Friday, December 28, 2007

Our Sweet Tree!

Sam and I went out on a snowy night with a flashlight to pick the perfect tree! It was so much fun and very romantic! The kids were SO excited to start decorating, so we did a little bit and sang some Christmas carols and then it was time for bed! The next day we put the finishing touches on!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2007 Christmas greetings from SW MN! We are so thankful for the way that all of you are a blessing in our lives. Life is rich with the blessing of family and friends! We wanted to touch base with you all and let you know what is up with the SAHLSTROM FAMILY! You can also check our blog, but here is a little journey up the line from youngest to oldest!

As you can tell from the picture, we added little Simeon Olaf to the family on Sept. 16th! He is such a delight and quite a little man already. Since he weighed in at 10lbs. 15oz., he certainly had a headstart on life. Although, his little cousin Elijah (10 days younger - son of Ben and Mindy Caron) seems to be passing him up already! These are the best days though, when they coo and smile. It melts our hearts! Erina Peace is now 2 and delights us with her cute little sentences. She is a gentle helper with baby, and just adores her daddy! She reminds me of Annika when she was little! Katrina Hope is now 4 and is loving her school time and art. She is the newest solo singer with some little dramatic one liners in some of our family songs. She is a quiet girl with a love language that needs and gives lots of hugs and kisses! Amelia Patience (6) is a little fireball of energy, as a lot of you know! She is learning violin, and is constantly playing songs by heart on the piano. She plays hard and sometimes has a tendency to run over others, but this can be a great quality of leadership if it is fostered properly! She has a beautiful smile! Reuben Samuel (8) is our detail man! In his free time he can be found drawing amazing pictures. They often follow the history subject that we are studying. His other big interest is being outside building forts or excavating antique treasures. He has found a 1944 wheat penny and a 1950 silver dime in the garden soil! He is definitely a nature guy! Becca Charity (10) would have to get the drama queen title! She is also a lover of music and is often singing her heart out. She loves to plan dramatic plays for the younger kids, put on tea parties or make up her own recipes. She is also playing basketball again this year with our homeschool team, the COYOTES! She has become quite a young lady this past year. Charisma Faith (12) is the book lover of the family. She devours books at an alarming rate, and I cannot believe how her spelling has improved just from reading! Wow! She is such a great help with little Simeon, and I appreciate that immensely! She is taking piano this year again, and enjoys playing in her free time. She is a people person, and loves to spend time with company. She also has the very best memory from names to places. We would be lost without her! Annika Victoria (14) has turned into a lady! She would probably laugh at that, but it is so neat to see them taking responsibility for all areas of their life, including ministry. She and a friend started a Bright Lights group that is a mentoring program for girls. They meet monthly with girls 9-12. Great ministry. She also plays violin, piano, and some guitar and mandolin. Basketball has been interesting for her being one of only 2 girls on the co-ed team, and she played volleyball for our homeschool team, ENDURANCE. Then comes Benjamin Lewis (16) who finally can DRIVE! YES! I am so glad that this chapter has come. I don't have to be the taxi driver anymore, and better yet, he enjoys it! We have been enjoying his computer/MP3/video/photo passion, and he has been helping others by putting together Power Point productions. He won a movie making contest with a friend this year that starred Reuben and his friends' little brother. It is neat to see what they can come up with sometimes! He has enjoyed volleyball this year, and is now also on the basketball team. Our homeschool group provides great opportunity for the kids to get the athletic need fulfilled! For more Ben facts, visit his blog! There is a link on our family blog.

So, now for the OLDEST two! Sam and I are both getting up there in the 30's, and it seems kind of funny! Gray hair? Sore muscles? This is a new chapter! I have to say that it is also a rewarding time since we are seeing some of the fruit of our labor from these past 18 years of married life! Before we know it we will be sending the arrows out on their life journeys! Our homeschool, ARROW ACADEMY, had been a highlight for us as we get to spend priceless time together. This past May we were able to take a trip out to Virginia and DC! What memories we made. We were able to see Jamestown and Williamsburg plus Virginia Beach. The kids loved our time out there, and since it was the Quadracentennial of the founding of Jamestown, we were able to see some amazing living history! Our unit study for History has been one of our favorite parts of school. Also this year, Sam and I are in charge of the Youth at church. We have been doing The Way of the Master and it has been so challenging. If you have not done it, we strongly recommend it! It stresses having compassion for the lost and being willing to share the hope of the gospel with them. We are also working with AWANA on Wednesdays, and Ben and Annika are junior leaders as well. We have a great group of kids each week. Sam has been keeping very busy with the business. He passed his Master Plumbers exam this year, and that was a big answer to prayer! He has Scott Schwartz, Ben Elson and Nate Mix working right now, and Lois Johnson comes weekly to to bookwork. They are all amazing, and we appreciate all that they do! Sam has so many opportunities to reach out to people when he is in their homes. It is like being a missionary disguised as an HVAC guy! Pretty neat opportunities. Last week he had a lady say that she was SO GLAD that her heat went out after he shared the Lord with her. Interesting! As for myself, I still enjoy being an at home mom! There are days when it is very challenging, but I can truly say that I am never bored! There is always something to do! School takes a big chunk of my time. Adding Katrina to the number of students made 7 now, so it is alot, but the older students are mostly on their own for most subjects. I must admit, however, that I have been dreaming about a trip to the ocean......hmmm. Time away with Sam is coming due, I think! HA! It has been fun for us to do that every few years. Other than that, we have had a blessed year, always enjoying God's creation when we can. Fishing, camping, gardening, swimming in the new pond, taking long walks, picking berries, hunting with Ginger our golden retreiver/lab, riding 4-wheelers, building forts in the woods and now making snow angels. Hopefully we will get a perfect snowman day before too long! One thing about MN is the great variety of seasons we can enjoy.

We are also wanting to recommend a book that has had an impact on us this year, The Heavenly Man. It is a story that really puts life in perspective for us as Christians living in America. We are SPOILED! China and some other countries do not have the freedoms we have here. The sad thing is that we are seeing these freedoms quickly fade away. We are also very excited to see Dr. Ron Paul running for president this year! He is the only candidate that we have found who holds to the founding fathers' intent for a Constitutional Republic. This, fo course is what made America great! It has been a long time since a man of his impeccable character has run for office. His theory is to say no to big government and let each person take responsibility for themselves, rather than paying the government to do it for us. Google him and study for yourselves. If you have found a candidate that is on the same track, let us know. It is a big job to study each one running, but it is also SO important as a God given responsibility for us here in America! Remember also to PRAY for our leaders.

Well, we hope and pray that each of you has a wonderful Christmas season with those you love! We also thank you all for being an encouragement to us. We have been so blessed to know each and every one of you. Please stop by and visit us anytime you can. We love the fact that we are a good stop-over point for some of you who are traveling north or south, east or west! Just know that you are always welcome!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Sahlstrom Family!
Sam & Melissa
Benjamin, Annika, Charisma, Becca, Reuben, Amelia, Katrina, Erina and Simeon!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bemidji Cousins

We spent the weekend up north with the Berge clan! It was great to see everyone again! Matt and Beth were moved into their new house and Ben and Mindy also have moved into the "cottage" by my Grandma Berge's home! The other exciting thing was being able to see Melanie's pictures from her Ireland trip. Absolutely beautiful! Here are some pictures of our time together.

Mindy and Elijah with Melissa and Simeon

Simeon Olaf and Elijah Kenneth
The two little cousins will have so much fun together in the future! Only 10 days apart

The same goes for Erina and Elianna. Even at a year apart, they are very close in size. I am thrilled to have nieces and nephews for my kids to play with! We were also able to spend time with Katey and Thomas. What sweet cousins we have been blessed with! Thank you Lord!
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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Becca did not get to celebrate her birthday with her friends since it was the week the baby was born, so after talking to her friend, Mariah Hicks, she found out that her July birthday was also needing to be celebrated! So they had a combined party! It proved to be a wonderful day, indeed!

Here is Reuben explaining how the apples get washed and moved down the assembly line at the APPLE ORCHARD! We had a wonderful time on the hayride and also spending time with friends from the MACHE home school group.

YUMMY! Crisp and delicious Honeycrisp apples!

Erina thought that the corn filled boat was the highlight of the afternoon! She would just lay there moving her hands and feet around. I could also tell that it was naptime for her! I was even tempted to crawl in beside her and take a snooze! Thank you Lord for the beauty of autumn!
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Simeon has turned 1 month old already! It has been such a wonderful time of getting to know him and getting acquainted with his little personality. For the most part he is very content, but when he wants to eat...look out! He definitely lets us know he has lungs and a voice!

We also have another reason to celebrate, and that is the fact that 18 years ago Sunday (14th) Sam and I were married on a beautiful fall day in the northwoods! How quickly time flies! I have to say that I am most definitely the happiest wife in the whole world. (I am sure a lot of you out there would say the same.) Sam has been so good to me and the children. He truly meets the standard of a godly father and husband, and for this I am so grateful to the Lord for blessing me with him! I also look forward to many more years as his blessed wife! Yesterday we had a visit from a dear "grandma" from our church, Marie Flesner. She has been married for 60 some years! Now that is something wonderful. What a testimony that can be to the world.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Promising Presidential Candidate

Word has it that if the election were held this very day on the Internet, Ron Paul would be the man! So, why do we not hear a word about this modern day "Thomas Jefferson" in the media? It is because they don't want us to hear about him! He has a proven track record of voting 100% according to the Constitution. How many times to you hear of Congressmen doing that these days? Well, we are excited to finally see a man of principle running on the Republican ticket for a change. We were beginning to feel hopeless! If you have not researched the candidates, please do so now before the MN caucus sneaks up on us on Feb. 2nd. Time goes quickly, and we must know who deserves our support in this most important position of leading our country. Google Ron Paul and check him out! I think you will find his views refreshingly American! Also, remember to PRAY for our leaders now and those future leaders that they will remain true to God as they fill these important positions.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Catfish That Got CAUGHT!

Not only can Sam catch big babies.....he can also catch the big fish! His latest challenge has been catching catfish on Lake Shetek! This one was a whopper and the kids all had to get out of bed to check it out! He smoked it in the smokehouse, and it is delicious! It weighed 14 pounds!

Last night little Simeon and I (Melissa) had the honor of being Sam's fishing buddies, but even though we caught 9 cats, none of them were huge like this one. It was a lovely evening though, and we enjoyed the sunset out on the dock. The evenings will now be getting cooler, so it was nice to enjoy being out on such a nice night!

Ben thought it was a good bicep builder.....

Becca was just barely able to hold it off the floor........

Annika....well let's just say we all know the story of the frog prince.... but I doubt the catfish prince will come of this attempt, no matter how much wishing goes on!
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Friday, September 28, 2007

The Sahlstrom CBOX!

You can leave us a message! We are goofing around and found this little thing. Who knows if we will like it or not, but we thought we would give it a try! Hope everyone is having a wonderful end of September! We are loving the fall days. Tomorrow we will do one last batch of tomatoes and press some apples for cider! Yum! We will try and get some good pictures to post! Bye for now!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Enjoying Little Simeon!

Big brother Benjamin is soaking in the reality of another little brother. What a responsibility. We figured out that when Simeon is 16, Ben will be 32! Doesn't that bend your mind a little? It sure did give us an interesting picture of what the future might look like! Hmmm.......

Big sister Annika was such a help this past week. She was more the mother who was mothering her mother! It was kind of fun to be on the receiving end of her hospitality. I felt very spoiled to say the least!

Big sister Charisma giving him his first kiss on the head while he is not even 1 hour old! What a sweet moment to cherish. Charisma, Becca, Reuben, Amelia and Katrina were honored to be invited to go to Milaca to spend time with Grandpa and Grandma Sahlstrom from Sunday until Friday. They had a BLAST! It also made for a nice quiet week here and boy did that make a difference for being able to rest! Thank you Grandpa and Grandma!

Now we are back to activity as usual! Little Simeon can sleep through a lot though!
We love you little one!
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Name Game Results!

Simeon Olaf
10 lbs 15 oz
21 1/2 inches long
Sept. 16, 2007
7:30 am
We have finally come to the final choice in names. Many of you knew what a wonderful Great Grandfather my children have had the opportunity of getting to know before he went to heaven ahead of us, however little Simeon will never have that chance. Therefore how fitting to be named after such a wonderful hero in his lineage. Great Grandpa Olaf Alan Berge left a wonderful heritage to each of us and was a patriarch to be honored. Together we will tell the stories of the memories we have so that little Simeon will have appreciation for the man we all loved here on this earth.

When Sam saw the size of Simeon's hands, he made the statement that he sure is a "little Ole"! Grandpa had hands that had seen some tough days! He was a welder and machinist and there were definite signs of hard work that showed in the scars and callouses, but what a thing to be proud of! He created so many things that to this day are testimony of a man that could work hard and succeed at seemingly impossible tasks! This name will be one to truly aspire to!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Precious Baby Pictures!

Dad with Baby... the name has not been decided yet. We took a vote, the choices being Olaf or Simeon. The votes 7 for Simeon and 3 for Olaf. Dad, being in favor of Olaf, needs to work on his convincing a little more. :)
Everyone, except Benjamin (He was and still is in Spencer Iowa) was happy to welcome the baby to the Sahlstrom family!

Taking turns at holding our new precious brother!
Reuben, Katrina and baby!
Amelia and the baby

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A HUGE Blessing!

We are so excited to share that we have a baby boy! He was born this morning at 7:30 after a 2 hour labor. We were shocked to see that he weighed a whopping 10 lbs 15 oz! WOW! He was 21 1/2 inches long - definitely a record for our family!

The two proud parents; Sam and Melissa Sahlstrom

The feet! We are all amazed at how big he is!

Everyone is waking up, Erina was quite surprised to see her new baby brother!

Good Job Mom! We love you!
I was honored to help with the birth again this year. After helping with Erina's birth, I wouldn't have missed this one for anything! Mom went into labor around 5:30. It went so fast! The Midwife Diane Adamski actually made it this time! We will post more photos soon!

Annika (the reporter)
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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Still Waiting!

No baby news yet, but only the fact that the time can only be getting closer! We have a busy weekend coming up, so it will make it very interesting to see what will happen! Time will only tell. We are enjoying this fall like weather with campfires in the evening. The kids have been roasting apples over the fire, so that is keeping them very entertained. They also have a fort that has been taking a lot of their energy, so that is nice as well. Other than that, we had our big AWANA kick-off last night which went extremely well. Kids came with their parents and we had a build your own ice cream sundae! YUM! Sam, Ben, Annika and I are all working with AWANA this year, and Charisma, Becca, Reuben and Amelia are clubbers. Katrina has a Cubbie book that she works on in the nursery where she and Erina hang out for the evening. I imagine the baby will tag along with me most of the time when he arrives! Well, we will be keeping you all posted when the big news arrives!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The "Wedding" Pictures!

Well, I promised to capture some of the playing "wedding", so here it is! Of course the bride was the birthday girl, Charisma, with her flower girls - Amelia, Katrina and Erina. They went out early in the morning and picked tons of flowers for their bouquets.

There were 5 bridesmaids and Annika was the pastor. They tried to convince Reuben to participate, but the large number of girls was a little intimidating! Pictured above are...

Cecelia Trejo, "Pastor" Annika and Noelle Ziemke.

All 6 sisters in their full attire!

The "bride" with the delicious wedding cake!

So there you have it! The joys of being girls!
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More Gardening and Flowers!

We had to laugh at the broccoli sizes, as there was a size to match everyone! Erina just had to take a bite of the delicious green stuff! Katrina, Amelia and Reuben had a little more self control. I have to admit that our kids do love to graze in the garden and the yard as often as they can. They are often eating berries, cherries, apples, tomatoes, and whatever else looks edible. Wood sorrell is another favorite. It must be ok, though, because they haven't seemed affected by eating anything strange. I don't really think that other people think it is "normal" to do that, but oh well! They just love it!
The girls picked a lovely bouquet of flowers from all around the yard and sent little Erina in with it! How fun to receive such a love filled gift!

Thank you Grandma for taking the time to spend with us last week! We were so blessed to have you here, and we look forward to another visit soon! You are a blessing and you make each one of our lives a little bit richer every time we see you!
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Gardening Highlights

These were some carrots that we pulled the other day! They were nice, juicy and sweet!

My mom came and spent a couple days and we canned pizza sauce! After adding the fresh herbs, garlic and onions we had an interesting mix of colors with the tomatoes. The whole house smelled like a pizza factory! YUM!
Sam had this huge kettle made which we use for EVERYTHING! It can hold 20 gallons and it has had so much use. We make cheese, boil down maple sap, cook tomatoes and everything in it. It can fit over all 4 burners on the stove, or we usually use it in the garage on a gas burner that doubles as a big griddle. Sam found it in someones basement, and they wanted to sell it! We have been so grateful for it!
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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Baby Update!

Well, patience is a virtue, right? We have all been so excited to see this baby #9, but he must be so cozy in his little world that he is going to take his sweet time to make the grand entrance! After my midwife had seen my dates, measurements and ultrasound she thought that this baby was coming the end of August or very early September. However, my feelings were pointing more to today as my due date! Hmmm. Without a doubt, my track record of going "overdue" has proven to be pretty strong, so we continue to enjoy the days......and......wait! I know that the Lord's timing is always perfect, so I can rest in that!

In the meantime, we have a houseful of girls today who are playing "wedding" since we gave Charisma a most beautiful wedding dress for her birthday! I will try to capture some photos of this to post! I am so glad that the girls have friends that are not afraid to still play "dress up"! How fun!

We covet your prayers for this birth, and will let you know the BIG NEWS when we know something! Enjoy these early days of autumn, eat some apples (ha) and live each moment to the fullest!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Charisma is 12!

It is hard to believe, but 12 years ago today we welcomed Charisma Faith into our family! She has been such a blessing to our family and is growing into a beautiful young lady! Her favorite thing in the whole world to do is READ, READ, READ! If she ever has a spare moment, that is exactly what we will find her doing! She also enjoys biking, swimming, puzzles, piano, mandolin, dulcimer, singing and babysitting. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHARISMA!
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Family Photos

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