The last piece of the puzzle, and a short update

Next week will be 8 months since we moved to Sandefjord. Yesterday, after many months of waiting and praying, the boys and I finally received our Norwegian personal numbers (kind of like a US social security number). We are relieved to finally have this final piece that really makes us “official!”Summer is definitely over and fall has arrived in our city. It is quite beautiful as the leaves change from summer green to shades of orange and yellow. The weather has cooled off significantly, and we’re seeing a bit more rain than before.

The boys continue to really enjoy school. We had their fall conferences this week and got positive reports for both of them. We discussed their strengths and set some goals that they will work towards over the next few months. I’m really impressed with their teachers and the way that they work with our children on such a personal level.

Zack and I continue to press on with language school. We will have our level 2 language testing soon. October 28 will be the written portion, and then we will take the oral exam on October 30. We are nervous and excited about this next milestone in our journey to fluency!

It’s always fun to get postcards
from friends around the world!
Livingroom Slumber Party!

 

Celebrating two friends’ birthdays last weekend

 

Hanging out at the park after church

 

The boys return from fotball in the park (soccer)

 

Sometimes you just need to lie down
on the heated tiles in the morning 🙂

 

Just outside of their school

 

Celebrating our language teacher’s birthday

 

Our neighbor’s son celebrated his birthday yesterday,
and brought us some of his cake – YUM!!

365 Days Later

A year ago, we woke early at a hotel by the airport, boarded a shuttle bus, and then made our way onto an airplane. We said good-bye to our home country and anxiously prepared for our first field assignment.Two flights later, we we arrived in what would be our home for the next 3.5 months: the beautiful and big city of Vancouver.

I remember that first day in Vancouver. We were exhausted, nervous, a little sad, and very much overwhelmed. We boarded the (wrong) SkyTrain towards our apartment in Surrey, and finally made it there. We were excited about the cool views from a very hip high-rise apartment. We were hungry. We needed to go grocery shopping. We didn’t know where anything was. We wandered aimlessly, searching for what would become our routine: grocery stores, shops, restaurants, coffee, etc. While it wasn’t always easy, we really enjoyed our short time in Canada.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we left our normal. And yet in some ways, it seems like even longer than that!

A few photos from our journey out of the US a year ago…

 

 

 

 

 

More visitors

We are winding down from our fall break. What makes a week off from school even better? A visit from family!!
My (Jenn) mom and step-dad came for their first visit to Norway. We had a great time! We toured Oslo, spent a few hours in Sweden, met up with quite a few local friends, shared more about our work here, went for a few small hikes, and enjoyed lots of good food, including some traditional Norwegian cuisine. It was a wonderful visit, and we miss them already!

Our new bathroom

When we found our home, we liked it. Really liked it. Except for one thing.The bathroom.

Some problems were cosmetic, but some were much more. The plumbing was all exposed. The drainage pipes were too small. Everytime we stepped in the shower, I worried someone might fall through the base of it. The floors were cold, uneven, and mismatched. And the toilet. Well, it was in the corner and difficult for anyone over four feet tall to use. I’ll just leave it at that.

But now – all I can say is our landlord spoils us!

Here are a few BEFORE pictures:

Mismatched flooring,
toilet on the short side of the ceiling,
exposed electrical and plumbing
Tiny shower cabinet (too short for tall Zack),
with a drain that was too small and caused
problems

 

And here are a few ‘after’ photos – looks great, doesn’t it?
An incredibly nice – and large! – shower,
and a great vanity & sink
Panoramic pics always distort things, but you can
see that things look a LOT different!
More lighting (over mirror & overhead),
where we only had one small light before
New toilet, new (much higher capacity) hot water heater,
new walls, new ceiling & floors… new everything!
So glad to have this much-improved room – including
heated floors (important for cold Norwegian winters!)