Category Archives: What’s it like

What’s it like: Recycling

When we lived in Georgia, we were pretty conscientious about recycling. We had our big plastic bin that would be set out by the trash can every week for pick-up. We would fill it with glass, metal, plastic, and paper.Recycling is important in Norway as well, which is great! Only, there is a little more involved.

In our home, we have five different trash containers. One is for food trash. The next is for plain paper. Then there’s restavfall: that is, non-recyclable waste. There’s glass & metal. And finally we have plastics.

Under the sink: we have spots here for paper,
food, and restavfall

There’s a special bag for food. And plastic. And we have three different trash cans outside that are picked up on a rotating basis each week: brown for food, blue for paper, and gray for restavfall. They also pick up the plastics in the rotation.

But not metal or glass – there are special receptacles throughout the city for those. And we can also recycle old batteries and lightbulbs at many grocery stores and other shops.

And we are always sure to check drinks bottles! Most of them have a pant – a deposit we pay when you buy them. So we keep the bottles separate, and take them to the pant machine in the grocery store. We return them and get a printed receipt that is taken to the cashier. We can use it towards our grocery purchase, or get the cash.

Lots to remember, but after a year I think we have the hang of it!


Talking about green[er] living made me think of the book Green Like God – have you ever read it? Our friend Jonathan wrote it a few years ago. Often, there seems to be this great divide between Christians and environmentalists. While I don’t believe that I should worship the earth, I do follow the One who created it. If He really made it for us, shouldn’t we take care of it? This book addresses some of that.

Do you recycle?
Are there any weird recycling requirements where you live?
Have you read any interesting books on recycling, environmentalism, or a related subject?

What’s it Like: Nature

The landscape here is really beautiful. And we look for every possible opportunity to get out and enjoy nature. Weather can become a factor if you let it. But instead, you must embrace what we jokingly call Norway’s national motto: Det finnes ikke dårlig vær – bare dårlige klær! Or in English – there is no bad weather, only bad clothing! And it’s true. As long as you go prepared, you’ll be fine!Rather than write a lot about the great outdoors here, I think it’s better to just share some of the pictures we’ve taken over the past year. Enjoy.
























What’s it Like: From Scratch

I’ve always enjoyed cooking. It’s almost like therapy for me. I like trying new things and getting creative.
In the US, many things are quick and easy. There is almost always some mix, packet, or machine to cut down on preparation time. Not as much here. While you can find some short-cut items, they are less common and seem to be typically saved for hiking or hytte tur (time spent at a cabin).
Aside from that, it is more affordable – and much healthier – to make things yourself. If you will recall, one of my first friends in Sandefjord gave me a critical lesson in Norwegian baking (see that post HERE). It was a great way to spend time together, and to learn the recipe that is used as the base for many Norwegian baked goods.
My newest from-scratch item is bread. We were buying loaves of bread at the store. We bought the cheapest bread, a store-brand Kneipp. But it lacked flavor and the texture was not great. Norwegian grocery stores have other loaves that are really good, but fairly expensive. So I decided to strike out and find a good, healthy, and easy bread recipe.
I came across a recipe on Pinterest for peasant bread. It is a no-knead recipe that you can bake in a bowl, a loaf pan, muffin tin, or as freeform rolls. I switch around with the types of flour (usually a blend), and sometimes add some seeds or herbs.
And now that I’ve started, I doubt my family will want to go back!
Other homemade items I make include lots of soups (this is typically based on whatever is in the cabinet), pizza dough, flour tortillas, waffles, and pastries.
What are your favorite ‘from scratch’ items?

What’s it Like: Shoes at the Door

This part of the European culture is one that wasn’t totally normal for us, but one that we have happily embraced. It was something we did from time to time in the US. Particularly if we had walked in from the rain, or if we visited someone with light colored carpets. But it didn’t always happen.When you enter a home here (and in all parts of Europe we’ve visited so far), take your shoes off! Typically, there is a spot in the entry for shoes. It might be a shoe rack, a closet, rug, cabinet, or maybe just an area of the floor. But be sure to kick off your skoene (yep, that’s your shoes!) before you proceed into someone’s home.

We really do like this practice. It helps tremendously in keeping the floors clean. I guess it has become pretty normal for us, because we were watching an American TV show the other day and I missed out on what was going on because I was shocked at the lady walking around the living room in her shoes!


What’s it like? – new blog series

Monday is the day you typically try to get back into routine. That made me think of something else that people ask a lot. We often get questions regarding what our routine is like, and what is different about life here.Change is a constant, and the seasons bring about big shifts in how we do things. But I thought it might be fun to talk a bit about some of what is normal for us.

So be sure to check back on Mondays for a new series…

What’s It Like?

What’s it Like – our winter morning routine

We’ll start with the Dove family winter morning routine…

I (Jenn) get up around 6:30. I get heaters turned on in the kitchen and living room, and pack the boys’ lunches. Everyone else gets up around 7:00 and gets dressed for the day. This time of year, a base layer under your clothes is important! While they get ready, I make coffee and breakfast.

Everyone sits down to breakfast around 7:20. Our normal breakfast includes fresh bread and rolls with cheese and jam, along with either musli, oatmeal or grits (thanks to friends and family for keeping us supplied with this taste of the South!).  Zack reads a devotion and we finish with prayers. The boys then clean up the table (one of their chores).

Then it’s time for the boys to get geared up for their walk to the bus. This time of year, they take the bus, as it is much easier than getting the car (and driveway) ready early in the morning. Daniel wears a snowsuit, and William gets into his snow pants and coat. They must also remember hats, gloves, and scarves… and reflectors since it’s dark out!

They leave around 8:00. It takes about 10 minutes to get to the bus station, and they are typically on the bus around 8:10-8:15. Their school day begins at 8:45 and we pick them up at 3:05.

Norwegian Summer

Not much I want to write today – just want to share a bit of the beauty that we get to enjoy on a daily basis. Each day we wake up, look out our windows, and say to God, “do we really get to live here?!?!” 🙂