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 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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