Friday, 29 March 2013

påskkärring, child witches for easter?

Ready for Easter?  Don't forget to get out your witches brooms and tell your kids to dress up as easter hags/witches.  

Let's quit "doing the cultural thing" and start thinking about this a bit.

Swedes are dressing up their kids as witches on a day when we should be thinking about Jesus death on the cross.

And then posting their pictures and proudly going around all dressed up.  "My kid is a cuter hag than your kid!"

And at our local government sponsored playgroup, påskkärring was discussed and pictures of it put up on the walls, while any word about what Easter IS as a traditional holiday was completely silent.

Not only are Swedes trying to downplay and cute-ify wickedness and evil, but they are also creating a culture that is ignorant of truly deep things that should be pondered...why would Jesus die on the cross, what was the purpose of it, etc.

Those are things worth thinking about...

Here's an article in English from the Swedish newspaper The Local:

"Children dressed as witches give a clear indication that Swedish Påsk origins predate Christianity. Folklore alleges that witches flew off on broomsticks to dance with the devil at Blåkulla. "

" modern Swedish children dress up as påskkärringar (Easter hags) paint their faces, carry a broom and knock on neighbor’s doors for treats, much like American children do at Halloween."

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Några bilder från Kviberg och påsk förberedelse idag...

Det är alltid en glädje att kunna dela ut Biblar på Kvibergs Marknad.  

Idag var det också lite påsk förberedelse, bakning och pyssla. 
Vi började att göra lite fågelbo kakor, tack vare några lilla hjälpare.  
De var bara glad att kunna hjälpa och smacka på godisar för att kontrollera att de var okej. 
 Sen blev det en Svensk rulltårta som ser ut som en ägg....jag fick ingen bilder och nu är de alla borta, så har kan du ser i alla fall hur de sa ut.
Sen blev det en Jesus påskgrav i en frön på som ska växa lagom till påsk.

 Man kan inte var Svensk och samla utan fika!

Tack för idag!
Han var genomborrad för våra överträdelsers skull, slagen för våra missgärningars skull. Straffet var lagt på honom för att vi skulle få frid, och genom hans sår är vi helade.  Jes 53:5

 Men han sade till dem: "Var inte förskräckta! Ni söker Jesus från Nasaret, den korsfäste. Han är uppstånden, han är inte här. Se, här är platsen där de lade honom. Markus 16:6

 Jesus sade: "Jag är uppståndelsen och livet. Den som tror på mig skall leva om han än dör, 26 och var och en som lever och tror på mig skall aldrig någonsin dö. Johannes 11:25 


One of Lydia's favorite things is when she can take care of Markus, and he doesn't just run away.   Put some valling in his hands, and he will sit with anyone, anywhere, just give him the VALLING!

Here they were snuggling, almost exactly one year ago....

Monday, 18 March 2013

Saturday, 16 March 2013

famous family bloggers

Just a few blogs from my family that I have been enjoying:

Jonas: (cool tidbits and Swedish photos)

My brother Matt, and Myra: (family and devotions)

Maria: (an awesome crafty sewing blog)

The church songbook

Here are a few older posts about the songs that we have enjoyed singing (or related songs) at GIBK.

Then sings my soul:

Så stor är vår Gud:

Herren är min starkhet:

What is worship:

Nu tandas tusen juleljus: 

And here is a simple playlist of most of the remaining songs from the church songbook:

the kid is the king of the house?

Here is a great article (although I often think Aftonbladet prints a lot of junk), about kids in Swedish society. 

Among other things, it points out:

1. Those parents who both work and then spoil their kids by "buying" their love with the few hours they do have together....ok kid, you point, I buy it. 

2.  In the past perhaps parents were seen as being too authoritarian and strict, but now the opposite is often true. 

3.  Kids who have everything given to them without any jobs or duties can grow up to have a poor sense of duty to family and society. 

4.  In general, this guys says that kids who are overspoiled have a hard time being satisfied, and will possibly have difficutly relating to others properly when they grow up.

Swedes kind of shoot themselves in the leg as they are not legally allowed to physically discipline their kids, and therefore often don't know or are scared to pursue alternative discipline (like positive reinforcement, time out, removal of toys, etc)

Without any discipline, kids can really hurt themselves, and I have seen that several times. An example that our daughter often remembers is two girls who were running wild inside the metro (spårvagn), totally ignoring their mother's pleas to sit down, and then fell and really hurt themselves when it stopped to pick up passengers. 

Recognize this girl from Willy Wonka?  She got everything she wanted, yet had a hard time making friends, being satisfied with life, and was not so fun to be around. 

I don't like to criticize something without giving some alternative solutions, so here we go.  Keep in mind that when used improperly, any discipline (or lack of discipline) can be harmful.

Healthy alternatives to spanking and how it looks in reality:
1.  If the kid is old enough, explaining the natural consequences is often powerful. 
Calmly remove the kid from the danger, in this example a heavy box they were trying to pull off the table.  Explain that if they want it, please ask for mom/dad's help, because if they keep pulling it then it could fall on them, and then that would hurt! It might have made them cry and even need a bandaid.  Isn't it better for mom/dad to help and then they can avoid getting hurt....

2. Kids often are disobedient due to boredom. Think up something to do, even if it means telling them a story while waiting in the grocery line or playing simon says, or otherwise totally distracting them. 
Our daughter got bored of waiting for the lunch as I was getting it ready. I notice her getting sillier and more rebellious, poking the little brother, kicking toys,etc.  By jumping in with distraction (or especially asking her help in preparing lunch), I have destroyed her boredom and put her energy to use for something better. 

3.  Explaining clearly what is coming and what is expected, and following through. 
Often our kids can get upset when we do something without prior warning.  I often step back and give them a grace period before the next thing.  This means, if my daughter is playing with her toys, and we need to go somewhere, I still let her play for one minute, and use that one minute for her to process that we are soon going out. 

4. Time outs are very valuable. 1 minute per year of how old the kid is (4 year old sits 4 minutes, 2 year old sits 2 minutes).  (also known as Supernanny method)
Child is disobedient.  If she knows she is breaking the rules, this means immediate time out. They sit on a chair with a timer set for 3 minutes.  This can be really hard at first to implement, but kids really learn quick when they have to sit and miss out on the fun for a minute or two.  Finish by asking for them to say sorry, and lovingly forgiving them, saying you love them, and giving them a big hug. 

5.  Show disappointment. 
Show how their behavior makes mom/dad, friends, siblings sad and even point out when what they do makes someone cry so they understand what they have done. Forgiveness and love should also be very active here, as well as the golden rule (would you like it if your little brother had hit you like that?, don't do it to him if you wouldn't want to recieve that same treatment). 

6.  Removal of privileges.  
Many things kids have and do are privileges and not rights. Of course sleep, warm clothes, food, love, those are rights. Extra time at the playground, lots of toys, outings, candy, those are privileges.  If a child is disobedient, then offer two options.  If you want to continue disobeying, then i will remove your book/doll/(current favorite toy) until tomorrow. Or in the opposite sense, "if you are a very good girl while we are at the store, then we can go by the playground on the way home." Be sure to be consistent.  Kids REALLY notice when you threaten and don't follow through. 

A friend of mine told of a time when she had a little blow up swimming pool for her kids in the backyard.  It was finally a warm sunny day, and she blew up the pool, filled it up, got the kids ready, and they were excited!!  One of the girls started being disobedient, and the mom said, if you continue being disobedient (i.e.  pulling your sisters hair), I will not allow you to swim in the pool.  She continued pulling her sisters hair, and was very sad to have to sit and watch as her sister played alone in the pool.  She lost her swim privileges one day, but was VERY careful to be obedient and know that mom means business when she says that disobedience will have it's punishment. 

(more tips according to

1. Prevention

Probably the most effective alternative to hitting a child is prevention. By creating a "child proof" environment, where things are out of reach, children are less likely to get into trouble

2. Show Disappointment 

Let the child know that you are disappointed in his or her behavior. Explain what your expectations are. Make sure he or she understands right from wrong and what the rules are. Explain the consequences if the inappropriate behavior continues.

3. Take Away a Privilege 

If a child misbehaves after being warned, a privilege such as watching television or playing on the computer can be taken away or restricted. Other privileges include playing with a certain toy. Never withhold food.

4. Give a "Time Out" 

Sending a child to his or her room is not an appropriate "Time-Out." Instead, select an area that is isolated from others, such as a certain chair in the corner of a room or hallway. Make sure the child knows why he or she is being given a "Time Out" and how long it will last.

5. Catch Them Being Good

Whenever a child does something good (helps set the table, brush teeth, speaks politely, etc.) be sure to react with praise and other forms of acceptance of those behaviors.  The more parents respond positively, the less likely children are to misbehave.

6. Create a Contract (especially with teenagers)

Write down what you want your teen to do (clean up his/her room, etc.) and indicate what you will do in exchange (stop talking about his friends that you don't like, etc.).  Be specific in indicating what you want to see and what you will or will not do.  Sign the contract.

7. Be Empathetic 

In words and actions, show your children that you understand the difficulties they are facing (other kids calling them names, the loss of a pet, etc.).  Feeling understood helps children feel good about themselves, and such feelings lessen the times they misbehave.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

go to church and get a license to have sex before marriage...only in Sweden?

Imagine this, you send your kids to a confirmation camp through the Swedish church, and they come home with a certificate that says they are now "qualified to have sex."  (despite the fact that some of the kids at the camp were below the age of legally having sex, which is 15.

They even got a little medal.  This really just happened!

Any alarm bells ringing here??

1.  Sweden lets RFSU, the swedish association for sexuality education, have way too much freedom and power, while actively repressing the freedom of people who would give a more conservative approach to youth and pregnancy.

In this case, the priest who should have been sitting in while an RFSU related worker was teaching the kids about "love and sexuality" was told to not be present so as to not make the kids shy to speak and ask questions in this sensitive issue.

In other words, RFSU can teach whatever trash they wanted, successfully removing any religious aspect.

2.  Abstinance, which will always beat condom use in it's percentage of accidental pregnancies, has seemingly fallen off the map. And shouldn't that actually be the Biblical advice to these kids instead?

Here's the top result when i searched on google, what does the bible say about sex before marriage:

"There are numerous Scriptures that declare sex before marriage to be a sin (Acts 15:20;1 Corinthians 5:1;6:13,18;10:8;2 Corinthians 12:21;Galatians 5:19;Ephesians 5:3;Colossians 3:5;1 Thessalonians 4:3;Jude 7). The Bible promotes complete abstinence before marriage. Sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations of which God approves (Hebrews 13:4)"

3.  What is this rfsu guy doing teaching at a church confirmation camp anyway?



Tuesday, 12 March 2013

gruel, anyone?

Lydia never really got into it, but Markus is a gruel-man!  Välling, or in English, "gruel," is a thick gloopy cereal milk drink that kids here love.

As an American it feels kind of strange for me to be feeding my kid this stuff, but man, it really can fill him up and knock him off to sleep pronto.

Here's what some others have to say about the stuff:

and to end with some funny quotes from these bloggers, "so what is välling, and why is it the liquid of the vikings?"   "välling, like crack for toddlers."

ps, välling is also available in stores for adults to drink too...anyone in the mood for a thick gloopy after dinner drink? 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Vi gratulera!

Just a few photos from Josef's 30th birthday party....
Lynse was excited about the egg rolls!
FULL house!
They got the "all you can eat buffet" seats. :)

Grattis Josef!

The party wouldn't have been complete without this classic, "someone puts a name on your head and you guess who you are"  I was J.C. Ryle...that wasn't so easy to guess!
Daniel was the Incredible Hulk :) 

You know it was fun when the kids get tuckered out and fall asleep through all the  noise and fun...


Wondering how that "memorize one verse a day" challenge has been going?  Go see!

Want to know how it is to grow a garden in the freezing "spring weather" of Sweden? 

spring is coming, right?

Have you been following the swedish schedule and sowing your seeds to optimalize the relatively short warm season here? 

Already planted so far is: 
Mint, Parsley, Dill, Coriander, Basil, Sweetpea, and Cosmos
soon to come: 
sunflowers (worth a try again), salad, some daisy looking flowers, and a couple more herbs. 

 I need to get these sweet pea plants out before they wind their way around our living room!
 And it wouldn't be complete without some IKEA diy seed starters...
And whether they prosper or not, this whole gardening project is good for a daily reminder that winter is basically OVER!

familj life

Våra familj är inte perfekt, men vems är?  Man letar efter den perfekta bild av en perfekt familj, men detta bild är mycket mer real...