Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Day

Happy Turkey Day! (a day late)

Our Thursday was too busy with school and work and "life" that we had to postpone our Turkey dinner until today. So this morning Grandma and I woke up dark and early and started cooking! HA get it...? not bright and early because it's not bright until around 9:00am... Yup, I'm funny. :)

First we made pumpkin pies. From a can. BUT, we did make the dough from scratch because there is no such thing as pre-made dough here... or so I thought. After the crusts were made I find out from another mom that they do have pre-made dough here. Grandma hates making crusts so... Grandma, I'm sorry for making you "cut butter into the flour" to make the pie crust dough, but at least I know how to "cut butter" now ...but I'll never do it because I just learned they have pre-made dough in Denmark. :)

Then we started cooking the pies... Sorry again Grandma. She tried to cook those pies for nearly two hours and was getting very frustrated that they wouldn't cook all the way through and set. They were still wet in the middle when she put the knife in to test them. I told her that is how mine always are and that I can never get them to set. We just blamed the oven and moved onto the turkey. Later, after everything had been eaten, and as we were cleaning up the kitchen; I saw that I had too many eggs in the refrigerator. Sorry Grandma. I didn't put eggs in the mix and that's why it wouldn't set right. So. I've been guarding two cans of pumpkin pie mix and one can of evaporated milk for an entire year, only to mess them both up by NOT putting the eggs in. :( For the record though I thought the pie tasted fine. :) I wonder if I've ever put eggs into my pies?? Oh. Well.

The rest of dinner was yummy too. We had a turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing, peas, salad, crescent rolls, cranberry sauce, and gravy. For dessert we had two egg-free pumpkin pies and a cream cheese pie with no graham cracker crust because I'm too stingy to use that many American graham crackers for just a crust. :)

We had fun telling our Danish friend about our traditions and finding out that she thought it was odd to eat a turkey, much less marshmallows on whatever a sweet potato was. :) ...and of course she found it odd that I'd never even considered cooking a duck.

Tomorrow. No Day-After-Thanksgiving Sales for us, but Grandma and I are taking a road trip to Sweden for the weekend. ROAD TRIP!!!! Andrea gets to come but others are getting left behind. The only problem is that I'll have to pay that dumb toll to get to Copenhagen. Grrrrr.... AND we also have to pay the even dumber toll to get to Sweden.

I'd said I'd never pay that toll again! BUT I guess I will for Grandma. AND Apparently I've gotten some facts about that bridge wrong... Apparently it is long. However, I still don't think it was anything out of the ordinary... AND I still don't think it should cost $41.00 to get across it! Maybe I didn't pay attention to the bridge itself because I was still in shock from paying the silly toll? (OOOOUUUUHHHHH It's all just my opinion!)

Night night...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More goodies

The girl's grandma (their dads mom) in California sent us a package... thank you!!! Some pancake syrup! :) ...and advent calenders!

I think the advent thing is big here in Denmark. They have all kinds of things to "count-down" until Christmas Eve. Last year we got a candle with numbers down the side that we had to burn every day. Of course we got it on the 10th of the month and it took us a week of constant candle burning to catch up. :) I just learned yesterday that they have a Christmas cartoon on every night on some channel and the kids watch it and open their advent treat for the day. Anyone know what channel it's on?

Anyways... the package was a big hit with the kids. The bubble wrap was a good half hour of fun and the box is now a car for Scotty! :) Maybe people should just send us empty boxes of bubble wrap and circus peanuts. :)

Hope the video works...

I can't get the video to "embed" so you'll have to cut and paste the link for now.

Custom Made Pink Hat

It's the cutest thing ever!! I love her little face surrounded by her pink hat that Grandma made for her! It fits perfect and is so cute that I've requested another pink hat one size larger for when she grows. :) So of course Grandma produced another pink hat!! Now Sierra wants a matching pink hat so that is today's task. I am trying to make a hat for Michaela but I'm not convinced it will look anything like a hat. So if you see Michaela wearing something that looks like a funnel/pot holder, tell her it looks great. :)

Circus Peanuts

These are circus peanuts! Most people cringe at the thought of eating them, but my Grandma and Michaela and I love them! :) They are a combination of sugar and corn syrup and I've decided there is nothing else like them in the world. You normally can only eat a few a day because they are so sweet but it is 9:00am and I've eaten three. :) I must pace myself!! Paul brought them back from the states and I'm not sure which I was more excited to see: him or the peanuts! :) (*hee hee - love you Paul and tak)

SO. To those who send Christmas gifts... (which I don't advise because it's silly-expensive, just buy a ticket to come see us.) BUT if you insist on sending something I think you should pack it in Circus Peanuts instead of Styrofoam Peanuts. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

First Weekend

I had great plans to put up some pictures of Grandma's first weekend in Denmark, but Scotty got hold of my camera and erased them all. These are from when my mom was here in September. Good thing Scotty's cute.

Yesterday we took Grandma out on adventures. We went to the deer park and down to the city center and walked around. We even peeked inside the big church that is there. I'm surprised it's taken me a entire year to finally walk inside of it. I think the freezing temperature and wind helped get me inside.

Here's my interesting story involving the church: Once we were inside Scotty got mad about his coat and a nice lady tried to make him feel better by giving him a candy. It was a black candy and I knew he'd hate it, but I didn't want to be rude... plus he was yelling over his coat; I didn't want him to get a yummy candy. He bit it and while standing in the hall of this nice, big, quiet church he yelled "EWWWW YUCKY". I figured it was a black licorice candy because most Danish people seem to like them. I though I'd eat it because I couldn't find a trash can (As I write this I'm perplexed at why I'd eat something only because I couldn't find a trash can to put it in) Anyways, it was little so I ate it - YUCK! It was a mix of black licorice and MINT! EWWWW - It was the oddest flavor I've ever tasted! It was hard and chewy and took forever to get that flavor out of my mouth.

If you are not sure how that story related to the big church... it all happened while we were inside of it.

So then we walked around town freezing to death. We found some fun stores to go into and decided we'd go back (without kids) to see the Christmas lights at night.

We had also went to feed the deer. The picture is from when my mom was here... but all this writing and no pictures is getting boring. This time we didn't see the big antlered deer. I decided they went to the North Pole to get ready to help Santa pull his sleigh.

Scotty also peed outside for the first time. :) I was surprised (and happy) he agreed to even do it because little Scott is ALL about routine. Our next step is to go potty in a public restroom.

Grandma's doing better with the time change than we've done! She's been a huge help at dinner time and started on a pink Andrea-sized hat today. :) Scotty thinks she's a stop sign that steals kisses but it's earned her some Scotty-hugs while watching Wall-E.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Grandma arrived last night safe and sound. Her travels were problem free and she is happy to be in the chaos of our family. :) Oh, and we peeked inside her suitcase of goodies! TWO JARS OF PEANUT BUTTER!!!

This morning as promised, we will celebrate with our new supply of pancake mix! Then I think we will get started on knitting hats. We now have lots of yarn and someone to show us how!! It's cold out there!

Paul is in Colorado now (where it is colder). Last time I talked to him he was in a Costco... I confirmed he received my shopping list. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

My points

Today I got a really big "roundabout point". I feel a personal satisfaction when I DON'T hit a bicyclist. ...It's like I've won or something. Bikes are everywhere (which is fine or there would just be that many more cars), but they are hard to see in the dark - especially for those right hand turns and roundabouts! So when I don't hit one I score a point. ...sometimes two points depending on how hard the bike was trying to get hit.

I give myself points when I do something good or something works out for me. :) I get to the grocery store and think I've forgotten a coin to buy a cart... then I find a coin in the car... ONE point for me! I get all four kids in the car before the rain downpours... ONE point for me! I get the last loaf of bread at the store... SCORE another point for me!!! I manage to pry open the frozen door in the morning for school; one big point!

Denmark gets points too. ...for when I get to the park with all four kids and my sunny day turns into a downpour. ...and when I get to the end of a recipe to realize what I have is NOT buttermilk. Denmark also gets points every time I go to the store and can't bring myself to pay $80 for Scotty shoes or when I realize there is no such thing as graham crackers here and my cheesecake crust isn't happening. ...and I don't know why, but Denmark gets a point when I forget to bring diapers or wipees with me.

The other day this lady literally RAN to get in front of me in a checkout line and I actually laughed out loud. I didn't give Denmark a point like I usually would have... only because she really did run and it was funny.

Current Score:
Tara - 263
Denmark - 3,875

Okay - I've wasted my last 10 minutes... off to get Grandma! YAY!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

No preschool yet

We showed up at the school on the 17th thinking he might start, but I didn't have a whole lot of faith in the process, or lack thereof. Turns out they never received his paperwork so we will try again. I'm going to call them on Monday to confirm they have the second set of forms we sent in, and with any luck he'll start on December 1st.

So Hilde and Ingrid, maybe next coffee morning I will be with only one child!!

Christmas gifts on the way...

Paul is currently in Switzerland and then he will go to the States. I am currently in Denmark and jealous beyond belief that he gets to go shopping and eat an unhealthy, American breakfast this weekend.

However, I've sent him with tasks... the first of which is to mail most of our Christmas gifts from America so I don't have to pay for the shipping from here. SO. If anyone receives a package of Christmas gifts this is why they are so early. If you don't receive a package: I didn't buy it yet or you just aren't getting anything. :)

Maybe I'll get my act together and mail Christmas cards this year... Maybe not. :) Last year I figured my excuse was that we had just moved to a new country and I was still trying to figure out how to buy food. This year I can probably use Andrea as an excuse. I'm fairly confident that I could create a pretty good excuse every year.

Paul's second task is to go shopping. He has been sent with a long shopping list which includes muffin cups, circus peanuts, and a swimming suit for Andrea. :) We'll see how much stuff he can stuff into his suitcase this time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

for mUm

To Leave A Comment:

- At the bottom of my writing click where it says "comments"
- On the left it will say "show original post". Click here.
- Now you can see the directions as you try to comment. : )
- Type whatever you want in the "Leave Your Comment" section.
- At the bottom it says "Choose an Identity"
- Select "Name/URL"
- In the name section type your name; leave the URL section blank.
- Click "Publish your Comment"

...and Wallah!! You may have to type a word that appears in a box... but it should work!!!

Numbers 3 and 4

Number 3 is now officially potty trained. He hasn't worn a diaper at all during the day for the last week, and he will pause his video game to go potty all by himself!!! He wears a diaper at night, but as soon as he wakes up he says "Diaper off. Need underwear!" Well he doesn't say it, he yells it. :) Much better than me arguing with him to take the diaper off to put on the underwear.

Number 4 is doing great too! Her major accomplishment is that she has an official morning nap time now. Sometime between 10:00 and 10:30 she will take a nap for a couple hours. YAY! I've been trying to stay at home during that time to encourage a regular sleepy-time / shower-time for me.

Today as I was putting 4 to sleep, 3 was downstairs standing on the stool at the potty requesting I help him pull up his pants (as well as his two peanut M&Ms). What perfect children I have...!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

***Chocolate Chip Pancakes***

I got the biggest (and heaviest) package in the mail yesterday from my wonderful Uncle Bruce and Aunt Ingrid!!! It was GREAT! thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!

There was one teeny tiny problem. The syrup didn't really make it. Well, I guess the syrup made it... just not in the container. :) I think the post office along the way had to put the box in a giant plastic bag and then they taped it all up. It was sort of a huge sticky, soggy cube. :) The box smelt really sweet and when I read the packing slip on the outside and it said "pancake mix" and "syrup" I knew what had happened! At first I decided to deal when the girls got home (I thought they would think it was funny) but then I got scared that the mix would be ruined so I frantically pulled out scissors and knives and started haphazardly cutting through all the tape and plastic bags and cardboard to save the mix!!!! It was like emergency surgery!! It was taped up very well and sticky scissors become difficult to use after a while... Don't worry - the mix was okay... Phew. ...and so were the eight bags of yummy chocolate chips!!! YAY YAY YAY!!!

It was funny to see the huge syrup container "safely" packed in several taped ziplock bags and with it's taped down top... and the GIANT Crack going down the back. It was completely empty! :) HAHA I was really impressed how well it soaked into EVERYTHNG! Nothing was ruined though - we just rinsed it ALL off and threw the box out the door and kept the empty container as a souvenir. It made me smile though... It still makes me smile to look at the empty container... We are going to celebrate grandma's arrival on Saturday morning with chocolate chip pancakes.

Last Saturday we used up the rest of our mix so it was perfect timing!! Thank you so much Bruce and Ingrid!!! Don't ever pay that much to ship something again! (but thank you :) ) It made me happy... and the syrup made me laugh... So it was all good!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Andrea has learned to "grab and slober" :)

She likes to chomp on things now but she sometimes gets quite upset if she can't get it into her mouth. Her favorite thing to suck on is her sleeves. She's always a slober-puddle when she wears this outfit. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Michaela's Cake

UNCLE MIKEY - HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (my youngest younger brother)

Speaking of birthdays....
Here's the highly anticipated birthday cake pictures from Michaela's party...
Nana helped.
It's a Harry Potter thing... of course.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Level 28

Hey Kev, (my little brother - older of two)

My highest level is 28. I think dad got 30.

...and I knew this one because here an apotek is the pharmacy! How cool am I?

apothecary = pharmacist

Turkey and Underwear

Turkey has been purchased!

My turkey buying excursion took place at 6:00pm with four children in the rainy darkness of the night and Scotty was diaper-less.

I've decided that maneuvering four kids through a grocery store is difficult. I usually only take Scott and Andrea which has it's own special challenges. Andrea and her carseat go into the cart which takes up the entire thing. Scotty wants to be included so he sits in the seat of the cart; the cart is full before we even start buying groceries. AND I've yet to run across a cart here that pushes straight, so we roll through the isles sideways; my little flock of people.

This turkey trip we found ourselves in the frozen "bird" isle debating which frozen mass looked the most like a turkey. In case you've never done this every frozen bird looks the same. (and I've seen a lot of frozen birds - HAHA couldn't help it Joanie!!) Anyways, we lucked out and found one that actually SAID turkey on it. I think our turkey is German though, it said "mit giblets". Doesn't mit mean med?, which means con, which means with. LOOK I can say WITH in four languages!!!

So we have a turkey and all I know is it isn't going to fit in a easy, effort-free rotisserie like all my others have. This may actually take some skill. Good thing Grandma will be here! Grandma, if you need any special turkey cooking accessories better bring them along!

...OH YAH - I also bought some big boy underwear here... I think. Buying underwear for Scotty was more difficult than buying the frozen bird. It probably took me 20 minutes. All I could find were boxer type things but they were more fitted and elasticy, like stretchy bike pants. ?? I was so confused! I'm not sure if they were underwear because they all had matching tank tops like maybe they were pyjamas...? I did find some "underwear shaped" ones but they were pink. So Scotty only got one new pair of, I think, underwear.

They are organic and soft for his bum. He has standards. :) ...and his last "fun" underwear's were "funky", his new fun word... Actually I think they were too small so he's been just wearing pants, nothing else underneath. It's funny he won't wear pants with pockets because all his jeans and cargos (with pockets) are not soft like his sweats and track pants (no pockets) so he's learned to ask for pants without pockets. I think it's smart to make the observation! I hope his organic underwear will allow him to wear his pocket pants.

He's been good at putting his pee-pees in the potty, even to the store and his gym class. Poo-poo's are another story... one I don't feel is appropriate to get into. :) I just hope school and potty combined together go well.

Italy Pictures

I was reminded I didn't put Italy pictures up, so here they are.

There are even some pictures with all six of us in it!

...and if I didn't have to upload them five at a time I would have put more. :) I've taken a MILLION pictures over the past year. Well not really, I just counted (not by hand) I've only taken 3000. That's not too bad. ...Actually I guess I took more; I've saved 3000. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Grandma - hurry!!!

Hi Grandma!

I'm so excited you are coming to visit us!!! YAY! I can't wait! (and I'm not just excited to get a new delivery of peanut butter)

My Grandma is coming to visit in less than two weeks. She'll be here for Thanksgiving so my job tomorrow will be to find and purchase a turkey. Now it will seem like Thanksgiving. Grandma saves the holiday!

I need her here now though because I'm sick (related to breastfeeding again so not contagious) and Paul's gone for the week. The girls did manage to heat up some of the vegetable soup I made last week so they could eat dinner. I got a little carried away cutting up veggies and accidentally made like 20 pounds of vegetable soup! I took some yummy American medicine so I'm feeling better for the moment...

Welcome back Ingrid! I can't wait to see a few of your elephant pictures and ALL of your leopard pictures from South Africa. When you go back I want to come too!

Friday, November 7, 2008


I found Scotty a preschool!!! WHOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

After a particularly long and loud tempertantrum thrown by "The Boy" I had had enough. I carried him to the car, strapped him in the car seat, and drove to the nearest preschool. When we went inside I asked the lady if they had an opening and when she said, "Sure, he can start tomorrow." I said, "What time do you open!!?"

We actually went back a few days later to check it out for part of the day. The preschool was cute; it is in a forest-y area down by the lake and I'm sure he'll be a mud-ball everyday. The kids looked happy and as calm as 3-6 years olds are; they weren't running around in super-loud chaos as I'm told most preschool are here. It also seemed safe because all the doors had anti-finger-pinching barriers. So it's a winner! Scotty made a teacher friend who speaks English so we were both happy.

I think he liked it; especially playing with all the other kids. They had snack time and sang The Itsty Bitsy Spider in Danish. - The tune and words are completely different but I saw the little spider climb up the waterspout and then I saw the rain wash the spider out. :) It also happened to be "picture day" so the little frazzly haired monster had his picture taken (after he finally agreed to face the camera).

The thought of having time to go grocery shopping alone or take a nap with Andrea just makes me giggle!!! I'm smiling as I type. No more Robots or Wall-E or watching continual video games during the day! :) I'm so excited!! I just want to jump up and down!! NOW. I'm trying not to get too excited in case it doesn't go well (can't you tell?). But Scotty did say that he liked it and that he wanted to stay a "million more minutes"... We can't call it school because he says "I too little for school", so we call it Bornehaven, which is what it is called in Danish. :)

So we've been practicing standing up to go potty like a big boy and we will go buy a cute little lunch box for him. I need some of those thermos things that hold hot food so I can send him with spaghetti-o's. (Mom?) He also needs some indoor slippers! How cute!!

Hopefully he'll start on the 17th!!! HUGE PARTY AT MY HOUSE!!!!! EVERYONE IS INVITED!!!!!!!!!

...on another special note: I made muffins - with flour and eggs and blueberries! I'm amazed how flour works - it's in everything! :) night night.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stages of Scotty

I was writing this on a piece of paper so I could remember to tell Paul, but decided this would be entertaining for all.

Scotty is throwing a MAJOR fit right now. ...about a video game - the little skateboard man didn't go up the right slide.

So Scott was sent to the "crying room" (the hall).
The following are things he screams about; looking for attention.
- my nose is running
- my mouth hurts
- i'm falling (he's sitting on the floor)
- my eyes are wet
- i need new diaper
- my head hurts (guess what, mine does too)
- my sock is funky (new one)

Now he's just screaming "ow, ow, ow, ow" because historically that has been the most successful complaint to get me to talk to him. Not today little boy. I'm about to put him on the porch.

Now he's saying "kiss please".... He's finally calmed down so I gave him a kiss and now he's happy.

Tomorrow we go back to check out Preschool Number 1.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Quit your jobs

: ) Hi Kerstin! I miss you too!

See, I also have a Trini friend back in California who also has a pesky job that prevents us from talking as much as we should... :) So life goes I guess. I think I'm just jealous. Maybe my old boss Joanie will call me up one day and ask me to identify a bird or make a pivot table or print a cad map or something.... (hint hint)

I was actually excited when Paul brought home an "Advanced Excel" book. Very, very, very sad. :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Waxed Paper

Did you know you can put waxed paper in the oven and it doesn't melt!!??

When I baked my cookies the other day I put waxed paper on the cookie sheet and the cookies onto the waxed paper. I've never put that paper in the oven because I thought it would melt and stick to the food. Wax melts right? Guess what? It doesn't!!! -Turns out it's okay to put in the oven!!

Cookies were yummy! Girls were happy to mix all the ingredients together. Scotty could care less about cooking. He just wants the finished cookies.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hermione and Zoey the lost Griffendor student

Look!!! Yes, I had some help, but I did Sierra's just about all by myself! I'm so impressed!! Very cool huh?

Please Note:
- Fully lined - even the hood!
- Secret Wand Pocket
- Clay Wand
- Iron on Griffendor Badge
- Matching headband
- Custom-made Scarves
- Hand-made TIE!
- Authentic looking clasp to attach in front

At least they wear them around the house still. One point for Mommy! I RULE!

Hi Julie, I so tried to order them online but it was going to be just over $70.00 for one of them. Shipping to Denmark is just silly!

Dear Dad

Don't worry Dad I'm fine. :) Sometimes you just have those days when you want to go home, then you realize just exactly where home is! :)

I think when I look back on this little two year excursion I need to remember the bad days too. I'm not just over here gallivanting through the European country side. Of course I've had plenty of bad days in California too, but I didn't have any other place where I thought the grass was greener in. When you are far away from your home and your culture, and your language, and your family, and your friends, and your "everything familiar"; even a little thing like missing trick-or-treating can set you over the edge.

...and let's just say Scotty isn't exactly a dream child. :) (I still think he's the cutest and love the little brown-eyed monster) Let's also just say he's earned himself a spot in a Danish preschool (I just need to find one now).

This week is looking good. Oh, and this afternoon a family with FIVE kids from church stopped by and said Hi. : ) I didn't know it, but Scotty is in the same play-gym as their 4 year old... so I have seen them everyweek too. ...and the girls went to Volleyball with their kids over the summer. You would think I would have recognized them, but I just assume I don't know anyone and don't even pay attention. : ) So now we have new friends... What a small country. ;)

night night.

I want to go home Phase

I think I'm going through an "I Want To Go Home Phase".

I wanted to go Trick-or-Treating. I wanted a costume for Andrea and Scotty. I wanted a dumb Halloween parade at school where kids walk around the playground listening to "The Montser Mash". I didn't get Halloween. The kids had a party at school and spent the entire week decorating the classrooms so they were happier.

...which is my next complaint - An entire week of school to decorate for Halloween and make Haunted Houses. They missed a week for Fall break. The week before and after Fall Break they did nothing because of the break. Winter Break is coming (two weeks). My third grader can't multiply and my fifth grader is bored out of her mind and becoming lazier by the minute. I need to get back on the homework at home... sure - in my free time - I should get off of this thing for starters. :)

AND Despite having found a turkey to buy I'm realizing I won't get Thanksgiving because of some company party on that Thursday for no other reason than to ruin my Thanksgiving...

It's also getting darker and colder so perhaps that's contributing. My friend Jill moved back to England. My husband will be gone for two weeks this month. and I'll be without a car for a week.

OH WELL. I'm just venting. I'll be perfectly fine soon enough. I just need to get back on Mommy School schedule, plan a different Thanksgiving Day, turn up the heaters, and get out the Christmas decorations. I'm going to go make Chocolate Chip cookies with my British Chocolate Chips.

: ) It's really not that bad. Today was sunny and the "big" kids played in the yard making leaf piles while Andrea slept all morning and I shopped on Paul cut the grass and made the yard pretty. I have friends coming over this week... Paul's making a trip to the States which means more graham crackers and chocolate chips. I just need to complain every now and then! :) See ALL BETTER!


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