Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yep, It's True!

It is true that I turned 39 today.  The cool thing about today is that we also have two other people in our church that have the same birthday.  So I threw a big birthday dinner for the birthday three.

One of the things that I have realized over the years is that I really like to cook and try new things.  Tonight was no exception.  I had a venison leg in my freezer (thanks to some hunting friends in AlingsÃ¥s) and so I roasted that in the crock pot.  Then I made garlic mash potatoes and to top it all off, I tried my hand at ratatouille. Yes, the ratatouille recipe from the Disney movie about the rat.

Amazingly enough it looked and tasted great.  My eight year old (who hates vegetables) even came back for seconds!  I would make it again for that reason alone.  It wasn't that hard (because I have a machine that can cut the slices and then you just put it together.  Not to mention it made from fresh vegetables and herbs that are really good for you.  I have heard a lot of people give different ideas for how to eat it and even for breakfast with an egg on top...Sounds good to me.

This was before it was cooked, sorry no pics of after...but it looked almost the same.  

To top it all off, I made a carrot cake in the double American layer style...after all it was a birthday party! (sorry no pic).  So dinner was a success and really fun to, win.

It was a lot of fun to have the Tromborgs and the Kopperuds here and to celebrate with them.  Thanks for making the day special!  So to all of us...Gratulerar, Happy Birthday and/or Grattis.

Jostein, Me, Lars Kristian...I think Lars was a little embarrassed by us ''old'' people!

Kaisa, Solrun, Me
You can see the half eaten cake in the middle of the table.  I have really enjoyed getting to know and becoming a part of this church family.  Thankful for these families!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

That Yucky Feeling

I adore my boys.  They make me laugh, cry, and all the emotions in between.  Then, there are the times that they absolutely drive me mad.  I think we all know what I am talking about.  

Now in my 7 1/2 years of motherhood, I have had to face just how selfish I am, how to deal with things that I fear, how to deal with LOTS of noise (my boys are really loud), how to answer questions that I simple don't know the answers too, how to come up with appropriate and creative consequences (whether good or bad), and how to deal with my boys growing up faster than I can say boo!

Through all of this there is one thing that will get me annoyed in an instant (yet it is a perfectly normal part of siblings and I am thrilled that the boys are actually bonded and at this point), it is when the boys start picking at each other on purpose and fighting.  Before we left for Nepal they were doing really well.  We had been working on attitude and accepting the other person (with all their personality) and learning to love them through it (not an easy lesson for an adult...).  Our goal is always to build each other up and not tear each other apart.  Even while we were gone Andreas' parent said they did wonderfully.  Sure there were times that they bickered a little, but overall they were really good to each other.

Then enters mom and dad again!

David, (who is our over-sensitive one), became extra over-sensitive. And Samuel, (our independent, wants to always be in charge one), became extra annoyed when things didn't go exactly how he wanted.  I was not surprised by this.  We had never left the boys for that long before (it was really hard on me and I missed them greatly). However, when all those emotions are flying around they tend to crash into one another and create a yucky feeling in the house.  There was constant bickering between the two boys.  They were fighting for silly or no reason at all.

About a week ago I drew the LINE!  NO MORE!

I really can't stand it when your home becomes one of negativity and fights.  It is no longer a place of calm family fun...(well not so calm with my boys...but fun).  So I prayed, HELP!  I sat down with the boys and talked about what was happening and what needed to happen and that there would be NO tolerance for tearing each other down.  We talked about how people tore each other down in the Bible and how Jesus wants us to act and react to one another.

And I have PRAYED! And we PRAYED!

Now I can't say that we are at 100% perfect performance, but I can say that things are getting better.  The home feels a little more calm (the emotions have also calmed to an extent).  But I also see Sam bringing home attitudes and tones from school that I don't like and David picks them up way too quickly.

Is anyone out there in the same position?
Does anyone have ideas on the way they deal with it?

Just wondering as we try to navigate these beautiful boys through life.


Monday, March 04, 2013

Making a New Normal

We have been home for about a week now from N*pal and working on remembering all the details. Sometimes it is so easy just to fall back into the old patterns and routines...but that is not what we want.  We go through the pictures and see the faces that are so easy to love and remember why we made the journey in the first place.  We want to make a new normal in this family, by adding all these beautiful people into our daily discussions, prayers and thoughts.  We want them to effect the way we see the world, the way we spend our money, and the way we see others.  

One of the things that we talked about with the Director (daddy, KB) of the home was the religious climate that is in N*pal.  KB has letters from Hindus that state they would be willing to support them and give them money if they would renounce their belief in Jesus.  He has lost supporters over the fact that he teaches and lives Christianity with the children in a Hindu/Bhuddist country.  Yet, his faith is strong and they are thriving even without the money that we Westerners believe that we ''need''.  

Kathmandu is a rather large city.  It is really hard to get a true picture of it while you are in it, but easier from higher view points.  I have not met one person that lives in Kathmandu that actually says they like it there.  Don't get me wrong...they all love their country and think it is amazingly beautiful, but they are not referring to Kathmandu when they are speaking like that.  It is a cacophony of smells which include incense, sewage, car fumes, pollution, trash, cows, dust and sweat.  It is a cacophony of  sounds which include horns, chanting, bells, loud music, normal city noise, cows, monkeys, dogs, etc.  It is a cacophony of sights (which include a lot of what I have already mentioned) and temples both Bhuddist and Hindu, colorful buildings, amazingly beautiful people, trash, trash, and more trash,  and spectacular mountains, etc.  I think you maybe starting to get the picture.

This is known as the Swayambhunath or more commonly known as The Monkey Temple (because there happens to be monkeys all around). It is a Bhuddist stupa...with a small Hindu temple on the side.  (notice the dark spindle looking objects...that will be explained later)
We visited some of the sites in Kathmandu that Andreas had not seen before.  It is amazing to watch people of different beliefs and how they (me included) have a sort of sub-culture.  For those of us who are Christians the Hindu and Bhuddist beliefs are straight out of the Old Testament.

The statue of Bhudda at the stupa.  This is the N*pali Bhudda...not the laughing Bhudda that you find in other parts of Asia.  The Bhudda was born in N*pal...interestingly enough he stated that he was not a god and did not want to be worshipped...guess no one listened.  

This is a stone...that some people were worshipping like a god.  

This is a bell, when you go to the temple you ring it...some say to make sure the god is awake, others say to seal the deal (so to speak).  

This is another part of the Monkey Temple, the flags are Bhuddist prayer flags.  Here is where I will explain the spindle objects in the picture above.  Each flag has a prescribed written prayer or prayers on them.  When the wind blows it is suppose to take the prayers with it.  The spindles objects are actually prayer wheels.  They hold paper in them that has the same prayers on them as the flags.  The people walk around clockwise and spin the wheels to release the prayers.  As they walk around they also carry beads to count how many times they spin the wheels...I think they are suppose to do it a prescribed amount of time.  Then there are huge wheels that they also walk around and spin.  

This is a stone, carved like a little man and dressed that was being worshipped.  I'll be gave me the creeps.  

This is the rat god, I really don't know what he is suppose to do...but he is obviously popular.  

This is the Pashupatinath Temple.  Considered to be the most holy temple for the Hindu god Shiva. It is on the Bagmati river (which the people say is the most polluted river in the world), and it is where most of the funerals are held in Kathmandu.  The smoke you see is from the cremation of the deceased.  The ashes are then put into the river.  It is not a site for the light of heart and makes me sad every time I am there.  Yes, there is a boy in the river collecting the firewood that did not totally burn up.  On the other side of the river was a girl wading in to try to find valuables from the bodies...every part of me wanted to scream...get out of the water...but I refrained. 
These scenes echo all over Kathmandu with small temples everywhere, or a rocks for that matter.  It really does make you think about belief.  Hindus believe in anywhere from 35,000 to 38,000 gods.  I personally think it would be exhausting trying to please all of them.

So now maybe you have a little better picture of the people that we have long loved and the culture that is almost totally opposite to our own.  We will be planning within the next two weeks and working on getting the non-profit registered in Sweden.  We have a non-profit in the States that will allow us to use them as an umbrella until we can see if we need to begin our own there and in Norway we can receive donations through our church. We also have paypal.

If you are interested in joining us on this adventure please let us know.  You can contact us through this blog or the   We will be getting specific needs out soon.