Friday, August 28, 2009

Hanna Montana II?

Annika turned 10 on Sunday. It seems like a long time ago that I first came to Sweden, very pregnant, struggling to scrape off old wallpaper in the room that would soon be hers. In the summer heat, at 8+ months pregnant, it wasn't easy. But now her room is beautiful (though it did require help from experts) and she arrived... a couple of weeks late, but healthy.

Now she is so big, so responsible, so independent - wow - a lot happens in 10 years!

As part of her birthday present, she got to get her ears pierced. And remarkably, she has taken care of them herself, without reminders, every morning and night.

But today, she's not too pleased with me. After a week at her new school, she is ready to change again, this time to a music school, to focus on her singing. She would really like to be discovered as the next Hanna Montana. I pointed out that it was pretty unlikely, given that she has never shown an interest in music before, nor has she sung in a choir... but Hanna probably didn't either, and look where she is now. I also pointed out that since I wasn't a famous singer, and David can't carry a tune in a bucket, that heredity was also against her... but apparently my realistic perspective is not appreciated. Besides, look how many points she gets on Singing Star...
Anyway, if she is discovered by somebody driving by as she is Wii-ing away, I will be the first to admit I was wrong!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Their Own Recipie

Annika and Astrid decided to bake cookies. Of course, using a standard recipie was out of the question - they wanted to create their own. I did point out that most recipies are the result of careful testing and measurement to get just the right mix... but to no avail. I overheard some of the planning discussions, especially where they decided that flour was pretty pointless, and the recipie couldn't possible need all that much... so maybe half that amount would do.

Needless to say, the slice-and-bake roll that the recipie promised never materialized. Instead, it was kind of a formless blob that refused to slice. The girls, undeterred, spread out cookie-like shapes and baked them, but were then mystified as to why they didn't really look like cookies. In the end, they melted chocolate bars, dipped the baked results in, and stuck the lot in the fridge. And of course, anything dipped in chocolate is bound to be yummy!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Camping Out Urban Style

The boys decided to sleep out on the balcony. It was such a beautiful evening that I couldn't see why not... though I knew it was pretty doubtful that they would make it all night long. David was out of town, so I couldn't send him out there with the tent... and I knew the morning dew would be heavy.

But it was a great mutual project, and Annika even joined in - for about 15 minutes. By the time the boys finished, a good portion of their bedroom was outside - they even packed (in suitcases) clothes and books, and their outdoor beds were neatly made.

In the end, Christopher lasted until 9.30, when he decided his mattress was more comfortable. I checked on Benjamin about 10, and he then decided he would be better off in my bed!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

What to Do on the Boat?

Sleep, of course!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Zip-Lining Away

In Colorado, we hooked up with the Durrett family, and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them again. Allen and Leisa own the "lake next door", which borders the club property (where our family's cabin is), and manage to escape all the club rules. I must admit that we were quite envious, imagining all the things they can do that we can't - morning swims, outdoor showers, ATVs, motorcycles, skeet shooting, horses (though not now), no building permits, no fishing regulations... and of course, the over-the-lake zip line, complete with rescue canoe.

The kids had a blast on the ATVs and the zip line, and we even did a passable job at Valley Ball, a Durrett baseball-like creation played in a valley, where first base is an uphill sprint (at over 9,000 feet above sea level).

Enjoy David's zip line run - prior to canoe rescue, and then Christopher's more successful one. And keep in mind that there is also a catcher on the far side, making sure that nobody crashes into the final tree!