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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Update

Well, I guess I've fallen off of the "blogosphere" for a while, and for that, I apologize. But it's not that we've been bored by any means, or that there wasn't anything to report! Crazy! Since my last post, we've traveled to Alaska, put the kids back in school, traveled to Canada and the New England Coast, had Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, a trip to Israel and Jordan, Valentine's, many birthdays in between...It's been a busy life.

But today, I'll pretend like you and I are just picking up where we left off, like we've chatted on the phone every day between then and now. Today, rather than posting a bunch of pictures and trying to recapture my life for the last nine months, I'll just sit down and type what's up TODAY.

And...that's really nothing. My two little ones are sitting together ON the kitchen table, sharing a bowl of milk (yes, you read that right). The Honey-nut Cheerios are all gone, and now they are taking turns drinking what's left in the bottom of the bowl. We got about 6" of snow last night, so the glow from the whiteness outside is making the whole house a little bit lighter. There are dishes to be done, laundry to fold, carpets to vacuum, and trash to take out. Maybe I'm stalling, but I prefer to call it blogging. (Not that I'm really saying anything...)

So, there it is. I'm back. For right now. I hope it's not too long before I post again.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vacation!!!

Four days after John was sustained as Bishop, we took off for two weeks for a cruise that had been planned for over a year! I think it was hard for John to be away for so long with his new calling weighing heavily, but thanks to amazingly capable counselors and their equally amazing and supportive wives, we had a wonderfully care-free vacation to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, and Russia.

There's no WAY to put it all here, so I'll just post some of the highlights:

The "original" Christus from which the Christus at Temple Square was modeled.

The Copenhagen Denmark Temple


Statue of one of my favorite childhood storytellers, Hans Christian Andersen

The original statue of the Little Mermaid is on display in China for the World's Fair, so they had this live video feed of her in her original place in Denmark.

You may recognize "Kristina", a statue dedicated to the many Mormon immigrants who came from Denmark.

The "gold room" where the Nobel Prize Dinner is held In Stockholm, Sweden

One Place Setting for the Nobel Dinner (now WHICH cup do I use first???)

The AMAZING Vasa Museum with a full-sized ship. Pictures don't do justice.

Typical Swedish architecture


FINLAND
The greatest little town called "Porvoo" near Helsinki. Loved this quaint little place with it's old Churches and cobblestone streets and fun shopping!


The Helsinki Temple

The "Rock Church" in Helsinki, literally carved out of the rock

Typical Finnish Architecture


RUSSIA
St. Petersberg
This was literally the first site we saw off of the ship: Government housing. This typified much of the "regular" parts of housing...dull and frankly, depressing

Contrasted with the AMAZING palaces and rich gardens of the royalty here at "Peterhoff"



The most visibly famous "onion top" church "The Church of the Spilt Blood."


St. Isaac's Cathedral



Entrance to St. Catherine's Palace

It was so unbelievably ornate, it made me think, "is it any WONDER there was a revolution here?" Crazy. This woman had something like 15,000 dresses in her possession.




John and Stalin...do you see any resemblance? hee hee!

We had lunch in this Beautiful Russian woman's home. Three small bedrooms, a tiny kitchen, a miniscule bathroom, and she lived there as a child during communist rule with THREE other families...one FAMILY per tiny 8x12 room. AMAZING.


ESTONIA
This was my favorite place. It was the quaintest little quiet place straight off of a postcard. Loved it! The people there were in traditional "time period" dress that added to the charm.






POLAND, Gydansk
Typical Polish architecture

This clock was made by a man, who, as soon as he was finished, had his eyes put out by the Church who commissioned the clock so that he could never make another. Thanks.

Old Medieval Castle. It is the largest BRICK castle in the world (not stone, etc.)

You could still see the bullet holes in the brick from World War II

Our Cruise ship passed underneath the bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark? I forget... ;)


On board the Ship at dinner

I had to throw this picture in of Mike and Margo Homer. We came to adore this man and his wife. Honestly, he reminded me of my brother-in-law, Tim Johnson, so much. This is what Tim will be like in a 40 or more years! ;)


It's almost embarrassing to admit that this is what I ordered for dessert one night. I couldn't decide, so I had them bring all three, then the waiter knew that I loved blackberries, so he just brought me a bowl for fun. I was stuffed to say the least! ;)


NORWAY
A most interesting park in Norway, with dozens if not hundreds of statues of people all in different and complex positions. Vigeland sculpture park in Oslo.



Uh, NOT ON SALE, apparently.

A Statue from Easter Island

Old Viking Ship


These represent such a tiny portion of the wonderful and interesting things we saw. I can't begin to tell you how grateful we feel to see the other parts of the world that make it so amazing and diverse. What a blessing in our lives.

It was such an amazing trip, and we are so grateful to CruiseLady for taking us on such an adventure! We NEVER could have done it without the help of my parents and other family members who kept our children, watched our cat, and minded things back home while we were away. Also, thanks again to John's amazing counselors who had to play "Bishop" in John's absence!

The trip was such a fun getaway for us and we enjoyed every minute together. We are so blessed!