Thursday, September 27, 2007

Only three months to go!

This is at Henrik's cousin's wedding. The walk from the church to the reception hall. We definately don't live in Chicago anymore. However, I do love the cows. I have also started to love horses, not riding them, but just being in their presence. They are amazing animals.

Hello friends and family. I am having a hard time sleeping as baby is playing football inside of me. It has been fun to look at friends Blog updates, so I thought I would update ours too.

We have our second child on the way! Due date: December 28th. My parents are coming for about a month to enjoy lifes most precious moments with us.

Ella is doing great! She has so much energy and is a non-stop talker, hmmmm, wonder where she gets that from? She speaks Swinglish at home, and mostly Swedish everywhere else.

Ella and her friend Albin

Well, I am getting hungry now.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Happy Sweden DAy!

Sweden celebrates Sweden on June 6th every year. It is nice to have Henrik home from work, Ella home from daycare, and beautiful weather. We have been working on our lawn and garden and taking it easy all day. What a blessing. Here are some pictures of Ella's new pool; she loves it! It was our birthday present to her.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Quite a week!

We have had quite a week here in the Kihlström household. I got the stomach flu, Ella got an ear infection, Nelson had major knee surgery, and Henrik is worn out. We had such a wonderful party on Saturday, and then bang! Well, we are all feeling better now, except for Nelson. He has a new cage and he hates it. The doctor said that he is not supposed to move for 5 to 6 weeks! This is difficult for him when the cage tramatizes him. He cries all night!

Only 11 more days until Chicago. The last couple of weeks can be torture, especially when I have lots of essays to write! Well, Ella's ear has to get better before we take off. Please pray that I am able to finish up my work, Henrik can get some rest, for Ella's ear, and if you don't mind praying for a dog, Nelson could sure use some help. Here are some funny pictures of Uncle Magnus having fun with Ella in the new cage.

We thought Ella had the stomach flu too, so we had fun drinking Powerade together, our green and blue medicine.

Watching Pippi Longstocking all day long..

Poor, Poor Nelson
Here are some pictures from Ella's party on Saturday, to close on a more cheerful note.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Ella!!

Ella is 2 years old!
This morning they celebrated Ella at preschool. It was so precious. She loved all of the attention, and she loved having Mommy there. What a joy to be able to be there with her. She shared icecream with all of her friends and they sang "Ja må hon leva" for her. After we ate icecream one of the boys shouted out, "Jag tycker att Ella är ganska sött!" which means,"I think Ella is pretty cute!" He already has good taste!

Tomorrow we are going to have a birthday party for her. Cupcakes, cake, hamburgers, hotdogs, family and friends, looking forward to it. Wish that you all could be there too. I can't believe that she is two already!! Thanks for the cute outfits Grandma and Grandpa! Isn't she adorable?

She got to lead the train into the party room!

Proud Mamma, don't we look alike?

We baked bullar (cinnamon rolls) for her party tomorrow, she really got into it!

Monday, April 16, 2007

The neighborhood is alive!

Elin, Emily, and Ella in the Waltz street stroller brigade, this keeps them busy for hours. We walk down the street together to visit the horses.
Ella and Elin(a friend from church) holding hands

These girls love to jump on the trampoline

Friday, April 13, 2007

It has been too long...

Hello everyone. So it turns out that I am not a great blog owner. I just can't seem to find the time. It is fun to look at everyone's blogs, so I thought I would just do a quick update. Our little family just got back from a short trip to Norway. It was wonderful to get away from everyday life and visit good friends. We visited the Kiges on the southern tip of Norway, and the Rydlands in Stavanger:Maggie and Joe, Elisabeth and Jonas, and Victoria(the little girl that Ella is kissing in the picture)

Maybe you are curious what has happened since Christmas....
-I am not studying Spanish anymore, the class went too fast
-the busy season at Yamaha has begun and Henrik is stressed
-we are trying to wallpaper, but I just can't seem to pick the right beige
-I have started studying World Religions while I finish up my English class
-We had a great time in the Canary Islands for a couple of weeks
-Ella loves to sing, her favorite song to sing in English is BAA Baa Black Sheep, fav. in Swedish, Blinka Lilla Stjärna där (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Ella loves to travel, planes, trains, buses, bikes. She says,"Yippee! Fun!", sometimes she gets mad and then it can look like this...

This is my great-great-grandparent's house in Norway. The new owner has put an addition on it since any of my relatives lived there. The house to the left is what Theodore Kristiansen, his Swedish wife Maria Scherqvist, and two children (Thelma Ingeborg, my grandmother and her brother Theodor Norman) lived in. My brother Kristian is named after our great, great grandfather, his full name was Krist Kristian Kristiansen, quite a mouth full. His son, Theodor's wife was Marie Lovisa Scherqvist who was born in 1882 near Linköping Sweden. I feel kind of sorry for Marie because her mother died when she was one-year-old, and her father left her with a foster family and headed for America with his other four children. Luckily she was taken in by a rich family, The Walins, in Motala Sweden. She ended up traveling to America with her foster father in 1893, when she was 11-years-old. She then met up with her siblings and her real father, Adolf Scherqvist. The Walins wanted to adopt Maria, but her father had missed her so much that he wanted her back. She met my great-grandfather Theodor Kristensen in New Rochelle New York at the Covenant Church. They married, and then decided to move back to Norway when Theodor's father Kristian died and he inherited the farm. Marie was not happy about the move because Norway was a poor country then, before the oil, "Norway's Christmas Present" was found. She was accustomed to the more modern life in America. However, she did visit her foster family in Sweden while she lived in Norway. All I have left from her is some of her genes and a beautiful picture of her when she was about five years old, and her wedding picture.

I often think about my ancestors. A kind lady in Jönköping helped me research my Swedish ancestors all the way back to 1566. In 1804 to 1841 my great, great, great, great grandfather Magnus Scherqvist was the first parish clerk and organist of a beautiful church outside of Linköping. His son, Adolf Scherqvist took over his job after he died, though he wasn't a very good organist; he was fired from his job because he loved alcohol. Unfortunately, I don't have any living relatives left in Norway or Sweden, they all died or left for America. However, my great-grandparent's neighbor's son lives down the path from my great-grandfather's house, and his family now owns the entire peninsula. Their names are Ole and Jorunn Kige, they have three children Marianne, Linda, and Harald Jarl, and many grandchildren. They open their "homes" to us like we are family and have been on many trips to visit us in USA and Sweden. They are a connection to my past here on this side of the Atlantic, and I love them. Here is a picture of them

This is their grandchild Ivan(Harld Jarl and Katja's son) and me

Yum! Norwegian chocolate!

Elisabeth(expecting any day now), Victoria, and Jonas Rydland

Ella and Victoria, Ella is a good kisser!

Joe and Maggie Rydland Vaernesbranden, they got married this last summer. One could not ask for better friends. I know Maggie from when their family lived in Wheaton 1991-92, I believe. God's plan and money(for traveling purposes) has made our friendship possible. Thanks for a great weekend Maggie and Joe!

Well, that is enough for now. Hopefully I can figure out how to post videos on here. That would be fun. Much love to you all. My friends in Chicago, can't wait to see you in June. Lisa Miller (Hervey) is expecting! Congratulations!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Merry Christmas from the Kihlströms!

Ella, The American-Swedish Toddler
A Christmas Story

There once was a little girl named Ella. She had two quite unique parents named Amanda and Henrik. The three lived on an island on the largest lake in Sweden, called Hammarö. Everyone that took Swedish at North Park knows that,"Ö", means island in Swedish. Her pappa worked at Yamaha as the accountant and salesman, and her Mommy studied English linquistics, grammar, and phonology, and Spanish at the University of Karlstad. They had a friendly dog named Nelson that liked to take long walks, and eat lots of food.

It was Ella's second Christmas, and she was very excited about all the festivities. The month of December started out with lots of baking. Her mommy didn't have very much time for baking, but Pappa decided that they should make Lucia rolls. He even invited Ella's boyfriend Albin over to bake with them! Ella was so overjoyed that she deciced to stand up in her high chair and proceeded to fall backwards onto her head. After resting for awhile, Ella hopped back into shape, and continued to bake her first Lucia roll.

She ate alot of raisens!!

On December 13th, Sweden celebrates Santa Lucia day. It is a much longed for celebration because of the darkness in Sweden at this time of year. Ella was going to participate in her preschool's Lucia train. Mommy hemmed up her dress the night before. Both Mommy and Pappa had a hard time sleeping because of their anticipation for Ella's big day! They woke up early on Lucia morning and drove to the preschool. Ella was a bit frightened when she walked into a room full of parents watching her. However, she did have her best friend with her, Nam Nam. She could always trust that Nam Nam would soothe her(Nam nam is her pacifier). She stood right up front, holding onto her candle, and sucking on Nam Nam. There were many gingerbread boys, tomtas, and Lucia attendents there. They sang beautiful songs while their parents admired them, and then they served Lussekatter(Lucia rolls) and pepperkakor. The celebration was a great success.

On Dec. 20th the whole family flew to the Canary Islands for two weeks! Ella's Great-Grandmother Birgit turned 80 years old and decided to pay for the entire extended family to go there for Christmas and New Year's!! She was a GREAT, great-grandmother! They all had a wonderful time, aside from the occasional intense discussions between Ella's uncles Jonas, Magnus, and pappa Henrik.
This story is to be continued......
I hope that you liked our version of our Christmas Card this year. I would have liked to have sent a Christmas card to each and everyone of you, but my studies and strep throat have taken over!! Much love to all of you!
God Jul och Gott Nytt År!
Amanda, Henrik, Ella, and Nelson
P.s. Just click on the pictures if you want to see them enlarged.