Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dinner at the Nystads

I'm making the annoying "raspberry" sounds in the background. BUT LISTEN TO PHOENIX'S LAUGH!!! Isn't it great?!.

PHOENIX SAYS MAMA! A real achievement! 

This is the sign for "cry". Phoenix is dragging his finger down  his cheek like a tear. 

Look at those cheeks. (More annoying "raspberry" sounds!)

Happy Sundays

Hanging out downtown

It was a huge feat climbing to the top of the slide!

The boys sitting down for dinner and drinking from martini glasses!

Taking the bus in to town

It is about 9pm and like most Sundays, I AM SO HAPPY (and not only because the kids are asleep)! We usually spend our Sunday evenings at Phoenix's friend's house. He's 5 year old and also has Down syndrome. It takes us about 5 minutes to walk to his house. It is such a blessing to have him and his single mom in our lives. She is from Ethiopia so it is extra special to have the whole ex-pat thing in common too. She cooks delicious meals for us, whether it is Ethopian injera or Norwegian elk. Then she makes ginger coffee and serves it with Norwegian chocolate. Other days we hang out downtown or got to an indoor playland. Each time after being with them, my heart if full of warmth and joy. 

I love that Phoenix has a friend. And he is such a good example to Phoenix. He is polite, full of compliments and very sweet and careful with little Rio. I love that our whole family enjoys Phoenix's friend. Its so wonderful that Ben enjoys being there too, with the kids and two women discussing the latest DS research. 

I'm so thankful to have this family in our lives.  They are a source of inspiration and encouragement to us. 

Fantastic fall

The view from Tromsø's highest point

Trying to get the kids to pose for a picture!

Trying to get them both to smile is another thing!

Phoenix on the way down

The mornings are full of pink light...I love the contrast of the snow and fall foliage. 

I've had this post in my head for 2 weeks now, when "fantastic fall" was actually appropriate. As of now, it has been raining hard for 3 days and it has been cold and rainy. We're very used to living by the Norwegian modo "no bad weather, only bad clothing" but in this weather it is hard to enjoy being outside. But back to 2 weeks ago...

It was a perfect autumn day. The sun was warm on our backs as we hiked to the highest point on Tromsø island Varden (means stack of rocks). We took the kids in the stroller most of the way and then left it on the trail so that Phoenix could hike the last part on his own. It was steep and took maybe 30 -40 minutes but he did it all on his own! It was awesome! And the fall foliage was at its best- lots of yellows, reds and brown!!! Gorgeous! I will autumn lasted longer!

That night we saw another fascinating wonder of September, the northern lights. I had butterflies in my stomach, feeling so blessed to be allowed to live and experience life in the arctic circle. 


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Døgnvill Music Festival, Tromsø

50 cent and G-Unit came out in Marine outfits

The venue was so small and were really close to the stage

Ben and I were looking forward to Døgnvill Music Festival ("døgnvill" means when you get your days and nights mixed up) ever since we heard that 50 cent was playing. We could not believe that he would come all the way to the arctic circle to play in 38F weather for this "city" of only 60,000 for a bunch a Norwegians who have no clue what words like "ghetto, projects" mean. We had to be there to see this!

The line up included people like Samantha Foxx, Limahl ("The Never Ending Story") Duolva Duottar (Sami people- the indigenous people of northern Norway, they still heard reindeer- rapping) and a couple really good Norwegian bands. Kaizers was by far the best performance of the night. 

We only got to go the festival on Friday. But Saturday's line up included the Sex Pistols and Travis. 

One really cool part of the festival was that so many families were there! I mean newborns from 2 months (they had them in their baby bjørns or sleeping on the outskirts of the lawn in their big buggies) to teenagers hanging out with their parents.  It was really a cool atmosphere on the top of the island surrounded by mountains. 

These were my favorite Norwegian artists...and the hilarious Sami rappers:

Ida Maria "Oh My God"

Kaizers Orchestra "Enden av November"

Here is a video from FIDDY's official website about the show here in Norway. There's some good footage of Tromsø. It is hilarious to see them at our local Burger King and complaining about how expensive everything is here!