Ambling through Amsterdam

[From Beth and Mike] Today we were able to rally early for our three-hour train ride into Amsterdam. Upon arriving, we bought the kids pre-lunch snacks (see how we’re learning?) and then were able to tackle the how-to-find-street-signs and whether-to-take-the-tram-bus-metro-or-canal-bus questions without breaking into fist-a-cuffs before an official lunch. We had lunch kitty-corner from Westerkerk, […]

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Sightseeing in Helsinki/Tallinn

[From Beth] This morning in Helsinki was gorgeous. Mike and Colin headed out at about 5 am to scope out breakfast bars (dang, jet lag), and by the time the rest of us got moving, had found a nice buffet with all local, organic foods AND a gluten free toast for Jack and Saara. We […]

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Getting to know you …

[From Beth] Before the kids hit their final wall for the evening, we managed to go out for a coffee with Henna, our-soon-to-be-third-exchange student, and her parents. Saara tells us the tradition in Finland is to eat dinner at 4:30 and have a coffee and small snack later. This was late enough (6:00 pm) to […]

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132lbs and sleepless in Boise.

[from Mike] Eight hours before we leave for the airport. I’ve spent several weeks trying to figure out how to minimize our luggage, and I’ve gotten it down to eight smallish carry-on’s and one checked bag. Total weight is 132 pounds. That’s for four people, so I’m satisfied.  If we left all the gadgets (cameras, […]

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Two and a half showers

[overheard by Mike] Colin took a 90-second shower tonight.  2.5 of them, actually. Beth: “Did you use water AND soap?” Colin: “No. Just water.” Beth:”Then go back in there and wash your hair and your whole body with soap and shampoo.” Colin: Grumbling. “Okay.” 90 seconds later. “Okay, mom, I’m done.” Beth: “Did you shower again and […]

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From the North Came a Tribe, Brave and Bold

[from Beth] Mike and I were brainstorming what to take on our trip to Finland for Saara’s niece and nephew when I suggested t-shirts from our alma matter. He hesitated, then wondered aloud whether our school mascot, Joe Vandal, would somehow be offensive in a country that was once regularly invaded by marauding norsemen. So […]

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Enough Information

[from Beth] Perpetual-question Colin was enjoying a cookie in the car on the way home from swimming. “Mom, how did they make this cookie?” He asked. “In the oven.” “No, Mom. HOW did they make this cookie?” Uh, oh. “Um,” I said, “with love?” “MOM, HOW did they make this COOKIE!” After three questions, and […]

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