Thursday, April 25, 2013

thursday

not much to say.  greg is picking up a friend from the airport who was down in germany for work.  he'll stay with us for a couple of days.  william is very excited (he met jake but only when he was very little. he does not remember him).  he asks when he's coming ("is tomorrow the morning i'll wake up and jake will be here?") and says he doesn't remember what he looks like and wonders if he likes legos.

oh.... but it's so late.  i must go to sleep now.  tomorrow hopefully.  with pictures.  goodnight! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

tricksy language

at the check-out line at the super best this morning the cashier asked me (in danish) if i wanted something.  i couldn't translate it but discerned it to be something i didn't want.  my receipt possibly or these little stickers they're passing out for people to collect and then redeem for some free item i have no use for.  so after a moment's delay for processing purposes i said, 'nej tak.' (no thanks.)  she then proceeded to hand me my receipt and the little stickers.

hmm.. must evaluate where i went wrong there.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

pictures

there is a bit of magic in denmark right now, and it is this-- already we have light until 9 o'clock at night and light again before six in the morning.  and it's quite possible that this could explain why i've been such an absent blogger lately.  it is much harder to get little guys to bed when the sun stays out so late, but oh so nice to behold a sky which mimics summer... 

so, at least i can share a few pictures from sunday.  winter coats and blue skies... 






















Saturday, April 20, 2013

saturday

i know i have been a bad blogger this week.  i can't promise i'll be a better one this day, but i will promise a little something in the way of words, and some pictures, if you'll follow henry... 


along the path...


that follows the lake...


but pause with him as he sits with his big brother on a log in an oversized red hat and dirty winter jacket...


and then continue, until you get to the observation tower, because we (well, they) are in a bird sanctuary after all...



and look out, but hold onto henry's coat as you take the photo...


and back out to the woods, where the path opens up and the trees are so tall they make little boys look small... 



and throw sticks in the water... and declare that when your birthday comes around next year you don't want a birthday party after all, you just want to be outside all the time...


and sit on a tall, tall tree stump and don't worry at all because if you fall, your big brother is there to catch you...

Monday, April 15, 2013

spring sprang

yesterday was tea in the morning and pancakes...



and taking the two-dimensional version of our niece/cousin to copenhagen so we could send her back with pictures from her adventure for her three-dimensional self to share with her class... 


and taking a nice walk...



with our new (to us, as of yesterday) burley...



and the lille havfrue...


and henry playing at king frederik ix's legs...

but even though today was filled with classes and work and school, it had the weather to boast about.  so warm i could leave my mittens in my bag.  so warm i probably didn't need to wear my jacket or my hood (but i did... just in case the wind got strong, which it didn't).  warm enough to eat dinner outside for only the second time this year.  my math teacher called it the time right before people start to think spring is coming, but i would call it hands down, without a doubt, simply, spring.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

there were once two cats of kilkenny...

we spent wednesday night filing our federal taxes, thursday night filing our state, and friday recovering from the madness.  tonight, we went for a walk... 






the weather has been mostly cloudy, sometimes rainy, and occasionally sunny.


but the days are getting longer.  no swans tonight...





white as snow...








putting two brothers into one burley isn't always a peaceful scenario...





green grass, but bare trees...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

one thing

just a sound for you tonight... of a sweet little guy's laughter from his walk last night.  

video

Monday, April 8, 2013

monday

we dragged ourselves out the door this morning.  give us a time change and a little vacation and we are slow to find our way back to a normal routine that involves a decent number of hours of sleep each night.  all of us.  

it was froggy when we woke up with a promise of sun and (relative, as in somewhere under 50 F) warmth.  i sat through regular danish class taking practice tests (we are taking our modul 3 (of 5, or 6 if you are so ambitious, and possibly willing to pay... i'm not quite sure how it works) test on friday, or next friday, depending on how we did on our practice tests today.  anyway, feeling pretty good or not so bad about it all and getting to math class and feeling pretty lost (danish comprehension-wise) and wondering where i fit in... probably on the low end of some range of normal for having taken nearly a year of danish classes.  

outside of class, getting ready to go home, i get gutsy and decide to put my sleeping bag like down coat into my backpack and ride home with my fleece for warmth.  my one problem though is my ears.  i cannot abide them getting cold because when they do it is like a very bad earache.  but the sun is shining and it feels warmer than it's felt in awhile, so i ride away with nothing to cover them.  three minutes later though i am taking off my mittens and sticking them into my helmet to cover my ears.  this doesn't really help much until i stick the thumbs of my mittens into my ears like ear phones.  from the shadow in front of me, i determine i look like a long-eared dog with its head sticking out of a car window.  still, it's not keeping my ears warm enough, so eventually i give up on the mittens, pull the coat out of my backpack, unsnap the hood and wear that instead.  it is perfectly warm as it has been for me all winter, but it's too late for my ears.  they hurt.  i pick up the guys and put henry's back-up hat on him and squeeze into his oversized red one.  we stop at the grocery store and then go home.  there is a package-- a final birthday present waiting for william from a pair of his grandparents.  two lego sets, which of course he likes nothing more than to find sitting in a box waiting for him.  he spends the rest of the evening, aside from dinner, putting one together, and i sit next to him, happily watching him assemble, tired from the night before, trying not to interfere with suggestions, which he hardly needs anyway, while greg takes henry on a burley walk to the forest which is hardly a forest but which does have a lake... 



the little man, who when asked today if he was a big boy or a little boy, told me he was a baby.  

i like that he gave that answer... after all, why rush it? 

birthday party

a bit of a mishmash, with this picture of the fjord that greg took the other night while on a walk with henry... 


but the biggest event of this day was a birthday party with 11 (counting our own) boys.  it was two and a half hours.  i took basically no pictures, except of the cake and this one of henry trying to unlock the door to the troll's lair...

by dinner time i was completely tired out.  i think people, older than my 32 years, throw parties, larger than this one, lasting longer than two and a half hours, involving wine, and are not nearly as tired out as i was, hosting 11 little kids.  and believe me, we are about as minimalist as it gets when throwing parties.  aside from the troll, the hanging ghosts, the 96 easter eggs hidden in the yard, the magic key hidden inside of a balloon, and the elaborate birthday cake you will see in just a minute, we basically just put out some apple slices and set the kids free.  

but to the cake... the star wars cake that our friend and neighbor, emily, created for william!


look at little yoda!

completely edible darth vader (and yoda too) (but we didn't eat them)...


exploding TIE-fighter...

basically the best star wars cake we could have gotten anywhere, and it came from two doors down. thank you emily!

and it was today that it dawned on me that in a mere ten years these two little boys will be 12 and 15 years old.  not little boys anymore.  ohhh my... time needs to slow down...


on the plus side, henry's already learned to pour us coffee...

well, that's it folks.  12:50 on a sunday night.  how am i going to wake up early tomorrow?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

england

ah, england.  so many things i liked about you.  and things i noticed that i wonder if i would have noticed had we not been living in denmark...

like that the restaurants were full of people...

that the service was so very friendly...

that the playgrounds were full of children and parents.... 

that the world is so much louder when i can understand the words that are being said... 

everyone, really, truly was so friendly (i say with my rose-colored glasses on).  is england known for being friendly or is it saying something about denmark (or that you don't wear rose-colored glasses in a place where you're living)?  not that denmark is not friendly, because it is, but it is so much more reserved.  it certainly doesn't flaunt the friendliness that exists (and it does exist in nearly every dane i've encountered).  it doesn't offer it up without being asked.  england is so much more like america (the midwest at least) in that it just hands out things like smiles and kind words and useful information, whether the person on the receiving end was expecting it or not.  and we weren't.  we had forgotten to expect it.  that such things could feel so abundant.  

but the weather, of course, was not so very different across the sea.  

clouds in the middle of leicester... 


oh, but birthday cakes (thanks not to us, but to our amazing friends who stayed up late to get it iced)...



and milkshakes...


and then a day full of sun... on a street, in a country, that likes uniformity in its houses....


to the park with a little waterway where william could follow a stick down the stream for at least half an hour...


and henry could swing and go down the slide twenty times in a row and watch the ice cream man handing out ice cream cones in hopes that the vendor might hand him one too, not really understanding principles of economics and that handing out things like smiles and kind words and useful information does not extend to free ice cream cones too...


and saying goodbye to our friends from illinois who we met in wisconsin who came to england via new zealand and will soon say goodbye to it for a much more generous southwestern (united states) sun, so we could see london. 

clickety clack along the track... 



 comic books...


undergrounds...


trafalgar square...


sleepiness on the square...


lions on the square...


hands down henry's favorite part of london... the giant excavators, as seen from the top of a double-decker bus.  in his words, "wow!"


"they're changing guard at buckingham palace...


... christopher robin went down with alice..."


westminster abbey...


you don't need to see my pictures of all this famous stuff.  you'll get better views googling it, but if you'd like, continue on...

big ben...


palace of westminster...


the london eye... "it should have been taken down in 2005" the bus guide kept saying.


and to our neighborhood for the night... but really the next morning as we walked back to st. pancras station to catch our train to the airport...








and if you are ever flying away from london, i will say that london-gatwick's security is the most sane and (here's that word again) friendly security you might go through, at least if you are invited to go through the sane and friendly by-invitation-only security line, like we inexplicably were.

back at home, both boys are greeted with little easter presents in the mail and william is greeted with some straggling birthday presents, including a star wars watch...

i think a good ending for him to a wonderful trip.