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Sunday, December 23, 2007
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Happy Holidays!

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell
May your days be happy and bright....

Updates -

Update -- a new great-granddaughter for Gert
by Gert Dake Pettit
Howard Lake, MN

I have a new great-granddaughter, Makaila Belle Gordon, born 11 a.m. on December 11. She weighed 7 lbs., 4 oz. and was 19-3/4 inches long. My son Marv has his first grandchild. Makaila's parents are Ross Gordon and his wife, Alyssa.

Makaila Belle Gordon

Photos © Ryan & Heidi Henderson
Our car, buried after 4-1/2 hours in the parking lot. The blue Suburban in the background had over four feet of new snow on top since that morning. Our car, mounted with snow tires plus all-wheel drive, got us out and safely home!

Update -- Ryan & Heidi go skiing
by Ryan & Heidi (Johnson) Henderson
Albuquerque, NM

Greetings from New Mexico! We thought that we should share some pictures from our latest adventure. We went to Crested Butte, Colorado, with Rorke and Leatha Murphy for a couple of free days of skiing -- in a snow storm(s) no less. Most normal people would stay off the road in a blizzard/ avalanche warning issued by the weather service, not us ... we thought it was a genius idea to drive right into it!

The ski area ended up with 78" of fresh snow that week and we did our part to ski on every bit of it. We had chest deep powder that, with speed, would go over your head. And with not enough speed was like quicksand. We all spent a lot of time digging out of hip-deep pockets of snow.

We got to spend the night with some of the friends in Gunnison, which was a lot better than a Motel 6 (or sleeping in the car). We enjoyed their fireplace and dryer, as we were literally soaked to the bone. The next day we braved the horrendous lift lines for seven or eight runs and headed back to New Mexico in yet another blizzard.

We are hoping that the weather cooperates with us and we get more wonderful days like this.

Rorke, Leatha, Heidi and Ryan refueling at Taco Bell in Gunnison, Colorado. Nothing like Taco Bell after a tough day skiing!

Photo Editor's Note: For those of you who can't get enough of winter and skiing, click here to check out The New Adventures of Shane and Jayna in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Update -- McKenna marks half a year
by Lori Chap Ostendorf
Rogers, MN

I think we are overdue on an update, so here goes!

Our little girl is getting bigger and growing more and more each day! McKenna is now officially six months old and so much fun!

I have included a picture of her in her new bib overalls. (She is standing with the help of her Auntie Becky -- though you cannot see Becky.)

Also, here's a link to her web site with lots of pictures and updates for anyone interested.

We had her six month doctor appointment on Friday so we got to find out how much she has grown since the last appointment. McKenna weighed in at 16 lbs., 13 oz. and is now 27 inches long! She's in the 90th percentile for height and 50-75th percentile for weight.

She has two teeth coming in on the bottom and has been in reasonably good spirits ... considering they probably don't feel that good! She unfortunately developed a high fever last week (combination of getting a cold and probably the new teeth) but is feeling better. I, on the other hand, am now suffering from a cold so am hoping to be better before Christmas and really hoping that Shawn doesn't get it next!

We celebrated Christmas with my dad (George Chap), stepmom (Donna), nephew Cole, Chris, Jessy, Becky, Jayce, Caity and all the various dogs last Saturday and then the entire Chap clan on Sunday. It was a fun weekend! We have many more holiday gatherings scheduled for this month and are looking forward to them all!

We hope all is well in all the households reading The Bulletin and wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season.

Much love from the Ostendorf Family

Photo © Lori Ostendorf
McKenna Ostendorf at 6 months.

Update -- independent study resource, batik T-shirts
by Kellie Thayer
Republic, MO

Thank you so much for your link to the International Book Library! My students are studying cultures through Literature Circles, and there are many authentic books in that web site for them to use for independent study! Wish you were here -- we could talk school stuff all day -- I miss you (and your wealth of wisdom and ideas)!

Right now (along with the novels we are reading), in order to understand the immensity of poverty in Asia, my students studied batik fabrics and made batik T-shirts. We then looked at how much a bolt of fabric would cost if they repeated their design over an entire bolt of fabric and earned even a modest $8/hour. (Some were as high as $360/yard!)

Next we will look at hand-made batik fabrics from the fabric store here in the U.S. that cost about $8/yard -- and the math to see how much of that money really ends up in the hands of the artisans! It has really helped students to see that people in poverty are rarely the stereotypical lazy individuals.

Sorry to go on so, but you are always so interested in what we are doing in class!

Editor's comment: I still am a teacher at heart. I love hearing about that field in general and in your class specifically! I do think you have Donna Johnson to thank for all of the website information about education. It is an interest for her, too.

Photo © Kellie Thayer
Batik T-shirts made by some of my fourth and fifth graders. They were made from white T-shirts, melted wax (to resist the dye), and regular fabric dye.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Donna Johnson
Jayce got everything out and did most of putting this together. He did a great job.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Caity's class pantomimes in concert, Caity in front row, second from right.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Jayce's class in concert, Jayce in front row center, light green shirt.

The Matriarch Speaks W
by Dorothy (Dake) Anderson
Alexandria, MN

New Year's On Its Way: Your Thoughts?

The year 2007 is almost gone; 2008 is almost here. Have a thought you'd like to share about the old year or the new? A resolution? A fond memory? Send us a sentence or a paragraph -- short and sweet -- and we'll see what our readers have to say.

Who Is This?

Let's Play a Guessing Game: Whenever it is handy to do so, we will run a picture of someone of the subscribers or staff members of our e-magazine. Tell us who you think it is -- we will let you know who was the first to guess it right -- and the correct guess -- in the following week's Bulletin.

(Send us some to run; we will line them up in our staging area to take their turn. Donna Johnson and Jeni Larson supplied last week's mystery pictures.

How many can you identify?

Answers to last week's mystery pictures (click here to review them):

Editors' Note: Correct guesses appear in bold face type and incorrect guesses in normal type.

Here is the answer to the guess ... short and sweet, just like they are! Miss McKenna Ostendorf and Miss Madi Larson -- aren't they dolls!

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

Well, the little girl in the cowboy hat is our very own McKenna! We tried Caity's hat on her the last time we were at the farm and thought it would be a good photo op. The other little girl is Madi, Kurt and Jenny's daughter. Maybe some day the two girls will get to meet and play together!

Lori (Chap) Ostendorf
Rogers, MN

I have only one guess for the GUESS pictures, and that is the second one might be Sully's new little brother.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

LTD Storybrooke

Editor's Note: Larry Dake is taking a break to organize the next section of his story series about sheep herding. However, after reading Richard's fencing story, below, you might enjoy reading (or re-reading) Larry's stories "Off Track," Bulletin 185, January 1, 2006, and "On! Track," Bulletin 186, January 8, 2006. Find all the LTD stories via the Stories link.

Photo © Richard Johnson
Fencing with a view, high on Disappointment Butte.

Fencing The Butte
Part 2 of 2
By Richard Johnson
Lowell, OR

Photo © Richard Johnson
At the end of the dozer road, where it gets too steep for machines to operate, I caught the track on a stump while backing out.

Photo © Richard Johnson
For tools we had: chainsaws, chains, come-along winch, large bars, a shovel, wrenches and grease gun to adjust track tension.

Photo © Richard Johnson
We didn't have a jack, so we used the blade to lift the front end. I climbed a nearby fir tree and pulled the dozer's winch cable up it to lift the back end. That worked pretty well, except the dozer kept sliding down toward the tree, until we hooked lower down so it would dig in and tip a little.

Photo © Richard Johnson
With chains, bars, come-along, chunks of wood, and persuasive language, we got it back near the sprocket.

Photo © Richard Johnson
Now we had to get it caught under the sprocket and chain the track to the sprocket to roll it up and on. First we had to dig out underneath and chop off roots. It took all afternoon.

Photo © Richard Johnson
Ready to get back to work.

$  A Long Time Ago   !

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Eskimo doll ornament, circa 1941.

This Eskimo doll Christmas tree ornament, hand made of fur and leather, was sent to me from Kodiak Island, Alaska, by my great uncle Edward W. Miller, a civilian building contractor and master cabinetmaker. He went there to build barracks for the U.S. Navy, for $15 a day, in July of 1941. I was born earlier that year, a few months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and our country's entry into World War II. I was too young to remember receiving his gift, but I recall that it reappeared each December and always had a place of honor on the family Christmas tree at Ashby, Minnesota. Though it has been years since it last graced a Christmas tree, the little doll still lives in its original box in my treasure trunk, more than 65 years later -- in Anchorage, Alaska. Thanks to Dave Ring, and the letters written by his father during World War II, I am learning more about this time in the life of my great uncle, who was also Dave's grandfather.

Jerrianne Johnson Lowther
Anchorage, AK

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days
December 25---Christmas Day

This Week's Birthdays
December 24---Ken Hellevang
December 24---Arbor Johnson
December 24---Beaver Johnson
December 25---Angela Stahlecker Roberson
December 26---Koen de Been
December 29---Mitzi Johnson Swenson

Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
December 23---Harold and Carol Dake Printz (40 years)
December 27---Earl and Kathleen Dake Stahlecker (33 years)


More December Birthdays
December 3---Twila Aydelotte
December 4---Carol Dake Printz
December 4---Elaine Anderson Wold
December 4---Sonja Dake
December 7---Aunika Swenson
December 10---Ryan Henderson
December 11---Wyatt Wm. Meyer (8 years)
December 12---Sarah Lynn Dake Steinhauer
December 13---Larry Dake
December 13---Derek Swenson
December 14---Kathleen Dake Stahlecker
December 17--- Char Morgan Myron
December 17---Austin Printz
December 19---Barb Anderson
December 19---Lisa Boltz
December 20---Jay Pierre Miller
December 21---Melanie Anderson Shockey
December 21---Jonathan Glen Hill (3 years)

December 30---Travis Quick

More December Anniversaries
December 20---Eric and Melanie Anderson Shockey (5 years)

December Special Days
December 7---Pearl Harbor Day
December 22---First day of Winter
December 25---Christmas Day
December 31---New Year's Eve

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Dear Miss Hetty,

Brandon Hellevang was among the members of the University of North Dakota football team that held its annual Holiday Magic for Markus event December 15 at Altru hospital pediatrics unit.

The event, which has been held since 2002, gives holiday presents to hospitalized children and their families. The football team raises money throughout the year, culminating with this gift-giving event.

The charity is named after Markus Bryant, a teenage Fighting Sioux fan, who before succumbing to cancer, spent time with the team during its 2001 championship season.

Click here for the NDSU Fighting Sioux web site; then click on links there to read the newspaper story in the Grand Forks Herald and to see the photo album of the event.

Merna Hellevang
Fargo ND

Keep Us Posted!

Please drop Miss Hetty a line and tell us who, and what, we've missed. And how about a report (photos welcome) of YOUR special celebration?

'Many Thankse

Miss Hetty


Click here to review last week's Bulletin

To Richard, Mia, and family: What a job, accomplished with real "old fashioned" work! And now who patrols the fence line to see that it stays up and working? Thanks for sharing your experience in fence building (and perseverance). --Dorothy

Fence upkeep is usually my job, but we all do some of it. We have a very powerful fence charger that can keep the fence "hot" even with some partial shorts. The big windstorm we had a couple weeks ago put a lot of trees and branches onto the fence, some of which we haven't even looked at yet. We check it with a digital tester that tells us how much load [amps] is on the fence beyond the the point we're testing. We also use the tester at ends of lines to make sure there is enough voltage there.

By pushing a button on the tester, we can signal the fence charger to turn the fence power off or on from any point on the fence line, making it much easier and faster to work on the fence. Yes, there's plenty of old fashioned hard work, but new technology helps, too.

Richard Johnson
Lowell, OR

Thanks for all of the pictures of your new home! It is really nice that you can be in a place so convenient for you and the Jazzy! And the pictures of all the snow! I'm glad to appreciate them but also glad I don't have to put up with the inconvenience! The picture of "The new home office" has a picture on the wall that was immediately recognized! That is the Dake Farm! Looks like a pencil drawing and whoever did it had a good concept of the buildings and their layout.

Click here to see a close-up of Ardis Quick's mural of The Mellon-Dake Farm, in Bulletin 192, published February 19, 2006. -- Ed.

We stay about the same -- Lou is due for a hip replacement but right now the date is uncertain. She is diabetic and the A1C, blood sugar, test is too high -- over 7 and should be no more than 6.5 -- but with the hip messed up, she can not get the necessary exercise to reduce the level.

We meet with the doctor next Thursday and hopefully will get a clearance to proceed. He does the new minimum invasive procedure -- only a 2-1/2 inch incision -- less tissue trauma, faster, less painful rehabilitation, smaller scars and shorter hospital stay. You can check it out on Google -- MIS 2-Incision Hip Procedure -- and it will give a more detailed account.

Glad for all the snow pictures and hope it is not to inconvenient for you. Thanks again for all the work you do to give us The Bulletin.

Tom Miller
Madera, CA

I just can"t say enough "Thank Yous" for The Bulletin every week. It is just the "BEST" for family connections and knowing news of old friends. The very best to all of you in the New Year...

Carolyn and Ernie (Dake)
Duluth, GA

Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
by Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Looking at that first picture reminds me of Bigfoot, and it looks like the one that Bitzi sent last year, but I know it's different. Really beautiful the way the shadows are so aligned from the sun on the deck on the snow. Leave it to Bitzi to see an artistic photograph, even just outside her back door. Perfect choice for a first picture as this looks like the general scene around here.

Oh my goodness. Eric and Leona having that accident was tragic. We have a Toyota, and Roy would love to get a Corolla, so after reading about their experience he was more convinced than ever he'd like to try one. The hurts and aches show up quite awhile afterwards, and to have lost their good, familiar car would be hard. Hopefully, a new Corolla will help them see a bit of cheer in it all. I thought of them as we came through a yellow light today. At 55 Alive they teach us the yellow means to clear the intersection, but some are ready to jump in.

Can you imagine how a little boy would feel with that first snowfall, as Hunter did?

OF COURSE, you must send the national honors news release to The Bulletin. Thanks, Donna, for encouraging Merna to do that, as we really enjoy sharing in the joys AND sorrows of our subscribers. I wish there had been a close up picture of Brandon. I had to go to the Archives to find it,and this was the most recent one I found. Congratulations to you, Brandon!

Brandon, with sister Lindsay and brother Ryan at Ryan's college graduation in 2006, left; in North Dakota State University "Fighting Sioux" football uniform, right.

OK, OK, so we finally get to see the doors open to reveal what's been behind them all this time. You might have known: guitars. Good thing you have all those behind doors with the grandchildren you have in your family, Capt. Jack. Except, of course, for Chase. Looks like he's already inheriting the "bug."

I was thrilled and excited to see the Day to Day by Donna Mae this time. To actually see her computer set up and realize that's where our e-mails have originated! All censored by Midnight, perched on the chair back. Isn't that a great picture of the cat's eyes? And you say he is blind? I loved that picture of you, Donna Mae. You keep saying you are so (I'll whisper it) diet conscious, but your picture seems like a dear Mother and Sister and Aunt and Daughter. and however many more "hats" you wear. Your blue blind matches your sweater!

We won't be getting to see your new home, Editor, so we were so glad you took some pictures to help us visualize you there. It looks so homey and cozy with the furnishings -- yet with plenty of room for the Jazzy to maneuver from here to there. It looks spacious on the pictures, and you say you have two bedrooms besides? Is The Bulletin office in one of the bedrooms?

LTD Storybrooke, don't worry, we will wait! We know it'll be good. I remember you describing the black skin you had slipped onto the little lamb, so was good to actually see it on the picture. Amazing how nature recognizes its own animal.

What great pictures of Disappointment Butte! Sounds like a lot of plans and prospects to complete almost an impossible job, stringing electric fences along that forlorn, rough, soon to be road. You have to be young, that's what Roy and I have to say about it all. When everything you plan to do is still ahead of you. It wasn't mentioned what the title of the You Tube was of the video of pounding a post but we clicked on the link and there it was. There is lots to tell yet, so glad it's to be continued.

I can't imagine Larry and Virginia eating all that pizza themselves when we sit here just drooling. Thanks for the CHUCKLES. You didn't say if it was home made or one you ordered, or even what kind it was. I know it was good.

There were just 23 pages as I printed The Bulletin this time, but it was just packed with new and different things that continue to capture our interest, week after week. If it weren't for such a caring Editor and such a professional Photo Editor, we wouldn't have The Bulletin we have, I am sure of that. I was thinking of our friends in the Netherlands, and how they would be so busy with their work at this time of year -- yet will likely stop and read The Bulletin totally.

Thanks again, and I want to be sure to do my part keeping you supplied. My great niece, Shalana Weiland, won a contest I must share with you, too.

Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Heather Henderson
Mason & Ben Henderson wash dishes after supper.

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Quotation for the day: The key to a joyous day? Make gratitude your default emotion. Say, "I can find things to be grateful for in this day." --Max Lucado, best-selling author

EDITOR'S POLICY: If you wish to subscribe to The Bulletin, simply send me a statement of that fact. If you wish to keep receiving it I hope you will contribute to one of the columns that are running in this family epistle (at least occasionally!). My e-mail address is

This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.