Jun 01 2010

Graduation at our House

Published by at 4 58 pm under Events/Gatherings

Memorial Day Weekend and Graduation Weekend are synonymous in our town. This year our youngest son, Brian, graduated from Baraga High. We’ve had a super busy and fun-filled weekend and I’d like to share it with you in photos — probably way too many photos — LOL — so let’s get started:


This is BrianwithBrittanyjust after the graduation ceremony on Friday evening- all graduated and happy!


And here’s Brian with oldest brother, Steve, who arrived just hours before from Columbus, Ohio where he lives/works. He came with Marissa, who you’ll see farther down.


Brian with Mom. That’s my baby!Oh my — what happened to all those years!


And here’s our family — from left, Ben, Steve, Brian, me and Steve.


Now we’re moving on to Sunday and the party at our house. This is my Mom and Dad waiting at the Medical Care Facility for the arrival of the wheelchair van.


And this is my Dad getting loaded into the van. His first outing in close to 2 months! I think he looks happy to be going somewhere! He just saw the Dr. again earlier today (Tuesday, 6/01) and the report again is to wait another 10 days with still no weight on the foot – then they’ll decide again. The fate of the other foot is still undetermined — it’s another situation of wait and see.


And here’s my Dad all settled in under the shade of abig,old apple tree. It reached 89 degrees here on Sunday afternoon — which is super hot for us in May! But it was nice and sunny and made for a beautiful party day. And my Dad is still elated with each card he receives from you kind readers out there. He LOVES seeing where they all come from! It looks like he’ll still be in the Medical Care Facility for a time, so if anyone cares to send him a card, I know he’d love it. Here’s his name and address again:

Roy Peltoniemi, P.O. Box 317, Dollar Bay, MI 49922


And here’s my Dad, Mom and Sister, Cindy. She’s my only sister. Thereare just 2 of us. I wish I had taken a picture of she and her husband, Ken, but I didn’t. He is seen in the photo below, on the left. Together they run a gem and mineral business, specializing in Michigan Native Copper and they are Michigan’s largest supplier of greenstone (Chlorastrolite) – Michigan’s Official State Gemstone.Ken is a geologist and Cindy is a gemologist. They have a retail store in Houghton, MI, Keweenaw Gem and Gift, and Kentravels to shows around the US year round while Cindy holds down the homefront. My personal favorite items that theyprepare and sell are the display pieces of Michigan Native Copper and theFloat Copper Bookends. You can see my set of float copper bookends here as I’ve used them as staging for a trio of cards accented with copper.


That’s Ken sitting on the left with Paul Saaranen on the right. And you all know Paul’s better half — Deb Saaranen, Dream in Color.


And speaking of Deb — here she is — standing behind me in the tent, so it’s a rather dark photo. We had 3 long tables in the tent which was so wonderful as the sun was so hot!


This is looking into the tent. These are mostly church friends and neighbors.


And this is Steve’s side of the family. Steve’s sister is ElsaBeth, right in the middle — the Grandma in this photo! Her husband, Terry, is behind her, and they are flanked on each side by their daughters with their spouses/children, and to the far left is their son with his wife, son and soon to be born baby!


I love taking pictures of people on our front porch. Maybe because they always seem so relaxed there. This is a picture of my Mom that my sister tookthat I especially love. It’s so natural looking, no pretense, no posing for the camera. And I see myself looking, and acting, more and more like my Mom every day. Isn’t it funny how that happens!


Another very natural looking picture of my Dad!


Local farmers shooting the bull — probably discussing the weather and our need for rain!


Three generations peacefullyrocking the afternoon away.


The girls having a gab fest — Marissa (who came from Ohio with Steve) and Tanya.


Brothers chillin’ — Ben and Brian.


A quick chat with a former basketball teammate and some of you may recognize my neighbor, Sue, if you’ve been to the Stampin’ in the UP Events held in Baraga the last couple of years.


This is the cake, looking very distorted in this photo. It was a full sheet cake, rectangular, not square. This lady, Karen Nelson of Skanee, makes THE most amazing cakes, incorporating your schools colors, logos, etc. It is an absolute shame to have to cut into her cakes!


All food was served out of the kitchen and people took their plates outside to the porch, tent or picnic tables. We had about 150 people throughout the afternoon. I had 2 serving tables forming an “L”. This is the lower leg of the “L”. The other table had the plates, napkins, etc., and all the hot dishes. We had Baked Chicken, Cowboy Beans, and Pasty for hot dishes. Many of you may not know what Pasty is. It is a common meal around here — popular among the Finns in this area. It is a mixture of ground meat, cubed pototoes, carrots, rutabaga, and onions encased in a pie type crust. Each pasty is an individual serving. However, for large events Pasties are often made in large tins or roasters with just a crust on top — and that’s how ours were for this gathering. You may read The History of the Pasty here. It’s kind of interesting! I also had some Juustoa (Finnish Squeaky Cheese) that you can read more about on this post. I didn’t want to serve a lot of sweets as I wanted everyone to eat that big cake! But I did have some Prune Tarts, another popular dessert item among the older Finns around here and some Buckeye’s, straight from Ohio that Marissa made and brought up! Delish! Like peanut butter cups — very good! My serving bowls are all very standard family sized serving bowls. I prefer to serve the salads in these smaller bowls and replace them with fresh bowls as they go empty. Just in case you were thinking that doesn’t look like much food for 150 people — LOL!!! Those bowls were replaced many times over!


Marissa and Steve eating outside.


The day is winding down, it’s now early evening, everyone is tired and just relaxing and talking a bit before Steve and Marissa head out.


Ben’s taking a break!


One last family group shot before the day is done!


And here’s a very natural looking picture of Steve “contemplating life” as he would say – who tolerates my obsessions and passions, and who says he’ll wrap ribbon for me in his retirement years! What a guy!


The truck is backed up, loading up tables and chairs, as Brian and Brittany strike yet another pose for me.

It’s so sad when it’s all over so quickly — just like Christmas — plan for months, and it’s over in a few short hours! But it was a wonderful weekend, we saw a lot of friends and family, the weather cooperated and a good time was had by all! Truly, we are blessed!

Thanks for joining us this weekend! I’ll be back soon with some cards – it seems like I haven’t stamped in forever, though it’s only been about a week — I NEED some creative time — maybe later tonight! Have a wonderful week everyone!

37 responses so far

37 Responses to “Graduation at our House”

  1. WOW, Sharon awesome photos you are sharing here!! Congrats to Brian for closing that chapter of his life…way to go!! Looks like you guys had a wonderful time and great weather for Michigan ;D! Congratulations to you too for raising such awesome young men!! Hugs, Sabrina

  2. ChristineZ says:

    Sharon, thanks for sharing these pictures. Your family seems to be warm and so connected to each other – that is such a blessing nowadays. Congratulations on your son’s milestone in life and on having a very handsome group of guys that you are obviously proud to call yours. These pictures made my heart smile for you.

  3. Lovely pictures. Looks like quite a party. Glad your Dad was able to attend.

  4. Rosie says:

    Thank you for sharing your graduation weekend of your baby son – it truly sounds like a successful event. Always nice to know other people do the same things as we do, like cook, bake, decorate, etc. And what fun it is to have all the *chicks* home for the occasion along with good friends. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Elizabeth Glass says:

    Loved the pictures! It was wonderful to see your Dad! He looked happy!Congrats to your son,Elizabeth

  6. Marisa says:

    What a wonderful set of pictures, Sharon! I just LOVE being able to put faces to names and stories you’ve told on your blog. So nice to see pics of your hubby and mom and dad. Nothing is better than family and you have a fabulous one 😀 So nice to see your dad got out too!! Blessings to you and congrats to your son on his graduation 😀 You have all the right in the world to be a proud mama (((hugs)))

  7. Carla Suto says:

    Wow! Fantastic photos, Sharon! Congrats to Brian on his graduation! It is great seeing your Dad look so good! Thanks for sharing your family’s celebration with us!

  8. Jerri Kay says:

    Sharon, you have no idea how tickled we are to see these wonderful pictures of you and your family. Oh my gosh, it was exciting to see all the family, your sons, your parents, your friends, your beautiful lawn, Sue, and Deb. It’s so heart-warming to see the community coming together for such a joyous event. Many, many congrats to Brian for his accomplishments! I wish him the very, very best in his time in college, such a fun and exciting time in a young adult’s life. Huge congrats to you and Steve for a job well done!

  9. StampinCathy says:

    Congrats Brian! Closing one chapter and starting a new one! What great pictures and your family is so cute. Looks like the party was fabulous and I know you put in a lot work with all that food. Thanks for sharing your the pictures.

  10. Wow! What a beautiful gathering! So happy to see your family, congratulations to Brian, great looking spread of wonderful food with friends and precious family. Your dad looks great!

  11. Joyce says:

    You have a beautiful home and family. Thanks for sharing and you should be a proud Momma this week! All your hard work and guidance has paid off.

  12. Congratulations to Brian! And so glad to see your Dad looking better and so Happy!!

    Thank you for giving us a peek and sharing your family with us.

    God Bless!

  13. Pat says:


    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful weekend with us!!! Your Dad look like he is getting much better. What a wonderful I am sure you had — proud Mama that you are.
    God Bless you and your wonderful family!!!

  14. Joan Fricker says:

    Sharon, what great pictures and a big congratulation is being sent to Brian. I so enjoyed seeing pictures of your family and friends. Brian’s cake is fantastic and I am sure you hated to cut it.

    Your Dad looks wonderful and I know he loved coming to Brian’s party. The picture of your Mom on the porch is priceless. You certainly resemble her a lot.
    It was nice to “meet” your sister’s family and also Steve’s family.
    I loved the picture of you and Deb too. Thanks for sharing them with us!!

  15. Susan Turner says:

    Hello Sharon! Great pics of your happy weekend! So glad your dad is on the mend. I do know what pastys are. My dad was from Calumet. I grew up eating pastys too. You wouldnt want to share a receipe for the prune tarts would you? Or maybe they are from a bakery. lol! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Kathyc on SCS says:

    Hi Sharon, Thanks for sharing photos of this wonderful day; I am SO glad to see your dad looking o good and happy that he could join the celebration! I am sure that it meant a lot to all of you that he could be with you!

  17. What a wonderful celebration !! Congrats to Brian! I know you are one proud mom : ) Glad to see your Dad was able to be there – he looks great! TFS your day with us !

  18. Cherie says:

    Sharon, Thanks so much for sharing your pictures with us! What a great family! You made me so-o-o homesick! I’m from Lewiston, born in Grayling and raised in Alpena. I want a pasty so very bad! Hugs,


  19. Jean says:

    Thank you so much Sharon for sharing the photos with us of your special time with your family. Congratulations to Brian and it was wonderful that your Dad was able to be there and he looked so happy! I was particularly interested in the food that you had for the day. I can relate to pastys. I think of them more as having just cubed beef in them as well as potatoes, carrots and swedes basically! I have never heard of a couple of things you mentioned. The prune tarts and Buckeyes sound very yummy!!
    Hugs, Jean

  20. Sophia says:

    You have such a cute family! Thanks for sharing all those pictures with us. I love seeing people’s families – it makes them so much more “real”. 🙂 Congratulations on your son’s graduation (it appears he graduated with honors, too)!

  21. Cathy Hughes says:

    Thanks for sharing your day with us. You must be so proud of your family. Your dad looks like he is a “hoot”…loved the way he was sitting slouched with that big smile on his face.


  22. Vi Lammertsma says:

    Hi Sharon!
    Thanks for sharing your family and celebrations with us! everyone looks so happy including your Dad!!! Big congratulations to Brian as he embarks on the next stage of his life`s journey! Hope you got to put your feet up afterwards and spend some time savouring the freshly made memories!!
    G`day from
    Alice Springs Australia

  23. Latisha says:

    Sharon, I loved looking and reading about the photos. My oldest starts 9th grade in the fall and I know time is going to go faster than I would like. I loved your rocking chairs on the front porch, how relaxing. This week, I need to find some time and write your dad a quick little note/card.
    Have a great week, and I hope you get some stamp time in 🙂

  24. Janine says:

    looks like a fabulous time Sharon!!

  25. Femy says:

    Awesome pictures Sharon, thank you for sharing one of your most memorable moment.

  26. Janna says:

    I just loved seeing all these pictures! I can tell your family is very important to you! Thank you for sharing these!

  27. Ann Hefenieder says:

    You have a lovely family! Congrats on a what looks to have been a great party!

  28. Curt OBrien says:

    Hey Sharon! You truly have a beautiful family. Thanks for sharing the pics of your youngest son’s graduation. Such a handsome guy (they all are). I was also sorry to hear about your Dad. Bless his heart. I’m going to do a card for him and get it in the mail yet this week. I hope it cheers him. Best, Curt

  29. Meg says:

    Hi Sharon- So glad your party went off with out a hitch, and the weather was great!
    Buckeyes are the best! I’m pleased to see your Dad looking so well,still saying daily prayers for him.

  30. AWESEOME photos! My son is nearly 23 and he is still my baby also!!!! Love the photos of your dad with his foot up. Fantastic!!!

  31. Leigh says:

    Wow Sharon, you and your family had a bit day. Looks fantastic. Wonderful to see all the photos.

  32. What a wonderful celebration Sharon. And lovely photos to scrapbook! Thanks so much for sharing with us all. Our daughter graduated from law school this spring but it was far away from our home in Truro, NS. We attended of course but couldn’t have a big family celebration in Columbus, Ohio! Yours was perfect!

  33. Heidi Kimmerly says:

    Thanks so much for allowing me to join you and your family for the big event. It sure looked like you had a wonderful time.

  34. Kathie says:

    So glad you shared all the pictures – it was delightful for me to see all the people there and hear of all the activities. wish I could have been there!! Love to all!

  35. Sandy (redstampinsam) says:

    Sharon – Great photos. I especially like the ones taken on the front porch with the farmers and rocking chairs, and the ones on the porch steps. I lost my Mom just one year ago and your photos really made me think of my childhood and the great times when we would travel from CA to North Dakota to my Grandparents farm for reunions. I so wish my Son would have had those experiences but it is truly a generation lost to him. We just don’t count our blessings often enough! Thanks for sharing.

  36. nancy littrell says:

    TFS your wonderful and happy family. Congratulations to your high school graduate. Such a special time in all our lives. Your dad looks so very happy being “out” and with family. What a contagious smile your daddy has 🙂 Again TFS

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