Saturday, December 31, 2011

The great Christmas visit of 2011

Bjorn's mom rallied the troops and brougth everyone to Texas for Christmas. It was awesome to have everyone under one roof. The kids, in particular, had a blast! It was so fun to have us all together although I think by the fifth day, everyone was itching to get back to their own places, and not just because the stomach flu made an appearance. Since then, we've been busy washing all the sheets and towels and hot water, folding up the air mattresses (and buying new ones since half the ones I borrowed broke this week) and finding left items in random

Here's Fafa giving out some presents.
Simone, Meg, Andy and Zane.
Bjorn, Tor and Erik and Zane. We went to my parents' for Christmas dinner. They were fantastic to host 15 people!

All the "BBs" on the stairs. Barnbarn is Swedish for grandchildren so these are all the BB generation.

Up in Dad's new office where he was showing off his guns.

Out of sequence but so damn adorable - this is Meg's hoilday pageant. Is was so damn cute!

Andy and Mrs. White at his school holiday party.

One of the dad's reading a story at the holiday party.

Erik and Fafa on Christmas Day.

Fafa and Jennifer making fantastic Swedish cookies. I ate all of them.

Jennifer in the "Forever Lazy." She really rocked it.

The obligatory bathtub picture. Zane is far too mature at 9 to have any part in this, but the other kids had a blast.

Zane and his glow in the dark mouthpiece.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vermin in paradise

Our house backs to a creek and a park. We love it. It is absolutely awesome to have this area. Downside? We have animals and not the fun kind. We have a possum that semi-regularly ends up in a trash can. And today, I saw an armadillo crawling across the pool cover and then into the bushes. Naturally one of the cats was sitting outside and watched the whole thing happen while yawning. These guys are obviously natural killers.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Best neighborhood ever

Sure, we liked our old neighbor loads. Great people, friendly and all that jazz. But dang, we have it all here in Southlake. I love the mix of people from everywhere, kids of all ages and parents of all political and religious affiliations. I also love the enthusiasm for community which just makes me darn happy. At Halloween, we all exchanged "boo" treats for the kids which they loved. And just today, I got some homemade Christmas treats, an offer for Andy to house sit some dogs over Christmas and an invitation to a New Year's party.

Even Bjorn had found a few guys that he likes well enough to go out for beers with on occasion. For a guy who tries so hard to be a stoic, non-joiner, that's pretty impressive stuff.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Fancy pants camera

I am still loving my fancy pants camera (and the fancy pants husband who gave it to me). I'm now coveting a new device that will let me post pictures even faster. In the meantime, here are some recent fancy pants pictures.

This girl can move! Here she is jamming at Andy's soccer game.

Classic father-son photograph. Classic picture of Mark refusing to smile.

The "boys", our boy kittens Perry and Mittens. I thought they were so cute asleep like that.

How good looking are these folks?

Our friends Jenny and Sean who were kind enough to ply me with wine and let me stay at their house last time I was traveling.

Andy getting a badge for his work at the last Cub Scout meeting. The whole Cub Scout business is really adorable. It also satisfies Andy's need for outdoorsy stuff that's not necessarily a competitive sport.

Mark really needed a haircut.
Dad in Arizona. We climbed "A" mountain in Phoenix right next to Arizona State University. It was a nice hike, and short, but staight up. I really dug Phoenix. Next time Mary does a triathalon, I want to bring the family and stay for a few days.

Sun Devil stadium from "A" Mountain.

Mary and Mom before race day.

Mary's car all decorated. Elizabeth and I did this after a few drinks and a $100 win at the casino. We are very cool and have fantastic talent.

Mary after the 1.5 MILE swim. That's right, 1 1/2 MILES in the water. And that's just the first leg of this Ironman triathalon. Seriously, it was amazing and inspiring. And naturally, I haven't exercised since.

Cool picture of the bridge and all the bikes.

The bridge at night. As you can see, I was really loving the fancy camera. I thought it turned out really nicely.

Mary after 1 1/2 miles in the water, 112 miles on the bike and 12 miles running. I was tired and I walked a mile. Seriously, it's amazing.

Bjorn putting the star on the Christmas tree.

Andy doing his spelling "sort."

Monday, November 28, 2011

What a good looking bunch of people

Mom and Dad took us out to a fancy pre-Thanksgiving dinner. It was awesome and we got to see Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Turns out we clean up nice on occasion.
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Legoland

The kids and scoped out Legoland in anticipation of the whole family coming to visit for Christmas. It was the day before Thanksgiving at an outlet mall and it was PACKED. The kids enjoyed it a lot though. We had to actually wait to get in. They were only accepting preorder tickets. Poor Andy was in tears. We left to shop and came back and they still weren't letting people in. We had set to leave the mall when the clerk chased us down to say they were letting people in. Jubilee!

We didn't bring socks which was bad as the moon bounce thing required them. I thought it was a little lacking - not that much new and interesting for $50 for the three of us but they enjoyed it a lot even without doing the moon bounce or one ride. I suspect we will be back for Andy's birthday.

I went to Phoenix and all I got was $100

This is certainly a bad idea

videoBut it's so fun!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Raingutter regata

Andy is in cub scouts this year. What a cool program. They do all sorts of outdoorsy and civic stuff including a camp out at cowboys stadium. How awesome is that?

This week we had the raingutter regatta where they made little boats and raced. Andy was displeased when he lost but loved his boat. He wants to build a raingutter in our yard so ge can practice before next year.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Sony Alpha Nex

As an early anniversary present, Bjorn got me a new camera, the Sony Alpha Nex-3. This is the new kind of camera that is small but has almost the same shutter speed and capabilities as a big DSLR but at a fraction of the cost and size. I've been taking pictures like crazy, partly because it's so easy to take 10 all at once and delete the bad ones. Here are some of the ones that made the cut.
Andy and Barrett playing Bakery Story.


These kids are fascinated with putting their bikes upside down and "fixing" them. It seems very familiar.

She's quite intense when scooting. Plus, shoes are for the Suri Cruise's of the world.

He does this funny thing when he's chilling, he spins in circles.

Andy's school obsession, a game called First in Math that we have a log in through the school. He's so proud as he's the second highest in the class consistently. He's definitely got Bjorn's math skillz.

Seriously? Look how pretty this kid is? The skin, lips and eyelashes just blow me away. And look what a great shot it is? Love this camera. And obviously I'm a gifted photographer.

See how gifted I am?

Andy really wanted to do the rock climbing wall at school during the fall festival. It was pretty cool. The whole rock climbing wall folds up onto a trailer to take away at the end. It was a little more advanced for him but I know we'll be back to do this kind of thing again.

She is totally the Ghostest with the Mostest.

I love the hair! And the dancing.

Mommy's little axe murdered, I mean, firefighter.

Bjorn and Fafa. We were scouting out Grapevine Mills for the Big Bennett Family Christmas this December. I totally want to take the kids to Legoland. It looks awesome.

Andy loved this spinning teacup.

Obi-Wan at Book Character Day at school. We don't call it Halloween here. Some of the Religious Right are very against pagan holidays like this.

Margaret and Fafa reading. Meg was so happy to have her grandmother to read her this book. She's also wearing her other Halloween shirt, "Out of Candy: Need Refill."

One very happy Batman (Batwoman?) with her loot.