Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year;s Preparation

  These are pictures from one of the local grocery stores which give you an idea of what New Year's Eve is all about here in Denmark.  We are already hearing the practice fireworks. I definitely remember the fireworks from last time we were here. The horizon is ablaze on New Year's Eve.  People spend thousands of dollars on them.  The hats, masks and costumes are new to me. But I was at a Salvation Army Second Hand Store today and there were a lot of people picking up costume-type items. Celebrations in different cultures are so interesting.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

What Will I Remember

 I've been thinking about this blog and have decided it would be nice to post something I would like to remember about each day sort of an auxiliary memory bank.  Which brings the question, is there something in every day worth remembering?  We will see.

    Today was Sunday and I would like to remember that in our English Sunday School Class there was a great discussion on faith.  It was led by a sister from Uganda,  and those who participated were from Germany, Norway, Brazil, Denmark, Nigeria and America.  Our understanding of Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was the same and it was great to share experiences and thoughts.  One older single sister shared how she had just about left the church over the policy that two elders could not visit her alone.   She couldn't understand it.  The mission president came with the elders and she said suddenly the light shone in and it is no longer a problem for her.  I don't think it was the problem per se but the experience she needed to go through to learn to obey the prophet and commandments even if you don't fully understand them.  As Elder Holland said:  We need to doubt our doubts before our faith.

   But since I didn't take a picture of the class, I will share something else I will also remember -my favorite Danish meal accompaniments: pickled beets. Today we also had homemade  cinnamon spiced apples and the  unique danish pickles. We could eat the beets with every meal.  They are so good and so inexpensive here.  A big bottle is just $1.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday Holiday in the Temple

Besides the lovely wedding today we had several visitors on their Holiday Trips stop for a session. We had the Mead family originally from Wyoming.  They took turns coming to the temple so one could stay with the kids.  They were delightful to talk to. They have lived in Texas, New Mexico, Alaska and now Norway.  He works in gas and oil .  They have three children 9 to 3 and have moved all over the world no doubt helping the church grow wherever they have been.  One of her Laurels in Alaska was one of the Filipino Sister missionaries that survived the flooding.  You can find out so many interesting things visiting with people.

  We go out for dinner with the other missionary couples on Saturday afternoons.  Today we passed by this amazing plant.  It was growing in a square foot of dirt.  We went to a Mexican taco buffet, not bad.  I don't remember there being so much Mexican food when we were here 8 years ago. Interesting to see the added influences to the culture.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Heavenly Help

Both our counselors live hours away and since we only had two days in the temple this week we are covering everything.  And today was Everything.  I think Jim did everything today except run the baptistery.
We were very slim on temple workers, but it all worked out and we were able to do all of the ordinances sometime during the day and have four good sessions.  Heaven just makes it happen.  We had a number of great saints come from Sweden.
   The mission president's daughter came from Utah to go through the temple for the first time.  She is being married tomorrow here in the Copenhagen Temple so her father can attend the wedding.  The fact that she is marrying one of his former Assistants also makes it work...He had a girl friend when he went home from his mission, but that didn't last and he connected with Hilary.  A lovely couple.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

I celebrated by big birthday by running 5 miles down to the middle of Copenhagen and home again.  I ran along the lakes and then to the main plaza to make sure stores were open.  December 26 is Second Christmas Day and most people were home with their extended family.
  We went with our extended family, the temple missionary couples, to Tivoli.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day 2013

  I think this has been the most peaceful Christmas we have had in 50 years. Jim and I actually sat down and watched "Christmas Carol" with George C Scott yesterday afternoon and this morning arose at 7 a.m. and casually opened our few gifts.  It was very relaxing and a very nice time together.
   We invited the temple missionary couples that were available to brunch and visited and played games for several hours before we all went home to call our families.

Mike, one of our sons called us as his family was going into see what Santa had left and we stayed with them for a good hour as they opened gifts.  We consequently called each of the children and watched them as they opened gifts and enjoyed Christmas surprises.  We have actually connected better with each family and grandchild via our Face Time and Skype this year than we have ever before on Christmas.  We are so thankful for technology and the many blessings of Christmas and the Savior's birth and life.  Hope you all had as delightful day as we have had.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

 We have had a lovely Christmas Eve with the Jens and Susanna Andersen Family.  We spent out last Christmas in Denmark in 2006 with them as well.  We had a wonderful traditional dinner with flaeskesteg, and duck, red cabbage, potatoes and sauce and browned(carmalised) potatoes, finishing off with my favorite ris'/laman.
   After dinner, we read the Christmas Story and then danced around the Christmas Tree which really is such a fun tradition except that the tree has to be in the middle of the floor.  A little awkward if you put it up right after Thanksgiving. Yes there were 18 real candles burning as we danced and presents were open.
 The duck is on the left of the plate and the lighter to the right is the pork. The duck  legs were wrapped for easy holding while eating.
               Lighting the candles. You will note the branches are very far apart and the candles placed in exactly the right places not to touch anything else. And yes, there was a bucket of water handy.
 There are certain songs they always sing as they dance around the tree and each verse they change directions. The littlest granddaughter loved going around the tree and sang at the top of her lungs, no words just sound.  So cute.

All presents were handed out and opened tonight. Tomorrow everyone will just relax and enjoy the family time together.
     Delicious cookies and candy many with marzipan , a Danish Favorite, were brought out to add to our caloric intake.
The candles burned themselves out on the tree.  The candle holders never allow the fire well away from the  tree.  The candles went out and we came home having  had a delightful, memorable Danish Christmas.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Little Christmas Eve

  Denmark has many wonderful Christmas Traditions. The Christmas Celebration really begins on December 23, Little Christmas Eve.
  Tonight the missionaries in our ward were invited to  T. Poulsens for a traditional 23rd party.  The food was "Porridge Rice" which is cooked in milk and left to finish cooking wrapped up and put in the feather bed for 3 additional hours after the 20 minute cook time,  It is then served warm with a nice dob of pure butter and cinnamon/sugar.  It was fabulous.  I can see this could be one of the traditions I bring home.  There are chopped almonds mixed in and one whole one.  Whoever finds the whole one gets a prize, tonight it was the traditional marzipan pig.
    After eating, we sang Christmas Carols and then read the Christmas Story from the

     Perhaps you can see the thin candles on the table.  Each couple were assigned one and they were all lite at the same time and burned throughout the evening.  The couple whose candle went out last got a prize.
We came in Silver.
      We had each brought a 20K ($4) gift and we played a game to pick the gift.  If you rolled a 1 you took a gift.  After all the gifts were taken, a timer was set and we sent the dice around the table again.  Actually there were two dice which made it faster and more fun., If you got a one you could take a gift until the bell rang.  At the end those who had multiple gifts were kind enough to share with those who didn't have any.  It was a fun way to distribute the gifts. As we did this we munched on cookies and tangerines.

 Note the three real lighted candles on the tree.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Lone Traveler

  Yesterday I told about the single girl coming to do baptisms.  She walked to church today from downtown Copenhagen, about 2 miles carrying her luggage and everything she has with her.  She is a convert of  2 and a half years. Her roommate in college in Pennsylvania was a member and when Sarah told her she was never going to date because of the loose morals everyone had, her roommate invited her to church and eventually she was baptized.  She is the only member in her family.  She said her family was not at all religious and are tolerating her membership but not at all interested.  She is going to school in Limerick, Ireland and her roommate who is from China has now set a date to be baptized.  The rock rolls on.....

  I invited her home for dinner and then Jim got out the car and we drove her to see the famous  Little Mermaid and the Christus.  She catches an overnight bus to Prague tonight. I kept thinking of all the nice people that have helped our kids around the world.  Thanks

Saturday, December 21, 2013

One of my Favorite Days of the Year

    I have been looking forward to this day for a month.  It is the shortest day of the year and now the days start getting longer.  Yeah.  I took this picture off the weather page I check every day.Note the Sunrise time and sunset time. It is 6 pm here now and we feel like we should be going to bed.  If you figure it out it is 7  hours of daylight - if it isn't cloudy and rainy.  Then it seems less.

However, in the temple it is always light and today was an especially lovely day.  We had quite a few patrons who chose to spend their last Saturday before Christmas coming to the temple which gladdened our hearts and theirs.  We had an especially sweet experience in the baptistery. A young unendowed single sister who is working on her master's degree in Scotland and comes from the Washington DC area come in and  asked if she could do baptisms.  She is alll alone and traveling on her Christmas break to Denmark and then on to Prague.  We were able to put some temple workers and priesthood holders together and she was baptized for 15 family names someone had left to be done. I was so touched with the willingness of everyone to work for just one person.  But then I thought of the 15 on the other side who were receiving such a great Christmas Present from this side of the veil.  It was a very sweet experience for everyone involved.  The brother who did the baptizing had to come off a session because he didn't feel well.  He rested  for a half hour and asked if he could do the baptisms.  So he was able to participate in temple service on a second chance.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Temple Artist

Today Emily Dykes Pugmire came to the temple with her husband.  She helped Joseph Brickey with the murals in the Copenhagen Temple. They are beautiful and he was instructed to take his inspiration from Carl Block, which he did.  It was so interesting to hear about some of the symbolism that was painted in.
   The baptistry, in our opinion is the loveliest in the church.  One of the 30 foot murals that surrounds it shows John the Baptist beckoning people to follow him and there is a crowd of people,all of whom were real people in Danish and Swedish history or copies of  people in famous Scandinavian art.  Among the people are Carl Bloc, CCA Christensen, Hans Christian Andersen, etc.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


 I took this picture to show off the carmel popcorn I made to share with the temple workers today.  I found sweetened condensed milk at one of the stores and couldn't believe the luck.  It is not a common grocery item. But as I looked at the picture, you a see wrapping preparations,bright red poinsettias,  my nativity and the darling Christmas dolls I picked up in England.
                                           .  So many of my favorite things in one picture.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy "gift" s

Gift is the word for married in Danish.  Today we had a couple come over Germany to be married in the temple.  She was born in Columbia but has lived in Germany since she was 4.  She went to visit relatives in Salt Lake when she was 14 and joined the church.  She returned to Germany and met a boy in the church.  She waited for him on his mission and now a year later they are married.  Germany makes it very hard  for mixed marriages so they took the train from Munich with his parents and little sister and were married and sealed here tonight.  Jim gave them the discussion before and then another sealer who already has government permission  performed the  marriage/sealing  in German.  Jim can seal couples who are already married but until he gets permission from the state he can't marry people in Denmark.
    Apparently there is a city on the border of Denmark and Germany that makes a real business out of such mixed culture marriages.  It was great they made the effort to come the 6 hours on train for a temple marriage.
We also enjoyed a traditional gift and got a new TV.  Now if we were just smart enough to work it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dinner Appointment

There is the nicest couple in the ward that invite the missionaries once a month.  This time they included the elders and sisters serving in the ward.  He is an excellent cook and the food is always so tasty.  Tonight he wouldn't tell us what we were eating until dessert.
       As you can see there were mashed potatoes with a stroganoff-type sauce.  It was good and the texture of beef.  Turns out it was Calf heart.  Just as well I didn't know before, it would probably have influenced my taste buds.
     Our hostess made all the cute cut-outs around the room.  Did I mention hearts are a big Christmas symbol here?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Shopping

Monday and Tuesday are our shopping, washing, cleaning and playing days.  This is what I take shopping if I know I will need quite a few things and if they will be heavy.  Today I shopped at Fakta and Netto.  Both are basic stores plus bins of unique products from around the world.  It is rather like a treasure hunt when you visit to see what will turn up.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dancing Around the Christmas Tree

 Dancing around the Christmas Tree is a wonderful Danish Tradition and except for the fact that your tree has to be in the middle of your room, one I would pick up and pass on.  You can see that all ages joined in and it was as fun for the grandparents and  parents as for the children, a sweet connection to past memories.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ward Christmas Party

Ward Christmas Party this afternoon, 2-4.  This is the chapel area changed into the cultural hall.

 The primary children dressed up and portrayed the Nativity and sang a couple Christmas Songs. The lambs are my favorites.
 Yuleman came and brought treats and led the singing and dancing around the Christmas Tree.  Video coming tomorrow.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Happy Surprise

The newest Danish Missionaries came to the temple today with their trainers. They have been out just a month. It was as happy surprise when we saw Elder Christensen, our grandnephew.  He is training for the second time and really doing a great job.  It was so fun to see what a wonderful young man he has matured into.
 The missionaries were so excited to come to the temple and you could feel the spirit as they came in.
 Elder Christensen and his companion enjoy the nativity and garden with some of the other missionaries.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Good Neighbor

This is the view from my bedroom window.  They leave the lights on all night and it is so festive to look out in the night and through the fog, which we have had the last few days.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Uniquely Danish

There are some things  that are unique to Denmark.  I will post these as I come across them.  This is one example.  Babies enjoy the cold air from the time they are born and often are put out in the garden in their buggies to sleep, summer and winter.  It is not uncommon to see a baby sleeping in a buggy on the street while the mother is shopping in the store.  The babies have wonderful warm comforters and look very cozy.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen's grave is within walking distance.  I ran by there today and took some pictures.

Monday, December 9, 2013


For Family Night the missionary couples went to Tivoli Gardens and saw the beautiful Christmas Decorations.  We made a stop at Burger King for dinner - Whopper Meal for 45 Kroner which was a special deal for tonight.  That is between $8 and $9.
 Tivoli is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world.  Rumor has it that it gave Disney the idea for Disneyland.  It looks a lot like a real Disneyland.
 The lights were spectacular
  We bought the gold year's pass so I can take 4 people in free with me.  So pack your bags...
It was cold with a misty rain, but the rides were still going and people were riding them - crazy.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Danish Decorations

We had a High Priest Party last night and these are some of the unique Danish Decorationsen
                                                                   These are traditional Julemen
 These are very expensive George Jensen annual Christmas Ornaments.  $80 each. Beautiful

Below the red hanging decorations are all paper cut outs.  They do a lot of these and they can be very intricate.