11.26.2014

Happy Thanksgiving


Yesterday Oliver came home with a paper Native American hat and a paper vest. We decided to choose an Indian-like name for him, Gliding Eagle. He proceeded to tell me about the pilgrims, the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, and how the Natives helped the new arrivals survive those hard times. We talked about that historic feast and the things the people back then we're thankful for. Then we started to ask each other what we were thankful for. He first said corn and then meat and I noticed he was still acting as Gliding Eagle. But once we went further, we got to naming lots of things and, again, I realized how important gratitude is. And how much I love this time of year. 



11.25.2014

bp's science: reading fiction makes you more empathetic

I recently read an interesting short article about why fiction readers tend to me more empathetic.  Makes me want to read more fiction.  Or read more, period.

And while we're on the subject of reading, I recently finished 12 Years a Slave.  The book is surreal; the intensity and horribleness of it, shocking.  The author, Solomon Northrup, was a strong man who faced brutal adversity with great character, perseverance, patience, and kindness  He was also a superb writer who created a narrative with explanations that helped me more clearly understand things from history that I hadn't previously.  I would recommend this read in a heartbeat.  This part of history is very saddening and sickening, but the resilience of the people and the strength they gave one another is truly something else.

11.19.2014

and growing

Ansel is growing and developing at laser-like speed. His hair is growing really fast too, and it makes him look older. This morning I got out some long sleeved onesies labeled 18-24 months. "These will be too big," I thought to myself. The child is 22 months old but for some reason that fact has not been fully comprehended by myself. I said this with Ollie, and I'll say it again with Ansel, it is very neat to watch a child at this stage. It is amazing what a 22 month old picks up. Below are a few tidbits of life with Ansel:

- he carries a little bear around and it seems that his pacifier must accompany it. So when asking for these items he says, "bear, pass". These items mean a lot to him. The other day he was going down the stairs with bear/pass and  Oliver's snow boots on and proceeded to fall down. I was shocked and rushed to see if he was okay. All he was concerned about was "bear, pass" which he found and was completely fine thereafter. Forget about the falling down a few stairs part. 
- when we read a book about the circus and we get to the part about strong men he flexes his muscles and says, "strong men!" In his lowest voice. 
- he loves high pushes on the swing. I gave him one heck of a push at the park the other day and one of the parents there said, "wow, he sure knows how to hold on tight!" This Ansel lives extreme. 



11.11.2014

ok go fans...big time



















Look at these faces. These are the totally focused, nothing-can-bother-me looks the boys give when they are watching an ok go music video. They are entranced. Their cousins introduced them to this and if you haven't seen the latest, I'm here to introduce it to you.




11.06.2014

Pear bread pudding

As I've admitted on this blog many times before, I have a problem baking things. I mean to say, I have a problem enjoying baking things and so sometimes, for no apparent reason, I whip something up.  With the day's getting cooler and daylight savings making our nights darker even earlier, I've gone into baking mode. Nothing is more welcoming than a warm oven and the sweet smell of cinnamon or pumpkin, or chocolate chips. Or in today's case: pear bread pudding.  I love bread pudding, however, it must be homemade.


11.04.2014

Pancake art




This is too good not to share.  The amazing stuff begins at 1:06. 

10.31.2014

A happy Halloween to you!












This past week we went to a pumpkin carving contest. There sure we're some winners out there. Turns out Jess and I took away the "nice try, failed attempt" award. Can you guess which one is is ours?

10.27.2014

Leaf faces


Meet leaf characters: GG, Geirld, Ben, Clark, and Suzie.  Their respective ages can be seen on the bottom of each leaf.  

Ollie made these the other day. I love that imagination of his.

10.22.2014

Milk

While growing up, milk accompanied my breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Our family drank a lot of milk.  My dad (who did most of the grocery shopping) would go to the grocery store and buy six gallons of the stuff, filling the top shelf of the refrigerator to capacity. It would take us a a bit more than a week to finish that off.  Did I mention I grew up in a large family?

We usually always had milk (see volume purchased on a regular basis above), but when we ran out, it was a food emergency.  We didn't have food emergencies much at our house.  There was always something to eat.  But if the milk ran out, what were we to do?  "Can you go to the store and buy more milk?" my mother would request a special trip be made.  My dad enjoyed his time in the evenings home from work and rarely interrupted that relaxation time with things to do (except fix cars, repair appliances, mow the lawn - see large family comment above), but he always hurried to the store when we were out of milk.  Hardly a second went by without the stuff.  And if I were hungry right before bedtime my mom would reply, "You can always have some milk."

I am who I am today partially due to milk.  And now my own little family drinks milk like no tomorrow.  Oliver and Ansel both down the stuff.  I drown my cereal in it.  Jess likes it too on cereal; and he eats a lot of cereal.  So whenever we run out of milk, we have a similar emergency.  But I don't like running to the store all that much, and I'm a bit more selfish, so I make my kids drink water with their breakfast.  Jess has toast.  I make frosting with water (not good), and if the kids are hungry before bed, it's water.  However, if more than a day goes by without the stuff it's rough.  So I get to the store and buy two gallons, which we will finish within a bit more than a week.