Kids Chores

My husband is very organised, and with that very good at making things creatively using the computer.

So he came up with a chore chart for the kids, in order to get their pocket money…

  
Leon and Maya must complete fourteen chores in a week, and when completed, put the card in the box. Alfie must complete seven. And their pocket money amount will be given to them according to how many chores they completed…

  
Ted will also do chores, but as he does not yet receive pocket money, it will be more ‘practice for fun’ for him.. 😊

I wonder how it will go? 😃

The Gingerbread Building Exhibition 2015

Yesterday we went to the annual gingerbread building exhibition at the architectual museum. It’s a yearly competition, that both children and adults can enter…and it always as inspirational and fun every year. 😊

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   
Of course, looking at all that gingerbread did ensure the need to consider our gingerbread house that they made before Christmas….

   
 And after it was decided it was time to eat it, everyone joined in with the smashing and the eating….😆

  
Delicious! 😃

Finally! Snow!

Yesterday we woke up to this…

   
 So you can imagine what the kids did all day! They all had a fantastic time sledging and playing outside in the snow with their friends – but the difference was, Leon and Alfie went to friend’s houses, and Maya took Ted, and went to the neighbour’s sledging hill. 

So we (the parents of four children) went for a walk! Alone! A very strange, but rather nice feeling… I felt like we were a bit like an elderly couple going for a Sunday stroll, watching from a distance young families out to play….😂

   
    
 
After about an hour or so however, Maya rang us and told us that Ted wanted us to join them – so we did. 😊⛄️

The kids were so happy to have snow – they just really didn’t want it to melt away.

But this morning we woke up to this…

  
..so I think we’ll be okay for at least one more day! 😊👍

Christmas Time In Sweden

Christmas Eve is the time where Swedes celebrate. There is a lot of waiting, a lot of preparing, and a lot of excitement in the air. 😊

We used those last few hours to do last minute preparations, to deliver chocolates and cards to neighbourhood friends, and the children gave eachother, and us, the presents they had bought, and made.

At 3pm, it is traditional that everyone watches the annual Christmas Disney hour on television. This is a culmination of different Disney clips throughout the years, from very old, to very new, with a completely new one added to the end each Christmas. It’s a tradition in Sweden that the family gather around the television in this last minute of relaxation before the guests arrive, in anticipation of ‘Jul Tomten’ (Father Christmas).

And so Jul Tomten came, and sat on his chair giving out presents, asking the children if they’d been good this year, and joking about getting ‘soft packets’ (which ultimately mean clothes!). Actually our Jul Tomten was very funny this year, and had everyone in peals of laughter. 😂

After Jul Tomten left, and the presents were opened, came the Christmas dinner. Different kinds of pickled herring, ham with mustard, boiled potatoes, root vegetable gratang, egg halves with prawns, meatballs, chipolata sausages, Christmas bread and crackers, and cheese. Followed by Christmas porridge – with one almond in – a surprise for anyone who gets the almond, for they then will be married within the year….

I can’t pretend that I don’t miss the English Christmas dinner, but over the years I have come to appreciate and enjoy the Swedish one – and I daresay I would even miss it if I was to move back to England. 

After dinner, the adults played a present game, which involves rolling a dice to get a 6 or a 1, to attempt to get the wrapped gift you have your eyes on – despite the fact that you have no idea what the gift might be! It is a lot of fun. We played it for the first time last year, and this year invited Leon and Maya to join in.

And so Christmas Eve in Sweden ends. But in England we are just beginning – and I know that my children, at least, are going to sleep in tje anticipation that Father Christmas will come in the night to leave gifts in their stockings.

So today is Christmas Day. For me, this will always be the ‘real’ Christmas – this is, after all, the day that Jesus was born, and the reason that we celebrate Christmas, whether you believe or not.

When I moved to Sweden eight years ago, I usedto feel quite sad that Christmas Day was left feeling ’empty’, after all the madness and festivities of Christmas Eve. But now I actually feel thankful. In Sweden much focus is put on the food, and on the presents from Jul Tomten, and I feel that a lot of the Christian tradition, and our reason for celebrating, whether you believe or not (that I was brought up with anyway), gets pushed aside – almost completely ignored. 

And so I actually have begun to feel relieved, that after the revelry of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day can be calm, and a time to reflect, to be together and appreciate eachother and the world we live in.

So today, the children will open their stockings (actually the smalls already have!), but after this, when most of the day is left, we will spend time together. We will eat a simple but good lunch, with the treat of the English Christmas Pudding for desert ; we will spend time playing those new board games we were given and crafting with new kits ; we will spend time creating snacks for the birds and decorating their tree ; we will take a walk outside, and appreciate the nature around us ; we will read the story of Christmas, and move Jesus in to the crib, ready for the Three Kings to start their journey, and we will light our last, and fifth candle on our advent wreath, for Christmas Day.

And so I leave you with three pictures – of Jul Tomten alone, and with the smalls, and of the smalls eagerly opening their stockings early this morning. I couldn’t get photos of Leon and Maya I’m afraid – which was a shame, because they both dressed up and looked lovely – and Leon especially looked stunning and very grown up in one of Richard’s dark blue shirts. 😊😘

   
   

Christmas Presents

I havn’t really blogged much about the presents the children have made, but they have, as is usually the case, made some lovely presents. For their teachers they have drawn Christmas designs on cups, made bead plate Christmas trees, and homemade toffee sweets. And for their Swedish relative, with whom we spend the Christmas celebrations, they have been (again) designing cups, giving their homemade (at school) mustard in pots, sewing Christmas tree decorations, and designing motifs on candles.

And I just managed to snap a few pictures of the one Maya designed for her aunt….😊

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Roman Feast

We have now come to the end of our topic on Romans in Monday’s English club. We’ve been doing this since September, and have done some amazing things and had great fun!

Today it ended with the preparing, cooking and eating of a three course Roman meal – which they also served to other members of my family – which was followed by the fun of their gladiator fight – something they’ve really been looking forward to.

First course : Lettuce, cottage cheese, boiled eggs, asparagus, melon, olives, foccacio bread and dressing.

Second course : Ham, a sweet sauce containing raisins, coleslaw, apple sauce.

Third course : Assorted fruits (dates, figs, pears, pomegranate, grapes) with a vanilla sauce and a ginger biscuit.

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