Blog #77



Happy Halloween II


   On Sunday we had a Halloween party for the girls and a few of their friends.  Joan decorated the house and made all kinds of spooky foods.  She read books and poems and had prepared crafts, treat-bags and games.  We had dry ice fog and I managed to carbonate a bit of apple cider with CO2 from dry ice in a bottle.  Last year I carbonated milk and learned why they don't sell it in stores; it's just awful.  Disappointingly, the theater style fog machine didn't work.  Not even a single puff. 




My favorite decoration was the skeleton hanging from the baidarka.


   Last week Brigitta was pretty sick and slept for the better part of two days.  I just came across this picture of Svea reading to her sick little sister.


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Blog #76



Happy Halloween



   In Tallmadge, trick-or-treat is on the Thursday before Halloween.  Other cites have trick-or-treat on other nights.  I'm still getting used to this concept since trick-or-treat in Alaska was always on Halloween.  It wasn't terribly cold tonight and we all had a good time.  Little Annika seemed to get the hang of trick-or-treating.  I took several movie clips; look for an edited movie soon.



   Brigitta's preschool Halloween party was today.  Her class trick-or-treated from classroom to classroom and they played a few games.



German Family Society Kindergruppe Halloween Party

(Wednesday Night)


   Last night we attended the Kindergruppe Halloween party.  There was a potluck dinner followed by bag decorating, indoor trick-or-treating, games and dancing.  We always enjoy the GFS activities and are making friends with many good families.


Annika loves dancing



Annika decorating her trick-or-treat bag



Brigitta decorating her trick-or-treat bag; with Grace beside her.


All done


Svea tests her angel wings


Annika usually hates showers.  Last week, however, she was watching Brigitta take a shower and decided that it might be fun.  She walked in fully clothed.


A couple weeks ago the Kindergruppe danced at a local retirement/nursing home. 


   It has been a long time since my last blog, about two and a half weeks.  I've been sick for the past three weeks and have been a bit whipped.  We also have been very busy with home improvement projects.  The first quarter of the school year is coming to a close and my students' major projects are due.  Although my workload is much less than it has been in previous years, I've had to put in some overtime to keep up with all of the grading.


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Blog #75



Brigitta Day


   We celebrated Brigitta's Name Day on Friday, October 6th.  "Name Days" are a Swedish tradition celebrated like birthdays except everyone with the same name celebrates on the same day.  Brigitta and Britta are celebrated on October 7th; Svea's Name Day is January 2nd and Annika's Day is April 21st.  Brigitta is a real rock hound and is constantly collecting and studying rocks.  Her big gift was a rock tumbler/polisher. 

The other day Annika loaded up on granola packets. 

She was so proud she could carry eight at one time.

No one enjoys a cookie like a toddler. 

During dinner Annika said what may have been her first complete sentence, "I'm king of the world!"  (OK, she repeated what her sister Svea said, but she did say it .)

Joan's 20-year high school reunion.

   Last night Joan and I went to the Archbishop Hoban High School Class of 1986 20-year reunion.  Fifty out of 127 graduates attended; 49 are pictured below.  We had a good time and Joan got to catch up with all the old friends she hasn't seen in ten years.  Joan's classmates; click here to download a larger printable copy of the picture below.

Joan does keep in touch with her good friend Katie Haubert.


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Blog #74


Farewell Dear Neighbor and Friend


   Our dear neighbor, Carl Weakland, died this Monday at age 87.  His wife of over 50 years, Gerry, died last June.  Although Carl had been living with congestive heart failure for quite some time he was still well enough to mow his lawn only two weeks ago.  I don't think I've ever known anyone who enjoyed lawn care more than Carl.  All five of his children were at his side when he passed away Monday morning.  Carl's daughter Judy and her husband Chris had moved in and bought the house within the past year.  Carl and Gerry's only grandchild, Sarah, came to visit often and plays with Svea and Brigitta several times a week.  He will be missed.


   Last Friday Joan and I went to see the musical Urinetown at the Carousel Diner Theater with a few of her old friends from high school.  Being a group of five and buying tickets months in advance landed us front row seats.  The Carousel holds auditions in Broadway and brings actors and crews to Akron for their shows.  Urinetown was fantastic!  The music was fun, the plot was original and the humor was very clever and funny.  We hope to see more productions at the Carousel.


   Annika is more amazing than ever.  Joan recently found a checklist for two year olds.  Annika can do everything on the list.  She has a little three shelf bookshelf full of toddler board books.  If we tell her to go get a particular book she will head to her room and come back with it.  Yesterday I was in her room with her and asked her to fetch books by title.  One after another she was able to pull out the book I asked for including books that only had the spine showing.  Papa and I took her garage sailing yesterday.  Papa was singing, "Oh ho ho, who wouldn't go."  Annika responded, "Oh ho ho, Annika go!"  She repeated this little ditty a few dozen times until her little voice weakened and she faded off to sleep. 


   On Monday I helped chaperone our junior high students on a field trip to Camp Christopher.  The students participated in a "team challenge" (wall climbing, wire walking, etc), a hike, a pond life study and an outdoor Mass.  The picture below was taken while exiting a cave.



 I finally finished my amusement park diorama.  It's a replica of a portion of Geauga Lake Park and takes up one corner of the basement.



Click here to view in 1024 by 768 resolution.


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