Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Recap

We have had quite the year! A lot has been squeezed into 2014, we have been on the go, for sure! Let's go back, and look, shall we?

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We started our year in Maine, snowmobiling, ice skating on the lake, and sledding on Killer Hill. Remember our FedEx story? If you don't, make sure to check that out - small town living at best:)

My dad had been visiting from Finland, and when it was time to take him to the airport, we took Missy, too! She flew to Finland to do her homeschool studies there, and to take Finnish lessons. Her ticket was for three months.

Mama starts a special project, which hasn't been mentioned in the blog yet.

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In February Little Miss learned to ride a snowmobile, all by herself! We also celebrated Chinese New Year, made sugar on snow and enjoyed skiing and snowshoeing. Grandma and Grandpa came up to snowmobile with us. Missy continued her studies in Finland.

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In March Little Miss turned eight years old!

No Spring in Maine, yet!

Missy is having a wonderful time in Finland. We miss her so much.

In late March we took a work trip to Nantucket Island.

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In April our pace picked up quite a bit. Before leaving Maine we managed to do a bit more muddy spring snowmobiling. Missy got her wish, and we extended her stay in Finland by two + more months.

We packed up our crew (minus Missy) and headed west in the Mothership. We stopped at Niagara Falls in New York and Canada, spent a while at the Airstream Factory in Jacksonville, Ohio, and took a field trip to the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. We visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky, and the Jefferson Monticello in Virginia, before spending Easter with my sister's family in Virginia. In Virginia we also took a field trip to the Historic Jamestowne, and on our way back we drove our Mothership on a ferry!

On our way south to Florida we stopped at Fort Clinch State Park, and fell in love with the old fort! (More here and here.) We'll be back, for sure!

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We spent May in Florida, and loved being back on the beach. We visited Winter at the Clearwater Aquarium. We took two trips, one to Miami, and later in the month to our favorite homeschool conference in Orlando. The month went by so fast, and soon it was time to be traveling again. Two of our boys got learner's permits to start driving.

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We had a whirlwind trip back to New England in the beginning of the month. Missy finally flew back to United States!!! It was so good to be together as a family, again. Our camp in Maine was being rented out most of the summer, so we had a lot of work to do to get everything ready.

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Beginning of July we spent a wonderful week on Nantucket Island with the Captain's sister's family, and celebrated the Independence Day with cousins on the 5th (a storm came through on the 4th).

We had to leave the island early - our boys spent a week at Patrick Henry College in Virginia at the Generation Joshua iGovern camp. We dropped them off in the Mothership, and during the week visited our Virginia cousins (Cousin E turned 4!). Together we toured the Luray Caverns.

After Luray, we went on some scary mountain roads - not fun in a 35 foot motorhome. We survived:) We had a nice stop in West Virginia, then pointed the Mothership toward Ohio, again. We had an appointment with the Airstream service department in Jacksonville. I had fun photographing the iconic trailers, click here and here. We also took the Airstream Factory tour (a must!). In Ohio we also took a field trip to the Bicycle Museum (Mr T wrote about that).

Our hope had been to visit South Dakota next, but ended up breaking down right after crossing into Indiana. Instead of South Dakota, we spent almost a week at an RV service center in Richmond. We actually had a great stay there and a visit from dear friends. We took a tour of the Model T Museum as well.

Once we were all done, we had to hurry back to east coast. We had a work week on Nantucket island, but managed to have fun there, too (not too hard, lol).

We also finally finished our school year - high school was tough for our family.

During our travels we got the word the Captain's grandmother, our beloved Nanny, had passed away. We miss her.

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From Nantucket we visited grandparents and cousins in southern Maine, spent a few days in New Hampshire with friends, and went back to see family in Maine.

By about middle of the month our renters had left, and we returned to our camp for some R and R. August is great in Maine! We rented a boat one day and did tubing - fun!!
Grandma, Grandpa and our Maine cousins came to visit and pick blueberries with us.

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In September we started school again. We had made major changes to our curriculum. Tenth grade and third grade were going to look a lot different. The Captain, Mr A and Mr D started flight school.

We made a new friend, who showed us his homemade potato cannon. What a blast (pun intended:)! Our Maine cousins came for a visit, which was a lot of fun. Friends from New Hampshire came, too.

We also attended Nanny's memorial service in Massachusetts. It was a beautiful celebration of her long life, and we loved seeing family gathered together.

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Before we started our travels again, we enjoyed gorgeous fall foliage in New Hampshire and Maine. We first traveled to southern Maine, and then on to spend an amazing weekend on Nantucket with the Captain's family and friends. We even sailed Privateer Lynx - a wonderful experience.

The highlight of our year was our trip out west. From Massachusetts we drove to New York and Pennsylvania, through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to Iowa. We had only stopped to sleep and get gas, but in Iowa we stopped for a half a day shopping trip. Next we drove to South Dakota, and had a great visit to Laura Ingalls Wilder homestead. (Unfortunately I had some technical difficulties with my photos from that visit, and still haven't had a chance to fix them.)

In South Dakota we visited the Badlands and the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. We drove to Wyoming to see the Devils Tower National Monument. In Utah we went to Arches National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, and drove around on crazy roads! And the Captain, Mr A and Mr D saw Moab from an airplane!

(Here's a recap from half-way in Colorado. And a blog post of our Denver visit.)

From Utah we drove to Arizona, saw the Grand Canyon from the northern rim, and saw Indian cliff dwellings. Driving in Arizona and New Mexico was gorgeous! It was time for us to head back to Florida, and we thought we could visit places on our way. However, we broke down in Arkansas, which put us behind our schedule, and we had to push hard to make it to Florida by October 31st. We made it, though!

Mr T helped campaign for Governor Rick Scott with Generation Joshua. He made it on time and had a great experience.

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The first part of November we spent in Florida. We had a great time, even though the weather was all over the place - some days we were in shorts, some days in down jackets, brrr!!!

I became a U.S. citizen in November! After being in the United States 21 years..

Our plan had been to spend Thanksgiving in Virginia, and come right back to Florida, but as often with our plans - they changed.

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We ended up staying longer in Virginia, and bought tickets to fly to Maine:) We arrived in Maine with the Captain sick. So we didn't linger at Grandma and Grandpa's house, just drove up to our camp. Just in time for a snowstorm (ice, too!), birthdays, an adoption day and Christmas!


What a year. Full of adventures, full of changes. Full of God's grace, full of many stories of His provision and protection. We look forward to 2015 to see what God has in store for our family!

Happy New Year 2015 to all of You!

PS. (See also year 2011, year 2012 and year 2013.)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

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We didn't get Christmas cards done (it has been a few years now...), but managed to snap a family photo on Christmas.

We had slow cooker Finnish rice porridge for breakfast (the Captain got the almond!) on Christmas Eve, then decorated the tree.

Mr D read the Christmas story from Luke 2 this year, right before our Christmas Eve dinner.

It rained both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We still had ice, though.

Our girls {hearts}.

We loved our book gifts, and received a few practical gifts as well. And chocolate. The best gift of this Christmas was the yellow ducky (more on that later).

After opening presents the kids and Captain went to church. (I took more cold medicine and crashed.)

On the morning of Christmas Day we found a few more goodies in the stockings.

Ice hanging on... A little bit longer..

Christmas Day activities.. Building projects, games, books, movies.. Resting, a lot of resting (and hugging the tissue boxes and making cold medicine cocktails).

So, the duck. During our fall travels our boys started telling Little Miss that ducks say "moo", instead of "quack". Slowly they 'convinced' the Captain and Missy, too, but Little Miss stayed strong: ducks go "quack".

Well, wouldn't you know one of her Christmas presents was a duck from her siblings! It took a day for her to discover the duck says "moo" when you squeeze it:)

She wasn't all that happy about it at first, but she sure loves her duck "Quackers" - named before any mooing was discovered.

Thanks to the rain and warm temps, we ended up losing most of our ice. What else is a Finn to do?

I talked Mr A into a quick dip, too, and we both went in TWICE! Because once was just not shocking enough ;-)

I admit, it is crazy, since we don't have a sauna, yet.

We hope you have had a wonderful Christmas season, full of joy of celebrating our Savior's birth.

PS. Two more days to vote for our blog - we so appreciate your support - thank you!!!


Meillä oli hiljainen joulu. Tällä kertaa vain oma perhe koolla, ja kunto oli kurja flunssan takia. Mutta tuli se joulu ja joulun sanoma, ja päivät vietimme perinteisesti. Joulusaunaan emme päässeet, mutta lauantaina Mr A ja minä pulahdimme uimaan, kun meidän rannasta oli jäät sulaneet.

Joulun paras lahja oli Pikkuneidin ankka - joka sanoo "ammuu" rutistaessa. Sisarukset koko syksyn kertoivat pikkusiskolle, että ankat sanovat ammuu, mitä Pikkuneiti ei todellakaan uskonut. Niinpä he päättivät antaa siskolle lahjaksi ammuvan ankan:) Päivä kesti, ennen kuin Pikkuneiti huomasi ammumisen. Ensin vähän suututti, mutta pian alkoi tyttöä hymyilyttämään. Quackers-ankka onkin nyt kulkenut Pikkuneidin mukana joka paikkaan!
Toivottavasti teillä jokaisella on ollut siunattu Jeesuksen syntymäpäiväjuhla!

PS. Kaksi päivää aikaa vielä äänestää blogiamme - hurjasti kiitoksia tuestanne!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Light of the Whole World/Maailman Valo

Merry Christmas to All Our Readers!!
Hyvää joulua kaikille lukijoillemme!!

From Our Mothership Adventures Crew
Missy and Little Miss

Mr A, Mr D & Mr T
Captain and Sennie

Direct link to this Jesus Storybook Bible video is here.
The story of the shepherds, from Luke 2 (MSG)


Video perustuu Luukkaan evankeliumin 2. lukuun:

Jeesuksen syntymä

1 Siihen aikaan antoi keisari Augustus käskyn, että koko valtakunnassa oli toimitettava verollepano. 2 Tämä verollepano oli ensimmäinen ja tapahtui Quiriniuksen ollessa Syyrian käskynhaltijana. 3 Kaikki menivät kirjoittautumaan veroluetteloon, kukin omaan kaupunkiinsa.

4 Niin myös Joosef lähti Galileasta, Nasaretin kaupungista ja meni verollepanoa varten Juudeaan, Daavidin kaupunkiin Betlehemiin, sillä hän kuului Daavidin sukuun. 5 Hän lähti sinne yhdessä kihlattunsa Marian kanssa, joka odotti lasta. 6 Heidän siellä ollessaan tuli Marian synnyttämisen aika, 7 ja hän synnytti pojan, esikoisensa. Hän kapaloi lapsen ja pani hänet seimeen, koska heille ei ollut tilaa majapaikassa.

8 Sillä seudulla oli paimenia yöllä ulkona vartioimassa laumaansa. 9 Yhtäkkiä heidän edessään seisoi Herran enkeli, ja Herran kirkkaus ympäröi heidät. Pelko valtasi paimenet, 10 mutta enkeli sanoi heille: "Älkää pelätkö! Minä ilmoitan teille ilosanoman, suuren ilon koko kansalle. 11 [i] Tänään on teille Daavidin kaupungissa syntynyt Vapahtaja. Hän on Kristus*, Herra. 12 Tämä on merkkinä teille: te löydätte lapsen, joka makaa kapaloituna seimessä." 13 Ja samalla hetkellä oli enkelin ympärillä suuri taivaallinen sotajoukko, joka ylisti Jumalaa sanoen:

14 -- Jumalan on kunnia korkeuksissa, maan päällä rauha ihmisillä, joita hän rakastaa.
15 Kun enkelit olivat menneet takaisin taivaaseen, paimenet sanoivat toisilleen: "Nyt Betlehemiin! Siellä me näemme sen, mitä on tapahtunut, sen, minkä Herra meille ilmoitti." 16 He lähtivät kiireesti ja löysivät Marian ja Joosefin ja lapsen, joka makasi seimessä. 17 Tämän nähdessään he kertoivat, mitä heille oli lapsesta sanottu. 18 Kaikki, jotka kuulivat paimenten sanat, olivat ihmeissään. 19 Mutta Maria kätki sydämeensä kaiken, mitä oli tapahtunut, ja tutkisteli sitä.

20 Paimenet palasivat kiittäen ja ylistäen Jumalaa siitä, mitä olivat kuulleet ja nähneet. Kaikki oli juuri niin kuin heille oli sanottu.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Baking/Joulutortut ja piparit

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Missy finished baking the gingerbread cookies on our last day in Virginia, we filled a tin of them, and brought it north with us. (Don't worry, we left plenty for my sister's family, too:)

One day last week Little Miss decorated them for Christmas. So pretty and yummy!

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Sunday after church and after cleaning house we put K-Love Christmas radio on, and started baking Joulutorttuja. A favorite for Finnish Christmas.

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What can I say? It was a lot of fun, and the music was catchy! Haha:)

You can find a recipe here, we didn't follow one. I pureed the prunes and used them the same day, didn't strain them. I added a little water when I cooked them, and a little honey when I pureed them. We had store bought puff pastry.

We brushed our joulutortut with egg wash before baking them for 15 minutes in 450F.

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Once they've cooled enough, we sprinkled a little powdered sugar on top. Best eaten right away!

I think that is all we will bake this year. We have a ham defrosting, I found some herring in Portland, Maine (what else could you possibly need??), and will probably simplify all other dishes. Rice porridge in the slow cooker - so easy. Remember how the Captain arrived in Maine sick?

Yup. I woke up with a cold yesterday. Praying hard it doesn't get as bad as the Captain had it.. It could be worse though. Always. (Do I have any readers who remember the Christmas of 1999? Or was it 2000? A nasty stomach bug that went through all the babies and caregivers, including one who only stopped by for a few minutes?) That was a rough Christmas.

Good thing Christmas isn't about food or baking, or even about being well. It isn't even about lovely traditions, or beautifully wrapped presents. (Which, of course, are all wonderful things.) Christmas will come no matter what.

Because what it really is about...

... is celebrating the birth of a Savior, who brings us Good News! And that you can do quietly in your own heart, whatever your circumstances may be.

Little Miss and I have been following The Jesus Storybook Bible this Advent (here's a schedule of readings). Every day we read a story. Yesterday's story read:

"And there, in the stable, amongst the chickens and the donkeys and the cows, in the quiet of the night, God gave the world his wonderful gift. The baby that would change the world was born. His baby Son."

And that is what makes Christmas Christmas.


Toimme piparit mukanamme Virginiasta (jäi osa siskollekin:), Pikkuneiti koristeli täällä Mainessä, ja sunnuntaina leivoimme joulutorttuja. Siihen taitaa jäädä meidän leipomiset, ja jouluateriakin tehdään niin simppeliksi, kuin mahdollista. Kinkku on sulamassa ja sillejä löytyi skandikaupasta. Mitäpä sitä muuta kaipaisi? Riisipuuron laitan pataan. Siivoukset on nyt tehty.

Minä nimittäin heräsin eilen kipeänä - Kapteenin tautia, todennäköisesti:( Mikä oli raju ja pitkä flunssa.

Onneksi joulu tulee kipeillekin, vähillä valmistautumisilla ja (kääks) ehkä ilman joulukuustakin - ellemme sellaisen vielä saa. Kaksi pientä pöytäkuusta on olohuoneessa.

Joulu tulee kaikesta huolimatta, koska joulu ei ole kiinni näistä ulkoisista olosuhteista. Niin ihania kun perinteet, koristeet, juhlat ja lahjat ja ruoat ovat, niin joulu ei kuitenkaan riipu niistä. Joulu on Vapahtajan syntymän juhlimista - ja tämän juhlimisen voi tehdä hiljaisesti omassa sydämessäkin.