With the exception of the Copenhagen Airport during layovers, I have never been to Denmark.
So, when Esten´s soccer team signed themselves up for Dana Cup, a week long soccer tournament, I became excited!
Dana Cup claims to be one of the biggest and most prestigious soccer tournaments in the world, and takes place in Hjørring, Denmark.
And since I have never been there I showed up with a list of MUST DOs.
Most important for me was to take a day trip to see some of the German bunkers that are now washing up from their hiding places in the sand and are slowly eroding out to sea.
And thank goodness we arrived a day before the tournament began to experience the history, and the uncommonly good weather.
We ate the famous Skagen Salad,
and marveled at the sight of two seas coming together in Grenen.
Then we found our way home to our tiny ocean front cabin, where we discovered many of our neighbors to be vacationing German parasailers. So cool to watch!
We took our bikes and loved how flat Denmark is compared to Norway! Biking in Norway is not for the gear-less beach bikes from my childhood!
The next morning we went to Esten´s first scheduled soccer game, a game in the qualifying round against a Frankfurt, Germany team, and our boys lost.
It was clear they were nervous. They have never played in such a big tournament before and it showed.
Ironically, at the end of the game one of the the German trainers approached the parents and trainers of the Lillehammer, Norway team. Evidently, he felt our team was special and particularly difficult to beat!?!
ANYWAY…If and when they lose out of the tournament, my itinerary of things to see and do in Denmark for the rest of the week was ready.
But, after the qualifying round, THE DREAM TEAM CONTINUED TO WIN!
And wow was it exciting….
I began to text updates to Dad in LA (Lower Alabama). He was on the edge of his seat til the final second.
We ended up watching a LOT of soccer, and seeing very little Denmark.
NRK 1 news showed up and filmed the games so all of Norway could follow along on the nightly news. Other teams and coaches started showing up to watch our games, and the boys were beside themselves.
You could see our coaches were having a difficult time hiding their excitement as well.
Anyway, our thirteen year olds, made it to the finals of The Dana Cup!
A pretty big crowd showed up for the rainy 10:00 am final game on Saturday morning to see Norway vs Mexico.
We could see our guys warming up on a practice field in the background, then they disappeared into the locker room.
The official introduced the Lillehammer team first, and the boys nervously paraded onto the field. They were stretching and bouncing around like they had ingested too much sugar.
to everyone´s surprise, there was an announcement that Mexico had booked their return flights the day before due to a scheduling misunderstanding!
You should have seen the looks on the boy´s faces when it finally became clear that they had just won The Dana Cup for 1012!
Ulf Elf showed up fifteen years ago as a Christmas gift from Farmor (Father´s Mother) to Erling Jr.
The first year he simply sat around on the sofa during the holidays as a bit of Norwegian decor.
I imagine he was dealing with culture shock.
The next year, as Jr. became mobile, mischievous, and messy, Ulf began to follow Jr around.
He was a reminder that Santa is watching, and Jr. best mind his p´s and q´s.
Following the birth of Esten, Odd Elf appeared.
Odd felt at home right away, and was quick to follow Ulf´s lead by pointing out Esten´s forgetfulness.
Of course Eliane also came with an Elf (with serious skirt problems) named Ingeborg.
We have a lot of giggles with our elf friends, and over the years the children have renamed them.
Jr. has changed Ulf´s name to Stalker.
Esten refers to Odd as Plagsom (Bothersome in Norwegian),
And Eliane calls Ingeborg by the name Lisa.
For the record, all of Eliane´s dolls and stuffed animals are named Lisa.
Elf reminders work!
And like magic, once things are in order the children place their elves back in the living room.
Stalker and Lisa have seemingly hooked up
and I´m hoping a new elf is on it´s way to look after Dream Baby.
If ANYONE needs an elf on his ass, it´s DREAM BABY!
Our middle child Esten, is twelve years old going on six.
Yesterday he came home from school bursting at the seams to tell me his latest joke.
Having heard an Esten joke before, I braced myself for the unfiltered kindergarten material that was about to spew from his adorable 7th grade mouth.
Per Esten standards, it was filled with bathroom talk and did NOT disappoint.
A couple was in bed
and suddenly a strange sound came from under the comforter…
(Esten used the word fart).
The lady asked, `What was that?´
The man replied, `Game on! The score is 1-0.´
It wasn´t long before another `strange´ sound occurred,
this time the MAN questioned: `What was that?´
The lady responded `Tie ballgame´ and went back to reading her book.
Then a much louder and longer sound came from under the covers.
(A productive fart was Esten´s description)
And the lady asked, `What was that?´
with a look of surprise on his face said,
`Half-time change sides!´
(I believe Esten used the word poop)
Esten´s seventh grade class is studying blogs; therefore, he requested I repost this story (about him) from March 2011.
Mornings in our household are just like any other household with small children, chaos. This morning was no exception. Eliane came bouncing downstairs with a hairdo rivaling Tina Turner from the 1980´s. Esten, my speedy guy, was up and eating breakfast in no time. And Erling Jr, the slowest of all pokes, took his sweet time about finding his place at the table. Like clockwork, in the middle of his cereal, Esten decides to pay a visit to the bathroom. Along the way, he was distracted by something he saw outside the window. Hysterically, he began pointing and yelling.
Mom! An EGG!
No one paid attention to Esten. Not even me. We have had an incredible amount of snow this year, and I have already noticed the egg looking snow sculptures that have accumulated on top of each flower-pot on the veranda.
Esten: (yelling louder): Mom! EGG!
Me: Yes Esten, I know. Please hurry, you need to get dressed.
Eliane finished her breakfast, ran upstairs, then returned with various hair gadgets for me to attempt to tame her hair. Jr managed to clear his breakfast dishes and disappeared to get dressed. I made lunches, and got Ellie out the door. Jr begins packing his backpack once I tell him to get off the computer, and that is when I noticed Esten, still in his underwear, hypnotized by the damn snow-eggs outside.
I calmly walk to him and grab the small hairs on the back of his neck. And I say, through clenched teeth,`Esten it is time to get dressed.´
Esten gently takes my hand from behind his neck and responds through equally clenched teeth,` Mama, there is an egg outside, and I am not going to school until you see it!´
A groan of frustration escapes my throat, I roll my eyes and surrender. Esten leads me to the window. I peer out across our snow covered lawn, the fog was as thick as pea soup, and when my eyes focused, I saw a moose!
In our down-town backyard, a huge moose!
I scream out in surprise and scramble to find a camera. Esten, began dancing a dance of satisfaction in his underwear and said, `See I told you there is an egg out there!´
Me: Esten, You said egg! Why didn´t you say moose!?
Esten: Mama, Moose in Norwegian, is egg!
Me: No it isn´t! Moose in Norwegian, is elg!
That´s when I was reminded of being a foreigner. Things are not always what I think I hear. Moose=Elg, and with an American accent, it sounds like `ellg´. However, Esten pronounced it with a thick almost silent`L´, the way any proper Norwegian would.
I apologize to my little man and give him a hug before rushing him off to get ready.
I couldn´t find the camera fast enough, but managed a blurry shot with my phone as our breakfast guest wandered over to the neighbor´s yard.
What an unforgettable morning!
Today, my eggs came with a side of moose and a hug from Esten!
How about yours?
An even more popular Esten story:
The entire family was loaded up in the car last weekend and out for a short ride. It was an abnormally quiet trip for our family of five. Especially since four of us
have diarrhea of the mouth are talkers. Perhaps we are still jet-lagged from our recent trip stateside.
But out of the blue, Erling Jr. breaks the silence with the following comment:
`You know Dad, you shouldn´t lock the windows. How is a guy supposed to get rid of the bee in his mouth?´
Our children are notorious for pulling things out of thin air, and this one made me giggle out loud.
Here´s the story…..
While on vacation, Mother was kind enough to loan us her very clean, kid free, luxury SUV with LIGHT beige interior. I harped on the kids constantly about keeping the car tidy, but as we travelled through four states during our four week trip, hitting a drive through, or six, was inevitable. There were some spills which we got up, but not without me lecturing our three pigs throughout the scrubbing process. Dream Baby was beginning to refer to me as Fraudeline Von ZiBitch, but the kids showed remarkable understanding and made efforts. I was pleased with the affects of my nagging until the day we were returning to Mom and Dad´s from a waterskiing trip.
Each kid, in a change of dry clothes, grabbed their soda and climbed into the car. It had been a great day and everyone was exhausted. About half way home, Esten, in an obvious panic attack, begins humming LOUDLY.
`Humm, HUMM, HUMMMMM!´
I turned to the back seat and asked, `WHAT?´
I noticed his eyes were as big as saucers as he pointed to his mouth and hummed LOUDER!
Jr. frantically tried to roll down the windows and announced, `Dad, The window locks are on!´
Sr. begins hitting every button on the driver door and I yelled, `Spit it back into your Coke can!´
Esten spits, and I swear a bee flew out of his mouth and proceeded to bump randomly into the ceiling over my head. He was clearly dazed and confused, but he was adamant about finding an escape route. Sr. finally found the window unlock button, and I managed to gently guide the bee out the window with my hands.
I could not believe the thing was still alive, but even more miraculous, was the fact no one got stung. Not even Esten!
Yet the biggest miracle of all, not one drop of Coke-a-Cola hit Nana´s carpet!
I suppose my nagging paid off. But I couldn´t help but have guilty feelings, and worried about my
bitching behavior the rest of the ride. Have I gotten so bad that my child would hold a bee in his mouth not to upset me!?!
I ultimately decided that nagging is pursuit. It shows a parent cares enough to mean business. Nagging is persistence. Nagging is stubborn and dedicated. Nagging won’t let the matter drop. Nagging is guidance, the invaluable work needed to raise adolescent children. Even at the risk of bee stings. Children, like bees, only want to be loved, and swatting at them isn´t going to help a bit! They respond positively with proper
nagging guidance and loving attention.
Hours later, I heard Esten telling Mother his tongue hurt. She fixed him a mouth rinse and gave him the Nana attention he craved knowing good and well if that bee had stung him, we all would have heard about it LONG before now!