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Showing posts from May, 2015

A Quilt Tells a Story: Part 1

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For years now I've wanted to put together a t-shirt quilt of all my high school and college t-shirts. I'd seen it done really well, and I'd seen some done poorly. I asked a friend from church, Paula Phelps, if she could help put it together, since she's put together many great quilts in the past.

For my birthday, I opened up the box to my first quilt. Apparently I'd given her so many t-shirts that I could have two quilts!



I love each section of this quilt, and I love that it opens up so many memories. I'd love to give you a little insight to each one.


One of the oldest t-shirts in my collection, this one goes all the way back to grade school in the 1990s. We got these shirts specifically for competing in floor hockey and other school events. Sadly, the school no longer exists, but now this shirt has been well preserved!


Another shirt that is pre-high school, I got this shirt right before I entered MLS. It was a regular t-shirt, and then for a long time it was a…

Running: Get Over It

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Well that stunk.

Since my school year is now over, my excuse to postpone running has now expired. I had all the equipment I needed, and it was time for me to get out for a run.

In the previous week, I had gathered my remaining items. First of all, I had bought my new phone, an iPhone 6, as well as an Otterbox case and ballistic glass adhesive.


After consulting with a few of my running friends and many websites, I downloaded the Runkeeper app, a free app that tracks mileage and pace. It also has a variety of training schedules that I decided to try.

To hold onto my phone during my run, I purchased a FlipBelt, which stretches out on your waist.


There's no zipper, but the iPhone fits so snugly inside that I don't ever fear it falling out. What I do care about is that on promotional photos, the FlipBelt is always snugly on women's hips. Since my figure is incredibly hourglass, my belt goes right up to my natural waist. It didn't bother me on my run, but I wasn't expect…

Refresh, Recharge, and Reenergize

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Another school year ended for me today. We went through our normal afternoon madness: the kids cleaned out their desks and then spent the next hour doing odd jobs for me and then returning and asking over and over, "What do you want me to do now?!" It's controlled chaos.

I still can't believe it's our summer break - probably because the weather out here has been incredibly nasty this month. However, I can tell it's the end because my body is exhausted, my brain is exhausted, and my classroom is no longer the perfectly organized classroom I want it to be.

Some people get all huffy when teachers mention summer break because they think teachers "don't have to work in the summer" or are jealous because they "still have to work during the nice weather." Well, so do we teachers! Looking at my empty classroom today made me realize one thing. It wasn't that the year was over. It wasn't that all that planning was done.

It was "Boy,…

Dear MLC,

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For 15 years now (give or take a couple of years between my sister and brother) you have housed a member of my family and taught them as they prepared for the public ministry. This morning, the last of my family accepted his diploma.

While the distance between Michigan and Minnesota is quite far, you, Martin Luther College, were a huge part of our lives. 
My brother Matt started out in 2000 after graduating from Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, Michigan. I started in the fall of 2003, and my sister Erica joined me two years later. Finally, in 2011 my little brother Jared started on the Hill. Two pastor-track, and two teacher-track. Of the four of us, I was probably the one the most doubtful about starting at your school. It wasn't until I discovered the Parish Music program in my senior year of high school that I made my final decision to attend. 
We were quite a dramatic group of kids. But not in the bad way. (I hope.) We all were members of Forum and participated in no les…

Good to be a Geek

Being a nerd used to mean that you lived in the secret corners of society, far away from "normal people." You were looked down on for your obsessions and people felt like you needed to put away childish things and live in the real world.

Sometime between 1999 and 2005, something amazing happened. Whatever you call them - nerds, geeks, etc. - became mainstream. And because large corporations realized that nerds buy stuff, they started making more stuff for nerds. And when that happened, then suddenly these things were available to everyone. And suddenly, being a geek wasn't looked down on - it was embraced!

I enjoy this immensely, because I remember liking some geeky stuff back in my grade school and high school days but not making it very well-known. Back in grade school my little brother loved the Pokemon TV show and had the first set of U.S. trading cards. I watched the show, too, and got into it a lot ("Prepare for trouble..." "...and make it double!&qu…

Running: The Goal

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Today I'm going to tell you a story about running.

I hate running. The end.

No, that's not the story. But it's kind of true. Ever since I had to run laps around our small gym in grades school for basketball season, I have hated running. I didn't join the track team in high school my freshman year because I heard the coaches made everyone run to the track - about 1 1/2 miles - and I wasn't about to do that to myself. I didn't touch a treadmill in college, even though I was in the fitness center at least 5 days a week.

Somehow after I started my first full-time job in Wisconsin, I began thinking I wanted to give running a try. Three of my friends were doing 5Ks and seemed to have a good time. I was already doing regular walks around my quiet neighborhood to get some exercise - why not pick up the pace a little bit?

And then I did my first mile.

I ALMOST DIED.

Well, not literally. But it sure felt like it. By the time I made it back to my apartment I was wheezing …

Mix Tapes - The First Editions

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I remember the first time that I figured out how to make a mix tape. It was one of the highlights of my childhood. Stick a CD in the player, put a blank cassette in the player, push record and I could make a tape of all the music that I loved, and not have any of the songs I didn't like.

What a thrill!

Of course, I made a lot of mix tapes in high school, but by this time people were starting to cross over to burning CDs or just buying mp3s. I really wanted to get into this as well, but it would require having a computer that burned CDs! My computer in college managed to be one of the last that didn't have the burning capabilites built standard, and I couldn't stand that!

Thanks to many of my friends, I still managed to put together quite a good pile of CDs with songs that I enjoyed at that time in my life. When I look back at the song listings, I smile at many of the songs, and others I just shake my head, because I have no idea why I put that song on the CD.

I took a look…

Defending Treasure Planet

I was sitting in a movie theater in 2002 - probably watching Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones - when a preview came on the screen. It was all CGI, and the shot of a crescent moon with ships coming in and out of it, and a voice saying "Treasure Planet." And all I could say at the time was "UGH."

I was not impressed at the time with a movie taking the iconic Treasure Island story and making it Disney-fied and futuristic. I had no intention of seeing the movie, and neither did many other people who probably had the same feelings about it than I did. The movie bombed, and it was just another nail in Disney's hand-drawn animation "failures" that people point to nowadays.

But then something weird happened. In 2006 I was flipping the channels and Treasure Planet was on The Disney Channel. I decided I had nothing better to do, so I would watch it.

And I loved it!

I began to tell others how fun the movie was, and none of them took me seriously. But …