Wednesday, March 31, 2010


S * P * R * I * N * G

HERE IN FINLAND!! it doesn't look quite as 'pretty' with flowers blooming yet! And there is still a LOT of IS starting to melt some. That is the good news.
When we woke up this morning (by natural daylight I might add) was starting to get light around 6:00 a.m.
This picture was taken about 7:30 a.m. And look at that beautiful BLUE sky!
We decided we better walk up to Lidl's to get some milk while the weather was fairly decent. With COATS, SCARFS, GLOVES on we headed out! YES, remember this is SPRING in Finland. This picture was taken on our walk back to the asuntola. A different view of the temple....with all of the snow and slush along the way.

Monday, March 29, 2010

S * P * R * I * N * G .......

Steven took the twins over to our home to take some pictures for us yesterday (Monday). Now this could make us just a bit homesick. Especially since the flowers are starting to bloom.....the the CHERRY tree is blooming beautifully!! I LOVE that about our front yard. So many beautiful trees!
Up close of the tree.......
And with Audrey and Emma standing under it!
And a shot of our home from the lower end! AAHH......Frank will have to soon start mowing the grass again! We can see only small little patches of ground here in Finland!
Thanks Steven for sending the pictures over!! KIITOS PALJON......

I have tried several times to upload pictures, but to no avail. I will keep trying to figure it out! 'Modern' technology! Any suggestions from our family out there?

I did some needle felting today. Created a hanging to put on the outside of our apartment door. Then I got a little innovative and 'created' a hot pad with the needle felting flowers I made. That was Wayne's suggestion that I make that. I thought it was actually a pretty good idea!
(There should have / would have been two pictures here!! :-( )

Veli Mustonen was 'up on the roof' shoveling snow off again. And he was getting some pretty big chunks down!

And....he was making a big mess on the clean side-walk!! That means Wayne is going to have to go shovel!

This is the FINLAND MISSION WEEK at the temple. Not sure how many folks we will have. We will see. There are some familiar names on the list of Asuntola Guests!
So....... you know that previous post from TODAY!! The one where I said I was having 'issues' with posting pictures on this blog!?

Don't ask.....I have no idea how I was able to get the pictures downloaded!! This was only my 10th try at getting them here. I will just ACCEPT the fact that 'someone or something' caused me to be able to put the pictures where I needed them to be!! :-)

This is Veli Mustonen shoveling the snow off of the roof.
AND.....creating quite a mess on the side walk below. That was the clean-up Wayne had to take care of.
AND....this is the flowered-wreath I made for our apartment door......I made the smaller flowers (7 in all) and sewed them to the green felt flower I bought at Pentik. And it was on sale from last years stock. I scored on that one!
AND.... I liked making those little flowers so much that I made this HOT PAD.....that was Wayne's suggestion. I just knew there was something I could do with them!!
Not quite finished yet. I will cut the dark green felt background out tomorrow morning and sew the front to the back. AAAHHH!!

HELSINKI MISSION WEEK.....we will see how it goes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


It has been about 5 weeks since we have been to the Haaga Ward. We were gone for 2 weeks traveling along the west coast of Finland (while the temple was closed for maintenance), then we went to Hyviinkä Ward and spoke in Hämmenlinna Branch. I know they think we are inactive there. It was good to catch up with some friends!
Heini and Linda, along with Outi, shared some ideas of what they are going to do when Becky and David come to visit. They are super BIG FANS and are anxious to meet her.
So, after church, we sat and talked! I just listened to what they have planned!
They are having so much fun planning!! And they are such fun people to be with. And great scrapbookers too!! :-)
As we left church, we noticed this cute picture on the side of the bus at the bus stop across the street. Made me a bit homesick for our Punkin-hooter-tooter and Madi.
Tonight we went to an Easter Concert at the Espoo Ward chapel. It was excellent. There are such great musicians in that ward. And they all 'performed'!

It has been a really great day. Tomorrow for P-Day......catch up on things around the apartment and get ready for Kevin and Lauren's visit in just one week!! Can't wait!

Saturday, March 27, 2010



For one hour (between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) cities all around the WORLD observed EARTH bring attention to all of us saving on electricity.....making the world a better place to live!

The HELSINKI FINLAND TEMPLE was no exception! We are proud that we participated in this. We looked out our window and what did we see?? The temple and grounds completely dark.

Follow the sequence of pictures.......
Above: 9:00 p.m.......look carefully and you can barely see the temple!
9:00 p.m. the lights begin to come back on!
And things begin to look 'normal' again!
When the lights first come on there is a 'green' glow about them for a few seconds.
And.....back to the normal color! We missed our beautiful site for that hour!


It has been a wonderful week with Samara here. So many familiar faces and some new ones. We love them all!! We will miss them terribly when the Kiev Ukraine Temple opens. They will probably be going there at that point.

After a little Saturday afternoon nap (we are retired and senior missionaries....and we can do that!), we decided we wanted to see from our walking trails looked like. They are behind the asuntola. We have not seen them for about 4 months now......too much snow covering them.
We fully expected them to be slushy and muddy with the melting snow, we just didn't expect them to be that muddy!!
A 'new, temporary' sign had been erected since we last walked there. 'Beware of skiers'!! We could see the skiers from a distance........
And, yes, there goes one. The skiers have great paths to exercise on.
And it is not just the is the horses and dogs and a few people!
It was good to see some of the rocks poking their cute little 'heads' from underneath the snow.
I didn't know Wayne took this picture. I was trying to dodge the deep muddy parts. Kind of hard to do, but......oh well. My feet will dry when we get back to the asuntola.

It was a fun little walk. NOW, we prepare for the TAMPERE STAKE to come next week. They usually have a great group of people come as well. And there will probably be some Russians mixed in with the group. There always are. That is what makes it so fun.

Friday, March 26, 2010



Svetlana celebrated her birthday TODAY!! We sang a little rendition to her (oh so quietly) in the sisar locker room this morning! AND then I gave her a little cross stitch temple picture. She was thrilled!! What a sweetheart! She is from Samara Russia
As we came home from the temple this afternoon, we noticed some 'activity' going on at the asuntola.

YUP....that is Veli Mustonen up on the roof of the asuntola. Trying to get rid of the ice and snow! And being very creative.
Not to worry...he was 'strapped' to the roof with the safety line.
And Matti was watching from below to make sure no one got hit with the snow tumbling down. It was fun to watch.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

PAR - TY !!!!!

And last night (Wednesday) they really threw a GOOD PAR-TY!!!
They LOVE to sing and dance........This is the Branch President from Samara singing a song to 'his flock'!!
I am not sure who is better at taking pictures......the Chinese or the Russians. They had a lot of camera there!
I made and handed out 8 cross stitch temple pictures last night......7 to those who received their own endowments this week at the temple and one to the interrupter. She was a tremendous help. Could not have done it without her. She was soo good!!
And I had a 'special' needle felt heart for Sisar Valilieva. She was a temple missionary when we first arrived here last summer. It was so good to see she and her husband again!
What a great, fun evening!! SPASIBA!!!
All missionaries LOVE getting mail. Senior missionaries are NO exception to that!

Yesterday, Wednesday, Wayne got a package from Joanne Runkles. It was a belated BIRTHDAY PACKAGE! My cost her $40 some to mail it! AND, there were TWO cake mixes and frosting. We will definitely enjoy celebrating for a while.......RED VELVET and CARROT CAKE!!! Two of his favorites.

And, also yesterday, Sisar Haikkola (the temple matron) caught me as we were leaving the temple. She had a large candy bar for me with a note attached. It was from Veli Kelley! Bless his little heart! We had given a large candy bar to he and his companion in Hämmenlinna Branch a month or two ago when we were visiting there. They were also there. They were starved. Had no food with them. As luck would have it, we had brought several candy bars with us. We have learned that we also have something on us. We gave it to them even though they did not want to take it from us!! So sweet. Veli Kelley left yesterday to go home, having finished his mission here in Finland! Can you believe that. What a sweetie for doing that.

THEN....... When we got home from the temple today, there was yet another package for us. It was from Karen Sparks, a sweet friend from home. She was so thoughtful for sending this. Had some fun goodies in it.......snack mix, Scentsy travel fragrant things, lotion, Maryland note pad and magnetic!! I think she wants to make sure we don't forget that we are from Maryland and we still have a home and friends there. And we got a long e-mail from her as well this morning.
FUN.....FUN.....FUN.......FUN MAIL DAY!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This looks totally GROSS!!! And very much like a 'cow pie'!

How can anyone dare to even taste this!!
THIS is called MÄMMI...a typical Finnish Easter food. And guess who is going to eat it? Yup.....You guess it.....Veli Allgaier......
EI......Sisar Allgaier.....not on your life. Wayne ate this as a young missionary and remembers it with 'fond' memories. Apparently you load it up with cream and sugar...anything to kill the taste. He says it tastes like 'tar'. Go Figure!!! I don't think we will be buying a second box of this.

Monday, March 22, 2010

BUSY DAY......

We started our P-Day off by Wayne getting up at 5:00 a.m. to start shoveling the newly fallen sow that we had overnight! Add another 4 - 5 inches.....when there is already 3 feet on the ground, what's a few more inches!!

I had my 5-week cycle of a haircut. We walked up to the hairdressers.....about a 40 minute walk each way. Tulla is just the sweetest thing. I really like her. She only does a 'cut' blow dry or anything else. That is the way they work it here in Finland.
On our walk back home, Wayne was just intrigued with our 'shadows'!! Go figure. He pulls his camera out of his pocket.....and there you have it!
Not long after we arrived the BUS from SAMARA RUSSIA pulled up. It was good to see some familiar faces!! Just like 'old home week'!!
With these folks here this week, I found out there are SIX SISARS here to receive their own endowments!! I thought I better get my fingers to work, and fast, to have a little temple picture ready for them!!
THEY ARE READY to hand out at the appropriate time!! Can't wait to give them to them.
It WILL be a very busy week. I am so glad I can do some of the ordinances in RUSSIAN because I will need that!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010



FIRST......I have to tell you that I finished reading the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price yesterday.....all in FINNISH!!! I am so thrilled that I have been able to accomplish this. I will probably start over again this coming week......with a goal of trying to comprehend more of the words!
Wayne and I, along with Veli ja Sisar Peciulius (Lithuanian) and Veli ja Sisar Zaretski (Russian) went to the HÄMMENLINNA BRANCH today for church. Wayne and I had been asked to speak in Sacrament Finnish, of course! The Branch is on a 2-hour block. This week we had Relief Society and Priesthood before Sacrament Meeting. As I looked down at the 3 manuals we were using I just thought it was so funny.......Lithuanian, Russian and English. So typical of everything we do less than 3 languages. The one language missing was Finnish. And the teacher had that one!
Wayne wanted a picture of me standing at the pulpit....for posterity?? After Sacrament meeting, I went up so he could take a picture!
And of course, we had to have another picture taken in front of the chapel with the name on the building.
And a group picture before we headed back to the asuntola. It was about a one-hour drive, each way, from our apartment.
It was a great day. And now we get ready for a new week.....SAMARA, RUSSIA WEEK!!! It looks to be quite busy with lots of Russians coming!! We will be ready!