Friday, June 30, 2017


We drove home from my Grandpa's funeral in Michigan on a Tuesday, getting in Tuesday night, and thus missing the first two days of our church's VBS.  Never-the-less, we jumped in Wednesday-Friday to finish out the week with the rest of the "Galactic Stargazers"!  Larkyn and I helped with check-in/check-out while the older two were with their age classes.  On the last day, June 30th, they had a little program showing parents what they learned.  Grandma K, Auntie Kristin, and Teddy came to watch the program!   Here are a few videos of Colton and then Summer singing their songs, and then ending with a few pictures.

Colton singing:

Colton singing:

Summer singing:

Summer singing:



Thanks for coming Auntie Kristin!
Thanks for coming Grandma!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Grandpa's Funeral

After Dad's retirement celebration, we had two days to pack up and prepare for a big trip to Michigan for my Grandpa's funeral (Dad's dad - yes, my dad retired and had his dad's funeral all in the same week - crazy week!).  We left early Saturday morning for our 9 hour car trip to Kalamazoo Michigan. 

The kids are amazing travelers, and we filled our time with eating breakfast and lunch in the car, listening to Bible stories on CD, taking turns answering questions to family conversation starters, doing sticker books, reading, etc and watching DVD's we rented at the library!
 When we arrived in Michigan, we had dinner with a bunch of extended family, and then went back to the pool at the hotel to get some wiggles out.  We swam every day, and the hotel pool was such a blessing allowing the kids to expend energy between sitting still and quietly through church, visitation, funeral, and internment.

On Sunday morning, we headed to church as a family.  Then we went to the park to play before lunch.

Grandpa gives the best underdogs!

 After lunch and more swimming, we headed to the funeral home for the visitation.

It was both fun and emotional to look at old pictures and watch the my Uncle Scott put together.

So proud of my grandpa serving in WWII

My Aunt Nancy and Uncle Paul (my mom's brother and wife) drove from Chicago to come support my Dad - so sweet.

The kids did an amazing job being respectful, looking at all the pictures, playing quietly, and eating dinner.  Part way through the visitation, we pulled out a Paw Patrol DVD for the kids to watch :)
Monday was funeral day.

We love you GiGi-ma and are so sorry for your loss.  You led by example loving and respecting Grandpa for 62 years of marriage!

Minnesota cousins and spouses with GiGi-ma.
Kristin, Jenna, and Nate (cousins) sang at the funeral

Preparing for the funeral.  The pastor and all three of Grandpa's kids had amazing grandpa-honoring and God-honoring comments.

Grandpa's kids and wife at the luncheon

Kristin and Me and Families

Cousins Heather and Laura

More cousins

Aunt Nancy and Uncle Paul and Kent and Beth Schoenherr came as amazing support for my parents.
After the luncheon we headed to Fort Custer, where my Grandpa was buried with full military honors.

I loved the way they escorted my Grandma.

Paul and other cousins/spouses serving as pall bearers

Such a cool and emotional and respectful and honoring ceremony.
Here is the video of the ceremony at Fort Custer:
I was so so so proud of these three.  They were quiet, respectful, interested, age-appropriately engaged, and obedient through the funeral and ceremony.  I was so grateful for them.  We headed back to the hotel for an hour of swimming before heading to my Grandma's new home at Storypoint (which Summer and I had seen when we visited a few weeks prior but much of the rest of the family hadn't seen yet.)

Walking around Storypoint with GiGi-ma

We had dinner at Storypoint, and the chef was awesome and came out and even gave the kids their own chef hats!

The cousins all sat at one table with GiGi ma and had a wonderful time catching up.

While my parents' generation sat with the kids one table over ;)

This is Linda, one of GiGi-ma's friends, whom Summer met and formed an instant friendship with a few weeks prior when we visited.  Fun to see her again!

Chef hats!

Full family picture
After dinner, we walked GiGi-ma's loop around Storypoint with her.  From as long as I can remember, our massive family would go on walks together.  Fun to keep this up even though it is a different location.
Then we came back and all the kids (My 3 plus my cousin Heather's 3 oldest) played hide and seek in GiGi-ma's new place.
It was really emotional saying goodbye to an era that I loved so dearly, including my grandparents together hosting everyone at their house for days on end and SO many family memories.  With that being said, I am so grateful my grandpa is no longer in pain and can be worshipping Jesus in heaven in a brand new body.  And, I am grateful for a weekend to see so many of my extended family that I rarely get to see as we are separated by so many miles. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Dad's Retirement Celebration!

Three days after we returned home from Italy, we celebrated my Dad's retirement from General Mills.  I am so proud of him and so excited for him to be entering this new phase!

Beautiful couple!

Family that came, including Uncle Scott, Aunt Brenda, Eric, Kristin, Paul, and Me

After a delicious dinner, and lots of kind/funny words/speeches from his coworkers, Kristin and I got a chance to brag on our dad!

Per Kristin's idea, we came up with words that described Dad for each letter in his name. Then we took turns talking about each trait.
 Here is a video:

Dad wrote an amazing poem to close out the evening, highlighting his time at General Mills.

Its a big deal to retire, and Dad has definitely worked hard throughout his working career.  We are excited to see even more of him now that is schedule will be freer!  And we are excited to see where God will call Dad next :).   Congratulations, Dad!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Grandma Grandpa Camp

The kids had the week of their lives while Paul and I were in Italy!  They went to Grandma Grandpa Camp!  They started their week with Grandma and Grandpa T, and then halfway through, made a transfer of precious cargo to Grandma and Grandpa K.  Both sets of grandparents loved on them and had SO many fun things for them to do, that they didn't even have time to miss us ;).  Besides giving them an amazing week, the Grandmas and Grandpas took lots of pictures so we could see the fun they had!  Included below are the pictures I received, to which the kids excitedly narrated to tell us of all their fun adventures! 

Tommerdahl Fun

On Friday morning, Grandpa T got up early and drove the 3.5 hours down to our house, and then turned back around and took the kids back with him!  What a servant!  They were SOOOOO excited to see him!

They stopped at Dairy Queen for lunch!

And to climb a tree :)

When they arrived, they went to the library to pick out books for the weekend!  The kids love to read and always enjoy having new books, so Grandma and Grandpa T always have library books waiting for them when they come.  This time, they got to even pick them out!

And play!

Then, they headed over to Summer Fest, Fergus Falls Summer Festival.  A huge highlight were the blow up bounce houses!

And, the massive jumping trampoline!

Even Larkyn jumped!!!

On Friday evening, Grandpa took Colton to watch the races!  Colton said he didn't have a favorite car he liked them all!

On Saturday morning, they enjoyed snuggling and reading!

Then they went back to Summer Fest for the morning and all three loved the corn pit!

They each got to go on a pony ride.

In the afternoon, the girls went on a girls date to see a dance show!

While Grandpa and Colton had some playtime at home :)
They had their favorite PBJ while waiting for the Summer Fest parade to start!

Cuddles with GeeGee Sandy

The parade was EXTRA fun because Uncle Javonte was in the marching band!
 *Another highlight mentioned was when the fire engine sprayed them!  It was a very hot day!

More cuddles and books on Sunday morning!

And Games!

And of course, food!

Painting Grandma's toes!

Colton's first time...haha!

Lots of fun outside at Grandma and Grandpas, including riding ATV!


 On Monday, Grandma and Grandpa took the kids to a waterpark!


And the giant bubble bath afterwards was also a hit!

Tuesday was full of arts and crafts, beginning with decorating Grandma T's "shell" - the brace she wears post back surgery.  She had surgery May 24th - and yes - she insisted the kids still come up 2.5 weeks after her surgery! 

They spent much of the rest of the day playing with playdough!  After a bit, they started playing gumball factory, and they made zillions of "gumballs" in different types.

Each bag contained a different type of gum balls, and sweet Grandma and Grandpa used real $ to purchase gumballs from their store (the kids were thrilled!)
Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa T for an amazing Grandma and Grandpa Camp!!! We had sooo much fun!

We love you Uncle Javonte!

Kirkwood Fun

On Tuesday evening, Grandpa T met up with Grandma and Grandpa K in St. Cloud (about 2 hours from Fergus Falls and about 2 hours from the Kirkwood cabin) to transfer our van full of kiddos to Grandma and Grandpa K.  And then began part 2 of Grandma and Grandpa Camp!

They went through a McDonalds Drive through on the way to the Kirkwood Cabin!
 On Wednesday morning, they had lots of fun playing in the lake!

Mac N Cheese for lunch - YUM!

Grandma and Grandpa K got stepping stones kits for the kids to make ... and then keep up at the cabin!

First they mixed the cement

Then they poured the cement into molds
Then they got to decorate!

While they waited for their stepping stones to dry, they played lawn games.

Summer had quite the throw in ladder golf- it went up in the tree!

Grandpa rescued it!

After dinner, Grandpa told the kids the next installment of his made-up story while they ate ice cream :)

Just chillin' :)

The kids loved doing Legos Thursday morning!
They then headed to the nearby zoo, called Wilderness Walk, for their 4th? annual trip!


Panning for gold

Panning for gold

When they came home, Colton's cement was dry on his stepping stone. (Due to the nature of the mold, Colton's was a different design than the girls as his mosaics were glued on the top of a dry cement rather than placed in a wet cement.)

Colton gluing mosaics on his turtle stepping stone.

Summer's butterfly stepping stone is dry!

Dinner!  Corn dogs!

Then some evening time at the beach :)

Friday morning breakfast...chocolate muffins for breakfast?!?!  Only at Grandma's ;)

The stepping stones are all done and dry!  The kids decided to make them into a path to the electric meter ;)

Don't they look amazing!?

Kite flying time!

 Since this was our anniversary, the kids made a video singing us "Happy Anniversary" and sent it to us in Italy :)  Pretty cute!  Here it is:

 Then they went to the park!

On Friday afternoon, Cousin Teddy came!
Time for some tubing!!!
Kayaking with Uncle Eric and Grandpa!

Summer and Grandpa

Uncle Eric and Colton
Hotdogs for dinner!
On Saturday morning, it was time for more lake fun!  This time...the challenge to swim to the raft!

We did it!

Summer overcoming the fear of jumping in!

Colton too!

Larkyn didn't swim out to the raft or jump in...but she has muscles too! ;)

Pizza for lunch!

After lunch, Larkyn decided to tube too!

Go Larkyn!!

On Saturday afternoon, the crew went go-karting.

Summer and Uncle Eric

Grandpa and Larkyn

Uncle Eric and Colton


On Sunday they went to Grandma and Grandpa's cabin church (the one they go to when they are at the cabin).  Love this picture!!  Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for such a fun time!!!  We love you!!!

Larkyn with the luggage ;)

We all met up for a Father's Day dinner when Mommy and Daddy got home that evening!
I think it is safe to say that this was one of the kids' favorite weeks ever, making so many wonderful memories with their amazing grandparents.  To the grandparents - I am SO grateful for all the love you showered upon our kids!  I was never worried while we were out of town as I knew our kids were in the BEST hands!  Thank you for your love, time, generosity, care, correction when needed;), creativity, playtime, etc etc etc!  We are blessed beyond measure to have FOUR amazing grandparents that WANT to take our kids and are already asking the next time they can have them!  We love you!