Archive | June, 2013

Day Camp: June Edition.

26 Jun


Last year’s day camp at Red Oak Grove was a hit.  I loved it.  The kids loved it.  The elderly loved that the kids loved it.  This summer, we organized it so there was not one day of camp but THREE!  One in June, one in July, and one in August.

We kicked it off today with group games, fun snacks, awesome crafts, and great kids.  It was a blast and a half!  We had fourteen? fifteen? kids and we spent the day practicing joy, kindness, and generosity – three fruits of the spirit we focused on today.  They are already pretty good at all three of those.  They are so great.

Linda, a church member and grandma to many of the kids in attendance, came for the whole day of camp.  She also is super great at joy, kindness, and generosity, and I was so thankful she came for the day.  At one point, she said to me something a la I can tell you’re in your element.  It’s teaching and ministry together.

Yes.  Today I remember why I love this job.

Addison, day camper and to-be second grader, sent me this email on her mom's account an hour after camp ended.

Addison, day camper and to-be second grader, sent me this email on her mom’s account an hour after camp ended.


An Alaskan recap.

23 Jun

I went to Alaska and now I am home.  I still slightly loathe the second part of that sentence.

It was a good trip of family fun.  Boating on Ben’s new boat, kayaking on a glacial lake, and record high & sunny weather.  [We’re talking upper 80s with huge piles of snow still melting in parking lots, and Alaskan houses that don’t have air conditioning.]  We explored what there is to explore in Valdez [read: not much] including a couple museums and shops catering to tourists.  I learned that I like coleslaw [that kind that isn’t swimming in white goo] and you can make your own magic shell for ice cream using coconut oil and chocolate.  [Thanks to Ben’s girlfriend for both of those culinary discoveries.]  I devoured Mindy Kahling’s book.  It was also quite an experience to wake up every morning and see the mountains after a night when it never really actually got dark.

Though the downside is we don’t see him often, it’s quite convenient to have a brother who lives in Alaska.  Especially one who owns four kayaks and a boat and a house.  We were able to have a great trip doing loads of fun things that would have cost the normal traveler a bundle and a half.  Thanks for letting us visit, Ben.  See you again in your neck of the woods in another two years?  I sense a tradition beginning …

Today in Alaska –

19 Jun


I was on a boat, yo.

18 Jun

Today we went out on the boat. Ben’s boat. As the captain, he gave us the emergency speech as we rode out of the harbor. “If shit hits the fan, grab a life jacket. You’ve got about five minutes before your limbs start to stiffen. Make for the kayaks on the roof.”

We didn’t need any emergency strategies. The water was calm and the sky was clear. We stopped for a bit on Anderson Beach, saw sea lions duking it out on a buoy, and had a great couple hours on the water. Tomorrow: kayaking and more boating.




We’re here!

17 Jun

Alaska, that is.

There is no wireless Internet at the brother’s and so I type an ever-so-brief update via mobile. His neighbor, however, has wireless that pops up on my list of available networks. His network name? “Awesomer.” Because someone else in the neighborhood had already taken “Awesome” for their network name. Awesome.

We made it. We meaning my mom, sister, and I. Made it meaning traveled from Austin to Minneapolis, Minneapolis to Seattle, Seattle to Anchorage, Anchorage to Valdez. We are ready to not be in an airplane or car seat.

We are here. Staying with my younger brother and his dog, Jetta. Possible agendas for the coming days include boating, kayaking, and hiking. Oh, and confusing our bodies with the ever-presence of the sun. (It’s weird.)

Friday Favorites: The Rhubarb Edition.

14 Jun

Rhubarb has ruled the internet this week.

I think the leafy, tart plant might be plotting some sort of vegetable take over.

[Vegetable, right?]

On Pinterest, on Reader, on everything – it’s rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.

Instead of fighting it, I join the coalition willingly.

In full disclosure, I have made none of these recipes.  But I have a bag of frozen rhubarb for which these recipes are fighting.  I’m not sure who will win but I’m fairly certain the result will be delicious.

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jam.  I love that this jam seems to be lower in sugar than most [I think].  Plus, I’m on board with vanilla bean anything.

Rhubarb Cream Cheese Hand Pies.  Nothing more needs to be said.  [Unless I should add that it’s from the smitten kitchen, a place from which all things lovely come.]

Drink your rhubarb with ideas and links from the kitchn.

And one more late edition from my twitter feed – strawberry rhubarb macarons.  How refined.

Also, if rhubarb isn’t so much your thing –

That’s all for now, folks.  Happy weekending.

A happy sewing room.

13 Jun

Blog break!  [I feel like a need a song to sing.  Blog break!  Blog break!  Blog break!]

I’m at work on the last day of what feels like the longest week ever.  After being at Synod Assembly last Friday and Saturday, it quite literally has been an eleven day work week.  And so I declare a blog break to tell you about my happy sewing room.

I cleaned it last night.  I technically cleaned it in preparation for my mom and sister [who arrive tomorrow so we can fly out of MSP on Saturday]; the futon lives in my sewing room and someone will need to sleep on it.  That wouldn’t have been possible filled with stacks of fabric and odd sewing supplies.

It’s now a happy place to which I’m ready to return.  I have a couple more baby quilts for friends to complete before the summer is out and I have a silent auction baby quilt to make.

A what?  A silent auction baby quilt.  Jenna, my friend and Luther College fellow alum, chairs a Twin Cities Luther alum event – one that raises money for Luther scholarships.  She emailed and asked if, as a Luther alum, I’d be willing to contribute something to the silent auction.  Oh, for nice.  I was honored and certainly willing.  Give me an excuse to make a baby quilt and I’m there.  I’m ready to start finding new patterns and fabric!  I’m ready to make my sewing room messy again with creativity.


Strawberry Festival cakepops.

11 Jun

As I recoup between parts one [noon serving] and two [evening serving] of Red Oak Grove’s 73rd Annual Strawberry Festival, I share with you my bake sale contribution –


You can see many varieties in the background; it took me quite a few cakepops to decide what kind of sprinkles and leaf-attachment technique worked best.  [Thanks to the one and only Bakerella for the idea!]  I think they turned out pretty dandy but we’ll see if they sell.  I have a feeling that in and among the krumkaka and kringla [Norwegian treats] people might not understand what they even are.

Iced coffee shame.

9 Jun

For me, one of the sure signs of summer is iced coffee.  Granted, in this cool, rainy season we’ve been having, the term summer is pushing it.  But I still have iced coffee in my fridge.


I’ve probably told you before my process; I’m all too eager to share and talk about it.  I follow the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for cold press coffee.  A half pound of grounds to a gallon of water.  I let it soak overnight and strain it into a large liquid dispenser that lives on the middle shelf of my fridge.  It’s my coffee concentrate in my 20 oz. insulated kleen kanteen to which I add a bit of water, ice, and a generous dose of vanilla almond milk.  Shake it up, add a straw, and that is my perfect morning.

Every day, you will see it in my hand at church.  I never gave much thought to it; I simply am in the habit of always bringing my own coffee.  Sunday morning, Thursday morning, it doesn’t matter.  Me and my kleen kanteen of icy goodness.

I never thought it might look snobby.

I was at WELCA last Wednesday morning.  Before their meeting, they have goodies in the basement.  I sat down next to dear old Verna who asked if I would like coffee.  No thanks.  I have my own.

That’s right, she said.  You don’t like ours.

Oh, snap.  I think I stumbled over some words about how it is just my habit to always bring my own.  It’s part of my morning routine.  Nothing against their coffee.  [Though, if we’re honest, church coffee? Lacks a little something-something.]  And then I said that in the summer, I preferred to drink cold and not hot coffee.

Cold coffee?  Oh, the horror.

I proceeded to tell her that I cold brewed it.  You mean it never gets hot? she asked.

Nope.  I think she lost interest after that, especially since the ladies across the table had picked up on our coffee thread to reminisce about egg coffee.  And, I think, she just wasn’t quite sure what to think.  Cold coffee.  I hear her saying that in my head like I hear Lorraine McFly telling Marty: Calling boys.  Sitting in parked cars with boys.  I never did that when I was your age.  I never called a boy or sat .. in a parked car .. with a boy.  That’s all in my head.  She wasn’t actually shaming me for cold coffee.  I think it was just something new in her world and for her, why change the life guarantee that coffee will always be hot?  Anything else just doesn’t make sense.

Friday Favorites.

7 Jun

There is lots to love this week, people.  Lots to love.

Let’s start here.  The 13 Creepiest Things A Child Has Ever Said to a Parent.  I came across this one morning and laughed the ENTIRE day about it.  I guess creepy translates to hilarious in my brain.

Continuing, I love Joss Whedon.  I couldn’t even tell you what exactly it is but that he is something akin to my perfect man.  Hilarious.  Red-headed.  You know.  Not only is he the man behind Dr.Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, he is coming out with a new movie, Much Ado About Nothing.  I will see it when it makes its way to small-town America but for this moment, read how he invited his own friends to be extras on the film.  He is so swell.

On another Joss note, he gave a commencement address.  It was awesome.  Here’s a taste –

Identity is something that you are constantly earning.  It is a process that you must be active in.

And how about this – my favorite pins:

Happy Friday, friends. 


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