Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Okay, so we are in the middle of our fourth month of living in Finland. Snow still covers the ground. Every SINGLE time we think the snow is finally starting to melt, we get MORE snow. It's been rough living in a snowy place. I don't know if I've fully embraced it yet. I rarely want to go outside, but I force myself.

A few weeks ago we visited Jyväskylä and stayed with a wonderful Finnish family. We were introduced to some true Finnish food. Around Easter time they come out with this dessert called Mämmi. I've been spotting in the freezer section at the store and basically thought it was a compilation of dog food and dirt uh, definitely not dessert. I've enclosed a picture. You take a scoop, add a little milk and about a teaspoon of sugar. It's actually okay, in small quantities. It's made with rye flour and rye malt. For those of you wondering what is tastes like, the internet describes it as this: its malty flavour somewhat resembles the Irish beers Guinness or Murphy's Irish Stout, being only slightly sweeter and thicker in consistency. Glad we got to try it!

We enjoyed having the team from Virginia Tech here last week. Jason got to spend most of the time with them, working with them on the outreach at the university. Delaney and I got to spend Friday with them sight seeing and EATING in Helsinki. We got to have a very TRADITIONAL Finnish dinner, reindeer and mashed potatoes. It was surprisingly very GOOD!
Every now and then I get glimpses of how beautiful it will be here in the summer, I long for those days. The Lord has been so good to us. I'll leave with this. As I was standing at the sink washing dishes tonight the song, Great is Thy Faithfulness came to my head, I sang. You all know the words but for some reason they meant so much more to me today. I was just reminded how the Lord is ALWAYS good, all I've needed, the Lord has always provided.

Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have NEEDED, Thy hands have PROVIDED. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Open Day-Care

Earlier this week I experienced a perk of living in Finland. It's called Open Day Care. Basically, they have these facilities all over the city. You bring your child, they have all kinds of crafts, toys and activities for the kids to do. Moms hang out and talk while the kids play. They have a full kitchen, you can bring your lunch and make it there. On certain days they will have special things arranged for the moms. The day I went there was a masseuse. You could get a half hour session for 14 euro. I had another mom convince me to go AND she paid my way!! (Thanks again Hannah) The rest of the moms just keep an eye on your kid, it was really cool.

While I was getting my massage the masseuse was asking me a few questions, he spoke pretty good English. However, I was alarmed by the next question he asked. Out of no where the masseuse asked, "How does it TASTE?" My mind starts racing and I'm asking myself, oh lordy, what have I gotten myself into? In my head I'm like WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU ASKING SIR??? Instead of freaking out I politely say, "Excuse me?" He followed up with, "Oh, I'm sorry. How does it FEEL? Whew....that was a relief. I'm still laughing two days later.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Spit or Not to Spit

I thought I'd share with you some random things I've been observing here in Finland. There are so many things that Finns do that are so different from what I'm used to. About the second day here we noticed that Finland is a SPITTING culture. People will just hawk it up and spit anywhere and everywhere. I know we do this in America, it's just not as apparent. As I was walking to the train station this guy in front of me kept spitting about every three minutes AND he had squeaky shoes. To my enjoyment (major sarcasm implied) we were on the same train coming home and I got to walk behind him the whole way to our apartment. You have to watch where you walk, sit, lean and lay your bags. What's funny is the temperature never gets warm enough so the spit just freezes on the ground. This is my random observation for the week, I know it's gross but it had to be mentioned. Plus a bird pooped on Delaney today and I had to clean it off with a leaf. I don't do vomit, poop or spit. It was nice to come home.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thank You! (Probably going to be boring if you're not a FAMILY MEMBER)

Thank you to ALL our wonderful family and friends for sending Christmas cards, gifts and your love. We surely know that the Post Office and UPS have made a killing off of us living in Finland!! Sometimes I don't mention people by name but we are so thankful for your love and kindness.

Thanks MOM for the awesome Panera Bread bagels you mailed us, totally made our day!! Thank you for the gifts and the volunteer project you did, YOU ROCK!

Thank you Alan and Sharon for shipping Delaney's Dora the Explorer couch, so kind of you, we really appreciate that!! Thank you for the gifts you mailed and the shopping spree you took us on before we left.
Thank you Dad, Sheila and Jenny for the wonderful gifts. Delaney loves to snuggle with her new princess blanket and likes to drive us crazy with the slide whistle. Thank you for Christmas money.

Thank you Karen and Phil for the wonderful gifts, Delaney loves her new jackets and princess doll. Thank you for the Christmas money! Also to Bob and Ruth, thank you for the Christmas money.
Thank you Jessica, Josh and Jordan for the movies and season 2 of The Office (we're addicted).
Thank you for all the other great stuff too!

Aunt Paula, Uncle John, Kendra, Adam - thank you for the ICE CUBE TRAYS!! Delaney loves her puzzles and drawing stuff. Kendra, thanks for donating to Lottie Moon!!

Aunt Linda, Uncle Jerry, Amanda - thank you for the items from home and the wonderful stuff for Delaney. She loves her outfits and puzzle and all the other great stuff!

Thank you grandma and grandpa for the gifts. Delaney loves her tiara and her princess sweatshirt.
I hope you know how much we appreciate each and everyone of our family members. We are so thankful for you making our first Christmas in Finland special for us. There are very MANY of you and sometimes you might get overlooked (it's not on purpose). I'm trying to be better in that area of my life. We pray you have a wonderful NEW YEAR!

Vampires, Mummies and Christmas Eve

As I'm sure for most of you the holiday season has FLOWN by. We had a wonderful first Christmas in Finland. We attend church here with an American family from Utah (no they actually aren't Mormon), they invited us over for Christmas Eve dinner. We ate turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. I do love most of Finland's food but a girl has to have her pumpkin pie!! It was nice to have the tastes of home. On Christmas Eve most families in Finland will go to the cemetery and place candles on the grave of a loved one who has passed away. We went out after dinner to the cemetery and it was absolutely beautiful (spooky, but beautiful), there were candles everywhere. At one point I did feel like I was in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Anyways.....

The past two weeks I've been having a hard time figuring out what my place is here. I feel like I'm not doing enough or giving enough or not being used enough. God totally answered my question. I was able to have a girl over for lunch and got to pray with her and encourage her. Please continue to pray that we might have more opportunities like these.

Tonight is New Year's Eve and there is quite a show going on outside our window. It's like the Fourth of July here. People are able to buy serious fireworks so we're in for a LOUD night. Delaney thinks she's at Disneyland!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Date Night and more...

The Lord has blessed us with WONDERFUL team mates here in Finland!! The Sivonen family graciously offered to keep Delaney overnight so Jason and I could go out. This was our first date since being in Finland. About time, huh?

Jason and I took the train to Helsinki and went to this cute little cafe called Cafe Ekberg, their bakery is known for creating the Napoleon (it's a pastry type dessert). The food was great and we had a wonderful time just enjoying each other's company. We did some Christmas shopping and we actually got to stay out past 8:00!! Ha!

Earlier this week I went to the swim hall with a friend and FINALLY did the SAUNA thing. Before I came here I used to be the most modest person but I have found I have to throw the modest thing out the door. The sauna is one of the most relaxing rituals, I've become a fan!

Yesterday we received three boxes from the U.S. We received so much great stuff, enchilada sauce, sweetened condensed milk, CHOCOLATE CHIPS and so much more. I was able to make some fudge (a Christmas staple in my home). We are so grateful to our Sunday School class back in California, thank you for the wonderful things. Also, thank you mom, Jessica, Jordan, Aunt Linda, Uncle Jerry, Amanda, Grandma and Grandpa for all the gifts, Delaney can't wait to open them. We love you guys.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ice Ice Baby!

One thing that I am missing from the U.S. is ice. They don't have ice makers and I haven't found any ice cube trays. One thing I loved in the states was getting a BIG FAT DIET COKE with lots of ICE! If you've traveled throughout Europe I'm sure you know about the "ice" and "refill" thing. No ice at most of the restaurants and no refills. It always confuses me because they have the soda machines out like you should be able to get a refill. We've found a couple places were it's all you can drink and we definitely load up on the Coke Light. I have found these plastic bags that make little ice cubes (I've enclosed a picture). It's very "different" but it gets the job done. I still don't understand how the water doesn't spill out of the bag. I am missing my beloved Diet Coke, but I'm starting to get used to Coke Light (a little different but it also gets the job done).