The Riddle
Five For Fighting


A March To Remember
March 30, 2012

Well, this month certainly had its drama and suprises. My grandmother Ruth passed away at the age of 93 on March 12, just a few days after my birthday. You will recall I lost my other grandmother, Toody, just 10 months ago at the age of 97 as well. What a Godly legacy both left behind, and Ruth was no inferior to Toody. She was such a joyful, exhuberant woman who talked of the Lord all the time, and I will never forget her. It pains me that I was only able to see her a few times over the last decade since we moved to Missouri, but I am very thankful Meliss and William were able to see her a little over a year ago when we all visited California.

And so, with Jeremy and Danielle expecting a baby, and dad not feeling well, mom and I made the quick trip to California for a few days to attend her funeral. I was able to meet up with cousins I hadn't seen in years, and it was truly a blessed experience. It was also the FIRST time I was away from Melissa since we were married almost 4 years ago! Quite the shock! Shed many tears, but absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I came home appreciating her all the more (if that was possible).

And yes, Jer and Danni's baby finally arrived! Little Jadrian Quinn Niednagel was born on March 23rd, a healthy baby boy. Praise God.

Ok I'm sick of typing so let's get on with it! Thanks for stopping by!

March, 2012 - Video Blog


Oh, and Nathan made me an awesome video for my birthday called, "A Birthday To Remember." Some of the stuff is "inside," but thought you might enjoy seeing it.



And lastly, words from my grandmother that I pray I will always remember.



And here we go ...

It's play-time in the igloo at 2 in the morning! Yeah! We love tornadoes! Yep, we had tornado warnings that night, and the boys had a blast in the storm room, though not so much Tayla and Alina who were staying with us. Fun times, girls!

After the Film Festival we had Tayla and Alina Maira stay with us for a couple weeks. William just wanted everyone to know that Alina is his friend, but Tayla is not his friend. He just wanted me to tell you that.

Don't they look so adorable!

Just a quick shot of the pink and yellow thing. Haven't said that for awhile.

More artistic pictures the girls took. You wouldn't believe how much trash I had to filter through to get this blog post done.

We're at Baker Creek to get some trees! Beautiful Sunday evening.

Yay! Spring is here! Never in my 13 years of living here have I seen spring arrive so early.

Philip doesn't even like tomatoes.

Hi Tayla! Good to see you, Tayla! You look so natural holding that tree! We love you!

The sunset driving home was absolutely spectacular.

Dinner at Jer and Danni's. I really do have the best smiles.

It's Purim! The Jewish celebration actually fell on my birthday this year, and the girls got together to celebrate with some really, really good food. For those less Godly among us, Purim is the celebration Mordecai declared in the book of Esther when God delivered the Jews from the plot of Haman.

We now jump ahead in time and have the Discher family over to record some music! I got my camera and recorded them playing a few songs to submit to a contest where those selected are to play at Silver Dollar City in Branson. We just learned that they got accepted! Congratulations, you guys! Break a leg in Branson!


Enjoying some dinner together afterwards.

I know you already saw my birthday celebration in San Antonio so I won't bore you with my other celebration at mom's house. Let's just say I got some good loot and I'm a happy 30-year old camper!

Danielle had a baby shower at the Long's home. I didn't go but I heard it was pretty rowdy.

And there's the little shnooker! Jadrian Quinn Niednagel. A name that's a little more normal! :-)

We now jump ahead again to our visit with the Boyle's from church. They're building a beautiful new home. It's actually two story, but you can't see the other side. Great to visit with you guys!

Giving us the tour. Nothing like the anticipation of a new home. We definitely know what that's like.

Chocolate does strange things to children.

Bass Pro Shops? Nope. The airport. The new Branson Regional Airport is unlike any airport you've ever seen. It's awesome! Anyway, took this pic while mom and I were waiting for our flight.

We meet the cousins and aunts and uncles in California for grandmother's burial. Was a beautiful day to celebrate her beautiful life.

My Uncle David, Uncle Bob, and cousins Rob and Jeffrey escort the casket.

My Cousin Jeff gives some parting words. I was blessed to speak a little earlier, reflecting on grandmother's view of life as just a "blip in time."

Mom shares.

My Cousin Susanna speaks.

Goodbye, grandmother. We will see you again.

We escort her back to the hearse to be buried.

These old vintage planes flew over a few times. Really amazing.

Lunch together afterwards. It really was so great seeing you all again!

Back at my Aunt Beth's house. Her backyard is so beautiful. I used to run around here when I was just a little tike.

This is Lilah.

We're now at my grandmother's funeral service the next day. They showed so many amazing pictures on the slide show.

I really like this one. Just brings her to life.

She's the one in the middle. Your typical, fun-loving INFP, just like me.

Almost 300 attended, with many not being able to make it. She impacted so many lives.

My Aunt Beth shares loving memories.

My mom does the same.

And my Aunt Kathy, the youngest of the three daughters.

We're now on the fast and furious freeways of So Cal! With a few days left on our trip I was able to spend the weekend with the Dahers! Oh man, just like old times. Really, really surreal, actually, with no wife or children around. Thanks for picking me up, Nate!

I sleep in, and hog the entire bed.

As "chance" would have it, Pa was in the area for work as well and spent the whole time with us! Today we're headed to downtown San Diego to visit a World War II aircraft carrier. Good times. "Over there, Mark, is a crazy lady."

Pretty sweet.

I wanted to take away whatever treasures in heaven Nathan would get from giving this guy a few bucks by posting it on my blog for everyone to see.

As you toured the ship you had these headphones that explained what you were looking at. They were really helpful. "In front of you is an airplane."

Trying to catch a quick nap. Not very comfortable.

Apparently Nathan just died.

Anyone who knows me knows that manikins give me the creeps. I mean just look at this guy.

How'd you like to meet this guy in a dark alley?

This is where the pilots sit for briefing before taking off. To be more specific, this is where pilots sit to get cussed at before taking off.

This man was amazing. He was on another aircraft carrier during World War II that was bombed and hit by a Japanese kamikaze airplane. He floated in the water for hours before rescue came.

On deck.

"Nathan, we need you to infiltrate the enemy lines, parachute into the capital city, and bomb their headquarters."

"I can do this, lieutenant. What will be my means of escape after my mission is accomplished?"

"Nathan, there will be no means of escape. This is a one-way mission."

"Lieutenant, I am not the man for this job ... but I do know the man who is."

"No, Nathan, Captain Jordan simply will not do."

How often do you get a fleet of airplanes behind you for a cool background?

You're looking fat today, Nathan. Good job.

A view of downtown San Diego.

I could fly this thing no problem.

Pa in front of the HMS Surprise, the ship used in the movie Master and Commander. You may recall Nathan and I took pics on this same ship some 5 years ago.

Talk about animal cruelty.

Another birthday dinner, courtesy of the Dahers! Nothing, absolutely nothing, can beat PF Changs.

You don't eat till you're full. You eat till you're tired.

The next day after church we had a lovely lunch at the Yellow Deli, a natural restaurant run by the 12 Tribes. If you don't know who they are, look em up.

Absolutely delicious.

Mom and my sister Brynn. So good seeing you again, sister!

Goodbye, California. Another trip of wonderful memories made.

So, what does one bring home the wife? Flowers and a lime, courtesy of a Southern California resident's fruit tree I happened to raid.

And the perfect gift for my son. Yep, I'm the all-time best dad there ever was.

Thanks for stopping by!