Monday, June 29, 2009

Reading Rewarded

Addie finished school about three weeks ago. However, the last week of school was full of field trips and award presentations.

Addie participates in an Accelerated Reading Program. The student reads a book and takes a test on the computer testing their knowledge of what they read. Then the student is rewarded with points. Most picture books are worth .5 points, with most 2nd grade level reading level chapter books are worth 1 point.

Addie earned over 100 points. In fact she earned almost 125 points.

This is a great program to motivate students to read. In fact, now that school is out I notice Addie reading on her own has drastically reduced. May be time for some mandatory reading time? Hmmmmmmmm.....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

closing in...

it's the last week of school this week. books have actually already been turned in and so it's all wrap-up activities and fun. and we're looking forward to many hours of this:

and to having a little bit more time to dedicate to taking early on a bit more sight-seeing in denmark before he might take to wing and make his way back home to minnesota.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Looking back to 2008

Addie is officially a third grader. She has finished her last day of school for the year, and is ready for a summer break.

She came home with the content of her locker and desk the last couple of days. Papers papers and more papers etc. However, in all of this mess was her Spring Pictures!!!!!!

I love Spring pictures, the colors are brighter, it feels more like a transitional picture to me.

I noticed this year in particular how much Addie has changed since last Spring. I had her 2008 Spring pic on the fridge and was taken aback by how much older she suddenly looks.I guess it is through pictures that time or the loss of it is captured. Teeth are no longer missing, her face has changed shape and she even seems less scared in the 2009 picture.

How have you changed in looks since last Spring Sabin?

How about in what you know/have learned?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Statue Walk

Buller is still tired of this chilly weather - as we all are.

So, to cheer him up Addie and I decided to take him on
The Sculpture Walk.

We have a very talented collection of artists in our area, many of which are sculptors.

These sculptures are displayed through out the down town area.
The Chamber of Commerce (tourist building) has a map to help you find them all.
However, we just drove around and jumped out at will to snap these shots.

You can play "Where is Buller"
Because he is in every shot
(Hint: remember if you click on the pictures they enlarge)

(except for the pics below which are two statues,
two pictures I just really liked from our walk)Which sculpture is your favorite?
How about your mom's and far's favorite?

tiaras and beautiful dresses

denmark is a constitutional monarchy. what this means in practice is that it's run by a multi-party government/legislature sort of like we know it in the US (but with way more parties--we won't go into that whole thing in this post) and that the queen is the official head of the government and opens parliament and the like, but has no real power. in fact, she's not even allowed to publicly express any political opinion at all. generally, she has lots of public duties and hosts dinners attended by people like nelson mandela and the dalai lama. and in the summer she sails around on her beautiful royal yacht.

denmark has a queen, she's been queen since the early 70s when her father died. she is married to a french count named henri, since he's french, he's not the king, he's the prince regent.

queen margrethe II
photo from here 
queen margarethe II & prince henrik
photo same source as above

the queen and prince henrik had two sons--frederik and joachim. frederik is the crown prince and will take over as king in denmark when his mother dies (seems like kind of a harsh way to get your job, but true nonetheless). frederik turned 40 last year and he's married to an australian girl named mary that he met at the olympics in sydney in 2000. she worked at microsoft when i did, so i've partied with her. they got married in 2004 and have since had two children.

mary and frederik at their wedding in 2004
same photo source as above

their son, christian (all the danish kings are alternating frederik or christian), will be crown prince when his father takes the throne. they also have a daughter, isabella. here they all are, on the balcony at amailenborg (that's the royal residence in copenhagen) waving to the public on the queen's birthday in april last year.
prince henrik, prince christian, crown princess mary, crown prince frederik, princess isabella and the queen

here's one more official shot of mary--she makes a lovely princess for a girl from tasmania.

like most families, the royal family has a brother they don't like to mention. that's the younger prince, prince joachim. he was married to a lovely girl from hong kong, alexandra, and they had two children--princes nicolai and felix. then alexandra, who is a lovely, intelligent, accomplished woman noticed that joachim is a complete inbred dufus and actually quite creepy and he smokes like a chimney so they divorced in 2005. now she's remarried to a totally cute camera guy and is a countess instead of a princess. i'm sure she's thinks it was worth it to lose the title. 

princess countess alexandra
same source as above

of course joachim didn't want to be alone for long and he wanted to try to duplicate his brother's success, so he imported a new princess, named marie, from switzerland. she's the spitting image of mary, but has a cute little french accent. they just had a son a week or so ago, so there's a new little prince.  this is from their wedding last year.

princess marie seems like a nice girl and i guess you will put up with a lot to be a princess and get to wear a tiara for real, because joachim is no less creepy than he's always been.

the danish royal family is related to most monarchies in europe. one of the queen's sisters is the exiled queen of greece. even the last russian tsar's mother was a danish princess (dagmar, neƩ tsarina alexandra). there's lots more here if you want to learn more.