2013 Christmas Letter

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm in

Merry Christmas to our families and friends!  This time of year is one of our favorites…the Christmas lights, music, white snow, warmth by the fireplace, time with family, and the celebrations surrounding the birth of Jesus.  Christmas is a small word…but one that changed the world forever!

2013 was a good year for our family in so many different ways.  We continue to be blessed with our families and their presence in our lives.  We enjoyed spending time at the cabin up north this summer.  Campfires, mini golf, fishing, boating, and ice cream are some of our favorites up there.  We also continue to enjoy “Survivor nights” with them as well.  This summer the three of us went down to Nebraska for a weekend to spend time with Chad’s extended family.  We sure wish E. had all of those kids to play with here in Minnesota for family gatherings. The three of us are looking forward to going to see the Vikings play in December.  Even though their season hasn’t been the greatest, we’ve got to sneak one more football game into the Metrodome before it’s knocked down. This will be E.’s first Vikings game, so he’s pretty excited!

E., Mr. Comedian, is now in first grade and he loves it.  It’s amazing!  We certainly can’t believe how fast time has flown.  It seems like not too long ago I was able to rock him to sleep. Thankfully he still likes to snuggle. He absolutely LOVES school this year, and I credit his teacher.  She has such a passion for kids and E. LOVES her!  He has become a reader, writer, and math thinker.  My favorite is when he sits and reads me a story…with expression!  He continues to stay active…playing with numerous neighborhood friends, taking ice skating lessons, and took swim lessons and t-ball this summer as well.  He also participates in Cub Scouts and had A LOT of fun selling wreaths and popcorn to family, friends, and neighbors.  Thank you to all who bought.

Chad, Mr. Project Developer and Completer, continues to do various projects around the house…inside and out.  He truly does amaze me with his handyman skills!  Thank God he has the talent because we all know I do not.  He installed exhaust fans in the bathrooms, did some major landscaping projects outside, and continues to wire our house electronically. It’s been so fun seeing Chad use his dad’s tools and machinery in “the shop” and seeing his creations.  He is definitely his father’s son. Chad also participates with Ethan in Cub Scouts as chair coordinating a banquet.  He continues to work at St. Thomas…and has really enjoyed coordinating graduation plus the inauguration for the new University President.  He celebrated 11 years there now and truly does feel St. Thomas is a part of his identity and who he is.

Amy, Mrs. Social Planner and Task Master, is in the middle of her 13th year teaching.  She continues to enjoy the connections she’s making with students and their families and enjoys “running into” several former students who are now working, in college, out of college, and even married!  It’s pretty amazing she has taught nearly 800 students!  She also continues to participate in a Bible Study/Book Club made up of about 15 neighborhood gals.  She’s made lots of great connections with the gals, and is so thankful God planted our family in the neighborhood.  During down time, Amy has a new obsession…Candy Crush.  If you haven’t played it yet, DON’T!!

We pray this letter finds you and your family happy, healthy, and full of God’s peace and love this Christmas season.

-The Klucks

Chad, Amy, & E.

2012 Christmas Letter

Posted on December 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm in

Another year is coming to a close!  We can hardly believe how fast time flies.  We had a great year in the Kluck household.  We are all enjoying our new house, always adding and organizing things.  Amy’s dad built us a deck last spring and we have all really enjoyed being able to spend many summer days and meals on it.  We are so grateful for Rick’s skill and hard work. It’s beautiful!

We are very thankful for Rita, Chad’s mom, helping to get Ethan off to school, his lunches made, care after school, and dinner meal planning.  It takes something off of our plates for the time being, and we appreciate it. As usual we also spent time up at the lake, where Amy’s parents own a place.  We all love going up there to enjoy good food, fishing, fires, family, and fun!

Chad went his first full year since pre-school without attending classes, however, he didn’t skip out on studying or exams. In April he renewed his MetroSkywarn training to again become a trained storm spotter, and in June he completed the Technician exam for his Ham Radio license. He was able to pick out his own call sign, KØRRX, which signifies his love of trains. Chad has reorganized the shop in the garage, planted a garden in our yard as well as a ton of flowers, installed adjustable shelving in the closets, and has even occasionally escaped these household projects to go volunteer at the Jackson Street Roundhouse restoring train cars.

Amy continues to teach third grade.  She can’t believe it’s already her 12th year teaching!  She has a wonderful class this year and enjoys having a student teacher again this year.  Her former student teacher ended up getting a job at her school so,  Amy enjoys being able to continue to see her each day.  Amy also is participating in a Bible study group with several women neighbors.  It has been such a blessing for her to get to know these wonderful ladies!  A highlight of Amy’s year was being able to go to a Vikings game and they actually won!  She hadn’t been to a game since childhood so she really enjoyed herself.  Amy lost her first grandparent on November 25th. It was hard to see Grandma go, but Amy knows she’s with Jesus now, free from all pain and anxiety.

E. is now in Kindergarten!  There are days when we look at him and think “Who are you?”  He’s gotten so tall, so much more mature, and definitely more independent.  E. has learned so much already it amazes us!  We bought him a lofted bed with a built in desk, cabinet, and shelves in November.  It’s his favorite right now, as he builds a fort underneath and writes stories.  He asks us how to spell words and gets busy writing them.  The stories are adorable!  It’s so fun for Amy to see E.’s literacy world growing.  Thank God for teachers to share their love for learning:)  E. also enjoys playing with his numerous neighborhood friends, riding his bike, and building with Legos.  He is quite the builder just like his dad and Papa.  He participated in T-ball this year, which he absolutely loved and can’t wait to do it again!  And he learned how to swim this summer!  No more life jackets in the water, just goggles and dive sticks!  He’s almost six and is getting his first 6 year molar.  He makes us laugh and he knows it!

We hope to hear from you this Christmas season!

Love, The Kluck Family

Time Capsule

Posted on July 17, 2012 at 10:50 pm in

When installing our flag around Memorial Day I found out our porch pillar was hollow, perfect for a time capsule. This past weekend we completed getting things together for it and I put it inside the pillar ready for the year 2042.

I made sure to separate everything using archival plastic (polyester, polypropylene or polyethylene), a plastic organizer container, and sealed it with silicone.

Here’s a list of everything we put in: our appraisal, pictures of our deck construction from April, 1 dollar bill, 1 penny, 1 nickle, 1 dime, 1 quarter, last year’s Christmas letter, architect drawing of the house, Google satellite view of house, letter to future us, questions about 2042, June editions of Hugo Citizen, St. Paul Pioneer Press, and White Bear Press, 2012 Minnesota Twins schedule, a Manitou Days button, and a picture of the family.

The Minnesota Historical Society web site provided some helpful information. To read more about the capsule as well as the questions I posed visit my web site.

Connect Four

Posted on June 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm in

My son and I were playing Connect Four and got into a disagreement over what four in a row means. He doesn’t think it needs to be a straight line and can be “L” shaped.

I told him I knew the rules as I had been playing since I was his age.

He replied, “Yeah, and you’re still not any good.”

Teaching value of money

Posted on February 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm in

Our son, E. who is now five, had a twenty dollar bill to spend so we went to the toy store. After looking through all the aisles he finally found something under twenty dollars that he wanted.

To teach him how money disappears from our pockets we always let him hand the money over to the cashier. When the cashier handed E. back his change (3 bills, a quarter, a dime, and a nickel), E. exclaimed, “I got even more money!”

Apparently we skipped a step and need to teach him the values of money.

2011 Christmas Letter

Posted on December 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm in

Dear Family and Friends,

What an exciting year 2011 has been! We have been so blessed. Here are some highlights in no particular order:

1) For the last several years we’ve mentioned Chad was studying hard and we are happy to finally announce he completed his Master’s of Science in Software Engineering from the University of St. Thomas this past spring. We celebrated with a riverboat cruise down the Mississippi. Not one to sit idle, he already started volunteering at the Jackson Street Roundhouse restoring train cars, and is studying for a Ham radio technician license by the time he renews his MetroSKYWARN weather spotter training this coming spring.

2) Amy was asked to attend the STAARS Banquet. Each year seniors in the top of their class are invited to a formal banquet and are asked to invite his/her most influential teacher throughout their educational career. One of Amy’s former fifth grade students chose her! How awesome is that?! It was a fabulous night and quite an honor.

3) Amy kept E. at home with her the entire summer. They had a lot of fun together at the lake, swimming at the pool, playing outdoors, and with E.’s best friend, C. It was a summer filled with great memories and lots of fun!

4) E. began preschool at our church. Grams gets him there three days a week for a few hours in the morning. He loves it! It is amazing to us at how much he’s learning. Thankfully those ABC’s are coming along, as he begins kindergarten next year!

5) We put our townhouse up for sale the end of August, got an offer 2 weeks later, and moved October 20th! Our new home is only a mile away from our old one and was just built this summer. We absolutely love it and have been keeping very busy organizing and making home improvements. Each day we feel more settled.

What blessings did 2011 bring you? We look forward to hearing from you. May this letter find you and your family full of happiness, good health, and the Christmas spirit.

The Kluck Family

2010 Christmas Letter

Posted on December 11, 2010 at 8:36 pm in

Dear Family and Friends,

We hope this letter finds you happy and thankful for all the blessings you have this Christmas season. We sure cannot believe another year has come and gone! It appears the “older” we get, the faster time goes.

We must first start out by saying our little bundle of joy is almost 4 years old! E. is becoming more and more independent as time goes on. He enjoys cars, trains, and tractors, Legos, K’nex, and Tinker Toys as well as running, jumping, and biking. E. also enjoys spending time up at the lake fishing, swimming, and collecting rocks and sticks. He also began swim lessons this summer and definitely continues to enjoy them. He keeps us all laughing with his sense of humor which he knows he has! He also enjoys being in the preschool room at his daycare and amazes us with the things he learns. Playing outside in the snow, chopping down our Christmas tree, visiting Santa Claus, and going sledding brings back many memories of our own childhood experiences this time of year. We are also happy to report E. has been seizure-free for almost 2 years! Thanks be to God!

E. did have two “firsts” this year. He took his first trip without mom and dad when he went down to Nebraska to spend an entire week with Chad’s mom. It was very hard for Amy to adjust, but after the first day, both of us really took advantage of the “olden” days and spent lots of time together, just the two of us. E. had a blast with Grams! He eats up all of the attention she gives him. He especially loved the fact that “mommy and daddy didn’t go with me.” Guess it’s a good thing, right? E.’s other first came when he broke his right wrist in October and had to have a cast for 3 weeks. Amy’s dad and E. were playing at a park when it happened. We are very thankful his body healed and his right-handedness has been restored without any complications.

Amy continues to teach 3rd grade. This is her 10th year teaching. Even though the profession has becoming quite demanding in recent years, she still enjoys working with kids and the connections she makes with her students and her coworkers. Amy is also enjoying studying Isaiah in Bible Study Fellowship on Monday nights, even though at times she is confused. It’s helpful her mom and cousin participate as well. She also continues to enjoy getting together with her many friends and their children as often as possible. And, of course, this summer she enjoyed spending time up at the lake with her family. It’s definitely a safe haven that is very much appreciated.

Chad continues to work in the Career Development Center at the University of St. Thomas. He’s getting excited as he’ll finally earn his Master of Science in Software Engineering this coming May with an emphasis in computer security. Since preschool he’s been in class all but two semesters, so he’s looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel. He also enjoys building with E. and, of course, checking out different train museums. He has developed a real sense of curiosity about the history of railroading in Eastern Nebraska and the Twin Cities. He has also enjoyed working out at St. Thomas’ new athletic center each day during lunch—a great stress reliever.

We look forward to hearing from you this Christmas season. May you remember, amidst the craziness of the season, the true meaning of this time of year… Jesus, the light of the world!

The Kluck Family

And he has no hair

Posted on November 29, 2010 at 8:05 pm in

I was enjoying my McRib, and my son was enjoying his nuggets, when he pointed to a customer at the counter in McDonald’s.

“Dad, he looks like you!”

I looked over and didn’t see anyone who reminded me of myself.

“He has your jacket!”

I then pinpointed the individual wearing the same jacket as me. “Yes, yes he does.”

“And he has no hair!”

I froze at my son’s outburst while still looking over towards the customer. Stunned, I knew I should look away, but couldn’t. My mind screamed “look away!” but I didn’t react soon enough. I was caught in my stare as the man turned around to face us.

3 Quotes Today

Posted on September 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm in

E was putting on his shirt this morning and came to me saying it was broken. I glanced over the buttons and they were all there.

“It’s not broken,” I said.

“Yes it is, look.” He lifted up the side showing me the triangular cut where the seam ends at the bottom of the shirt.

“E, all polo shirts have that at the bottom.”

Later, as I was putting on my belt, he pointed to a worn crack in it. “Daddy, why does that have a crack in it?”

“Because it’s old and worn,” I replied. “I will need to ask for a new one for my birthday or Christmas.”

“Oh.” He started down the stairs. As he continued walking he said, “I will ask Santa for you.”

Later, as we where headed to the store, he asked if cars could get snow on them. Amy replied that they can have rain and snow on them because they have a special coat of paint.

He looked out the car window and shook his head. “I don’t see a coat.”

Two Memorable Sayings in One Day

Posted on July 30, 2010 at 10:48 pm in

Today, when Amy picked up our son from daycare, she was told that while the kids were sitting around in a circle, they were each asked to share what made them special. When it was E’s turn, he responded, “Jesus!”

Later, when he and I were driving back home on the highway, a car had cut off the truck driving in front of us, and the car then changed lanes again. This caused the passenger in the truck to give a signal. From the back seat E asked me, “Daddy, why is he sticking his finger out the window?”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Soon I was able to answer him with a plausible response. “Because he was pointing to the sky. There must be an airplane.”