Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve

Roskilde was on the site seeing plan.  We made it into the cathedral, but the Viking Ship Museum was closed today.  We will try tomorrow.
We had a great fleskestege dinner and then listened and watched fireworks all night.  They were solid from 12.00 to 1.00.  It felt and sounded like a war zone, but so fun to watch from the balcony.

The Temple Square was the gathering place for many celebrating and shooting off fireworks.  There will be some serious clean up needed there in the morning.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Odense and Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen is Denmark's national hero.  We drove to Odense, over the 12 miles bridge that connects Sjaelland and Fyn, to see his home and museum. They have preserved the area around the house he was born in and it is like walking back 200 years.
The museum is excellent and they have a whole walking tour of places in his childhood.
 The house he was raised in.
   The church he was confirmed in

The school he attended,

Even the pedestrian lights are centered around him....
Of course we closed out the day by watching the movie "Hans Christian Andersen" with Danny Kaye and loved it except that they pronounce Copenhagen wrong through the whole thing.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Swedish Roots Search

Today was our day to see Sweden and look for the places my great-great grandfather came from.
We took the 20 minute ferry from Helsingør, Denmark  to Helsingborg, Sweden.  We stopped there to look around.  It is much larger than I thought and a fun little city...with a great bakery and free hot chocolate at the place we stopped to ask questions.
We found this old manor house and cloister where the third great grandfather, Pehr Jonsson was stationed. There was never a marriage and I doubt Pehr Pehrson ever knew his father.
Pehr Pehrson lived with his ill mother in Rostanga until she died February 15, 1845
We found the little towns but not much we could positively identify as being 200 years old.
 Billinge, in the same area, was the birthplace of Pernilla Mansson, Pehr's mother and her parents as well.
This old farmhouse may have been around about then.
After his mother's death, Pehr married Christina Jeppason in  Munkarp.
They had 6 children plus Christina's daughter. At least three of them died as children. Pehr and Christina joined the church around 1854-55 and Christina died in 1858.  In 1862 Pehr came to Utah with three children, One, Alfred Pehrson, was my great grandfather.  It was great to see the countryside and area these ancestors were born and raised in. We will go back when it is warmer.,,

We ended our trip in Malmo and enjoyed their lovely Christmas decorations.  Sweden was much more alive with lights than Denmark. Something in almost every window.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Shivering Sunday

This is not he coldest spot in the world, but we have been spoiled with a warm autumn so it feels extra cold.  However, we didn't let it stop us from having a good day.
  First, we went to Church. Our kids added considerably to the Primary.  They all had a good time even though most of the lesson was in Danish. The teachers, considerately, added enough English for everyone to manage,
     We are blessed to have this smaller version of the Christus in our foyer, left from the temple dedication.
Next, family picture at the temple. Note, Graham, the youngest rebels against wearing his coat, but has finally figured out he needs it when it gets really cold.

Finally, a quick visit to Kronborg Castle.  Hamlet would definitely have had a brisk walk on the ramparts tonight.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

One Day Only

The combination of our temple's schedule and the Holidays  left us with only one day during the Holidays to be open, today. We were pleasantly surprised with all the patrons who came, especially those to be baptized. Two families came with cousins plus a nice group from Goteborg, Sweden. I came home and had fun with the kids while Chris and Ange went to the last session at the temple.
 Since they come from the warmer parts of California, the ice and snow are unique and so fun to play with.  Note, I did not say play in, there isn't that much left.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

The day started with a lovely surprise birthday visit from the ladies in our Danish language lunch group: Pam Hoge, Kayla Hansen and Metter Paulsen plus her husband Jesper.  They brought a wonderful Birthday basket and goodies and gifts from American which the Paulsen's daughter brought back with her.  Thanks to Sarah and all those who sent the gifts.

It was a beautiful clear, but cold day as we spent the afternoon in Tivoli.

 The Hoges, one of the temple missionary couples and good friends took the two boys home while the rest of us went to see "The Nutcracker Ballet" at the Tivoli Concert Hall.
The Queen had designed the costumes and scenery and came with her whole family tonight.  Nice of her to help celebrate my birthday.                
 Not a great picture, but proves the point. The Crown Prince and Mary and their 4 children sat next to her. It appeared there were also extended family, a whole row.  The audience did stand up when she came in. "The Nutcracker" was abridged and perfect for a younger audience, but it definitely had a Danish bent to it, like a backdrop of Tivoli and the traditional Tivoli Harlequin and Mime as part of the show.
There is an aquarium on the lower floor of the concert hall and this is the resident octopus with his admirers...
    We finished the day watching, "Little Lord Fauntleroy" one of my favorite Christmas movies.  A very nice birthday indeed.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

White Christmas 2014

We read that there have only been 7 white Christmases in Denmark in the last 50 years.  The last time was 9 years ago when Chris and Ange were here before.  Today makes the 8th time.  It was a lovely Christmas morning surprise and especially nice since we didn't have to go out in it.
We had an early morning with lots of presents, noise and fun.
Quiet time in the afternoon with  a movie for the kids and sleep for the adults.
Games, turkey sandwiches and ris a'lamand finished the day off perfectly.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

Christmas Eve 2014, a fun, unique Christmas Eve.
Chris and I started out biking to the store only to find it closed. December 24 is a declared holiday here.
  At 1pm we went to a short Christmas Eve Service, two wards combined.  It was a very nice way to start the celebration with two musical numbers and two short talks. I was surprised at how many people attended.
   We iced Christmas cookies and took some to the neighbor just below us, who gets to listen to the running feet.  They were very nice and pleased that we came caroling as well.
 Christmas Eve traditions in Denmark include watching a program consisting of a series of clips from various Disney movies.  It was run in English, Danish and Swedish on various channels. It signals the beginning of, Christmas Eve celebrations all over the country.
 A traditional turkey dinner with cranberry sauce made from dried cranberries... since the store was closed....
    Reading and singing about the Nativity and then new pajamas and off to bed so Santa can come.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Little Christmas Eve

December 23 is celebrated as Little Christmas Eve in Denmark.We spent the day seeing more Copenhagen sites. 
                                  Changing of the Guards at Amelinborg, the Royal Palace;
   The Little Mermaid, which by the way had two huge cruise ships nearby.
  Krstina and our ancestors name in the walk around her.
In the evening we joined the bishop's family, whom we home teach, for ris a grød (rice with butter and cinnamon sugar) and æbleskivers .The highlight was dancing around the Christmas tree.  A very fun traditional Little Christmas Eve.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Family for Christmas

We had a great time exploring Copenhagen today.  Half of the time in the rain, but by late afternoon we were able to go without an umbrella. Here are some highlights.
     Hans Christian Andersen Statue on the main plaza.
Ny Havn.
Konge Nytove.  Love the decorations on this hotel...scenes from the Nutcracker
Looking in Ilums, a beautiful department store.
The Christus at Our Ladies Church
Strolling the Stroget...walking street

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Day!

Happy Day for us.  Our son Chris, his wife Ange, and their 4 children: Hannah, Ella, Jake and Graham, ages 10-3 arrived today to spend the Christmas Holidays.  The Church owns an apartment just three doors down for single sisters coming to work at the temple and since the temple is closed, it is open and a perfect arrangement for their family.  Only one small problem - none of their luggage made it, not even one bag!  Hope their things come before the overnight kits from the airline  are used up.
 Fortunately their coats were in their backpacks.
This is also a happy day because the days start getting longer tomorrow.  Today the sun rose at 8.36 a.m. and set at 3.39 pm.  I've been saying we only have 6 hours of daylight, but in fact it is 7.  That makes me feel better....

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Favorites Things

Having people come to the temple for the first time is ,one of our favorite things.  Beata, a darling girl born in Slovakia, and raised in Hungary received her own endowment today.  She was baptized in Cyprus through a connection with her boss.  She moved to Denmark and was taught the follow up lessons by the missionaries a year ago.  She connected with the Hicks, the missionary couple, in her area and they brought her to the temple today along with the elders who taught her. It was a very sweet experience, especially since we have a temple worker from Hungary who was able to come today to help.  Sorry no pictures.

    But here  are pictures of some of my other favorite things, especially at this time of year:
Carmel pop corn, pink sugared pop corn and listening to Dicken's "A Christmas Carol"