Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pinewood Derby Week and more

First off we went on a walk today around our neighborhood ponds and Suvi wanted to bring her new jogging stroller and dolls. Kai soon took over the work. He loves pushing it. It was really windy so that is why his hair is a tad crazy!
He was also  walking Tillie and running around like a mad man. Markku is nowhere to be found because he was riding his bike and is already at top of the little rise! You can see him in the distance if you look real close:
The real event of the week was the Cubscouts Pinewood Derby! Markku and Heikki have been building the car this past month (ok, mostly Heikki...) and then we got to race them this weekend!
He was very proud of his car...

Here is the start of his Tiger cub heat.

And here is the finish...
 His car finished in 2nd place in his Tiger cub heat!

Here was a very happy second place winner! He did move onto semi-finals and I have no idea what happened since I went to work and it was too confusing to follow my mom's lowdown. But, we know he didn't come in 1-3 place. But way to go Tiger! 
Markku has really enjoyed cubscouts so far this year. Most of all he loves to wear the uniform, and then next best thing was this pinewood derby! Our next big adventure will be to see if we can make it as a family to the campout in April! Heikki missed the last campout due to his work schedule. I was too chicken to try camping with a 6, 4, and almost 2 yr old all by myself on a really cold October weekend!
Suvi is already planning her girl scout career as they start Daisy's in kinder. She cannot wait! I am dreading the cookie sales as I will have a super hard time not eating all the cookies myself!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

OK, I was wrong...

Last week I was writing about Suvi being our artist in residence. Well, that is true still, but I think I mentioned that Markku was not keen on drawing and he showed me wrong! He drew these owls in school-one for him, one for Suvi and one for Kai.
I think they are great Owls and I love the blue eyes in the one he drew for Suvi!
Kai too has proven me wrong this week. I brought the easel back in to the kitchen and he draws every chance he can get! 

Suvi had her preschool talent show this week. In past year's, they had it in the activity center which has lots of room. This year they had it in a small area, so they limited the kids talents a little. Markku and Suvi rode their bikes and scooters in years past. (And who could ever forget 3 yr old Markku running in a backwards circle pretending to be Mater from Cars--" I don't need to know where I'm going, I just need to know where I've been!") . Anyways Suvi was a little distraught as she did not want to get up and perform her ballet or tap routines by herself (too shy for that) so we decided to put on an art show and display some of her most recent works!

She is quietly telling the audience about her drawings (I had to repeat so people could hear).

Her painting

So happy I came to school to see her!
This weekend the weather was gorgeous. It has been 70 and sunny. We played outside as much as we could! Kai still loves bubbles, so we spent a good 45 minutes blowing and chasing bubbles.
Learning to blow hard.

He actually caught bubbles on his bubble wand! Look the surprise on his face.

 This is sheer joy!
 Suvi decided to join us as well. Kai was blowing bubbles and Suvi popping them. This one popped in her face! Markku was inside building Lego's. I did finally drag him outside to play later today, but not in time for the bubbles.

We also tried to keep up our getting out and hiking and exploring New Year's Resolution. We went to a local park in Buda, Tx and took Tillie on a hike (well a walk around the nature trails) and played at the playground.

 What a beautiful weekend. I only wish Heikki was here to enjoy it with us. He was stuck flying around up North somewhere in the freezing cold weather! It is kind of funny that I often really have no idea where that guy is-I know when he leaves and returns, and he can often go to 3-4 cities each day, and 3-4 different overnights so I can never keep track.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Firemen, chapter books and drawing...another week in the Laukkanen household

So it can be hard enough trying to get a picture of three moving kids, but add in the pets and it almost never works! But tonight I got lucky and snapped this one before bath of the kids with Tillie. Note the small stuffed animal Tillie in Markku's hands as well. We sure love our Tillie. She is the best dog ever. She is getting old these days, at 11.5 yrs old...I can barely remember the trouble she used to get into! She is great with the kids especially. But so often, she tends to sleep these days and stay off to the side when the kids get hence never in any photos! But we still love her! Allie is even harder to photograph, but she will be my next challenge.
Tonight Kai decided to play fireman. He has his firefighting uniform on and is holding the hose, spraying out a fire.

The hat is too big, so getting a photo without movement was hard...he kept trying to push hat back on his head. What a cutie. He does everything Markku does. He was even holding the imaginary hose and trying to hook it to a hydrant ( Markku was directing him and telling him what to do more than he was really doing it though).
Kai has another new obsession-play dough. He can spend over an hour playing by himself with the play dough. I can cook, clean up after dinner, etc. It is great-except major tantrums when I try to take the play dough away. Geez, you would think I was killing him instead of cleaning him up to eat dinner...
Markku is learning to read (well, that really started last year in kinder). He really wants to read chapter books, as that is the next level he will be on in school. So close! So, he told me that he was reading a chapter book, at night in his bed with a flashlight. Turns out, it was this book. He actually was reading a Finnish-English dictionary (see below) and was on page 24 (it did start on page 18 however)! I was pretty impressed, but will admit we went straight to the library and got a few chapter books for the poor kid! 

Also new this week, he scored a basket in his basketball game yesterday! First one of the season! He is usually more of a defensive player. But he took a shot and in it went!
Suvi on the other hand is an artist. She LOVES to draw. She spends hours drawing each day.Here is a sampling of her art work. If anyone would like to purchase any I have hundreds in stock. All over my house. I even have some that I am not supposed to look at until Mother's day! 

This is our family. Heikki, me, Markku, Suvi Kai, Allie and Tillie

Not a great photo, but this is Ariel and Rapunzel.

Another photo of our family and our house

And this is a sticker fish and then butterflies. I guess the house is on stilts, in case of hurricane.
This is only a small sample of her stuff. She is getting noticeably better each day, with more and more detail being added. This comes from Heikki's side of the family. Markku did not inherit the drawing gene. He likes it well enough, but does not do it often and is not quite as good.
Anyways, just a sampling of our week, and another blurry picture of kids and Tille. See what I mean?!. Hope everyone is enjoying this new year!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The first week of 2013

 This first week has been a little hectic. It was mostly filled with work for me, and squeezing in kids activities when possible! We had our longtime nanny, Kiri, come for a visit. She has graduated from college now and is working in another place now, so we miss her a lot. She has been with us since Markku was about 15 months old! So, it is still fun to get together with her whenever we can. She brought the kids some great Christmas gifts, so of course they loved that!
Note in the picture above we had an orange cast on Markku's arm. On Thursday we went to see the doctor and he reported Markku's arm is healed, and now we can use the brace for about 10 days and then we are all done! Markku was so happy to remove that cast and itch his arm. He was laughing so hard when they were using the saw to remove it.I guess it really tickled. So, now we can take a bath and sleep with nothing on that arm. The splint is only needed for play and exercise. Hooray!

Now that the cast is off, we get to go back to basketball! We had the first game in about a month-we were a little rusty. But Markku seemed to get the idea of defense a lot better. Look at how huge the player on the other team is. It is not a wonder that they were a lot better-I think they must be older!

Kai really wanted to be with Markku, so time out was his favorite! Here he is with his bestest buddy!

Suvi has had off from preschool now for 2.5 weeks as well. She is going a little stir crazy and keeps asking when she goes back to school. Markku on the other hand does not want vacation to end, because in his words, "they make me work too hard! All I do is work, work, work". I sure know what he means. Kind of  sad that there was this big change in school playtimes from kinder to first, especially since he will be working the rest of his life! Thank goodness for vacations. Suvi got a special gift from one of my co-workers as well. Look at these gorgeous barrettes. They are princesses made from ribbons. Can you see Rapunzel and Ariel? Thanks Chrissy, Suvi loves them. (I think she should sell these they are so awesome).

We ended winter break with a fun family movie night since Heikki was finally back in town. Then today, we all went on a family hike. We used to hike so much b.k. (before kids) and I really miss that. Partly because we now live in Texas, where you have to work a little harder to find good hiking places that aren't super crowded and partly because everything is so much harder to do when you have kids! But, I am going to try to enjoy as much of Texas as we can this winter-before it gets super hot again.

This was just a local hiking spot in San Marcos, just south of us in Kyle.

Kai was trying to walk the whole way. We only went about 2 miles, but it was too far for Kai. He was yelling at me, "Nooooo momma. Noooooo!" in the above picture when I was asking if he wanted me to carry him.. We finally convinced him to take a ride, but he was not happy about it. As it was, we finished at sunset.  Now we are all off to bed, getting ready for a new school week to start.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

Well, it has been almost 2 years since I last posted an update. I have made my New year's resolution to be to start blogging again. I love being able to go back and see what we had done, and am sad that I missed a lot over the past 2 years. (Well, Facebook kind of replaced the blog I suppose).

Anyways, we had a nice New Year's-just me and the kids. Heikki was once again scheduled to work. After a really dry fall and early part of winter, we finally got some rain in Kyle. The kids and I went for a walk in the rain. It was really refreshing and got some of their energy out! We did have a New Year's party at our old neighbor's house. It was fun to catch up with them again, and the kids had  a blast playing with other kids toys!  Today, on January 1st, the kids and I had a pajama day. All day in pajamas! It was another cool, rainy/cloudy day so it seemed perfect.

We watched some movies, played some board games, played princesses with Suvi and I cleaned the house! Not super exciting, but still good to spend it together. Here's to a Happy New Year, and a year where I hopefully keep the blog updated!