WELCOME!!

this blog is a place for me to empty my brain in a diary sort of way, but also to share various family news, house building progress and whatever happens to pop into my mind! a place to ventilate! since I live in a country where I haven't grasped the language all that well yet, and I happen to be a person who really likes to socialize, I guess here I can get the "yakking" out of me! if you happen to have a good time "listening" - I take that as an added bonus! have a good day - it will only be as good as you want it to be!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We are still alive!

Well, well!  I am attempting to write a brief post, letting you know that we are still alive and well.

We have now lived in our new house for 4 weeks, and time has not stood still, not even for a moment!
So, what has happened?
We moved, and the move went as well as a move can go.  You know, messy, stressful, hair pulling, little sleep... and somehow it took place.  The day before we had to leave our previous rental, I felt tired and spent.  In many ways.  It's always emotional to move from one place to another, not really knowing what lays ahead.  It's also tiring and stressful.  No matter how much you prepare and organize and prepare in advance, the night before is always crazy.
It was the kids' last day of school.  Newborn baby to look after. One of our vehicles broke down... And you know, the daily stuff you need to do, like eat and stuff.
A few times I felt a few tears burning in my eyes, and I kind of felt like hiding in a closet and pretend that this wasn't our life.
But then you keep on going and make it happen.

The drive up to our new city, went well.  I drove the mini van (that Hubby had time to repair in the midst of the moving madness!, only a new starter motor required) and Hubby drove the Suburban with a trailer in tow.  I only had to stop 3 times to feed baby, so not bad!!  We made it up here early evening and unloaded the trailer and whatever stuff we had in the cars.
Then the 6 youngest kids and I spent Fri-Sun at friends house, while Hubby, friend's hubby and oldest daughter returned down to pack up the house in a moving truck.
Of course the big truck we had ordered wasn't available, so we got a smaller one, that didn't fit quite all of our stuff... So the following weekend Hubby had to drive down one more time to get the last of our stuff in a trailer.

In the mean time I spent the weekend at our friends' house, and several of our kids got stomach flu.  Gotta keep it interesting!!
Monday night we spent in our new home, and it felt nice and exciting.

Now my baby woke up and I need to feed her, but here is bit of what has been going on as of late!  Will write more later, but will sign off saying that life is going really well for us right now :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A chapter ending...

I am grabbing a moment to write a few lines.
Baby is sleeping and the rest of the gang is gone (it's strangely quiet in here!!) to watch the annual fireworks over the river between USA and Canada.
I didn't feel like bringing such a small baby along, the crowds are huge down there and it gets quite loud too.

Four more nights in this temporary home, then off to new adventures.
When we found this rental we signed a six months lease, and after that it's been on a month to month basis. We knew we weren't planning on staying in this house for long, but we didn't know that our next home would be in a different city!
We had planned to find a house in this area, and settle here for the time being.  But God had other plans.
It's with mixed feelings we leave this area behind.
I wasn't born in Canada to start off with, but this is the only city I have lived in, in this country, and the longest time I have lived in ANY city, in my life!  My hubby moved here with his parents and siblings when he was 5-6 years old (he moved to Canada when he was 4 1/2, and spent the first few years in Toronto), and has lived here more or less since then, besides some years spent in Finland as single and married.
So, this city has become our "base".
It's not a strikingly pretty city by any means.
It's rather polluted and boring, actually.
The summers can get nasty hot and humid, and the lakes are too polluted to swim in.
Doesn't sound so appealing, does it?
But home is where you create memories, where you birth and raise your children, where the good and the bad days take place.
Regardless of what the surroundings are like, the comfort of the familiar, the convenience of the known, become a security and a safe place to be.  It becomes HOME.

When we moved overseas four years ago, almost to the date!, it was such a big move in so many ways, and in my gut my only wish was to one day be able to return to Canada...
There were so many changes about to take place, it was hard to even sort out all the feelings and first impressions.
I remember being overwhelmed, and like in a daze, for a full four months after arriving to Finland.
Even if I enjoyed many parts of being there, the first while was quite intense.

Now we are moving to another city in Canada.
It's exciting and A LOT easier in so many ways.
But in some ways it's harder.  I know I'll be comparing the new city to this one.  I will miss some stores (the shopping here is a lot better and more varied), but I will enjoy the beautiful nature up there.  The winters might feel long, compared to here, but on the other hand, I will enjoy the cooler summers.
We will have four very distinct seasons, something I love!  The fall up there is spectacular with all the maple, birch, oak and other trees.  It's really like a mix of Canada and Finland.
There are lots of beautiful, clean, beaches to visit.
Berries to pick and the national park to hike in.
But it's different to what we are used to.

Again I feel myself taking a deep breath before taking another plunge.
Not knowing what the water will actually feel like.
I send a sigh above, praying that our Heavenly Father watches over us, as he has promised to do.
I need patience and strength in many ways.
I have 8 kids' needs to attend to.  Some of them will be homesick and miss living here, others are more neutral, while some are excited about the new.
Hubby can hardly wait to go fishing in the awesome rapids, where salmon and steelhead need to watch out!
I wish for a slower, more predictable, every day life.  Something I've craved for several years now. I pray that God grants my wish...

I will update when we have settled down a bit, until then, remember us in your prayers.






Tuesday, June 10, 2014

...and life can be a smooth road too!

I need to share an update, since we have some good news to announce!

First of all, last week we were going up to look at a house that we wished to rent in the city that we are about to relocate to.
Last minute the guy, who was offering the house for rent, backed out of the deal.  We felt pretty let down and discouraged by this, asking ourselves what we were really supposed to do.  Maybe we should stay where we are?  Hubby looked into different job options and we took a hard look at our situation.
If we decided to stay where we are, and no job comes up, our situation will just stay the same and that's not what we want.  So knowing that he has work elsewhere, we figured we need to find a rental where he has work, but IF a job comes up locally, before we find a rental, we'll stay here.

It's not like we "want" to move just to move.  We moved in 2010, 2011, 2013..so yeah, it's not THAT appealing in itself.  But sometimes you have to make changes, in order to achieve the desired change in your life, long term.
We also know that the house we are in right now is temporary, so regardless, we'd be looking for a different living arrangement before long.

So, after talking back and forth and reminding ourselves of what our goals are, not just for the moment, but also down the road, we prayed for God to show us the way.
I had a wish to find a house in a specific area, where we have friends and that is also close to schools, shopping etc.  The friends also have a daughter with diabetes (like our 3rd daughter) and they are already good friends, so we had wished for them to live close to each other for support, and maybe even be able to go to the same school.
A few weeks ago we had found a rental close to this family's house, and it sounded very promising.  I couldn't believe how well God was lining up things for us.  Until that deal fell through (due to the lady's plans changing).  I was so upset when that happened, but knew in my heart that God had something else in store for us.  Something that would better suit our needs.  But how could it be better than that?
Then we had the second house lines up, that also failed to work out.
So, like I said, we prayed that God would show us the way.

There was an ad for a big house, on a really nice street, up for rent.  It even had a pool in the backyard. The problem was the high rent.  One of my friends asked me to contact them anyway.  So I did, figuring there was nothing to lose.  My hubby also called and talked to the landlord, and she had some people come look at the house that evening.  She said she'd let us know how it went.  Well, those people didn't work out, and neither did several other families that came to look at it.
On Thursday she sent us a bunch of pictures of the house and we emailed back and forth.  We were able to find common ground on the rent amount and after some more emailing during the next few days, she told us "The house is yours!" on Saturday eve!!
She trusted us her house without even meeting us, saving us a trip up there.
God surely walked ahead of us, preparing the way.

It's always so humbling, and such a great reminder, that God is indeed almighty and HE leads the way where we are supposed to be.  And yes, this house WILL be better than either of the other two.  So with thankful hearts, and busy minds, we now have 3 weeks to get this place packed up and our family ready to move!
Off to yet another new start, leaving a good place behind, knowing we have a good place ahead of us.  We are truly blessed.

And thanks for all the prayers, they were needed, we felt them, and they were heard.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Life can be a bumpy ride...

I have to literally carve out time to write a blog entry these days.  Whew.  Little Gabriella turned a month old yesterday and she has already brought so much love and joy to our home.  It sure is special to a have new little person in the family.
She's growing fast and is a strong little girl, we are more than a little bit proud of her.

So, the last month has obviously been focused mostly on her, but it sure hasn't been boring otherwise either.
Hubby took some time off after she was born, and then was laid off, so he's not working at the moment (not construction anyway).  He has been able to start working part time, from home, for his old boss, doing accounting and analyzing for their air-line leasing business.  He actually loves that kind of work a lot!  Since we can't provide for our family solely on these part time hours, hubby has been busy looking for other work as well.
He has been offered full time work for a construction business in another city, and so we decided that a move might -again!!!- be necessary...
So we found a few houses to rent, and for a while it looked like things were falling into place quite nicely, making it seem like this is what we are meant to be doing.  We informed our landlord that we'll be moving out of our rental at the end of June, contacted the new schools our kids would be starting in the fall etc.
Then one of the rental houses fell through, but we figured, "Ah well, no big deal, we still have a second option" (that was more or less a done deal, we just wanted to go and see the house and sign the lease) until that house owner decided to sell his house instead of renting it out...

So.  Back to looking for a rental again.  It is not easy to find a house big enough for us, so it is more than a bit stressful and overwhelming, and we are second guessing our decision.  Of course most of our friends and family had heard about our latest plans and our kids have already told their friends at school that we'll be moving.  When you have made those announcements, you have already unloaded a lot of emotions that you carried up to that point.  Then things came to a halt, bringing new emotions to the pot.
Argh.  It is not very enjoyable or easy at all.
At the moment I am just trying to disconnect for a few days and just let myself float in God's hands.
But with moving boxes already brought up from the basement and things "hanging mid air", it's hard not to think about this whole situation.
I was fortunately able to extend our stay at our rental house to the end of July for now (thanks to our great landlord!), so that eases some of the stress.

I just wish I had a crystal ball that could show me what we are supposed to do.  If we move, I am fine with that but also sad about leaving what we have now in this city.  On the other hand, if we stay here, I know we'll be disappointed as well, and make some people sad.  I would be fine with not actually moving though. This would be our 4th move in 5 summers... so if we don't move this summer would be fine!  But if hubby doesn't work and doesn't find work here (he has tried and applied for many jobs locally), we will be in a pretty hard spot economically, so we realize that sometimes you have to make changes in order to better your life long term.
Life isn't easy, and I suppose it shouldn't be, but these last 4-5 years have brought a bit more change and excitement than we ever asked for.

I just have to try to focus on the good and to be thankful for all the things that are good and easy in our life.
We have a beautiful, healthy new baby to enjoy.
We have great kids and a happy marriage.
We are healthy.
We have food for the day and all the essential things that make life convenient, like cars, means to cook, clean and do laundry.
We have hopes and dreams for our future, we have faith and friends.
I pray that God will soon show us the right direction and that we'd be given patience and wisdom to accept whatever we are dealt.



Sunday, May 4, 2014

She's here!!

Welcome Gabriella May!  Born on May 3rd, weighing 8lbs 3oz/3720gr and was 20 1/2"/51.5cm long.  A healthy and perfect baby :)

We feel so blessed and happy.  Hubby made it home Friday evening at 8.30 pm.  6 hours later my water broke!!  At 11.26 am Gabriella was born.  Good thing hubby was here with me, I sure needed him at my side.

We are now at home, resting and enjoying our new little miracle.

10 minutes "old"

Our little rosebud :)

Happy parents of 8 kids <3 

Gabriella May <3

Friday, April 25, 2014

Final count down...

I haven't written much this spring.  I take it as a sign that our life is fairly uneventful = not a whole lot to share.

We had a beautiful Easter weekend in every way.  The weather was gorgeous and believe it our not, spring did arrive!!  Unusually late, but this last month has contained many sunny and fairly warm days.
Magnolias are starting to bloom, bushes are green, dandylions are decorating peoples lawns, trees are also budding and turning green.  I love it :)



Here are some pictures of our gang at Easter btw, for once we remembered to take pictures when they were all in their dressy clothes!  Fun memories of a nice weekend.

Hubby is still working out of town.  He's been applying for work locally, but without luck for now.  This is not the situation we wanted, but him sitting at home doing nothing isn't a better alternative, so for now I am more or less a single mom.  He's been able to be home for the weekends lately, so that's very nice.
On Sunday he needs to head up to a new project that's starting 6-7 hours drive from here.  It's north east of Toronto, so if the traffic is bad, driving back home could easily take 8 hours.  In other words, if I go into labor when he's up there, his chances of him attending the baby's birth are very slim.
I really hope that won't happen, so my "goal" is to have the baby this weekend ;)
I have 11 days left to my estimated due date (May 6th) and I usually go overdue, but, you never know!

I am feeling more and more ready for this baby to arrive and I've been in the so called "nesting mode" as of late.  Meaning, I am trying to get all sorts of stuff done before the baby's arrival.  I have that restless energy, while also feeling pretty wiped from being big and pregnant.  My quality of sleep at night is definitely compromised, I need to use the bathroom very frequently and turning is a pain...
Ah well.  Soon I'll be up all night with a newborn, so I might as well get into the groove of things again!

The kids have another 2 months of school left, here they go till the end of June.  Over all this first year of school back in Canada has gone well for them all, and now our little guy is talking a lot about starting school/Kindergarten in the fall.  I think he'll be ready when September arrives, which makes it much easier for me to send him away!  We sure enjoy our days together at home though and he keeps me truly entertained!

I hope to update you all with some exciting news in the near future, till then, I hope you are all having a wonderful spring!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring is here!!!

Spring is here.  Not really.  But it sounded good, so I wrote that.
It's actually snowing as I write.  But 1st day of spring did arrive last week, with no signs of it at all.
Our snow is more or less gone though, so bonus to that.

But, let's not talk about weather, soon enough we'll be complaining about the heat and humidity.

On another note, today I have 6 more weeks to go to my estimated due date.  Not bad!
I waddle forward and am feeling more and more ready for this new person to make its entrance.
I have more and more discomforts and sleeping is kind of a joke.  I am out of breath and get very light headed when I try to do stuff.  Good thing I can just sit on the couch and stare while my house takes care of itself ;)
He, he, he.  Super funny.

Last week our oldest daughter turned 16.  SIXTEEN!!!  What???
It feels way more recent than that.  I very clearly remember a bright eyed little bundle, full of joy and poopy diapers, that we brought home on a cold March day.  I felt absolutely and utterly clueless.  I felt that the hospital staff was incredibly irresponsible for allowing me to take her home, as if I knew what I was doing!! But sure enough, at about 40 hours young, they sent us out the door, wishing me luck as a first time mom.
My husband had an evening shift and all his family were out of town, so there we sat, the new baby and I, trying to figure out how this baby business worked!!
Somehow we survived those first few weeks.  Our baby cried.  A lot.  And nothing fell smoothly into place. I kept looking for an instruction label on her, but all in vain.

And now, our little guinea-pig, turned 16.  I don't know how, but she actually turned out quite OK!
Now she's getting ready to get her beginners licence and looking for a part time job.  She's kind of almost grown-uppish.  

It gives me hope to see my big kids grow up and becoming decent young people, knowing that I still have many more to raise.  I very much enjoy my younger ones too though, realizing how fleeting their "little kid" stage is.  Our 4-year old keeps me laughing every day, he's a hilarious kid, and he knows so many things, I can't help but being impressed.

We are all looking forward to meeting the baby.  My hubby is worried he'll be at work (2 1/2 hours away), when I suddenly have to go to the hospital.  It's actually quite likely to happen, but I am not worried.  It will work out somehow.  I kind of hope I get to shock the socks off of him and interrupt his day with a "My water broke" phone call :)
He has promised to drop his tools and run when the time arrives...
I can totally see him doing that, and the image makes me smile.  He's so excited, like we've never had a baby before.  Or maybe it's because we've had babies before that he's so excited??  Regardless, I love seeing dad's so excited about becoming a dad again.

Well.  As you can see, the new baby is what's on our minds most of the time these days.  I pray for strength and patience these last weeks.  At times it sounds soooo long, and then I'm all "WOW!! it's really coming up!! I wonder if I'll remember how to take care of a newborn again!!"
But at least we had our guinea-pig 16 years ago, and a "few" after her, and they have all taught us something, so I bet I just might catch on again.