Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from Alaska

We, too, are not sending out Christmas Wishes in the mail this year. I missed calls with family today and will try and catch up with you folks over the weekend. Hoping your Christmas was filled with joy. We were longing for a fresh layer of white covering the earth but got 38 degree temps instead with a bit of wind in the air. We enjoyed a quiet Christmas with much to be thankful for.

Our best wishes to each and every one of you for a New Year filled with health, happiness and good fortune.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to All

"O Little Child of Christmas, the greatest gift of love, 
Oh guide my earthly pathway to heaven's home above." sz 30:5

While we didn't get Christmas cards sent this year, we extend our Christmas wishes to each of you. May the New Year bring you health and happiness.

-b and all

Monday, December 21, 2009

Brainerd Sunday School Christmas Program

At this time of year the real Santa can't be everywhere so they pick someone to be Santa at programs like this.  In Brainerd this year Grandpa Kuoppala was Santa.  Seated on his lap is Heidi!  She wasn't afraid of Santa.  Some children just slid off his lap as
were afraid of him.  Heather and Shawn pleased us by coming to the program with Heidi.

We'd post a picture of the entire Sunday School group but takes too long.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

Friday, December 18, 2009


i though i'd try post a little bit better picture of little abigail an then head to class, two more days and then i can take a deep breath for hopefully a relaxing winter break! have a good day!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hello from duh 'Range

Not much going on around here. Shawn sold our goats and the same day bought 6 more cows..... Oh well, better eating :)

My baby girl is home sick today. 9 months old and she got sick for the first time. We, of course, don't have insurance for the month of December due to changing of jobs, probably why she got sick. Poor thing still smiles, laughs, and plays despite the runny nose, watery eyes, and fever. She has a double ear infection, cough, and runny nose. Shawn is home with her and told me that she is doing fine... she never complains. Saw her tug at her ears a few times so was thinking that she may have an issue with her ears, but very little fussiness. Clung to Daddy yesterday when he picked her up from daycare - that was the sign that she was actually sick rather than just teething and the fever.

Life here is about the same otherwise. Shawn is working on our "barn". Not sure why it is called that being as the main part is going to be filled with equipment, not animals... but it's a "BARN". We are in the process of fattening up pigs.... anyone want to buy pork? Planning to butcher some cattle too if anyone is interested in beef. Just let me know.

That's all for now.

getting so big!

i figured since its now been one month since little Michael was born i'd put a picture of how much hes grown! the little mans already smiling away! i can't believe he's already a month and abigail is already 18 months! its weird to think that last time i saw her was just after her 1st birthday..the picture of abigail is hard to see but shes modeling erics hat :) -debbie

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Alaska Christmas

The Christmas tree is up ... the lights are strung ... the ornaments hung.

I found that:
It is a challenge to light a Charlie Brown tree.
It is a challenge to find spaces and places for ornaments when your tree has limited branches.
It fits in the living room!
It has no feature for watering the tree. I figure every tree in the tree lot has been cut quite a while ago. I know they aren't sitting next to the wood stove, but I hope ALL the needles don't disappear before Christmas.
The guardian angel is on the tree as well.
Oreo looks quite intersted in the tree.
Oreo LOVES, absolutely LOVES, ripping paper.
I'm thinking Oreo may experience Christmas many times over.
I'm counting on this little angel to give kitty a yelp when she needs it. She does have a stern sort of look, doesn't she?

One batch of pulla baked.
Prunt tarts are in the freezer.
Spent Friday evening at a marvelous Christmas Party.
Saturday a few of us spent 5 hours in Palmer experiencing Colony Christmas. It was above zero, but only by about 2 degrees yesterday. Thank goodness for long handles!
Another party next Saturday.
A birthday next Saturday.
Sunday School program in a week.

What AM I going to do with this Oreo? We may be back to the way we did things when the kids were little ones. I had them each bring out a gift every hour and place it under the tree. This year we'd be done lickety split like, but the cat is quite a challenge.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Michelle's Bridal Shower

Picture of Becky and her girls which includes the Bride-to-be with her cake.

Grandpa drove to Randalls.  After the food and gifts were loaded into the van, Denise
drove to Ridgedale where Becky arrived shortly by bus from school.  Then on to the
Gary and Pirjo Wuollet home.   Pirjo is from Finland so the home was decorated with
lots of Finnish decorations.  A large himmeli slowly turned from the heat created by lots
of candles on the coffee table.  The tree was decorated with tinsel, straw ornaments and
some American decorations. 

In the meantime, Grandpa brought Steven and John to the Rogers school where John was in a concert which Grandpa videoed.  John plays the trombone.  After the concert they went to Cabela's.

Back to the shower.  Lots of  people.  Singing and then gift opening.  She received a
wide variety inc. a roaster oven from the ladies of the Elk River congregation.  She opened an 8 place setting of dishes, silver ware, canisters, towels, bedding and more.

Then the picture taken with the cake.  Delicious food, a wide variety of salads, open
face sandwiches, bars.  You know, the usual good food.

We had to wait to leave until all the guests left to start loading everything into the van.  In the meantime, Wayne had arrived from his last job which was in Indiana.  So it was late getting home and crawling into a comfy bed at 3 a.m.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Michelle's Bridal Shower

Tis the era of electronic communication, so I will use this forum to invite you to a bridal shower for Michelle :). Pirjo and Ulla Wuollet are hosting the shower next Thursday, December 10th. Welcome to all!

I won't promise to post pictures, but I will promise to try. Perhaps Debbie or Ma will beet me to it.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Toni is 6!

Toni was princess for the day today around here!  She has been counting down the days until her birthday for the last week and a half or so!  I started a new thing about a year ago, that on your birthday, you can either have mom and dad buy and wrap a gift for your birthday, or you can go to the store with just you and mom and pick out your own..(with a price limit).  They love getting to go shopping with mom for it! (and I love it too)  So as soon as Toni got home from school, me, her and Taryn toodled off to Target.  My wonderful artist daughter passed up the dolls and barbies and picked out some markers and a paper tablet :)  I really need to start framing some of her work!
I made pork chops and potatoes for supper, but she wanted PB and J, so since she was the birthday girl, that's what she got!  (I knew she would want pork chops too after she finished her sandwich....i was right!)

note the "2" candle....I only had four regular four plus "2" is 6!  :)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Happy FQHS

The folks!


Heidi's first Thanksgiving was spent at the homeless shelter!

Part of the clan that gathered

the remainder of the clan

Kathy Purkat

I heard a few years back that they should come up with a good name for the time between Halloween and New Year's since you can buy decorations for each occassion on the same day. The winner was FQHS which is Fourth Quarter Holiday Season. Since I was just thinkin' of that thought I would post some pictures from the FQHS!

As it was already put on here. . . I had some over to celebrate Isa's birthday. Tons of fun was had playing Taboo and of course, eating!

And then on Halloween night I saw this creature, and he wouldn't talk to me. Figured his silence meant that I could take pictures of him. Never thought that a creature who couldn't talk nor move an inch could scare a kid, but I heard that's exactly what had happened! This creature can explain that!

October came to a close and November moved in! Heather had asked me way in advance if I would be able to watch Heidi when she was in St. Paul for a conference. I assured her I could and then totally spaced it! Go figure, I must be related to Charlie! :) I headed out to the hotel one Wednesday night so I could be awake when Heather left for the conference. I stopped at Subway, on my way, and thought that I would eat that for lunch and supper and save some money instead of buying food at the hotel. That plan backfired on me! Heather called and said that it was fine for me to go to where they were at, and free lunch I got!

After Heidi spent time meeting people and seeing new things, I took her for a walk. Hard to believe that it was already November and the weather was beautiful. Took the camera along and we went to check out the St. Paul Cathedral up close. That night, we went for another stroll and this time to the capitol.

Elizabeth comes over periodically when she is in the cities working. One of these times she had asked me when I would be going to the range next. Told her that I was working at the shelter on Thanksgiving. We decided then that it would be fun to have our Thanksgiving meal with the residents. I first called for approval that Saturday morning and then we started calling to see if they were interested. The immediate response was "Absolutely!" And the planning began right away.
We were thinking that most of the residents would be present, but that wasn't the case. Most of the clan that arrived were able to meet some as they were heading out the door to spend thanksgiving with their loved ones. Others were met when they returned. And for those that couldn't meet the family, I heard about it for the remainder of the weekend. They kept saying over and over how nice it was to know that a family would spend it there. And the residents that were there were filling in the others how they missed out on the opportunity to meet a lot of people who were all really nice! Mom had mentioned in an earlier post how only one person partook in it. Though that is true, they were all talking about it for the next few days! I was dreading how it would all work out, and I don't think it could have gone better. Thanks to Liz for the idea, and thanks to everyone who came, it was a huge success! Here are a few pictures from the day. Well I guess I can't get it in order. So the first pictures are from Thanksgiving Day at the shelter.

The month wrapped up in Cokato. After getting off and getting new tires on the car, I went to Cokato to visit the Wuollet's and the Laulainen's! Amber, Ryan and Nolan were here for Thanksgiving and head back home on Thursday. This was my only chance for being able to see them.

Now December is here, and Charlie is out riding his dirt bike as I write this! The question is - will we have snow for Christmas this year!

Hope you all were able to enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Up here in the north

we had a beautiful down pour of snow on Friday.
Thanksgiving was full of things to be thankful for. The food was plentiful, the company delightful.

After the snow on Friday, before the wind came on Saturday and blew it all away, I took a stroll up the road to grab some pictures. The sun doesn't rise here in the east ... at least in the winter or summer. This was sunrise at 10:43 a.m. on Saturday.

We are looking forward to Christmas. Did some online Black Friday shopping and then did hit a store or two on Friday for a few little things. I've decided that I'm doing online Christmas greetings this year. At least for now that is the decision. I will have some guilt feelings very shortly about not doing Christmas cards ... and then we'll see if I cave in or not.

Hoping all is well with all of you!

Thursday, November 26, 2009



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Iron Range News

We left at 7:30 with Ruth on our ride.  Went first to the former Arrowhead Health Care
Center in Virginia, now under a new name.  We were on our way to see Lauri Kaurala.
First one we saw were Chris, Gabe and Josh.  Haven't seen Josh for a long time, he has
stretched.  Then came Josie, her husband Tom Ward and daughter Naomi.  We are
going toward Lauri's room which is way, way down a long hall.  (Place has been
enlarged since I worked there as relief.  Also saw our former neighbor, Bonnie Bohne,
on her 30th year as a nurse there.  Jon Sarkela was wheeling his mom, Elsie, back to the
Eveleth Arrowhead where she lives).  Saw Joan.  Saw Rachel and her youngest, Eric ?.
Lauri has a rare form of stomach cancer and has had a stroke.  He is on H2O.  I went up to him first, spoke very loudly in Finnish.  He opened one eye, told him to open the
other one.  Isä came up and also spoke in Finnish.  He tried to say something but could
not make it out.  If he doesn't start taking in more water and food he won't last long.

Then we went to Tristan's 4th birthday party.  Kathy, Brian, Heather and Heidi, Elizabeth, and Gary were there.  Also Cody.  Found out he is Jim Novak's son.  Told him to say hello to his parents from Reino and Diane.  Doubt he will remember.  Of course Laurie, Ruth and the two of us were there.  Sang "Happy Birthday", he blew out
his candles and opened gifts.  He seemed a very happy and excited 4 yr. old.

We wanted to get home before too late as knew there was going to be fog and there was fog.  Called TX to bring them up to date.    Hope you all had a good day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

another picture...

i'm sure you've all seen enough pictures from this end for awhile but i thought this picture was so cute that i had to share it! :) so here is a picture from when abigail got to meet her baby brother, she was very excited about him and every time she sees him says "baby, baby!" -debbie

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

more Michael

i figured i would add pictures of the proud mom and dad too..they were so nice to send so many pictures to us of little michael so quickly. it's been really fun to get to see these pictures even if its so far away. -debbie

MIchael William 2

since that one appeared i will add this one of little chunk-o's with his eyes open :) -debbie

Michael William

i'm going to try post a picture on here but since i'm at school i'm not sure how well it will work, and its a camera phone picture so the quality isnt great. -debbie

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Palmer is a bit chilly this week

-18 this morning and my youngest cherub went out the door with a wet head and a sweatshirt on.

I remember watching a young girl in Phx when Blayde was young. She wore a sweatshirt in the summer going to and from school and I use to wonder what she was hiding. Was certain she must be hiding bruises under those long sleeves. Why else would she be wearing a sweathshirt when it was 100+ degrees outdoors? Then I had kids. The goofy things would walk home from school at the end of the school year .... in 100+ temperatures ... wearing a long sleeved sweatshirt.

Then we move up here. The temperature keeps dipping. -18 is a bit of a dive, not a dip, but still the same child goes out the door in a sweatshirt.

Mine is worse than the child I watched in Phoenix. She has a head of icicles this morning ... too bad her sweatshirt doesn't have some kind of winter theme on it.

Then again, come to think of it, maybe this isn't much worse than the Finns. Who else would jump from a steaming hot sauna into a snowbank? That is suppose to be good for you, right? Maybe the wet head accomplishes the same.

Isn't suppose to last long. We're forecasted to have snow at the weekend. We learned one thing very quickly. It will not snow at -18 and it will not snow when the wind blows. I feel warmer air winging it's way from somewhere!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Michael William

Announcing......   MICHAEL WILLIAM !!!  Born today, 11/16/09 at 09:52 to Eric and Rosie. He weighed 9lb15oz and is 22 inches long! Good thing he came on his due date and not a couple weeks later. Mom and baby are both doing well - Dad is too :). Abigail won't get to see her little brother until he comes home due to the restricted visitor policy to minimize h1n1 spread.

Stay tuned for pictures.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Life with the Lindula's

It is Deer Hunting! One of my favorite times of the year. One night Shawn tells me that he will stay with Heidi in the AM and I could go out hunting. I head out and before I can get in the stand, I shot a doe. It was small but GOOD EATING! Another day I headed out again and got a 4 point within 15 minutes of being in the woods. We've been sharing hunting time as the other parent gets to stay home with Miss Heidi.

Miss Heidi has learned how to crawl. I think she has been crawling for a while at day care, but just started at home. The other day, I come in the house and she is sitting on the floor by her Daddy. She didn't want him and comes crawling over to me with tears streaming down her face. It was so cute and yet so sad... She likes her Daddy in the AM as he feeds her and brings her to daycare, but she is a Mommy's girl in the evenings.

Miss Heidi likes her Uncle Randy. He really enjoys his little "Peanut". He calls us up and says, "you going to be home, I baked Heidi a cherry pie" or "I baked her some bannana bread, can I run it over?"....

Shawn has been busy working and we are so thankful. Not many months ago, we thought he may have to leave and go work elsewhere and then the phone started ringing and he's been BUSY!

I'm starting my new job on the 30th. I'll be working as an advocate/paralegal with Legal Aid. The position involves housing and public assistance for the most part. I will try to mediate between renters and rentees to avoid eviction and mediate to ensure that individuals get the public assistance that they need/are eligible for. If it can't be resolved with me, it goes to trial with the attorney I will be working under.

This weekend should be fun. Dan, Mauri, Jay, Sarah, Jim, and Maggie are coming up. We are having a joint babyshower for Jay and Sarah Saturday night. Will be fun to see many of the Lindula's.

Take Care and enjoy your weekend!


Our world on Saturday looked like this. Driving down Palmer Wasilla Highway toward Palmer, the mountains ahead were gorgeous. Could have sat out there all day long and watched the clouds making them completely different every could of minutes.

Jumped in the car and took a 20 minute spin outdoors with the camera. Glad I did. Woke up Sunday to the world covered in white ... not just the mountains. Brock survived a nerve wracking "playing family taxi" day on Monday. His first experience with the driving in the white stuff. Hoping the weather gives me a chance this weekend to grab some photos ... and I'll share.

In other stuff over here:
  • Blayde is still studying ... Accounting and CAD this 5 week block of classes
  • Alyx is being the High School Senior and working at the assisted living facility
  • Brock is working at getting a job and it looks like he will hit the Honor Roll this semester
  • Anna has school, nose in the book and friends keeping her busy
  • Tia is Tia
  • The cabin now houses Blayde and Fred Kako ... he moved up here nearly a month ago
  • Samuli, a Finn foreign exchange student, is living here with us going to the Colony with the kids and will be here until May. It has been a learning experience for all of us!
  • I'm still working 40 hours  a week ... hopefully passing out more pain pills than puke buckets while I'm there during the day.
  • Jari has been working at whatever he can get his hands on. Doing small remodeling jobs and whatnot. He has also been working on the storage room in the basement. It is nearly done. Now someday when I have a small bit of extra energy .... I need to go organize down there. Will be nice!
  • We cook, clean, laugh, study, run our tails off being busy at who knows what, and are generally keeping busy at making it though daily life!
** Is this the new blogger format? If so ... I like it! Will go change my other one right now!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Brainerd again

There are several cacti in this pot.  Perhaps it's the Thanksgiving cactus that is now
blooming.  The inquisitive kid that was in the flower bed on the hillside is now peeking
from behind the cactus.  The Alaska flower pic from Anita is in the flower pot.


The African Violets are blooming.  Got new starts from a grocery store in Park Rapids.
The original ones were from Dorothy Armstrong's mother in 1964!  The Christmas cactus might show below and then again it may not.  We are inexperienced and with
dial-up anything can happen.

Me and T

Tristan enjoying grilled cheese he made while wearing
his apron from Auntie Jen.

Our first trip together to Vertical Endeavors climbing gym in Duluth.
You can't see them, but the leg straps were dragging on the ground
behind him.  It was quite comical.

Thomas the Train costume while he's holding good 'ole Thomas.
Got a nice pumpkin full of Candy at the Cherry Firehalls activities
then went to Grandma Kathy's neighborhood in which he was pulling
Grandma driving my Jeep behind him. 
We had to unhook the "train" at every house we went trick-or-treating at.

Hope all is well with everyone, we hope to have some fun pics of Tristan since he got his first pass at Giant's Ridge this year....Rental pass, he skis for free! And now that I fixed the posting problem, I will hopefully post lots more soon.  : )  LK&T

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


wow, nothing like a good ol' chewin out to light the fire under all our pants! not much new around here....the girls had today off school, and I was hoping to go to the veterans day parade, but lindsey was sick, so we couldn't go! We ended up having a chill day around here, and I was able to get some organizing done:)
Frans brought the girls to the zoo last saturday to see the komodo dragon...pretty neat! Members got to see it before they allowed the public to see it....and Toni made it in the paper!
I am ready for it to start cooling off here....I wore a sweatshirt and jeans today, and I was too hot!! It probably got to about 95! Still running our A/C! What's the weather like in MN and AK?
OK, now that that worked I will
try to post more tomorrow now that
I have figured this out! Have a great night! : )

Well I have no idea, but this is completely different than before...
Can anyone read this? I have a
text formatted style sheet....not the
nice user interface we used to have!
LK & T

Me and T


By the way, the kitten's name is Duchess!


New From Farmington

Ivan has asked me to post some pictures on the blog, so I will! Some of you may have seen on Facebook that we got a new kitten a week ago. She is a nine week old Chocolate Point Ragdoll. She was found abandond in a parking lot, and a lady from my church was fostering her for Last Hope. This lady new my mom had a cat similar to the ragdoll, so she brought her into church and showed my mom. Then my mom showed pictures of her to me and Ivan and I fell in love with the little cutie! She is really a very good kitten. I think she feels at home now and is exploring all the different parts of the house.
More fun news, we turned the heat on last night!!! After a year and a half, we finally have all the insulation in the exterior walls and attic. Ivan hooked up the new thremostat last night, and I came home to a warm house! We definately need to get the ceiling fans in because there is a definate temperature difference from the main floor to the second floor.
Ivan is working hard and lots of hours. They are on mandatory overtime right now, he has to work 4 weekend nights a month. (he is on third shift now, don't know if that has been posted yet)
I still have the four girls at work, and everything is pretty much the same. I have been babysitting a lot for the first baby girl I had here, Paisley. Her family moved to Belgium when she was six months, then to China this last spring, and now they live back here in the St. Louis Park area! It is great to see her and her brother!
Well, I should go wash dished before the babies get up from nap! Have a great day all!

Gettin yelled at!

Okay, "yelled" might be a little strong word... but, she's right. I havn't posted anything here for quite a while. So... HERE YA GO!

Now, keep in mind, that although this may seem like complete sensless rambling to some of you, in my head (somewhere deep) It actually does make a little bit of sense. Possibly only when I'm looking at it while I'm typing. But, if I don't look at it again after I'm done typing, then it will still make sense, right?

I'm told that today is a holiday... Not really sure which one. I know we don't have turkey in the fridge yet, or in the oven for that matter, so I'm thinking its probably not Turkey day. And then if I dig deeper into the depths of my mind, I know it aint Christmas yet... How? 'cause the plastic tree is still in the closet.

I rode my dirtbike over the weekend. To some that might be a minor thing... To me, its rather news worthy. I of course am riding it as slow as the gentleman was riding in his wheelchair that I saw at the grocery store... but hey... riding is riding!

Summer is going to stay all winter long this year. Although the forcasters will argue, I feel it in my bones... 'course, my bones are getting older, and slightly more confused every year...

I'm running out of things to rant about... errr oops I'm not ranting... I'm rambling...

Good day!


Kuoppalas and In-laws nation wide

Come on everyone. Some of you aren't posting anymore. Please get something
on this blog. Thank you. dk

Monday, November 02, 2009

Taryn's baptism...

We had Taryn's baptism yesterday... She was awake and smiling the whole time, it was so cute! Baptisms are such a special time, but why are they so stressful planning for??! Is this the case for anyone else that has planned one? But the day turned out wonderful, with good visiting and good food too:) As soon as the baptism ended, Taryn zonked out for hours!
All was perfect with the day until Trina kept me up all night! She didn't get a nap yesterday, and when she goes without a nap, she doesn't have a good nights sleep that night....wierd! so I am tired today!
Hope everyone has a great week!