Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to Jari and Anita. It was a very cold day 22 years ago when you were married on the Iron Range. You had first planned on a March wedding and then decided
as you were coming to the Range so everyone could meet Jari you may as well get married
at that time. Lots has happened since then. Different jobs. Different rental units. Home
owner. Moved to the new frontier. Children are growing up; nice kids. Blessings too
numerous to count. Thank you for being who you are. dk

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas on the Range

We got the snow over the weekend, so slowed down travel, but everyone was still able to make it...The food is ready....
Laurie and Tristan opening his presents...

Shawn ....

Isa recording what they got and from whom....


Jen with her blanket from Anita....

Tristan checking out Grandma's tonsils (or lack thereof)...

Tristan and Grandpa...

We have been dog sitting.... Lucky is with us, while Randy is out of town.

It was so much fun to spend the holiday with some of the family. Waiting to see pictures on how the rest of you spent your holiday!
Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2008!Come on over for pulla....
You're always welcome to our home....
Just a few other pictures:
Shawn and I were able to visit with Amber, Ryan, and Nolan when they were in MN. It was so fun to see them and to meet Nolan.

Here's a wintery scene from our "neck of the woods". We have more snow now thanks to this weekend...

I hope all you have a wonderful Christmas and I can't wait to see pictures posted of how and where you celebrated the season!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You know you're tired when ....

You know you're tired when ....

I ran to the post office today on my way home from work. Made a quick stop at the grocery store. Was thrilled that I could use my Safeway card at Carr's so I didn't have to pay over $7 for 18 eggs. The cashier rang up my items. I slid my debit card and she looked at me and said "your card has been declined". Don't you love those moments??? The thing is ... I know the card is good. So what had I just done? She asked me if I slid my Safeway card instead of the debit card. No, didn't do that. I slid my DRIVERS LICENSE through the machine. Like the state of Arizona is going to pay for my groceries or something. Don't bother trying it ... it doesn't work. I decided that if I couldn't remember to use a debit card instead of a driver's license to pay for food ... it was time for a nap. The nap was great.

Yesterday Tia turned 11 years old. 12 years ago I would have never imagined this day would come. I had a houseful of little people then .. my own and others I "borrowed". Now my baby is 11 years old. Two short years and I'll have yet another teen in the house. Anita Laulainen shares the same birthday (she truned 12) so we had a joint party over at Ray & Brenda's house. It was a lot of fun!

Time to go swap some laundry. For some reason the dryer doesn't keep up with the washing machine. Maybe it's balking at the cold too. I'ts -4 out there right now. Just a tad chilly ... but the wind isn't blowing. Life is good!

Monday, December 17, 2007

More land....

Shawn and I signed a purchase agreement to buy "Julie's" land next door. So, we will have an additional 32 acres attached to ours. She has 30 days to remover her belongings and then we will be closing on the house on or around January 15th. I'm very excited. We will have more pasture land and need to get more goats - Shawn says cattle - or sheep. We may end up putting a new sewer in and building a house of some sort to rent out - We will see. The possibilities will be endless - once we really do own it. The current owner said that she already considers it ours but we have to wait for Julie to move her stuff out.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy Holidays

Just wanted to send a little note to everyone. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday!

This past week, Shawn and I were able to go to the 'cities. I, of course, for a meeting. We were able to meet with Amber, Ryan, and little Nolan. It was so much fun to see them again. Really makes me want to move to Alaska. Wednesday, I had 2 meetings in St. Paul, but Wayne Skoog came to pick up Shawn and they hung out for the day. After the meetings, I went out there to pick him up. If I ever thought of moving back to the 'cities, I'd just have to do that again and reality would convince me that traffic is not fun. Wayne was really nice and had dinner cooking for when I got there. We enjoyed a nice visit with them. Stayed too late and got home too late, but it was fun.

This weekend, we plan to do some Christmas caroling and then a 40th b-day party for Randy. Not sure who all is going to come over for that tomorrow night. Sunday, Shawn and I may head to Brainerd for the Sunday School program there and do some computer things for Isa.

Hope everyone's holiday preparations are going well. All of you are invited to come and spend Christmas day with us, if you would like. The more the merrier, just let me know, so I know how many potatoes to peel.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Holiday stress management tips

Holiday Stress Tips – Management Tips for the Holiday Season

01: Do what you can
Too much food. Too much to do. Too much everything

‘Tisn’t the season of excess. At least it shouldn’t be. Having too much on your plate (literally and figuratively) will overwhelm.

Be aware of time constraints on yourself and your schedule. Don’t over-book yourself or stretch yourself (or your pants) too thin

02: Set a budget
Too little time. Too little money. Zero patience.

‘Tis the season of giving, but no one said giving had to be expensive. Set a budget and stick to it.

There is no greater gift than giving yourself, your time, and your full effort. What comes from the heart outweighs all else.

03: Creative
Pure imagination

‘Tis the season of imagination. Imagine making your own gifts. It’s not only more personalized and heart felt, but you’ll be de-stressing, too.

Arts and crafts, baking, or card-writing will get your mind off things. Plus you’re avoiding the stressful shopping scene and saving money.

04: Count your blessings.
All is calm. All is bright

‘Tis the season to celebrate. What do you have to celebrate? More than you think.

Concentrate on what you do have, not what you wish you did.

05: Expect the time crunch, not perfection.
Year end projects. Last minute shopping. Time pressures galore

‘Tis the season of the time crunch. With so much expected of you – family, work, social events, and more – it’s just not possible to meet every demand.

Unreasonable expectations will lead to great disappointments. Manage what you can with the time you have. There’s no use in stressing yourself out.

06: Beat the procrastination bug.
Make a list and check it twice.

‘Tis the season of much to do. Your mind may drift onto your long to-do list, but don’t let that distract you from the task at hand.

Get everything out of your head and onto paper. Once you do, stop worrying. Trust that things will get done in time.

07: Beat the shopping rush.
City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style

‘Tis the season of busy malls and parking lots with long line-ups and stress filling the air.

Avoid the hustle and bustle by planning ahead, ordering online or making personalized gifts. Don’t let the stress of others rub off on you.

08: Let Go
Little battles everywhere. At Home. In the Parking lot. At work.

‘Tisn’t the season of conflicts. Trying to win small battles may cost you health, happiness, and peace of mind.

Grudges, arguments, and fights waste energy and magnify stress. Instead, let go and seek peace in your heart.

09: Create new traditions.
Let nothing you dismay.

‘Tis the season of togetherness. Don’t let conflict create division among your family or friends.

Rekindle relationships by creating new holiday traditions that involve everyone. Taking a fresh look will give you all something to look forward to.

10: Eat, sleep, and be merry.
Sleep in heavenly peace.

‘Tis the season to be healthy. Bring good tidings to your body, mind, and stomach by managing your diet and sleep.

Good health starts with healthy food and quality rest. Otherwise you’ll feel bloated, tired, or cranky, and that just might rub off on others.

11: Be Jolly
O tidings of comfort and joy.

‘Tis the season to be jolly. Santa isn’t the only one who has the right to be jolly. After all, if he can be jolly with is workload, you can be too.

Remember what “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays’ mean. Don’t perpetuate anxiety or fear. Instead, spread joy and happiness.

12: Laugh, dance, sing, and play.
Joy to the world.

‘Tis the season to be free from stress. There is much more to worry about, but there is much more to bring you joy.

Embrace each moment – good or bad – with a smile. Live, love, and laugh. All else will fall into place.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A few pictures of our new Alaska home.

A few pictures of the rental house we have in Alaska. I don't know how long we'll be in here ... but could get use to having all this space. Makes me wonder where everything fit in the other house!! The house is rather spacious ... and we have an empty guest room! Welcome!! Will try add other pictures. Maybe I need to just do one at a time .. after getting use to the ease of Bebo .. Blogger can be incredibly frustrating sometimes. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy Birthday

Wishing Jenny a Happy 30th Birthday! May your day be as wonderful as you are!
~jen and her boss~

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Tristan


Wow, the little guy is already 2.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Here's news from the travelers

Hopefully Anita will post on this Blog when they reach their destination. This is just a quick
up date of where they stayed the nights. They left Phoenix on Monday morning and had lunch
in Prescott Valley. Their trailer had been brought there on Sat. when the Marjanen family got
together there on Sat. So on Monday they had lunch in Prescott, hooked up the trailer and
forward Ho!

First night was in Panquitch, Utah, which is southern Utah.
Tues. night was in Butte, Montana, and I think it was a little chilly.
Wednesday night they spent just north of Calgary, Alberta.
Thursday night they were in Fort St. John, British Columbia.
Friday night they were in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory. No cell or on-star!
From there 1,100 miles to Palmer, Alaska.
Arrival there?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

one more

I won't keep boring you with pictures of Trina, but Diane wanted me to post this here. It is so fun to have a newborn of my own again to photograph!


Wishing each and everyone of you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

(I'm hoping to be off of work tomorrow and have Thursday and Friday off as well.)

I hope you find plenty to be thankful for and enjoy your holiday!


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Going away party

Today we had a going away party at a park here in AZ for Jari & Anita and kids. There were about 90 adults there plus kids. We sang a few songs, had cake, and talked. These are a couple of pics from the park.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

pics of Trina

Here are a few Pics from Thursday night. I went and picked up Lindsey and Kierstyn and Brought them to see Mom and Trina.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Packing for the trek north!

Candle lit dinners Thurday evening!
Our storage containers ... the one on the left is completely filled.
Duke wanders around not knowing what to do.
Jari is busy building a cover for the only trailer we are pulling.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

News from Arizona!

Grandma and Grandpa Kuoppala received exciting news from Arizona. Frans and Jenny had
a 9 lb. 1 oz. girl at 5:17 p.m. today, November 15th. No name decided as of now. Looks like
Alanys but has hair like Kierstyn. We can be thankful all went well. Lucky Grandpa K
can get to see her on Sunday. dk

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Marjanen Madness

I've sort of copied/changed/added red to my blog from Bebo ... for those of you who aren't Bebo-ers! Wish I had some pictures to put on here. My camera chews batteries like there's no tomorrow. Kids took the rechargable batteries and probably pitched them at some point. Need to battery shop today. Will try and add pics later today!

* Frantic on Sunday evening because I totally missed the e-mail from the movers .. said I had to return it within one day .. it was sent on Wednesday. Jari spent some time on the phone Monday. Containers arrived yesterday about 11:30!

** Utilities. Start them there, stop them here. Have "letters of credit" faxed from one place to another so that they can fax to yet the third place. What on earth did this world do before fax and e-mail?! I think everything is now done in that department .. should be powerless/phoneless/gasless (might be a nice road trip eh?) on Monday! Add homeless to that as well!

*** My last day of work Monday. Hard to believe that I can now remove all those user names, passwords, log combinations from my memory bank. I still don't know how I feel about being unemployed. I've only been working 2 - 12 hr days a week. There have been some incredibly helpful people at work, some very kind people ... there will be new ones elsewhere! Today a trip to Employee Benefits: when do I get my PTO check??? I have scrapped buying things here. Am shopping up there. I think I have enough PTO bucks to get me a new couch. :)

**** Back patio is full of boxes .. we were hoping to empty some of it last night. We were able to put most of the HEAVY stuff into the containers last nite .. now to fill in around them. Would have loved to get more in there last night, but we need mattresses in there. So the plan is to empty this house out on to the patio and then fill the containers on Friday. Would really like to use the washer/dryer for several more days. Denise Wuollet offered to pick up my laundry and bring it back to me already done. I'm trying to wash and pack! Yesterday I was actually ironing before packing ... finally realized how dumb that was ... it did give me a good excuse to try and finish the last of James Patterson's Beach House tho'!

***** Missed all the good winter jacket sales over the weekend .. don't know what I was doing instead!!! Bummer!!! That's on the list for after Friday night. If I have time before .. great .. if not, it can wait. Brock got a jacket from Blayde yesterday that is super cool. Not for COLD weather, but it's a start!

****** Our Alaska road map book that lists every gas station/hotel/restaurant is missing. Am seriously hoping that I didn't pack it in a box somewhere. I wouldn't have done that .... or would I? I found it!! Under a pile of mail I'd tucked in a corner. Nearly had heart failure when I saw the pile. Nothing but junk in there .. we're good! :)

******* Jari took the truck to the dealer yesterday morning. They're trying to see if they have a block heater somewhere in town for his. Mine has one! Who woulda ever thunk! Truck will be back today we hope. Trailer got new tires yesterday. My check engine light is back on again. :( Sometime mine needs to go back to the dealer yet again! And ... he isn't a block down the street like Jari's is.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Diane, here are the scrapbook pages. I hope you can see/read them fine, becuase it took forever for me to upload them! I (with the help of caroline jacobson) did this book for jari and anita, and gave it to them last night. It is an 8x8 book. I had fun doing it! if you click on each one, it will enlarge it so you can read it. At least it does on my computer! Frans also made a DVD slideshow for them of pictures from us and ones we collected from a lot of their friends...turned out really nice

I have really been dreading this move for a long time now...yes, I am happy for them, but at the same time, part of me was hoping that it wouldn't ever happen! I started taking pictures for this album last fall, and it seemed like the time would never come for them to go, and that was fine with me! Now it's here, tho it still seems kind of unreal, as I'm sure it does for them too! I'm sure we will realise even more after they are gone how nice it is/was to have some of the "kuoppala" family here! You tend to take things like that for granted!
Anyways, I guess that's enuf rambling!
Happy sunday to everyone, we are off to the marjanens for "thanksgiving" as soon as frans gets home from church!