Saturday, May 31, 2008

Amazing Day, Part I

Today was an amazing day. Not only did we have a great family day, but it was unseasonable warm in Sweden. Which means that it was nice for me! It was really only about 77 degrees, but to the Swede, it is very warm. We started our morning with a vivacious son, who decided it would be fun to climb on us. Below you will see him sitting on Andreas's head. Yes, parents can double for jungle gyms also. Samuel was really good today, he wanted to be with us and have fun. It was also one of those days that I actively remembered how thankful I am for this little boy. I hope you understand what I mean by that. I am always thankful for him, but there are days that I am too rushed or too annoyed to actively remember my thankfulness. Today, I remembered and thanked Jesus for this precious little boy.

I have some great Samuelisms for you today. We were all sitting at the table eating lunch (or "blunch" as Sam calls it). He asked to listen to his music. This is a CD that Nonna bought him ages ago, it actually says his name in the songs. He is pretty funny when he listens to it and thinks they are talking to him. Samuel is great with the beat of music and has always loved to listen and dance to it. Since he has received his hearing aides he is learning the words to songs and singing along. On his CD the song "He's got the whole world in his hands" came on. Samuel started to sing along, except Samuel sang "He's got the whole world in his pants, He's got the whole wide world, in his pants". I thought I was going to fall off of my chair with laughter. Andreas calmly explained what they were really singing and Samuel took off with the real words. I really think that God laughs with us during these times. He created little children, He has to have a sense of humor! Samuel also sings, "what can wash away my soul, nothing but the blood of Jesus". The word soul should be sin, but I think it works the way he sings it. Samuel definitely keeps us laughing.

The second Samuelism happened when we went to the lake. We decide to take dinner out to "our" lake, Tinnsjon. We rowed out to an island and to our amazement were the only people on this huge lake. Samuel loved it. I will not be showing the pics of him running around naked with waterwings on, but trust me it was very cute. We also set up our tent so that we could rest in it out of the sun if needed. Unfortunately, we set it up in Kelty's bathroom area. Just as I was getting into the tent I kneeled in something warm and soft, yuk!! As I was discussing this with Andreas, Samuel was listening intently. He then went to the door of the tent and yelled at Kelty, "Kelty stop pooping in the tent!" All I could do was laugh at that point, Andreas also laughed. At realizing that we though he was funny Samuel continued to yell it at Kelty. Thank you for making a nasty situation much better Samuel. I thank Jesus for this little boy who makes us laugh.

We spent about 4 hours at the lake and then rowed back to where the car was. Samuel than spent the next 7 minutes (the ride home) trying to talk us out of making him go to bed. He tried in English and even used the Swedish he is learning (ja just det and nej). However, in the end, it was bedtime. (I makes me laugh when he speaks Swedish because he sounds like a native and it is so cute).

Praise God for family days and gorgeous weather days.

(Sorry I accidentally erased the pick of Samuel climbing on Andreas's head and can't get it back for some reason, just image the scene)

He was so cuddly to day, he curled up on our "boat" and layed there with me for a few minutes, which is amazing that he stayed put for that long.

Pappa and Samuel snuggling.

This is a great pic of Samuel and Andreas swimming together. Amazing that it was warm enough to swim in May. (maybe not warm enough for everyone, but I was fine, it may have even helped my cough, is that possible?)


Laurie (part II is continued below)

Amazing Day, Part II

The view from one side of the island.

Me trying to be artistic, I think I did pretty good! I like this pic.

More scenery

I thought this pic was fun. For those of you who know Sweden, don't worry, I have other clothes on. I just liked how the bright pink stood out against the greens, greys, and black of the water.
Time to leave. Samuel is not to keen on this time, but he manages. It still amazes me that the dog will go in the boat and not tip us. We have even had him in a canoe. The dog does better than Sam most of the time.
Praise God for such a wonderful day. We try to do family days once a week, sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. However, I am very thankful for the times that we get to spend such a wonderful day together. I am truly greatful for my family, thank you Jesus.


Summer Love

Last night we had a cookout by a beautiful lake outside of Alingsas. Samuel has been asking to see his friends and so he was so excited to be with them. I snapped this picture while they were still relatively calm and not soaked quite yet, but on their way. The little girl beside Samuel is Emma Hillberg (the youngest daughter of good friends). It is at moments like this one that I am glad that Samuel is still 3 and happy to say, "I like Emma, she is my friend." I know there will be teenage years when crushes and infatuation will rule the day, but I am enjoying these more innocent times for now. Please feel free to enjoy them with me.


My Little Man

What a good looking little man! And such a poser.

This one makes me laugh, he is so expressive. I am not sure what he was thinking here.

The suit does not mean that he has to forgo the ride on his tractor!!!

Had to get the pic with Farmor and Farfar.

What a personality :).

It was time to pull out the summer clothes and I came across a suit coat that we had been given a while ago. I always looked forward to the day when Samuel would fit in it, and now was that time. He looked adorable and he loves to pose for the camera. It is amazing how he has changed right before my very eyes. Today, in particular, I was struck by the fact that he has lost all the toddler attributes and is now a little boy. He no longer has the rounded belly and a little chubb on his cheeks. He is slim and muscular and growing up. The Lord continues to bless us with this amazing little boy.

This morning Samuel woke up, came into our room, and walked over to my side of the bed. He looks at me and said, "Today, we go buy a little sister and then go to the playground. Make sense, mommy?" He knew we had our first meeting for a home study today (for our second adoption) and he translated that into buying a sibling. However, he wanted to make sure he got the playground time in also. Even though it was early in the morning, it got a laugh out of me. I love what goes on in his brain. He has been talking to himself at night lately. He talks to his tiger about the day and how things went. It is so funny to hear what sticks with him and what he is trying to figure out. He is our little sponge. The other day Samuel walked away from a child that really made him mad. Andreas went over to him and praised him for doing that. Later that night, when Samuel was in bed, he was talking to tiger about it. He even mentioned how it was such a good thing that he walked away. Praise God for those teachable moments that do stick with him.

We miss you all and are praying for you. I have also added a new link under the blogs that we read. Our friends, Andy and Lizet Bowen, are WGM missionaries in Paraguay. These are Andy's thoughts on what is happening on the field. Enjoy and don't forget to pray for those around the world that are serving Him!

One more thing, my cousin and her husband are trying to raise money to go on the mission field to Mexico. They are stuggling to get the last 22% of their funds. Please pray for them (Josh and Jennifer Reynolds) and if you know of a church that they can speak in please let me know. They would be very appreciative.



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sorry it has been so long

I love the blooming trees, very typical Swedish scene.
Again, typical scene, very pretty and quaint.
Church bell, I love this and they actually used it.
When the winter has been grey the blooming trees are a God send.
This is were we swam, in cold water mind you. But it was nice because it was so warm outside.

I was doing so well with the blog for a couple of weeks and then I don't know what happened. I have a ton of pics, but the internet is really slow right now, so I have just added a few of the beautiful Smalland scenery. The weekend Samuel spend with his grandparents, Andreas and I went with our church to a "camp ground" in the East. This area was owned by Alfred Nobel's neice (the Nobel peace prize is named after Alfred). Anyway, his neice gave it to the Methodist church and they have been using it ever since. We had a great weekend, the weather was amazing!!! I even got some sunburn in May!

Weekends like this one are hard for me sometimes because it is all in Swedish. I can't just tune it out because then I won't understand anything. Even though they are hard, they are the times that I usually learn a lot more of the language. All the people in our church are incredibly patient with me. We also had Mormor and Morfar with us, so some English was spoken (but don't tell on me).


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Samuel's Fun Weekend, Part 1

This past weekend, Sam was the star of the show. Yes, he was with Farfar and Farmor all weekend. Andreas and I had a church retreat several hours away. There were no other children going and so Sam gladly went with his grandparents (his grandparents gladly took him).

They had a fun filled weekend ready for Samuel. On Friday, Farmor and Samuel took a walk down to one of the big parks in Goteborg. They met Farfar and had a picnic. Then he played and showed off for all the were around. He was treated to a balloon and a huge playground. It has been unusually warm here in Sweden so we are all outside as much as possible (we are afraid that winter will come back in July).

After the picnic they went home and took the always needed nap (not so fun). However, that night was the big trip to Liseberg! This is an amusement park that is basically right outside Farmor and Farfar's door. He has been looking at it all winter and asking when he can go. It is finally open and ready for Samuel's perusal.

He loved it!!!! They went on several rides. Farmor did the spinning ones and Farfar did the coasters. Farmor had to pry Samuel out of the old fashion cars. Farfar and Samuel went on the bumper boats together and I am happy to say that Samuel did not take a swim this time. But Samuel's absolute favorite was the train roller coaster. This coaster is made for children. Instead of being the least bit scared of it, Samuel put his hands in the air and screamed with delight. He is out little dare devil. He went on it twice and would like to do it everyday if we could. He was quite enamored with the big roller coasters, but has been informed that his must be bigger to go on them. You should see his face as he constantly recounts the story of the roller coaster. You could say he had the time of his life. Hopefully we will be able to take him soon, I really want to experience it with him too.

The next day they went to Uncle Johan and Aunt Emma's house to help fix the lawn (they just had an addition done and the lawn was in much need of help). As always Samuel was up to helping out, Uncle Johan had even gotten a rake just Samuel's size. Samuel was also excited to see his cousin Viktor, whom he constantly talks about.

Samuel then got to take a bath in the sun (not going to show you those pics). He helped Farfar with yard work and in general had soooooooooo much fun. When we picked him up he related everything he had done during the weekend in a couple of minutes (I don't think he took a breath the whole time). Of course he was excited to see us, but stated that he didn't want to go home (who would after a weekend like that). However, he did come home with us and has not stopped talking about the roller coasters for two days.

Samuel is growing up so much. He turns four in September and it shows. What he understands, can do and is trying to do makes mommy a bit sad. I feel like the toddler years were over so fast and now he is this vibrant little boy (which I am very happy about and thankful to the Lord for). I hope you enjoy a brief look at his wonderful weekend.


Picnic in the park.

Showing off his muscles!

Playgrounds are always a welcome site.

Farmor has dreamed of buying him a balloon in the park for years. So here is her special moment. Congradulations Farmor!

After paying for the balloon, Samuel celebrated by having his own little parade. He loves to do this with sticks also. He is usually singing as he does this.

Samuel's Fun Weekend, Part 2

Liseberg!!!! This is one of the largest amusement parks in Scandinavia, maybe the largest. It is 2 minutes walk from Farfar and Farmor's house. It was finally time to see what it was all about. He had seen the rollercoasters all winter and talked about them, now was his chance.

He loved being able to drive the old fashion cars. He loved it so much that Farmor had to pry him out of the car after the ride was done.

Teacups, all I can say is blahhh! It is a good thing he didn't go with mommy.

This was his favorite ride of all. It is the children's roller coaster. Farfar had this charge, there is no way Farmor was going on this one. Samuel loved it. He had his arms in the air the whole time and still constantly talks about this one. He says he is ready to go on the big roller coaster, but we have told him he was to be a bit bigger for that. Until then, I am sure he will wear this one out. Our little daring child! (they are in the second to the front)

This is Samuel watching the big roller coasters. Note the expression of awe on his face.

Samuel's Fun Weekend, Part 3

Helping Farfar clean the deck.
Helping Uncle Johan and Aunt Emma with their lawn.
Making a lawn is such hard work, time to hang with the boys and have a glass of water.

I Wanna Be Like My Pappa

Samuel has been saying that he get's to do a lot of good things when he is big like Pappa. For instance... "I get to drive the big truck when I big like Pappa!" He says things like this constantly. It is really sweet to watch the relationship between the two of them. Samuel adores his Pappa! They laugh, play and have serious indepth talks about the Trinity (oh, well someday they will). Here is my tribute to Samuel and his Pappa. I love the pictures above, they really show how happy my two men are when they are together.



Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Well it is now the time of year to be outside!!!! Sweden is amazingly lovely right now, and unusually warm, and has been for several weeks now. The leaves are coming out and the flowers are blooming.

This means it is time to put the row boat in our favorite lake Tinsjon (tin lake). This lake has no homes on it and you are not allowed to have motors on your boat. So it is quite, beautiful, and unspoiled. There is a small island where loons lay their eggs, and you can hear animal calls for miles. Samuel was especially excited about putting the boat in the lake. He has taken a liking to going out on the water. Of course, he has no fear (fun for him, not for mom). So we set out one evening to have a picnic and row around part of the lake (it is rather big). All was going farely well for a while. The dog didn't particularly like getting on the boat, but did fine during the ride. Samuel was thrilled. I ended up on the opposite end of the boat from Samuel. So of course I was constantly saying, "Samuel sit down, Samuel get your hands back in the boat, Samuel stay seated!". Andreas laughed at my over-protectiveness and told me to leave him alone! I tried, which meant I had to close my eyes. I was not enjoying myself so much.

We landed and had a great picnic and explored the area that was there. Samuel is a great explorer and has fun with the smallest things. He loves sticks, they become umbrellas, he holds them out in front of him to lead songs, they become objects to tease the dog with, etc. But after a while of exploring Samuel was ready to get back in the boat (don't worry he always wears a life vest).

So out we went to row on. Again, I was having the same tete-a-tete with Samuel and Andreas was laughing at me, when Samuel bent over the side and went in head first! Andreas didn't see him fall in, but he definitely heard the splash. You should have seen the look at Samuel's face when he started to go in. Samuel did a summersault in the water and came up very surprised. He clung to the boat and looked at Andreas with pleading eyes. His little voice said very clearly, "HELP ME!". Of course it was a matter of seconds before he was in the boat. When Andreas got him in, he started to cry with fear. I was not so happy! Andreas calmed him, handed him to me and we rowed to the closest shore (the water is a balmy 50 degrees, so he was a little cold). I undressed him, wrapped him in two coats and we set off for home. Only to find that an ant had taken an interest in Samuel. Samuel did a squirmy dance until I could find the ant and kill it (not before it had taken several bites, poor guy).

We reached the shore and I wisked Samuel away to a warm car! He thought it was great fun, me, not so much. We talked over and over about why he fell in and that he had to listen to mommy next time. He agreed and now repeats the story with gusto!

The next night we went boating again, this time I sat with Samuel and he listened very well. So even though I wasn't happy about the swim Samuel took, it taught him a good lesson. He still loves the boat and the water, but prefers to stay in the boat and just play with a stick in the water. This makes mommy a much calmer person.

The pictures below are before the swim, wasn't much in the mood to document the actual event. Enjoy, feel free to laugh at me, I know I am over-protective.


He says, "when I big, like pappa, I will row the boat."

Just hanging out on the edge.
Amazingly gorgeous. Samuel thinks this is great (which we are glad about).
"Get out of the boat Samuel, we are not ready to go yet."
This is the moose that we saw after getting in the car. It is actually quite big, it was a yearling male. He was just starting to grow horns and didn't seem to care about us, just his grass. I wish we could have gotten a better picture, but this will have to do.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Hanging with Great Grandparents

Samuel does not understand the full extent of the family, but he understands names. To us and to him these people are Mormor (mother's mother) and Morfar (mother's father). These are Andreas's maternal grandparents. To Samuel they should be Gamal Mormor (old mother's mother) and Gamal Morfar (old mother's father). It makes a lot of sense when you sit down and think about it. However, we just leave off the Gamal (old). They are wonderful people and we have a great relationship with them. Mormor and Morfar had a lot to do with helping us get Samuel home. Samuel just thinks that they are here for him to play with and every once-in-a -while Morfar hands him money (which he likes, but doesn't understand yet).

We were having lunch the other day and I took the chance to snap some pictures. I really love these pics!


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Several Generations

From left to right: Johan Kjernald, Samuel Kjernald, Andreas Kjernald, Olof Kjernald (Andreas and Johan's dad), Viktor Kjernald (the bald one), and Rune Persson (Andreas and Johan's grandfather on his mother's side).

At the beginning of April we all came together for the Baptism of Viktor. Viktor is the son of Johan and Emma Kjernald (Andreas's younger brother and sister-in-law). We snapped this great photo during that time.

Samuel had a hard time realizing that we were not celebrating him that day and other children get presents when Samuel does not. But it worked out well and Samuel loves spending time with Viktor.