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Campouts, glaciers and the tallest mountain in the Northland
Chris is the Young Men’s President in our ward/church congregation and back in August (yes I know…still catching up! It’s a never-ending battle) he and the youth went up north Jotunheimen National Park for a dual-stake campout for all the LDS youth in Norway. It was 5 full days packed with 10 hour drives, lots of gear, campfire food,  devotionals, treks across glaciers and summiting Galdhøpiggen: the tallest mountain in Northern Europe.
Tethering together to prepare to cross the Styggebreen glacier.
The summit of Galdhøpiggen
The view from the tip top of Northern Europe!
Devotional/testimony meeting.
Represent!
Building temples out of woodland materials.
The end of an adventure. 

 

 

Lily’s Blessing Day

In the LDS church babies are given a special priesthood blessing in the months after they are born. Chris gave Lily a beautiful blessing and my dad was able to be a part of the circle of priesthood brethren along with many of our good friends. I am so grateful to have the power of the priesthood in our home and family!

My mom and I stayed up late the night before to sew Lily a blessing gown (based on this tutorial) and while in the end it was hard to find Lily in all the ruffles, we think it turned out pretty cute!

After church that day I tried to get some cute mommy-daughter photos while she was still in her dress.
Some turned out precious…
Others not so much…
She cracks me up on a daily basis!

 

Christmas 2013

We got “settled” into our new apartment just in time for Christmas. (Why does it seem like we’re always either moving or traveling during Christmas time? We really need to stop that. It’s much too stressful.)

 

We still didn’t have any living room or dining room furniture (our “couch” was a pile of pillows in a corner and our “table” was an upturned moving box), and we were nowhere near being upacked, but we unearthed our decoration boxes and decked the halls for Christmas anyway.

Including our tree :)

 
I found a tutorial on Pinterest on how to take sparkly Christmas tree photos. I had some fun testing it out :)
 
And of course, the annual church Christmas concert. I was in charge of the decorations again this year and with a LOT of help from Carrie and Anita it turned out pretty fun!
Chris performed “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” with our bishop’s daughter, Anna, complete with full instrumental accompaniment and backup singers. One of these days I’m going to have to track down a video recording of the performance, because it was just darling! The ward has been a little obsessed with Chris’ deep voice ever since.
Since we weren’t traveling anywhere for Christmas this year, we were exposed to some more Norwegian Christmas traditions. One of our new favorites is ‘ribbe’ (roasted pork ribs) which is a traditional Christmas dinner in Eastern Norway. Our friends, Grethe and Leidulf, had us over for ribbe one evening and it was oh-my-gosh-delicious!
And oh yeah! It snowed! Fresh snow is such a magical way to get into the Christmas mood. We were hoping it would last until Christmas Day, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. We were happy to get one last snowy shot from our old apartment’s view before it all melted away.
 
We’re really learning to love Christmas in Norway!

 

 

Little Brother: The Missionary

“Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.” – The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:8

As soon as our early Thanksgiving ended, it was time to help my little brother, Cameron, get all of his final preparations ready for his 2-year mission to Dallas, Texas for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I can't believe he's old enough to be a missionary already! Granted, he left sooner than we all had planned on due to the change in the age limit last fall, but it still makes me feel old!

Suits and dress clothes all packed and ready to go.
Classic missionary.
For those of you who aren't Mormon, many young Mormons choose to serve proselyting missions to preach the gospel for 2 years full-time. They give up their normal lives to spend all day, every day, preaching the gospel, serving others, and teaching the message of Jesus Christ. They don't choose where they will serve their mission and during those 2 years they only get to call home on Christmas and Mother's Day. All other communication to their families back home is through letters and emails. It's pretty intense, but it's a beautiful experience that touches lives forever. You can read more about LDS missions here. I think they are pretty cool!
 
 
 
Cameron gave a fantastic farewell talk in church the Sunday before and he was more than ready to get out there and preach the gospel. He'll totally be the cutest missionary ever. I mean, look at him! We are all so proud!
 
Cameron's last photo at home in Vegas for two whole years!
 
 
Most new missionaries go to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Utah for a few weeks before going to their assinged mission location to, well, be trained how to be missionaries.
 
Cam was so excited to go he barely had the patience to hug everyone goodbye!
 
But he did anyway :)

Bye Cam! You're going to be a great missionary! We sure do love you!

 

(Whether you are Mormon or not, if any of you reading this are in Texas and happen to see this guy and his companion walking around, you should definitely invite them over for a good home-cooked meal. And if he knocks on your door, take a second to think about the sacrifices these young people are making and at least listen to what he has to say for 5 minutes. As a favor to me. It'll make his day and mine. :) Go Texas!)

 

Category: Church, Family  Tags: ,  2 Comments
This – right here, right now – is Norway.

This hike to Månafossen and the Mån Farm with the Hoegers and our church is going in the C2 record books as one of the most Norwegian things we've ever experienced.
 
First, there was the hike to the falls. In the drizzling rain. Rain doesn't slow the Norwegians down one bit.
 
We continued up through the mossy, mysterious forests to Mån Farm.

 

Then we grilled pølse on the bank of the river for lunch. Because of course it's not a true Norwegian outing unless hot dogs are consumed.
 
We cheered on Crister as he tried to rock-hop across the river (wearing his parka in August).
 
He almost made it, but then had to wade the rest of the way barefoot through the glacial river.
 
And that glacial river? The kids were playing in it in their swimsuits. It doesn't matter that the water is frigid….it's summer!
 
THEN the sheep showed up. Just sauntered through the group with their bells jingling like it was totally normal. Which…because it's Norway…it was.
 
And then, you guys, the children started RIDING THE SHEEP!
 
And the grandpas too. In Norwegian sweaters. I mean…. FOR REAL???
 
It was like everything we ever imagined/hoped/dreamed Norway to be came to life right before our eyes in a beautiful, surreal still-life of Norwegian culture.
“'Sup?”
 
 
It could only possibly have been more Norwegian if everyone did the hike wearing cross country skis.
 
But I guess that's what winter is for :)