We didn’t have nearly as much traveling this year as last, at least for work, which was kind of nice. Anders went to Italy and Liz to the US, and we had two vacation trips, plus Anders had a ski week with friends in the Czech Republic in January and Karin went to Gothenburg in July for the Gothia Cup soccer tournament.
Martin, who just turned 17, started the IB program for real (last year was a pre-year)...he’s in the middle of his junior year. He is thriving in the IB environment and really likes his school and his friends. He especially likes history and psychology but is doing well in all his subjects.
Soon enough, it will be time to start looking into college applications! He had a bit of a bobble in the early spring, when he broke his arm...falling out of a tree house during a water fight! He had surgery to place three 4-inch long pins in his arm and was in a sling for 6 weeks, which put a bit of dent in his summer vacation, but we were happy that he was recovered and the pins removed before our big trip to North America at the end of July.
Karin, who turned 15 in July, is in 9th grade and also doing well. She has a busy social calendar that includes a boyfriend, a large circle of friends, soccer and her referee work. She is a soccer referee for her club, and was recently asked (a year early) to train as a district referee, but ultimately decided to wait a year due to her schedule.
In October she passed the driving test and got her license and is now the proud owner of an Italian moped, which has made all of our lives considerably easier as she can get to and from school and practice by herself. Her next challenge is to choose a gymnasium (high school) for next year! She was considering going to the US for a year, but has decided for various reasons to wait for college instead.
We were very sad to lose Anders’ father in the spring. He passed away suddenly after several health problems following a bad fall, and we are still mourning his loss. He was a kind and loving man and will always be missed.
In spring, we had a visit from Liz’s brother John and family, who came up to Sweden for a couple of weeks. We rented a cabin on the east coast, in Vånevik, just outside of Oskarshamn, and had a great time playing with Sammy and baby Jake.
Plans for Liz’s big birthday were in full swing throughout the first half of the year, and along with her friends Russell (who celebrated his just 4 days after) and Kathey, decisions were finally made as to where the week-long 50th birthday bash was going to take place. Ireland was chosen, then rejected, and after much discussion, the winner was finally picked: Toronto!
We spent a week with Kathey & Russell, and Liz’s sister Sarah and her family, in Toronto where, among other things, we had a birthday dinner at the top of the CN tower, visited the islands, an amusement park, Niagara Falls and the University of Toronto campus (for Martin). Afterwards, we spent 2 weeks in Michigan at Liz’s mom’s (first week with Sarah & co.) which was a lot of fun.
Liz also had the opportunity to tack on a week’s vacation to her annual work trip to Boston in late November, with perfect timing for Thanksgiving. Since Sarah had recently moved to Hartford, Connecticut, Liz was able to spend Thanksgiving with family (including Grandma Linda) for the first time in 17 years! The only bummer was that Anders and the kids weren’t able to tag along.
We hope you have a fantastic and relaxing holiday season and a very Happy New Year!
Link to photos PDF: www.lizardek.com/lj_images/xmaspics_2014.p
Liz, Anders, Martin and Karin