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Norway Trip

                                                                                June 2007    

26.07.07  Tirsdag

Hey everybody!  Hope you all are enjoying your summer and sunshine!  We have been having some great weather here in Bergen!  Lots of sun and good temps!  So deilig here in Bergen...which means wonderful! But, it all ends on August 14.  Alf will be arriving here on the 8th of August, and we will help his mom celebrate her 70th birthday, and then we will all will be flying home on the 14th.  Some very exciting news...we will be first stopping over in Dusseldorf, Germany for a 21 hour layover!!  Wow, now I really feel like a world traveler!  I am excited for that! 

The language school is officially over for the summer, but I elected to take a 25 hour class for immigrants coming into Norway, which is required by Norwegian law for all foreigners living in the country.  So far, we have visited the Hanseatic Museum downtown, and today we visited an abuse/counseling center...all of which have been very informing!  I am including a picture of the group students and teachers from my language class.  It truly was a great experience...not only for the language, but for all the people I got to meet from all over the world.  Somalia, Africa, Serbia-Montenegro, Afghanistan, Palestine, Ireland, Canada (eh?), Poland, Austria, Chile.  Our last day we all made favorite dishes from our homelands and had a picnic in the park.  I ate fried bananas from Africa, salads from Africa and Chile, a fried dish stuffed with different vegetables from Somalia...and chocolate chip cookies from the good ole USA!  I definitely worked harder on my Norwegian in this class because so many of these folks didn't speak any English!


This last weekend we were supposed to have a birthday party for Elisabeth, but I unfortunately came down with a stomach bug, so we instead had dinner on Monday.  I wasn't mean enough to make Elisabeth wait almost a week to open her gifts, so Saturday afternoon, we had Alf on the web camera and she opened her presents from him and I.  And of course, Karoline got stuff too.  A few weeks ago, the girls and I had taken a trip to Toys R Us...oh ya...they are here in Norway too!!...and Elisabeth had to make a list of the 5 presents she wanted...because, trust me...if we didn't limit it to 5, she could have listed WAY more!!  Then we took a picture of each item, and we sent them all to Pappa.   He then shopped for them in the States, and shipped them all by mail!  She was pretty happy with her Polly Pockets with horses, her new baby clothes, and the new My Little Pony Runaway Rainbow movie. Huge hit!!  Karoline got new baby clothes and a Polly Pockets too. 

Julie also sent gifts in the mail, and the girls each got new pj's, which look more like dress-up dresses...soooo beautiful, as Karoline described them!  They both came with sparkly wands, but Karoline's shockingly broke, after she banged it repeatedly against the wall...hmmm....

We had a great little party on Monday.  We grilled out, with Master Chef Trond at the grill, and with cake and ice-cream and homemade potato salad.  Elisabeth got a guitar from Uncle Trond and Aunt Bridget and the boys, and a Polly Pockets UNO game.  They also got Karoline a little Polly Pockets...and all the kids got a magic washcloth, that were about the size of a 2" by 2" square, and when you put them in water, they grew to a regular wash cloth size.  Elisabeth got a Sally washcloth, William got the Lightning McQueen, and Karoline got Mater the Towtruck.  All the kids were pretty impressed watching them grow in the sink, and somebody asked if they left them in the water, would it grow to be a bath towel???  Pretty smart thinking...wonder if I could do that with my one kroners...let them sit in water and see if they grow into a 1000 kroner!!!

Pic1& 2: watching the wash clothes grow; Pic 3: Lukas and Mommy ready to party!; Pic 4: eating hot dogs at the kid's table; Pic 5: William was liking the Polly Pockets!; Pic 6: Elisabeth opening the guitar..."it's so shiny!!" she claimed...Pic 7 & 8: making a wish and then blowing out the candle; Pic 9: Karoline pooped at the end of a long day...

We are still hoping to get my dad over here. Alf has been doing some research on the passport website, and he thinks that he has found a loophole that if the tickets are ordered, they can expedite the passport.  I am also hoping to get down to Kristiansand to visit friends.  I am nervous to drive alone with the girls...not because of crime, but getting lost and having to ask for directions in Norwegian!  But, take the adventure right??? 

Ha det bra...later...:)

19.07.07  Tirsdag

Gratulerer med Dagen til Elisabeth!  Kan deres tro det...Elisabeth fylte seg 6 岠gammel i dag!  En stor jente!  

A wonderful day here in Bergen, and it was all for Elisabeth!  She turned 6 years old today, and it was a great day. Last night we had dinner at Bridget and Trond's house and then Bridget and William helped make cupcakes for the barnehage today.  Aunt Bridget was so cool that she even made purple frosting for the cupcakes! Elisabeth took the cupcakes to barnehage, and they had a purple crown ready for her to wear today, and a glittery sign outside the door so everyone could read that today Elisabeth turned 6.  After I picked up the girls, we drove downtown and had pizza at a restaurant right on the water on the wharf.  We opened up a few presents and then we got ice cream to eat while we watched all the boats and cruise ships coming in.   Afterwards, we wondered around and checked out the bookstore.  We are so excited because we found a great chapter book series about magic ponies, and Charlotte's Web!  Elisabeth wore her birthday crown the whole time downtown and the lady at the bookstore generously gave both girls little stickers books and a Disney charm.  A good day for a princess!

Thursday is my last day of language school, and I found out today that I got into the citizenship class next week.  Saturday we are having Elisabeth's official birthday party, with Trond and Bridget and the boys and hopefully Farmor.  Sunday...we will probably recover from the week and play and enjoy our new gifts.  My technically gifted husband has increased my webpage capabilities, so I will make an extra effort to get some of the pics up that I have taken for you all to enjoy!

Here are some of the pics I took today downtown...I can't believe I have a six year old!  I told Alf in just 10 years she will be 16...I thought he was going to pass out...

The top row of pics is downtown at the restaurant and afterwards eating ice-cream...look at that sunshine!!!  The bottom row includes Elisabeth talking to Pappa, and opening presents at home!


13.06.07  Onsdag

Hey everyone...long time, no chat!  I have some technical trouble going on with the website...I am out of space on my server!  Luckily for me, my genius hubby is on top of the problem and I should be able to put as many pics as I want up very soon!  

What's new with us???  Well, things at school are wrapping up for me.  I am officially done with the language part of the school on June 22, however, I signed up for an extra week of citizenship classes.  I can't really describe it except it's a week long class pertaining to Norwegian society.  No, it does not mean I am applying for citizenship, it just means I now have someplace to go and something to do for one more week, instead of sitting in the apartment counting the minutes until Alf comes and gets me!  I am kind of excited about it actually!  The girls are still going to barnehage, and will do so until July 9, when they are officially done.  Kind of sad in a way to start saying good-bye to folks, but we aren't exactly leaving Norway until at least August...if Alf ever orders the tickets!

We are still hopeful that my dad will travel over for a week or so, and we are still planning to visit the south of the land to visit with Rt.  I also hope to get Nils, Alf's dad, down to Bergen as well.  If we keep busy, I think July with go fast. Sadly for us, Bridget and Trond and the boys travel to the U.S. in July, so we don't get to hang out with them...although I am glad they get to go.  I am sure Alicia is counting down the minutes :)

The weather for the last week or two has been astounding in Bergen!!  I have never been here when it's been so warm!  I actually went swimming...ok, I really just waded in the water, but still!...on a beach in Bergen!!  My first time EVER in the 11 years that Alf has been bringing me here!  Yep people, I swam in a fjord...not the first time in Norway, but definitely a first in Bergen.  We have been keeping busy with the sun shining!  Last weekend we all went on a steam train trip.  That was pretty cool...Bridget found on line that if the kids brought a stuffed bear with them, they would ride for free.  So, the kids referred to the train as the 'Bamse Tog,' which translates to the 'Bear Train.'  They had a 'bear' that greeted all the kids and gave free balloons, but Bridget and I both agreed that maybe with the money they make off the adults they might want to purchase a new bear costume...pretty scary for the little ones!  We also bought a pool and set up out on the terrace.  Playing in a pool on the fourth floor!  How cool!! 

I hope everyone is doing well...please drop me a line and let me know if anyone is actually reading this!!  I would love to hear from you all!!

Pics from last weekend:  train sisters; the whole gang minus the photographer; playing in the sun!