Sunday, July 28, 2013

Photo Challenge Week #30 - Sculpture

The sculpture of Holger Danske that sits in the casements underneath Kronborg castle is one of my favorites.  Holger Danske is a legendary character said to be "king in the mountain; he is said to dwell in the castle of Kronborg, his beard grown down to the floor. He will sleep there until some day when the country of Denmark is in peril, at which time he will rise up and save the nation." During World War 2, the Danish Resistance group was called Holger Danske.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Photo Challenge Week #29 - Insect

Ok, so this isn't really an insect, but close enough, right?  These giant slugs are all over Denmark and range in color from this bright orange, black and more commonly a dark brown.  I think they are pretty cool looking, but we have to be careful because if it's rained and we are walking through foresty/grassy areas, it's easy to step on them.  And I've seem them 6 inches long, so it's not really that pleasant to step on one.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


On a very hot and sunny Saturday, we headed out to Slagelse to visit Trelleborg.  Trelleborg is one of the few remaining Viking Ring Castles found in Denmark.  There is a museum there, several replica buildings and on this particular weekend, they were having a Viking Market and Melee.  You can read more about Trelleborg here.  The castle ruins are very old, dating back around 981ad.  The ruins include the viking ring castle, which was basically a rampart built in a circle.  They would then build their long houses inside of the ramparts and would then be protected by any outsiders.  It was pretty neat.  The market was fun to walk around, seeing the handcrafted items that might have been found in a real viking market.  Denmark is very big into roll playing, they often have roll playing events as children and it seems as adults, many are really into it as well. Some of the market set ups were pretty elaborate.  We ate some yummy chicken in pita bread and really enjoyed some modern day ice cream.  Walking around the ring castle was pretty neat.  There were several horses grazing in there and when Myra went up to pet one, it bit her!  She was ok, just a little shaken.  Not too long after, we had to head out of the ring castle to watch the Viking Battle re-enactment.  Noah LOVED this part and was so sad to leave.  He keeps talking about wanting to go and see it again. 
It was a fun outing and neat to see another part of Denmark.

 We watched this bird show, which was in Danish, so we didn't understand most of it.  But, it was a little shocking when he pulled out a whole baby chick and fed it to the hawk.  And then he pulled out a little girl from the audience and handed her a dead mouse to feed the owl.  Kind of crazy!

 After the horse bit Myra, Chad decided he was going to try to ride this one.  It responded with trying to bite him.  haha!

 The Battle of Trelleborg

Thursday, July 18, 2013

18 Months - "Half Way"

I have fallen really behind with blogging lately.  I'm trying to get caught up, but when you're several months behind, it's difficult.  But, I wanted to write today.  It's July 18th, our "half way" mark.  I say half way with a grain of salt, because although Chad's program is for 3 years, we have no idea at this point when we will really head back to the US.  But 18 months is a big milestone! And what an amazing year and a half it's been.  We have done and seen so many amazing and wonderful things, we've struggled and survived living in a strange country, our kids have grown and thrived.  We've missed loved ones we left behind and have been sad to miss out on weddings, funerals, births and other get togethers.  And through it all, we've really fallen in love with Denmark.  If you had asked me a year ago, I don't know that I would have thought that possible.  It was such a struggle here in the beginning.  But, we've found our place here and we like it.  I'm already sad at the thought of leaving here in a year and a half.  But, life is full of hello's and good-bye's.  And it will be exciting to see what kind of adventure our life takes us on next.  But until then, we will continue to love living here in Denmark.

Here's a brief summation of our lives right now:
Chad's schooling is going great.  He's very busy, but enjoys what he is doing.  He got to take 3 weeks off this summer and we loved having him home.  But now he's back at the grindstone.  He has a bunch of experiments he's working on right now and has been really busy getting ready to head to Pittsburgh in August for a meeting.  Lucky him!  He is serving in our ward as the Elders Quorum Secretary and as a Ward Missionary.
I'm just sitting here wondering why the summer is going by so quickly.  The kids still keep me busy, but this fall, I'll have all of them in school for 4 mornings a week.  Kind of sad.  I'm still plugging away at my Etsy businesses, which are doing pretty well.  I'm serving in our ward as a counselor in Young Women and the Sacrament Meeting Chorister.
Myra was just baptized a couple of weeks ago and is still glowing from that experience.  She is such a happy, loving kid. She had a great year at school, is speaking nearly fluent Danish and has made many great friends. 
Lexi is really looking forward to starting school this August.  They start a year later here and she was really ready to start last year.  She liked her "preschool" class, but is definitely ready for something more.  Her Danish is coming along really well.
Noah has struggled with potty-training and although he's almost 4, he's still in diapers at night.  =(  Hopefully soon, he'll get it figured out.  He can be a little terror, but he's also still my snuggling little guy.  He's really sad he doesn't get to go to school with the girls this fall.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Island of Fyn

Denmark is made up of one large main part of land attached to Germany and then 407 other islands.  There are 2 large islands, Sjælland and Fyn.  We live on Sjælland and although we love it here, we are a little landlocked.  To get off the island you either take a ferry to Germany, a bridge to Fyn or a bridge to Sweden.  All 3 options cost around $50 one way, so needless to say, we don't leave Sjælland very often. So, we were very excited to make our first trip to Fyn while Grammy, Grandad & Blake were visiting.  We crossed the big bridge and then drove down through a couple of the smaller islands south of Fyn.  I wish we'd had more time in this area, it was so beautiful!  And then we headed back up to Egeskov Castle.  We spent the afternoon there and then ended up in Odense for dinner before heading home.  I really enjoyed what we saw and I hope we'll get the opportunity to visit Fyn again.  Here are some of my favorite pictures.

Egeskov Castle - 1300's

Spent a lot of time in the maze

Rabbit in the Kitchen Garden

Blake put up a good fight, but I think the Crocs did him in.

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St. Albans Church - 1908

St. Canute's Cathedral - 1300's

Valdemar's Castle - 1644