1. We can watch tv. We got Xfinity tv with our internet connection, meaning that for the first time in a good few months we are keeping up with football, the Walking Dead, Yo Gabba Gabba, and the movie channels again. I don't care much for tv... if it's there.. sure, I'll watch it a bit, but I much, MUCH prefer Netflix, or renting a movie that I've been wanting to see. I'm not interested in sports and I've never been an avid follower of the news.. but I guess I'm not alone in this house. Also, my mother has trouble babysitting in a house that has no tv connection, so it seemed like an investment that would produce decent return, which takes me to:
2. Mom offered to come babysit on Saturday night so Sander and I could have a date. We ate dinner at the Bombay Grill on Washington Blvd, and then saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower at the Megaplex. The food was sooooo good (what is it about Indian cuisine that sends me straight to 7th heaven?) and the movie was brilliant - probably the best movie we've seen in a good long while. Thanks mom!
3. We discovered a little pasture nearby that features llamas, horses, goats, deer, and a dog. I'll do a separate post with all the pictures I took of the kids going crazy feeding the animals.
4. I've read an unholy amount of books. My least favorite: The Sun also Rises, by Ernest Hemmingway. His writing style is definitely not for me. My favorite: Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami. I love his prose and mixing of genres, and deep philosophical musings all while making you feel like you're reading an Indiana Jones adventure. Honorable mentions: The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood - very thought provoking... and Rosemary's Baby, by Ira Levin. I had no idea the book was so much better than the movie, definitely the most compelling read of the year so far!
5. The Halloween decorations are out and scaring us on a daily basis. This is our first real American Halloween, and we're loving it so far! We've all picked costumes, but I'm going to keep those a surprise....
6. Sander and I have been asked to give a talk in church next Sunday. Then Sander went behind my back and arranged for me to sing as well, so wish me luck preparing for that.
7. Julia is learning to read sooo fast! Much faster than Lara, which I suspect has something to do with the fact that she hadn't begun reading in Dutch yet, giving her a cleaner slate to work with. It's really fun to see her grow.
8. We had returned missionary Brittny Welch over for a visit last Wednesday which was so much fun. We did the usual 'What do you miss most about Holland?' (which somehow always turns to food...) and all ate Pannekoeken. Poor Sander wanted to make them, not realizing we never bought more than the 1 pan we were given when we moved into this place. Making pannekoeken for 7 in 1 pan is tedious! The situation has since been corrected.
9. A short while before our visit with Brittny, we had another lovely get together in honor of newlyweds Concetta & Killian Kroese who are in Utah on holiday. Lauren Sharp and her amazing parents (who have fast become some of our favorite Utahns) hosted a delicious dinner to which lots of returned missionaries showed up with whom we could catch up and speak some Dutch. Thank you guys for that! Click here if you wish to see pictures the pictures of that get together on Lauren's blog.
10. We are looking forward to having Oma Marianne and Maarten come visit us in just a month and a half! It's going to be so much fun showing them around and spending time with them again. It's going to be a special Christmas.