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Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Samantha's 8th Birthday Party Album

You can see the pictures from Samantha's 8th birthday party here

Also, the Rymers got a kitten. She's cute.

Monday, July 29, 2002

Visiting Christina

We left for Westbrook Saturday - after I stopped by Shelly's to drop off my "ice sculptures" and gift for her "naughty" shower. We arrived right around 8pm - just in time to drive to Walnut Grove to see Christina portray Laura in the Wilder Pageant. She did a terrific job! We all had fun & were impressed by our little star. Sunday morning, I started roasting the turkey before Kelly, Chris & I went golfing. We got back around 9:30am and Lynn & Nikki started breakfast. We ate, and continued cooking on through the afternoon. Right about 3 o'clock - all was ready but we were delayed by severe storms. A huge storm system came from SD and through the southern part of MN at high speeds. Reports included golf ball size hail, tornadoes and heavy rain. The sky went from clear to black so suddenly and yet everything was eerily still. Seemed like the ingredients for a tornado were all there. Luckily the storm cell passed through fairly quickly and without dropping any hail or trees in the area. Dinner was fantastic. Wayne made barbecue chicken, we had turkey, Lynn's macaroni salad, Nikki's potato salad, corn on the cob. Nothing was spared. Nikki made a great cake for Christina's birthday - I don't think there was even a drop of frosting left-over! Christina loved her gifts and was glad everyone was able to be there to celebrate her 10th birthday with her. I have lots of pictures & should have them posted very soon.

Friday, July 26, 2002

Samantha's Ice Skates

If you've read the story below about Samantha's birthday party, you'll understand why this picture made me laugh hysterically until my belly ached.

Week in Review

Well I do believe this is a record! It's been a week since my last post but rest assured, I haven't quite withered away.

The happenings in the Berger household were as follows:

Samantha's 8th Birthday Party: Yes this means I've been out of high school for 7 years. There were 9 girls in the pool along with 2 antagonizing boys. Pizza, cake & ice cream were devoured. The girls sang along to the radio; spirits were high. Before I get to the gift part, I think it's important to note that Samantha does not have a birthday wish list. Nor does she have a Christmas wish list. Samantha tells each person 1 thing that she wants. She's extremely specific. A couple of weeks ago, I sat Sam down on my lap and asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She paused, but only for a second, and exclaimed, "ice skates." It's July. I won't go into how much effort was put into finding ice skates in July much less in a size 3. Nor will I elaborate on how nostalgic I became when I found the skates because the last pair of figure skates I remember having as a child were in fact a size 3. Needless to say I was excited to give her the skates. Present opening commenced. There was shrieking and bouncing and oohs and ahhs as Sam opened bags full of nail polish and hair scrunchies, CD's, clothes and other little girl things. Then she came to my gift. I had the camera perched in just the right spot ready to capture the opening moment. Sam tore the paper off in a frenzy and then announced quite nonchalantly, "Oh... ice skates." The ice skates were added to the pile of gifts behind her. She did express excitement about them later on though, announcing them first when asked what she got. I'll latch onto whatever I can :) haha. Heather & Mike outdid themselves again this year and gave her a fancy Karaoke machine. I can't wait until Sam sings her favorite songs over and over again into the night. That is if she can find where her Mom & Dad left he microphone.

Chris' 24th Birthday Party: Chris' girlfriend Missy arranged a surprise party for Chris at Gasthof's. Adam, Chris & Emily, Mike, Lindsey, Mandy, Michelle were there. Amy was in town and told us all about her wedding plans. Chris was surprised. German beer was enjoyed. Berger forgot her tab (ala credit card & license) and had to come back for it at 1.

I went to the Mall of America with Jill to find softball cletes and to have some girl time. We received the worst possible service at Champs Sports (seriously avoid this store). On the way out we stopped appropriately at the Original Sports Bar to check the Twins score. <wink wink> While we were there we figured we might as well have a drink. We then picked Kelly up at home and went to Red Lobster for their Bottomless Bucket of Crab. I think we went through over 4 lbs of crab. We probably scared Jill.

I journeyed to Minnetonka to have my bridesmaid's dress fitted. Luckily, only the hem and the straps need adjusting!

Also I registered our softball team. Our team name is Hoosier Daddy.
It makes me laugh.

Today, we're either going to Ribfest or out with Brian for his actual going away party. Then we must go to the grocery store for a turkey which I'll be making on Sunday at Nikki's. Tomorrow morning, Kelly, Chad & I are going golfing at the Francis A. Gross course. 6:37am bright and early! Afterwards, I will prepare the turkey. We'll leave Saturday afternoon for Nikki's (Westbrook, MN). Saturday night we're going Walnut Grove to see Nikki's daughter Christina in the Wilder Pageant. Christina is playing the role of Laura and is extremely excited and thrilled by signing autographs! She does shine in that spotlight! Kelly's parents and his brother Chris and his daughter Kati will also be there. It will be fantastic to see everyone!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, July 19, 2002

Fall Co-ed Rec Softball

It's official. The 12-step program failed and I have relapsed into softball addiction.

For those of you who tried to help me through this, I'm sorry to have let you down. But since I'm going back to playing ball, you might as well join me...

I'm starting a co-ed team in St. Paul! Strictly for fun & beer exposure (oh no that's another 12-step program). We'll play double-headers on Sunday nights for 6 weeks. We have a sponsor (St. Croix Valley Contracting) and so the only cost incurred should be for afterward refreshments. T-shirts, sweatshirts and hopefully game-time refreshments will be supplied.

Only requirement is a nickname.

Also I purchased a Demarini. The wrapper says it shouldn't be used under 60 degrees. Are they serious? We will need other bats as well. That's next on my list.

What are you made of? Are you in?

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Search Engine

I've signed up with Atomz and installed their search engine on the Cittigirl main pages. I'm contemplating whether to install the search on the album pages or not. Do you devout readers have any preference? If you do... please leave a comment! What the heck, leave a comment anyway.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Pictures of Pusan, S. Korea from Lori

Lori Writes:

Hi, Cari!

We exchanged emails a while ago - this is Lori from the "LoriLoo" blog. You asked me if I returned to Pusan to try to get a picture of the City Hall Steps. Well, I was in Pusan this week to get a visa to go to China, so I took the subway to City Hall. There are three buildings adjacent to each other - the courts, City Hall, and a Council building. City Hall doesn't have steps in front or back, but the Council building did have steps. The buildings appear to be relatively new - so I don't know if they are the same buildings where your life adventure began. Anyway, I've attached a few - enjoy!


And so here's where it all started... I wonder if these buildings were built right over the old City Hall or if it's still standing at another location. I will have to do some research! Thank you Lori for sending these pictures - I can't even explain how much it means to me!

Pusan, South Korea

Monday, July 15, 2002

Pool Accident Claims Young Life

My God this happened at our apartment building yesterday...

Apparently a 13 year old girl drowned in the apartment pool yesterday. She couldn't swim and somehow got the the deep end where her mother tried throwing her a life ring but was too late. Bystanders were trying to resuscitate her when police arrived.

She'd just moved with her Mother & her 11 yr old brother to the US from South Korea last week. Her Father is trying to get to the US to be with his family.

I can't even express how sad this makes me. How could this be allowed to happen??? I can't make sense of this.

Ferocious Ferret

Friday I took the ferrets to the vet for their yearly vaccinations... Asti is now on a regular yearly schedule - no more boosters (yay!) The vet noted Jazmine's sweet demeanor immediately nuzzling her as she gave him kisses. Then he literally took a step back when he saw Asti. "He's the biggest ferret I've ever seen!" he says. Bring him by in December and have us weigh him - I'll bet he'll weigh 5 lbs! This is not exactly encouraging as he is 2 hands full already. Maybe when he's that big he'll lack the energy to drive me mad.

Friday night we treated ourselves with a movie. Men in Black II. It's cute, funny, pretty much what we expected, but it's a renter folks.

Saturday, we embarked on our Pampered Chef route. We delivered to Grandpa's first and visited with my Mom and Grandpa & Grandma for awhile. Then we headed to Shelly's where we made a golf date for 5pm and onto Shari's. We golfed at Brightwoods in New Brighton. It was so wet that there was an actual mud moat around the 2nd green. It ruined our shoes. We were less than content about this. Afterwards, Brent & I went in to ask for a refund. I flustered the attendant. We got our money back. I don't think we'll be going back there. It stinks. Thankfully we made up for the lousy golfing with a fun dinner at Champps on Silver Lake. I had the best fettucini alfredo ever. Go figure... at Champps.

Sunday we went to Kathy & Tim's for Whiz Bang Days. I made the turkey, they had lots of awesome food. Burgers, brats, salads, yum. The kids played in the lake, we checked out their beautiful new addition, poured a few beers and ate until we were full. We celebrated Jeremy, Mitchell & Noah's birthdays. We all doted on Katie & Dustin's 3 day old Jack. He's just unbelievably adorable. I'll have pictures before week end guaranteed.

um... how about today... pictures

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Fishing Pictures Up

Not all the big ones got away... check out the pictures.

I'm slowly but surely changing over the pop up windows to html so that you won't see the ugly white space framing the photos in the pop-ups. So far I've converted, Asti's, Jazmine's, and the Miscellaneous pages. Hope they're easier on the eyes! I hope to have them all done by month end. Wish us luck golfing tonight. I definitely need it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Pictures from Palestine

The pictures from last week are on the photos page.

Click here for a direct link. Click on a thumbnail to see the full photo.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Arthur is so very loved

Kelly & I drove straight through and arrived in Palestine (about 110 miles SE of Dallas) at about 9am on Thursday morning. We took a short rest before we met the family at 1 for Arthur's viewing. Arthur looked great and will always be with us.

Afterwards the family gathered at Jane's. Seems everyone brought something to eat. There were several different kinds of brisket, rice, chicken and deserts galore. It was so wonderful to spend time with Kelly's Aunts & Uncles, Cousins & their families & friends. Even though we may be miles away, the closeness stays with us.

Arthur's Rosary was at 6:30pm. It was beautiful. The church was near full.

Afterwards, we gathered again at Jane's. We told stories and played with the kids. We ate more. We hugged. We laughed. We cried. Most of all, we remembered and we loved.

Arthur's funeral began at 10am on Friday, July 5th. Arthur was so loved and admired. The church was so full, many had to stand. The service was warm and proud, just as Arthur would have wanted. Jane was strong as she gave tribute to Arthur and thanked her family for their support and love which includes her Palestine family. There wasn't a dry eye as she spoke. The power of community and togetherness could be felt throughout. It warmed my heart. I can only hope that Jane, Carlos and Marcus can still feel our embraces as they are always in our hearts, prayers and thoughts.

At the Knights of Columbus Hall, more food was shared and memories exchanged.

Arthur smiled upon us as we gathered again at Jane's, shared a drink and played the You Bag It game until dark. There were smiles and laughter and lots of full tummies.

Kelly & I went with Chris & Debbie to Debbie's sister's place at Lake Palestine. We did a little catfishing before turning in for the night. On Saturday, the kids played in the lake while we visited with Debbie's family and enjoyed smoked brisket and ribs. Marcus, Jonna & Andy came to pick up Tony in the afternoon. We visited with them for awhile before heading back to Jane's. Carlos' family was there along with Kelly's parents, Aunt Bell & Leonard. We shared Whataburger and shared funny stories about growing up. You could tell no-one wanted to leave. Just before 10, we started to say our good-byes. There were hugs, smiles and tears as we all started home.

Kelly's parents, Bell & Leonard arrived in Milwaukee on Sunday evening. Kelly's parents went on to Indianapolis on Monday and arrived safely last night.

Kelly & I stayed in Arlington and enjoyed Six Flags over Texas on Sunday. The weather was fantastic and the lines were non-existant. I'd been once 2 1/2 years ago and remembered Mr. Freeze as the best coaster. It goes from 0-70 mph in under 4 seconds. The track twists, turns, flips and then literally ends before it propells you backwards to your starting point. We were going to start there, but were disappointed (understatement) to find it was closed for maintenance. By noon, we'd completed nearly all of the major coasters. We ventured on some water rides to cool down and then were ecstatic to find that Mr. Freeze was running and were quickly on a mission to make it there before it broke again (nevermind the irrationality of that thought). On the way I pondered whether I'd set too high of expectations in Kelly's mind and was afraid I'd set him up for disappointment... my worries were put to rest when he stepped into his kid shoes and exclaimed, "let's go again" before the ride had even come to a complete rest. We ended up riding it 4 times. Our 2nd runner up was the Titan, which was built in 2001. It features a 255 foot drop and speeds in excess of 85 mph. Woohee!

We left the park at about 9:30pm and were on our way home by 10pm. Kelly drove like a champion and didn't stop for rest until 2 (Oklahoma). I took over at 4 and drove to Des Moines and we finally made it home at 3pm. Why is it that the last 150 miles feel like 500???

It is nice to be home, but we sure miss everyone. Man, it'd be great if we were all closer. We love you all and miss you!

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

On Our Way to Palestine

Kelly's uncle Arthur passed away yesterday. We're heading to TX today to be with his family. I went to the DMV today and had my registration changed over from TX to MN. TX officers would spot my expired registration a mile away. So we're all set. Sending our deepest sympathy to Jane and Kelly's family.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Benedryl Junkie

Last night I took a half-dose Benedryl to help with the itching but got no results. So 45 minutes later I took another half-dose. I woke up at 10:30am. I still felt groggy & was extremely late for work. Lucky for me, my boss empathizes as he took a Benedryl once at lunchtime and hardly made the drive home. And we're worried about drunk drivers. It's allergy season people - watch out for the snoozer in the next lane!

Monday, July 01, 2002

Dear Deer Flies

How could I forget?

Found out I'm allergic to deer flies. On Saturday morning, I was bitten about 3 times on my left ankle and twice on my right. Those suckers hurt! One even drew blood. Anyhow, by Saturday night, the bites were red and swollen and my ankles themselves were a bit swollen. By Sunday morning, my ankles were so swollen it didn't look like my skin could stretch any more - you couldn't even see my achilles tendon! By the afternoon my calves were red and hot to the touch - it hurt to walk even stand. I called Blue Cross Blue Shield's first help line and they told me to get to an urgent care within 6 hours.

Doc says deer fly bites will likely cause infection due to my allergy to them. Great. This will be fantastic for my fishing career :)

Here fishy fishy fishy...

Kelly & I went up to Chad's grandparents' house in Brainerd this weekend. The weather was unbelievable and we caught lots of fish. Wendy got to sleep in while us stooges hit the water. She joined us on Saturday afternoon for some pan fishing where Chad caught the only keepers. Kelly kept 2 bass and so he got a lesson on filleting bass and sunnies. I observed - I'm sure with a grimace but with equal fascination. Sunday we got up at 5:30 and found a hot spot. Chad caught several bass, Kelly about 4 northern (1 keeper) and 2 snakes (baby northern) plus about a 1.5 lb bass. I was the lucky one on Sunday (making up for a dry Saturday). I probably pulled in 7 or 8 northern and a 2 lb bass. Kept a 3 lb northern and of course the bass! Chad's uncle Dennis gave us some pointers on filleting northern and Kelly & I went home with a bucket full of fillets! Can't wait for the fish fry!

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