Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Back to Blogging: 2014 so far...

So it occurred to me the other day that it has been far too long since a post has gone up.  The new year has already been very eventful and I expect it to continue to bring many new things.

What has happened over the last few months??  First there was my trip to Spain (fantastic), followed by some challenging and sad times for my family, changes at the farm and a new job!!

Last summer, I brought Isra to Colorado to meet my family (the ones he hadn't met yet).  This Christmas, it was my turn to meet his family.  So, we flew from Bergen to Madrid and spend 9 days with his wonderful family during Christmas.  I knew from the start that his family spoke very little English and I knew I did not remember any of my Spanish.  So yes, I was a little nervous.  Isra changed that quickly because he was such a great translator and his family was just too sweet.

Isra and I in Madrid

With Isra's parents in Avila

I learned so many things about Christmas in Spain.  All wonderful.  We shopped, visited christmas markets, met a wise man and saw nativity sets everywhere!  In Spain, they do not celebrate the same way we do in the US.  The kids aren't counting the days until Santa comes to town.  Instead, they are waiting for the 3 Wise Men to come to their house with gifts (on January 6th).  And in every house, and every shop window, there were nativity sets.  Complete with farm animals, running streams, and of course the 3 Wise Men (and a pooping man).  The best part about these was how much everyone loved to see them.  There would be crowds surrounding different store fronts to look at the nativity set.  Fantastic.

Checking out a nativity set

The pooping man

Awesome Christmas present from Uncle Isra

Yum!! Spanish food with fantastic company

Holidays in Madrid

The second part of our Spain vacation was in Malaga with my parents.  It was warm, fun and so wonderful to see them!  Their holiday plans changed when they decided to come to Norway, which was an extended vacation for me.  I felt very lucky to have my Mom and Dad, then sister and our friend visit us at the farm.

Fixing Spanish drains with Nils

And eating Spanish tapas with Mary

Serious mancala battle

Love seeing my Mom and Dad (and Aunt) at my breakfast table

Exploring Bergen

The girls at Bryggen

A house full of family

After saying goodbye to my family, I was offered a new job at the school as a Norwegian teacher for 10th grade.  It sounds intense, but it is a beginning Norwegian class.  While I am not fluent, I do know my basic Norwegian (for the most part).  It has been two weeks now in this new position and it has been an exciting challenge.  I have realized I know more than I thought, and that I have a lot to review! Every week, I spend time planning for my lessons, then time reviewing everything to make sure I can teach it properly.  I am so grateful for this opportunity because I really can't think of any better way to perfect the language I came here to learn!

The biggest and most life changing thing that has happened over the last few months is the change at BB Farms.  We have had to take a big step back from our farming venture.  This means that plans for the Spring/Summer are somewhat unknown for this year.  I don't anticipate that we will have as many animals or as many days open at the cafe.  All is to be decided and I'll continue to keep everyone updated.

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