling good, you wanted to shoot hoops.  After a while I went in the house.  I sat for about five minutes and then said to Joy, “I think I have to go shoot hoops in the cold with the kid some more.”  I thank God all the time that I went back out there with you.  Even though it was colder than shit out.

See you soon,  talk to you tomorrow.   Pops.

 

 

Stay Calm & Shoot Hoops!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

One Vigilant Parent is Better than Two Crappy Ones

BLOG parent

Picture: Images.google.com

This blog may ruffle some feathers, but I feel compelled to write it. You may end up throwing tomatoes at me? Or shaking your fist in anger? Or, maybe you will totally understand? I’m praying for the latter.

Listening to a podcast while driving to see my grandchildren this past weekend sparked the calling for this rambling. The podcast was published by @freakonomics, and I highly recommend that you take the time to listen to it. It is all about early learning. Please check it out here: http://freakonomics.com/2015/11/19/does-early-education-come-way-too-late-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/. That is not what this blog is about though.

One quote from that podcast made me reflect back on my life, and now it’s time to share that reflection. What was the quote you wonder? Here you go: “One vigilant parent is better than two crappy ones.” Hold on…please don’t throw darts. Stay with me for a minute.

I am a divorced woman. Not a statistic I am proud of. BUT…I have been happily remarried for almost 24 years. My husband has been a wonderful step-dad to my two children from the time they were 5 and 8. Here’s the beauty of this though. My husband gets along great with my former husband and ALL of his family. And, so do I!

Here’s WHY we all get along. I have asked for forgiveness from my former husband several times as I am the one who asked for the divorce. It was my choice. My decision. My selfishness, not his.

Not saying it was easy for either of us. We were angry. We were hurt. BUT…we ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS put our kids first. We did NOT pit one of us against the other. We made that decision from the beginning. No matter what, our children would come first. And my second husband has known that from the beginning. He has always been gracious about it. He loves my kids like they are his own, and this doesn’t make my former husband angry or jealous or resentful.

When my daughter made the decision a few years ago to end her abusive relationship and come home, my husband and former husband immediately hopped into a pickup truck and traveled 24 hours one way to get her, pack her up, and bring her back to the prairie…together. Yes, together!

My husband has always respected my former husband and vice versa. My hubby knows my former is the dad to the kids. He also knows he is their step-dad. This has never bothered him. It has never been an issue. My hubby knows his role and because of this, both of my kids adore him! Love him! Isn’t that amazing…my two children can love their dad AND their step-dad…both at the same time.

I’ve seen too many divorce situations turn into dog fights between the two adults, and then the children become the victims! Shame on you who do this!! And this is why the folks talking on @freakonomics made the comment about one vigilant parent being better than two crappy ones. They were talking about children who come from divorced homes and how this might affect their learning early on in life, especially if a parent is a crappy parent.

It’s true. Some parents are crappy parents. I currently know a young adolescent who is mixed up. Who lives in a home with one parent who is a crappy parent. This immature parent has ‘Sunday Funday’ at the bar. Has her second grade son take pictures of her while drunk at the bar. The young adolescent thinks this is normal until…

She shows up at the other parent’s house every other weekend. Here she thinks this parent and step-parent are ‘weird’ because they don’t drink. Wow…what is wrong with that picture? This young teen is a product of her environment, which is in the house of the crappy parent the majority of the time.

Please understand…I do not condone divorce. I also do not condone abuse. If that is your situation, I am so sorry. Please seek help.

As I said earlier, for me, being divorced is a statistic I am NOT proud of. But, parents…if you have gone through a divorce, I get it.

I get the pain.

I get the hurt.

I get the rejection.

Even if you are the one who initiated it. However, if you have children with that spouse you divorced, PLEASE, I beg you…grow up and be the adult. It’s not about you, it’s about those kids. It’s always about those young, influential minds. Be a positive role model for your children.

Be aware…your kids grow up, get married, have children who become your grandchildren. Your connection with your former never ends. So please, please be the vigilant parent, NOT the crappy one!!! ~Wendy

BLOG parent 2

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

Just a Different Kind of Christmas this Year

BLOG Four Generations

I served coffee today out at Good Sam, the nursing home here in my home town. My parents both lived out there the past few years until they passed away—my dad in August of 2013 and my mom just this year in June 2014. I miss my parents. And, I miss the residents at Good Sam so this is how I stay in touch with them…I volunteer.

One of the residents asked me today how my mom was doing. It was a lady my mom always gave a bear hug to when we went to coffee hour. I had to tell this gal that my mom had gone home to heaven in June. When I reminded her of this, I couldn’t stop my tears. They started to flow like Niagara Falls. I had to dismiss myself for a few minutes to pull myself together.

This year will be my first Christmas without my mom. Her smile, her teasing, her jovial laughter…all will be missed. As Mark Schultz sings in his heartwarming song, it’s just a different kind of Christmas this year.

If you’ve lost a loved one and find yourself sad this Christmas, I pray you find comfort in Mark Schultz’s song. I also pray you find hope and encouragement in this poem that was sent to me by one of my church family members.

I’m spending Christmas with Jesus This Year

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below.
With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars, reflecting on the snow.

 The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear.
For I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

 I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music can’t compare with the Christmas Choir up here.

 For I have no words to tell you, the joys their voices bring.
For it’s beyond description to hear an angel sing.

 I can’t tell of the splendor or the peace here in this place.
Can you imagine Christmas with Our Savior, face to face?

 I’ll ask Him to light your spirit, as I tell Him of your love.
So then pray for one another as you lift your eyes above.

 Please let your hearts be joyful and let your spirit sing.
For I’m spending Christmas in Heaven, and I’m walking with the King.

~Author Unknown

Hold your loved ones and their memories close to your heart. Fill your homes with love and laughter this Christmas and always. And, Mom…I love you and miss you! ~Wendy

BLOG Warren & GG 

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C.Dr. V.