Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Six to Ten Inches!

Picnik collage

There's excitement in the air in Maine: We are expecting six to ten inches of snow tomorrow! Good news for us snowbirds, who enjoy skiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, snow-shoeing, and ice-skating. Bring it on!! (We are not dreaming of spring yet, last year end of April was totally winter:)

The collage above is pictures from my first cross-country trip in years (last time was maybe three years ago?). The first half of skiing was BLISS - I loved it! The second half was... blisters. Ouch. Barely made it back. But as soon as my heels heal, I'm going again, but with thinner socks.


Jännitystä ilmassa: 15 - 25 cm lunta tulossa huomenna. Hyviä uutisia meille lumilinnuille, jotka nautimme eri lumileikeistä. Antaa tulla vaan! Eihän täällä pohjoisessa vielä keväästä haaveilla, viime vuonnakin huhtikuun lopulla saatiin kunnon lumimyrsky.

Kollaasin kuvat tämänpäiväiseltä hiihtoretkeltäni. Ainakin kolmeen vuoteen en ole taas hiihtänyt. Eka puolisko matkaa oli iiihanaaaa, niin nautin. Toka puolisko oli työtä ja tuskaa, kotona kantapäät olikin ihan rullalla, auts. Kivaa silti oli!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Winter Bubbles/Talvikuplia



Today was a chilly day in Maine, so we decided to try blowing bubbles outside, again. We tried once in New Hampshire last year, but it wasn't cold enough that day. But today was!

It was a bit windy, so it took many tries to blow our bubbles and catch them, too.




Once we caught a bubble, we needed to shelter it from the wind, yet not breathe on it, and it would start freezing pretty quickly. Then, quickly, it would pop. Our fingers were also freezing, so we decided to stop for now, and try again later. The pictures are so delicious, though, I wanted to share right away:)


Frozen puddle of bubble mix, and two frozen bubbles on top of the grill.

To make this a homeschool science experiment, we googled soap bubbles, and found out from wikipedia:

Soap bubbles blown into air that is below a temperature of −15 °C (5 °F) will freeze when they touch a surface. The air inside will gradually diffuse out, causing the bubble to crumble under its own weight. At temperatures below about −25 °C (−13 °F), bubbles will freeze in the air and may shatter when hitting the ground.

We learned while last year had been below freezing in New Hampshire, soap bubbles freeze at a lower temperature than water. Pretty neat!

Sunday Snapshot

Linking this post to Sunday Snapshot at Ni Hao Ya'll, Hip Homeschool Hop, and Look! What We Did!


Meillä oli kiva kotikoulukokeilu tänään, puhalsimme saippuakuplia ulkona pakkassäällä. Kerran olimme jo kokeilleet New Hampshiressä, mutta silloin ei ollut tarpeeksi kylmä - saippuakuplat jäätyvät kylmemmässä kuin vesi jäätyy. Tänään onnistui, ja oi sitä hyvää mieltä - niin lasten, kuin äidinkin!

Saturday, February 25, 2012



The newest picture of our camp from Thursday.

(There has been a bit of a time warp here in form of a stomach flu. I lost a day. The kids started getting sick a week ago, one at a time. The Captain is staying strong - the only one!)

Have you heard of Pinterest, yet? Best invention since sliced bread:) Pinterest is a free website where you can store ideas, recipes and wish lists. You categorize your boards, and pin whatever you find online you'd like to save for future use. You can also follow other people's boards and discover new things that way. Pinterest has really helped me get more organized with my ideas.

My most useful boards are titled Camp, Homeschool, Tips & Tricks, and Recipes. I used to have various folders on my desktop where I kept recipes or pictures of ideas I'd like to use someday, but it is so much easier and better to just pin the idea, and then have one place online to go to.

This is a snapshot of my Camp Board. By clicking on the picture (on Pinterest) it will first make the picture larger, then clicking again will bring you to the original website where the picture was taken.

Online College
wrote an article on Homeschool and Pinterest this week. It was so helpful! Made me realize I haven't utilized Pinterest to its' fullest, yet. You can read the article here. Make sure to click on link #7 - when you click the image it will bring you back to my blog:)


New snow! Winter finally arrived to Maine!!

You can see my boards and pins here, and follow me on Pinterest. If you need an invitation to Pinterest, just send me an email and I will gladly send you the invite. Happy Pinning:)

Monday, February 20, 2012

February Progress

Picnik collage

I think we are due for a February update on our Maine construction/rebuilding project.

You can see the siding is coming along beautifully, as are the porches, and our fireplace. I think all windows are in, except one little one, which is good news, as the Captain spotted The Squirrel again (the one who lived in this camp before we did). And you can see how the inside really isn't in livable condition yet - so I didn't bother taking too many pics.

This post shows you what was happening a month ago, and how we are living in our two-room cabin during construction.

(Yes, one bathroom + no washing machine + stomach flu + seven people = stinky situation. Literally.)

You can also take a look at what we started with last year, here:

Picnik collage

While the camp looked quite quaint even as it was, it was lacking some... hmmm... things. Like a septic system, insulation, or modern electricity (it had knob&tube). It had lake water coming in from the pipes, and rain water through the roof. Wind would blow the curtains, even if the windows were closed. A part of the building had a foundation, but most of it didn't. You can read about our pioneer days here last year by going to April 2011 posts. Fun times, fun times. In the Fall we started renovating, and it is very exciting to see all the progress.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ten Snowmobiling Tips for Girlfriends

So, you've always had a burning desire to hop on a snowmobile, and explore Winter Wonderland by zipping tight corners on trails, and experiencing the thrill of speed on wide open lakes?

Or, your boyfriend or husband has talked you into going with him, and you are not sure what in the world you are getting into?

My husband, me & my father-in-law

In either case, here are my Top Ten Snowmobiling Tips, Girlfriend to Girlfriend. Men, some of this might be "Too Much Information" for you, proceed at your own risk. However, you should give your girlfriend/wife a copy of this so there are no girlie emergencies on the trail. Ready?

Before we even get our winter gear on, let's make sure the basics are taken care of.

1. Underwear. You will want to dig deep in your underwear drawer for the wedgie-proof granny style undies you have down deep in your drawer. The cover-all-cotton-panties you usually hide (or if you are a busy mother of many children, just wear your usual comfy pair you already have on). The key here is comfort. Riding on a snowmobile sometimes for hours will not be a time for ittybitty lacy wonders.

2. Bra. Find your most supportive sports bra you own, and wear it. Even if you don't have dollypartons to fill your bra, you will need the support. Cami is not enough, especially on bumpy trails, and the chances are, there will be bumpy trails (girls, can you get the visual here?). Last time I forgot this rule, wore a fairly supportive camisole, and ouch - not enough.

3. Make-up. Your basic make-up is ok to wear, but don't bother with mascara, unless it's waterproof. Raccoon eyes, anyone? I wouldn't bother with lipstick either, you might end up smearing it on your helmet putting it on and off. Make sure to bring chapstick.

4. Hair. Curling, straightening or styling your hair is waste of time before snowmobiling. You'll need want to do it afterward. Helmet hair is what every snowmobiler gets, and if you don't, please let me know your secret. If you have long hair, I find braids work best. You'll want to pin your hair out of your face or it might go in your eyes during snowmobiling. (A pain.)

Michelin Man look, shared by all

Now, let's get geared up. If you are going snowmobiling, the chances are, it's cold outside. You will need to bundle up. Lots. Layers are good, you can always add or take off some, if necessary. Even if you are a size 0 model, you will resemble Michelin Man by the time you are ready to head out, but trust me, you will want to stay warm, or you'll be miserable. And miraculously after snowmobiling when you take all your gear off, it will look like you lost 50 lbs - how fabulous!

5. Snow Pants. Snow pants deserve a point of their own. You will basically have two options: overall style, or regular pants style. Your man might tell you to choose the overall style for extra warmth, but Do Not Agree. You will need the simple type that can be taken off without taking your jacket off. There is a reason for that. See point number 7.

6. Balaclava. I almost wrote baklava (which you could take too, as a snack, lol). This is your thin helmet hat or a ski mask to wear under your helmet. I have not seen an attractive looking one yet, but in bitter cold you'll want it on. It will protect your neck from the cold, but also prevent your nose from turning red from the wind and the freezing temperatures. Of course, if you wear one too small, it will leave nice lines on your skin where the balaclava openings were. (If you are in your twenties, those lines will disappear maybe in 10 minutes. If you are older, they can stay there for hours. So lovely.)

7. Bathroom Business. At best, you'll have restaurant bathrooms or port-a-potties to use. At worst, you'll have port-a-potties or snowbanks to use. Bring toilet paper and a zip-lock bag in your pocket for the snowbank visits. When having to use a snowbank in single digit temperatures, you'll want to have the snow pants that can be pulled down easily, not the type you first have to take your jacket off in order to pull down your pants. Brrr....!!!

8. Check your monthly calendar before going snowmobiling, so you can be prepared. There's not much you can do in the woods if you all the sudden realize it's That Time of the Month. However, if you listened to my advice on #5 and wore big bulky snow gear with many layers, you might make it home before anyone else realizes what is going on.

9. Bring your iPhone. Most likely you will not have any cell phone coverage, but at least you can take pictures or video of any interesting sights like beautiful scenery, a moose on the trail, or someone getting stuck or unstuck in soft snow or flowing river. (Wink.) If you are lucky enough to get coverage, you can actually post these things on Facebook immediately, or call for help, or find your location on maps (in case your man isn't asking for directions).

10. Chocolate. Do I need to say anything else? With chocolate you can survive just about anything. Especially a long snowmobile trip with your man.

And the last essential is bringing good humor along, and a sense of adventure. Fun is to be had on trails, and if you encounter problems, you'll be well prepared, and can collect great blog story material for later. Or how do you think I came up for these Top Ten Tips?

Have fun, and enjoy the trails!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Image 6

This week's homeschool PE has been skiing. Little Miss went out one afternoon with the Captain, and our older children went skiing three times this week. (This weekend we are staying put: Missy has a cold and Little Miss is throwing up.)

Image 9
Image 5

Turns out they found all the snow. On top of the ski hill. Seriously - there is very little snow even up here in the North! Half of our snowmobiling yesterday was on dirt trails :-/ But it's only February - there is still plenty of time for some serious snowstorms, like in April:)

Image 4

The last two years our quads have joined a homeschool group for skiing in New Hampshire, first having group lessons, then free skiing, but this year they are skiing on their own, here in Maine. I guess they sort of make a homeschool ski group just on their own ;-)


Four happy homeschool PE students! Winter PE is awesome:)

Mr. D texted these two last pictures for me from the top of the mountain:


Tämän viikon kotikoulun liikuntatunnit ovat olleet laskettelukeskuksessa. Kahtena viimeisenä vuonna isot lapset laskettelivat New Hampshiressä kotikouluryhmän kanssa, mutta täällä Mainessä ovat lasketelleet nelistään ilman ryhmää tai oppitunteja. Kivaa näyttää olevan, ehkäpä juuri siksi:)

Pikkuneiti pääsi kerran Kapteenin kanssa, ja neloset ovat lasketelleet kolme kertaa tällä viikolla. Vuoren huipultahan se lumi löytyi.. Oikeasti tosi vähän lunta tänä talvena, jopa täällä pohjoisessa, miltei Kanadan rajalla! Moottorikelkkailukin eilen oli puolet ajasta soran päällä.. Noh, vielä ehtii tulla kunnon talvi, onhan vasta helmikuu:)

Hip Homeschool Hop Button

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why I Love My Snowmobile

The Captain and I started snowmobiling on our honeymoon in Northern Finland, above the Arctic Circle, in January (what, you didn't honeymoon in - 40 F arctic weather?) over 18 years ago, and snowmobiling has been our favorite sport ever since.

Things have changed some, since then, though. The Captain likes to tell stories of how I would signal him to slow down if he went faster than 15 miles per hour. That may be so (although I think it was more like faster than 30 mph), however, I was squeezed behind him on a one person sled, and had to hold on to the Captain or I would fly off the machine. Which I did, a few times. So going fast on that old snowmobile wasn't really possible, at least when I was sitting behind him.

Fast forward 15 - 18 years and we can actually push our sleds to go a bit faster. I have my own sled now, and both of ours have nice suspensions and bigger engines. On the lake when the trail is smooth and visibility is awesome you can get these babies go 100 mph, or faster. Not that I, responsible mother of five, would ever go that fast. I may, or may not have made mine go 95 mph on the lake one day riding without kids, but if I did, I would never confess to that. Craziness!

The speed on smooth trails, and nice suspension on bumpy trails, are really really nice to have, but not my favorite on my snowmobile. I think my snowmobile is pretty (well, as pretty as a machine can be), and it kind of matches my outfit - accidentally, but that isn't my favorite part, either. This sled is a little higher up from the ground too, making it more comfortable to ride as I'm tall, but that isn't my favorite part, either. Having studs in the track of the snowmobile is nice too, helping my machine not to slide on hills, but - you guessed it - not my favorite.

In fact, there is a lot to love on my snowmobile, and snowmobiling in general. I enjoy being with my amazing husband, doing together something he loves. Well, we both love it - but he maybe a bit more than I do. He works so hard every day, and it is nice to forget phones and computers for a few hours to do something completely different, and do it together. We often snowmobile with the Captain's parents, or with our friends, which is great fun, too.

We love going out as a family, also. When we do, I usually have one of our bigger kids sitting behind me. It's special and fun to do things as a family, and I'm thankful to have a bigger sled that can carry two. But that isn't my favorite part, either.

I love going out in the beautiful winter wonderland and taking in the gorgeous scenery, stopping to freeze my fingers to snap some iPhone pics (some of the trails can be too rough for me to risk taking our Nikon along). But even if my fingers freeze while taking pics, my snowmobile has hand warmers! Yes! Isn't that sweet? That is almost my favorite part of my snowmobile.

Which does bring me to my absolute favorite part of my snowmobile. My Arctic Cat TZ1 Touring has something I always used to wish all snowmobiles had. The company finally heard my silent lamenting, and made a snowmobile with a seat warmer! Yes! That is my favorite part of my snowmobile - having a nice warm seat to sit on as we venture out in the chilling winter weather. Having a warm behind makes snowmobiling a lot more enjoyable ;-)

The visuals:

The closest picture from the olden days, probably taken on a snowmobile trip during our first year of marriage

My sled these days looks a lot different than our first one in the 1990's

When I wear my outer layer I match my machine even better :) Friday was a little too warm for all layers.

Lake riding is fun! (That is photo editing, not me taking pictures while driving a snowmobile.)

Awww, so romantic!

On top of a mountain with Grandma, Grandpa, Captain and Mr. T

Beautiful Maine mountains!

Hand warmer controls!

What makes me happy

And this snowmobiling, my dear readers, is the main reason why our family comes to Northern Maine for winter, and flies south for the spring (when snow melts).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Quiet Maine Days/Hiljaisia Mainen päiviä


Mothership Adventures is enjoying a nice lull in our travels, as we are wintering in Maine. Our camp renovations are on full force, but the kids and I are appreciating quiet and peaceful days. Missy has dance on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and on Thursdays we all head to town to spend time at the library/laundromat/post office/grocery store, but those are only hobbies at the moment, which is so nice...

We homeschool during the mornings, and either take outside play breaks mid-morning, or after lunch and school. Or both. Every day. The kids need to play outside a good part of the day or mama goes nuts from all of us being squeezed like sardines in our little cabin.

Enjoy our outdoor pics, most on the lake or by the lake.












Tässä talvikuvia Mainestä, melkein kaikki järveltä tai järven läheltä. Olemme nauttineet hiljaisista ja rauhallisista arkipäivistä ilman kiireitä - tällä hetkellä ainoa harrastus kodin ulkopuolella on Missyn tanssitunnit keskiviikkoisin ja torstaisin, ja torstaisin koko porukka suuntaamme kaupunkiin, ja tanssitunnin aikana olemme kirjastossa, pesulassa, postissa, kaupassa.. Aamuisin pidämme kotikoulua, ja koko aamupäivällä tai iltapäivällä lapset leikkivät ulkona - tai molempina. Mama tulee hulluksi täällä pienessä mökissä elleivät lapset ole ulkona osaa päivästä:)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Who is who?:)

I am the guest blogger today on MOST - Mothers of SuperTwins blog. Hop on over there to read my post about becoming a mom. (I originally wrote it on Mother's Day 2011, here on Mothership Adventures.)

MOST is a fantastic resource for anyone expecting or raising multiples. I often think back on the time when we were expecting and had young quadruplets - I am so thankful to have had folks over at MOST  help us along the way, and to have our family and volunteers help us survive the first years. And since then, too :) My coffee chats with another quadmom Beth always helped me realize I am not alone in what I was dealing with with our quadruplets. For sure, raising multiple children the same age bring on challenges the 'normal' family doesn't necessarily have. But joys, also:)


MOST - Mothers of SuperTwins on amerikkalainen organisaatio ja tukiryhmä monikkoperheille. Olen tänään heidän vierasbloggaaja, mutta kirjoitukseni on vanha postaus täältä Mothership-blogista, kirjoitin sen viime vuoden äitienpäivänä. Voit lukea kirjoitukseni täällä.