Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sweet, Sweet SummerTime

Trying to get in the habit of posting more often obviously means posting every 3-4 months. So much for once a month. As I think back to what we did over the summer I would say we were not That busy but then I flip the calendar back and cannot find an empty day where there wasn't something going on. All in all we enjoyed our summer months and were slightly sad to see fall coming. Yes even me, who loves fall. I was not ready for the warm days and sunlight to leave quite yet. However I cannot stop the sun from moving on so I decided to welcome fall back into our life.
But before Fall we had a summer that was very enjoyable. Darik's work load lightened up enough for me to see him from time to time and actually get in a trip to visit my family in July. He used his vacation days this summer to finish up some projects around the house and complete yet another college course through his work. He was one of the first to complete and Pass the course and myself and MidCo couldn't be prouder.
Darik working hard in Alden. He just happened to be across the street
from Adam's softball tournament.
I worked with the Park & Rec. department again this summer as the Recreation Asst. basically I helped supervise the play parks in town, deliver supplies, supervise trips and create some activities for kids. In between work I played softball in Albert Lea this year with the same Co-Ed team I have been playing with for a few years now. At the end of the summer we went in as the #1 seed but ended up in 2nd after the season end tournament. Either way we had a ton of fun and enjoyed being able to play ball.

Watching ball like a pro!
Attempting to hit.

While I played ball every Sunday night and practiced whenever we could get some people together I got our niece, Eboni, enrolled in fast-pitch softball for her first year. She did an amazing job this summer learning and growing. She had softball every Monday and Wednesday. So our weeks started filling up fast with just sporting events. We were very proud of her success with softball this summer and cannot wait to see what she does next year.

While I played Sundays, Eboni played Mondays and Wednesdays, Adam played on Thursday nights this summer, along with almost every weekend. So watching softball soon turned into an almost full time job this summer. Good thing I enjoy ball, and that Darik likes relaxing and having a beer every now and then.
Adam playing ball in Albert Lea.

It's okay! He was safe.

We finished the week out usually trying to hang out with our friends and family. We try to visit my grandparents at least every other weekend to play some cards and grill out when we can. Charleigh loves running free out at the farm and trying to chase the barn cats, thank goodness she's never caught one though. Those things have claws. :) Speaking of Char she has done much better over the summer months and hopefully will be doing better from now on.
Chaleigh actually smiling!
Barn cat hiding in the pallets.
Dad grilling away @ farm.
Char in her favorite spot, Darik's neck.

All in all we had a good summer and are sad to see it go but looking forward to all the fun yet to come. As summer goes we know fall is here but can see winter around the corner which means Spring isn't too far behind in turn means the Wedding will be here before we know it. We can't wait to officially start our married lives together soon!

We hope everyone enjoyed the summer! 
Promise to update more often! 
Fingers crossed!
-Darik & Kelly

Friday, May 30, 2014


So another month has come and gone! As May has come so has the beautiful sunshine and warm weather. Darik has been more than busy with work the past month. Not only has the nice weather kept him working 12+ hours a day but his company is currently expanding their services/service area. So if you have been looking for Darik in the last 30 days, let me know if you find him, because I would like to see him to!
With all good things come bad as well. Charleigh Jo had a really rough month. It started with her not eating and getting really sick. After 3 visits to the vet and lots of moolah$ spent, she finally started getting better. After finally returning to her happy and cheerful self , she over did it and hurt her back. So back to the vet we went to spend a little more moolah$. I think she was just doing all of this because Darik and I had been so busy this spring. She is officially off steroids today and finally jumping and running around again.
Now that Char is feeling better, our wonderful refrigerator died. Yes, I know this doesn't sound so bad, but we really liked our handy down frig and are really sad to see it go. So now with the remodeling I have been doing in the living room (painting and re-arranging) will continue into the kitchen. New coat of paint and some re-arranging and we should be good to go!
Also speaking of kitchens and food, Darik and I planted our very first garden this May. After finally getting it tilled and the vegetables planted we are so excited to see some veggies sprouting soon!
Between subbing, housework, taking care of Char, helping my grandparents and everything else in-between I just finished coaching my second year of high school fast-pitch softball. I assisted with the 9th grade/C squad this season. We started with 18 girls, with only 8 that knew how to play and ended with a total of 15 on the team and 15 that were competitive in their conference. It was a difficult season but I'm really glad I could be a part of those girls learning experience. I look forward to doing it again. Now I am playing co-ed on Sundays with the same team I have been with the past two years and also helping our niece Eboni play fast-pitch for the first time this summer on her U-10 team.
We cannot wait to enjoy all this beautiful weather and time together this summer. Hanging out with friends, grilling, doing some genealogy, working on the house, and just spending some time together as a family.
I'll try to update more often! Ta-Ta for now!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Letter 2013

Another year has come and gone. This year, like the last few seems to never have a dull moment! Here is a quick run-down of our year in 2013.
After being a long term Math teacher the fall of 2012, I (Kelly) subbed all spring semester in the Albert Lea School District. Since I was subbing full time I was able to help coach the Albert Lea Girls JV Fastpitch team this past spring. It was an amazing experience even if we didn't get to play outside till almost May. Hopefully this coming year we'll get weather that is more playable!
This past summer I was able to work for the City of Albert Lea again as the Play Park supervisor. This was my sixth year doing this and still enjoy every day I get to work there. To make sure I kept my foot in the door at the school district I did some subbing during summer school.
Along with work and doing summer home improvement projects, I played co-ed softball two nights a week with some really great friends. This was the third year I got to play with this team and really enjoy being able to still play. Since we hope softball never ends we played right into October on a Fall ball team and ended up winning the league this year, even if it was snowing/sleeting the night of the championship.
In-between work, home, softball and such, we snuck in a vacation to Estes Park, Colorado in July. This was the second time I had been there, it had been many, many years, but it was Darik's first time being there. Darik, Charleigh and I really enjoyed our week long stay at the KOA cabins there. We got to go up Trail Ridge Road, visit the Rocky Mountains, while also getting to do a private tour of the Stanley Hotel. I really wish to go back and do their “night tour/ghost adventure”. The only down side to the trip was the day we were to head back I came down with Altitude sickness. This was no fun to have with an 8 hour car ride ahead of you. Darik the trooper he is drove the whole way with no issues. We even tried to do some genealogy searching on the trip for some of Darik's ancestors that were in the Scottsbluff area of Nebraska.
Towards the end of summer we enjoyed the fair and my continuation of searching for a full time teaching job. With no luck in the search, I was still able to sub daily in the Albert Lea district. Don't get me wrong, I actually really enjoy subbing at all the different grade levels. This has also made it much easier for me to help my grandparents and both our families when things arise with my flexible schedule.
Darik is just finishing his second year at Midcontinent Communications. He is a Broadband Technician II, although he refers to himself as a “cable guy”. We have been very blessed with this new company as he is now receiving great benefits, good hours, and they are even paying for his continuation of education. Since being with the company he has already completed two more degrees/certificates. He is planning on taking another degree here in the spring of 2014.
This past May he was one of only 3 selected to take training in Mitchell, SD to be certified to climb poles with “gaffs” or pole gaffing as it’s called (Google it!). Basically he climbs utility poles with only himself, a belt, and some gaffs on his boots. He loves it; I'm still getting used to it. However, he did so well in Mitchell the instructor tried to get him to transfer to the college there so he could be a lineman, working with power lines, in North Dakota. As you can see though he politely said no but stated he would always keep it in mind. Darik works mostly around the Albert Lea area, well within an 80 mile radius at least. Even though he puts many miles on his van everyday he loves the challenge of his work and his co-workers. His company is spreading every day and we are hoping that they will actually be in Albert Lea in the near future. With all the new upgrades happening this fall and next spring he is busier than ever. However we wouldn't change it for anything.
Darik at Training
 Not forgetting about our furry child Charleigh Jo, who will be 6 on Christmas, is doing well. She was diagnosed with Epilepsy in January of 2012 and was put on medication we have to give her every 12 hours. Since then she has been back to her usual snooping, hyper and enjoyable self!
On December 14, as we were enjoying a game of Bananagrams at a friend’s home Darik surprised me by spelling out “will you marry me”. I have to admit I was very surprised! I of course said “Yes!” and we are looking at a possible May/June wedding in 2015. *Keep your calendars open!* We both have been so blessed in the 10 years we have been together. We can't wait to see what the next 10 will bring. We are looking forward to time off, and being with family this holiday season. We wish everyone a wonderful and blessed Holiday Season.
With lots of love and hugs!
 Kelly, Darik and Charleigh Jo. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Electric Bikes with Dad and Brother

My brother Dallas designed his first bike in Nebraska in his garage couple years ago. Since then we all built each other our own bikes when he moved back to Albert Lea MN. This would be Dallas's second and Doug and I's first one. They are a lot of fun! They can really go the distance and speed for just a battery! Check them out.

Solar Air Heater - First attempt

Here is a couple pictures of my first solar air heater I attempted. I built it out of a 4x8 plywood and used 2x4's, duct tape, insulation, down spouts, beer cans and computer fans. This air heater put out 200+ degrees F during the summer months when I built it. When winter came I tested at 20 degrees F or so and put out about 176 degrees F. When I came home from work one day I found my air heater all melted down. The insulation was rated at 200 degrees F.  Over all it was a good experiment and I will redesign it to handle lower temps and use less materials. Less is more in this case.


With a new chapter starting in our lives we thought we would start a blog to help keep everyone near and far up to date! Check back in frequently to catch updates.