31 January 2009

Disappointment and fun surprises

Ok, Sorry Kirsten but no pics this week either :( It was theory lessons this time around. Elsa got paired up with a really cute and happy little girl and they got to "pyssla" (tinker) with the horses. They brushed them, (I'm not sure what it's called in english) pet them and cleaned out their hooves. They got a really cute and nice horse this time as well, Hilma. I thought it was such a bummer since I had Thad and Kajsa along to take pics from the balcony, but Elsa thought it was a blast. Once we found out they weren't going to ride, Thad and Kajsa took off for the electronics store.

We have been planning on getting a laptop for FOREVER, but we haven't gotten around to it, partially because of money and partially because we haven't been scoping out the market. Well, Thad has been looking up computers lately and kind of had his heart set on one. So when he came back to pick us up we were suddenly a lot poorer. I can't wait untill we get it started. We haven't had a chance to yet, well, unless we want to stay up all night.

Thaddeus was in Gothenburg all day today doing drum corps and I was at a photo shoot. Hehehe, yeah a photo shoot. It was FUN. A friend of mine had a friend who needed some models for some health care attire. So two of my friends from massage school and another girl and I modeled from early this morning until five this evening. Did I mention is was fun? Once the pics are all done I'll give you all the link to their website :) I'll probably get a copy of their catalog as well to take with me to the states. Some of their clothes were actually really cute and comfortable. Elsa and Kajsa spent the whole day at my friends house. They had a blast, too.

Speaking of the girls....I just have to share something I though was so cute. Last night a friend of mine (Michaela) Yes, she has the exact same name as me, was over at our place. (Same girl who watched the girls today) She was going through a bunch of clothes and make up, etc that I can't take with me when we move. It was starting to get pretty late and Thad had fallen asleep on the couch. (His throat was hurting....he's actually starting to get sick so I didn't want to wake him up) Anyway, I really needed to put the girls to bed, but I had to take care of Michaela first. So I asked Elsa if I could make a deal with her. The deal was, if she would brush Kajsa's teeth and her own, plus put their pajamas on and clean their room....AND pick out a book and lay in bed while I drove Michaela home then they could both get extra candy today (saturday...we only eat candy on saturdays).

So I drove Michaela home and when I came back, sure enough, they had done EVERYTHING. Their room was all picked up....by picked up I mean everything was laying in one HUGE pile on top of the toy box. I thought it was sooo cute. They had really done the best they could and they were all quiet and had books picked out. My heart just melted. I couldn't help but donate a little to their piggybank as well. This morning Thad took them shopping for their "Lördagsgodis" (saturday-candy) poor girls, they didn't know what to pick out cause they never get to choose THAT MUCH candy. Ha, in fact they couldn't even eat it all!!! Read more!

Tagged :)

First Job- Locker room attendant
First Screen Name- Michaela_01
First Pet- Sasi
First Credit card- I am proud to announce that I have never had one, and hope to never get one! :)

Last Car Ride- Caught a ride home with Johan and Sara from a photo shoot.
Last Movie watched- Wall-E
Last Beverage Drank- Milk
Last Food Consumed- Mackrell in tomato sauce on cracker bread....Num num
Last Website Visited- Chelsey's HOT blog

Birthday- May 17, 1982
Siblings- Mike, and Matt. Half siblings- Jonny, Staffan, Shirley, Diane and Mathilda.
Hair Color- Blonde again!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhh, finally
Eye color- Blue/green/grey/yellow..........kinda bleh
Shoe Size- 8,5-9,0
Wearing- A Sweat shirt and some cozy pants
Thinking about - All the JUNK I need to sort through this week.

I can't tag just one person, so sorry...I'm bending the rules a bit. I tag Stacie and Avery. And I tag Thad as well, just cause I know he loves being tagged soooo much :) Read more!

28 January 2009

Support Free Speech!

Reposted (by Thaddeus) from: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-why-should-i-respect-these-oppressive-religions-1517789.html

Whenever a religious belief is criticised, its adherents say they're victims of 'prejudice' The right to criticise religion is being slowly doused in acid. Across the world, the small, incremental gains made by secularism – giving us the space to doubt and question and make up our own minds – are being beaten back by belligerent demands that we "respect" religion. A historic marker has just been passed, showing how far we have been shoved. The UN rapporteur who is supposed to be the global guardian of free speech has had his job rewritten – to put him on the side of the religious censors.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated 60 years ago that "a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief is the highest aspiration of the common people". It was a Magna Carta for mankind – and loathed by every human rights abuser on earth. Today, the Chinese dictatorship calls it "Western", Robert Mugabe calls it "colonialist", and Dick Cheney calls it "outdated". The countries of the world have chronically failed to meet it – but the document has been held up by the United Nations as the ultimate standard against which to check ourselves. Until now.

Starting in 1999, a coalition of Islamist tyrants, led by Saudi Arabia, demanded the rules be rewritten. The demand for everyone to be able to think and speak freely failed to "respect" the "unique sensitivities" of the religious, they decided – so they issued an alternative Islamic Declaration of Human Rights. It insisted that you can only speak within "the limits set by the shariah [law]. It is not permitted to spread falsehood or disseminate that which involves encouraging abomination or forsaking the Islamic community".

In other words, you can say anything you like, as long as it precisely what the reactionary mullahs tell you to say. The declaration makes it clear there is no equality for women, gays, non-Muslims, or apostates. It has been backed by the Vatican and a bevy of Christian fundamentalists.

Incredibly, they are succeeding. The UN's Rapporteur on Human Rights has always been tasked with exposing and shaming those who prevent free speech – including the religious. But the Pakistani delegate recently demanded that his job description be changed so he can seek out and condemn "abuses of free expression" including "defamation of religions and prophets". The council agreed – so the job has been turned on its head. Instead of condemning the people who wanted to murder Salman Rushdie, they will be condemning Salman Rushdie himself.

Anything which can be deemed "religious" is no longer allowed to be a subject of discussion at the UN – and almost everything is deemed religious. Roy Brown of the International Humanist and Ethical Union has tried to raise topics like the stoning of women accused of adultery or child marriage. The Egyptian delegate stood up to announce discussion of shariah "will not happen" and "Islam will not be crucified in this council" – and Brown was ordered to be silent. Of course, the first victims of locking down free speech about Islam with the imprimatur of the UN are ordinary Muslims.

Here is a random smattering of events that have taken place in the past week in countries that demanded this change. In Nigeria, divorced women are routinely thrown out of their homes and left destitute, unable to see their children, so a large group of them wanted to stage a protest – but the Shariah police declared it was "un-Islamic" and the marchers would be beaten and whipped. In Saudi Arabia, the country's most senior government-approved cleric said it was perfectly acceptable for old men to marry 10-year-old girls, and those who disagree should be silenced. In Egypt, a 27-year-old Muslim blogger Abdel Rahman was seized, jailed and tortured for arguing for a reformed Islam that does not enforce shariah.

To the people who demand respect for Muslim culture, I ask: which Muslim culture? Those women's, those children's, this blogger's – or their oppressors'?

As the secular campaigner Austin Darcy puts it: "The ultimate aim of this effort is not to protect the feelings of Muslims, but to protect illiberal Islamic states from charges of human rights abuse, and to silence the voices of internal dissidents calling for more secular government and freedom."

Those of us who passionately support the UN should be the most outraged by this. Underpinning these "reforms" is a notion seeping even into democratic societies – that atheism and doubt are akin to racism. Today, whenever a religious belief is criticised, its adherents immediately claim they are the victims of "prejudice" – and their outrage is increasingly being backed by laws.

All people deserve respect, but not all ideas do. I don't respect the idea that a man was born of a virgin, walked on water and rose from the dead. I don't respect the idea that we should follow a "Prophet" who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn't follow him.

I don't respect the idea that the West Bank was handed to Jews by God and the Palestinians should be bombed or bullied into surrendering it. I don't respect the idea that we may have lived before as goats, and could live again as woodlice. This is not because of "prejudice" or "ignorance", but because there is no evidence for these claims. They belong to the childhood of our species, and will in time look as preposterous as believing in Zeus or Thor or Baal.

When you demand "respect", you are demanding we lie to you. I have too much real respect for you as a human being to engage in that charade.

But why are religious sensitivities so much more likely to provoke demands for censorship than, say, political sensitivities? The answer lies in the nature of faith. If my views are challenged I can, in the end, check them against reality. If you deregulate markets, will they collapse? If you increase carbon dioxide emissions, does the climate become destabilised? If my views are wrong, I can correct them; if they are right, I am soothed.

But when the religious are challenged, there is no evidence for them to consult. By definition, if you have faith, you are choosing to believe in the absence of evidence. Nobody has "faith" that fire hurts, or Australia exists; they know it, based on proof. But it is psychologically painful to be confronted with the fact that your core beliefs are based on thin air, or on the empty shells of revelation or contorted parodies of reason. It's easier to demand the source of the pesky doubt be silenced.

But a free society cannot be structured to soothe the hardcore faithful. It is based on a deal. You have an absolute right to voice your beliefs – but the price is that I too have a right to respond as I wish. Neither of us can set aside the rules and demand to be protected from offence.

Yet this idea – at the heart of the Universal Declaration – is being lost. To the right, it thwacks into apologists for religious censorship; to the left, it dissolves in multiculturalism. The hijacking of the UN Special Rapporteur by religious fanatics should jolt us into rescuing the simple, battered idea disintegrating in the middle: the equal, indivisible human right to speak freely.

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27 January 2009

That's it... It's carved in stone!

Well, we've finally taken the leap. Today Michaela had her interview at the Embassy in Stockholm and things went surprisingly smooth. We had a time early this morning and because waking up at 3 in the morning and driving for 5 hours isn't as fun as it might sound we drove up yesterday and stayed at a hotel. We also spent a little time last night visiting family.

We got up early and headed off for our appointment because we didn't want to get stuck in rush-hour traffic in Stockholm. Plus, I had decided to take a short cut through the down town area and figured I would need some extra time for eventual wrong turns. It turned out to be an unnecesary precaution and we showed up at the embassy with plenty of time to spare.

So after a quick shake down in the guard hut, we basically just waltzed into the embassy, got a stamp of approval, and waltzed out again. OK, it wasn't quite that easy, and there was really no dancing involved, but it was still rather fast and uncomplicated. So that's it! Access granted. We're okay for take-off! There are still a couple of minor details to be worked out, but the process is complete at least.

Of course following that good news we immediately rushed home (bear in mind that Stockholm is about 400 kilometers away so when I say rushed I just mean that we left the capital right away. It still took us 5 hours to get home) and bought our plane tickets!!! Yippee! It still doesn't quite feel like it's for real and we still have a lot of stuff to get in order, but there is a date set (at the end of april) and plans are being arranged.

Hope all you USA dwellers are as excited as we are. More info will surely follow:)

~Thaddeus Read more!

24 January 2009

Riding lesson update

So here's a little update on Elsa. We changed her riding lessons from Saturdays to Fridays. We just thought it's nice to have our Saturdays to sleep in on. What we didn't know was that there were A LOT more kids in the Friday group. It was no biggy though and probably a good thing cause we needed all the help we could get. Apparently, we were supposed to get the pony all ready to ride all by ourselves. Yikes! I didn't have a clue what I was doing. Luckily, there was a really nice mom in the stall next to us....she helped us do all of it. I felt totally out of place and didn't get a chance to even get the camera out.

All the parents had to go along side the horse with the kid on it and help them manouver. Elsa got to ride on Kasper, he was a REALLY nice pony. She did great, they had a little obstacle course to make it through. Let me just say, it kept me on my toes as well. When it was time to trott, Elsa thought it was kind of scary. The second time around went a little better.

The ordinary teacher was sick, so there was a substitute there. After the whole thing was over I asked if I could take a pic of Elsa on the horse, but she was a little hesitant. There was a new class of kids ready to take over and she thought it would be better to wait untill the normal teacher was there. Bummer, I finally got up the courage to ask and then I got shot down. It's okay though, next week Thad and Kajsa are going to come along and watch. There is a café where you can sit and watch. So next week Thad should be able to get a whole bunch of pictures. I did take a picture of the 20 crown shoes and a pic of Elsa next to Kaspers saddle. Better than nothing, right? Or maybe not, whatever ;)

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23 January 2009

Dinner Party

We had our dinner party/company party/employee party (call it what you want party) for work yesterday. Here are a few faces that I'm REALLY going to miss. Everyone wasn't there, but most of us were. We had great food and spectacular wine. The music was a little so so though, I have to admit. After the dinner was over a few of us went to the club. My feet were hurting pretty bad by the time I called it a night. Dancing in boots isn't always that bad, but I hadn't had those boots on for a few months, so my feet weren't used to them. The bus didn't go at two in the morning on a thursday (Imagine that...I've never been out on the town on a thursday before) and I'm too cheap to get a cab, so I ended up walking home...it's not that far, maybe 3/4 of a mile (American mile) but I felt EVERY step of the way. Ouchie :( Infact, my feet still hurt! Hahaha, but it was worth it.

I have very mixed feelings when it comes to not working at "hemtjänsten" anymore. I've worked there for four and a half years (not full time the whole time) If anyone doesn't know what I do, it's kind of like home health care. We go to (mostely) Elderly who are still living at home and help them with a veriety of tasks. We help out with stuff like getting dressed, showering, taking medicin/shots, shopping, going on walks, cleaning, socializing, laundry, and basically anything and everything that they might need help with in order to stay at home and have a good life. Sure, it will be nice not having the stress of being short a person and spliting a schedule. I'm not going to miss cleaning peoples houses either. But boy am I going to miss those "old folkes" of mine. I have this one schedule that I almost always work and all of the elderly on that schedule feel like a grandma or grandpa to me. A lot of times I think I'd LOVE to get a job where I can sit at a desk and look pretty and wear high heels and cute clothes. On the other hand, I love the AMAZING high I get when I know that what I do makes a difference and I can spread some sunshine and brighten someone's day. Hmmmm, I wonder how it's going to feel on the last day of work...... I dunno, but I'm pretty sure I'll cry :(
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18 January 2009

Twenty Crown shoe & stinky horse poo

This is what it looked like when we got to the Equestrian place at 9.00 in the morning for Elsa's very first riding lesson. (Dark) She's been wanting to ride FOREVER and I signed her up for it last spring, but there was a line......luckily, now there was finally a spot for her.

They said she needed a shoe with a little heel on it. She doesn't have anything like that and I figure there's no point in buying some expensive riding boots for her when she's just starting out. So on wednesday we went to the second hand store and found some PERFECT shoes/boots for her....and they were only 20 Crowns (equivalnt about $2.50) Elsa fell in love with the shoes right away.

Here she is in front of the entrance after her little lesson. I couldn't bring myself to take pictures inside cause I felt like such an idiot bringing the press along. But maybe, just maybe I'll muster up the courage next time :)

I just thought this was cute :) That could so be Elsa.

And here's a close up of my big baby just before we left to drive home......Need I say she was HAPPY. She told me that she wanted to have lessons EVERYDAY. Funny thing, I already knew she's say that ;) To be honest, I'm a little jealous of her. I always wanted to ride horses when I was young, but due to the HUGE lack of money I wasn't able to. So, in some weird way I feel as though I'm almost living vicariously through her. It makes me really happy that she gets to do the hobby she wants to.
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16 January 2009

The Parable of the Cupboard

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14 January 2009

IT'S A DATE ! ! ! !

Thad and I have a date!
Actually, the whole family is going........we got the letter from the embassy today with the date for my interview. Seriously, that went fast. We just sent the papers off this last week. Thaddeus was so excited he called me while I was at work to let me know that it had come. You have to know Thad, he's not the kind to call me during work.....he does plenty of texting but not so much calling. When I saw his name come up on the id I though, "oh no, I wonder what happened". Instead he just blurted "You have to get the 27th off" Hehehe, he was REALLY excited. Well, that's our BIG DATE news.
Hugs - Michaela
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13 January 2009

TAGED by Kirsten !

Five names you go by:
1. Mamma
2. Michaela
3. Mia (In the written form)
4. Sexy (I bet you can't guess who calls me that)
5.Mom (very rarely, but maybe it'll catch on once we're in the states)

Three things you are wearing right now...not necessarily in any order:
1. sock#1
2. sock #2
3. underwear (good this it wasn't 4 things!)

Two things you want very badly at theMoment:
1. That I wouldn't have to wake early and go to work in the morning.
2. Time to freeze for a while so I can surf the net and not have it pass bed time.

Two people you know that will do this:
1. Chelsey
2. Anja

Two things you did last night:
1. Ate wickedly yummy dinner (Thanks Thad)
2. Talked to my mom on the phone :)

Two things you ate:
1. Today? Parsnip & carrot with avocado stuff.
2. Vanilla Yoghurt

Two people you spoke to on the phone today:
1. Helen- nurse at work
2. Helena- co-worker

Two things you are going to do today:
1.Read a little
2. Go to bed soon

Three of your favorite beverages:
1. Water
2. Juice
3. Salty black licorice shots

Now, here's what you're supposed to do .... And please do not Spoil the fun, delete my answers and type in your answers.

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11 January 2009

MMR Vaccinations

I just wanted to write a little note to those of our family and friends who have kids. Don’t forget to vaccinate your children. There has been sort of a surge of anti-vaccination groups lately. The idea that vaccinations are ineffective or cause autism has been gaining popularity due to the likes of people like Jenny McCarthy and Oprah Winfrey.

Just in case anyone we know and love has happened to hear these alarming claims and started to doubt whether they should vaccinate their children against measles, mumps, and rubella, I just wanted to let you know that such claims are unsubstantiated pseudo-science. Read more about it here. The sad thing is that because of some peoples irrational fears, there have been a lot of outbreaks of theses diseases lately in developed countries like England, Canada, and the United States.

Seeing as how theses diseases have all but disappeared, it’s easy to neglect how serious they once were. The vaccinations work, and they save lives! So don’t forget to protect your children.

~Thaddeus~ Read more!


I lost all of my links that I had set up on the blog...
so if I'm missing anyone feel free to let me know.

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We're moving back!

The last peperwork we were waiting for came in the mail this week. I also had my medical check up, which went fine. All of the paperwork is sent in and we are now waiting for an interview date from the embassy. Pretty exciting! Things are starting to get a move on. It looks as though our plans to move in May are working out. As soon as we have had our interview (and pay some big bucks) and get the green light then we can order tickets.
I have a whole 130 something days left of payed maternal leave to take out (complements of the Swedish system.....which I'm going to miss) that I am EXCITINGLY looking forward to. So come February 1st I'll be spending my days chilling with Kajsa. I am planing on going up north for a few weeks to say farewell to all of my relatives. I asked Elsa if she wants to stay home with us......but the little bum said she wants to go to daycare on mondays and fridays to see her friends. I guess she doesn't love me all that much after all. j/k. On the other hand, having her at daycare two days a week won't hurt while we're getting rid of stuff and packing junk.
Things are looking pretty bright. I have to admit the one thing I'm looking forward to most in the near future is not having to get up at five in the morning. I'm also excited to have some time to do fun stuff, like waste time on the computer and practice the piano, not to mention working out more and reading :) and........boy I could just go on and on! Read more!


I just wanted to take a minute and say congratulations to
Kirsten and Dusty on their brand new baby girl! What a beauty.
We hope that everything goes smoothly and can't wait to see the little cutie.
Big Hugs
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09 January 2009


I messed around too much with the blog and now it's just one big mess....and I'm afraind I don't have time to fix it right now........so please move on to the next blog :)
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