Thursday, July 31, 2008

Are You For Real?

The Slanket

The Slanket gives you the freedom to do more while being wrapped up in a warm blanket.

The Chillow

Face down in the desert!
or the cool kiss of oasis...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Land That I Love

I've never been there for a donut - I just like to read their signs... the one that cracked me up the most "Come in and meet our friendly staff". Nice!

This place is my favorite. A free air conditioned indoor track. I could kiss someone.

Beautiful Catholic churches in Shakopee. However, one of them closed and was sold to a person who wanted to have a hair salon. When I first moved in, I went running and stopped in to see this guy who would actually open a hair salon in a church. He asked if I colored my hair within seconds of meeting him. The shop closed shortly thereafter. Serves him right.

Valleyfair. Powertower. Need I say more. PS You don't want to sit next to me on this ride.

Canterbury. So I've only been there for an association meeting for my townhome and for the Derby Days 5k race where they let you run on the track like you are horse. It's a riot. Check it out. I would be running but I will be in Nauvoo this weekend.

Shakopee "News". I love the top story picture - Dancing Clara. Exciting! But isn't she darling!
The Shakopee Ballroom. Victoria actually went there one night to check it out. Let's just say the crowd was interesting. It's hardly a ballroom - it looks like a barn. I'm so having my reception there - just so people can say after it's all over "I can't believe she had her reception there".

A Worthy Goal

"When we honestly ask which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can toleration not-knowing, not-curing, not-healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness... makes it clear that whatever happens in the external world, being present to each other is what really matters."

- Henri F.M. Nouwen

Monday, July 28, 2008

Who knew a woman with a fruity name could be so wise?

I am likely to miss the main event
If I stop to cry or complain again
So I will keep a deliberate pace
And let the breeze dry my face.

-Fiona Apple

Do I like her music? Not so much.

But I like these lines.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My article for the Relief Society Newsletter

When You Say Yes, But You Mean No, Nobody Wins.

I heard this quote for the first time at the Time out for Women conference that was held in Minneapolis this Spring. It was included in a talk given by Emily Watts. I have thought about this statement a lot. As women, we seem to be programmed to automatically say yes whenever someone needs our help. Sometimes this offer may be to our family's (and our own) detriment. Obviously helping someone in need is not bad thing – on the contrary, it's quite good and sometimes we do need to drop everything to help – but prioritizing and zeroing in on what is best/most important is really what deserves our focus. I loved Elder Oaks' conference talk entitled Good, Better, Best. Here are a few excerpts mixed in with some of my thoughts (bolding and numbering added, Elder Oaks' words are in italic):

Most of us have more things expected of us than we can possibly do. As breadwinners, as parents, as Church workers and members, we face many choices on what we will do with our time and other resources.

We should begin by 1) recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.

Family experts have warned against what they call "2) the overscheduling of children (and ourselves)." In the last generation children are far busier and families spend far less time together. Among many measures of this disturbing trend are the reports that structured sports time has doubled, but children's free time has declined by 12 hours per week, and unstructured outdoor activities have fallen by 50 percent.

Ok, let's make a list, shall we? On the left, list things you have to do (getting your appendix out, going to work, etc) and on the right list options of things you could do. What's on the right that you could cross off? Do you have to go over to your friend's brother's godmother's house to change her fax cartridge because she's going out of town on an African safari? Do you have to go to the field trip with the preschoolers where they visit the 500 pound pig? Of course life isn't always cut and dry and disappointing people is never fun, but if you learn to choose carefully, you will save yourself a whole barrel of monkey trouble.

Elder Richard G. Scott said: 3) "Remember, don't magnify the work to be done—simplify it. We have to 4) forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.

Time for a wacky "Good Better Best" example:
Good: Preparing bookmarks with ribbon and craft glue, making wedding cake to go along with the lesson on eternal marriage, handing out a magnet of the theme of the lesson.
Better: Teaching the lesson. Preparing only the wedding cake. Best: Making a difference in the lives of the Relief Society sisters by providing the Spirit, reading from the manual and giving them time to testify about principles.

The Savior really should be the center of our lives and homes. In whatever we choose, He should be the deciding factor. I love that we get more chances to get things right. Every day brings opportunities to learn and mess up and fall and then get back up. That's how the plan was designed. I am amazed at how much He loves us and how He is always right there whenever we need Him.

PS Whoever guesses which movie is quoted in here wins a gold star.

Ahhh the Memories...

Kathy & Becky - or should I say Thelma & Louise. :)

left: Geri, Marla, Melanie, Heather
right: Becky, Kim, Krissy

jolly ranchers
girls camp
gosh dale
boundary waters
random memories
4th year hike
interesting young women
whipped cream
friendship & love

Saturday, July 26, 2008

How can you have a summer movie review without Batman?

I don't know. You'll just have to get over it. I'm sure I will eventually see it, but right now, the thought of Heath Ledgar, looking down from wherever he is, wondering what the C R A P he has done leaving his last legacy to the JOKER, wigs me out more than a little. So, in a nutshell, I'm working up to it. I'll keep you posted. My Sunday school class thought it "rocked".

What the pumpkin. I should've known when I read the review that said "you watch a cockroach for 30 minutes on screen and there is no dialog" - that should've been my red flag. Really. But I couldn't resist seeing it with my two favorite kids in the whole wide world. So I sucked it up. And ate gargantuan amounts of candy.

Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull
Loved it! Can't outrun the old guy! He's still got it.

What Happens in Vegas
If you ask me about this movie, I'm going to pretend like a) I never saw it b) I don' t know what you're talking about c) I've never heard of Ashton Kutcher. But OH what a dreamboat!

Don't want to ruin it for anyone. But What. The. Crap. And why is it always the single woman living alone in a house the one who gets violently murdered. Why?! Even the ones with a dog! Come on! David was very lovely though - I will give it that. It was a strange crowd - those Xfiles people are just weird. I never watched the show. Oh and PS no one cared about Xfiles - the theater was empty and that was on opening night.

One more picture of David...gosh, even his handwriting is sexy...

Friday, July 25, 2008

City of Joseph, City Beautiful, City of Joseph NAUVOO

REASONS TO VISIT NAUVOO (in no particular order)...

Nauvoo Temple
See it built here:

The Cabin Suite - where Em & I are staying. What a hoot.

Gift shops

Loads of history

To Future Jake

This week when I was over at Reva's house, Jake asked me for a story. I'm pretty sure this tradition started while traveling to and from church so when he sees me, we have a story war. I tell a story, then he tells a story with half the words and phrases that my story contained, I tell him he's cheating and then we start it all over again.

Here's the story I told him this week...

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Jacob. He was very handsome. And the girls loved to chase him and kiss him on the cheek. He didn't like that very much and he ran away every chance he could. But as time went on, Jake grew up. And when the girls ran to kiss him, he didn't want to run away anymore and...




Ha ha ha HAAAA Ha ha HA

So, Dear Future Jake, some day you will like girls. They really don't have cooties. It looks like there's hope for you yet...

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Is she sending mixed signals? By Riki Markowitz (found on MSN.COM)

It’s a situation nearly every single man and woman has experienced (and is none too glad about it, we might add): Boy meets girl. Boy is thinking, Wow, I think she’s really into me! Meanwhile, girl is thinking, Why can’t this dude take a hint and leave me alone? Why are mixed signals like this so common?

To get to the root of this misunderstanding, researchers at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Vienna, Austria, observed pairs of men and women who had never met before as they interacted for 10 minutes at a time; they then asked the women whether they were attracted to the male subject.

The results offer plenty of clues as to why dating is confusing: Whether they know it or not, women gave off positive courtship cues (such as hair flipping, chest thrusting and fidgeting with clothing) even when they were not into a guy. Even more frustrating, women gave off more negative courtship cues (arm and leg crossing) when they did like someone. What gives?

There was hardly any difference in the number of courtship signals given off by those women who did express an interest and those who didn’t,” said Professor Karl Grammer, who headed the research. “And the women who said they were interested in the man gave off more negative signals than those who weren’t interested.” Why women do this is not completely understood, but those who want to avoid sending men mixed messages may want to make sure they body language supports their agenda.

If you’re interested, let him know with a flirty hair toss; if you’re not, cross your arms or legs instead. Meanwhile, a guy who could swear a woman is lusting for him — or is aloof — may want to avoid any snap judgments and gather more info first.

Riki Markowitz is a writer living in Brooklyn.
So boys, if you see me doing this...

I'm totally into you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My first Love.

Why wasn't I born in New York or Pennsylvania?

Or maybe a better question is: Why doesn't the midwest have a gelato shop that looks like this?

What Men Want

OVERHEARD: Two six grade boys.

First boy: "Well, do you like her?"

Second boy: "No! She doesn't even know what an INTEGER is."

Math is hard.


I can't help but swing my head to the left as I pass the Holiday on Eagle Creek. I think I strained something this morning because of the price drop. After searching on I found that Woodbury kicks everyone else's trash with the very lowest price in the Twin Cities with a whopping 3.64 which by the way is 10 cents lower than Sam's club. Finally sad little nobody Woodbury comes out ahead. Congrats. If I lived there, I'd be going to your gas station. Live it up while you can cuz it can't last long.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My New Best Joke

What happened to the family who fell into the upholstery machine?

They came out fully recovered.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Jake (age 4): How did that...happen?...How did...that FREAKIN happen!??

This is exactly what Jacob said when he jumped off the diving board and ended up with his head below the water. He popped up, gasped for breath and raggedly said those two now infamous lines.

And the other day, when he came over by me, I whispered in his ear something to go tell his mama....

Jake to Pregnant Reva: YOU WANNA PIECE OF ME?

Note Marla, laughing hysterically in the corner on the couch, trying to look nonchalant and inconspicuous at the same time (ps: does. not. work.). Not sure if Pregnant Reva thought it was amusing.... and I'm pretty sure Jeff's eye roll indicated anything but amusement but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that some day, this phrase just might come in handy for their little fellow. Say, for instance, Jake's at recess, and some big pudgy bully kid (BPBK) with dirt under his fingernails wants to rough him up. Jake can step on up and just scare the jellybeans outta him with his tough guy voice and then that, my friends, will be the end of BPBK. Listen, I know. You don't have to tell me.... I already know I'm going to be a fabulous mother. I got the skillz.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Marla's House of Dreams

And here we have a view from my window... Did I mention that I bought the lake too? If I'm already dropping 1,899,000 I figure I might as well go the distance.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Boys.

Notice how all these kids are glaring at Fraulein Maria. Look closely, don't you see the spiders and the frogs ideas dancing in their heads? These kids are experts. They are planning the attack as she speaks to them as they pretend to listen.

But some kind of miracle happens -- by the end of the movie she's got them singing and dancing and wearing matching outfits. She's managed to get their attention and she's even found a way to get them to listen. They're falling in love with her & they think she's neat-O.

Cue to Marla, sitting in the front of the room on a metal chair (a.k.a. the teacher chair) while 7 boys march past her talking loudly with any and all apparatuses flailing madly, suddenly plop down, only to plop back up, & tip their chairs against the wall like all Sunday school kids love to do. Introducing Mass Chaos! And no that's not a play at the Orpheum, it's my new life. We're talking the 14-15-16 year old Sunday school class. Heaven help me.

There is no Christopher Plummer in sight, no hills singing with music, no little white dresses with blue satin sashes. Just rowdy boys, who want to talk about movies, comic books, Wii or anything else other than what my lesson is on. Let me make this clear - these boys are good boys. They know their stuff. They've got the light shining in their eyes. They are the future. However, they are still teenage boys and I, my friends, have never had brothers.

Sigh... When the Lord closes a door somewhere he opens a window. I'll even settle for a hole in the wall.

God bless Adam with the long tie, Ethan with the uber-random personality, Chad with his sarcastic wit, Riley with his eager participation, Craig with his silent obediance, Peter with his hair sticking up in the back , and the Saunders kid who's name escapes me - God bless him too.

It's not a Tumah...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A P.S. to the previous Random Post.

The doors at the gas station Holiday. Does it bother anyone else that you can't walk into the "out door"? Every time I go there, I want to go in the exit door - but you see, YA CAN'T because there is no handle. Plus it always seems like the door is the farthest thing from you for miles! Even the stupid ice machine is closer!

Penelope. Cute movie. I really want to buy that scarf. I love it... looks like it's cashmere. Plus I adore all of her outfits - talk about quirky style. I'd wear any of it!

What is UP with America's Got Talent? It's like Jerry Springer brought all his freaky audience people with him. They are rowdy, uncooth and they boo at everyone. I'm done with that show.

And lastly -- Olallieberry pie. Who knew there was such a thing. Now I really want to try it! Makes me think of Oo-la-lal-lee from Robin Hood!

A Whole Lotta Random

Since it's fishing season... I couldn't restrain myself. Go Strongbad!
Introducing: Lures & Jigs

Dress Barn. I don't know why it's appealing to me to shop at a store that has the word BARN in it, but it just is! Ok! I like Dress Barn! So stick it!

Slips. Why do women need to wear a slip? What's the point. Because heaven forbid, someone is going to find out we have legs? I don't get it.

People who get too close to me freak me out. Evidently it freaked out my friend Rachel too. We were in Excelsior walking around the town, and out of the corner of my eye I noticed a guy who appears to be following us. I tried to act "normal" so Rachel didn't think I was a freak but this guy will not relent! Finally I'm like let's go this way and I noticed that she looked visibly relieved when I suggested we walk away from the weird man in the yellow shirt.

Lick's in Excelsior has grand icecream. I had chocolate raspberry truffle. YUM.

Garage saling. Since I'm over my GoodWill phase (ok, that is only partially true) I've moved on to even more adventurous ways of finding someone else's junk. Garage saling is just an adventure in and of itself. You never know where you might end up or what you might end up with. That was definitely the case when I met Megan for our little monthly exploration tour de Minnesota. We started in Shakopee and somehow ended up on this wild goose chase. There was a really super awesome vintage suitcase on the side of the road with a sign on it that said "Barn Sale" (yes, again with the Barn, I have no idea why it appeals to me, it just does). So we drove in the direction it pointed us toward and found another suitcase. Forget Follow That Car, we improvised to Follow that Suitcase. The point of hilarity (not to be confused with Hillary) was when Megan said 'if we don't see a suitcase pretty soon we are turning around' and boom there it was, another suitcase, sitting there smugly. There were a total of 4 suitcases. It was a fun game. I have no idea what city we were in or where we were but it had the bluest sky and the greenest fields and the prettiest country I've seen in a long while.

I heart Kenny Rogers. I just got his greatest hits CD. It has all the good ones my friends. The Gambler. Don't take your love to town. Oh Ruuuuuuuuuubyyyyyyy, don't take your love to town. You decorated my life - this makes me giggle, think curtains and tacky chairs. Don't fall in love with a dreamer. I found myself singing that out loud in the car with passion. I got embarrassed and stopped when the car next to me started to stare. By the way, this CD was ONE DOLA at one of the garage sales down from the BARN SALE. I tell you, there's a reason for everything. However, I want my dollar back for the Celine Dion CD I purchased at the same time. What a waste. Her songs are so incredibly lame. I mean COME ON... When I was a little girlI had a rag dollOnly doll I've ever ownedNow I love you just the way I loved that rag dollBut only now my love has grown PUKE.

Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. I love those guys. I love their crooning voices. Makes me melt. I got on a kick after I watched Return to Me last week and ordered a CD. Good stuff.
The new Xfiles movie. DAVID DUCHOVNY WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME? I have a serious thing for him. What a little knockout. I don't care how super freaky it is, how many creepy aliens foaming at the mouth or the fact that I probably won't be able to sleep alone for six months, I'm seeing it. It's all worth it for you Davey.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

How to Spot a Kucera

they know how to shut a door quietly. i wish some of my roommates had learned that art

they never leave their shoes tied when they take them off. dad would sneak into our closets and knot them a hundred times because "they break down the backs of your shoes!"

they quote lines from movies

they know the proper way/direction to change the toilet paper roll
they know that if you rock on your chair at dinner, they'll get yelled at

they would never hang their arms on the top of the cubboards when looking for a snack

they don't leave the fridge open to sun themselves or least not when Dad can see

they know to never call the mother RAMBO

they know that if they laugh at the mother when she's yelling at you that it is not pretty. this only happened when we were little

they know that tying your sister to the bunk bed with kite string is not a good idea no matter how funny it sounds

they write thank you notes when they get presents or money and they write letters to grandmas & missionaries
they know how to swim because their mother made them take swimming lessons and dive off that stupid diving board
they laugh at their own jokes, especially Marla's

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Happy Belated July 4th!

A bunch of us went to Duluth for this 7 stake camping trip. It was a most unique trip. We spent the night in the backyard of the Carlton church building which is about 25 minutes away from Duluth. They set up a fire pit in the back. We had sparklers and s'mores and hot dogs. We saw fireworks in Duluth in a redneck area near a M&H gas station (not to be confused with H&M) and watched an incredible show while people were tailgating with actual grills and setting off
their own fireworks in the flammable field of grass
that we were sitting on. But our own people were definitely in contest for the most "unique". Highlights: Ugly Betty, baby decks of cards, flirting contest including bets, cat in the hat, sparklers, sleeping in the backyard of the church, grasshopper watching, nicknames, tylenol pm, gorgeous weather, surprise - the Superior Hiking Trail, SPF 80, waterfallman, and this weird list could go on forever.

Katie B at the falls. This girl jumped right in.

The girls at the falls: Amy, random girl, and me.

Our little hiking group: Brandon, me, Katie B., Ryan

Pondering existence. Let it be noted that my shirt says "My lips hurt real bad". It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have a bag of sunflower seeds in my hand. Which is what I have been taught to eat when outside by my dear old Dad. However, when one forgets ones chapstick and eats salty nuts, ones lips do indeed hurt real bad. I ended up buying chapstick at the redneck gas station. Unfortunately the only flavor it came in was spearmint. What the crap!

Hotel Duluth. Here we have a random chair. Put in middle of nature. I call it the Ghost chair and it honestly freaked me out just a little bit.

Kind of like the Eiffel Tower, dontcha think?

Ryan, chilling with the fish.

The bridge. Where Katie B almost lost her life. Luckily the dude on the loud speaker
told her to back the heck up.

Beautiful Duluth.

So get this... we went out in search of a fabulous hike. Tried to find some trail called Munger. Never did find it but we did find a drive through church. We decided to pull over and just hike up some random road and what the freaking heck - we come across a sign that said
Coincidence? I think not!

By the lighthouse. Gorgeous view of Duluth.

Some famous fisherman guy statue in Duluth. Probably caught a 200 pounder or something. Or rescued a mermaid.