Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hyvää Isän Päivää! {Finnish Father's Day}

Hyvä Isä

Before our own children, you were nervous to hold a child,
But now go on all fours with them so mild.

You care so greatly for their needs,
 how much more for what their heart feeds.

You're a gifted leader to show the way,
from practical know-how to the Lord's commands and what they say.

You show them how to love me, your wife,
with love and respect all of your life.

When you fail you confess to family members all,
Your need for Christ from sinful fall.

You do not show off to those around you,
but have a child-like mind to play too.

With gratefulness to our Heavenly Father I pray,
that he gifted our children with a godly earthly man today.

Not perfect, nor God, but humbled in test,
given great mercy through the work of Jesus, that's the best!

And because of this love, you spill it to others, children beside,
with no daddy or setä to be with and bide.

To which we all thank you for being daddy and setä,
Happy Finnish Father's Day and Hyvää Isän Päivää!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

{Ode to Daddy} 60th birthday

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Peter 1:3-5

My family tells stories, namely my mother. You know which stories will come up when we are discussing certain topics. My mother's eyes brighten and out comes the same story we have heard for the zillionth time. Us kids give each other looks like, oh great here it comes. But you know, years down the road I have realized it has given me a chance to write about it. Many cultures live off of stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. So thank you mom!

Today is my daddy's birthday! Thanks to my uncle and family preserving film footage, we have old black and white tapes...somewhere of my daddy as a child and tons of pics that spew nostalgia. {You mean people printed pictures, what is that?!} Being a history major and Scrapbooker these are certainly good times for myself flipping through pics from the past.

My dad was born in 1954. He was apart of the baby boomer generation. First my uncle Mark, then my uncle Paul, then later my daddy! He lived on the kind of street where everyone knew each other and when the first neighbors got a television it was like a neighborhood attraction. As my father got older he went to high school which was right down the street. This is where he met my mother. She had broken her foot  (or sprained it) and the story goes they were both in Future Farmers of America and he offered to carry her over the mud (as I remember). One of his pick-up lines was ¨Have you been to one of my parties?¨ My dad was a fun guy doing fun guy stuff like toilet papering rival schools' farm animals.

He was also a runner in high school and some of college (of which I got his running gene). In fact, when I was born my dad was at a track meet when he heard I was coming and drove as fast as he could to see mom and I in his little VW bug in the pouring rain. I will let dad write about that another time. Anyway...

My parents bought a mobile home thinking they would live in Anaheim, California but all the mobile home parks were for retirees. So it was the case that they moved to Riverside County, Perris. Here my dad worked at a grocery store and eventually chose night shift to put food on the shelves {In Finland they stock shelves Monday morning while I am trying to find my way around the employees}.

He managed baseball fields while my brothers played little league, {I can even taste the nachos and hot dogs right now} and was my track coach for one year too.

My dad had his job up until just before I got married. He pulled his back picking up a chlorine box. This got him thinking about his life. At the time I was attending a Christian university engaged to Mikko. Afterwards, as it goes he sought the Lord, and over the years I have seen real fruit from his faith and genuine added interest in the lives of his children. Clearly only the work of Christ and answer to many of my mother's prayers. 

I say this as an encouragement to my father. Although I am sure you would have done so many things differently as a husband and father if you could...Christ died for our shame and guilt. How beautiful it is that Christ is in the business of making all things new! This is the power of God for salvation of those who believe. And you believe!

I thank God he gave me father with a sense of humor. It is quite infectious, our whole family could have a whole conversation just cracking jokes {maybe difficult for Finns to understand, trust me, I am married to one ;)} 

I wonder why I take initiative to fix, build, create, and throw out ideas. Thanks to my parents for finding us property where I can do that and build forts out of the branches my daddy cut off. I spent a lot of time outside exploring the hills and neighborhood. And remember duct tape does wonders...

He played good music on a record player. Whenever I hear The Beatles, the Carpenters, or the Doors, I think of him.

I thought it hilarious when I asked my dad about how things worked. He would go out into long detailed information and sometimes I would remember getting lost. Just dawned on me that I do the same thing...

So...as not to get my audience lost. Happy Birthday daddy we love you! Love, Heidi





Sunday, October 5, 2014

From Teacher to Parent

Dear well neglected blog, 

I seem to have fallen off the blog wagon AGAIN. Understandably, this fall took me for a loop. Throw in confusion, adjustments, stress, but all in all at the end of the day it rests in the hands of the Lord. What would I do without HIM? Now that I am a mother and not paid teacher, I see how sometimes unfair I was of my expectation from parents. Oh, how humbling that is! 

¨Why are they late!?¨
¨Why did they forget their homework!?¨
¨Why are they in hobbies!?¨

Now the pendulum has swung and hit me smack in the face. BONG! Here I am making sure children are on time to school, checking their homework and enjoying them enjoying their hobbies! The teachers are overly gracious and I am trying as I may to organize their little lives so we can all have order and peace. 

Trust me, we do set up routine in the afternoon:

Snack
Rest-Homework
Chores
Play!!!!!

However with good intentions sometimes life does not go like this and that. So thank you teachers for putting up with us for not reading WILMA every evening.  {WILMA is the communication site for schools}. I think at the end of the day it is the last thing I think to check. I understand most of the Finnish, but when you have not read it in awhile and you are exhausted from the day it looks like someone wrote a novel in Finnish and I am like,  ¨Heh???¨ 

However, The text messages to remind me to check WILMA are actually really helpful. I am also grateful to my husband who regularly checks it too. Environmentally, it saves from wasting lost unknown papers that may not have made it to their backpacks. ;)

Now that the schedule is pretty set, I can focus a little bit better. Until then...smile like my zucchini! (Fresh from our garden hiding from an army of snails).

By His Grace, Heidi


Friday, July 11, 2014

Dear Maria

Dear Maria,

Yes, it seems our home has become a Moomi talo {Moomi House} of sorts. We not only have a student live with us {we call him our adopted son} but sometimes a flow of guests come through and we make adjustments: There are rooms to delegate, the table is extended and every chair in the house is sought after. There are shower turns and when the kids hit the sack our home becomes like that of Doctor Luther in the old days. The tea is made and the intellectual conversation begins. {In fact, tonight, the Kirlat comes tonight this weekend as well}

It was so good to have you and your family at the wedding. I wish our rush to the train was caught on film. Mikko and our kids ahead, Tommi getting your kids wisped behind and us mama's checking that we have everything in hand before we lock the door. You and I running with our fabulous hair {soon to be flat} in dress shoes {you the smart one, me not so smart in heals}. We reach Tommi and I pick up F under one arm as Mikko stands in the door way so the train conductor doesn't leave us behind. We enter in huffing and puffing as on lookers smirk at our fine dress and panting disposure.

I am surprised our garden survived after a few days being away too. I am pretty much clueless with gardening but learn along the way. This year I took a mixture of Lori's city-kana {city chicken} compost from Pitsku and used that for gardening. I am also trying {key word: trying} to grow a tomato plant my neighbor gave me. Great story about how I got it from her, but I will leave that for another time. Anyway, she told me to break the lower leaves of the tomato plant off to help it grow better. So far I have one tomato. Woo hoo!

For Juhannus {Midsummer} we invited several people over. Friday the Rossit and Saturday the Suomelat and Joupilat. Normally, we are in the country side. However, we decided to go during berry picking. Although I heard there may not be as much blueberries to pick this year :(.

We have candy day too. Sometimes I think it is too much even though I try to encourage other healthier options. Still they suggest Tutti Frutti or a Lauantai pussi. Yäk! {Eewe}. I still enjoy my Pirkka brand fair trade chocolate with raw chocolate bits.

While our two of our family members had vatsa tauti {stomach virus} I took S to the outdoor flea market and met up with Hanna. You know how fun she is. I can make my much useless jokes and she laughs. If I  do not make sense she straightens her face and asks for clarification. :D I bought a whole bunch of clothes for P next year for under 20 euros. Check.

This week was Helsinki Cup and both our boys did really well. One moved up to second level instead of fourth because they won all their games by a long shot! Both boys were awarded fair play cards, those little team banners, and something else. Kind of proud parents here...

P took an art course at the same time so it was really nice that I could scream cheer in Finnish and when really excited in English. Try to remind myself they are young and it is just a game but the competitive side comes out of me! I learned from my appi {father-in-law} that when the ball goes past the goal out of the field it means it: meni keitiön puolella {went to the kitchen side}.

I finally got my new calendar made! Yes, it took six months to finally get it done. Now I can plan my ¨Own time¨, date nights, etc. It helps when those things are planned ahead of time before you realize you are overwhelmed with life and the complexities of it. I am not just a housewife, so learning to regulate that time where needed is really important. Yet, at the same time flexible to those surprising times when your family has vatsa tauti for one week. Not fun, but I think attitude is everything and embracing hard, overwhelming times is important too.

Hope your art showing is going well in Germany! 

Miss you as always, Heidi

P.S. That's right! Best party in Heaven!






Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dear Heidi


Dear Heidi,

(Dear readers, this edition will be in Finnish. If you do not understand, then you know what I get to learn everyday. Love, Heidi)
Tänään suomeksi. Kiitos kun saatiin yöpyä teillä. Kotinne on kuin Muumitalo. Aina valmiina ottamaan vieraat vastaan vaikka niiskuneitejä, myitä ja muumipeikkoja on omastakin takaa! Kiitos myös paketista, jossa oli kaikkea uhohtamaani tavaraa. Meillä on jostain syystä täällä yksi poikien pariton sukka, pikkuauto ja yksi kurahanska! Postissa tulee sitten!

Mokat: Olen tappanut monta kasviani ennen kuin ne pääsivät ulos kasvamaan. Parsaa, auringonkukkia, ja muutaman tomaatintaimi. Moni on silti onneksi vielä hengissä. Liian paljon ajateltavaa ja kukkien kastelu ei näemmä ole mahtunut mieleen!

On juhannusaatto ja sain juuri talon siivottua. Imuroidessa mietin lisää arjen ja juhlan teoriaani. Tähän asti pääsin viimeksi jutellessamme: Kumpaankin on oma aikansa ja kumpikin on hyviä asioita. Ja kumpaankin väsyy jos sitä on liikaa yksistään.
OK. Jumala tulee restauroimaan kaikki, niin että ne tuottavat Uudessa maassa sen ilon ja ylistyksen ja kunnian mitä alun alkaen pitikin. Kaikki ympärillä on vain heijastus tulevasta. Tänään mietin mitä ongelmia voi seurata jos niitä ei erottele ja sotkee yhteen. 

Suklaapatukka ostosten yhteydessä -> jenkkakahvat. 
Mutta karkkipäivä viikossa on vähän niin kuin juhlapäivä, jota myös äiti ja isi odottavat :D.

Elä joka päivä niin kuin viimeistä päivää. -> Kaikki on sekasotkussa kalenterissa, kotona ja sähköpostissa.
Mielummin, jos mahdollista, se työaika, jonka jälkeen olisi vapaata. Joka päivä. Myös kotiäideille!

Puhuimme viimeksi myös "omasta ajan oikeudesta". Vajaan viiden vuoden aikana olen usein yrittänyt sovittaa internetiä ja pienten lasten kanssa kotona olemista yhteen. Kotitöiden ja lasten sovittaminen toisiinsa. Taiteen tekoa kotona. Käsitöitä kotona. Sähköpostin kirjoittamsta lasten keskellä. Jopa karvalakkipuhelimen peruskäyttö tämän kaiken keskellä on joskus haastavaa, niin kuin läheiseni tietävät. Ja omaksi ajaksi olen kutsunut karkkipöntölle karkaamista kun silmä muilta välttää :). Fun!
Oikeasti, jotkut haluavat töihin, koska kotona tulee burn out. Meillä on jokseenkin hyvin pätenyt sääntö, jonka mukaan työtä ei saa tehdä lasten nukkumaanmenon jälkeen eli  20:00. Nyt on yksi näyttely, joka pitää saada valmiiksi, joten olemme joustaneet ja elokuvien sijaan katselleet editointiohjelmaa. Se on poikkeus eikä onneksi tule kestämään pitkään. Katson jo parin viikon päähän jolloin on deadline. Ja vapaata. (Tietyin rajoituksin.) Sitä Omaa Aikaa.

Osaan iloita arjesta, kun näin asioiden tulevan valmiiksi. Siksi olen nyt tyytyväinen. Koti on siisti, ainakin tämän päivän. Sain myös viimeinkin kirjoitettua tämän kirjeen sinulle! Pian teen juhannuskakun, koska meidän perheessä on aina ainakin kakku kun on jonkin sortin juhla. Ja sitten laitetaan pikkuisen nätimmät vaatteet. Juhannus ei lapsuudessani ja nuorudessani ollut mitenkään erityinen juhla. Pikkusiskon synttärit olivat silloin. Nyt kodin hengettärenä haluan pitää juhlat aina kun siihen on mahdollisuus. Pikku ballerinakin luultavasti haluaa esittää liihottelutanssin ohjelmanumeroksi, ja pistää juhlamekon.
Juhlahumu on tarttuvaa :D.

Hyvää juhannusta  perheellesi!

P.S. Maanantaina tulen olemaan ehkä väsynyt ja vähän ärtyinen. Olen varmaan innoissani söheltänyt itseni puhki kakkujen, kukkien ja grillijuttujen kanssa, soitellaan! 

Parhaat bileet on Taivaassa, epäilemättä!
Maria