Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Homeschool Winter PE/Kotikoulun talviurheilutunnit


Today has been one of those arrgghhh-sort of homeschool days. If you homeschool, I'm sure you know what I mean. If you don't, I'm sure you can imagine one.

Instead of dwelling on our arrgghh-day, here are pictures of yesterday's homeschool PE, as yesterday's school day was much, much better.

Aaah... I feel a little better, already!

After reading, writing, and arithmetic (and history & geography, Bible, and science) work was done, the girls did ice skating, and the boys went sledding. It was too cold for me. I decided to pick up some groceries during PE. As we started it was 19 F, and when we were done, the temps had dropped to 13 F. Brrrr!!!!!


Oh, I already forgot. Little Miss had a miserable time yesterday on ice. Poor thing. She learned to ice skate in Florida, and even though we reminded her it might take a little practice to remember all the lessons, she got discouraged (and cold) very quickly. I think she lasted five minutes.


Thank you, big sis - this is more fun :)


The afternoons up here are so beautiful! These pics were taken 4:30-ish and the colors were breathtaking.


So cold no one asked for extra time :)

Picnik collage

Our frozen students. After I snapped Missy's pic, I unwrapped my scarf and gave it to her. Looking at Mr. T's red ear it almost hurts. (Time to buy some bigger hats??) Brrr!!! Good thing these kids love winter!

Linking up to Hip Homeschool Hop.

Hip Homeschool Hop Button


Eilen tytöt kävivät luistelemassa ja pojat pulkkamäessä - kotikoulun urheilutunteja, tietenkin:)
Oli todella kylmä, ihan yllätyin kun juuri laskin mitä lämpöasteet olivat celciuksissa: vain -11C kylmimmillään. Vaikea uskoa! Olikohan tuuli vai kosteus ilmassa en tiedä, mutta minä olisin ollut ihan tyytyväinen mökissä sisällä koko päivän... Lapsilla oli kivaa, tosin Pikkuneiti harmistui kun oli unohtanut Floridassa opitut luistelutaidot. Noh, eiköhän ne pian palaudu, pitää vaan mennä harjoittelemaan uudestaan:)

Monday, January 30, 2012

First Snowmobiling of 2012/Vuoden eka moottorikelkkailu


Sunday afternoon we got our snowmobiles out for a short run for the first time this winter.


We love being right on the trail (the lake) so we can just take off without having to pack up the car with all the gear, hook up the trailer, and first drive somewhere in the car in order to snowmobile. That's a lot of gear for seven people, folks! Our snowmobile outfits are a lot bulkier and warmer than the usual snow pants and jackets. The kids usually do sledding or ice skating in regular snow clothes, but for snowmobiling (or frigid ski temps) they wear these super warm outfits. The boots need to be rated for -40F/C, and you need good helmets, something for your neck, and warm mittens or gloves, too.

We have dreamed (and prayed) of having a place on a lake for about 18 years, and are so thankful God blessed us with this place in Maine. In the past snowmobile outings were always long days, and I think some of our kids started disliking the cold and long trips. We think being here will allow them to enjoy snowmobiling in a new way since we can take shorter trips or longer trips, whatever they feel like. Sunday's outing was a success!


Our first outing was very beautiful, but definitely one of these short ones: to get gas for our machines. We got maybe 3-4 inches of new snow on Friday, so the ice was covered with snow, and riding was pretty smooth. The town trails, however, were very bumpy. We'll be praying for more snow, for sure!


Sunnuntaina menimme moottorikelkkailemaan ensimmäistä kertaa tänä talvena. Ihan vaan lyhyelle reissulle tankkaamaan kelkat. On uskomattoman ihanaa ja helppoa olla tässä moottorikelkkareitin (järven) rannalla, ei tarvitse pakata autoa ja moottorikelkkaperäkärryä, ja ensin ajaa jonnekin, että voi mennä moottorikelkkailemaan. Itse asiassa Kapteeni ja minä olemme rukoilleet omaa mökkiä järven rannalla niin kauan kuin olemme olleet yhdessä - olemme niin kiitollisia, että viime vuonna saimme tämän paikan Mainessä!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Nanny!!


Nanny, Captain's wonderful Grandmother, turned 95 this month, and on Saturday family gathered around to celebrate this happy day. Grandpa (Captain's Dad) started the day with stacks and stacks of pancakes, Grandma (Captain's Mom) cooked an incredible birthday meal, and Uncle J brought his famous whipped cream chocolate cake, yum! Presents too - some of the great grandchildren have been working on a gorgeous quilt, with personalized squares. So sweet!

What a special day celebrating our cherished Nanny! Happy Birthday!!

(PS. Happy Birthday to Uncle B and the Captain, too! We actually had three birthdays to celebrate this week:)

Picnik collage



Hyvää syntymäpäivää Kapteenin 95-vuotiaalle isoäidille! (Sekä sedälle ja Kapteenille, kaikilla kolmella synttärit viikon sisällä!) Lauantaina juhlimme ihanaa isoäitiä perheen kesken.

Sunday Snapshot

Friday, January 27, 2012

Winter in Maine/Talvi Mainessä


I have been trying to post these pictures this week from Maine, but the internet has been quite flaky at our cabin, and I had to wait until we came to visit family in Southern Maine for the pictures to upload.

Our "Virginia crew" flew back to New England a week ago on Saturday, and we spent the first night here at Grandma & Grandpa's house. Two of the children decided to stay here for the week, so just the five of us drove up North the next day.

We had a nice few days getting settled, and yesterday we drove back here for a birthday party (more on that later), and to pick up Missy and Mr. T.

These pictures are from our cabin. The lake is frozen over, and since we don't have a ton of snow you can really see the ice. The tracks are from snowmobiles.


Looking through our bedroom window one morning.


A beautiful cold day! Below our lodgings. The main house is still going through renovations, so we are living in a small cabin on our property. Hey, it's bigger than the Mothership! And very cozy :)

Picnik collage

Homeschool PE at the cabin:


The kids discovered if you start sledding from the top of the driveway you can actually make it all the way down to the lake.



We could use a bit more snow...


Mr. D & Mr. A think winter is their favorite season!

Our plan is to be in Maine for the winter months. Then, in the spring we'll head South. Isn't that what all snowbirds do?


Noin viikko sitten palasimme takaisin Maineen. Pysähdyimme isovanhempien luona, ja kaksi lapsista jäi heille vielä, joten vain viisi meistä vietti muutaman päivän pohjoisessa mökillämme. Päärakennusta rempataan edelleen, joten asumme tontillamme olevassa pienessä mökissä. Eilen tulimme takaisin isovanhempien luokse synttäreille (lisää myöhemmin), ja huomenna suuntaamme pohjoiseen ihan koko perheellä. Pohjoisessa ei ole kovin paljon lunta vielä, mutta tarpeeksi pulkalla laskemiseen. Jos aloittaa pihatien yläpäästä pystyy laskemaan järven jäälle saakka. Hui!
Aiomme olla täällä Mainessä nämä tavikuukaudet, ja kevään tullen suuntaamme kohti etelää. Eikös kaikki muutkin tee niin?:)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

More Kindergarten/Lisää eskarijuttuja


A few more collages from our visit to my sister's. You can find our earlier ones about short words and snowmen crafts here.

Picnik collage

We had all kinds of school fun with our two 5-year olds, a 4-year old and a toddler. Well, the toddler didn't exactly help with school, but with her cuteness she made everything fun - even messes and mayhem ;-)


Art projects were a big hit, as well a wooden Bingo game, and Melissa & Doug word puzzles and magnetic pattern blocks. So many ways to have fun and learn at the same time!

Almost every day Little Miss asks to do school on the computer, too. Her newest favorite is K5Learning, and she also enjoys Starfall.com and PBSkids.org. We used Explode the Code online for a little while, and while I thought it was excellent, sadly Little Miss has lost her interest in it.

I have started looking into various first grade curricula for next year, and would love input and suggestions - it would be excellent if our curriculum traveled well, as we plan to be on the road again half the year. Thank you!!

Sunday Snapshot


Lisää näitä eskarijuttuja siskon luota - siskolla on upeita kouluaskareita. Kuten kollaaseista näkee, meidän pikku koululaisilla oli oikein hauskaa leikkiessään ja oppiessaan samalla:)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Teacher Certification Degrees

Teacher Certification Degrees is an informational website for people interested in advancing their education by earning a college degree in education or learning about careers in the education field. Definitely a great resource for anyone interested in becoming a teacher, or working in education.

elementary education degree

They have compiled of lists of great teaching blogs (I plan on following a lot of these, for sure!), and one is Top 100 Homeschool Blogs. To my great amazement Our Mothership Adventures made the list. It is quite ironic for me, as I never wanted to homeschool, and honestly don't have a great passion for it. Which I guess might be one reason why our blog made it - there is a place for those of us, who started homeschooling out of necessity - not because we are so good at it ;-)
(You can read more about how we got started here.)

Thanks to a great online curriculum, AOP's Monarch, homeschooling works for us, it allows us to travel, it has been a fantastic experience for our family, and our family has drawn closer because of it. In fact, our family is thriving because of homeschooling! If you are thinking about homeschooling, but don't think you can do it, I'd like to encourage you to give it a try - if we can do it, so can you. Check out the many programs that encourage independent learning, Monarch and Switched-On-Schoolhouse being two.

This is what Teacher Certification Degrees wrote about our blog:

Homeschooling with a curriculum geared to independent learning fits the mobile lifestyle of a family that includes decidedly different quads and an adopted daughter; first-mate Sennie and the Captain prove that this educational approach works for almost any situation as they take their crew on the road in a 20-year-old Airstream, the title craft of “Our Mothership Adventures”.

I like it. That is us.

My bloggy friends Jessy's and Mary's blogs were included also, as well as Linda & Arby's - without Linda and my friend Paula's encouragement, wisdom, and help our family would not be homeschooling ((thank you!!!)). The list of 100 blogs looks good - I'll be checking every single one out, and encourage you to, also.

To conclude this post, I'll leave you with a funny video clip, made by a homeschooler in college - check it out - I really got a kick about the part of living an hour away from Walmart - that is us when we live in Maine:)


Meidän matka-ja kotikoulublogimme pääsi mukaan listalle 100 parasta kotikoulublogia, opettajakoulutuksen infosivuille. (Ironiaa.) Hassua myös se, etten koskaan halunnut aloittaa kotikoulun pitämistä, ja tappelin vastaan kynsin ja hampain. Onneksi kokeilimme, se on ollut yksi parhaimmista päätöksistämme - hyvä ratkaisu meidän perheelle, ja on antanut mahdollisuuden matkusteluun. Miksi varmaankin blogimme pääsi listalle - meilläkin on paikka kotikoululaisten keskuudessa - meillä, joille kotikoulu ei ole elämän kutsumus, vaan aloitimme pakon edessä... Onneksi löysimme mahtavan kotikoulumatskun netistä, jonka kautta kotikoulu onnistuu! Minun sanomani onkin muille - jos me pystymme pitämään kotikoulua, pystyt sinäkin!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Picnik collage

Today, in honor of my sister's 30th birthday (feel free to wish her a happy birthday here on my blog), we took a birthday outing to a bowling alley. My sister, her husband, their three kids, three of my kids and I all had a really fun time with bumper lanes up (of course). Check out our different bowling styles from the collage ;-)

Happy Birthday, Sis!! I love you! It has been so wonderful to spend time with you and your family..

(The next blog post will probably come from Maine - we are headed North this week.)


Siskoni täytti tänään 30 vuotta (onnittelutervehdykset menevät perille tämän blogin kautta:), ja päivällä teimme synttärireissun keilahalliin. Kolme aikuista, kaksi teiniä, kolme isompaa lasta ja taapero, ja hauskaa riitti. Tsekatkaa upeat keilaustyylimme:)

(Seuraava postaus tulee varmaankin pohjoisesta, suuntaamme sinne tällä viikolla.)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Manatee Springs and Crystal River, Florida

Picnik collage

Our Florida Christmas in the Mothership was so wonderful and free of busyness and the normal holiday hustle and bustle we even got to take a mini-trip to Manatee Springs and Crystal River, just a few days before Christmas. No stress!

We hadn't really done our homework, just decided to hit the road in search of manatees, and drove to Manatee Springs State Park. We paid the state park overnight admission, found our campsite, and decided... to make this a day trip. The park was pretty enough, but trying to work through our road trips requires at least cell coverage, if not internet access. There was a pay phone, but outgoing 1-800-calls were blocked. The sites were also small, on dirt road, and it was really buggy. I didn't use the bathroom facilities, but was told by family members they weren't all that impressive (read clean).

What was impressive though, was the spring - can you see the clear turquoise water in the third photo in the top collage? Three of our kids enjoyed a dip in the 72F waters. There was also a neat boardwalk through the woods to Suwannee River where we the manatees were hanging out. Other visitors told us the manatees will come near the dock in the morning and you can see a large group of them. We could see them underwater a little ways from us, and occasionally would see one come up to the surface to breathe.

On our way out of the park we discovered the Catfish Hotel Sink - a yucky looking round pond, covered in green goo (?) on the surface. Apparently an amazing spot for cave scuba diving! The park has underwater caves you could explore. The Captain and our teens might need to come back one day...

After a 2-3 hour visit to Manatee Springs we drove South to Crystal River area. We found a private campground Lake Rousseau RV Park, which turned out to be perfect for us for a two day stay. We got a good size pull-though waterfront site, everybody there was super friendly and the facilities were very clean. They even had a heated pool, which the kids loved. We spent one day {my birthday} of doing absolutely nothing (except laundry - which you have to do whenever there is a laundry machine when you are traveling with seven people in an RV). Bliss!

Picnik collage

On our way back to Fort Desoto Campground where we stayed for Christmas we stopped at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. This was a neat park, and worth a visit if you are in the area. There's an underwater observatory in the main spring you could see the manatees very close. We didn't - the manatees had been blocked from that area earlier (they had had to do a manatee rescue, if I remember correctly), but we enjoyed seeing hundreds, if not thousands of fish swim near the observatory. We did see manatees being fed (see middle of collage where the lettuce is floating), but it was hard to get good pictures of them.

The wildlife park had many native Florida animals, including alligators, pink flamingos, river otters etc. And Lu - the honorary hippopotamus who was left behind by previous owners - 6000 lbs of hippopotamus can be challenging to move, perhaps? We could have spent a lot more time at the park, there was quite a bit to see and do, but we enjoyed the time we had. We didn't get a whole lot of school done during Christmas, so it was bonus to have these trips as our homeschool field trips:)

Hip Homeschool Hop Button


Joulu asuntoautossa oli niin rauhallinen, että perheemme jopa teki minireissun merilehmiä katsomaan jouluviikolla. Kahdessa eri puistossa piti käydä, että näimme näitä hitaita rentoja eläimiä läheltä, enkä silti saanut hyviä kuvia otettua. Tokassa puistossa oli kaikenlaisia floridalaisia elämiä, alligaattoreista pinkkeihin flamingoihin, sekä virtahepo Lu, edellisten omistajien jättämä jättiläinen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wait No More

********* Thank you for participating in the giveaway - pikkuthti is our winner!

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, it shouldn't come as a surprise adoption is near and dear to my heart. As is reading. So this past Fall when Focus on the Family was looking for bloggers to review a new adoption book, I happily signed up. The book arrived in November, and I actually read it right away, but with the busy holidays and being on the road I didn't get to do the book review until now.

"Wait No More" by Kelly & John Rosati is a story of their family and how it grew through adoption. The Rosatis adopted their four children through the domestic foster care system. The book is written from Kelly's viewpoint. It is a Focus on the Family book, published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. in 2011.

The book starts dramatically in the middle of having their first foster child, a very challenging time for Kelly and John. Many would turn away from foster care adoption after such rocky first experience, yet the Rosatis realized the great need foster care children have, and opened their hearts and their home to children waiting for a family. I was hooked to their story from page one.

Even though our family has also grown via adoption, I have to admit I didn't know a whole lot about the foster care system before reading this book. It was definitely an eye-opener, and I would say this book is a must-read for anyone considering adoption, especially through domestic foster care. The Rosatis share openly and honestly the challenges and joys in their adoption journey.

And there are many. Both challenges, and joys and blessings. Wait No More is a well-written, beautiful story of God's call and His faithfulness as the Rosatis pursued to follow His plan. Kelly writes:

"You see, John and I have learned that God's plan for us through adoption was even better than we could have imagined. We've learned personally about God's faithfulness through the dark times. We know He'll be there no matter what else comes our way. What a gift that is!

We want to encourage folks who are feeling that urge, that gentle pushing of the Lord's hand at your back, to get involved with foster care or adoption. Don't be afraid to go for it. There could be a child out there who needs you desperately. You could make a difference in his or her life. God may have a new adventure in store for your family. Be open. Follow where God leads."

You can buy the book here.

As our family is still in transit stage (not really homeless, but...!), I would like to bless one of my readers by sending my (gently read) copy of Wait No More to them. Leave a comment with this post, and on January 18th I will let the True Random Number Generator pick a winner. Make sure to include a way for me to contact you, if I can't get a hold of you I have to pick a new winner. Good luck!

Giveaway Day

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kindergarten Work/Eskarijuttuja


Staying with my sister's family has been great for many reasons, one being the fact that my nephew is also five years old, like Little Miss. My sister just started homeschool Kindergarten using My Father's World curriculum, which looks awesome! Little Miss hasn't wanted to join in on their school work, but we've been able to do some school work together.

Picnik collage

We found the snowman craft (and other neat art projects) online at Mrs. Brown's Art Class. Somewhere (in storage) in my childhood photos I have a picture of my snowman I made - looks a lot like the ones my nephew and Little Miss did.

While we are getting some Kindergarten work done, we heavily concentrate on play. These two, and 4-year old brother are being very creative coming up with new games and playing inside and outside. Which, I believe, is most important at Kindergarten level.

Hip Homeschool Hop Button


Siskoni vanhin poika on myös 5-vuotias, kuten Pikkuneiti. Molemmat tekevät kotikoulussa eskarijuttuja. Tässä pari kollaasia koulujutuistamme, tosin aika vähäistä varsinainen koulutyö vielä on, minusta tärkeintä on leikki näille viisivuotiaille. Siskoni keskimmäinen on 4-vuotias, ja näillä kolmella on mitä ihanimmat (ja luovimmat!) leikit niin sisällä kuin ulkona.

Monday, January 9, 2012

18 Years/18 vuotta!

Picnik collage

Eighteen years ago yesterday the Captain said "I Do." And I said "Tahdon."

We still do.

Picnik collage

We celebrated the big day by going to church.

Picnik collage

And sledding. Just like we did the night before our wedding in Seinäjoki, Finland. We actually went sledding. It was crazy. And the ride has been crazy ever since. But fun! Never dull :)

Oh yes, we had the slight problem yesterday of the Captain being in Maine, and I am in Virginia. Still had fun celebrating ;-)


Eilen Kapteenin kanssa vietimme 18. hääpäiväämme. Eikä menoa hidastanut ollenkaan se, että Kapteeni oli Mainessä ja minä Virginiassa. Kävimme kirkossa, ja kirkon jälkeen pulkkamäessä. Aivan kuten 18 vuotta sitten Seinäjoella ennen häitä. Kaheleja olimme silloin, ja edelleen olemme, mutta hullut ovat mukavia eikä elämä ainakaan käy tylsäksi :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Temperature Difference/Lämpötilaeroja

Picnik collage

While this is happening in Maine (in frigid, frigid temps - negative seven degrees (F) this week..!), managed by the Captain and two of our children...

.... This is what is happening in Virginia at my sister's house:


Fifty-one bags worth of leaves!

As you can see, some of us worked harder than others... ;-)

Please notice the lack of winter gear: 69 F was a sweet January temperature!

And yes, as our family said good-byes to Florida, half the family flew all the way to New England, and half returned to Virginia. We left our beloved Mothership in storage in Florida, and are counting days (months) until our next adventure!

Ni Hao Yall


Sillä välin kun Kapteeni kahden lapsen kanssa hoitaa Mainen projektiamme, kylmässä kylmässä pakkasessa, Virginiassa siskoni luona haravoitiinn 51 pussia lehtiä. Mainessä oli asteita tällä viikolla -21C, kun taas täällä etelämässä tänään oli noin +21 C.
Kuten kuvista näkee, osa porukasta teki töitä vähän ahkerammin kuin toiset:)
Ja tosiaan, Floridasta puoli perhettä lensi pohjoiseen, ja puolet takaisin siskoni luokse. Asuntoauto jäi Floridaan odottamaan seuraavaa seikkailuamme.