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!