The Art of Communication

As parents, teaching our children how to communicate is among our most important tasks. Even from young age, we must help them develop the ability to explain their thoughts and feelings, to practice how to be a good listener, to respect one anothers point of view and last but not least, to say nice things to each other.

However, no matter how hard we try, once in a while conflicts do arise. And that’s when their knowledge (and my patience) is put to test.  My 7 year old can be a master of words, while my 5 year old is more.. shall we say.. a man of action. Thus, sometimes my assistance is needed to maintain peace and understanding.

Yesterday while playing outside with their Lego spaceships, they came to disagree on some rules for the game. I could clearly hear their voices from the kitchen. It started out with logical argumentation. Next I hear them raising their voices. And then I see mr C making a fist towards his older brother, and I know the attack is imminent.

I sigh to myself as I leave the kitchen to help solve the situation. Mastering the art of communication really takes work. And patience. I guess we will have to go through the principles all over again.

But as I reach the front door, I find them sharing a brotherly hug all of a sudden. It seems they have found a way to solve the problem after all. Mr C is smiling, he seems happy, and obviously feels the need to say something nice, as he exclaims:

“You’re the BEST brother that I could ever have!”

Then he turns and sees me standing in the doorway. Still smiling happily, he says:

“Mom, do you know what YOU are?”

“No, what?”

“You’re a hug!”

“I am? Really?”

“Yup”

Without any comment his brother walks over to me and puts his nose close to my cheek. Then he says:

“Mmmm.. mom, your face smells like strawberries”

“It does? Wow! Haha!”

Ah, how I love their compliments; honest and spontaneous, they go straight to a mothers heart. Beyond doubt my favorite kind of communication :)

Thanks, guys. You made my day.


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Music from Glass

My boys are all into Star Wars these days, so I showed them this video clip that I found. They absolutely loved it! Mr C was especially impressed. He wanted me to play it over and over again. And I must agree with him; it is amazing how music can be made from glasses like this. I’ll have to try it myself some time. Meanwhile, here’s (part of) the Star Wars theme, glass version. MTFBWY :)

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Nature Meets Photography

Can you think of anything better than getting to spend a whole weekend doing two of the things you love the most? A few weeks back I headed off into the forest, together with my camera and some other photo enthusiasts, to do just that. Here are a few photos from the trip.We couldn’t have wished for a more wonderful summer day. The weather was warm, but not hot, with just a gentle breeze in the air.After a while we arrived at this beautiful lake, where we were staying for the next two days.The first part of the program consisted of macro photography, including practical exercises. A neverending learning process I never get tired of.

This fellow and his friends were kind of annoying (putting it mildly) but upon taking a closer look, I noticed he had quite an interesting face… don’t you think? ;)As the evening fell, the breeze died down and the lake turned into a perfect mirrorand I do mean perfect.

The next morning I was the first to wake up. Who can sleep on a magical morning like this? Even the birds were quiet. The only sound was that of a million bees humming, as the first sunbeams of the new day fell throu the trees.

Later we crept into these very.. ahem.. comfortable and decorative camoflage tents. But then the rain came, and we were left waiting for quite a while. I really didn’t mind though, as it was that kind of silent, soft summer rain that really soothes the soul. As soon as the rain stopped, a multitude of birds appeared out of the forest, and really seemed to thrive in the spotlight. Of course, the fact that we brought a bag of sunflower seeds probably helped ;)Except for mr Bullfinch here, who tried his best to keep a low profile and shy away from the spotlight.
Then, to my great joy and happiness, mr Squirrel showed up. It was amazing; we were sitting just a few yards away, and there he was, posing for us like a professional model. Isn’t he beautiful?Here his attention is drawn towards our hideout. What are those black clicking things over there anyway? Suddenly he set off into the forest, and in a second all the birds were gone as well. But what a great experience to have come so close to these inhabitants of nature, and gotten the opportunity to bring home pictures like theese.

Guess what – now I’m saving up for one of those camotents… ;)

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Wonderful Summertime

At the beginning of summer, I always have lots of plans for the coming weeks, most of them, of course, involving my kids in some way. But this year I also had another thought: I was thinking of signing up for a course in nature photography. This has been a dream of mine for months or even years. I can definitely picture myself, heading off into the wilderness – ready to fearlessly capture on camera that huge bear that suddenly appears between the trees.. “click.. click.. click!” haha! No, truth is; I’d rather see a squirrel, or perhaps a hedgehog, one of my absolute favorites.

Ants can be nice too ;)For now, I’m “clicking” flowers. These here are quite small and shy, but we all know what they will become in a few weeks. Which reminds me of another one of my summer plans; to take the kids berrypicking. Just like in the “good old days” when I was little. I remember those summers very well; the taste of sweet delicious strawberries, the feeling of magic in each new day, just knowing like any child does that the summer ahead is endless.

If I could find a way to add scent to my pictures, I sure would have done so with this one. I love the smell of Lilacs and the colors are lovely too. We may travel around the world and back but still, my heart will rest in the special beauty of the nordic summer. And the best part is; it’s just beginning.

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It’s a Ladybug’s Life

I just realized how long it’s been since I spent some time with my macro lens, and how much I’ve missed it. So, having a few minutes to myself, I grabbed my camera and headed out in search of some hidden treasures.Right outside my front door I ran into this “treasure” ;)

longing for some warm sunshine

But what have we here? A visitor!

Hello there, little ladybug, good to see you!

Now I know summer is just around the corner!

I wonder what life is like for a ladybug. What would you have told me little bug, if God had given you a voice?

Perhaps “Oh, you know.. it’s a busy life. But I’m hanging in here.. “

This looks kind of nice anyway. Enjoying the view.. (and hoping to get a tan? :))

Say cheeeeese…!

Well, nice meeting you, miss ladybug. You’re welcome to drop by my garden again whenever you’re in the neighborhood.

Wait; was that a tiny little voice I heard? “Of course I will”


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Welcome Spring!

I just had to try out the new WordPress “slideshow” feature. (Great idea – thanks!) And what better way to welcome spring than through a colorful collection of tulips?

(I took a LOT of photos, here are just a few for you) Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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A Stubborn Snowbank and a Cake

Spring is here, finally. Once again, we can feel the promise of another summer in the air. (How wonderful is that!) Today however, I’d like to share a little winter story – just as a last farewell to this years cold season.

A few weeks back I was dropping my son off for school. His younger brother was sitting in the backseat of the car. On this particular day I had some extra time and I had promised him a visit to a cafe, a special treat that he was really looking forward to.

Then, just as we turn the car around, it happens. A minivan comes in from the side at quite high speed, heading straight towards us. I have two options: being hit by the van or getting out of the way – quickly. Of course I choose the latter, pressing my car as close to the snowbank as possible, which pretty much means into the snowbank.

The van drives by and disappears. But now we have another problem: we’re stuck. No matter what I do, the wheels just keep spinning.

With a sigh I realize that by the time we get someone to help us out of this, it will be too late for a cafe visit. So I turn towards my son in the backseat, to explain to him that there may not be any cake today after all. But clearly, he has already taken in the situation; his lip is quivering and I can see tears start to fill his eyes.

I take a deep breath and look at the snowbank. I had promised my 4 year old a cake, and he had been looking forward to it for a long time. And then this happens?

I turn towards my son again.

“You know”, I say to him, “let’s have a talk with the car, okay? Let’s try again. Let’s give it another chance.”

And I start working; 0ne inch forward, one inch back, one inch forward and one inch back again. It doesn’t seem to help much.

But in my sons eyes I see a new light: hope. In his mind, the image of the cake that had suddenly faded away, now starts to reappear.

This inspires me to keep trying. Another inch. Backwards, forwards, backwards, forwards..

After almost 15 minutes and countless tries, I’m starting to wonder if this is getting us anywhere. Then I suddenly feel the tires getting a better grip, and the miracle happens: slowly, slowly – holding my breath – I back the car out of the snowbank and we’re back on the road again.

The cheer from the backseat is worth diamonds. He is so happy it almost brings water to my eyes now. Not only because the cake is back within reach, but because we made it, we conquered the seemingly hopeless situation and actually got the car loose. High five!!!

We drove off to the cafe as planned and I didn’t give the incident with the car much thought. But clearly the experience had made a deeper impression on my son. Because a few days later, while struggling with a stubborn Lego project, I hear him having a conversation with himself:

- When we’re stuck, what do we do?

- We try again.

- And when we’re still stuck?

- We try again!

- But if we are still stuck!??

- We try again!!!

- And what happens then?

- We drive away to the cafe and eat cake!!! Yeaaahhh!!!!!

I smiled and thought to myself; Isn’t it strange – and wonderful – how even an old car stuck in a snowbank can have something valuable to teach us.

Oh, and by the way; that cake really did taste delicious. ;)

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