Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My Trip

I will now start posting about my most wonderful trip to Europe with my most wonderful friend, Fran. There were many exciting times. There were many trying times. We laughed a lot. We saw tons of stuff. This is the beginning of our story. We began in Chicago, jetting off to London, Bratislava, Vienna, Kaiserslaughtern, Landstuhl, Dublin, Liverpool, Chester, Liverpool and then London. It was wonderful. Here begins my story...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Just Another Night Hangin' With My Pals.... The Wailin' Jennys

The Tunin' Jennys

One More Jen For The Jennys

So Craig and I had a really fun time last night GOING TO A WAILIN' JENNYS CONCERT. The experience of seeing one of my favorite bands like 4 rows away was unbelieveable. There they were right in front of me. Craig was upset because he felt that the sound system that they had could have been better and he was right... Upon talking to one of the board members of the Lanesboro Art Council, or so we were informed (who shall remain nameless) told Craig that the sound system was something that they just "threw together" for the girls. So, a band that has won some Canadian Grammys gets a sound system "thrown together" for them?

Anyway, enough of the rant. Here they were, cute, funny (well actually hilarious), and totally talented, doing a concert for about 150 people in Lanesboro. I could gush some more and act all fan-y, but I wil instead, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Let Bob Mortensen and Bunny Kincade Sell Your House 4 U!

So this is me and a friend. We thought that this pic was so hilarious... like we could start some wicked rumors with it. "Things are changing at Community Bible Church..." We were setting up a studio over at our church to take pictures for a directory and this was a test shot. Photographers have all the fun....

Monday, September 19, 2005

This is Going to be One Loooog Week...

This week we have to be out of our house from 8-5 everyday so that our new windows can be put in. Now for most people this may not be that big of a deal but for me this is some strange form of torture. I don't really enjoy staying in my house all day, but this isn't the greatest thing I have ever had to do either. We are sitting at church right now. I am writing and the kids are watching movies on the projector. I am thinking that this will not be so novel come tomorrow. It sucks cause I had to make dinner and lunch last night because obviously it is impossible to do so under the circumstances. I was like, "Well, I'm just gonna whip up a little lunch for us so we don't have to become permanent fixtures of the McDonald's Playland." It took me ONE HOUR to make lunch for the 4 of us. Mind you, this was nothing special. Just some sandwiches and stuff. I also put some food in the crock pot (I was feeling pretty special about this) and so I was about as prepared for the day as I possibly could be.

I wish I could find some humor about all of this, but I guess I just keep thinking this WILL BE WORTH IT.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Two days ago Franny decided that it would be a good idea to cut her own hair. Yes, I saw her with the scissors before the said incident. And, no, I did not stop her from weilding this weapon of mass destruction. She kept walking back and forth from the office to the garbage can. I know it is so obvious now. Kid with scissors, carrying something to the garbage...

Anyway, we were able to salvage her hair a little bit. You can see by the pic that there was a little "snippage" that went on with her locks.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Wow. I really need to write more often because there is so much that happens in my life, I really don't know what to write about.

So today has been a scramble of things to do. I honestly cannot believe that a 3 year old going to preschool needs a school list but aparently they do. Backpack,check. Markers, check. Watercolors, check. Mac G4 laptop, double check. I was sorta thinking that Malin needed more clothes but luckily I found a secret door to a magic land called, Mary Wojciechowski, single lady who loves my kids. I found a storage box in the kid's closet full of things from her that Malin never fit into last year so I am saved. They were all things that Mary had given to her for various reasons. (Just so you know, a single lady with money to burn needs no legitimate reason to buy my kids stuff.) Anyway, she has no clue how much pain in my life has been spared because of her compulsion to buy stuff. I was spared a large headache having missed out on dragging my kids to Fleet Farm to try to cash in on some Lee jeans at "Unbelievable Prices" while Aiden screams,"Taste! Taste!" at everything that even remotely looks like a food product,such as horse feed and cattle antibiotics.

No, I was much luckier today to be able to devote all my time to renewing my passport. Now, my passport is only 5 years old but over the course of that 5 years I happened to get married and being all old fashioned and stuff, took my husband's last name. I wanted to get this done right away, just in case I wanted to skip town at will. But at the time we were living in Chicago and that makes anything even more rediculous than it already is. (Sometime I will have to fill you in on what it was like to go to the post office and wait in line for 30 minutes to get a stamp.)So any way, back to the passport. Anyone who has ever done this knows what a joy it is. For the small fee of $67, you are granted the freedom to fly about the earth at will. That happens to be the price if you are willing to do the ol' "e-application". If you want a real person to deal with, add $30. Oh and if you want that done faster than 6 weeks time, just tack on an extra $60. Grand total, $157. I was thinking it would be, oh, say, $29.99. $157??!?!? What are they gonna do? Letterpress it by hand?

Well, I am going to go wait by the mailbox for 6 weeks until I get my passport back....

Monday, August 22, 2005

Good Tricks Gone Bad...Really Bad

I decided that if you want to know more about "Operation Fluffy Puff" you better talk to me.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

The gentle prodding of a sister...

Under the suggestion of Elly, I have decided to post today. I am really, really, bad at posting but I love to do it, so here goes.

I could say that my life is so boring that there is nothing to post about so you would all be like Oh, yeah... poor stay at home mom, they are always soo bored! I mean, unless you think laundry detergent and puke are good conversation starters. Ho Ho!! My life is, and always will be, far from boring.

Exhibit 1: I am a pastor's wife. This in and of itself is never boring. I mean, just when the gossip stops about how bad Craig's and my marriage is, another bird flies in to tell everyone how much I hate every lady in the church and how my plans to become the worst pastor's wife ever, might be spoiled because I baked cookies for the neighbor, of my own accord..

Exhibit 2: I am a mom. I really don't think I need to elaborate on this point but I will anyway. At a small birthday party yesterday, Malin decided that it would be a great idea to jump in the lake. With clothes on. This lake happens to be sooo nastay, I don't think I have ever seen anyone set a toe in it. No really. I kid you not. But yes, with a pink dress on, Malin hopped into a lake with more bacteria in it than a johnny-on-the-spot at a rock music festival. Oh, I can't forget my darling son. His newest acheivement is this, when he realizes that something is not going the way that he planned, he screams with more fury than Beelzebub himself. His eyes turn to fire and he just opens the pits of Hell, with no descretion of his locale. We may be in the kitchen, or at the grocery store (most often his angst is related to food) or even picking up the babysitter.

Exhibit 3: Photograhpy. I have just started "professionally" taking wedding photgraphs. I have met with 3 couples in a week. Now I am not sure if that is normal, but for a "mom", I think it is freakin' awesome.

Exhibit 4: Moxie Moms. I have to admit, I have been super discouraged with the ol' Moxie. I mean, I have wanted to do this since April and basically we are just now getting to the point where I can actually say, "Are you a Moxie Mom yet?" To me, that is a loooong time to get to the point where there are 3 members. But here is the deal, yesterday I knew that I had to get a bunch of Moxie stuff done because I we are going out of town for the week. I was not looking forward to pissy, self-absorbed business owners and slacking teens running ice cream shop counters. So I had to get a bunch more agreements worked out with business owners and deliver a bunch of cards to other places so that everywhere moms turn, they are attacked with Moxie. So I asked, a long time ago, the owner of this super cute bookstore in town if he wanted to give the 15% discount. He said no, but that he wanted to be involved in other ways. Like hosting book clubs or readings. So I went in yesterday, seeing the hippest bookstore owner I have ever encountered, and handed over the little cards. He seemed intrigued and wanted more info. I ran out to my car, so fast, I would've beaten any Kenyan sprinter who dared take me on. I was back in a cloud of dust with an agreement and more infomation. In slow motion, he took the areement from my hands, read it over a little and on the apropriate line, in even slower motion, wrote "give a 15% discount to all members..." and then I heard him say something about his wife having a 2 year old and another baby due in December and he will have to tell his 4 best friends about Moxie Moms cause they all have kids too... I floated out to my cloud of elation (my car had been replaced by this dreamlike vehicle) and sped over to the clinic. I grabbed a stack and threw them at the peds nurse and the family practice nurse on the way to the apex, Suzanne Cooley, my midwife hero. She was with a very pregnant 18 year old but when she was finished I gave her my short stack to which she replied, "Jenah! You get back out to your car and get more of these things for me! I am giving them out to everyone that walks in here! Its about time someone started something like this!!"

So it is actually really cool now. But the cooler thing is that I had just prayed about it the night before. Not really wanting anything specific, just saying, I am frustrated and this sucks. Just kind of giving it over. So I guess the short synopsis of this too long blog is that when we give it to God, he takes care of it, better than we could.

Pretty cool, I'd say.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

listen to the music...

i had a really fun opportunity to come over to church tonight. i even got to ride my bike! yes, this is thursday and craig and his worship team are practicing tonight. and yes, this is normally the night that i hang with "jojo" or mary wojo as she is more commonly known. so i am being serenaded as i type.

it has been one really hot week. so hot that you don't even really want to go to the pool because you dread the carride over there. even if it is only a 5 minute ride and about 45 seconds before the air con kicks in.

it is kinda weird, too, cause usually in the summer i feel great. i look good, i exercize like crazy, and i just generally feel happy. but this summer has been a challenge for me. i am not sure why i feel this way, but frankly, it has sucked.

i am however having a great time working on moxie moms. it has been a challenge dabbling in something that i have had no experience whatsoever in. i am starting a business!

it is totally something to be proud of.

Monday, July 04, 2005

independence day

haha, i think this is my first post of the month. i am desprately trying to think of something to write here today... but nothing comes to mind. i think i fried my brain taking pictures like a mad woman with my new 20d. my kids, flowers, random people... no one is safe from my lens. it is really great to have a rockin' camera to use. thanks to craig who bought me this great little toy as a surprise. craig, you rock.

Thursday, June 30, 2005


Can't type... must.... take pics with 20d....

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Originally uploaded by sommarblomma.

Emo Rant, Mood Swings: Enter With Caution

Well there are two things on my mind today. For one, I am waiting, like a maniac, at the door for my Canon 20d to arrive. I keep peering out of my front door, looking through the curtains like a crazed old woman who keeps checking to make sure that the neighbor kids aren't trampling her begonias. Every time that I hear a delivery truck (or even a large suv) I rush to the window to see what's up. Mind you, when Craig was the one waiting for the g5 to arrive, I was totally making fun of him. I think I suggested that he permanently glue his face to the window because that is what the neighbors saw everytime they happened to glance our way. So I continue to be edgy and neurotically get things done around the house.

The second thing (this is where the warning comes into play) is this. A few months ago, we recieved a wedding invitation for someone that Craig only vaguely knew. "Uhh, I think that is my Uncle Kevin's step-daughter," was his enthusiastic reply.

Now you have to understand something about Craig's family. For one, the family is a "blended family". I am not saying that my family is the "Model for All Families Wishing to Attain Perfect Functionality in Today's Society" but frankly, not one person that I can think of fits into the "blended" category. This is not a bad thing, it just makes things a bit, well, confusing at times.

The second thing about Craig's family is that they invite literally everyone and their mother to weddings. To get gifts. There. I said it. I know this first hand because the same thing happened at our wedding. (No, Craig. We are not inviting your dad's colleagues to the wedding. No, I don't care that they bought Ryan and Brenda a big screen tv.) I really wanted to pretty much elope. I mean for real, if I could do it over, I would take the money, run away, get married on the beach in Italy. Whoever wants and cares enough to schlepp all the way to Italy will be the ones who are coming to the wedding.

That said, Craig frankly had possibly not ever met this person. I asked if this was a wedding that we *should* attend and he said, "No." I then asked if he thought that is was something that might be "fun" because it was in northern Minnesota (albeit about a 10 hour drive) and would sorta be an excuse for a little weekend away to which he replied again, "No."

Now we get to the good part. (Visions of dooce.com and her getting fired b/c of her emo rants about her job on her blog are now skipping through my head. Can you be excommunicated from your husband's family?) Anyway, on the "official family site of Craig's family", there was a huge post about how only a couple people from the clan showed up to said wedding of mystery family member and how terrible that was and we all should have made it a priority to be there. Bad, bad adult children who make poor choices!!

OOOOOKKKKKAAAAAYYYY. Let's set some things straight RIIIIIGGGHHHT NOOOOWWWW. For one, I really don't want to show up to a wedding where they are simply sending a invite to get a gift. Now I have done research on the subject. The article that I read said that IF YOU DO NOT KNOW THE PERSON OR FEEL WEIRD ABOUT THE INVITE you are not required to be there or to even send a gift. Just mark "no" and return the response card.

And number two, IT IS MY PERROGATIVE TO DECIDE IF I AM TOO BUSY TO ATTEND A WEDDING. I am not "carving out" time to go to a wedding 10 hours away for someone that I have never seen and will never see again.


These are my last words as I am being taken away to bad in-law prison. May you learn from my example.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

sunday, sunday...

it is sunday morning and i am sitting in front of my delightful g5. yes the pastor's wife is feeding her internet obsession when she should be saving souls and acting holy. we had a rough night at the hensel house... i was ready a scary crime book that freaked me out so bad i could not sleep. (the book is now sitting on my front porch cause i am too scared to look at it.) in the midst of this, malin was waking up about every 2 hours crying. i had a good alabi though, i was too mortified of what was lurking in the shadows to leave the confines of my bed. default: craig goes to see what is the matter. then this morning she woke up with a temp of 101.2. so i am sparing all other mothers of cbc the dreaded "mystery fever" that malin seems to get now and again.

so i figure that i better write a bit more often cause when i sit down to write i have writer's block. not because i am at a loss for words, oh no. i have too many things running in my mind.

well, moxie moms is going along swimmingly. it is great. i finally got over the "correct" way to do business and just started calling people. i was sick of trying to coordinate the 2 hours a week that i did not have an entourage consisting of a butterfly chasing 3.5 year old and a 20 month old once obsessed with one word commands (taste! taste!) who has graduated to two word commands (stop it!!!) with the one hour a week that a business owner was actually at their business. it reminded me of the breif by bill geist on cbs sunday morning about the "mail girls" of lake geneva, wi, who literally have to jump off a moving boat onto a dock of a wealthy chicagoan on vacation for the summer, deliver the wealthy chicagoan's mail, and jump back onto the boat. all while the boat is still moving and there are paying spectators on the boat with their faces plastered against the plexiglass as they munch on popcorn. talk about making a small window of opportunity even smaller. after i got over the courtesy of "face to face" business dealings (images of my mother saying to me, "i would never hire someone who came in looking for a job in jeans" were calling to me) and besides the fact that having to look somewhat professional when you are choing back tears of rejection was somewhat of a challenge, i realized that i would become a moxie mom at the age of 47 at the rate i was speeding along. so i called my first victim. it happened to be the owner of "heart's desire" (a gift shop in town) who answered the phone. i gave her my schpeil, "himynameisjenahhenselandiamworking
and to my great surprise she said yes! i was elated! after about 15 calls, i have 9, count 'em, 9 businesses on board. so much for the proper way to do business. it was also such a great feeling to shout into the reciever after a rejection, "yeah, well, too bad i am telling everyone in town how much you SUCK!" with nary a tear in sight.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

long summer days

here i am, sitting around on a summer afternoon, bored again. it kinda sucks having to wait around for a little one to wake up from said nap. i made this old family recipe called "great aunt eva's beef stew" and it is wonderful but the thing of it is that it takes 6 hours in the oven. no. i am not making this up. a literal 6 hours to cook. and no, not in a crock pot, the oven. basically when i walk past the general vicinity of the oven, i feel like those guys on the titanic must have felt, you know the guys who stoke the boilers? i just feel the heat radiating from the oven from about 4 feet away. so beacause dinner literally went in the oven this MORNING, i have not a lot to do this afternoon.

so back to the boredom.

i have recently decided that since we are not going to be run out of town with pitch forks (the church turmoil has settled down a bit) i would try my hand at starting a business. well, not really a business, well, let me explain. my sister lives in boulder and she told me about this great club called moxie moms. you pay like 50 bucks and get a great membership card that gets you discounts at local shops and stuff and also you get a calendar with a lot of awsome events that you are automatically invited to. so the objective of moxie moms is two-fold: 1. support local businesses and 2. to get moms off their butts and out the door. hmm, i said to myself, wouldn't it be great if they had one of those in winona? (stop laughing! i was just hoping!) so i emailed them. the reply was something like this, "there is no moxie-moms chapter in winona, but if you would like to start one..." that was all i saw. the rest of the email was all blurry. at that time, there was no way i was going to "start" anything. i was attempting to get life off the ground (college ministry) and that was totally consuming every spare minute of my time. but at the end of this past school year the idea popped back into my brain. "what if i were to start up a chapter?" so i emailed again which lead to some phone calls with the directors (no, i have absolutely no background in business) and some calls around town (when will the manager be in? yes, i'll hold) and here i am trying my hand at something new. i have to recruit some moms, which should not be too hard to do and plan some fun stuff to do. when i called a friend (who is the manager of a local business) she said, but honey, aren't you too busy already? curses! you're right! i am! i have a ministry, a pastor husband, two little kids, an exchange student and who knows what else i am forgetting. i was a little discouraged.

which leads me back to this afternoon.

this afternoon has been a perfect example. dinner made and me wondering what on earth i could possibly do with my spare time. clean out that closet? nah. do something crafty? nope. make cookies? not if i want that svelte bod i have been hoping for! start up moxie moms? sa-weet!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


so here i am, on the eve of craig's 30th birthday. i wonder what it must be like as a parent to have a child turn 30. when that happens to me, i will be 52. whew. imagine all the drama that you have seen in those 30 years, not only with your child but also in life itself. all the things that you learn and wish that you knew when they were born and all the mistakes that you have made along the way. i think i would be very proud of a child that despite all my failures and victories with that child, they turned out pretty well. what an accomplishment.

oh no! i forgot a gift! ugghh!

back to reality! my kids have been diagnosed with lead poisoning (fun, i know) and the state health officials are coming tomorrow. so instead of baking cakes and putting up decorations, i have been cleaning and organizing so that every closet that they go through will not be a disgrace to my good housekeeping name! we will see if our house gets condemned (which has happened to others) or who knows what! this by far has been the most interesting thing that i have encountered as a parent. who tells you you might have your home comdemned when you bring that little bundle home from the hospital?

Monday, April 18, 2005


so we finally have a computer. ingrid, a dear friend, gave us one. it is great. it is also cool because this is a mac and i am relearning all about the mac operating system.
onward to mac land...

Friday, March 04, 2005


so my children are at "mormor's" for the weekend and craig and i are enjoying a wonderful weekend being kidless. it is quite a novelty considering we had such a short time of being without kids after we got married.

yesterday, i did totally neurotic things like vacuuming out my furniture and scrubbing the kitchen floor. it was so fun. i realized that i would get very bored and need a job if i was without kids. after that i went to church and had a great time emailing and generally messing around on the internet.

today, we went to la crosse (good times, good times) and went to the organic food co-op. i was in search of the perfect facial moisturizer and the co-op did not fail me. craig was not too sure about the co-op and upon entering the establishment decided that it was one of la crosse's best kept secrets. i mean, where else can you get a delicious deli sandwich made to order with whatever you want on it for only $3.29?

after this we went to best buy (which is not one of my favorite place on earth) and with some leftover gift cards, was able to purchase some super fun dvd's. (think amadeus, the director's cut.) next we were off to barnes and noble and then home. it is so fun to not have to have any time contraints whatsoever! tra la la! thank goodness for loving family members!

now we will be going to supper club where they will be having a belated birthday party for me on account that the host family all had the stomach flu last week.

ahh the fun of having kids and getting to share them with others! i say this because truly my life would be so empty without my little fritz and fran to brighten my days. but for now, i am enjoying my psuedo-kidless life! ;)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


ooof. we have no computer. and this totally blows. but my biopsy results are negative! yay! so my entries maybe fewer until we get a compy! yeesh...

Monday, January 24, 2005


well my daughter is sick, again. we all had the dee-lite-ful stomach flu here. malin was the first one to get it, now she has it again. in fact, i had to take her to the doctor because she was getting dehydrated.

i have really been wishing that i could do some photography lately. i have no film and have been generally uninspired for the last few months. maybe i will head to the store and get some. i have done so much in b&w in the past and lately i have really enjoyed color film. wierd.

we had our first night of life last night. there were not too many people there but we really had a fun time. we moved it from church to a home so that people are a little more comfortable. i wish that we could have it at our house but we just don't have enough room. we are really excited about the series that we are doing. it is called the noOma series and they are short "movies" that a church out of michigan called mars hill church have put out. they are on numerous topics and are created to generate discussions. we showed a short clip of one last night and the kids were all bummed that we would not watch the whole thing!
to check it out, go to:


Tuesday, January 18, 2005


today i feel a bit better. except i literally felt like laying down in the grocery store today. maybe it was the sight of all that raw meat and the fact that "country market" is totally changed around. i mean total presto-change-o. like whoa, is this the same store? it could have been that the smell of fresh paint was making me a bit queasy. i am totally suffering from posod (post operative stressed out disorder.)

i am glad however, that i had the foresight to pick out a few new movies at the library for malin. (well actually it was aiden. he was grabbing dvd's off the shelves and yelling eh-moh! eh-moh! at the top of his lungs.) malin is going through "cinderelmo" for the second time today.

so off i go, to do, umm, *looks around, scratches head, sits*

Monday, January 17, 2005


today i had a biopsy. my dentist found a wierd little thing in the back of my throat a few months ago which has resulted in needing a biopsy. i seriously had 10 shots of novocaine in my throat, tongue, and other parts of my mouth. it is so crazy to half of your face, mouth, tongue, and throat numb.
now my throat kills. he explained the pain to be like a canker sore. yeah, more like someone opened my mouth and shot a b-b gun down it. or like someone took a very large scalpel and cut a relatively large peice of meat out of there!

on a happier note...
a friend of mine got two tickets to italy for christmas from her mom. she asked her mom when they should go and her mom said, "i want you to take who you want!"
i went out for coffee with her a few days ago because she wanted to see my pics of italy and plan her trip. i reminiced (sp?) about how fun my trip was and how much i loved the country and its people. as we were just about ready to leave and she asked me if i want to go with her! umm, let me think... yes!

italy, here i come!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

malin's feet, as inspired by elly's pictures of tova bean. Posted by Hello

more to say...

well, i figured that i better write something a little more interesting than, "this is my first post."
today is freezing cold. and my day has been not much better. one of those days where you feel like you are literally chasing yourself. like you are doing a lot of scurrying but not really anything is getting done. take this as an example. i have been awake for more than 6 hours and still have not gotten a grocery list finished or even gotten that load of laundry out of the dryer. pretty pathetic.
but my day is not all lost. my son sat in my lap today for about 15 minutes showing me his little "hat" and talking about it. (it was actually the smallest of a set of nesting cups.) and as i write this my daughter is playing with styrofoam. what kind of a mother are you? you ask. well she is calling the small beads of foam that separate from the bigger block her "babies" and "racky-coons" and the block is their sled. basically she has been entertained with them for about 1 hour. yes there are bits of foam all over the dining room and part of the living room but what is five minutes of clean up?
so if i just get to enjoy my kids a bit, that is worth it, right? oh and i did take some cute pics of my daughter's feet (as inspired by ellybeth) and i am enjoying some afternoon sun, ahhhh.
i guess the laundry is going nowhere and the groceries are sounding like a trip to the arctic with ernest shackelton rather than a jaunt to the supermarket with ingrid. maybe i'll just skip the list making...

my first post

well, this is jenah and this is my first post! i hope that you enjoy!