Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Fruits of Our Lefse-Making Labor

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It’s that time of year again so I sent out a text asking all family members if they wanted lefse this year. Bless my son-in-law. He was quick to respond with a “Yes, please.” One enthusiastic “YES” was all I needed.

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My Grandma Mundahl made lefse every year. Then my mom took over the task once my grandma went home to heaven. Now that my mom has joined her there, my daughter, Jamie and I have continued the lefse-making tradition.

What is lefse you wonder? It is a Norwegian flatbread made of potatoes, cream, butter, salt, and a little bit of sugar. Below is the recipe if you’d like to give it a try:

Peel and boil five pounds of Russet potatoes then drain. Make sure they are Russet. We used red potatoes once, and we didn’t have lefse that year.

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Rice the potatoes in a ricer. Some ladies like to rice them twice. Not us. Once is enough.

Add 1 cup cream (or a little less), 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tsp salt, and 2 tablespoons sugar.

Let stand until cold – this is a VERY important step! No exceptions.

Mix 4 cups of the cold potatoes with 1 ¾ cups flour. Roll into balls a little smaller than a tennis ball. Repeat with the last 4 cups of cold potatoes.

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Place the balls in the refrigerator overnight.

Using a lefse cover over the rolling pin, roll out the ball of dough on a lightly floured board. We use a white pillow case that has been stretched out and taped down then lightly floured.

Bake on a lefse grill at 500 degrees (ours is a Heritage Lefse Grill).

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Once the piece of lefse looks done on both sides, make a pile and cover with a dish towel in between grilling each piece. After it has cooled, package it up and deliver to those begging for some (right, Dr. V.). 🙂

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How do you eat a piece of lefse? One scrumptious bite at a time. 🙂 My mom ate hers with just butter spread on it then rolled up. My dad, he covered his with sugar and cinnamon. That is how most of my kids like it too. Me—I put brown sugar and cinnamon on it, roll it up, and savor every bite.

So what do you think? Will you give lefse a try? Let us know your thoughts if you do. Also, let us know what foods are holiday traditions in your family, and please share the recipe. Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours. ~Wendy

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Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.




Let It Go!


“Aaagggghhhhhh!” I screamed when I finally found my voice as a gentleman kindly “pushed” me over the edge of the cliff. It was most certainly my own threshold of possibilities. After zip-lining several times down various slopes from “way high up,” I was “forced” by teacher candidates to take the final jump to our final destination – the ground on a global studies trip to Los Cabos San Lucas. As I became somewhat frantic in a minor kind of way – or maybe it was in a major way – the repelling worker smiled at me and said these 5 words… “Why so much drama, lady?”

What?! was all I could think of at the moment. Actually, I think what actually flew through my mind was “I will tell you why so much drama, guy – I am about to jump – no wait, you just pushed me over the edge, and I need to remember not to burn my hands on the way down or hit the cliff wall or the group of teacher candidates below chanting “Dr.V, Dr.V, Dr.V…” And now that I actually think about it (post-zip-lining so perhaps a bit delayed) I have three kids at home who call me mom, and I don’t think I actually signed on for this when I went to “teacher school” back in the day and…Wait, I am on the ground and the teacher candidates are cheering… I knew I could do it! I am so cool! I am like snoopy-joe-cool-cool. Yup – that’s me.” Okay –so maybe I lost you in all the drama, but that actually leads me to our point…you were wondering if there was a point at this point, right? Well, there is.

A little bit of drama can help us get that final push out of our comfort zones and try something we might not normally do. A little too much drama, however, can wreak havoc on our plans and lives. If I would have become completely flustered, I may have started crying, which would have caused the gentleman worker to jump off the cliff himself, or it could have caused me to go too quickly and forget the instructions, causing me to burn my hands something horrible. Or I could have fallen to the ground screaming and scarred my students irrevocably – wait, does that happen anyway? Hopefully not….

Sometimes we find ourselves surrounded by drama queens. Maybe at times we find that we are the drama queens. What is important here to remember is to acknowledge the drama for what it is, know that some can be healthy, too much can be damaging, and sometimes we just have to leap.

Do what is right and follow our hearts – no over-the-top drama needed but a little is okay. Our own advice, don’t let the drama get the best of you and ruin your story. Passion is great, but too much drama can damage the outcome. Hope for the best, scream a little if necessary, and give it a try. Sometimes you just have to let it go – and enjoy the ride.


Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.


Am I a One-Upper?

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You know a few of these kind. I know you do. These kind of peeps who always want to trump your story. They always have their 2-cents worth plus 20 more cents to add to the discussion. They always seem to be talking and not listening. Yes, we all know this person. This ‘one-upper’ individual.

Sitting in the coffee shop the other day trying to get some work done, I couldn’t help but hear the conversation happening at the table to my right. Several elderly ladies were visiting…or trying to anyway. One lady in the group dominated the entire conversation. I wasn’t eavesdropping—or I hope I wasn’t.

I have no idea what they were talking about. I just know that the ONE lady had better grandkids, better weddings, better children, better vacations, better pictures, better every single topic talked about.

After this happened, self-reflection came into play.

Do I do this?

Do I ever try to ‘out do’ my friends when they are sharing stories?

Oh dear Lord, I hope not! I pray not!

Sometimes when I am visiting with my friends and they share a story, it causes a thought to pop into my head which then causes me to share. Is this looked upon by them as me being a ‘one-upper?’ Oh good grief, I certainly hope it doesn’t.

But maybe it does?

I can sincerely say, without a doubt, that this experience certainly makes me more cognizant of my own habits when visiting with others.

It is easy to be annoyed with that person who tries to one-up us every time. That kind of stress is not needed by any of us so how do we deal with these one-upper folks? My thought is to take the high road and never ever stoop to their level:

Listen: The one-upper isn’t very good at listening so be a role model. Listen with an open heart and open mind. Then…pitch out a compliment or two.

Compliment: Give a sincere compliment to the one-upper. It will help build that relationship between the one upper and the rest of the crowd, and it helps the one-upper’s soul feel nourished. Mark Twain once asserted “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

Redirect: Remember back to the early days of parenting. We needed to redirect our children’s attention when they began a journey down the wrong path. This may prove to be beneficial when visiting with a one-upper. Be calm and ask questions that have the opportunity to turn the conversation around. Be empathetic and blend in conversation alternatives. Dr. Steve Maraboli stated it well when he said “every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.”

Walk away: If you reach the level of sheer annoyance with the one-upper, walk away. It wouldn’t be fair for anyone to receive the brunt end of your irritation. It’s not that you’ve given up, it’s just that you’ve realized your limits. That, people, is known as wisdom.

Yes, one-uppers can be infuriating at times, however, we are the bigger person in this situation. Be classy and set a good example for all the others who are feeling the same way you do.  Model the behavior that you want to see and experience.

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Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

We ARE Better Together


We recently returned from Charleston, SC where we presented at the 2015 Center for Scholastic Inquiry’s International Academic Research Conference. We learned from and with some of the best of the best practitioners across the globe in the areas of education, business, and behavioral science. And, of course, we enjoyed a little pleasure and relaxation on top of it all.

Our research presentation was on Bloom’s Taxonomy mixed with Web 2.0 tools used in Higher Education. Besides the little bit of a technology glitch, our presentation went well. Better than we ever imagined. We’ll share why in a second.

We attended many sessions as well. We learned from experts – researchers and practitioners – in the areas of preparing candidates to teach English learners, Instagram use in education, bullying in the workplace, teacher candidate dispositions, and much more in fields of education, business, and behavioral sciences. Our lightbulb moment was realizing that we are not alone when it comes to dealing with some of these issues – and across various fields and workplaces.

Alone, we are smart, and we handle whatever issue may park itself in our departments. Together, with all these experts from varied disciplines and various locations across the globe, we discussed and brainstormed, and shared. Together we were brilliant and found solutions to these issues.

If you have not heard of this conference, we recommend you check it out. Hopefully next year we will get the privilege of learning with and from YOU in Scottsdale, AZ! Because as Steven Anderson noted, “Alone we are smart. Together, we are brilliant.”

Oh, yes, and about our session. We won the ‘Best Presentation’ award. Not bad for our first time being there! 🙂 It’s kind of like golf…you have that ONE good shot that keeps you coming back. We had that ONE good presentation that will keep us going back time and time again. (Thanks, Dr. Tanya Yerigan!).


Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.