Can you believe that I forgot it was Thanksgiving? How un-American of me, right? Well, living in Norway it was just a regular Thursday.

While walking my kid to school, a Norwegian mom wished me a Happy Thanksgiving. I was shocked and frankly I wanted to hug her, but I already have scarred enough Norwegians with my physical displays of affection. So I just said, “awww, tusen takk!” (Basically, awww, thanks.)

Anyway, I had a busy day planned preparing for something we here have called vennegrupper, which means “friends group.” Basically each class is divided into small groups of four or five. And each kid has a turn hosting a playdate at their house for the vennegrupper. It works out so that the vennegrupper meets about once a month.

The dining table is ready for the onslaught of five kids and their artistic prowess.

Naturally, this helps build relationships within the classroom. At our school each student is assigned to a class, either A, B or C and you stay with that class throughout all of elementary school. What’s great is that you generally have the same teacher from first through third grade and then another teacher for the rest of primary school.

I love the continuity and it’s quite the contrast from the States where we generally change teachers and the composition of the classes every year.

So instead of Thanksgiving, I had vennegrupper for my first-grader. It was my first time hosting one since with my fifth-grader, I couldn’t quite seem to get the timing right and we sadly fell down on our hosting duties. That’s a big no-no, but I was still new to Norway, so possibly I’m forgiven?

As my Facebook feed filled with everyone’s table all decked out for the Turkey Day feast, I was inspired to take a picture of my own dining table. It was spectacular in its own right with a special table cloth and chair covers. A perfect for five 6-year-olds to paint pictures.

Besides the painting, the kids played with all our toys real and and imagined. The playdate was seemingly a success and after all of the kiddos went home, I got to call my family back in Kansas. It’s always good to hear from home, especially as everyone’s relaxing and loosening their belts from their Thanksgiving meal.

Thankfully, I will have a proper Thanksgiving feast this coming Saturday when my friend from Texas hosts a large sit-down dinner with all the fixings. I’m bringing the mac n’ cheese.



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