This and that in January

Three out of four household members have been hit with fever this weekend, so there is not much interesting to tell about. Instead, I am posting some pictures from last weekend, where we had one very nice day of relaxing and another day filled with activities. On the relaxing day we stayed in our pajamas all day long while doing puzzles for hours and lots of crafts and colouring. On the busy day Elliot went to a hockey tournament in Sweden while I drove Sienna a total of 600 km, so that she could do 2½ minutes on ice in the Danish Skating Cup. Slightly crazy if you ask me, but she told me how grateful she was 10 times before we went, 10 times while we were driving across the country, and 10 times after we got back home. Amazing how far gratitude can get you. I did not take the pictures of Elliot and his hockey team below, but I did make the cookies with his hockey jersey, as there was a bake sale at his club this weekend.

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Christmas time…

December has been a fun month where we found the time to uphold many of our December family traditions. It was Shawn’s year to decorate the tree with the kids and it ended up looking very colourful. Christmas gift production was also at its highest ever, and we went through several roles of tape and paper as everything had to be meticulously wrapped. On top of the traditional cookie decorating, Sienna and I found time to try out a recipe from 1866 for “rustic crunchy vanilla donuts”. I don’t know what they are called in English, but in Danish they are called “vaniljekranse”. For Christmas Eve Sienna made some nice place cards and we had fun setting the table together. We were both really pleased with how it turned out.

 

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Entrepreneurship

Sienna is becoming the little entrepreneur of the family. With some help from her dad she has found a good place to by merchandise such as jewellery, watches, and sun glasses, which she intends to sell at flea markets. Here she is with her part-time co-worker Elliot at the local garden centre. They invited kids to come by and set up their stands but as they didn’t advertise the event, and because everyone is away on vacation these days, the turnout was very limited. At the end of the day, however, Sienna had a revenue of 40$ which was not bad at all, considering. She has already re-invested this money in new merchandise and she is keeping track of her finances in an Excel sheet. Her parents are very proud of the initiative and skill she is showing.

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Speaking of “keeping track” I have made it almost impossible to follow the blog, because I am so behind with the sorting and posting of pictures. Although it may seem like I haven’t posted anything for a very long time, I actually have. All the posts are backdated, though, as I want them to appear in the months they took place. There are pictures from Halloween, our trip to Ireland, a picture from when Sienna won 1st place in the skating club, and pictures from Christmas and Christmas morning. Finally, there are also pictures from a cookie decorating session with my sister, from when Sienna made a snowman with the very little snow we got this winter, and from one of Elliot’s hockey training sessions.

The Easter Egg Hunt

On top of the Easter egg hunt we had in Sweden, we also had our traditional hunt around the house. This year, I had put four eggs of each color out in the backyard except for the orange ones where I only put two. The kids then had to pair eggs of every color and in the end decide which egg that didn’t have a partner. Sometimes they had to leave eggs behind because they had already collected a pair of that particular color, so this made the hunt less frantic and more challenging, as it required a bit of thinking and keeping track.

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Day trip to Sweden

We took a day trip on our Easter holiday just across the water to Sweden where we visited Helsingborg and Landskrona. Landskrona does not have much to offer but it is directly across the water on the Swedish side from where we live and it has an old Danish castle (from when that part of Sweden was Danish) from the 1500’s which is in fairly good condition. I played a trick on the kids and pretended to give Shawn a text from the Easter bunny which said they had to go out and hunt for some Easter treats which I had hid in the cannons by the water. From Landskrona we went to Helsingborg and visited the old part of town where there was another old Danish castle on top of the hill in the city center. Sienna and Shawn climbed to the while Elliot and I enjoyed the nice Spring weather on a bench below. Finally, we then went to visit an outdoor air museum with some old farm buildings and other Swedish heritage buildings from a few hundred years ago.

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Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

We went to the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory for a very interesting and educational trip. The place was packed with all kinds of new and exciting things for the kids to see and explore. There were worms, caterpillars, giant bugs, and butterflies of all shapes and sizes.  The kids had fun trying to find all the different kinds of butterflies listed on the tour guide and as always, Sienna was pretty brave when it came to letting little creatures crawl on her hands.

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Cookie time

Our traditional annual Christmas cookie decoration session with Moster (my sister) was held with a slight delay on the 25th of December, so instead of making piles of Christmas cookies we decided to add a few more species to our Noah’s ark collection of animals. There is a pretty good chance that Noah didn’t bring any sharks with him on the ark, but I thought it deserved a place in the gallery nevertheless. Before we pulled out the icing bags, the kids and my sister exchanged gifts and as always everyone was happy and having a great time.

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Crime Scene Investigations

In October it was time for Sienna to have a new playgroup from school over. I wanted to make sure that the kids did an activity which required them to really work together. Earlier in the month Sienna and I had tried to do a gimmick for Halloween which didn’t work out, so I had a picture of her with a bullet hole in her head lying around. This gave me the idea to devise a crime scene game. Each kid got an identity card which also announced which area they were specialists within. They then had to figure out who shot the victim by solving various tasks, such as breaking codes and identifying fingerprints and bodily fluids left by the assailant. I was both happy and surprised to see how much the kids got into the game. After they successfully solved the crime they decided to stay in their new roles of detectives and investigators and three hours later when it was time to go home, everybody wanted to stay longer.

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