January came with a load of much appreaciated snow. The days here are so short, so when there's no snow, it gets very dark. Now we have close to a few feet of fluffy sparkly stuff.
When the sun shines, which it has been doing quite a bit lately!, it's so so pretty out there.
The trees are weighed down heavily with thick layers of snow.
When you walk outside it creaks under the sole of your shoes (or heavy winter boots!)
It's alwyas a project getting out the door, since it got quite cold here in the last couple of weeks.
With the clear sunny sky, it gets a lot colder, so going out means bundle, bundle, bundle.
This morning we hit the coldest so far this winter, with -25C displayed on the thermometer.
February is usually the coldest month of the year here, and it looks like it'll stand up to that reputation!
I enjoy being back on a decent schedule again. The holidays were sure fun, but after getting the daily routine messed up beyond recognizion, it feels good to get up at a normal time, send the kids to school and all that stuff.
Our 2 youngest daughters started daycare a few weeks ago, they go 2 days a week, 3½ hours each time, so they aren't exactly gone a whole lot, but it's a good start for them to get used to being away from mom a bit.
Our almost 6 year old had a hard time the 1st day, and cried at the window when I left.
I felt my own eyes welling up too.
My heart went out to her, being left at a new place, with new teachers and friends, not understanding hardly anything of the language. Yukk. But it had to come to this day sooner or later, and I think it was very much about time to get it done and over with.
Of course she didn't cry for long, and by the time I picked her up, she was happily playing, looking content.
Our 4 year old was easy, as she barely said goodbye when she went to join in the fun with her group!!
Now they both enjoy their days with their new friends, and here and there I catch them using some Finnish words with each other.
SO.... for a few hours, 2 days a week, it's just me and Little Guy here at home! Strange and wierd.
And nice. Little Guy gets some alone time, and he truly seem to enjoy being left alone, playing with his stuff undisturbed. He blabs away happily, building with his Legos, traintrack and cars.
It still amazes me when I think about all the comments I used to get before we had him, how boys are so much more difficult than girls, how they wreck everything, how they are loud etc.
Well, our little guy is one of the easiest kids we have had!!
Or maybe I'm getting immune to the messes, unrolled toiletpapers, toys in the garbage, marker on the walls, and made a bigger deal about it when the girls did the same things?
I enjoy watching him running laps around the kitchen and livingroom, with a hockey stick in his hands (how do they just KNOW how to hold it in the proper way??), whacking away at anything that could pass for a ball or a puck, yelling at the top of his lungs
"Hockey playyyyeeeeeeeer!" Then watch when he throws himself on the ground and groans.
Our 2nd oldest has had a bit harder time adjusting and wanting to learn Finn in school, so starting this semester she's spending her time 50-50 between her regular class that is in the bilingual Finnish-English program, and the other grade 6 which is a "regular" Finnish speaking class. She already likes it, and in the Finnish class she has to use her Finn a lot more. This will hopefully speed up the language progress! (she says it already has)
This was a worry for me, and I'm happy to say it looks like things will work out better for her now.
What else?? Hubby is staying busy enough with construction, and looking forward, it looks like they'll have work for a while. It feels stressful at times not knowing for sure how busy they'll be, but I guess there are no guarentees anywhere! I'm glad to see him enjoying what he's doing!!
Our oldest and I just marveled at the fact that we've already lived over 1½ years here .
To think that this summer will be 2 years, and our 1st plan was to come here for 2 years....
I can't imagine starting to pack up and move again! Hopefully not for a while in fact...
We still get asked if we are staying here or moving back.
Well. I guess I can say we'll be here for the time being.
It is a huge project to move overseas, especially when you cut all the ties that held you down over there.
Then coming here, building a house, trying to adjust to a new country, language, starting a business etc...
2 years go SO fast!!! Besides, while you are busy unpacking, adjusting, learning, you become attached to the new place and people. So when you stop and react, all of a sudden you realize that
"I think this is becoming home!"
Our kids are happy too. Our oldest got quite upset when she saw me getting homesick for all of our friends overseas while I was reading the Christmas cards. She told me that if we move back, she's staying here!
I was a bit stunned. Of course she wants to see her friends there, but she wants to live here.
And that was that.
I had to take it as a good sign thou. How terrible it would be if she was still not adjusting to life here, missing her old friends too much, not making new ones here!
So although I was a bit surprised about her strong reaction, I was also thankful that she's truly happy here!
Lets hope it stays that way...
Oh! I almost forgot. I have attended 2 Body Balance classes now. One word: Awesome!!
Hard enough to get a bit worn out, reminded about some muscles I forgot I had, but also relaxing, and FUN!! In North Ameica Body Balance is known as Body Flow, in case anyone is curiuos!
Last but not least, some pictures from our backyard... Enjoy!!
Our view from our diningtable
I LOVE the snow on the branches!!!
The "Giraffe" in our backyard!
Pretty fluffy snow....