Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Birthday, Richard

It's that time of year again. Another Christmas, another birthday. You were supposed to be turning 28 on Christmas Day. Amid all the joy and celebrations, we still feel your loss. 

Merry Christmas from Heaven
Throughout the Christmas season,
don't fall into despair,
Relive the special times we shared,
I promise, I'll be there.
You'll find me in the stories,
of loved ones who stop by,
I am the flickering candlelight,
My spirit did not die.
Continue with traditions and gather
around the tree,
I want you to be happy...
You were everything to me!
So fill the house with laughter,
and know that I'm a part,
Of all the joy the season brings,
Here ALWAYS in your heart.

You are still the best Christmas gift our family ever received. 
Know we miss and love you very, very much, but we know we can all be together again someday.

Richard Gene Kirk 12/25/1988-7/9/2008
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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Year in Michigan!

Well, it's been a year....a whole year living in Michigan, gone by just like that!
There were a lot of emotions when we pulled up to the house Kevin had found for us in Sterling Heights...happiness, sadness, nervousness. A whole new life was about to begin for us; new neighborhood, new schools, new friends, new ward at church, and the most urban area we'd ever lived was a lot to take in! 
October 12, 2015
We didn't waste much time getting to know our new city and the surrounding areas. We introduced the boys to Detroit style square pizza, and now we make it a habit to take visitors for some yummy pizza at Buddy's. The boys started school and quickly assimilated, though the change from FEMA trailers and going from one building to another for class, lunch, gym, etc in North Dakota to having it all in in one "giant" brick building was a bit overwhelming for Tucker.

We LOVE going to cider mills of which there are plenty of options here! The boys really love Yates because it's mill is powered with water from the Clinton River and there's a lovely trail to walk. Once you've tasted freshly pressed cider with absolutely zero preservatives, you'll never be satisfied with the stuff from the store!

Autumn in Michigan is fabulous. My heart would be happy if it was perpetually fall. 

We also learned about Paczki Day in February, which are pastries traditional to Polish cuisine. They are basically filled donuts in delicious flavors like chocolate cream, cannoli cream, lemon, prune, apple, etc. People line up early for these at various bakeries all over metro Detroit and now that I know what the hype is about, I'll be joining them next year! 

There are parks in abundance here! We love going to the park and walking around, playing Frisbee, kicking the soccer ball around, and just letting the boys play. There are two parks right near our neighborhood and the boys' favorite is Dodge Park which has miles of wooded trails and the river.

A goal of ours while we live here is to see all the Great Lakes. We took my parents to Lake Huron when they visited us in April, the boys have camped on Lake Huron twice, and we managed to stop and see Lake Michigan on our trip to Utah over the summer, and swing by Lake Erie on our way back from Utah. Three down, two to go!
Lake Huron at the outlet of the St. Clair River in Port Huron, Michigan

Father/Son campout at Lakeport State Park on the shores of Lake Huron. Boys had a ball and Kev managed to snap a photo before the rain started that soaked them all, plus every single item they brought with them. Ward campout was better, no rain, plus I got to attend as well!
Lake Huron at Lakeport State Park
Lake Michigan at New Buffalo, Michigan
Lake Erie at Luna Pier
Lake Huron at Lakeport State Park
Lake Huron at Lakeport State Park
Lake Huron at Lakeport State Park

 Of course we hit Yates again for the spring pressing. Cider mill donuts are the bomb!

Spring soccer included delightful scenery. Loving all the trees here after almost three years without much of them in ND!

 After living in rural Williston, the choices of eating/shopping here were overwhelmingly enormous at first, and now we probably just take it all for granted. Dunkin Donuts before cleaning the church.. ice cream shop right across the street from the house (also 7-11, a Subway, a nail salon, hair salon, and a pizza joint)'s practically a first-world heaven!

Orchards galore are just a short drive away! U-pick almost anything according to season,,,cherries, strawberries, peaches, and of course, apples!

We get a lot of rain here, and the day we got caught in a massive downpour while walking home from 7-11 made a great memory.

We love it here in Michigan. It's twice as far from family as when we lived in North Dakota, but once again, we've managed to turn it into home. We've made some really great friends. Kevin teaches the 14 year old Sunday school class at church, and I'm a nursery leader. Kyan just turned 10 and moved up to Webelos in the Cub Scouts. Tucker is 7 and losing teeth left and right, resulting in the cutest toothless smile ever. Jaxon is 5 and loving preschool and bumming around with mom on his days off.  We have big plans to see the Upper Peninsula, Niagara Falls, the LDS Church history sites, and some of Canada in the next year. We've had some tough times in the past year, but also some really fantastic ones. Continuing to rely on one another has, without fail, brought us closer together as a family. Here's to the  next year in Michigan!
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Monday, September 12, 2016

First Day of School 2016

The 2016-2017 school year kicked off for us on September 6, 2016. Can I just say how much I love school starting after Labor Day?! It rocks!

Tucker is a second grader this year. He is in Mrs. Hamilton's class at Oakbrook Elementary. He is thrilled because his friends Nicholas and Ric are in his class. He has his first crush on a girl named Lexi. He's a super reader, speller, and a crack shot at math. He can hardly wait to get his "license" to learn cursive.

Kyan is a fourth grader this year. He is in Mr. Gorski's class at Oakbrook Elementary. He is stoked to be learning from his first male teacher. He loves that his friend Ava is in his class. He's also a super reader, a great speller (they are both going to put us in hock due to our $.25 per correctly spelled word deal), and loves science. He's also looking forward to expanding his education in Mandarin Chinese.

The bus stops right around the corner at the side entrance of the sub so it's a very short walk.

The school lets the parents come on the first day for the first twenty minutes or so and I was able to meet their teachers and snap a pic.

Tucker's friend Logan. They didn't end up in the same class this year (sad face) but his mom snapped this and sent it to me.

They usually get off the bus in the afternoon by themselves and told me I could only come on the first day.

Jaxon started his second year of preschool on September 12, 2016. His teachers are Mrs. Pennazoli and Mrs. Huey at Collins Elementary. He's excited to make new friends, learn more letters and numbers, and get ready for kindergarten. He looks forward to gym day and library day every week.

This is the face of a kid who cannot wait to hop on the bus with his brothers and spend all day at school next year. When I ask him sadly, "What am I going to do without you next year?" He calmly answers: "Watch Grey's Anatomy!"

I think he has me pegged.
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Saturday, July 9, 2016


Eight years. Eight years since we've seen your smile, heard your voice, and felt your hugs. We missed you then and miss you still. Some days are hard, but we know, without a doubt, that we will be together again someday. 

A Bridge Called Love

It takes us back to brighter years,
to happier sunlit days
and to precious moments
that will be with us always. 
And these fond recollections
are treasured in the heart
to bring us always close to those
from whom we had to part. 

There is a bridge of memories
from Earth to Heaven above....
It keeps our dear ones near us. 

It's the bridge that we call love. 

We love you, Richard. 

In remembrance of Richard Gene Kirk 12/25/1988~7/9/2008

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Birthday, Richard

Our seventh Christmas since you've been gone...

We have learned to live without you, but this time of year brings our memories to the forefront of our consciousness and you're ever present in our hearts.

Christmas Without You

Although it's sad to reminisce
On Christmases we knew,
This year I shall celebrate
In memory of you.

I'll put aside my sorrow
With every unshed tear,
And concentrate on all the joy
We shared when you were here.

Our time together taught me
What Christmas time is for,
And that's what I'll remember
Until we meet once more.

Richard Gene Kirk 12/25/1988~7/9/2008

Happy birthday, Richard. We love you so.
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