Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spirited Hillary

Faithful reader, you may recall that the winter swim team season (which ended for the girls early last month) wraps up with a banquet for the team: a tasty pasta bar at the Elks Lodge followed by distribution of awards.  Susan is out of town for a workshop in Bismarck, so I was alone with the girls . . . who were not alone because they each went off to sit at tables with friends on the team.  I took photos of them as they received their plaques, certificates, awards, ribbons from past meets, etc., but they're all blurry because each girl went up, shook hands, accepted the award, spun around, and returned to her seat pretty quickly.  But we have the awards themselves as physical evidence that tonight occurred!  And a special surprise: Hillary won a "spirit award" for her age group, apparently for being a tireless cheerleader for her teammates at every meet.  Congratulations, little girl!

"SC" stands for "short course."  The winter season (November through March) is for short-course events held in 25-yard pools; the summer season (May through August) is for long-course events held in 50-meter pools.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Armstrong Collection

Connie is a fellow member of a board of directors upon which I sit (for a local non-profit organization), and she and her husband recently made an impressive donation to the university: a rare book collection by and about President Theodore Roosevelt.  Some of the 125 books are first-edition, others are special-edition, and others are limited-edition.  I don't know the difference, but I attended a reception this afternoon to thank Connie and her husband, and the books were on display with table cards explaining what makes each book so rare . . . and it's quite a nice collection.  The university's Theodore Roosevelt Center is fortunate to gain this asset.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Citrus and Mustard and Meatballs

This morning an engaged couple and the bride-to-be's family came to our house to hear us sing/play through some possible wedding music for their upcoming nuptials.  The woman's mom had heard Susan and the girls singing for church one day and phoned some days afterward to inquire about their availability to sing for weddings.  After this morning, they now have some song ideas from us to share with the priest; and they'll get back to us on what music they'd like (or are allowed to use) and what combination of us they'd like to sing, play piano, etc.

This afternoon our whole family had back-to-back appointments to get our hairs cut.  Abigail and I went first because she was my helper for this week's Scandinavian Saturday supper, and we had groceries to buy and food to start fixin' as soon as possible.  Here's what we made:

Remember to click on a photo to enlarge it so that you can drool over each pic in all its detailed glory!
Read on to find out what that is and to see/read about what we served for dessert.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Stomach

Two great suppers:

Last night I had a supper meeting at the university (eat while listening to presentations), and the food (thanks to university food services) was delicious: a Caesar salad and savory dinner roll to start followed by pork loin with a mushroom gravy, roasted new potatoes, and steamed green and yellow beans--and a chocolate dessert with several layers of cake, custard, whipped cream, and frosting.

Tonight our family tried out the new Mexican restaurant in town: Don Pedro's.  We tried one another's meals, and I did not taste anything that wasn't delicious.  The requisite nacho chips that came with the menus were served with a warm bean dip and a chunky, spicy salsa.  A couple of the ladies got seafood-stuffed items, and the seafood included scallops, prawns, and red snapper (not just the faux crab ["krab"] often used for seafood chimichangas, etc., at many restaurants).  I had a variety platter that included a chalupa, a chimichanga, and a huge chile relleno, all of which were great.  We'll be back.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

School Canceled on Account of Spring

After several days of temperate, snow-melting weather--and just a day or two into the official start of spring--the weather was nasty enough yesterday to prompt the university to close early and to stay closed today.  Heavy rain turned to thick sheets of ice on the roads, and the temperatures remained just warm enough to insure that the snow stayed thick and fell onto warm pavement, upon which the snow became slushy on the bottom and heavy on top from all its moisture.  Perfect snow for building a snowman or having a snowball fight, but miserable snow for trying to shovel off a driveway.

The highways and roads may have been in bad shape, but in town it seemed like a lovely afternoon . . . inappropriate for a "storm day" home from work.  Ditto today!  After the girls got home from school yesterday, they helped me clean off the driveway (they with shovels, me with a snowblower that wondered if I was seriously expecting it to deal with that wet, heavy snow--but better the snowblower than my back); we repeated it this morning after a night's worth of snowfall; and I went out again at noon before Susan came home from work to have dinner with me at home (yep, she and the girls all had school again today, even though the university remained closed).

More melty temperatures and snow are forecast for this weekend.  And this is spring?!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Simultaneous Norske Obligations in Two Cities

Last summer I was asked to serve on the board of directors for Trollfjorden Language and Cultural Camp, the Norwegian camp that our family has attended the past two summers (see 2010 and 2009).  There are generally two board meetings between summertime camp sessions: one in the fall and another in the spring.  At the fall meeting (at a board member's home near Glenburn, ND), I was elected treasurer, so I have had some money-related duties to carry out since then.  The spring board meeting was today in Minot, ND, so I made a quick up-and-back trip today without the ladies.  They couldn't come because they had an important event of their own to attend:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My First Oxtail

Susan was my helper for this week's Scandinavian Saturday supper; take a gander at what we served:

Here are more details about (and more photos of) what you see on that plate (as well as dessert, which I have a photo of, too):

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hey, Nice Brass!

The next concert in the Dickinson Area Concert Association's current season was tonight: a brass and percussion group called River City 6.  We continue to be pleased with the quality of the performances offered in the concert series.  The gentlemen in this group tonight were not only very gifted musicians, but they were also funny and all-around entertaining.  We were amazed at their beautiful sound, impressive technique, and range of song styles (from classical to traditional religious to early 20th-century pop music to American musicals, etc.).  The lone percussionist, who remained in the background most of the night (supporting the two trumpets, euphonium, trombone, and tuba), got a chance to shine, too, with a xylophone solo that demonstrated his speed and dexterity with the mallets.  Time flew, and the concert ended too quickly.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Suzanna's Inspiring Solo

Tonight we attended the second of two nights of school music concerts . . . both of them for Suzanna!  She is in band class, so she performed with the seventh-grade band in last night's concert.  She is in jazz band (an extracurricular activity), and that group performed last night, too.  And she is in honor choir (another extracurricular), which performed tonight with the eighth-grade band and choir.  I'm happy to report, though, that they're pretty musical groups, so it was enjoyable to hear even the groups that Suzanna was not in--but especially fun to watch her in action in her groups, of course.

Wanna hear some of Suzanna's performance?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cooking Gingerly

Because of our busy schedule yesterday, I postponed the weekly Nordic Saturday meal until today: a Scandinavian Sunday supper instead.  It was Susan's turn to be my assistant, but she had an all-afternoon workshop to attend at church; so I volunteered to make this meal by myself and have her help me next week instead (when it would have been my turn to cook alone).

All the recipes came from Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson.  I'll tell you what everything is:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pride in Daughters and Other Local Entertainers

Our daughters' former piano teacher, Mrs. Vold, moved away last summer, and we were grateful to have found a new piano teacher: Mrs. Arneson, who also plays organ and piano at our church--and who volunteered to come to our house for weekly lessons, which makes our lives much easier (i.e., no more shuttling girls back and forth, one at a time, across town to the piano teacher's house while trying to tend to other appointments and to the making of supper).  There are differences, of course, in how each of those teachers gives lessons; but one thing in common is that both have their students participate in annual piano festivals sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs (the same group that oversaw the annual piano festivals in which my sisters and I performed throughout childhood).

The girls' piano festival was held today at the university, and the results are in:

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Last Laps (For Now)

Well, we just returned from the final swim meet of the season.  Similar to last week, I shuttled the girls to the swimming pool while Susan did her Sunday school director duties at church, after which she joined us, too.  Again she worked at the concessions stand; and this time, I served as a timer (meet organizers hadn't arranged in advance for timers and looked desperate, and the Lutheran guilt was strong within me).  Therefore, I didn't get to pay too close attention to the girls' times in their own events (I had to keep my eyes on Lane 8); but now that the meet has ended, we know that no Moberg qualified for the state meet this year (as Hillary did last year).  However, they had a good time swimming and staying fit all winter and befriending swimmers on their own team and from other towns, so I'd say it was another success swim season (with the end-of-the-season team banquet still to come).

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Green Overload

Just like last weekend, our Scandinavian Saturday supper tonight was preceded by a day full of errands and followed by a trip to the university for an arts performance.  Unlike last weekend, however, we managed to make several dishes for the meal.  Suzanna was my helper today, and she ended up making most of the meal!

Looks good, doesn't it?  I know you want to know what it all is, so I'll tell you:

Friday, March 04, 2011

Parents' Night Out

Every once in a while, the adults just have to leave the kids behind and go spend some time socializing with other adults.  Tonight we went to Sanford's Grub and Pub to meet our friends Leslie and Dave for supper.  I had a delicious steak; but better yet was the hilarious conversation, which is typical of an evening spent with them.  Then we went to Applebee's for dessert before calling it a night.  We came home to well behaved children, which was the perfect way to conclude the evening!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

So Big!

It's been a while since I have shared photos of our awesome nephew Davis.  Today is a good day to do that because it's his second birthday!  The kid is getting so big and looking less like a baby and more like a boy all the time.  Here is photographic evidence:

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Much Ado

Tonight we attended a play at the public high school: Much Ado About Will, a collection of scenes from a variety of plays by William Shakespeare.  It appealed to Susan and me due to our backgrounds as actors, directors, and English teachers (whose students read Shakespeare plays); and we've always been keen to have our children watch Shakespeare plays while they're young in order to struggle less when reading them in school in later years.  That approach has worked; cable TV offers well regarded filmed productions of Shakespearean plays, which we have recorded and watched with the girls over the years, and they generally have no trouble figuring out what the characters are saying or what's going on in the plot.