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ONCE REMOVED
Today made me miss my family terribly. We hosted a sort of mini family reunion with a couple of Anders' cousins and their kids...cousins that he hasn't seen for 25 years (despite the fact that they only live about 1.5 hours away), and that I've never met either, despite having lived here for 11.5 years. They had another get-together some years ago, but we were out of town and couldn't make it.

Anders' mom was the youngest of 12 siblings (she was 25 years younger than her oldest sibling...I'll just pause for a moment while you contemplate the horror there) and all the rest have passed on, but Anders has a ton of cousins around Sweden, most of whom are years older and most of whom he's never met at all.

They were really nice people, a brother and sister, both about 10 years or so older than Anders and I. He with his wife and 3 kids: a boy and girl in their twenties and a 15 year old boy, and her with her two sons (one nearly 15 and one 10-year-old). The kids were all really nice as well, and Martin and Karin hit it off with the 10-year-old (trampolines are great friend-makers).

Anders' parents and sister's family were here, too, so we had a whole gang hanging out from 11 this morning until about 6:30 p.m. with lunch, a long walk around Flyinge (storks! horses! runestone!) and grilled pork kebabs for dinner, in the lovely summer sunshine.

What cracked me up was that all 3 of the older boys arrived wearing hiphop pants or whatever you call the jeans that boys wear which hang off their butts. At one point, while we were sitting on the porch talking, all 3 of them were on the trampoline bouncing...and losing their pants. Hee! I asked Sofia, Anders' niece, if all the boys in her class wore such pants and she laughed and said yes. I just DO NOT understand the attraction, quite frankly. Do the girls think they're sexy in those pants?? Cool?? REALLY?? They were all 3 good-looking kids but those pants just looked ridiculous most of the time, and it gave me the giggles all afternoon.

It sure made me think about some of the things WE wore when I was a teenager, and made me not only feel really old, but made me miss my mom. And miss the family get-togethers and reunions that my mom's family regularly has and that I haven't been able to be a part of much for 11.5 years. My mom is at one right now, in fact; one of her cousin's kids got married this weekend out in California and a lot of family were there for the occasion.

We grew up mostly far away from family, visiting our grandparents and cousins when we could, and my mom did an excellent job of keeping those family ties strong, despite the distance. I only hope I can do half as good a job with my kids. Martin and Karin have one set of cousins in the States (my sister's kids) and one set of cousins here in Sweden (Anders' sister's kids). They see their Swedish cousins all the time, and their American cousins maybe once every few years. And even though they see my mom and my brother, at least, about once a year each, and we all talk on the phone quite regularly, there's no easy way to make any difference in the physical distances that lie between them and the American side of their family. I wish it was more balanced.

***

We went to see Kung-Fu Panda last night. It was AWESOME.

***

Enjoying: Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog

Also, Damn you, Gale! The kids (and maybe their mom) are completely addicted to Spore's Creature Creator after only 1 day!

Fantastical Flaming Belated Birthday Candle Wishes to Bethany and sandykins57
 sleepy
mood: sleepy
music: Paul Simon—Born at the Right Time


Comments
(Anonymous)
OK...now I"m petting Liz's kitty...oh, don't go there!

1- the hanging down pants with the undies showing is NOT my favorite style for boys or girls these days...did you know that the style comes from the guys that get out of jail without their belts? (so I've heard anyway...haven't checked it out on snoops but I can believe it with all the gangster rap and clothing styles that are hot these days). You should see them trying to play football (soccer) in them!
..in my classroom this year, one of the boys had GLITTER underpants to show off his hanging-out-butt in! I couldn't keep from laughing! What's next?
...the worst for me was the girl with the hanging down pants wearing a thong, that was just a little too much for me and I made her hike'em up. Yes, we're talking 5th graders! Actually, I make the boys pull them up too because I don't want no undies on my chairs! I don't care how clean they are!

2- really understand the missing family thing! But you do your best and that's the way it is...maybe you'll get to one of those bigger family reunions soon!

Re: OK...now I"m petting Liz's kitty...oh, don't go there!

Glitter underpants and thongs! Oh my! I hope this trend is over soon before my kids catch it!. Martin starts 5th grade in the fall! Geez louise.

(Anonymous)
sorry...forgot to sign my name on the last one

Happy Monday!
Carol in Sweden

(Anonymous)
and one more thing...

Since I see so many underwears in school...I sang out "I see London, I see France"...(you know the rest). That was a big hit on the school yard but it just made more of the boys lower their drawers so that the girls would sing about them! geez...don't you want to teach 5th grade? HA!
Carol in Sweden, again, for the last time

Re: and one more thing...

hahah! I should have remember that yesterday! I totally should have sung it to the boys! :D

Hahahaha! I knew I could get some converts! I even bought the full Creature Creator, for digital download :)

The demo version doesn't let you save creatures from day to day, so we'll be buying the full version ourselves, but not until after we get back from our trip (must save money for EuroDisney, you know), despite hourly pleadings and eye-battings from the kids.

EA seems to sell it only to the US and Canada, but I paid via PayPal and got direct download -- FYI :)

BTW, it's only USD 9.95, which is a pittance in SEK :)

Yes, we checked the price in Swedish and it was only 59 kronor...super cheap! The site does say coming to Sweden on Sept 4, though. :)

Ah, okay, didn't see any mention on their site of anything but US and Canada, but glad you found it!

And I thought I was horrified when my mom called me *at college* to announce her ninth pregnancy... 25 years' difference definitely trumps my family. :)
Oh, and I completely understand the frustration about trying to keep up family ties across oceans. I don't think my girls will be able to see their grandparents even every year, and it's hard to think of what such a great life (for us) is depriving them of. It must be really great for your kids to at least have *some* cousins close by!

9 pregnancies in this day and age? Whoa, doggie! Your youngest sibling must still be toddling! :O

(Anonymous)

Well, he's 6 now, so there's more running around like a madman than toddling... but I'm still not sure what my parents were thinking. A friend of ours, upon finding out the size of my family, asked me if my parents were Catholics or just ignorant Protestants (hehe).

I had a friend my senior year in high school whose little brother was 10 years younger than he was (18/8). It was really strange to think about such a difference. They were just worlds apart. "Ignorant Protestants"...snort!

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