Saturday, October 11, 2014

Life has been very busy and it is time to catch up on the blog.

June 2014

We have been thrilled when we have had our family come and visit us here in Sweden.
We were so happy that our son Dale, his wife Alana, and our first grandson- Ross Winton were able to make the long trip to Sweden. Ross was born in January and we were so excited to get to meet him.
First the arrival at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm. Where is Baby Ross?- under the blanket?

My first meeting with Ross Winton - first grandson after five amazing granddaughters.

We bought a stroller so Ross could join us on our daily walks in nature. This is a trail near our home that we take to feed our neighbor ducks. Most Swedes walk with walking poles so I had to be Swedish too.

Just getting acquainted in our apartment. I knit him some baby booties in the Swedish blue color.

We took a trip down to "the old town" in Stockholm and saw the changing of the guards by the Royal Palace. Lots of touristy shops and museums in the area.

Dale and Alana wearing the English translation head sets in church in Uppsalla.

After church we stopped to see one of the largest cathedrals in Sweden located in downtown Uppsala

I finished knitting Ross a little sweater to wear on his travels around Sweden.

While family was here we needed to take a trip to Gotland to switch an elder's apartment over to a couple's apartment. Here we are on the ferry to the island. It is about a three hour trip.

Visby is surrounded by a very old wall. Just inside the arch you can see the villa that we are staying at.

A very cozy villa with sheep skins everywhere. It was a great place to stay and was half the price of the hotels this time of year. We did have to spend the time cleaning up before our departure - no maid service.

The elders on the island showed us around the ruins. Elders Allen and Lindquist. It was fun to spend some time with them.

I call this the Swedish baby hold. When babies are fussing I see a lot of Swedes rocking their babies this way. It does settle down a baby and even can make them laugh.

Kabob in Visby. We have made friends with the owner of the Kabob Restaurant here. The elders introduced us as they frequent the place a lot.
Dale liked it so much we had to go back a second time before leaving the island. Kabob is a common food in Sweden along with Pizza. The pizza in Sweden is very different than what we are used to in America. They all have a thin crust and one of the missionary's favorites is chicken curry with banana or kabob pizza that also has French fries on top as well.

                                                       Some of the ruins around Visby

More Visby ruins.

Alana and Baby Ross take a restful day on the island.
This is one way to get around the island.

Dale and I in an old fishing village up north on Sheep Island

And old windmill we saw along the road

Had to buy a beautiful sheep skin for a souvenir

Beautiful scenery on sheep island (North End Gotland)

Some incredible rock erosion
More of Visby Ruins

Baby Ross in his car seat

Glass is Swedish for Ice Cream - two ice cream shops and too many flavors to choose from!

Just south of Visby are these huge cliffs with an incredible view

We had great weather and a super great time on the island. It was so much more fun having our family with us.
Lots of memories to cherish. Dale will remember much better since he has a T-shirt from where he has been.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Our kids and Grandkids visit us in Sweden

Arrival at Arlanda Airport
This post is long overdue.  Back in March, Matt and Lana with Amy and Emily came to visit us.  What a joy it was to have them with us for a few days.  They spent some time with us, then flew to England to visit old friends there, and then came back to stay with us for a few more days before returning to Tennessee.

This was a wonderful sight to see our family
At the Stockholm Temple

An absolute"must see" is the Wasa Warship museum.  In the 1600s this ship sunk in the harbor on its maiden voyage.  It was recovered in the 1950s and is amazing

Three of my Anchors

Sadly, while we visited the Wasa museum, some hoodlums broke into our van and stole my briefcase, power tools, and several keys to missionary apartments.  We had to change some locks on the apartments for security.

Changing of the guard at the Royal palace in Stockholm.

Elders came and showed Emily and Amy how to make deep-fried chocolate bars.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

DALA HÄST the symbol of Sweden

Everywhere you go in Sweden you find the little carved wooden horse, traditionally red in color, that is considered the symbol of Sweden.  They originated in the province of Dalarna, which translated means "The Valleys".  We recently travelled to a small village in Dalarna called Nusnäs, where there are two factories where hundreds of thousands of the Dala Hästar are manufactured every year.  Every tourist that comes to Sweden takes home at least one or two of these carved horses.
They are individually carved and hand painted

some fancy models are also available

dipped, sanded, dipped, painted

just a small sampling of the thousands of horses

The only pony she could ride here in Sweden

carving of a carver carving a carving
carving is a tradition in Nusnäs

some roosters and other animals are carved as well
No this one is not made of wood, but it certainly catches your attention as you drive into Dalarna

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Senior Couples Conference in the Sweden Mission. Then meet our dear friends and most talented artists Kurt and Gerd Sjökvist.

 This post is very late.  Our Senior Couple Conference was held in Stockholm back in May.  All of the Couples in the mission travelled to Stockholm where we had a wonderful time with some classes, scripture study, attended a session at the temple, and had some time for some sightseeing around Stockholm.
From Left: Wennerlund, Newell, Davis, Taylor, Kohler plus Jaylynn, Lowry, Boyer, Brown, Tolley, Leach, Sorensen, Coombs, Herrey 

Riding the Pendeltåg to some sightseeing

OK, SOMEBODY has to show them how to ride the train!!!

And some of the fun......
not sure what's in the barrel....

say "MOOOOOTH"   In Swedish this is an "Alg"
which means "Elk"

And of course we had to eat....and eat.....and eat...
Elder and Sister Coombs were the Conference Coordinators
and Chief Cooks

 This Conference was also an opportunity to say our farewells to President and Sister Newell who were going home the end of June.
We presented them with a Viking Statue that was made by
Gerd Sjökvist, a local artist and good friend of ours.
See further down for more information on the Sjökvists

President and Sister Gregory and Candilynn Newell

This is "THOR"
The gift to the Newells was hand-sculpted
and then made into a mold and recreated in porcelain


from Furuvik, Sweden
Gerd Sjökvist is a very very special friend in my life. In 1974 Gerd (Bergström) was a single mother from Sweden who was attending Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, studying Art.  She was a teacher at the Language Training Mission, and that is where I first met her.  She was the main Swedish Teacher and was our first experience conversing in Swedish as new missionaries.  Over two months time we had long hours together practicing the new language and we became very close.  Over the years since then, I have kept in touch with Gerd.  She returned to Sweden and married Kurt Sjökvist, who is a VERY talented artist, painter, woodworker, sculpter, musician, songwriter,etc.  They both have artwork in some very famous places, including the Church Museum of Art in Salt Lake City.

Here is a small sampling of some of their work.

All of these were sculpted of clay, and then made to molds for reproduction in porcelain.
The two heads top center are actually clay, and are of Gerd's parents
And more...
Swedish Nativity

more Nativity figures

Elder Sorensen and Kurt with wooden
sculpture by Kurt

two more of Kurt's creations

Viking in training sculpture.  Model for this was
Gerd's Grandson.

And of course some food creations!!!

While visiting the Sjökvists, Gerd took the time to teach us how to make "PALT". It is a ball of potato flour and shredded potatoes, filled with salted pork and boiled in water for one hour.  Served with some butter and lingonberry jam.  A NORRLAND Tradition.

Very Filling......."PALT"