Saturday, May 28, 2011

Romania to Austin

Elder Smith and Elder Weeks

The Weeks Family
When we arrived in the Bucharest Romania Mission we were assigned to Constanta where we met Elder Weeks.  I spent lots of time with Elder Weeks knocking doors and teaching the Gospel especially after Elder Smith went home and we were short one elder for about 5 weeks.  I gained great respect for Elder Weeks as he was an excellent Elder.  After almost 5 years we were delighted when he called to tell us he was being employed as a Summer Intern for Hormel.  When he and his family moved to Austin the Ward came out in force to help move them in - it was great to see the support for this family.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Ellis Middle School Band Concert

Zeke at the piano in the Jazz Band

Zeke in percussion 6th Grade Band
6. 7. 8 Grades

Tonight was the final concert of the school year - the Ellis Middle School Jazz Band and the 6th, 7th and 8th grade bands.  We were absolutely amazed by the fantastic music we heard tonight especially from 6th, 7th and 8th graders.  Each grade played separately.  The Jazz Band is from each grade and the final number was a combination of all the grades.  Zeke is in the 6th grade and played the piano in the Jazz Band and then percussion in the 6th grade and combined grades.  Most middle school concerts are just to support the kids but this time it was truly a pleasure to be there.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Proud Grandparents

Sunday we had Ward Conference and when they sustained the officers the following grandsons were sustained - Gunnar 1st Assistant Priests Quorum, Qatar Teachers Quorum President, Zeke Deacons Quorum President.  Full names were read and each of them have Bremner in their full name .

Then this evening was Seminary Graduation for Gunnar - our oldest grandson.  He was asked to sing a solo at graduation.  He was accompanied by Zeke.  They both did so beautifully - we could not be more pleased.  The picture was taken in the Relief Society Meeting today as Lisa asked Gunnar to sing at the beginning of the meeting.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

More Concerts

Cenneidigh

JT in the front row in orange

Cenneidigh in back row flower in her hair

JT in orange
Friday was the Banfield Elementary School Choir Concert.  JT and Cenny both go to Banfield so we enjoyed the 1st through 5th grades perform their songs by class.  Eileen was babysitting for a family with a diabetic daughter.  So we traded off and I went to the 2nd concert and Eileen went to the third concert.  One child  went down for her nap when I arrived and the other went to sleep in my arms about 1/2 hour later so I had it really easy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Another Reason for Living in Austin MN

Concert Choir

Mixed Choir
After our friends left for their trip home to Utah, Eileen and I rushed to the high school for the choir concert. Qatar is a freshman in the Mixed Choir and Gunnar a senior in the Concert Choir.  All the choir numbers were extremely well done and very enjoyable.  The end of year concert also includes a Senior Salute - they show a baby picture and then senior picture of each senior in the choirs.  Then a few members of the choir tell stories on the choir director and give him a gift from the choir - this year a Kindle with case.  Lisa told Gunnar after that she only cried once and Gunnar told her the choir director almost had them all crying as he was crying during the last number.  It was so beautiful and I only thought to record at the very end of it. 
video

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It Was Great To See The Wohlgemuths!


Tuesday was a busy day with lots of fun.  The Wohlgemuths were in Minneapolis for a son-in-law's doctorate graduation.  On their way back to Utah they stopped to see us.  Since we live in SPAMTOWN USA we started with a SPAMBURGERHAMBURGER for lunch then a quick tour of town before going to the SPAM Museum.  They really enjoyed the museum and we lost track of time.  As we started shopping in the gift center, Eileen suddenly shouted out "OH NO we forgot the kids".  We take two of our grandkids to school every morning and pick them up after school.  Luckily we live in a small town and I was able to pick them up and get one to her piano lesson on time and the other home with no problems.  We then toured the Hormel Historic Home and other areas of town before heading to Piggy Blues for dinner.  We don't have many choices for dinner in town and we have heard this one is good.  It was a fun day renewing our friendship started when we arrive in Iceland.  They had done all the work to get us a car and apartment before we arrived and then we enjoyed their company and teaching about the work in Iceland for a short two months before the end of their mission.  They wanted to be on their way before 7 PM and we made it at 6:45 PM.  It was sad to see them leave after such a short visit but sure good to see them.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Poor Cenneidigh!

Cenny started coughing last week but she said she felt good enough to go with us on Friday to Kansas City for Paige's graduation.  Even though the cough kept getting worse and you could tell she wasn't feeling well, she never complained and kept going with all we had to do.  On the way home Sunday, Eileen thought she needed to see her doctor.  Lisa had to work so Eileen took Cenny to the doctor Monday and found out she not only has asthma she also has pneumonia.  So off to the pharmacist and home to our house for treatment.  She went back Friday and the doctor said all is well now -  quick recovery

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another Concert


Thursday night was the Ellis Middle School Choir Concert.  There are two six grade choirs - the first for kids not in band or orchestra and the second for those in band or orchestra.  Zeke is in the second group.  Both sounded extremely good but the second even better than the first.  I suppose the musical talent of the band and orchestra kids may have contributed to their better sound.  Even though the middle school has a nice sized auditorium it is not big enough for everyone to see all the choirs, so after the sixth grade choirs sang everyone who did not have children in the 7 and 8 grade choirs were asked to leave to make room for the other families.  Austin schools have great music programs.  There was a time when budget cuts always went after the music program but that has not been the case for a long time because of all the support of the families and community.

The picture of Zeke at the top is from an earlier Talent Show at the middle school.  While Zeke is a fantastic pianist a friend wanted to sing but only if Zeke would sing with him.  So he sang a duet rather than play the piano.  We didn't get to see this performance however because he wouldn't tell anyone about it.  A friend who went to see their child took this picture and told us he did quite well.  We have never heard him sing so were quite disappointed he did not tell anyone about it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Enjoying the Grandkids



One of the joys of living in Austin is being a part of the grandkids activities.  Last week Cenny participated in the  5th Grade Concert.  She plays the flute and sings in the choir.  It brings back such memories as many of the songs they played and sang we heard our kids do when they were in the 5th grade. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

Eileen wanted a bike last summer but because of her bad knees I didn't get to it. Before we even came home for this summer she said she wanted a bike or a scooter. I looked on-line for an electric bike and found several. This particular one had very positive reviews even from people who complained about putting them together and damaged parts they had to pay the shipping on to get them replaced. I went to Walmart.com and found they had the bike in stock in a town near us. I told Eileen I wanted her to go look at the bike for her Mothers Day present. She said she didn't want an electric bike but later said let's go look. When we got home Eileen said I needed to get a bike as she did not want to ride alone. I tried her bike and found it fun to ride as you can ride with or without the electric motor or you can use it to assist your ride. I called the store and they had put together another. When I talked to the man who put it together and told him of the on-line complaints, he was surprised.  He said he had no problems and felt it was a quality bike. When I asked why they were on sale he said they were old models and were discontinued in the stores. He thought they were too expensive for Walmart.  Our grandson JT thinks it is terrible I am riding a girls bike but it is all they had and the price was right ($150 less than Amazon and put together) and it doesn't bother me.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The First Lawyer In Our Family - Congratulations Paige!







As far as we know, Paige is the first lawyer in the history of our family.  She graduated with a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri Kansas City on May 7.  Eileen and I along with Amanda and Cenny drove down Friday afternoon.  We went to a local diner to have a special sherbet lemonade and onion rings Paige likes and then to the Melting Pot for Chocolate Fondue.  Saturday Lisa, David, Gunnar, Qatar, Zeke and JT drove down and together with Paige's home-teachers we all cheered Paige as she was hooded and congratulated by the Governor of Missouri.  The law school had a nice reception following and then we went to the Elephant Bar restaurant for Paige's graduation dinner.  The place was packed and noisy but what an unbelievable menu.  Lisa's kids are most adventurous when it comes to ordering unusual things.  JT and Cenny wouldn't even eat from the kids menu as it was too much like what they get at school so they had very unusual entree salads - hard to imagine since our kids would never have eaten such things.  We finished the day with cake at Paige's apartment.  Sunday before going to Church we walked the sculpture gardens of the Nelson-Atkins Museum and then had lunch at Paige's apartment.  Eileen, Paige and I were the speakers at Church and then we headed for home arriving about 10:30 PM.  Paige is going to relax for a few days before starting her studies to pass the Bar and find a job - good luck on both Paige.  Congratulations!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Eating Healthy

When we were in Iceland the Reykjavik Branch President got us interested in Green Smoothies but since we didn't have a blender we waited until we got home to try them.  At first I thought the spinach flavor was too strong for me but as I worked on different ingredients I found one we like quite well.  I experiment when we are out of our favorite ingredients so we do have some interesting ones at times.

Then when we were visiting Randy and Heather, Heather made homemade Hummus.  We often buy Hummus in a quart size container so I hadn't thought about making it myself. Then at a Farmers Market in Arizona we bought some hummus that was supposed to be so much better for us because it had no oil or tahini.  It was good but expensive and now we are back in Minnesota so I decided to follow Heather's example and make my own.  I now have two varieties I really like which have no oil or tahini.  I use it mainly in place of mayo on my sandwiches. 

Then today I was reading an article on the importance of fiber in our diet and all the health benefits.  I was surprised by the first to suggestions of ways to add fiber to our diet.  First was to use Hummus in place of mayo and the second was to eat seedy fruit instead of drinking fruit juice.  I sure felt good because those are two changes we have made and we are doing even some of the others.  It will be interesting to see if there is any noticeable change when we have our physicals.