Friday, December 31, 2010

Our 2010
January- Fall USA road trip brought us to Florida for the holidays, we start the New Year in a beach house with our first Home Exchange !
February- Still in Florida with family. Disney with grandparents, then back home to snowy Sweden after aValentine's Day 5th Birthday party.
March- At Home in Snowy Sweden , Baby turns 1!
April- Vitsippia, Easter, Walpurg Night....The World Wakes from Winter Slumber
May- Brings Flowers and news baby #3 is on its way!
June- Dalarna for Midsommar with FarFar and Family
July- Swedish Summer at it's BEST! Beaches and Berries.
August- Epic European RoadTrip and multiple home exchanges, our Birthdays at Thermal Pools in Italy!
September- Harvest Time in our Garden and in Skåne, back to School and Work
October- Off to Florida for Mom and the Kids for Halloween with family and friends in USA!
November- Thanksgiving with family and Cousins in Florida!
December- Settle Back to Sweden for the month of Pepparkakor and Glögg, Christmas Merriment,
and Lots of Snow!
Thank you to AllTheForcesThatBe
for a very, very good year.
Yes, we can take it!
And we will BeHereNow.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Pleasures of Snowy Winter Days
Neighborhood Walk
Coming from Florida, where I never even owned a winter coat, snowy white days are pretty exotic to me. I have one memory of sledding, and do not think I ever ice skated before moving to Sweden. So with all this snow, we have been heading out to enjoy the opportunities for outdoor play winter presents. When first coming back from Florida in early December, getting ready to go out into the snow was so overwhelming...the boots, socks, hats, for each of us everytime. All that bending when pregnant, and in bulky clothes, was so uncomfy! Now we have our routine, and our favorite gear handy, so it is simpler. I have some great snow pants and ski boots, which makes adventuring out much more fun, even if bending over to get the boots on is even tougher with my now 32 week pregnant belly, and the snow pants stopped buttoning up some time last week. Still, it is worth it to go explore, and get some sun when it shows itself.

Blue Sky and Snow!
The road behind the house
Staying warm
A meadow behind the house
For an adventure, and to give me a chance to wrap some presents in secret, dad took the kids to Folkets Park in Malmö before Christmas. There is little area that in the summer is a splash pool, and in the winter a ice skating rink.
It is free to play on, and you can rent skates if you do not have them.
My Big Girl skoots along pretty well, admiring the more practiced and graceful skaters.
The toddler just watches....
Nearby, warm all natural blueberry and raspberry soup is sold!
Yum treat for cold little people
Folkets Park has rides open in the summer, it looks nice dressed in winter white

Closer to home there are plenty of places to take a sled out.
We headed out yesterday for some sledding
There is a nice well used sled hill in the neighborhood
Even the toddler loves to woosh down the hill
And of course the big girl does!
Dads camera was not uploaded, but even pregnant me had a couple of fun runs down the hill.

I hope this snow play will be enough to keep us busy for the next few months, as it appears it the snow will be sticking around. If it is going to be cold, it might as well be snowy, it is way more fun to play in snow than being outdoors when it is just grey and leafless and cold.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

White, Wonderful Christmas
Lots of snow and some records lows made for a beautiful white Christmas. Glad we were home for this one! We cooked lots of food, and had a slow steady calm holiday with food, family, and nice gifts mostly acquired on the USA trip, so there was no shopping frenzy to take us out into the world or on the roads. It was good to just stay close to home.
The red house looks so cute when the sky is blue and the sun shines and the white snow is piled high.
Nothing prettier in winter than tons of snow reflecting sunshine, the bright light makes up for the early sunset.
The latest pile up on the hammock
Burying the summer furniture and trampoline, they never got put away since the heavy snow came earlier than expected this year.
The 23rd we had to shovel a nice even path so Farmor could walk to the door through the 2 feet of snow. We enlisted help from our teenage nephew who lives down the street. The kids wanted in on the action!
Everyone pitched in!
And played, too.
The Toddler Winter Dilemma- If I wear my mittens, I have no dexterity and limited use of my hands, if I do not, I freeze.
Hmmmm......I will just ask to have them put on, then take them right off again every 5 minutes....
Christmas Eve is the main celebration day for the Swedes, so we headed to my sister in law's house a few door down on our same street and did the holiday Swedish way!
We arrived at 3pm so we could observe the sacred Swedish Tradition of watching Kalle Anka, or Donald Duck, a series of Disney cartoon shorts shown every year. We had glögg, pepparkakor, clementines, and cracked walnuts while gathered together for the cartoons!
Most of the Crew
SwedeGirl cozied up to her cousins, snuggled on the lap of teenage boy cousin, casually holding hands with her age mate boy cousin.
(Mission move to Sweden and get to know my husbands family- accomplished! )
We followed up by eating Swedish Christmas Dinner, called JulBord- pickled herring of several varieties, smoked salmon, eggs and caviar, smoked mackerel salad, ham, liver pate, pickled cabbage, Jansen's Temptation- Swedish Potato Gratin, and boiled potatos.
Swedish JulBord
Mother and Son
It has not been the best year for getting cute shots of the kids, who are always on the go, but they are cute none the less!
SwedeBaby in her fancy dress
Swedegirl Christmas Eve at her Aunts House
Dad and Kids
The Best Shot of Mom and Dad the 5 year old could manage
The Tree, decorated in red and straw on Christmas Morning
We have a tradition of keeping the cut made into the trunk when we buy the tree, and writing memories for that year's Christmas on it when we pack up the ornaments, and using it as an ornament in the future. Fun to see notes from Christmas past!
Christmas Morning Excitement! The stocking were full of surprises!
Excited Kids and Gifts under the tree Christmas morning
In the evening, we hosted the Swedes for an American Christmas Feast. Turkey, Cornbread Stuffing, Gravy and all the Fixings.
Licking a beater from the whipped cream for the pumpkin pie, a yummy holiday must.
Merry Christmas!
May your days be merry and bright.