Saturday, July 30, 2011

i’m back . . . with lots of pictures

I’ve been out of the blogging world for a little over a month now.
For awhile, I felt that I just needed to step away for a bit and focus on life around me.
It’s been kinda hard for me, living here, being so far away from my family and close friends. I think there’s really only two people I know who can really relate to how hard this is.
So, I wrote a bunch of stuff here, and then deleted it . . . the details are not really necessary.
Anyways, I’m ready to get back out into the world and let you know how busy we’ve been during this wonderful summer weather (despite a few thunderstorms here and there).DSCF0258
Awesome view from our house.
Sofia went to camp for 2 nights. I had forgotten my camera when I dropped her off, so I went back after dinner to take this picture. She had already been to the tuck shop to buy ice cream.
While Sofia was at camp, we went to Helsinki and back in one day to take our Visa applications to the Visa Application Center. We were not allowed to mail them in. Russian bureaucracy.
Joel went to camp for 3 nights. This is pick-up day.
We rode our bikes to the beach. It was Bruno’s first time there.
Bruno had a great time, but was Tired when we got home.
The ride home from the beach.
Market Day in Jakobstad during Jakobsdagar (an annual week-long event in the city). Stefan is in the background buying some books. It was a HOT day!
After spending a few hours in town, we went by boat to the grandparents’ summer cabin, where most of Stefan’s family already was. The weather eventually turned, and we experienced an electrical storm in the late afternoon.
Before the storm, Mattias and Joel tested the boats they bought while in the city.
Mattias went to camp for 3 nights. He stayed in the same cabin that Joel had stayed in. This was drop-off day.
Stefan’s sister and brother-in-law took us to their cabin for dinner one evening. We saw this sailboat on the way to the island.
Swimming. Again.
Enjoying the boat ride back to the mainland.
Joel and Sofia went to swimming lessons for the last 2 weeks – everyday from 9:30 to 12:30. Sofia got a pin for swimming 25m, and Joel got pins for 1km and 2km.
Swimming at the boat launch, 700m down the road from our house.
Joel jumping off the dock.
The last day of swimming lessons was celebrated with a masquerade. That was yesterday.
Today was the annual boat race in our village (old fashioned sailboats – you can see one in the background of the pic of Joel jumping off the dock). Our whole family was involved in the volunteer work to run the day.

The Holms

Denmark Road Trip

The outskirts of St. Pete

St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg, Russian pronunciation: is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. Celebrating the 300th anniversary of its foundation, Saint Petersburg was selected as the main motif in a recent Finnish commemorative coin, the €10 Mannerheim and Saint Petersburg commemorative coin, minted in 2003. The reverse of the coin features a view of Saint Petersburg, with the Peter and Paul Fortress and its three turrets. In the coin the words "St. Petersburg 1703-2003" can be seen.