Saturday, June 26, 2010

Midsommar Fest

Yesterday we had, as best we could, a traditional Midsommar Fest, or mid summer party in English. We had Håkan, Tindra and Eva-Lotta visiting from Sweden and we also had Kaisa and her two girls who are also Swedish. Having lived in Sweden for 5 years we know how important this party is for Swedish people so we tried to accommodate.  We had several very enjoyable such events when we lived there. See the last picture below taken at one such party we hosted on our balcony.

Traditionally celebrated on the last Friday of June, events include raising and dancing around a huge maypole with flowers covering the entire pole. We didn’t do this.  We did try to have all the traditional foods however, the year's first potatoes, various pickled herring, cured salmon, chives and sour cream, beer, strawberries and cream. Traditionally the event is strongly coupled with drinking snaps and singing songs but we also skipped this activity this year. Shown below are a few pictures from our day. 

Håkan, Eva-Lotta and Tindra Visit

This week we have our longtime friends from Sweden visiting us, Håkan, Eva-Lotta and their daughter Tindra. Many of you will remember Håkan being mentioned in these pages, he lived here in Lafayette while he did his PhD graduate work in Lynne’s group at Purdue. They will be here taking it easy for the week and we kicked the festivities off yesterday with a Midsommar Fest which I’ll describe later.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

To all you Fathers out there; Happy Father's Day. I was treated to a rather large cooked breakfast this morning, with several rounds of coffee re-fills and a chance to read the paper. I also received a beautiful framed picture of the kids, together with a wonderful Fathers Day poem against a backdrop of our kids' foot imprints (shown below). Anja and Isabel also did this nice card, so big that I couldn't scan it, I had to take a picture of it. Thanks to all who contributed, you know who you are :))

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Tooth

Our big news for the day, Connor has finally pushed a tooth through. It seems like they have been bothering him for the longest time (they probably have), we are now hoping that with this first arrival he will start to have fewer painful symptoms. Lynne was snapping a few photos of him earlier and unbelievably captured a view of the new tootsie, if you strain you can see it in the second photo below.

Hung out at home today, shopping in the morning while the girls and Connor played football (soccer) with Lynne. This evening we had Kaisa and her girls for the evening, Kevin is traveling. Tomorrow we are having another lazy and one of our classic Sunday days…we're off to hang out with Lisa and Brad at their farm. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fire Station

This week Brooke, together with a few other people, took the children to a local fire station. They were all excited beforehand about meeting the firemen and getting to see the fire engine. They had fun and it seemed like the firemen were pretty engaged with the kids and all to willing to have fun with them. Thanks for taking them Brooke, and for taking some pictures.
Of interest to some of you outside the US, one of the pictures shows the girls with the Fire Station Dalmation. I believe there is one of these outside every fire station in the US. There are several theories why the Dalmation is the official mascot of the fires service, I found a plausible one here and here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Raspberry Time

It's raspberry season here in West Lafayette and we have lots to go around. I think this is our first year where supply outstrips demand. Raspberries rapidly expand their territory and we now probably have a 20ft patch. We have been picking them for a few weeks, Lynne filled a large bowl earlier in the week, I picked another large bowl this morning and the girls go out often to help themselves. 

This morning Lynne made apple and cottage cheese pancakes, a recipe from her New Moosewood Cookbook, they went perfectly with sugar or maple syrup and fresh picked raspberries of course!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Any Good at Deciphering?

OK, a little challenge to you all out there in social media land. How much free time do you really have?Anja wrote the little note shown below for Brooke this week. We were pretty impressed although it takes some significant deciphering….Brooke figured it out. Can you? Leave a comment on the blog or Facebook if you think you got it!! I'll post what we think it reads in a few days!

Pictures From this Morning

Just wanted to post a few pictures taken this morning. I was "working" on our new Mac this morning while the kids were playing on the rug behind me so Lynne snapped a few shots. They all thought it hilarious, well the girls did anyhow! Connor is wearing his now famous and typical "deer in the headlight" look!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hike in Devils Lake State Park

I have just a few more pictures from my trip to Wisconsin this week.  The format of this symposium allowed for some time to get outdoors and explore a little.  On Wednesday afternoon a few of us took a hike in Devils Lake State Park. Shown below are a few photos of Sheri, John, Dan, Ray and myself. 

Earlier I mentioned that Sheri was a friend of Lynne's from her time Wisconsin. I found a few photos of Lynne and Sheri from 12 years ago taking a hike in this very park, they are also shown below; I think you'll figure out which is which :))

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

In Wisconsin

This week, I’m away from home on business again. I know, not fun for Lynne. This week I’m at a symposium in Merrimac, Wisconsin, and staying at the Devils Dead Resort. It’s actually a beautiful exclusive location set in the hills of Wisconsin just north of Madison. The area has numerous lakes and in the winter this resort is a ski resort.

Yesterday I got here a little early and took a 1.5 hour hike up the ski slopes, actually along their mountain biking trails. It was nice to get some fresh air and some nice lake views. This symposium is also nice since I’m meeting many old friends, many of whom Lynne actually knows. Sheri and Bruno and indeed, Lynne’s old mentor from Wisconsin, George Zografi. I’m enjoying this visit; I’ll be back home Thursday evening.

This is a view from the top of the Devils Head Ski Slopes

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Fairwell Blue Chair

This post is a long time coming, let me explain. When we were expecting Anja, we got this blue bouncy chair from some friends of ours at their garage sale. It has served us very very well indeed as you can see  from the pictures of each our kids below. They each spent untold hours in it.

So, it was with a little sadness and nostalgia that we sent this item on to its new home two weeks ago. Toni, who looks after Frida and Anna, is expecting a boy later in the year and we're positive that he too will spend many hours sleeping in it.

As I uploaded the photos below, another thought occurred to me. Ruby, Lindsay and Mike's girl also spent many many hours in this chair whilst she was with us, she was born between Ajna and Isabel.




Happy Birthday Logan

Logan has a birthday this weekend, 8 years old, and thats all we need around here as an excuse to spend some time with friends and eat cake and ice-cream. We'll be heading out here shortly to go over to Randy and Lorraine's to celebrate Logan with them and his family. Happy Birthday

Saturday, June 05, 2010

New Toy - iMac

We have have made the switch to a Mac. Yip, finally got tired of being frustrated with the old clunker PC and since we were due for a new PC we went ahead and bought an iMac. It arrived today and I have been playing with most of the day. It's very nice indeed but now I'm frustrated with not knowing how to fully operate a Mac. Typical :)) I'm sure I'll get used to it though. It's very slick and sleek indeed. It looks great, runs fast and operates very smoothly.

I went for a slightly modified version. I got the 21.5 inch screen with an upgrade to the 8Gb RAM and with a 2 TB hard drive!! This should keep me going for a while!!

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Mummy's Boy

I was in the study this evening right after Connor took a nice long nap when Lynne came in with him to sit down. He was in a very cute mood since he was well rested. Right now he is acutely aware of who is holding him and nobody beats Mummy!! He was giving me lots of smiles for the camera, that is when I was taking pictures and not try to take him :))

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Friday, June 04, 2010

Summer Camp

This week Anja spent most days at Summer Camp, the local YMCA Straight Arrow Day Camp. For those of you reading from the US, this will be very familiar, but those of you in Europe, this is one of the great American Summer traditions. The kids all go off to some sort of Summer Camp. Anja loved it.

They did canoeing, horse riding, bows and arrows, fishing, wall climbing, singing and lots of other organized activities. She was exhausted most evenings after her 9-4pm day of fun. She loved her counselor, Kix.

Tonight was the grand finale, with a family night of organized skits and singing. We took a picnic along and sat back to enjoy the hour-long entertainment.

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