Sunday, October 24, 2010

s is for . . .

Snow.
Which we seem to be having plenty of lately.
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This photo was taken last week, October 14th.
Summer tires.
Which were still on my van until about an hour ago, despite the snow.
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Santa Claus.
Who we went to visit this weekend.
Up at the Arctic Circle.
2010-10-24 15;58;32 Sam didn’t go with us.
And, yes, it was snowing up there, too.
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Funny story. While we were waiting for our turn to go in and see Santa, we were looking at the gallery of photos on the wall. Prominently placed was a photo of Conan O’Brian on Santa’s lap. Beside the photo of Finland’s president with Santa.
Finns are a bit obsessed with Conan (maybe obsessed is too strong of a word, but they are BIG fans). So, he came over for a visit a couple of years ago.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

before and after

Saturday morning:
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Saturday evening:
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Now she can brush it herself (which is a huge bonus). It doesn’t show very well in the photos, but she got some highlights done as well.

PS - I should have mentioned that Sofia has begged to have her haircut for about forever, but I have dreaded having it done. I let her choose the length this time (the hairdresser, of course, knew enough not to offer it to be very short). If it had been left completely up to Sofia, she would have asked for it "above the ears".

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

oj! they were right about it

By they, I mean the fine people at the weather bureau. By it, I mean the snow predicted for today.
That’s right folks, it snowed today.
Last night, at my English class, we were talking about the forecast. One of my students made a funny comment: “In Finland, we have 9 months of winter. And 3 months of not-so-good-skiing.”
This was what the kids delightedly begged me to look at this morning:
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About 20 minutes later, while they were out waiting for the bus, Sam came running up the hill to announce something we couldn’t see in the dark . . .
Can you guess what Stefan is doing here?:
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He is dumping the trampoline from the tractor scoop into the trailer. The strong winds blew it away during the night. It was about 200 metres down the road in a neighbour’s field. It’s garbage now; the frame is bent out of shape. Stefan says there were springs scattered all the way along the path it took, and some big gouges in the ground at places (it must’ve been airborne).
Speaking of strong winds, we’re running out of water:
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For some meteorological reasons, the water level goes down as the wind blows in towards land . . . All that mud is usually underwater . . .
That’s all for now!

Friday, October 8, 2010

here comes the weekend

So, last night I finished all the invitations! At the end I asked Joel to help – so he sat for over an hour and put the little “pillow-cushions” on the back of all the pieces I was putting on the front of the invitations. What a life saver! Otherwise, my fingers surely would’ve cramped up and I would’ve parked myself on the couch!
It’s Thanksgiving in Canada this Sunday. I’m sad. Turkey dinner is my favourite meal of all-time and I simply don’t have time this year to make one. Maybe we’ll make up our own turkey day later on this fall.
I realize that I forgot to post some photos of the weekend that Stefan and I went away to Sweden for some shopping and RnR, way back on September 12th . . . P1030882
We went to visit an old church village – walking around and looking inside the old Lutheran church.
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As you can see, it was a beautiful day.
Unfortunately, I have no photos from inside any of the stores, IKEA, etc., or the flat of Root Beer we bought . . .

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

contrary to popular belief . . .

. . . I have not fallen off the face of the earth.
I have been incredibly busy. We have been incredibly busy.
And last week I was s.i.c.k. Well, not so sick I couldn’t do my job(s), but I had a stinkin’ head cold that wouldn’t let me sleep (despite the NyQuil) more than 4 or 5 hours most nights, so I was tired almost every day and my nerves were fried.
Fried nerves don’t cooperate well with a child who is still having PI issues and decided that last week was going to be a doozy of a week.
In the last 2 weeks I have been to 2 teachers’ professional inservices in the evenings (here in Finland, teachers must do 2½ of them every year on their own time – an evening inservice counts as a ½ one – there are no Pro-d days).
I have taught English classes at night, 2 nights per week. I have had a Scrapbooking workshop every other Thursday evening. Joel and Sofia have Floorball practices on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Luckily, we are blessed to have other families who are helping with the driving:)
Mattias went to weekend sports camp last weekend.  That same weekend, I took Sam to the big city (Vaasa) so I could get my hair done and we could get him some new clothes. It was really nice to just spend a few hours with him. That doesn’t get to happen so often.
This past Friday, I took Joel and Mattias to another big city (Kokkola) to get a new printer and microwave. They also got haircuts because yesterday was picture day at school.
But, I was so excited yesterday to get a long-awaited package in the mail:
P1030908 I just put it on the freezer this morning, so it is a blank slate – soon to be filled with all our events, colour-coded (of course). Also, on the  freezer, you can see Sam’s, Sofia’s and my school schedules – they are there for Stefan . . . .
And, I have been working on a big project that I took on about 6 weeks ago – a friend asked me to make her wedding invitations. The design process took a while, and I have spent lots of time fiddling around on Photoshop and Microsoft Office Word 2007 (which has been lots of fun figuring out what these programs can do). The cards would probably be done right now, but I ran out of adhesive on Sunday night . . . off to town this afternoon to get more . . . (98 invites, 3 languages . . .)P1030906
The weather was nice on Sunday, and I was a little tired from sitting and cutting and taping, so we loaded the kids in the van and went out to enjoy some nature and fresh air:
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I’m not sure why I’m feeling so overwhelmed this fall. I was working the same hours 2 years ago (autumn 2008 while we were waiting for our court date), but maybe it’s just that teacher prep is more prep than I had as an assistant, the invitations, the fact that Sofia demands a lot of attention and time, or the papers that I am writing (or should be at this very moment). I was so mad at myself last night when I forgot to take along my reading material for during the kids’ floorball practices:
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The Holms

Denmark Road Trip

The outskirts of St. Pete

St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg, Russian pronunciation: is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. Celebrating the 300th anniversary of its foundation, Saint Petersburg was selected as the main motif in a recent Finnish commemorative coin, the €10 Mannerheim and Saint Petersburg commemorative coin, minted in 2003. The reverse of the coin features a view of Saint Petersburg, with the Peter and Paul Fortress and its three turrets. In the coin the words "St. Petersburg 1703-2003" can be seen.