Friday, November 30, 2007

Today-Something New

So today there is something new about us. What could it be?

OK, yes, S got glasses. They are very fun -- hard to see what they look like from this view. They are dark navy, but yellow on the inside which gives them some sparkle. For the kid who sparkles.

She's been commenting on how "sharp" everything is now.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One More Day!

Oh-one more day to go in my daily blog promise, with Nablopomo! It's gone quickly and taken forever at the same time!!!

I've already done my post for today, so this is just superfluous innocuous filler!!

Oh-I'm just giddy now!


Seems like there is a sequence to everything. So to get to the final goal there are many steps, yet no progress can be made until we check off each task along the way. It's exasperating at times.

We have a two-story fireplace that was re-stuccoed during our remodel last year. Pictured is the downstairs fireplace-in the den where we have a TV and sectional. Before and after pics. Nice improvement huh?
So now, we had to get the chimney sweep to come. So that took a while.

Then we went to look at fireplace doors. Well, this became complicated. See the cut-out? So the door opening isn't exactly rectangular? This meant either a) we got an expensive custom door or b) we retrofitted the opening so that it was squared off. B was preferred as it would be to code, safer for the kids, and would help insulate this room in winter and keep it warmer (on the average cold winter day it is about 5 degrees cooler in this room than the rest of the house).

So we had a firm come in to bid on this little project. Then a subcontractor "fireplace guy" came over. Wouldn't touch the project, couldn't figure out why - thought it was because I was orchestrating this and these are "men's men" e.g. I wasn't in the "club" therefore not worthy of the job.

Went back and forth. Finally had the stucco contractor come in to do it. Seems the problem was, the hearth is beautiful yet fragile marble. This guy was mortified that they would cut into the brick and the hearth would break! Ahh-now this is making sense. But the lack of communication of the supposed real reason mystifies me.

So finally this week we got to this point. Before and after. Opening nicely squared off now.

But we're not quite there yet! There's some cement patching needed in the grooves and openings made when they cut out the brick.

Then the doors can be ordered and installed.

And all I wanted was to be able to have a nice fire. Not so simple it seems.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cahill School

Yesterday G's class went to Cahill School and Grange Hall to experience school days in the late 1890's. Many of the girls dressed up in dresses with aprons, boots, and some wore bonnets or large ribbons in their hair. Some of the boys wore overalls or bandanas tied around their neck. They brought lunches in baskets or pails wrapped in cloth-jam or butter sandwiches, chunk cheese, fruit or veggies, and of course no pop or many sweets to speak of.

I stopped over briefly and observed a lively square dance to the tune of "skip to my lou."

Here are a few pics.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What do pianos and frozen hair have in common?


Piano. Ah one of my most favorite hobbies. One of many. One of my favorite songs I am working on right now is Haydn Sonata 5 in C major. It has a great tempo and the notes really blend together but still at the same time stand out. Okay enough music talk.

Today we organized scarfs, hats and mittens for the cold weather coming up ahead. A and S got out of the car this morning going to school and after about 20 sec. A's hair froze and looked like ramen noodles. Thats how cold it was. There wasn't even any snow! Yet... But anyhow i wish they would make a frozen hair cure and just call it a day. Cause thats what I'm doing right now. Calling it a day.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cyber Monday...? CAKE DAY!

Here is where we write about Cyber Monday.

Blah blah blah blah.

Alright mom.

This is A talking...NOW.

Today is believe it or not Cake day and Throw out Leftovers day, also Good Grief day.

Believe it or not that is what today is. So....HAPPY 26th of November!

Heres a cake if this post isn't boring enough.


Spicy and moist, this delicious apple cake will be a favorite lunch box dessert.

Preparation time: 30 min Baking time: 30 min
Yield: 15 servings

Cake Ingredients:
1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 medium (2 cups) apples, peeled, chopped 1/4-inch

Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour 13x9-inch baking pan. Set aside.

Combine butter, 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar in large mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy (2 to 3 minutes). Stir soda into buttermilk in small bowl; add to butter mixture. Add eggs, flour, spices and salt; beat on medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). Gently stir in apples. Spoon into prepared baking pan.

Combine all topping ingredients in small bowl; mix well. Sprinkle topping over cake batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts (1 serving): Calories: 280, Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 320mg, Carbohydrates: 47g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Protein: 4g

[Mom wants me to cite this so...i think its just because shes a fan of land o lakes.... jeez.]

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Oh How Fantastic.

Well today was just fantastic!
First off i brought...okay dragged my three daughters to church and we had just a fantastic time. Then we did a few errands on the way home. When we got home we had lunch and then A and S did some homework and then we cleaned for a while. After that we went to a nearby mall and chose some glasses for S. Yes glasses. They are a fantastic pair, fits S's face perfectly! Then we got home and got ready for a small little get together for Uncle D's birthday party. We got him this fantastic card that plays that one song that goes.."I don't wanna be a chicken I don't wanna be a duck so i shake my butt." its a fantastic little number. And now we are all at home and i just played some piano and off to bed we go. Tomorrow is a fantastic school day! What a fantastic day today.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our Thanksgiving

Here's a few pics of our Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

What an odd term, Black Friday. Well, we set off for downtown Chicago to check out Michigan Avenue. The chilly, windy conditions did not keep us from braving the crowds. We headed to Gap, Disney Store, Burberry's, H&M, Needless Markup (um Nieman Marcus), Saks, then Water Tower Place, North Face, and more. Not many bargains to be found, but we enjoyed browsing, just checking everything out.

By 11 or so, things were getting a bit packed. So we hit the road and went to our favorite hot dog place, Irving's for Red Hot Lovers in Wilmette. Best cheese dog I've had oh since the last time we were there, exactly one year ago today.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

Sometimes we think others understand what we are thinking, how we feel about them, as we move through our lives.

You know, for example the grade school teacher who is daily opening new revelations in learning for your child. They know you are thankful for their efforts, right? You give them a Christmas gift, also the child makes them a little something, a drawing, or a fun craft (ideally involving glitter or something messy-makes it so much more fun, regardless of the fact that you have to clean it up later). You smile and say hello when you are in the classroom helping or dropping off your child. But they don't really know how you FEEL, what you THINK about their efforts. Unless you tell them.

We wrote posts for Nat'l Teacher Appreciation Week for G's teacher last year. I wrote one. G wrote one. Couple amazing things happened. The teacher loved them, sent us a nice note of thanks etc. The principal also had the posts put in her personnel file. But that wasn't the best part. The best part was being UNDERSTOOD. I thought it was so clear that we thought this teacher was great. But I never COMMUNICATED it. What a great feeling.

Or, say, it's someone's birthday, special holiday. Like Mother's Day last year. My mom knows I love her-I hug her and share my life, visit when I can, give her gifts on birthdays, Mother's Day. But I didn't really say some things that I think are special about her. So I blogged about it for Mother's Day. This had a great impact on her, as she wrote about the nicest thank you note I'd ever received, how moved she was at the things I said, would remember this for the rest of her life etc. I thought she knew how I felt. Hmm. But I guess not, til I TOLD her.

So seems fitting to bring this up on Thanksgiving Day as we are gathered with friends & family. So take it from me, don't ASSUME people know what you are feeling. TELL THEM how you feel about them, what makes them special, why you are thankful for their presence in your life.

Speak up, people!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Brain Problem

I've been taking piano lessons now for 4 months or so. Taken up from where I left off in high school. So I just passed a piece, the Chopin Nocturne in Eb major. Nice. Now I thought I would memorize it. Haven't memorized a piece since, well, high school. So I thought, this can't be that hard.

Oh but it is. And I don't like it. I love to play from music. Very much.

But I don't like this, not at all.

It's going to be a bit of a haul, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Smile

Someone got braces yesterday. Braces hurt. HURT. Two days of soup and yogurt and oh-milkshakes, ice cream, is enough. Oh the sugar buzz!

Hopefully she will be feeling better soon, as we are nearing the Holiday Where You Eat the Most Food.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Harvest Dinner

Last night we went to a wonderful dinner at the Minneapolis Valley Country Club. It was a pity that it was dark when we arrived, as the setting looked beautiful, with the country club overlooking the bluffs by the Minnesota River.

The dinner was celebrating the 40, 50, and 60th anniversaries of Mason members of the lodges, Century #338, Cataract #2 and Richfield #334. Sadly, Cataract #2 is the one lodge of the the three that still exists. Richfield and Century Lodges merged into Cataract about 5 years ago (something to do with the building of the Best Buy corporate center).

We sat with some delightful people, including Randy & Bev who were celebrating the 50th reunion of his becoming a Mason.

I was moved by the impromptu thank-you speeches that each recipient gave. How gracious they were. Most were inspired to become Masons by a close family member, like a father-in-law, or wife. Randy talked about how he would go to his brother's in Chicago, and he would go and take him over to the Children's Hospital there -- and Randy was always eager to see the good work that was done. One man said he hadn't much time unfortunately in recent years to be involved in his lodge, since he worked 6-7 days a week and retired at 80. His wife was just standing there beaming at him - I wonder what his profession was, that he was so dedicated to.

Nice evening!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hi my name is G.M.H.. I am going to Chicago this Thanksgiving! I am SO SO SO excited.
But we haft to drive to Chicago.I know I am complaning but...I don't wnt to drive all the way to...
CHICAGO.I have 53 things to do in the car.

We are staying at Grandma & Grandpa's house. They have lots of TVs. Thanksgiving Day we'll go to my aunt & uncle's house (and cousins too). They have an indoor pool right next to the kitchen. So we can have a snack if we get hungry while we are swimming. My big sister A will not swim, but she won't have as much fun either.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Nice Lutheran liberal arts college. Pretty common to attend there, especially if you are a Lutheran from Minneapolis area. I am from the suburbs of Chicago. I was raised Presbyterian. I thought Carleton College would be a good place to go. This is another small liberal arts college that is in the same town as St. Olaf.

So Carleton was looking good for me. Except 1) the parents that I came across during the tour were pretentious - turn-off; and 2) the softball uniforms were baby blue - big big turn-off. Were these good reasons to choose a college? Nahh.

While I was visiting Carleton, I checked out St. Olaf too. And I chose St. Olaf. It turned out to be a good choice for me. I liked it there, had a great educational experience, majored in German/Psychology, even studied a semester at University of Constance in Germany, made great friends, and so forth.

Going to St. Olaf (in Northfield MN about 40 minutes south of Minneapolis) gave me the idea that living in Minneapolis might be nice. So kind of (there were many other factors) -- going to that college resulted in meeting the love of my life, getting married and settling here in the Twin Cities. So the college is also special to me for those connective reasons.

We belong to the Largest Lutheran Church in America. 9 pastors. Yup. The Largest Lutheran Church in America is somehow hooked up with Gustavus Adolphus College, oh an arch rival of St. Olaf. OK-probably because the Senior Pastor-President-Grand PooBah of the Largest Lutheran Church in America went to Gustavus. I think. So at the appropriate time, the 7-8th graders go spend an overnight at *gulp* Gustavus. And they buy *gulp* Gustavus STUFF, t-shirts and sweats and mittens. Um. I'm OK with this. Sort of.

Oh-I've got my St. Olaf sweatshirt and St. Olaf t-shirts. And I don't really mind that 2/3 of my girls have been to Gustavus, hung out, ate the food, slept on campus, and had fun there, and they think it is a really cool place. The 3rd girl will no doubt go there, when she is in 7th grade.

Really, I don't mind. That much.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Minneapolis-Alleged Nanny Killer in Court

Such a terrible crime. A young woman, Katherine Olson, looking for a nanny position on Craig's List, was brutally murdered during the encounter with the individual from the ad. Allegedly.

From today:
Suspect Michael J. Anderson, 19, made his first appearance this morning in Scott County District Court in Shakopee. His bail remains at $1 million. His attorney asked for a cash bail amount, which Judge Mary Theisen set at $4 million, said Chief Deputy Attorney Ron Hocevar, who requested that amount.

And this:
Olson's parents, Rolf and Nancy Olson, issued a statement today thanking all who have helped them and asking that their daughter be remembered as "the incredibly vivacious and compassionate young woman she was . . . Katherine's legacy should not be that of an unfortunate victim, but as a person who lived a good life, a life of faith, a life full of hope, and a life full of concern for people."

You have to admire her brave parents for their insistence in turning these terrible events into a positive reminder of her legacy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


A Thanksgiving Day Prayer
by Samuel F. Pugh

"O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pointless Knowledge?

Now lets be truthful here.
Is my daughter A (14) ever going to use geometry and physics in her future?
Does calculating the acceleration of an object really matter?
So far haven't used any of it once.
I mean doing a glide reflection of A B C isn't exactly what i call something you absolutely need to know. Math should just be like calculating a checkbook or something that students will actually use in the future. Because wasting time on velocity and congruent shapes aren't exactly what I would call necessary.

(No offense to any physics or geometry teachers out there)


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

6th-7th Grade B-ball

S's team was the Silver Stars. They had a nice season, not a lot of wins but improved every game under the deft coaching of Coach Rick. We could say that our team was maybe not the tallest, but definitely one of the quickest.

Thanks for a fun season! I had a great time watching.

And a note on what happened AFTER the last game, when we decided to make the day a bit brighter by a quick trip to Dairy Queen. The other team was there, acting kind of loud and crazy. Their interaction with us was um, nothing to write home about. So I say-your girls (you girls) are the winners. That's it.

Monday, November 12, 2007


OK-that last post made them look so innocuous, happy and pleasant.

Instead-funner-LEAF WARS!

On the 4th photo here-can you see a little face looking up that is attached to the fist on A's chin!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fun in the Leaves

Hi my name is G. I LOVE to jump in leaves.

And my sisters A & S jumped with me too today.

And I got leaves in my hair. A LOT. And so did my sisters.

Here are a couple photos.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Heart to Heart

Tragedies happen every day. Real tragedies.

And I don't mean...
- My shirts are wrinkled!
- Oh no - I ran over the kids' bicycle with the car!
- The dishwasher broke -- now I have to wash all the dishes by hand!

My friend PK, is a part of our virtual ad agency. We do not work in an office at one location, sitting at desks, hanging out during lunch in the lunchroom. It is virtual -- we all work sitting remotely in our home offices. As such, it doesn't really matter where we are. Most of us sit in Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Some are in other states. PK is in Moscow. He is the greatest, swiftest, most deft web programmer for our team. Just ask the boss owner!

Well, he let us know on Friday that there had been a fire in his apartment building, engulfing 4 floors in his building (8th through 11th). He lives on the 6th floor. The fire was on the other side of the building from where he lives, so thankfully the water damage didn't affect him. Even so, he had no power for a day. But, goodness sakes, there was a FIRE!! A fire. Tragically, 3 people perished.

Not good. Not good at all. Made me stop. Advertising suddenly wasn't important. Not at all.

I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say. We are all SO FAR away.

PK-I don't know what to say. I wish I could give you a BIG HUG. I hope that things will get better soon.

Friday, November 9, 2007

YIKES! snow

This morning, as we were getting ready to get off to school (daughter #3), to my amazement, it started snowing!!

Oh but really it looked like this. I did not capture it very well.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Leaves or Yours?

Today I returned from an appointment to a surprising sight. The next-door-neighbor was swiftly and surely blowing leaves from his backyard into mine. This angered me.

But wait! The leaves that he is blowing are from MY maple tree. His backyard trees have not a lick of leaves left on them.

So is this Proper Neighborly Behavior? Are they HIS leaves or MINE?

Would I do it if I were in his place? Nooo. No way. I would probably not be very happy, likely cursing under my breath, raking them. But I would rake them up and bag them myself.

When I saw what he was doing, I walked out onto the patio and let my presence be known. Today hasn't been a very good day -- so I kept my mouth shut in case I blurted something horrendously obnoxious I would regret later. He casually went along the side of his house and back out to the front yard, where he DOES have leaves from his own tree, and looked to be dutifully blowing them so they could be bagged.

I'm back downstairs in my home office now -- bet later that I have some more leaves in the back -- and he has less.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Future Spring Break

This is where i hope to be spring break 08.
It's going to be great.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

All About My Sharing

Hi my name is G I LOVE to do sharing short for Share.I'd shared my dog named Ma-Mac I LOVE that dog so much. But I have another dog and a cat too my sister A named the cat her name is checkers The dog is named Diamond Rosalee. They are Webkinz.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pin Cushion

This is the theme of the day. Had a procedure on my leg-to repair varicose veins. NO-I will NOT go into detail, don't worry. But hence the theme.