The Current Time in Stavanger, Norway!

May 2, 2012

Woah!...Stavanger Traffic Jam!


Got caught in a bit of a traffic jam, right here in Stavanger....

Horses seem to be a normal mode of transportation around here! Not as popular as bikes or cars, and you don't see it often, but definitely a way to get around.
One day while cooking dinner I heard this weird clompy noise outside our apartment window. Sure enough, there were people just riding on down the street on their horses! Out of amazement, I scrambled to find the camera to get a picture, but they were almost out of sight...

February 21, 2012

What an Adventure!

AdventureLand

Just for fun we went on an adventure to find a place that I found on the internet and somehow stumbled upon this awesome indoor play-place instead. The kids had a blast monkeyin' around and, as you can see below, it wasn't such a rough day for me either!

The boys climbing and sliding around in AdventureLand

This place has it figured out... Free wi-fi, free massage chairs and free tea/coffee to keep the parents happy while they sit and watch their kids play. Oh, and free blankets to keep you cozy!

4 hours and 1 finished book later I got out of my seat and went home with 3 tired boys! What a great adventure :)

February 20, 2012

Waffling Around

Waffles!


The boys are on "February Break" this week and since we just arrived about a month ago we decided to spend the week exploring Stavanger rather than booking a trip somewhere. So, today I decided that 'When in Norway we should do as the Norwegians do' and go buy a waffle maker. So, off to the store we went at 10:00 a.m. By 3:00 p.m., a zillion "Are you going to make waffles now?" later, and some waffling back and forth, I decided to save my sanity and just make the waffles for dinner! So yummy!

February 19, 2012

A Windy Day at the Harbor

Checking Out the Harbor



Do they look cold? It was a super windy day down at the harbor! But we had fun just walking around and checking out the sights.

Blue water, birds and big boats...very picturesque!

Cute little area around the harbor...also picturesque!

But for the boys, the best part about the harbor...finding Burger King and 7-Eleven! What better way to warm up from all that wind...a burger from Burger King and Ben and Jerry's from 7-Eleven (okay, so maybe that came after we had warmed up a bit!).

Time to go home!


February 10, 2012

Goodbye Moon, Hello Sun!

This was the neatest drive to school!

  
Moon setting out of our front window...

Sun rising out of our back window...


And then this beautiful display of colors in the sky by the time we pulled into the parking lot at school!


February 4, 2012

Pile on the Fun!

Pile on DAD!

Pile on MOM!

McDonald's!

Our wonderful Norwegian friends- Anita, Oystein and Janne- who lived a couple houses down from us in Angola, gave each of the boys some Norwegian money (Krone) as a going away/ welcome to Norway present. They wanted the boys to spend it during their first visit to McDonald's in Stavanger. Zach was anxious to try it out and chose to go there for his birthday lunch! It was a fun afternoon out and quite yummy! Happy 10th Birthday, Zach and Thanks ( or should I say "Takk!") to the Gripsruds!


Birthday Boy, Zach, using his Krone to buy himself a cheeseburger (no onions, no pickles!) happy meal!

McDonald's!!
I love these fries!- Nolan

Best chicken nuggets!- Colby

You know you are in a Norwegian McDonald's when... it is normal for a group of boys to walk in and order with all of their snowboarding equipment, including snowboards and super snowy boots!

February 3, 2012

Snow Much Fun!




Surprise! SNOW!!!

Surprise! We woke up this morning to lots of white stuff falling from the sky! Our first snowfall!!

Zach, Colby and Nolan were so excited I didn't think I was going to get them in the car to go to school, but luckily we left plenty early because it took almost an hour to get to school!

When I picked Zach up from school he said, "I can't believe we're allowed to slide and play in the snow at recess!!" And Colby added, "I even made a snow angel!! This place rocks!"



My first time navigating the streets during a snow storm.
I was fine on the way to school because the traffic was so backed up the only speed to drive was super slow. On the way back I just could not get the car to the top of the hill by our apartment. Slipping and sliding, but just not going forward. From the back seat Nolan kept saying, "You're stuck. You can do it Mommy. You can do it!" And, obviously, since I am sitting here blogging, I did eventually make it back home!

Honkedy Honka Dudes!

Is your head cold? No problem! Just add a Honkedy Honka Dude!
Nolan loves the hats with the squishy balls on top and loves honking them. So he started calling them "Honkedy Honka Dudes". The name instantly stuck and Honkedy Honka Dude fever spread through the house. Here all 3 boys model their new Honkedy Honka Dudes!

February 1, 2012

House Hunting

Today we went out looking for a Norwegian house. There are not very many family houses on the market right now and there are a number of families looking for houses, so we had to look fast and make a fairly quick decision. We still don't know which one we are going to end up with, but we would be happy with either.

Check out this master bedroom from house #1.
Bonk! I can just feel the bruises that will be all over my head from sitting up too fast when the alarm clock startles me in the morning!

My favorite feature in house #2. Just add a cozy chair, hot chocolate and a good book. Oh, and some firewood!

January 31, 2012

The Snow Experiment

Nolan just did not believe me when I said that when snow melts it turns into water. So...we did a little snow experiment. We gathered snow from the parking lot at school, put it in a container, then took it home and brought it inside. The end result, "You're right Mom...just water! Now can we put it outside and make new snow?" I think Daddy's in charge of science experiments from now on!



January 30, 2012

Beautiful Views


Just driving home from the grocery store and WOW look at the view I run into!

My Norwegian driving is a little shakey, so I shouldn't be taking pictures while I'm driving, but I just couldn't resist capturing this harbor town view!

One of the hilly streets that leads to our temporary apartment. Cute and charming in the picture, not so cute when my car's wheels just kept spinning and spinning as I tried to get home the morning of our first snowstorm!

Beautiful!

There's friendly, and then there's okra friendly!

The people here are REALLY nice. So many people have reached out to say "Welcome to Stavanger!" Norwegians and expats alike. This conversation I had with a stranger while picking out onions in the produce department during my very first trip to the grocery store sums it up...

Lady: Excuse me. I heard your American accent. Do you know if there is anywhere around here to buy okra?
Me: Uh...Uh...Uh, I just moved here a few days ago.
Lady: Wow! Well, welcome to Stavanger! You should come over for coffee!!
Me: Um, okay. :)

It's always easier to get settled somewhere that is not "home" when the people around you are welcoming and friendly (and like okra, I guess)!

January 27, 2012

Raa Raa!

I would give a million dollars if I could somehow obtain a recording of Nolan and I laying on the bed in the hotel watching a kids' cartoon, totally in Norwegian, called Raa Raa. It's about a bunch of African (hee hee) animals, including a lion named Raa Raa. We couldn't understand a word of it, but it was honestly hilarious making up our own dialogue! !
Maybe I'll learn enough Norwegian to be able to understand what these cute little animals are actually saying by the time we leave here in a few years. Or, maybe I'll just stick to the one word I already know...Raa Raa...and make up the rest, Nolan will never know!

Raa Raa and Friends!

January 26, 2012

brrrrrus stop!

Waiting at the bus stop the first day of school...good chance to test out our new winter clothes!

This is the school bus!

January 25, 2012

Trolls!

Many trolls make their home, or find their way into homes, all over Norway. Our third day here we encountered our very first one. I wonder where I could put him in our house in Houston?!


First Day at the International School of Stavanger

So exciting...new school, new teachers, new friends...

We all went in for a short visit to the International School of Stavanger (ISS), where the boys will be attending school while we live here, and we all had the same first impression...two thumbs up! The facilites are great, but it's the staff and students that really gave us a great first impression. Zach (4th grade), Colby (2nd grade) and Nolan (pre-school) are so excited to get started! Looking forward to a great few years here...


January 24, 2012

25 bags and 3 plane trips later...we made it!

Well, today we officially wrapped up our three-year stay in Luanda, Angola and arrived in Stavanger, Norway to start our next expat adventure! One of the highlights for the boys when we heard that we were coming here was the dramatic change in climate and a chance for winter weather, so the boys were thrilled to see snow on the ground (and see snow for the first time ever!) when we landed, even though it was old, icy snow. They just couldn't resist stomping on it and picking it up! What a warm (well, not so warm!) welcome!

Bags are packed. Boys are ready. Off we go...Africa to Europe!

Our very first glimpse of Norway...

Yippeee...SNOW!!!!!

"It's real snow!" -Colby

Two minutes out of the airport and Zach's ready for his first snowball fight!

Check out the temperature...!