Sunday, December 30, 2007

Family. Christmas. Memories.

Our time in New Jersey for the holidays passed quickly and delightfully. Renee, Wes' youngest sister, and her husband Jeff hosted our gathering in their beautiful home.
Two parents, four siblings and their families=22. Two 3 year olds, a kindergartener, a first grader, a second grader and a fourth grader. Three in college. Anne and Jed as the only young married couple. Doctors, teachers, retired. Smart cookies. Artistic and musical. Kind folks all.
This is the family I married into and I have been blessed to be a part of for over thirty years.
Muriel made her special coffee bread for the
first time in three years!
The food...oh, the food. Pork tenderloin, Swedish meatballs, korv, salmon. Goat cheese risotto. Beer/brocolli/cheese soup. Rum cake with sauce. Pastry-topped brie/raspberry appetizer, shrimp, green beans with garlic and pine nuts. Italian pastries, fabulous cookies. We conquered all and hear this: RENEE IS AN AWESOME "FOODIE" CHEF!!!!! JEFF IS A GRILLER EXTRAORDINAIRRE!!!!!!
Most of the group poses for the first ever Lindahl "White Elephant/Bingo" game...what presents! What thrills! And only a couple ending up with tears. And compromises. And ideas with how to retaliate the next time we play together. In the meantime, does anyone need/want a pooping reindeer? Or a cockroach squishing ball? Or even a Hip-Hopping Santa??
Elder and Muriel with their 10 grandchildren - Anne is the oldest at 25 years of age, and Jackson is the youngest at 3 years of age. And then it was time to part. Another year of memories to hold dear to until next time. The kids will grow up, the adults will get older, and there are sure to be changes...nothing stays the same. But, luckily, we can hold fast to the good times and especially the love that binds us all together no matter what. Family: a gift like no other!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Eve Morning in NYC

Our Lindahl relatives are arriving from around the country...Texas, Massachusetts and Minnesota! But our family of five stole away for a bit on Christmas Eve morning to go into the city via NJ Transit. We would only be gone for the morning and we had a lot of walking to do to see: The Empire State Building, the windows at Macy's, Time's Square, Broadway, Radio City Music Hall (we went there nearly every Christmas when I lived in NJ), the rink at Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and we even stumbled upon the Church of Sweden where a Christmas service was being held in the Swedish language. We also had to find black and white cookies, eat pizza and buy nuts from a street vendor. Mission accomplished! We "heart" NYC!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Longtime - NOT OLD - Friends!

We have just returned from a fabulous Christmas trip to be with the Lindahl side of the family and I will be blogging about those great times very soon. However, as I lived in New Jersey from 7th through 12th grade, I wanted to see my dear friends - Sandi and Ray - from those happy, carefree days of yore. Before all the Lindahls arrived from various parts of the country, Wes and I were able to steal away on a gray, rainy afternoon and meet Sandi and Ray in our hotel. The hours flew by and the laughter so brightened our day!
Yep, our prom dates in 1973 are long gone. But Sandi and I have found great husbands; each of us have been married to our sweethearts for over 30 years!
Sandi and I have kept in touch through the years, and have seen each other every five years or so. We have laughed over memories of boyfriends, countless sleepovers, classmates, and even recalled the time when we borrowed Sandi's boyfriend's car (he was a young substitute teacher...can you believe that??) and took a "break" during school hours with that car. She caught me up with many people we went to school with at good 'ol Roxbury High. And now, Sandi and I are both mothers of married children...potential Grandmothers. Where did the years fly by?
I really really wish I could've found a way to get this short video clip vertical instead of horizontal. This may give you just a bit of insight into the goofy, fun friendship Sandi and I have had! We got into a lot of "situations" but laughed ourselves into them and out of them!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Rubberband Reindeer

Every year our library has a "Decorate the Staff Room Tree" contest. Rules are simple: you can only use office supplies or things found in the library. No computers. The winner takes home a ham or turkey. I was inspired by the back of a writing tablet and rubber bands this year. Directions are available upon request.
So, I guess you could say this has been my lucky year at work: first I won the Snack-of-the-month goodies, then I took Second Place in my Halloween costume, and finally the topper: I won a ham for being the first place winner in the ornament contest. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket??

Diann Made Me Do It

Okay, here's the deal. Plain and simple. At work, we are getting a whole new computer search system and it's called Millennium. I was asked to be a contestant in the Mr./Ms. Millennium "pageant" and was asked to contribute my talent portion of the contest this past week. You can see my entry here: on the Dec.20 date.
My sister said I should put it on here. It's embarassing and humiliating. But she thought you should know.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vera Turns Eighty-Six

Right before Thanksgiving, we were called with the news that Mom was being rushed to the hospital with a high fever and much breathing difficulty. The news was grim, and the diagnosis was aspiration pneumonia. Mom spent eight days in the hospital, and the first four days were very much "touch and go." But, we are finding out our Mom is pretty feisty and spunky and after the third introduction of an antibiotic, with back-pounding treatments several times a day, she rallied. Perhaps she knew it was soon her 86th birthday and she had more great-grandchildren to welcome into the world. And today, we celebrated her big day. Below: Mom and her two daughters. Do you think we look alike? Earlier, someone asked if my sister and I were twins...that was a first! We're actually six years apart.
Happy Birthday, dear Mom! It was a pleasure celebrating your 86 years on earth. And your first ever time of being sung to by a local school group
who readily sang the Happy Birthday Song to you after finishing up with their Christmas caroling! Thanks, kids!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Party Pictures

These are some of the pictures from the korv party, as promised
I just had to try out one of my scrapbooking CD-ROMS with this project.
Providing you with interesting backgrounds of the photos?
Ava and Cal...the cutest party-goers of all! It's so much fun to be their Great Aunt!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Nu Är Det Jul Igen

You know it's going to be a special party when you get an invitation to come to my sister and her husband's beautiful home. They host an annual holiday party with a Swedish theme: smörgåsbord and korv-making all in one. Lots of family, lots of friends, lots of different ages and lots of FUN! Soon, I will post more of the people aspect, but for now, you'll get to see what happened at their shindig.
For those of you who don't know what korv is, it's rather like bratwurst. You add potatoes and onions and spices to ground-up meats, then put it in "casings" and boil it. It's a lot of work! (But, I was not the best worker...I chatted and snapped pictures instead...hey! someone's gotta do that!)
Thank you, Diann and Larry for your wonderful NOT to miss! With tummies full of limpa bread and cheese, ham, rice pudding, Swedish meatballs and lingon berries, korv, boiled potatoes, herring (no thanks for me, personally!), cardamom bread and cookies, we headed off into the wintry evening with more than just food under our belts; we just made more sweet holiday memories!