Life & Style
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minot magazine team the founders Co-Founder & Publisher
Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Layout & Design
Chelsea Gleich James C. Falcon Jonah Lantto Jazmine Schultz Tanya Watterud
Beth Duchsherer Jon Lakoduk Jonah Lantto Lorena Starkey
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on the cover
Photo by Indak Media. Styled by Carisa Reinholdt. From left to right: Amber wearing fashion from Mainstream Boutique | Long Denim Jacket, $74; Cream Sweater, $52; Cheetah Skirt, $26 Sergio wearing fashion from Scheels | Kuhl hat, $25; The North Face Gordon Lyons Full Quarter Zip Hawthorne Khaki Heather, $99; Kuhl Burr Jacket in Gun Metal, $119
Becky wearing fashion from 52 West | The Jade 3/4 sleeve Mint Serape Kimono, $38; The Susan Ivory Cami, $33; KanCan High Waist Distressed Denim Flares, $65; J Forks Tooled Leather Cut-out Earrings, $65; J Forks Multi-color Seed Bead Lariat Necklace, $69; J Forks Small Crystal Choker with Turquoise Drop, $29
table of contents The
LIFE & STYLE
Editorial & Our Favorite Things page 6 Dine In or Take Out: Our Restaurant Recommendations pages 10-11
Declutter Your Home & Your Life pages 12-13 House Plant Secrets from an Expert pages 14-15 Fall Style Showcase pages 18-23 How Area Families Make it Work pages 25-33 2021 Game Changer Awards page 34-35 Drink Specials page 37
from the founders
LIVING THIS CRAZY LIFE IN STYLE Whew. We made it. That’s how it feels to get this issue out to you all. We’re all juggling a lot of things on a normal day - work, family, volunteer commitments, business projects, taking care of our homes and more. Then, throw in a COVID positive and some quarantine and it can completely throw you for a loop. We know from experience! We’re glad we’re still here and that we can share this issue with you all finally. Every family is unique and how you make life work for you is a little different. This issue, we’re profiling four local families and digging in to some of the details of their lives and why they choose to make Minot home. We hope you can find some interesting and relatable tidbits. It’s about that time of year where we’re gearing up to hunker down indoors for the winter. So, we’re dedicating some content this issue to making your home the best it can be. We talked to the experts for tips on organizing your home and not killing those house plants. We also called in some help to highlight local artists who can help you add some color and creativity to your home. And, we all know you’re hungry. So, Jonah gave us a comparison of
some of his go-to suggestions for dine in and take out meals for every occasion. And, our Life & Style issue wouldn’t be complete without the style! Chelsea had a vision for a fall fashion spread so we called in the experts! Even though she was quarantined during the shoot, they stepped up and made it happen! Special thanks to Matt from Indak Media, Sara from Rae Creates Rentals, stylist Carisa Reinholdt, Pocket Full of Posies, all our volunteer models and the stores who let us feature their styles. You all are amazing. As usual, thanks for taking the time to read this issue. Please share it with your friends who might find it interesting. We could all use some more positivity and love for our neighbors these days. Hopefully, we can do our small part to help with that.
Chelsea & Terri Co-Founders
GAME CHANGER 2021! We’re kicking off the nominations for our 2021 Game Changers! Turn to page 34 to learn more! While we’re not sure what their celebration will look like yet this year, due to COVID-19 precautions, we’ll do our very best to make sure the finalists and the winners get all the recognition and celebration they
deserve for being the amazing people they are. We hope you’ll help us recognize some awesome Game Changers in our community. Nominate someone today!
Each issue, we’ll feature a few things we’ve found in Minot that our team and readers love. If you have a suggestion for something we should feature, let us know!
Bacon grilled cheese sandwiches from Prairie Sky Breads are a lunch fave of Chelsea’s. Served on housemade jalepeno cheddar bread, they’re the perfect mix of comfort food with a little kick.
Berry Acres is a fall family favorite. From the corn maze to the obstacle course to picking out your favorite pumpkin, it’s always a blast. Located just west of the 83 bypass, Berry Acres admission is only $7/person and kids 3 and under are free.
The Magic City Discovery Center was awarded a $6.3 million grant from the Department of Defense which will allow them to move forward with building a 3-story interactive, children’s museum in Minot set to open in 2022. This will be a fantastic asset for our community and we can’t wait to bring our kids! Congratulations to the MCDC team, the Minot AFB and all those who played a role in making this a reality.
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Dine-In OR Take-Out By Jonah Lantto Every once in a while, at the very least, you deserve to bypass the commotion of cooking at home (in my case, grilling/smoking meats). Trust me when I say: you’ve earned it. So put away the cookware and join us on a little stroll through some of Minot’s best dine-in and take-out options. Whether you’re heading out with friends, scheduling a lunch meeting, picking up takeout, or feeding the family --we’ve got you covered.
GUYS NIGHT - SOURIS RIVER BREWING Bros, burgers, and brews is one of the purest and most simple recipes for an evening of hijinks--on the town or at home. It goes a little something like this: kicking off at Souris River Brewing. Call them at (701) 837-1884 to order take-out. Dine-In - Listen, there are more than a dozen delicious slider options on this menu. Try ’em all or pick a few; you will not be disappointed. They’re sure to pair well with one of the 12 craft beers available on tap. Take-Out - Keep it simple and take no risks here. What you want is a bowl of homemade elk chili, an order of beer battered onion rings (the only kind that should exist), and a slice or two of cheesecake, which is made in-house. Pro Tip - Get Russian dressing for dipping sauce and always inquire about the chef’s feature and soup of the day.
GIRLS NIGHT - 10 N MAIN Leave the men, kids, and pets at home. Put on your favorite outfit, grab a jacket, throw on a killer pair of shoes, and indulge yourself with an evening in the Silhouette Room at 10 North Main. Make your reservation today on Tock or call (701) 837-1010. Dine In - This is a night for drinks and tapas. Quite possibly the most delicious appetizer in town are the pheasant strips from 10. Combo them with any of the other amazing apps and a few choice beverages for a sensational, atmospheric evening. Take Out - What if I told you you can get the comfort of home cooking without having to do it yourself? Get the Tater Tot Hotdish, slip into something cozy, and relax on the couch with your girls and a favorite movie. Pro Tip - Perhaps you need more than tapas, which is understandable, and if that’s the case get the grilled pork chop. It’s one of the best menu items in Minot and the only place you can get a giant, properly grilled pork chop.
FAMILY NIGHT - MI MEXICO If you’re dragging the family outta the house then you want an easy-going, friendly atmosphere with an awesome menu. Look no further than Mi Mexico. Call (701) 858-0777 or visit www.mimexicominotnd.com to order take-out. Dine-In - The menu most certainly deserves your full attention, but let me just make it easy for you: the Chef’s Special with extra cheese. Take-Out - No one makes a family meal at home more painless than Mi Mexico. Just ask for the burrito or enchilada family meal. Pro Tip - Stellar lunch specials are available Monday - Thursday and I must heavily emphasize the one thing that can make your Monday a little better, and that’s the chimichanga special from Mi Mexico.
DATE NIGHT - ELEVATION One of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship is taking time to enjoy one another, and those special moments spent together absent the distractions of daily life. We’re heading to Elevation. Call them at (701) 837-0338 for take-out or for a reservation. Dine-In - You get the filet, cooked and seared to perfection. Quite simply, it is the best steak in the city of Minot. Take-Out - This is where you go for the Gouda Burger. It’s large enough to share, which allows you to indulge in the heavenly caramel bread pudding for dessert. Pro Tip - Loosen up your date night with a handcrafted beverage of choice from the superstar behind the bar, Allen the Mixologist.
EASY LUNCH - MAGIC CITY HOAGIES Let it not be said that all sandwiches are created equal. In fact, the king of North Dakota sandwiches can be found right here in Minot, and we call ‘em “hoagies.” That’s Magic City Hoagies to be exact. Order online at https://magiccityhoagies.square.site. Dine-In - They take food seriously at Magic City Hoagies. It’s like an art form, like they’re training sandwich Jedi’s to become Hoagie Masters. Try the fan favorite Cold Italian Sandwich, a multiple time award-winning hoagie. Take-Out - It’s called the BEAST. Named after a customer with an insatiable appetite who wanted lots of everything on his hoagie, one of these bad boys could feed a small army. Pro Tip - Spread the word: Magic City Hoagies wants to help feed busy and potentially starving college students. They offer one of the best deals in town: a massive hoagie with chips, cookie, and a drink for $8.99.
Declutter Your Home & Your Life By Chelsea Gleich Most of us have that place in our home - whether it’s a junk drawer, a storage room, a garage or all three - where we dump things we don’t know what to do with. It’s the physical manefestation of indecision and an easy out. But, when we come back to that space later, it no longer seems easy to deal with it. It quickly becomes too much stuff and too much of a project, and you may even get caught re-buying things that are in that space because you can’t find them again! It doesn’t have to be this way. I talked to Crystal Lewellyn, owner of Clutter Busters, a local home organizing company, to get some tips on how to tackle the clutter now and stay organized going forward. Crystal is a Clutter Bugs Certified Organizational Specialist. She’s owned a weighted blanket company and a daycare over the years, but she was looking for a new opportunity when her husband encouraged her to pursue home organizing. Crystal said, “I was watching Hot Mess House and my husband saw my eyes just light up watching the host organize. He pointed it out and suggested I pursue this professionally,” and she did! She received her certification and officially opened Clutter Busters two months ago. So, what does a professional home organizer do exactly? They provide a helping hand. In Crystal’s case, she works with her clients to determine a workable system for them and their family, and then works with the client to sort their items, and finally, organize according to the system they decided on. But, whether you’re looking to hire professional help or give it a try yourself, Crystal shared some solid strategies you can use to declutter your home and make your life less stressful.
1. What’s Your Organizational Style? Have you ever spent a good chunk of time organizing a space only to find you can’t keep it up? That may be because you didn’t use the system that works best for you and your family. You have to determine what your priorities are. Are you more of an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of person or do you want everything hidden behind closed doors? Do you like function and ease or focusing on the details? If you’re more of a visual person like me, you’re going to want to use clear bins, hooks, easy to use containers and labels. 2. Clear it Out, Then Sort. To clean up the mess, you have to make a little bit of a mess. Crystal recommends taking everything out of the space and sorting each item into one of four categories: sell, donate, trash or keep. Anything you haven’t used in a year should go into one of those first three categories. If you’re organizing your clothes closet, she also recommends the following questions to determine if you should keep an item of clothing: 1. Do I like this?; 2. Have I worn it recently?; 3. Would I buy it again?. If you can’t answer yes, you don’t need it. The sorting can be the hardest part (it’s emotional to let go!), but it’s worth it. Keep pushing through! 3. Organize the Keeps. After you know what you’re keeping, it’s time to organize. Based on your style, you’ll want to leverage containers, hooks, labels, shelves and more to maximize the space available in your room and keep everything accessible. 4. Maintain the Peace! Inevitably, right after you’ve organized your space you’ll get this feeling of peace and stress relief. If you followed these steps, you’re setting yourself up to successfully maintain
Crystal from Clutter Busters worked with a client to de-clutter and organize this storage space. Check out all that floor space! Photos supplied by Clutter Busters.
your newly organized space. Here’s a few additional tips from Crystal to keep up your home clutter-free: • Spend 15 minutes each day cleaning/picking up a specific space. This can be one room a day or 15 minutes each in four rooms if you have the time. By investing this time, you can chip away a little each day and you won’t end up getting overwhelmed by a big mess later. • Make cleaning a game for the family. “Organizing shouldn’t be all about the mom or the caregiver,” said Crystal. “It should be everyone.” Racing to see who can pick up the most things in 15 minutes is a great way to incentivize everyone to help. Having easy to access and labeled storage solutions is a big part of making it possible for kids to help too.
• Net Zero Things. Your goal is to maintain or have less stuff, not more. So, whenever you purchase something new, like three new shirts, you get rid of three shirts in your closet that you don’t wear enough. (Side benefit: this may help curb your shopping habits too!) “Homes should be a place you can come and relax,” said Crystal. “Letting go of things can be a hard process. It’s okay to take breaks, but keep going. It’s worth it!” If you’re interested in learning more about Clutter Busters, you can find them on Facebook or at www.clutterbusters701.com. Happy organizing!
A Little Green Goes a Long Way
House Plant Secrets from an Expert
By James C. Falcon Owners of houseplants usually tend to be enthusiastic about making sure their green thumb doesn’t turn into a black thumb. That is a problem that Philip Lowe, president and general manager at Lowe’s Floral and Garden Center, said has led to them saying ‘see ya’ to their succulents. Most often, he said, houseplants tend to die from overcare rather than undercare. “Too much watering is a typical problem,” he said. If you find yourself unsure if your plant needs water, “stick your finger into the soil. If it feels dry, water your plant thoroughly. Let it alone until it feels dry again.” Having a non-drainable pot is “a typical killer, too,” he added. “If there’s extra water, it will come out at the bottom … (Otherwise), it can become a soupy mess.” This tends to be a problem because a lot of beautiful, decorative pots don’t include this feature. The solution? Find an inexpensive plastic pot with drainage holes to put inside the decorative pot, he says.
When it comes to picking a houseplant, there are two kinds of people: the kind that have the space but not sure what to get and the kind who know what to get but not sure where to put it. Houseplants thrive in a space where conditions are favorable, such as if the room has the right quality and quantity of natural light. “It’s a matter of knowing what kind of light you have,” Lowe said. In addition to space in relation to a room in your house, plants also need a lot of space within the pot as well. As plants continue to grow, they will have to go into a larger pot. This change should be done gradually on an annual basis, Lowe said. “You don’t want to go from a 4” pot to a 14” pot, but you can’t keep a plant in the same pot forever, unless it’s a miniature.” Plants should also be moved into bigger pots if the plant is dry all the time. “That means its root bound and it needs to go into a larger pot,” he said. “If it’s growing well and then growth stops, chances are the soil is running out of fertility. Or if it becomes top heavy and the pot falls over, it probably needs to be repotted.” It is also important to fertilize houseplants during the spring and summer months. Plants are “trapped
Most often, houseplants tend to die from overcare rather than undercare. - Philip Lowe
in that soil,” Lowe said. “Without adding some fertilizer, they’ll use up all the fertility. They’ll need something to give them that boost.” But why all the fuss about houseplants? Not only can they fill a room with color and add a bit of nature indoors (which can be nice in these cold North Dakota winters), but while they look presentable, they are doing more than you know. Houseplants can reduce carbon dioxide levels in your home, reduce the levels of certain pollutants (like benzene and nitrogen dioxide), reduce airborne dust levels, and help to keep air temperatures down.
If you aren’t sure which type of houseplant is for you, “come into a greenhouse and talk to somebody who knows something about houseplants,” he said, adding they can give you a point in the right direction. “There are literally lots of varieties of houseplants,” he added. There are also a variety of sizes from “a little bitty plant” to a full grown plant; some that are ideal for hanging baskets, or just something for your windowsill to add that pop of color.
Aw a rd s | 2 0 2 1
Nominations are Now Open! Turn to page 34 to learn more.
Local Artistic Touches to Make Your House Feel Like Home By Jazmine Schultz As fall has started to settle in and COVID numbers have begun to rise again, the prospect of spending another winter season inside my home has started to creep into my mind. Like many of us, I have found reprieve in outdoor activities this summer and I am sad to see summer go. Regardless, I’ve been home much more than usual too. Normally, I hop contentedly, from one event to the next, getting myself involved in any number of community art events and partaking in the truly astonishing number of activities Minot has to offer, but this year, most of the things I participate in were canceled or drastically reduced in magnitude. Even hanging with my family and close friends felt taboo. I was home more. To this end, you’d think my house would be spotless, cozy, and inviting but COVID life is interesting. It forces you to push pause in certain areas of your life, while other facets of existence seem to take up the time that was “saved”. As a result, my house has experienced little change. It’s as ramshackled as it was when I had one day a week to wrangle it into some semblance of home. Perhaps, it was one part acceptance (COVID might be here longer) and another part practicality (we got a new computer), but Zach and I JUST moved our living room around so I needn’t crain my neck to see the TV. We are always watching TV in our free moments, even in the best of times, and so it’s quite shocking it took us so long to make our space more conducive to our needs. Honestly, I think it’s because we haven’t ever taken time to think about what would make our living space more comfortable or better for the both of us. The proximity of my crafting nest and his gaming computer may yet prove to be ineffective, but as for now, the small change in placement of the TV has drastically made a positive impact. My neck is certainly in much better shape than before and by proxy my headaches are less frequent and my overall happiness improved.
When I think about what I can contribute to the conversation of a more enjoyable home I think about my background. I have immersed myself in an art life and I did teach Family and Consumer Science for 3 years. In regards to FACS, my first question is are you cooking a lot? Many of us are. When I was a FACS teacher, we would talk about making cooking triangles and placing things in a way that would minimize steps and needless action. Sometimes, your kitchen suffers from a useless island or a poorly placed cupboard, but often, where you place things can make it better too. Are your baking products all in one spot? Do you have to retrieve some things out of the pantry and other things from the cupboard just to make some cookies? Consider moving all of those items to one area. Would the cooking oil better serve you if it were placed above your cooktop instead of in the pantry? Move it! Are the pans you use easily accessible? Make it make sense! In this season, where all we do is cook and nothing makes sense, it’s high time to take control of our kitchen and do a few things that can make it easier for us.
“I think there’s a place for Minotian art in the reimagination of your COVID sanctuary and I’m delighted to offer a few thoughts.” In regards to art, well, there’s an art shaped hole in my activity schedule and it has me lonesome for singing, and worried for artists, but also aware of the unique power art has had in making this pandemic better. Yes, most art exhibits, musical events, craft fairs, festivals have been cancelled but many people stuck at home have turned to art as a coping mechanism. Non arty types are taking up painting, sewing, watching online concerts and gobs of visual entertainment. Some of us have felt compelled to tear a room apart to exact control over something in 2020,
and low and behold, we’re pretty ok interior decorators. In this way, many of us have found that art (in its many forms) can make a home a more enjoyable place to be. When I talk about art and its power, I like to recognize the Minotian artist. I like to help guide people to recognize the talent in their own backyard and to invest in it. I think there’s a place for Minotian art in the reimagination of your COVID sanctuary and I’m delighted to offer a few thoughts below. We shouldn’t underestimate our power as consumers either. Target is experiencing record profits, but a little extra income might mean a lot to your neighbor right now and certainly validation by way of acknowledgment will rekindle an artistic flame or two. Here are my latest Minotian art suggestions: VISUAL ART Roxi Mathis: Roxi makes stunning watercolor/ mixed media paintings/ prints! Much of it really screams North Dakota with pictures of tractors, ND fields, and colorful trees. You can purchase her art online at: https://society6.com/roxivision, or check out her instagram (@mathis.roxi) where you can purchase original pieces instead of prints! They are super affordable and totally impressive.
printed pieces of paper- she screen prints them by hand! View her art at: https://www.katieabrahamson. com/ Arvin K. Davis: Coffee cups with Minot art on it? We all need quarantine coffee or couch hoodies to keep us warm. This Minot art works for you! Contact him for prints too, I own his goldfish paintings and a dodo print (one of my all time favorite pieces). Check out some of his work and purchase here: https://littleredliar.bigcartel.com. And get to know Arvin and his family more on page 30. Cera Pignet: Cera has been making her mark all over town lately, recently having made a Good Night Minot screen print that is fire! It feels woodsy and modern and is uniquely Minot. Write her at: email@example.com and check her out on instagram, @cerapignet.
MUSIC & BOOKS
Katie Abrahamson: Check out Katie’s adorable umbrella screen print or the “Sunday Evening” cat screen print for your kid’s room! These aren’t just
Max Patzner and Wildhands unite to bring you Wild & the Animal Band, a book by Max with music by Wild Hands - perfect for story time and hygge snuggles! Order at: www.littlewhynot.org.
fall Style showcase FEATURING FASHIONS FROM: Scheels
A STYLE COLLABORATION STYLED BY Carisa Reinholdt PHOTOS BY Matthew Maldonado, Indak Media STAGED BY Sara Danielson, Rae Creates Rentals FLORALS BY Pocket Full of Posies VENUE Trading Post
Fashion from 52 West | Modeled by Becky The Mia Linen Frayed Sleeve tee in Golden Yellow, $33; The Lacey Jailhouse Flares, $80; J Antonio Black Leather Contoured Hip Belt, $170; Faux Silver and Onyx Squash Blossom Necklace, $56; Genuine Sterling and Turquoise Drop earrings, $180
Fashion from 52 West Modeled by Carolina The Karen Multicolor Kimono, $57; The Emily Linen Dress in Oatmeal, $41; J Antonio Genuine Leather Cognac Corset Belt, $190; Seed Bead Earrings in Cream, $18; 6-Strand Faux Copper Navajo Pearl Necklace, $48; Distressed Leopard Accent Booties in Brown, $148
Fashion from Scheels Modeled by Sergio Kuhl hat, $25; The North Face Gordon Lyons Full Quarter Zip sweater in Hawthorne Khaki Heather, $99; Kuhl Burr Jacket in Gun Metal, $119; Sorel Madson 2 Chukka Waterproof Boots Major, $185
Cen Mod The $38 Hig Fork J Fo lace LeTu
Left Bou L
Above: Fashion from Mainstream Boutique | Modeled by Kennedy Tribal Plaid Flannel Jacket, $120; Orange Hooded Sweater, $80; Mac & Me Frayed Denim Jeans, $78
nter standing: Fashion from 52 West | deled by Becky e Jade 3/4 sleeve Mint Serape Kimono, 8; The Susan Ivory Cami, $33; KanCan gh Waist Distressed Denim Flares, $65; J ks Tooled Leather Cut-out Earrings, $65; orks Multi-color Seed Bead Lariat Necke, $69; J Forks Small Crystal Choker with Turquoise Drop, $29
t: Fashion from Mainstream utique | Modeled by Amber Long Denim Jacket, $74; Cream Sweater, $52; Cheetah Skirt, $26
Center sitting: Fashion from Scheels | Modeled by Robbie Kuhl Disordr Flannel Long Sleeve Shirt in Maya Blue, $109; Kuhl Revolvr Pants in khaki, $79; Sorel Madson 2 Moc Toe Waterproof Boots in Coal, $185 Right: Fashion from 52 West | Modeled by Carolina The Marissa Embroidered Jacket in Olive, $64; The Rachel Satin Cami in Olive, $28; KanCan High Rise Distressed Skinny Jeans, $55; J Forks Tigerâ€™s Eye and Turquoise Necklace, $149; Corral Boots Genuine Python Booties, $328
Fashion from Scheels Modeled by Robbie Hooked and Tagged hat, $29.99 Hurley sweater in light british tan, $55 Kuhl Burr Vest, $99
Fashion from Mainstream Boutique Modeled by Kennedy Roam Free tee; Striped skirt, Black booties
Fashion from Scheels | Modeled by Sergio Carhartt hat in brown, $14.99; Patagonia Fjord Flannel shirt, $79; Kuhl Radikl pants, $89; Hey Dudes shoes, $59.95
Fashion from Mainstream Boutique Modeled by Amber Flare jeans; Green utility jacket; Tan and orange sweater
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How Area Families Make it Work Each family is unique. We all have different quirks, passions, tricks and a division of labor that works for us. In this issue, weâ€™re introducing you to 4 area families and sharing how they make life work for them. Hopefully, youâ€™ll learn something and maybe even find some common bonds with each other.
Get to Know
THE USHER FAMILY By Chelsea Gleich When you walk into the Usher’s home in Northwest Minot, you’re instantly met with a feeling of warmth and hospitality, a clear extension of the personalities of Ernest and LeCricia Usher. LeCricia is a tech sergeant in the U.S. Air Force working as an aircraft scheduler, and Ernest is a travel agent at Delta Vacations. Their 11-year-old son, Kameron, is in sixth grade. Originally from Georgia and Texas respectively, Ernest and LeCricia are no strangers to joining new communities. They both grew up in military families and LeCricia even lived in Germany for a time while growing up. LeCricia joined the Air Force 13 years ago and met Ernest at her first base They were stationed in Italy from 2014-2018 before being reassigned to Minot Air Force Base. In their words, their first base in Italy was all about taking care of other people. Ernest is an ordained minister and LeCricia is very involved in ministry as well. They invested a lot of themselves into their church community while in Italy. But, since moving to Minot, they’ve shifted their focus to their nuclear family. “Minot has been a breath of fresh air for us,” said LeCricia. “We have connected so much more as a family since being here.” While LeCricia’s position can be high-stress and take a lot of hours, they’re focused on creating relaxing family time. In order to make that happen, Ernest has taken on more of the household duties since his job is more flexible. “I don’t want her to come home and have to worry about other things,” said Ernest. “Coming home and everthing is done makes a big difference,” adds LeCricia. Ernest is a big propenent of the cleaning playlist. And like Ernest, himself, his typical genres of choice are full of surprises. On any given day, it may range from the 70s and 80s to classical like Beethoven and Bach. He takes on the cooking as a fun
challenge. He learned a lot from his parents on how to take care of the house, but he credits a lot of his cooking skills to TV and meal kits. A big Gordon Ramsey fan, he’d watch shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares and observe when the participants made a mistake and how they fixed it. “He follows recipes well and will add his own flavor,” says LeCricia. By intentionally building in quality time, their lives no longer feel busy even though they’re never bored. Most weekends you can find the Ushers on an outing to a Minot area they enjoy like the many parks, the zoo or downtown. “Be spontaneous and don’t sweat the small things,” said Ernest. “If you do that, it’ll be fun.” Kameron is big into sports, so Ernest and LeCricia also spend a lot of time playing and cheering him on at basketball and football games. In their words, Kameron is a great kid, but a kid nonetheless. Their parenting style is a little good cop-bad cop. LeCricia is the nice one, while Ernest has to be more hands on with reminders and making sure he gets his stuff done. When it comes to disclipline, Ernest is known for his “MLK speeches.” Just like his father (according to LeCricia), Ernest has no shortage of words when it comes to parenting. LeCricia on the other hand, is a woman of fewer words but Kameron knows she’s serious when she weighs in. While they’re focused on their family these days, they haven’t left their ministry days behind them. They’re active members of the Pursuit Church, serving on their Connections team. They’ve also played a role in getting Be the Bridge started here in Minot. Be the Bridge is an international, Christian nonprofit working towards racial reconciliation and unity. LeCricia’s hope as a host of the group is for her to come to understand the white experience a little better and for attendees to be open to discussions and feel more equipped to respond and have the necessary conversations around race.
In addition to his community involvement and family life, Ernest likes to stay busy with side projects. He’s a host of the DaSpeakeasy podcast with friends from across the country. They do new episodes on Facebook and Youtube every night and cover a wide swath of topics including marriage, music, sports and social issues. He’s also working on his MBA in marketing and just started his own marketing company, Usher’s Digital Agency. Unfortunately, the Ushers will PCS (or Permanent Change of Station) in March of 2021. LeCricia is headed to Korea for a year. Ernest and Kameron will be sticking it out in Minot until the end of the school year and then they’ll see what happens from there. “As soon as you get integrated, then it’s time to go again,” said LeCricia. So, is it worth it to put in the work and get connected to a community? Absolutley. “Just do it,” LeCrecia continues. “Find stuff to do and just go even if you think you’ll be the only military person or person of your race or whatever there.”
LeCricia, Kameron and Ernest Usher smile on the front steps of their home in Northwest Minot.
“You only live once,” says Ernest. “Even if you think it’s lame, it’ll be fun. Who would’ve thought we’d go to a hockey game? And we had fun.” They encourage newcovers to talk to people and make relationships because once you do it, you won’t meet strangers anymore.
Get to Know
THE HARPER FAMILY By Aaron Moss Sarah and Jessica Harper are like many other young families in Minot. The couple who met here on active duty in the US Air Force in 2015, will celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary in November. They laugh over stories of caring for their dogs, and playfully dispute responsibilities over their cats. Jessica being more of a dog person becomes obvious as the pair banter about their pets. The two have all the same day to-day hurdles Minot families face; paying bills, keeping vehicles running, working through each other’s schedules, planning for the next steps in life. Sarah and Jessica have the added weight brought from the stresses of both public and military service. Both have transitioned from active duty to the North Dakota Sarah (left) and Jessica Harper pose in uniform. Air National Guard’s 219th Security Forces Squadron at Minot Air in missile security operations, rates high on the list Force Base. Sarah, a full-time Staff Sergeant with the of rewards Jessica describes experiencing patrolling unit’s Standardization and Evaluation section, tests Minot. “You see the difference you’re making.” Jesand evaluates local Airmen on their duty perforsica explains, while describing of her experience as mance in protecting Minuteman III missiles, spread a Police Officer. A career she’s known she wanted to throughout North Dakota. Jessica also a Staff Serbe part of since early childhood. geant, serves as a part-time Response Force Leader Before marriage, Sarah prioritized her military in the same missile complex, but has also just begun career over most things in life. Now, while glancing a career with the Minot Police Department as a towards Jessica, Sarah ardently declares, “With shiftPatrol Officer. ing duty schedules, my priority is us.” The two agree While transitioning to civilian policing has its stressthat ensuring “quality-time together” is critical to es, Jessica notes that it also has been enjoyable. their “keeping sane” in times of stress, particularly “Learning more about Minot and making an impact true with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic on the community” which isn’t as readily seen heaped on top of other stressors.
While Sarah and Jessica agree that ensuring they make time for each other is the key, their lifestyle of service to others still shines through in how they choose to do this. Both actively participate in squadron fundraising opportunities, Sarah being on the unit’s events committee which raised money for victims of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and most recently those affected by wildfires in California. In recognition of their efforts together, the couple was recognized as the 2019 North Dakota National Guard Family of the Year. A fact that Jessica sheepishly admits has caused the two to be recognized by some community members after it was announced in local news and social media.
and Minot Minotauros hockey fans. Sarah adds that she and Jessica enjoy going to games with coworkers too. “We’ll get a row of seats.” she says with a smile.
“[Minot is an] old soul kind of city with a quiet and calm environment.”
Even when they chose to spend time with less of a direct focus on service, the two can still be seen supporting the local community events. “There’s always stuff going on. Downtown events, 5K’s” says Jessica. The Norsk Hostfest is looked forward to each year by both. The two are Souris Valley Sabre Dogs baseball
- Jessica Harper
Describing their feelings for the local community, Jessica who grew up in a larger community in California describes Minot, as an “Old soul kind of city with a quiet and calm environment.” Sarah related that originally being from a small town in North Carolina, she appreciates Minot’s “small town, close knit feel” and goes on to say she enjoys “more ties to the community, because the 219th is a Minot organization, and Jessica is a Minot PD officer. I feel more of a tie to Minot than anywhere I’ve been.”
Creating magical memories one vintage piece at a time.
Get to Know
THE DAVIS FAMILY By Tanya Watterud
Stacey and Arvin Davis operate Juniper Child Care LLC, a licensed group home child care service, in Minot. “North Dakota is sort of an anomaly where you do have a really good home child care market. That’s a bonus for Minot,” Stacey said. Many communities in other states have predominantly large child care centers. Stacey likes the personal relationships and individual focus of child care in her home. Parents seem to like the comfort of a home environment and they often worry less about exposure to illness because of the small number of children present.
Minot is “a land of opportunity, really, that’s part of the reason we stay, because there’s so much opportunity and community for us.” - Stacey Davis A downside to home daycare is that parents could have to use their employer provided sick leave for their own children’s illnesses, as well as for the days when there is an illness within the daycare providers’ family. “We’re really stringent on anything that’s contagious,” Stacey explained. Last winter, she and Arvin were both working in their child care business. But then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Some of the parents they served started working from home, so Stacey asked them to keep their children home, too, to lessen the chance of any of the families contracting the virus. “We felt like it was the right thing to do,” Stacey said. “We also have a child with a pre-existing health condition,” she added, so they try to be extra careful.
Soon Juniper Child Care, their primary source of income, had only two children (other than Arvin and Stacey’s own three children) attending every day. “I can say I have an immense amount of gratitude to Governor Burgum” for his efforts to assist child care providers, Stacey said. She and Arvin were able to obtain a Child Care Emergency Operating Grant. North Dakota was one of only four states to assist child care providers in this way, she said. The grant covered about half of their normal income. In addition to working in their family child care business, Arvin, who is a fine arts painter, offered art classes in his LRL Studios before the pandemic began. Soon after, the COVID-19 social distancing requirement made classes impossible, but Arvin continued doing commissioned artwork. He also took on a job outside of the home. “He’s really stepped up for us and put his own needs on the back burner to make sure we’re in a good place,” Stacey said. For Arvin and Stacey’s own children, ages 12, 11 and 9, they chose not to send them to in-person school this year. “Our kids jumped on the distance learning ship. I’m home during the day, so it made sense with our life,” Stacey said. “We do still plan on keeping them socialized.” All three play competitive soccer. They also help with the family business, interacting with the nine children who currently enter their home each day for child care.
Why Minot? Neither Arvin nor Stacey Davis have relatives in Minot but Stacey says they’re “permanent fixtures even though we’re transplants . . . We tried moving to North Carolina once and came back after six months.”
The Davis family shows off their dramatic side with a silly photoshoot in their backyard.
“Winter is not fun here. But, for the most part, it’s the people we’ve met, the community, the ability to be involved – there’s room for everybody,” Stacey said.
Stacey has done some modeling for Artmain’s women’s clothing line. “They have amazing lines of clothing,” she said. “Of course, they have great art supplies, too.”
“Our family grew up going to a lot of music venues” in Minot, Stacey said. She appreciated the Pangea House, a music and arts center. “You could jump on that stage; anyone could play,” she said. Their daughter played from ages 6 through 9 in the Zebra Zebra band. “You wouldn’t necessarily have that opportunity somewhere else. If you want to do something here in Minot, you can do it.”
Another favorite place is Atypical Brewery & Barrelworks. “If you’re a sour beer fan, it’s the best!” Stacey said. Arvin has created commissioned art for Atypical, including some of the beer labels.
“We are huge proponents of downtown,” Stacey said. “We love going downtown with the kids.” One of their favorite places is Artmain. “They frame all of Arvin’s [fine art] pieces professionally and we can’t imagine bringing his work anywhere else.” Professional framing and matting “really makes a piece that much more special. It becomes like a family heirloom.”
“You can try new things here and it’s not going to completely break you,” Stacey said. For example, Arvin was able to rent affordable space for his art studio. Minot is “a land of opportunity, really, that’s part of the reason we stay, because there’s so much opportunity and community for us.”
Get to Know
THE PEDERSON FAMILY By Chelsea Gleich Many of you may recognize Rylie Pederson from her Facebook cooking show, Mom Fueling Hungry Boys. Well, now’s your chance to meet those boys! Rylie is married to Rory, who is the co-owner of Eagle Oilfield Rentals. She’s a stay at home mom to two little boys - Kingston, age 5, and Grayson, age 3. Rory and Rylie have been together for 8 years and married two years ago. They make their home in Des Lacs. “Living out of town forces you to cook more,” says Rylie. But that’s not a bad thing. “My biggest joy is cooking something and having others enjoy it,” she continues. Rylie’s dad and grandmas taught her how to cook. Her dad was more of a “splashes” kind of cook - no recipes needed, while her grandmothers on both sides were amazing chefs and bakers who followed a recipe to the letter. Rylie’s style is a solid mix of both. For baking “you really need to be precise,” she says. But for other meals, “you can always see where you can improve. Recipes can always get better.” Thankfully, Rory loves doing the dishes which is a great compliment for Rylie’s cooking. In October of last year, Rylie decided to share her love of cooking with others and launched Mom Fueling Hungry Boys. Her Facebook page where she live-streams herself cooking a new recipe three times a week. Usually it’s a side dish or appetizer on Tuesday, entree on Thursday and a dessert on the weekends. Why a Facebook show? “I wanted it to be a community,” says Rylie. And, if you take one look at the comments on her videos, you can see that it is. Commentors are interacting with Rylie during the video and she’s responding in real-time, all while cooking and not burning anything! Now that takes some multi-tasking skills.
Last winter, Rylie also took her cooking to the classroom, teaching a cooking program through the Full Steam Ahead After School Enrichment program. When COVID hit, she taught another Zoom option of that class - an easy pivot for this video cook. One of her favorite things to teach students is how to make rainbow grilled cheese (it involves tinted butter or cheese!).
My biggest joy is cooking something and having others enjoy it. - Rylie When she’s not cooking on camera, Rylie is busy with her boys and running their household. As parents, Rylie and Rory balance each other out. “Rory is spontaneous 110%,” says Rylie. If he had his way, he’d go off on adventures every day. He “wins” and gets that two days a week these days. Then Rylie reels it back in and keeps the boys on a routine the other days with naps, bath, bedtime, etc. and, of course, taking them to activities like the Full Steam Ahead kickball league each summer. They share the disciplinarian role pretty equally, too. In addition to raising their kids, Rylie and Rory have a house full of pets, as well. They have two australian shepherd dogs named Gage and Koosh (yes, like the ball!) and three cats named after Grease characters, Sandy, Rizzo and Danny Zuko. They had frogs for awhile too before they added a toad to the mix and he ate all the frogs (whoops!). The toad, named OJ, now lives in the master bedroom with Rylie and Rory. To add another twist, they also took home a crawfish
Rory and Rylie Pederson pose with their kids Kingston, left, and Grayson in their kitchen during a family baking session. named Jimmy and kept him alive for a whole year! When asked if she had any parenting or marriage hacks that she uses, Rylie volunteered a couple nuggets. When her oldest was younger, he would throw tantrums a lot. What worked for her was to sit down with him and have him take deep breaths with her. Then, when you exhale, blow the breath out into their face. It surprised him and got him to stop and pay attention. She’s also a big proponent of avoiding empty apologies. She teaches her boys that instead of saying “I’m sorry,” they should say “I won’t do it again.” Apologies mean nothing without action.
or a wet towel on the kitchen counter. This method allows them to take the emotion out of it. They both still get to air their concerns/annoyances, which are bound to happen in any marriage, but without fighting in the moment or letting your tone of voice control the interaction. If you want to get to know Rylie and her family more and see what she’s cooking, you can check out her website at www.mfhungryboys.com or like her page at facebook.com/mfhungryboys.
For her marriage, she says that lots of communication is the key. The Pedersons keep a notebook on the fridge where they can write down things that annoyed them throughout the day - simple things like leaving your stuff all over the bathroom counter
Aw a rd s | 2 0 2 1
Do you know a
GAME CHANGER? Game changer (n.): Someone who flips the script, takes risks and makes a difference in their organization and their community.
We want to know them too! Submit your nominations by Nov. 15.
Nominations are Now Open! Help us recognize those people and teams who are taking risks and making a difference in their organization and/or our community through the third annual Game Changer Awards! Nominees can be nominated based on their paid work, volunteer contributions or both! We’ve celebrated entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, food truck owners, Facebook group founders, professors and more. The sky’s the limit. Anyone (or any team) who is pushing the boundaries to make a difference is fair game. Minot is full of awesome people. We hope you’ll surprise us again with some great nominations.
HOW DOES IT WORK? 1. Fill out our simple nomination form. If you have multiple people to nominate, that’s great! Fill it out a few times. 2. Nominations close on Nov. 15, 2020. 3. Our Editorial Board and Judging Panel rank the nominees. 4. The top 10 nominees will be announced in advance. 5. The top 5 will be announced and crowned as our 2021 Game Changers at our second annual Game Changers Celebration! Stay tuned for more info on what that looks like! 6. The top 10 nominees and winners will all be featured in our Game Changers issue to be released at the event.
NOMINATE AND SEE PAST WINNERS HERE: www.minotmagazine.com/game-changers
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Life & Style issue includes profiles of local families, tips from the experts on how to make your home work the best for you and a style spr...
Published on Oct 19, 2020
Life & Style issue includes profiles of local families, tips from the experts on how to make your home work the best for you and a style spr...