Monday, December 31, 2007


December 30, 2007

Lightsaber Mosquito

What I learned at church today...we were at Darrell and Mitchell's house today and we found out that a year ago Mitchell and his cousin made this video about Jesse's first year at Camp Du Nord.


December 29, 2007

Ring it in with Tally

I'm trying to scrapbook as much as possible these next few days, while maintaining our home and getting together an order of 100 squngees.  Hehe!

Come join us!


December 26, 2007

My Favorite Christmas Photo

Usually there is one.  A photo that speaks to me more than it might to others.  And this year is no exception.  As I shuffled through the lot of them I came across this one and knew it was IT.


You see my son, who is not allowed video games, or video game equipment stood mute when his grandmother pulled a Nintendo DS out of her Christmas stocking.  I love the look on his face. I love the look on hers.  I love the star from the tree that looks like its perched on his head.  Love it.  Makes me smile still.

Christmas: Exemplified

Today I did my annual mini family photo shoot.  After a couple of ROUGH years trying to timer set a group photo, it came to me last year to take individual portraits of each of my family members and then the pictures can be combined in a collage or used seperately.

This year I asked my family to grab something from mom and dad's house that exemplified Christmas for them.  Exemplified means represented by, illustrated by or embodied in.  We jumped outside for the last rays of sun bouncing off the magical light snowfall.  Here is a taste of what my camera saw:


Much more to come on this project, including a challenge at TallyScrapper this weekend, so stick around, here or there!

December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Snowguys Vivian made these adorable marshmellow snow men!


While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads!


December 21, 2007

Paint minda

December 20, 2007

The Power of the Word

In my church group, we talk often about the Power of the Word.  When God speaks, things come into being.  Not just new things, like the earth, but things that aren't.  In Romans 4:17 it says

as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations" --in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

In Genesis it talks about the world being a void, or nothing, and God spoke all that we know into being.  Christians and Jews call this creation.  Some scientists describe that moment as a "big bang" which I imagine is a great way to describe complete vacuousness becoming land and water and light and beings.  In the Old Testament God told Abram, an old man, that he would be the father of many nations.  Nearly all faiths on earth originated from that moment, and few debate that that infact happened.  God spoke and things happened.  In the New Testament, God spoke through an angel and a peasant girl from a small village became pregnant.  God spoke again and her husband to be not only didn't have her stoned, he kept his promise and raised Jesus as if he was his own.  When Jesus, God Incarnate here on Earth, walked among us as a man, his Word called into being health and welfare for many hurting people.  In at least one instance his Word raised a man from the dead.  Many days dead.

Sometimes, God's Word calls into being things we wish were not.  Imagine the surrender and pain Mary felt the day her son was killed, in the cruelest of ways.  Imagine the panic she felt when she discovered she was in labor, at night, on the road, and there was no place to deliver that babe.  And yet in these situations, we with the Bible as a guide and the hindsight of thousands of years can see how those seemingly tragic situations were the most glorious of all time.

This time of year is tough for most folks.  Its a time of reckoning and remembering.  And sometimes the memories and the reckoning is painful.  It can become hard to have faith.  To believe with complete peace that God is in charge of our lives and that its all going to work together to weave a beautiful picture. I think of the phrase "evidence to the contrary" and this year more than some others I seem to be inundated with "evidence to the contrary" that God is in charge that there is truth in the statement that(Romans 8:28) ... we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

This year my reckoning has made me realize how far apart my family has drifted, which considering the course of events is very sad.  My reckoning has made me face the fact that financially the ship is sinking, and sinking very fast. 

I Corinthians 5:7 says "This is why we live by believing and not by seeing."

Hebrews 11:1 says "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see"

I believe in God, the One who Speaks things that weren't into existence. I believe that all things are working together for the good.  And I also believe that I can survive everything that will come in the future.  I mean look at Mary.  She had to survive humiliation, rejection, fear, shame, and the pain of watching her own child be killed.  The song that is first on my playlist is one of hope for me.  It reminds me that the Breathe of Heaven, or God, is ultimately powerful, and ultimately in charge and will breathe life where life is not.

And that is far more comforting to me then the closest of families or the fullest of bank accounts.  In my life, I know God is working things out, redeeming the things I have destroyed or messed up.  And when I remember that?  All that other stuff just falls away into the void.

December 18, 2007

Someone Wished for a Wish List

I updated our Wish List on Amazon today, taking out things that are already purchased and adding new things for Andrew.  There is some random stuff for Scott and I on there from last year, but I think its pretty clear which things are Andrew related!

Happy Shopping person who asked me for this! My Wish List

December 14, 2007

Every Morning

I'm almost afraid to post this, because truth be told, I'm not a girl of routines.  I love variety, I fully believe it is the spice of life, so when I find something that is a routine, I worry that its just one step from being thrown aside for the next new thing.

But since I took this picture in October, and its still going strong, I think I'll take the risk.

Every morning I:

  1. Unload the dishwasher
  2. Make a smoothie
  3. Concoct my latest version of the word coffee
  4. Sit back and read

Andrew loads and starts the dishes at night so that when I wake up in the morning its ready to be emptied.  Usually my coffee and smoothie making apparatus is in the dw, so its a good incentive to get it emptied and put away before I make breakfast.

The smoothie recipe I use came from a low carb cookbook I picked up this summer in search of something new to try on Scott's diet.  We have both fallen in love with this one.  To make it you dump in one container of Yoplait vanilla yogurt, then you fill the container twice with 8th Continent Vanilla Soy Milk and dump that in.  You put in a banana and a cup or so of frozen berries and blend.  Just that simple and oh so good.  When I make it for just myself I have made the recipe smaller by including only one container of the soy milk and half the banana. I give the other half to Andrew to try to start the day by getting something healthy in him.  Today we were out of soy milk so I tried regular milk (gag)  I really recommend the soy milk.  The cow's milk made it too thick and "fluffy" and I didn't like the texture as much.

While I'm making my smoothie I drink down a 12 ounce glass of water.  I figure if I can get my first glass of water in before I start anything else, I'll be on my way to drinking enough for the day. 

Then its time for coffee.  I don't actually drink coffee per se, so I thought I'd share my secret recipe.  We use Obsidian roasted beans from Caribou Coffee, ground for an espresso machine.  Scott and I have been blessed with the gift of TWO espresso machines, so we don't even have to share.  Even in the days when money is SUPER tight it is nice to have that luxury and I pray a prayer of thanks daily for the two kind people that passed them along to us.  My espresso machine is from Starbucks.  I derive pleasure from the fact that in my kitchen everyday Starbucks and Caribou work together to give me my perfect cuppa.

I fill the machine with enough espresso grounds for two shots, and fire her up.  The machine has buttons for doing two shots at once or one, and my perfect recipe for an Americano-to-die-for is pushing the 2shot button twice and the 1shot button once.  With that I get just enough Americano to satisfy my morning longings, its nice and hot, and I've squeezed every ounce of flavor out of that 1/8 cup of grounds possible.  Mmmm, mmmm good!

Then I log into TallyScrapper and find out what's what for the day.  Whose up already, what the day holds for them, if there were any layouts posted since the previous evening.

If I have the luxury of extra time, which I rarely do, I visit here to post, or Pioneer Woman, but usually I don't get much past TallyScrapper.

Within an hour my kitchen is ready for the day, my body is fed and charged up and I've touched base with my online friends.  Its a lovely way to wake up!


December 13, 2007

Every Valley

Last night Lisa treated me to a lovely concert. Messiah by G.F. Handel holds a special spot in my heart.  Besides being part of a choir that performed it when I was a teen, my ex has a beautiful professional tenor voice and he sang this many times.  It is one of the few remaining things from that marriage that I hold dear. 

Before Lisa and I went, we needed to do a quick photoshoot, because, being we are two photographers, we of course have no pictures of the two of us together.

So we set up my "photo studio"


Yeah, my husband started shooting before we had transformed it fully.  See the cute little christmas ornaments made out of clay sitting on the stove?  Yes, that is a microwave...and a pizza. Speaking of pizza, mindaandlisa-shootprep2

Lisa did a little pizza modeling while I continued to struggle with my makeup.  That ghost in front of her is me rushing to the bathroom to "put my face on".

I was gonna make a wisecrack about this photo and the fact that my husband was our photographer... mindaandlisashootprep3

Until I realized this was actually one that Lisa took when I asked her to get some pictures of just me.  Should I be alarmed? mindaandlisaedit1

But in the end, all the hard work and goofing off netted us a couple of decent shots.  Then we were off to the Basilica of St. Mary in downtown Minneapolis.  And SHHHHH, don't tell my husband, but not only did we park under the bridge, we parked UNDER the BRIDGE.  As in not in a parking space.  Naughty girls! jadin-01

This is what the Basilica looks like.  During the day.  In summer.  Using a camera worth more than my vehicle. Basilica18mm-vi

And the inside.


Imagine the sound quality in such a magnificent building.  Divine. kitshouse 038

And here we have the chorale and the orchestra wait, that is my friend Kit jumping my moms car that wouldn't start when we were up north in our UNHEATED house.  Did I mention is was subzero the whole time we were there?  I did.  Oh, sorry.

Anyway, the concert was wonderful and the soloists were quite amazing.  Here is a link to a clip that is one of my favorite solos.  This was not from last night, but you get the idea.

Anyway, I came home with a cold.  So I'm in jammies, laying in my favorite easy chair trying to get better by tomorrow because seriously, I do not have time to be sick!

Friday, November 30, 2007


November 30, 2007

Sick all week, but not too sick for this

November 21, 2007

Over Red River and through the....wasteland...

Did you know that the Red River flows the wrong way?  That it floods often?  That it will most likely be frozen when I cross it in the middle of the night tonight?

Just a little visual run through so you know what is up this weekend with me.

In a few hours


We leave this one, and


This one, who is having his first Thanksgiving at home after Iraq,

to visit this one:


The one reigning the little kid (my dad) in for the photo.  Hard to see her?


Its the well dressed lady in this photo.  The fine looking gentleman will be there in spirit I am sure, especially when we play games.  And when we eat!

Here is another glimpse at her:


Oh YEAH!  NOW you remember who I mean.  Now you are starting to worry about my safety!

Hopefully, we will be spending some time talking about these people, her family, who are nearly impossible to track on and other heritage sites.


And these people? They are safely together with his parents in Texas, wrapping up the end of their home country visit before heading back to Uganda.


Have a blessed Thanksgiving, remember the good, skip lightly over the troublesome and hold what you have left of your loved ones close.

Lame-ish Blog behavior. Oh so sorry!

Ah, I need to keep up here folks, and I'm so sorry!  I just checked my blog stats, which I haven't done in probably six months and I'm embarrassed.  In the past 24 hours I have had not one, but FOUR BIG names in scrapbooking stop by my blog per my little tracky-thingy, and they've seen....not much.

I just don't seem to be able to muster the energy to record my thoughts here unless they are snap happy and S/H has been in short supply here, just little bursts now and then.


And so.

Anyway, tomorrow Erin, Andrew and I leave for our big trip to Minot, ND.  All 518 or 548 miles of it, depending on which route my dad recommends...we are eagerly awaiting his superior advice.

Erin and I, being the big night owls that we are, are leaving at 9pm tomorrow so we arrive just in time for morning coffee on Thanksgiving Day. 

Because my dear hearts Danielle, Don and the girls were leaving for Texas, California and then Uganda today, I haven't really put much thought into my Minot trip details.  Of course its been weighing on my mind:  The whole visit is about my grandmother, and the possibility this is our last visit to her as her heart condition is becoming difficult to manage. 

Anyway, as a way to IMMEDIATELY distract me from missing the heck out of D&D I started my internet based research on what's gonna be what in Minot.  Saints preserve us.

  • The weather will bounce between the frigid 30 and the frigid-er 14.
  • Snow is expected on Saturday only at this point. 
  • The nearest WIFI appears to be at the Wild Things Gallery about 2 miles away...problem is their website is gone and it seems that maybe they have gone out of business.
  • Oh and I thought I'd look into the coffee options.  Did a yahoo maps search...and...
  • The nearest coffee shop appears as Kum & Go, a gas station about 3 miles to the NE of my grandmas place...


Nope, I don't make this stuff up, I speak the truth.  But wait, I thought, that can't be right!  My grandma lives less than a mile from the "new" mall.  Surely there is a coffee shop there!  According to the directory for the Dakota Square Mall there is a Taco Johns (eat your heart out cousin Josh!) but no coffee shop.  Not even a kiosk!  But that cannot be!  I cannot except this defeat!  Surely there must be a Starbucks SOMEWHERE in Minot!  So I type in Starbucks and Get driving directions and sure enough, I am right, ALL THE WAY ACROSS TOWN, a total of 2.6 miles to the north is the lone Starbucks.  Yes, I do mean lone.  I searched the Starbucks site for all of North Dakota and there are FIVE Starbucks in Bismarck and 1 in Minot.  And that is it folks. Now I can't remember how far it is to Bismarck from Minot, I think a couple hundred miles, but I'm too lazy to look it up right now.  I wasn't too lazy to look up the flights between Minot and Bismarck, which would run me upwards of $800 and take 5 hours, as they connect through Minneapolis about your end arounds.

Anyway!  I'm stubborn, so I kept at it, doggedly searching for coffee that wasn't made by a truck driver or a gas station attendant and (insert heavenly voices singing here) I found that the mall DOES have coffee.  Not Starbucks, not Caribou, not Seattles Best, oh no, none of that is good enough for Dakota Square Mall.  They have (more heavenly voices) Bellissimo Caffe Casa.  Waaa? (insert needle scratching a record album here)

Okay these are Italian words. (well, not exclusively Italian, casa is also commonly used in Spanish, French and Portugese...) Bellissimo is actually not used often in Italy, but roughly it translates as Very Beautiful.  Caffe' is also Italian and it means coffee.  Casa of course means house.  So they are trying to tell me that not only can I have coffee at the mall next door (which of course will be open BRIGHT AND EARLY on Black Friday!) but I will be getting that coffee at a very beautiful coffee house.  Sounds divine, yes?   Why do I feel a coffee nightmare story of DUNKIN DONUTS proportion coming on?  Hmm??  Is it the fact that I spent many years of my life living in Minot?  Is it that Minot is proud of being the 4th largest city in North Dakota (there ARE four cities in North Dakota?)  Is it that at the age of 43 I have come to discover that my purpose in being brought to Minnesota in the first place was so that I could grow fat and happy off the FABU, unparalleled coffee available right here in the good old Minneapolis of Minnesota?

And I wonder if Dunkin Donuts has a foothold in Minot...brb...whew!  I am relieved to report that there are NO DDs within 50 miles of Minot.

So, a report on Bellissimo Caffe will be forthcoming...if I don't find WIFI in Minot, it will be reported upon my return.

And hey, I just noticed...the Starbucks at 2.6 miles is actually CLOSER than the Kum & Go at 3 there some sort of an anti corporate coffee klatch going on here?  In collusion with Yahoo Maps?  Dear, dear....

November 20, 2007

Just helping a rellie out.

Josh Lewis

November 19, 2007

Ahhhhh the symphony!

Last week was NUTS!  Something planned every single day for homeschool, and we finally tanked out on Friday and just hung out at home.

It wasn't bad though, because the things we did were so fun!

My favorite of the week of course was the MN Orchestra Young People's Concert.  Last year I picked and chose the concerts according to the age recommendations, but we had such a great time that this year I bought tickets to them all.

Last week's concert was entitled Wacky Sounds and taught us about using unusual instruments in the orchestra, about impossible compositions and about using instruments in unusual ways.

Andrew LOVED this concert and came home bursting to tell his Papa about some of the pieces.  Here are two that were his favorites.

The first piece that he loved was the last they played.  It is called Blur: The Fragrance Free Collection and is nearly impossible to find online.  Download Blur_Todd_Levin.mp3 Luckily as part of the Young People's concert recordings of the program are held online for six weeks following the concert.  This piece was written by Todd Levin, a young composer, and includes a breathtaking finish using metal sheets as part of the instrumentation.  The kids literally were UNABLE to sit still during this rousing finish, which is even more powerful when you are in the front row a few inches from the musicians. 

I loved EVERY piece they played in this concert, but both Andrew and I loved the eerie, unusual feeling found in listening to Banshee Download Cowell_Banshee_for_piano.mp3 .  Cowell, the composer, was an early American composer who liked to stretch the definition of instrumentation to its limits and beyond.  In this piece a pianist plays along with the orchestra, INSIDE the piano, making strokes, scratches and slides on the inner workings of the instrument.  After the concert I was able to go up to the stage and ask the conductor (who played the piano part for that piece) about the musical scoring for such an odd instrumentation.  She was very generous to show me the music and explain how to interpret the different sound requests.  She also explained that she had put little sticker dots to label the keys inside, so she would be able to tell which notes to use. 

November 16, 2007

Something I have to get off my chest!

I just have to say....

 I haven't even posted my finished project here and within 12 hours the kits are sold out. In one day! No words lads and lasses, no words!

Its UP, Its UP, Its UP!!! My Kit is available!

After two months of serious nailbiting my kit is up and for sale at TallyScrapper.

Kit Includes:
1Creative Imaginations Recipe Box, with 6 tabbed dividers and index cards
1 pkg. of 7Gypsies Calais Rubbings
1 7Gypsies Amber Knob
1 pkg. Cosmo Cricket Flutterby Chipboard Alpha
1 pkg.of 10 7Gypsies clips
1 yard of Daisy Bucket textured ribbon
1 recipe from Minda's husband
1 thank you card from Minda
1 sheet of Creative Imaginations Baked with Love paper
1 sheet of Creative Imaginations Scalloped paper
1 sheet of What's Cooking from Flair Designs
1 sheet of Bake off from Flair Designs
1 sheet of Sienna from Daisy D's
1 sheet of Espresso from Daisy D's
1 sheet of Chinoiserie Baroque from Daisy D's
1 sheet of Gingerbread from Cosmo Cricket


Recipe_4_handwritingHere is a blank recipe card that you can download and print as many as you need (Or print two to fill a page and copy them off to save your printer ink!

And I have to switch to my other computer to show you what I've done with mine so far.

Run, don't walk to THIS SPOT to buy yours, because there are only 25 and they are going fast!

Video Blog Part Deux and some layouts

So this is a pretty lame attempt, but I've already decided not to redo these as I do them.  The raw and

And here is a better look at those layouts.






November 14, 2007

Christmas Cheer

So last night I revealed that our Christmas tree has been put up.  DANG early.  Well even though Andrew was gone all day until 4pm, he came home wanting to do more Christmas decorating. 

As soon as he walked in the door with his friend in tow, he asked to put up the Nativity Set.  At this point I'm in full on surrender, so I said yes.

Here is the conversation that ensued:

Andrew: "Want to put up the Nativity Set with me?"
Friend: "What's a Nativity Set?" 
Andrew: "Don't you believe in God?"
Friend: "Do you?"
Andrew: "Of course.  If you don't believe in God you are gonna go to hell and you don't want to go to hell, its much worse than heaven when you die"
Friend: "Well I don't believe in heaven OR hell!"
A little later on as they are setting up the Nativity set...
Andrew: Now this is Mary.
Friend:  Is it Mary Queen of Scots, because I hate her!
Andrew: No, its Jesus mom Mary.  You know the weird thing about Jesus? He IS God, even though he's God's little brother too.
Just another day at the Shultz household!
See there in the white hat?  Mary!
We like to call this one "other Mary"  She was mean.
I also have a friend named Mary, but she doesn't like me to call her that.  In fact, she forbids it!


This is a first attempt! 

This is a first attempt! 


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