Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shabbat Continued

In the morning Jacob went hunting for ptarmigan with Gisli and Danielle. In Gisli's family it is a tradition to eat ptarigam for Christmas and if he gets enough he also make a ptarmigan pate. It was very cold, colder then it has been in a long time. They drove over to the next fjord, Altasfjordur, and began their hike. They basically hikes from 10:30 until 3 in sometimes waist high snow and for most of the morning it was snowing up there. They had two guns, so Gisli had one and Jacob the other and for the majority of the time they were separated. they had to flush the ptarmigan out of the brush and hunt them in the air. Jacob tells of his first shot when he crept up on a bird, aimed and took his shot, only to discover it HAD been a pile of snow:) The ptarmigans are black and white birds, but in this season they are primarily white with some black in the tail feathers. Later, he scared some out of the brush and took another shot. After a bit of walking he discovered he had succeeded and there it was at his feet.

they came back EXHAUSTED!!!!

Zelia and I had a great day listening to music and playing, plus getting Vicky on Skype. Then at around 2 o'clock, Gerdur knocked on our door and asked if we wanted to have some lunch. So we bundled Zelia up and put her in her stroller since it was time to nap and we headed out to the bakery to get some bread. They were setting up the market in the center of town and people were beginning to gather for the tree lighting at 4. At the bakery we got some Stollen Bread, which is a traditional German Christmas bread. Although, Peter Weis, the director of the University Center, who is from Germany says it's not really the right thing:) It is an egg bread with raisins and other dried fruit in it (like the kind that goes in the Panamanian wedding cake) and then it has powdered sugar on it. We also got a delicious raisin bread and enjoyed it with butter and homemade peanut butter (Tomas, her son, is great in the kitchen). Jacob and Gisli returned and we headed into town for the tree lighting. The hot chocolate booth was open (picture with the Santa on the booth) and they were also serving hot pancakes with raisins, yummmm. The square was full of people and it was nice to be in a crowd:) There was a count down from 5 and the tree was lit! It also seems that the music school did quite well selling things in the market, they had everything from baked goods, to dried fish, rotten shark, Icelandic sweaters and jams....

Speaking of sweaters....Jacob got one the other day at Karitas and it is great looking and he says incredibly warm. We also learned in the shop that if you find the wool scratchy then you can soak it in hair conditioner!

Anyway, after the lighting we were invited to go into Gerdur and Gisli's hot tub which is outside in their yard. So we headed home, showered, got bathing suits and brought the wine. It was SO nice.

It is cold today as well about minus 5 and Jacob is working on a presentation. I plan on getting some knitting done to try and finish his second sock already. Tonight we are going to the UN Students' house for dinner.

Lovely Shabbat

We had a really nice Shabbat dinner last night with the leftover soup from Thanksgiving and delicious sweet rye bread (rugbraud) with Danielle and then decide to take a walk, gongutur. We got Zelia ready for bed and added wool clothes and Jacob wore her all cozy and warm. We decided to walk by Gisli and Gerdur's house and Gisli happened to be outside getting ready to go to the dump. So we asked if they wanted to go for a walk and we all headed out for about 40 minutes. It was cold and began to snow lightly and it was perfect. On the way back Gisli ran to Samkaup and bought some cream and we headed back to their place for hot chocolate (with a little rum) and cookies. A delicious Isafjordur fig newton...

this morning is it VERY cold and Gisli came to get Jacob at 10, Danielle went with, and they headed to the next fjord over to hunt ptarmigan. Gisli has hunted 5 and would like 5 more for Christmas, a family tradition and he would like to make ptarmigan pate.

Later today there is going to be the town Christmas tree decorating and lighting, plus a market in the center put on by the music school. I think most people will be there and it should be a great time. We will take lots of pictures and get them up here later.

On a side note, I feel like my Icelandic has taken a big jump and I ma beginning to speak and make myself understood, yay. Also some big news is....apparently Isafjordur needs an English teacher in the high school....hmmmmm. Will you keep you posted.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving #2

Well, tonight was a big success and Jacob out did himself, of course!!!! The food was absolutely delicious and the turkey was AMAZING!!!! and the gravy was really out of this world. We also had a sweet potato dish that was out of this world, made with vanilla, eggs and candied pecans and corn flakes. Really good and I can be VERY picky when it comes to sweet potatoes:) Zelia ate a ton of fish from her daddy's fish chowder:)

Anyway, here are some pictures of the food and our evening...
Zelia eating fish
Tanja, Astrid, Gabriealla (professor from Canada)
Bjanri and Traian
Jacob, Tomas, Gerdur, Gisli, Katri
Jacob and Tomas and the turkey
Family pictures

A Snowy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday Lily!!! Woohoo, 5 years old, that's just great:) Plus you get to celebrate in Limerick - you are one of the few.

First our big news........Zelia cut her first tooth yesterday, just days past her ninth month. The funny thing is that we didn't even know. I was at the mommumorgun, talking about her health and how she has no teeth and my friend Sunna was feeling around in her mouth and looking. Then she said, make her laugh again, I did and there it was a little tooth coming through her bottom right gum. It actually looks like the other will come through at any moment as well! It explains the odd short screaming/yelp she would give out every once in a while. Already this new month has been full of development, whew, it's all so fast:) As I was leaving I looked outside and it was snowing!!! yay. It was a great day.

Last night the wind picked up, the temperature dropped and we listened to the howling all night. We got another 6-8 inches and it is supposed to continue for a few days so we should have a nice amount of snow for a while. Jacob has been working his tail off cooking for this evening. Can you believe he has made 4 separate stocks for the meal??? Well, you probably can, but still, amazing - nothing is too much when it comes to cooking:) He is in class and then has a meeting which is too bad but we will have some time to clean and set up and then people sill be arriving at 5:30 for the feast.

Oh, there are about 15 words for snow...I need to get a list:)

We miss you all a lot at this time and are thinking of you. We hope you all have a delicious and joyful Thanksgiving and please eat cranberries for us...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas is coming

Slowly, slowly the lights are being hung around town and on houses. It is SO welcome in this darkness to see the pretty lights everywhere. I get a real sense of why all these light celebrating holidays occur at this time. I mean, I have know it intellectually, but I really feel it this year. Other than the lights, the bakery has a special Jolabraud (jola is Christmas in Icelandic) and lots of piparkokur (gingerbread cookies). Also the hotel restaurant and Edinborg House have something called a Jolabord, which is a huge Christmas buffet. It's really a Danish tradition that has been adopted here just in the last several years. We will be going to one at the hotel Nupur, where Jacob stayed his first night here, on Dec 6. We will go and spend the night and enjoy this huge buffet which will ave Icelandic and Danish specialities. Looks like a lot of smoked things...

Jacob said today that he didn't realize how much light we had lost these two weeks while not in class...

We went swimming today with Haeti, her mom Segga and her son Alexander. The water was really warm and Zelia was more relaxed than ever. Of course, by the time we got out she was exhausted and had a total meltdown while getting dressed. Once we got through that and into the stroller she fell fast asleep for just over 2 hours! Fabulous.

Segga was heading over to the nursing home and was going to find out if they had knit any more of these very fine woolen undershirts for babies. They are really nice and warm and beautiful:) If I get some I will put up a picture.

These are three videos we took tonight, trying very had for Zelia not to notice because the minute she does she goes right for the camera and stops what she is doing. So, the first is her eating sweet potato - yay finally something other than cheerios and tofu. She is not really into food these days. The second is her discovering she is being filmed and the third is her playing alone which is what we were trying to capture all along.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Engage With Grace

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Winter Pictures

On our Walk to Bonus today we took a few pictures to try and capture the light these days. You can also see some frozen waterfalls and streams. There are areas where you can see where the water is simply seeping out of the ground since it is freezing now.

On the way to Bonus we were walking against the wind which was SO hard it took us over an hour to get there. It was a bit like a bad dream when you are being chased but cannot run. Thankfully no one was chasing us.

There are also several pictures of Zelia and a few videos as well. She was nine months yesterday!