Sunday, December 27, 2015


Hey there! 

Christmas is over now, and we already started to pack away all the christmas decoration ,so we don't have to do it when we come back from Seattle next week. 
I spent Monday and Tuesday wrapping the last Christmas presents, writing cards and being in a stage of excitement for my first Christmas away from home. Ruby and Iris played Christmas songs on the piano while Christine and I baked some more Christmas cookies. I made a bunch of "Linzertorten" to give away for Christmas and just for us to eat. 
On Tuesday Christine's parents arrived with two people from Costa Rica, so the house was full, festive and chaotic. 

On Christmas Eve, we went to Jim´s sister and her family to celebrate Christmas Cve with all the cousins and the family. I've met them on Thanksgiving, so we already knew each other. 
Jim's parents are Swedish, so we had a Swedish meal with rye bread, pickled hering, beet- salad, meatballs and flatbread. It was different from the Christmas dinner in Germany, because it wasn't as decadent, but it still was really good. 
After dinner we played a game called "White Elephant". Everybody brought a present and then the first person has to pick a present and unwrap it. The second person can either steal the present or pick a new one, and so on. We didn't have valuable gifts, because it was more a just- for- fun game. I ended up with pineapple juice, that was pretty cool in my eyes. 
We drove home and we all went to bed, excited what will be under the tree when we wake up. 

And finally, Christmas morning was here! I skyped with my family and then went downstairs to see what was waiting for me in my stocking. Everybody else was awake waiting for me, so we could unwrap our presents. 
First, we opened our stockings. We all had some little treasures in it. and it was kind of a warm- up, like Christine said. Then we all went to the Christmas tree to attend to the real business. Iris had a Santa- hat, so she was the one to pick presents for everybody. I got some new clothes, and shoes, jewelery, decoration for my room, some food and I also got a package from home. 
I am very glad, because everybody seems to like the presents I gave them. 
In the afternoon, Jim's nephew and his wife came over and we ate more cookies, and played some Wii. It kinda felt like I was at my grandparents, because we always spent Christmas day with them and play Wii to burn all the calories from the food. 
I have two treasure boxes now, full of cards, pictures and little presents from friends, my family in Germany and my family here,plus some really cute stationary, so I can write letters and cards. 

The next days I spent cleaning my room, doing some homework, making posters for my basketball buddy and just hanging around. Next week on Tuesday we will go to Seattle, to spend New Year´s with Christine's best friend and her family. I am very excited to see Seattle, even though the car ride is about 6 hours (I know that's not super long for American standards, but you can drive halfway through Germany in 6 hours...)

I hope, all of you had wonderful holidays with your family and friends, and you're all doing great!!

Kisses, Malin

Ice cream- snowballs for dessert

I had my own beautiful stocking!

Opening mail from my aunt in germany

Lil' Santa

What's christmas without some happiness? 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Family & Friends

Hey there! 

I hope all of you are doing great! We finally have winter break for two weeks, which was hugely  desired by everyone! One thing I absolutely dislike about school here, is that they have so few breaks during the school year...
This week felt really long, I was tired the whole time, and then on Friday we didn't have school, because the river was flooding. We were super excited and I was so happy, because so I had the time to clean my room, bake, wrap presents and just relax. 
On Saturday we had our secret santa gift exchange from the cheer team, and it was super fun! I bought my secret santa a pair of super fuzzy socks with Aloe, and personally I love them, and I hope she likes them as much as I do. 
On Saturday we went on a trip to the coast, and I was so happy to see the ocean! There is just nothing more beautiful than the sea, besides the sky. It started raining and storming later and the water was rough and busy, but still so beautiful. We ate dinner at 'Local Oceans' , a restaurant in Newport, and it was super delicious! I am so thankful for that day!

So, and now I thought I will introduce you to some important people here: My host family and three of my friends. These are the people I spend most of my time with, and I wish you could all meet them in person, because they are just great! I asked all of them what are their three favorites are and then I asked everyone some different questions. 

I have four more family memebers, My host dad Jim, my host mum Christine and my two host sisters Ruby and Iris. They are a great family and they welcomed me so warmly and I am so thankful for being a part of this family for my year here! I couldn't wish for a better one. So here we go: 


Animal: Red pandas
Food: Ice cream
Color: When I was little it was purple and nobody ever let me forget it... Alright, I'd say green


Animal: Zoey! Not dogs, but Zoey (Zoey is our dog)
Food: Thai red curry
Color: green


Animal: dogs
Food: Burritos with Valentina (Valentina is a hot sauce)
Color: blue. like a nice blue, like the color of people's eyes


Animal: Hippos or manatees
Food: Pasta
Color: preiwinkel, thats a color between blue and purple

And now, my friends. These three people are the ones I spent most of my time outside of school with. They are all super nice, polite and generous. 


Animal: Elephants
Food: Reese's fastbreak
Color: green

How would you describe the German stereotype?
Uhm, a lot of beer... and I know that sounds really bad, but I think about yodeling and shoes with a curved tip, like elves. And beer.

How would you describe the American stereotype? 
Fat and eating at McDonalds. Thats not true, I know, but I just think that everybody outside of the US must think that. 

And, yes, her eyebrows are naturally that way!!


Animal: white tigers
Food: chicken alfredo
Color: red

What's the best thing about America?
The freedom here, but that you still have rules, so controlled freedom (I still don't know what exactly he means)

What's the worst thing about America?
People have labels on them, and they are classified by money and they are put in a caste and it's hard to move up. That's easier in Mexico. 


Animal: Pugs
Food: Pizza
Color: blue

If you could change anything in America, what would it be? 
I would probably change how we do prosecute people in court. Some people go to prison for way too long for stupid crimes so I guess I would change some laws. 

What did you thought about Germany before I came here?
I thought people from Germany were grumpy, super classy and serious people.
How did I change your picture from Germany?
Well, you showed me there are funny and awesome sides to anybody no matter where you're from.


Alright, so now you have a few impressions of the people I hang out with and who has become important to me over the last couple months. I wish, you could meet them all in person, because spending time with them is so much fun! 

Next to these people are my cheer girls, who are all talented and super nice and a great team! 

Ans now here are some pictures from the ocean. The Oregon coast is dark and full of rocks and the sand is super hard at some spots, but it is so beautiful!

I hope you all are great and as excited for Christmas and the holidays and New Year as I am! 

Love, Malin

Sunday, December 13, 2015

USA - Germany


I had a great week.  It went by so fast! Basketball season started, and during December we are cheering for the girls, and when the boys start to have home games in January, we cheer for them. It is so much fun cheering for basketball, because it is way faster and more intense than football. The game is more likely to switch at the end, which makes it more exciting. 
On Friday we had a short mini- day; that means, all classes are just 20 minutes long. We don't do much in class, but I enjoyed it anyway, because I got home at 12:45, which was very good. 

Christine´s best friend came on Thursday night for a visit, and to help a little, since Christine had a foot- surgery. She is super nice and I am looking forward to see her again during winter break. 
I spent Saturday with Lily, which was great. We made homemade macaroni-  and- cheese  and filled strawberries. In the evening, we went to a poker game with her mother and her fiancé. It was fun, and we did a really good job playing, even though we didn't win. 

Below I have listed some differences between America and Germany, or better some facts, since I am here, and I just want to share them with you. Not all people in America are like this, but just to simplify this, I will say 'Americans'. I don't mean to offense anyone. I hope you enjoy it! :) 

                                  1. The serving sizes here are much bigger
                                  2. They don't use knives while they eat, they cut everything and then eat
                                  3. Fast- food restaurants have very few vegetarian choices
                                  4. They have ice in every drink
                                  5. 'Bread' is very sweet and very white here
                                  6. You can fill your drinks up as often as you want
                                  7. Water in restaurants is free
                                  8. Water in supermarkets costs more than coke
                                  9. They cool everything down, everywhere
                                10. They just have roll- deodorants
                                11. They have flags everywhere
                                12. College athlethes are treated like celebrities
                                13. They have a lot of cars and drive a lot
                                14. They can give their babies weird names
                                15. Shops are open on Sundays
                                16. They think a german accent sounds good
                                17. They are willing to drive an hour to get lunch/ breakfast
                                18. Football coaches are the highest public paid employees
                                19. They think a 100 year old house is old
                                20. They don't have christmas markets !! 

So, these are my 20 facts about America, maybe you have learned something new or at least were entertained :)

I hope, you all had a great week, and you are enjoying the Christmas season 

 lots of love, Malin

Lily's christmas tree

We had so much cheese for our macaroni

Sunday, December 6, 2015

High school (musical?)

Hello there!

I have been in High school for 12 weeks now, so I thought I would talk a little bit about the big mystery of 'high school'. All the teenage- and chickflick movies set up expectations, and I am so sorry to tell you, that most of it is not true :)

So just to be clear: high school is not quite like this : 

Unfortunately there is no singing and dancing in the hallways or Sharpay rolling into the parking lot in a pink Capriolet. 

It's also not like this, but actually, we're getting nearer to reality: 

And High school might look like this for a few people, but I can tell you that  it is not that bad:
To be fair, this movie is hilarious, but it also doesn't come close to how it really is.

Ok, but enough joking around. So High school.... It is actually not a lot different than school in Germany. I was expecting more groups, or cliques. And I mean there are some groups, but it is not super obvious. 
The school system is quite different than in Germany. The students have to earn a certain amount of credit during the four years of school, Some classes will bring you more credit, some less. They have a lot more different classes, and they can decide which they want to take. Some classes, like English, science and math are required but other than that, they have a lot of freedom  to take what they want to take. The school year has two semesters. Some classes are all-year classes, some aren´t, so the sudents have a slightly different schedule in the second semster. We have odd and even days here, that means that we have all our odd classes Monday and Wednesday and all the even classes are on Tuesday and Thursday. Friday is an all-day, that means we have all our classes, but they´re just 45 minutes long. 
The teachers have their own classrooms, which means, that the students have to change the room,  not the teacher. That makes it easier to find a teacher, because they're always in the same classroom, but it is harder to find the classroom for your next class... 
The relationship between teachers and students is a lot more personal than in Germany. In Germany we don't ask how their weekend was, or how they spent yesterday. It is all about learning. Here it is different. Here you can chit-chat a little bit and they don't mind at all. 
It feels like the students don't mind to go to school much. I mean there are so many things which make school more attractive, like all the after- school- activities, like the sports, or clubs. And then there are school dances and sport games, and so many people show up! It's amazing how much the students support their teams. And when we have school dances, a lot of people come and they really like it. It's great. In Germany, we don't have school dances or extracuricular activities. We don't have this school- spirit, which connects all the students. I am so happy to have the oppotunity to experience all that! 

Our cafeteria

My psych teacher´s classroom

 So, and now enough about school... It's December, so everyone is thinking about Christmas! In our neighborhood there are so many house which are decorated with so many lights, that they light up the whole street. As soon as Halloween was over, people unpacked their Christmas stuff. But what is a little disappointing is, that they don't have Christmas markets here. Christmas in America is intense, but Christmas in Germany is just beautiful. It is so great, walking around a christmas market, and the air smells like cookies, sweet treats, glühwein and punsch. I miss that. But I´m doing my best to bring it to America, by baking cookies. Thanks to my parents, I have an adventcalendar with little recipes for everyday during December. Unfortunately, they don't have punsch here, but tea does the job too. We already bought our Christmas tree and I have my own stocking! I was so excited! Today is Santa- Claus- day and we had some presents in our wooden shoes. I am so thankful for that! 

Our HUGE Christmas tree

some Christmas cookies and tea next to the tree = well spent time

Santa is coming to town

I hope you all enjoying the Christmas season and that you had a lovely weekend! I also hope you guys liked this post and it was at least a little entertaining and you learned something you didn't know before. 
I hope you're all doing good!! 

love, Malin