The North Shore Reunion

We made some sweet family memories last weekend.

All of Jan’s family (except for our Matt) gathered at his brother’s cabins in northern Minnesota.


Grandpa, Grandma, uncles, aunts, and lots and lots of cousins.

Traveling from four different states for a few days of fun in the north woods.


Cousins that seldom see each other wasted no time in having epic adventures.

Climbing waterfalls.




Rock Climbing.



Wild blue berry picking.

And wild blue berry eating.


And a one-of-a-kind Purple Lupine Olympics that included a Grand Prix, pine cone toss, target shooting, and a fire starting contest.

The camp fire was always burning.

There were s’mores every night.




Too many marshmallows.

And sweet, sweet fellowship.


Hashtag Birthday

Birthday’s are made for surprises.

And Angel Girl is the hardest to surprise!

But this year – Pedro pulled it off!


It was the Thursday night before her birthday – and she suspecting nothing.

Pedro gathered up four cousins and they drove the two hours to our house stuffed in Pedro’s car.


They hid the car and planned the epic surprise.

Angel Girl got home from work, wondered why dad was grilling so many hamburgers, put down her water bottle in the kitchen, rounded the corner to the dining room and jumped out of her skin at the sight of Pedro and the cousins waiting for her!



They had a hilarious supper, followed by crazy dance moves in the driveway and a wild adventure to the abandoned house and low water crossing.

Poison ivy, bug bites, photo shoots, and much laughter.


They spent the night eating popcorn and rice krispie bars while watching old VHS movies that were favorites years ago.


And were up at first light to be on the road to make it back to the city to work.

A short night and a long drive.

But they had almost fourteen hours of jam-packed, fun-filled wonderfulness.


Happy 18th birthday Angel Girl!



The Force was with Them

What could be more exciting than watching the much anticipated new Star Wars movie over Christmas break?

Unless it was watching it with cousins.



Especially cousins in costumes.

A whole slew of cousins in epic costumes!


Everything from Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker to R2-D2.


Chewbacca and some Ewoks.

886368_10205378770646287_509271128307715090_oAnd Porkins and Biggs – two X-wing fighter pilots, just to name a few!


This wasn’t just a movie viewing – it was an epic event!


And yes – the force was with them!

Graduation Times Three

Eighteen years ago my oldest sister had a baby girl.

A few months later my youngest sister had a baby girl.

Then a few months later I had Pedro.

three cousinsThree cousins in 6 months.

They grew up together. Playing. Laughing. Pretending. Sharing toys and adventures.

Somebody joked that it would be a crazy spring when they all graduated!

It was.

Three different graduations.

Three different parties.

Three different towns.

Three different weekends.

cousinsThree close cousins who suddenly grew up.

Three unique and amazing kids who share so many zany memories.

Three very good reasons to celebrate!

Now go forth and conquer cousins!

We’re so proud of you!

The Pretty Princess and the Frog Legs

Look who came to visit Auntie Melinda!

DSC_0340 Our very special Anniekins! (and her four brothers!)

And since Anniekins is totally a girlie girl who loves high heels and sparkles, we spent a lot of time wearing princess dresses, reading princess stories, listening to Disney songs for hours, and playing with dolls.

At least we girls did. The guys did their own “man-stuff” (well, other than one little incident with some dress-up clothes that we got pictures of that I won’t post on line if they send me more chocolate but will totally be a part of some graduation videos someday soon! I prefer my chocolate really dark, boys!)

They spent their time jumping off roofs, having water gun wars, playing Zombie tag, and perfecting their survival skills.

Which of course, involved frog hunting. Thank you , Bear Grylls.

Their first attempt yielded one pathetic little frog.


Which  Andrew very carefully butchered and they cooked both bites of meat from the frog legs on my stove and ate them.

Then they ate massive amounts of pulled pork sandwiches and chips and finished off the cookies. So much for living off the land!

But they were determined and a later exhibition – that including sneaking over to borrow Grandpa’s fishing net in the middle of the night – yielded one nice big bullfrog.

Which they also cooked up and shared bites with any who wished to try it.


And – in a surprising twist of fate – Anniekins – who is definitely more of an ice cream and sprinkles kind of girl (heavy on the sprinkles please!) – took a taste and loved it! She grabbed the rest of one of the legs and picked it clean! But Grandpa – who grew up eating lutefisk and pickled herring – politely refused to try it.

And yes – I ate some! It tasted like fishy chicken in case you wondered.

And yes, I would eat it again – especially if it meant the guys didn’t try for bigger game. I’m not sure Auntie Melinda is ready for coon, or ‘possom, or even wood chuck!

And remember my darling nephews, I like my chocolate dark! 🙂

Meeting of the Clan

It was a “meeting of the clan” this weekend for my husband’s family. We met up with his siblings and their families at his parents house for a weekend of  fun and sweet fellowship.

cousinsAll the cousins were there – except for my Matt – which made for 7 teenage boys, 4 almost teenage boys and 2 pint-sized fellas who ate like teenage boys!  You should have seen the food they inhaled!

And we can’t forget the 6 girl cousins (including my three special nieces with the extra chromosome!) While definitely outnumbered – they added a much needed feminine touch!

It rained all weekend which ruined many of our outside plans and left us with 2 soggy tents and a basement full of boys that smelled strongly of locker room. But that didn’t stop us!

Family Fun Run

The rain slowed down enough on Saturday morning to hold our first ever Shervheim Family 5K and Fun Run.

It was wet – but boy did we make some memories! Especially when some of the 5K runners got lost on the course. Thankfully they were found before they made it to the next town.  They got a bit of teasing all week-end and Poppa and Nana awarded them all ribbons for running the half marathon!

rock climbing

Then – to get them good and tired – Poppa and Nana took the whole crew to do some indoor rock climbing. Since I tend to hyperventilate when I see my kids strapped on ropes and hanging on the sides of really high walls while holding on to little plastic supports – I volunteered to stay home with my three special nieces who needed a bath and some Aunt Melinda cuddles.

So while my husband calmly watched our babies hang in mid-air, I got to bubble 3 girls and play hair dresser. Well – actually – the girls did the hair styling and I was the “stylee”. When they were finally done,  my hair was teased out to almost horizontal with two “clicks clicks” (barrettes) in odd angles and at least one comb stuck somewhere in the back. Oh it was fun!

fish pond

Poppa and Nana had a fish pond for the littles, letting them take turns fishing for gifts.  The teens were on the other side of the curtain hooking their gifts to the poles and sometimes adding a special surprise – like a stuffed skunk or a smelly shoe!

We had a birthday party for sweet Annie-kins, a Mancala tournament (I actually made it through two rounds – but lost to Buddy in the quarter finals), lots of carpet ball, swimming and a real old-fashioned slide show!

The kids even got in one game of Ultimate Frisbee in the rain. (And to answer the question as to when kids are old enough to know not to put wet clothes in their duffle bags – it would be sometime older then ours!)

But the best part of the weekend – and of any weekend when we get together – is the time spent just hanging out.


Just being together. Laughing. Talking. Wrestling. Burping loudly. (Well – all right – not all of us did the wrestling and the burping!)

But we all enjoyed the weekend!

Sweet times.

24 Hours of Fun

We decided at the last minute to take advantage of the beautiful weather and drive the 3 hours to my sister’s house Friday night for a little pre-New Year’s fun.

She let the rest of the family know that we were coming and before the  night was over my parents and all of my siblings had arrived for an impromptu party!

Not only was impromptu – it was short. We had just 24 hours together.

Do you have any idea how much fun a bunch of cousins can cram into 24 hours? Especially when they don’t sleep?

making moviesThey put Angel Girl behind the camera and  filmed an epic movie – complete with costumes and a rap.

They played hilarious games, did some wild singing, and laughed at all their inside jokes.

line dancingThere was a lot of dancing – both with Dance Central and then some line dancing in the basement, followed by some swing dancing and a little “Hunting the Fox”.

Then there was the great deer head adventure. One of the uncles had hit a deer with his van and it was still laying in the ditch. The kids decided to go and rescue the antlers for him. The only problem was – they couldn’t get the antlers off.

deer head adventureSo they brought him the whole head.

I know he appreciated it!

They had a midnight toast with homemade ice cream, ate cold pizza at 2 AM and consumed lots of Christmas goodies between times.

Dagmar and the wolfBut most of all – they just loved being together! (And yes – there is a cousin hidden in the wolf costume!)

Now that was 24 hours of fun and excitement!

Mom’s Vacation

I’m heading out in a few minutes to pick up all five of my kiddos after their week with cousins.

Yes – all five. All week.

I had a 8 days at home without kids.

I’m still in awe of the wonder of it.

Jan’s dad and 2 brothers took all the guy cousins on a three day canoe trip into the Superior National Forest.

Canoe tripThat’s 11 Shervheim men aged 10 – 81 for three days camping in the wilderness. They loved it.

Meanwhile the girls all stayed back at the cabins with the aunts and Nana and yes- they loved it, too.

On the way home they spent a few days in the Twin Cities.

I loved getting daily Facebook updates on their activities – but had to laugh when Dagmar posted this on my wall,

” You don’t update your status very often. Does nothing exciting happen without us there?”

Exciting? Define exciting.

cousin timeWhile the kids were canoeing, exploring the wilderness and the Twin Cities, learning front flips, and making homemade pizza with Aunt Karen… I was on vacation.

I only used my china plates.

I read 2 entire books.

I did one teeny load of laundry every day.

It took me less than 10 minutes to do the dishes after a meal.

I had long talks with the Lord.

I ate out twice with my husband and had a special lunch with a dear friend.

Sometimes I listened to music as loud as I wanted; other times I relished the sound of silence.

I watched the Walton’s every day at lunch and enjoyed a leisurely, quiet meal with my husband every night at supper.

I rested.

It was a sweet time – a peaceful oasis in the midst of a crazy summer.

Exciting? Well – maybe not by my children’s definition.

Needed and cherished? Oh yes!

Refreshing? Definitely!

But all vacations must end – and I can’t wait to hear about all their adventures!

This house is ready for some laughter.

A special thanks to my brother-in-law Lee for the pictures and hosting my kiddos!

Hugs and Giggles

It has been such a busy week!

So much laughter and silliness – so many special moments.


Several days we “went to town” to run errands and pick up Pedro from Driver’s Ed. Each girl had their purse, their baby, and their snack bag. They even got lollipops at the grocery store.

Play GroundWe stopped to play at the park – because Aunt ‘linna and Aunt “Juwe” think that time spent in a park is priceless.
SweetsWe think the girls agreed.
One afternoon we even took the whole crew (all 13 kids) to the beach – because we’re either crazy or up for Aunts of the Year. 🙂

We all loved it and have the sunburns to prove it!
EmieWe played dress-up clothes, read stories, played with water balloons and spent hours in the swings.
KateWe feed the moo cows, chased the chickens, threw rocks in the ponds, and ate mulberries right off the trees.

We discovered fresh garden peas, read a ka-gillian stories, painted our finger nails and toe nails, and dipped all our food in ranch dressing.

We hugged and kissed and giggled and laughed.

We tickled and prayed and sang and splashed.

It was a good week.

The Sam and Davy Show

It’s become a tradition every June for my nephew Sam to enjoy a week here at the farm while his big brothers are at church camp.

This year his little brother Davy came to join him.

Sam and Buddy are best friends.

I’m not sure what it is about boys and mud – but I’m sure it’s in the jeans (oops – I mean genes!)

Davy and Pedro have become best buddies this week. Maybe it’s because they both love cars and trucks and things with wheels. …or maybe it’s because Davy knows Pedro has the keys to the 4 wheeler and will give him rides! 😉

Pedro has been so patient with the little guy, reading him tractor stories and letting him sit in every vehicle and pretend to drive.

He even pulled out the pedal car and let Davy sit on it while he pushed him around the yard – for hours and hours.

One morning we got out the little Ertyl farm set and filled a Rubbermaid with wheat berries. Davy had a blast filling the wagons with wheat and dumping it back out. He feed the cows and filled the silos. I had wheat berries all over the basement. 🙂

Later that night when we gave him a bath, Dagmar took off his diaper and enough wheat berries to make a loaf of bread came spilling out!  “Uh Oh!”

The little guy even had wheat berries imbedded in his tushy! No wonder he was a little wiggly at supper!

Speaking of supper…

Meal time is where Davy and I bonded. I showed him how to put Bugles on his fingers, laughed when he said, “Oops! I burped Aunt Linna” and let him feed his lettuce to his “Buddy bunny” instead of eating it himself.

I even squirted chocolate sauce on the top of his ice cream cone, let him lick it of and then squirted some more on.

I can do that. I’m the aunt. It’s my job.

I love it!