Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mr. Arlton

For those of you that don't know him, I thought I'd help introduce you to Mr. Arlton. He was a teacher at Hillcrest when I was a student there, however since he taught Physics, I never had him as a teacher myself! Even after he retired, he could often be seen around campus, or at the Seminary Library reading or writing, or riding his bicycle around town. Most recently I've seen him singing in the Bethel Choir, or taking students to various plays or concerts in town in order to help them appreciate "the arts". He's extremely brilliant, and a little eccentric. He's somebody that's not easily forgotten!

We heard in church this morning that he's at Merit Care hospital in Fargo, in very serious condition. I thought I would send out this world-wide prayer request for healing for Mr. Arlton and wisdom for his doctors and nurses. I understand his two sons are at his side, and I guess that's really all I know about the situation. He's 82 years old. Thanks for praying for him!

2/8/2007 -The update, unfortunately, is that Mr. Arlton passed away on Tuesday, February 6th in the evening. There was a short announcement in yesterday's paper, but in today's paper there was no further information listed about a funeral. I assume the funeral will be at Bethel, but I'll have you let you know more later about the specifics. I understand his sons were overwhelmed with the way his church family has cared for him, and they have been very thankful for that.

2/9/2007 -Today's Daily Journal said: "The funeral is 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at Bethel Lutheran Church, with the Rev. Ed Monson officiating. Visitation will be Friday, Feb. 16, from 4 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at Glende-Nilson Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church."

Julie at 35 weeks

Julie's due date is sure coming up soon! She was 35 weeks yesterday and told me she's feeling pretty big and uncomfortable. I just think she looks beautiful! My mom snapped this picture of her today. Looks like they ate at Fuddruckers for lunch!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

My Younger Friends

I was looking around at my picture files and realized that I had quite a few pictures of the younger friends in my life. Because I'm sure many of my posts will soon consist of pics of my new niece or nephew (only five weeks until the due date!!), I thought I'd give a nice shout-out to these friends. I haven't asked their parents for permission to do this, so no names will be mentioned. Enjoy looking at some of the joys of my life!

My buddy M enjoying some time in the snow! You've gotta just love that smile!!

C enjoying his dragon costume for the Fall Family Festival. His sister looked adorable as a bumble-bee, but I wasn't able to get a good picture.

My buddy O shortly after birth, and then at Christmas. What a great laugh!

Watching fireworks on the Fourth of July. Lots of giggles and clapping!

M and E getting to be friends before E had to move.

My friend A looking like she's not so sure about this person holding her! This picture was taken last spring at the Hillcrest auction, and she's sure grown since then!

At the end of a great birthday celebration, complete with cake, a tea party, lots of great playtime, and dancing to VeggieTales. There were so many great pictures taken this day, it was hard to choose!

One of the sweetest faces ever. I remember telling O that I was taking this picture for her aunt A that loves her, but I'm pretty sure I've never gotten around to emailing it to A. Sorry about that! It was taken in May. Oops...

One of my favorite things about Sunday mornings is getting a big hug from my buddy S. I also love it when she and her sister A come over and play at my house. I couldn't find a recent picture of us, this one with S is from last year.

One of the things I've loved to do at church is help out with a Mom's group that meets once a month. I've been in the two-year-old room and there's really nothing better than getting to play with two-year-olds for a few hours (and then sending them home with their parents!). Due to my work schedule, though, I won't be able to help any more, and I'll really miss it! These kids sure make me laugh!! This picture was from last year, and these kids still say hi or give me hugs when they see me at church! That's the best!

This is the daughter of one of my co-workers. I hardly know her at all, but when I hosted a shower at my house this summer and I caught her playing with the shoes, I couldn't resist taking this picture! What a doll!

Here is a picture of my friend R, taken just after watching her aunt A sing at the Crossroads Chapel at the Minnesota State Fair. She was very intrigued by the microphone! I've sure missed seeing her and her brother J since they moved away from Fergus!

Well there you have it. Some of my favorite little buddies that bring a lot of joy to my life! Thanks for sharing your children with me!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I pretty much have the best dad in the world. I know there's no official poll with those results, but, well, it's hard to dispute. He's just the best! He is loving, kind, considerate, able to stay calm in any circumstance, incredibly smart, willing to help ANYONE, and has a great sense of humor that sneaks up on you! He's also able to do anything -whether it's building a TV cabinet, re-wiring my office, installing a wall heater, helping with finances, or doing yard work. He's a jack-of-all-trades! I don't think there's anything I've asked for help with that he hasn't been able to do!

One of my favorite things, that I know will especially come in handy after I move to the Cities, is his ability to give directions from point A to point B without looking at a map. I can be anywhere in the cities (even on some unknown side-street), give my dad a call and tell him where I want to go, and he can get me there while giving tidbits of all the things I'm passing along the way!

It's my dad's birthday today, so I thought I'd use this public format to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!! You're the best!! If you know my dad's email address, send him a happy birthday message! Or, leave a comment here and I'll pass it on to him.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Christmas Letter 2006

Here's a copy of my Christmas Letter. If you didn't get one (and you're my friend!), I sure wouldn't want to exclude you from the annual Christmas card list, so send me an email and I'll add you for next year! Enjoy!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! This year I’ve been trying to keep Christmas more simple, wanting to decrease the retail hype that happens, but instead focus on the real Reason for the Season. The fact that Jesus fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies and came to earth as a little baby in order to be our Savior is completely amazing!
This has been a year of a lot of changes, but somehow it seems like that’s always true! Read on to hear about some of these changes, and if you really want to keep up-to-date, check out my new blog! I was never going to get one, but, well… they say “never say never”! It turns out it’s pretty fun and a great way to stay in touch with people. Just go to and you can read about what’s going on in my life, and also find links to lots of other great people! The ‘link’ section has been a great way to reconnect with people I had lost touch with, so if you have your own blog start using this feature!
My blog will especially be a great way to hear about all my new adventures when I move to the Twin Cities in the spring/summer and become a traveling nurse! There are lots of traveling nurse companies that contract with hospitals all over the country to fill a position for a certain length of time. My plan is to work in the Cities for a few months, then go somewhere else for a short while, then come back again and keep doing that sort of rotation. I am really excited to see what the Lord has in store for me, but I will say that I’m sure going to miss Fergus! I love my church, job, home and friends that are still in Fergus, and all of those things are very important to me! If God hadn’t made it abundantly clear that it was time to move, I’m not sure if I’d be able to go. I have to keep reminding myself that there will be lots of great changes to come, and even though I’ll miss being here, God must have some great stuff in store!

This year started out with my fifth annual New Year’s Party. In this picture, I’m with Jenn and Ryan Nordlund, close friends for the last 15 years! I was blessed to have lots of friends from Fergus and also from out of town that were able to be here. One of the major changes that’s happened these past few months is that many of my friends from Fergus have moved away. This means that it’s been pretty quiet around here, which is sometimes very nice and other times a little lonely. It’s one of the reasons I’m excited about the upcoming changes!

One very stable thing this year was my job. I have now been at Lake Region Hospital for 4+ years, the last year and a half as an RN. I still tell everyone how much I love being a nurse! I really feel it’s an honor and privilege to be able to take care of people at their most basic need level and I feel it’s a great way to have my own personal ministry. Matthew 25 says “35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me….40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' I know I’ve only been a nurse for a couple of years, and that any nurse who’s been around a while will tell you that this excitement will go away someday, but I really do feel blessed to have a job that I love so much! This is a picture of a bunch of us out to eat at Applebees. Every so often we’ll put up a sign and see who’s able to grab lunch together. They’re a great group of women!

This year my 30th birthday was spent first celebrating with friends at a surprise party that Uncle Jim and Aunt Marilyn hosted. Thanks for the fun surprise! Then, on the actual day I got to be at Dave and Barb Ellis’ home and my “little girlfriends” gave me quite the tea party! Jenn and Ryan’s kids, along with their cousins, are very creative, fun, and loving! We had a blast together! My god-daughter, Annie, is three and very active! She loves dressing up and playing with dolls, and how can you not love this incredible smile??!!

This summer my cousin Ronda got married in Seattle! Here I am pictured with some of us at the wedding who had lived in Arizona at the same time. It was a fun reunion! The bride was beautiful, but we missed having her in this picture!! Some of the best parts of the trip included the drive there and back. I drove there with Jeanette who was going home for the summer, and we LOVED seeing all the mountains and the most beautiful sunset ever! I drove back alone and was able to visit other relatives in the Seattle area, my good friend Ingrid and her family in Spokane, my aunt and uncle and cousins in Idaho, and my great-aunts in Billings. There isn’t enough room to tell you about all the fun I had with each of them, and can’t wait to visit again soon! Those places are all on my list to visit as a traveling nurse!

One of the biggest changes I’m still struggling to get used to is that my aunt and uncle, Jim and Marilyn Erickson, moved to California in early November. I sure miss them! They are family I came to really depend on, and friends that I enjoy spending time with. Jim is now a pastor in Fullerton, CA, and he and Marilyn are sure enjoying being closer to Jamie and Krista, and Micah and Becky. Their two younger sons, Mark and Jared got to spend Thanksgiving with my family in Burnsville.This summer I was able to attend the wedding of my cousin Jamie to Krista Cooper. We love having her in the family! It was a blessing to be at the wedding in California, and get to hang out with family and friends. I was also able to spend some time with friends Jason and Jenn Kaylor and their newborn baby boy, Ron and Lynn Sunwall and children, and Jeremy Whalon. I stayed with my good friend Sonja, and was then able to drive back to MN with her, taking six days and getting to five National Parks and lots of other fun sites! I highly recommend the Pacific Coast Highway (but bring your Dramamine!) and Lake Tahoe, which is just as beautiful as everyone says! I really fell in love with the Grand Tetons –very majestic!

Here I am pictured with my oldest friend, Jill Swenson. She works for Campus Crusade for Christ, currently in Eau Claire, WI. We had decided to meet at IKEA and ended up staying for hours, wandering from living room to living room, sitting on all the couches and chairs! It turned out to be a great meeting spot! Jill and I spend many hours on the phone, but since our schedules often conflict we don’t get to see one another in person very frequently. This was a fun day together!

My favorite day of the summer each year is the day that I go to the Minnesota State Fair. It’s the second largest State Fair in the country, and it’s amazing! There are so many things to see, foods to eat, and people to watch! Here I am pictured with my dad doing our favorite thing there, eating Sweet Martha’s Chocolate Chip cookies and drinking from the All-You-Can-Drink Milk Stand. Mmm, my mouth is watering already! I also got to meet up with my closest friend, Aimee Nordlund, after her worship band played at Crossroads Chapel. I’m really excited to be moving closer to Aimee and I’m planning on attending Oak Hill Lutheran Brethren Church, where she’s the worship leader (and so much more!).

This is a picture of the ladies that I quilt with each Tuesday morning. I sure love being part of Stitch-a-Quilt at Bethel! These are the women that I learn things from. Not just stitching, but also about making apple crisp or cinnamon pull-apart bread. They are the women that teach me about how to show love to my family, and they teach me more about loving Jesus! Bethel has been an amazing church to be a part of, and it is one of the things I will miss the most when I move. I walk in the doors and feels as though I’ve come home! There are so many different areas of ministry that I’ve been blessed to be part of and each one has added to my life. While I’m looking forward to being a part of Oak Hill and all that it has to offer, including being around more young adults that are in similar life situations to mine, I really will miss Bethel and am already sad thinking about leaving.

One of the changes this year has to do with the fact that my sister and brother-in-law announced they are finally going to make me an aunt! Julie and David have been married for five years, and in early March will become parents for the first time. I’ve been “aunty” to lots of my friends’ children, but I’m THRILLED to finally have my very own little niece or nephew!! Julie has asked me to be in the delivery room, so please pray with me that all the arrangements can be made for me to be there, but especially for Julie as she grows this little one and for the delivery coming up. As a family, we can hardly wait! It’s definitely the biggest topic of conversation in our family! Here we are pictured at Thanksgiving, and this year we decided to celebrate Christmas a little early since I had to work. Then, my parents decided to join me in Fergus so I wouldn’t spend the holidays alone. They’re the best! For more pics of my family, go to my website! Merry Christmas! ~Kari

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I trust that you've had a great holiday season, both with Christmas and New Year's now having passed by. It's hard to believe that it's 2007 already! I used to think it was silly how older people would say things like "every year goes by quicker and quicker". Well, it's true! It can't be that I'm getting older, it must be that time is just flying right by!!

The tree will need to come down this week, but here's what graced my living room these last few weeks. I'll miss not having a beautiful tree by the big picture window!

It was fun to be able to celebrate Christmas in Minneapolis with my family (see previous posts!). Then my parent's felt bad that I needed to work over Christmas and would be here alone so they came up to keep me company. I also realized that they didn't want to be alone either, and I think they had a great time being here! My mom thought it might get a little boring, with me at work, but they ended up hosting people at my house -without me there! I don't think they were bored at all! Then, on New Year's Eve I had my sixth annual New Year's Eve party. It was a lot more low-key than some years, and honestly quite a bit of fun! We were able to play games and have great conversation with everyone. The last people were successful with a standard Minnesota good-bye, lasting a long time, and left at 1:45am! It really was fun!