Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve at Grandma & Grandpa's house

Photos by Noah
Thought I would share a couple of photos. The funny thing was, this year Bill Tennie, Kelly Reindl and I (Scott Gregory) were the only adults to eat Grandma's stew - the rest of the adults had Oyster soup.

Love to all and Merry Christmas!!

Doucette Christmas

We began our Christmas last night with our dinner and gifts exchange. We followed with dice and rummy games until we were too tired and called it a night. We had many laughs and special moments to remember forever. Can't wait to see you all Saturday. We are partying at Amy and Brenda's tonight and Dawn is headed to Kenosha to the DeVincentis Christmas. Tomorrow will be here for anyone with energy left to drive here, pj's are the uniform of the day. Merry Christmas All, Love, Julie

Our Tree

I just wanted to share a picture of our tree with you.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Celebrating the birth of two babies this year

This year we not only get to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas but also the birth of Dylan James Mahlum. Casey and Jessie do plan to be at the X-Mas party but in case someone can't make it we thought we'd post a couple of pictures of the cute little man, the proud parents and the old fogies. Oops, Beth said I was supposed to say proud grandparents.

I really am proud of our new little man even though by my expression in the pictures it doesn't look that way. It looks like I was scared to death to hold him, like with our family I could have reached this age with never holding a new born. We do have lots more pictures to bring with us to the X-Mas party. Even though Dylan will be appearing live and in person we thought some of us could look at the pictures while awaiting a chance to see him. I just wouldn't feel right to start a line and begin charging admittance fees.

I also added a couple of pictures of just some of our decorations this year. We haven't been able to decorate in two years so Beth was so proud to have them out of storage I thought she would appreciate it if as many people as possible could see them. I tried to get some of the outside decorations but they did not turn out. Take a close look at the one of the entertainment center and see if you can spot the reason you know it was a picture by me (Bill).

Looking forward to seeing everyone on the 29th, praying for good weather and hoping all of us have a safe and happy Holiday season. Remember there is no use celebrating New Years Eve if you don't play it safe to makes sure your around to see it all the way through!!

Friday, December 21, 2007


I just thought I would post a picture of our Christmas decorations. We don't do any outside lights but we have some decorations in several rooms inside. Just thought I would post two of my favorites. Our fireplace didn't get inspected this year so it truly did become our rustic manger scene. Hope to see you all on Dec. 29th.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Photos

Hello, everyone,
I talked to Grandma a while back at Carissa & Jesse's cookie exchange and we got talking about taking family pictures at Christmas again this year. Only this year I hoping it'll look a little better looking without a wood paneling background. I am able to borrow lights and a pretty background from school this year. So, if your family wants to wear matching clothes or if you want a specific pose/picture, let me know.
Have yourself a Merry Christmas and I'll see you on the 29th,

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On the Move

For those of you who don't read our personal blog, I thought I'd better let you know that the Doughty Family is on the move. The movers arrive Jan 2nd to move us to Phoenix AZ! Jason has been offered the position of Pastor of Children's Discipleship at Camelback Bible Church and we accepted and so we are moving.
It has been crazy the last few days, we've been packing and painting and cleaning, I think that the house is finally ready to show. Hopefully it will sell quickly. The kids are handling everything well, it makes it a little more challenging doing this all almost 8 months pregnant, but God is good and He has been showering us with Grace and Mercy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Job, New Adventure

It's my turn to post some good news. I know I have been delinquent in posting on the blog, but I have enjoyed reading it and keeping up with what has been going on. As some of you may know, but most probably don't......I have accepted a new job. I will be moving back to the Madison area. I will be starting my new job on Monday December 31st, and I am very excited. With this new position I will be Senior HelpDesk Specialist. I will not have to answer all the simple calls anymore, like my printer won't print, or I forgot my password, or can you move my computer. I will be doing second level helpdesk, which should be a little more challenging and fun. I will also get to learn more about networking and server administration. I learned networking and server stuff in school, but I haven't been able to use my skills. I am very excited to be learning new things. This is a great career move for me. In addition, I will not have a company cell phone or laptop anymore. The reason for that is because I won't be bothered after hours. I will work Monday to Friday 8 to 5, and have nights and weekends to enjoy. I am very happy about that. So I am going to start out living with Aunt Phyllis, until I find a place of my own. I am greatful that Aunt Phyllis is willing to let me stay with her for a while. It sure would be difficult to commute from here every day. So if anyone has any suggestions as to where I should be looking to move to, I am open to suggestions. Also, if there are any areas I should be staying away from, I would love to know that as well. I am going to look for a place to rent at least for 6 months, so I can get used to the area. Ideally I would like to rent a place that I have my own front door, and can have my dog. I would love to find a place like what I am living in now. I have been spoiled and it would be hard to settle for less. So I guess you probably want to know the company I will be working for......It is Hy Cite....They are a distribution company, they have the trademark on Royal Prestige and Ocean Blue products, and they control the manufacturing specifications to make sure they meet up to the standards they have set. Royal Prestige is a kitchen line, flatware, bakeware, crystal, china, etc. Ocean Blue is an air purification, water purification, and vaccuum systems. For more information you can visit their website at I look forward to seeing you all at Christmas.
Love to you all!!!

Insomnia strikes again!

Greetings again from the middle of the much to think about at this time of year, and then with all that's going on around this family, and babies and cookbooks coming out (or is that cookbooks and BABIES coming out?!) Well, either way, all of the news has been positively wonderful to hear...thanks for sharing!

I am hoping that everyone is getting back to Jeff with their Christmas ideas, etc. I'm sure it is difficult to plan from that far away but I have assured him (back me up on this, Jeff!) that ALL of his siblings have been through the planning process once now and can give you all the advice you will ever need!! Truly, I wish I would have started a "manual" but I figure if I get started on it now, I'll have it done by the time it's OUR turn again :)

I guess I am happy to report that we have NO baby news at our house...lolololol! Whew...Joey would LOVE to be a big brother but I have told him in no possible way will there be a present like THAT under his Christmas tree this year...nor next year...and definitely not even the year after that! Nick and Josh are quite busy getting projects finished up at UW-Milwaukee and studying for finals (which start this weekend.) I'll be picking them up on Friday, Dec. 21st and then...the FESTIVITIES begin that night at Dad and Ginny's and continue right up until we see you all on the 29th! Meaghan is busy with getting the Sun Prairie high school yearbook ready for printing and we just ordered her graduation announcements, etc....honest to God, I cried filling out the paperwork...I do not like this part about my children leaving the nest! Anyway, she has been accepted to UW-Milwaukee also, so next September, 2008 I will have THREE children at college...the SAME college. I NEVER thought THAT would happen! Meaghan has said she can't imagine life without her brothers so I am pleased that they all still continue to be close and like each other and actually still want to see each other on a regular basis. And Joey, Joey is busy with piano lessons (another musician in the family!) and he is particularly enjoying the bowling league he is on! He just had his highest game, 135, during a City Tournament this past Sunday at Dream Lanes in Madison...that was 69 points over his average! (I'm sorry if that sounded like bragging but I just have to tell SOMEONE!)

Vince has been busy with work, and with working on the O'Connell family cookbook and I hope you all remembered to order yours. I ordered one for each of my kids thinking they would make great wedding shower gifts, yeah, like I'm going to be able to find them when THAT time comes!! I have been really busy with work, and especially the Hallmark job really kicks into high gear this time of year. I am the retail merchandiser for Hallmark at our Sun Prairie Wal-Mart and WOW, let me tell you, being in retail this time of year is NUTS!! I just want to scream to people, "slow down, enjoy the season, remember what it's REALLY about!" (But I don't because I NEED the job!) But really, it's just not about all the buying of stuff and the stressing out that they stood in line for a Wi system and only two came in on the truck...seriously, you do not want to KNOW what the THIRD person in line said to all of us! People...human's just so interesting to watch, don't you think?

Well, I think that's enough mindless rambling for now. Please keep my Aunt Ruthie in your prayers as she is recovering today from breast cancer surgery and she is truly the glue on my dad's side of the family. If you haven't been fortunate enough to meet her at one of our graduation parties, she is just the warmest, most kindest person and now, she is also my hero. She truly is one that takes lemons and makes lemonade. Lots of love to you all...and I MEAN it... :)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Our New Addition!

Good evening Everyone! ( or maybe morning by the time your reading this)

I wanted to take a minute (while I have a minute) to share with you the exciting news that has been brewing down here in Elkhorn. Mom and Dad Doucette are also going to be Grandma and Grandpa Doucette! :) My boyfriend Brian and I are expecting- yes expecting a baby! I am currently 10 weeks pregnant and way excited about it. I found out about 4 weeks ago but wanted to get past any "miscarriage zone" before I shared with everyone! I had an ultrasound today and everything looked wonderful! The baby is about an inch and a half big and kind of looks likes a cocktail shrimp (just giving you that mental picture!) I have begun to get that baby bump and the smell of coffee makes me wanna vomit. However milk has been a god-send. I can't seem to get enough of it. In the past week and a half Amy and I went through 2 gal of milk! Crazy huh! Brian and his family are equally as excited. I think he's told twice as many people as I have! I will be bringing him to Christmas with me so feel free to interrogate him then. ;) I can't wait to see you all and I hope your holidays have been as blessed as mine.

Love From-


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

O'Connell Family Cookbook

The O'Connell Family cookbook is ready to go to press. We need to know like yesterday who wants one and how many. I believe they need to let the publisher (Vinny) know by Thursday, 12-06-07. Money will be collected on delivery. More Q&A below. Just comment here or e-mail me with how many books you want.

1. What is the cost of the cookbook?
Until Vince knows how many pages, how many we are ordering etc. he has to give us an estimate but you can let everyone know they will be in the $10 range (his original thought was around $9).
2. When do you need to know how many our family (that includes your siblings and parents please) want to order?
We would like to know by the end of the day THIS THURSDAY so that I can get the info to Vince.
I don't need to know how many each person is getting- just a total for your family.
3. When will the cookbooks be ready?
Vince said that they should be ready by next Friday, December 14.
4. Where will the cookbooks be delivered?
I will sort them into 7 boxes (one for each family) and then talk to whomever the contact person your family elects to receive the books to figure out delivery. I'll pay for all of the books up front so will need to pick up the money from the person who receives your families order when they are picked up or delivered so it's up to them how they'll collect the money after that.
5. When will we know "exactly" how much the cookbooks are so that we can start to collect the $?
Vince will get that information to me and I'll let you know ASAP, probably the first part of next week.
6. What if we don't order enough and need more?
You'll want to order on the high side to prevent this. A minimum order is 50 books and if you ordered a quantity that small the cost goes up considerably, not to say it can't be done but you should know up front that they are more expensive.
7. When should I let you know the contact person for delivering our families books?
You can let me know as soon as you know, preferably before the 14th .

New Addition to the Family

On December 4, 2007 at 1:45 p.m. Bill and Beth became Grandpa and Grandma to baby Dylan James. He is 22" inches long and weighs 9 lb 6 oz!!!!! Jesse, Cassie and baby are doing fine. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Let the fun begin

Well at 3:45am Greg was heard getting in the shower to prepare for his Black Friday event. I roll out of bed and head to the kitchen to make the coffee and eggs with toast. Greg vacates the bathroom and Ed moves in to get himself ready to shop and save. By 4:45am with ads and lists in hand they are off. 2 cars and 2 excited shoppers to see what new things can be found in the Sears craftsman aisles. Then off to the other stops to find some jewels for the rest of gift list. Greg will have to depart around 7:30 to get to work and have his coworkers harass him for being a Black Friday shopper. I have enclosed a picture of Ed preparing on Thursday for their organized shopping venture. They really do plan and it has been their tradition for several years now. It is real fun to watch them go through the ads and plan. Have a great day eating leftovers and Turkey soup ummmm. Julie

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The DeForest Thanksgiving meal

We were grateful that Grandma and Grandpa Reindl and Gregory were able to join us for our Thanksgiving meal. We had two types of turkey (smoked and not smoked), three types of stuffing to fit everyone's tastes (good stuffing, stuffing with apples and other crunchy stuff, and stuffing with giblets), corn, two types of cranberry, riced patotes (any holiday meal I am involved in making must have riced potatoes - tradition from my Grandfather), Mimosas (at 9 am this morning), lots of munchies, apple pie, two pumpkin pies (I asked for the 2nd so I would have left overs for the week!), homemade vanilla and chocolate ice cream and three types of wine.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!



What I did for Thanksgiving

First Happy Thanksgiving to all! We had a stuffed turkey dinner and it wasn't the turkey that was stuffed. So we had Amy, Greg and Brenda at our house and of course we watched some football. I forgot to take a picture, but that isn't all I forgot. We were all done with dinner and desert and sitting in the living room chatting and laughing when I remembered I forgot to serve the cranberry fluff. Every year I forget something and so this year I forgot to take a picture and I forgot a salad. I can honestly say it will not go to waste, since we all like the fluff left over better anyway. Other than that we are all cleaned up and ready for our food to start digesting as we get to bed early for Black Friday sales. Yes we do hit the sales. Ed and Greg will be at Sears in Janesville at 5am to push other shoppers out of their way in the Craftsman aisles. I however have coffee and head over to Delavan to Shopko around 8 or 9 whenever I get enough coffee to make me spend a little. Let me know if anyone else has a Black Friday tradition or internet Monday tradition. Let the Thanks coninue throughout the season and have a safe and fun Holiday Season. With Thanks to you all, Julie

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everybody. Chris & I are going to his brother Scott's house for the holiday. For those that aren't here in WI, we had a light dusting of snow last night... our first of the season down here in Delavan. I wanted to share the color of the season with everybody!

We are truly blessed to have such a loving, compassionate family. We send our blessings to all of you!

Lots of Love!
Chris & Dawn

(Click the pictures to see a bigger image of each)
Our personal herd of deer... I counted 11, but know more ran past before I could count them.

This is this morning, 11/22!

This was on Brenda's birthday, 11/16.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanks for the Memory

Greetings, greetings one and all!

I have to first compliment Noah on his make-up application! It reminds me of the first time Meaghan learned from Maddy McGann how to apply foundation! Yikers!!

Second, congrads on the folks with the brand new cars! How exciting is THAT?!! I can remember being in Tupperware, MANY years ago, and starting out as a new manager...waiting to qualify for that new van. It was especially exciting because at that time, we had Nick and Josh (they were two and one, respectively) and Vince and I only had one vehicle....your parents' old station wagon! That's right...we were 29 years old and already driving a wagon. Boy, did we get a lot of grief about THAT! I used to drive Vince to work in Arlington, every single morning, with the boys in their sleeper/jammies and me in my fuzzy slippers and whatever I could find that fit! I'd do Tupperware and errands all day long and then drive back up to Arlington to pick Vince up at the end of the day. (Hopefully by then, the boys were NOT in their jammies!)

Anyway, your posts about your new cars really took me back to the day that my brand new free van was finally earned and DELIVERED to our house. There we were, me in my fuzzy slippers, Nick in his jammies and a bucket on his head and Josh in his jammies with cowboy boots on...and the knock was at the door....and the new van was in the driveway!! Oh my gosh, I cannot tell you the THRILL of that very moment! Not having to drive Vince to Arlington anymore, having our OWN car to drive with free insurance and tires and no car payment, but especially, just the thought of getting to drive something BRAND NEW...

I loaded the boys up in the van, and off we went...

I had waited for this moment for months and months...

and we drive downtown Sun Prairie, R E A L s l o w past the Bank of Sun Prairie and the MIRRORED windows...and we all three yelled,


Monica and Rita, ENJOY the moment...relish in the new car smell...pat your backs on your accomplishments...and drive past the bank when you're in Sun Prairie! You deserve it!

thanks for the memory...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

News in DeForest

Welcome Monica - Glad to see you here!

I hope you won your game, sadly DeForest lost.
Noah got himself into the spirt.

You might notice he has a different cast on now. This one glows in the dark! He has two more weeks with this one.
Our Nissan was hitting 100,000 miles and we were starting to see some mechanical problems hitting it as well. We traded it in and bought a 2007 Hyundai Sonata with 101 miles. Rita's first new car!
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! Take photo's of your meals and post them! Let's see how creative everyone's Thanksgiving meal is!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Ok Scott, I'm going to figure this out. I have thought many times about things I wanted to put on the blog but it was usually at an extremely inconvenient time and then I just never did it. But now I am going to post something before we leave on vacation.
We have had many great blessings in our life lately and have been very busy. We opened our office in Mequon in October. It is so awesome to have my office close to my house. And our office is really cool. We can even open the windows for fresh air. I've never had an office where I could do that.
We also bought a car because our Mazda 626 can only go shortish distances (like 60 or 70 miles round trip) without overheating. I guess at 148,000 miles that sort of thing happens. That makes it a great car for the girls when they can finally drive. Lexi is doing behind the wheel now and will probably take her test in Feb or March - oh boy! She is actually a very good driver, I'm just a nervous freak about cars. I try hard to keep my thoughts to myself and Bill usually takes her driving, which is a win - win for all. Katie hasn't taken any classes or anything yet, so we don't know when she'll be driving. Anyhow, we bought a 2007 red Cadillac CTS. It was a great deal because they had priced it at 35,000 miles but it only has 22,000 miles. It has 35000 kilometers and apparently they didn't realize that. Good for us. I really like it because it has heated seats - yeah!!!
Lexi's High School Football team is at the state tournament right now. Go Homestead! Lexi is there watching. How fun!
Bill and I leave for Florida tomorrow. We are very much looking forward to the warm weather, the beach and breakfast at Reeses. I'll get really brave when we get back and see if I can figure out how to post pictures. Wow, that's progress!
I am also excited because I got a "Complaint Free World" bracelet and I am trying to go 21 days without complaining, criticizing or gossiping. I'm still on day 1 again. Maybe I can get to at least day 2 on vacation. I'm usually pretty relaxed down there. We'll see.
Well I better go pack. We have to get up around 4 am tomorrow.
Have a great Thanksgiving. I am thankful for all of you! We are blessed to be part of such an incredible family. Love to all of you!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Message from Jeff

Good Morning Everybody! I just wanted to share an e-mail Uncle Jeff sent out looking for feedback and participation from everybody about our Christmas party this year. Just in case he doesn't have your current e-mail address, I want everybody to be able to voice their thoughts!

Have a wonderful week everybody!

From Uncle Jeff

Hello Everyone -

Okay, so I was trying to think of what we should do for Christmas as far as the gift exchange or what-have-you and I thought I would see who would be interested in trying the Letter Exchange that Monica initiated last year.

SOOOO... I'm going to get my head into getting the details for the party straightened out this weekend and I'll send a more comprehensive email by next week, for now something for all y'all to think about over the weekend, and hopefully send me an email back next week, is:

'Do you, or the others in your family, want to try the Letter Exchange this year, and if so, would you like to do it as a couple, if applicable, or individually?'
Let me know. Talk to you soon.


Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Halloween

Oliver celebrated his first Halloween dressed as Tigger and tricker treating with Arnie & I, who celebrated Halloween earlier in the month at an adult Halloween party. Arnie & I used the costumes that Arnie and his friend Cory wore when Arnie purposed.

Oliver now has his two bottom front teeth and is pulling himself up to stand next to everything he can and trying to walk.

Well I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween.


Monday, October 29, 2007


Just a quick note to let you know Cassie and Jesse are expecting a baby early December. I have sent out invitations to join the mail order shower to welcome the baby to our family. Just thought I would share the picture I got from Bill of the day they (Cassie and Jesse) were married, October 11, 2007. If all goes well we should have a baby at our Christmas party this year. Should you not get your invite by Friday email me; and I will get it to you. Have a super week! Julie
PS: there are corrections to the shower invite. Casandra has ONE S and Jesse has no i.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Life at the Merfeld's

Well I finally have time to sit down and write to you all about life here at the Merfeld home:)

Jesse and I took a 2 hour drive on the 7th and picked up our new puppy Diesel, he has been so much fun but he is getting expensive in a hurry. Last Sunday he was caught underneath the garage door:( we rushed him to urgent care for animals and there they took xrays and did a bunch of test, he ended up with some hemorrhaging and fluid in his lungs but no broken bones, he is almost back to 100%. Since I have last posted we have moved in to our house, it has been so nice to have our personal space again. I am planning a cookie party for this holiday season, not sure on the date yet but will know soon.


Please note- This should be sung in your head when you read this.
(Can't remember the name of the song, but it is from Hee Haw)

Where oh where are Monica and Jeff?
Why are they leaving us here all alone?
I search the blog over and couldn't find a word.
They must be busy or phfffft they would write!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Catching Up

Happy Weekending everybody! I hope all are doing well. It's feeling like fall yet here in SE Wisconsin we still don't have any color... at least not at my house. You would think the trees would be changing pretty soon though. So if anybody else has fall color, can you please take a picture and share it?

Noah, hope you're arm is feeling better... I don't think I could have been as much of a trooper as you were... I'd have run the other direction if I saw the mid-evil contraption they put you in! That's the way to take one for the team! :)

I have nothing new to report around here. Just had a couple of birthdays, working at getting the flower beds ready for winter, etc. We just wanted to see what else is new with everybody else!

Love to everybody!

Dawn & Chris

P.S. Carissa, do you have any adorable baby pictures of Diesel yet? We dog people are anxiously waiting to see your new addition!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Noah's Oct. 13, 2007 football game

Noah had his second to last football game on Saturday. It was a noon games against Rita's Alma mater - Sacred Hearts. Mom and Dad came to the game and watched Noah play. He had a GREAT first quarter making a couple of super tackles. I think one of them saved a touchdown.

Second play of the second quarter Noah was going after someone and was pushed from behind. That player fell on Noah. Noah did everything he could to protect himself and get back into the play.

Well, four hours later we were sitting here:

Noah was in some kind of medieval torture device at the UW Hospital. We left the game and went to the urgent care. They took some photo's and wrapped his arm and said the break was to bad for them to fix and we had to go to the UW ER.

This young football player was a trooper. They gave him some pain med and the doctor pushed his bone back into place and put him in a cast. Once in the cast he took some more photos and pushed a little more. Poor Rita wanted to start crying! It hurt the poor kid more to fix the break than to break it.

Unfortunately, this was a season ending injury, but he will go to the last week of practices and the last game and help the coaches.

You can email Noah at bestbro[at] The "[at]" equals @.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Aliens in America

Look at me -- posting 2 days in a row!

I apologize up front for not having sent this post out 2 days ago so you could have watched the show as it aired. Audrey was on TV yesterday 10-01-07 on the pilot for Aliens in America (which ironically is set in Wisconsin). I have it recorded, so anyone can watch it later. Anyhow...she was in 3 scenes! She was "featured" twice as an extra, which means you are a focal point in that shot. I cannot even tell you how cool it was to watch that. In the 2nd scene, she is in the foreground walking across the hall at a school, then 5 seconds later, she is in the background in a different outfit talking to some people. Isn't that funny? If I wasn't looking for her, I would not have noticed.

Have a great day! I know I will.


Inquiring Minds Want to Know

I am sure you all wonder daily, "What are those people doing in DeForest?" Well, lucky for you, I happen to have a few moments of free time at the jail to fill you in.

First, Noah is still doing great at football. He recovered a fumble - the 3rd in his career - and played almost the entire game on the 22nd. They went on to win 24-0. This past weekend, the 29th, he was lined up against this kid that's bigger than I am. But that didn't bother Noah, he likes to hit hard. They still lost, but what fun to watch.

I missed the game on the 22nd because I was flying home from LA. I had a wonderful visit with Audrey. We got mani-pedis, saw a movie, worked out at her gym, and we even cooked! Audrey had to work one day, so I decided to see how long the boardwalk was along the ocean. I ended up walking 10 miles! But the scenery was beautiful and the weather was perfect. I definitely got my moneys worth out of my $1.99 sandals that day!

Miss Kimberly watched Noah while I was gone because Scott had to go to a conference that same week. She spoiled him so.. giving him rides to and from school and to and from football practice.. that I think he was a little disappointed I was not going to keep that up when I returned. It is so wonderful to be able to leave them home and know everything is taken care of - people and animals getting fed, dishes done, school and practice taken care of, etc - and I can rest easily even 1300 miles away.

Then, Scott and I cleaned house the other day. I mean we took 2 huges loads of stuff to the dump! We even got rid of the living room couch and bought a new one - the very first new couch I have ever owned! We still have an entertainment center we would like to get rid of if anyone is interested. I will try to post a picture. It is actually nice, we just don't need it anymore.

Other than that, it's just the usual day to day stuff. I thank God every day for all of my many blessings, and at the top of that list are all of you!


Monday, October 1, 2007

Traveling Grandparents

Guess where the traveling Grandparents are now? If you guessed Canada you are right. They are heading to Algonquin Park to see more color in the trees. They are having great weather and expect to be home the end of the week. They saw the Packer game and Brett's record passes. Have a great day. Julie

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Updates from Mom

I received a call from Mom this morning. I thought I would share a few of the newsy items with you all, since she apparently forgets who she tells things to. She said "so we leave tomorrow" so I replied "really, where to?" She said I thought I told you, but she probably did like I do and told the same kid 3 times and forgot the others. They are driving with Marge and Jerry and going to New York to see John and Laura. They will be back the first week of October around the 5th or so.

She also said the Uncle Wayne has been moved to a rehabilitation center in Middleton to get stronger. For those who have not been on that list of those who know. Wayne had his gallbladder out a few weeks ago and it was more difficult than the average surgery. He has been in pretty rough shape and is hopefully on his way to recovery. It is still touch and go with infection and drainage hopefully that too is heading the right direction.

Now for Christmas. The date is Dec. 29th and the Hamden hall is the place. Further details will come from Jeff and Marcy or maybe Mom. Anyone with a creative idea can post it and Jeff can read and decide what he wishes to do with the thoughts. That is all for now SO HAVE A GREAT DAY AND A BETTER TOMORROW. Julie

Growing Fast

You know how everyone says that time fly’s, while it truly dose, it was just 7 months ago that I was holding my brand new baby boy and now that same boy is army crawling all over the place and getting into everything, as well as on Monday he cut his first tooth. Where dose the time go?

So besides running after Oliver and trying to child proof my house I have been doing some canning with my mom and Anna. Just last week we canned 66 pints of apple sauce. YUM! YUM!

While that’s all from us know hope everyone is enjoying their fall.

The Griepentrog’s

Friday, September 14, 2007

Merfeld Move in time

After a long winter and a summer filled with long days and nights Jesse and I are starting to move in to our new house:) the wood floors are installed and the painting is finished trim is being finished this weekend and my walk in closet is ready to be filled. Over all the process has went well with only a couple of bumps in the road. In addition to have a new house Jesse and I are adding another member to our family. Made you all think didn't I :) we are picking up our new beagle puppy "Diesel" the first week in October he is almost 4 weeks old now and a little cutie, after Charlie passed away on Christmas eve night I told Jesse I wanted another beagle.
well hope every one is doing well and yes I will be having a cookie exchange this year at my new house:)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

We are "selling" a toy box. If interested please call or email.

The asking price is $0.00 + two other items that are looking for a good home. Just kidding, just come and get it (Rita made me say that.)

Life is about change...

Good morning all! It's been a while since I've posted on here and well...a lot has changed. So here I go.

My days of being super Nanny have ended. It ended rather quickly almost a month ago. I came to a realization, a difficult one, but I realized that I could not handle 4 children, 50 hrs a week, by myself while having a life of my own. So I came to my senses, admitted my feelings, and that was that. I miss them terribly but I guess that's life right?

On another note, I have time to myself again! I am currently attending Gateway Tech College to get my Nursing Assistant Certificate. I go to class 2 days a week for 4 hrs each day. The class is going really well and surprisingly it wasn't as hard to get back into the "school scene" as I thought it would be. The first portion of the class is all classroom/lab work where we learn all the skills and the 2nd portion of the class will be spent at the nursing home doing clinicals and practicing everything we learned. The entire class is complete December 6th. It's going great!!

And finally to fill my void of helping people, (and to make $ of course), I got a new job! I work at an Assisted Living Facility. It's much like a nursing home with the exception that there isn't a Registered Nurse on site at all times, and they have to be a LITTLE more able to take care of themselves. I'm enjoying it a lot! I have 2 more small classes to become CBRF (community based residential facility) certified. I'm still in the learning process because there is A LOT to take it, but I can already tell I'm headed in the right direction. :)

Well that's all for now, time to go do some laundry. (Wow did I just sound like my mom) Hope everyone has a good day!

Love, Brenda

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Noah's football games - UPDATED 09/13/07

If anyone is interested Noah's football games start this Saturday.

8:30 AM Wildcat-Orange vs. Deforest-Purple @ Verona H.S. #2

The field is located here: This link should take you to his game schedule. He is DeForest Purple

I will try to take some decent photo's and post them after the games.


09/08/07 Game
Thank you all. I forgot the camera, so I have no photo's - duh! I will try to remember this week. (We play in Mount Horeb at noon).

First game was a great game! We played at Verona's new youth football field. We were the first visiting team to play on the field. But, we tied!! The time ran out with us on the 2 yard line on the way in. Bummer, but it was a very close game and we were very even. I think we had the skills and they had the size, but I am sure Verona parents would disagree. Noah mainly plays offense tackle and did a great job sticking with him man! I will add to this blog each week, so look for the updated title!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Labor Day Weekend Fun!

Hello All! Just a quick note and some great pictures to share with everybody. Chris and I just got back from an ITV conferene in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. When we heard the conference was going to be in Idaho, we thought what the heck is in Idaho except potatoes?!?!

Low an behold, we were in the heart of a beautiful mountainous lake area. The lake was 25 miles long and absolutely breathtaking! The sunrise over the mountain was beautiful and we had 2 wonderful sunset dinner cruises.

Just wanted to share with everybody! Love to y'all!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


With summer fading as we get into September, we begin my favorite part of the year. The time when we all think of the fun we had in the summer the things we want to do before winter and most of all the Thanks we give for everything. I love to count my blessings and Thank God for all because when I do nothing seems to overwhelming. So as the nights get cooler(they do in Florida too, don't they) and the mosquitoes freeze(yeah) remember to say your "Thank You" and "I Love You" it is the best medicine ever used. With a spring in your step, a smile on your face, and a laugh in your heart take a walk and enjoy the fall, for like kids it will be gone before you know it and the new season will come -ready or not. Have a great day everyone! Julie

Monday, September 3, 2007

is this thing on?

Greetings fellow family members! I THINK I might actually have a moment to blog and catch you up on the happenings around the Windsor Street Weindl's, I mean, Reindl's! (Even when typing, I cannot speak right!)

Things are EXTREMELY quiet here today, Labor Day. We took Nick back to Milwaukee to his humble abode last Thursday, and we moved Josh into the dorms at UW-Milwaukee on that same day as well...

and I am sad. :(

But they, THEY are doing really well, so I am HAPPY about that!

Although, I think we will always refer to August 30th as "the day the music died" at 317 Windsor Street, because after four LONG years of nothing but live music by various bandmates streaming from these walls and out onto the streets and into Peter's yard...

it is quiet...

TOO quiet.

(Even Meaghan is gone this weekend, up north camping with her friend, Laura.) It's just Joey, Vince and I...a sign of the times to come, I know, but we all agree we have to take up instruments now and get us some gigs!!!

Anyway, I will give you Nick's new address in case you want to ever write him or stop in...he LOVES company. Nick Reindl 2707 N. Oakland Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53211
His email address is and his cell phone is 608-513-0928.

Josh's new address (he lives about 6 blocks from Nick) is: Josh Reindl 3400 N. Maryland Ave.
Sandburg Hall - Box 1836 Milwaukee, WI 53211
His email address is and his cell phone is 608-444-7253

We are VERY excited about Josh's first 24 hours in the dorms, as we found out one of his suitemates brought and plays a stand-up bass, but he also secured himself a job at Jimmy John's sub shop! We think Josh is going to be just fine!

Well, enough for now because as you know, I could blog on, and on, and on, and on, and on...
and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on...

I'm sure you will all remember but don't forget to call your mom and dad (or grandma and grandpa) and wish them a Happy Anniversary today! I think it's #52, isn't it!!?? It's amazing, that's for sure!! I think I can hear them celebrating and whooping it up all the way down here...I better go and see what's happening!

love to you all,

Friday, August 31, 2007


Well it is time for the Walworth County Fair so that is our official end of summer. I went with Beth yesterday and had a great time sharing treats and viewing exhibits. We had great weather and they managed to get the standing water drained so no mud holes. I must say it was very enjoyable. Now for the day after, my feet are having a hangover. I will be enjoying the sounds and smells of the fair from home today which is just fine with me. As I check out my summer accomplishments I must say I/Ed was very productive this summer. I start the project and Ed finishes it. We painted the living room/entry/hall less the trim. We are going to replace some of the trim so we are painting as we go. We got our new retaining wall done, which only required $$ and not our labor, and we cap it off with trips over to the fair for music and food. Tonight it is the Beach Boys and Ed and Amy will take in that concert. Ed has been on vacation all week and has enjoyed may hours of sawdust and a few of mowing. Otherwise it is ER, and Bonanza when he takes a break. So hope you have all had a great summer and have an even better fall. For those going back to school good luck with all the new opportunities. Never let a good opportunity pass you by. Brenda started school last week and it seems to be just the perfect choice for her as she has already found a job in an Assisted Living Home. She is going to Gateway for her CNA and is getting her CBRF for her Assisted living job. Thing always seem to happen for a reason. She was abruptly done with her job on a Tuesday and within 24 hours had 2 new ones. God sure was taking care of her and for that I am grateful. So may you all have the hand of God on your shoulder as you proceed into the fall and for those of you having babies may God have his hand on your belly also. Lets here summer and back to school stories, etc. Julie

Sunday, August 26, 2007

O' Happy Days!

Happy birthday Grandma & Meaghan! It was a beautiful sunny Sunday to be celebrating your birthdays! We hope you had a wonderful day!

And a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Mom & Dad! Tomorrow will be 30 years. It's not going to be 96 degrees in the shade, but it's going to be just as sunny! Your 30 years have shaped Amy, Greg, Brenda & I into who we are, and we are so blessed to have you. (Not to mention the countless rootbeer float bars and whoopie pies our friends consumed in their times of needs too!)

We love you and wish you a superb anniversary! XOXOXO!

Monday, August 20, 2007

February 10th!

That is the projected date for #4 to arrive! We were a little supprised at first, but we are very happy about having another blessing to love.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Trip to CA to see my sister Audrey!

by Noah Gregory

I got to fly to CA from MPS by myself! The flight was kind of long and boring, but I was excited to get there to see Audrey. Once we got together we drove to Audrey's new home. We put my bags in her apartment then went to subway to get something to eat. But, guess what - she locked us out of her apartment and car!!!!!! We had to walk to her old work to get extra keys from her roommate. But, guess what?!? Her roommate wasn't there!!!!

We walked back to her home and Audrey and had to break into her house by climbing into her roommates balacony. She climb some balacany bars, jumped a wall and she broke into her own apartment without the cops being called!

Later in the week we went to the beach. Here is a picture of us!!!

I might tell more later. Bye.


First Hair Cut

Oliver had his first hair cut last night by my friend Elisha.

before hair cut

during the hair cut

after hair cut.

Aren’t I handsome?

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Great Birthday Extravaganza!

Okay everybody, it's that time of the year again! Sun Prarie Cornfest is next weekend! Grandma has offered to have a gathering at her house to celebrate you know what... Corn! No really, it would be a great time to get together for some wonderful family time like we used to do every month for birthdays. So to celebrate Uncle Vince's birthday, Meaghan's & Grandma's birthday, let's get together at Grandma's house!

If you're in, e-mail and tell her what you are hungry for... a.k.a. what you would like someone to make for a dish to pass.

Aunt Rita, if you are off work next Sundayand able to attend, could you please, please bring taco dip?

Hope to see you all there! Have a wonderful weekend! Lots of Love!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Well today is Vince's birthday and in his honor I have researched a little John Wayne trivia. One of the most frequently asked trivia questions about John Wayne is, "In how many films did his character die?" The answer is a little more complicated than it may appear, because no one really knows how many films The Duke made. Estimates vary anywhere between 200 and 300, and many of his earliest films have been lost, so it is impossible to know an exact answer to the question. There are those who would dispute the inclusion of this film because Wayne's character doesn't actually die in the course of the film -- he is already dead before the film begins. The movie begins with Wayne's funeral and is told in an extended flashback.
So with that Happy Birthday Vince!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

the missing tooth

Justin pulled out his first tooth yesterday, he thought that was pretty cool. Justin says I have to say that he pulled it out while watching a show about sharks.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Happy Trails

Well Diane I agree we need to get more people blogging, but I am totally enjoying the conversations we are already having. I have dedicated myself to taking my health into my hands and not letting the doctors have control. 2007 has proven to be the year I have had the endurance and support to get the ball moving in the right direction. This blog has become a very important part of my motivation. I get to hear stories and thoughts from those who are the most important in my life (family) and have always been my driving force. I don't think there are words to explain how we feed off each others strengths and how we are more able to achieve our goals with that strength.
NOW for the story of a well loved couch. There is a couch out there now living at 317 Windsor Street, Sun Prairie that has a lot of secrets buried in its cushions. Vince and Kelly bought it when they were first married, a beautiful taupe pit group with recliners on the ends and a hide-a-bed in the middle. When we first started to go to Schwans banquets we would leave our kids at Vince and Kellys for the overnight. We have many pictures of Kelly and kids snuggling on the hide-a-bed making many warm memories. Then as time went on The Reindls replaced the pit with a nice leather grouping and very kindly passed on the memory couch to the Doucettes for their living room group. Doucettes eventually put it in the family room. There have been many sleepovers with all our kids through the years and through high school many kids crashed here. So many stories have been told on that couch and many secrets have been shared. Now with our reorganization of our house with no live in children we asked if the Reindls had any use for the couch. Well as luck would have it they were in need of a couch for their man room in the basement. That couch is still in pretty good shape and I am so happy it get to absorb more history. I was a pretty amazing evening when Vince, Meaghan, and Nick came with a trailer to move the couch home. Ed and Bill were here to lend a hand for the heavy pieces and all loaded up, off they went into the dark of night with the couch. Happy Trails and many more memories to be had. Have a great weekend. Love, Julie

Friday, August 3, 2007

I just realized

I used to drive UNDER 35W every day home from work when I worked in Eagan. And just about that time of day as well. Another good thing about not working there any more.

And I also just wanted to say I think we need to get more people blogging. It's easy and fun. I love to read about what's happening.

And I've been giving it some thought about the "fear" question. I remember when I had the revelation that I had more fears than I ever acknowledged. I think we can deny most of our fears because we just avoid the situations that make us fearful. If you start to think about those times, it's amazing how we go through life seeking comfort rather than facing our fears and overcoming them. So often, are fears are based on an overactive imagination, imagining the worst, also known as False Evidence Appearing Real. Just because you don't go around with constant anxiety doesn't mean you don't have fears. It could just mean you avoid a lot of life because it isn't comfortable.

Anyhow, I don't know about biggest fear, but I do know I hate to feel stupid and try to avoid that at all cost. This means I don't always ask questions when it would be the simplest way to find out something. I'll research it first - go online, get a book, etc. Even though I can laugh at myself, I still know there are times when this inhibits my growth - and I'm working on it. It's a great experiment to ask a certain number of questions every day - just for practice - even if I think I know the answer. I know it doesn't sound like a big risk, but hey, it's progress.

And I know I have other fears, but since I'm the first to reveal, I thought I'd start small. I'll see what others come up with and see if I can add to my list. Fear is so illogical and emotion based and acknowledging that you have fears is probably the only way to overcome them. Great question Scott. Now, let's hear from the rest of y'all.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Minneapolis Folks are OK

Hi All.
Just wanted to let you know we're all OK up here. Ken, Quincy, Weston and I were at my company picnic when the bridge collapsed. The caterer received a phone call and came over to tell me about it. Cameo was at church and Amber, I believe, was at home.

As far as I know, no one I know was near the disaster. It's a very sad situation but always something good comes out of these situations. I've already heard stories of strangers helping strangers and risking their lives for others. As time unfolds, we'll start to hear more of these.
I think there's always lessons to be learned and with the right perspective, you can see how one can take a mess and make a message out of it (something our pastor highly promotes). Given any circumstance, you can see God's hand in it if you try. As the caterer said, if you're the praying type, now is the time. Many need our prayers for - those who've lost someone, those who are still in critical condition, the people who need to determine what happened and why, etc.

It's always nice to get messages - like the voicemail I got from Julie and the text message I got from Amber - making sure I was OK. It's a great reminder to count your blessings - starting with the people we love. I think that's one thing we've all learned from Mom and Dad. When you take time to practice gratitude, it'll change your perspective in a hurry. 'Nough said.

Love you all ! !
Love the blog - everybody gets a gold star!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What are you afraid of?

What is your biggest fear, not your biggest phobia?

My biggest fear was not finding my true love (good thing I overcame that fear!)
My biggest phobia is ... snakes or Ophidiophobi (

And yours ...............

Monday, July 30, 2007

Just giving it a whirl

Before I get into anything too substantial, I just wanted to see if I get this right. I've tried to see if I can insert a photo but haven't figured that out yet.

Will be adding more later. Just want to say I love this idea and I look forward to reading it regularly.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

This is great!

This is so great, Jason and I started our blog to keep in touch with friends and family accross the globe, and it is so much fun. It's nice to know what family is doing, because I can't call everyone:) I'd be on the phone for a month !!! Serriously, it's nice to peek into your lives and feel connected. Our precious Kiah just figured out how to walk! So far she's keeping the same time-line as the boys, they've all walked at 10 months. I haven't gotten a picture of it yet, but check our blog for updates.
Jason and I are currently reading the Harry Potter book and throughly engrossed in it. I hope that it ends well.

Friday, July 27, 2007

How to Post w/ your own Name

So I've been asked to do a little technical support to help people get their own ID's for the blog. You need to sign up for a Google Acct. or Gmail (which is free), then you can log on to make comments about other peoples post.

To post your own pictures and stories, e-mail mom/Julie/Jules, etc. at and ask her to invite you to the blog.

You'll get an e-mail invitiation that you need to click the link to accept the invitation.

Then when you log in you'll be able to comment and post your very own updates! Hope this helps everybody out! Have a terrific weekend! XOXO, Dawn

Joining The Fun

Hi everyone,

What a great idea and so much fun to see how and what everyone is up to. Well for me and my family we are having a busy summer with Arnie putting in long hours both at work and on the farm, as well as we are looking into building a house on the farm so we are running around getting all the info we need. I am kept busy by taking care of our rapidly growing little one. Oliver will be 5 month old on July 28th and I have no idea where the time has gone. Is anyone else a Harry Potter fan? I am currently reading the seventh and final book and can't wait to find out how it all ends.
The Oliver the other day I was cleaning and he was having fun rolling around (he can roll both ways now) and the next thing I Knew he was sound asleep.

I hope everyone is doing well and I look forward to being able to keep in touch.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hello to All!

Hello Everyone! I've finally decided it's time to get adventurous and attempt to blog! It's quite different from addicting myspace/facebook that i am used to using so feel free to correct me if i'm doing something wrong! :)

Although it has taken me this long to finally post something, I have enjoyed reading all the posts we've gotten. And the last comment on Carissas blog; that was me. Can I get some help on how to get my name on there?

Besides saying hello to everyone, I wanted to give all the mothers (and fathers) a deserved pat on the back! I had my first experiece with a fussy baby resulting in a sleepless night! As everyone knows I am currently a nanny. In May there was a new addition to the family; baby Arianna. She came early and was very tiny but now is a healthy lil peanut. This past Tuesday the parents and other 3 children went to the dells to celebrate Adrianna's 4th birthday! (yes there is an Adrianna AND an Arianna- a day hasn't gone by where i've actually kept them straight!) Anyway, with everyone else gone it left just me and Arianna at the house. The daytime was great; we took a trip to Elkhorn to visit mom and Amy before heading back to the nanny house in Muskego. Arianna was fantastic all day so I assumed nighttime would be no problem. HAHA! We attempted to go to bed at about 10 after a good feeding. We wern't in bed for more than 2 minutes and her ideas were different. She was fussy ALL night long. After trying to feed her, burp her, 3 different beds, her swing, AND a bath...I gave up. I walked around the house ALL night long holding her so she would stop crying. By about 5:20 am I called mom pleading for help asking "what do I do!" She first calmed me down and then I finally got Arianna to sleep! It was a LONG night and I can't even begin to say how much parents do that go unappreciated. So I want to take the time to thank not only my parents, but ALL parents! Parents are amazing people. :-)

I think thats all i've got for now. Hope everyone has a good night! Love you all!

Love, Brenda


Here I am sitting at work thinking about all the things I could be doing on the house:)

Jesse is in South Dakota until tomorrow with his new job, he is working for a company called E80 constructors fabricating
railroad bridges, they wanted him to see a job site so away he went:( But while he is away we are receiving power to our house, just today the came and started to trench in the cable. Dawn, I am so happy to hear you sold your house i bet it is a huge relief. It is Columbia County Fair week and since Mom is so busy I thought I would update you on how well Emily is doing, she received a couple of grand champions and merit awards:) I am so proud of my little sister. So back to the house we will start insulating on the 1st of august if everything goes well this weekend, let keep our fingers crossed. Last Friday we put in our septic, enjoy the pictures:)