Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas in a slideshow

This year, we had a quiet Christmas, with "only" 16 people. Most of Chris's siblings went to their in-laws, so we were a much smaller group. Because there were only 6 grandkids (of the 19), it seemed like a small group and was quite cozy and nice.

I love living in Sweden and celebrating Christmas because we get double the fun as we get to celebrate it Swedish style on the 24th, and then again American style when we wake up on the 25th. Santa came and delivered presents on the 24th and the kids just loved every minute of it! Each time he'd give out a present, they'd run up and give him a hug.

After a nice relaxing evening, we came home, layed out cookies and a carrot (for Rudolf), and hurried to bed so Santa could come again. The kids were so excited the next day when they had even more presents! :)

I think the best part about Christmas was teaching the kids the importance of GIVING and not only RECEIVING. We tried to focus on that and it was fun to see the kids get excited about it.

Anyway, hope all had a great Christmas and is looking forward to the New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

SNOW!!!

I've been in Sweden for 7 years, and I don't remember a Christmas that we had snow on Christmas Day. I know we still have 3 more days to go, but they say it's supposed to stay and maybe even come some more!!! The kids are sooooooo excited! We have the perfect sledding hill just outside our apt, and it's been fun and easy to go out and enjoy this beautiful weather!





Monday, December 14, 2009

Birthday Slideshow

Samuel Turns 5!!!!

(2004 - newborn)

(2005 - 1 year)

(2006 - 2 years)

(2007 - 3 years)

(2008 - 4 years)

(2009 - 5 years)

Last Tuesday our little Samuel turned the big 0-5! Suddenly this week he can do so many more things by himself than he could last week. I can not believe that 5 years has already passed since this guy was born! We had a big birthday bash last Saturday complete with 13 little kids, balloons, and a spider man birthday cake! Samuel loved every minute of it and what quite the little host! We love our Samuel!

Christmas!!!

Gingerbread houses, Lucia and Christmas tree


Here's a short slide-show of what's been going on this month. It's been crazy busy! Two weeks ago, we decorated gingerbread houses for FHE. Girls did one and the boys did one. (Emmy slept). I think Samuel and Sofia had more fun eating the candy than making the actual houses. It was a lot of fun!

Then, last Sunday was Lucia day. Tradition has it that Lucia brought light to a darkened country centuries ago, so every year on the 13th, children dress up in Lucia-dresses and Santa clothes and carry candles, singing songs, bringing lightness and joy to Sweden. The kids had a little program each at their preschools on Friday and yesterday we went to farfar and farmors to sing to them. I love this tradition!

Tonight for FHE we finally put up our tree and decorated it with Frosty and Jingle Bell blaring in the background! The kids thought it was so exciting and it makes our little apt look so nice and cozy. My mom told me about a tradition that a family she knew did last year that I wanted to try. Samuel and Sofia both got to choose 6 books each which we wrapped and put under the tree. We put numbers on each book, and everynight they'll get to open one book and we'll read it under the tree together (12 day countdown to Christmas). fun!

Count down...


This is our count-down chain. First to Samuel's birthday (Dec 8) then Christmas, then Sofia's birthday (Jan 3). December is a pretty exciting month. Lot's happening!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thanksgiving and Frankfurt

My oh my time sure flies! Wow, it's been a busy little while. Lots of things have been happening here at the Malm residence. First off, we got to celebrate Thanksgiving with a bunch of American friends at a church about an hour away. I think the best thing about getting together for American holidays is letting my children taste a bit of what I grew up with. It's of course nice for me to get a little nostalgic too, but mostly, I love exposing my kids to their American roots.

A couple days later, I got to spend two days in Frankfurt, Germany for a European CES Secretarial Training Meeting. I was obviously a bit worried how we'd solve it with Emmy (I'm still nursing) but everything worked out great! I hadn't been to Frankfurt since we lived there 12 1/2 years ago! So, it was extra special for me to be able to go back and see our chapel. Everything seemed surprisingly familiar and it was fun explaining to the other secretaries there that it was there in Frankfurt where I met my Swedish husband :) It was also GREAT being childless for 48 hours!

Monday, November 16, 2009

School Pictures

These pictures were taken in Samuel and Sofia's schools this year. I just took a picture of the picture, so they're not so great quality...anyway, they're growing up so fast!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Samuel's Family

(notice daddy's big "Yoda-ears")

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"I'm so happy that I'm sad"

Yesterday, Samuel was having a tough day. Things were just not going his way. Little things would make him blow up and he was just struggling (I think Halloween parties+candy probably did a little number on his body and made him extra tired). At one point of the day, he started bawling because Sofia got to stir the pumpkin muffin mix first. He ran to the playroom and shut the door and bawled. After letting him cry for a bit, I finally went in to talk to him. When he had finally calmed down, I asked him why he was crying. He answered that he didn't know. So, we decided to try to figure it out. "Are you crying because you're mad or because you're sad" "SAD" "Are you sad because it's raining outside?" "No" "Are you sad because you want Sofia to play with you?" "No" "Are you sad because daddy's not home?" "No" "Are you sad because Sofia got to mix the pumpkin muffins first" "YES" Hmmm...Recently, Samuel's started to notice that sometimes people cry because they're so happy and not only when they're sad. We've explained that sometimes you can be so happy that you cry. So, he quickly added his explanation "Actually, mommy, I was just so happy that I got sad." Mystery solved.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Chris!

Chris just happens to be born on the scariest day of the year! Having your birthday on Halloween never seemed to be a conflicting problem for him since Swedes really don't celebrate Halloween (especially when he was growing up). However, now, that he's married to an American who grew up not being able to think of anything else but Halloween the entire October month, it's been sometimes challenging. Actually it's never been a problem until we had kids, and not until our kids were actually old enough to go trick-or-treating. But, these past two years, having daddy's birthday on Halloween has posed somewhat of a problem because it's taken the spotlight away from Chris and onto those ghosts and goblins and CANDY. I am trying to drill into my children's heads that the 31st October first and foremost daddy's birthday and that Halloween is just an added bonus.

We had a pretty good, relaxing day. Chris got presents and cake in bed and then breakfast of his choice. We were going to go swimming with the fam, but the pool closed early, so we didn't make that. Instead we had a nice family day of just hanging out and playing. In the evening, we got to go to farfar and farmors for a Halloween celebration and when we got home, Chris and I went out to a nice restaurant for a nice birthday dinner. Our friends came over afterwards and we stayed up till midnight talking and laughing and eating birthday cake and pumpkin pie (in honor of birthday boy and Halloween).

Today after church, we had some friends over for dinner. The kids LOVED having them here and playing with them. (And I finally learned how to make the perfect rice!) Afterwards we were invited over to Chris's sisters house unbeknownst to Chris for a little surprise b-day party. His family had all gathered and when we got there everyone had hidden and jumped out singing happy birthday to Chris! He was genuinely surprised and we ended up having a really nice time talking and laughing with his family.

Anyway HAPPY BIRTHDAY Per Gustav Christoffer Malm!


Happy Halloween

(Chris's pumpkin creation)

So, this weekend was Halloween weekend and this year more than any other we celebrated. We started off last week actually with a mascarad party at the kid's preschool. (Why an entire week early, I'm not sure...). Sofia loved dressing up like a princess and Samuel a pirate. Then this Friday, we joined all the other American families in the area for our annual trick-or-treating party.

There's this family in our ward who sends out flyers every year to their neighbors saying that if they want to be part of trick-or-treating then they should put out a candle or pumpkin outside so the kids know which houses to go to. It ends up being maybe every 3rd house or so that has a pumpkin out, but it's really fun for the kids to get to go around door to door. This time Sofia wanted to be Pipi Longstockings and Samuel...a pirate.

Sofia thought the entire idea behind trick-or-treating was completely fascinating. "You mean, I say, 'trick-or-treating' and then what?" "And then you put up your bag and they put candy in it." "They put candy in my bag because I say 'trick-or-treating?'" "Yep!" "Then can I eat the candy?" "Yep, then the candy's yours" "And I don't have to give it back?" "No, Sofia then it's yours and you can eat as much as you want tonight." :) Keep in mind, this is an especially novel idea since our kids usually don't get to eat candy...she just couldn't understand why we all of a sudden went door to door and got candy for free that we could eat! After the first door, she thought it was over and in her little innocent mind, she would've been totally satisfied. However, when I explained that we got to go to another house, she couldn't believe her luck! And then another one after that. At one point she said, "wow, I like this trick-or-treating, this is too much candy!!!"

Needless to say, they had their fair share that night. Saturday was Chris's birthday (the big 2-9) and in the afternoon we were invited over to farfar and farmor's for some more trick-or-treating. This time Sofia wanted to be an Indian and Samuel....a pirate :). (He sticks to what he likes). It was fun getting together with the cousins and seeing everyone dress up. Halloween is not very big at all over here, but it's slowly making it's way and it's fun for me to be able to give that to my kids and let them experience a bit of America clear over here in Sweden.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Just hangin' out



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween is in the air


I found this great web-site that has some fun masks you can print out and color for the kids. They have LOVED being able to do this and play and be different things in the spirit of hallowen (slash Chris's b-day)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Six-month shots :)


Samuel

Sofia

Emmy

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Stories



Soon-to-be-Uncle Dario (Chris's sister's fiance!)

Real Food





Emmy's eating REAL food ('cause mommy's milk isn't real). She even has two little white pearls that've peaked their way through her bottom gums! (Sofia's a bit worried that she'll bite me). She's not a huge fan of the bottle yet, but we're working on it. On Monday she'll already be a whole 6 months old!!!


This is how cold it is in our apt! She's sleeping in a sheep's skin, 6-inch thick sleeping bag! Talk about cozy, eh?!

(They're coming on Monday to readjust our heaters)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hairdos