Time flies by... Christmas is already over! We had a nice and pretty calm week, and I will tell you about it and of course show some pictures...but first I'll write a little about before Christmas day.

Like always before Christmas its a lot of things to fix, but we were not gonna have any people over to our house so it wasnt overwhelming. Ive worked quite a lot as well so I'm glad most gifts and essential Christmas must-fixes were already done (or at least unwrapped/in the house...) We didn't place any gifts under the tree in advance, maybe next year when Jamie's a little older. We got the Tree the weekend before so now we have enjoyed it for a while. It must be a real Tree...so you can smell it!

On the Friday,Natalie ended her semester so we went there for a Winter concert in the evening before and a Holiday party in the morning. Natalie and her classmates were cute little mice...Check out their performance here. (Natalie has her line after 6 min).Jared was off this day so we could both go and also do the last minute shopping together before Natalie was done  The parents in her class has been volunteering for planning each festive occasion and this time ( just as Thanksgiving) it was very well done. ( We are involved in the Valentines later on.. )

The coming days we mostly stayed at home and relaxed, baked, made meatballs and did some crafts...Jared went duck hunting with Natalie one afternoon and we did go and see some Christmas lights.

On Christmas Eve we went to Grandma Rhonda's and Grandpa Bob's and had Christmas. It was a nice afternoon with a lot of food and a joyful time! The real Christmas we celebrated at home the 25:th.

It has felt a little strange to not be close to our family in Sweden at all this year and I missed the Swedish food a lot even if I've made some here... At least we were able to Skype a little. Next year we will hopefully all be together somewhere!

In the evening the 24:th Natalie made sure to put out a cookie and milk for Santa. In school they had prepared a bag of magic oats from the Northpole that was intended for Santa's Reindeer so she put that outside as well. She was a very tired and excited girl when she went to bed!

In the late evening Jared assembled the new play kitchen we got from Kidkraft. While I wrapped all the gifts. It went pretty smooth and I am so satisfied with the kitchen, love it! We prepared the stockings and put all gifts under the tree and I can say I fell asleep with a smile on my face! "Code to my old blog: 8679505931"

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Both girls were sick last week so we stayed at home Mon - Thursday. They had a regular cold, nothing serious. Jamie's breathing got a little affected but she only needed medicin one afternoon/night! So a lot better than the previous rounds with therapy up to every third hour.

We tried to work on the Christmas feeling at home and I think the Tree actually brought the right mood to our house.  We always have a real one...you got to smell it! I brought some ornaments from Sweden as well so we have a pretty traditional Tree with some extra colorful lights that the rest of the family had to have...  It did actually turn out good anyway and I believe that we have a kind of picture- perfect Tree to brighten the cloudy December days!

This week I also started to work a little more regular. .. I do translations from English to Swedish for different financial firms and three websites that will launch within foreseeable future. It is based in Europe..hehe.. So I go over to the USA finally have permission to work and now I got this job from Europe ( or well I guess it is global,  some from China to)...  It's interesting and a bit challenging but that's good I needed to kick on my brain again... It's been on only Mama mode long enough now! So we will see how long this project lasts,  but no matter what it gives good experience and I can use that for similar projects later on..

Here are pictures from last week. I will try to take more pictures on the tree later..and try to take photos for Christmas cards...Natalie wants to wear the same dress she had last year,  but she's had that one soo much so it barely hangs together...  I'm sure she'll be happy for a new one!

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Finally time for the Christmas month!  I remember I loved this time of the year when I was a little girl...then for a few years it turned into too many visits in such a short time frame so it almost became more stress than joy... Now when we have our two girls, Christmas is so much fun again. I truly enjoy to see them experience new memories and take part of the best things about the Holidays.  

We dont do it to the extreme but I want to make sure they get into a Christmas mood with baking, doing simple crafts, decorate, seeing Christmas lights,  hopefully visit a Christmas market somewhere and of course have alot of cozy time at home.

It's going to feel a little strange to celebrate without my beloved family and friends in Sweden and we will surely miss all of you! But this year we take part of the American christmas and next year we might be in Sweden again... It's good that we at least are able to update each other fast and easy nowadays!

This is last week in pictures...

Natalie and I had a memorable evening when we went to see "The Nutcracker" performed by New York Theater Ballet. Such an inspiration for my little girl!!

Yesterday we saw the Christmas Parade in Neosho after playing all day with the Sims family! I can say both girls slept good last night..

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We finished Thanksgiving and actually the Fall season with a dinner at Grandma Rhonda's. I forgot to take pictures of the food this time as well, but here are a few from today. The kids had a fun day playing together with all the cousins.

I had to take some pictures of Jamie...She had a new sweater on with a cat...and when it got warmer (+16 °C) I took her jacket of and she walked forever looking at her belly...hehe..so cute!

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Natalie had a short week in school so we had 3 days extra this weekend. Thanksgiving is a big family holiday over here so almost all stores, construction business, manufacturers etc. Give their workers an extra day off.

On Tuesday Natalie's class had a nice thanksgiving breakfast together with all kids in Kindergarten.  They made their own indian/pilgrim costumes and learned some song associated with this holiday.  On the afternoon they also performed on the stage when the younger kids at school had their Thanksgiving concert. So cute and talented children!

The Thursday we started with a nice breakfast at Cracker Barrel. They have good homemade food, maybe not the healthiest but anyway... Later this afternoon, we went to Grandpa Emmet for a traditional dinner. We had turkey, green beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes,  corn, gravy and homemade bread, pumpkin cake and mini apple pies for desserts. Emmet had cooked a good dinner! I can say we were stuffed afterwards...

This weekend we are also going to have a dinner at Grandma Rhonda's. I'll write more about that later. All in all Thanksgiving is a nice tradition with a whole lot of food...just like Christmas!

Speaking about Christmas. ..finally it's time to get ready for this holiday season!  Its like a secret rule of not decorate or do anything Christmasy until after Thanksgiving. If you have been loaded with Christmas music and decor from all the stores that started loooong time ago it almost feels like a relief...

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Dad was gone deer hunting, so the girls took a little road trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma. We visited Oklahoma Aquarium and ate at Cracker Barrel before it was time to hit the road again. We live very close to the state line so most of the 1 h 45 min drive was in OK. Not that it look different but anyway... I always try to drive longer distances when Jamie's supposed to sleep and back home when it's bedtime. It makes it less stressful when you go on your own.  The aquarium was ok, not so big so we didn't need more than a couple of hours or so to have seen and touched all you could handle.  The girls were fascinated with all the creatures!  Natalie liked the jellyfish best... The place had a lot to wish for when it came to the food they offered but we planned to eat dinner afterwards so it wasn't a big deal. We had a good afternoon there and after a chicken dinner with tons of broccoli for Jamie we head back home.

I don't know what it is that makes some music feel more intense or make a deeper impact now. I'm not sure if it is that it's easier to relate to the lyrics or to feel the atmosphere in the environment they were wrote in now when I've been here for a while...I guess swedish texts get you deeper when you are a Swede.. 

Or I don't know.. Maybe it's just the fact that when both girls are asleep in the backseat,  it's dark outside, you are driving alone down the interstate in the middle of USA listening to the classic rock station The Eagle, you just can't help it....

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We have a nice "daily mama" (dagmamma...) that lives just up one hill from our house. We dont have Jamie there so much just a few hours sometimes so she gets used to being apart from us when its time to work. It' s a middle aged woman and there are only two other kids at her house. Since daycares are extremely expensive here compared with the swedish ones, ( from 165 usd/week and up...) and we already pay quite alot for Natalie, we are happy that our neighbor happened to be a good babysitter!

I took some pictures on our walk to Laura earlier today...

It's good that we don't have to walk so far. It always takes a while. Today Jamie tried to feed some young cows with raisins...

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We got enough snow for playing a little bit... Jamie wanted to build a snowman but it was to cold snow for that!

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Today our lovely daughter had birthday! It's so strange that she's been in our lives for 2 years... It feels like we have had her forever and at the same time like she just came in to our lives as a little baby...

We had a small celebration at home and Grandma Rhonda, Bob, Aunt Emily, Cousin Izzy, Blake and Hailey came over. Grandma Rena was gonna come, but since we all of a sudden had a lot of ( well..for Missouri right now...) snow the roads weren't so good. We had a good day and Jamie she played around alot. We did miss our family in Sweden but you were all with us in our hearts!

Here are the pictures I manage to take that weren't blurry.

Jamie we love you to the moon and back???...

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