Thank you America!

thanksIt is the time of the year where millions of Americans travel across the country to celebrate Thanksgiving.  It is probably the only holiday they can agree to celebrate, no matter which religious belief you might have.  These mass migrations take place leading up to the last Thursday in November, and the entire road, rail and air systems are gridlocked.  They want to spend time with their families, and eat an innocent turkey.

It is a sense of belonging and greatfullness that started back in the day, when the firtst settlers sat down with the native indians to eat food.  And, just because of that gesture by the native indians, the settlers survvied and learned to integrate into the American ecosystem.

The actual meal in itself is ‘just’ another excuse to eat excessively.  There is a large selection of scrumptious pies, multitude of sides, sweet potato mash with marshmallows, and of course the main star of the dinner – the turkey.

The turkey itself is most times larger than the oven.  It is actual difficult finding a turkey less than 18lbs, and I often wonder what they feed these suckers since they are that large.  They are not obese, but nice and firm.

We moved here 5+ years ago, and the US has taken us in and made us feel very welcome.  99% of the people we’ve met are super friendly, and they never question why we are here.

One of the key things my wife and I have agreed upon, is that no-matter which country we live in, we have to integrate.  This integration starts with adoption and celebrating the holidays and key events.  You need to know these and show appreciation of the events.

We love thanksgiving.  We understand why it is celebrated and love the fact that this day is a very important family day.  It makes us feel part of the country and culture, especially when colleagues and friends invite us to their special days.

The other side which we we love is the food. OMG!

The food for thanksgiving is absolutely amazing.  No wonder I have gained 20lbs.  It’s another blog just to talk about food, but it is fantastic.  Many Europeans don’t really understand the excessive eating, but we have fully embraced it.

You will never integrate if you do not participate.  That’s what many foreigners don’t get.  It does not mean you have to give up your national identify and heritage, but merely that you respect the country you live in.  The country that has adopted you and given you opportunities to grow.  That is how you respect and thank it.

But why do we celebrate Thanksgiving in our family, since we weren’t here hundreds of years ago and have limited connection to the history of Thanksgiving?

We are proud to live here.  America has given us opportunities we didn’t have elsewhere.  We are thankful for being allowed to participate, and we are even more thankful for being included in their culture.  Our kids are flourishing.  We have met new friends.  We have a wonderful life.  We love life!

It is not easy to explain, but we feel at home here.  That is why we are thankful.  We thank the American people for welcoming us with open arms.

Thank you ‘Merica!

godblessus

Happy Birthday

12years
Breakfast w/ scones

Today is exactly 12 years ago since our coolest and oldest daughter arrived.  She was 5 weeks premature, but that has certainly not stopped her from being an awesome child.

I’m very proud we were chosen to be her parents.  It has been, and still is, an honour to see her grow up and become the awesome individual she is today.  I know she will continue to grow and become an amazing woman with all the possibilities ahead of her.

She is excelling at school, which is obviously good genes from her mother.  She loves games, outdoors and has great sense of humour.

Happy Birthday my little girl!

Disclaimer / Warning

I do wish to warn all boys that I have a small forest behind the house, with plenty of wild life and areas not often visited by by-passers.  If any you hurt my baby girl, break her heart for some foolish attempts to be her boyfriend and then dumping her, you will probably not be walking away from it. 

I have several friends who would happily share their protective gestures and outbursts, if anything emotional harm would be afflicted on her.  Just like I would support them if their daughter’s were harmed.

We hare the clan of proud fathers.  We have viking blood running in our veins, and some of my brothers are trained in the art of pain.

Surviving the Party

diy birthdayYou want to make your child’s birthday special, no matter how old or young they might turn.  My wife and I are no different.  However, we also have a budget and don’t just splash out on insane Sweet 11th kit; professional dancers, DJ, party decoration, catering, etc.

Nope – we go the DIY family realistic budget route instead, doing a lot of the activities and food ourselves.  We generally stay away from crafting our own decorations, mainly because I tend to cut the pieces too small or get frustrated and tear them all up again!

Our daughter recently turned 11 and as she decided to invite her closest friends over for a sleepover.  I assumed it would be 2 girls, but somehow we ended up having 5 girls volunteering to celebrate our daughter.

Not a big problem really.  We have a nice big basement, and we simply needed to prepare it by getting rid of the biggest spiders and tidy up the toys that had been scattered around by our 4-year-old wonder kid.

  • Outdoor Christmas lights does wonders to any room
  • Party City has some good cheap paper decorations
  • Christmas table-cloth looks good on any occasion
  • Praise the plastic cup and paper plate inventors
  • iMac in the corner pumping out Now! 53 tracks, with screen saver, kick-starts any pre-teen birthday party

Within a few hours, the basement looked pretty awesome if I had to say it myself.  All we needed now was the screaming pre-teen girl invasion.

What do you feed a horde of 5th grader girls?  Easy guys!

Doritos, Cheesy Puffs, Brownies and chicken & beef fajita party.

Feeding-FrenzyIt turns out that the snacks were extremely popular, and within seconds of putting the bowls on the table, a hurricane of fingers started to dig into the snacks – picking the bowls clean, and asking for more.  I have been to the reptile section in the zoo seeing alligators rip into their meat lunch, but nothing compares to pre-teen feeding frenzy.

The girls headed back into the basement after dinner, and started to listen to strange YouTube video/songs, screaming about cute kittens, and singing along to the new Annie movie.  It was awesome to see how these girls had so much fun, but scary that I could not hear anything for several minutes after emerging from the basement.

That evening we had our very first outdoor camp fire with the girls, while roasting marshmallows.  We had to keep feeding the sugar rush and the girls loved sitting outside chatting (giggling) about awkward potential boyfriends – or just talking about who the other girls liked.

Bedtime was approaching, mine that is, and I was hoping the girls would turn down the music humming from the basement.  My eyelids were getting heavy when relaxing on the sofa, and it was only. 10.30pm.

I’m not too sure when the girls finally collapsed, but I do know that my wife was awoken around 1am by two girls suddenly standing in our bedroom saying they couldn’t sleep.  I’m confined my wife thought it was the ghost from ‘The Ring’ standing in our bedroom, and I’m sure she screamed, but I slept right through that event.

Another early morning, as I had to prepare breakfast for the masses, consisting of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and juices.  Sounds easy, but not when you have to feed an army of kids.

Then they went hiking in our little forest and visited the neighbor’s farm, bringing back all kinds of lovely smelling animal sent and poo footprints on the tile floor.  Oh well, they had so much fun and that’s what matters the most.  I had warned all the girls that they might step in dog poo, and to be careful, but somehow that advise was completely ignored within a few minutes.

I think they have agreed to make this a regular event, so have to prepare mentally for the next sleepover party.


Happy birthday to my lovely daughter!  Hope you enjoyed your Bday party.  Your parents (us) survived another pre-teen invasion 🙂

… I’m too old for this shit!

scavenging

Holy Man

danishirishamerican
Thanks to the guys over at Zazzle.com for this awesome image

What does it take to feel old?  Or even look old?

Another year has passed by and I’m still not the old and wise looking man I probably expected to be when I’m more than 41 years old.  Just like Sean Connery in Medicine Man.

Sometime I wonder if I will even get that Woodstock biker look that I see around here and that has inspired a generation of executives to get in touch with their wild side; long grey pony tale, ZZ Top length grey beard and wearing some awesome old boots – all while driving some oversized Harley.

My granddad was 73 when he passed away and he didn’t have a single grey hair.  My mother is also getting older, but I still haven’t spotted the grey locks.  That makes me wonder if I will have to colour my hair grey soon, just to be part of the gang.

My dear wife is gradually turning into Storm (X-men), which doesn’t make her less sexy, but I do notice people starring at us when walking around – they probably think it’s nice that she has a younger toy boy 🙂

beardeddudeI’m, with my wiser demeanour, developing a little more rebellious look.  It’s time I embrace my inner Duck Dynasty hillbilly, so I’ve been growing my red beard for some time now.  At least it makes me look a little older, and takes the attention away from my potbelly that I’ve proudly grown for 10 years now.  Not huge Buddha like, but still noticeable.

You might ask, what does it feel like getting one year older?

Well, it’s pretty simple.  I feel exactly the same as yesterday and a last year.  I’m still the same person.  My brain has developed into some strange CEO or religious personality, as that would just be scary.  However, I do feel that I’m a lot more positive and can see the better sides of life.

It has been an awesome day with many greetings appearing on my Facebook wall.  It really melts my heart when I get all these well wishes, even if Facebook might have encouraged half of them.  But, people have still taken the time to write a note, which is what really matters.  Many thanks for all this.

I wish myself a fantastic birthday and look forward to another year with my family 🙂  I’m proud being Danish, Irish and now American!

I survived

For my daughter’s recent 10th birthday, we had offered a few options for celebrating it.  Either with style in the local amusement / restaurant, a DIY party at the house or just wait until the weather gets warmer so we can party at the local pool.

What did she pick?

Well, she picked a dad’s worst nightmare – a sleepover party with four of her best friends.

dont panic Continue reading I survived