Sunday, January 31, 2010

What a Saturday!

I started the day with paperwork. One kiddos tax return is done and indicates a nice refund. Yippee!! Another W-2 and I can do the other one. I've not done my own for a few years now, but am waffling. It's a boring tax year for us, for the most part, and am seriously contemplating doing my own again. I know the economy stinks for everyone. It stinks for the accountants as well ... but it really stinks for my household at the moment ... and I'd rather put the accounting fees into the refrigerator or freezer instead. Maybe I'll try it. Will see.

PFD's can be filed online and I can't find where I put the user name and password. When did life become something that can't nearly be lived without user names and passwords?! I have an address book that is JUST for that purpose. The page under "P" has paypal ... no pfd. The state doesn't recognize my email address either. Go figure. Would have been nice to get that little thing done .. but I gave up.

Had a baby shower to attend at 2 pm, so I high tailed it to the library with 3 minutes to closing, picked up an audio book to listen to while I clean and quilt ... and headed to the shower for a fun afternoon. I was one of 3 winners for the game guessing at prices of baby gadgets and gizmos. That was fun! How on earth am I suppose to know that a package of hair barretts costs $4.84 .. my baby is 13 years old?! Maybe some sanity reigns in this world. I learned that hair barretts cost more than finger nail clippers. :) According to some legend or lore, the giver of the 7th gift the mom to be opens is suppose to have the next baby. Me?? Medical miracle and spiritual intervention is what that would be! It was a fun day. I remember going home and putting everything away after my baby shower. She had a lot of lovely things ... I wonder if she's sleeping yet this morning ... or still putting them away!

Home to start cleaning. Can't hear the book and clean at the same time. That drives me nuts. It makes cleaning so much more enjoyable. Clean I did. Put a big roaster of scalloped potatoes and ham in the oven and hit it. Rearranged and cleaned the living room. Pantry got cleaned. Outside porch got cleaned. Front porch done. Under the sink done. Front bathroom thoroughly cleaned. Scrubbed the top of the stove (somedays I seriously miss my glass top stove). While I was cleaning and grumbling that I couldn't listen to a book, Jari started downloading it to the ipod that never gets used. Life is going to be grand. Problem is that I think everyone would really enjoy the book! My hips were hurting so bad by the time I was done that the bed was screaming my name. Played some Monopoly Deal, dropped off a car at work for Alyx to get home ... and hit the hay. Days with much accomplished just feel so good!

In the middle of my cleaning, while dinner was baking, the phone rang. I hear Jari say, "she's not available" and then he's handing me the phone. Silly me. I tried to win a free pair of Ugg boots off FB that I've been coveting. In trying to do that, I registred for umpteen million things. Now I have coffee coming from Gevalia, books coming from Doubleday ... and I managed to win something from Baby To Be. Babies must have been the order of the day yesterday ... and I'm so looking forward to a free subscription of Baby Talk magazine among other things. What a hoot. :)

Now we are on to Sunday. We have a houseful of folks coming over this afternoon. Time to hit the grocery store and see what we can manage. Big pot of salmon chowder is on the menu ... and I found some brats and dogs in the freezer as well. Should be fun!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Game days and evenings

We have probably played more games this winter than any other that I can recall. We received quite a few of them for Christmas and have had a lot of fun with them.

Our newest addiction is Monopoly Deal. Buy it in the game section at Target, or anywhere else, and it'll be almost the best ever spent $5.89. Being as I haven't been outside snapping pictures, have been too busy doing other things to be capturing crafting pictures, figures I'd share a few of game evenings.

Okay, well maybe I was just snapping a few of the boys last night. One needs a haircut in the worst way ... the other finally has some! Everything else has been neglected around here, but the game has been fun.

Wednesday evening we had a slight stove pipe problem. All of a sudden there was smoke coming into the house from the wood stove pipe. Hmmm. Jari climbed up there yesterday and cleaned it out. Sounded like it looked like the ingredients for a rip roaring chimney fire. The learning curve continues. Ought to be circling the entire earth before long!

Friday morning once again. Work today and then Home Services this evening. Baby shower tomorrow, a fun group for late lunch/early dinner on Sunday with a photo shoot of sorts. Looking forward to a few moments of puttering around here over the weekend. Maybe clean a nook or two. Maybe even, hopefully, make it to the library so I can enjoy an audio book while doing a bit of scouring. Maybe I'll manage to get outside for a bit!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Visits in the middle of the night

First of all, let me preface this by saying that we probably shouldn't have cordless phones in the house. They end up everywhere. Lost most of the time. There are 4 of them that seem to wander around and occasionally make it to the charger. Last night one of them was on the bed with Miss Tia. She must have pushed some of the buttons. I wonder how one presses them in the correct order to get this kind of response.

Jari woke to hearing the buzzer go off. We have a visitor detection device outside. Tells us when someone is coming up the driveway because we can't see it easily from where our windows are. You really have to go and look ... usually out the front door if you really want to know. Anyway, the buzzer sound was followed by a long low growl from downstairs. The growl he recognized as being attached to this guy.

He may be so big that folks think he can't move, but the meter reader knows he can. So do we. Jari went to look out the front door and saw two guys walking up to the house. Good thing Jari saw them before he did. I woke to Jari calling me to come out and bring his wallet with me. From a dead sleep it takes a minute or two to realize that the State Troopers are standing in your entry way at 12:37 a.m. Apparently, sleeping child must have hit the 911 buttons on the phone. They called back and she said she had made a mistake in dialing, but they came to check anyway. All other bodies accounted for at that hour. No signs of distress anywhere. And a nice compliment (at least I consider it that!) from law enforcement who said "you are really hidden back here". They had walked up the driveway. Yup, that's the way I like things. I was really wondering what would have happened if Jari had not heard Duke and if he would have had access to his doggy door last night. The outcome would not have been good.

Not half an hour later, Anna bursts into the room saying that someone was in the kitchen making a sandwich. She thought it was Blayde, spoke to him, got no response. By the time Jari got there, the apparition was gone. Crazy or not, we are firm believers in ghosts. I really should have gotten out of bed, grabbed the camera and headed for the kitchen. Maybe I could have gotten a picture of something other worldly.  Denise, I hope you didn't pack your "friend" in my luggage when I left. This might get sort of interesting. Makes for great photography attempts!

Being as one couldn't sleep anyway, I may as well have the other problem of late. I need to do a serious vacuuming. Oreo really likes Jari ... she's much more partial to him than I. However, her dander is not my friend. I finally relented when Tia wanted the kitten the other summer, saying she must stay outside. In she came ... she was much too cute. Now that she thinks that the greatest place to hide is under my bed ... breathing is sometimes becoming challenging. Monday morning I got up feeling like I had extra swollen tissue around my eyes. For about the last 2 weeks it has been getting challenging for me to take nice deep breaths. Now what!!?! At least hubby has developed a good case of insomnia. If I quit breathing ... let's hope he notices.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Home from a fun 24 hours

at Mother's Camp. Didn't leave 'til noon on Saturday and left camp by noon today. The camera was a bit lazy, but company certainly wasn't. Maybe this one herself was. I digested a few magazines, relaxed in the hot tub, participated in a good discussion, ate lots of yummy food ... and enjoyed very pleasant company!

Alyeska Ski Resort out our window.

We were missing 2 ladies ... not bad! 24 of us made it. 9 babies. 9 expectant mothers. No births over the weekend. (That was a VERY good thing!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


the world is covered with white crystals of frost ... and by the time I got home to get a camera it would have been too dark to head out to take pictures. I have some beautiful ones
somewhere or another. I just don't know where at the moment.

Life is about learning, isn't it? Then there is the learning where you don't dare ask a question because it sounds ridiculous to ask. Why does that feeling never end? Do you know that this frost has a name? When someone first called it what it is, I couldn't imagine how it was spelled and the name just conjured up the wrong spelling. I had to come home and google the word to find out what it was. And learn I did. According to Wikipedia ...  Radiation frost (also called hoar frost or hoarfrost) refers to the white ice crystals, loosely deposited on the ground or exposed objects, that form on cold clear nights when heat losses into the open skies cause objects to become colder than the surrounding air.

Seriously, our world is beautiful at the moment. Covered with the beautiful frost. At least it was earlier. Now the wind is blowing. Temp was up at about 30 degrees yesterday, down to 5 this morning, up to 28 again today ... and the wind started blowing. Will see what it looks like tomorrow!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Nightmarish dreams

I am not an interpreter of dreams. I rarely remember them. Somehow my inner clock knows to quite dreaming before the alarm starts ringing in the morning and I rarely manage to wake up in the middle of one.

Except Saturday morning.

Jari left shortly after 6 a.m., I crawled back into bed knowing that the alarm would ring at 7. I promptly shut it off and went back to sleep. At 8 I bolted upright in the middle of what would almost be called a nightmare.

In my dream ... I woke up and went outside the house. I had donned a nice warm sweatshirt (or layers of them as I usually wear) and headed next door to have a morning "visit" with Ronda, who lived next door. The front of her house had this nice big porch with a rail around it. It was missing the rocking chairs and potted plants. :) I was positively horrified. It was 3:40 in the afternoon. My entire household was still sleeping in. We had a wedding to be at that started at 6 pm. As I was trying to explain to Ronda why were still sleeping, Blayde came out of "my" house and asked, "Do we have any clean white plates?" Let me explain. My regular dinnerware is white. When the white are in the dishwasher at dinner time, we haul out china. Only the white plates hit the dishwasher. Only the white plates hit the microwave. Am assuming that he was looking for something microwavable.

So, what does this all mean? I'm stressed out about the dishes not being done? We've been sleeping in much too often around here? I had too many late nights the weekend before?

Maybe it means I need a few nights with a few more hours of sleep.

On that note ... good night!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Thanks to the photographer

whose photo I just "borrowed".
This was a family picture taken last weekend at the wedding. I have several challenges for you.

1) Name all of us
2) See if you can tell me what is wrong with this picture

(Personally I think there isn't a thing wrong with it ... they did a fabulous job!)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Guess what I'm doing?

This is the only Saturday out of 5 in a row that I am guaranteed to be home. I have lent out my wheels to the kids, put comfy clothes on and am staying put.

  • Pulla is ready to hit the pans
  • Laundry baskets are nearing empty ... now I need to sort the rest of it, but the machine is spinning!
  • Receipts for 2009 are cleaned out and ready for the burn barrel
  • In my cleaning of last years paperwork I also found receipts for 2008 ... all of them ...  every trip to Walmart and Fred Meyer. (I think there may be something wrong with me.)
  • Two more piles of paper stuff to go through today
  • Have a presentation for next weekend that is sitting on the kitchen table .. printed. Now to go through it today and see what to do with it!
  • Back to Sunday School teaching tomorrow ... I think I did a few lessons sitting at the dentist office a few months ago ... better check
  • Thermometer says it is 28 degrees outside. The sky is covered with clouds, the wind is rustling the trees, the heater is on.
  • Listening to an audio book by Dana Stabenow in the middle of my filing
  • Jari is spraying foam today :)
  • The boys are off at Hatchers
  • The girls are heading off to go skating
I wanted to share a "Never Do This" learning moment from last evening. We had Haps over here and I was making brownies before they came. I'm quite fond of doubling a recipe and putting it into a sheet pan. So I did. I doubled a recipe of Brownies for a Crowd, greased my nice big sheet pan and slid that bugger in the oven. I got busy swabbing up a bathroom real quick and started smelling something. Hmmm. Went to take a peak in the oven and had a serious OH MY GOSH! moment. The brownies were bubbling over the edges of the pan all over the bottom of the gas oven. As I was freaking out just a bit (after coming up with a solution to start scooping it out of the pan), I realized that I hadn't added flour to the mixture either. 4 cups of sugar, 1 cup of butter ... ugh!! Cleaned out the oven the best I could and started all over. Different recipe. Two 9x13 pans. Hot oven. It was quite a haze in here. Whatever I hadn't managed to wipe or scrape out was burning quite nicely. Doors and windows open ... eventually it cleared out around here ... was rather scented for the rest of the evening. Brownies turned out good! Lesson for the day: if you double something and put it into a shallow pan to bake ... make sure it is BARS you're doing, not something cake height.

Friday, January 15, 2010

While in Minnesota ...

we had the Bridal Breakfast at the Bridal Breakfast at the Olde Maine Eatery in Elk River. (I know ... I already told you that.)

I took a little stroll down the street and crossed this one ....

walked past this little shop that I could spend oodles of time in .... (note the CLOSED sign)

had it been a nice 70 degree day, this bench might have been quite inviting. At 2 degrees ... it looked even chillier.

Down to view the Mighty Mississippi which was absolutely beautiful!

I even found a bit of artwork on the way back up to everyone else.

So ends my Minnesota trip pictures. Unless I decide to scrapbook an entire page of Miss Kathryn ... who is such a pleasue to catch in a lens.

We had a wee bit of a birthday celebration for Jari last night ... hence the 2 pieces of cheesecake. Time is marching on the birthday department around here as well! He was in Anchorage yesterday and had quite the drive home in traffic and ditch diving vehicles. Not a great way to spend your special day.

We have snow!! A dusting to cover all the yuck from the wind. A dusting to cover the ice on the road. A dusting to entice me and skis out to the yard. After 30 minutes of that I decided that we could use another several inches. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Will 30 minutes of skiing burn off 2 pieces of cheesecake?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Growing and changing families

I believe that living far away from families has its benefits sometimes. Not often, but sometimes. Most times, it is amazing when we get together to see how much has changed. We get to meet new generations and I love to watch people. I watched Becky & Wayne waiting for their grandchildren to arrive from the airport on Saturday morning. They hadn't yet seen the newest addition to their family, their grandson Michael. It was like watching a young child wait for Christmas morning. I didn't get any pictures of my nephew John, Michael's uncle, who was very adept at stealthily taking a baby to hold.

Abigail is the oldest of their two grandchildren. She didn't like me very much. My goal was to get her to smile at me before I left. I don't know why she is smiling in this picture ... it was a one time thing. She was quite leary of this auntie. Maybe the grin has something to do with the fact that she's surrounded by her YOUNG aunties and plunking piano keys.

I also got to meet Taryn who came from Arizona for the wedding. We did get to meet her via webcam the day she was born and have seen her quite a few times the same way. This was her first time meeting her Grandma & Grandpa. She is one smiley little gal and we can certainly pick out which family she belongs to!

Time just marches along. Siblings become grandparents, parents become great grand parents and sometimes .. siblings become parents when they never thought they would. That would be the miracle we call Heidi. She has 2 dimples on her right cheek that are just adorable and beg to be nuzzled. She giggles at barn animal noises and loves Daddy's John Deere hat.

The clock of time marches right along. It doesn't stop, just keeps adding moments that are to be treasured and once in a while, I am fortunate to capture one of them. Two generations separate Ellen and Michael. What a blessing to be surrounded by people who love us ... even if for brief moments in time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm home!!

The long weekend was super fun. Saw nearly all of my family and many friends. The wedding was beautiful!

Headed straight to wedding rehearsal at the church from the airport. The pianist for this song and the singers did a wonderful job ... all sisters of the bride. They sang when the moms walked into the church at the wedding.

The bride was calm, cool and collected ... the groom did a fabulous job as well ... including the duck tape on the tux vest. (And y'all have opinions about Alaskans?!)

On to the Bridal Breakfast on Saturday morning at Olde Main Eatery ... delicious!

Grandma Kuoppala and Grandma Randall ... first to order ... last to eat ... but worth the wait.

The bride back from getting her hair done ... and off to Target to pick up a few things. Would have been a hoot to be along with her in the store ... still in her pajamas. :)

Aren't the socks just fabulous?! They actually wore them. Legs were warm and no one the wiser. :)

My pictures are absolutely horrible. I took very few and the ones I did ... I'm not impressed. Here is the one that is the best I got and it isn't anything for the wall. Biggest problem is we're missing the groom!! This would be the Randall family!

In the reception line ... holding Michelle's niece Heidi.

The bright side of family photography is that I know where the good pictures are ... and where to get them. So ... patience is the name of this game. Once 2remember studio has the pictures up ... I'll let you know. They'll be fabulous like always!

Gift opening on Sunday afternoon took quite a while. They were blessed with much.

I do have a few more pictures ... and I'll share them ... just not today. I just had a serious flashback of not too many years ago sending this young bride some little summery outfits I'd sewn. Wow. Time just moves right along.

Special thanks to the bride's family for making it possible for me to attend. It was certainly fun to be there. Enjoyed the late nite (maybe sometimes a tad bit ridiculous) visiting, seeing how everyone has grown and matured, the older ones turning into the most delightful young adults. Thanks for the picker upper lunch at Applebees. We all need those through this life.

Becky ... I've decided that I agree with you. Traveling plumb wears a person out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Remembering these days quite fondly

"These days" would be the ones where you could buzz through the car wash real quick like and have a nice shiny clean car afterwards. Most importantly, the windows would still roll down the next day and not be frozen shut. :)

Am I running low in the picture department or what?! I was cleaning out the photos on the computer this morning .. okay, so this wasn't one of them ... I just happened to run across it. :)

List for today:
  • Trip to Walmart for things like the newest book in a series of books that I adore .. something to read on the plane
  • A notebook for something I'm working on ... couldn't find one I liked. (should have gone to Target instead)
  • More shampoo
  • A new bag with wheels that isn't ripping at the seams
  • Pack clothes ... probably too many now that the bag is much bigger than I need it to be and I don't want things flopping around in there
  • Find a backpack for things to take on the plane
  • Mutter at the new pile of mail that came from the post office today ... thought I did so good getting through the pile this week
  • Take a nap
  • Step on the scale ... I'll repeat that one in the morning as I didn't like the number this evening
  • Wing another load of laundry through the washing machine
  • Find a pair of decent looking boots ... didn't manage that one. My "little" boots are a serious pain in the neck (or foot) to put on and they drive me absolutely nutty. Ugh. Oh well ... will just wing it.
  • See if I can listen to the last 30 minutes of my audio book while I sit here and type!
I'll be back next week! I plan to have a wonderful time playing with family and hope to come back with a bunch of photos!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The older I get ....

This sort of stinks. The older I get the few productive days I can string together. What is wrong with this picture?!

Last night I worked on this and am to the point of ready to press and add batting ... which I don't have. Cleaning is a good thing I've decided. One of those goals I had before Fred comes back was to clean out the closet underneath the stairs. I did and found a nice size piece of the denim backing I like to use for quilts. Yes!! Tonite I'll move the sewing back down to the basement as it won't be touched until after I come back from my trip to the arctic. I have this idea for several lap/throw quilts and I can't start them until after this one is done and gone. Motivation is a strong thing.

 While I was busily sewing last night, Jari was canning up some salmon. Problem was that

one of the jars broke in the pressure canner. You cook these things for 90 minutes. So for 90 minutes the stench of cooking salmon (and mind you, I love salmon) was pouring out of that little ol' steam spout on the pressure cooker. Thank goodness the weather outside was palatable because the smell inside was not ... and the doors were open.

Other than canning salmon, fixing cars and doing whatever else it is he's been doing ... the man of the house has been nibbling all my dried carrots. The dehydrator hummed all day on Saturday drying out carrots ... and I think he's eaten them all by now. Next time I do this I'm going to watch how many pounds of carrots I can fit in that thing ...

Things could really be worse .... he could be digging into the fudge or something like that!

Onward march in getting ready for travel. The big quandry was to take the Navy (and this one is REAL Navy) pea coat that looks nice with dress clothes ... or to take the jacket I reserve for sub zero temps. If I was staying at home I would probably go for the pea coat. But being as I'm heading to much chillier places ... guess I'll go with the warm one. So much for fashion. Just remember where I'm coming from. The place where folks are comfortable having an outhouse as long as they have a snowmachine and a motor home parked in the yard. By the way ... I think that Yahoo weather is wrong ... Tarja just told me it is much chillier up there. Time to haul out the bag and start packing. The delicate cycle is done on the washing machine ... time to dry those things. Need to find some music and get copies of those in the "to go" pile. Can you tell I'm getting just a tad bit excited. I'm hoping and praying that the weather is nice enough for folks to travel. I so much want to see everyone!

Mondays over ... on to Tuesday

I did take pictures last night to share with you ... and I don't have time this morning to share them.

Girls missed the bus so I chased the bus. "Follow the bus" is what they said. I was thinking that was what I was doing. Wrong bus. Make a U-turn and follow the OTHER bus. Aaargh. We caught the bus. Thank goodness it is 30 degrees out there and the car didn't need 30 minutes of warming or we'd have been chasing the teacher down the hall!

E-mail. Why do I have 792 e-mail messages in my e-mail box? Worse yet, why is the one e-mail I'm looking for something like number 342? I found it. The flight itinerary for Friday. Then I set me up a little "travel" folder and promptly moved the e-mail. That ought to be a safe and easy place to find it. Nothing else in there at the moment.

Off to work. Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Who needs the Sunday comics?

Overheard at our house this evening:

"The tail light fell off because I ran the 4-wheeler into IT." Explaining why the Subaru might not have a working tail light. Although then again ... it should be working fine. It was duck taped!

Watching Anna making a smoothie just a minute ago. I said, "the dishwasher is dirty." Big hint in there: put your dishes in the dishwasher when you're done. Blayde who is just home from school is putting his chili into the microwave and says, "oops!"

Welcome 2010!

I'm still here ... just been a wee bit busy. Anna got a camera for Christmas and no longer want to use mine. My updated photo supply has drastically dwindled. Our week in review:

Wednesday evening I hauled up the sewing machine to the dining room table. I was planning on finishing a project that I'd started. At least starting to finish. Haven't touched it since then, but did sew a few feet anyway. The kids must have gone ice skating or something ... I think it was quiet around here. (Having issues with remembering much of anything anymore.)

Don't you love people with the balance of a cat? Jari hooked up speakers up there from the computer. Now I can sew and listen to an audio book at the same time. Sweet! Anna might not agree ... means that she needs to take her book and go elsewhere if she's trying to concentrate. I love it.

The kids have spent their break skating their feet right off. It has been good. Having a driver who wants to skate and brings others along has been quite a treat! I've not skated once this year. Haven't been to the rink once. They have gone often! Good and healthy activity to burn up some energy.

In other activity ... we got the Wii for Christmas and it has been a hoot. There is a good reason I'm not putting a picture of me on here! My concentration was quite intense. Now we would really like the Wii Fit for the next thing on the list. Hopefully before next Christmas.

The New Years celebration has come and gone. We spent New Years Eve at Oj's and had a fun time. I had this silly notion that I wouldn't be called in early to work on New Years Day after staying out late. The notion was extremely silly. I asked for it ... and I got it. I wanted to work at least 10 hours out of the 24 I was on call. I did 14.5 between Friday and Saturday. That tells you what I got done on Saturday. I was home for 3 hours at one point ... and managed to get bread dough into pans for Anna to bake, got 2 batches of Friendship Bread baked and filled the dehydrator with carrots for Jari to snack on. He's as bad as the kids. They eat apple leather as fast it dries .... he eats carrots as fast as they're done. Me? I eat Friendship Bread as quickly as I can!

George Koivukangas was here over the weekend. Had a discussion on Saturday evening and then he was here for laaate evening coffee. Slept in until 10 on Sunday morning and then filled the afternoon with service activity. Jari did a bit of running last nite after dropping kids off at Haps and then joining them. I stayed home. Wedding gift for next Saturday is complete.

This week looks like: the dinner menu is planned, it is the first day of school after break and everyone is awake, we've already started the car juggle that will exist for the rest of the year, suitcase to pack, mail pile to sort through and I don't want to look at it ... so I'm not!