November 13, 2010

Fun at Willow's Third Birthday Party on November 11th

Paula hosted a birthday party with her friends Carmen an Nelson O'Neill in Starbuck on Willow's 3rd birthday. I recorded some video with my new Nikon digital camera, and then created this video using Windows Movie Maker (a free software package you can download from Microsoft).

June 2, 2010

Victor's Memorial Day 2010 Address


Here is the Memorial Day address by Victor Gades, delivered during the annual program at the Morris National Guard Armory on May 31. The address included a video: "Remember Me" by Lizzie Palmer, a 15 year old from Ohio.

A YouTube video of "Remember Me" is at:

Victor Gades address:

After viewing this video, Hank Millward from Virginia wrote:

"What the American public needs to remember is that, although you may not support the current war efforts, or other U.S. Military involvement around the globe... you have a duty as an American citizen to support the men and women that serve in the Armed Forces. They have chosen to serve in the military, and although they may not have chosen to be in the position that the military has placed them in, they do their duty each day, not knowing if it will be their last. Whether you know someone serving in the military through a family connection or some other means ... ALL military members should expect to know that they are appreciated as a person first, doing their chosen duty, and then as a soldier, sailor, airman,

or marine. They are the providers of the very blanket of security under which we as Americans lay down to rest every day.

They have chosen to serve and, if called upon, to pay the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that America remains the land of the free, BECAUSE of the brave."

NOW! Those of us who are still breathing cannot repay the sacrifice of those who gave their lives defending us, but at the very least, we can and we must remember them.

Sadly, none of the more than 1 million men and Women who have died in service to this nation in wars and conflicts since 1775 can be replaced. Most were young - in the prime of their lives. Some were husbands, wives, fathers or mothers. All left a nation that is in their debt.

If you asked these heroes before they died how they would like to be honored, most would probably say "Take care of my family."

The empty seat at the dinner table, the smaller gathering on Thanksgiving and the daughter who has no father to walk her down the wedding aisle are painful reminders that they are gone.

We must continue to live up to President Lincoln's promise to not just care for him who shall have borne the battle, but for his widow and his orphan. Remembering our fallen once a year is not enough. We must continue the legacy for which they died: the causes of democracy, decency and patriotism.

While Memorial Day is intended to honor our fallen, we should not forget those who have pledged to make the same sacrifice if called upon - the young men and women still serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the United States and in more than 130 foreign lands.

We must continue to bear witness for those who never returned from the

deserts of the Middle East, the jungles of Vietnam, the "Forgotten War" in

Korea, the islands in the Pacific, and the European continent.

Several years ago, retired Navy Admiral Bill Owens wrote in The American Legion Magazine, "Many of us know the pain of losing a comrade who stood by

our side. And we have shed many tears when our comrades were lost on

battlefields around the world in pursuit of something they knew to be

important, something they did on the command of their leaders and with

confidence that that leadership would not let them down."

Just as these heroes were confident in their wartime leaders - we must remain confident and committed to ensure that our national leaders know that the sacrifice made by these young men and women was in pursuit of something they, too, knew to be important.

America must remain the world's beacon of freedom. We must represent the aspiration and hope of millions of people, that through hard work and perseverance, anyone can succeed in this fair and just society.

Writing in a letter from a Birmingham jail, Dr. Martin Luther King could have been describing countless American military missions when he wrote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

So today, on this most sacred day, we pause to Reflect on what has been given and sacrificed. Let us never forget. But let us also remember what resulted from these sacrifices. Let us remember the terrorist plots that were foiled and the killers that have been brought to justice because Americans were willing to pay the price. Let us remember the tyrannical regimes that have been toppled and the genocides that were stopped

because Americans sacrificed life and limb.

Let us remember that without a U.S. military, the world would be a far

more oppressive and darker place.

Freedom is not a gift. It is an earned benefit that was paid for by the blood of our heroes. From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terrorism, the sacrifices and caliber of America's fighting men and women have been nothing short of inspirational.

One of the most poignant poems of World War I is Titled "In Flanders Fields." In it, Canadian John McCrae seems to not only describe the fallen heroes of that war, but those of every era:

"In Flanders fields the poppies grow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Love, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Let us always remember them. God bless you all, and God bless America.

December 1, 2009

"Christiansenmas" 2009


I set up a Facebook event page for Christiansenmas also, but thought I could use this blog to post a running list of what everyone is planning to bring, as well as to let you all know how the guest list is shaping up.


Mom C's hotdish
Alligator Eyes
Assorted Sweets
Amy's Wassail
Golden Graham Peanut Butter Trail Mix
Buffalo Chicken Dip w/ Tortilla Chips
Matt's mini shrimp rolls
Kelly's 7-Layer Taco Dip
Nicole's BLT Dip w/crackers & a dessert
Pam's vegetable salad, Baked Mac & Cheese, Hello Dolly Bars, Cookies
Paula's Shrimp Dip w/crackers, various chips
Rosalee: Seasoned Pretzels


Matt's Wii system and 2 controllers, need more games & controllers
Christiansenmas "Bingo" with prizes for adults and kids
Scott's Zombie board game
Pam's "Shooters" Dice Game
Rosalee will bring some games
Some crafty items for kids arts/crafts table (ideas/donations are welcome)

Guest List:

Pam & Victor
Paula, Alayna & Willow
(maybe Stacy's kids)
Mom & Dad C
Amy, Scott, Hannah, Zac
Kelly & Dan
Nicole & Marty
Matt & Samantha "Sam"
Katie, Darren, & Wyatt
Bruce & Joleen
Joe, Shelly, Nathan, & Morgan
(maybe Isaac)
Rosalee & Bobby
Lynn & Maggie
Pat & Nick
Benj & Amanda

Haven't heard from:


Maybe attending:

Stacy, McKayla, & Lily

January 27, 2009


November 7, 2008

Gades Trip to Orlando, Florida


Victor and Matt accompanied me on a business trip to Orlando, Florida, Oct. 26 through Nov.1. We added a couple of extra days onto the trip so that we could enjoy a mini-vacation together. The first day, we went to Cocoa Beach and waded into the Atlantic Ocean. It was very warm and what a wonderful beach! Then we went to Kennedy Space Center. A couple of afternoons we succumbed to the tourist trap and visited theme parks. Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Universal's CityWalk, Downtown Disney w/Cirque du Soleil's "La Nouba" and Disney Epcot. Matt and Victor went to Daytona Beach to the Daytona racetrack and took their tour. We flew SunCountry and loved it.

McKayla's 10th Birthday

Just before Victor, Matt, and I went on our trip to Orlando, Florida, we spent an overnight with Stacy, McKayla, and Bryan and celebrated (a bit early) McKayla's 10th birthday. We had a fun time! McKayla is celebrating her birthday again tonight at her Dad's with friends from school. McKayla's real birthday is November 5th.

October 20, 2008

Christiansenmas 2008 Planning

Joleen and Bruce have been busy getting things lined up for Christiansenmas. Stay tuned to this site and please send any information that will be useful to the group and I'll post on this blog. My personal email account is

Event date: Weekend of December 6, 2008:

There is plenty of gathering space. It will accommodate 15-22 people for sleeping, depending how we pack it in. We are planning sleeping space at the lodge for Lyle & Donna to stay, and also Amy & family given they were the ones to find the lodge, along with the Bruce/Joleen clan. Not knowing which of your family members would drive vs. stay, we did not plan reservations beyond the Lodge yet.

There are several hotels very near in Willmar and the Country Inn and Suites has a large slide and water park. It could also be close enough for those who would just want to drive in for the day.

- A'venue is another property owned by the same people. It runs $195/night for up to 6 people. It may accommodate more and can be seen at

- Country Inn & Suites is nearby in Willmar - there is a great waterslide & pool here for the kids.

- Holiday Inn, Willmar

And a few others in Willmar area which can be found through

Here is the website for the lodge and a bit more info regarding it. There are some reviews at We also took photos when we stopped and made the reservations. See below (click on the photos to see larger images).

Party or Business Room Capacities
Single Room
Table Seating 25
Multiple Room
Table Seating 40
Stand Room 60


We are imagining that we could all gather on Saturday early afternoon at the lodge and spend the day together with a family meal at suppertime. It has a full kitchen, so we can use it to heat or cool whatever potluck dishes each family brings. For the evening, some may want to drive home and some may want to have rooms in Willmar.

Distances to New London Lodge:
Albany=42.1 mi Morris=53.3 mi St. Cloud= 53.4 mi
Sartell=57.4 mi Becker=72.5 mi Richfield=109 mi
Bloomington=126 mi Farmington=144 mi Fargo=160 mi
Duluth=198 mi Oronoco=190 mi Grand Forks=243.5 mi

September 11, 2008

Pat, Nick, & Benj's Trip to Colorado

Pat, Nick, and Benj went to Colorado (by way of Las Vegas) and met some Colorado family members to take in the Colorado Buffalos game. Click on the photo to see a close-up.

Hannah's First Day of Kindergarten

Amy posted photos on Picassa on Hannah's first day of school -- of Hannah waiting for the bus. Time flies, doesn't it! It is hard to believe she's starting school already. Click on the photos to see the close-ups.

August 29, 2008

Family Gathered for Mom's 75th Birthday


Mom's 75th Birthday was August 19th. We all gathered the weekend after her birthday at the Pizza Ranch in Alexandria. It was a busy and emotional day for Lynn and Maggie -- they had driven to Grand Forks to move Kyle into a dorm at UND -- and then joined us in Alexandria on the way home. I remember what it felt like when each of my three moved out on their own for the first time! Especially difficult when the youngest leaves the nest.

McKayla's half-sister, Madison, joined us too. It was fun seeing her again.

Everyone had fun. Pat brought a cake and balloons. We all ate too much, but it was yummy! Happy Birthday, Mom, we love you so much!

Welcome and Greetings

I'm sure happy you took the time to visit my blog. I have been blogging for just about a year now in "Pam's Instructional Technology Blog" Now, I'd like to keep a personal blog for family and friends. I hope you enjoy this. Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions, using the comment links shown at the bottom of my entries. If you want to have access to contribute articles to my blog, let me know and I'll add you as an author.