31 August 2012

vafler night.

If you've ever been to Norway you have surely seen waffles for sale somewhere.  It's kind of like popcorn in the USA, which you can buy at any public event, festival or sports game. Here, it's waffles (or vafler).  The problem with this tasty treat being sold everywhere is that it's tempting and too expensive to actually buy.  It usually about 20 NOK (or approximately 3 USD) for one little waffle.  So to fill our craving and combat the expensive prices, we made our own vafler.  Our friend Benny found a recipe and a few of us bought ingredients.  We mixed it all together and started eating waffles to our hearts' content. Here in Norway it's common to eat waffles with sour cream and jam and sometimes brown cheese too.  Josh has all three below.  The waffles turned out a little sweeter than we were expecting, so we plan to find a new recipe and try this again sometime.  Despite the super sweetness, these waffles were SO good.  We also made way, way, way too much batter.  Josh and I don't have a waffle maker, so we've been making pancakes with the leftover batter all week.
A bit blurry...whoops.

After gorging ourselves (my stomach really hurt), our friend Gilbert taught us martial arts and explained to us many of his encounters in Uganda in which he needed to us his martial arts skills to save someone or catch a robber. Hilarious and impressive. 
So that's how we spent our Tuesday night-- eating vafler and learning some martial arts.  

26 August 2012

project life: the rest of summer.

It's been a while since I've posted anything related to project life, but I have been working on this project on a weekly basis and I love it!  I'm sharing the rest of the summer here and then in a later post I will share our wedding, honeymoon and hopefully I will get caught up to our first few weeks of married life.  You can read about this how/why I started this project here. So, first up is Michael and Kelly Baker-Trapp's wedding!
The Baker-Trapp wedding:
Weddings are special, so I used a whole page to document this event.  (Typically I use on page to document one week.) Michael and Kelly are our dear friends and the first of our close friends to get married this summer.  Their wedding was absolutely beautiful and both Josh and I were blessed to be included in their wedding party.  I included their wedding invitation in the top left and some photos from the bachelorette party, wedding and reception.  Plus, a bit of journaling about the weekend. 

June 17-23, 2012
This was just a regular week in my summer.  I went to work, I hung out with friends and family and Josh, and I enjoyed working in the garden.
You might be able to read some of the journaling on these pages to see what I was thinking during this week.

July 1-7, 2012
This was another typical summer week, but it was my last week at work for the summer, hence the class photo.  This summer Josh and I played in a 7v7 soccer league on the GC Alumni team.  We loved it! I happened to see this picture  on facebook of myself playing soccer, so I included it.  For fourth of July we went to Caleb Romoser's house to swim in the lake, relax on the beach, eat yummy food and watch fireworks.  It was a good week.

The Hohm wedding:
Another great wedding of two great friends, Niquita and Jordan Hohm.  Josh and I were both in this wedding as well, and we loved getting to stand up beside our good friends as they made a lifelong commitment to each other.  I wish I had more photos of the wedding, because it was in a meadow outside and quite lovely.  I did have some fun pictures from the reception and the bachelorette party, which I included.
And I included a bit of their wedding program.

July 8-14, 2012:
I didn't take a ton of pictures this week, but the tomatoes were so ripe and beautiful that I managed to take a picture every time I ate a tomato. This week is sort of dedicated to my love of tomatoes.
July 15-21, 2012, the week before our wedding was quite hectic, so I haven't made a page for that week yet.  I plan on it, though!  I like that this project is easy to maintain, even if I get a little bit behind.  Soon I'll share our wedding pages!

For those of you interested in starting this project, look here to learn more about project life.  For those of you scrapbookers or other project lifers,  here are the supplies I used in these pages: Black Signature Binder, Project Life Cardstock- Cobalt Collection, Photo Pocket Pages Designs A and B (I have this variety pack),  buttons and paper tabs from Ormolu, colorful Sharpies, American Crafts Slick Writers. Washi tape from this etsy shop.  Lots of kraft cardstock, because it's my favorite.  Since I'm pretty thrifty, I plan on mostly using supplies I already have.  However, I have discovered the wonderful world of free project life printable journaling cards.  I suggest searching for project life on pinterest to find lots of freebies. 

24 August 2012

around here.

A lot has happened during our second week in Oslo.  Josh started his classes at SUM (Center for Development and the Environment), which means he has class everyday for a couple hours and usually has some reading to do each night.  Perhaps in a while he will blog here about what he thinks of his program and all the academic stuff. While Josh is off at school I have been baking bread and cookies, volunteering at Abels Hage (a community garden), applying to jobs at private schools in Oslo and making crafts to sell at an artisan market in a couple weeks.  I'm pretty excited about this last thing-- most of you probably know that I enjoy making handmade cards and little notebooks and I even have an online shop, which I hope to start up again soon.  But, at Abels Hage the other day, a friend and founder of the garden said they are having an artisan market at the garden and I'm welcome to sell anything if I make things.  "Well, I do happen to make things," I told her and then I told her about the cards and she said that sounds great.  It's fun to have a goal to work towards, especially one that I've been slowly working towards for a while now- that is, selling things I make.  I'm also feeling more hopefully about getting a teaching job or a substituting job.  A classmate of Josh's has a friend who thinks I could be a substitute teacher at his school in the near future.  I guess that's how stuff works here-- you know someone who knows someone who can help you out.  We're slowly making connections and getting to know people better here, which feels good.

 We've been cooking lots of delicious meals together, including gallo pinto and homemade tortillas.  Josh's favorite food right now seems to be the brown cheese that is special to Norway.  It's kind of a sweet cheese that tastes like a mix of peanut butter, butterscotch, carmel and cheese.  He loves it, but I only kind of like it.  We've been frequenting the soccer fields behind our apartment to watch some local high school aged games in the evenings.  Maybe it's weird that we show up to these games, but we enjoy watching.  The teams here seem to play quicker and move hastily than they do in the U.S.  Yesterday we had a nice picnic downtown in Radhusetplass overlooking the water and all the boats.  It had been a while since we went downtown just to hang out and enjoy the area, so I felt like I was seeing Oslo with fresh eyes again. We were realizing that Oslo is a really nice city with beautiful green spaces and lots of fun things to do. We really appreciate how friendly Oslo is towards pedestrians and bikers.  So it's good to be here in Oslo, but we do miss you dear ones back in the U.S. of A.  Hope all is well!

20 August 2012

sognsvann lake

Discovering Sognsvann Lake was a sweet, sweet surprise.  We knew this lake was nearby, but did not know where and when setting off for a run one day we happen to follow the trail that led us here.  Since that first delightful run we have had a few more adventures at Sognsvann.  We have gone on a few more runs, we have hiked around the lake, we've picked the ripe raspberries on the surrounding bushes, we have sat silently to write in our journals and we've jumped into the cool, clear waters.   I've found this lake to be a place of refugee and renewal, a place to find peace and to clear my mind, and a source of joy.  It's not always easy to be here in a new country without close friends and family nearby, but in the difficult or lonely times we are reminding ourselves that this isn't just a tough year we have to survive or make the best of, rather it's a great opportunity in which we should rejoice and enjoy!  Coming to this lake makes it a pleasure to live in Oslo.  My great grandfather, Howard Zahniser, believed that being in nature can restore one's soul and bring peace and happiness.  My time spent at this lake has done exactly that.  
We've been blessed with some sunny days since our arrival nearly two weeks ago.  We were surprised to have days so warm that we could actually swim in the lake!  But we know this warmth won't last.  We've heard that in the cold weather people ski around the lake.  So now we're on the hunt for some inexpensive skis!

14 August 2012

our apartment

 Our parents have been asking what our apartment is like and we thought maybe others would be interested too, so here's a close look at it.

living/dining room:



front door:

We've really enjoyed making art for our apartment and putting up maps to make this place feel more like a home.  Reusing and scavenging have also contributed to making our apartment a better place.  In the area behind our apartment and in the student village we've found a couple soccer balls (unfortunately, they're flat), a bucket that we're using to collect shower water, rubber bands, a mushroom carton that now holds our extra toiletries, a clothes pin and lots of newspaper that now props up our bed.  We save every piece of paper and cardboard that we get and a lot of the ziploc bags we packed in are now being used for food.  It's been a bit like a game for us.  We like to see what random scrap item can be turned into something useful.  We did have to buy some things for our apartment including the comforter and the curtains, but we're mostly using what we brought with us and what we can find for free.  So, that's our apartment!  I didn't share any photos of the bathroom because it's quite small, hard to photograph and not too interesting.  Feel free to ask questions about our home and our lives here!