Thursday, May 27, 2010



Sweden is a country located in northern Europe. The countries surrounding it are Finland, Norway, and Denmark. The Gulf of Bothnia is to the east of Sweden, and the Baltic Sea is to the southeast. Sweden is in the northern hemisphere. It is so far north that the top part of Sweden is inside the Arctic Circle which is known as the land of the midnight sun. That means that on the longest day of the year they will have sunlight after midnight. If the sun sets it would be after midnight, or it wouldn’t set at all.
Sweden is a very old country. It was settled in 6,000 BC. That is 6000 years before Jesus was even born! Sweden also had Vikings in its past. Sweden gained its independence in 1523. Modern Sweden is divided into 21 counties. The official name of Sweden is Konungariket Sverige, which means The Kingdom of Sweden.
Sweden’s flag is blue with a yellow cross on it. It’s based on the flag of Denmark. The yellow and blue colors represent the Swedish coat of arms. The cross represents Sweden’s links to other Scandinavian countries.
The main language spoken is Sweden is Swedish. There are two other languages spoken. They are Sami and Finnish. The Swedish alphabet doesn’t have the letter Q in it but it does have three letters in it that we don’t have. Those letters are ä, å, and ö.
Sweden has pleasant summers but cold winters that have snow. Most of Sweden has a mild climate with four season. The southern part doesn’t get that cold in the winter but it is very rainy. The northern part of Sweden is in the Arctic Circle so it is very cold and dark in the winter. It is so cold that they can build hotels out of the ice. Sweden has nice summers that don’t get as hot as our summers here in North Carolina.
Swedish food is known for smoked fish like herring, and meats. They also eat fruit soups and creamy sauces. Sweden is also known for Smorgasbord, which means they put a bunch of hot and cold food out and people pick what they want to eat. On Christmas, people eat pepparkokar which are a type of ginger cookie. On the day of the festival of lights, young girls wake their families up with a nice traditional song and serve them hot coffee and buns.
Most Swedish people are members of the Lutheran Church. It was the church’s job to take care of the people. Now the government takes care of the people and provides everything they need to stay well and healthy. That’s why everybody in Sweden has health insurance.
They play lots of different sports in Sweden. They play hockey and go skiing in the winter. They also go fishing and hunting. In the summer, they play soccer and bandy. Bandy is a game like hockey, only they play with a ball instead of a puck.
I picked to learn about Sweden because my friend lives there. They have very old castles in modern towns. They also have nice and clean lands and they don’t have as many problems with pollution. Their water is very clean. The river in Stockholm, which is their capital city, is clean enough to swim in, but it would be very cold!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rainy day

Hey rainy day, what do you mean we can't go outside?
2010 May 24 011

Oh wait, rainy days mean I get to play wii!
2010 May 24 012

Friday, May 21, 2010

Funny thought

I was just looking at the banner at the top of this blog.
It struck me as funny.
We no longer live in that house with that window.
The plant is dead.
The yarn has been knitted.
That glass got broken.

But I still have the knitting needles, and they're still in that little cup!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Niall's prize

The library had a drawing in the kids' section for a pillow buddy.
They're getting ready to kick off their summer reading programs.
It was one entry per child, and I almost didn't enter them, but then
we ended up going back to the library because Rowan changed his
mind about what country he wanted to do for his school project, so I
entered them then.

And this evening we got the call that Niall won one! They were giving 3 total.
He was SO EXCITED. I was going to wait and get it at storytime tomorrow
but that was much too long to wait.

He was hilarious when we went to pick it up. We got to the front desk and he
says, "Now what do I do?"
So I told him, "Say who you are."
So he looks at the librarian and says, "Who you are!" snarf
I barely kept from laughing and told him to tell them his name.
They were laughing and telling him what a lucky boy he is, and how nice it is,
and they hoped that he had lots of fun reading with his pillow buddy.

I'm still laughing over "who you are!"

He took the pillow to bed with him.

Niall's prize

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rowan is 8

Rowan is 8!
He's getting so big!

Rowan had a fantastic birthday. We took cocoa krispy treats to his school on his actual birthday, and then had his party today. He got a bike from us, a helmet from Pop and Fannie, a wad of cash from Aunt Kimmy and Uncle Ruben, and lots of fun games and books from his friends. It was a good time.
I've been working on details for his party for the past couple of weeks. He wanted a Harry Potter party, and as we all know - it's the details that make it happen.
We had to have wands from Ollivanders, (we lucked out because this guy is right in town and let John come pick up a bunch) potions class, Honeydukes, and a hunt for the Sorcerer's Stone.
Oh, and a Snitch pinata that refused to be broken.
The first thing we did was have Potions class. I'm a much nicer professor than Snape is, so we did a fun potion to make goop! (Our recipe came out of the kid's concoctions book, but that link will show you how to do it.) All it is is a mixture of troll boogers (glue), distilled phoenix tears (water), dried doxie venom (borax), and dragon's blood (koolaid powder with a little water).
If done in the right way, you get fun slime! And remember, the doxie venom is poisonous, but the phoenix tears neutralize it so it's okay. Just don't eat it.
Then the kids went and played a little while in the yard, running around, being boys.
After that we did the pinata, and I must be either really great or really awful at making them because this thing just would NOT die. John ended up pitching it to a couple of kids, and then one of the other dads ended up pitching it to John before it finally broke enough to get the candy. But it was necessary - because also inside was the first clue to the hunt for the Sorcerer's Stone. I set them up in an order that would have the kids tearing all over the house, front yard, and back yard to figure out the clues and track down the stone. The crowning moment was when Rowan spotted the stone in the fireplace, grabbed it, and held it aloft while all the other boys clapped and cheered. He really had a moment in the sun there.
Then more playing and finally wizard cakes to top it all off. It was a great time, and I had a lot of fun making it happen for him.
Pictures are all up here and it's set to public so you can see. I love this age. Little signs can turn candy into something magical, and the koolaid powder in water really could be Dragon's Blood... but only if you believe.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Benefit auction going on now


Click this button.
It will take you to a benefit auction for a very worthy cause.
Our friend Stephanie was suddenly stricken with paralysis.
She is now in a hospital far away from her children.
You can help.
Her story is here.