Monday, February 27, 2012

big winner

Several weeks ago, Sofia went with Stefan to an exhibition while I had a scrapbooking class. Sofia entered a draw – and WON!
The label on the jar says “Guess how many candies are in the jar?”
She guessed 222, and was exactly right!
Sofia has a real sweet tooth, so this prize fits her precisely.
We are in our "Winter Sports Break” (kinda like Spring Break) right now. I usually use these days off work to get some heavy cleaning done . . . so far it’s been ALL the floors dry mopped/vacuumed/wet-mopped, the laundry room/shower hosed and scrubbed down, and the entire kitchen scrubbed (every greasy nook and cranny). I think I’ll be putting together some IKEA furniture tomorrow.
PS. Stefan also won a prize the same day – 1000 litres of bio-diesel.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Canada trip (part 3; the end)

So, this will bring an end to my posting about our trip back to Canada for Christmas (from which we got home over 4 weeks ago!).
We spent a lot of times with our dear friends, the deGraafs.
Uncle Steve took the 4 kids to a Canucks game (Sam didn’t get a jersey, but a hoodie).
Joel’s favourite gift.
My dad turned 78.
The kids played laser tag.
With the deGraafs.
We visited Auntie Gayle (my best friend’s sister) who did daycare for the kids since Sam was 10 months old (except the school year 1999-2000) . . . Mattias used to call her “my udder Mudder” (other Mother).
I enjoyed Starbucks with the Coffee Club . . . we worked together for years, and were at my last school together, too.
The view from the backdoor of my childhood home (the apartment blocking the view is new).
The kids went wall-climbing.
Sofia and Joel.
We celebrated Mattias and Joel’s birthdays a little early. My dad made a chocolate cake. Joel had 11 candles on one side.
Mattias had an arrangement to represent 14 on the other side. I have no idea what Sam is doing . . .
In the evening we went to deGraafs where the kids got an ice cream cake and we got a “Happy Travelling” lemoncello cheesecake!
And Joel got tied to a bed.
It snowed throughout the night before the day we were to leave.
My dad’s dog, Taco.
My dad used to carry his first grandson around on his shoulders . . .
About halfway home . . . on the bus changing terminals at Heathrow . . . looking a little haggard . . .
Driving home from Helsinki . . .  a little cramped in the van with all the baggage . . . .
And so the trip ended . . . arriving home at about 4 am, sleeping for a couple hours and then off to work/school by 8.
That’s all for now.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Canada trip (part 2)

Been busy.
But you don’t need to hear the excuses.
I’m just going to post some pics from our trip to Canada . . . mostly for the benefit of dear brother who hasn’t seen them yet since it was a pain to email them.
Joel opened the first present of the evening (holding to Scandinavian traditions, we open our presents on Christmas Eve BUT we throw our own spin on it by having stockings Christmas morning).
I LOVE the crocheted angels on the tree. My Grandma Kasper made them years ago. I brought home 2 with me . . . hopefully I can find someone here who can make some for me.
Mattias made this dish for my dad in his wood-working class. He had actually forgotten it at school on the Friday before we left, so I sent an SMS to the high school’s principal and she was happy to meet us at the school and open the door for us. Not too many places where that happens!
Sofia and Joel got some Lego from Moffa to share.
All 3 boys got their own knife from Moffa.
Mattias loves the 2 pairs of Converse runners he got from his Uncle Steve.
Some of the presents were wrapped way cool!
When Mattias saw this chocolate bar in the store, he couldn’t get over the name. So, he thought it was hilarious to get one for Christmas.
I think we found the key to getting Sofia to use lip balmWinking smile.
Sofia with 2 of her cousins (Kilee and Caitlin).
Family portrait.
My Uncle Gordon took them to the barn to show them the Fresian horses.
I just think it’s funny to see such big guy holding such a small dog.
The lake was frozen at the cabin.
Sofia is carrying in a chunk of ice so we can melt it in a pot on the wood stove to use for washing dishes. Her pants got destroyed when they fell onto said stove for about 2 seconds, max.
Sam was practicing his archery skills.
I forgot about the Christmas crackers at Christmas so we used them at New Years instead . . . I figured they wouldn’t let us take them on the plane (being explosives, ya know).
The traditional group photo, just before leaving the cabin.
Just note, my children don’t really have such red lips (as in the Christmas Eve photos), that was a result of the photoshop presets I used.
Have a great weekend! I’ll probably be doing laundry for a large portion of it!!

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.