Saturday, February 24, 2007

Party Weekend!

Three of her classmates had birthday parties this weekend ... all boys! I feel the social calendar growing with each month that passes. She'll need her own car before she's out of elementary school!
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Thinking Day 2007

They danced the night away! These little girls had the best time at the Girl Scout Thinking Day event last night. My little fashionista girl said if she had known there was going to be a DJ, she would have worn different clothes. Instead of dressing up (in a skirt and tights), she would have worn cool jeans and a really cool shirt! COOL! I didn't think about "cool" at her age.
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Friday, February 23, 2007

She Would Have Loved The 80's

We got the giggles over this one ... and when I told her that's how some people liked their hair to look in the 80's when I was a teenager, she giggled some more and said, "COOL!"
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Talents Abound

You never know what new talent will surface next with my kids!
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Thursday, February 22, 2007


(Click on the photo above if it isn't animated - you'll get a little dance!)

The weather is beautiful, and the other day I laughed and laughed as the kids played in the yard. It felt so good to drink in the moments. I finally went to get my camera and caught some funny photos of the two of them. Unfortunately, I'm in computer maintenance mode and am making room on my drive so I can defrag before I upload any more photos! Do I ever need disk storage!!! So before I send a bunch of pictures to the external drive for storage, I thought I'd see if I could put my little one in action. Between the beautiful weather, goofy kids, and FINALLY a day to breathe and get some of my work at home done ... there is an exuberance underlying the day in a quiet expectation of good, which today I call JOY!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I don't think she was thinking when she answered me ... My irritation has been rising, listening to my little one continue to make noise upstairs. It's 10:07 and bedtime was 8:30. Chores weren't done, so she didn't get in bed until 8:50 and after she read her book, wrote a few words, and I tucked her in, it was 9:00 ... over an HOUR AGO! It's a school night and I have been consistently sleep deprived, and my earlier warning obviously didn't have much of an effect. I've been calm and quiet, but now I'm getting crabby wondering if she's got dolls in bed with her.

She's not being noisy, mind you. But her bedroom is right above my office. I'm working on a few things but in the back of my mind is the thought that she's losing sleep when I hear the bed creaking and other soft sounds going on.

I call up the stairs in a somewhat irritated voice, "This is your last warning! If I keep hearing noise and have to come up there, you won't be happy about it!" There's a little fluttering but no response. "M? Are you sleeping?" The small but emphatically determined voice responds, "I AM ASLEEP!" I pause for a moment (stifiling a laugh) ... then respond, "I don't think so!"

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Precious Moments

I've always been one to enjoy sitting in the background taking photos of life as it happens. Yesterday morning, it was my "job" (I say job because I really did enjoy it). Of course, when I'm not just doing it for myself, I always get so nervous that it won't turn out well or that the client won't like the photos or that I'll wish I could redo everything once I'm done! I don't know why I'm like that, but I am. This was one of the rare times I've accepted someone's invitation to take personal photos, and the first time the person wanted candids (not posed formals). She's part of the editorial group I've grown to enjoy so much, and because of that I said yes. And tonight as I go through photos and can't resist printing some to see how they look nice and big ... I'm so glad I spent the morning with them. The photos are precious!
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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Brownies at the zoo!

Our troop number was drawn and the girls got to enjoy a special day at the zoo. They were given a guided tour, learned about animals in all different regions, had a fun activity (made a bird feeder), and earned a badge! Isn't that cool? If you're brave enough to look through all the photos, click on the link below for the web album:
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The New Fad

Whipped cream on cookies! MMMMmmmm!
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It's Snowing ... AGAIN!

My cousin sent a couple of her snowflake photos over this morning. Can you believe this picture? She ROCKS!!! I asked if I could use one on my blog, and I haven't heard from her, but I'm impatient so I'm blogging before I get bogged down. I'm so excited about her photos. Isn't this one GREAT? I have no idea how she did it ... but when I find out, I'm going to try it!!! I'm hoping she has a website I can post here as well. She's actually in the photography business, so locals might enjoy checking her out!

UPDATE: Here's my cousin's contact information! Her name is Amber Kaseman and you'll find her website at or you can send her an email at
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Sunday, February 11, 2007

It's BIRTHDAY time!

OK ... so it's a late birthday. But it's special! We had a party for Mom while my aunt and uncle were in town. My cousin's family came, too. My step-brother is the TALL guy in the back (for those looking, he's single)! We had a HUGE cake with frosting a mile high it seemed.
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Kanin ("rabbit" in Norwegian) Heaven

My daughter found a bunny. My son caught the bunny. I held the bunny while the kids fixed up a cozy box. It had pretty big injury on its back, so we were hoping to nurse it back to health. While I was holding it, the dog tried to taste it's tail and then started to lick the rabbit's belly! OH BOY. Unfortunately, the little guy didn't make it, and K buried the bunny. But like Grandma told the kids, we did something very special for the little rabbit and he could go to heaven in peace. His name was, Sky.
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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Girl Scout Slumber Party

MADAGASCAR! That was the theme tonight. The girls made a display for Thinking Day (a world-focused celebration of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around around the globe). They also painted little spoons because in Madagascar they only eat with wooden spoons! At least that's what the book said. The movie Madagascar was a natural for the night. So, 10 little girls with 5 moms all spent the night together laughing and giggling until the wee hours of the morning!
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The artist at work ...

This "sit upon" was created and decorated by the little artist herself. I was actually quite impressed with her scrollwork on the boot (probably hard to see in this picture) and found it quite funny that she added Hilary Duff's name to the artwork. From now on, she will bring this to Brownie meetings and camping adventures.
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Thursday, February 08, 2007

What makes the stories special ...

It's the people behind the stories, and the lives connected to the people. Today I met a man with stories about pianos. Hopefully I'll get to hear more of them and even photograph him with some of his musical creations! But I won't let the cat out of the bag on his stories right now. Let's just say that I heard some things that should be pitched to some publications, and I would like to be the one to do it. He was at my house today looking over a piano that had been on a long journey into my living room. It has some things that need to be fixed, and thankfully someone referred me to this man who I believe to be quite a unique expert! I'm sure I'll have more to share about him later ... in the meantime, meet Piano #5.

The piano pictured above isn't as grand or as unique as the ones I heard about today ... at least not in the world of pianos. But in my world? This piano can't be replaced by the most valuable instrument on the planet. This is the piano I hope to pass on through the generations, each with their own stories in the strings of this instrument.

There used to be another piano in my immediate family. It was from my mother's side and I believe there was a photo of my great grandmother seated beside it. My memory holds it as a wonderful old sepia print with an elegantly prim woman and a piano covered in some kind of needlework with pictures upon pictures set out on top. I learned to play piano on the same instrument (and I'm hoping I have my stories/photos right now that I'm actually blogging about this) and loved it because it was part of my family. People I was related to but never met played those keys, and that made it special.

Photos are in my albums of me as a child all the way to a young lady as I learned to express myself. It was my solace many times. The last time I played the piano was in my mother's duplex (she had moved to town after my parents' divorce on the farm) in Montevideo, MN. When she got ready to go to Tulsa for a wonderful opportunity to get her doctorate, the piano found a temporary home to be played and loved while mom was away. BUT - the piano was lost. At one point we thought it had been tracked down, but now we don't have any clues. (By the way, if anyone is interested in solving a mystery, leave a comment!)

My heart continues to break over that. Sometimes sad things happen ... sometimes a lot of sad things happen ... sometimes they pile upon one another until one's heart nearly breaks to bear it.

Piano #2 also has a little heartbreak for me. I was quite proud of the piano. This was MY piano. I worked and worked and bought myself a beautiful, black grand. It wasn't huge (it had to fit in my mother's duplex, after all, with piano #1 while I was "recuperating" from my first attempt at college), it wasn't glossy, but it was definitely GRAND and it was mine. Again, the solace in the keys found my heart many times over the next few years. The heartbreak? Well, it was for a good cause, but it was sold for a more "practical" instrument.

"Piano" #3 isn't really a piano. It was a dream I began to pursue in music and ministry. I needed a keyboard, the Christian band I was in needed a keyboard, and since I couldn't haul my grand piano with me as I went back to college (this time for Music Evangelism and Performance) it was sold and I bought a keyboard. This instrument went beyond my own solace and made a difference in the lives of others. This is where my own creativity began to give birth and I began to pour out of my heart not just in my own meditations, but in public. I brought this with me when I was married along with all my hopes and dreams of impacting the world.

You guessed it, there's heartbreak. My then-husband convinced me to sell mine (his was newer and better). Of course it made sense, but it wasn't mine and all my history left with that instrument. As an anniversary gift, however, a digital piano found its way into the living room. "Piano" #4 isn't a "real" piano. It was digital, but it was better than no piano! I don't recall ever writing any music on that one. I guess there's not a lot to remember. He talked me into selling that, too.

FINALLY ... my Piano #5 makes an entrance, and this one is SPECIAL! I have relatives who are making a big move, and after my grandmother's estate and much housecleaning going on, an old piano is rediscovered. Initially, it's future was the dump. Thankfully my father asked if I would be interested in the piano if it could be restored. WOULD I??? WOW! YES!!!

It takes a long, long time and thousands of dollars, but this summer it was finally done. The family met together on August 6th, my late grandmother's birthday. We all gathered at my father's home in Minnesota. My aunts have brought music from their childhood. This is the piano they played when they were little. Family favorites were played. My children looked bored (which bothered me), but the rest of us found tears in our eyes many times. I learned things about my family and heard stories I never knew. They talked about how they would dance in the living room to the music. They gathered together to sing. One aunt played a childhood song that my grandfather had dubbed, "Tinkle Tinkle BANG BANG" and we laughed and cried when we heard the music.

This piano is special. It's practically alive with the stories and the history woven into my family's tapestry. While I hope to still find the other piano, I feel like God has given me a special gift. Tears can't tell it, my heart can only feel it. I think it's time for me to play again.
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Saturday, February 03, 2007

One of these things is not like the other ...

Two sweet little blonde girls with fair skin wearing winter coats in their Brownie meeting room ... yet ... AHHHHHHHHH! You know which blondie belongs to me! For those of you who think my little one is quiet? Ummmmmm ....
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One of these things is not like the other ...

There really is a difference! Phone? Bone? They rhyme. That's as close as I can come. Maybe the dog is blind? Or at least colorblind? What I want to know is how she can have a chew bone for months that barely has a mark! Does someone know dog-speak? I need to communicate a few things to our adopted pooch to help make this living arrangement agreeable to both parties. At the moment it's tipping to the side of ... THE DOG!

By the way ... to my friends and family, if you need to call use the cell phone!
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Thursday, February 01, 2007

What my dog ate today ...

tub of butter
half a loaf of bread
the chocolate chip bag
half a bag of peppermint chips

Yesterday? Soap.

Today? She puked.

How slow do you want the fire to burn?

  Just a little over a year ago, I had an urge to set up my special writing place. One person I wanted to tell was my aunt because I had bee...