Max's 4th Birthday Party

I got back into Orlando on Friday afternoon after 3 weeks of straight travel.  I was pretty tried, but we had Max's birthday party planned for the next day, and there was a lot to do to get ready for it.  We are planning on moving out of our house on December 3rd, so we had to have his party a week early.  He is absolutely convinced that he is actually 4 now, we gave up trying to tell him that he won't actually be 4 for another week.

Max really wanted another Star Wars party.  We went a little simpler this year mainly because of the move, but it was still really nice.  A whole bunch of people showed up and he got a ton of presents, he was quite happy.

This year we had a cake made of Darth Vader by a local cake shop, it saved us a bunch of time.

Max really like eating it.

One of his gifts was a gift card to Target.  We had to do some shopping today and he carried it around in his pocket and kept picking stuff out at all of these stores and kept trying to use it to pay everywhere we went.  This Hot Wheels set was one of the few non Star Wars gifts that he was pretty excited about.  We happened to be in Target the night before and he begged me to buy it for him but I wouldn't because of his birthday and Christmas and everything, so he was pretty excited to get it.

Busy week ahead of us as we get the house ready to be moved and then close on it.  I am off to France on the 7th, and will be heading back to Michigan for Christmas, not sure when yet.

Banking in Sweden

Quite some time ago now, I got all of our banking setup in Sweden.  Banking in Sweden is quite different than the States, I think I mentioned this before, but that personal connection still exists there.  I went with Nordea because my company banks with Nordea, so that got me some extra services and cheaper services that I would not normally get.

I set an appointment with my personal banker to walk through and set everything up.  There is something that is kind of nice knowing that she is always available to help me should I need it.

The first thing I did was setup a simple Checking and Savings account.  They of course don't really call them that, they are both closer to what we would think of as Savings accounts in America, but with no real paper checks any more there, a Checking account is obsolete.  The only difference is that the Savings account has a high interest rate, but I am only allowed a limited number of transfers to and from that account each year.  The idea is to encourage you to actually save money.  Then I setup my internet access for the accounts which is important.  Accessing your account on the internet is a bit of a pain.  First, you have 2 different pins, one for the ATM, and one for online.  Plus you have this extra device that looks like a calculator that you need to stick your card into, punch in your internet pin and then it returns a number that you then punch in to the website to login.  So there is no real easy just check your account real quick, there is some prep time involved.  It's nice to have real bank accounts now, I can do everything.

Have to toot my own horn

A few stories hit the internet about my new job and it resulted in my receiving more linked in requests from old colleagues than I would have ever guessed.  I suppose people really read these things.

It hasn't helped my Google ranking, I'll have to work on that (just kidding of course).  I am wrapping up the end of a very long 3 week tour, then I get back to Florida for a little over a week.  The house is getting moved on the 3rd of December, and then we close on it on the 4th.  Then I am off to France for a week, back to Sweden for a couple of days, then off for another week of travel before heading back stateside for the Holidays.  After the Holidays, the whole family will go back to Sweden together finally.  Be sure to check out the new widget that I added to the right, it always tells you where I am with all my travel, and tracks how many miles I have traveled since taking the job in Sweden.

Pre-Game at the Magic Game

I mentioned before that we got to do something really cool the last time I was in Florida to see the family.  When Sarah and I attended the Black Ties and Tennies Charity event for the Orlando Magic earlier in the year, I had won a bunch of chips playing poker.  Those got turned into raffle tickets and then during the drawing, we won the oppurtunity to have the kids participate in the "High Five Squad" before one of the games.

So the Magic were really cool and gave us a few options for while I was going to be in Florida and let us pick which game to go to.  We decided to go see the Magic play the Phoenix Suns mainly because I wanted to see Steve Nash play over some of our other options.  They gave us 4 really good tickets to the game, along with letting the kids be on the court during pre-game and high five the players.

We got there early to pick up our tickets and meet with the Magic staff.  They gave us a backstage tour of the Arena and took us by the locker room.  Then we sat courtside and waited a bit while the Suns did their warm-ups while they told us the night would work.  Even though the thing was supposed to be just for the kids, they let Sarah and I do it too which was really nice of them.

So when the Magic came out for the warm-ups we walked over and stood on the court while they did their shoot around.  Marcin Gortat (the Polish Hammer) came over and talked to Max and Ella a bit who were standing a few feet away from Sarah and I.  Not sure what they talked about, but it was pretty funny to watch 3ft tall Max next to the 7ft tall Gortat.

A week back in Florida

I just got back in Sweden after going to Florida to see Sarah and the kids for Halloween and Sarah's birthday.  It was a busy week as we try to wrap things up to get ready to move everything to Sweden.  I will be travelling non stop until we move, with two more trips to Florida planned.

Halloween was really nice.  Ella was Daphne from Scooby Doo and Max was Jango Fett from Star Wars.  His costume is pretty big, so he will probably wear that around the house for a couple of years.  Ella was a power trick or treater as usual really working the old neighborhood with her friend, Ella Grace.  Max as usual, got pretty tired out and was done after about an hour or so.  Sarah and the kids picked me up at the airport the night before a bit after midnight, so they were pretty tired.  The guy that turns his house into a haunted house went even bigger this year.  He extended it out of his garage with some 2x4's and tarps and stuff.  Then he advertised it all down the main road leading into the development, and he had a band playing in the front yard, it was quite the event.  Ella couldn't get the nerve up to go through it this year, and Max didn't want to go near it, so we did not go through this year.  Unfortunately, the battery in our camera died right away, so we only got a few pictures.