Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Teacher in the making...

I am back in school (getting that darn Teaching Certificate) and facilitating for E-Town (Art History Renaissance to Pop Art, International Communications in a few weeks)
The kids are back in school; Elliot in 3rd and Sofia in 2nd.
Odd is teaching school from home (thank you Penn State World Campus)

Kids have soccer, hockey, figure skating, Browines, Cub Scouts and swimming.

Hershey had a major flood 3 weeks ago.  We and all our friends are fine but a few bison at the zoo didn't make it.   

Elliot just had his 9th birthday on September 9th.  It was a soccer party!
Sofia lost a tooth yesterday.   Booo...not many baby teeth left!

I think that is a quick snap shot of the goings on here with us. 
Whew..... let me catch my breath...
Oh yah...I am training for the Hershey Half Marathon too! 

Photo Book

Click here to view this photo book larger

Monday, July 25, 2011

Off to Copenhagen!

It was a early morning with all of us ready to get moving.  Packing needing finishing and laundry needed doing! It was a happy surprise that the morning went smoothly and quickly everything was accomplished. Odd even got in touch with the airline and travel company that had printed his name wrong on the tickets!!  (Could be a big problem since the horrible happenings in Norway.)  Hopefully all that is sorted out.

We managed to get in a last jog and a walk through town, when we stopped at Lennart's Bakery for treats.
"the green stuff is the best"

Running free in Eksjö

Travel fever, as we wait for Farfar to pick us up
  After a dozen "final" walk throughs of the Östberg home to make sure we haven't forgotten anything, it was finally truly time to go.  Jan got us to Nässjö train station, but not before he past on some parting gifts.

Jan we love ya!  

The gifts are a hit, Elliot is using his currently to read in his cozy nook at the hotel. (Sofia is already asleep.)

Before we got on the train the number one question was when could they "explore the train".  Elliot later explained this is code for when could we get stuff from the dining car!

Needless to say the trip from Nässjö to Copenhagen is relatively fast, about 2.5 hours.  "We're already in another country!!", said Elliot

the drop off

Elliot gets settled on the train (X2000, rules!)

Happy to be in Copenhagen!

 We have stayed in the same hotel in Copenhagen a few times now, Scandic Copenhagen.  It is in easy hiking distance to the train station and not too far from other sights. Plus, normally it has been a good deal price wise. (Denmark is stupid expensive, for Americans!)  Scandic is not winning many stars this trip.  Our room was not well cleaned. (Sofia found a tobacco container in the bed. Yuck!) But they are in the middle of a full renovation, so I will give the place another try once renovated.  If we are not priced out by said renovation!?

Odd enjoys a glass of vino overlooking Copenhagen
 We only really had this afternoon to explore since we leave at noon for the airport. We decided to do what we could do on Østergade, Strøget before we all collapsed.  My goal was the statue of the Little Mermaid.  It didn't happen...but we got a shot with the maker instead!
Hanging out with Hans! (Christian Andersson, that is..)
 I will admit it readily...we pushed it to far.  I felt faint and kids wanted to stop at every street performer just to rest. We finally made it to your dinner option for the evening, Hard Rock Cafe (we thought good old American food would get us back in the mood for home) and they told us that it was a one hour wait.  Elliot almost lost his cookies!?
Elliot is really to eat the silverware!
Fortunately we managed to adverted cannibalism and/or danger to the cutlery.  The wait was only 1/2 an hour and the food was great.  Hamburgers for all! (But pasta for Sofia, of course!)
Happy/fed kids
For our little cousin, Ludvig, wish you were here!
 Plan to sleep in tomorrow and enjoy a nice Danish breakfast.  Then back to the States!  Are they ready for us??  We'll soon find out!  Peace!
Tivoli Gardens view

Day 24: Goodbyes and Travel Fever

Sunday was a bit sad and slow. I think we tried to drag the day out as long as possible.  The real packing didn't start until after 8pm.

Jan and Gunilla with Odd and Joakim

Karin and Odd; one more hug
When we were not saying goodbyes and taking stock of the last month we got familiar with a few machines that needed a workout.

the Dam-sucker!!  ;-)

While the rest of us got creative with cool travel gifts.  We are going to miss Sweden and our family here in Eksjö.
Elliot: I will miss handball and Saturday Candy from Chann's and going to my cousin's house to play with them.

Sofia: I will miss playing with my family, especially my cousin Lovisa and her cool nail polish that cracks and quiet times at Farmor's apartment.

the creative one
If I can find the time and the WiFi in Copenhagen (our last stop before the airplane home) I will make one more trip blog entry but if that doesn't happen....this has been a great month with our great family!  Thanks for sharing.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 23: Beach Handball and Return to Jan's cabin in the forest

It rained hard last night so I was not sure the planed handball game would happen but I am REALLY  happy it did.  The Stålebrink's and friends sure have game. They really like a good physical game.  Super fun.  This is much better (in my option) then beach volleyball any day.
Sand in Sweden!? Who knew! (not a polar bear in sight)
Olivia is on a championship team, we'll follow her lead!
  After the game we were covered in sand and sweat so we headed to the lake.  All of us with suits (and some without) took a dip in the lake.  It was cold but a great recovery. Next, it was time to head over to Jan's for hot dog grilling, fishing, 3-D movie watching, building sheds, and generally a wet afternoon (that we shared with a few thousand mosquitoes).
Fishing off the pier
Jan's old fashion lawn mower!
Going out for a row
Nice long day.  Tomorrow we are taking it easy.  It will be a day for family for goodbyes and cleaning house.  We head to Copenhagen, Monday and home Tuesday.  I hope to have one more blog entry before I pack it in. 

I hope you have enjoyed following along on our summer adventure.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Days 21 and 22: Visitors, Gränna, and Pie

Always fun to meet people from the past.  We had the pleasure of meeting former neighbors of Odd's yesterday.  Nice few hours of sharing pictures and stories. 

We relaxed most of the day, not making any plans.  Maybe it's not good, we are getting use to this life style....oh but I wish......

Friends from Kungsbacka visit for fika

Rune stone at Eksjö Church
After our visitors left we took a long walk through Eksjö.  We stopped at the sports shop where Elliot got a terrific new backpack for school.  (Fall is approaching!!) 

On Friday, we packed the car and caravaned with lots of family to the candy making town: Gränna. 

This is the place were the candy cane was invented.  We actually had it confirmed today at the store that just won the Candy Cane making championship.  (You know their has to be a contest!!)

In front of the candy story.  They are actually MANY candy stores, but this one had a bench!

Enjoying the spoils of the candy wars!! (no one was seriously injured)
After all that candy we need a little exercise. We decided to climb the nearest mountain.  No problem!  It was just behind the stores.  Good planning.  Very interesting topography! (Harbor/ town/ mountain)

Great climb, 232 steps
Once at the top, it should come as no surprise, we ATE!!   It was a lot of steps...... ;-)

Shrimp AND Lax, deluxe!
Once back to Eksjö, the boys went to the bar.....(brother bonding) and I made a pie! Using all the cherries we had collected earlier this week.  Delicious and nutritious.  (if it wasn't for all the butter...)

Cherry, peach and strawberries baked in a pie
After the pie we had some interesting anticts from the younger Stalebrink's.  I think the sugar has gone to their heads....or maybe their feet?!

Sofia and Lovisa's balancing act

Boys turn to balance

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 20: Wårdell’s and AVIA's new office

We always love going to visit the Wårdell’s in Bellö.  It is quiet except for the occasional Moooing cow or Buzzing fly.  It is idyllically beautiful.  The kids run around freely, as long as they stay off the electrified cow fence. Plus, Göte and Doris are the most generous of impromptu hosts.  This trip we robbed the trees of cherries, had a lovely lunch, and generally had a great afternoon playing in farm-scape.
Gathering cherries.  Hope we got enough for a pie!
Sofia eating the booty.
Odd reaches for the good ones. They are always out of reach!
Playing in the yard.
 After all that fresh air, we headed back into town and Ola shared his new project with us.  A new office...It will be goodbye to the train station and hello fresh new office in December.  It looks great!  Hurrah for AVIA!
New AVIA office in the works.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 19: Vetlanda mini-golf and rain dancing

Good things today:  took a mini trip for mini golf, finished my English Exam, when for a run with Odd and OH yea.... rain dancing.  It was raining we might as well make it fun anyway!?

Elliot after his hole in one
The whole family had a great time at a new mini golf place.  Afterwards we enjoyed the sun between the rain drops.  Thanks, Karin and Lasse, for the great idea and for leading the way.

Fika plus in the garden

My flower girl with a pretty flower

Rain dance!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Relax Day

Morning excitement, the hedgehog!

Not much to report today.  It was a day to recover from the busy weekend.  We slept late, which is always awesome. It was a day of reading and relaxing. 
Study or Movie?

The kids and Odd went into town, where the kids got to spend the 100 kroner that we promised as "mad" money. We also had a nice dinner with Karin that turned into a nice quiet evening. 
Back Yard Camping, the Sequel
Our mini economist, even surprised me and worked hard to save a large portion of their money for the upcomming trip to the candy town of Gränna. 

One last week remains....I hope we can make the most of it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 16 and 17: Gothenburg Islands and Tylösand

We hoped in the car early Saturday morning and were in Gothenberg by lunch.  We are luck to have some old friends that live outside of the city.  We met Christian and his family and they took us on a tour of Gothenberg Archipelago, the ten Öckerö islands.  It was a great trip,
Eliassons and the Stalebrinks enjoy the brief sun shine

Waiting for the ferry in front of the map
 The day exploring the islands was if not exactly warm, it was sunny.  After we had a great shrimp sandwich and fun fishing for crabs, we had to take a swim in the North Sea.  (...Or they did, lacking the hearty Swedish blood, I thought it was too cold.)
Mermaid on her rock
Boy in the North Sea

Bundled up on the rocks
 It was a great time.  Great hosts and good times.  I hope someday we can travel back to visit the Eliassons and do the Volvo deal. Chris works for them here, very convenient if you are picking up a Volvo anyway!?

The next morning we got another early start and headed south.  Odd wanted to visit his childhood stomping ground (Kungsbacka) and we had more friends to visit. 

Odd's families old condo in Kungsbacka

Odd with Per Gessles' gold records
 Our Elizabethtown friends, the Lindseys have shown up in Sweden, YEA!!!  We had traveled down the Swedish east coast to the sand beaches in Halmstad.  We met Magdalana and her boys at the Hotel Tylösand.  It was a very cool arty hotel that is part owned by Per Gessles of Roxette fame. 

The weather had stopped cooperating with us at this point.  It was raining  and cold, not a good combination for a summer town.  Of course the kids did NOT care.  So off to the beach we treked.
They were already wet from the rain, why not jump in the sea?

Silly rained soaked kids
 Back home now!  All the laundry is (almost) done and the USA just lost the Women's Soccer World cup to Japan.  Damn, they are beat. Well.... at least we had a great weekend.  I'm beat too.