Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Future Gamer

When I came upstairs tonight to see what LWK was up to, I found both of the boys glowing in the light of the computer monitor.  I think we have a future computer geek/gamer on our hands!

Yep, they were caught in the act!

In other news, this is the first time I have used my new lens when it was super dark and I like the results!  In the top photo, all the lights were off but in the bottom photo the hallway lights were on. You can tell by the yellow tone of the bottom photo and the clearer white from the computer screen.  Good to know for the future - no contrasting light sources!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Adventures with Ebelskivers!

I keep trying to find ways to make connections with my Danish heritage, especially since we visited Denmark a few years ago.  Last night, after Thanksgiving dinner, my mom gave me one of her ebelskiver pans.  Ebelskivers are these little Danish puff ball pancakes and they are delicious!  The box still has her mom's handwriting and a stamp that says "True Value Hardware, Audubon, Iowa," so it is a little slice of my mom's family's history.  We love having pancakes or french toast as weekend breakfasts, but I want to have something a little more special for holidays.  Black Friday is a holiday, right????

The pan looks like a popcake pan and is a really heavy cast iron.

We put homemade applesauce and raspberry jam in them - yum!

The first round was a bit of a disaster.  I turned down the heat and used butter instead of oil for the next batch.  I also learned that I should put one spoonful of batter in, a little jam or applesauce and then one more spoonful of batter on top.

They all tasted good, even if they weren't super pretty.  Each subsequent batch was better looking than the last.  And besides, all mistakes can be covered up by powdered sugar, right?

LWK didn't mind at all.  He was very specific about the one he wanted!

 He had to check it out in the light...

and dip it in his applesauce...

and he loved them!

Yep, they are going to be on the menu for a special breakfast occasionally - next time will be for Christmas!

What a cute little Dane!
The penguin jammies don't hurt either!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Bed!

J and I have been sleeping on the same beds that we have had since our graduations from college (15 years ago - ack!).  Neither were high quality or really that comfortable anymore.  Or maybe we are just getting older.  Also, since they were queen sized, it has become a little too cozy when LWK decides he needs to visit in the middle of the night.  We finally broke down and went mattress shopping a couple of weekends ago and settled on a new mattress that was delivered today!

LWK and I got home from school right before the delivery people got here - perfect timing.  They got everything set up and were gone within 15 minutes (how efficient!  Macy's Rocks!).  LWK had to test out the new bed.

He kept saying things like "Look Mommy!  I got new bed!"  I couldn't break his heart just yet!  Isn't the froggie pillow totally romantic?  That was LWK's contribution to the bed making!  The best part - the new bed is just a little too tall for him to climb into without help, even with the lower profile box spring.  I'm sure that will be short-lived, but for now it is heavenly!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Budding Percussionist

I hate parent/teacher conferences.  My line is always long and I never have the parents I actually NEED to speak to about their child's progress or grades show up.  The good news is that I survived them this year and I don't have to do them until next year's Thanksgiving eve-eve!  The best part of the day was a visit from my two favorite guys and the shenanigans that took place in the band room.

I still live in fear that I have a drummer on my hands.  But, props to LWK, he put all the mallets he was playing with back where he found them!  He is already better organized than about 90% of percussionists I have had in my teaching career!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

L, L What Begins with "L?"

LWK finally recognizes his name when it is spelled! Today we were having a tough time getting him down for a nap.  When I went in to rescue J, LWK was looking at anything and everything in his room asking what it was, spelling out the letters, etc.  When he saw the print over his bed with his name, birthdate and birth stats, he spelled out his name and when I asked him what it spelled he said "LWK!" We have only been working on that for 2.5 years now.  And yes, after over an hour, he finally did go down for a nap after much a fuss, two sippy cups of milk, rock-a-byeing by mom and dad (each twice), cuddles with his froggie pillow and cozy blanket and finally getting his baby doll (that he hasn't played with in forever) and rocking his babydoll to sleep.  Both mom and dad need a nap after all that!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Chalkboard

We have used the chalkboard to color on, but this week he was coloring with chalk at daycare.  I thought it was time to break out the blackboard side of our easel.  LWK had a blast, he especially likes the eraser!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Ruby Anniversary

Last month my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

They were married in Belgium in 1973.  My mom left her life, family and friends in southwest Iowa to be with my dad for the four years he was to be stationed in Belgium.  When he left the states, he had asked my mom to marry him, but being ever practical, my mom wanted to wait until he retired from the military and was back on US soil.  That was until he left and they missed each other.  My dad sent money for the wedding set my mom wanted and my mom sold all her belongings and got on a plane to Belgium, where she didn't speak the language or know anyone other than my dad.  They were married in a civil ceremony conducted entirely in French.  My dad's secretary and a friend stood up with them.  My dad had just gotten back from maneuvers and had strep throat.  My mom didn't have a cake topper, so she had fresh flowers on her cake instead.  It wasn't the wedding of their dreams, but they were together and happy and in love!

Through those 40 years they have traveled in Europe and the US together, raised two daughters, and loved on five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.  They have lived in the same house since they moved to Seattle in 1977.  Two dogs and one cat have been a part of the family.  One dog liked Dad more, the other liked Mom more.  The cat was more like a dog, which is how she survived.  They drove to countless music lessons, concerts, softball and cheer practices and sporting events.  They have had a strong marriage that has served as a great example to my sister and I about how to love and honor your spouse, even when times are hard.

The pastor who performed both my sister's and my weddings (and baptized our boys) lost his wife to cancer a few years ago.  At my wedding, his wife asked my dad how many years they had been married and when he said 35 years, she suggested they have a vow renewal and that Pastor could perform it.  My dad asked my mom last year on their anniversary if they could have a celebration of their marriage this year and my mom agreed.  They didn't feel that they needed to renew their vows since they live them each and every day, but wanted to have a blessing performed by Pastor and a celebration with the family.  They didn't want gifts, but wanted family photos taken.  One of the girls we grew up going to church with, Kili Chock, is a teacher and photographer and she did a beautiful job capturing the day!

Mom and Dad wanted to have everyone at the house, have the blessing and make dinner for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  We got the large group photo done early on.

Then we did family shots while the little boys played in the leaves.  By the way, my parents were upset that they hadn't gotten the leaves raked, but they ended up being a perfect addition to our photos AND fun for the kids to play in!

I don't think we have had a photo of just my parents, sister and me since church directory days!

I really liked how our family photos turned out as well.  LWK was pretty wiggly, so I am glad that some turned out!

The food was yummy, the ceremony was lovely, the family  had fun and the weather was about as good as you can hope for in October.  What a wonderful day to celebrate forty years of love!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Giggles

We were keeping LWK occupied with a game of memory while we waited for our brunch.  He was all giggles!  And really, what could be any more adorable than a little boy in a viking hat???

Friday, November 15, 2013

McDonald's Has a New Fan

We don't really frequent McDonald's or other fast food chains (Starbucks doesn't count, right???).  However, for a treat LWK and I met up with the Marchands for a mother-son playdate at Mickey-D's.  I was pretty confident that LWK wouldn't eat anything so I brought my usual stash of LWK-friendly food.  I ordered him a Happy Meal and I got a Chicken Nugget meal.

Before I had even sat down my little vegetarian had helped himself to my McNuggets.  And then I introduced him to dipping in the sweet and sour sauce and he was hooked.  He ate most of my nuggets, his cheeseburger, fries, apples and his milk.  You would have thought he ate these foods all the time and that McDonald's was a staple for us, but it isn't.  I guess I will consider this a successful trip to a "sometimes" restaurant.  Another fine example of my "Mother of the Year" status!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I, I, What Begins With I???

Ice cream and Ikea!  After school today we headed to Ikea to try and take advantage of their holiday decor with our Nordic loving friends, the Hammondses.  The boys were great and they were rewarded with ice cream at the end of our trip.  LWK loves ice cream, but this is the first time I let him have his own cone.  He was one blissed-out, happy and sticky little dude!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Mall

Since we had yesterday off from school, we were able to get together with the Mork girls and have a little play date at the mall.  Usually we don't get any good photos because the lighting is too weird for out iphones and point-and-shoots.  I brought the Nikon and was able to quickly set the manual adjustments and got some great photos.  I love that I am getting more confident and this was a great place to practice since B and I have both complained how hard it is to capture anything good while we are there!

There are lots of opportunities to climb:

And pretend to drive:

And to give the Momarazzi the "teacher look."  Gosh, I wonder where he learned this one from.....

And be adorable in general:

 We still can't get a pic with all three of them in it.  This was as good as it got:

 Such a fun day for all of us!

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Favorite Veteran

Dad and I circa 1976.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Mt. Rainier Playday

Woohoo - it's a long weekend!  This past week at work has been very busy with the end of the grading period and getting ready for the Veterans Day assembly.  I am exhausted now that it is over.  On Friday night, I was trying to come up with something different to do than our usual go to brunch, go grocery shopping kind of weekend. Being a holiday weekend, the state and national parks all have free admission.  J has been wanting to go to Mt. Rainier for quite a while, so this was the perfect opportunity!  We got a bit of a late start, LWK is still sleeping horribly, so I needed to sleep in a little bit more in the morning since I had been up with him in the night.  Once we got going, though, it was a pretty easy trip out to "The Mountain."  Going through Puyallup was pretty horrible (when did so much STUFF get built out there and traffic get so bad?  Thank goodness I don't have to commute out there!).  Once we got past the city, the countryside was pretty serene.  There weren't many pretty leaves thanks to the storms we have had this week, but the gentle rolling hills and farmland were beautiful.

Required National Park entrance photo!
Our little moose - I love that Hanna Andersson hat!
"I'm not so sure about this white stuff on my mittens..."
Crunch, crunch, crunch.  I feel like he needs some monsters following him
like in "Where the Wild Things Are."
Kings of the hill!
Stomp, stomp, stomp.
Preparing for the 2030 Winter Olympic ski jump event.

After we left the park, we stopped in Elbe at the Mt. Rainier Railroad Dining Co.  We had seen the trains on our way into the park and I was curious to stop and thought that LWK would think it was cool.  The food was just okay, but it was fun to eat in a train!  There are also other train cars that you can actually stay in overnight - I both love and hate that idea!

Notice that LWK has his Thomas and Percy with him, of course.
I think we will try to go back to the park in the spring or summer.  Maybe we will actually be able to see the mountain next time!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Monty Python

It's never too early to become a Flying Circus fan in our home!