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Sunday, September 5, 2004
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Becky's 30th Birthday Party
The Plan - Part 1
by Lori Chap

About a month ago I decided to welcome my sister into the "Now You Are Old, Too" club. I would need to throw a surprise party celebrating her arrival at the advanced age of thirty....

I set up the plans by an invitation that went something like this: "Becky, how about coming down to my place the Saturday after your birthday and I will take you shopping for an outfit for your birthday present?" She seemed to think that would be exciting. So I arranged that Mom would bring her and she and Donna Richards would do their own thing while we went shopping. Caity, of course, would come along, leaving the guys at home to have a boys' weekend.

Then I invited the guests, warning everyone (well, for sure, Grandpa!) of dire consequences if they even hinted to Becky, Caity, or Jayce of the real plan for that Saturday ... a potluck lunch and surprise party!

See the invitations:

Grandma and Lori taking care of details...

The Plan - Part 2
by Donna Johnson

When Lori mentioned wanting to give a surprise party for Becky, I was very excited to be a part of it, but also fearful I would "spill the beans." It proved to be a tough assignment! We all rather sweated it on her birthday and at her "party" that evening, afraid we'd say something we shouldn't.

More than once I left inadvertent "clues" -- leaving a bag with the Jell-o I was bringing to Peggy's for her to make, on the changing table and a list of things I was bringing to Peggy's on my bathroom counter. (They wouldn't have made much sense to anyone reading them, but might have made her question. Fortunately, she did not go down to my bathroom that day!) The one that made me the most nervous was making sure I left nothing that would make her wonder on my computer, as she has a tendency to sit down and change to her screen. Still ... I saw not a sign, nor was I getting any questions from her, showing me she might have become suspicious.

The last few days were even tougher. Finally, on Friday, I loaded up the van in the morning, while she was sleeping, with the things I needed to make the food I was bringing along. (I finished right before she got up, too!) I'd asked her the night before if I could go with Peggy on Friday afternoon and she said she'd watch the kids. (I only had two day care kids on Friday afternoon, so that was perfect.)

As soon as the morning kids left, I took off. I baked several dozen cookies at Peggy's, made the multi-bean casserole and brought three cooked roasts down to barbecue meat for sandwiches. Peggy stored all and brought it along on Saturday, as I couldn't very well be bringing anything in my van.

Then, as our "cover," we went to Fergus Falls and did some garage sales. (a very torturous assignment for me :-) When I arrived home with all my "finds," it never occurred to her I'd been doing anything else.

The morning we left proved even more interesting ... as Jayce showed up upstairs long before his normal time for waking. Therefore, I had an excuse to go to Dave's room and wake him early, too. (The plan was that he was to care for Jayce over the weekend.) Becky didn't know Jayce had come up on his own and I thought she might wonder about that. (She later told me she DID wonder why they got up so early, but didn't think much beyond that.)

Becky and Caity went out to the car and I went into the office and called Peggy, to tell her that the coast was clear, for them to come over to pick up Beaver, Dave and Jayce. Dave immediately took Jayce down to shower and get him ready to leave.

Mom had called, saying they thought they might meet Uncle Jim, as he was at Duane's. I mentioned that to Becky, just in case. GOOD thing too! She wanted to stop and have breakfast at Sauk Centre and I could not change her mind without her wondering why. Shortly after getting back on the road, I noticed Dad and Mom's car, with the very obvious carrier on the back. At that point, I was very glad Mom had given me an extra alibi for their being on the road! I also "wondered" out loud, if they were planning on seeing Doug and Brianna's home as long as they were heading that direction. Escaped detection one more time...

The last one that actually did make her wonder why Lori cared when we arrived, was a pretty glaring problem: I passed up two garage sales right on the couple of blocks before Lori's -- something that would normally be a very rare occasion for me, for a Saturday with no particular reason not to stop. I told her she could check them out with Lori, if they wanted to do so. Thankfully, she never had any reason to think it was about her ... as she showed when we walked in the door!

WHEW! Was I glad to get her there without blowing the whole thing by something I said or did!

The Party
The Implementation - Part 1
by Beaver Johnson

I have never had any faith in conspiracy theories. Now I'm not so sure. A plot was hatched to surprise Becky for her 30th birthday. I don't know many details, as my secret-keeping ability about such things is on a par with that of an average eight year old.

The Ringleader told me that I would be going to The Cities, to Lori's house, on August 28th, for a surprise party for Becky. I was not allowed to have any details until they were absolutely needed. I was forbidden to talk about the weekend at all, on pain of sharp tongue and dirty looks.

As far as I can tell, this is what happened. Becky, Caity, and The Ringleader left early Saturday morning, for a two-day girls only shopping trip. Peggy, Ed, Linda, Dave, Jayce, and I left later in the morning in two cars for the two-hour trip to Lori’s. Ed, Dave, and I left last, but arrived first. This has to do with how women travel, but that's another story. The Ringleader called us when we were fifteen minutes down the road, wondering where we were. Seems they got hungry and had to stop along the way, (likely story, probably saw a garage sale) and she was concerned that our entourage would go by just as they were pulling back onto the interstate. This calamity averted, we proceeded to Lori’s. house. The house was full of people. Cars were hidden around the neighborhood.

D had to all but drag Becky past the last couple of garage sales to get her to the party on time. I can't imagine how this went, as D has never willingly passed a garage sale since I have known her. At last, the big moment arrived. Becky, D, and Caity came through the door, to a chorus of Surprise! Surprise! Happy birthday! I don't think Becky had the slightest clue.

As always when the Anderson clan gathers, the food was interesting and the conversation wonderful. Do I have that backward? Anyway, I had fun and ate until I was very full, more than once.

Since I was traveling with Ed, and he never stays away from home overnight, I got to go home the same day. It just doesn't get any better than that!

Happy Birthday, Becky!

Under the tent, clockwise: Lori, Donna R., Linda Z., David O., Peggy, Marlene, Kim, Dan Bitz (hidden) Chris; Right: Peggy, Marlene, Kim, Dan.

A Day To Remember
The Implementation - Part 2
by Grandma Dorothy

As days go, it was a beautiful one, so nice that we could sit in the back yard under the tent that Lori had there and also out of the sun under the deck that is built out from the main floor.

The surprise was complete, the arrival rather an emotional experience with lots of hugs passed freely around by the "birthday girl." I really don't know who looked the most bewildered, and then totally astonished -- Becky or Caity -- but I do know they both recovered quickly and had a nice day.

After the delicious lunch, there was a general migration to the area by the tables outside. After Becky opened her cards and gifts an attempt was made to light the candles on the birthday cake (a delicious-Patty A concoction) -- not much success! Too many of them for the prevailing stiff breeze. Anyway, the cake didn't last long -- we all know Patty's cakes too well, and we proceeded to devour it!

It was then that age showed -- the young and carefree played games, ran around with some kind of adventure, and in general made up with their energy for the very slow moving, tired out ones. The ones who we will say are mature sat around and caught up on our visiting. It was great to have a nice visit with Linda and Joe Zitzmann. And of course visiting is something we are pretty good at. That session lasted until Grandpa and I decided that we old folks had better be getting home.

On Sunday evening, we learned the final chapter of Becky's Birthday Saga. The three girls that set off for the cities for a shopping tour for Becky and Lori stopped by our apartment on their way home. Becky was wearing a very nice outfit, indeed! I was glad to learn that she and Lori did make the shopping trip on Saturday evening. They just had to spend the gift of cash that Becky's siblings had given her.

Happy Birthday, Dear Becky, Happy Birthday to You!

Having Fun: Weston, Caity, Chris & Lori

Eating Lunch: Some of the Guys
Becky's New Outfit Beaver, Weston, Donnie, Ed; in background, Joe Z. & Eric A.

Updates -

by Twila Aydelotte

I know it's been time for a while to subscribe, but like my sister Colette, it was convenient just to have my parents (Kathy and Argyle Anderson) forward it to me.  So please sign me up for a subscription.

My husband Jeff and I have been married for 13 years and have 6 children. Jessica will be 12 on September 21st, Spencer is 10, Todd is 9, Allison is 6, Brendan will be 5 on September 7th, and Hannah is 2.

We have three cats: Ms. Kitty (with a beautiful gray and white coat), Sammy (a big orange tabby cat), and Hollywood (a petite brown tabby).

We live in California, but Jeff has a job interview in Idaho in a couple of weeks, so we'll be on the road again if he's offered a position. He's an embalmer and funeral counselor. (It's not snow I dread after living in California, it's the ice!)

School started here this week, and with five kids in school, I guess there is no reason I can't keep up my subscription.

I've included a link to our on-line photo album my sister set up:

Thanks for putting together a great newsletter.


by Kristi Indermark

Jordan and I are on our way out the door to another birthday party, but I wanted to share our fun adventure first. Jordan and I flew to Minnesota a couple of weeks ago to celebrate her birthday with Grandpa George (Larson) and Grandpa and Grandma Indermark (Jim's parents). We had so much fun up there and it was great to see everyone!

We also had a birthday party for her last weekend at our house with our friends and family down here. Jordan loves to play with the other kids. Everything with the party was going as planned until the cake. We all sang happy birthday and let Jordan dig into the cake.

After a few minutes of cake throwing, Jordan got some frosting in her eye. Mom (Shari) and Kelly helped clean her off. As we were wiping the frosting off, we noticed her face turning pink. She had an allergic reaction to something in the cake. The rash went away by bed time. What a first birthday!

Jim, Kristi, and Jordan Nicole

Jordan's birthday cake -- she grabbed a mouthful and got an eyeful.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

This is typed as it was written, including the spelling, and sent in by his loving wife. He still uses LOTS of sugar on his cereal. He did follow through on his career plans ... from way back in fifth grade (or probably earlier!).

My Autobiography
By David Sherman Johnson
Grade 5
March 9, 1961

I was my Mothers Christmas present. I was born about four o' clock, December Twenty-four, 1950 at Lake Region Hospital, Fergus Falls, Minnesota. My weight was eight pounds, one ounce. I had three brothers and sisters who were Jerri, Kathy, and Bobby, who was later killed in a tractor accident, making me the oldest boy in the family. My only birthmark was a small mark on the back of my neck, which has now dissapeared. My footprints were only about thee inches long. My Mother could never change my diaper without having to "pop" me once first. I had colic so bad that my mother thought she'd never get a ful nights sleep agian the way I screamed. Sometimes I was so weak that my mother didn't know wether I was dead or alive. Some people say that I was "born with my mouth wide open"

On one day when I was about two-and one-half years old, when my mother and I were raking in the yard, I sneaked away from Mother and ran away draging a small, red wagon with me. The firemen and the boyscouts were soon looking for me. When they found me about two or three miles from home, I insisted I wasn't lost, but I really was. I always wanted to put too much sugar on my cereal, and all that in one place. One day I went out to meet my brother and my sisters skiing with real skis on the mud. One day when my sisters took me to school, I wouldn't get on the bus.

When I was in the first grade at Ashby school, where I have had all my schooling so far, I would never raise my hand. I always just trotted up to the teachers. When I got in third grade I had to stop that, though I have been very fortunate during my school years, never having been hurt in school. I broke my arm one day before I got in first grade, though. When I get out of school would like to buy my dad's farm and his gravel pit.

Travelogue t

The Bolivian Beat
By Mitzi Swenson (Kjirsten's mom)

Kjirsten returned to Bolivia at the end of July, and in August her older brother, Shane, and his friend Jayna Lee from Santa Barbara, California, and Kjirsten's younger brother Derek, and I joined her for almost two weeks. We spent time with her Bolivian host family in Cochabamba, visited the village of Morochata where she's been volunteering, and traveled to La Paz, Copacabana, Lake Titicaca, Sucre, Tarambuco, Potosi and went to a huge Bolivian festival. I'm filling in for her until she resumes writing. Currently, she's off on a vaccinating adventure in some isolated villages with the hospital team.

Monday evening we were invited for tea with some of Kjirsten's friends. It included cooked hamburger, bread fresh from the oven, tomatoes and cheese. Yummy! Their bread here looks like a flat bun and is not fluffy but a bit more salty and delicious when hot.

Tuesday we bused 3 hours to Morochata. I know why Kjirsten loves it there. Many people greeted her like a long lost relative and I've never been kissed by so many people in my life!

After tea and greetings at the hospital, we toured the school. The older kids greeted us with Good Morning, in English, which made her smile. The younger kids called her teacher, in English. One kindergartener cried when we came into the room. I don't know if we scared him or if she has vaccinated him!

She talked a long time with the school secretary and told him she has changed her plans and is going to travel in Bolivia this fall, returning to Morochata to help with some vaccinating trips and festival. They're sad to lose their free, qualified English teacher and were very complimentary about her help.

I can only understand words, never complete sentences. If I had learned everything I've been taught, it would be better. Many said I looked so young I could be her sister!

We hiked a ways in the afternoon, really feeling the altitude. It is so beautiful and Shane takes lots of photos. The hospital was pretty quiet so we went to play basketball in the evening. It was insisted that the Americans play the Bolivians. Been a long time since most of us have played basketball, but we had a huge height advantage.

They won the first game and we rested and drank papaya pop and watched them play soccer. Derek played with them. Then there was a rematch. Our boys played for honor and we barely won. They had a huge altitude advantage as we were at about 10,000 feet! I was glad Derek didn't pass out as he played like a crazy fool for about two hours, loving every minute of it. We sent him to the shower in the hospital before bed!

The next day, Dr. Juan wanted to play foosball, so back down the hill we trekked. Everyone had fun and after another delicious lunch we were back on the bus to Cochabamba.

Kjirsten's Bolivian "mom" was happy to see we all survived and had prepared a special drink made from dried peaches and cinnamon. It was delicious. We didn't dare eat the street food sandwiches she had for us, so we took them and gave them to homeless kids. On the way to the airport to fly to La Paz, we took Shane and Jayna to the cafe where we'd had the most spectacular hot chocolate of our lives.

When we landed, it was 41 degrees F. B-r-r-r. Our hotel had sold our rooms but found us cheaper ones, closer to the Main Plaza, with hot showers and clean beds for $5 each.

The city reminds us of New York or San Francisco -- metropolitan and hilly and cold. Today we'll bus to Lake Titicaca and have a hotel with a lake view and breakfast for $40. That's pretty expensive here, but Kjirsten thinks the $2 per night place might be a bit sketchy for us and some other places are full.

The showers are interesting; they have an electrical heater attached to the spout so you can have pressure or heat, but not both! We are having a great time and everyone is still healthy!


Left: Tea with friends; right: river flows through Cochabamba

This and That
by Elaine Wold
Wahpeton, ND

Monkeying Around

I wonder as we get older if we really get "childish," like they say? Or do we revert to our younger days and yearn for those days of simplicity and just plain fun! Or do we try to make up for toys and things we did not have as children, now in our "golden years"? What started as simple as putting a birdhouse on the trunk of the tree on the boulevard, grew ... just like Topsy!

The one birdhouse looked lonely, so I added another, a blue one from another garage sale. Another garage sale provided a 'coon with large eyes, which got perched on top of one bird house. Then, a black monkey got displayed ... hanging with one arm from a branch. Another child monkey, eating a banana, was added to the growing menagerie.

All trees need a bear, so a brown bear was added to another branch. A third birdhouse added color to the display, which was now becoming an eye catcher to the passing school kids, little kids in strollers, as well as the old people from the local retirement home. Next, a gorilla, with big eyes looking down at all the rest of the animals, made it look more scary! Of course, this takes wisdom, so an owl was added to another branch .

Now, it seems passersby are looking for what new has been added ... so a trip to the thrift store tempted me with a big, colorful parrot ... and a long, green stuffed caterpillar.

I have had fun doing it, nothing cost over a quarter each, and if it offers a smile to any passerby, it can help make his day!

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

Just Married
Brianna Jordet and Doug Anderson --- September 1, 2004
Best Wishes!

This Week's Birthdays:

September 5---Lori Chap
September 5---Genelle Mogck

Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries:

September 5---Carolyn and Ernie Dake (33 years)


More September Birthdays:
August 24---Becky Chap
August 24---Margret Di Ann Zeppelin (Newborn!)

August 26---Donna Richards
September 2---Patty Anderson
September 2---Brianna Jordet
September 2--Stanley Dake
September 3--Eric Printz
September 3---Charlie Quick
September 4--Wiley Nelson

September 7---Brendan Aydelotte
September 12---Lindsey Hellevang
Serptember 15---Shari Schweiger
September 19---Nathanial Kurtis Seaman (3 years old)
September 21---Jessica Aydelotte
September 24---Wyatt Johnson
September 28---Donald L. Anderson
September 30---Sheldon Swenson

More September Anniversaries:
September 1---Brianna Jordet & Doug Anderson (next year!)

September Holidays & Observances
September 6---Labor Day


Miss Hetty Says

Many thanks to all those who sent reports and photographs of Becky's 30th birthday party and Jordan's first birthday parties. Well done! Becky wishes to thank all those who helped her celebrate the occasion in such a splendid fashion. Special thanks from Miss Hetty for the tip that Dan Bitz (from St. Cloud) is just possibly dating Lori Chap ... and with a nice photo, too!

Dan & Lori at Becky's Birthday Party

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


Great job on The Bulletin! Congratulations to Ryan and Gin on their little girl! I hope she gets a big welcome home soon! Another congratulations to Rebecca and David; they must be more patient then Doug and I! :)

The weather was something to hide away from today. I guess we have to see it as a day given to us for reading and other not so fun activities like laundry. At least I have my baby niece here as company.

I hope you've enjoyed your weekend. Especially the get together for Becky's birthday on Saturday, that I'm sorry we had to miss.


I just wanted to thank you both for our very tasteful and well written send up. It was superb!


Thanks for forwarding your mom's report ... like one of those Hallmark/chicken soup stories ... excited and happy for Becky just reading it ... makes one's heart warm. :-) Thanks for sharing your family and thoughts ... love it!

Barb Dewey

Note from the editor to Beaver Johnson: Beaver -- Glad you have your part done and I can do mine so it fits in with yours. NOW ... Go on your vacation trip to Washington, D.C., with no writing responsibility still undone!

Beaver's reply: Great, we're out of here, as soon as a few last minute things get done. See ya in the spring.



submitted by Mavis Morgan
Grandma's Apron
author unknown

The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven; it was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. From the chicken-coop the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. When company came those old aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids; and when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling-wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled it carried out the hulls. In the fall it was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out on the porch and waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields for dinner. It will be a long time before anyone invents something that will replace that old-time apron that served so many purposes.

REMEMBER THIS! "Grandma use to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw."

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