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

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!