Monday, July 30, 2007

house for sale

anyone looking to buy a house? ours is for sale. we just signed a purchase agreement this evening for a new one (well, not new-new--it's actually almost 30 years old). it's kind of bittersweet. exciting but sad. this is our very first house together, and we're pretty partial to it. we'll miss the extraordinary view from our back yard, among many other things. however, the new house will have an out-in-the-country feel, yet it's in town. sajak will have lots more room to run. we can have a garden. it's in a mature, quiet neighborhood. in fact, when i was out there the other day, there was a deer in the middle of the road. there are about 65 acres of woods just behind the house (and more on the other side), with hiking trails and a creek. the house is old and needs lots of improvements, but we're excited to begin putting our touch on it. now we just have to sell our house. here are some pics in case you're interested in buying it. :)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

update on sherill

we're so grateful to you all for your prayer and concern for winn's mom. thank you. she has decided to take a break from her chemo treatments. the chemo has been very effective in decreasing the size of the tumor in her liver as well as the cancer on her lung and neck, but it's very hard on her and she needs a little respite from it. they will do another scan in a month and reevaluate at that time. there may be some other treatment options to consider, such as a smaller dose on a weekly basis rather than a really harsh dose every few weeks.

more recently, she is battling a low white count from an infection that she's gotten, they think, from her port. winn is down there this weekend for a visit. we ask that you continue to pray for God's will over sherill's life, whatever that may be. we trust in him.

Monday, July 23, 2007

blanshan reunion

we were at the blanshan reunion (my dad's family) in mankato on saturday. here's a little video clip that i made of winn teaching aunt nancy to rope a bull...

and here's winn trying to ding the bell (which he did without any effort, of course)...

little evan (mandy's) getting a ride from ellie...

grandpa and grandma...

and great uncle jim, who just celebrated his 80th birthday...

Friday, July 20, 2007

normal day

i came across this quote and wanted to share it with you. lately i'm trying to enjoy each day, savor the normalcy, instead of always looking ahead, planning, organizing, as is my nature...

"normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. let me hold you while i may, for it may not always be so. one day i shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return." by mary jean iron

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


i drove by your old house yesterday, andrea, and wished i could drop in and say hi to you. or at the very least call and see if you wanted to meet at the mall or panera for a coffee. hope everything is going well in alabama. we'll have to get down there to visit someday soon. maybe in the winter.

miss you guys...

Monday, July 16, 2007

all grown up

seems like just yesterday i would dress her up in frilly little outfits and carry her around on my hip. now my little sister is almost as tall as me, driving, and asking me to fix her hair for her friend's sweet sixteen birthday party. she spent all last week at the sonshine festival. she was on a stage crew with some other kids in her youth group, so she got to be back stage meeting and talking to bands like newsboys and casting crowns.

anyway, the party was this evening and we didn't find anything for her to wear, so we designed and made this dress yesterday afternoon. look out, dad. boys will be knocking at the door soon...

five years

i didn't realize that today winn has been at mayo for five years, but he just emailed and said that this morning there was panera bagels for his lab and they celebrated his fifth-year anniversary. he got an award and gets to choose one of their five-year gifts (fishing pole, watch, silverware, binoculars, etc.). mayo really has been a wonderful employer, and winn has often expressed how blessed he feels to be a part of the research and healing that mayo offers to people all around the world.

for the 18th consecutive year, mayo clinic in rochester was named to the honor roll of america's best hospitals by the u.s. news & world report.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


after five years of saying we were going to, we finally bit the bullet and did. we bought new bicycles. so yesterday we decided it would be fun to go on a nice long bike ride. our friends andy and jessica came along, and we rode over 20 miles on the beautiful cannon valley trail (

it was a perfect 75 degrees or so outside, and the trail is covered with a canopy of trees to shade you. we drove to red wing to get on the trail there, and before our ride, we had a delicious and hearty lunch on the patio of "the veranda," a restaurant in the st. james hotel, overlooking the mississippi (

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


i've been hooked on boston baked beans for the past couple months. i have a sweet tooth, but i go through phases with things. for the longest time it was milk duds, then junior mints, and now it's bbb's. we used to buy them in the little dime candy boxes across the street at the cricket store in brainerd when we were kids, and i had forgotten all about them until i saw them at the store recently. anyway, winn's dad found a huge bag for me at sam's club a few weeks ago (3.5 pounds, i think), and i've almost gone through all of it! i did share them with others...a little...kind of. boy, it seems like i've been blogging about food a lot lately. no, mom, i'm not pregnant.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


this is really dangerous. winn and i have discovered an original a&w drive-in in spring valley, mn. yum. the bad part is that we go that route to get to his folks' place in iowa, and since we've been going down there so often these days, we are terribly frequent customers. burgers and floats and cheese curds, oh my. we're so in trouble.

on another note, winn's mom had an encouraging scan last week. the tumor on her liver has reduced to half its size! the chemo she's been on seems to be very effective. unfortunately, the treatments are extremely difficult and debilitating for sherill and she's not sure how many more of them she can handle, so please continue to pray for strength and comfort for her. thanks.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


we had a bunch of people over last night for a bbq on the deck and to watch the fireworks. we have a great view of the city from our back yard, and it's the best seat in town for the fireworks.

winn discovered that our camera has a fireworks setting, so he had fun taking these photos...

chris and rebecca brought copper over, and chris and kristen brought along their new puppy maddie (soooo cute!). so sajak was in heaven...