A place for family and friends to keep up with the Carlson's!

The Carlson Family

The Carlson Family

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Through the eyes of a child

This was just too cute to not post. All of the children in kindergarten and preschool at Ericka's school were asked to draw self portraits. The school then took all these drawings and put them on dish towels that they sold to raise money for the school. I've posted a picture of the whole towel and a close up of Ericka's drawing of herself. Too funny!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Paris in December

This past weekend we took the TGV (high speed train) to Paris for a long weekend. The city is full of lights and it was fun to see the city at Christmas time. A great weekend getaway for all of us!

Luxembourg in December

There are a lot of activities and Christmas markets going on this time of year which has been keeping us very busy. We've been to the Christmas market in Trier Germany and in Luxembourg. We had the PriceWaterhouse Cooper's family christmas event which was alot of fun for the girls as well. Lots of food and fun for all of us! Here are some random pictures of the past couple weeks!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Lauren!!!

On Friday November 21st we celebrated Lauren's 2nd birthday. We were lucky enough to have Mark's sister Sarah and his aunt Julianne and uncle Jeff here for the occasion. As in typical Luxembourg style- we had to have another wonderful cake from the local bakery. However, Lauren had 2 different birthday cakes because she had to have the "Dora" birthday cake she sees at the grocery store everytime we go. Unfortunately, Lauren was sick on her birthday, yet all the presents seemed to put her in a better mood. She got a new baby and baby stroller, new barbies, a new pair of high heels, Minnesota gopher gear, and some new books and a movie. Mom and Dad gave her a new VERY european style bike that hopefully she'll get lots of use out of next spring. Happy Birthday Lauren!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween in Luxembourg

They don't celebrate Halloween in Luxembourg, however we are fortunate to have the American Women's Group here to organize Halloween activities for the children. The girls loved getting dressed up as Minnie Mouse and Sleeping Beauty. They were able to go trick or treating in a neighborhood in Luxembourg, and attend a Halloween party at Pizza Hut. The Halloween party had face painting, cookie decorating, and even a pinata for the kids. The girls had a good time at both events. It wasn't quite the same as back home, however we were thankful there were events for the kids. Now...we just need to get our pumpkins carved!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We have voted from Luxembourg!

Just wanted to let you all know that Mark and I did cast our votes by absentee ballot for the upcoming election. I really didn't want to go through the whole process of requesting an absentee ballot (although it was really easy) and then getting them sent back in. But when Mark said that he was going to do it- well I COULD NOT let his vote count! So I decided to also vote. For those of you who don't know- Mark and I always offset each other's votes. I'm sure you all can figure out which way each of us votes. Thankfully, we are spared from the continuous election coverage that you get in the U.S. However, we are asked all the time who do we think is going to win the election from the Europeans we know. Time will tell!!!!!!! Mark's just glad he can say with certainty that it won't be Hillary!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Loire Valley of France- The vineyards

The Loire Valley is also known for it's vineyards. In addition to a castle each day, we also visited a small, local vineyard. We said driving through the area was like driving through the Minnesota countryside, but instead of corn all you could see were rows and rows of grapes. Unbelievable! Visiting the local vineyards was an experience for both Mark and I. None of the people spoke english, however Mark and I were able to get by with our limited french. One of the vineyards even gave us a tour of their caves where they store and let the grapes ferment. In addition, we saw how they bottle the wine, and of course we were able to buy the wine direct. As Mark has developed a bad habit of collecting wine now, we came home with 10 cases of wine!

The Loire Valley of France- The Castles

After our time in Paris we headed 2 hours south to the Loire Valley. This area is known for it's vineyards and castles. We saw a lot of both!!! This was the countryside of France and much more quiet than our time in Paris. However, the weather was beautiful and the girls loved being able to run around and just be outside. We visited a castle each of the days we were there (you are able to tour the inside). You could visit castles for days in this area- however we chose to just visit one each day. That was plenty and as Mark said
"I'm castled out!" by the end. Here are some pictures of the castles we visited : Chenonceau, Chambord, Villandry, and Cheverny.


On our way out of Paris we went 13 miles SW of Paris to Versailles. Here we went to the Chateau & Gardens of Versaille. Construction began in 1661 and took 50 years to complete. Louis the XIV set out to build a palace that would be the envy of all of Europe. The palace is huge, however I was very disappointed because the entire front of the palace was being renovated due to storm damage a few years ago. The whole building was covered with barracades. Oh well...I guess it just means another trip back there some other time!!! :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Paris- Part IV

The last pictures are just various photos taken throughout the city. The Eiffel Tower doesn't really need an explanation except as Ericka says "It's so beautiful!" That pretty much sums up our time in Paris as well!