(My lovely friend Liv is so kind to send me this beautiful picture, taken in Hallingdal, Norway, where her idyllic cottage is located)
We got a letter on Thursday saying that my youngest son was granted admission, which means he would become a pupil at Oslo Montesorri School from August next year. It´s good news and here we´re, at the annual Christmas market arranged by the school and parents of the pupils in collaboration. We´re here in November every year, a family tradition at Christmas time.
A great deal of the items sold at the market are made by the parents themselves, such as knitwear, Christmas decorations, home-made jams and a wide range of cakes. These dedicated parents work together to ensure that the event becomes an enjoyable experience for the visitors, year after year. The income generated from the sales goes back to the school and then to the pupils. Some of the school tours are partly financed by it, I’m told.
(Ginger bread “pepperkaker” baked and decorated by the pupils)
(Hats knitted and soaps made by the parents)
Then it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that my oldest son gets his lunch, the hamburger prepared and served by the Norwegian prince Haakon Magnus, who is in charge of one of the wooden cabins. His son, prince Sverre Magnus is also a pupil here. I´m still surprised, surprised by his presence and preference. On this chilly beautiful Saturday, he’s contributing to make it a memorable experience for the visitors, to offer his support to the school and the pupils, just like any other ordinary parents.
(Home-made jams with organic berries, oranges and apples from the gardens)
(The high “kransekake” made of almond and icing sugar is a Norwegian speciality, a “must” in celebration of major events)
(The book titled “A magic story about feelings” is a great present under the Christmas tree)
A family who owns a small farm bring their two ponies to the school at this time every year, those kids who are eager for a ride would line up in the queue, stroking the hair of the horses, and chatting. The cute ponies are not here today unfortunately, the mother in the family told me that the road down to the school was too icy for the ponies to come alone.
(The children are encouraged to bake and decorate their “pepperkaker”)
(The artwork of my oldest son)
(Christmas presents made by the children: cocoa powder topped with chocolates and marshmallows)
The ginger bread “pepperkaker” is tightly connected with the Christmas tradition in Norway, an inevitable part of Christmas preparation. Baking pepperkaker brings the whole family together in a cold snowy evening. In my family we all have our own favourite figures, I love transforming the dough into different family members, which are not always distinguishable to others. Only I can tell who is the little brother and who is the older one based on those tiny marks I´ve made on them. And I make pepperkaker figure of myself, some extra effort is certainly made to ensure that I look great and pretty. These figures with a personal character are always the last ones to be picked up, a bit sad to put your mother into your mouth, don’t you think? So those animal figures have to go first.
The Montessori Method of education is developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. It’s a child-centured approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. It’s believed that children learn best and most naturally in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment.
(I just have to share another two pictures taken by Liv, a view outside her cottage in the early morning. Thank you Liv!)
It´s almost 01:00 a.m in Norway, I´m heading off to bed now. Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed it 😊
With love, Isabelle ❤️