A day at the spa

Today, I (Gretchen) got a day at the spa, along with my mom and sister. I wasn’t able to get a massage, so I tried something new, and got a mud wrap, along with a manicure and pedicure. It was fun having a girls day, and I guess the kids had a long nap for the guys while we were gone. Knut is now having an evening with his brother-in-law Tony where they will get together with some of Tony’s friends and probably have many philisophical discussions. Tomorrow, we have nothing planned, but I have one more present to get, and so does my mom, so we’ll probably step out for a bit tomorrow, if we don’t get a chance tonight.
I have also had a chance to start my ‘Grandmother’s Flower Garden’ quilt for Silje. It’s been fun figuring out how to piece it together,and I’m sure I’m going to enjoy this project.
Knut has been having so much fun reading his novel so far this vacation. He’s almost done with The Bourne Idenity triligy. (I don’t actually know if it is 3 books or 1). We haven’t taught my parents how to play “Farkle” yet, but that should come soon…hopefully tomorrow.
My brother Jeremy is flying back in on Saturday, I think, and we are going over to my Grandma Vojtko’s on Sunday. I’m looking forward to visiting my old church this time, instead of the church my parents go to. I like their church, but I’m hoping to spot some old friends, and visit the prayer garden that was built in memory of one of our pastors who died from a brain tumor when I was in college.
David had a fun time with my sister’s poodle, Chloe, today. She’s so much smaller than Papa’s lab, and she’s terrified of everything! David tried so hard to speak softly to her, but he just wanted to pet her so bad that he was often too loud!
Silje was disappointed that she didn’t get her nails painted like the big girls today, so Grammy painted them promptly when we got home. My sister brought her a few days ago a Sleeping Beauty jewelry box filled with costume jewelry. It was a gift from one of Heidi’s students, and since she had no use for it she gave it to Silje. Silje won’t be separted from it! She picks out a ring, bracelet and necklace to wear with each outfit, and won’t leave the house without being properly decorated!
Kids are screaming…time to go.

Busy in Phoenix

We have had an eventful trip so far, this Christmas. The first leg of the journey (from home to Denver) took much longer than expected, because of snow in Nebraska. From Omaha past Lincoln, we could only drive an average of 35 miles an hours. We arrived at the Ohlin’s house at about 11am, ate lunch, took a nap, woke up, ate supper, and hit the road for Phoenix. We were disappointed that the weather prevented us from visiting with them more, but hopefully on the way back, we will have better luck. We got to Gretchen’s parent’s house just before 9am, and got a little settled before we each took naps. When we woke up, Gretchen’s brother Jeremy, and sister Heidi, brother-in-law Tony, and their son, Jackson, were there to help celebrate Gretchen’s mom’s birthday. We had a great party, and were surprised by Papa who gave a gift to Mom that included us too. He gave Mom a day at the spa to be shared with her two daughters. So on thursday, I (Gretchen) get to have a mud wrap, manicure and pedicure with my sister and mom, to further celebrate her birthday. Monday was a continuation of fun (even though Jeremy had to go back to work.) and we got to see the last showing of the Assembly of God church’s famous Christmas pagent. With artists from Circ de Solei, cicrcus animals (Silje’s favorite was the elephant) a laser light show (David’s favorite) a parade, dancing from some of the cast from High School Musical 2, a 40 foot Christmas tree filled with a choir, and more than can even fit in this email. Knut said it could rival any broadway play he had ever seen. I don’t think that they could have squeezed in anything else!
Well, supper is ready, so I’ll have to fill in more of the trip later. -GR

Almost on Vacation!

We are so excited to be going on vacation in 3 days!!! There is so much to do! I still have to make sugar cookies and mocha truffles and clean the entire house and do all of the laundry and pack and wrap presents, but I have 3 days…piece of cake. I will do my best to update daily on our vacation, because I think my mom has fun things plan for about every moment we are there.
Please continue to pray for my cousin David (his link is to the right) who was born just a little while ago at 2 lbs, 1 oz. The little guy needs all of the prayer that he can get. I know his parents would really appreciate it.

"Where is the Factory?"

We have a temperamental oven at our rental house. When the cooking time on the recipe says 1 hour, I never know if it will be done in a half hour or in two hours. It’s anyone’s guess. This evening I had a lasagna in the oven, and wouldn’t you know, but after it had been in there 30 minutes past the cooking time, I had to take it out. (We had some things at church tonight to be at.) Low and behold, the lasagna was cold in the middle, and nearly black at the sides. Frustrated, I told Knut that I couldn’t get something else ready in only 10 minutes. (We had to leave in 15 minutes). We decided to get some fast food on the way to church, and deal with getting the lasagna properly cooked later. Knut was discouraged at this unhealthy choice and grumbled. “Here we go….off to the ‘fat factory’.” Silje’s eye’s lit up: “We’re going to a factory!” We just laughed at her cute comment, and headed out the door.
We should have explained to her better, because as we arrived at church, she was upset that there was no factory after all. “But I wanted to go to the factory! Where is the factory!”
Sometimes it’s hard to keep a straight face when explaining things to the kids, because they seem so silly to me, but to them, it is perfectly serious. Silje will come to me in all seriousness and say that something is “crookerated.” (crooked) She is completely serious, but it’s so hard not to laugh. I think that might be discouraging to kids, that they are always laughed at. As the youngest in my family, I remember hating how everything I did was “cute” and “funny.” It took longer, I think, to be taken seriously than my older siblings.
Well, maybe it’s just a part of growing up, because I don’t think that even remembering my childhood could stop me from laughing about the “factory.”