It"s a Crazy Wonderful Life

This is a blog about my family and the crazy life in the Sims Household. We have 5 children, ranging from 14 to 5, and seem to be going in all different directions sometimes. The purpose of this blog is to help keep our friends and family up to date on what is going on in our lives.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chronicles of Norway (Part 4) Saturday

Well we had a super fun filled day on Saturday. It started a bit earlier than all our other days while we were here. We headed out at about 8:30 with Grandma and Grandpa towards Halden. We did a bit of souvenir shopping and took a quick tour of downtown Halden which is where Bjorg grew up.

Halden is a really beautiful little city and the old downtown area was so sweet. We stopped in a little bakery for some pastries and walked through the park. We also walked over to the foot bridge. Bjorg showed us the schools she went to, where she went to church, where she played as a child, where she worked as a teen and where she went to the movies and other such things. It was really fun to visit her history this way. Halden is also the final resting place of Mike's MorMor (mother's mother) and his MorFar (mother's father) so we took a quick trip to the cemetery to visit their graves. It was a beautiful little cemetery on a hill.

Then we were off to the big event, a family gathering and barbecue lunch at Bjor's Unkel Kora's home in Sweden. His little farm is just inside the Swedish boundaries a few minutes outside of Halden. It was the cutest little farm and farmhouse. Here we met Kora and his 3 sons, their wives and children. These children were younger and the kids enjoyed playing together despite language barriers. We also met Tonta Ranghild and Unkel Per (Bjorg's aunt and Uncle), Wenke and Arild (Bjorg's cousin and her husband), and we saw Tonta Gunhilde, Hilde-Gund, Guru, and Marit again (Bjorg's aunt, cousin, and 2nd cousins that we met on Tuesday). I probably butchered the spellings of all these Norweian names, so if I did, please be forgiving. The children had so much fun playing lawn games and visiting. Guru who is 12 years old, like Kaylee, helped with some translation between the kids. Jake and Kyle both fell in love with Guru and both said they were staying with her when it was time for us to leave. Visiting with all the family was so much fun. Most of the adults spoke at least a little bit of English so conversation was not too difficult. An the spread of food, in typical Norwegian style, was enough to feed and army. Then came the deserts!!!

After the BBQ we headed out to Svinesund Sweden to do some shopping. Prices of goods are much cheaper in Sweden than in Norway and amazingly the border is filled up with grocery store that are supported mostly by people coming over the border to shop. There are restrictions as to how much food can be taken back into Norway, but we weren't going to be buying that much. We just bought a bunch of Norwegian chocolate mmmmm!, and some other goodies to bring back to the states. I loved this picture of Jake and Mike. They are such STUDS!!Following our grocery shopping, we went to visit Tonta Ranghild and Unkel Per at their home. They set up the table and served us some Diplom-Is which is the local ice cream favorite there. It was quite tasty. Their little home on the farm is so cute. Next we went to see the cows. Kjell (Bjorg's cousin) is the owner of the farm where Unkel Per lives. The whole farming lifestyle and family setup in Norway is quite amazing. Anyway he took us in to see the cows. He has over 100 head of cattle that he raises. The kids fed them and got licked by them. They loved it. Next they kids went to look at the chickens. Jake in his hurry neglected to see the stinging nettle bush right next to the fence and put his arm right in it. True to Bjorg's warnings, the sting was immediate and intense. Thankfully cousin Kjell had some lotion that stopped the sting and made him comfortable for our long drive home. It was a long but wonderful day!!

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