Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's He Got to Do with It?

Tonight as we were sitting in Wendy's between our museum hops (it was the only restaurant nearby), we found ourselves listening to a lot of classic 80s music. At one point, my six-year old was singing along with Tina Turner with the words, "What's love Dr. Doolittle."

Museum Hopping

After Beth got home from work today we headed down to the American Swedish Institute. I'd been hoping to get in some museum visits during Christmas break (excuse me--winter break), but we had only gotten to the zoo so far. The boys love ASI. They call the building the "Swedish Castle" (which it does happen to be classified as the only "castle" in Minneapolis somehow). Even if we didn't have some Scandinavian blood in our family, I think we'd still enjoy the place. It has nice displays as well as spots just for kids (the boys loved playing in the Lilla Stuga (little house), pretending to make cookies and buns for Sankta Lucia Day). They were also given a sheet with a scavenger hunt of things to find as we went through the museum which they enjoyed doing. We didn't even get through everything before it closed. I guess we'll be going back another day.

We decided while we were close to it to head over to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts as well (thanks to a friend who confirmed for us on her smart phone that it was open late--she got a kick out of us "museum hopping"). We just did a quick, focused tour--Anders wanted to see the mummy and the knights--which is part of the fun of free museums. You can drop in whenever. It's fun as they're getting old and enjoy exploring museums a little more. I'm looking forward to being able to spend some time just enjoying exhibits in the future and not feeling the need to keep moving on in order to keep young bodies entertained.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and your family a blessed and peaceful Christmas with a lot of fun together!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Over the past few weeks the boys and I made some cookies (those pictured are not the ones we made)--and Beth helped as well. We made several plates to give to some of our neighbors. It was one of those good bonding moments as we made the cookies, decorated and delivered them. Plus, they got to see the joy on people's faces as we delivered the plates. Even one of our neighbor kids wanted to help deliver them (though he stopped after we got to his house, because he's been eying up the cookies since we made them).

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Snowy Day

We had snow again today. One of our smaller snowfalls of the season--only 4 or 5 inches. We've had around 30 inches of snow this month alone. It's going to be a fun winter.

Sometimes it's hard to get my boys to do anything. We tried to get them outside today during the snow. Most kids seem willing to play outside. It was a struggle to get them out. We eventually forced them into their snow pants and out the door. I grabbed their little shovels and they helped me shovel off the front steps and some of the sidewalk. They were actually really good helpers. And they ended up enjoying it. I just wish it wasn't always a bit fight to get them out.

We also took a plate of cookies we made to some of our neighbors tonight. Anders wanted to leave them on their doorstep and run away, making it an anonymous gift like St. Nicholas. We ended up just hand-delivering them (since our names were on them any way, they weren't going to be that anonymous). We've got a new neighbor who wasn't home tonight (I've met her once, but the rest of the family hasn't, nor have we met her kids). Not all of our neighbors speak much English, but a plate of desserts translates into any language, I believe.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Shopping

Yesterday Anders had the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping (it was supposed to be last Saturday but postponed due to the blizzard we had). Plymouth Christian Youth Center gave the chance for grade school children to buy five Christmas presents for a buck. When we signed up to do it, we were given a "ticket" on which Anders was supposed to choose the people he wanted to give the presents to (writing down ages and gender for helping find the right gifts). In addition to his immediate family, Anders wanted to get gifts for his two cousins that are closest in age to him from my family.

They had an adult help who assisted in finding the presents that would be appropriate for each person. While he shopped, Nils and I sat in the waiting area with all the other parents (it seemed like hundreds of kids would be going through before the night was over. A local jazz/gospel band played for us (which Nils thoroughly enjoyed). When Anders came back out, the volunteer helping him said he did a good job--she was impressed with the thought he put into each gift. That was good to hear.

So thank you to PCYC (and all the donors of the gifts) for giving Anders the opportunity to do some "shopping." It helped reinforce the message we've been sharing that we can find joy in giving to others rather than focusing on what we want to get for ourselves.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lessons Learned

After school Beth overheard Anders talking with the neighbor boys as they were playing with the boys' new toy:
"We got it for St. Nicholas Day. It's for sharing."

It's good to hear them getting it.

St. Nicholas Day

Yesterday was St. Nicholas Day. We have chosen to honor that day for gift giving over Christmas Day which we want to keep more focused on the birth of Jesus. St. Nicholas was known for his generous charity to others, so we follow suit by packing a shoe box filled with toys, crayons, toothbrushes and other items for children overseas who wouldn't receive gifts otherwise. Nils and I were able to deliver our boxes yesterday to the Operation Christmas Child dropsite in the Twin Cities. The boys also receive a present in honor of St. Nicholas, but we try to keep the main focus on giving rather than receiving.