Thursday, December 30, 2010


Hooray hooray for me!  Natalie is back in piano after a six month sabbatical!   She's found her way back to the ivories!

Last Spring, she told me that she was done taking piano lessons.  She would still play the saxophone but wanted to take voice lessons instead of playing the piano.

I was so bummed, but I had to think - Was this my dream for Nat?  Or did she actually have a choice in how she spent some of her time.

I let her grow as a person.

Grumble grumble grumble ...

And Allison was still in piano lessons.

A few weeks ago, Natalie started sitting back at the piano.  She started playing the first few bars of "Moonlight Sonata".  Oh Hooray for me!

She tagged along with Allison's lesson today and decided to take up lessons again.  She missed it!

I really did too.

Ok - I retract that!

The weather here was horrible.  I drove the girls out to piano lessons and had a difficult time speeding up to 25 mph.  But that's ok - we got to keep it safe - the only problem with bein' slow in the weather - is well - driving up icy hills.  We live in the only area around here with hills and cliffs... so it's really pretty - but yeah - not so fun to drive up a hill with icy roads.  I can't even imagine the roads in Duluth...   I'm pretty sure our biggest hill is no where near the grandness of their smallest hill.

So - I have been sewing and watching movies.... but mostly  keeping my girls safe - at home where we all belong in weather like this.

Winter Storm

I'm always disappointed when a winter storm doesn't pan out.  Last night, I stocked up on some fabric, milk, and potatoes for "The Storm."  I woke up this morning to find no storm in sight.

I really can't figure out why I'm annoyed with this. 


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Not Everyone Likes Me

It used to bother me that not everyone in the world liked me.

Now - I could care less. 

I do my best to help people.  I try to be kind to anyone who I encounter throughout the day - and yet, people still talk about me behind my back. 

Well - whatever.  I do my best, and I'm still misunderstood.

I try to give people  the benefit of the doubt.  If they can do the same for me, I appreciate it.

If not, whatevs...

All I can think of is this:

When they see my face, I hope it gives 'em ....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's a Mystery (quilt)

Our quilting club is on to a new project.  I'd say that I was pretty proud of the fact that we donated forty quilts to our local salvation army for Christmas presents for needy children in the area, but my quilts were a little lopsided and goofy looking.  Sigh..  Maybe the kids won't notice?

I can only hope.  I like to think I give it my best shot - but ya know what?  I'm not a natural.  Sewing doesn't come easy to me.  My seams are not the perfect 1/4 that others have seemed to perfect.  (no pun intended or maybe it was?)

Now, we are making a mystery quilt.  So, at the last meeting we were instructed to find 15 fat quarters, One contrast fabric, one nuetral fabric, and some sort of backing.  I decided to use batiks - because they are so purdy.


I hate it when I see people litter.  Now, I'm not sayin' that because I'm little miss neat freak - cuz I'm not.  I'm just sayin' You'll never see me throw a styrofoam coffee cup out the window as I'm drivin' down the street.

Now, I wasn't always like that.

My dad caught me once rolling down the window popping out a lifesaver's wrapper.

"Don't do that!!!"  My dad was horrified.

"So - it's only little pieces of paper..."

"You don't know what kind of bird will choke on that."  He was looking at me in the rearview mirror.  "And did you know that when you die - God makes you go back out to the world and pick up all your litter?"

"Really? Just like how we have to pick up our toys?"

"Yup.  He has a list - and guess what?  Every little piece of paper you dropped must be picked up - before you ever enter heaven."

"Whoooaaaa."  I was quiet for the rest of the trip - sort of panicking about all the paper I had left behind in cars my whole entire life of five years!

So,it's kind of a religous thing with me.  My dad probably made up a story to get me to stop being a litterbug - but there's probably some sort of universal truth in taking care of the earth since it's a pretty awesome thing and all.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Miracles

The past few weeks I've seen quiet glimpses of everyday life that make me tear up.  As I was reading Teach's blog over here - I realized I wasn't the only one caught in the beauty of Christmas.

Last Sunday, our church had our Sunday School program - Allison was Gabriel the Arch Angel - Courtney, her friend was Mary, - and Brady, another friend was Joseph. Mary was about a foot and half taller than Joseph.. Mariah - my niece - was a Wise Man - she's usually a wiseguy though.  Mykayla - my littlest niece was a sheep.   Her costume was a big piece of cardboard with quilting batting glued on and a big hole for her head.  She carried that cardboard around as she walked down the aisle with all the pride a four-year-old could muster.  Now - I didn't bring my camera.  I should have because there is nothing sweeter than a grade school nativity.  But what really got me was when they were singing "Away in The Manger", in the humblest loving voices, the sun came out and shined brilliantly through the stain-glass-cross in the front of the church.  I took this as a sign of loving grace.  Our own Christmas miracle.

On Wednesday, our little school on the prairie had a talent show. There were even prizes - big prizes - first place was a hundred dollars!!!  I don't think there was an act that didn't get a "Woop Woop!"  The teachers even led the kids into a group "Cha Cha Slide"

(That's not us though)

I mean EVERY kid got up and did the "Cha Cha Slide"

The first place winner was a hair-rock-medley-guitar-solo.  Second place was the magic show.  Third place was a beautiful duet that wowed the socks off of me.  But I think what I loved the most was the shy girl - the one who constantly pushes herself to join speech - she went up there and sang her heart out - and everyone cheered for her up there.  You know?  That says a lot about these kids.

And I got to see it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


In all, forty quilts were made and donated to the Salvation Army.  We were pretty proud to display them and help pack them up to send them on their way to be under a tree for some little boys and girls in the area!

La Vida Loca

Not this...

Don't Do This Abroad!

I found the BBC's website online this morning and found this -

Can't wait to show it to my students!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010


This morning, Jason went to wake up Allison. 

"Sweetheart it's time to wake up!"

"You can just put it my mailbox..." Came her answer.


"Dad, I was talking to Jalayna."

"Ok sweetie.  But, it's time to wake up."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


When we lived in Grand Forks during the flood, there was an angel  who gave $1,000 to most of the residents who lost their home.  That was 1997. 

I was pouring through my December issue of Smithsonian and came upon this article

I loved this article. I love that there are people in the world who care SO much.  I'm going to do my best to remember that THIS is what Christmas is all about.

It doesn't matter how wonderfully your house is decorated - or how many cookies you bake - or if you get whatever it is on your list.  I'd like to think that we all would be like these examples and dwell on how to be kind.

Monday, December 6, 2010


When my yearbook girls were getting ready for college last spring, I had to bite my tongue.  I REALLY wanted to share my college horror stories of my crazy room mates I had my first year of college.

Of how, when I opened my door to my dorm room.... there was a big pile of undies draped across what would be my bed.

"Spray it."  mom said to the ding dong and handed her a can of Lysol.  "That's gross."

Her boyfriend was a football player for our college and would call every two hours to be sure she was in the dorm and not "sneaking" around on him.

I put in a transfer notice.

My second room mate was a neat freak who's dad had been caught window peeping.  He was a sex offender.

"Totally unfounded." she assured me.

I put my request for my own room.

Thank goodness it came in the clear within a week.

So - yeah - I didn't share those stories - though they may have been funny.  Maybe they'll have a few stories of their own to tell me one day!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Spanish Class

Now, that I'm Profesora Aakhus - I'm remembering all the Spanish classes I had from high school to college... and most of my memories are FANTASTIC.  One thing I forgot - it's the struggle.  I forget how learning a language is SO gosh darn difficult. 

At Moorhead State, we had such a fun little group.  I always looked forward to my Spanish classes. Things changed though, when half of the group went to Puerto Rico, like over Christmas break or something, or a semester?  Some of those travelers decided that they were better than those of us who hadn't traveled to Spanish speaking countries yet.  In my clique of friends,   there was this beautiful girl with long, blond hair. Erin was very tall.   Her eyelashes were just so gwarsh darn long.  And she was just so nice.  Erin stuttered, so at times, Spanish was incredibly hard for her.  Luckily, our group of friends tried our best to help her forget it.

I  hadn't noticed the other clique started laughing more and talking amongst themselves whenever we would answer.

  One day, Erin turned to me, "They are laughing at my stutter."

"No..."  I exclaimed.  "No way.  They're just not paying attention in class. They're just being rude to our profesor."

But little by little, I started noticing the laugh whenever she answered out loud.

I could not believe I was actually in a college course.

"Erin, they're making fun of all of us... watch." 

Whenever I answered a question, I noticed the giggle too.

"See?  It's not just you."

We pointed it out to the rest of our group.  And little by little half of the room was against the other half of the room. Some those girls weren't the ring leaders - but they sat in the outer circle laughing at whatever was being said. 

I remember hoping with all my heart that none of those jerks would become teachers. But sadly, I know they did.

I'm sure we all know there are teachers in the midst who aren't so kind....  The ones who rig homecoming courts.  The ones who ask their students to correct each other's papers and make students call out their poor scores.The ones who make fun of other teachers to students in their classroom.  Ouch.

There isn't any sort of standardized test to weed those out now, is there?