It’s been a busy year for all of us. This summer we took the whole family to the states. We worked for three weeks in Minnesota, and then drove to Colorado Springs. From there Stefan took Erik, Nicolas and Stephanie with him to Alaska. The kids stayed with friends for a month while Stefan was out in the wilderness. LaVonne, Jonathan and Oliver were in Colorado and Missouri. In August, when the family was reunited, we took a trip to the Havasupai and the Grand Canyon. We hiked out of the Havasupai just as the storm hit, the storm that flooded the canyon, destroyed the beautiful waterfalls and washed out the village and the campground. Thankfully no one was killed.

Last year Stefan turned 50 in Sri Lanka where, together with family and friends, we celebrated for three days straight! This year he spent his birthday carrying camping equipment up a hill in the rain, a seemingly endless day. Every birthday can’t be celebrated in paradise. In February he made his first trip to Tanzania and spent three weeks filming lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, hippos and giraffes. He came home with loads of beautiful pictures. He made several trips to Alaska and we continued work on our series of Swedish-Americans in Minnesota. Stefan’s mother died in October, and though we miss her, we are thankful for the happy memories and that her passing was easy, she literally died laughing! What a wonderful way to go!

LaVonne spent most of the summer in Colorado working with her mother on a book about May-Britt’s life story, a book that is now in print. She has also been working on a book about our travels up the Alaskan highway with five kids, a book she hopes to have finished after the holidays.

Jonathan, now 19, graduated from Gymnasium (High School) in June and is now living with his grandparents in Colorado Springs. He has been working as a waiter at the Edelweiss restaurant, serving wonderful German foods, and is planning on beginning his studies in January, hopefully studying at Colorado Tech.

Erik, 17, sits at the piano hours on end. Today I walked into what is now the music room, (used to be the playroom), and he had his electric piano lined up perpendicular to the piano, and his synth lined up perpendicular to the electric piano. Don’t know what he had been working on, but it must have been spectacular. He is studying music in Vara, 2nd year Gymnasium, and is planning a career in music.
Nicolas, 15, is concentrating on guitar. He alternates between his steel string guitar, another with nylon string, his electric guitar and his little red ukulele, and he is great at all of them. It amazes us that our children are so musical. He is in the ninth grade and will be choosing a gymnasium (high school) for next year. He’s considering a career as a lawyer, a policeman, a musician or psychiatrist.

Stephanie, 12, is in 6th grade and looking forward to starting 7th grade next year in the city. She plays the piano and sings. At the school concert last June, she, and three of her friends, sang “Nine to Five” in front of more than 500 people!

Oliver, 11, is in 5th grade. He just began taking drum lessons. The drums are located above the studio, in the building behind our house. He can pound as loud as he wants and it won’t bother anyone! Drumming demands a lot of coordination, even more difficult than walking and chewing gum at the same time, but he seems to be doing well. Soon we will have a whole band.

Highlights from 2008

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