Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Falcon Peak" Summer Hike

We've just had a few days of sight-seeing in our own country. Lots of driving on not so fast roads, and lots of beautiful scenery. The other day we went hiking on small mountain in Telemark: "Falkenuten" (= "Falcon peak"). The trail is very special, since it's not, as usually in Norway, a dirt track with occasional stretches of wetland, mud or water and in the end a slipperly slope of tumbling rocks. Not this one. A team of sherpas fron Nepal have been here, creating this wonderfu trail, made out of large slabs of rock, securely dug into the earth, where water is lead underneath, through "channels" dug out and framed by rock. In the beginning, I felt like were walking through a scene in "The the Wizard of Oz", since the beautiful paved trail winded between young birch trees and beautiful mountain flowers.
Towards the top, where the mountain itself creates a perfect floor,  we met a flock of sheep, very curious and intrigued by our presence. My animal-loving kids were thrilled by this.
And then, the view. Lakes, mountains, huge sky. Really the perfect afternoon hike, with my 4-year-old pratically running all the way to the top, leading the way, while also taking the time to pick flowers.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Young Skipper!

Last week we went for a trip on Skibladner (the world's oldest paddle steamer still in regular time table service!) The ship is the pride of the area, and is nicknamed "The white swan of the lake Mjøsa".
And, when we were invited up on the bridge and my youngest got to actually steer the vessel, he was overjoyed. The skipper joked and told the captein he could just have his lunch break.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How we see the world...

Found this through  Bjørn Skogmo and I think it's just great!
Translation: We see the things not as they are, but as we are.

Picture of the day: The white town by lake Mjøsa

Took this picture a couple of days ago, on the view point above my town, Gjøvik.
It's beautiful here. Lots of nature, fields. woods and hills, and the sight of lake Mjøsa (Norway's largest lake) is comforting to the mind.

Monday, July 16, 2012

My 2nd Teenager

Photo taken by a neighbor, I don't remember which one...
My son is 13 today.  He was born at 10 pm on July 16th, but among family in Norway, there was some confusion concerning his birthdate, since it was already July 17th over there when he was born.
In the picture we just arrived home from Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, WA, and newborn Samuel is dressed in a little jacket, knitted by his great-grandmother in Norway. Pauline, the proud big sister is 2 years and 9 months.
Time sure is a strange thing, and when I look at this picture, I can't believe how much has happened, and how much he has changed. The tiny little baby boy cradled in my arms is now a young man, almost as tall as I am...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Child Wisdom

Whenever overwhelmed by dark thoughts and the feeling of hopelessness, just look to the children, at their natural happiness, their way of embracing life, their goofiness! 
They carry a wisdom about living, a wisdom that most often is lost while growing up...
Når vi er nedtynget av mørke tanker og følelsen av håpløshet, bare se på barna, på deres glede, deres evne til å leve fullt og helt, deres evne til å tulle!
De bærer en visdom om hvordan leve, en visdom som ofte går tapt når de vokser opp...

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It is clear that we must embrace struggle.  Every living thing conforms to it.  
Everything in nature grows and struggles in its own way, establishing its own identity, insisting on it at all cost, against all resistance.  We can be sure of very little, but the need to court struggle is a surety that will not leave us.  
It is good to be lonely, for being alone is not easy.  
The fact that something is difficult must be one more reason to do it. 
Rainer Maria Rilke.

Book Review: Les yeux au ciel

This book: Les Yeux au Ciel, by French author Karine Reysset, is part of my 2012 reading challenge. The challenge is basically about getting to read books I have had sitting on my shelf for a while, and this novel, being published in 2011, was one of the newest on my "to be read"-list. I picked it up last year in Saint-Etienne, and the author is new to me.  What a pleasure to discover such a great writer, and learn that she has written four other books!
The story is about a large family reuniting for their father/grandfather's 70th birthday, in the old family villa on the Bretagne coast in France.
Little by little we get to know all the different personalities, their struggles, and their family tragedy...
It's wonderfully written, in a fluent every-day French, but there are also lots of beautiful, poetic descriptions of feelings, memories, relationships.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Picture of the day: Convertible Mom

Those were the days... Driving around East Side (Lake Washington) with two kids strapped into the back seat of our Chrysler. My daughter is almost 4 and my son is 1 in this picture.

Monday, July 9, 2012

At the lake

Summer days with visiting cousins.  Playing on the beach, swimming in the lake, enjoying the sun. 
My youngest is busy making a "river", and in the background, my daughter and niece are building a sand castle.

My nephew and youngest niece playing in the water.

And the proof: Even though I don't care too much for Norwegian ice cold water, I went swimming with my daughter!  (And it wasn't as cold as I thought it would be.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer visit

Summer's here. I believe an important part of summer holidays, especially in a child's life, is just hanging out, enjoying life, playing and having fun.
I had a good friend staying this week, and we got to do just that. Go swimming, eat ice cream, play, talk.
A few snapshots of the kids, mine and my friend's:

Playing in the park
Leking in parken

Adrianne 10 

Alma 8 

Eileen 7

Jessica 5

Jonatan 4 

At the swimming pool!
Ved badebassenget!

Taking a break from the water, playing on the statue
En pause fra vannet, gøy å klatre på statuen

Enough swimming in cold water...
Nok iskaldt vann for i dag...

Playing in the back yard
Leking i hagen