Recap 2019

Happy Holidays from the Vogel Family

Becoming Who We Are

PreSchool, High School and future planning, this year has been filled with milestones and memories for everyone in our family, big and small!

It started 2019 with my Birthday turning 30! It doesn’t feel like I’m getting old but I am glad to be done being pregnant. We won’t be adding any more little ones to our family after Theodore was born, Eston and I decided we were done having more kids. Next, we celebrated Basil’s 12th Birthday! Her last year before becoming a teenager and before we know it, then she’ll be an adult. All the wonderful things about being a woman and We’re so happy that We get to see her grow first hand, emotions and all.

Leander had his first experience with surgery at the beginning of the year with a Trigger Thumb Release surgery on his left hand. His first look at his stitches when he removed his bandages scared him a lot and convincing him to leave the bandages alone was interesting, to say the least. Both Eston and I wore matching wraps to make sure he kept his on as extra influence. When it was time to take the bandage off to complete the rest of his healing, that was interesting too. Leander no longer has issues with his thumb and it’s healed perfectly, as well as he learned the importance of leaving bandages alone.

I returned to work in March; four months of maternity leave was so amazing to spend with Theodore and getting back the time that I didn’t get to have with Leander was so wonderful. While Riley and Basil went to school, our routine was to watch the bus every morning they left and to be there watching when they got home. Leander can’t wait until he can ride the school bus too! Theodore just wants to do everything Leander gets to. Our winter stay-cation with Mommy being home was well spent creating memories.

Riley’s birthday in May signaled the biggest change in our home. He is now ready to go for Driver’s Training and get his first job! Riley seems hesitant about both a little bit but we know once he gets started with his foot in the door, there’s no going back and we’ll be looking for a third vehicle soon enough. 

The summer was filled with great things. I got a promotion at work to Senior Coordinator, a nice pay increase and greater responsibility included. Eston finding his career with T-Mobile as a Mobile Expert! We’ve got blue and magenta swag all over our home and our family from our great workplaces! As Riley says he’s “sponsored” by the two companies. Theodore, in June, also had his first memory with stitches. His were due to an accident though, poor baby busted his lip wide open playing with a toddler chair. He received two little stitches in his lip and after it was all done, he played just as bravely and hard as he did before. He really is a brave boy trying lots of new things.

In June we also got to visit the Largest Candy Store in Minnesota, The Big Yellow Barn! Leander loved seeing Iron Man but was a little intimidated by the big suit.

     Back into the School year, we bought school supplies for Riley and Basil then celebrated Leander’s 3rd Birthday! He is growing so fast and learning so quickly that when he starts school we are going to be blown away by what he can do and learn. He is also still measuring near the top 100% for both height and weight.

Eston and I celebrated 7 Years in July. It’s supposed to be the year of copper and wool, instead, we celebrated with a Himalayan Salt (Lamp)! It’s supposed to cleanse the air with negative ions and promote a peaceful environment. Either way, we love it. Thinking to the future, we want to continue to have inviting conversations and loving home for all of our family and friends. No matter where we are and what we’re doing, we keep each other close in our hearts and thoughts.

Finally into the Fall and Winter, Eston and Riley enjoyed scaring the pants off of people at Molitor’s Haunted Acres. Riley’s first job was a success and he cannot wait until next October to do it again. Most of our family was sick the first couple of weeks of November, 5 of the 6 of us were on some kind of antibiotic at one point. Luckily we get well quick!

We had lots of fun and enjoyed both Theodore’s First and Eston’s 35th Birthday! It is so hard to believe it’s already been one whole year Theodore has been with us as his birthday was a week prior to Eston. He was walking and talking so quick it was like being our little baby boy was just a short little while and now he’s all ready to become a big kid. Eston loves that he gets to have his birthday with Theodore but we made sure to celebrate him also. As a Father to four, it is never a dull moment. 

     Basil won the local American Legion sponsored Peace Poster Contest with her Peace Poster she drew so artistically. Keeping it a secret from her for a few days while getting her answer on what Peace means to her was a little tricky but she was so excited and surprised when it was announced she was the winner at her school! Her poster will go on to the District Level contest against other districts in Minnesota. If she wins there too then she would be entered into the National contest where she could potentially win real money! We are keeping our fingers crossed that her poster continues.

     Ending the year with the few remaining Holidays, We visited my Grandma Darlene’s home for Thanksgiving this year. Leander and Theodore got to meet a lot of the cousins they haven’t had a chance to yet and had a lot of fun playing with new friends and eating tasty foods! They also really love seeing their Grandpa Roger who is always good for lots of fun and great big hugs! We cant wait to see Leander and Theodore’s faces light up with seeing all the family they love and all the presents they get are so much fun.

How We Met… 2010


     I met Eston at Groat’s Bar in my home town. My cousin Tawnya had brought me out for drinks. I had just moved back into my dad’s home after my first year of college, it was Summer Break.

     Tawnya was friends with all of Eston’s friends that were at the bar and so we all drank together. By the end of the night, they had all left but we were still chatting away. As the bar had then closed up, I drove Eston home. The very next day I went back to his house to visit some more. After that, I never really left.

November 21st

     Eston and I had been hanging out for a couple of months by now. I remember I was watching a movie with his little kids Riley and Basil that I then heard a familiar ping on my phone. He texted me “Will you be my girlfriend?”

     I had to pin him down to get him to really say it out loud but I said “Yes” to his question with enthusiasm anyways.  

November 24th

     This was Eston’s 26th Birthday! It was also our first date as a couple, I drove him to Marshall, MN and we enjoyed food, shopping and then ice cream from the local Cold Stone Creamery! The ice cream ended up all over the side of my car at 60MPH as we were traveling home later. We also slid into the median of a divided highway by Granite Falls, MN as a cop tried to get me to slow down by swerving in front of us. In his defense, I was speeding a little bit but that is no excuse to attempt a maneuver like that on icy roads.

     Eston made fun of me for quite some time for that and still loves retelling the story to people who will listen.


     I finally moved into Eston’s house! Our first home together.

A Picture is not the whole Story, but a really good excerpt.

I took a little bit longer on this unit for Digital Storytelling than I have the others. I want to say it was that I was not entirely wanting to do all the extra assignments but in reality, I was neglecting my knitting projects and I had too much fun making an Illusion Deadpool Scarf to work on a blog post. Check it out here!

So I started this unit, back in the day, with a really engaging Photoblitz! Since it is too cold outside here in Minne”snow”ta I did this assignment inside my home. Its a glimpse of the whole story because it doesn’t portray all the pieces of our lives. That is probably the most interesting part of a photo, it is the perfect little side story of someone’s life. A moment in time depicting that little scene that can mean something to everyone or a whole world of memories to an individual.

Taking these photos, like I said earlier, was really engaging and a lot of fun, not just because I also included my baby boy. But I also learned new techniques to take a better photo. The depth of view and perception, background and foreground focus and lighting are the few that I focused on the most. Taking a photo that focuses on the background rather than the foreground like of my knitting and the lighting on my snake plant was interesting that it provided a new view on an object I see every day. I loved playing with the different angles and intensity of lighting on an object, whether I adjusted a curtain or moved the item itself to highlight key points or shadows was fun also. It shows that just because something exists that it doesn’t have just one look or one purpose. Overall, I love the new ways I can take a photo to make it extraordinary.

Check out too my other Daily Creations and artwork for this unit.

Daily Creations, ongoing works

Daily Creates have been a lot of fun to get engaged online. This one challenged to create a secret name using the last thing that you ate or drank. As I just had a tasty drink of peach flavored water, this seemed like a really good spy name, now I have to think of a new one for my real secret name.

Just over two years ago now I started my current day career. In my role, I fell in love with the snipping tool app and I use it all the time now! It’s so perfect for capturing just the right piece of something or a snippet of an email to forward to my coworkers. It’s the best tool I’ve found and I discovered my personal PC has it installed to which made it even better!

As a child, I read this book maybe a dozen times or so, the imagery is spectacular in the words I would read every time. I did also learn how to pronounce the word “Abalone” and have not forgotten it since. I recommend this book to everyone young and old for a story of finding yourself and your place to know that everything will always end up OK.

Sweet 16 Pixels

I am falling in love with editing images and making them something really unique! So just like my baby boy, I made a 16×16 pixel of one of his photos and of course had fun doing it. I will admit, capturing all the important details in the right places in so little space was interesting but I think I pulled it off pretty well. I chose this photo specifically because I thought it was going to be easy, it really was not that easy but I did add back some color to the black and white photo. I was going to import the photo into my image editor but I found it was much easier to create an empty new file that was 16 pixels big and “paint” it myself.

16 x 16 pixel art
Hey Baby Boy!

Playing with Colors

Playstation in this house! (2 stars)

In DS106 Visual Assignments, I saw this one that instructed to take an ordinary everyday item and play with the colors and tones. I chose my Playstation controller as the item, as we use it every day in our home, and I turned it bright purple while leaving the background it’s on the way it was. It took some work but I got it to stick. I really enjoyed this assignment because of how I was able to pull the image together the way I did. Thank you paint programs!