Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It's A Boy!

This is our family all dressed in blue to celebrate that we will be welcoming another BOY into our family.  It would have been a lot of fun to have another little girl, but who can resist a sweet little boy.  We have decided on a name that we are ready to share

Malachi Lee
Each of our children's names have been chosen just because we liked the first name and the middle name is a family name.  Lee is after my Mom ( and my sister and brother) who all have the middle name Lee.  The kids have already started calling him by name when they talk about him or pray for him.

Today I got to see our sweet little man again for our official anatomy scan.  It will never be anything less than a miracle to me to watch an ultrasound and see a perfectly formed little human.  Our sweet man is measuring right on schedule and he was a very active little guy.  The ultrasound tech had a hard time seeing what she needed to see at times because he was so active.  I will say I like getting ultrasounds here in Norway because the technician is allowed to talk to you about your ultrasound while they are doing it.   You don't have to wait for a doctor to interpret your results, you can know as it is happening.  I also liked that they had a second screen mounted where I could see it so I didn't have to try and turn my head to see what was going on.

 I just love this sweet little profile.

Jon was not able to be at today's scan, he is busy meeting his new coworkers and learning his new job in Paris.  If you are wondering when we will be moving, so are we!  The immigration process has been started, but we can't move to Paris until Jon's work permit comes through and we won't know when that will happen until it happens.  It is all very exciting and stressful all at the same time.  We have one of the kiddos that have been excepted to an international school and now we are waiting on the other child to be accepted.  That is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders to know where Addie and Ben will be going to school next year.  Now I need to find something for Garrett to do as he will be very sad to see Ben go off to school without him.  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Heddal Stave Church

After seeing pictures of this church on Pinterest I looked up directions.  It turns out this church is less than 2 hours from us.  We had a beautiful Saturday morning so we decided to hit the road.  The drive to the church was very pretty.

The church is so pretty in person.  It has a cemetery around it and it is near a lake.  The green grass everywhere made everything look so amazing.

The kids love cemeteries and they were very anxious to explore this one.

Inside the church was beautiful.  This church was originally built in 1250.

Some of the decoration on the inside of the church.

Garrett got scared in a dark area and wanted his Daddy. 

Out in the cemetery the kids were looking at some of the gravestones.  

This grave almost made Addie cry.  It was for a little girl who only lived to be 4 years old, she has such a tender heart.

Garrett was so proud of his handsome outfit, and he loves when he has 'two pockets'.

Such an amazing place.

The church was in Heddal, but that is about all that is there.  We started looking on our phone for a place to eat.  There were not a lot of choices so we headed back to the closest town, Notodden.  We were hoping to find a pizza place open, but for some reason restaurants here don't open until 1 or 2 pm. It was only noon so we were in rough shape.  Thankfully there was a Thai restaurant open.  You never know what you are going to get at a small town restaurant, but we found a gem here.  The spring rolls were amazing and we were all really happy with our meals.  

After lunch the kids wanted to go into a pet store that was next door.  A pet store for these kids is almost as good as a zoo.  We got to see fish and hamsters, mice and a parrot.

This parrot was tucked away downstairs and he was so fun.  He said "Hello" when we walked up and then he just looked at us and pecked at his cage.  When we were ready to go we started to say Good bye, but I thought that maybe Norwegian would work better for this bird.  Sure enough I said "Ha det" and the bird answered back with a LOUD 'Ha det' of his own.  The kids thought that was great and it ended up being their favorite and most talked about event of the day.

A 2 hour ride home and naps all around and these kids were ready for more fun.  Garrett decided he needed knee and elbow pads for his scooter ride.

Ben needed his helmet for extra safety during tree climbing.  The boys ended up going for a bike ride with Jon and Addison.

Addison is now riding her bike with NO training wheels.  She is so excited and proud of herself.  It is so much fun to watch her grow up and reach these milestones.

Quality Hotel in Sarpsborg and Aqua Land!

Our hotel with the Quality Hotel in Sarpsborg.  We first saw this hotel from the E6 (interstate) on our way to Sweden.  This hotel has a play area and an indoor swimming area that you can see from the road.  We wanted to do something fun for the kids on our long weekend so we headed to this hotel, about an hour and 20 minutes from our house.  

Sunday morning we got up and were the first people at the pool.  I took the opportunity to take some pictures of our crazy family.  The kids love to 'push Daddy in the pool'.  He is such a good sport.

Ben had a lot of fun swimming around the pool.

Garrett and Daddy had lots of fun playing together.

Garrett is so silly sometimes.

I think Garrett gets his silliness from his sister, she is such a ham.

This water spout was a lot of fun, Garrett liked to hold onto it and pretend he was spraying his daddy.

Such sweet boys.

These two are so much fun.

The slide was a big hit too.  Garrett went down with Daddy.

Daddy and Addie had a lot of fun being silly.

Garrett spent a lot of time in the baby pool with it's slide.

Garrett liked this spot in the pool because he could touch the bottom, I just had to keep a close eye on him.

After swimming we took a picnic lunch down to a lake and enjoyed the beautiful day.

Our cool boy loves his Spiderman sunglasses.

I was one hungry Momma, after I got everyone else settled with their meals I got to eat my lunch.

One of my favorite things, all the kiddos clean and in matching jammies.  I can't believe that I am going to have to find 4 sets of matching jammies soon.

Here is our room.  I meant to get a picture when it was all nice and picked up, but that only lasted for about 30 seconds after we walked in the room.  This set up actually worked out really well for us.  The bunk bed folds up into the wall when you are not using so there is more floor space.  

The hotel had a great breakfast, the price for the room included the breakfast and unlimited access to the pool.  For everything you got I thought it was a great trip for Norway.  You are close to Fredrikstad, and several other interesting historic areas.   The only real problem with the hotel was the class reunion that had LOUD bass filled music pumping all the way up to our room from 10:30 PM to about 1:30 AM.  I had a hard time sleeping, but thankfully the kids all slept soundly.  If your kids love the water as much as ours do I would highly recommend this for a fun get away.

Fredrikstad for a Day

Last weekend we took the kids for a special trip.  Part of the trip was an afternoon in Fredrikstad, Norway.  There is an old fortified city that had a playground!  This weekend was also the prettiest weather we have had so far this year.  The kids were very happy to get some time outside.

Ben was having fun climbing, he is turning into quite the little monkey with all his tree climbing and jungle gym climbing.

The area was so beautiful with the water and the trees.

Jon's favorite part were the cannons.  He was telling the kids how they worked and it was so cute to watch them all re-enacting how to fire a cannon.

Garrett wanted to be carried so Jon put him up on his shoulders.  The wind was blowing hard enough that Garrett was afraid he was going to "pall down" or fall down.  He kept hanging onto Jon's face, it was adorable.

Ben loved the cannons as much as his Daddy.

My boys wanted to hold my hands, love it.

Ben had to check everything out.

Ben was ready for battle.

Addie can hold her own in a battle too.

The old city was a really neat place.

Gamle Fredrikstad

Jon was trying to get Garrett to point up to the statue with him, but Garrett was more interested in taking a look for himself.  

Now it was dinner time so we went looking for a restaurant.  This was still the weekend of the 17th of May so a lot of places were closed.  We were lucky enough to find this great little place.

The back patio was full of locals enjoying Happy Hour.  We walked in through the main dining room.  

I loved the collection of table and chairs they had. 

It was so fun to see all of the different colors and styles they had found.

We were going to sit out back, but Ben thought it was too loud.  The irony was not lost on Jon and I that Ben thought other people were being too loud.

We sat in their back dining room, and I loved that room too.  It was much more traditional Scandinavian.  I loved the grey furniture, the farmhouse tables and the pillows and throws on the benches.  

They don't really do kids cups here in Norway, unless you go to TGIFriday's.  The kids have gotten pretty good about using their glasses.

 Not sure what Addie was so happy about, but I love her expression here.

The big hit that day was the ice.  They spent most of the meal digging the ice out of their cups.

My dinner was a yummy moose burger.  The ranch dressing was awesome too.

After dinner it was back to the play ground.  Garrett took a turn pushing Addie on the swing.  

This little man is such a sweetie.

After dinner it was back to the hotel.  The kids had seen the arcade and were so excited to try it out, thank you Wreck it Ralph.  Addie played a bowling game.

Ben shot sharks.

Daddy needed to help Ben a little.

Garrett played the whack a frog game.  It was really funny to watch.

He was very intense, but his reflexes still need a little developing.

It was a great start to our weekend fun.  Another post to come with the rest of our fun.