Sunday, November 30, 2008


As I diligently read in an attempt to be prepared for this week, I hear the muffled screams of youthful voices through my window. Looking out I see bundled up kiddos with multi-colored plastic sleds sliding down the large (for Minnesota) hill with screams of joy and delight. I of course woke up, looked out the window and dreaded driving around in 3 inches of snow. Makes me a little frustrated that I did not think to go play in the snow myself. At the least someone is enjoying it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Update: Magic Apron Edition

Are you picturing Tina Fey? Alas, this weekend update probably won't make Saturday Night Live anytime soon. Nonetheless, it was a great weekend!

Jessie came down for a slumber party on Friday night. The baby was hungry for dinner as soon as she arrived so we went to try the new Pastini that just opened near my house. Even though we arrived relatively early - 6:30ish - there was a 40 minute wait. Baby Ella was having none of that. So we drove to Applebee's. 40-minute wait. Then we drove to Block 15 and saw people spilling out the door onto the sidewalk. Finally, we settled on a newer place downtown. I'm referring to it only as "a newer place downtown" because it was ho-hum at best and I'm trying to be nice. So, being dissatisfied with our partially-eaten dinners we did the sensible thing and proceeded directly to Dairy Queen for blizzards! No waiting ;)

Saturday found us trying really hard to sleep in, but failing miserably. So, a little after 8am we were off to Starbucks to fuel up for a day of crafty goodness. Having just received an amazing baby-book kit, Jessie set to work and whipped out about twenty 12x12 layouts. Now all she needs are pictures of Ella to fill them up! So, what was I up to while PJP churned out all those great pages? I finished exactly two pages. Apparently the barista switched Jessie's decaf and my regular as I was in low gear.

When Jessie left on Saturday afternoon I started feeling that weekend obligation to actually do some chores. Boo for chores! In an effort to make it slightly more fun, and to keep myself slightly cleaner in the process, I wrapped my fun apron around my waist and set to work.
Guess what? I have a magic apron! Putting it on transformed me into a domestic goddess! And I got all sorts of things accomplished:
  • ran, folded, and put away four loads of laundry
  • changed the sheets on both beds
  • did some ironing
  • cleaned out the refrigerator
  • paid some bills
  • took out the trash and recycling (so the neighbors could admire the magic apron)
  • swept and vacuumed
  • cleaned wax dribbles off all the candle holders and replaced the candles
  • finished a baby hat for Addison
  • cleaned the laundry room
  • baked peanut-butter cookies for SoundGuy's upcoming visit
See what I mean? MAGIC! I put it on again this afternoon and ended up baking banana bread and banana muffins and doing the dishes. Should you be interested in having your own magic apron, you should check out our friend Andrea's ETSY site, "Knittybitties."

Another highlight of the weekend came this afternoon. After singing the Mozart Coronation Mass -not once, but twice- this morning I got to visit this precious new addition to the world:
This is Addison "Addi" Elizabeth Thompson, born to my good friends Jen and Jonathan on Thursday. I'm not normally a baby person, but had a hunch that my girlfriend's babies would probably be different, and Addi totally proved my theory! She is stinkin' cute! Her alternately-proud-and-overwhelmed father has been a champ, changing every last one of her diapers. Did you notice that she already has great vowel shape? Because that's what I noticed. Look at that nice dropped jaw "ah." I think Addi and I are going to get along fine. (As long as she doesn't take off with my magic apron...)


SoundGuy has definitely been keeping our tech-savvy readership (notice I did not call them "geeks." I'm learning.) happy with his recent posts, but what about the crafty contingent? Given the fact that I am blogging on an outdated 6-year-old laptop, listening to NPR on a 1992 boombox which only plays CDs when it's rigged up to my 1994 discman, and uploading pictures from my 2.0 megapixel state-of-the-art-when-I-bought-it-eight-years-ago camera, I think it safe to say that I will be looking out for the crafty contingent. The tech-savvy readership isn't exactly recruiting me to be their poster-child. All that jibber-jabber was basically my round-about way of saying, "if you aren't interested in seeing crafts I made recently, you can stop reading now."

And there went the tech-savvy readership. Right back to their Google Reader to see what "Make" magazine will tantalize them with today. It's been real, Techies! Twitter when you get work!

So, for Jessie, Erin, and Andrea, here's what I've been up to...

I finally finished the May Picture-a-Day book inspired by Andrea. I'm not normally a mini-book kind of gal, but this was such a fun project. Especially because May was a busy month and lots of great things were documented by this little book.

Couldn't resist a little 8x8 page to document my most recent slumber party with Miss Erin. What you don't see in the photo are a heart-monitor, the partially deflated air-mattress, and two cats trying to share it with us. Erin and I sure know how to party. Sidenote: Don't you think a story that starts with "...a heart monitor, a partially deflated air-mattress and two cats..." is intriguing?

Some miscellaneous photos I've been meaning to scrap.

And, speaking of the crafty contingent, here's some great girl time celebrating Jessie's birthday. Incidentally, that mimosa turned out to be her last adult beverage for quite a while. I think she went out on a good note. And what a treat that we all got to be there for the big news the next day!

One of my new favorite things is the 6x12 page. Yay for new shapes! And yay for Brenda Lee's wedding shower giving me yet another excuse to scrap!Link
Yes, as the particularly astute readers may have noticed, this photo was taken on our NYC trip almost three years ago. Yes, I am just now getting around to doing something with it. When I said miscellaneous, I meant it!

But here's my favorite thing about this page - it's not really paper. It's actually more like plastic. I excitedly pointed this out to Jessie yesterday, thinking I was really on to the next big thing, and discovered that this is old news. Apparently I am among the last to know, but that's okay because the see-through-ness totally floats my boat. Now I see why Pioneer Woman always complains about the way her hands look in photos...

A two-page LO from our recent Chicago trip. I sound like one hip chick using the layout abbreviation, huh? Saves time, too. I didn't even have to bother typing the whole word "layout." Instead I typed several sentences about how I just saved myself some typing.
The next two pics go together. I did four 6x12 pages and put them all in one sleeve, stitching down the middle (an idea stolen from Erin). Here's one side:

And that's the other.

Finally, I was feeling totally overwhelmed by the HUNDREDS of scenery/wildlife photos from our Alaska trip in June. My dad bought a fancy camera just before the trip. It had way more than 2 megapixels and the "blast" function that lets you take multiple photos per second. (Is it called "blast"? I can't remember. And I just called both of SoundGuy's cell phones to ask him but didn't get an answer. Oh well, if I'm wrong I suppose it's just in keeping with the nature of this post). Needless to say, SoundGuy got his hands on that gizzmo and ran amuk. Luckily, I recently got a new printer (thanks, Pop!) that will print contact-sheet sized photos. I still plan to do some other Alaska pages with bigger photos, but this was such a great way to remember the amazing sights.
I actually finished a couple more pages with Jessie yesterday, but couldn't photograph them because the teensy little 16MB card in my state-of-the-art-when-I-bought-it-eight-years-ago camera was full. Good grief. Maybe I'll go pop a video in the VCR...

Tilt-shift Video

Dickie turned me on to tilt-shift photography which makes shots look like a miniature creation and not real. This video is that tilt-shift method used in amazing video clips. Check it out.

The North Wind Blew South from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What Happy People Don't Do

According to this article they don't Watch TV

Interesting. I may have to make myself one of these then.

Watch the video to see it in action.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coley's Undeniable Message

I'm not very good at theology. I'm better at banging on the piano, riding in the wagon, and pulling the dog's tail. Oh, and pouting. I'm good at pouting.
Is it time for snack yet? Cause I'm good at that, too. I was told there would be graham crackers...

Christ's Undeniable Message

Warning: Today's blog posting is religious in nature. It makes two major assumptions; Christ died for our sins, and secondly, you agree with me on the first statement. For anyone who doesn't agree, this is in no way an Evangelical outreach but merely and expression of my personal thoughts. May you be blessed in whatever walk of life you find yourself.

Having now spent what feels like years in Seminary (ok, three months) and studying a brief overview of Systematic Theology I am constantly running into a battle in my head I feel I must present to the world somehow, so here it is.

No matter what period of history, no matter what denomination you belong to, no matter what theological basis you connect yourself with, Christ's message is undeniably clear. Godliness is not found in ultimate power but through ultimate sacrifice.

Humanity in its inherent nature is prone to evil doing. God promises Israel deliverance into His promised land through a messiah while laying the foundation for the moral underpinnings of how one lives righteously (ten commandments). Christ comes and fulfills the messianic prophecies of the old testament (in view of the Christian Tradition). Yet instead of placing himself on the physical throne (like King Harod and many others expected), he lays himself at the feet of human hatred and wrath and submits to humiliation and crucifixion.

Think about it, what do you want in this world? (Alright, your stocks back to where they were and a decent retirement plan isn't what I am getting at, or is it? how about what a kid wants?) Money, Power and Fame. Right? I mean don't we look at being rich as having lots of wealth and wielding power in one manner or another?

Greek Gods were wrathful, jealous and mean. The idea of a God is power, not love. Maybe you have thought about this before, but here is where the tension lies for me.

The Challenge
If Christ's message is one of love and sacrifice, where does our current culture and nation land in its self professed identity as a Christian Nation. A claimed 80% of Americans say they are Christian. We are also supposedly a culture of tolerance yet take two seconds to look around. Does capitalism and our current form of politics and/or policies reflect that identity?

Christ breaks all the boundaries. He eats and gets drunk with the tax collectors, adulterers, low life's of first century Galilee. He talks with women (Samaritan women at that!). He breaks the Jewish laws enforced by the Pharisees. Lets not mention claiming to be able to forgive people for their sin, cure them of their ailments and say that he is the Son of God. Christ says the greatest law is 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Matthew 22:37-39

How does this affect me?
Are we loving our neighbor? He doesn't say love your best friend or the dude you went to high school with. He says neighbor. The dude next door you are scared to run into cause you think he's creepy, or the girls who live above you and never make a peep, the old couple down the way who always give you the evil eye when you drive down the street. You don't know these people and you probably don't agree politically or religiously but Christ clearly states, Love them.

Christ's Example
If that is not enough, he gives us the example he expects. He fully places himself in our midst and lives out the life we are bound to live. While on this earth does he dine with the rich and enjoy the best of the best with the coolest of the cool? No, he hangs with the forgotten, the tread upon, those we mistreat and demean. Christ wanders around on foot, homeless, jobless, living off the kindness of those who take him in. God comes to earth and walks among us and finally dies the death we all are inevitably faced to die. He doesn't die a natural death. No we beat, torture, curse, spit on him and put him to a death that is arguably one of the most painful ways to die.

Personal Political View
God's ultimate sacrifice isn't an excuse to wield our power to promote our self interests (oil in the middle east). It's not a right to build fences and patrol borders and to deport people away from their families (Mexico). It's not a right to institute rules that discriminate against anyone (segregation, woman's rights, sexuality). It also does not give us a right to make a theological claim and continue the divides that keeps people separate and against one another (continued battle between denominations and world religions).

The message is clear. Godliness is not power. It's limitless love and sacrifice for the greater good. How do any of the current "hot topics" in our culture fit within this message? I know I can't live up to it but I am doing my darnedest. And I am sure as heck not going to make a stance on an issue that contradicts this clear and undeniable message. A struggle I am sure I will face for the rest of my life.

May Christ's message permeate our personal lives, spill into our communal lives and slowly affect the world we live in.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weddings and Such

Every once in a while there is a wedding at Luther Seminary in the Chapel of the Incarnation.  Today I ran sound for my first wedding.  The bride and groom were quite cute and very relaxed about the whole thing.  With two pastors and 5 different musical groups plus a children's sermon, the service was rather packed.  In the middle, one of the little children who I assuming is connected to one of the bridesmaids decided to roam around the church.  She ended up perched on the step.  Although I didn’t have a zoom or a decent camera I attempted to catch her in her act.

On the way back to the dorm I did get to see a beautiful sunset.  I wish you could see it because Minneapolis was towering in the distance completely backlight by the soft fall orange and pink sunset.  
The temps are dropping, winter is just around the corner.  Time for fires in fireplaces and snow.  
Peace and grace on you this winter ~soundguy

I Can Tell the World...Song of the Open Road

Greetings Faithful Readers! Don't you think it's time for another insight into our souls by way of the email forward? I thought so too. This one is interesting, though, because it will also give you an insight into our music libraries. Oooh - Aah! I know you've been just dying to know what we listen to. Here are the instructions we received:
"Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, MP3 Player, or whatever on Shuffle. For each question, press the next button to get your answer. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds. Put any comments in brackets after the song name."

I've included Soundguy's answers (S) as well as my own (P). We suspect these questions were written by a middle-schooler (didn't we agree to send all the middle-schoolers to a remote island until they got normal again? Since when is there Wi-Fi on remote islands?) but they are still kind of fun.

1.If someone says, "Is this okay?" You say?
S: Circlesong One - Bobby McFerrin
P: Young at Heart - Joss Stone

2. What do you like in a guy/girl?
S: Der Ansteig - Strauss
P: Love Song for a Savior - Jars of Clay

3. How do you feel today?
S: Crush - Mandy Moore (how'd it know??)
P: There's Your Trouble - Dixie Chicks (actually, not so much)

4. What is your life's purpose?
S: Bad Religion - Godsmack (oh my)
P: Let the Sunshine In - The 5th Dimension (I like this answer!)

5. What is your motto?
S: Gunshot Glitter - Jeff Buckley
P: Jimi Thing - Dave Matthews Band (this one is perfect: "What I want is what I've not got, but what I need is all around me.")

6. What do your friends think of you?
S: Allegro Prestisimo - Bobby McFerrin
P: A Woman's Worth - Alicia Keys (umm...)

7. What do you think of your parents?
S: Treason - Kutless (wow, so not ok)
P: Stay - Dave Matthews Band

8. What do you think about very often?
S: Nature Boy - Moulin Rouge (uhhh)
P: Amazing Grace - Blind Boys of Alabama (wow - I've been reminding myself to have grace all week.)

9. What is 2 + 2?
S: I love to always - Travis
P: A-Tisket A-Tasket - Ella Fitzgerald

10. What do you think of your best friend?
S: Dosvedanya Mio Bombino - Pink Martini (that is so funny in a very bad way)
P: Let's Live it Up - Brian Setzer Orchestra (yep!)

11. What do you think of the person you like?
S: Whatever, Whenever - Groove Armada (hahahaha)
P: Love You Madly - Cake (Okay, now I'm starting to think my iTunes is getting in my head)

12. What is your life story?
S: Healing - Groove Armada (finally we get something good)
P: Let Him Fly - Dixie Chicks (hey...what happened to letting HER fly?)

13. What do you want to be when you grow up?
S: Particle Man - The Bobs (lol)
P: I Got You, I Feel Good - James Brown (does this mean I will grow up to be James Brown?)

14. What do you think of when you see the person you like?
S: Röslein Dreie In Der Reihe - SFYCA (roses three in a row? I thought she liked Gerber Daisies)
P: Drink the Water - Jack Johnson

15. What will you dance to at your wedding?
S: The Piano has been drinking - Tom Waits (never in a million years)
P: Shake Your Groove Thing - Peaches & Herb (Not for the first dance, but pretty awesome)

16. What will they play at your funeral?
S: Table for Two - Caedmon's Call (hmmmmm)
P: So Much To Say - Dave Matthews Band (fine. I will start listening more.)

17. What is your hobby/interest?
S: Kathy's Song - Simon and Garfunkle (huh?)
P: Stand Up For It - Dave Matthews Band (apparently I'm an activist. who knew?)

18. What is your biggest fear?
S: Satisfied Mind - Jeff Buckley
P: Without You - RENT soundtrack (eerie)

19. What is your biggest secret?
S: Angel - Sarah McLachlan
P: Pig - Dave Matthews Band (yes, I am harboring a secret pig. You got me.)

20. What do you think of your friends?
S: Bodyrock - Moby
P: Black Capricorn Day - Jamiroquai

21. How do other people see your life going?
S: Deuces are Wild - Aerosmith
P: Building a Mystery - Sarah McLachlan (I thought I was an open book...)

22. What will you post this as?
S: Song of the open road - Willamette Chamber Choir
P: I Can Tell the World - Moses Hogan Chorale

Okay, if you made it all the way to the end you must be mildly interested. So, if you are one of our blogging buddies (and you know who you are) consider yourself tagged ;)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Nikki!

That's our girl, Nikki, pledging her undying love for pizza. (We can't wait till August when she pledges her undying love for HENRY!!! ) We love you, Nikki, and wish you a fabulous birthday!

Now I've Done it...

In an ironic twist of fate, my Rainboots post apparently left me with my foot in my mouth. Turns out, my dad actually owns the "boring old Cabela's galoshes" so recently maligned in my previous post. I received an email to that affect first thing this morning. He was quick to include photo evidence:
Sorry, Pop! But, seriously - if you're going to have your foot in your mouth would you rather said foot be clad in the cute stripey rainboots or the Cabela's galoshes caked with who-knows-what that got dragged back from Alaska....?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oregon Assimilation: Year 12

Just the other day it occurred to me that I have now lived in Oregon for 12 years. 12 years! Sheesh - how did that happen? Time flies when you're developing webbed feet. I think any Oregon transplant will tell you that the key to adapting here is figuring out how to deal with the rain. Even as I type this it's pouring outside - has been all day - and the forecast doesn't look any different from now till May. (Hey...that kinda rhymes, huh?) It's definitely not for everyone, but I don't really mind. Know why? Because you don't have to shovel the rain. And living in a rainy climate makes it socially acceptable for adults to wear rainboots. That may not seem like a perk, but I'm not talking about your grandfather's boring old Cabela's galoshes. I'm talking about perfectly ridiculous, brightly colored, outlandishly-patterned, Kindergarten-reminiscent rainboots, and I can't think of any rainy-climate essential that makes me happier. Here are my own personal rainboots in all their glory:
I even wore them to work today (changing into "adult" shoes upon arrival, of course). Can you picture me carefully tucking my nice professional slacks into these absurd boots to schlog across campus? Well, you're going to have to - nobody documented it on film.

I know I'm not alone in my adoration of technicolor raingear. Who's with me? I showed you mine - now show us yours!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tornado Warnings

Welcome to the Midwest. The first Wednesday of every month, a deafening siren screams out through the Twin Cities. I have never witnessed anything like it. Somehow, the sound itself rattles my core and turns me on end even though I now know it is just a test. Hearing those sirens, close and far away, really doesn't make me feel safe though. If anything its a reminder that I now live in a place where those sirens are necessary.

Odd thing about the sirens, the one closest to Luther Seminary sounds like it is right outside the window and as it turns the sheer power of the sound hurts your ears and rattles your bones.

The Pacific Northwest has its problems of floods and earthquakes, but I grew up living with that fear of "the big one" and never had to be worried about a tornado. I hope I can get to that place of understanding here but for now, every month, on the first Wednesday I hear that siren now and just feel a little less at ease.

I can't wait for the first major snow fall. See how my mind feels about a long cold winter.

peace and grace on you,


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sigh of Relief

Hope and Change are on the way.

Get out the Vote.

I Voted and so should you.

Here's to the democratic process and to a record turnout year!

Thank the Lord the ad campaigns can end.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Today I lit the BIG candle

Anybody who's ever attended a PartyLite party knows what I'm talking about. They sell great big 3-wick candles which must be burned for a minimum of six hours at a time in order to burn down evenly. So you don't just light the big candle any ole time - you have to wait until you find yourself with at least a six-hour window of time at home. And we all know how often that happens... I am absolutely giddy to report that, today, I lit the BIG candle.
This is the first full day I've spent in my home since...umm...well, I'm not actually certain about when I last experienced this leisure, but I'm sure not getting off the couch to go consult the calendar for an answer. Suffice it to say: it has been a LONG time! That means I have all sorts of random blog-worthy nuggets to share. Read on! But don't expect a lot of continuity - I'm playing catch-up here.

Remember my trip to St. Paul earlier this month? SoundGuy definitely beat me to the punch posting some pics but I feel compelled to go back and fill in some gaps. As you know, SoundGuy has a part-time job as the Music Director at a small Lutheran church. One of his most-endearing classmates, Joshua, is employed as their organist. Here's the music staff of Cross Lutheran hard at work:
Apparently these two Seminarians are minoring in Facilities Maintenance.

SounGuy must like me a lot because he took me to the Mall of America. Holy Retail Mecca, Batman! I got a little distracted when we stumbled on to the scrapbook store (muttering something along the lines of "go on without me!") but was especially enamored with the Lake Wobegon Store.
Which is where I found further proof that our blog is aptly named:

Fall in St. Paul, while completely misleading (since you should really be picturing everything in a sub-zero blizzard-esque stage of permanent winter), is beautiful and we spent lots of time taking it all in.
So good to be in the same zip code with that handsome man.

Last weekend found me spending time with Frankel - making a baby book for Addison's impending arrival and carving "pumpkins":
A box from my dad arrived on Thursday:
In typical go-big-or-go-home fashion, Pop chose to mail at least five pounds of candy. Yowza! Good thing I spend my days surrounded by starving college students (and have a girlfriend who is a dentist...).

Finally, after a long week, I found my way to Karen's house for dinner on Friday night. She introduced me to her new favorite wine.
It speaks for itself.

And here I am. Feet up, relaxing, and watching the big candle burn.