Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Our Year in California

Took some time out to homeschool four children (with this program) in California for a year...
Realized after a few messages and flags from friends, that I have not been keeping up with my blog!


I scurried over to housewife to look for pictures to show all the children's work and the website that kept my precious photos are no longer supported by google. If you know me, I have no idea what that means (but I want to learn).

Meanwhile, let this be a hello as we settle back into Finland and get to know the rhythm of life. Just know the Lord has been good and the time with the children was really rich and I am already seeing the blessing from it. Until then...

Friday, February 6, 2015

Maisonet: Teetä, Sisustus js Lahjatavarat {Teas, Decor, and Gifts}

Every other week I am blessed to go do something on my own or with partapoika {beard-boy}. Sometimes I plan my night out and other times I am rushed with last minute decisions. I call my man who is on his way by bus to meet me at the station and at the same time calling my friend about a shop near Tuomiokirkko in Helsinki.
Light wet flurry snow falls as it dances against the city lights. I feel like a kid again and smile at the show of snow twirling around us. We are also kind of in a rush so I run up ahead of Mikko to make sure I get there before closing. I find the correct address {Mariankatu 24} and come in from the wet into a dry haven. It feels like home with all the decor and tea around me. I call 'Hallo!' and a tall man appears from a side room and greats with a smile, it's Tapio Korri. I introduce myself and how I got to know about the place. Mikko comes in after with more introductions.
The guys start talking and I start looking at the tea and the beautiful French design and decor about the rooms. The place, MAISONET, a decorating and gift shop with an assortment of Kusmi Tea (High end tea). Apparently, this shop has been blogged about before. Someone once stopped in for they had heard this sort of tea was accessible via blog. The shop is both run by Sirpa and Tapio, they would love to have you! Tervetuloa!
I pick an herbal for Mikko and I. When we are unable to have a date OUT we brew a cup of tea on our date IN. {Yes, it is true. One can date their spouse in the house!}.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Akillesjänne Leikaus ja Paraneminen {Achilles Surgery and Recovery}

I am reminded that I underwent achilles surgery last January 2014. I was uncertain of what I would undergo so I frantically searched the internet for this particular surgery and specifically for runners like myself. Would I be able to run again? Will I wear a cast? Or a shoe? Or both? Who will make dinner? Will the hubs manage without me? On and on the questions went.

So there we were unaware that I even ripped my achilles watching the Salanne movie. At the part where he shows all the parts of his body that he had broken and-or had surgery on, my hubs looks at me and says, ¨You need to see a sport doctor¨.

Next thing I know I am emailing my physical therapist for references. The closest doctor, Kallio Tapio (In Finland you refer the doctors last name then first name). I had no I idea how popular he was until after surgery. He is also apart of the Anti-doping league if I understand correctly. After I had announced my surgery to friends I received a hardy recommendation about him from a friend and ex-neighbor who saw him in her ballet days. The same practice does surgery on all the serious hockey players (you see the jerseys framed on the walls of their department). My ex-neighbor had surgery on her knee weeks before at the same place, different surgeon.

So on to my experience:

Things I learned about achilles surgery and recovery.

1. See a sport doctor if you hear a snap! I do not recommend jumping on a gym box not made for your height. I was with my husband (who is nearly two meters) at the the gym when he challenged me to join his alternating leg jumping activity. So there I was opposite side of the box and there we were jumping like crazy when all of the sudden I landed on my left heel and hear a SNAP! If you hear something like that, see a sport doctor or go to ER to get it in a boot so no more damage is done. I could not walk but yet there was no pain. It was very odd. I thought I was about to puke and my head was spinning. Still I thought the popping was from a screw I found under my shoe. Yes, it is true. A screw.

2. If you get spinal headache from an epidural ask for a blood patch.
Now, I am not sure if they do those in Finland. However, I got a headache and it lasted a week. My mother reminded me later she had a blood patch done after I was born via c-section. My doctor decided on an epidural because my nervousness with being put to sleep. I have birthed four children {two home births} and never got an epidural before, yes, it was my first. All I remember was laughing and them showing me my leg after surgery, ¨See, this is yours¨, I continued laughing, ¨Really?¨

3. Let your doctor know if you are sensitive to medications.
Seemed like I was given something for everything:
¨Here, take this for pain.¨
¨Take this sugar IV.¨
¨Take this salt IV.¨
¨Take this for swelling.¨
I was quite dizzy and felt like I could not settle down. I was scheduled to leave home that evening but because of my condition I had to stay the night. The night nurse was real sweet and quite talkative for being a Finn. The following morning I puked everything and felt much relieved. By that time I was moved to a private room away from the patients due to come in that day. Side note: If I could change the decor of that place it would be the curtains. Have you seen their children's room? I wanted to sleep there! :D No thank you to grey-blue drab. Who would want to stay there? Then again maybe that was their purpose, they want you IN and OUT.

4. Let other people help you.
I realized I had to let my ability to do daily routine go: Housecleaning, food prep {I nearly live in the kitchen}, playing with children, transporting children to and from school, etc. EVERYTHING. At that time I took a break from social media, so I had no idea what was going on. All I could do was sit with my bandaged leg and lovely black shoe. My darling hubs proved to be an expert at pancakes and if I remember correctly some yummy fried steak. We were fortunate to get house help with government aide and had my friend, Reetta clean and play with the kids. This began our six year old's ability to learn skills with Inken Aarre {a popular board game}. The children began to help more and the whole family began to blossom. I also got to read more with them due to my constant sitting position.

5. Be consistent with physical therapy. 
I had my boot and stitches on for about six weeks and had a follow-up with Kallio the day before our trip to Spain. Boot and staples were removed and I was on my way. My physical therapist, Tähkälä, Juha with Fysiosporttis gave a program that best fit my physical needs and abilities. The physical therapy also helped me improve my weight training and finding proper balance and appropriate techniques.

I bought a used stationary bike and used it consistently. We still use the bike to this day during Koiran Ilma ¨Dog air¨days. Sometimes we hang our laundry on it and makes a great door stop for our master bed room! ;) My last appointment with Tähkälä was before summer and I was off to running already by then.

I ran the yearly Naistenkymppi in an exhausted 51 minutes. {It was hot and the course had been changed drastically uphill. I know, excuses}. My best in that race has been 47 minutes, so really, not bad after surgery. My blind friend even beat me, which I passed her the year before. I ran a fall 10k in Leppävaara at 49 minutes, plus our traditional run in the countryside 17.8k at 1:36 {Hubs thinks it's my best}.

6. Wear Compression Socks.
My first pair cost more than I expected at a specialty shoe shop. Only to find out later that most the sport shops have them. They are cheaper and provide a plethora of color. I used them on my long runs to prevent swelling. It is also recommended to hand wash them so that they last longer. Not the most attractive things during summer, but hey, sporty!

7. Pride Comes before the fall.
The old proverb proved true. Before ripping my achilles I was running at a really nice speed. I was tearing up the tread mill at the gym and getting better times than in College Cross Country. FOR REAL. I was thinking I was hot stuff and could conquer the whole town by my awesome amazing running skills. NOT. Seemed like everywhere I went I saw other people taunting their crutches and wheel chairs. I started thinking about others who are lonely and without company, even the bed ridden. I really am well off and in good hands, and sometimes this happens for reasons unexplained and to be revealed in the last days when my dying body and or dead body will be restored to the likeness of God's Son. It actually, caused me to see the frailty of life and get my eyes off myself. THAT is a GOOD thing.

So when folks ask about my recovery I tell them, ¨En voi valittaa.¨ {I cannot complain}.

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:


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