Sunday, October 31, 2010

Zombies for Dessert

I realize that Halloween isn't a national holiday, but when it falls on a weekend day, shouldn't I have it off from work?  Nope, not today.  I was required to attend a meeting this evening from 6:00 to 7:30 P.M., and I went in ahead of time to do some grading and be "on call" in case I was needed to set up for the student presentations that were a part of the events.  While I was gone, Susan and the girls tended to the essential Halloween festivities.

Wanna know who these be-costumed beauties are?  Read on!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Morey, the Merrier

Susan's uncle Frank and his son John are in town this weekend for hunting, so Susan's aunt and uncle Kathy and Pat invited all available members of the extended family to their house for supper and visiting.  Suzanna was out of town yesterday and today for a swim meet in Jamestown, but the rest of our family went over to Kathy and Pat's and enjoyed visiting and snacking (and our girls enjoyed playing with the little kids in the house: their third-cousins!) (and Suzanna got dropped off there when the swimmers returned to town, so she, too, got to see everyone).

Wanna see some photos?

Friday, October 29, 2010


Three interesting arts/cultural events from our week:

(1) Monday night, Susan and I attended a book reading by the author of Under the Twisted Cross, an historical fiction novel based on her father's experience as a WWII prisoner of war in German territory.  The author, Margaret Barnhart, happens to be a university colleague of mine.  A good-sized crowd gathered in the Alumni and Foundation House across from the campus to listen to Margaret read a chapter from the book.  It was a compelling section that ended in suspense; and before we left, we ordered a copy of the novel.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Why Not Minot?

We love that we continue to stay in touch with our dear friends from when we lived in Greater Grand Forks.  When we used to live there, we'd get together regularly with several couples and their children for "family game nights" or spur-of-the-moment suppers or elaborate parties; and at various times since then, we have reunited when they have come to southwest ND to visit us or when we have returned to the Red River Valley for holidays or more of those parties!  3.5 years ago we all met up in Minot, ND, a site about an equal distance away from home for all of us, for a weekend of swimming at the hotel's water park, shopping, eating, and most of all hanging out together and playing games.  And this weekend we headed back to Minot again for the same purpose!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fun, Food, and Friends

Three highlights from today/tonight:

(1) In preparation for a demonstration speech that Abigail will give in her gifted/talented class at school, she learned how to make Kuchen today with Mommy.  Kuchen is a pie-shaped coffee cake with a filling of custard and fruit, and it's quite popular in this area.  Susan walked her through each step and photographed Abigail in the process of making it so that Abigail can put those photos into a PowerPoint presentation to show her classmates.  At the end of the slideshow, she will take out the already-made Kuchen and slice it to share with everybody.  (Food-based demonstration speeches were always my favorite ones to have my students do in speech courses!)  And I've got photos:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Parents Night

Suzanna's varsity swim team career continues.  At this point in the season, she (and we) are more or less used to the early-morning and after-school practices and the out-of-town meets, although balancing all that with doing homework and practicing piano and trombone and attending confirmation classes at church and eating meals and spending time with family and sleeping is still proving to be a tricky endeavor.  Nevertheless, tonight was Parents Night at the home swim meet in Williston (recall that Dickinson co-ops with Williston for varsity swimming, so Suzanna wears Williston Coyote apparel instead of Dickinson Midget clothes when swimming).  I had to teach all day as well as attend a meeting led by my chair, our dean, and our president this afternoon . . . so I couldn't be gone.  However, Susan took time off from work to drive Suzanna to the meet and be there as a parent.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lutheran Labor

The confirmation program at our church includes Mentor Groups, assigning the students to small groups and matching each one with an adult who serves as the Mentor Group leader for monthly meetings and activities.  Each group is expected to carry out a service project during the year, and as a Mentor Group leader myself, I had to make arrangements for one such project for my five boys.  We decided to lend our muscle to the church women who spend all year making and boxing up hundreds of quilts to be shipped by Lutheran World Relief to those in need of them.  The quilters needed someone to unstack a year's worth of boxes of quilts being stored in the church, load them into vehicles, drive them across town, and pack them into the LWR truck.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Fine Arts

This morning at church, we enjoyed the music of Copper Street Brass, a brass quintet from Minneapolis, MN.  They are phenomenal!  They provided prelude and postlude music but also played brass arrangements of the liturgical music, joining the organist throughout the service.  If you are a lover of live music, you can probably imagine the feeling that we members of the congregation had as the full, rich sounds of the brass instruments filled up the church and washed over us as we sang along.  You can watch some videos and listen to several excerpts of the group's performances here.

This afternoon I headed back to church to lead my Mentor Group in a service project (more on that tomorrow) while Susan took the girls to a Sons of Norway lodge meeting.  You may recall that, at last month's lodge meeting, Hillary had the winning bid on an ethnic troll sculpture.  Well, today was Abigail's turn to submit the winning bid on another sculpture up for auction!  Hillary's sculpture was of a troll witch, and Abigail's is of a troll couple.  And Hillary happened to win a door prize at today's meeting: an autumn-themed candle holder.

Abigail's troll couple sculture and Hillary's door prize

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saxon Samstag

It's time for another Scandinavian Saturday in the Moberg household.  However, I am so swamped with work that Susan suggested I continue grading student projects, and she offered to take over the preparation of ethnic edibles . . . just with a German theme this week (to honor her own heritage).  Thus, Scandinavian Saturday became Saxon Samstag this evening!

Looks delicious, right?  Read on to find out what everything is.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Embouchure Tips from an Amateur

Tonight our family attended a concert performed by the university's jazz band, and we were amazed at how excellent they sounded!  There were just 15 musicians, but the sound was full and rich, and all the songs were polished and fun to listen to.  They had a guest performer: a saxophonist named Doug Drewek.  You can watch/hear Dr. Drewek's playing in some videos posted on his Web site.  He's a very good alto saxophone player.

Abigail takes saxophone lessons from a music education major at the university, who herself was excited to attend tonight's concert to hear Dr. Drewek . . . so Abigail got excited about it, too, and seemed very intent throughout the performance.  As our family walked home together afterward, Susan and I asked Abigail what she thought of Dr. Drewek.  She thought he was good, but she was amazed that he was using incorrect embouchure, as was the university faculty member who conducts the band and plays tenor saxophone for it.  Well, she admitted, at least the way he was holding the mouthpiece in his mouth and puffing out his cheeks was different from what her own teacher had instructed her to do.  At least we knew that Abigail had been paying attention!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sacred Drum and School Daze

Well, first it was Abigail, and now it is Hillary.  Abigail had one impromptu and one planned musical performance a few days ago; and Hillary just had a planned musical performance only a few days after an impromptu one herself.  Allow me to explain:

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Leif Erickson Day Meal

What a happy coincidence that our family's Scandinavian Saturday should occur on Leif Erikson Day this year!  Faithful Reader, did you celebrate the occasion with Nordic songs, folk dances, crafts, literature, fine art, and food?  I'm sure that you did.  As for us, the extent of our celebration was eating our weekly ethnic meal.  It was Abigail's turn to be my helper this week; but because she was otherwise occupied all day long (remember?), I made everything by myself.  It turned out to be quite the tasty meal, thanks to recipes that I adapted from Trina Hahnemann and Astrid Karlsen Scott.

Want to know what everything here is and see photos of dessert?  Well, then, you know what to do! 

Abigail's Choral Festival Performance!

Can you spot Abigail in this photo?  Bigger question: do you know what's going on in this photo?  Well, I'll tell you!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Abigail's Viennese Orchestra Performance!

Abigail with Russell McGregor tonight in the auditorium of Trinity High School

Who is Russell McGregor, and what's going on in that photo?  I'll tell you!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Dad's Purposely Belated Birthday Party

Although yesterday was Dad's actual birthday, we celebrated it with him today instead because yesterday we all attended my first-cousin-once-removed's wedding and reception in Bowbells, ND (remember?).  This morning Beverly made us a big breakfast, and then we went with them to her church in Tioga.  The last time that we attended there, the pastor and church musicians and Beverly all asked us to sing for church the next time we were there; so this weekend we came prepared to do so.  We provided "special music": I played piano while Susan and the girls sang "Come to Jesus," a song that we performed together most recently for Susan's grandma's funeral.  Then it was back to Dad and Beverly's for dinner before "birthday company" arrived.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Family Wedding: Warm Colors, Cold Weather


Today is my dad's birthday!  We're spending the weekend with him but will celebrate his birthday with company and birthday cake tomorrow.  Today was all about attending the wedding of my cousin Marsha's daughter Jennifer and her fiancĂ© (well, husband now) Cody . . . and, of course, I have photos to share.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Live on Stage: Susan and Kevin!

Susan and I attended a performance of Lettice and Lovage, a comedy presented by Sneak Pique Productions, the local community theatre group.  Sneak Pique just started last year, and I have been involved on the periphery, attending organizational meetings and coordinating a play reading group as part of Sneak Pique.  Susan and I haven't directed or acted  yet, but we're sure that we will someday.  In the meantime, we attend the productions and always enjoy them.