Here's the latest.
We have now lived in Finland for 2 years and almost 3 months.
It sounds like a while, but time sure has gone fast and it really seems strange it's already been that long!
A lot has happened in that time thou, enough things to cover more than just 2 years!!
Although I have my moments of despair (mostly language realated), I also have many, many good ones.
Last night I sat in our livingroom with a fire going in the fireplace, the house was quiet, and it felt good to catch my breath after a busy weekend.
I looked across the room at our little guy sitting on the couch, still awake since he took a late nap.
I told him
"We have it pretty good, don't we?"
And he goes
"Yeah, we have it pretty good!" :)
This last week we celebrated our September babies birthdays.
Our 2nd oldest is now joining her oldest sister in the "teen world", and our youngest girl turned a "whole hand"! I can not believe it!! We no longer have any "little" girls!
Although they all seem small to me...
On Saturday I brought our newest teen and some of her friends to an indoor pool.
It has slides and other things to do, so they had a great time and I had time to swim and relax in the bubbles.
In the evening we had a houseful of people to celebrate both birthday girls with cakes and good food.
Nice evening for everyone!
You might be wondering how it's going for our girl who had a hard time in school?
Well, I am more than thankful to say that she's doing really, really good this year.
I see my "old girl" returning bit by bit.
She is making friends with everyone, just the way she used to, her Finn is getting better and better and she LIKES to go to school now.
A HUGE difference from last year.
It makes me so happy I can't even explain it!
She even told me she wouldn't mind so much if we stayed here another 2 years...
So, where does that put me??
Seeing our kids happy matter so, so much.
I sometimes feel that this move has been a sacrifice for ME in many ways.
I really have had to put myself and my needs and interests on the backburner.
There are so many things I can't do, so many situations that frustrates me.
To also go through 2 miscarriages in less than a year, right after moving in to a house that still has work to be done... and then try to find the time to adjust and get comfortable in a new coutry, well, it's not a walk in the park!! With Hubby running his own business too, along with his brothers, is an additional stress, although educational and interesting as well.
I try to look ahead and picture myself here in the future, and it's really hard.
When I'm at home with the kids I don't learn any Finnish.
There are times I want to visit with some ladies so badly, and I don't even know how to start the conversation!! And that is so not me!
If I'd try to get a job it would be very hard. I'm sure there's something I could do without needing much Finnish, but I'd be very limited.
But... as usual I try to look at the bright side.
I am very thankful that we have this opportunity.
I have learned a lot about myself and my family.
I know I can handle a lot of stress, as well as big changes and I am pretty darn good at staying organized in the middle of the chaos!!
It's also been very, very humbling.
I like to speak what's on my mind, and I've never been stopped before.
Here I'm often clueless to what people are talking about in the first place, and if I happen to know what they are talking about, I don't have the words to add my own 2 cents.
This has tought me the valuable lesson of staying quiet.
And many times just "being".
The kids and I talk a lot. I feel that I "need" them more than I used to!!
We talk about everything, and we learn so much from each other.
Maybe some things we wouldn't have learned if we would have stayed in Canada??
I have seen my husband grow and learn as well.
Through much frustration and cluelessness at times...
But is it ever a good opportunity!
I keep telling him "If you could do what you have done in a new country, moving your family, building a house and starting a business, all in one breath!!, you can do ANYTHING in Canada if we move back!!"
I don't mean that in a boastful way, but in a "I've been on the ground scratching with my bare hands, so anything will seem easy compared to this" sort of way.
Things work different in different coutries, and many things you have to learn the hard way.
Even if he knows the language OK, there are many times he gets stuck on a word.
And he's a guy who has excellent communications skills - in English!
So, also for him this has been humbling and educational.
Before we moved here I tried to look at our move like this:
"If we have the opportunity and don't take it, I might look back in 20 years and think: We could have done it, and we didn't!, then I rather say: We did it...and this is how it went!"
You need to be naive enough to dare, and you need TONS of faith in God.
We had NO clue how things were going to turn out, but we figured that God would lead the way.
There was no job security.
No steady income. No promises of anything!!
I'm sure many looked at us and wondered how we dared, and if we were crazy (yes, we got the diagnosis a while back!!), and even wondered WHY we did it. I can't answer that. But I do know this.
It IS a great experience.
It has NOT been easy.
But it has been worth it.
The older kids will have learned so much too, and hopefully they'll have a second language for life.
I know I will not regret doing this, although at times I scratch my head and wonder
"What were we thinking?"
But so far God has provided and taken care of us, just like in the past.
And just like I said last night to our little guy
"We have it pretty good!"
We really, really do. This was meant to be. We were meant to move here for a while.
How long that is, only God knows.
In the end we'll have gained many new and wonderful friends.
We'll have learned lots about a new coutry, a new language, a different way to live your life.
And most importantly, that God takes care of you, no matter where you are.
That makes everything so easy, because we don't have to worry one tiny bit, as long as we put it all in His hands. And looking back I know that putting trust in Him will have been the biggest lesson of all.
There's no way we'd made it any other way.