Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Laptopless in Oslo

It has been a few weeks since I've been without a computer. While Jennifer and David were visiting my laptop died. I guess it had something to do with the hard drive. Kent tried to fix it for hours last Saturday but had no luck. It looks like we will wait until we get home to take it to the shop since we have no idea how many kroners it will take to repair.

In the meantime my blog is suffering and I'm falling way behind in my blogging. Will I be able to document what is missing? We shall all see.

Kent bought us something called a mini before we left for our adventure. It is a great little addition to our apartment. I think of it as our entertainment center. Today I found out I can listen to all our music. What a treat, no more Norwegian radio. The mini also has television shows and movies stored on it as well as access to Club Penguin. I was checking my e-mail on the mini which I didn't like since it was right there on the TV for all to read because it is connected to the television.

As of Saturday I've been using this fancy IBM Think Pad which is Tripod's. I guess this will be mine to use until we depart so here goes nothing.......

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lots of Soccer for Kayleigh

Isabelle, Frigg Farta's team leader asked KJ if she wanted to participate in an evening of soccer. She was taking a coach's clinic and they needed kids to help last night from 6:30-8:30.
Off we went last night. Sometimes it's a bit of a pain not having a car or a bike. We waited for the street car forever and finally decided to walk and it is a bit of a hike to the Frigg Field. We barely made it on time. There were a bunch of adults and a mix of girls and boys who were all around KJ's age.
Kayleigh jumped right in.... The group was all friendly and it looked like a lot of fun. The kids did some scrimmaging to start and KJ made a goal! She was very excited and ran over and told me that one of the boys told her she was a good soccer player. She added, "boys never tell me I'm good, only the dads."
They continued playing games and learning drills. Different coaches led each new game or drill. The clinic ended a little early. Isabelle came over with Kayleigh and said all the children were listening so well that they were done. I am still impressed with how well the kids listen to their coaches.... Way to go Frigg soccer players and coaches!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Haircuts and 100 Days

The longer we've been in Oslo, the longer our hair gets. We can't get over the price of a haircut in Oslo. The average price is around 500 kroner... that is $100. I realize some people don't hesitate at paying big bucks for their hair. I'm usually sporting a sporty cut so this has been challenging for me.
I walked into a salon about a month ago next to the grocer we frequent to inquire for KJ. Her hair is very long and I'd like it trimmed. Well, the cute, Norwegian stylist told me it would be 300 kroner for a barn. I thought I might be able to stomach that until she looked out the window and spotted my very tall daughter. She quickly upped the price to 500 kroner, since KJ isn't very barn looking and well over seven... 500 kroner, I don't think so.
I asked Jennifer if she cuts hair in an e-mail before they arrived. Her response was that she loves too. In fact she cuts David's hair and she said she'd pack her trusty scissors.
Last night in celebration of our 100th day in Europe Jennifer and David had us over for dinner and the three of us visited Jennifer's Hair Salon. I was quite impressed with the results too. The dinner was delicious... chicken cacciatore and we are all pleased with our new hairdos.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Birthday Fun

It dawned on us that Kayleigh has spent two of her last three birthdays in foreign countries. In fact, she has only had one birthday in Portland since we moved. Hmm, I wonder where she'll turn 10?
We had a great time last night with family and some girlfriends. I think the jumprope from Gracie and Drew was the highlight. I tried to take some photos but it was challenging when jumping rope indoors.
Here's to turning nine in Norge!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Denverites Come To Town

Are they called Denverites? Oh well, Jennifer and David.... KJ's grandparents are here for a long visit from Denver. They arrived Sunday after a long journey and made themselves comfortable on our new lounge chairs all afternoon. I should've snapped a photo. It's great having them. Yesterday, after they had a good nights sleep we (minus Kent, someone has to work) hiked over to Frogner Park. It was a glorious day with sun for a change. We took in all the Vigeland statues, did the maze and KJ played on the playscape too. We refueled at the Untited Bakery and then did a couple errands on the way home.
Today is KAYLEIGH's ninth Birthday! She's having a low key day so far. I think she told her teacher it was her birthday but I don't think she wanted to make a big deal out of it. That wouldn't be me. I let the whole world know well in advance about my special day. I'm tying to let her do her thing.
When I went to pick her up she wanted me to guess who gave her a present at recess. I had no idea. Two girls KJ met when she first started at Uranienborg remembered today was her b-day and brought her a gift. Now, that is sweet!
KJ also received a box from my sister, G and Drew. What timing, they have! What great gifts too: a jump rope, a new blue sweat suit with shorts, pants and shirt. I want it. It looks like it could almost fit me? JK. There are also a selection of books. She is very happy!
We just took her brownie cake out of the oven and will decorate it shortly then off to soccer practice. Tonight Jennifer and David plus KJ's pals Anna and Elsa are coming over to celebrate. I'd say not a bad way to spend your special day in Oslo or wherever you may be.
Oh, Jennifer and David made there way to Telenor to have lunch with Kent and check out his working conditions. Yesterday they had trouble getting any kroners. Apparently, they were suppose to contact their credit card company and bank before they left the U.S. I'm happy to report after Jennifer made several phone calls last night, they now have kroners. FYI, for all you happy travelers... make sure to let your bank or credit people know when you leave the country as this happened to us too.


PS. The first picture of KJ J and D is next to one my favorite Vigeland statues. For some reason I love that women with the wild hair. BTW.... my hair is getting pretty long. I'm not paying $$$ kroners for a haircut.

Three Months in Oslo Already?!?

Hard to believe but true. I'm happy about the fact we've been here since January 7 and are marching right along.
It seems like we are settling into a routine of some sort. The school schedule is still strange to me. Kayleigh gets out everyday at one. Most Norwegian school kids have odd schedules. Almost everyday they get out at different times. I'm still not really sure why? A friend told me this is because they want to extend the school day and are gradually working towards this. Teachers aren't paid well and don't want to work more hours if they aren't going to get more pay and I'm not sure the parents want their children in school any longer. I still don't know enough about public education in Norway, but I think it needs improvement. We are happy to report KJ is returning to Archbishop Howard for fourth grade.
KJ and I have lots of quality time together which we've always had since she is an only child. We spent the first couple months visiting lots of the sights. Once a week we went on field trips together. We spend time studying every afternoon for a bit. Some days are better than others. She's written and illustrated a super cute story, done an animal report, has learned how to divide and is currently working on her multiplication facts. She has also read around 20 books since we've arrived. (FYI, the books are at least grade 5 or 6 reading level) We also treat ourselves every now and then to a visit to the bakery. Not to worry we walk a lot after our trip to the bakery.
Soccer practice is once a week and soon the games will start. This has been fun and we are looking forward to the games. Their is a tourney (cupp this weekend)
We've also gone to church! I know, some of you are probably very surprised. We wish we would've gone sooner. KJ has gone to the youth group too.
I like where we are now..... I'm still learning to be patient; all things that are good take time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Conference with Guro

Yesterday we met with Kayleigh's teacher Guro for a conference. We heard children don't receive report cards in Norway. The teachers meet twice during the school year to discuss the child's progress. We decided this was KJ's first Norwegian report card. We wanted to meet with Guro too... The three of us have been thinking that it might be nice for KJ to move into the regular Norwegian third grade class.
The meeting went well. We listened to Guro explain how learning a foreign language happens. She can speak 7 languages so I guess she does have some knowledge in this area. She had a lot of kind things to say about KJ.. She said she has never seen a child her age write so well with no mistakes. We figured that meant she's good at spelling. We mentioned to Guro about the regular class. She thinks KJ can spend some time in the class but it is better for her to learn Norwegian in the Mottak class which we decided is probably true. In the regular class there are 5 kids that speak English and a teacher who is British. KJ would most likely speak a lot of English and not get the individual help she gets in the Mottak class. The regular class has close to 30 kids and KJ's class has 12. Plus she is happy where she is, so why another transition with school ending June 20.
The class is starting animal reports too and KJ loves animals! Today they are also getting a new girl who is from Zombia and she is an English speaker and apparently Kayleigh's age. This is very exciting news. I'm off to see how is went. Ha det bra!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Another Weekend in Oslo

It's hard to believe we've been here for three months. Where does the time go? Before you know it, we will be enjoying summer in Oslo and other parts of Europe. (We are planning on some travel in July before we head back to Portland.)
We had a fun weekend and actually didn't sit around much which is unusual for us. Friday after school KJ had two friends over. They are sisters and they go to Uranienborg Skole too. KJ has befriended them on the playground. They are American and their father is the minister at the American Lutheran Church which is in our neighborhood. They have relatives in Portland and are traveling there soon; it's a small world. They invited Kayleigh to youth group at the church the next day so of course she went and had a super, fun time. They did an art project, sang songs, ate dinner and played. While all that action was going on Kent and I had a date. We have dreamed about having a chance to go out on our own.... so it was fun for all three of us. We went to a little spot called Deja Vu close to our apartment. It was good and not super expensive at least for Oslo?.. They had quite a variety to choice from pasta dishes, stir fries, hamburgers and pizza. Kent had a curry, pasta dish and I had a chicken, veggie stir fry. We also went for a walk and then picked up KJ.
We also had the chance to chat with some of the parents which was nice. We are meeting lots of good people who are making it easier for us here. We see that they have adjusted to life away from their home countries and are having great experiences and it's been real positive for me to be around people like this. I have to admit, this hasn't been easy for me and at times I feel like hopping on the next plane home. I think I would've been disappointed.... I'm happy to report KJ and Kent have been amazing. Kayleigh is such a happy, positive kid and always makes the most of things. Kent has a great outlook about being in Norway and and is quick to remind me that we are in one of the best countries in the world... OK, I get the picture.
Back to the weekend... Friday night Carolyn invited me for a night out. She picked me up and we headed to an area called Grunerlokka which is very popular with lots of boutiques and fun spots to eat and drink. We ended up at Sult; it means hunger in Norwegian. The barside is called Torst meaning thirst... clever. We had mussels, white wine and chatted. We were entertaining one another, reminiscing about UND. We both knew a lot of the same people and keep discovering even more people. It brought back lots of fun memories. We left Sult and walked around a bit. We definitely weren't ready to call it a night so we ended up at a place in my neighborhood but I can't recall the name. It was a very hip spot though. We decided on a bottle if white wine and continued our engaging conversation. Around midnight we finally called it a night. It was excellent going out with a girlfriend....

Friday, April 4, 2008

One last Ski

Yesterday Telenor had a free ski afternoon for its employees and their families. (Telenor is the company Kent is working at over here.) We were able to participate even though Kent doesn't work directly for Telenor. He pretended to be a collegue, who doesn't ski by the name of Jorgen.
The weather was very springy yesterday which was our first mild day in a while. Tryvann was pretty quiet but full of kids and Telenor families. We did our usual transportation routine to Tryvann... first the street car, then the subway/train ride which is about 20 minutes and finally a little shuttle bus. That seems like a lot of work just to ski but once you've done it a couple times it is quite easy; just time consuming.
KJ and I have never skied sloppy snow and it was sloppy. At first I thought okay I'll do a couple runs, but it ended up being a lot of fun. Telenor provided a barbeque, at least that's what Kent's friend Heming called it.... hotdogs with a bun or lomper. (Lomper is our new favorite way to eat a hotdog. It is kinda like lefsa only not as sweet.) You simply roll your hotdog and whatever you want on in up in the lomper and you are ready to go. I have to admit; I've become a hotdog fan in Oslo. It is the national treat!
After our tasty barbeque we hit the slopes again. KJ wouldn't let us off easy. We skied and skied!
I almost forgot to mention the National Norwegian ski team was at the barbeque. Telenor sponsors them. Lots of folks were getting their autographs which was kinda cool.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Speedy Frigg Soccer Practice Pics

Speedy Frigg's last indoor soccer practice was Monday and the team will hopefully start to practice outside next week if the weather cooperates. It has been rainy! Their first game isn't until April 19 and 20 when they have a little tourney.