Tag Archives: Christmas

Merry Christmas!

The annual Burkholder Christmas letter — 21 years in the running 🙂

2017 brought the year of the teenagers to the Burkholder residence. Ashley Grace achieved the big 18 this month, Megan quickly approaches 16, and Karyn celebrated the fall with 13. Despite the fact that he is surrounded by women, Matt continues to thrive on the Nebraska prairie 🙂 The girls are truly our greatest blessings and the farm is alive with the love and joy that comes with family.

While Ashley Grace rocks her senior year in high school, Matt and I are left pondering how in the world we have a child old enough to leave for college! Last week brought the news that she will join the Notre Dame family in August of 2018. Her excitement rivals the pride that we feel toward the beautiful, compassionate young woman she has become. 2017 brought competition in the National Forensics League Extemporaneous Speaking finals as well as the completion of a successful four year state qualifying cross country career.

Megan expanded her repertoire this year to include set building for the Haymaker State Runner Up One Act play, and state appearances in pole vaulting (along with a school record) and cross country. She is in the midst of a great sophomore basketball season and still makes time to help out with cattle on the farm. Her smile is contagious and she packs her faith with a dedication that makes this Mama proud.

Karyn began her Junior High career this fall bringing home hardware on the cross country course and a successful basketball season. She relishes the fact that although she is the youngest of the Burkholder girls, she is the tallest. Karyn’s greatest dream came true this summer when we welcomed a yellow Labrador named Theodore into the family. Theodore brings a whole new level of antics and laughter to our home; and I have to admit that she is not the only one who adores him 🙂

Matt and I celebrated 21 years of marriage last June although he swears that I turn 29 with every birthday that passes…I am thankful each day to be able to share my life with him. He continues to manage the farm with a dedication to sustainability and integrity, although I think that he would tell you that being a good daddy dominates the top of his priority list.

Ashley Grace challenged me to run in my first half marathon this fall. I found a unique element of good health and strength amidst the 550 miles of training. I finished the race with a smile on my face, peace in my heart, and a time of 1:42.49. I continue to coach the local swim team as well as acting as an assistant coach for the Haymaker Junior High and High School Cross Country team. I truly believe that it takes a community to raise a child, and hope that I positively influence the athletes that I coach.

We wish you and your family the very best this holiday season. As always, if your path ever brings you across Nebraska please stop by and say hello!

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The Cutting Of the Tree…

Christmastreecollage2.jpg

 The Cutting of the Tree

Leave it to me,

We go out to Heins Pines

And we follow the signs

To the big pasture out behind,

There is laughing and screaming

A bit of scheming,

We follow the row

Down the path we go

To find a tree we can top with a bow,

As we run

All the while having fun,

The perfect tree comes into sight

We think it just might

Be just right,

So pictures are taken

But we are mistaken,

The right tree is yet to be found

We bound

Over the ground,

And find anew

A different tree that isn’t as askew,

We all decided

We were quite confided

So we take more pictures beside,

I ask to jump on my dad’s shoulders,

Although he is getting older,

Christmastreecollage1.jpg

I climb aboard

But we get the award

For being awkward,

Because I fall on my face

With much grace,

I get off the floor

And try once more

It works better and this time we score,

When dad finally stands

I can see the woodlands,

And we get a picture

You can see the treasure

In my daddy’s eyes it is captured,

Then he starts dancing

And flouncing,

I hold tight to his head

I close my eyes instead

Of looking upon the scene ahead,

More pictures are snapped

To record this mishap,

I must be crushing his eyes

Because he starts to improvise

Pulling my hands away, to my surprise,

It is time to get off

I am castoff,

He crawls under the branches

With the handsaw in his clenches

And he launches,

The great cutting of the tree

In front of you and me!Christmastreecollage3.jpg

Poem by Megan

Pictures by Anne

Smiles from all the Burkholder clan…

 

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Traditions…

My favorite family tradition is cutting down a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.  Matt and I started this custom when we moved to Nebraska in 1997. Our family has grown over the years and so has the number of smiles that accompanies the tree.

A few years ago, the local tree farm bought tree carts --- Matt is a fan as he no longer has to carry the tree, AG is a fan as she enjoys instructing her sisters to give her a ride...

A few years ago, the local tree farm bought tree carts — Matt is a fan as he no longer has to carry the tree, AG is a fan as she enjoys instructing her sisters to give her a ride…

Looking for the *right* tree is quite the process...

Looking for the *right* tree is quite the process…

Apparently this process involves taking "selfies" to properly assess the tree possibilities...

With teenagers involved, this process now involves taking “selfies” to properly assess the tree possibilities…

When finding the *right* tree, hugging it is necessary...

When finding the *right* tree, hugging it is necessary…

Sometimes the vote for the *right* tree is not unanimous...

Sometimes the vote for the *right* tree is not unanimous…

She got over it...

She got over it…

Fortunately, we generally agree on the important things...

Fortunately, my favorite farmer and I generally agree on the important things…

Christmas is a magical time — A time of family — A time of celebration

A time of love.

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Holiday Blessings…

True courage lies in the ability to surpass life's challenges and find joy in the simple moments of the day...

True courage: The ability to surpass life’s challenges in order to find joy in the simple moments of the day…

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed and peaceful holiday season.

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A Christmas Favorite…

My favorite Christmas tradition is cutting down a tree.  I grew up in the city where we bought an already cut down tree every year for Christmas.  When Matt and I moved to Nebraska in 1997, we started our own tradition of cutting down a tree each year.  Now that our girls are old enough to be opinionated, we have implemented a family voting system when choosing the tree.

Honestly, I do not know what is more fun—searching for the tree, debating on whether or not it is good enough to be “our tree”, watching Matt cut down the tree, or actually setting it up in the house and decorating it.  I love everything about our “Christmas Tree” tradition…

What better way to begin the search than hitching a ride around the tree farm...

What better way to begin the search than hitching a ride around the tree farm…Come on dad, can’t you go faster than that?!

Can you tell which one of my older daughters is the "instigator" of trouble?

Can you tell which one of my older daughters is the “instigator” of trouble?

The choice of my favorite blondes was a tree trimmed to look like a reindeer (I thought it looked more like pig myself)...

The choice of my favorite blondes was a tree trimmed to look like a reindeer (I thought it looked more like pig myself)…

Matt quickly moved them off to search for other trees...

Matt quickly distracted them with a tree just off to the right of the camara lens.  The tree was 25+ feet tall and was more suitable to being planted in my front lawn…

We finally settled on a very pretty 8 foot tree that I found while the other four were off looking at the 25 footer...

We finally settled on a very pretty 8 foot tree that I found while the other four were off looking at the 25 footer…

At one point in the cutting down process, Matt suggested that our favorite 13 year old athlete put her muscles to good use and help.  You can see how well that idea went over...

At one point in the cutting down process, Matt suggested that our favorite 13 year old athlete put her muscles to good use and help. You can see how well that idea went over…

There was a fairly decent "team effort" put forth to lift the tree onto the carrier...

There was a fairly decent “team effort” put forth to lift the tree onto the carrier…

Celebrating the success...

Celebrating the success…

Headed back to the pickup---either the blondes have begun a fitness and strength training program for their daddy or they are spoiled and have him wrapped around their little fingers...I am going with the latter of the two!

Headed back to the pickup—either the blondes have begun a fitness and strength training program for their daddy or they are spoiled and have him wrapped around their little fingers…I am going with the latter of the two!

All in all, the 2012 Christmas Tree tradition went well at the Feed Yard Foodie house!

Wandering, looking for a tree,

It’s hard to please both you and me…

Finally, we found it!

Watching dad wriggling on the ground

Timber! He finally cut it down.

Glowing, it brings joy to the home.

Poem by Ashley Grace

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

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