Saturday, January 31, 2009

I can quit

Friday, January 30, 2009

Are you kidding me?????

Is the background music on my home videos of my children dancing really hurting music sales? GOOD LORD!

whatever......read my sidebar to see what I really think about it.

And please try to enjoy any future muted videos.

Thanks Everybody!

You are too kind. Indeed, it was the second picture that I edited. And for the record, I'm not pissed off at my hubby. I just wanted a second (third, forth, or fifth) opinion. He's like that about my paintings, too. I usually appreciate his input but sometimes, when something is SO obvious to me, I have to wonder if he's just messing around with me.

Thanks again!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

camera one, camera two

Do you see a difference between the first and second picture? I need some outside input since my husband is unbelievably critical of EVERYTHING I edit.




Please comment and tell me which picture YOU think looks better.

Thank you

Death by chocolate

My mother is plotting to kill us.



Mmmmm.....fudgy chocolate cake. Lovely. Seems innocent enough.



Uh.....ok. Is that 745 calories PER SERVING??? Why yes, it is. Thanks for the recipe, MOM!!!!

How we roll...



Can you believe this is how we've gotten our groceries for the past 6 months?!?! I should be in great shape by now, eh?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just for fun

Just messing around with the movie maker again. It's so fun, I think I'm addicted. This movie is just random photos and video of Eden.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the game

Let’s play a little game. I’ll call this game “Can I get through the day without going insane”.

Here are the rules: You wake up from a night which may or may not have produced ample REM time, wake up your children to get them ready for school and listen to them argue and fight over EVERY LITTLE THING. Now, to win the game, you need to keep your cool, be patient, not yell or say anything which could scar them for life, lock them in the closet or put a sign that says “dumb ass” on their backs. Then you need to smile and wave lovingly at them as they walk to the bus as if they were perfect little God-sent angels who make every moment of your day filled to the brim with warm squishy lovey-dovey feelings. And when they get home from school in the afternoon, after devouring a week’s worth of food so as not to be hungry at dinnertime, fight AGAIN about nothing in particular or maybe about who’s crack produces the foulest odors, and do nothing but beg to either play computer games, XBOX games or stare like zombies at the TV, you must remain a composed and affectionate parent towards the little turd sniffers despite it all.

Shit, I lost when I read “scar them for life” in the rules. Here’s hoping you have better luck.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Visualization

Can you think yourself thinner, stronger, better? More and more lately I’ve been reading articles that suggest just that.

Used to thinking negatively about yourself? Picking on every flaw, self sabotaging yourself? Then we have something in common! (well, I don’t do that anymore, but I sure used to!) Do you eat right, exercise and still not have the body you desire? Do you put yourself down all the time? That could be the only thing stopping you from succeeding.

But good news! Supposedly you can completely change your thinking pattern in just 20-some days. It takes practice and patience, however. Repetition and the ability to block out negative thoughts, or at least redirect your thoughts towards a more positive outlook, are required.

The mind is a powerful tool at our disposal. Of course there are limits, but these limits are within us, not in the power itself. The key is to be vivid and detailed. See your surroundings, hear sounds, smell smells, feel your movements as if it were actually happening. This isn’t always easy and for some people, it can be downright hard. A common mistake is focusing on what you want to avoid or correcting problems. Instead, you should think of the goal, what you want as if it has already happened. Keep the negative thoughts away so as not to reinforce those undesirable results.

Set aside 15 or 20 minutes of undisturbed downtime that you can spend focusing and visualizing what you want to achieve. You can condition your mind to push your body to get what you want. Change your mental focus to develop neurological patterns that will lead to your success.

There are interesting documented studies regarding visualization and performance in sports. To give you an example: Between a group that practiced free-throws versus another that practiced visualizing free-throws only, which group do you think increased performance levels? They both increased their free-throw percentages BUT the group that physically practiced only had a 1% lead over the visualization only group - 24% to 23%. Oh, and by the way, there was a third group that didn’t practice mentally or physically, they didn’t improve their averages at all.

By changing our thoughts and mental images we change our reality. Don’t believe that all you have to do is visualize what you want and it will magically happen. You can’t lay on the couch eating snickers all day, wanting to lose weight, and think as long as you are imagining yourself at 110 pounds and eating salad, it'll happen. You need to use the mind/body connection - that’s where it’s at.

Try it, what do you have to lose? At the very least you’ll get 20 minutes a day to de-stress and relax!

Just for fun




If Eden were a cartoon

An old picture of Emma

Friday, January 23, 2009

Why be optimistic about Obama's presidency?

A friend of mine wanted to know why it seems people are so gung-ho about Obama. Well, I can’t speak for anyone else but I’ll tell you why I voted for him. Of course, you don’t have to agree with my views or even like them. But this is my blog, so I can say whatever I want!!

Why I voted for Barack Obama:

1. John McCain (like Bush) wanted to give tax cuts to big corporations and the wealthiest people instead of the middle-class. Those middle-class workers will get 3 times the tax relief from Obama than they would have from McCain.

2. Obama has a plan to create 5 million new jobs by investing in renewable energy. (new jobs, green energy…. both good!)

3. I was not into the idea of being at war for “100 more years”. Obama wants to end the war in Iraq. But, he also supports our troops, voting to provide them with what they need while abroad as well as resources for them when they return.

4. Obama’s health care plan will reduce costs for families by an average of $2,500. Do you know what it’s like not being able to afford health insurance for your child? I do.

5. McCain opposed an increase in screening cargo entering the US….(what???) as well as increased security at airports. Sorry, I know some people think an increase in security measures means a bigger pain in the ass but I’d take pain in the ass any day over letting a terrorist bring my plane down!

6. My mom is a senior. Obama wants to get rid of income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000.

You know, changes won’t be made over night no matter who is president. The president, senate, house of representatives all have to agree for the change to happen. But the passion he shows and the way he votes tells me that he is in it for the greater good of the country and I hope he can get it done. One lady I spoke with here said that Barack had kind eyes and he just seemed like a person who you could trust, someone who really cared. She went on to say Bush’s eyes looked cold. And I think she’s right. He just didn’t seem to really truly care about Americans. He has money, who cares if the country is in the biggest economic crisis since the depression. His best interests seemed to be more into that of the big corporations than us little people.

Some people think Obama is merely a good public speaker (even comparing him to Hitler, who was also a great public speaker) and that he’s just too inexperienced to lead the country. But being relatively inexperienced in politics could mean he’s less infected with the corrupt morality of Washington. Obama has gotten this country excited just as Kennedy did in 1960. Like Kennedy, he’s young and brings a new generation of ideas to the table. Even if his presidency does not live up to his talk of change, at least he clearly wants it and will try for us. And it will be good for the world to know that we voted for CHANGE!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Plant murderer

I used to think I had somewhat of a green thumb. Now, I'm not sure if I even have a thumb! Just look at what I've done to my beautiful plants!

Shortly after arriving to the death camp for formerly happy plants...



after being in my care for a few months...



before...



after...



flourishing...




not so much...



Cripes!

President Obama!

I'm so excited for us, America! GO OBAMA! Let's change this country for the better!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nerd Prom

So, Andreas and I went to this release party for the accounting software he works on (as a developer), on Friday. It was a black tie event, so we got to dress up. Sitting at the table and looking around, it was like being at 'Nerd Prom' except that we got a 3 course dinner and plenty of booze. At every table, you could here jokes whispered in assembly or binary. After many hours of whining and pouting, I finally got Andreas on the dance floor. This was the first time ever that I have seen him dance and I must say that he sure knows how to cut a rug. I mean, if shaking and convulsing all over the dance floor counts. Maybe he needs to lay off his pills (see previous post).

I promised myself that I wasn't going to drink too much, but since this was the first time out of the house without the kids in 6 months, that promise was a little hard to keep. On the train ride home the next day, I had to concentrate with every ounce of my being to keep my breakfast where it was supposed to be. And BTW, all the Cosmo articles on avoiding hangovers - DON'T WORK. Thank goodness for Alka-Seltzer! But, it was a super duper fun time anyway. Those nerds sure know how to throw a good party! ;)

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the event itself but I did get some good shots of the view from our hotel room. Since I was slightly impaired from the festivities, only one shot really turned out. Here it is:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just a Tuesday night

A conversation between Andreas and I this evening...

Andreas: We should write a screenplay.

Charlotte: Why?

Andreas: Cuz we’re funny.

Charlotte: Uh…well, what should we write about?

Andreas: I don’t know.

Charlotte: I know! We could take a scene from a big money maker movie and re-enact it with Barbies!

Andreas: Well, I was thinking we could write our own movie.

Charlotte: With Barbies?

Andreas: NO, there would be no Barbies. Unless we made a movie about Gettysburg.

Charlotte: With real people?

Andreas: No, with Barbies.

Later…

Andreas: I got it! There’s this doctor’s office full of people holding their stool samples in little paper bags and everyone is giving this one particular man strange looks.

Charlotte: Why?

Andreas: Cuz when his name is called, you see him get up and walk away holding his stool sample….in a Ziploc bag. (mad laughter)

Yep, you can’t go wrong with poop humor. (at least not in this house)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

You know you're a mother when...

You can't find the cat anywhere...and why is the dryer running?

There are, what appears to be, chocolate crumbs on the couch AGAIN.....no wait, that's not chocolate!

You can get that vein in your forehead to pop out like Morbo from Futurama.

You forgot what the inside of a bar looks like.

You're a witness to the fact that the 5 second rule does not exist to a child, it's more like the 5 day rule.

You've been barfed on more times than you barfed as a freshman.

You are never shocked by crusted boogers clinging to the wall, or the priceless collection of chicken bones and tampon applicators in your child's room.

You long for some peace and quiet and to be able to poop without an audience JUST ONCE.

You weren't grossed out by any of the sentences above.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Multiple Choice Quiz

1. I have not received a CPR number yet because:

A)The office of CPR number distributors is only open 5 hours per week to keep up with the standard Danish work ethic.

B)The office of CPR number distributors has cake day Thursday and beer Friday every week (like my husband's employer) and therefore cuts work productivity in half....or 3 hours per week.

C)They just don't like me.

D)All of the above.


2. My constant complaints about Danish store opening hours is due to the fact that:

A)I'm a busy mother of 3 ankle biters and there is never enough hours in the day.

B)Average store opening hours here SUCKS compared to the US.

C)I'm a big whiner and have way too much time on my hands.

D)All of the above.

3. I long to be back home in Fargo because:

A)I love -40 degree winter weather with winds that peel your skin right off.

B)OPEN SUNDAYS

C)I can drive there

D)All of the above

4. If I have a pain in my butt it is because:

A)I did some killer squats the day before.

B)The children are home.

C)My credit card company closes my account because I don't use it often enough, which makes me responsible but will probably make my credit score take a dive, which makes me look irresponsible. Bastards.

D)All of the above.

5. I am making this quiz because:

A)I'm taking a break from authoring my future Pulitzer prize winning book.

B)I am able to entertain myself with my own stupidity.

C)I need something to do until the raw chicken kicks in.

D)All of the above.

SCORING

Mostly A's: You're in love with me and are probably stalking me right this very moment.

Mostly B's: You like to pretend you're a super hero that goes by the name "Gumbercules".

Mostly C's: You like dutch ovens (and I don't mean the pot).

Mostly D's: You're a freakin' genius

On a side note: I have nothing against Danes, in fact I like them very much. I'm sure they are all hard workers and I do not mean to belittle them and the way they do their jobs LITERALLY. I am a pathological exaggerator with a pessimistic outlook on life and I like to mix it up with some good old fashioned sarcastic humor.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jump Around




I love taking photos of Hanna and Eden in mid jump, they turn out so silly. I was laughing so hard at them I could hardly keep the camera from bouncing all over the place.




This one below is my favorite. They look like they are doing some sort of African dance.




Am I right?



My guest blogger - Andreas

Parking garage

Picture yourselves on the 22nd of December, wanting to get those last minute gifts that haven't been crossed off from the gift-list, stuck in a parking garage. Sound like fun, no? We rented a car over Christmas so we could get around with the anticipated haul and the kids more easily - readers of this blog should already be familiar. We decided to head in to the nearest greatest shopping mall. I'd studied the route on google first to avoid any bigger mistakes - I took the wrong turn by 'Barf Dog food' (no kidding) but I quickly found a route back to the road I wanted to be on, and the entrance to the shopping mall parking garage with a lit sign that said 'Open spots'. Hooray for me. I turned in, there were a couple of cars ahead of me so I waited patiently for the gate to open up, let a car in, close and open up again a handful of times, while slowly creeping forwards. Then it was finally my turn. I pushed the button for the parking ticket, waited, waited, waited and finally, I waited some more. Then, after waiting some more, I walked outside and looked at the ticket dispenser and to my joy, I found a button that would raise someone, which I eagerly pushed. They would send someone soon. So we waited some more and then finally a security guard showed up. He brought along the wrong set of keys so he left right away. By this time, you can imagine, there was a loong line of vehicles behind us, all waiting patiently for the return of the security guard, occasionally cheering me on with loong honks from their car's horns. Finally the security guard came walking leisurely, opened up the machine, pushed the reset button, locked it back up again, handed me a new ticket and left. Even bowling, which is a lot more serious than parking garages, come with a reset button that can be used by mere mortals, and frivolously so too. A ticket dispenser that can't do anything but dispense tickets could come with a reset button without any harm, couldn't it? I found my way to the second floor, and encountered a traffic jam. There wasn't a single open spot. 3rd floor same deal, except no roof. Hoards of shot-gun passengers were combing the floor for someone returning to their car. It was pandemonium, in slow motion. After spending 15 minutes waiting for the gate to open up, we drove around for another 15, before my wife laid down in an open spot to claim it and I could park in it (after she got up of course, carrying a towel and heading for a beer). Hooray again! We now finally can enter the chaos of the mall, with the Santa that is chasing Emma around, offering her candy that she's too scared to accept. Luckily, most of the shopping was already done so we didn't need a lot of time at the mall. Thus, time to leave. There is a nice machine where you can stick your parking ticket into, and then follow up with your credit card in the same slot. There was a line ahead of me, and by the time I reached the front, there was a line behind me. So I stuck my parking ticket into the machine, and then the credit card, only to discover that it refused to take my card, and I couldn't get the ticket back. My fellow queuers and I frantically pushed buttons. The car is in the garage and the magic ticket that should get me back out again, is inside the machine, refusing to come out. One of the buttons that got pushed, as the line grew behind me, was for security. So for the 2nd time, I'm trying to explain my situation to security, hampered by Dane's inability to understand Bokmal. What on earth are you talking about you ask? When Norway was in a union with Denmark, danish was the written language used in Norway and this is called Bokmal, in essence Danish but with different pronunciation. Anyhow, a nice lady assisted me with the security guards who told me to call security yet again to let me out once I got to the gate. By this time, I saw myself spending another 15 minutes at the gate, trying to explain to another security guard what was going on. We got in the car and drove down to the gate, and this time, no line behind me, and security answered almost immediately and opened the gate without any hassle, to my big surprise. As we left, I quietly vowed to never return, while driving a car. Of course, 2 weeks later, my wife made me eat that vow but this time, it went smooth as silk - and we got a photo of the Barf pet food store sign too.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

video

FIREWORKS IN DENMARK

Do you like fireworks? Do you enjoy being able to view fabulous fireworks from the comfort of your own home or on your own lawn without actually having to purchase them? COME TO DENMARK ON NEW YEARS EVE!!!

OMG - Danes sure know how to ring in the new year. We had been seeing the occasional sparkling flower against the sky on and off all day on New Years Eve but I don't think any of us were prepared for the show we would see come midnight. Everyone in town, it seemed, had an astounding selection of fireworks for all to enjoy. We could look out any window of our house, in every direction, people were blasting off these spectacular fireworks that rival what we would typically see at MSUM on the 4th of July. I mean, they were BIG and they were constant for about an hour straight. All around us, there were light shows - popping, booming and crackling. It was AMAZING! Like nothing I'd ever seen! These people must have spent an fortune on fireworks.

I took some photos but it really doesn't capture the full effect. I also took some video and I will try to post that as well, because you can really see the sky lit up at every angle that way.

If you don't visit Denmark for any other reason; I mean if you don't come to see the famed Little Mermaid, the fine Danish pastries, the numerous castles and beautiful old cities, COME FOR NEW YEARS EVE! That alone has made this experience something special to remember for always.

Or you could just come to visit me....(got that Olsons????? Do ya? Huh? Do ya?)




















Remember ~ This is all just from our back yard!!