Saturday, June 28, 2008

Midsummer, wind and waves

This is Andreas trying to write a blog entry. I usually don't get this privilege, or take it, so I am glad to write to all of you prospective readers. We just celebrated Midsummer here in Sweden, which is sort of our July 4th. Normal ingredients are a Maypole, flowerwreaths on people's heads, pickled herring, new potatoes, sour cream, chives, fresh strawberries, and lots of alcohol for those who do that sort of thing. We enjoyed everything but the alcohol, and we're better off for it. Oh I forgot, we didn't do the maypole thing where we are supposed to dance around it making frog sounds and other fun things

Here are som pictures from the ocean where we stayed at my parents house. It was rather windy and these waves come all the way from England so it can be quite the spectacle. This time it was more pretty than violent, not always a bad thing.

This is me, my parents and Sam looking at the ocean, feeling small and trying to figure out where their house is.

This is when Sam and I were trying to get the mat of moss off our roof. We did succeed even though Sam had to get off the roof due to the worst-case scenario images flashing through my mind all the time. We also learned that gnats live in moss. Not so good.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rain, Rain... Thank You For Coming!

Happy Rainy Moments

Samuel decorated mommy's flowers with his wind flower!

We have had an unusual dry period here in Sweden. Parts of the country are having troubles with wild fire. This is very unusual for a country that sees more rain than not. So finally this week has been rainy. We miss the sun, but are very thankful for the rain. Especially since we get our water from a dug water well. We were a little worried about it drying up, but all is well (ha ha).

We did have some troubles the other night with our water pump. To put it simply, it no longer works. We could have told you that after the burning smell it let out on Monday night. However, Tuesday we had a new pump (water restored) and Andreas's dad has been wonderful to pay for the repair (can't thank them enough).

The pictures are of Samuel playing in the rain. Here in Sweden it usually rains so much that they are use to going on with all activities during the rain. Hence, the full body rain suit. Samuel had a great time in the rain and even decided it was fun to play in the sand box in the rain.

This weekend is Midsummer celebration and so everyone is off and looking forward to dancing around the May pole. For those who do not know what that is I will send pictures after the weekend. It is for all basic purposes a fertility pole. When I first came to Sweden and saw this, I was amazed that this was going on. They do actually dance around a phallic symbol, and even though I am not into that, I do enjoy that my husband gets time off. I hope everyone has a great weekend.


Monday, June 16, 2008

11 Wonderful Years

Today has been my 11 year anniversary with the wonderful and handsome man pictured below. This is the second time in our 11 years that the anniversary is on a Monday (which is the actual day that we got married). Andreas and I went out on the town. Farfar took care of Samuel and Andreas and I headed to a new restaurant - The Himalaya, a Nepali Kitchen. We were really excited to eat there, but unfortunately, it was closed. Apparently they do not serve dinner on Mondays (would have been nice for the review in the paper to say that). So we ended up eating at a good Indian restaurant instead. We walked and talked through the city (I was not prepared to walk in the shoes that I had on, so I had to buy new ones). Then we had dessert at a simple, but nice, cafe (I really like the European cafe life). Andreas has planned a 3 day trip to London for us in July to celebrate our anniversary. We will be seeing Mamma Mia there. I have always wanted to see a show in London! Last year when we hit ten years we didn't have any money or anyone to watch Samuel for a few days, so we promised ourselves that we would do something this year. Andreas came through, like he always does.

After 11 years of marriage I am still amazed by this man. He is kind, thoughtful, loving, fun and still very theological. I praise Jesus for such a wonderful husband and look forward to continuing growing old with him. Thank you Lord!

Such a good looking man!

Andreas brought me 10 white roses and 1 red one.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Family Gatherings

Samuel and his second cousin Hannes Persson playing together. Hannes is 6 months younger than Sam, but slightly taller ;).

Mormor with Viktor as he attacks Johan's arm (Johan is Andreas's brother)

Per with Selma (Per is Andreas's cousin and Hannes's and Selma's dad)

Farmor with Viktor, notice the yellow and blue Swedish jersey in honor of the Swedish soccer team in the European Cup.

Mormor with Viktor

Family gatherings are a good time to see the generations together. Recently, I have been taking a lot of pictures of Mormor and Morfar with the great-grandchildren. I know that they will not be with us forever and want to take the time to capture these memories for their great-grandchildren. Today we got together to celebrate Johan's 31st birthday and Emma's 29th birthday (Emma, if I am wrong on the age, I am sorry). Emma's birthday was on the 13th and Johan's is on the 17th. We had 4 generations of family there and it was great to see them all interact and the kids play together. Samuel has a second cousin named Hannes, who is only 6 months younger than Sam. They get along well and it is fun to watch them play. Then Samuel loves to play with his cousin Viktor and now there is Selma and 3 month old little girl (Hannes's sister). Hopefully we can add another one to the clan in the not-so-far future.

We also watched Sweden play Spain in the European Cup. I am sorry to say that Sweden lost (but if you meet a Swede on the street, don't mention it - they take their soccer very seriously). Spain scored in the very last seconds of the game (kind of like what happened in Kentucky football a couple of years ago). I am really glad that Samuel is not quite into the whole soccer thing yet. I don't know if I am ready for that as a mom. Samuel decided it was better to watch a cartoon movie with Hannes and Farmor.

I have also added another link to my list. Rhett and Amanda Simmons in Mississippi. Rhett and Amanda adopted a little boy from Guatemala when he was 6 months old, now Wesley is 2 and Amanda is pregnant. They are a great family that loves the Lord.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.


Mormor and Selma

Morfar and Viktor

Emma and Viktor

Johan and the grill

Farmor, holding Viktor, with Hannes and Samuel (I think you can tell who is who).

Friday, June 13, 2008

Emotional Moments for a Pastor's Family

About a week ago (sorry it took me so long) the Methodist Church had their annual conference in Gothenburg. During that time Andreas was installed as a probationary elder in Alingsas, making everything very official. I didn't think that it would be an emotional moment, but it was. I was crying when Andreas knelt down to be commissioned and prayed over. Then I looked next to me and Andreas's mom was crying too (never good for two women to be crying, we keep each other going). It was one of those very real moments when you realized that the call you have received from the Lord is coming to pass. It was a good moment to realize the faithfulness of the Lord and his ability to bring things to fruition. Another moment to yet again put my reliance in Him.

Andreas asked me if I was crying because he was joining the United Methodist Church (which I have issues with), however, when you are called by the Lord you do not choose where or when - just to go. Please pray for us and we try to minister to the Swedish people and show them that Jesus is not a myth but the lover of their souls.


Andreas and the Bishop.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hanging Laundry

Calvin Klein and Spiderman, my son is so stylish! (By the way for all you moms who are wondering, the Calvin Klein underwear was bought at T.J. Maxx or Marshalls, very cheap and I have found that it is the best fitting for little bottoms. Better than the walmart Spiderman ones).

We are experiencing an unusually warm time in Sweden. It has actually been up to 80 degrees or more here (no humidity, I love it)! This means that we are able to do activities that are usually reserved for July and August. We are swimming in the lakes (and not freezing), leaving the doors on the house wide open and I am hanging my laundry on the line outside.

I have always liked to hang my laundry on the line. It reminds me that summer is here (after a Swedish winter this is a wonderful welcome). Laundry has never been my favorite past time, but this I enjoy. I think the pictures above are so very cute. I thought I would share them with you.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Fun Moments With Morfar

Drinking Ice Tea together.

No words needed.

Morfar and Samuel don't speak the same language, but they always communicate. I love to watch them together. They are two peas in a pod.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sandbox Happiness

About a month ago Andreas and I started talking about building Samuel a sandbox. We have noticed that where ever we are, if there is a sandbox, Samuel is in it. He loves to run in it, throw it, take sandbaths in it, build with it, dig in it, etc... If you can do it with sand, Samuel will do it. So about a week ago we could finally afford to buy the wood, and then yesterday Andreas did the back-breaking work of retreiving the sand from the quarry in front of our home (which Samuel has asked for everyday since building the box). Samuel is so excited! Today he spent almost every waking moment in the sand. The moments he wasn't in the sand, he was in the little tub on the porch (getting the sand off of him). Andreas was very excited to be able to build his son this sandbox. Enjoy these moments with us.


Andreas hard at work (he just loves to use that drill).

Andreas and Samuel celebrating the victory of a sand box.

Time to play.