Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's light out

Our daylight savings time started on Sunday, and I have to say that I'm really likin' it a lot. I have a mom (Hi, Mom!) who complained every spring over daylight savings time and wished it was standard time all year long, so I've been semi-skeptical of it, too. But this year, I really realized that I love this - I love the fact that it's 7 at night and the sun hasn't gone down yet. I feel like I have so much time to get things done when it stays light so much later. Not so much fun at 6 in the morning, though, I have to admit...

Not much going on today. I had a meeting with my boss (not the principal, but one of the assistant principals) this morning to discuss how everything was going with me at school. She was very happy and thought I was doing a great job, which made me quite happy, of course. I really like her a lot - I feel like I can go to her with any problems I have, and she does whatever she can to help. That's the way it should be!

Tuesdays are the days the boys go to Gaute's parents after school, so there was no real rush to head home after work. I stopped in at a bookstore to pick up a few office supplies I needed (you have to go to a bookstore to get that kind of stuff in Norway - they don't sell it at the grocery store). Then, I decided to give in to the craving I've been having for a while. I went to the drive-thru at McDonald's and bought myself a Chicken Premiere burger, fries and an orange Fanta. And it tasted really good! And the kids don't even know I was there....

Speaking of kids, here are a few pictures...

This one was taken last week. Anders and Johan pick out there own clothes each morning, and one day they came down wearing almost exactly the same thing. I don't think Anders thought that was so cool...

This shot is from our front hallway on Sunday. We had a few kids over - our kids shoes were in the basket, all of the ones on the floor belong to guests...

Sunday, March 29, 2009


This morning we woke up to bright sunlight. Yes!! I am in such a better mood when the sun is out. Espen left at 8:30 to play a football game, and Anders headed off to a friend's house, but Gaute and Johan and I decided to take a walk along the river close to our house. Johan brought along a friend, and they had a fun time walking and talking. It felt so good to be out in the sunshine!

Yesterday I made reservations at a hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden for Gaute and I next weekend. We haven't gone away alone for a long time, and we want to take a little mini-break. We were first thinking that we would fly somewhere, but we decided that it would be easier and cheaper to drive down to Gothenburg. It's only about 3 hours away. I looked up on my handy Trip Advisor website the best hotels in town, and discovered that a new, really cool-looking design hotel just opened there last summer, and it's ranked as the best. So, we will be staying at the Avalon Hotel next Saturday night. I'm really, really excited. I love staying at cool hotels, and this one looks really cool. I booked a deluxe room since we, ahem, saved so much money by not buying a plane ticket. Plus, we're only staying for the one night. Gothenburg has been getting a lot of press lately as the cool place to go, so it should be fun. Plus, we can stock up on cheap Swedish food on our way home!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

I just have a few minutes until it's 8:30 at night here, and I turn off the lights for Earth Hour. But I wanted to check in and say hi to everyone.

I was supposed to go to with a group of colleagues to another colleague's cabin in the mountains this weekend. We got a huge snowstorm yesterday, though, and the roads were chaos, so we decided not to go after all. I had kind of mixed feelings about it - I'm sure it would have been fun, but I wasn't sad to stay home, either.

Instead, a whole group of us from work went out last night to a bar to see a concert with another teacher at our school. It was a great concert and we had a fun time.

And now it's 8:30, so bye....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Double double

Ahhh, the neverending saga of Espen's eyes...Today Espen had an appointment with the surgeon who did his the last 2 (or was it 3) surgeries on his eyes. As I mentioned a while ago, Espen has started seeing double again, so we're making the rounds of the hospital again, trying to figure out what's going on. I was at a seminar this afternoon, so Gaute took Espen to the doctors. He didn't go into the details of what the surgeon said, but the gist of it is that she's thinking she'd like to operate again. According to Gaute, everything she explained to him made a lot of sense. She was not the one who did the first operation (or that is to say, she was not the one who decided what kind of operation it should be), and she thinks that they made the wrong decision then, and that that is why things aren't going like they should. So, we'll see what happens, but he's going back in in the middle of April for another consultation and to have some pictures taken of his eyes. I talked to Espen this evening, and he is positive to another operation, because he really thinks it's pretty annoying the way it is right now - which I can definitely understand. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, here are some pics of the big guy, fresh from football practice:

And one that Johan took of me...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A bit more...

As long as I'm posting links to music videos, I thought I would show you Norway's entry this year to the Eurovision Song Contest. This is kind of like an American Idol type contest which has been held every year for the last 54 years. All of the European countries choose one song to be there entry, and then people from all over Europe can call up to cast their votes (but you're not allowed to vote for the country you're calling from). Since I've been living in Norway, I have just not understand the interest in this contest - the songs were cheesy and it just did not appeal to me at all. I don't know if the songs are better now, or if I'm just really turning into a European, but I like this song a lot. It's super popular, and Anders and Johan know the lyrics by heart. Hopefully Alexander Rybak will win!! And Jim - you need to learn to play this song on your fiddle ;-)

This song is one that I really think is great. This is from the kids' version of the Eurovision Song Contest. The kids singing and playing are 13 and 14, and they wrote the song, too. I just think it's such a cool song!

I know, I know, I'm a total nerd!

Sunday skiing

Skiing once again this weekend. The weather was gorgeous - sunny, but still lots of snow in the forest where the ski tracks are. It felt so nice to be out there - a great way to be outside in the early spring.

When we got home, there was a Liverpool game on. They have been playing so well lately - and today was an incredible game. They won 5-0 against Aston Villa, which is also a good team. We were cheering pretty loudly!!

Here's one for Molly - the video for Oh My God, by Ida Maria, who we saw live at the Øya Festival when she was here. Still love Ida Maria - and happy to see that she's been selling lots of albums in England

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Some random shots I had on my camera...

Anders doing homework at the kitchen table.

Looks like Johan got a hold of the camera at some point, too.

Long live Google Maps!

I was playing around on Google maps today, and I saw that they have street views for Ketchum now. And I found our old house. Pretty fun to see it - and if you move the shot around, you can see the hill across the street, and the house that good old John is STILL working on!

View Larger Map

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The money will be coming in next year, too

Good news - I found out that my one-year contract at Ekeberg school will be renewed, and possibly made into a permanent position. I was pretty sure that that would be the case, but it was good to get an official confirmation. In the public school system, everything has to go very by the book, so I had to send in a new resume and cover letter and stuff. I really like my job and the people I work with, so I'm very happy that they want me to stick around!

I haven't posted any pics for a while, so I just went in and took some pictures of Anders and Johan who are already in bed with their jammies on...

Sunday, March 15, 2009


When I checked my e-mail this morning, there was a message from a mom in Johan's class informing everyone that her son had lice, and that we should check our kids. And, guess what - Johan had lice, too. His class has been plagued by lice all year, but so far it's only been the girls, and Johan has escaped...I was planning on going skiing today and getting out, but now I've spent the last 2 hours going over Johan's hair with a fine tooth comb and picking out nits. An ideal Sunday!! And of course all of his sheets and pillows are being washed in hot water, while his hats are in the freezer.

So far it looks like Anders and Espen are lice-free. I'll have to get Gaute to check me, though. I'm a bit nervous, because I often lie in bed next to Johan and read for him....LICE SUCKS!!!

I see that the sun just came out - I think we'll have to head out skiing after all. Much too nice of a day to sit inside!

Monday, March 09, 2009

A few minutes on the couch

One of the things I really like about my new fancy schmancy iPhone is that I can go online whenever I want and check my email or go on Facebook or update my blog. Like right now for example, just sitting on the sofa waiting for Johan to get out of the bath and - BOOM, a new blog entry.

Today was a pretty crazy day. First I went to work and had teaching until 12, then I went to a course until 6. Gaute is on a business trip in Haugesund in western Norway, so I sent the kids up to his parents after school to do homework and eat dinner. Very good plan, because when I came to get them we could come home an relax and not have to stress with getting dinner made and homework done. So happy they live close by...

Sunday, March 08, 2009


As my faithful readers can most likely deduce by the relative infrequency of my blogposts, things have gotten a bit crazy around here again. It's time for parent teacher conferences and written evaluations at school. Gaute has been travelling a lot, too. There just aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything, which means that I'm going around feeling worn out with a bad conscience for everything I'm not getting done.

This is where the 80% comes in. In Norway you can (at most jobs) decide what percentage of a full-time position you want to have. I have been working 100%, but on Friday I went in and told my boss that I would like to work 80% next year. That means one day off every week. There are quite a few teachers at my school who work 80% and he said that he couldn't promise me Fridays off because that's what everyone wants. I said that I'd actually be more interested in Mondays off or starting later every day. We'll see what happpens, but it seems like it should work out fine. I feel such a huge relief!

I don't officially have a job there next year, but I gave my boss my application letter last week. There are 4 positions for next year and my boss has said that he really wants to keep me there, so I'm not too worried. Will be nice to know for sure, though!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Late night workout

Anders has decided that he really wants to get in good shape (he's not exactly in bad shape, but, whatever...). So at about 8:00 this evening he put on some "workout clothes aka Liverpool uniform" and did some situps and pullups, lifted some weights and ate an apple. He's going to be an Olympic athlete in no time at all!! Of course, Johan had to get in on the fun, so he also put on his work out clothes and got at it (no apple for him, though...). I caught a picture of them after they were done, in front of Anders' door (they want everyone to be sure everyone notices the poster of Torres and Gerrard!)

Other than that, I have spent a good part of this evening preparing a slide show for the parent-teacher meeting at Ekeberg tomorrow night. Actually I made a little film in Windows Movie Maker - it lasts about 7 minutes and shows pictures from various activities the 2nd grade has been working on this winter. It turned out really cute, with great music - wish I could show it to you all, but I think my code of ethics prohibits me posting pics of my students online!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Skiing, skiing and more skiing

Today was a ski weekend for everyone, although we didn't actually go skiing together. Anders and Gaute are the big skiers in our family, and they were the only ones who headed out yesterday. First Gaute headed out for a long ski trip (30 km back and forth), and then Anders decided that he wanted to go skiing, too. He decided to head out on his own and went about 13-14 km by himself. On his way back, he met two of his best friends who were also out skiing on their own, and they all headed back here to play Little Big Planet on the Playstation 3. Which they were allowed to do since they had been out skiing...

Since I had been "sick" yesterday and hadn't been out much, I decided that I had to get out and do some skiing today. So, I headed out at about 9:30 this morning, before anyone else had really gotten up, with my iPod in my ears and went about 12 km - which is quite good for me. I like going skiing by myself - I can go at my own tempo and decide which tracks to take. Yesterday, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day, but today was overcast and not quite so nice. But, nevertheless, I had really had a great time. There's a lot of snow this year, and it's great to be able to put on my skis at home and take off on skiing for miles and miles.

When I got back, the big skiers Gaute and Anders had headed out together - they went about 20 km and had a great time. They left about an 45 minutes after me and saw tons of people they knew. I was early enough that I beat the "crowd". If we would have gone out at about 12 or so, we would have met a traffic jam. In our neighborhood, EVERYONE heads out skiing on Sundays!

Not necessarily 13-year-old boys, though. Espen's friend Nicolay spent the night last night and at 12:30 this afternoon I finally had to go up and drag them out of bed. Espen's big excuse for not going skiing this weekend was that he had a football game at 3:00 today, and he didn't want to be worn out. A fair enough excuse, except he came home early from his football game and said that the game had been cancelled. So, no more excuses! He had another friend, Harald, with him when he came home. Harald is quite a bit more active than a lot of Espen's friends, so we suggested that they could get in a little ski trip. Espen's first response was "NO", but Harald said "sure, why not?" so we decided to listen to Harald instead of Espen and sent them out into the woods. They were going to go to the same place I did (Ullevålseter, for those who have been there). It's dark now, but, this being Norway, that's not a problem since many of the tracks are lit at night.

Johan is the only one who didn't go skiing this weekend. He actually tried to call some friends to go skiing with yesterday, but everyone was out doing something else. He did play outside for a long time, though, and he ended up spending the night at his friend Alexander's house (Alexander is Espen's friend Nicolay's little brother). Today Alexander's dad took them to a climbing gym , the first time he's been to a climbing gym in Norway. I think he had a really good time! He's at a birthday party right now - never a dull moment around here!

Well, I'll leave you with a picture of Anders which I took a few minutes ago up here in the hallway by the computer. He looks good, but this hallway looks terrible. I kind of forget how bad it is, until I see pictures...try to concentrate on Anders when you look at the picture!!