Friday, December 26, 2008

Kaleb's First Sledding

The day after Christmas a bunch of us headed out to the Sand Dunes to do some sledding. It is very rare that Kanab even gets snow on Christmas, and we had 5 fresh inches of snow Christmas morning. Last time I remember snow on Christmas was 1989. Anyway, Kaleb likes the snow so we thought we would see how he would like going down a hill on a tube. He looks game in the beginning.
Looking a little nervous here.
He does not quite understand that he needs to hold on so he fell off at the end. And this was not a steep or big hill we are at least kind parents.
The result. I don't think he liked it. We had him go down twice by himself and it just ended up with big tears.
So Mom went down with him about 3 or 4 more times and he wanted to go to the car. We figured he would not last very long. He wanted to go back to grandma's and have some "hot chockey milk". So we loaded up and let everyone else stay longer. Mikko would have participated but we really did not think there would be that much snow and we did not have any snow gear. I was lucky that I brought my Uggs and they were great. Not real sledding boots as I think they are more for looks but they sure did keep my toes toasty. That coat I am sporty is probably from 1988. I know I had it in high school, so scary. Poor Mikko only had on sneakers and his toes were freezing. My parents didn't even have boots to borrow that is how little it snows in Kanab.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Here is our little elf for Christmas. In Finnish tradition someone wears the elf hat and passes out the gifts on Christmas Eve to be opened. Mummi gave this hat to Kaleb while he was still in the hospital after he was born for his first Christmas. It fits much better now.
This year we got to go to Kanab for Christmas and I was very excited because we had not been there for Christmas since 2004. Since we did not have time to make Finnish Christmas cookies at Mummi's over Kaleb's birthday, she sent some dough with us and told Mikko to make some cookies with Kaleb the next week. Well we never had time on Monday or Tuesday, so when we arrived in Kanab Christmas Eve day Mikko and Kaleb got to work.

It was hard to get Kaleb to stop playing with Grandma Brown's ball game but we got the apron on that grandma made for him and snapped a couple of pictures, soon after this, he was down and back to the balls. Mikko did a great job at the cookies and it shows that he has actually made them before although he admits he has never made the dough, just cut out the cookies to be baked.
Christmas Eve we all went out to my brothers home (Matt and Julie) for dinner and the traditional reading and acting of the Nativity. The food was in abundance and delicious of course. In this picture we made a little stable for the baby Jesus and Kaleb took his turn at playing the part although he would not get into it when we actually started the Nativity.

Then we was willing to be dressed up as a shepherd and that lasted for a little while, as long as he was able to carry the cane around, but again this was ditched in about 5 minutes, but he sure does look like the cutest shepherd boy to me.
Here is the Nativity cast from LtoR we have Shaye, Brandon, Nathan, Joshua, Dalton, Emily and Morgan and the two angels are Ria and Brooklyn. Just a note about Nathans outfit, he had this horse costume but it was about 3 sizes to small for him. Nate was only sporting some briefs under the outfit and he kept zipping and unzipping the outfit. We all kept commenting that this Nativity horse could have a show somewhere in Vegas! The outfit was seriously too tight for this young boy to be wearing. :o) Also when Kaleb saw Brandon for the first time with the white beard, he yelled "Santa"!
Christmas morning came and Mikko woke up at 6:45am and said he was ready to go if anyone else was. He does not quite like to wait for Christmas morning to open presents, because in Finland they open gifts on Christmas Eve. Anyway, Brant's kids were not awake and neither was Kaleb around 7:30 all the kids finally woke up. I was so excited for Kaleb but of course he could care less. He did not even want to come into the family room. The first thing he did was go to the ball game that Grandma and Grandpa had. We had to beg and plead and then physically bring him in the room to open presents. Here he is with his Duplo's which he likes and does very well building things on his own. He is such a smart boy.
Such a cute smile I got out of him. Here is Kaleb and all his spoils from Santa and family. He got way too much as usual. He was happy with the first toy he got in his stocking. We hope these gifts will keep him entertained for the next year. Poor kid, Birthday and Christmas within 5 days of each other.
Mikko is most proud of this picture. He says "that's my boy". Mikko received a pair of noise cancelling headphones for Christmas and Kaleb had to try them out and Mikko says he was quite the DJ in the making. He also got a haircut from Aunt Kristi and he is sporting the do here.

Christmas Letter 2008

We are a little late at sending this and taking the easy way out this year by just emailing, but it was Mikko’s idea not to do a photo card this year. 2008 has been good to us and there has been some ups and downs, but we have survived and are very blessed. May/June- We finally finished our downstairs, there was lots of work done by myself and Mikko, and family and friends. Natalie loves having her own official facial room for her business, and Mikko loves, loves, loves his home theater/family room. It is a great room and now we prefer staying at home to watch a movie. At least Natalie does. If you have not seen it you should stop on by, Mikko would love to put on a Movie for you or at least give you a little sample.

August- Our ward split again and now Mikko serves as the Sunday School President and Natalie was called as a special needs helper in the primary. She works with an autistic girl. This is more of a challenge for her since she has little patience, but maybe that is why she got the calling. September- Natalie officially had her first open house for her business and started carrying a skin care line. It was a success and she is working on getting new clients. Check out her business if you are interested. Natalie still works at Skin Science as an instructor 12 hours a week but plans to cut down to just one night a week in Jan. We found out we are adding to the Puikkonen family with a new addition coming May 30th. (This is the real reason we are sending this letter out late. Natalie wanted to wait until Christmas to tell her family the good news. We don’t know what we are having yet but will find out in Jan.) October- We got to go to Hawaii for a vacation. Back in May Mikko got an extra dividend from work and we planned the tropical vacation that Mikko had never had yet. It was fun and Mikko always asks when we can go back. While we were gone Kaleb got to spend five days at Mummi and Pappa’s and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Shortly after getting back the day before Halloween to be exact, Mikko came home early from work. His work laid him off and we were in total shock. Mikko didn’t waste any time. He got his resume updated and out and started interviewing. Turned out the layoff was a blessing, Mikko got a job in less than 30 days. He now works for PRI Inc. It is the investment property arm of the LDS church. He had to lose his goatee and has to wear a suit everyday, but it is totally worth it. It’s better pay, benefits and time off and of course better environment.
November- Mikko started the new job and he loves it. We enjoyed Thanksgiving with the Puikkonen’s. Mikko’s youngest brother got engaged and will be getting married in May and is moving to Australia. December- We were busy getting ready for Christmas and attending parties. Kaleb turned 2 on the 20th. We celebrated at Mikko’s parents this year and Kaleb had a blast. He is a great boy and we enjoy every day with him. He is talking so much and it is fun to see the new words that are added to his vocabulary almost daily. Kaleb is still in the 95% for his age which is no surprise to us. Most people are shocked that he is only 2. But his dad is 6’9” so pretty sure that explains it. He really is a good little boy and we hope he will be an even better big brother. We hosted two parties at our home this year for Natalie’s friends and the northern part of the Brown clan. We had 30 people here for the latter and we all fit and had a great time. We got to spend Christmas in Kanab and Natalie was so excited since she had not been in Kanab for Christmas since 2004. Thanks Mom and Dad for the great time.

We want all of our family and friends to know that their relationships mean the most to us. We have been so blessed this year and we owe all that we have to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ which is the reason for this season.
We hope and pray that God’s blessing will be with you.
Hoping you had a great 2008 and wishing you a sublime 2009!
With love, Natalie, Mikko and Kaleb

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Northern Brown Christmas Party

At the party this year we had a carmel tasting. A lot of us use our Mom's carmel recipe, which I found out, that Mom got it from Aunt Nada about 45 years ago. Oh and by the way Nada tasted one of my carmels and she said I did a great job. Anyway, back to the party. So McKay, myself, Kanani, Alvin and Brant all made some carmel. It is so interesting how we use the same recipe,  but they all turn out a little different. Everyone's was great and it was fun to do.
The annual Northern Brown Christmas party was last night. This year was our turn to host. I have four siblings who live in Utah Valley and every year they have a little Christmas get together. We also have a brother who lives in Rock Springs who was able to come down since they are only a few hours away. Then there are also two nieces that are married that came as well. So there was supposed to be 38 people in all, but one brother and his family were traveling and were not able to make it. We missed Robert and his family. But he gave us a call to tell everyone hello and share some crazy news that their oldest Terence had just got engaged. So that was a fun surprise.

Anyway, so I think we had about 29 people in our home which is not the biggest group but some were a little late so we were able to eat in shifts. I was amazed that we got everybody in. We had breakfast for dinner this year, the food was yummy and I am grateful for everybody's contributions. Photo above, has in the back Lois, Ella, Larsen, Lindsay, Abbey, McKay and in front, back of head is Brittany and then Wade.

After dinner we moved downstairs to our family room for the white elephant game and another present game. Wade Peterson was the winner for the funniest white elephant gift. He brought a "Big Bull" DVD, not sure the name of it, it was some hunting video and it was in very high demand. Both Alvin and Shaye wanted it and Alvin was the winner with the last steal. Pictured above is McKenzie, Lindsay, Abbey, McKay and Kaleb.

To start off the games we had all the presents in the middle and Kaleb ran around them in a circle while everyone clapped. He is such a show off, he loves to have parties. We took apart our sectional and put the seat all against the wall to fit everybody in, and it actual fit everybody which was very nice. Again thanks for everybody coming we had a great time and I am glad I don't have to host again for a few years! Pictured above is McKay, Zach, Kanani, Scott, McKenzie, Sydney, Kelsy, Ashley, Shaye, and Wade.

Kaleb's 2nd Birthday

We headed up to Logan to celebrate Kaleb's 2nd birthday. He had a great time. He loves Curious George so I wanted to make him a monkey cake. I searched the web for ideas and found out how to do this cake which seemed the easiest to do. It turned out great and Kaleb liked the cream! I made a banana cake of course, and then just frosted it with whipped cream, to make it brown, cocoa did the trick.
Here is Kaleb tearing in to his gifts. Mummi spoiled him, and we knew it would be that way so we only got him one gift because we knew he would get plenty from everyone else. He loved all the gifts and thank you to all you who gave him the wonderful gifts.
This is the first time he has blown out candles and he loved it. I had to light the candles 4 or 5 more times so that he could blow them out over and over again.
In this photo he is saying one more time. Meaning he wanted me to light the candles again so that he could blow them out.
We had a great time and Kaleb loved everything about the day. He loves being at Mummi and Pappa's and he loves his uncles. We are grateful to our family and for all of the love and support that they give to us. The ride home was alot easier than the way up, we hit a little storm in the canyon but things were clear on our way back. We now to brace ourselves for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Play

I believe this is the first time that I have let Kaleb go out in the snow and play. He had a great time. He first ate some snow.
Then I showed him how to throw it.
Kaleb loves the camera, every time I would go to take a picture he would say CHEESE!
He then tried out sitting in the snow and he thought that was pretty fun. It was cold outside but Kaleb had a good time. The only way I could get him to come back into the house was to bribe him with a piece of candy!
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friend Christmas Party

This year the annual girlfriend Christmas party was at our home we had great food and a good time. This party started probably back in 2003 a bunch of us single girls who hung out all the time started our annual party with always having a memorable white elephant game. The above picture has Annmaree, Uyen, Kelli and Mikko in it. (Men are now invited to the party)
Here is Michelle, Lori and Amy. Michelle for the past few years has added a fun game she buys all these great gifts, some are great, some are funny and we roll dice to see if we get to pick a present. When all the gifts are gone we open the ones we chose and then we go around 3 more times and roll the dice and we have a chance to steal others gifts. It is great fun, there usually is one or two gifts that are always being stolen. This year it was a potpourri set and a 80's trivial pursuit game. We won the game in the end yeah!!

Kaleb was a ham of course, he loves it when there are guests in the house he was rolling the dice for everyone. He would hold the dice and shake his arms around for the shake and then drop the dice and he was pretty good. He actually got doubles and 7's for the participants more than they did. And when he rolled the double or 7 we would all cheer and then he would just go crazy and laugh and dance around.
This was the winning gift for the white elephant game. Kristy made some Pad about slippers, it was pretty funny! They would last about 1 minute as real slippers.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Vaulting Exhibit

Saturday we braved the snow storm and headed on down to Utah Valley for Lindsay and Abbey's (my nieces) vaulting program in Salem. I should have actually taken some pictures of them but I totally forgot. Anyway vaulting is basically like gymnastics done on horseback. They do certain positions or poses while the horse is trotting around. When we got there it was still snowing and I was hoping it was going to be warmer in the stable, but I was wrong. It was freezing and McKay did not tell us that we should be wearing a base layer. But we survived. Anyway while watching the girls do their thing pretty soon Kaleb wanted to get in on it. He started climbing on the little fence and he would put one leg on the fence and then would raise the other leg into the air while holding on to me. Then he would say "taa daa". It was so cute. The cold did not seem to bother him. After the show we made it up the big hill to McKay's and we visited, played games, ate dinner and waited for the storm to pass. We had a good time and we are glad McKay, Lois and family invited us out but next one we go to I think we be the spring show!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lights on Temple Square

Thursday Kaleb and I went and picked up Mikko at his work then we went to Macaroni Grill for dinner. When we were being seated someone called my name and it was an old mission companion of mine, Anita Haberlach. It was nice to chat with her for a bit. After dinner then we went to temple square to see the lights, Kaleb just wanted to run around.
We forgot to bring the stroller with us. I have it in the back of the car but I always forget to get it out. So needless to say we ended up carrying Kaleb around. He is over 35 pounds so it is not too fun to lug him around, but he had a good time.
Daddy and Kaleb in front of the reflection pool. The lights are always beautiful and I am glad we got out and did something as a family.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ward Christmas Party

Mikko was asked to narrate the little Nativity scene they had. He was told that he had the perfect voice for the job. It was funny that night I also had a few people come up to me and comment on how great Mikko's voice was for this kind of thing. Oh great one more thing for him to think that he is good at. :o) Just kidding I love him!
Kaleb is the one in the maroon jacket, he was not part of the Nativity but as more and more kids came into the scene he thought he needed to go stand up there with them as well.

At the end of the night one of the bishopric counselors dressed up as Santa for the kids. Kaleb was a little unsure at first as the picture shows. But we said "Kaleb Santa will give you candy" and the other two pictures explain his reaction.

Oh candy, well then I will stay on his lap.
Kaleb is all about the candy no matter what kind it is. We had a good time at the party and Kaleb loves being around other people and playing.