Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Gaute's summer vacation

Gaute is not coming with us to California...That doesn't mean that he won't have a fun-filled summer, though. He is, among other things, going to build stairs for the deck (although we will miss the rotting pallett we've been using for the last couple of years). He got a headstart on his work on Sunday, and his good helpers Anders and Johan were right there. It will be pretty exciting to see how it looks when we get back...

And, just for the record, we are going to have a vacation with Gaute when we get back from California. He's not just going to be working all summer. We are, for example, going here at the end of July...

We'll miss you, Gussie!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


My biggest boy, Espen, is flying to California by himself early tomorrow morning. I've been feeling pretty laidback about it up until now. All of the sudden today, it really struck me. Maybe it's the rainy weather, but I just started crying thinking about it. He is so excited - he can barely contain himself. He's really excited to see everyone, but he's also excited to be able to do this all by himself. Flying all the way to California by himself. I feel so proud of him...But I'm really going to miss him.

I love you, Espen.

Friday, June 16, 2006


I am done! Finally after weeks of studying and taking finals, I am done.

I had my last final today, an oral final in Norwegian. We pick a subject, and then have to explain it and talk about for 20 minutes. I picked parts of speech - it was like a dream come true. I have a BA in linguistics - parts of speech is something I can talk about. I felt like it went really well, although we'll see if it was good enough for an A - the two teachers who were there were really testing me the whole way, and asking follow up questions, and asking me to give examples. But, regardless, I am done! My summer vacation has officially begun!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

All about me...

I should be studying for my final tomorrow, but I found some fun stuff...

You Are 33% American

America: You don't love it or want to leave it.
But you wouldn't mind giving it an extreme make over.
On the 4th of July, you'll fly a freak flag instead...
And give Uncle Sam a sucker punch!

You Belong in San Francisco

You crave an eclectic, urban environment. You're half California, half NYC.
You're open minded, tolerant, and secretly think you're the best.
People may dismiss you as a hippie, but you're also progressive, interesting, and rich!

Your Inner European is Swedish!

Relaxed and peaceful.
You like to kick back and enjoy life.

Your Political Profile:
Overall: 20% Conservative, 80% Liberal
Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Your Italian Name Is...

Luciana Giordano

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I looked on my calendar today - it appears as though Father's Day is on Sunday. And, once again, it appears as though I haven't managed to register that fact before it is too late. Living in Norway is not good for a procrastinator like me - I can't just run out to the store and pick up a gift or a card to send to the states - I really do need to plan ahead. And they don't even celebrate Father's Day and Mother's Day at the same time in Norway as they do in America - I don't stand a chance of being reminded in time...

So, umm, Happy Father's Day...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Motivational problems

The weather has been so nice the last few days. It's been foggy in the morning, and then around 10 the sun breaks through, and it's blue skies the rest of the day. It feels so good to be outside and working in the yard. And sitting on our deck - I am so happy that we finally got that finished last year. It is really nice!

This nice weather is making studying really hard, though (I feel like these dumb finals are about all I've been thinking or talking about for the last month). I just want to be out enjoying this nice weather now that it has finally arrived. Friday the 16th - that is when my summer vacation starts!

Friday, June 09, 2006

An update

Just an update - the kids are outside playing football (it is the opening day of the World Cup, by the way). They're speaking English :-)

English as a second language

I've been speaking a lot of Norwegian lately. It's gotten to be so natural to me - I speak it all day at school, with my neighbors, when I'm picking up the kids from school. I didn't really realize how much Norwegian I was speaking until today, though.

My friend Elizabeth has three kids, all of whom are good friends of my kids. Her two oldest, who are the same age as Anders and Espen have always spoken English with me. Today her youngest, Emma, Johan's good friend, called and asked me in English if it was okay if Johan came over to play. It kind of threw me - because my kids NEVER speak English to me anymore, and here was little 5-year-old Emma doing it.

We used to speak English all the time at home. I remember when my friend Astrid told me that she was so happy, because it only took her kids a few days to pick up their English again when she took them to her parents in England. I couldn't really relate, because my kids spoke English all of the time.

Well, those days are definitely gone. I brought the whole English thing up while we were eating dinner tonight. I told the kids I thought we should all speak English when we are at home, AT THE VERY LEAST. The thing that crushed me was that they had a hard time. Not Espen, I guess he got a good enough dose when he was younger, but Johan couldn't remember how to say table in English, and Anders was also struggling.

That's it - from now on this is an English-speaking household. I am American, and my kids are GOING to speak English like Americans! (I might have to get Gaute to stop speaking English if that is my goal, though....)

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Okay - I think summer has finally arrived in Oslo. It's still not as warm as it was during the 2 weeks of REAL SUMMER we had in the beginning of MAY, but I just finished mowing the lawn in my shorts - and that is the true definition of summer.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Poor little guy...

While I was at the grocery store this afternoon, my cart overflowing with organic food (I checked my bank balance before I went to the store and found out I had more money than I thought. I couldn't let that situation exist any longer), I got a phone call from Johan's preschool. He had just thrown up, and I needed to come and pick him up.

My first thought was not "poor Johan, I hope he's okay", but "shit, this really screws up my carefully-laid-plans". You see, tomorrow and the next day are the crazy days from hell. Tomorrow I have one of my mammoth 6-hour finals, which means that I am out of commision between 9 and 3. But, Korsvoll School has decided to have their before-school day tomorrow, of course, which means that Johan will go to the school and meet the rest of the kids in his class and his teacher. At the same time, there is a meeting for the parents. I LOVE stuff like that, and I am going to be stuck in a dumb room taking a dumb test. Gaute is going - but he will never be able to tell me what they said - "it went fine" is about all I'm expecting.

Last week, our neighbor, Astrid, died. We were all sad - she was a great lady and we will miss her. But she was 92, and she was doing really well until the day she died. She had a stroke, went into a coma and died a few hours later.

Back to our story - Astrid's funeral is tomorrow. So, after Gaute goes to that meeting at the school, he has to hightail it home, change into his suit, and go to the funeral. Then, when that is done, it's home again, back into regular clothes, and off to work (at this point, it'll probably be about 2 in the afternoon). Then Espen has a football game at 5, and then Anders has football practice at 6. At 8, I'm going to a meeting to plan Anders's summer program for his class. And, I don't even want to get into the day after tomorrow.

The stomach flu usually doesn't last long, right? Gotta go, he just threw up again...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Norwegian Christianity

So....I was home by myself again this weekend. Gaute took the kids to the cabin again so that I could have the house to myself and study. I really did get a lot done - hopefully it will pay off when I have my final on wednesday (yes, it is another 6 hour final with essay questions...)

We've had two long weekends in a row here. Norway is very religious (ahemm...) so they have days off for all of the big religious holidays, like Ascension Day and the day after Ascension Day (last weekend) and Pentecost Sunday - and Pentecost Monday, of course (this weekend). I'm not complaining, but I think the religious significance is lost on most people. The kids in school LOVE it! Unfortunately, the college students still have to study for their finals, though...

Anyway, everyone is home now - except for Espen who is at a Lyn game. I'm taking a few hours break to eat dinner and say hi to my family. I might just get back into study mode after they go to bed, though. I would hate to get a bad grade... Plus, I think what I'm studying is really interesting. It's Religious Studies, which I think is fascinating. Now I finally understand what people have been talking about all of these years....