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I talked to Leah!, originally uploaded by tara.aukerman.

I finally got to talk to Leah! I spend so much time thinking and saying, “I wish Leah were here” or “Leah would SO get a kick out of this” that I almost feel like I talk to her often. Almost. Tonight I really got to talk to her.

I love Skype.

Those of you who know Leah know that she gets less and less eloquent the later she stays up. By the time we “hung up” at 3am her time, she was really starting to sound silly. A few gems:

  • “and they have shapely lower halves”
    — Telling us about how much she likes to watch rugby, a new sport to her. She was trying to explain that the guys are really strong on the bottom halves because anything above the waist is considered a foul. Ended up sounding more like she watched the sports for … all the wrong reasons. ¬†=)
  • “muscular women – it makes me happy”
    — Telling us how women play rugby, too, but that they have to be very strong.
  • “here is the amazingness of my life today.” [long pause] ¬†“I forgot what I was going to say.”
    — Getting ready to tell us about something exciting that happened today.
  • “I can always remember everything ever about all the rooms of my life I stay in.”
    — The response to my suggestion that she take pictures of the house she’s living in so that later she’ll be able to remember all the details.
  • “roll out, do some makeups and go to the food”
    — Her plan for tomorrow morning. =)
  • “probably some days in the night”
    — The next time we get to talk to her online.

She’s so much fun!

Now, my life will be complete if I get to talk to Melissa. (Hear that, sister? When can we talk?!)

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Inch Beach
, originally uploaded by Chupperwidge.

This photo is amazing. Leah’s in Ireland, and I miss her dreadfully. I’m going to get to go see her soon – I’ll be travelling to see her in… holy cow! Only a couple of weeks!

Anyway, look at this picture she took! Be jealous with me (that she gets to see this stuff, and that she’s such a good photographer that she takes such awesome pictures), then be jealous OF me (because I get to go see her soon!). =)

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happy birthday melissa!

(Sorry Mac folks, it’s a wmv.† Because I don’t have a Mac.† And because I had 10 minutes.)

Here’s Melissa, enjoying her birthday soda:

Here’s the cake, up close and personal:

… and here’s a bracelet they gave out.† What does it say, Shmel?

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We’ve been reunioning this month.

Weekend #1: Dave’s dad’s dad’s family (Aukermans)
Weekend #2: Dave’s mom’s mom’s family (Schraders) <- this weekend
Weekend #3: Dave’s mom’s dad’s family (Funks) which we’re missing for…
Weekend #3: Dave’s 10-yr high school friends reunion

David has a lot of people to reunite with… =) I enjoy these reunions, though. This is something my fam doesn’t do.

I’ll take some pics this weekend and post ’em so you can join in the reunion festivities (now that I’ve figured out why my photos weren’t transferring from my camera and fixed the issue).

posted under family, trips | 1 Comment »



It has been a wonderful two weeks.† My sister, Leah, visited while our mother went to spend time with Dad in Hawai’i.† Then, Mom came back from HI and spent a few days with me in Indy.

I’ve discovered something:††of all the people I know in the world, I have the most in common with my sister Leah.† We like the same movies.† We like the same music.† We like the same shoes.† We drool over the same necklaces.† We have the same hobbies.† In fact, the biggest difference I could find between us while she was here was that she likes video games a little bit more than I do, and that I like playing the piano a little bit more than she does.

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A couple of pictures from our family reunion, recently uploaded by Dave’s brother and his wife:

Tara, David, Randy, originally uploaded by rauke1.

Jake and Tara, originally uploaded by rauke1.

I just enjoy the first picture – I love having a big brother!† And the second photo…† Imagine that dog trembling – he was TERRIFIED of the water.† See how taut his muscles are?† He was very, very tense, and†leaping about from rock to rock so he wouldn’t have to touch the water.† =)† We had a large audience up on the bank.



Dad and David are upstairs working on a small room/big closet we’ll be using for a library.† We inherited this project from the house’s previous owners – heretofore, this room has been closed-off and unused.† Now that my dad’s here, though, the boys are making this a liveable, useable space.† These guys started off with an unfloored, barely insulated, plastic-covered mess, and are slowly but surely turning it into a real room.† I’ll post more pictures as they get farther along in the process.

measuring marking marking finding rafters



Just got back from the Aukerman reunion.† It was fun – I love this group of people.† It’s a strange mix of generations – the family reunion involves the four Aukerman brothers and all their various offspring, so we’re up to three generations.††The brothers interact with†merciless heckling and the telling and retelling of Aukerman classic jokes (the punchline of the one of the goodies is “Leo needs†a new face!”, and a relatively†new one goes like this: “Hey, what was the score?” “3 to 2” “Who was winning?” “3, by 1!”).† There’s a point at which an awful joke really does become funny – and these guys keep me laughing.

One of the funniest moments of the reunion occurred while we were waiting at the lodge for the last set of us to arrive.† The kids had just finished a day full of swimming and running around outside, so they were tired and starting to get grouchy.† One of the cousins grabbed Chutes and Ladders and all 5 itty-bitties ran over to play.† After a while, they started fighting about the rules, so a mom brought out another game hoping to split them up.† Of course, when the kids saw Candyland, they all wanted to play the new game and the other was abandoned as boring.† The exasperated mom told them that half could play each game, and then they’d switch, but the kids weren’t having it.† They all sat down and grabbed pieces.† Mom looks at the oldest 2 kids and says, “One of you is going to have to go play Chutes and Ladders.”† When neither volunteered, she gave the oldest a meaningful look – whereupon the girl gets up, stomps about 5 feet away, then turns around and seethes.† She looks at the mom and says (amid breath-catches, as if she’d been sobbing), “If this is the manner in which I’m going to be treated, I’m never going to play again!”† This kid is 7.† It was hilarious!† The mom gave in and let the girl come back – immediately, the drama queen settled down and happily resumed bossing around the other kids.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of my family (I only pulled out the camera at the very end because my sister-in-law was snapping so many pictures).



We’re back in Indiana.† And we’re exhausted.† We didn’t sleep at all on the long flight over the Pacific (something to do with the chairs and the screaming infants), so when we came home, after doing a few things, we crashed.† Hard.† Woke up to the doorbell – Dave’s parents came to drop off our dog (they watched him while we were away this time) and to report on his misbehavior.† He was angelic, they said, the first 8 days, and evil the second 8 days (messing on the carpets a couple of times, jumping the backyard fence, etc).† They looked relieved to give him back – and I don’t blame them.† =)† We’ll be keeping a close eye on him for the next couple of weeks – hopefully getting back to his routine and getting a ton of exercise will fix those behavioral issues.

Anyway, we’re back safe and sound for those of you who were waiting to hear.†



Leah and I have just finished watching all 6 hours of the A&E Pride and Prejudice – and she said she liked it!† She assures me that she didn’t say that to make me happy (I happen to think it’s the best thing since… well, ever).† Tomorrow, we’re going to watch the American version, and then the Bollywood version.† (For her literature class – compare and contrast.)† I’m in heaven.† =)

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