Category Archives: Mary's Entries


One of the things I’ve been doing to keep busy this summer is work on family ancestry. I’ve always been interested in ancestry. My mom could tell you about when I was a little girl and I would spend hours looking through a Klaustermeier Family Tree book we had.

The Klaustermeier side of the family is not really much of a mystery to me, but every other side of the family is a little bit mysterious. I always knew a lot about the Klaustermeier side because I was the 5th generation to live on the Klaustermeier farm. My dad’s great-grandfather was the one who settled on that land. I also have a Klaustermeier book that’s nearly 450 pages of family history and ancestry.

I also knew a little about the Siewert side because of their prominence in Hamburg. I remember being little and my mom telling me about how so-and-so lived here or there or going to the cemetery and looking at headstones from relatives, etc.

Jeff’s family is another story. Jeff knows his grandparents names and that’s about it. So I set out to do some research of my own. His mom and aunts have been pretty helpful on his mom’s side of the family, but I don’t have nearly the availability of the extensive records on my side of the family. One of the things I’ve been spending so much time on is looking through census records. It never ceases to amaze me how many Frederick Finke’s there were born around the same time, or how many Jim Lewis’s (Jeff’s side) there could be married to Lizzie Ross’s. It’s made for quite a puzzle of things to put together. There should be census information out there on his family somewhere, at least back until the 1870 census, but it’s been a huge, frustrating, challenge. When I start to get frustrated I take a step back for a while but always get sucked back in! I know there’s a piece to that puzzle that will fall into place soon and things will start to come together if I stick with it.

So when my cousin, Gina, emailed me and asked about ancestry, I thought that maybe the best way to go about things would be to blog a little at a time about each person or married couple I’ve found. That way, those of you who are “in-the-know” about those people in our history could comment and add your own info, and we could all benefit.

Here’s a paragraph from an email I sent Gina a few minutes ago:

One of the things that has been the most confusing for me is the names. For example, on the Finke side we have:
Leonard Frederick Finke. Then we have William Frederick Finke. Then we have Frederick Finke (whose middle name was probably William). Frederick Finke had a brother named William Finke. Their mom’s name is Elisabeth. Frederick Finke also had a daughter, Lizzie, but she was probably “officially” named Elisabeth, too. Try keeping it all straight!

What do you think? Is that something you are interested in reading about? And adding to?


Posted by on July 16, 2010 in Mary's Entries



House is painted!




It is finished already!


Posted by on June 9, 2010 in Mary's Entries



House painting



We’re getting our house painted! We’re going a little darker with dark brown trim. The colors are cocoa truffle and bittersweet brown. Do paint names get any better than that? More pics to come!

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Posted by on June 7, 2010 in Mary's Entries



A rose




This is the newest flower to pop up around our house….so pretty!
I’m excited to try out posting from my phone….let me know if you have any problems.

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Posted by on May 24, 2010 in Mary's Entries



Birthday Week

Last week was a full week of snow days! So, the first day back to school after Christmas break also happened to be my 30th birthday. Apparently either a staff member or parent sent out an email to tell people it was my birthday, because several students brought in yummy treats and many more brought cards. My coworkers brought me TWO cakes (there are only five of us) and presents, and Jeff prepared dinner (by going through my favorite drive-thru Italian, Fazoli’s) and set up candles and brought flowers and a balloon. He put the food on “real” plates and we opened a bottle of wine and had a really nice dinner. What a great 30th birthday! It’s really hard to believe I’m 30. I remember when 30 seemed “old” and I really don’t feel very old. At all.

Since we had a full week of school this week, I feel like I’m back on schedule. The house is still relatively clean; I’ve been to the gym every morning (except Sunday) and have only made it home before dark one day- today. It is my goal every Friday to make it home to catch the 4:30 episode of Judge Judy. I didn’t make it home in time to see Judy today, but I did make it home before dark.

We have school on Monday to make up for having a week of snow days. Apparently we still need to go back in June for at least one day, and also apparently we’re supposed to get a lot more snow this winter, so we may be in school until July. We better not be. We have a vacation in 155 days!

On a serious note:

When I taught in New Jersey there were several Haitian families that I worked with. One of these families, the Marcellus family, has older brothers that are in Haiti. They have gotten word that the brothers are OK and were in an area of Haiti that was not hit very hard. However, several cousins that were in Port-au-Prince died in the disaster.

Please keep the Marcellus, Jean, and Destin families in your prayers as they all have extended family in Haiti and it may be a while before they know what is going on with their relatives. I cannot imagine what it would be like to experience such a catastrophe, and pray for those whose lives are forever changed because of it.

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Posted by on January 15, 2010 in Mary's Entries


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Christmas 2009

Today is a Great Day. School was supposed to start again, but because of the “cold,” it was a snow day. I say  “cold” because the low we -2 and the high is 12 today. To me, having grown up in Minnesota, it seems a little silly. Especially since when we left Minnesota yesterday morning it was -20.

The view from an upstairs window at Mom and Dad Klaustermeier's house

The view from upstairs at Mom and Dad Klaustermeier's House

We had a nice Christmas this year.  Jeff’s sister and nephew came and stayed with us for a few days. There was a big snowstorm while they were here so we spent a lot of time inside watching TV and playing the wii. We went to Jeff’s mom’s house for a few hours on Christmas day, too. You would think that since we live nearby that we would see each other more often than we do, so it was really nice to spend time together.

Jeff and D'Ondre lookin' handsome

Jeff and Renee

We were in Minnesota for a really quick trip as well. We arrived at my parents’ house a few minutes after midnight on New Year’s. We spent New Year’s Day opening gifts and spending time with my family. The next day Jeff and I went out with friends for “brunch” and then my cousin Sara stopped by Saturday night and we got to catch up for a bit. We left early Sunday morning to head back to KC and we had an uneventful trip back.

Jeff and Isaac playing Nintendo DS

I’ll leave you with a picture of one of Jeff’s gifts for me this year. It was really hard for him to spend money on a Vikings jersey, but he did it!

The "06" is for the year we got married. How thoughtful!

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Posted by on January 4, 2010 in Mary's Entries


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I know, I know…

I know it has been way too long since I’ve posted. I’ve been busy with stuff around the house and, or course, school stuff. I try not to complain but having an hour of planning time a week can really wear a person down!
Let’s see… Since I’ve posted last….
My friend Christopher from college visited and we did a bit of a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives tour eating at two places featured on the show. I don’t think I would make a huge point to go to either place again.
I helped to plan and execute the greatest Grandparents Day ever at my school, although I’m a little biased since this is the only one I’ve really taken the lead on.
I am in charge of Operation Christmas Child at church and have been working to publicize this to the congregation. I’m already thinking ahead to next year and how to make it even bigger and better. It’s been really well received except some criticism that it’s not a Lutheran organization. Oh well. We’re all Christians working to spread the gospel. Denominational lines do not matter, in my opinion. (From the Lutheran who married a Baptist…)
I’ve given up a bit of Friday Wine as I’d have a glass and fall asleep on Friday nights. I’m usually worn out from the week by Friday and the wine was definitely accelerating my bedtime. Plus, my mother-in-law was worried that I was posting too many pictures of alcohol on my blog. 🙂
Yesterday we spent a bunch of time cleaning up the beautiful yellow blanket of leaves covering our lawn. The picture below was taken at least a week ago. All of the leaves have blown off of the burning bush now, but it was pretty while it lasted.
Coming up this week is the school auction. It will definitely keep things very busy throughout the week!

For those of you that are wondering, we’re planning on coming to MN for Christmas on New Year’s Eve and staying until January 3rd.

burnng bush

Our beautiful burning bush adds a splash of color to the front of our home.


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Posted by on November 1, 2009 in Mary's Entries


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