Friday, November 30, 2007

DNA Polymerase

DNA polymerase you are my friend,
I never want your work to end,
small but busy,
you never get dizzy,
base pair mutations you actively mend

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bed time stories with Caitlin

Caitlin is an amazing story teller. Two weeks ago I was getting ready for bed and she came over to Christen's and my room to tell us a bed time story. It is always a joy when our suite mates bless us with their presence. This particular evening, Caitlin read us a bed time story about how to describe colors to blind children. It was a great story with vivid imagery, but I certainly think that Caitlin's sweet, soothing, expressive voice lent a lot to the wonderful story. Next time any of you have a chance to hear Caitlin tell a story, jump at it! You won't regret it!


Martina drifting off to sweet sleep

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Robby's surprise visit in October!

When I came home for fall break I was planning on doing studying all weekend, stopping only to take the occasional morsel of food. But when I arrived at the airport...

Robby popped up from no where! It was a wonderful surprise visit, just for the weekend! We had a glorious time visiting Petra and Paul, hiking, canoing, playing music, and generally throwing studies to the wind! It was very much worth it though!

An awesome surprise!

Two great explorers

Starting to feel like fall!

Robby, Martina, and Dad

All study and no play makes the Howe/Houmanns no fun.

Shearing time!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Robby's visit to America

Robby came over from Norway for a visit!
We started off his visit with a 45 mile bike ride on the C &O canal & a trip to the beach, then we had to represent EBS for the ASI meetings in Kentucky.
We flew up to Maine after that for a quick visit to Petra and Paul, met up with my parents and then went down to Cape Cod for the week where we went on a whale watch, played frizbee on the beach, played mini golf and got our toes pinched by crabs in the ocean.
Came back to Maryland and went white water rafting on the Yough, then toured around DC, and Pennsylvania. It was very busy, but we had fun hiking, biking, cooking, talking and reading the Bible together. We had an awesome time, and it was a very good end to the busy summer.

Robby and I at Black Rock

Gettysburg National Battlefield
(Napolionic cannon)

Dad was the pro at mini golf

On the boat for whale watching

Cool and clean before our 45 mile bike ride

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I am still alive

Greetings and Salutations,
Life has been particularly busy in the past few weeks, so apologies on my lack of communication. I am back to the USA, after an exciting vacation to Western Norway to see the fjords after school (pictures will follow). Recently I have been working and studying biology and oboe on my spare time (between 7-9 pm). Yes, the normal life is quite busy, but life is still good, and God has taken care of me thus far, He will continue to provide. God is good!

Friday, May 25, 2007

My new brother

Petra and Paul at their wedding

My new brother and I

Pet and Paul

My siblings!

I have always wanted a brother. Ever since I was about three or four I wanted to adopt a Chinese baby boy, or at least have my parents adopt him so I could have a little brother. Pet and I would sometimes sit and think what we would do if we had a little brother. I think we would have spoiled him totally with all that we planned to do. When our good friends Annie and Gigi got a little brother we spent so much time with them, that he was like a little brother to us. Sadly, they moved away, so we had to give up our "little brother".

Last weekend all that changed. My sister got married on Sunday to Paul. I think if I had to find my own brother, I would have chosen him. Good choice Pet, and thanks for finally giving me the brother that we've always wished for! :-) Welcome to the family Paul!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Klausie boy

I found out yesterday that our budgie died on Friday. He was the best bird one could ever want. Whenever you were sad he would fly over and give you a kiss and whistle to you. We got him when he was a chick and therefore he really didn't know how to "speak parakeet" but only spoke in our language and whistled the way we did. He could speak in 3 different languages: English, Chinese, and Russian and he was working on Spanish and Danish. His favorite phrase was "I love you! God loves you too!" Often when we would be cooking in the kitchen Klaus would be sitting up in the window, whistling and saying "God loves you!", he also might say a cheery "Ni hao me!" or "Martina!" Sometimes he would get phrases mixed up and say "Merry ChrisKlaus" (instead of Christmas). When Petra or I would practice our instraments Klaus would love to sit on the ground and talk to our tapping toes, sometimes jumping on our feet and riding up and down as we tapped to keep in time. He loved to fly over and see what you were doing and maybe get a snack of fruits or veggies (red pepper was his favorite). He always had just the right things to say to cheer you up, and always knew how to make people happy.
I think that even if I have other pets, I will always remember my dear Klaus and think of him. I hope that soon all of us will meet together in Heaven where we will never part again. That is a day to look forward to!

"How lovely are Your dwelling places O Lord of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. The bird also has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herslef, where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You." ~ Psalms 84:1-4

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Night Visitors

Last weekend I went to the Heiberg's house with some of my friends from the Witness For Life group that arrived in April. Allie, Shannon and Ricky are all students from America who are here for the leadership course that we are having now. We headed out on Friday evening, and we had an awesome weekend hiking, and spending good quality "chum" time.
On Saturday night Ragnhild (a little homeschool friend from Fredheim) came over for her birthday and wanted to spend the night in the Heibergs Stabbur with me. A stabbur is a storage house that many Norwegians have on their property that is standing on poles so that mice and rats cannot get into it. Many Norwegians use the stabburs into guest houses, and the Heiberg's stabbur has some very old beds in them that are only about a metre in length.
I have always wanted to stay out in the stabbur, so when Ragnhild asked me to join her out there I jumped at the chance. We chatted for a while before going to sleep. I didn't see a lock on the door, but I didn't think that there would be any problem because the Heiberg's house was just across the lawn. I drifted off to sleep very comfortably situated in my bed hoping that nothing would go wrong.

For the past year at EBS I've been getting up whenever God wakes me up to read my Bible and pray and Saturday night was no exception. I woke up at 2 o'clock to see what new things were in God's word for that night. As I was peacefully reading I thought I heard footsteps. I brushed it away thinking that it was just the wind and it was all my imagination about the footsteps. I did however turn from Ezekiel to something a little more calming in the Bible. But for some reason I thought I could still hear footsteps. Then I heard scratching on the wall. My room at EBS has mice in the walls, so that was nothing new, but I thought it was odd because the whole point of stabburs is to keep mice out. I rolled over and tried desperately to quiet my imagination, but somehow it was getting a little more difficult for me to concentrate. Then I heard Mimi barking, and more footsteps, now I was sure that someone was in the stabbur. Visions of crazy rednecks in the backwoods of Norway drinking in "empty" stabburs rushed through my mind. I tried to see if Ranghild was awake but she was still sleeping peacefully. I was trying to figure out what to do. Since I was acting "big sister" to Ranghild I could frighten her about the situation, but now I was sure that people were in the stabbur. Then the door creaked open, and a form paused at the door. I am sure that if I was not trying to be brave for Ranghild's sake I would have either screamed or fainted... or both. Then three people came running in with sheets over their heads and yelling

and to my utter relief, I recognized... Robby, Shannon, and Ricky!

Friday, March 30, 2007

God cares

I was just reading on the news about wage abuse in China. For some reason the fast food chains think it is perfectly reasonable to pay their employees way below the minimum wage to work part time in their companies. McDonald's for example pays the student workers 4 yuan ($0.52) per hour. The minimum wage for Guangdong province is 7.5 yuan per hour ($0.95). Even though this is still extremely low, McDonald's pays 40% less than that minimum wage. I couldn't help thinking of some over sized executive sitting in a plush chair in his office deciding what kind of wage to give to the poor starving workers in China. As I read the article my pulse started beating fast with indignation.

I started thinking about all of the students and workers in China who are suffering from injustice, and I realized that this problem is not only in China but around the world. What about those people who have never had warm clothes or the feeling of a full stomach? Will they ever understand what it is like to be comfortable? Does anyone care that these people are suffering? As soon as I thought that, I knew the answer: God cares. He sees when injustuce happens, He hears the cry of His children that are hungry, that are suffering, that are needy. He cares. He has a special reward for those who have suffered so much in this world. Thankfully this world's long history of unfairness will very soon be over, and Jesus will soon come in the clouds to take His suffering children home to a beautiful kingdom prepared for them!

My birthday weekend

A few weeks ago my family came over to Norway for my birthday. We had a really awesome time going to Beitostolen, skiing, building a snow cave, jumping off the roof into the deep snow, going to the Heiberg's house, snow "swimming", lip syncing Christmas songs late at night, touring around some Oslo museums, and generally spending a great time with my favorite people!

Three tramps revisited

Mom, Petra, Tee, and Dad and the lovely snow

Berit and Mom

Dad and the ice

Yes, Robby really is in mid air

Deep in thought

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Adventures in Norge

Driving over to the Heibergs house last Friday I wasn't sure how the weekend would go, but judging from my previous experiences of spending time with Robby, I knew that it would be an adventure.
We arrived on Friday afternoon to spend an great hour studying about the Crucifixion for Sabbath evening worship. After supper we just relaxed by the fire. There is nothing like a warm fire, a dog sleeping at your feet, and good company when snow is flurrying outside.
Sabbath morning, after a good personal worship, Robby and I decided to start making breakfast. Robby's dad is an awesome cook, and we had the professional chef of EBS Robert visiting too. Therefore, Robby and I thought it would be a good challenge to cook the whole weekend for them! We started off by making potatoes and scrambled tofu for breakfast. It turned out quite well, but we started cooking when we felt hungry which is a big mistake, because it was not finished until much later when we were well nigh famished! After breakfast we had a home church with much singing and reading from the Pilgrim's Progress. That is one of my favorite books and we had a great time each reading different voices for Christian, Pliable, Help, Evangelist...
After worship we bundled up and went on a hike up a logging rout. It was a little icy down and I ended up sitting down and sliding most of the time. Most enjoyable.
When we got back, Robby and I started making Indian food for lunch/supper. It turned out very well; even the great chefs went for seconds :-).
Saturday night Robby and I decided to make smoothies for Werner and Robert. We made three different types of smoothies and they had to guess what the ingredients were. Some of the things that were in the smoothies were: lettuce, strawberries, almonds, raisins, rice, fennel, tomatoes, blueberries, garlic... and GINGER! Robby and I liked them all, but I think that the apple juice, rice, tomato and garlic one was a little hard for Robert and Werner to take :-). Needless to say was that all of the smoothies were vitamin rich and very healthy.
After all of the smoothies I decided that our teeth needed to be cleaned quite thoroughly. I have been in a bit of dental with drawl since I haven't been working at my dad's office, so Robby generously agreed to be my patient as I flossed his teeth! He then decided to floss my teeth. I felt quite well flossed afterward, and I enjoyed my time doing dental hygiene again.
Sunday morning was absolutely beautiful, so not wanting to waist the gorgeous day we threw our boots in the car and drove to a mountain that you can see 1/6th of Norway! It was quite windy and the snow was blown from depths of about five centimeters to a meter. We hiked for about two and a half hours to get to the top, but halfway up we realized that we tragically forgot any kind of power food. It was quite a vigorous hike, and both Robby and I run out of energy very quickly, but sheer stubbornness got us up to the top. It was well worth it once we got there. There were some clouds, so we couldn't see the whole view, but it was amazingly beautiful with the white topped peaks and the dark green fir trees dotting the landscape. Those who have never been to Norge I would advise to quit reading this blog, buy a plane ticket and come over here and experience it yourself! It's simply awesome!
As expected the weekend was delightful, enjoyable, pleasing, fun, satisfactory and... and an adventure!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Learning about the amazing features that exits with Blogspot!!

Robby is giving me a lesson on how to put pictures on my blog. I am learning all sorts of amazing things that I had no idea existed on the computer. Technology is fascinating!

Mimi and Martine

Farmor, Besta, and Martine

Mimi and Robby

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Winter weekend pics

Weekend of winter

This weekend has been quite adventurous.
After playing a postlude for church (Robby on violin, and me attempting to play viola), Robby and I headed out to Fredheim (an Adventist sanitarium in Kongsberg). We met up with Werner and Berit there and partook of our midday meal, then Werner, Frederick, Robby, Mimi (Berit's collie) and I went for a hike in the mountains. We hiked up to a look out on the top of the mountain. The wind was so strong I had to lean far into it to stay on balance, but the scenery was superb! Hiking through the snow was a bit of a challenge; the snow's depth was a little unpredictable, so sometimes I would be buried in snow thigh deep! Fantastic!
In the evening we participated in a music night for the staff and patients at Fredheim. Robby, Berit and I played a piece with violin, oboe and piano, and also a piece with violin, viola and piano. Berit, Werner, Robby and I sang a quartet as well. Berit is an excellent poet and composer, and we all enjoyed hearing her compositions in the concert.
After the concert, Robby and I went sledding with some of the kids from Fredheim. This time we didn't go 75 km/hr, but we did get up quite a pace. Usually the kids would drive, but after pressing to find if I had a drivers licence, they wanted to see if I could drive a sled. That was a wild ride. I haven't had that much practice with driving sleds before, so we had tumbled quite a bit by the time my turn was done! With much screaming of us girls and battered knees and rosy cheeks we had a glorious time!
This morning I went cross country skiing for the first time. I must say that it is now one of my favorite winter sports. What can be better than being on the crisp snow, hearing the birds in the trees, and breathing the fresh cold air, not to mention getting a full work out while you are at it. Those who have never tried cross country skiing are really missing out on an awesome experience!
Tonight we got two more inches of snow! This is the life!

P.s. Pictures will come later, I am still trying to figure out this "techno" stuff :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Back in snowy Skotselv

I'm back in Skotselv for a new year of studying. Right now we are doing a health course at EBS. This semester I am trying to stretch my mental capacity with different memorizations. When I arrived in Norway to my shock and utter horror I found that my oboe music was not in my music folder. It somehow was left at home with all of the bustle of packing. Thankfully my dad found the music and it was sent post haste to Skotselv. Meanwhile I tried my best to play as much music as I could by memory (yes my music arrived safe and sound to my relief). I have also been memorizing a lot of anatomy for school, botany for my own knowledge, Norwegian to get around, and the book of First John for the fun of it. It is so nice to get back into studying again, even though holidays are never unappreciated.
Coming back to Norway hasn't been only studying though. Last Sabbath we got 15 inches of snow. Not wanting to waste the great opportunity of fun in the snow, a bunch of us went sledding with our sleds tied to the back of Robby's car. It was incredibly fun, and Robby and I got up to 75 km/hr! What an amazing feeling with the snow stinging your face and trying to hang on for dear life as you go whizzing past surprised pedestrians! After we had sledded for quite some time we were ready for a nice hour or two by the fire with smoothies and listening to the Desire of Ages read aloud. To those who haven't tried spending Saturday night this way, I would highly recommend it!
Next weekend I am planing on learning how to cross country ski! It's great to be in cold weather and snow again!
Happy sledding!