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After a night in a roadside hotel in Michigan, we finally arrived back in Canada at Karen and Rob’s place. The kids were excited to see their cousins, Tessa and Conner, and get some more pool action in. Rob had some scuba gear so Sienna and Elliot got to try out breathing underwater for the first time. We had some great food, played a lot of games, and ended out with a visit to a very nice mini put golf course.  Final stop was back to farmor’s place for one more night before heading back to Denmark.

The Georgian Bay

After our successful camping experience, we drove up to the Orsi’s cottage on Georgian Bay to visit Kim, Chris, Lucas, and Matthew. We got lucky that the weather turned a bit warmer so it was straight into the water after a long drive north through traffic. In addition to celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday on the 1st of July, we got a lot of fun activities in; kayaking, paddle boating, fishing, tubing, sea-do riding, and boating. In between the water action we played some games inside and tried to avoid the mosquitoes.  We all kept really busy and before we knew it, it was time to head out on a long drive towards Minnesota.

 

Winter break in Denmark

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.

The Mežica Lead and Zinc Mine

On our way from Slovenia to Austria, we stopped at an old zinc mine turned into a tourist attraction. We put on mining equipment and took a ride on a genuine mining train right to the heart of the mine, the Moring district. Driving through the 3.5 km long tunnel lasted about 15 minutes and could be described as a quite uncomfortable and somewhat terrifying experience. The train ride was a bit much for Elliot, but once we made it to our destination, the fear quickly subsided. We stepped out at the station in the heart of the mountain, 600 m below the surface. Accompanied by a guide we headed down a tourist trail to find out more about the history of mining. In the mine, different types of mining equipment and tools that were used by miners in different historical periods were presented, from the early beginnings over 350 years ago until the last days of mining in 1995. We had a really interesting trip through the mine, and Elliot appreciated that it was okay to touch many of the exhibited objects.

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Happy 10th Birthday to Sienna

It was one very happy 10-year old who got out of bed this morning. She started out the day with some nice new clothes including some cool neon items, which she will need for the neon-themed birthday party we are throwing for her class at the end of May. She also got some rolling shoes from her cousins in Canada and she got a weekend trip to Barcelona from us. After opening the presents there was time for some cinnamon waffles with ice cream and sprinkles. After that she was off to school. To commemorate the day, she brought homemade party puppies to her teachers and all of her class mates. Before lunch I picked her up from school again, and as tradition goes we headed to Tivoli to celebrate the big day with Mormor.

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Winter in Canada

After Milton and Toronto, we headed to Kitchener to stay at Angela and Pete’s place.  The rest of the family came to visit so we were a full house. The kids played board games and Minecraft, and got to get out skiing for a day.  We then did a quick visit out to Aylmer and did the usual tour of visiting Oma, Grandma Ramsey, Gump, and Farmor.  The visits were short but sweet and we quickly were headed back to Toronto for our flight home.

Happy New Year

Like last year, we had a fun and relaxing New Year’s Eve with some friends at their summerhouse in the northern part of Zealand. I didn’t bother taking any pictures, so instead I am wishing everyone a happy New Year with a picture of this really cool guy, whom I am so proud of. What I am not so proud of, is the fact that 2015 was the worst year ever when it comes to updating the blog. I usually never care to look at the statistics, but today I just got an annual report saying that the blog had been visited more than 3600 times in 2015. That’s a lot of visits, which have more or less all been in vain, seeing that I made a total of four posts during the year (which were all promises to catch up soon). In light of this disappointing performance, I decided to pull myself together for real, and so today I managed to post all the pictures from our visit to Canada in February last year (click here and scroll to the bottom) as well as a bunch of pictures from April (click here). I hope I will be able to do better in 2016.

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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.

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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