Wednesday, April 29, 2009

how cool is this?

i just took this snapshot of the visitors to your blog, girls! green ones are people who are online right now and red is the one who joined most recently. that person was in dublin, ireland! where else have your visitors come from, can you tell? countries? or at least continents? and in the US, perhaps states? i know this map is tiny, but i think it's pretty exciting!

To the Park

1) Addie on the point
2) Addie climbing up
3)Aiden and Tryllen
on the rock wall
4) Skipping off to the point
5) The ice just went off the lake yesterday
6)Going down

We venture to the Park
Join us as we enjoy a break in the gloomy Spring weather.

This park is on Lake Bemidji across from the college.

It was remodeled just over a year ago. They turned a shady (both from the sun and due to the characters who hung out here), slightly scary place into a wonderful gathering grounds for families, college students and residence of town alike.

We have really enjoyed stopping by this park for a quick play, or longer. We have even had cook outs with friends here, and the kids have come here for birthday parties.

Diamond Point Park
Aerial view
Park is on the point

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

our favorite books: denmark

because we read in two languages at our house, we have lots of favorite books. we'll post about the ones in english today and do the danish ones another day.

for a long time, our best and favorite books were all charlie and lola. it's a UK series by lauren child and features cool mixed-media/cartoon characters called charlie and lola. every book begins with, "i have this little sister lola, she is small and very funny..." and all of the books are told by lola's big brother, charlie, but they're really mostly about lola.

the illustrations are good, the text is interestingly placed on the pages and the stories are super cute. there's even a really cool one about fair trade and this new one called "look after your planet."

sabin hasn't even seen that one yet, so when i get home (i'm in oslo for the next few days, working), i'll have to show her. it's a BBC series as well as a bunch of books, but i believe it started as books.  and now sabin can read these herself, tho' they're something we've been reading and enjoying together for several years.

* * *
our other favorite at the moment is anything by roald dahl. we've read so far:
  • george's marvelous medicine
  • the twits
  • the witches
  • the enormous crocodile
  • matilde (we're about halfway through this one)
still on our shelves to go:
  • the BFG
  • charlie and the chocolate factory
  • james and the giant peach
these tend to be bedtime reading that i read to sabin, they're a bit dense yet for her reading abilities, especially in english, since she hasn't had english yet formally in school and i haven't pushed her with it. she needs to solidify her reading skills in danish and then the reading strategies she learns will help her pick up the english.  and it's not that she's not reading english. she can read most of fox in socks.

i'm looking forward to reading the laura ingalls wilder books with sabin, perhaps we'll tackle those this summer. and we've also read the first two harry potter books as bedtime stories, so maybe we'll move back to those when we're done with our roald dahl period. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Where is Buller Now?

Buller is in this picture. Can you find him? Where is Buller?

The Birth of Paul Bunyan

retold by
S. E. Schlosser

Now I hear tell that Paul Bunyan was born in Bangor, Maine. It took five giant storks to deliver Paul to his parents. His first bed was a lumber wagon pulled by a team of horses. His father had to drive the wagon up to the top of Maine and back whenever he wanted to rock the baby to sleep.

I will zoom in to help you see him.

As a newborn, Paul Bunyan could hollar so loud he scared all the fish out of the rivers and streams. All the local frogs started wearing earmuffs so they wouldn't go deaf when Paul screamed for his breakfast. His parents had to milk two dozen cows morning and night to keep his milk bottle full and his mother had to feed him ten barrels of porrige every two hours to keep his stomach from rumbling and knocking the house down. Within a week of his birth, Paul Bunyan could fit into his father's clothes.Hint Hint

After three weeks, Paul rolled around so much during his nap that he destroyed four square miles of prime timberland. His parents were at their wits' end! They decided to build him a raft and floated it off the coast of Maine. When Paul turned over, it caused a 75 foot tidal wave in the Bay of Fundy. Buller spent the morning hanging out with one of our main attractions
Paul Bunyan and Babe his Big Blue Ox

They had to send the British Navy over to Maine to wake him up. The sailors fired every canon they had in the fleet for seven hours straight before Paul Bunyan woke from his nap! When he stepped off the raft, Paul accidentally sank four war ships and he had to scramble around sccooping sailors out of the water before they drowned. After this incident, Paul's parents decided the East was just too plumb small for him, and so the family moved to Minnesota.
More stories here
Do you have sea gulls? (these are actually heron gulls)
If you do, you know they were laughing at us the whole time

Statue Information found here

Paul Bunyan story - Bemidji Style here

Friday, April 24, 2009

friday jump shot

happy friday!

it was a mad day, which started with a jump shot in our fab new outfit.

dress: by phister & philina 
leggings: cotton by phister & philina 
and again with the red converse all stars. 

we did lots of other stuff that we'll have to share later this weekend. but we wish you a totally fabulous weekend with great weather (we're writing this because we know google is controlling the weather and we'd like to have a vote in how it is). :-)

This and That

Today is Friday - everyone's favorite day. Friday means relaxation for the evening. Playing outside and not worrying about school tomorrow. Friday means a great supper, and sometimes it means Family Movie Night. This is fun. Everyone gathers sleeping bags or blankets, and plenty of pillows and stuffed animals. Pajamas are required attire for this event. Sprawled on the couches, big chair and floor we all watch a movie and share several bowls of dad's buttered popcorn and juice. Tonight's plans are still unset. ( Spring is hard around here with our business.)
This was Addie's outfit for yesterday. She started the day out with her mini jean jacket (from the last outfit) over the top of this. However, by the end of the day it was near 80 degrees Fahrenheit and she was able to go in her shirt-sleeves (and bare feet).
With the warm temperatures yesterday we started to notice another one of Addie's favorite things - Butterflies (although I believe this to be a moth).

We hope you enjoyed the weekend with your sisters. We will try to bring Buller somewhere local and fabulous for your learning experience. See you Monday.

sabin's big sisters

we haven't really explained sabin's family as of yet. her two most favorite people in the world are not her parents (much to their disappointment), but her two big sisters--karoline, 17 and mathilde, 14. karoline and mathilde have the same far as sabin but a different mor (that's mom in danish and pronounced moah).

last year at almost exactly this time, we all went to barcelona together and this is one of my favorite pictures of sabin and her big sisters, even tho' it's almost a year old:

mathilde (then a mere 13), sabin and karoline (then 16)
at gaudi's park guell, barcelona, spain
you can see from the picture that we're dealing with teenagers here. but they are so awesome with sabin that it's a real pleasure to have them come every other weekend and sabin is in absolute heaven when they're here. big sister karoline takes her to the movies almost every weekend she's here. the girls have taught sabin to play world of warcraft and have guided her through it. she plays a lot on mom's facebook with them in a game called pet society.  karoline's birthday is new year's eve and when she turns 18 at the end of this year, she has declared that she will come and live with us. she's going to gymnasium, which we would call high school in the US, but is really somewhere between a high school and a junior college type place. she's super helpful around the house, so we're looking forward to her moving here. both girls have their own room here at our house.

another shot at park guell, barcelona
mathilde is 14 now and will be confirmed on saturday. it's kind of a big deal occasion in denmark and her father has prepared a speech and a big slide show with pictures and stories of her life thus far. there will be a big catered party at a rowing club by the harbor in copenhagen with 60 family and friends invited. when karoline was confirmed a couple of years ago, we rented motorized toilets to race on (i foolishly did not have my practice then of never going anywhere without a camera, which makes me sad because it was completely hilarious and i have no photos of it).  however, we can't find those people again--i suppose there is a relatively limited market for motorized toilets--so we're just taking our bigscreen t.v. and the Wii for the entertainment this time.
not sure what's going on here, but this is a fairly typical scene
it must have been sunny and bright in barcelona because they never took off their sunglasses.
as you can see, mathilde looks a bit older than 13
we'll try to post more recent pictures after the party this weekend. it looks like the weather should be great and i'm sure we will have multiple photo opps. but we wish you a lovely weekend and we'll catch you on sunday, since saturday will be a busy day away from the computer!
we'll share sabin's favorite reads on sunday, we haven't forgotten!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jumping, Cleaning, Eating

For the picture of Addie's outfit today - Buller joined it. (I have a hard time not typing Bullah - since if I am write that is how it is said) Addie is wearing the mini jean jacket she wore for the fashion show, a "princess" shirt and a pair of jeans (with holes in the knees, obviously getting to be the end of the school year!).

We decided to try our own jump shot.
We opted for jumping off something
(a trailer used for the dock business)

This really allowed Addie and Buller to get some air!

We then had after school snack: toast
with homemade raspeberry jam -
raspberries from our garden

Then we did our yearly Earth Day walk
through the ditch to pick up garbage.
We live on a dirt road in the country -
however people that drive this road can be quite gross!
Addie had cold lunch today. She had a summer sausage sandwhich on a ww bun
canned peaches, a granola bar, and for a treat organic Annie's fruit snacks
(they are bunny shaped)

Addie's mom made snack baggies for her chips/pretzels/crackers
and sandwhich wraps out of cotton material and oil cloth
in an effort to eliminate some of our lunch waste.
We love how well they work!
The sandwich wrap even serves as a placemat!

what's for lunch?

here during middle ages week, sabin is working in the café. all week, they've been preparing all sorts of yummy bread and cakes and pancakes for the big "let's sell all this stuff to our parents" bit of middle ages week which will take place on friday. if you're standing there working with all kinds of dough and yummy things to taste, you don't really want a proper lunch, so this is what sabin has been taking:

a zip-loc with carrots, cucumber and cherry tomatoes (the adjacent melon was breakfast). she's also gotten a brownie along for the past couple of days, but they're gone now. she takes an apple as well. when we get back to normal practice next week, we'll tell you what our usual lunch is like. but for now we'll just say that the danes do sandwiches a bit differently.

when i picked up sabin at her after-school program today, she was working on a card for her big (half) sister mathilde's confirmation, which is on saturday.  had to snap a picture or two because the light was so great. this is why we always have at least one camera on us at all times.

outfit today was one you've seen before (dark grey dress and leggings), so we'll wait 'til tomorrow when we've got something a bit more springy to share.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Buller is Here!

Addie wore another of her favorite shirts - this one a Birthday gift from grandma. It was the perfect outfit (yesterday) to welcome Buller! He has arrived and is safe and sound.
(minus one sequins after a night of sleeping in the new loft)
Addie made quick work of making him feel at home. she took him out into the first Spring rain to show him the yard (since we figure outside is where he feels the most at home)
Although lizards tend to prefer dry warm environments Buller seems to be adapting well.

it's middle ages week!

it's middle ages week at sabin's school, but that doesn't mean dressing like it's the middle ages (that would just be too scratchy with all those burlap sacks).  snapped this shot at sabin's SFO (her after school program). that's where her spot is--she keeps her coat and bag and about 5000 drawings there.

she's wearing:
white leggings: H&M
denim capris : exit 
pink t-shirt: grandma sent this one from the US, it's got horses on the front and we're a bit mad for horses at our house. it's a brand called Kerritts and it came with a package of carrot seeds on the tag! how cool is that?
fleece jacket: also our riding apparel.
shoes: pink vans (apparently some fell off a truck, so they had them on special at the grocery store this week)
pink bag: make-shift purse/lunch bag from H&M

during middle ages week, sabin's busy in the café. they're making all kinds of goodies all week for the big sale on friday when the parents come. sabin's been making bread for a couple of days (it should be cake today) and has been so excited that she wanted to make some more when she got home:

it's a big mess, but we like big messes in the kitchen at our house. they mean we're having fun and making something yummy. she was even making fancy braided loaves. isn't that cool? just ignore all those cutting boards on the edge of the sink in the background.

the bread recipe is:

1/2 package of yeast (we use little blocks of fresh yeast, not the powdered kind)
3/4 cup of water
pinch of salt
4 C of organic flour (or until it's firm enough not to stick to your hands)

work it all together and form it into the shapes you want, then let it rise. i was a little surprised we didn't let it rise first, then shape it, but sabin insisted this was the right way. i ate some for lunch today and it was great, so she must have been right.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To Tell a Tale

Addie's reading ability has really soared this year. She went from barely making it through a picture book with frustration to cruising through a chapter book in a couple of days. This success is in part of these three characters:

Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
Junie B. Jones just can't help getting into all kinds of scrapes. After all, going to school, and having to ride the smelly old school bus, and making new friends isn't easy. She really can't help it when she shouts out loud in class. After all, if that dumb May, the class tattletale, wasn't always calling attention to Junie B.'s behavior, she wouldn't have to yell at her, would she? Then there's that meanie kid, Jim, who is always teasing her and making life miserable. And it's really hard to follow the rules, when there seem to be so many of them.

She does her best, but life just has so many interesting possibilities, which often land her in trouble with the teacher and her parents. No matter how mixed-up things get, one thing's for sure --- you'll have a good laugh reading about Junie's adventures in kindergarten and first grade. And, by the way --- that's Junie "B." --- as she will firmly remind you, if you happen to forget.

Rainbow Fairies by Daisy Meadows
All kids love magic, right? Well this magical adventure is a perfect introduction for all little girls into the world of book series.

Rachel Walker and Kirsty Tate meet on their way to Rainspell Island for holidays and quickly become friends. While searching for the end of a rainbow they discover an old, black pot. Inside the pot is Ruby the red rainbow fairy. Ruby explains that evil Jack Frost has cast her and her rainbow sisters from fairyland in anger that they forgot to invite him to the midsummer ball. Ruby turns Rachel and Kirsty into fairies and takes them to fairyland to meet the king and queen and receive instructions on how to rescue the other six fairies.

So begins book one of the series. (from

School Days - Laura Ingalls Wilder

School Days is the latest favorite. I am sure this has to do with our cold snowy stop to the homestead in South Dakota during Spring Break. These books were compiled by taking chapters out of the original series. It does make for easier reading then the longer original books. She also read Animal Adventures in this same series.

All of these are a series of books, which if fun to go from one story to the next for Addie.

jump shots

at our house, we have a tradition for taking jump shots. it's not a long tradition, but it's a tradition just the same. it started with some very creative people at some workshops that i held around the world during the course of 2007. at every workshop, we had the whole group do a jump shot. here's an example of one of the best ones:

here we had our own personal professional photographer (who used to be a BBC producer) take the shot, but what we usually did is set the camera (or a number of cameras) to take a series of rapid-fire shots, then put it on a timer and run back into the picture. check out the height some of us got (i'm in the middle and a little to the left in a green shirt). when it's just kids in the shot, an adult usually takes the shots on a rapid fire setting, like i did with this one of sabin above or my sister did with the one of sabin and her cousins at navy pier from the other day.

since you guys are a whole crew all in one, you should really try it. i think you'll find it's pretty addictive. and you'll be amazed to see how high you can jump!

Monday, April 20, 2009

We will make it Spring

Quick note on the fashion choice of the day.
I love this shirt and actually bought something off the rack. It fades from a turquoise blue down to a sunshine yellow. This is paired with the traditional blue jeans.

We will make it Spring one way or another - even if that means wearing sunshine yellow.

Pants - Target
Shirt - Walmart

A quick addition of pictures - this shirt was a lot easier to take a pic of off from my little wiggle worm..... I love this shirt, I would wear this shirt!

Where is Buller?

I was hoping to share the good news that Buller had arrived safe and sound.
However, there was only a single letter in the mailbox from a friend in Idaho.
We anticipate his arrival tomorrow.
The way our mail travels he is
probably hanging around Fargo, ND right now.
(is it a he or a she?)

Where is Buller?

trying to get out the door

gorgeous day today. busy day today. but sabin wanted to share what she was wearing:

top: white t-shirt from miss whatever, singapore
pants: grey velour genie pants by bombi bitt (you saw these last week)
jacket: grey velour jacket by bombi bitt (you saw this last week)
shoes: those red converse all-stars (you see these every time. sorta.)
bag on the floor: years ago, the gap
purple backpack: by jeva--all of the kids have these for their school bag.

it's middle ages week this week, so not "real" school. sabin's working in the café. today they made homemade buns. tomorrow: cake.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Addie and her family have three pets. Two cats and a dog.
We call him Lost and he calls us Found
This cat's name is "Lost". Because that is what he was. We aren't sure how old he is. He showed up at our house several years ago. He remained outside the first winter he strayed our way. The second winter he was allowed to sleep in the garage. The next summer my mom found him so funny that she let him in the house this winter. He has become a good pet. (But he eats a lot and then throws it up in my bed sometimes if I forget to keep my door shut :( I like that he can meow the word "milk" when he wants milk and "mamamama" when he wants food.
This is "Tori". She is a Pomeranian. She is our dog. We got her after our Dachshund was hit by a car. A lady from dad's work gave her to us two years ago because she had too many dogs. She barks a lot at the neighbor dogs. She likes to play a lot and I like to play fetch with her.
This is "Kitty Lou" . He is old. My mom and dad have had him since before they had kids. [he is 10.5 years old]. Lou stays away from us all unless he wants to be petted.

Some days I like having all these pets and sometimes I don't. I like Tori better then the cats.