Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Boxing Day 26th of December

No, it isn't a shopping day like it is in the USA.  Actually the stores are not open :-(  So we piled on our layers of clothes to go on a mini adventure during the day.  We drove to Ølberg beach to enjoy the fresh air and a tiny bit of sunshine its about 15 minutes away from our house. We have had rain everyday except one 24hr period since we arrived. (not now we've had several days with sunshine since 2014).  When we pulled up there were these crazy people undressing down to their swimsuits.  YES, its freezing outside and people with santa hats are ditching their clothes.  I guess its their annual tradition to go swimming in the North Sea on Boxing Day.  Before we left for the beach, we told the kids were were going to the beach, Rebecca responded with...oh I need to find my swim suit.  We told her it was too cold for swimming at the beach.
She looks in amazement… these people are going swimming and I'm stuck in my winter suit. 
They looked CRAZY and cold.  
Most of these people had, what we in Texas call coveralls or thick robes to throw on after they came out of the water.  But I don't recall anyone going completely into the water.  Most of the people came out of the water pretty quick and grabbed their towels/warm clothes except for one crazy guy.  I guess he was trying to skimboard.  He did a few times but gave up fairly quick.  And just for the record, they weren't all speaking Norwegian a couple were speaking English.

Marcus playing in the sand while crazy man tries to use his skimboard
After the crazies left the beach, the kids had a great time playing in the sand.  Yes, no gloves but their little hands were warm.  Mine were freezing, with gloves on.  They were starting to get a little brave running out towards the water almost getting caught a couple times.

The wave almost caught her.

After playing in the sand for a while, we went on another expedition.  There is a small harbor just to the left of the beach area.  
Marcus is walking up towards a German WWII bunker

Photo was taking from on top of the bunker

Rebecca taking a stroll
We have been back since the 26th of December.  The kids found a great trail through the bunker and under some rocks, its perfect for the kids but not so great when Mommy & Daddy are both tall.  

After the beach trip we went back home to get dressed for desserts at Besetmor's house.  Its very nice visiting with family.

Rebecca & Marcus had already been given their desserts 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Celebrating Christmas in Norway

I have spent two Christmas' here in Norway over the past 12 years Jan & I have been together and this one makes three.  There are some similarities but definitely differences.  Norwegians celebrate Christmas on the 24th where as Americans celebrate more on the 25th with a little extra on the 24th ;-).  We were invited to celebrate Christmas at Jørgen, Grete & Pia's house.  At home we are always very casual, but here in Norway we get to dress up

I wore heels but needed to keep my toes warm ;-) I love my ugg slippers
Jan's entire family was here this evening along with Grete's parents.  We had a very nice dinner of Pinnekjøtt Salted and dried, sometimes smoked, lamb ribs. These were traditionally steamed over birch branches – hence the name ("Pinnekjøtt" translates loosely to "stick meat").  In the eyes of an American, it doesn't look very appealing but it is yummy.  For the first course of dessert it was rice cream which is whipping cream, sugar, vanilla and rice porridge..its pretty tasty.  After everyone finished eating, it was time for some singing around the Christmas tree.

Even Julenisse joined everyone singing around the Christmas tree

An explanation of  Julenisse from http://www.stavanger-web.com/jul/christma.htm  Christmas Nisse (julenissen) which in most homes is more or less identical to Santa Claus. The "Julenisse" brings presents to all the nice children on Christmas Eve. He is not as shy as Santa though, since the "julenisse" delivers the presents himself. He does not come down the chimney in the middle of the night.

Next is the kids favorite time!!! These kids were super excited and couldn't wait to open their gifts.  
Little brother watching  
Big sister helping little brother

Pia & Rebecca having a tea party.  They are such sweet cousins.
Then is was time fore the main dessert course.  YUMMY!!!

It was a great time celebrating Christmas at Grete & Jørgen's house.  I think everyone was exhausted and then time for us to go home.  Santa Claus needed to visit our house and there was lots to do ;-)  

We spend some time playing with the new toys after we made it home but then it was time for the kids to get to sleep, remember the American Santa doesn't like children to see him or her ;-).  I think Santa finally finished his her  duties around 3am. but it was so worth it.  I actually think the kids slept until around 7, thank goodness.  It was full speed down the stairs to see if Santa had come down the chimney, of course he did.  They had so much fun opening their gifts.  Then it was nap time before the turkey & dressing went into the oven.  
After a busy morning
Here in Norway, the 25th of December isn't a big deal.  So it was a pretty relaxed day after the morning rush.  

I know its late but late is better than not at all.  More post to come soon...