Monday, December 8, 2014

The Christmas letter post will be updated soon so please check back!  

We wanted to get the Christmas cards mailed out since we have moved and needed to get our new address out to you.  Thanks!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Dalkes (Post 1 of 9)

Dear friends and family,

I have to laugh at how long this portion of the Christmas cards/letter takes.  The postcards sat stamped and addressed for weeks while waiting for the accompanying letter to appear on the blog.  However, it is finally done.  Woo hoo!

This year was a busy one for sure.  Mike is still at CSG in the same position.  He was able to get two deer this Fall.  Shae is still the Chief Home Officer and chases the kids all over town.  Ethan is in 4th grade and still loves football.  Eric is in 2nd grade and still brings some welcome levity to the rest of our serious family with his jokes.  Haven is in her last year of preschool and keeps Mom busy at home.  Trixie is now 2 1/2 and lives to hunt and hang out with the family.  She's really turning into a very sweet and many times even calm (who would have thought it possible) dog.  She still has a 6 1/2 foot vertical jump though.  Beware to all birds in our yard.  She catches them out of the air.

The boys keep busy with manly things like fishing, camping, martial arts, learning to sail, and playing Flag Football in the Fall.  Mike coached Ethan's team again, and Haven joined the ranks as a cheerleader.  Haven also loves her dance classes.  The kids also keep busy with things like swim lessons, church camp, VBS, and AWANA.

We all went to a Lancers hockey game this year, and Mike has a co-worker that plays for the Beef (indoor arena football) that also played in the NFL so we were able to go to one of those games this year too.  We all love our local zoo, state parks, and taking Trixie training at the lakes within walking distance of the house.

Disney World was the big trip of the year and had been planned for starting 5 years ago. It takes that long to plan and learn all the tricks when you want to do it as cheaply as we did.  LOL!  We took 11 days to go to Florida over Fall break so starting mid-Octbober.  We had a lot of fun with a day at the beach, a day at Sea World, and a number of days at Disney World.  We went to all of the 4 main parks.  You'll see a few pics out of the thousands that we took on the different blog posts that make up this letter.  There are 9 posts total for a year in review.  You can click on any photo to see it larger.

We pray you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Dalkes

 Lunch at Be Our Guest (Beast's Castle) in Magic Kingdom

 Riding Santa's sleigh at the Christmas shop

 Cinderella's Castle

 Getting ready to watch Philharmagic at Magic Kingdom

 Kids & Castle
 at Epcot our 1st Day waiting for the gates to open

 Meeting Mickey 1st thing at Epcot


Some of the Boys' Favorite things at Walt Disney World (2 of 9)

Here's just a few things the boys did at Disney World.  Ethan was selected to learn fighting skills from Captain Jack Sparrow and both boys took the Pirate Oath. Then both boys fought Darth Vader at Padawan Training.  They also got to compare muscles with Gaston.

 Learning sword fighting from Captain Jack Sparrow

 Taking the Pirates Oath

 Making muscles with Gaston

 at Star Wars Padawan Training

Eric fighting Darth Vader

Seaworld (3 of 9)

We had one day at Sea World while in Florida.   We all fed and petted a dolphin which was very cool.  Giving "5" to stingrays as they swim by was kind of fun too.  Everyone loved the dolphin, Shamu, and pet shows.

 Ethan trying on "Jaws"

 at the Shamu show with a Mom & Baby double jump

 Can't go to Florida without flamingo pics

 The dolphins were very playful begging for fish treats

 We were able to pet them.

and feed them

Meeting the Princesses (4 of 9)

Haven got to meet lots of princesses at Disney which she of course loved.  We even ate with the princesses.  So here's a few of the ones we saw.

 Meeting Tinkerbell

 Dinner with Cinderella at Akershus in Epcot

 Swimming with Ariel

 Comparing hair with Rapunzel

 Twins with Belle at dinner at Akershus

Meeting Miss Minnie Mouse

Monday, December 23, 2013

Camping, Fishing, Sailing Oh My! (5 of 9)

With 3 males in the family (and especially the one born in Minnesota), we manage to do lots of outdoor activities like backpacking, camping, fishing, hunting, and now sailing again too!  The boys went to sailing school with Shae's folks this Summer at their yacht club--not as glamorous as it sounds with a picnic shelter and a port-a-potty.  LOL!  Both learned to sail a single person craft by themselves.  Then on the weekend when we went to pick them up, Mike had to get in on the act.  Shae was thrilled since they hadn't been to the lake since Ethan was 1. Priorities...priorities.

Fishing at a lake across the road from our house

 Camping in the backyard (and with Trixie!) so Haven could warm up to things.

Camping at 2 Rivers.

Seeing if 5 people and a dog (with kennel) could fit in Mike's hunting camper.  The decision was that this tiny pop-up (extra small size with only a single and double beds in the wings) with no electricity and no running water was better suited for hunting.  Next time let's take the 10 X 16 tent and some earplugs for the trains and parties!

Sailing with the cousins on Grandpa's big boat at the end of a Sailing School day. Ethan's on the 
helm (steering)

Preparing for a race.

Last day.  Racing day.

All 4 boys during the race.  The girls were ahead.

Mike had to get in on the action and learned to sail too which according to "experts" can only be done in a one man boat.  Ha ha! 

at the Pumpkin Patch

Shae's Mom retired this year.  Her party was at the Lied Lodge in June.  The next morning some of us went to the Tree Adventure at Arbor Day Farm.  Kids and Grandma Sharon pretending they can climb as well as spiders.

Colorado Trip (6 of 9)

Once again, the family tagged along on one of Mike's business trips to Denver.  We only added a day or two to the business week but still managed to have lots of fun in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center, eating at the Airplane restaurant where the booths are actually in the plane, and at Whit's End at Focus on the Family which is like a free small scale Children's Museum.  We also stopped at a small waterpark hotel for our travels home.  Always a big hit!

 At the Olympic Training Center.  Haven is the official race starter.

 Trying out the medal platform.

 In the cockpit at Solo's Airplane Restaurant

 Eating in the Airplane.

 Or if you prefer to not eat in the airplane, you can do that too.

The Kids love this slide at Focus on the Family

 Goofing off at Whit's End at Focus on the Family