Between Christmas and New Year’s

It is really winter in Virgil…a good amount of snow and cold and ice and the early evening of the season.  Thank goodness the nisses finally brought our Juleneg becuase the birds, especially the Juncos, are in need of the grain.  They sit on the Juleneg and eat and take shelter from the wind.  Inside, girls and boys are exploring and Lydia is now truly cruising – holding on to things and ‘walking’ – and you can see she loves to open and close doors and her favorite kitchen spots include the pot and pan drawer and the tupperware drawer.  A wooden spoon, the perfect accompaniment.

And outside boys are active in the beautiful snow and skies…

And then a rest while we make a snow angel as the sun begins to set…


Add comment December 31, 2009 corumkeller

Christmas Eve, Santa’s Visit and Christmas Day!!!

Christmas Eve found us at church with Nana and Daddad at the 4:30 family service.  After we were home, we had our traditional Danish dinner with rice porridge, goose, red cabbage, brown potatoes, etc.  And the weather was terrible – an ice storm was upon us and Morfar was called to check on the greenhouse to be certain it was OK in the storm.  Then while he was away, we heard a thump at the door and who came to visit us but Santa Claus!!!!  You can see the sack of toys he brought with Christian watching on…

And then he left us quickly – he had a lot of work to do that evening!

And there were so many wonderful presents to be enjoyed…Christian surprises Nana with her big Christmas treat!

And he continues his joke with her about her leaving her empty vodka bottles laying along Fabris road…here he has gathered some for her and you can see how much she is laughing with Christian at his joke with her.  🙂

And sooooooooooooooo many more wonderful gifts to be opened!

And dad got coal in his stocking!!!  And Lydia thinks it is fun to play with it.

Nana is so nice to read to Lydia – she has many nice new Christmas books and stories.

This is how Lydia looks when she is moving her head away to the side to avoid eating or drinking something.  She can be quite the stubborn little lady and will absolutely not be tricked into eating something she has decided she does not want to eat…

Her feet are adorned with the most wonderful Mary Jane Robeez from her wonderful godmother Aunt Rebecca.  Just perfect for the holidays!

Our Christmas tree with candles lit – we do think it is beautiful!

Add comment December 31, 2009 corumkeller

Getting Ready For Christmas!

Thank you Faster Beth for these very lovely red Christmas socks!

And these for dad!

Lydia thinks these are really great too – so great she claps for them!

Christian is baking cookies with mom – he is a great decorator…these are pecan butter cookies 🙂

And then dad and Christian are putting up the tree…

And Christian helps by putting the candles in the holders to be hung on the tree.

And then the night after the tree was put up, the nisses came!  Christian said there are five of them and as you can see he was right.  They snuggled up under the tree, read Christmas books, ate some of our cookies and drank the end of our milk in five mugs, proving of course that there are five of them.  They live in our barn and have played many tricks on us over Advent and Christmas.  Sometimes they put our chairs upside down, they eat things from the refrigerator, make messes, and have even been known to leave a note once in a while.  One night they were happy becuase we left them frikkadeller and they left Christian a ginger bread man cookie to eat

Christian points out the nisse’s mess.

Add comment December 31, 2009 corumkeller

Happy Elfin’ Christmas!

It is officially Advent here…last night the Nisse who live in our barn came in to play some tricks on Christian.  In the shower this morning I heard, “Mommy, mommy! The Nisse were here!”  They turned over Christian’s chairs and moved some of his legos in his room.  We had frikadeller (Danish meatballs) for dinner tonight, but have not had a chance to make cookies to leave for them, so we set out five frikadeller on a plate in the garage because Christian says we have five Nisse living in the barn.  Lydia is oblivious thus far…but smiles and laughs tremendously and surprisingly in the cold weather these past days has been a real trooper.  This evening I’m certain she was trying to say “Thank you” and “Jewelery” for my necklace!

In the spirit of the coming Christmas season, we send our Elf greetings through this humorous family video…it’s best when viewed in “full screen” mode…enjoy!

And as we tried to get a photo for our Christmas card, you might enjoy some of these that didn’t make it…

Add comment December 12, 2009 corumkeller

Thanksgiving 2009

It was a wonderful extended Thanksgiving weekend in Ohio with Aunt Michele, Uncle Scott, Kelsey and Tyler…and Daddad, Nana, Uncle Tim and Mr. Earl.  Our travel went well and we had a great time with family.  Christian was, as usual so extremely delighted to play with Tyler especially and Kelsey and they (especially Tyler) were so kind to play with him so much and so tolerantly.  Turkey and dinner were exceptional and all of it went just too quickly.  THANK YOU Aunt Michele and Uncle Scott – and everyone who traveled and made and brought things to make the weekend special!

Here are some great pictures Nana took…starting with girly cousins in pink…

Lydia zooooooming along on her new Radio Flyer Rocket!

Tyler and Lydia laughing it up…

Dad doing Lydia arm exercises before his back went out…

And then the extremely wonderful knight, castle and armor exhibit at the Cleveland Art Museum!

Could it be Excalibur….?

A daggar for Christian

A cannon that impressed Christian…

A fantastic painting of a Kingdom…

And the wonderful knight on the horse (with a back-injured dad in the background in the wheelchair :()

And for the complete photos from Nana use this link…

Wow – there were so many things to be thankful for this year… 🙂  Christian, Kelsey and Tyler did a wonderful project where for three weeks they wrote something they were thankful for each day.  We compiled the lists and shared their thankful journal with everyone on Thanksgiving day.  We have some pretty awesome kids!  Here are just some of the wonderful excerpts:

I am thankful for Birds, Monkeys and Lemurs

I am thankful for books because good books make me feel like I am a part of the story, and I am thankful that Mom and I read together.

I am thankful for my house because it provides me shelter and warmth. Without it I would have a very hard time surviving.

I am thankful for my friends because I always have someone to talk to about my problems and to have someone other than my family to hang out with. I am happy to have my friends to support me in everything I do and make my life better.

I am thankful for Oxygen – Without oxygen I couldn’t breathe and I would die.

I am thankful for nature because there is so much pollution on our earth but just seeing something so simple and beautiful helps us realize we need to help our earth and keep it that way.

I am thankful dad is my coach because he is teaching us a lot of good stuff and he knows what he is talking about.

I am thankful for when mom is calm

I am thankful for the American Revolutionary War – and that we won it and it made our country our own

I am thankful for that everyone gets to be free and unconventional if they want to in the United States

I am thankful for peanut butter because peanut butter sandwiches are what I eat the most.

I am thankful for the TV show The Middle because it is so funny and it makes me laugh every time I see it. 

I am thankful for Electricity

I am thankful for the sun – Without the sun our life on earth would be impossible so I am thankful for the sun because it helps me sustain my life.

I am thankful for Lydia pulling herself up to stand and then sitting down

I am thankful for my blanket because it is with me every night since I was very little and because I had it with me when I was in the hospital.

I am thankful for Yams

Add comment November 30, 2009 corumkeller

Pretty In Purple…

It’s fall, but beautiful and sunny today.  Lydia is doing great!  She is full of energy and happy and we are in an excellent routine with eating, sleeping and our general day’s flow – even with mom back to work now.  We did a little photography today with the beautiful light coming in the windows and a bright new wonderful purple outfit from cousin Mikkel, Johanne and little Maren.  Thank you!

A great fall light coming in the western windows…

We cannot confirm really clear words that Lydia is saying yet, but we feel she is using some sounds for words, like “mmmm” seems to mean food and “baa baa” seems to mean baby (not bottle).  And her little stuffed animal friend here is her baby.  At the moment games of giving and taking and saying thank you and giving and taking again are just right. She loves to get baby back!

On the move…

All right, let me just get these guys organized first…

This is the ‘hiding’ part of playing ‘Peek A Boo’ with Lydia leading the game.

“Booo!”  And, “Hi!!!!!”  She loves to wave hello!  (and isn’t it the cutest dress?!?!?)

This is how we look just before we are taking our nap.  Doesn’t it look cozy?  Wouldn’t you like a nap too?

Lydia’s room – this is the ‘nook’ right next to her bed.  The chest is designed and painted by Kelsey and the little picture is one we bought in Taiwan.  It is all stitched and is a detailed little scene with lots of people.  Christian really likes it.  I hope Lydia will like it too!

Errr….a little bit of Christian’s photographic creativity here…


“Good morning!”

“Crazy Hair”

“Leg and Foot”

This past week, Christian and I used some of our scraps from pruning the fruit trees last weekend and made the bases for our advent wreaths.  One for our home and one for Grandma and Morfar.  We hope we can cut nice greens for finishing the advent wreath from the scrap branches from our Christmas trees next weekend.  We we will stop to fell them in Michigan on our way back from Thanksgiving in Ohio.  As you can see we goofed around and had some fun!  Uh…and Christian took some of the pictures too.

I don’t know what I was saying, but Christian sure got a good one…

Documenting the final wreath base.

The wreath bases are ready!!!

And out other fall activity in the last weeks, as we think ahead to Holiday sharing is the beginning of our Bjesk making…we are making a much improved pear brandy and for the first time trying Karen Dam’s apple brandy recipe.  We have flavoring already Lene’s Jule Liquor and a Hyben / Rose Hip Bjesk.  Soon I will make a Solbaer Rom and a Cranberry Christmas Bjesk, as well as the traditional Dill / Thyme / Carroway flavored Snaps.  This is what our dining room table looks like.

Tuesday morning we are off on our way to Ohio to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with our family in Cleveland – it’s going to be great fun and we can’t wait – especially Christian!

This year we are thankful for SO VERY MUCH!!!  Thank you for friendship and loving wishes and for the many beautiful gifts you have showered upon us to celebrate Lydia’s arrival.  Wishing you all a very warm and Happy Thanksgiving!

Add comment November 21, 2009 corumkeller

Thank You To Our Danish Family

We have been working on sending thank you notes for all the generous gifts we have received since Lydia has come home. In all the activities, we received some gifts from Denmark, which we weren’t able to match with person(s). I believe they were brought home with Morfar.

They include:
– Shirt “Peace On The Playground”
– Fork, Knife & Spoon set
– Winnie the Pooh bear
– Tigger Ball

Since we cannot figure out who sent these items, we thought sending a BIG thank you on our blog might reach you. Christian is using the knife from the set – as it suits him and his size right now and we don’t think Lydia will mind down the road. The soft ball is perfect for play with the whole family right now – and Christian likes playing ball with Lydia especially. The Pooh Bear is turning out to be Lydia’s favorite stuffed animal.

If you were the person who sent any of these gifts – or if you know who gave them to Lydia, please share our thanks with them.

Add comment November 15, 2009 corumkeller

Fall In Virgil

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It was a day of lots of gardening work and we tried a number of different ways of including Lydia – errr – trying to occupy her while we were planting bulbs, pruning, bringing in containers, etc.  She seemed happiest when she was the center of attention – right in the wheelbarrow, right in the middle of the action…

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Christian is nuch a big boy and such a fantastic helper with chores and gardening.  I was telling him the story of when he was about  1 1/2 years old and we cleaned the garden and he rode in the very same wheelbarrow.  He laughed a lot and though it was so funny.  Here he is proudly showing the small cauliflower we rescued and the wonderful great green kale we will harvest from in the next weeks as frost makes it more and more delicious.

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Lydia is hiding between the green kale and the brussel sprouts…

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Earlier in the fall, dad sprayed the grass around the vegetable beds so we’re ready for spring, when we will plant some hedges of boxwood to finish and formalize our vegetable gardening area.  The paths will be of mulch.  It will look so nice!

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Christian and dad do a great job of collecting and emptying the annual containers and storing them in the barn.  Lydia is right at home int he middle of it.  I put her down beside us on the grass and was so surprised she was OK with crawling on the gravel.  And while I think it would be easier for her / more efficient if she would be interested in walking, perhaps the crawling around (even outside) is less hazardous?  She seems entirely uninterested in walking.

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Everybody is working…

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Tuesday nights I have band rehearsal, and I normally leave for rehearsal directly from the office.  I call home to talk with Christian and did so this past Tuesday.  Christian says, “Mom, I cleared my desk in my room and it is changed into Midwest Trading!”  I asked him to clarify and he explained that he had converted his bedroom into Midwest Trading and that he had converted Lydia’s room into Midwest Groundcovers.  Very cute indeed. When I came home Tuesday night late, I saw the signs he had placed on the doors – you see them below…

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Midwest Groundcovers – Lydia’s Room

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Midwest Trading – Christian’s Room

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So the phone conversation continued like this. 

Mom – “Oh, I see, you are Midwest Trading’s office.  Can I order a truck load of mulch?”

Christian – “Uh, no, I can’t do that.”

Mom – “That’s not accepable.  You can’t treat your customers like that.  If a customer asks for something you have to find a way to help them, especially if you sell mulch!”

Christian – “Ah, OK ma’am.  Here – dad can help you with the mulch.”

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We have a couple of bathing beauties…most of the time, Christian takes a shower now in the morning, but he has had an ear infection this past week and is to keep his ears dry and that seems easier done in the bath.  The benefit too is that Lydia seems to enjoy her baths so much more when Christian is in them with her.  He likes it too.  Thursday night they “invented” a game of floating a plastic boat between them with animations and sound prompts.  Christian was so excited that he was ‘playing’ with Lydia.  He said, “She’s such a great girl isn’t she mom?”

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Christian has acquired a new skill in the last couple of weeks – bottle feeder to his sister.  As you can imagine it is a big responsibility.  He’s doing very well with it – and I’m surprised at how much he is enjoying it.  This was from the other morning – so sweet!

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Burping sister…

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Loving sister…

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And then goofing around on the bed with sister…

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The “Kilroy Was Here” pose…

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I’m cute right side up…

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…and upside down…

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Add comment November 14, 2009 corumkeller

Craig’s Birthday

We celebrated Craig’s birthday on October 26th, with some small treats from Christian, Lydia and mom and a special card made by Christian.  Here are dad and Christian with dad’s birthday cake.

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And here they are, the two of them, about to blow out the candles…

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Lydia looks great no matter what she’s wearing, but amidst the  overwhelming sea of pink for girls, I think she looks best in purples, reds, brown and black.  Awful sweet in tie die too.  See what you think.

Here’s a link to a video from this month – Christian is playing his famous Halloween CD and he’s got Lydia ‘dancing’ to “One Eyed Flying Purple People Eater”.  Then he’s switching to one of his favorite songs – Godzilla.

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Add comment October 31, 2009 corumkeller


We started Halloween morning with Christian working at making his way through some sort of cold.  So we all took things quietly, hoping we could get at least a small amount of trick or treating in.  We did, but it was a small bit.  Lydia was a pirate and Christian was Ron Weasley.  Lydia is wearing the purple shirt in the morning at breakfast and in the later photo, Christian is making her laugh!

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Ron Weasley with Morfar, and good friend Scabbers…as you can guess making Christian’s hair orange was one of the biggest highlights and some of the most fun!  Do you see the resemblance???





Brother and sister celebrating Halloween 2009 🙂


What a cute pirate eh?  But she still hates it when we stand her up and have her hold onto something…so you see her winding up for a big protest cry here.  She certainly has a mind of her own – and if she doesn’t want to do something, she doesn’t hesitate  in letting us know.


A little pirate onthe move – pretty cute!


The hat is so cute – and the colors suit her so well – Lydia must be just about the cutest pirate in the land!  As Christian kept saying to her, “Arrrrrrr matey!”


Add comment October 31, 2009 corumkeller

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