Turkey Day in Norway

Although we really missed being with our family in Georgia [for the third straight year], we had fun celebrating Thanksgiving with our neighbors this year!

We did most of the cooking, but our neighbor/landlord/friend grilled the turkey. And it was great!
We have so much to be thankful for! It certainly is nice to set aside a day to focus on that.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from Norway!
Watching the Macy’s Parade!
I don’t recall ever having a White Thanksgiving before!


Two handsome boys
Lots of food!




Zack surprised us with dessert from our local bakery.


A bonus, a surprise! (And my experience with Norwegian healthcare)

We’re getting an unexpected treat…

Mom and me at the ‘pink fountain’ in Sandefjord
during her last visit

Next week we’ll get a ‘bonus visit’ from my (Jenn’s) mom. We didn’t expect to be seeing her again until we visit the states next year.

But due to a little ‘medical surprise’, she is coming to help out for a few days.

I’m having surgery next week. But while the thought of having a hysterectomy isn’t exciting, there are much worse things I could be facing. And having mom here to help out – and to see our city during the holidays – makes it much more bearable!

In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t so bad. I’ve been very pleased with the Norwegian health care system so far. And on December 3, I will have surgery and will then hopefully be able to put all of this latest ‘adventure’ behind me.

That also explains part of why I haven’t been so active on the blog, or with life in general. I’ve spent lots of time at appointments and having tests run. And my energy level has been pretty low as well. So I look forward to getting back to normal activities and normal life!

Don’t Judge

We decorated for Christmas this weekend.

The city is starting to look a bit more like Christmas with each passing day. So we thought we’d get in the spirit, too!
I know a lot of people will say it’s too early. Maybe it is. But if you read my last post, you know how dark and depressing it can be this time of year. And expat life during the holidays can be a little rough if you’re not careful.
So this is one of the ways we combat the blues! It sure did put smiles on everyone’s faces. And for that, I will not apologize!


November. So.Very.Dark

We had heard that November can be the toughest month living in Norway. And as we endure make it through experience our second November here, I have to agree.

The days are short. Right now sunrise is around 8:25 AM and currently sunset is at 3:45 (15:45) in the afternoon.
The [lack of] daylight is not really a problem once it is colder, because then we have a good chance of having some snow. And snow helps brighten things up. But lately our high temperature has hovered around 5 C (41F), without much of a dip at night. Add to that the fact that it has rained almost nonstop for at least the last two weeks, and it can be a little depressing.
But then again, chilly wet weather in November means
~more opportunities for coffee and hot chocolate
~more chances to slow down and just chill a bit
~Christmas isn’t too far off! We are beginning to see signs of the holiday season in our city.And November also means Thanksgiving, and my (Jenn’s) birthday…

And occasionally other fun surprises. (Stay tuned)

So even though it isn’t the most glamorous month, maybe November isn’t so bad after all!
Lights in the city – this was around
4:30 in the afternoon two weeks ago!


Celebrating my birthday with friends – fun!

A Passion… for Pizza!

Deep-dish pizza – delicious!

On most any Friday evening you can find us at home, eating pizza and watching a movie. It’s become somewhat of a tradition for Familie Dove.

We often give the boys the choice: pick up Grandis from the grocery store (Grandiosa, Norway’s most popular frozen pizza), get takeout from Balkan (our favorite to-go pizza in Sandefjord), or homemade. And most Fridays, they opt for one made from scratch.

Last night, we tried something new. Instead of our traditional rectangular pizza, we experimented with Chicago-style deep dish pizza. And while the boys still prefer the traditional style, Zack and I loved this new version!

I found the recipe HERE. I followed it for the most part. Ground sausage isn’t something I’ve been able to find in Norway, so I improvised with ground chicken and pizza seasoning (improvise is a word I often use when attempting American recipes here!). And I used pizza cheese for both layers of cheese, instead of the final parmesan layer. This was my first experience doing something like this with a springform pan, and I was very pleased with the results – well, once Zack managed to pry the sides off the pan!

Do you make homemade pizza? What type does your family prefer? What are your favorite toppings?

Our typical homemade pizza
No matter the season – we think pizza is good any time of year!
Sometimes we get a little creative – this was
a salmon & pesto pizza


From time to time, we go out for pizza.
Pizza almost always produces smiles!

Art with Heart

We asked (challenged?) our friend Lizz to create something original for our kitchen. We gave her an idea of size and said we wanted it to somehow involve coffee. And that was about it! But wow, did she ever take an idea and run with it…

Tonight, we went by and picked up our new piece. And we are incredibly pleased with and excited about the finished product. We rushed straight home and hung it up!
Isn’t it fantastic? And the photos only give you a glimpse of it. Seeing it in person is an entirely different experience.If you take a closer look, you will see that she incorporated a lot of aspects that suit us and our personalities really well. In fact, she used grounds from Zack’s favorite beans to spell out coffee near the top left. And my lip prints can be found on a couple of the mugs. So cool!

If you are in Norway and are interested in seeing more of Lizz’s work, just let us know and we will be glad to connect you!


Where does the time go?

I could make excuses for my lack of blogging, but I’ll just sayI’m back!

Well, for now at least.

Life has been hectic. Mostly good stuff, but hectic all the same. Between lots of language study, meetings, and daily routine stuff, I simply let my writing slip. But I really do hope to get back to it now. We’ll see how it goes!

Things are going well here. Fall is here. We are getting a lot of rain. But we really shouldn’t complain after the last few months of beautiful weather. It hasn’t been very cold yet. We had one chilly morning with a little snow, but it only lasted an hour or two and was replaced by more rain.

William finished another football season. We were very proud of him for his effort. And apparently his progress impressed the coaches as well. He got one of the three awards given out at the end of each year: Best fremgang (best progress).

William with one of his coaches at their year-end party
Daniel is continuing with art lessons and is doing a great job! We attended an art show that his teacher was in, and really enjoyed seeing what she creates.
In fact, we liked her work so much that we bought several pieces. This one is now hanging in our kitchen. The photo doesn’t do it justice.
We’ve also had the opportunity to meet friends and colleagues for coffee, go to a couple of birthday parties, attend a costume party at the boys’ school, attend a musical, meet with friends for meals and other events, host a small Halloween party, and attend some seminars and conferences. Here are a few pictures from the past few weeks.