Friday, 30 June 2017

Returning to Ullared

Last year we went to Ullared at the end of the summer holidays. It was after we got burgled when we had to recuperate a few things.
This year the kids (especially Linnea) really wanted to go back, so we decided to do it in the beginning of the summer instead, to stock up for Sports Camp etc.

Pit stop on the way, with a coffee break, to get enough energy to take on the big department store later in the afternoon.

Then it was time to shop, shop, shop! They really have e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!

The loot for this year, you think we got enough? Clothes, board games, puzzles, swimwear, underwear, a pancake pan, sports gear, SodaStream accessories, make-up, handbag etc etc.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Morfar's big day

The reason we flew out straight away this year was to make it to Sweden in time for Morfar's big day.; otherwise we probably would have stretched it a week or two and just chilled in Abu Dhabi first, considering the long holidays. But Morfar turned 80 in the end of June, and of course we wanted to be there for that!

We woke him up in the morning with traditional singing and gifts, in bed:

He got some new Kärcher power tools from Mormor, and a SodaStream machine from us; among other things.

Of course once everybody was up, he also got celebrated with birthday cake! Yum yum!

Hipp hurray!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Midsommar 2017

Oh the joy of actually being in Sweden, for the real Midsommar! It was our first time back since the kids were really small. Bliss! Summer holidays - let's go!

We started our day with strawberry cake, of course!

Linnea and I wore flowers in our hair.

We went to Härlunda to celebrate Midsommar there, together with my cousin Emma and her family. We arrived just in time to see them raise the maypole:

I have the best kids in the world. I sure didn't see any other 13+ year old boys who humoured their mothers and danced around the maypole, but mine did! Warmed my heart. ♡

"Tre små gummor" (... and Sixten!)

"Björnen sover". Yes, we danced to all the Midsommar "hits"! Very traditional, and very lovely!

Sixten looked fly in his shirt and tiny bow tie, and of course, beautiful flower wreath.

After the dancing it was time to try all the games and other fun stuff offered. Lucas tried his hand on some shooting:

There was also 'fika' offered, and different tombolas. We did the quiz walk, but unfortunately we got caught in the rain and got soaked before we made it back. Brrrr!

Linnea won 1st prize in the candy tombola!

Midsommar dinner, herring, meatballs, sausages, new potatoes etc - mmm!

Friday, 23 June 2017

An eventful arrival

We skipped the last day of school (which in reality was actually only three hours long, due to Ramadan school hours and early dismissal) and set off early in the morning from Dubai with Emirates as usual. This time we had chosen to fly into Arlanda, and take the train down.

Flight was on time and I had allowed plenty of time between the flight arrival and our Airport Express train into Stockholm Central, as I know how extremely slow the luggage delivery is at Arlanda Airport (a complete disgrace); so there was no stress.
We arrived Stockholm Central and I immediately got a bit apprehensive as I saw that all the trains were displayed with delays on the board. We had plenty of time until our train, but as the departure time approached I realized that our train was going to be no different,. It too got an half an hour delay, then another half an hour, then another...
We were standing out on the platform in the sunshine and were rather peacefully unaware of the chaos that had started to spread inside the central terminal as it turned out ALL trains were suspended, and their departure times kept getting postponed half an hour at a time - thousands and thousands of people were stranded...

I started to talk with a lady standing next to us who was going in the same direction, and when she, initially as a joke, said she considered going to get her car and drive instead - I told her that if she could fit us I would happily share gas costs.
We discussed it for a bit, then made the decision that it had to be now, or it would be too late. Nothing was going to happen with the trains, so at about 6 pm (2 hours after scheduled departure) we jumped in a taxi to her place to regroup, pick up her car and set off on a road trip!

Cecilia turned out to be my age, and really nice, and we had a fantastic road trip together, albeit a bit cramped for the kids among all the luggage, ha ha! We took a McDonalds drive through dinner to save time, and Mormor and Morfar had to drive a little bit further than planned to pick us up, but luckily they happily did that for us.

So we got there a little bit later than planned, but at least we made it in time to celebrate Midsommar the next day - and the start of the summer holiday was saved.

(We did get a text from the train company at 10 pm telling us that our train was canceled, duh. Turned out there had been a work accident on the track earlier that morning, and all traffic was suspended until nearly midnight... Imagine if we had waited around... we would have been stuck in the aftermath which kept going for days...)

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Bye for the summer, and for good

The last few days of term we didn't do much. It was Ramadan, which always slows things down to start with, and the calendar was rather quiet, with only a few goodbyes penciled in.

We had dentist appointments, pre-summer haircuts and the kids had friends for sleepovers. Lucas two best mates, Ed and KJ unfortunately both left for good at the end of this school year, both returning to their home country Australia.

We hosted a compound dinner for our Irish and German friends to see in the summer holidays, and we went down to Dubai to wish the Dehlis a happy summer.

We also said goodbye to some old neighbours of ours, the Robins, who after four years returned to the UK this summer. Here's Lucas with his good friend Alex:

Once again, it will be a different Abu Dhabi we return to after the summer... having to try and find new friends. The downside to being an expat in a place where the turnover is really fast.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Big girl desk

Linnea's room has had yet another make-over recently. Now that she's going into Middle School she needs less space for her little trinkets, and more space for her school work. There was no way the old desk would have room for her laptop, school books and notes etc all at once. So we sold her old desk, and got her a bigger one.

This was how it was before, although since this picture was taken we had also removed the collection of Schleich animals, and the shelving is now housing photos and decorations.

 And now:

Much better!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Oh, the places you'll go

Today was a big dag for our Linnea, it was her Graduation Day from PYP to MYP (=Primary School to Middle School). The teachers and staff had prepared a wonderful Promotion Ceremony for all the Grade 5 kids, and the auditorium was full to the brim with proud parents and other family members.
We had been out to buy a new dress for the occasion and we got up extra early this morning to put the hair up in a pretty bun with blue flowers.

The auditorium was decorated with fairy lights, silver and blue stars and balloons and a long red carpet as the theme was "Oscar-style". There was a few speeches from the Head Master and a few of the teachers, and also we got a recap of the EY1-Grade 5 years, by the students.

Then they were presented with their certificates:

A short movie clip of the receiving of the certificate:

Also we got to listen to "Oh, the places you'll go", recited by all six Grade 5 classes.

A glittery confetti rain to end the ceremony!

After the ceremony we were invited up to the Grade 5 classrooms, to continue the celebration and have a look at a lovely student tribute, prepared by their teachers:

The whole ceiling was covered in the Grade 5's baby photos, and all their aspirations for the future, very cute!

Proud parents:

Linnea with her Grade 5 teacher, Miss Kim:

It really felt like the last day of school with all these festivities, but no, we still have a few days to go before school is out next Thursday. 

We took one happy little graduate for lunch though as they were dismissed early. Nutella pancakes seemed fitting to celebrate the big promotion!
Bring on Middle School!