Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Easter here involves a lot more days off than it does at home. The boys were home from school for a five day weekend -Thursday through Monday- and the stores were closed all but Saturday. So it took a bit of planning for us! We don't usually have to worry about having all the groceries for all of our meals for several days at a time, since generally we eat at the folk school for lunch and dinner, and just have to have things for the boys to take to school and for us to have for breakfast. But the folk school was also closed during that time, so all of us were at home for five days, eating three meals a day plus what seemed like endless snacks. (and endless dishes!)

Along with a five-day weekend comes a plethora of pictures for this post! Add to that the fact that Jeff's computer screen got cracked so he has been using mine for some of his work, and all of the kids home, and Svea learning how to get out of the crib and therefore deciding she didn't need to nap...means I'm at least two weekends behind on my writing. So we've got lots of pictures here, and a general summary of the last little while.

Svea is proving to be a master of mixing prints. And she's at an age now where she wants to choose her own clothes most days. Occasionally we can persuade her into something, but often she will say "no yike it skirt" or whatever if you give her something different from what she's picked out. I love this outfit: purple hello kitty sweater tights, blue polka dot shoes, pink polka dot socks (which you can't see in this angle), her tan and white polka dot coat, and the pink hat with silver dots. The great thing is, it totally works!
She is definitely a fan of the crocus! What used to be a short walk to the folk school for meals is now a long walk of flower searching.
She is also quite the fan of tutus now, and sunglasses.
And princess dresses. She didn't pay a bit of attention to the dress up clothes until she turned 2, and now she's wearing them almost every day!
Torben and Svea were playing with the banana boxes. Occasionally Jeff brings these home from the grocery store instead of bags, and the kids always turn them into something fun. This one was a window box.
I forget what the story was they were studying at school, but these muscle-men the boys made with their own faces are pretty fun.
They also grew some plants, using cotton, aluminum foil, and pots made from old play doh containers. I don't remember what the plant is; it looked like mustard seeds to me. They were sort of spicy, and people eat these on eggs.
They say one of the worst sounds a parent can hear is the Lego bucket getting dumped...but I'd say the perler bead bucket is a very close contender. Thankfully Princess Svea was there to help with the mess!
These chickens were out for a walk...we tried to ask them why they were crossing the road, but a car came along and they ran quickly out of there before we got a chance. It's quite funny to see a chicken run, though!
Anders asked me to take a picture of him, then did this. Generally he looks a lot like Jeff, but here he looks like some old pictures of my dad when he was little.

Pajamas, princess dress, princess shoes, feather boa, princess hat, recycled-materials rocket. What more could a little girl need!
Oh, right, a polkda dot hat and a sweater. Of course.
This is the grumpy face you get when you bring the 2 year old to Burger King and then tell her she has to wait in the chair for her food. We took the kids to Ribe on Saturday before Easter, surprising them by amazingly arriving there just in time for lunch, and happening to be right outside the Burger King! Anders was amazed that we arrived just as it happened to be lunch time. I'm still not sure he knows we planned it that way. The kids have eaten at a restaurant three times in the last 8 months, so it's a fun treat for them. And, the kids meals came with tickets to Legoland! So, a bonus all around. It opens soon, and is only an hour from here, so the boys are excited for when we will get to go. We are planning to go a few times -or at least two. Once soon, and once in June when my parents are visiting.
After Burger King, we took them to a park to play. It was such a beautiful day! Svea saw this statue and said "Julemand!" (Santa Claus!) and was very excited. Didn't have the heart to tell her it's a viking. She ran and gave him a big hug.
It was really a great park. This boat was on springs, so the whole thing moved when you played on it. They all three had a really fun time.
For egg colouring this year, I thought we'd try some natural dyes I saw on Pinterest. So in our pans we cooked red onion skins (supposedly this made jade green...), carrot tops (I added yellow onion peel too, hoping it would darken it up a bit), and blackberry tea.
The boys thought it was really fun to see what colours the eggs were going to be when we finally pulled them out of the pans!
Hmm, a bit light.
I added a bit of red food colouring to the carrot one, hoping to get an orange colour, but we ended up with pink. This one kind of looks like an old dinosaur egg you might see in a book or something.
The tea was too weak, so we added in some coffee grounds to darken it up. That gave us "cookies and cream" eggs!
And we had just a bit of green food coloring. I had put the water in first,  before discovering the green colour was pretty much empty. So they were light as well.
Then we made paper baskets by weaving different colours together. I rather enjoyed the crafting bit.
Svea was sleeping while we coloured them, so each of the boys made a couple for her as well. I rather like the more natural colours of them! The brownish crackly one is from the red onion skins...not at all jade green, nor what we expected a bit, but fun nonetheless.
These are Torben's. The top two are from the tea-coffee pot, the middle are from the red onion skin and the orange-red one, and the bottom are also the orange-red one and the green one.
I had blown out eggs instead of boiled eggs. I forgot that they'd float. So, mine are different sorts of colours rather than uniform like the ones the boys did.
I think they are sort of fun, though. I used the three that weren't green, obviously.
Here are Anders and Torben with the baskets they made. They were both quite proud of their work! And it was fun to teach them.
I made one for Svea as well. Jeff and I had to share, because we were done weaving paper by the time we got four done. Also, the Easter Bunny hadn't bought any chocolates for us, we'd heard, so it wasn't necessary to have a big basket each.
The night before Easter, we also planted some lollipop seeds. Just a few, to see if they really grew.
I thought they would want to plant them outside, but they thought the little vases in the window of the dining room were a better idea. And I guess they were right! Sunday morning, there were lollipops! It was so fun to see how Anders' face and eyes totally lit up at this bit of magic. I thought they were maybe a bit too old for it, but they weren't at all. He was (as usual) the first one up, and he came downstairs and saw them, and ran back up with his eyes practically dancing! "The lollipop seeds grew!!" This is one of the great aspects of parenting -finding something your kids will like, and seeing how absolutely full of joy they are about it.
The Easter Bunny also left them some giant chocolate eggs, and a couple of chocolate bunny suckers. Try as we might to ration it, all the candy was gone by Sunday night.
They sure enjoyed the lollipops though!

I had to get just one photo of my basket full of eggs. Then the boys played egg hunt with them over and over again, until all the eggs had been used up.

Torben has been enjoying the dress up box as well -though much of this came from Jeff's closet instead. Here, they were both "going to work" -I'm not sure where they work, but it looks like a fun place!

The boys have an interesting tradition with egg hunts -they hide them for each other, then search for them, then hide them again. Last year there were at least 5. This year I think they stopped after 3 -mostly because the eggs broke and a few got lost in the trees.

They just love playing outdoors! It's so fun to see them climbing trees and swinging on the swings, and just being kids. We don't have any good climbing trees at home, and that I will miss. Anders asked last week if we could plant one when we get home. He couldn't understand why that wouldn't work...

Here, I think he was pretending this was either a book, or a map. Perhaps a treasure map, they seem excited about those lately!
This is just a statue outside the door of the playhouse. I always think it's asking to be photographed.
Svea loves the trampoline! We have to watch her carefully, because she's still small enough she could fall underneath it, but it's great that it's at ground level!
 Anders looks like he's dancing a little jig here. I didn't notice that when I took the picture! A dancing brother pulling his brother in a sled across the grass.
They are loving the swings!
And climbing on the swing set!
And riding bikes! How is she getting so big!

She always flies a bit higher when she's on the trampoline with them. And is laughing the whole time!
More crocus!
Torben is looking for some of the lost eggs, here, I think. There were a few they didn't find after their egg hunt on Sunday.

We did find some of the lost eggs. Hiding in the grass like it was a nest.

 The daffodils are blooming now too! They are so gorgeous! Svea loves them, and calls them "duckodills"
 And I love the little bunches of mini narcissus as well! They are everywhere. It's such a vibrant yellow against all the browns of winter, and then with the greens that are turning up with the rains and warm weather, it's a sight to sooth the soul.
It was strange to not go to church on Easter this year. We've found it very difficult to go to church here, which is hard for me. Svea really cannot sit still, and I don't understand what they are saying, and it gets to be a long time for the boys as well. So we have stayed home. We are really looking forward to going back to church when we get home.

Well, I think I have caught up with the two weekends that encompassed our Easter. It's a bit short, considering, but I got distracted with living and forgot to write about living. It happens. We have less than 100 days left of our trip, and so many exciting things we want to pack into that time; and so many visitors to expect. It's going to be a quick spring!

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