More Spring Things This Week!

This week we (Maya and I) have continued with Easter crafts, mainly in the name of pompoms…

   
 
And Ted has been continuing with Easter eggs…in clay form…

   
…and biscuit form…

  
  
  
  
Alfie has, as always, been drawing drawing drawing…..

  

I love our tulips…

  
…and as well as playing lots of lego (and some Mario!) with Leon, he has been enjoying lots of outdoor play with his friend Lilly… 

 

Alfie so much prefers the sunshine. 🌞

The kids have played with friends, and yesterday Ted and I truly enjoyed a neighbourhood walk to feed a neighbour’s rabbit…

Admiring neighbour’s decorated Easter houses…
 
Having fun with a neighbour’s cat in the sunshine…

   
    
 (Ted just happened to have a rope with him 😏)

…feeding the rabbits in their posh ‘hutch’ – though they didn’t want to be seen….

  
..playing on the rocks…

  
…and watching the water in our neighbour’s backyard lake…..

   
    
 
We are so lucky to live in an area where wildlife is so ripe, in so many different ways – and I’m so happy the sun is finally starting to shine! 😄

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‘Skärtorsdag’ And Easter Weekend 2016…

Just before school broke up, Alfie, Ted and I decorated the Swedish ‘Easter tree’ inside…   

 …and because we had so much ‘Påsk-ris’ (birch tree branches) left over from the scout meeting, Ted and I decorated one for outside too… 

  

 The Easter weekend starts in Sweden with children dressing as ‘Easter witches’ (Påsk-kärring), and going from door to door exchanging homemade Easter cards for sweets…

This year Alfie’s friend Love joined us…   

   
…and this year was the first year they went off alone, with their friends Lilly and Andrea…. 

   

Maya took Ted alone…it was the first time I had seen Easter witches on scooters….😄 

 

On Good Friday we had a family trip to the cinema to see ‘Zootropolis'(3D!)…. 

 

….but we also had homemade ‘hot cross buns’… 

 

….and on Easter Saturday we enjoyed the first real Spring day! We had our garden Easter egg hunt…

  

  
  
   
 …played outside, and Richard and Leon even planted some bulbs!
       

  
     

 
Of course, I couldn’t not read our favourite Easter book to Ted last night….  

…and this morning, on Easter Sunday, after Alfie left out carrots for the Easter bunny (Påsk Hare), he left the kids with a little packet each…

   

In which were chocolates and jelly beans, and seeds for planting 😊….  

Today we are going with the kids Swedish grandma on a long nature walk, and to eat Easter lunch in a log cabin restaurant. 😃

Happy Easter! 🐣☀️🌻

So Far This Week…

…it has been busy.

It seems a week that has been taken up ‘preparing’. For english lessons and for scout meetings. 

The weekend taken up by swimming classes and piano lessons and things that ‘need to be done’. Richard took the older boys to ‘Kidshack’ and later he and Leon had a trip to the cinema.

But I had the joy of taking Ted to a playpark in town…

   
   
Always interesting to see that he gravitated towards the ‘natural’ play areas such as the rocks and the hills, and mostly avoided the ‘man made’ play equipment. A child who feels at home in nature. Like his mum! 😊

On Sunday we ‘celebrated’ Earth Hour….

  
..and the older members in the family discovered (and really enjoyed) Maya’s new game ‘Suspense’…

  
It snowed again…

  
…and then the snow melted and the sun came out…

   
 
Ted has been making the most of being able to ride a scooter, and it’s come everywhere with us..

  
We’ve been decorating the house for Easter….

  
…and starting Easter crafts at home…

   
   
…and at scouts (I had the joy of having both Maya and Alfie in my group this week 😄👍)….

   
 
….and while the older kids have been at school, Ted and I have been drawing…

  
….and threading…

  
…and learning to write simple words…

   
   
Today is ‘Skärtorsdag’, officially the beginning of the Swedish Easter celebrations, when children dress up as Easter witches and go from door to door delivering cards in return for sweets. It’s a full day at school however, so we’ll get busy making cards and dressing up when the kids come home. 😄

This Last Week (or so)….

I’ve been a little behind at posting – mostly because I’ve been ill – so very ill – with a terrible sore throat and a terrible cough. Ted had it last week, and Alfie over the half term. I hope no-one else gets it…

Anyway, Richard has been away in the US, and my mum has been to stay. It’s been one of those chaotic weeks, with sick people, sleepless nights and argumentative little ones especially… But I suppose, some weeks are like that…

Still, we had some nice moments…at the ‘Tjäderstigen’ in Tyresta park…   

 
 …doing Easter crafts at the church playgroup…   

 …hanging out by the river in the forest…

 
…a trip to the aquarium….   

     

   

….and to the local play park…

  
 Alfie was proud of his bag he had sewn at scouts…  

 Maya turned 12…       

      

  

…and we have been looking for, and finding, signs of Spring…. 
      

    

And so that was this week…. 😊
 

  

 

 

Easter Day

We had a lovely day – very much based around the food table I must add….. 😉
Starting with the Easter breakfast – Easter bread, toasted hot cross buns (of course we had to have these on Good Friday too!), the usual ‘fil’ and cereal, and the ‘Påsk Hare’ (Easter bunny) had left the children a small chocolate egg in an egg cup, and a small present each…

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And after a long breakfast, and a long period of time using their new gifts, and/or playing, Farmor (Swedish grandma) arrived for lunch…
…possibly the biggest lunch we’ve ever had! 😄

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Richard cooked and went all out! Not a traditional Easter lunch at all (which in Sweden is very much like the Swedish Christmas lunch with boiled potatoes, pickled herring, egg halves, meatballs and ham..). Instead we had asparagus soup with garlic bread ; beetroot and goats cheese pie with mussels and chips and salad, with English sausages and chicken sticks included for the fussier children ; ice cream with chocolate sauce for pudding…along with wine for the grownups and ‘Påskmust’ for the children (a traditional fizzy drink rather akin to root beer sold in Sweden only at Christmas and Easter).

It was delicious and we could barely move afterwards!

In the afternoon I had arranged an Easter egg hunt based on clues around the house for everyone – I think Alfie would have preferred the traditional ‘hide the eggs in the garden’ hunt, but I’ll do that for him and Ted next year. Sometimes it’s good to try something new! And the English style chocolate eggs were much appreciated I do believe! 😋

We hope you had a lovely Easter day too!
Today I think we’ll have to walk off all those calories…… 😅🚶

Easter Bread

Ingredients :
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup milk
Yeast
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
5 eggs

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1) Mix 1 cup flour, salt and honey in a bowl.
2) Warm the milk (luke warm) in pan and ‘dissolve’ yeast for about ten minutes (away from heat), then add softened butter and mix.

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3) Add butter/milk mixture to flour mixture, add two eggs, plus another cup of flour and mix well…

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4) Continue to add rest of flour gradually, mixing well…

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5) When dough stretchy, but not too sticky, knead for ten minutes in a ball.

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6) Put in an oiled bowl (smooth oil over dough) and cover with a damp cloth, in a warm place for one hour.

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7) Punch air out of dough, separate into two balls on floured surface and cover for ten minutes.

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8) Stretch and roll each piece of dough in to a long ‘rope’….

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9) Plait and join together, set in remaining eggs (previously dyed if liked but not boiled) carefully snuggled in to the dough, so as they will not pop out of the dough in the oven, and brush with melted butter.

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10) Preheat oven at 175 C, while leaving dough to rise again for 45 minutes.
11) Bake in greased tray for 50 – 55 minutes….

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12) Eat for breakfast on Easter morning! 😊

Dyeing Eggs With Natural Materials

Yesterday afternoon Ted and I tried dying some eggs with natural materials. We chose (frozen) blueberries, cumin, turmeric, beetroots and coffee.
Each bowl was filled with enough water to cover the egg, 1 tablespoon of alum, three tablespoons of vinegar and the natural material.

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All the eggs (except for the blueberries which I’m going to use in a bread tomorrow) were boiled, and then put to simmer for around 30 minutes…

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I was actually a little disappointed with the outcome – I thought the colours would be much stronger…

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…though admittedly they are quite ‘Spring’ like! 😊
The blueberry colour I thought was much better, although I decided not to boil them and instead cook them in the Easter bread later (a recipe I have never tried before!)…

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Always good to experiment with new things however! 😉🔬🔍🎓

Lovely Simple Easter Crafts : Painting Eggs, Egg Holders & Felt Eggs

We’ve continued our Easter crafts with an old favourite which we do every year….

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…plus a craft we’ve done many years ago, which looks lovely and is very effective, and that we will use at the Easter lunch on Sunday….

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…and a completely new craft, which I’ve fallen in love with…(involving taping a plastic egg closed with electrical tape, covering the egg with wool roving, putting the egg in a cut off stocking and tying, putting the egg for a spin in the washing machine, and then again in the tumble dryer, before removing it from the stocking)……

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I just love this last craft! 🙂

‘Påskkärringar’ : Swedish Easter

On the Thursday before the Easter weekend, it is a Swedish tradition for children to dress up as ‘Påskkärringar’ (Easter witches), and knock on people’s doors giving out homemade cards and wishing them ‘Glad Påsk’ (Happy Easter), in return for sweets.
Historically the ‘witches’ were said to have flown on their broomsticks to ‘Blåkulla’, an island off the Baltic Sea, to have a feast with the devil on Maundy Thursday. The story came about in the 17th C, with the tradition of children going around dressed up as witches becoming popular around 1800.
Alfie and Ted spent Thursday afternoon making cards…

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…before setting off on their walk around the neighbourhood with their friend Lilly…

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Leon understandably feels too old for this now, but poor Maya became unwell just hours before, which is a shame because next year she might just feel too old as well.
Despite this, you can see that Alfie and Ted thoroughly enjoyed themselves! 😊