Saturday, December 21, 2013

Norwegian Christmas: Part 4

We got to experience another tradition today...
And everyone gave it a big thumbs up!!
Thanks to our sweet friends for continuing to share Norwegian traditions with us.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Norwegian Christmas: Part 3

We spent about 24 hours in Oslo this week. We had numerous meetings with local friends/partners. And we enjoyed seeing the city all decked out for Jul!

You never know what you might see near Oslo S!
We visited Tim Wendelboe coffee with
our friend Sæbjørn

Lunch at Mathallen
Beautiful street decorations
Love this window display! 
Karl Johans Gate and the Palace

Sentrum with Bente 

See the horse's antlers? :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Norwegian Christmas: Part 2


... of course, our American friends will know it better as gingerbread. And it is a big part of Norwegian Christmas tradition.

We were excited that our friends invited us to bake pepperkake with them this past week. We had so much fun! After we made lots and LOTS of cookies, the kids worked together and made a cool gingerbread house.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


William gave us our Christmas gifts early. I don't know about you, but I love the homemade gifts the best!

What are some of your favorite homemade gifts?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Little Dude

One of Daniel's recent school projects - these words describe him perfectly!
"Helpful" is hidden by his hood, but it should be on there about a dozen times. While some things take longer when he's involved, I'm so thankful for the way he always wants to lend a hand.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

6 Years

Six years ago today...
December 3, 2007

Little Guy is not so little anymore. But what a joy it is to watch him grow! We love him so much.

December 3, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

Norwegian Christmas: Part 1

God Jul! (Merry Christmas!)

This month we will be dedicating several blog posts to Christmas - and specifically Christmas in Norway.

We had our first official Christmas celebration on Saturday evening, as we were invited to dinner with two local couples. It was a great evening of traditional (and delicious!) Christmas food and good conversation.

Pinnekjøtt is a very traditional meat (lamb) eaten at Christmas in Norway. It starts with a curing process (salting and drying). The next step varies by region, but our hosts steamed it. Zack and I were honestly a bit nervous, but we both really liked it!

We are so thankful for friends that introduce us to the customs and traditions of this country. It's fun to learn and experience everything!

sausages and pinnekjøtt

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Post-turkey Wrap-up

Last week was exhausting but great. We worked hard, setting up tables, creating centerpieces, translating food descriptions, and making enough food for a LOT of people.

Thursday turned out well. We got to dine with 42 of our friends. We introduced them to all of our families' traditional Thanksgiving foods. While some weren't that different, I have a feeling a few may have seemed odd. In particular, we saw interesting reactions from the sweet potato soufflé, cornbread dressing, heavenly hash (mandarin oranges, pineapple, coconut, marshmallows, and sour cream - yeah, that does seem weird!), and green bean casserole.

But overall, a lot of food was consumed, and it seemed that everyone enjoyed themselves. Looking forward to next year... after we rest up!

Zack preparing turkeys
Daniel was amazed at the amount of dressing
we prepared! 
Cooking, cooking, and more cooking! We were thankful
to have access to a large kitchen all week.
Zack prepared homemade cranberry sauce.
All I can say is - yum! 
Macaroni and cheese - the boys both
requested this 
So much food!
My friend Hege prepared one of the turkeys -
and her presentation put ours to shame! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Prep

We decided that a good way to share one of our favorite holidays with some our friends here (and help ward off any holiday blues) was by holding an American Thanksgiving dinner. 

It all started well. Just a few friends in our home. But much akin to one's stomach after Round 3 of turkey and dressing, it slowly began to grow.

Last count had us in the neighborhood of 40 or 50 people. Thankfully, a local church is letting us use their facilities.

We've roasted two turkeys already, with two more to go. Tables are set. Sweet potatoes are mashed and awaiting their sweet topping. A large pan of cornbread dressing is ready to go in the oven.

I'll check back in soon and let you all know how it went!