2014: The year in review

It has been a crazy, busy, fun, frustrating, exciting, exhausting, energizing, and all around interesting year.

Here are just a few highlights from our year.








































God Jul fra Sandefjord / Merry Christmas from Sandefjord!

Merry Christmas
from the Dove family!



Luke 2:8-20
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Christmas Cheer (part 18): quick and easy craft

We recently attended a Christmas craft evening at one of the churches in our city. It was a lot of fun, making things nr singing songs together, and just generally getting into the Christmas spirit.

My favorite project of the night is one you could probably do today, without even making a trip to the store.
All you need is:
One empty and cleaned glass jar (we used jars from jam and from pickles)
One egg white
Granulated sugar (we tried regular and coarse sugar, but you could probably used other types like raw)
Random decorative items (ribbon, stickers, pine twigs)

Make sure the jar is clean and dry. Crack the egg into a clean glass. Discard the yolk. Coat the inside of your jar with the egg white, then pour it back into the glass (you can use it for multiple jars).

Now pour some sugar in the jar. Roll it around to coat it well, then dump the excess.
Decorate the outside however you’d like, and add a tea light or other small candle.
A quick and easy craft, and when you’re tired of it, just wash it out!
We also made these cute tea light covers, using napkins and laminating sheets.


Christmas Cheer (part 17): A bit more of Oslo

We spent a few hours in Oslo this past week. I always love Oslo. But at Christmas time, and in the evening? Yeah, it’s pretty awesome.











Christmas Cheer (part 16): Early Christmas

While my dad and his wife were here, we had an early Christmas celebration together.So Saturday evening, we began with a nice dinner (who wouldn’t want to eat salmon while in Norway?!), and then exchanged gifts. It was a fun evening, and a nice way to spend our last night before they headed back to the states.






Christmas Cheer (part 15): Bryggen i Bergen / the pier in Bergen

There are so many picturesque spots in Norway. And perhaps one of the most well-known is the pier/brygge in Bergen. I was so excited to finally see it in person this week. (Read more HERE)The buildings are beautiful, and the pictures just don’t do the area justice. It is incredible to see how they lean towards each other and towards the water. Here are just a few shots from our time there earlier this week.












Christmas Cheer (part 13): Bergen windows

My (Jenn’s) dad and his wife are here for the week. So while they are visiting, we decided to take a quick trip to Bergen. We flew there Tuesday morning, and then took the train back home on Wednesday.

What a cool city, and especially at Christmas. Of course, I loved checking out the window displays!






Christmas Cheer (part 14): White Christmas

While it doesn’t look like it will be white on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, we have had a little bit of snow to enjoy this week.

We were especially surprised to arrive in Bergen and see snow everywhere. And our evening in Oslo included a bit of snow as well. Is it just me or do Christmas lights look even nicer when there’s snow?

Atop Fløyen in Bergen
Daniel watching the ice skaters in Oslo


A snow-ice castle in Oslo


On the train from Bergen back home

Beautiful snow-covered branches just outside the palace in Oslo


Christmas Cheer (part 12): Christmas music

Last night we had the rare occurrence of an evening out without children. A couple of our friends bought tickets for the four of us to a concert, as a combined birthday/Christmas gift to Zack and me.

I had no expectations going into the concert, as I knew nothing more than the show was Hanne og tre tenorer (Hanne and three tenors). But it was an incredible concert. So much talent, wonderful music, and an overall beautiful performance.

Thankful for good friends, good music, and a great evening that really got us in the Christmas spirit!


Christmas Cheer (part 11): Knitting Christmas

Our city isn’t that big. But like any good Scandinavian town, it has its fair share of knitting/sewing shops. And like any good Scandinavian boutique, their windows are also decked out for the Christmas holidays.And before you ask… no, I have not learned to knit. I really need to, though!