Thursday, December 16, 2010

Back home and almost Christmas

It's 2 weeks since we got back home and we've kept very busy. The jet lag seems to have finally gone away. The boys kept waking up early for about a week, some days as early as 4:30 in the morning. Even I, who is usually a night person, went to bed around 8 pm for well over a week.

The girls went right back to school the day after we came home. Lily had lots of work to catch up on over the weekend. Somehow Maddie managed to escape any catch up work which I'm hoping won't make her grades suffer.
Since coming back they have had a Nobel Dinner at Swedish school, St Lucia celebration and last day of Swedish school party, Lily went on a field trip to the Theatre for "Wizards of Oz", they've had 2 ice skating classes, pajama day at school, jump rope club for Maddie.
We got a Christmas tree, we've decorated the house, we put up Christmas lights outside, I got all our Christmas cards sent out and we have finally gotten started on the Christmas gifts shopping. In the midst of all that I had time to get 3 wisdom teeth pulled. That was Monday morning and I'm still very sore and swollen. My diet consists of milk shakes, mashed potatoes, chocolate pudding and soup and I'm getting very tired of it. I'm hoping to be back to normal by Christmas.

Lily's take on our trip.

Our Christmas tree this year.

Our final days in Sweden

On day 10, Sunday, we left Linköping and drove 2 hours north to Stockholm where Michaels dad and sisters live. We ended up having some car troubles on our way there which I'd rather forget. The car stalled on the highway about 45 minutes away from Michaels sisters house where we were staying. Turned out we put the wrong fuel in the car. We were sitting on the side of the highway for about 45 minutes before getting towed. We were lucky that the car rental place had an office nearby so we got a replacement for a day while the other car was fixed.
The last 2 days we spent at Michaels sister Jennie's house and we got to spend some time with his dad and we also got to see his step brother and family.

The view from Jennie's kitchen.

Wednesday morning we left a very cold, -16C (2 degrees fahrenheit), and snowy Sweden for London. We got to London around 2 pm and took the train downtown to check in at Hilton Paddington. After some complimentary refreshments we headed out for a little sightseeing. Unfortunately it was already dark but we decided to walk down to Hyde Park and check out the Winter Wonderland carnival. We didn't get the best directions and ended up taking a few wrong turns which made the walk a little longer than it should have been. It was also very cold and windy. We finally made it there and found a cozy restaurant/cafe that we stopped at for some hot cocoa and cookies.
After walking around a little we decided it was too cold to stay out so we hurried back to the hotel. The boys fell asleep in the stroller on the way back and stayed asleep for the rest of the night. Although we didn't get to see much of London it was a fun little stop to make and it made the trip home feel shorter. The next morning we took off for Dallas. Just one straight, 10 hours long, flight home.

Walking in London, Hyde Park was just inside that fence.

The ferris wheel at Winter Wonderland.

A pretty impressive ferris wheel.

Jakie thought this talking tree was very scary.

The cafe menu.

Sipping hot cocoa.

Winter Wonderland.

Gingerbread cookies.

Our hotel.

Tired boys.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lucas and Jacob's baptism

Saturday 11/27 2010 Lucas and Jacob were baptised in Brunneby church along with their baby cousin Leonard. Brunneby church is a beautiful and very old little church, built sometime in the 13th century. All four of our children have been baptised in this church so it's quite special to us. There's no heat inside the church so with temperatures in the single digits that day it was very cold. The ceremony was short but sweet. All our closest family members were there and it was just perfect.

Brunneby church.

Brunneby church.

Inside the church.

The boys were having fun looking and pointing towards all the lights and candles.

During the ceremony.

Jacob being baptised.

During the ceremony.

Lucas being baptised.

Lucas wanted to blow out the candles and kept saying "blow out".

The boys were getting heavy towards the end of the ceremony.

After the ceremony we went back to Michael's mom's house with that side of the family. We had coffee and cake and later dinner. A good friend of Eva's, Chris, came to the church and to her house afterwards to take pictures of us. Most of these pictures were taken by him.

Left to righ: us, Michaels brother Petter and girlfriend Maria, Michael's mom Eva, his sister Eva-Lotta and her boyfriend Martin, his brother Marcus and girlfriend Linda and his sister Jennie with her spouse Jan and baby Leon.
Left to right in the couch: Hannes, Alvin, Lily, Alva, Maddie

Grandma with all her grandchildren.

Us parents and our children.

Jacob and Lucas with the iphones.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Our trip to Sweden: Visiting more family

On Wednesday we went to visit the family on my biological father's side. We had not seen them in 7 years or so and some of them I had not seen since I was little. We spent the day with my father and his family and later we were invited to my Aunt's house for dinner, they live next door to my father. It was really great to see everyone.

My father's spouse has a Kennel.

Looking at their chickens. Lily even found an egg.

My father's house. My grandparents used to live here and I've spent many weekends at this place growing up.

Looking at old photos with some of the family.

My cousin Gunnel playing with the boys and my grandmother.

More family. We were a total of 23 people at dinner, sitting at 3 different tables.

Me, my dad and my grandmother.

Our Trip to Sweden (part 2)

After visiting my parents we went to stay with Michael's mom, farmor. She lives just 10 minutes from my parents house so we didn't have far to go. At this point the snow had really accumulated to a good amount and it kept snowing. The kids had so much fun playing outside.
Day 2 at farmors house Aunt Jennie and cousins Alvin and Leon arrived. They stayed the whole time we were there. The days following more family members arrived and that Saturday all siblings with families were gathered. That day we also had a baptism for Lucas, Jacob and Leon. I will do a separate post on that as I have so many pictures I want to share.

Opening gifts from farmor.

Jakie with the alphabet alligator.

Playing cards with farmor.

Lily making dessert.

Sledding outside farmor's house.

Lucas and Lily.


Lucas and Uncle Petter.

Jakie pulling daddy in the pulka.

Lily, Alvin, Maddie, Hannes, Alva.

Our trip to Sweden (part 1)

On November 17th we left for Sweden, our first trip "home" in almost 3.5 years. After 27 hours on the move (Dallas to Chicago, Chicago to London, 4hours of waiting at LHR, London to Stockholm, rental car (trouble with wrong car seats) to Linköping) we finally made it to my parents house. Despite the long and exhausting trip the kids did remarkably well. The day we arrived it started to snow in Sweden and it snowed every single day we were there!

We spent the first 5 days at my parents house. Visiting family, playing Wii games, shopping etc.

Opening gifts the night we arrived.

The girls playing games with Aunt Emelie.

Christmas food.

Lucas became close with uncle Tobias.

Jakie got to come on a shopping trip/lunch date while the others stayed home with mormor, morfar and Tobias.

Baking pumpkin pie

Playing Mario Kart Wii after everyone else had gone to bed.

My mom and Maddie.

Lily in the snow.

Maddie and I made a snowman.