Wednesday, May 26, 2010 | Twin Cities, MN | Rainbow-colored streak seen across Twin Cities skies Twin Cities, MN Rainbow-colored streak seen across Twin Cities skies

Here's my picture of it

On the side of the news article is a video they made of it. They show a plane making a line in the sky. I had suspected this one was made from ice off a plane, not a cloud. I might be right!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I did end up telling him I was feeling under appreciated and he said he was sorry. He tried to say that I should have asked, but I reminded him how I keep the house pretty clean and taken care of and when you see dishes in the sink and the house is a mess... red flags saying "Jen needs help!"
He said he was sorry a few times, went into our room and started getting ready for bed, but then came out and started folding the basket of laundry in the family room. I guess that was his way of saying sorry.

Teacher Gift

This is what Joy and I came up with for her teachers at School Ready. We hope they like them!


Yesterday I just ran all day long, took Joy to meet up with Peggy in the morning, let her play at the playground for about an hour, went to Menards to buy a plug for the tub that was broken for two weeks before anyone bothered to tell me about it (Joel knew about it, but didn't bother to replace it), made Joy lunch, sent her to school, 30 minutes later met her at school for a party, took her shopping for teacher appreciation gifts, made dinner, Got Jake off to trip with youth, took Josh to scouts, came home, made teacher gifts, got a text to bring Joel a drill left in the car, took that to him instead of doing dishes that were piling up in sink, got home after 10:30, cleaned up my mess from gifts, went to bed with dishes in the sink still. Woke up this morning, dishes STILL IN THE SINK, old man sitting on chair all morning >:(
He wants to know why I'm not so cheery this morning.
Did I mention the basket of laundry he sat next to without folding, as well?

Monday, May 17, 2010

On Saturday I got the rare opportunity to visit an old workplace. For 5 years I worked at The Northwestern Casket Company, doing various jobs during my time there. I started out at the cutting tables, did a little sewing (but I must have sucked at that because they didn't keep me there long) then moved to tying caps and shirring material, then the last couple of years I did embroidery. When I left (at 5 months pregnant with Joshua) they replaced me with a computerized embroidery machine. When I did the embroidery I had to use a very old chain stitch machine. The company has since moved and for a while I heard rumors of the building being sold and demolition being planned for it. One time when I drove by it they were replacing windows, so I knew they wouldn't be tearing it down. Later I found out they put studios in the building and rented out their office spaces to artisans. They changed the name of the lot to be The Northwestern Casket Art District and made it part of the Minneapolis Art District.
JoAnne went with me for the Art A Whirl which is where the Minneapolis Art District open their doors for a weekend to allow people to come in and see their wares. It was pretty fun and interesting! Some art was yucky. I had dreams that night about all the stuff we saw. I should have gone back to one artisan who had some pretty dangle earrings with stones that I liked. Maybe next year.
We ran into a few interesting photographers, one even has an office in the room I used to work in. I'd never been in the basement before. It was interesting to see the stone archway doorways and we took some pictures of the old pipes.
We also visited some other buildings on the lot that I'd never been in before either. I don't remember the silos at the end of the road. Once I have some time I'll post pictures that I took. I want to send some to my old manager Dorothy.
I just want to know why there has to be so much nakedness in art? Hahaha.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Total Brownie Points

This kid is going to get away with anything this week, and perhaps longer :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's so frustrating watching someone mess up their lives. It's more frustrating when you don't know the whole story, but there doesn't seem to be any good reason for it and it really sucks watching selfish people hurt everyone else around them and it sucks even more when everyone else around them have no spines and treat that person like everything is fine, when really, that person needs a boot to the head! And if I did happen to lodge my Sauconys at them, I know I'd be the evil non-understanding one.
Yeah, my heart is black and I'm not getting into heaven, deal with it, I have.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wow.... just wow

This week Jake has been working on two talks for his speech class. He only practiced one in front of me.
Tonight he had to finish up a merit badge on public speaking and tie it into his assignments at school, so he dressed up in a suit and went to mutual, planning to give his speeches. I had to go to the church tonight for a scout committee meeting and so I traded the cars with him and he took Josh, who was also done with scouts, and the girls back home.
While I was in the meeting my phone kept telling me I was getting a bunch of emails. Later on my way out of the church I saw that it was our Young Men's leader sending me a bunch of video clips, but my phone wouldn't open them. When I got home I asked Jake why Brother Gray was sending me videos. He said, "I told him not to send those to you!" I suddenly became very curious about this speech he gave and started questioning him. He finally spilled the beans that he had given a talk about ME! My eyes are tearing up right now just thinking about it. Finally after getting my phone back from him, because he had grabbed it and was going to delete the emails, he reluctantly agreed to let me see what was taped on his video camera. I was in disbelief. He said the most nicest wonderful things about me! I had no idea he believed I had that much influence on the person he is today.
People tell me all the time what a great kid he is, I myself am in amazement, and readily tell them that he's like that all on his own. I didn't do anything special. Listening to his speech he gave, maybe I did have a little something to do with it. Here come the tears again. That was the bestest Mother's Day gift he has ever given me! And to think, he tried not to!

Books, books, books!

I have in my possession now my first books for school! YAY!!!
I am way to anxious about this first semester. I know because it's a summer semester that there will be a lot of cramming and need to comprehend the subject quickly. I wanted to get the books ahead of time so I could read ahead, I'm glad I did, the book we are reading requires me to understand the various parts of a chapter when it comes time to use them. I can't wait to see the syllabus.
These books are almost as intoxicating to me as an office supply store is ... so much goodness inside!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This rain is so dreary

It has been raining for a couple of days now and I'm starting to get tired of it. I've had to reschedule one session because of rain and shoot through it for another. In Jen's World I would have it only rain at night with just enough lightning to make me feel safe. Funny, huh? Lightning makes me feel safe as long as I'm not camping or standing outside with an umbrella. I'm pretty sure nobody is going to try to break into my home during a thunder storm, so those are the nights I sleep the best. Snow storms are another time I sleep well.

For many years I have admired and coveted my mother-in-law's Peonies. They are beautiful. Round and full and fragrant. The only thing I don't like about them is the dozen of ants that accompany any boquet she gives me, but I'll endure them for the sweet smell and beauty they add to my room. About 10 springs ago she was going to give me my own starts in the fall. That year we had a horrible hail storm that took out her plants and it took a few years for them to get back to being healthy and big again. Instead of starts that year I got a candle that was supposed to smell like them. Two years ago she gave me 3 plant starts to put in my yard. Last spring I was so happy to see the plants survived the winter! And this spring I am delighted to see that one of the plants has buds on it and I will very soon have my very own peonies blossoms! This makes me so happy! I can't wait to take pictures of them and share them with you too.

There is an art exhibit going on in Minneapolis starting on the 14th. I soooo want to go. I might just have to take Joy out with me and bribe her with a bag of candy to walk around with me and see the sights. The Northwestern Casket Company building I used to work in is part of the art district now and I think it would be fun to visit during the Art A Whirl. Anyone want to go too?

This would be fun!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My luck was short lived :(

Joy started throwing up at 2am. I asked Joel to get up to take care of her, reasoning that he can snooze on the recliner and let me sleep, after all he gets to sleep all day long after the kids go to school in a few hours anyway.
He got up, but then said, "It's only 2 o'clock!" Which I took to mean- "why are you waking me up already?"
That made me mad and I didn't go to sleep very well after that and had angry dreams. This morning he says he didn't mean anything by it, but too late, I had an unrestful night already.

Today I see that my school has the books in stock that I need. But I don't get to go pick them up until Wednesday because of Joy. Boooo. I tried to pick them up last week, because I can't wait to dig into them a little so I know what's going on when the semester begins, but they didn't have them. That was kind of a let down.

My tummy is feeling rumbly, I hope I'm not getting sick too because I have a Senior Session tonight and I need the money for that for Joel's birthday present. We've already had to reschedule twice because of weather and then because of his job, and I had to reluctantly agree to shoot this kid tonight. I try to only shoot on Friday or Saturday and then edit during the week. My weekdays are too busy to try to fit in a session anyway. I hope I'm feeling ok by tonight.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I am such a lucky girl!
Not only do I have an amazing mom, but I also have amazing kids.
My mom is such an inspiration to me. All my life she has been there for me, even when I was a rotten little creepy kid, she still loved me. She also was strong enough to not let me get away with crap. She is amazing and now as an adult I wish I'd seen that when I was a kid. I have so much respect for her. Thanks Mom for all you do and have done for me! I love you!

I also have four amazing kids. They are so sweet to me, especially on days like today. Joyanna made me a bazillion cards shaped like hearts and has been giving them to me through the day. She has something else in store for me, but I don't get it until tonight. Josh and Jaeden are old enough to write more specific things they love about me on their school projects. I get a kick that both of them say I make good food for them. I wish they'd remember that each night when they ask me what's for dinner and I hear groans. At church today the little kids sang the primary Grandmother song, but sang Mother instead... the one that goes, "I wish every kid in the whole wide world had a Mother just like you." The girls made me candles in primary and Josh made me a pillow that says "Worlds Best Mom" on it.Jacob didn't make me anything, but he is in the kitchen tonight helping Joel make a dinner of won tons and rice, so I give him credit there. Both of them actually, because neither know how to make them, and they are giving it a pretty good shot! Joel made French Toast for breakfast for us and he also bought a cake and brought me flowers last night. My family is good to me :)

We visited my mother-in-law today after a short (WAY TOO SHORT) nap, to wish her a happy Mother's Day and chat for a few hours. I contemplate writing about this on here, because I love my mom so much, I don't want any hurt feelings, but at the same time I think that she would be happy to know that I feel like I have a pretty great mother-in-law too. I've been a part of my in-laws family for half my life now. At first things were hard, as I imagine it always can be, trying to fit into a new family that does things different and you're not used to them. But today I really love my mother and father-in-law. They are such good people. They've always been good to me and my children and been there for us. I feel very blessed to have two sets of wonderful parents who mean the world to me! I know a lot of people don't have that in their lives and so I know how lucky I am. I hope my daughters end up that lucky too.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I'm not really there

Argh. I hate this. I had to reactivate my Facebook account because there were several people I had to get into touch with that I didn't have any other way, other than Facebook. So even though I'm on there- I'm not.

We took the kids to see How to Train Your Dragon today. We didn't see the 3D version. The kids don't like wearing the glasses and Joel and I found that the only real 3D experience worth the extra money is if you see it on an IMAX screen. We saw Alice in Wonderland in 3D at the theatre on a regular screen and it just wasn't the same effect. We didn't feel like anything really jumped out of the screen at us and we didn't feel like we could reach out and touch anything. The IMAX really does give the ultimate experience. I remember seeing some under the sea show there in 3D and it looked like kelp was growing out of the guy's head in front of me or schools of fish seemed to be inches from my face.
Back to the dragon movie... Most excellent. Really liked it a lot. The kids loved it. I do have to complain about the theatre we were in however. I've been to the Carmike Wynnsong 15 in Mounds View several times, and lately they seem to be becoming a dump. The last time we were there they barely had enough help. It was the school district's spring break and we were there for an afternoon showing of Diary of a Wimpy Kid shortly after it began running. At the point we came into the theatre the same guy that sold us our tickets ran back to the counters and started working the popcorn stands. Today there was not a decent bathroom in the whole place. Joy made me take her out of the movie at the really exciting part where Hiccup is supposed to kill a dragon. The first bathroom we went into had one full stall and one stall with waste and toilet paper all over the toilet and streaming all over. So we ran down the hall to another bathroom which also had water all over the floor around a toilet and several unflushed toilets. GROSS!!! Come on people, that's just disgusting. If I have one more bad experience there I'll have to do my movie viewing at another theatre. The one at Rosedale mall seems to be pretty decent still, I believe it's an AMC.
I can't wait for How to Train Your Dragon to come out on DVD!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Where is the common sense people?

Why should wearing the American flag on your shirt get you sent home from school? Unbelievable that people have come to this. LINK
Slowly our rights as Americans are being stripped away because someone is afraid it will offend someone else. People need to chill and stop getting offended so easily.

First of all, Cinco de Mayo has changed it's meaning a lot in the last few years. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza SeguĂ­n.

According to Casares: “The holiday, which has never really been much of one in Mexico, crossed over to this side of the border in the 1950s and 1960s, as civil rights activists were attempting to build harmony between the two countries and cultures,”.

So if you want to celebrate your heritage, fine, but stop stripping away everyone else's right to do the same thing. That just tears down the harmony between the two countries even more, imo. Where's the love? Can't we all just get along? Why do we have to hide what we are or how we feel to keep the peace?


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

If you've been living in a cave...

or didn't realize you were (that is the case with me) you didn't hear about the Tylenol recall. Click on this link to help you find out if you have any recalled products. The bottom of that page has links to different products you may have and you can do a Lot # search to see if your actual product has been recalled.

I can't believe this has been going on since September and I didn't hear about it! I guess that's about the time I stopped listening to the radio and news, anyway. That'll teach me to be uninformed and ignorant.

Also, the next time I am missing something... like, oh, I don't know.... a library book, I'll be sure to dust the house before going to the library to pay for it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just One

Ok, I worked really hard today and got a lot of editing done for the engagement couple, so before I went to bed I decided to allow myself to play with one image that I took this morning...


Besides, I needed to empty the memory card for another session I have coming up this weekend.
The rest of Joy's will have to wait until I am done with the engagement session.

Okay, maybe one more, but then I really have to go to bed...

Well, last night the bread turned out so yummy! Then my husband tried to ruin it by asking me if I could put some wheat flour in it too? Um, NO. Why ruin it?

I saw the sun shining this morning and so I took Joy out to the spot I'd discovered the other day, just to find out that it was all ruined. Boo. So I took her over to another spot and we played. I have to finish the last engagement session before I can work on Joy's pictures. Darn. But I must exercise discipline, customers before fun!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Potato Bread

I have been trying for the last few years to find a tasty white bread that compares to the one I grew up on. Until this week, the only bread that has come close is Rhodes, and let's face it- Rhodes isn't exactly "home made". No matter how wonderful it is.
I gave it one last shot last week and guess what? Failure.
I finally caved and asked my mom for her recipe. I don't know why I didn't ask before, it wasn't that hard. She answered right away, thanks Mom!!!
So today I made my first two loaves of Potato Bread and I am oh so happy! It was just like I remembered it! It also happens to be the most easy dough I have ever made. It came out perfect! I put in the flour, left to help my daughter and was surprised when I came back to find my dough wrapped around the hook, the bowl wiped clean and the dough was soft and perfect!
If you'd like to make some of it yourself, here's the recipe.

Potato Water Bread (4 loaves or half everything for 2 loaves)

*My mom's note: Generally when I make this bread I start by peeling a potato, cutting it up and boiling it in about as much water as it takes to cover it and then I osterize it along with the water when it's done. (20 minutes) If you boil potatoes for dinner sometime you can just save the water from cooking, refrigerate it and use it when you are ready. I used my food processor to mash the potato with the water after boiling it.

3 cups potato water (or if you boil the potato like above just add water to the 3 cup level)
1 cup milk
4 Tbs sugar
5 tsp salt
2 pkg yeast (or 2 Tbs)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
4 T Crisco shortening (my mother used to use Lard)
12 cups white flour (approximately. you may want to start with 11 cups and add the last one if needed.)

Combine lukewarm water and yeast and set aside to dissolve and start working. Melt crisco in hot potato water if desired and add all other ingredients together except flour. Stir together and then start adding flour and knead. I have a bread hook so I just dump it all in the mixing bowl and turn it on for about 5 minutes. Let rise 1 hour and divide into 4 loaves. Let rise again about 45 minutes. Bake 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Brush tops of loaves with butter after you remove from oven.

My loaves after rising, before baking.

I kinda like this one from Saturday's engagement session....

Click to see larger image.

The wall was the Guthrie's red wall at their entrance. I added the flowers.

Here's a sock JoAnne and I found at the playground last week...

Click to see larger image.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I had an amazing engagement session last night! We met at the Dunn Brothers in Minneapolis and used a lot of areas around the Guthrie and the Stone Arch Bridge. The weather was questionable all afternoon and we almost didn't follow through with our plans for the session, but we just decided to go foreword with it and by the time they got into the city the sun was starting to peek out, after the session started the wind died down and we had great weather for the rest of the session! As soon as we were done the clouds came back in. The couple I met with are amazing. I'm shooting their wedding in June as well. This was their free session that comes with their wedding package. The groom was not camera shy or uncomfortable at all in front of the camera and so it made it a wonderful session. He was very comfortable with posing and cuddly with her. I know she's going to love her images.

I have a spot I'm dying to get Joyanna out to, to do pictures, I hope I have some sunny days this week to chose from. I might go back on Saturday too. The boys are going camping on Friday and so we will have our "girl party" where we buy new Bon Bon nail polish colors and rent movies and have junk food and sip soda through licorice straws. Then on Saturday morning I'll take them out again and do pictures like I did last time. Tradition :) I look forward to my time with just the girls. It only happens once a year, if I'm lucky.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


For any of those interested, I have deactivated my account with Facebook. Part of my decision was based on previous experiences with people not being ok with me voicing my political opinions and part of it was also because of the temptation to spend time on there, especially when I have access to it on my phone all day long.

I do not know that I will be back.

But at this time I need to be spending my time doing other things and breaking away now before my life gets even busier is a good thing so then it's not so hard when the time comes.

Happy Graduation!

Joel's graduation ceremony was on Friday evening. It was fun to have a final ceremony to celebrate the obtainment of his degree.

We also took pictures of the kids in his cap. We did this for his other two associate's degrees too, but I think I lost some of them in my computer crash two years ago. We plan to use these on their own high school graduation cakes. Jake went into the house before I could get one of him and then Joel and I took off and I forgot to get one. Sadly that is one thing I am guilty of, treating him like one of us grown-ups and not like he's still one of my kids. For that, I suck.

I probably will keep editing this for a while...

Why must my mouth always get me into trouble?
Already I've butted heads with someone new in our ward who I don't see eye to eye with. I ended up removing her from my friends list because I found that I didn't even want to be nice to her anymore. That's not usually like me. I'm usually an easy person to get along with and let a lot of crap slide before I say something.
Some things I feel very passionate about, like securing our borders.
Some things others feel very passionate about, like open borders for everyone.
And these two passions cannot co-exist in my world.
Also, I don't like liars. She said she could handle my different view, but wanted to share her experience with me to help me better understand where she was coming from. But since she deleted my calm, rational comments to her posts, it's apparent she can't handle someone else having a different view and can't hold a conversation with someone of a differing point of view. She just wants to be heard, and not listen to someone else.
I can co-exist with other non-compatible passions, as long as someone doesn't introduce hysteria and cut off my voice of reason. Which is what happened today.
Someone from our ward who I've butted heads with this week over the new Arizona law wanted to post outlandish articles about people being asked to show their citizenship just for walking their kid to the ice cream store. And earlier in the week she posted a video saying that police were going to profile shoes to determine who was illegal. I simply can't just leave that stuff alone and posted comments. To the video I said this was fear mongering and trying to use fear to keep a law from being enforced. To the ice cream article I explained to her that the police had to first detain the person for another reason first, legally make contact, and then ask for identification. If the person cannot show ID, they could be considered a possible illegal alien. I gave her the link to the new law and asked her to read it and educate herself on it before spreading the mass hysteria.
She deleted it.
I guess it doesn't surprise me. When I first posted about the law and cheered the Governor for signing it, she sent me a few long letters about how unfairly her husband has been treated by police and how she'll never take her children to Arizona because of the law. I think she was upset that her sad story didn't persuade me to feel more sorry for them than for the Arizona rancher who was murdered, or the police who are shot at every day, and the kids who are innocent victims of drug traffickers violent crimes, and all the American kids who are addicted to drugs and all the victims of terrorists who are supported with the drug money of our American kids and stupid druggies.
When she deleted my comments, that's when I knew this person was not a nice person, and had to delete her from my friends list.
I just cannot co-exist with people like that. They let their emotions get in the way of their heads and then do drastic rude things to justify their means.