If you've followed my blog from way back when I first started blogging, you may remember that one of my favorite interests is family tree research. Two years ago this month, there were four geneologists from Sweden who came this area and showed off a really slick program by which -if you subscribe to it -one can access records of Swedish ancestors with a lot of speed and ease.
One lady in that group -Anneli Andersson, from Mellerud, Sweden -is the lady who helped me track my ancestry on my Grandpa Eld's side back to the early 1600's through church records which she copied and e-mailed me. That was almost ten years ago now and I met her for the first time when she visited this area with the three others two years ago. Last year, she and another lady came back to America and did a small workshop on Swedish family tree research over in Clearfield, PA and I got to see her again there.
Now, she is here again and this time, she has her fiance as well as her son with her and they will be visiting in this area for a whole week! They arrived Thursday, around noon, and are staying at the home of Janet Rydberg Larson -who was my typing teacher back in high school and who is also really into geneology as well as being pretty much the resident historian for the township where I live. So, I got to visit a little yesterday with Anneli, met her fiance and son and am really looking forward to being able to perhaps spend a little more time with her while she visits this region.
One thing in particular though that I am really hepped up about is a program that Anneli and a friend of hers in Sweden designed and received some type of grant money to put it into effect this coming school year. It is geared primarily towards students in the middle school range and is intended to teach the children about immigration -actually that should probably be emigration because they will be studying the people from Sweden who left their homeland many years ago and emigrated to America. And to do this in a way to help not just the Swedish children understand what problems existed that really forced so many of that nationality to come here primarily in the late 1800's, they also want to help the children learn about what the living and traveling conditions were for those people, what they encountered upon arrival here in New York, where they went from there and where they ended up settling and the type of work they found here too. But the big value of this program really is that it will help kids learn about other cultures and also, help the Swedish students to improve their communication skills in the English language.
To do this, Anneli wants to find a school -or perhaps a couple schools -in this country that had a fairly heavy concentration of Swedish immigrants, primarily coming here from the Dahlsland area in Sweden and this little area where I live is a prime example of that type of immigrants! Yep! That bill fits my great-grandparents and their family to a tee! So Janet Larson, her daughter-in-laws, Judi and Cathy and I are trying to find a way to convince our school district that this would be a very interesting and worthwhile program to give our students here a chance to learn about history, geography, world cultures, immigration -all those things -and also, to communicate via e-mail with the students in Sweden in this class and who knows, perhaps make some life-long friendship too in the process!
The week ahead is going to be very full, very busy for me, that much is for sure! Because my grandson, Alex, and Anneli's son Jonaton, are only a year apart in age and Alex is quite interested in perhaps participating in this program if possible, we had hoped the boys would be able to meet this weekend, but by the looks of things, that isn't going to come about as Alex has boy scout activities this weekend and the school district where he lives doesn't finish up until the middle of June so his dad won't permit him to miss a day of school so I can bring him up here to meet Jonaton during next week sometime.
Besides being engrossed much of this week in a new embroidery project I started -a 50x50 inch tablecloth which is simply a border around the entire cloth of strawberries, vines and leaves, as I mentioned in an earlier post yesterday, our Youth Ministry group is having a fund raiser today now -Saturday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. up at the grocery store parking lot in Kylertown. A car wash and a bake sale combined. The purpose of this fund raiser is to get needed money so that around 15 kids from our Youth Ministry group can go to Cincinnati, Ohio for a week where they will work in a setting kind of like Habitat for Humanity -helping primarily senior citizens by doing repairs or yard work around their homes there. A very worthy cause, that is for sure.
So today, I was one busy little beaver, baking the Swedish bread my family and I love -Swedish Limpa Rye bread. I made two batches of it -four loaves per batch and we polished off one of those loaves here tonight at supper! Kurtis and Maya both love the homemade bread and I cheated a bit and fixed a package of the Cheesy-noodles and tuna "helper" type mixes for supper -because I know they love that too so both kids had seconds on the casserole as well as downing a couple wedges of the bread too. Yeah, we all ate heartily tonight -for sure!
Here's a picture of the bread I baked today -all bagged up and ready to go up to the bake sale in the morning.
I also had some homemade pepper slaw that my friend Janet Larson got for me from the folks at her church as yesterday morning, she had been there helping them make this special slaw in preparation for a big fund raising dinner they are having there Saturday evening too. So, I had a feast of a big, big helping of that pepper slaw along with some fresh, Swedish Rye bread tonight too! Love that stuff.
But boy, you know what happens when one gets to eating way too much of the good foods like that too, don't 'cha? And if I keep eating good stuff like that the way I did tonight, I most certainly am going to be in dire need of some extra-special weight loss supplement, for sure, aren't I?
Oh and to top it all off, tonight, Mandy baked up some kind of chocolate chip cookies to take up to the bake sale on Saturday too! However, I didn't sample any of her baked goods as I figured I had stuffed myself well enough with the bread, tuna casserole and pepper slaw already! For once, I was able to exercise a little bit of will power anyway.
Anneli would like me to think of some "sights" in this area that I think might be interesting for her and her family to see while they are here and of course, don't you just know it but now, much as I love this area and think it is really nice, pretty and all that, I have gone pretty much braindead in trying to think of some places where they can visit that I can direct them to while they are here! I'm going to have to give that a bit more thought, for sure though.
She had learned already about a place over in the county to the east of us -Centre County -and there is a great tourist attraction there called Penn's Cave. This cave is visited by boat! Yeah, you get in a boat and it goes underground and you get to view all the attractions then inside the cave from that angle. And believe it or not, I have never been there! Lived here all my life and have never seen it! She decided they are going to go there next Thursday which means I can't go with them though as Mandy and I have to make a trip to Pittsburgh that day since I have a check-up scheduled with my great (also wonderful eye candy) surgeon there at UPMC, Dr. Hughes!
But, since my grandson isn't going to be allowed to miss a day of school and go with them too, I'm also trying to find another child in Jonaton's age range, preferably a boy, who would be interested in visitng Penn's Cave and keeping company for the day with a lad from Sweden who does speak some English but is not fully bi-lingual. If I were a child in that age range and this opportunity were presented to me, I would be so happy and excited to go there, to meet someone from another country -the whole nine yards. But thus far, the only boy from our church I've found in that age range is unable to go that day either as that poor kid has already been scheduled to see a foot doctor and have an ingrown toenail removed! Boy, I betcha he's wishing he could somehow weasel out of that appointment, don't 'cha think?
My son will be home sometime Saturday night too -until early Tuesday morning when he goes back out on the road so I'll be trying to figure out what I can cook and invite him and his girlfriend and her daughter down then for supper on at least one of the days he will be home. Gotta try to get some good family time in with him too, ya know.
So, wish me luck as I try to get the documentation Anneli has about this program she wants to hook up here with our school -and if that can't be done, then our Pastor has said our Youth Ministry can do the program as part of their outreach stuff. So one way or another, kids from our region are going to have what I think is really a fantastic opportunity to learn a lot about ancestry stuff plus gain some friendships on an international level through this program too. Oh, and an added bonus is that Anneli is also hoping to work things so that a year or two from now, she will return and bring some of the students participating in this program in Sweden here to meet the kids they will have been communicating with too!
I think that Saturday evening I am going to cheat on the cooking though, make things really easy for myself and talk Mandy into getting the kids alicked up a bit and we'll go and enjoy the roast beef dinner that will be served up at Janet's church across from our school. That way I can have a lot more of the delicious pepper slaw too then!
Yep! That sure does sound like a darned good game plan to me -no cooking, but good food, and a chance to visit with some darned good friends too over the meal.
Does all of this make your mouth water?
It sure does that to mine -already!
Now, I best get to bed so I can get up bright and early (that's the only drawback to the day for me -the getting up early) and take the bread and cookies up to the kids at the bake sale. I suppose I should break down and let them wash up the little old jeep of mine too while I am there -give them a chance to earn a couple more bucks too that way, huh?
So if you're anywhere in this area today -Saturday, May 30th -stop up at the parking lot by the Market Place store in Kylertown, get some good home-baked goodies and a car wash and support a really great cause in doing that!