Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Toby & Me

In 1990 I was 10 years old.  I can remember the day we went to the Learning Shop to buy a tadpole and a "grow-a-frog" kit.  It was very exciting to meet "Toby" and learn about his stages of development.  He was a rather easy pet and my mom gave him only the best of care.  I have memories of driving across town to get free filtered water from the Brewery for his tank.  Soon he graduated from his small cup to bowl, his bowl to a small tank, and eventually was granted the luxury of a 10 gallon tank as he morphed into a small water frog.  When I graduated from high school, he had become obese from all the pampering and earned the nickname "thunder-thighs." My trips back home during breaks were always highlighted with seeing this grow-a-frog who had endured a decade.  By the time I got married, he had developed cataracts but apparently had enough vision to spot his frog food each day.  Soon the kids came along and enjoyed knocking on the glass of his tank to see him jolt (which was the only movement he ever made).  Last week my mother emailed the inevitable news...Toby was found "belly-up."  I thought a grow-a-frog that lasted NINE-TEEN YEARS deserved a shout-out in cyberspace.  If I have any hope of ever appearing in the Guinness Book of world records, this might be it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Last weekend we saw in the news that the John Lennon "Imagine Peace Tower" was being lit up in Reykjavik.  Our friend's Dad who was visiting was CONVINCED from a distance that it was the northern lights,'s easily confused.
We went on a 5 minute boat ride to the island of Viðey (compliments of Yoko Ono herself) and walked in the utter darkness until we reached the light.  When our "tour guide" told us to all hold hands and send up our wishes for peace, I saw this picture in my head and begged Colby to climb the hill behind us and capture it.  Well done, Colby, well done.  Fully participating in the festivities, Darcy wrote a wish and hung it on the wish tree right next to everyone's wishes for global peace:  "I wish for a baby bottle so I can feed my baby." (We had a family over for dinner and their 2 year old threw Darcy's toy baby bottle off our 4th floor patio).   The whole boat ride home they played "Give Peace a Chance."  It was a fun evening that would have only been improved by meeting Yoko Ono in person.  Maybe next year.
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Photo Catch-up

I finally put the rest of our Finland/London pictures up.  This one is my favorite!
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For the Grandparents...




You should be able to save these to your thumbdrive and then print them out at Wal-Mart.  Were there any other ones that you wanted?
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Little SpongeBob

Haley has now completely phased out of nap-time, but unfortunately I still have not.  Karen Doheney gave us a few books on CD before they moved, so I have been letting Haley listen to them during "quiet time" in the afternoons.  I didn't realize how much Haley had absorbed them until we got to Finland.  Every day we would load the kids up in the double jogging stroller and go for a run.  On distance days, Darcy would ask Haley if she could listen to Nemo, put on pretend headphones, press the imaginary button on Haley's arm and listen to this:  

We cannot get over our little sponge!  We really need to find some good literature for her to listen to now.  Any suggestions?  Colby thinks she should start listening to the Bible because--at this rate--she'll have the entire thing memorized by age 14.  Gather the kids up and let them enjoy story time!  Haley couldn't stop giggling after she recorded this and I told her I was going to post it on the blog.  She said, "I bet it will make everyone laugh!"  Leave a comment to let Haley know how you liked it (I think I changed the setting so anyone can leave a comment now).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Becoming a little child...(a continuing series)

Many months ago I wrote of some of our early language comedy as we began studying Icelandic. We have made quite a bit of progress, but I still have some stories to share from along the way. I cannot remember when this happened, but it happened all the same and was quite funny for us.

During the early part of the summer we were walking through a park near our home when an exuberant young boy peddled up to us on his bicycle. He was beckoning us to follow him and spitting out a mixture of phrases. First in high-speed Icelandic, then in muddled English. Discerning that he did not have enough English to make himself sensible I told him in Icelandic that I could maybe understand him if he were to speak slowly in Icelandic. He did so and Annie and I looked confusedly at one another and said, "He is asking us to come to his home." Not accustomed to accepting invitations home from 9 year old boys we were a bit hesitant, but his insistence overpowered all four of us and we soon found ourselves following him. I thought I heard him say something in the neighborhood of "leikföng" and quickly assumed he had some toys to show us. As we arrived at the yard outside his house there was a smattering of boys gathered around a makeshift merchant house filled to the rafters with an odd array of toys. Of the five boys a young Iceland-born son of a Saudi immigrant seemed to have the situation well in hand and quickly distinguished himself as the primary "man" of business. 

When we arrived and figured out the reason for our strange appropriation we realized we did not have any local currency. When they saw our array of U.S. and British coinage they were more than happy to oblige with the offer of a fair exchange. Being in the unusual circumstances of possessing a better control of their own language than they did of mine, we did our business in Icelandic. We picked out what appeared to be a small children's book, offered them a fair price, and prepared to leave. Before paying they began to add parting gifts to our bounty quite similar to the close of a made for TV infomercial and we left as very happy customers.

It wasn't until a few days later that one of us finally sat down to inquire further into the book that we had purchased. There was one word that I didn't quite understand in the title, but became all too clear when we finally made our way through the rest of the book. A crime had been committed and a young mole is out to find out who the culprit is. Along the way the reader discovers that it wasn't the horse, pig, cow, rabbit, or the bird. Just when it looks like the crime is headed for the cold case file, two flies come along and use their sleuthing ability and provide the information that solves the riddle.

The title in translation with the missing word: The mole that wanted to know who ______ on it's head.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Yes, it is weird.

Colby is having a "re-charge" day out of the house, so today the computer is MINE...all mine!  Hahahaha!! (insert evil laughter here).   I am feeling a lot better myself and don't think I'll even need the doctor's appointment that is scheduled for Wednesday.  The IMB nurse thinks that I might be anemic, so I will get my blood checked still.  We spent the day yesterday rearranging furniture, organizing, and I been hitting up the Icelandic version of Goodwill almost daily trying to find things to make this place cozier.

We are finally settling in.  Part of settling in for me is writing.  I love to blog and record our chronological order.  There are many blog posts that I have written in my head, but never have been documented.  One of my winter projects is to carve out time to write all the stories before they become forgotten memories.  Colby thinks that my little trick of "back-posting" is completely illogical, but someday when we go back and read our whole story (in chronological order!), he'll be thankful.  I guess I have to send links to the posts if I want anyone to enjoy them, but then again, they are not so much for an audience as they are for me.  Regardless, below (posted September 21st)  is a post from London.  Enjoy...