Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Wish List TodaysMama and GameStop

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and GameStop are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?
That we find moments of grace together and that we don't go without food like last year.

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?
We have changed to fit our family, so "Christmas morning" for us is now in early January. We all get together as a family, play some silly games, eat everyone's own specialty concoction and sometimes do a gag gift exchange. Its mainly about being together and laughter.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?
Erasing of all debt, a clean slate to start 2011 out of the hole.

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
We open little cards on the 25 days before Christmas and each one has a little family activity, like making cookies, a craft or serving someone in need.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?
Scrabble, Masterpiece, Parcheesi, Clue...games are a huge part of our family gatherings.

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?
Breakfast is the big meal at our holiday gathering as it was when I was a child. Also, we fill knitted stockings with little gifts that reflect the special loves of the person they are for. A way of saying, "I know you and love you!"

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?
My grandmothers. I hardly ever get to see her and she's my last living grandparent.

8. Check out GameStop and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?
XBox360 console
Kinect360 Health bundle
Ninetendo DS game Art Academy

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Minda, your Motives are Suspect.

What motivates you to live life – body, mind and soul - to its fullest each day?
Pick the answer that best fits your motives, and go ahead and be honest, they are all wrong.

  1. Nothing. I just sort of go along the path of least resistance.
  2. My happiness. I seek each day to find what feeds me; body, soul and mind and I pursue that.
  3. My family and friends. I want to give them the best version of me that I can.
  4. I follow the latest trends and scientific findings on living life fully.
  5. I try to figure out how I’m perceived and then act to improve how others perceive me.
  6. To rage against the machine. If everyone else is doing it, I’m headed the other direction.

As I was out running this morning I was thinking about what moves or motivates me. I’ve been accused of running to look good to others. I’ve been accused of running to make others look bad. I’ve been accused of running because I’m crazy. Although I don’t think anyone has said it, it wouldn’t be totally crazy to hear someone say that my running is selfish. As I am an avid Biggest Loser watcher and many of my friends are full of information about living healthy, I could be thought of as a person who is just following trends. Probably it would be hard to make a case that I run as a way of least resistance. There is MUCH resistance nearly every time I go out!

Of course running isn’t the only thing I do. What motivates me to volunteer for Team Ortho? To take photos of others for free? To cook with my husband on Sundays? To post comments on Facebook? To get enough sleep? To read, argue, play cards, drink beer, go to work or to bathe? And what about those higher activities, reading through the Bible, spending time in prayer, working to stay in touch with others who believe in God? What about watching Dancing With he Stars? Whatever could be motivating me to do that?

The Bible talks about taking every thought captive. It talks about seeking God’s way above all else. That is what I want to motivate me. I want there to be an underlying current of connection with the Creator that guides me in each activity, thought or emotion toward my true path, a direction only God could know. A story that is at once completely unique to me and valuable to all I come in contact with.

You could say my motivation is to find that groove and stay in it. But for now I’ll probably wander back and forth between selfishness, resistance, pride and mindlessness.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Had a Prophetic Dream

This happens to me a couple of times a year. I had a dream that I knew I was supposed to stay asleep until the end of.

In the dream our house was burning down. Scott, Andrew and I were playing a game in an upstairs bedroom and we saw the house catch on fire from lightning. Although it looked different than our house now, it was still a duplex and our landlord neighbors were in the dream. The thrust of the first part of the dream was that I couldn't get anyone to take the situation seriously. At one point Andrew said, I don't care about my stuff, you can just buy me new clothes and stuff.

My parents were suddenly there in the dream and they were just sort of milling around outside watching curiously. I spent precious time trying to get Scott and Andrew out of the house, to think about if there was anything they wanted to save, to try to get them to believe anything at all needed to be done. Finally I got them out. I was exhausted.

While they dithered around talking with my parents I decided to try to save our memories. The books weighed so much and no one would help. Finally a stranger came along and helped me carry a couple out. I realized after one heavy trip that I was probably only going to be able to get one year of it out. I exhaustedly put those books and one other posession, which unfortunately I have now forgotten, on the floor of my car. I moved my car away from the house, which was now visibly blazing in the basement.

I asked around and no one had called the fire department yet. They looked annoyed when I asked, so I called them myself. The dispatcher said she already knew about the blaze and they were busy, would get there when they could. Alot of families were in trouble. She was annoyed with me too. You could tell she thought I was making too big of a deal out of it.
Soon the house on our side was gone completely. There was a deep hole next to the basement and the basement was filled to the brim with water (apparently the firetrucks did eventually arrive, but with no fanfare) One fireman said, You know, you are gonna lose everything.
By this point in the dream Andrew and Scott were gone.

I ran into a woman outside who asked if I was missing anything after the fire. I said I was missing everything, even my loved ones, and she said she had some of my things. She handed me a red plastic wrist band and told me to come to a certain place in a few days to "redeem" my things and she listed the thing I had put in the car along with my scrapbooks, a quilt I had made, and a few other things. I realized she had taken these things out of my car so that later I would pay her to get them back. I was furious. No one else seemed to think anything of it.

I went around the corner to my parents house, put my few memory books left in their spare room and thought about taking a shower. I realized I had no clothes to change into. My mom came in and said, "I see you have piled a bunch of your crap in the spare room." I told her I was hoping I could sleep there for one night. She seemed annoyed but didn't say I couldn't. I realized that it was late and that I hadn't called the landlord at work to let him know of the disaster. Then it dawned on me that they had their parent's dog there and that he had probably perished in the fire. I was sick about it.

I ran back to the house and knocked on the door, to find him home in the livingroom watching a sports game with some male friends and his wife upstairs taking a shower. In another upstairs room was Josie and Debbie. They were playing a game and laughing and talking. I came in and started to tell them what had happened, first the landlords wife, and then Josie and Debbie. The landlords wife said, "Whatever, that's okay" in a light and airy tone. Josie and Debbie were annoyed when I talked about it, and when I started to cry for the exhaustion and frustration and loss, they got mad. Debbie said something about me making such a big deal about it and Josie rolled her eyes and was downright mad. They left in a huff as if my behavior was too drama ridden and unworthy of their attention. I trudged back downstairs to apologize to the landlord and explain it wasn't out of our carelessness, it was a ligtning strike. He was busy and didn't seem to really care. He said it was okay in a distracted dismissive way.

I wondered if the insurance had been truly switched over by Scott. I wondered where I would stay. I wondered where everyone I cared about was and why no one took me seriously. I finally was allowed to wake up.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Beginnings

Sunday, an hour before we moved, our church prayed for this new home to be a marker of new beginnings in our lives. Already, after less than two days there have been so many blessings. Above are some pictures of the outside of the house. Isn't it lovely?
One of the new beginnings is that on the first morning we went out and sat on the patio and had our coffee and woke up together. Andrew joined us a little later and then last night requested that we make it a morning routine. We enjoyed it again this morning, just a half hour between 7:30 and 8am, but a nice way to wake up and have some sweet family time before heading in for our chores and school. I think we are all looking forward to this change!
Probably the nicest new beginning is in Andrew. He has been cheerfully helpful, he's been leaps and bounds more responsible, and it is a thing to behold. Yesterday when we came in from the patio he went to work on his room and got it in tiptop shape, including making both beds to perfection and hanging up his dress clothes.
In the afternoon he had his friend over, and they played in the sprinkler, then hung the towel up on the line, rolled up the hose on to the rocks so it wouldn't kill the grass and put their toys away in the garage, shutting the garage door. What a treat!
We did give him his own key and he loves locking up after us if we leave the house, which is quite helpful, because with three doors I can see myself forgetting to lock one!
Today we start up school again after four days off. I believe we will see even better improvements there!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A little sentimental, I say goodbye

This move has come together so fast, I haven't had much time to process it. Last night and this morning I find myself thinking about it more, and I'm a little sad.

  • It is hard to say goodbye to one level living.

  • It is hard to say goodbye to my running partner being just down the hall.

  • It is hard to say goodbye to Andrew's friends being just down the hall.

  • It is hard to say goodbye to a right sized home.

  • It is hard to say goodbye to a big kitchen.

  • It is hard to say goodbye to the wood lot behind our sunroom.

  • But honestly most of all it is hard for me to say goodbye to a laundry room on the same level as the closets. Sigh. I've done 10 loads of laundry this week, washing everything I can think of, to cherish that treat a little longer.

Of course I haven't forgotten what we are saying hello to.

  • Hello to a backyard.

  • Hello to cheaper rent.

  • Hello to nice landlords.

  • Hello to a quiet street.

  • Hello to being closer to the Julie's.

  • Hello to a safer place for my bike.

  • And honestly most of all, hello to a new start, I'm quite fond of them!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hey Minda! You're Moving in...

  • ...5 days, whatcha gonna do? Go to a concert and the library in St. Paul

  • ...4 days, whatcha gonna do? Meet friends at Bush Lake Beach for three hours!

  • ...3 days, whatcha gonna do? Take three kids to Lake Harriet for three hours & do some carpooling!

  • ...2 days, whatcha gonna do? Skip school and go to see the new Shrek movie!

  • ...36 hours, whatcha gonna do? Go for a nine mile run in the soup!

  • ...24 hours, whatcha gonna do? Drive to Farmington and spend the day at the Scottish Fair, then go out for dinner!

    Now, do you think my son will remember all that when next week the answer every day is UNPACK? I hope so!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Forgive me Louise Erdrich

So, to all my avid reader friends, I have a question to ask:
Do you have any authors who you have repeatedly refused to read, flying in the face of their ongoing popularity?

One of those authors for me is Louise Erdrich. I can't tell you why, I have no personal beef with native americans, she's an author based in Minneapolis which is generally a leg up on my booklist, she owns a bookstore. But for some reason I always scan past her books on the library shelves and move on to something else.

Tonight I looked her up to learn more about her, and try to understand what in me is resistant to her. Then I read this statement;

In 1984, Erdrich published the novel Love Medicine. Made up of a disjointed but interconnected series of short narratives, each told from the perspective of a different character, and moving backwards and forward in time through every decade between the 1930’s and the present day, the book told the stories of several families living near each other on a North Dakota Ojibwe reservation.

The innovative techniques of the book, which owed a great deal to the works of William Faulkner but have little precedent in Native-authored fiction, allowed Erdrich to build up a picture of a community in a way entirely suited to the reservation setting.

Ah ha! Mr. Faulkner, a most IRRITATING writer in my experience! Maybe I had tried to read Love Medicine and this style turned me off.

I read further though and discovered her book The Beet Queen. This book focusses on a different demographic of North Dakota, the US homeland of my people. Now I am intrigued and have reserved her book from the library.

So I challenge you to find a decorated writer you have resisted in the past, research their books and find one that you want to give a try. Every writer deserves a second look, right?

April Me Update

April 2010

Run 69 miles
Bike 20 miles
Indoor bike 25 miles

Current Book(s):
The Virgin Blue
The Lace Reader
One Thousand White Women
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

Current Music:
Singer/Songwriter playlist
PodRunner playlist 149 bpm

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:
high hop beers and sweet potatoe fries made at home!

Current Colors:

Current Obsessions:
finding a place to live and moving there with low drama, training for a half marathon

Current Drink:
V8 with a scoop of fiber added

Current Song:

Current TV Shows:
Lie to Me and Biggest Loser

Current Wish-List:
to trade someone our huge beautiful hardwood desk, tv cabinet and tv for a big computer screen and a smaller desk.

Current Needs:
to get off my butt and go running, or I'll be late to church!

Current Triumph:
running 11.5 miles and knowing I could have done 1 more!

Current Bane of my Existence:
How nice I have none!

Current Goal:
more body toning between runs

Current Indulgence:
nothing new

Current Blessings:
my husband
finding a beautiful place to live
healthy body during my running

Current (Fav) Outfit:
Yellow print dress over brown leggins

Current Excitement:

Current Mood

Friday, April 30, 2010

can I scrap again?

So I'm sure you've all noticed my absence. About six months ago scrapbooking kinda went by the wayside for me, and I've only done the bare minimum since. I had a great talk today with a friend I met at tallyscrapper, who has started her own site. She was one of my favorites back in the day, we really had a heart connection.

Also this week I had two other scrapbook sightings; we saw a house we want to rent and the landlord has a scrapbook room on her side of the duplex!


My current neighbor emailed me for suggestions on great kits. I mentioned tally, but also want to bring up http://timelessdaydreams.com. Dolores always does great work and I see that she has enlisted the help of another friend of mine from Tally, Leachy!

I'm off to check out what they have going, and perhaps join them for some scrapbooking to celebrate National Scrapbooking Day.

Here is a link to Timeless Daydreams blog:

Friday, February 19, 2010

When Work is Just Plain fun....

"Will you design a poster quick that says coffee and wifi?"


(company logos removed of course!)

And after smelling those coffee beans during the photo shoot I HAD to make a pot of course...so I'll be up for quite some time now!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Andrew's Birthdays

We had three or four birthday celebrations for Andrew this month. On January 1 he and I went over to Mom and Dad's and he got to open a gift and hang out with family. On January 2 we made him a cake and he got to open a gift from us. On January 3 we had cake with the church group and he got a gift from his friend Priya. On January 10 he had a joint birthday party with his friend Ronan. They took three friends to MOA for some climbing fun. Up in the rafters they now have an attraction where you are hooked into harnesses and you climb around, 3, 4 and 5 stories up on gangplanks, tight ropes and rope ladders. Its quite amazing and all of the boys were little monkeys. Then they all headed over to WOA and swam from 4pm until 9:30pm! It was so fun to watch them, all so grown up and independent now and really learning how to work to encourage and enjoy each other. They all five did the surfing/wave rider, and did better than 75% of the riders that night! I've included Andrew's video, doesn't he look like a pro?

Two weeks of craziness!

Its been a crazy busy two weeks, and I'm happy they have come to an end. Next month looks much calmer, with only one special event planned each week.

In the second half of January we:

  1. Andrew joined the Minneapolis Fencing Club and has fencing lessons Tuesday and Thursday nights. He also has the extra option of going on Saturdays. He is really enjoying it and we are noticing a reduction in agression, so everyone is happy. He'll continue for two more months and then he gets to decide if he wants to keep it up.

  2. We had two family parties, finally putting the whole Christmas season to rest. The brunch on Saturday with Scott's family had to go through a quick change, as we planned a sledding outing and it was raining! Who could have predicted that in Minnesota in January! We had a great time playing games instead and I really enjoyed spending some quality time with my nephew Peter. I love his sense of humor and seeing him grow and mature. The adults and older kids enjoyed a crazy game of White Elephant gifts; the little three were all crying at some point...guess that is an older persons concept! We also celebrated the family birthdays for January, which added up to 100 candles...too rich for my blood (and too smokey for my apartment!) so we settled on a couple dozen! On Sunday we had my family over in the afternoon. It also had some setbacks, as my brother was too sick to come, Jason had work scheduled and Lance was needing his cane, so we skipped the plans to go bowling and just hung out and opened stocking gifts.

  3. We had a GREAT time learning about Norse Mythology with the Connections Academy playgroup, and had a nice outing at Orchestra Hall where they played pieces from Star Wars, UP, Lord of the Rings and Our Town. Did you know the director of UP is from our own Bloomington MN? Yep! Scott now wants a harp instead of a new guitar. Hmmm...

  4. Scott and I started a weekly Date-In. On Tuesday nights we put Andrew to bed a tad earlier and take turns planning an at home date for two hours. Scott went first and blew me away with the fabulous job he did. Its really good to take time to just be with each other as adults, not parents of Andrew.

  5. We closed out the month with a birthday party dinner for our friend Julie and then this afternoon we went to Pond Dakota Park to learn about living in the 1800's in the WINTER in Minnesota. We sat around a fire INSIDE of a Dakota tipi and heard stories, we drank hot cider and had soup in the parlor of the house while we learned about musical instruments on the time and sang along, we played snow snakes, and then we stood in line for an hour to get a fabulous ride behind five antsy sled dogs. Those dogs LOVE to work!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

2010 is about Breaking the Spell

A friend of mine got some heat recently for expressing her spiritual experience at a recent local concert. Today she shared some of the music with me that moved her as we traveled together to a gathering. We were busy catching up after a week of not seeing each other, and so I asked to borrow the CD overnight so I could better listen to it.

Simultaneously this past week I've been thinking about being stuck. About being unable to go any further, finding oneself in a rut, or just being afraid of moving into new areas of growth and healing. I believe that God wants to see us whole and living our best life, and I believe that when two or more gather and ask for that wholeness, He will provide.

I proposed an "experiment" for this year with a group of my friends. What if we were to each identify and confess a stuck place in our life and ask for prayer and help in moving on. We didn't all come to a place of identifying our "thing" but it was still an evening of exploring the idea. I left the gathering still unsure of what I want to work on.

Tonight I was given further encouragement through several songs by this artist, but in particular this song has haunted me as it echoes the condition of being stuck that I have been pondering.

I hope you enjoy it to:
How many roads have I chosen
How many bags cn I really put down
How many oceans must I dive into
Before I drown

Before I can be king of my conscience
Before I wear the crown so I won't forget
How many swords must go through my heart
Before I let sweet love in

There are many ways to be careless
Stories that we tell
And even when they are lies we hold them
Like they're fragile
So afraid to break the spell

I want to break the spell

How many fires must I walk through
How many matches, I burned through them all
Somewhere down the line I can blame somebody
But right now I'm the only one taking the fall

There are many ways to be careless
Stories that we tell
And even when they are lies we hold them
Like they're fragile
So afraid to break the spell

I want to break the spell

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Directions?

Wednesday I saw the movie Julie & Julia. I don't know if this is the first movie about a blog, but it must be one of the first on the big screen. I have been blogging since late 2003. I have primarily used my blogs as a place to update family and friends on my craft projects, my child and a few other rants here and there.

Having seen J & J and having been on board watching from the sidelines as Pioneer Woman turned from a small enjoyable blog about a city girl turned rancher to an amazing phenom which includes several blogs, a calendar and a book deal in just a few years, got me thinking.

Thinking about what I have to say. What is unique that I have to offer the world?

In November I wrote a 50,000 word book. That put to rest any doubts I had about being able to keep up with deadlines and with being able to put words to paper (or is that pixels?)

I do not want to write a blog about scrapbooking, God, photography, running or books. These are all topics that interest me, and that I suppose I have some insight into, but they are also all blogs that I have seen done very well elsewhere.

There are two things that I do that I think are a little unique and that might prove useful to some people. One has to do with the way that I parent. The other has to do with money. Anybody out there ever frustrated with their kids and want to find ways to connect with them? Anybody out there trying to get by on less without feeling pinched and deprived?

I'm going to continue to think and pray about this for the next few days and then we will see.

Either way, there will still be the same old jumble of personal stuff from time to time so if you are rich and kidless, don't abandon me yet!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 In Review

I try to do a post every year that is a quick look back at the year before. This time I thought I'd punctuate it with scrapbook pages I made in 2009 that relate to the topics. I'll have that slideshow up tomorrow. For today, the words and a sneak peek.

Overall, it was a quiet year. That may seem odd after you read the list of things that happened this year, but if you compare that to the craziness that usually takes place in a year of my life, trust me, it was quiet!

January brought resurfacing on the Tallyscrapper design team and a new job as a nanny for Ben Heil. I discovered that it isn't just my children I love; its ALLL children!

In February I turned 45 and Jason got his own apartment. I loved seeing this goal he'd had for a couple years come to fruition!

In March we had some sadness. Scott's mom died after a lengthy, difficult illness, and 10 days later my uncle died. Also in this month I left Tallyscrapper and had my 13th wedding anniversary.

In April the kids next door, Konner and Kiley became long term fixtures at our house. We discovered Konner didn't have his own bed or a room to sleep in, and bought a used bed so he could share Andrew's room, having him over often at first. I realized that is wasn't just other babies I loved, but even big, unruly kids!

In May I got my Saturn back and loved the added freedom on the weekends. On Memorial Day weekend Mom and Dad invited us to their cabin, and Andrew and I were able to go. We had a lovely time.

In June we finalized the paperwork and Andrew was accepted to Connections Academy. We had decided to give this new approach to education a try.

In July, after several months of only occasionally scrapbooking, I decided a better use for the sunroom was a library, and the famous Minda Scraproom closed for business. It wasn't until December that the project of dismantling the room would be fully completed. We worked on a new budgeting system and liked it. We tried kayaking for the first time. I embarked wholeheartedly on a total exercise program, making a lifelong commitment to working out every day that I possibly could and harder than I ever thought possible.

In August my bike was stolen. But more happily, we decided to be trendy and have a "staycation" which we thoroughly enjoyed! At the end of the month I finished my time as Ben's nanny and bid a fond farewell.

In September started Connections Academy, went on his first camping trip without us and had a great time, and at the end of the month, he earned a Nintendo DS. For kicks I bought one too. Our friends and family went into shock.

In October I went on a FABULOUS trip to Kansas City, where I reconnected with some highschool friends and just had a wonderful Minda-style vacation. It is not often that one can say that every minute of a vacation was filled with wonder. This is one of those rare moments. At the end of October Andrew requested a costume for Halloween that he designed, called Cabbage Creature. The three of us had a fun time putting that together.

In November I decided THIS was the year, and I wrote, every day, at least 1,670 words a day, thus completing a 50,000 word novel. Since much of it was drivel, it will probably more likely become two short stories pitched to magazines, but it was great to meet this goal I've had for many years. I also ran a 5k with Erin, Scott and Andrew, or more accurately I ran a 5k and then ran back to meet them. It was fun and I'm sure it will become a regular part of our Thanksgiving day activities. We got some upsetting news at the Thanksgiving Dinner table, namely that my parents are planning to move to Arizona in a little over a year.

December this year was one primarily made up of quiet reflection and penny pinching. We were more at peace than usual when money gets tight, and made it through just fine. We also "moved in together". Many know that Scott and I, although very much in love, moved to seperate bedrooms some time ago to promote better sleep patterns. Suddenly toward the end of the year we were both convicted to give togetherness another try. We both are very happy with this "new" arrangement.

Overall, 2009 was an odd year for me. I experienced HUGE spiritual and personal growth, which is sort of a hard thing to document on scrapbook pages. I did work on several spiritual journal pages though, although I'd have to say most of my growth this year happened toward the end, while the pages were all made early in the year. I can look back to where I was at mentally a year ago and see huge changes that have settled in and taken root. These are changes that have made me less susceptible to the winds of change and other people's moods. I would say that this was a year of grounding for me.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Cuz layouts

There's a million of them (64 to be exact) but here are a few. I didn't have the heart to post them all at a scrapbook website, too much flooding the gallery!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Online playland?

I am pretty much a one scrapblog type of girl, as you all know and my one place has been tallyscrapper.com for years. A friend from Tally recommended this blog to me, and tonight I scrolled through the members blogs and got a warm fuzzy feeling. So I'm gonna give it a try for a bit. I don't do much buying, I'm just looking for challenges and the like, so it just might fit. Feel free to hop over there yourself and see what you think!

There is also a blog hop taking place in association with this site for the next couple of days. It was how I romped through some of the member's blogs, and it was fun! Start here

Then lastly you go to THIS location to see if you want to join their site. Joining was super easy and I like what I've seen so far. Plus there is a rockin' sketch to get you started.

Here is my take on the sketch, which I totally loved!

Happy New Year!


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