Category Archives: friends

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!


Budding artist

We are getting to know so many interesting people here. Such as our new friend L. We met her in language school, and she is an incredibly talented artist. When she learned about Daniel’s interest in art, she was excited for the chance to work with him.
He went for his first art lesson today, and had a great time working with sticky back plastic. I hung around while they worked (her home is like an art gallery so I had plenty to see!), and I was so proud of his finished product!


Quick trip to Oslo

To kick off Easter break (påskeferie), we drove to Oslo on Sunday. We attended a church service with friends, and then had dinner at the Nighthawk Diner (yum!).
Monday we had a brief meeting, grabbed lunch at one of our favorite kebab shops, and then drove to Sweden. That evening we took the ferry back to Sandefjord.
Tuesday we took a 19 km bike ride as a family, including a stop at the park for lunch and football. That evening we met friends for a short walk and a cookout on the beach.
Wednesday we walked a few miles and did some grocery shopping. Then we had some friends over. We did one of our favorite nearby walks: Midtåsen & Mokollen. Afterwards, we grilled together. Bonus: We had grilled Buffalo wings 🙂
So far, Easter break is going great!

Norwegian Hospitality

Over the past fourteen months, we’ve been blessed by so many incredible people. They’ve invited us into their homes, as well as on outings around Norway. We are so thankful for the way they’ve included us and taught us so much through their kindness.Here are a few pictures of just some of the events we’ve been included in and/or hospitality that has been extended to us since arriving here…




















Good Question…

Sitting around sipping coffee and chatting, we fielded questions from our local friend, just as we always do. She loves to ask questions. A lot of questions. And we are happy to share with her. We have come a long way with our relationship over the past year.

Not totally related, but we have been
working on feeding our physical selves
better. I’ve tried lots of new recipes. Last
week we enjoyed homemade black bean
burgers on homemade whole wheat rolls.

She asked about our level of comfort here. About Zack’s recent trip to the states. We talked about our kids. And about language learning. Lots of different topics, as well as questions about our work.

And then she asked it. A question no one has asked in the fourteen months since we came here.

Are you being fed?

Of course she wasn’t talking about food. She wasn’t trying to make sure we had enough money for groceries. No, our sweet friend wanted to know if we were getting what we needed spiritually.

Thankfully, we have found various ways to get spiritual nourishment. But what a thoughtful question. One we were grateful to hear. One I probably should ask more often to teachers, pastors, mentors.
And maybe even myself from time to time. Am I taking time to make sure I’m receiving nourishment? What good am I to my family, friends and others if I am weak?
And what about you? Are you being fed spiritually?


Happy One Year Friend-iversary!

One year ago today, we sat down to Norwegian waffles with a couple I (Jenn) had met just a few days earlier. They invited us into their home to share a bit of their culture with us that day. Little did we know, they would quickly become some of our best friends here. Kai & Synnøve are always quick to share important cultural events, introduce us to traditional food, help us with language questions, and make sure we are doing well in our new setting. Synnøve has also been the one who’s taught me all about Norwegian baking!We are so thankful for the way God blessed us with such great friends!

So, happy “anniversary” Kai & Synnøve! We are grateful for your friendship and look forward to many more adventures together.
















Gode venner: Good friends

en norsk velsignelse

We are thankful for good friends here in Norway.

This past Sunday, one of our friends invited us over for dinner. We loved the ‘blessing cube’ she had (see photo at right), which includes one of our favorite Norwegian blessings (a song you sing as a way to thank God for the food before eating).

We also enjoyed some great desserts. Her oldest daughter made traditional Norwegian waffles – always a favorite – and her youngest daughter did an incredible job of baking pavlova.

waffles og pavlova

Gratulerer med dagen

We had fun celebrating Daniel’s birthday this past week!We began with a taco night with some friends on Monday night. They gave Daniel legos and a magic set – a perfect gift for a kid who loves to perform! It was a fun evening.

On Tuesday, we spent [a lot] of time shoveling to get the car out of the driveway, so we could take something to Daniel’s class. No junk food allowed, so I made fruit & yogurt parfaits, and they were a hit!

When we got home, Daniel opened gifts from us, as well as cards from family & friends in several different countries.

He chose homemade Hawaiian pizza for dinner.

After dinner, several friends came by to help us celebrate. Daniel got some cool books and a gift card to the local toy store. My friend also graciously helped me make a traditional Norwegian birthday cake for Daniel. And I have to say, Norwegians know what they’re doing when it comes to cakes! I had fun learning to work with marzipan to decorate it.

On top of all that, our neighbors also supplied him with his first set of langrenn skis, poles & shoes. (So thankful to have sweet friends, who also happen to have older boys with hand-me-downs!)

Wednesday we were in a neighboring city for house church. Daniel was surprised with more gifts: a Norwegian picture dictionary, and a Norwegian kids’ cookbook. Perfect for our language learner, who also loves to help in the kitchen!
I think our little man
really enjoyed his first birthday in Norway!

Paris: an added bonus

We were excited about our trip: because we had never been to Paris, and because we were in need of a bit of down time. But a couple of weeks before we traveled, Zack and I found out that there was going to be something else to look forward to…A family that we’ve become very close with here in Sandefjord was also vacationing in Paris at the same time. It was their Christmas gift to their two daughters, whom our boys adore. We waited until just before traveling to let the boys know (mainly so they didn’t accidentally spoil the surprise for the girls).

We hoped we would have the chance to grab a coffee or share a meal together. What a wonderful treat that we got to spend all day Monday and several hours on Tuesday with each other. It was fun to explore new places together – and to get to practice Norwegian at the same time! What a great way to get to know our friends better.

We will not soon forget our time with our sweet friends: lots of laughs, checking out cool cars on Champs, exploring a Christmas market, crowded trains, pastries, Notre Dame, the tour of coffee shops, and what M&M probably thought was the worst meal of their trip (sorry about the spices – but we love Chipotle!).

We are so thankful for sweet friends!

Arc de Triomphe
Car shop on Champs Elysees
Christmas Market… and a moose?!?!
Notre Dame
This shop sells some interesting things…
look in the back of the window!
Waiting on hot chocolate


She is so good with Daniel
Best Buddies
Sharing dessert on their 19th wedding anniversary
Good friends, good coffee… and always silly

Language Barriers?

It is amazing to see how kids quickly find ways around language barriers. We spent last weekend with dear friends in Jena, Germany. Our kids only know a couple of words in German, and theirs know about the same amount in English. But did that stop them from playing and having fun? No way!