March 20: Håndball and Monkey

Anders played his first håndball games this weekend! On Friday, he went to practice and his coaches offered to give him a ride to the Friday night game. It was across town and not possible for us to get there on time by bus. People are generous about offering to give him a ride as needed. He scored 2 goals in his first game and got to talk to the coaches on the ride home about his strategy.

On Saturday we went to his “home” game at Utleriahallen, about a 20 minute walk from home. The coach chatted with me about his successful first outing, saying that after his goal he just kept smiling all the way down to the other side of the court! He scored 1 goal in the 2nd game and had a few more shots that were blocked. The rules about possession are still bewildering to me, but he seems to be getting it down. He is at practice tonight; Ted encouraged him to ask his coaches more about strategy and rules so that he shows his interest and learn a bit more.

Meanwhile, it was Nora’s turn to take care of Monkey this weekend! The kids take turns bringing Monkey home (creative name, right?). They give Monkey fun experiences then write in Monkey’s journal and bring it back to school. Monkey also comes in a backpack with different clothes, but Nora was concerned that Monkey did not have a warm jacket, so I knitted up a quick little Monkey jacket from some leftover yarn. We got to contribute something to the life of the classroom, and she even wrote about it in the journal.

Monkey came with us to Anders’ handball game. Nora and I, along with Monkey, also went to her friend’s ice skating performance on Sunday. Naomi Ayana lives across the hall and her mom is Canadian, so we get to chat a bit about Norway vs. North America. Naomi is a talented little skater! They don’t have family nearby, so we were the cheering section for her.

It’s also been snowing like crazy for the last 2 days! Nora’s class went on another ski day yesterday. They walked about 1 mile from the school to a cross country ski area, so they each had to carry their own lunch and ski boots in their backpacks while carrying their skis and poles. I love that she gets that kid of outdoor experience with people other than us. I have a feeling that she is more cheerful when she is in a gaggle of kids 🙂

All day yesterday I watched out the window as the weather went from big fluffy flakes to clear blue skies to driving snow and wind, changing every 20 minutes. I just kept thinking of her out there with the kids on skis and around the camp fire. It’s a great way to spend a day!

Anders is really coming along with his Norwegian. He says that he can understand a lot of what the teachers say now and is asking me more subtle questions like the difference between “vet” (to know, as in to know a fact or piece of information) and “kjenner” (to know, as in to be familiar with something, like “I know who Anders is.”) I had to ask at work to make sure I understood the differences right. He is starting to correct my Norwegian, so it’s getting good!

Next week we are all off on Easter holiday. We have the special experience of visiting friends at their “hytta,” their cabin. We will take the train to Røros to stay with Trond and Sylvi’s family for a few days. Then we will hop on the train again and go down to the Hallingdal region to stay with our friends Kristine and Tor-Einar’s family. They lived in Corvallis last year and became good friends, but they live way down in Ås, south of Oslo, so we have not seen them in person yet. Can’t wait!

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About Christy Anderson Brekken

In no particular order... Instructor and Researcher, Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University. Educational background: University of MN Law School, 2005. MS in Ag and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, 2011. Teaches: Agricultural Law, Environmental Law. Mother: brilliant 9 year old boy; brilliant 6 year old girl with benign myoclonic epilepsy on a modified ketogenic diet therapy. Married to: Ted Brekken, OSU Department of Electrical Engineering. Ride: Xtra-cycle Edgerunner with kid seat; 400-pound cargo capacity. Grew up: Devils Lake, ND. Lived in: Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Pohang, South Korea, Trondheim, Norway, Corvallis, OR. Interests: Cooking, knitting, eating, yoga, laughing, hiking, traveling, staying sane.
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