Our Family

Too cute!  You can make your own stick people here.

Back to Blogging…. again

The other day Steve told me his dad was worried about me and asked if I was sick, since it had been so long since I’ve updated my blog.  Thanks for the concern, Steve’s dad!  I did take some time off blogging, as I was visiting friends and family and starting a new (part-time) job.

Last month we went home for October holiday.  We went to a friend’s wedding, saw family on both sides of the state, Jon went into work one day, I extended my visit and went to visit my cousin Ann in Arizona, then I got stuck in San Francisco an extra day due to a missed flight.

Just a couple days after I got back, I started my new job.  I’ve blogged before about my friend Suzy’s shopping tours.  She’s asked me to give tours on days she is unavailable or if she has two tours or a big group.  In the past two weeks, I’ve done four tours.  It’s really fun and interesting meeting all of the different people.

October 24th was the year anniversary of my brother’s death.  It’s a really hard time of year for the whole family.  Jared’s headstone was finished last month.  It certainly doesn’t seem like it’s been a year already.  It also doesn’t always seem real.


Fixing Fence


Catherine and Rebekah

I’ve been home since April 13th. I really surprised my parents by showing up the day before my dad’s 60th birthday. These two cuties are my first cousins once removed. (I think that’s right.)

Blizzards and Birthdays

Jon’s brother sent us these photos taken from his front porch. They just got a LOT of snow!

Notice the car buried in the street at the top left?

That drift across the sidewalk is probably about as tall as me.

Jared and I both had birthdays in March. When we were growing up in South Dakota, we never knew if we’d be able to have our birthday parties or not. There was a good chance we’d be hit with a storm. I remember a couple times not getting to go roller-skating in Madison (20 miles away) because the roads were too icy or you couldn’t see through the snow. I also remember Kirstin and her mom rolling their car into the ditch; I think Dad pulled them out with the tractor.

March was usually too early for Dad to start calving; though sometimes we’d be lucky and have a birthday calf. It probably wasn’t so lucky for the calf to be born early, but we really got a kick out of having one born the same day we had been.

One treat we’d get when it was cold was home-made ice cream! Dad would grab a bucket of ice slabs he’d made when he’d chopped a hole in the dugout for the cattle to drink. Mom would mix milk, sugar and a few other things together, which went in a metal container. That container was put inside the wooden bucket, the top placed on, ice and rock salt packed around it, and then we’d crank. For hours it seemed! We’d try to take turns but I’m sure Dad did the majority of the work.

Happy Birthday, Jared.


Jon’s birthday is March 12 and mine is March 13. (Yeah, what a coincidence.) Our co-workers surprised us with cakes and singing, and featured us in the employee newsletter.

November 12 – Whiskey Creek Grill

A while back, the SD Cattlemen’s Association was invited to a new restaurant in Mitchell, SD called Whiskey Creek Grill to “brand” their bar. That’s right, everyone brought in their branding iron and left their mark on the bar.

The “John Reisch” brand. It’s made of a lazy R and rocking J. (correct me if I am wrong, mom!)

After we get the crops in, everyone who helped gets invited to a Harvest Party. We had this year’s party at Whiskey Creek.

Tim explains how he made his wedding ring out of a quarter. (yes, made, as in hammered a lot to get it in the perfect shape.) He made his wife’s out of a nickel from her birth year!

Emily & mom making S’mores.

October 3rd – Geocaching


The outpouring of sympathy for my family has been overwhelming. Friends and neighbors flooded us with food, paper utensils, flowers, and memorials. At the prayer service and funeral, the church was full. That was actually heartbreaking – so many people loved Jared, yet he couldn’t see it. A lady from his bank told mom that each of the female tellers hoped Jared would come to her window since he was so nice and handsome. A girl from the post office sent a card telling us how she knew Jared because he had a lot of packages and how friendly he was. We’ve gotten many cards from his clients saying what a talented gunsmith he was and what great work he did.

Right now it feels like there is a hole in my heart. We had the perfect nuclear family – mom, dad, brother, sister. It doesn’t feel right that there is only the three of us now. The question WHY constantly runs through my head.

Jon and I took the past 2 weeks off work (using the last of our PTO) and the next 2 weeks we will be working in Brookings at the corporate office, but staying in Howard with my parents. I probably will not be updating my blog for a couple more weeks. Check back later.

Thank you for all of the thoughts and prayers.

Jared John Reisch

My brother Jared passed away on Friday. I’ll be back home for a while now.

Center of the Nation

My mom and dad drove from Howard to see us one day. Mom had relatives around Belle so we went to the courthouse and looked up their property records. She found where they lived and will maybe go out there sometime.

When Hawaii and Alaska entered the United States, the geographic center changed to Belle Fourche.

We also drove through Spearfish canyon and through Deadwood. It was still cold! Bridal Veil falls was frozen over (above).

Geocaching in Belle Fourche

We took the family geocaching again. We found every cache we hadn’t found before in Belle. There were 10 of them.

Chance and Caleb

Some of the caches are very cleverly disguised. This one was in a golf ball!

Near the railroad tracks.

Belle has a huge bentonite plant. This was an old machine used to mine bentonite.

trip home

Jon’s grandmother passed away this week. We found out about midnight Tuesday and were on a plane Thursday. We’ll be in Nisland for about a week.

The plane from Denver to Rapid City was probably the smallest commercial plane I’ve been on – just 32 seats. Jon has taken an even smaller plane in Australia that was a really rough ride.

Leon has had four sets of twin calves already, and he’s only about halfway through calving! This is a twin who’s mother left her, so he’s been keeping her in the shop and feeding her with a bottle. All of the kids were pretty excited to feed and pet her.

I helped make a collage of photos of Grandma Sadie. The service was today and it was really nice. Jenni really made the service the way Sadie would have liked it – from the old country music to the chili pepper cloth and cactus on the coffin. She also wrote an eulogy that really showed Sadie’s character; she had family members smiling through their tears at some of the stories that captured the essence of her personality.

Merry Christmas!

Jon cooked a delicous meal consisting of rack of lamb, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. I made an apple pie for dessert. Yummy. (We started looking for a turkey to roast a little too late. The only one we found was too big to fit in our oven!)

Our mini-tree.

Mom, Dad and Jared opened their presents in front of the web cam while chatting on Skype. It is our tradition to open gifts before Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. It was that time for them, but Christmas Day for me.

My dad. He was just elected to the national Farm Credit Services of America board. His term starts January 1st and will last 3 years. Congratulations Dad!!

Back in the USA

Jon and I were back in South Dakota for about a week. We managed to squeeze in a wedding (not ours!) and seeing both of our parents. Dad grilled juicy T-bone steaks for us – yummy!

It is starting to get cold there. What a change from Shanghai! I took quite a few photos of our family and farms specifically for our friends here in China. I made a separate page for them, as it would take a long time to upload here.

We found 13 Geocaches around Nisland and Belle Fourche too. That was really fun! A lot of them were micro caches that were very cleverly disguised. My best friends Chad and Kendra had their 3rd baby, a little girl named Emma Elizabeth, about a week ago. She was born four weeks early due to Kendra’s high blood pressure, but both mom and baby are doing great. It was a wonderful surprise for me! Emma has a full head of dark hair, just like her little brother Gavin did.


Friends and Farewell Parties

Amanda, Dave, Jon and I ate at Applebees one afternoon. Dave’s living in San Francisco now.

We and Brad and Niki went to Cubby’s Tuesday for a last beer. Our present to Brad was a very nasty alcohol from the Czech Republic that he loves after a long night of drinking. :-)

Garrett, Elly, Dave, Jeremy (not pictured) and Jon take a shot at John and Megan’s wedding.

My family had a going away party for me on Memorial Day.

Mother’s Day

Jon and I came to my mom and dad’s house for Mother’s Day. We brought the Wii and played quite a bit. Mom is pretty good at bowling.
Jon and Jared boxing.

Me loading a game (and Jared sleeping on the floor.)

I also installed PhotoShop for Mom and showed her about it a bit. Hence the above photos. The photo directly above is my dad standing by one of his pastures, taken a few days ago.

Wright Family Photos

I took family photos for the Wright family on the 27th. Two grandparents, four kids and their spouses, and seven grandkids between 5 and 6 1/2 weeks. Very fun!! This outtake captures the shoot pretty well. The parents were a huge help in getting the seven kids and babies situated and looking at me. I’m excited to get all of the photos done.
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Christmas Eve

Mabel and Lily – only 2 months apart in age.

Gracie, the youngest in the family now.

Great-grandma Creta (she’ll be 88 in January) and Lilly, who’s 1 1/2.

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Stretch opens his present from Boots.
(Yes, even all of the pets exchange gifts.)

Leon gave Jenni a HUGE surprise with this diamond ring. We even wrapped it in about 6 different boxes, including one that had broken glass so it would rattle and sound broken. Very fun.

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Holiday food

I just can’t resist taking photos if I’m near my SLR.

These olives were good. I like how much they are
in focus and everything else isn’t.
Shot using a F1.8 aperture.

Jon made a batch of Red Zinfandel and we gave
it out as Christmas gifts. I made the labels. The
photo is from the bike path. I think I took it in
September? It’s in my blog’s archive.

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Minors at the Falls…

Marcie, Caleb, Lilly, Chance and Chris at the falls. Posted by Picasa

Caleb and Chance reading about the mill that used to be at the falls. Posted by Picasa

Lilly between her two big brothers – isn’t that precious?? Posted by Picasa

Lilly waving and saying bye-bye…. Marcie calls it her prom queen wave. Posted by Picasa

Minors at the Zoo

Jon’s nephews and niece, Caleb, Chance and Lilly. This was taken at the zoo – and yes, Caleb is usually doing something like that. Posted by Picasa

Lilly feeding the ducks at the zoo. Posted by Picasa

The kids loved feeding the ducks and geese. Posted by Picasa


This is my mom. She and Dad live on a farm about an hour away from us. Dad went to Brazil this morning as part of the South Dakota Ag Rural Leaders class. It’s his first time out of the country (wait, 2nd time if you count Canada.) I think Brazil would be amazing – he is going to have a great trip.

Mom is staying with us tonight and we’re going to the farm tomorrow to chop some wood for Curns and for our upcoming camping trip at Palisades. Look for some “back home” photos tomorrow. Posted by Picasa


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