Monthly Archives: December 2015

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Doeun Family

We hope you had a very amazing Christmas. We had a very blessed Christmas. Of course, the more children we have the more fun it is. We still tried to do a homemade Christmas. The children even got into it.

Avril made arm knit scarves using the video below.

Mavis and Effie helped made all sorts of baked goodies. And I did my usual–knitting. This year I decided I would do either legwarmers or slippers for all the children.


Here are the legwarmers I made for Effie and Mavis. They both picked out the yarn. Effie liked the metallic worsted weight and Mavis the bulky weight yarn. I made up my own pattern using four needles and multiples of 4. Start and end with a ribbing, for the lighter weight yarn I did 2X2 and the bulky weight 1X1. But then for the main pattern I did

Row 1: Knit 3, Purl 1 repeat
Row 2: Knit


Pray’s slippers


Avril’s slippers


Lith’s Baltic Booties. I loved the yarn for this. It is my all time favorite yarn–


I did do some sewing but I found it alot harder to get away and sew, whereas with knitting I could do it while we are in the thick of family living. This is another of my favorite patterns, done up in cotton flannel. The pattern is available in this book.

I didn’t get to a couple presents so I plan to keep working and creating throughout January. Hope you had time to pursue some creative pursuits this year.

We are very very excited for the next year. We have some very exciting things happening in the next couple of months. We’ll keep you posted.

Also don’t forget that our CSA is up and running. We are taking reservations for the next year now.


Making Lefse with the girls

When I was 11 I decided that I wouldn’t waste my summer. Instead I would learn a language. I thought about my family’s ethnic background and decided to learn German. I am actually German, Irish, Swedish, English, Danish and I think something else I can’t remember. You get the picture. But since my last name was Kruger I decided to go with German. I found the Germanic-American institute and signed up for classes. The next summer I went to one of the Concordia Language Villages. Then I studied it independently and in college. But still I am not proficient and I haven’t even tried for years. It is not easy reclaiming something that has been lost.

For my children they identify as Cambodian. It is a little easier for them. Their dad speaks Khmer (Cambodian). Their grandparents speak only Khmer. The foods are still a regular part of our life. And I am content to let them keep the Cambodian part of their identity. This is something that I always felt like I missed and tried to recreate.

Now that I am living in a part of Minnesota that was settled by Swedish immigrants I am enjoying learning more about this side of my family history. My grandmother was a Gustafson. The town of Lindstrom is not so far away and I remember visiting there as a child and still hearing Swedish spoken on the street.

When I took my


lefse class I didn’t know how my family would respond. It was definitely something more for me. After I bought the basic equipment I waited a couple weeks to try making it on my own. When I did I was surprised to discover the girls loved the process. Before I was finished all 3 of the older ones were busy rolling away and even trying their hand with the griddle.

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I was particularly surprised at Effie, who really enjoyed helping out in the kitchen. She is just starting and did a wonderful job rolling out the lefse.

The next couple of days Mavis kept asking for lefse. When it was gone she kept asking when we could make more. So tonight we made it again. The good part for me was I knew I wouldn’t be doing any rolling. As soon as the lefse was prepped the girls took over. We talked a bit about a cold country where the growing season was very short and potatoes were a staple. And we enjoyed a traditional food. So glad I could share with my daughters!


Rush City Santa Day

I didn’t move around a whole lot when I was younger. Let’s see I lived in 4 houses growing up. Most in or around the Twin Cities metro area. So I always considered the Twin Cities home. I am a Minnesotan, and that was enough. But the concept of a home town was completely lost on me. A town where everyone knows everyone and we do things all together as a community was completely foreign. It might sound a a little scary to those with a more urban mindset but let me tell you it is so nice.

I did have to ease into it a bit though. This is our first year really trying out some of the community events that are staples of this town. One of those staples is “Santa Day.” This year Santa came to Rush City on December 5th. I had heard about Santa Day in years past but this year we decided to go.

Santa and Mrs. Claus make their rounds through the community.


Santa reads holiday stories to the children at the Rush City library. Meanwhile the local girl scouts help community children make ornaments and the Ladies of Rush City sell homemade cookies–by the pound.


Then the children got an opportunity to make requests. Effie wanted a Princess sticker book. Love this girl. The only thing she really wants is a book that costs all of $3 at the local Dollar General.

Santa also went to the fairgrounds where the local Lions club was selling Christmas Trees and Wreaths. One year we will has a real Christmas tree.


The highlight of the day though is the Tiger Store (Rush City Tigers). One of the local High School teachers noticed that some of the families in the community had no money to put presents under the tree. So he started taking donations. He stores these donations all year and pulls them out on Santa Day setting up a store where children can come and do their shopping for free!

My girls totally loved this idea. The parents wait outside. The senior girls from the high school help the children find just the right gift for the people on their list while the senior boys wrap the gifts and the children get to take their wrapped gifts home. I am seriously choked up just thinking about the whole concept that this wonderful man came up with and the community implemented.

Many families donate to the store throughout the year and that is definitely our plan for next year. But mostly I just love the idea of a town where people care about each other and band together to make sure everyone has a great Christmas. So I am totally sold on small town living. Even though I didn’t move to Rush City until I was 30 I now have a hometown.