Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Letter 2014

Happy Holidays! I thought I would try using my old blog for a Christmas letter that I haven't sent in years. I, myself, prefer not to send them, but realized you may want to know what the five of us have been up to.

Andy is in his 18th year at Olsson Associates. He started shortly after Tyler was born and has been there since. Andy spends his free time attending the kids activities as well as help out with our yearly youth auction that supports our mission work.

Tyler is a senior at Lincoln North Star and is enjoying his last year.  He is currently wrestling (7-2 record so far) as well as keeping busy with his job at Legacy Terrace where he waits tables. Tyler is also active with National Honor Society, Jr. Booster Club and St. Mark's Youth Group. Tyler and I had the opportunity to travel to New York and work for Habitat for Humanity as well as see the Statue of Liberty. Tyler plans on attending UNL next year and majoring in engineering.

Madison is fourteen and an eighth grader at Dawes Middle School. Madison keeps busy with every sport you can see by the Christmas card. Madison took second in the city track meeting running the 400 in 1:07. Madison's favorite sport is soccer and we allowed her to play on two teams both spring and fall, which kept us on the go. Madison also plays the clarinet as well as try her best to be involved in church youth group. Today she delivered Christmas gift baskets to the underprivileged, which is always a heartwarming experience! Madison attended two mission trips this year: Dallas and Chicago.

Grant turned eight this fall and is a second grader at Campbell Elementary. Grant loves Math and P.E. Grant has spent this year playing soccer as well as wrestle with Northside Wrestling. We think Grant
was born to wrestle and is quite fun to watch! Grant plans on trying indoor soccer in January.

Ranger, our beloved Schnauzer, is nine years old and still a happy dog. He sleeps a bit more, but can still keep up with Grant on short runs. Ranger loves to greet anyone who is willing to give him a tummy rub!

Okay, my turn...I am always trying to juggle teacher and the mom job all year long. I am currently teaching at Campbell, my seventh year, but first year in 3rd grade. The switch from Kindergarten has been quite the learning curve, but I have been blessed with 20 fun and fantastic kids! I could not have asked for a better class. I am also involved with teaching Sunday School as well as help out with the youth auction with Andy. I am still scrapbooking with my scrapping friends and trying to get Tyler's album done, which does make me sad he's ready to "leave the nest".

Hope to hear from you this Christmas season and hear about your many blessings in 2014! Have a wonderful and healthy 2015!

Love---Andy, Amy, Tyler, Madison & Grant (oh, Ranger too)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

One Year Without Blogging

Hello old blog and maybe old blog friends if you are still there!

It's been officially one year when I last visited you.  I am sorry it's been so long, but playing games like Song Pop and Pinterest have taken over my life and scrapbooking and my love for my Kindle.  I have only read a handful of other people's blogs and most of them were through Pinterest to give me some great crafting ideas that I pin to a board that I may never use.  Okay, so those are just excuses but, I don't think I had anything pertinent to say and now, I am sure I still don't. ;)

Well....not much has changed since I last blogged 365 days ago.  The kids are all a year older and so am I.  I am still teaching Kindergarten and my husband is still employed as a Land Surveyor.  Tyler is now beginning his sophomore year of high school.  His freshman year went very well and he was able to make honor roll along with playing three sports (football, wrestling and baseball).  Madison will start a new adventure and begin middle school at Dawes in a little over a week.  She continues to love soccer with all of her heart and plans on playing clarinet this next school year.  Grant has moved on from preschool and will begin his kindergarten year right next door to me at Campbell Elementary.  We still have both dogs and as is good.

In fact, we had a fabulous family day today in Omaha where we visited our amazing zoo and caught a baseball game at Werner Park to watched the Storm Chasers lose 2-4.  It was a beautiful day with highs in the 80's which was such a nice change from our month long (maybe longer) temps in the 100's.

Here are a few photos from today's adventure....
 Tyler took this up close picture of a 16 year old, three legged female Siberian Tiger, which was so beautiful!  He really got some great detail in the photo considering he had to take the photo through two fences.  Oh, those eyes!
 This was my picture of a different tiger, which I thought was neat until I saw Tyler's version.
 Looking at this picture makes me feel skinny.  I like that! 
 I love giraffes, but this is not one of my better pictures.
 If I was an animal (other than the human kind) I would want to be this bird.  It's my favorite color!
 I think this was the first time we ever visited the zebras.  They are housed off the more traveled path at the Omaha Zoo, but their stripes are so trendy.  I had to take a picture.
Finally, a photo of my three favorite animals of all! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mission Trip - Chicago

Our church, St. Mark's, allows our Middle School and High School students the opportunity to serve others as well as see some marvelous sights outside of our Lincoln community through work camp/mission trips. This year our church decided to see St. Louis, but two weeks prior to taking off our plans suddenly changed. The agency that allows our youth to participate made a mandatory age requirement of 15 years, which caused us to rethink this summer's trip. We (our church youth) received overwhelming love from last year's adventure to Chicago, that we decided to revisit them instead.

This year I joined Tyler much to his delight...not. Our first day we did some sight seeing in downtown Chicago. Tyler went with his buddies shopping and I visited Chicago landmarks. I figured I can go shopping anytime. What was Tyler thinking?
The Pier was a great place to take photos
and so was Millennium Park.
This fountain was so cool. The face changes every five minutes.
This huge Marilyn Monroe is a new to the area. I guess she's caused quite a stir and is a bit controversial.
I'm thinking this might be the reason why? You know I just had to look! ;)
Then we volunteered at several places in the Chicago area. This Head Start Center was so much fun. We broke into 4 groups at this children's agency. We cleaned out an office, took care of the outdoor area (mowed and picked up trash), cleaned and organized the kitchen and of course, played with the kids.
The lady in the white shoes runs the front desk and hasn't ever missed a day of work. The director had us guess her age. She's 106 years young and still goes to work (in a non-air conditioned building). Very inspirational!
The following day we headed to the 2nd biggest homeless shelter in downtown Chicago.
It provides beds to 200 men and about 50 women.
We sorted, folded and stacked over 4,000 bed linens.
So, of course, this scrapbooking layout will be titled "Holy Sheet".
We also took the fastest elevator in the Northern hemisphere to the top of the Hancock building. 100 floors in 40 seconds! Impressive!
We also enjoyed Chicago style pizza! Yum!
We watched the White Sox play the Detroit Tigers. Sox win!
Lastly, we spent the day at Six Flags!
A great trip and such a worthwhile experience despite the lack of showering.
Six days and one shower! Delightful!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Renaissance Festival in Colorado

Two weekends ago....Madison and I took a fun, mini vacation through the Girl Scouts to Larkspur, Colorado to experience a Renaissance Festival, which neither of us has done before. It was a quick weekend trip, with driving on Friday, Festival on Saturday and home again on Sunday, but it was well worth it!
We saw fiddlers!
Took lots of photos!
Tried Henna tattoos...
Madison got a cool butterfly
and I got a design on my hand (not pictured).
Then the girls (four of them) wanted a
feather in their hair, which should last about 2 months.
Then we watched various performances
and my friend, Juel, tried out Palm Reading.
I thought it was weird that there was an "aura" around her head when I took the photo.
I'm sure it's how the light hit the camera, but still it's pretty wild.
We ended the performance with jousting.
We cheered on the knight in black...
and I still don't know who really won?
But my favorite was the "village idiot".
He asked a very tattooed lady if she got her a$$ kicked by an Etch-a-Sketch,
which I found incredibly funny!

Next week, I am off to do mission work in Chicago with Tyler.
I just might blog it! ;)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Baseball & Berry Picking

Can you believe this? Two days in a row blogging. I really don't know who reads this stuff about the Broekers or who really cares, but I guess this helps me with my knowledge of my photos when I come back to scrapbook it.

Today Tyler's team (Blue Chips) played in a tourney in Seward. The first game was awesome with a score of 19 to 2. Tyler got the three outs in the final inning playing second base. The boys had their bats going and all was well.....
and then they played their second game.
The grandparents (photo courtesy of Grant) came to watch this one. Well, the outcome was slightly different with a loss of 14 to 6. Tyler did get a couple outs at 2nd again and he hit a triple!
Bummer, I don't think my parent have yet to see a winning game.
We call this the "relative factor" and it holds true for both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles and probably long lost cousins if they came. Ugh!
Grant did enjoy a nice snow cone.

Then it was off to Roca Berry Farm to use our gift certificate for 10 pounds of strawberries.
Here we are just beginning to pick...
It's back breaking work.
Grant loved picking strawberries and asked if we could do this all the time.
Sorry, Grant, this only happens for 3 weeks in June.
Nebraska is not a strawberry growing state as you can see. I believe Tyler is holding the largest berry found for the day.
This is the only photo that's not blurry of me. It looks like I am holding cherries.
The kids are showing their stained hands after our picking activity.
We picked 8.6 pounds!
Now what am I going to do with them?