Thursday, October 30, 2008
But I have to admit that the Princess comic book was the FAVORITE! And we read it several times during our "pyjamas" day. (whenever we don't have to go anywhere & the weather is crappy...we have a pj day at home...that was today...I think I have failed to mention that this week is "FALL BREAK" for all students and teachers! That's why I'm playing around so much!)
Still reading....later in the day! Thank you so much Lesley Ann! Everything was a hit! And the Halloween card is hanging on the wall with other decorations!
Partially because I'm trying to encourage Maya to dress herself and partially because I've tied SO MANY shoe laces during my 23 years of teaching...I have not bought Maya any shoes with laces! (Is a good thing or a bad thing other Mommies out there?) ...so with the Hello Kitty shoe lace covers from Lesley Ann I made hair decorations...just sewed them onto a scrunchy. Very cute if I say so myself!
Lesley Ann....you wrote to me on a Longaberger card....do you sell them? When I saw that name I realized that YEARS AND YEARS ago I bought 2 baskets from a teacher at school who was selling them. (must have been circa 1986-87?) At the time I could only afford to buy the cheapest ones she had....here's one of them. They are great quality! I used to keep baby stuff for the changing table in this one...but now I should think of something else to use it for.
The first thing I saw when I opened the box were these two smiling women! They said...Welcome to your surprise!
At the bottom of the little fabric bag were these handpainted American flags....tears came to my eyes! I swear! I'm PMS but I"m also feeling so wonderful about these elections! And during these moments in history...I feel a bit homesick!
These are the wonderful gifts Lesley Ann made for me! I love the warm reds and golds! So cozy and they match so many of the areas in our home....just perfect I will use them with a smile! She sent a pattern for me to try out too....new fun things to create!
Her attention to details made the gifts even more special....can you read the sewing quotations on the little cards? The pin cushion has a different design on each of the four sides....and it smells good! (maybe Lesley Ann will share with us what's inside!)
I christened the coaster right away....first I spilled coffee on it, then juice! (I'm never so clumsy...why my new coaster? is it washable?)
This wasn't all she packed in the box.....next post will show you what she sent to lucky Ms. Maya!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
and what an ANGEL she is! I'm so very excited about everything in my box....but I'll wait to tell you more tomorrow because I want you to see some photos of all the sweet things she sent to US, yes, us...she included many surprises for Maya, too! So generous and perceptive! It's too dark for decent photos to come out without bleaching the colors of the fabrics with the flash and false lighting so I'll post them tomorrow along with all the sweet details of Lesley Ann's handiwork.
Please stop by Lesley's blog and write her about turning 30! She has a giveaway right now!
Oh how I"d love to be 30 again! (but with my current life....not that I didn't like my life before but now it has my Bo and Maya in it!) I guess...I'd really really like my 30 year old body back! (and I used to think I was fat! lol!)
Tomorrow...I'll also show you what was in postoffice pick-up package # 2!
BTW Sunrise 7:10 am....Sunset 4:38 pm ....The days are getting so short! It's below freezing tonight...frost on the Pumpkin Lady tomorrow!
Here's her close up! She reminds me of ME....a round and happy face with a slouchy, poofy body!
Got another FPC....from Brenda! My necklace thought that Oregon Ghost was very cute! ;-)
Got two slips from the postoffice today to pick up packages!!! Maybe it's from my Stitcher's Angel! ? Will let you know later......
Monday, October 27, 2008
I hope I'm not being cheeky by posting this....but I do know that it costs A LOT to mail packages from the USA to Sweden! I'm so excited about receiving something....this is my first SWAP!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Maya and I went shopping yesterday to purchase the items for packages to give to the school children in Eastern Europe (Latvia, Moldva, Rumania, Ukraine). We had fun picking out the items together although I had to remind her a couple of times that we were not shopping for her or her friends! She understood finally that the things are for poor children who do not have all the nice things she has....like SOAP! a tooth brush....and paste!
And today we put the packages together.....
- 1 notebook for writing
- 1 lead pencil
- 1 eraser
- 1 drawing pad
- 1 packet of colored pencils, crayons or markers
- 1 soap
- 1 toothbrush
- 1 tube toothpaste
- 1 small box of candy
- 1 holiday greeting card and
Maya wrote on each of the 10 cards from our family...she did so very neatly. I am proud of her participation in this charity activity organized in part by my American Women's Club. It feels good to pass along the joy of giving to others to her! I hope we can do something like this every year. (wish we didn't have such poverty in the world, though)
I love wrapping gifts! Can you tell!?
Here are our 10 packages...ready to go on their journey to Eastern Europe!
If you live in Sweden...perhaps you would also like to give something to others less fortunate! I've included the information for you below.....
This charitable action is organized through a reliable charity (Lakarmissionen) Human Bridge. Receiving a Christmas gift of soap and a few pens will obviously not change the lives of children living in some of the impoverished parts of Eastern Europe; however it may help to make their Christmas a little happier knowing that somebody in another country has thought of them.
What charity projects are you involved in for the holidays or other times of the year?
Friday afternoon I met my family for our own cozy time at the summer house....we played games and I took a long much needed nap then Bo made dinner for us! Saturday morning Maya helped me plan a sewing project for a fun Christmas present for her grandmothers....I'm using the arm chair caddy idea from Hugs and Kisses but with our own designs...later I'll show them off! We "put away the garden" at the summer house so it's ready for winter weather. And the darkness is closing in on us.....time for candles every day!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Even though mine doesn't have a blog...I wonder if she has found me! Probably not....so next week I'll show you what I'm sending her in Australia!
We had a good laugh before the show because our girls are perfectly spaced apart in age and size...like steps. Caithlin, Maya and little Sophia...and the clothes get handed down that way between our homes. Caithlin's clothes are passed along to Maya, then after Maya is finished with them and some of her own clothes, they go to Sophia. On Sunday we could definitely see this clothes swapping in use!
At the Swedish movie theater....there are booster seats for the kids! YEAH! Everyone can see the screen without squashing Mommy's lap!
Check out these strong girls! Madagascar 2 / 3? Coming soon......
Before we left a dinosaur from Ice Age 3 caught up with Maya....but she wasn't hurt! I can't wait to go to the movies again! That was FUN!
Marie sent this paper postcard....perfect for my "real" post card collection! Thanks Marie! I'm so sorry but I left you off the mailing for the October cards...somehow I've missed your name, not Brenda's fault but my own as the printer was only set for one page and your name & address was on the second page (where mine is as well). Thanks everyone! I've got to send Brenda a correction in my address for you all. It's missing a "R".
Florida is my home-sweet-home state! My parents still live there....thank goodness, because we get to visit when I go "home" which is usually in the winter time nowadays. I miss it....especially and I mean ESPECIALLY the beaches!!! I would love to hang out all day again with my High School buddies and all their families at the beach like when we were young....yes, even with all the white cellulite hanging out all over the place. Ah....to swim in warm water!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
OBAMA! OBAMA! OBAMA! OBAMA!
WIN, WIN, WIN!
Bring dignity to our country again!
Put our economy back on track!
Bring better health care for ALL citizens!
Support our schools and teachers!
Bring home our troops safely and give them the treatment & respect they deserve once they are home!
Promote sustainable energy!
Work with other nations for the PEACE of ALL people!
YEAH! (I"m not excited about this election, am I?) ;-)
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Maya is really getting into Hello Kitty and My Little Pets or something like that. She doesn't have any of them but she's spent a lot of time drawing the figurines she has seen on an advertizement. She's in the process of making a book about them (the pets). As far as Hello Kitty, she has a couple of little odds and ends, enough to keep her satisfied but now I know what she'll be asking for Santa to bring her! (and Hello Kitty goes scuba diving! haven't seen a mermaid one, yet) ...she was also starting to desire BRATZ but I nipped that in the bud with a big NO! Hello Kitty is so awfully, sickingly sweet but not sleazy!! Rather have sweet than sleaze, especially at six years old. What do you say?
Which train would you trust to carry our country for the next four years?OK...I"m so lame with the computer stuff sometimes...I took a photo of my computer screen and then loaded it up to my blog like I do my photos...I just couldn't figure out how to save it from an email (thanks Holly C!) and then transfer it to the blog...but it worked ok, huh?
Friday, October 17, 2008
My beautiful young (45!) friend, Kim, from university days is winning her battle with breast cancer! I think she is so lovely even without her hair (which is growing back nicely) because she always has such a HUGE smile on her face which shows the warmth in her heart! I just know she's going beat this disease! I can't be with her but I send her mental HUGS all the time!
Another cancer fighter is Bo's kind and gentle Uncle Åke....I love this photo of him because usually he's quite reserved and polite. Two years ago we were at his house for the August crayfish party (typical Swedish)...what a joy to hear him SING and joke with all the guests! He's in round two of lung cancer and we hope that this time it will be zapped for good! Because we want to sing with him for many more years to come!
And look at these fun loving people! My cousin, Wendy and her husband Steve are bravely, patiently waiting for new lungs for their son, Stephen in Pittsburgh. He's got cystic fibrosis and new lungs will make him a new man! I don't have a photo of Stephen but he's as goofyfun and good looking as his parents, even when he's so sick. We love you! And think about you EVERYDAY!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
On the way to my beloved monthly Bookworms meeting I stopped by a mall to do a little shopping and grab a bite to eat before the gathering. Usually I eat at Grafitti Cafe while in a mall here in Sweden because the salads are fresh and tasty (they make them in front of you like the way Subway makes their subs in front of you)...I was really looking forward to a fresh crispy healthy salad until....the guy that was going to make my plate of food turned around to talk to the girl in the kitchen with his hands on his hips, resting them not on his pants but his underwear! Not only could I see his fancy print underwear but I could also see nearly all of his butt crack through the thin fabric of the underdrawers. I lost my appetite. I changed my order to something that didn't require him to touch very much of my food with his bare hands. While he was preparing my dinner, I saw another one of the young workers working on something else, she had to bend over to pick up an item and then she reached back to pull her underwear up because it had started to slip down below her crack line. Oh Yuck...how will I eat this food when the workers have their hands so close to their butts all the time?! Then the girl in charge came out of the kitchen to talk to them closer....at least her underwear was inside her pants! But then she crawled through the order window on her hands & knees (over the countertop) instead of using the door....that was it, I threw away my food! Yes, I know those of you who are assertive would have asked for your money back....but I didn't want to sound like an old complaining woman, especially one who can't speak Swedish well. I think I'll write a letter to the company though. Fashion or no fashion....that can't be hygienic!
I think next time I'll eat at a restuarant where I can't see what the people preparing food are wearing! Ignorance is bliss! (although I could still get sick) It's quite an expected thing to see the crack of the plumber while he's fixing pipes but it's all together another thing to see the cracks of the food prep people. What do you think? Am I being a middle-aged grouch?
or have I just wiped one butt too many during the past 8 years!?
And another thing....if you have teenaged kids, do you let them wear those "just outta jail hang-off the butt pants because the cops took away my belt" fashion????
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Here are the things I worked on...
1- Polar Bear quilt block, to be donated to the FAWCO Friendship Charity quilt...theme this year "Save our Planet"...I did the Polar Bear to represent its decreasing habitat due to global warming, Orcas for the need for healthy seas....
2- finished two more items for the Stitcher's Angel swap...will show better photos of that later
3- made a flannel pj neck pillow for Maya to use in the car (I saw this idea on someone's blog but can't remember whose so if it's your idea, let me know so I can give you credit!)
4- ALMOST finished a UFO...my multi-cultural Santas (need to embellish to hide mistakes and slip stitch binding and add hanging gear)
My friend, Kelly Sue worked on so many great things and I'm so proud of her that I will include her creative projects on my blog for you to see:
1- a pretty, pinky snuggle blanket for her little daughter
2- jeans, jeans, jeans...she patched her older daughter's hand-me-down worn-out knees with snazzy, dazzy patches
3- and she made a cute, cute, cute iPod holder complete with hooky thing! (I was going to make that too but ran out of time)
Someone in our group made a cool-o project with plastic beads...she made her children's photo into a beaded work of art (see above) with the help of a computer program that tells you where to put what color beads. I was skeptical about the project at first but it really turned out neat looking...she's not quite finished with it. But you can see part of it.
Another member brought some delicious Indonesian rice cakes to share with us while we created....she's going to give us the recipe later. And maybe I'll pass it along to you!
Kelly Sue and I spent the night at the summer house so we played until 1:30 am then went to bed....in the morning after breakfast we continued our projects until lunch time then packed up the little yellow wagon to go home. (My dad made this wagon to carry things out to the car...cute, huh?) Our husbands survived the night without us and our children did, too! Can't wait until the next CRAFTY DAY!
Friday, October 10, 2008
All tuckered out....this kid needs some GATORADE!
A second wind once we got outside....she and Farmor picked pretty leaves to bring home!
I had to stop on our road to take this shot out the car window....I love the fall! Such luscious colors! Such energy in the cool air! Such darkening days.....more time to cozy up inside!
This weekend or next I must start to "put the garden to bed" for the winter. Last trimmings, weedings, and cuttings....then wait for all the leaves to fall for the big rake up!
I"m wondering about the folks south of the equator....How's the spring developing? Are you getting ready for summer? Do you celebrate Halloween in Australia and New Zealand?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I went to a great 3 hour talk presented by a Swedish woman who teaches English near Lund. She uses many of the same approaches I use in teaching language to make it natural and FUN and affective! So that was reaffirming to me that she's had equal success with her kids...I know I'm doing right! ;-) Got so many new ideas to try with my students! I love learning new things! But I didn't get home from that until after 10 pm last night so I woke up tired out this morning....
Bo is sick with something icky...sounds like Darth Vader when he speaks. Maya and I have some sinus discomfort and headaches. Hope we won't follow his path of ickiness. I'll pop us some extra vits and echinchea (spell?). I was hoping to get my flu vacination this Friday but I don't think they'll let me take it while I'm not feeling well. darn.
Today was "FreeAir Day" (friluftsdag)....OUTDOOR Day is a better translation. I love it! Each season our entire school spends the whole day outside (rain or shine!) enjoying nature! Sometimes we have planned group activities and other days it's a long walk with free play time at several stops along the way. Brillant fall sunshine warmed our day and it was perfect for grilling! (My job along with another English teacher...I think we grilled over 300 hot dogs!) I'm pooped...and I smell like smoke! hummmm.....
My in-laws are here for the night....don't know how long they are staying with us but I'm sure my hubby loves it since he gets no simpathy from me when he is sick. (unless he is REALLY sick, of course!) Maya loves it when they are here. I like it too, as I couldn't have gotten better in-laws, but at the moment I just want to curl up with a book and snooze on the couch after dinner, now I have to be somewhat socialable. I'll survive! It's almost the weekend!
And it will be a great weekend....several of my friends from the American Women's Club (of Malmö) will come to our summer house to have CRAFTY DAY! 9 am to midnight! (some will sleep over, I think) Although I know what I'm going to work on...I need to pack up my stuff and my trusty Brother (sewing machine). Can't wait! We talk a lot but keep our fingers busy! I'll post photos afterwards!
Time to be social.....
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I know this is risky business bringing up politics on a non-political blog but
1- it's MY blog so it's MY opinion
2- if I help change the mind of just one voter to OBAMA I will be thrilled!
3- if the American people put McCain in the White House, I will deny I'm an American if anyone asks me....for the last 8 years it has been TOTAL embarrassment, I"m not going through that again! Please read on...
With America facing historic debt, 2 wars, stumbling health care, a weakened dollar, all-time high prison population, mortgage crises, bank foreclosures, etc.; which team would you hire?
Columbia University- B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude
University of Delaware- B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor(J.D.)
United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho- 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College- 1 semester
University of Idaho- 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism
Please vote with your BRAIN!
And don't listen to the fear tactics of the Republicans!
Several hours later after my tax papers were collected and noted and faxed to the appropriate places, I allowed myself time to sew in the basement with my wonderful assistant! (still avoiding the work with my students' reports!) To sew my October fabric postcards I decided it was high time to use my cute little applique iron (I've only had it 8 years and have never used it!) Well, who thought the iron was made especially for her?....just guess! She remembered that I had a mini ironing board so she ran upstairs to grab her "wrinkly" Barbie dresses and hankies. We learned that not all Barbie clothes should be ironed and now Mommy has some holes to repair!
Next she had to set up a clothes line to hang up her freshly ironed things....she used her smallest hair clips to do the job! (Please notice the amazing peacock painting she made for me last week!)
So finally between the various moments of assisting Ms. Maya with her ideas...I was able to FINISH my Stitcher's Angel armchair caddy! I like it so much that I'm going to make one for me and perhaps a few for holiday gifts! I'll show you a complete photo after I've sent it to my Angel lady in Australia!
In the early evening....it was time for a FAMILY HUG by the fireplace! Not everyone is complete in the photo but you get the idea! Pappa, Mommy, Maya, Basil-the-cat and Pepe-the-dog! (if Maria-the-fish knew what we were doing, she'd probably want to join in too!)
Hope your Sunday has been one of fun!
This evening...I'm really going to get to those 33 reports I have left to do! Honest!
Friday, October 3, 2008
Procrastination tactic #2.....working on crafty projects! Now that I have a pile of work to do the yearning to sew is even greater! It's like I'm being invisibly pulled down into the basement to MAKE SOMETHING! And who wouldn't want to make this CUTE project that Maya designed for me to do!??? Can you see what it is? She wants me to use her "too small" clothes and stuff them and sew them together to make a rag doll for her. She cracks me up with her step-by-step instructions, complete with hands holding needle and thread! This is not the first of this kind, she's made step-by-step instructions for Pappa to build a complicated music stand (with a fancy lyre backdrop---she doesn't even play an instrument seriously yet) and step-by-step instructions for Granpa's birdhouse (which they did build together over the summer). Is this normal kid drawings? I don't know.
Procrastination tactic #3......yes, I love to take the returnable bottles to the store! Pack them up into the car...plop them into the machine and watch my money add up! Get the slip of paper from the machine and go get my money back! It's practical, it's necessary and I can avoid doing what I"m supposed to do! I've moved all the bags of bottles into position by the door...ready to go! But wait.....STOP....go back and WRITE THOSE REPORTS CAROL!!!!!! I'm signing off...soon my family is coming home and in order to avoid making dinner...I'll be writing reports! What a vicious cycle! Are there any other teachers out there that have this same problem????