For the past couple of years we have spent our winter breaks in Canada and the Caribbean, but as we will be going on a three week road trip in North America during the summer, we decided to stay in Denmark for the winter (apart from the trip we took to St. Croix in December). We have had very few days with snow here so when it was finally around, we made sure to go to the forest and enjoy it. After that we returned to warm waffles and hot chocolate. It was also Valentine’s Day during the winter break and while Shawn and celebrated the night in a nice hotel, Elliot and Sienna got to spend some quality time with Mormor and BC. Below they are writing some very sweet Valentine’s cards in which they are expressing their gratitude towards their grandparents. Other than that we spend the week baking, playing lots of board games, doing puzzles, playing with Lego, and practicing our head stands. We also went downtown a couple of times. One afternoon we played a fun game of petanque and ate some juicy burgers. Another time we enjoyed a big brunch and also seized the opportunity to pay my good friend Karsten a visit. He owns a very luxurious high end fashion store in Denmark with prices slightly over our budget. The coat Sienna is sporting costs around $20.000.
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.
I hope that everyone has had just as nice and relaxing of a Christmas as we have. Good food and no stress whatsoever. Just happy people, lots of hugs, and an abundance of homemade presents. Merry Christmas.
Our trip to St. Croix set us slightly back with respect to our Christmas traditions/preparations, so as soon as we were back home the kids sat down to craft some things for the tree. I got the best deal ever on the tree. Just $5! Elliot and Sienna complained about the needles being too spiky, but for $5 we can handle a bit of spikiness.
The kids have undoubtedly had the best fall break ever with Farmor visiting from Canada for the entire week. They have been busy playing lots of games, carving pumpkins and shrunken apple heads, going for little expeditions in the neighborhood, and giggling non-stop. The weather hasn’t been great so it was a bit cold and rainy when we did our traditional trip to Tivoli. Before that we visited the national museum where the kids had to hunt for certain items. The skeleton they are looking at on the picture below is from the Stone Age and was found right next to where we live in Vedbæk. This year we also brought Farmor along for our annual trip to the apple orchard. It was very beautiful with all the fall colours and we got some very big and delicious apples, some of which we ate, and some of which we turned into scary shrunken heads for Halloween.
With a little bit of delay I celebrated my 40th birthday on the 20th of August. We started out in the afternoon with a cake and dessert buffet which I had prepared. The buffet was adorned by a timeline with pictures of my friends dating back 25 years (including the few ones who couldn’t make it). After the cake we moved on to the entertainment. It was produced by some utterly brilliant people and I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard and for so long. Finally, we sat down for an exquisite dinner, which I cannot take credit for as it was prepared by a professional and very skillful chef, Morten Vagner. Thank you to my amazing friends for making this event a bigger success than I had ever dreamed of.
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I decided not to send Christmas cards out this year so instead I’d like to wish everyone a merry Christmas here. Our Christmas Eve was nice and relaxing, despite the fact that our stove broke down and we had to cook dinner on a camping stove (not quite, but almost). We had the pleasure of having my parents with us again this year and they stayed overnight. In the morning, the kids opened presents from the Canadian side of the family and in the afternoon we went for a walk on the beach as it was such a beautiful day.
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.
The past couple of years we have not received much snow in Denmark so to get some as early as November was a real surprise. It only lasted one day before melting but it was enough to get a good few hours of fun and snowman making with some friends in.
Farmor had never been to Tivoli during the Halloween season so we brought her along for our traditional trip. Everyone enjoyed all the festive decorations and as always the kids had a blast on the rides.
A trip to the zoo on a nice summer day, crafting presents for Bedstefar Carlos’ 70th birthday, and first day of school were some of the keywords for the month of August.
Bedstefar Carlos turned 70 this year and everyone met up at a restaurant for a delicious brunch. After that, we went to the park nearby to play games, have ice cream, and enjoy the really nice weather.
The kids spent a week in August at tennis camp where they got to practice the basics. The weather turned out to be spectacular and they both thought it was a success, particularly because they got their own racket and tennis bag.
Play dates, roller skates, pizza making, cup cake baking, bouncing, Minecrafting, and lots of giggling were some of the keywords for the month of June.
We met up with the Danish side of the family at our favorite picnic spot in the forest close to our house.
A nice and educational time spiced up with a couple of cool sailor tattoos at the Maritime Museum in Helsingør.
While we are waiting for me to catch up I just have to post this picture of a very excited little boy who, admittedly, doesn’t look so excited because he is sleeping. But two hours earlier he was at the stadium getting ready to watch the Motor Mayhem show only to learn that it would be postponed due to rain. He remained the happy camper of the day and his dad got him a cap (at a bargain price of only $60). Elliot decided that he had to sleep with the cap so that he wouldn’t forget to bring it to the show tomorrow.
I should also mention that although I am still terribly behind I have actually posted a bunch of stuff that was missing from last year. For instance, pictures from our trip to Ireland as well as some pictures from Christmas and Christmas morning.
Sienna invited all of the family over for her 9th birthday. She had fun with her cousins and was very grateful for a great party and her presents.
The last week of April Oliver was on a business trip in Europe. On his way home he made a detour to Copenhagen to visit us. We had a good time playing games and goofing around.