Sunday, December 27, 2009

Santa Came!

Santa is awesome. :) Scotty said so. I tried to explain that we got him some presents too; he responded with, "yah, but Santa made them so the store could have them or you couldn't buy them." I just had to smile and say okay. :)

This Christmas Michaela was the first to wake up. I think she had set her alarm for 6:00am ...but according to my strict instructions she was not to wake me up before Andrea did. Of course Little Andrea woke up shortly thereafter and the other two kids quickly followed. Then the day began!
WOW! Scotty was the most excited to see that Santa had left him a huge magnet ball track that even I, myself, was pretty impressed with. I have a feeling it will remain on the coffee table for many weeks to come. Oh Good. :) Andrea loves stealing the balls from it and running off with them, making for some impressive showdowns between Scotty and his little sister. :)

Michaela and Sierra did pretty well in the gift department with "apple computer" gifts. We have decided that an ipod that we can download endless free games on is much better than the Nintendo DS... and it costs about the same too - BUT the games are free... or at the very most 2 or 3 dollars - AND all the games are always in it. So that is my advice.... skip the DS and get an iTouch for your kids. :) Plus, you can get your email on it... and watch movies! :)

It was a fun Christmas, and it even snowed... after it rained for a while. :) We cooked our turkey dinner. (Paul touched the turkey.) We had sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes... YUM. And we opened our Christmas crackers... Crackers are a tradition Happy brought with him. I had never heard of them before. It's a British thing I guess, huh mUm. :) Two people hold onto each side of the "cracker" and they pull. It makes a popping sound and out pops a present, some glitter, a joke, and a paper hat. :) Then you are supposed to wear the paper hat for dinner. Odd, I know... but we all know how those crazy English people do things. :)

Poozle with her yellow paper hat on. :)

So for the next few days we will play with toys and try to sort through the HUGE mess our house has become. Six people make for a lot of new things!! With a move coming up I will be trying to convince my children to "give up" some of their old things. :)
Andrea was a little confused why there was so much commotion as soon as she woke up. She usually has some quiet time with mommy and a cup of milk.

She is smiling mUm. She loves the little brown webkinz puppy. :) (See her holding onto her trusty brown bunny though...)

This is on Christmas Eve... I still can't believe that Denmark celebrates on the 24th. Why? If I was a little Danish kid I'd feel pretty sad that Santa was flying over my house and not stopping. So on Christmas Eve the kids get to open one present. (not because we are in Denmark, but that's just how our family has always done it... even when I was little... AND my parents would line us up like this and take our picture) Andrea would have been included to but she went to bed at 6pm on Christmas Eve and slept straight on through the night until 6:20am... it was her gift to me. :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas in America

By: Michaela Dinman... who is 11. :)

In America we celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. On the 24th sometimes families would let their kids open one present just so they aren't tempted to open one in the middle of the night without permission. Americans would usually put up their stockings today. They would normally be on the chimney but people get worried that if it's too heavy it will fall on someone's head. We would also put cookies and milk out for Santa. Sometimes people put carrots out for the reindeer too.

On Christmas Eve, stores would usually stay open for a while and they would have a whole Christmas aisle. They would also have lots of lights and decorations on the outside. Inflatatable Santtas, tinsel, reindeer made out of wire with lights on them and normal house lights. Families would put a lot of lights on their trees but they might put even more lights on the outside. Sometimes whole neighborhoods would get together and coordinate their houses. or they would try to put as many lights as possible on their street. Occasionally the government would put a sign saying, "Twinkle Street", or something like that.

On Christmas Day, everyone would open their presents in their pajamas. For a while we would just hang out and relax. Normally we would have turkey and whatever else we would feel like eating for dinner. But some people (like us) want to make the turkey dinner on Christmas Eve so they could avoid touching raw meat on Christmas. Some families, (like us again) start a tradition that husbands touch the turkey instead of wives.

This was printed in the quarterly school newspaper. So I figured it was fair game to post on my blog. I'm sure Miss Michaela will let me know if she disapproves. :) I think it's cute... however a little scary that she sounds like me sometimes. My favorite part is the turkey part.

Off to finish wrapping gifts...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Slushy Slush

There is TONS of snow here. YAY for snow!! Yesterday is snowed all day long... how cool is that! I can't remember having a White Christmas. I will stick the kids outside on Christmas day in their pajamas on Christmas morning in the snow to take a picture so they will remember their White Christmas... Where I'm from these don't happen very often! :)

Today was warmer and things were starting to melt... mostly just the roads. There will still be lots of snow left for my Christmas morning picture though. :) Melting snow is messy... melting snow is slush.

I have some things to say about slush. Slush is the stuff you have when all the pretty white snow has melted. Slush tends to be most noticeable in parking lots, sidewalks, and all the places you want to walk. Slush is gross. It is dirty and ...slushy. Michaela is right, walking in slush is like walking through a coke icee. I went shopping down in the town today... on all the cobblestone roads that have not been plowed at all. It was a slush-palooza... a giant slush party... Yuck. I thought for sure I was going to slip and fall and land plop in some slush. ...wouldn't that have been a story for the good ole' blog? :)

I think someone should squeegee the slush away. Give some kids 100 kroner and tell them to squeegee it all in a drain... problem solved. Or it could be like the bathroom attendant... Set up a table with a little paper cup and a sign that says, "I squeegeed this sidewalk for you." I'd pay 1 euro to walk on a slush-less sidewalk. Slush is not a pretty thing to see and it's no fun to walk through... unless you are a four year old boy ...then slush is great.

Do you see my son? He is talking on the phone to Nana. AND TWIDLING his hair in circles like his father!!!

...and my daughter, with the cookie jar on the floor. Don't ask how she got it... but I think that big guy next to her... the one that gives her anything she wants... I think he had something to do with it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

and the winner is...

Hamburg, Germany!!!

Yes, the next country on our list is officially Hamburg, Germany.

Not for visiting... for living. :)

This was never our intent when we arrived in Denmark, 25 months ago. We had definite plans on going right back to the United States. We even left a huge container of our things in storage thinking this was just a little two year "excursion".

Things don't always go as planned though and we are shipping our storage container to Germany now. :) I want my stuff... Plus the thought of filling a shipping container full of American things... knowing what I have learned over the past two years!!! Wow, talk about a HUGE treat! Who wants a crock pot or musical instrument?? :) My dear husband thinks he is putting a dirt bike in it. :) I will fill it full of canned food... cream of everything, spaghetti o's, pumpkin pie!! Oh, the heavy things we will pack!!!!

So Hamburg it is. We already have the work permit and the work contract so the paperwork is all in order, all we need is a house for six! That's the hard part I'm afraid. Either way, house or no house... within the next three months I think we will have left our beloved Denmark.

Truth be told, I will miss Denmark. I just recently found out how to buy roast beef. I know where to get butternut squash and cottage cheese. Just the thought of "un-enrolling" Scotty from his school makes me sad. Scotty finally successfully said "Vil du lie" to a friend and the friend said YES! This was really exciting for Scotty. (Do you want to play?) I have made such great friends and so have the girls ...and this is the only house Andrea has lived in, she likes it. :(

We will make Germany work. It will be fun. In Germany I will have to learn German, we all will. in, take classes and really learn it! I will have to figure out grocery stores and, again, moo at people in the meat aisle to confirm I'm buying beef. I'll have to find activities for the kids. I'll have to figure out how to ride buses and trains... I'm excited though. Having moved to a totally new country before I know what to do and what NOT to do. It's just three hours south so we can see all our friends still... that makes it less sad for us to leave. It will just be another adventure... a German one!!

Good job Happy on being smart and important and supporting your little family of six... :)

**40** years of Happy

My husband is 40. I am not. Just for the record, I am 32. :)

Paul turned 40 on Friday and we had a big party for him on Saturday. On his real Friday birthday we had great plans to go into town, look at all the lights, walk around, then have dinner somewhere. We even canceled our babysitter to have this great evening of family fun... BUT It was too cold, -4 degrees and snowing, the kids were not feeling well, I was too busy preparing things for his party... We stayed home while Happy went to McDonalds and got some take out fast food. Super exciting day! Turns out the kids are the ones who get to go to nicer restaurants for their birthdays! (We have a raincheck for the babysitter though...)

However, Saturday was his birthday party day! That's when all the excitement happened!! :) We had ~20 other people come over and it was a lot of fun. I'm almost getting used to inviting lots of people over!! Of course this time I planned on feeding them all dinner and that was a little scary. We just had "big" appetizers and it all worked out. :) Everyone ate lots, the kids had lots of fun, and all the adults played cranium later in the night... can't remember whether or not the men or women won. Oh yah, we gave the men so many "pity points" that they won. :)

Our kids went to bed at midnight. :)

Paul's cake worked out pretty well too. :) I made him three. One boring lemon cake, one set of pink cupcakes, and one FORTY LAYER CAKE!

Here is how to make a forty layer cake.
- Start with a pre-made loaf cake and premade frosting... building the cake is enough work.
- Pile the layers on top of each other.
- Hold it still as it begins to slide.
- Support it with wooden skewers.
- Support it with yarn.
- Add more skewers and yarn as necessary.
...and Whoaalla. A 40 layer cake. :) It stayed standing all night although more yarn was added as it began to slip off to the side.

So that's that. My husband is 40. I am not.
I didn't take lots of pictures so if you came to our party email me some pictures!! My new years resolution will be to take more pictures! :) HA, Happy just told me I have 46,000 pictures on the computer. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This is the craziest thing on earth. You should see all the snow here!! Here are some pictures so you can!! :)It was fun the first day when I was the only mom in Denmark who kept her kids home to play in the snow... Today I thought I should be a bit more responsible and send the kids to their last day of school before winter break so I drove through the blizzard to get them there. Yuck... 45 minutes later we arrived! It was not a fun drive. Several times I thought that there was NO way I was going to make it up the hill or around the corner or through the slushy roundabout... I am super cool though, I passed many weenies who got stuck. Not I! :) I shouldn't talk yet... it's supposed to snow for the rest of the week! I could be in a snow bank before I know it!Oh, snow tires? No, we don't have those... the guy at the snow tire store laughed at me when I called to ask for an appointment today. On December 23rd I can get snow tires... :) Snow is more fun when you don't have to drive in it. I can't imagine having to live like this every day... I thought it would be fun, but it's day two and I'm annoyed. Again, it's fine if I'm at home playing in it but things like grocery shopping, getting gas, going to the dump, driving kids to school... these are not fun things to do in the snow.

Today I had to unfreeze a grocery cart and try to shove my coin into the frozen slot and then drag the dumb thing through the iced over snowy bumpy parking lot... don't forget the freezing cold wind and blowing snow... and the poor little Andrea was involved... she isn't sure of all this cold white stuff. Of course, she does now that she likes to eat it. :) Today she was crying in the car and I had another 20 minutes... so I rolled down the window, took a chunk of ice off the car, and passed it to the backseat... instant happiness!Us going to school... :)It was cute to see Scotty's bornehaven's playground... covered in snow. The kids all brought sleds and went sledding all day. Scotty loved it!At least white snow everywhere makes it look brighter outside. I am getting tired of the blah gray sky. I did see some light blue sky today though... just for a minute

Super Tree, Gifts, & Pink Eye!

The less I write, the busier I am. I blame it all on Andrea. She is a little poozling monster.

The past few weeks we have gotten SIX packages from North America! It's been so awesome you don't even know... really though unless you have lived overseas and can't get things like Fruit Pebbles you can't possibly understand how important they become. I can't believe how happy I am to get pumpkin pie mix and chocolate chips! It's almost sad!! Thanks Lisa and Erica and mUm and Mom... you all spent WAY too much on shipping! :)

I heard that next year we will only get to import one checked bag per person! True? If so, it makes the recent packages I've received even more valuable!

We got our Christmas tree! We froze for two hours doing a scavenger hunt with Danish clues as part of a "company party" through Paul's work. :) It was all written in Danish... nothing translated... Michaela and I read what we could and found another confused American to tag along with.

After the scavenger hunt, we searched through the forest and found the perfect tree! It's huge and all the kids helped cut it down. It was fun and we like our tree. :) I've never cut down my own Christmas tree before... at least not that I can remember? Dad, did you ever cut down a tree for us?

Scotty loved to decorate it the most. He piles on as many ornaments on a branch as he can and then finds another branch. ...and when our big tall tree fell over he was happy because he got to put the ornaments back on. :) Andrea isn't too concerned with the tree. There are a few decorations that she likes and they have turned into her toys that she poozles about with.

A while back we made cookies with Erin and her kids before they moved back to the states. They turned out much better than the cookies I tried to make yesterday with six other kids from school, in which I forgot the sugar and they turned out to be scones that we topped with butter instead of frosting. :)

We all miss Erin and their family... they moved back to the States a couple weeks ago. Friends leaving is no fun and it's a part of this lifestyle we now have. It's hard on the kids too. However with Erin and her family we don't really think we "lost" them because they currently live in Southern California, a 6 hour drive from my parents)... but they will be moving to Philadelphia, an 8 hour drive from Paul's parents... so we are confident we will see them again! Either way though, we all still miss them. :( :) Yes, there is a cookie under all that frosting... Scotty loves frosting.

My poor little Poozle has two pink eyes where her cute little blue ones used to be. :( So sad... but the drops I made the doctor give me seem to be making her less "gooey". The drops aren't drops though... they are like a gel and IMPOSSIBLE to get into her eye. I've learned that if a 15 month old does not want to open their eye, there is nothing you can do about it!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I woke up really sick on Monday at 3:00AM. I had terrible stomach pains, and by 7:00am I thought I was in full labor. It hurt so bad. I was not a happy little American.

I decided something was wrong so I called the Emergency Room to see if I could go in. They said, "No, call the after hours doctor." So I called the after hours doctor...

I explained to the after hours doctor that I have had children before and this was the same kind of pain. I couldn't stand up. I couldn't talk. It was exactly like having contractions! :( At first the doctor told me to wait and go to my regular doctor when he opened in an hour. If I would have said okay and hung up I would have hated Denmark with every inch of my body... but I didn't because I've been here long enough to know that what you want won't happen unless you push for it. I said I can't wait, please help me. The lady said she would call me back in five minutes.

HA. Yah, right she would call me back. It wasn't looking good for me. BUT.... She did call me back!! She told me a doctor was on the way. I questioned her for three minutes... maybe there was a translation issue. A doctor was really coming to my house???

Sure enough, 15 minutes later a doctor is in my bedroom giving me a shot of some wonderful drugs and I felt instantly better and went to sleep. Seriously... 15 minutes later and a doctor was making a HOUSE CALL! How super cool is that??!!! I loved that doctor. I loved his little black bag full of various drugs... I loved Denmark! I thought Dr. Quinn was the only one who made house calls... they don't really do that anymore... ahhh, but I guess they do!

Of course he did diagnose me wrong... and so did the next doctor I saw later that day. :) It wasn't kidney stones or a bladder infection or appendicitis. It was a yucky stomach bug that has now gone away on it's own. (PS - A pregnancy test confirmed I wasn't pregnant. I just got to have the pains one more time...)

I'm happy to be healthy again ...and so is my family. Michaela had to stay home from school on Monday to help with Andrea. Paul is really busy at work and had to leave for Germany Tuesday night... but the girls saved the day again. Michaela made canned soup for dinner for all of us and they both helped with the little ones.

The house, and family, are finally recovering from mommy being off duty for two days. :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Scotty's Class!

Looks so sweet and innocent huh?

I love that the bikes are included in the photograph. Every bornehaven here has a fleet of bikes, scooters, and moon cars. It's Scott's favorite thing to do.

She came back!

Three days later... BEAR RETURNED! :)

Scotty and Andrea were the happiest to see her. They missed her so much! It was cute to see that they really did miss her. Andrea immediately wanted Sierra to hold her and Scotty just rambled on about with everything he had to wanted to tell her in the last few days.

Sierra, of course... had a wonderful time. The first things she tells me about is how she went on the star flyer a big swing at Tivoli and it broke and got stuck at the top for 20 minutes!! AHHH.... And I wasn't there to save her! I'm happy she was sitting next to her teacher though so she didn't panic. But I guess her teacher is the only reason she knew it was broken because they told everyone in Danish... :) She thought the long pause was part of the ride.

She told me about all the candy she ate and about how she spent 200 kroner in an estimated five minutes. :) They had a great train ride and hotel stay... She wasn't impressed with the dinners and wanted me to make something yummy for dinner. :) I'm so glad she went. She had a great time. I'm happy to have her back home.

It's funny how missing one person from your family can totally make every day feel weird and not quite right. I love my little Bear!

Here are some of her pictures. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

She really left...

I arrived at the train station this morning at 7:20am with four children... and I left with only three of them... Little Bear left us. :(

She was beyond excited to go on this trip. Scotty was beyond sad to see his sister leave. He had the most depressed and pouty look on his tiny face that you could ever imagine. He will miss his big sister very much.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sierra to Copenhagen

I thought it was absolutely crazy when Michaela went to Copenhagen when she was nine. Now that we have been living the "European Lifestyle" where I send my kids to the grocery store for milk and make them ride city buses alone... going to Copenhagen at the age of nine doesn't seem so unreasonable. :)

Needless to say, Sierra is totally excited and has her bags packed and ready to go. They are gone December 1, 2, and 3rd. :)

Thought I'd tell everyone.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

ThanksgivingS done

We had TWO thanksgivings. :) Neither one I was very good at taking pictures though. Thursday and Saturday. Thursday's are hard sometimes because it's just a normal day for everyone here. Work, school, etc.. It was a good day though, even though I spent the first half on standing at random bus stops in order to get kids where they needed to be and eggs that I needed since my car had been in Germany for the week! (Yep, this also means I transported a frozen turkey on the bus.)

...AND because of the pouring rain and a missed bus Scotty and I even justified a $20 snack of some juice and a cookie since it was Thanksgiving. P.S. - I've upped my "Danish level", 40 kroner is now considered cheap. 40 kroner is EIGHT DOLLARS!

Paul was driving home from Germany all Thursday morning which left me to prepare the house and cook the turkey. It was all relatively stress-free since I started so early and I cooked most everything the night before. The girls were a huge help too. I even made cranberry sauce from real, live cranberries!!! How domestic am I!!? I don't think I've ever seen a real cranberry before. I learned you don't eat cranberries unless you "do something" to them first. ick.

So for Thanksgiving Thursday we invited the remaining Americans to our house and had TONS of food. We had everything we needed/wanted... other than some great flyers to flip through but I'm not going to talk about what we DIDN'T get. It was a really nice night, I was happy. :) I think it was a record for number of people served dinner in my house. 8 adults. 10 children. It went pretty well and the house recovered. My house seemed so quiet when everyone left. :)

Saturday we invited another a different family over. Definitely not as crowded but it was a fun night and I got to catch up with my friend who, until she got a real job and moved to Horsens I got to spend a lot of time with her!! :) I miss her and the kids...

I hope my children don't think we are going to have a huge party in two more days. Party time is over at the Happy's. :) I will now scrub the floors and I will enjoy not cooking while we eat leftover turkey for a week. I made turkey soup just like my grandma taught me. I'll make another batch of turkey soup from the Saturday turkey too. :) My favorite turkey leftover is turkey and pineapple and cream of something? soup... put on top of white rice. YAY! I'm looking forward to that! I wonder what other yummy turkey things I can do? :) I'm sure I can figure out something.

I just decided I am going to try and feed my family turkey every day until I can't do it any longer. :) Let's see how far I can go!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Bornehaven Story.

With the help of a friend I finally translated the newsletter from Scotty's school. On the last page it has funny stories telling about what some of the kids did/said that month. This month Scotty was in it.

His bornehaven has two rooms, the red and the blue. Scotty is in the red room.

One day all the kids were playing together in the blue room. A "blue room" girl was playing with Scotty. Another "blue room" girl came up to them and began playing with them. Soon she realized Scotty was speaking funny (English) so she asked the other "blue room" girl why. The girl said it was because he was from the red room. :)

I thought it was cute. :)

Scotty's teachers say he is speaking more Danish and English sentences and it's hard to sometimes pick out which words are from which language. Now when he tells me something about his day he tells me if it happened in English or Danish. Like, "I needed more soap so I asked in English."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Missing things...

...I miss being warm. Today in Tracy, California is was 20 degrees AND sunny.

I talked to my grandma on the phone yesterday and I miss her too ...and my mom, I miss her too.


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