Category Archives: Uncategorized

Easter 2016

God is good, life is full….and I only seem to be able to get one post out every other year. However, God’s grace in the past couple of years has been amazing!

Here are a few glimpses of grace from the last 2 years:

In January 2014, my sister Cindy had surgery for breast cancer and began her journey of treatment which involved chemo and reconstruction. As of today, she is feeling stronger each day, no evidence of cancer, and we praise God for healing grace. One day after Cindy’s surgery, our brother-in-law, Steve, had surgery to replace a chunk of skull that doctors had to remove in Nov 2013 following a subduralhematoma. We praise God for sparing Steve’s life and for the remarkable recovery he has had! During that same time, my mom was diagnosed with osteomyelitis of the jaw, was on medication and waiting to see if she would need surgery.  She has now gotten this word from her dentist: “Prayer works…You are a miracle…the bone looks great!”

In May ’14, Jacob graduated from Bethel, and later that year landed a great new job. Yay!

August 7, 2014 Avery Virginia was born! What a sweet, delightful gift of grace! We found out a few weeks later that Avery has cystic fibrosis, a hard diagnosis, but God’s grace is sustaining us all, as we look to Him, our Great Physician.

November 2014, I went to the Philippines to deliver gospel-film-producing equipment, Bibles and other resources to pastors, and to teach women how to study the Bible inductively.

In December 2014, we gathered as a family in Colorado the week before Christmas.  We rented a house inWinter Park, on a dead end street, bordering a national forest…BEAUTIFUL!! One night at dinner, we went around the table and shared highlights and “lowlights” or challenges/hard stuff. What a special time, to laugh and cry together, thanking God for His goodness and grace even in the most difficult circumstances.

2015 highlights and lowlights:

  • January- Avery had to have surgery to remove a mass in her sinuses, scary but resulted in much easier breathing and feeding.
  • May- We finally closed on our house in Austin after 5 years of a roller coaster of “sold/not sold” and God showed us that this process was not about us but about trusting Him for what HE was doing in not only our lives, but lives of others that we met in the process.
  • August- Avery turned 1! We are so thankful that God is sustaining and growing her, in spite of the rough patches.
  • September- We sold and moved out of our Mounds View townhome (put everything in storage) …  and were grateful to move in with Suzie and Steve for 2 months.
  • October- Trip of a lifetime to Israel. Incredible, amazing privilege to walk where Jesus walked!
  • November- We said a sad, final goodbye to Sammy, our beloved golden retriever. Oh, how much we miss him! Moved into our new home in Blaine and welcomed the whole family for Thanksgiving a week later.
  • December- quickly unpacked some more boxes and got the house ready for a fantastic Christmas houseful! The Denver Larsons were in MN for about a week, and we packed in all kinds of fun family time.

IMG_89852016 so far:

I have taken on a new full-time position at Bethlehem, Interim Director of Women’s Ministry, and praying for a smooth transition to 3 part-time, campus-specific Ministers for Women.

Benjamin turned 4!! He loves Legos, reading and  attending their neighborhood school, Stedman.

Avery is almost 20 months old (check our Ali’s blog here)  and is a very busy young lady, learning all kinds of new things each day. She keeps mom and dad on their toes!

Matt is working for Medtronic, in a new position that helps track their technology that is currently in use by providers. Ali has her own photography business that is flourishing.

Our “great-grand puppies” were born in January to David and Emma’s dog, Wilson. They will be keeping one puppy, and one, newly named “Dakota,”  will be going to Denver to be a therapy dog for Avery as she goes through treatments each day.

David will be graduating from UND Medical School in May, and has just “matched” for a 5 year residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for ENT (Ears, Nose & Throat.) Emma plans to keep teaching tennis and they are purchasing their first house.

Sara has stepped into a new job at 3M, at the same time finishing her Master of Science in Management of Technology. She graduates in May,  and she and Dave are also purchasing their first house.

Jacob lives in Robbinsdale, helps lead youth at Eagle Brook Church and enjoys his work with Creek Ridge Capital. He and Sara ran the Twin Cities marathon together last Fall.


Packer soccer team is headed to Class ‘A’ state tournament for first time in school history

By Rocky Hulne | Austin Daily Herald

Originally published 08:46 p.m., October 24, 2009

ROCHESTER — One amazing goal got it started, and another stellar score put it away as Austin clinched it’s first trip to the Class ‘A’ boys state soccer tournament in school history.

Section Champs!2The No. 2 seeded Packers beat top seeded Rochester Lourdes 2-0 at RCTC Saturday.

“This win is absolutely huge and we have an amazing team here,” Austin keeper Ryan Rasell said. “It’s probably the best that’s ever come through Austin.”

Junior midfielder Ronaldo Rubio gave the Packers (14-5 overall) all the momentum they needed when he booted a 30-yard goal from the corner that arced over the head of Lourdes keeper Will Elder to make it 1-0 Austin in the 15th minute.

“It was a ridiculous shot and it was great to get a goal in the first half,” Austin midfielder Jacob Brehmer said. “We capatlized on our opportunities and our defense played great.”

Rubio insisted that he was attempting a shot and not just trying to get the ball in the zone. But he was feeling some nerves.

“I was a little bit nervous and I didn’t actually think I would play this great,” he said. “It was very exciting for me.”

Jacob AustinvsLourdesSoccerBrehmer gave the Packers all the breathing room they would need in the 55th minute when he bent a 20-yarder from the right side that landed into the left side of the net.

“They’re a heck of a team and they’re really ferocious, so I knew I had to kick it when I did, even though I normally can’t shoot from far out,” Brehmer said. “I just kind of swung at it and it went in.”

The Packer defense did a solid job of keeping Lourdes from getting any easy shots, but the penetration of Joe Charlesworth created some problems for Austin. Rasell made a diving save on a shot by Charlesworth with 10:24 to go in the match and Rasell stopped a header by Jon Tousley of Lourdes (14-5-2 overall) with 8:09 to go.

Jacob 2 AustinvsLourdesSoccer“I went for everything,” said Rasell, who had 14 saves. “If I thought I could get it, I went for it and everything seemed to stick this game. I held on to everything. I assumed there would be a lot of tough shots, so I prepared myself for it.”

Austin’s depth gave them fresh legs and it helped it close the match out as the Packers were able to keep posession for most of the second half.

“Every player on the bench can step in and play any role without a problem,” said Austin head coach Jens Levisen.

Jacob3AustinvsLourdesSoccerAustin has 14 seniors that will be enjoying their first trip to the state tournament. While many of them were on the U17 team that won state over the summer, this adds to that accomplishment.

“Our whole team has been playing amazing, it’s so fun to be part of this great group of guys,” Brehmer said. “The number of fans we had was ridiculous and it’s one of the best games of soccer I’ve played in.”

Austin, which had 11 shots on goal Saturday, will play No. 2 seeded Simley (17-1-4 overall) in the first round at the state tournament. The match will take place Friday at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in Roseville Area High School.

Pam’s Lentil Italian Sausage Soup

Lentil.soupHere’s the “recipe”, along with the “enhancements” I made:

  • 1 package of lentils (I think about 1.5 cups?)
  • (I added some small red-orange lentils that I had on hand)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • Carrots (recipe calls for one, I used many!)
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 ham hocks or shanks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • water (recipe called for about 7 cups, but since I had more of everything else, just added more)
  • Hot Italian Sausage ( 1 pound package)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Day before-cook ham shanks in a large pot of water, with salt, pepper, some cut pieces of onion and celery.  Simmer all day.  Cool slightly, remove meat from bones and set aside.  Discard vegetables. Remove fat from broth using gravy separator.  Store broth and meat together overnight.

Day of-

Heat 1 T olive oil in large soup pot, and gently cook the onion for about 5 minutes, add celery, leek, carrots, bay leaves, and lentils.  Stir.  Add ham meat and broth.  Bring to a boil and skim surface if necessary.  Simmer for at least an hour, longer is ok.

Add italian sausage (uncooked) to the soup pot and cook well, another 30 minutes minimum.  Take these out when cooked and quarter lengthwise and dice. Return the meat to the pot and keep soup warm until serving.

In my case, I served the soup to a group of 10 hungry high school boys with some banana bread, fresh whole wheat bread and some chocolate cupcakes.  They left satisfied! And there was enough left over to refrigerate for reheating!

Sara is 1st RunnerUp for Miss MN!

Last night Sara was amazing in the Miss MN Pageant, simply stunning! We love her SO much, and will post more photos later.
Today we are moving her out of the hotel, heading to church at BBC downtown Mpls and then celebrating Father’s Day with Grandpa Jack.
Thanks to everyone for your encouragement and support!

David is Graduating from Wheaton College on May 10!

david-larson-babyAmazing how the years have flown by!

We welcomed David to our family on February 4, 1987…..








it has been a joy to watch him grow in all ways, physically, emothionally, spiritually

We’ve witnessed many milestones!




And now we are about to celebrate another….


Here is the schedule of events:

Saturday May 9


15'6" at University of Chicago

15'6" at University of Chicago

TBA- Possibly a track meet, a national-qualifying opportunity at North Central, just 20 minutes from Wheaton, in Naperville.  (The 2009 NCAA Div III Track Championships will be held at Marietta College, in Marietta Ohio.  The pole-vault competition will be on Thursday, May 21 at 6:00 pm.  David has “provisionally” qualified with a vault of 15’6″.  To “automatically” qualify, he will  be attempting to vault 16’6″ or higher.)


4:30 pm Seniors and Faculty- Faculty Reception (Quad Lawn or SRC)

Supper- Grill Out?

8:30 pm Senior Reflection/Praise/Prayer (Pierce Chapel)

Sunday May 10

9:00 am Baccalaureate Service…Edman Memorial Chapel

3:00 pm Undergraduate Commencement…Edman Memorial Chapel

Speaker: Dr. Walter C. Kaiser  (overflow seating will be available, as each student has limited tickets)

We are planning to stay in a hotel on Saturday and Sunday night, and I will be making those arrangements ASAP.  If you are interested in joining us for this weekend and want me to make the hotel plans for you, let me know.


Congratulations David! 2nd place in the Chicagoland Championships! He pole-vaulted 15’6″ at the University of Chicago. Pictures will follow next week.

He is risen!

It’s already the end of JULY!

Well, the spring and summer have flown by, and here we are at the end of July already.  Sara graduated from Austin High School at the top of her class in June.  We had a wonderful family vacation up north, in Voyager’s National Park. I’ll try to post some pictures.  It was an awesome vacation!

After a few days at home doing some laundry, Matt weft to go back to Washington, DC and David left for a month in northern California doing some pole-vaulting.  Sara and Mom went back up north for a few days…our annual mother-daughter trip with friends.  Mom had a waterskiing accident, and ended up rupturing her hamstring tendon(s) and is now waiting to hear whether surgery is an option to help the recovery process.

On August 18, Sara will be competing in the Miss Austin pageant.  We’d love to have a large cheering section for her! Please come, and let us know if you’d like to stay overnight with us!  Sara will also be getting ready to move into Bethel University on August 30.  David will be movoing to Grand Forks, ND, to take Fall semester classes near Emma.  He will then return to Wheaton in the spring to compete in track and field.