Sunday, October 27, 2013

{Around Town: Pumpkin Patch}

Dear readers, breathe easy. The radio blog silence is over. I just know you were all wringing your hands anticipating our return. I really hope you are picking up on the sarcasm here...

Anyway, during the past few Octobers we've visited the pumpkin patch at Grace Avenue United Methodist Church in Frisco, which perfectly meets our family criteria. There are so many options around the metroplex that pumpkin patch selection can feel reminiscent of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Some are too big, some are too small, but for us, this one is juuuust right. There's an abundant pumpkin selection, plenty of photo ops, entertainment for small kids in the form of hay rides, pumpkin launching, and bounce houses, and it's not too far from our house.

Adding to the fun, Andreas' parents have been in town and were able to accompany us on our annual pumpkin adventure. Disclaimer: please do not judge our hairstyles by any of these pictures. The wind is a cruel stylist.

One of the many perks of having the grandparents along - a family pic! Okay, sure, Anders is looking overly enthusiastic and Aksel a bit goofy, but all four of us are looking in the general direction of the camera! Success!

Anders mostly darted around the patch, inspecting pumpkins and observing other children, while I hurriedly trailed behind, begging him to be still long enough for a picture. Most of the time he couldn't be bothered, but I caught a smile directed my way on rare occasion. 

Aksel gave smiles away much more freely. The challenge with him was moving fast enough to catch a photo before the handfulls of hay he was scooping up made it to his gaping grin.

I attempted to take a picture of the brothers together, but soon discovered that was a mistake. They are usually more cooperative, but both boys were sleepy and sick of posing for photos by this point. This is real life, people.

We didn't take advantage of many activities this year, but Anders did get to test out the bouncehouse for the first time. He absolutely loved it! 

And just as Anders climbed out of the bouncehouse and I laced up his shoes, the skies opened and rain poured. Luckily, we managed to make it to the car without getting too wet. It was a fun afternoon, and we will definitely be back next year!

Friday, October 11, 2013

{Week in Review}

One of the inevitable effects of having out-of-town visitors in our home is that Anders becomes overwhelmingly curious about all of their possessions. That makeup brush you innocently left on the bathroom counter? He'll use it to sweep the floor. Those shoes you left in the hallway? He might take them for a spin around the house. He'll also be happy to taste-test your Chapstick, reposition your bookmark, and secretly drink from your water glass. The situation is only compounded by the fact that our guests share a bathroom with the boys. One item Anders became particularly enamored with during my mom's visit was her electric toothbrush. She begrudgingly let him try it out, but went and bought him one of his own as soon as she had the chance. Who could blame her, really? I honestly couldn't believe she let him try it out in the first place. It is so fun to watch children receive gifts. His response was an exaggerated, 'I looooove this.'

But the fun didn't stop there. It was such a great visit. My mom had the opportunity to spend quality time with each of the boys individually, and on a couple of occasions I snuck away to hang out with friends and participate in uninterrupted conversation! But back to Nina and Anders...

One of their activities Anders especially enjoyed was making pigs in a blanket. Look at that concentration!

He was so excited, talking on and on about his piggies, and he could barely wait to let them cool before diving in to gobble a few. 

We've been exercising our creative muscles other ways too. 

A couple of grandparent birthdays are coming up, so we've had our paints out daily. I've given up on paintbrushes. Q-tips are fun to use and make cleanup a little simpler. 

And we spent one morning transforming a large cardboard box (from a recent chair purchase) into a cozy house for Anders. He tells me those yellow blobs are butterflies by the way. 

He especially loved giving Andreas the grand tour once he got home from work. 

Aksel loved watching them play peek-a-boo!

Speaking of Aksel, he's been busy too. He's learning to eat solids and developing his opinions. He had a strong aversion to carrots, but seems to like sweet potatoes and zucchini just fine. He also cut his first two teeth this week! He had one terribly difficult night but has been a champ for the most part. He's been working on his fitness too, improving his crawling skills as well as sitting upright. 

I love these brothers!

Friday, October 4, 2013

{Years in Review: Not of My Lifetime}

My mom is visiting (yay! more on this later). When she flew in earlier this week, my aunt generously offered to pick her up from the airport, driving a couple of hours into town for a quick day trip to catch up with us girls and cuddle my boys. To make the day even sweeter, she brought with her a box of treasures in the form of antique books. I spent a little time yesterday combing through the loot, selecting my portion and admiring the volumes already spoken for by my mom and sister.  

Sadly, this first book isn't one I could claim as my own. It was one of my mom's favorites to read as a child when visiting her grandmother's house, and she quickly called dibs. 

With recipes for Fried Water and Gravel en Casserole, who could blame her for succumbing to its irresistible charm?

'A woman is known by the stationary she uses. Paper talks. We read between the lines, along the margin, and across the envelope, the story of good or bad taste which speaks in tone, texture, and design.'

The author of the following book sure knew how to write an opening paragraph, didn't she?

While we'll never know her opinion on blogging, we don't have to wonder about her thoughts on yacht stationary

And there must have been a time when Benjamin Franklin's autobiography was a standard component of the school curriculum. I found several variations of the following book, although none with an inscription I enjoyed more than the one written by Miss Varina Pegues. 

While the 'new and revised' description on the book cover below may be outdated, there's no question that the stories are timeless.

I found this image on a bookmark tucked between the pages. It piqued my interest, a glimpse into my city's history. I wanted to compare it to the building today, but a quick Google search confirmed that the church is no longer at the listed address. 

Vintage books can provide so much insight on the shifting desires and careabouts of a culture. I found this page in the Girl Scout Leadership book to be particularly interesting. 

While homemaking used to be a key endeavor within troops, I'm grateful for progress and an increased effort to include lessons in technology, science and math, athletism, and leadership for young girls. However, I hope we incorporate the old skills as opposed to replacing them. There is still much value in knowing how to be a good host, prepare a meal, and sew a button!

This may be the favorite item I discovered, because it was written by a family member, someone whom I actually had the pleasure of knowing and spending time with. 

The words of Charles Spurgeon regularly appear on my social media feeds, quoted by various friends and family. A man and preacher who remains relevant nearly 200 years after his death, it's no wonder my great uncle found him thesis-worthy.  

What fun it is to find a few old and special pieces to add to our home!