Friday, December 9, 2011

Catch up!

Spending the Summer in Norway was a blast, so much of a blast I totally skipped on the blogging! How horrible is that!

We spent quality time with so many people, but most importantly with my grandpa, who only 10 weeks after I returned to the US, passed away in the comfort of his him, with many of his loved ones around him.  His passing was such a sad thing, but at the same time, we know he is no longer in pain, and is yet again re-united with the love of his life - my grandma who passed away last December. This year will be the first year with none of my grandparents alive. I am so glad I got to spend the last two Christmases in Norway, one with both of my maternal grandparents, and the last one with my grandpa.

A highlight while in Norway was being there for when my newest nephew, Joachim Leandro was born. He was making us nervous that we'd miss meeting him as he decided to wait past his due date of the 20th (we were leaving the 30th to return to the US).  He is absolutely adorable (as is his brothers and his cousins Miriam and Daniel!) and I am so glad we got to meet and love on him before we have to leave!

Upon returning to the US, we drove directly to our new house and camped out on air beds:) A wonderful couple who we consider dear friends, drove our van to the airport and left it there for us so we did not have to take the shuttle home. It took me a while to find the van as I forgot about the lack of internet at the airport (unless you pay) and had to search out someone who was willing to let me borrow their cell phone so I could call my friend:) The same wonderful couple also left food for us at our old house (which we found when we picked up airbeds before going to bed) so we had donuts, milk, and fruits for breakfast! How awesome is that!

We finally sold our old house in November, and enjoy once again being a one home family. We're still adjusting to the house, unpacking, getting rid of stuff we really should not have moved etc, but are loving the spacious house, wonderful storage and separate rooms for the kids! I love our master bathroom, my mail floor laundry and my new kitchen! It really is our dream house, and I am glad we were able to get it while the market was at a low!

We're preparing to spend our first Christmas in our new home, with family spending time with us, and we look forward to that.

Hoping to get pictures uploaded soon. I am really bad at keep up on that, but with my new laptop I should be able to do better since I don't have to wait a lifetime for the pictures to be accessible!

Take care, and have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Norway - week 1

Today marks the day we've been in Norway for a whole week. It is very nice to be back, although I miss Kevin a ton already! I hope he is able to come see us later this summer, while at the same time, I know that if he is not able to, it is for a good reason which will pay off in the long run.

The two youngest girls are still adjusting to the time difference and the food change, but I think we're getting there!

Michael and Victoria have already improved immensely in their Norwegian, and it is so fun to see!! I can only imagine how great their Norwegian will be at the end of our stay here!

Well, off to get some salty foods. I had some food last night that just did not measure up, so now I have a hankering for the real deal:)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Girls Night Out with two awesome ladies!

My good friend Eli and her husband Omar came back to town with their little boy this past weekend, and last night my friend Karen and I got to go out to eat with Eli - without kids!It is soo good to be able to go out with two wonderful ladies and just talk while eating a good meal! You know those friends who listen to you when you vent, are always willing to give advice and just be there for you! These two ladies are that kind of a friend! I am blessed to have these two ladies in my life, and wish that we'd see Eli more often, and that I would be better at staying in touch. Another thing to add to my list of things to work on!
 Oh, and of course - no picture! Going to have to fix that later this week for sure!

On a side note - it is going to be a scorcher today! So, I will run my errands early, and hopefully get the rest of the stuff I can pack, packed. The kids need their shorts for a few more days, so those can't be packed until last minute, but the rest of our stuff should be ok. As long as I get the important papers taken care of, I should be ok even if I don't get their clothes packed:) It is for sure a day to be spent inside! Actually, I think they should cancel school since it is going to be dangerously hot at the schools, no AC etc.....but that is just wishful thinking on my part:) I am sure that later this summer, when my kids are getting on my last nerve and my vow to be a "thermostat" and not a "thermometer" fails, I will be glad they had these last three days of school:)

Speaking of heat -Thermostat vs. Thermometer is a parenting advice I learned yesterday. As parents we can choose to be a thermometer. Measuring the temperature as it rises. Or, we can be a thermostat, controlling the temperature. Isn't that a great picture to think of?! Now I just need to put that into my life:) Another work in progress:)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Conflict just is not a very fun thing!

I am NOT good at dealing with conflict, but lately it seems to just flourish around me! This causes stress dreams in which I always fail to keep my kids safe:( Yikes! I have to keep in mind though, that the conflicts I worry about right now, are due to actions made by others, which in turn caused them to be disappointed with the after-effects. I don't have energy to deal with adults who act like kids, throw tantrums like a 3 year old, refuse to be around us because of disappointment or hold a grudge or are jealous because of something we have accomplished. I have enough work with my own kids doing those things. We make the decisions we make because of the situations we are in, and we strive to always put our family first. If we end up disappointing you because of that, I am sorry, but that is life.
Ok, I got that off my chest now, and will look forward:) I can't afford to spend my time and energy worrying about what other people think or feel, when I know we've made the right decisions in what we have done, but it is my nature to worry about things I cannot control. It is very high on my list of things to work on, as it is mentally draining to constantly worry about other people and what they might think or feel. Kevin works hard to provide for our family, and there is no way in this world he will relent on his efforts to make sure his family is well taken care of (regardless of other people's feelings), and we are financially set. He is a gosh-darn- awesome guy and I am blessed to be his wife!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer, is here, and summer vacation close behind!

Spring took a long time coming, but when it did, it brought destruction and horrible weather for major parts of the country. We've been blessed to be spared here in Southern Minnesota (and I thank God he has not made me go through horrible storms yet as I am terrified of the American Storms!!). My prayers are with those people in the areas hit by tornadoes, flooding and any other disaster!

Like I said, it is finally warming up around here, and life sure is busy! I am looking forward to my first summer as a stay at home mom since 2000! And to make it even better, I am spending the whole summer in Norway with my family! The kiddos and I leave for Norway a week from Saturday, and will be there until August 30th! Kevin is staying back, dealing with house stuff, selling, buying, moving etc! We're hoping he can make it to Norway to visit us for at least a few weeks at some point during the summer. If he is unable though, at least there is Skype, FaceTime and many other ways for us to communicate.

My hope is that the kids will be able to learn more about the Norwegian culture, the family ties that are so important to me, learn to speak the language (which I really need to work on at home too!!) and just enjoy time with their cousins in Norway as well as make friends. Hopefully it will be the trip of a lifetime, with lots of time to just enjoy being a kid too!

Regardless of if Kevin is able to come visit or not, we sure will miss him! He feels bad I have to deal with the 4 kids by myself for the whole summer, but honestly, I am sure I will have an easier time there than here with all the family around, and all the stuff going on:)

The last few weeks (months) I have been packing up the house to prepare for moving into a new house. Kevin is a minimalist (less stuff = better) and rightly so, but I am afraid that if I left all the packing to him, he would make decisions to rid us of things I am not ready to get rid of:) Plus, if he has to move it all by his lonesome self, I don't want him to have to pack it all on top of that. There are days though, when I was thinking that I should just get a dumpster and toss it all out without even looking at it. Then that voice in my head started nagging me about "what if there is something important in there..."Yikes! Sure has taught me a lesson to get rid of junk as soon as it arrives (read junk mail and ads), pair down the things we have too many of (someone's trash is another person's treasure, right!), and also to label all boxes! It is very difficult to go through box after box marked with "misc":)

I am down to the last two rooms of packing though, and will leave the essentials as well as clothes for Kevin so that our house will look lived in:)

So, when my house packing ends, I will start packing our bags for the Norway trip! Need to go shopping for some essentials - butter scotch chips (can't get those in Norway, and Special K bars are a must at times!), baby gift for my lovely baby sister who is due in August (she better have that baby before I leave!), birthday gifts and other odds and ends.

I found, now that summer is here, that my summer clothes from last year are too big! Yay....or yikes! Not the time to have to go clothes shopping, but I am also excited to only be 5lbs away from my ultimate weight loss goal without really working at it. Seems like when you stop worrying about things, things take care of themselves! I decided to not think about weight loss until I was done nursing my peanut - Kaia - since I will have the rest of my life to stress about that, and voila! I have TONS of toning to do, but heck, I am just glad I did not have to go up any sizes in clothes the last three years with two pregnancies and nursing!

Anyway, rambling along, and no pictures to show for it, so I better get moving. Evenings are family time now that we're going to be apart for such a long time, and I want to make sure I am not cleaning or packing during that important time!

Ha det bra, alle sammen! (Have it good y'all!)

Thursday, March 31, 2011


We're looking April into the eyes and I have not posted since December 20th! Time for some catching up I guess.

Morfar og Mormor 2010

My wonderful Grandma Solveig passed away right before Christmas, so Kaia and I flew home for the funeral. This also meant we spent Christmas in Norway with our family there, but not with Kevin, Michael, Victoria and Madde here in the US. It was a weird Christmas for certain. The first one away from Kevin, and the kids for that matter. Kevin missed Kaia's first Christmas, but I am SO glad we were able to go home for the funeral and be with my family!
The awesome birthday gift I got from Kevin was put to good use (my iPod touch) since we allowed the older two kids to open their Christmas gifts from us on the 21st (night before I left for Norway) and they got iPod touches as well. Those amazing gizmos have Facetime, so a lot of our time was spent chatting on Facetime while I was gone. It helped Kevin see how much Kaia changed while we were gone, as well as helped Madeline not be too sad about missing us since she could see us on the iTouches. I arrived in Norway on the 23rd of December, just in time for Santa's little helpers to arrive with candy for the kids, decorating the tree and preparing for the feast the next day.
Christmas Eve was spent at my parents' house with my siblings and their children.

Mormor's (grandma's) funeral was on December 29th, and was a beautiful, although very sad occasion. My entire family was gathered to celebrate her wonderful life.
After the funeral we all gathered at my grandpa's house for some foods and conversation. In the evening we had a cousin gathering at my Aunt Siv's house. It was so great to hang out with most of my cousins on my mom's side! We've all grown up running in and out of each other's doors and have a close relationship, and being with them all to remember mormor, and rekindle some of the relationships that have kinds of dwindled a bit was very good for all of us. We started writing down stories my mormor used to tell us, and hopefully, over the next year, we can gather most of them and have them bound in a book along with stories from and about my morfar (grandpa) for all of us to have.
Below is a picture of my awesome cousins (minus Silje and Sondre).

I returned to Norway on January 9th (same day as we returned from Norway the year before I was told by the dude in passport control):)

Madeline turned 2 years old on the 12th of January. She is getting so big and constantly amazes me and cracks me up! She loves her baby sister, although is getting into the stage of not wanting her baby sister to take any of her stuff, which is a problem since Kaia started crawling and standing up while in Norway.

Kaia is turning 1 on April 17th. My little baby is not so little, and it just scares me how fast they grow up!! She is always happy and content and loves her siblings and her daddy!

Victoria and Michael are great help with their siblings and around the house! They started Norwegian class online in January and are making great progress. Hopefully our stay in Norway this coming Summer will leave them speaking Norwegian fluently:)

Kevin and I have been working on our house, finishing a 4th bedroom in the basement, and listed our house for sale again in mid March. We've also started looking at houses that we are interested in and have found one that is VERY interesting:)

My cousin Marthe came to visit for a while (her stay in Arizona did not turn out the way she was hoping) and we were lucky enough to have her come here. She is leaving for Phoenix again tomorrow and will return to Norway on Wednesday. Poor girl has been put to work her, helping up paint our new bedroom, watch kids and making Dronning Maud pudding now renamed Kevin's pudding:) It has been soo good to get to know her better and hang out with her since she was only 9 when I moved to the US.
I hope that despite the lack of things to do in Rochester during the winter months, Madeline and Kaia's naps for 3 hours during the day and everything else going on, she has had a good time!

Dronning Maud Pudding aka Kevin's Pudding due to his obsession with the dessert!

Saturday we visited the Spam Museum in Austin, MN (see picture below), Monday Quarry Hill, Wednesday Oxbow park and Zollman Zoo. Today will be spend scrapping morfar's birthday gift and just relaxing. Tomorrow we'll head to the Cities, and to Underwater Adventures at the Mall of America before taking Marthe to the airport. I am not ready to send her on her way, but it helps to know we'll see her and many others again this summer!
 All of us, plus Marthe and Victoria's friends Breanna at the Spam Museum