Friday, April 30, 2010

Someday We'll Understand

This week we were saddened to learn that the mother of one of my son's friends died in a head-on car accident. She was a nice lady, about my age with two kids still at home. While praying for her family, this poem came to mind.

Not now, but in the coming years
It may be in a better land
We'll read the meaning of our tears
And there we'll understand.

God knows the way, He holds the key
He guides with unerring hand.
Sometime with tearless eyes we'll see.
Yes, there, up there we'll understand.

Then trust in God through all my days,
For not, for He does hold thy hand;
Though dark the way, still sing and priase,
Sometime, sometime we'll understand.

By Maxwell N. Cornelius

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cheap Fun

We had an 18th birthday party for Erica last Friday night. She wanted to have a digital scavenger hunt. We divided kids into two groups, gave them each identical list of things to take pictures of, and an hour to do it in.

This was so much fun that I wanted to share a few pictures. It's always interesting to see how certain categories get interpreted. Here are some of the best ones.

My favorite photo of the evening. Gives me an
idea for next year's family Christmas card picture.

Creative Laundromat Picture

Entire team in a small space.
(Actually not the entire team, one boy refused.)
Just the sort of picture to inspire parent's
confidence in their kid's youth leader.

Team by Lake Superior

Entire team with something that rolls

Team shoe switch

Newest Superhero:
The Strongest Girl in the World

Newest Superhero:
The Dairy King

High School Playground Activity:
Talking on Cell Phones and Texting
Shoe Swap

Sport Not selected
For the Olympics

Team with one of our pets.
(They're pretending Lani is a dog)

Chinese Fire Drill (they thought outside the box)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Monday Mugs - Smiles

I'm late this week posting my pictures. This weeks theme is Smiles.

I love my daughter's smile in this picture.

This picture captures my son's sense of humor,
his love of laughter, and his orneriness.

Check out other cute smile related pictures at Heather's blog, Oswald Cuties.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Erica's 18th Birthday

I am so proud of myself. We finally celebrated Erica's birthday on her birthday. What a novel concept. That rarely happens in our house.

We had 15 friends over for dinner, did a Digital Scavenger Hunt, then played volleyball and Dutch Blitz. We're moving slow today, but the house is clean and there are leftovers for dinner tonight. Click here if you'd like to read a devotional I wrote about when Erica was born.

I made a 4 minute video. Not her first choice of music but I liked the words.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When Meeting Someone on the Internet is a Good Thing

I recently had a fun blog experience.

Last month I reposted a story about my last name and my husband's grandfather's immigration to America from Norway. A girl whose last name used to be Vik commented. Turns out her grandfather was my husband's uncle. This makes her my children's third cousin (I think.) How cool is that?

I remember meeting this girl 22 years ago when she was 3 years old. Now she's all grown up, and married, and has a blog of her own. Click here to read Steph Anne's post about Grandpa Vik's trip to America. I love that the internet makes reconnections like this possible.

We've enjoyed getting to know her and are thankful that Google helped our paths intersect.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Mugs - Collages

Big Sigh!!! I left the power cord to my computer at a high school gym two hours from here when I watched my two youngest in a volleyball tournament Saturday. So once I do this post I'm out of juice until the cord is replaced.

I'm joining Heather of Oswald Cuties with her new meme, Monday Mugs. This week's theme is Collages. I love making collages and usually use a photo editing program called Shutterfly Studio (free download from

This uses pictures from our last big family vacation in 2006. We spent two weeks on the west coast. I wanted to get every person in the family on the collage.

Family Pictures 2005


Girls Group my kids belonged to. I made a copy for each family.

I made it so no one from the same family is next to each other.

I can't say enough good things about Shutterfly Studio's collage maker. I also use it to make wallet photos. Wallets usually run .40 each. I make a two picture collage, cut it in half and I have a wallet for .06.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Double Trouble

Sometimes the little things in life bring the most pleasure.

When our daughters requested a cat last summer, Keith and I resisted, thinking of hassle and expense. We agreed to one cat and reluctantly ended up with two.

We thoroughly enjoy Chubby and Stubby. They have two speeds: sleeping and playing. They can often be heard in the late night and early morning running, jumping, wrestling, and getting into things.

Though it might seem silly to be thankful for a cat, I often thank God for our cats because I enjoy them so much. Good thing I'm easily entertained.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Destressing Papa

Once upon a time a Pastor had only taken one Sunday off in eighteen months and he was getting a little crabby on edge. His church generously told him to take a week off and RELAX.

Harder said than done. This guy was wound pretty tight.

Day 1 and 2, he whisked his wife off to a beautiful beachfront B & B on a secluded stretch of Lake Superior by Cornucopia, Wisconsin.

Day 3 he went by himself to watch ships in Duluth and then drove up Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior. He called his wife from Split Rock Lighthouse and said, "This is so cool up here. I bought a Minnesota State Parks Pass and we can bring the girls on Friday."

To which his wife said, "Who are you and what have you done with my husband?"

Day 4 - He "relaxed" at home by changing the oil on cars, balancing the checkbook, paying bills, and decluttering his bedroom. Not his wife's first choice of how to spend a vacation day but he felt good about it.

Day 5 - He loaded up his wife and daughters and headed back up to the North Shore. First stop - Gooseberry Falls State Park. They diligently obeyed park rules.

His daughters love each other very much

He asked this daughter to find some pictures.

So she did.

She has a gift for seeing things other miss.

Like the underside of this waterfall

Even caught her youngest sister standing still

Someone else's turn to take pictures

Second stop - Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. The children were not pleased their mother made them take this picture. Something about, "What if someone sees us?"

The wife amused herself with the camera while husband and daughters climbed on rocks.

The wife liked this shot. The
husband said, "You're something else."

Good weather - pretty clouds - clear water - fun day

Mission accomplished - He looks much more relaxed

He hopes the novelty of having a Minnesota Parks Pass wears off soon. His wife thinks it's the coolest thing ever and they have been to four state parks in three days.

The husband would like his wife to get off the computer and come to bed.

So she did.

The End.

Monday Mugs

I'm joining Heather of Oswald Cuties with her new meme, Monday Mugs. This week's theme is Bubbles. I love this picture of Keith and Andrew blowing bubbles at a friend's wedding.

Visit Heather's blog for more bubble pictures.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What Goes Around Comes Around

Our family went hiking today and I wanted to share something that struck me funny.

After years of watching out for my kids and making sure they're all right, on our hike today, the girls kept saying, "Be careful, Mom" and "Are you all right?" It's nice to know they're looking out for me, but I'm not that old yet.

Can anyone name this lighthouse?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Was Part of My Friend's Christmas Present

Thanks to all who made this possible.

For Christmas, my friend's children gave her an all-expense paid overnight getaway in Duluth with two friends. I was blessed to be one of those friends and we finally got away two weeks ago. Our only instructions were to laugh and have a good time and take a picture with the leis my husband sent along.

We went to Applebees, Engers Tower, Canal Park, Omnimax, Olive Garden, the Maritime Museum, Grandma's Restaurant, watched Curling (the sport), swam at the hotel, ate WAFFLES (my favorite!!) in the morning, walked for miles on the Lake Walk, toured Glensheen Mansion, and went shopping.

My friend was reluctant to have her
picture taken, saying that's what kids do.

We told her anyone could take silly pictures
and then proceeded to demonstrate:

A Karate Kid pose by Enger's Tower overlooking Duluth

This moose just begged for someone to take its
picture. That's my story and I'm sticking with that.

A Viking bicycle rack

Yours Truly

But we could only get two people...

in a picture unless...

...we asked someone to take our picture.

Down by the Lake Superior Lake Walk, a man offered to take our picture. Without planning we had all worn blue coats. After careful thought we named ourselves the Blue Bunny Club.

Finally we boldly asked a (gasp) total stranger jogging on the Lake Walk to take our picture. She laughed and said she's asked that all the time. Whew! That was easy.

This picture has a story I'm not allowed to tell. It's so hard to resist that I fear it might accidentally slip out. She said we weren't supposed to tell anyone, but she didn't want us to lie so if someone asked specifically if she hurt her leg doing a cartwheel by Enger Tower then we could say yes. But you didn't hear it here.

Okay, now she's relaxed and getting
the hang of taking silly pictures.

This next photo was a bit more challenging. We were in the Omnimax Theatre waiting for the movie to start. Who to ask to take the picture? Were the people sitting in front of us good sports? They didn't look friendly from the back but we took our chances. They turned out to be much more friendly from the front than they were from the back.

And now for the grand finale. We still hadn't taken a picture with the leis. At our last stop, the friend who originally was reluctant to take pictures said, "I've got the hang of this now," and she asked a guy loading his car to take our picture.

We told him he might be wondering what this was all about.

He smiled real big and said, "I don't need to know." He snapped this photo and drove away smiling.

This trip was such a treat. Our kids are friends. Our husbands are friends. But it was really nice to get away for a day with just us Moms. We had so much fun that we told our friend to suggest to her kids that next year we want to go to Mackinac Island. Wonder if it's okay to do cartwheels there. Oops, I didn't say that.