Monday, December 29, 2008


I wandered into the kitchen to find Rosey perched atop a chair in front of the snack cabinet.  Doors wide open and the M & M dispenser sitting on the counter.  I could hear plink...plink...plink coming from her direction.

As I got closer I could see her sorting the M & M's into a bowl.  I asked her what she was doing and was surprised by her answer. 

"I'm taking out the green and yellow ones because Rhyney doesn't like them."

I was taken aback that she was doing something so thoughtful and kind for her brother.

Has anyone seen the movie Evan Almighty?  I resisted it for a veeerrrrryyyyy long time thinking it would be cheesy.  It surprised me in many ways.  I love the humor and especially the overall message of the movie.  A.R.K.  (Acts of Random Kindness)  Give it s a shot, you might just like it!

"True Kindness is gifted in life from those who do not pretend their intent." -Ernie Vecchio

Where is he?

Mr. Finn had to talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday so I got the kids all to myself.  Rosey decided she wanted to sit with Daddy on the stand, which was o.k. with me.  One child is always easier and QUIETER!  She preened like a mother hen and beamed at everyone.  It was so funny to watch.  By the way, he did an excellent job!

Ryan stayed with me and mostly on my lap.  He always gets squirmy during prayers, especially the sacrament.  He always tells me to open my eyes and quit going to sleep.  Still working on that!  He was getting pretty bad so I told him that we were supposed to think of Jesus during the Sacrament and he asked where is he?  I said he was here, around us.  He pops up on my lap, scanning the congregation as fast as he could and says quite loudly, "Where is he, I can't see him?"  I guess I need to work on that too!

Minutes later he was looking up my nose wanting to know what was up there.  Yikes!  It's not like he is quiet or anything.  I told him there wasn't anything to which I get the quick reply.  "There's something ugly up there!"  Oh my goodness.  I thought Sister Burch was going to burst behind us.

And now I get to BRAG!!!!  The Dude is officially POTTY TRAINED.Did I say that loudly enough?  He is always so excited to go to Nursery and yesterday was no exception, but I was a little nervous as he was wearing his big boy underwear.  We haven't ventured out of the house unprotected thus far in the training, but he refused to wear a diaper.  I told them to ask him often if he needed to go and come get me so I could help him.  The previous week we didn't have the best experience peeing in a different potty, so I wanted to make sure he didn't get soaked.  I checked on him several times, but had to teach in Relief Society so couldn't check on him for over an hour after the last check.

When I went to pick him up after church, he was in such a happy mood.  Not unusual by the way, but just worth notable mention!  Sister Bebel stopped me in the hallway and said that she thought he was so adorable.  I said thank you, of course.  She said he told her he had to pee, so she took him because he said he could do it by himself.  Really?  That is something I haven't experienced.  She said he did it all himself and then as he was flushing, said "Goodbye Pee!".  That's my boy!  No more diapers for life!  I am so excited about that.  I couldn't be prouder if he were flying to the moon.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Oh, Christmas Day!

Out in the hallway, there arose such a Clatter...

We awoke from our slumber wond'ring what was the matter.

And what to our wondering eyes did appear?

But, an excited little girl with a happy ole cheer.

To start the day early, around 6 a.m. or so.

So get up.  Lets go!  On with the Show.

Rosey sends songs of good cheer from the Guitar she inherited from her cousin Mimi.  Santa brought her a strap to hold it up so she can play lots more songs for us all day long.  
Ryan only lasted until 4 p.m. and then fell asleep in the hallway.

The missionaries spent the afternoon in our home and brought with them the spirit of charity and peace.  I thank them for playing with the children.  Whew!  Wore them out!

Rosey was so hard to get to bed last night and was up and wiggly before daylight.  We were able to fend her off for an hour, but the wiggling finally drove us to turn on the TV for a Christmas show so we could have a few more minutes.   Unfortunately, it is like an alarm to The Dude, so we got up and started our morning festivities.  

They were so excited!  Do you remember what it was like to feel that way on Christmas morning?  I almost felt it, then it was gone in a flash.  Christmas presents and stockings are for the children, but I find great joy in watching them.  The Dude squealed with delight many times over the next hour and Rosey kept saying "Cool".  This Christmas didn't include the over abundance of presents as in years past, but it was perfect.  

While I was talking to Enid about it this morning, we agreed that it was just better without so much material so they could enjoy what they have and maybe if things go as planned, remember that this is really about Jesus and his Birthday.  That special day long ago that changed our lives forever.  We are blessed to have this day to remember him specifically.  I know we have every day of our lives, but at this time we tend to remember more in our actions and that is something that I yearn for every year.  To have everyone be kinder for a while.  How I wish it could be every day forever, but I will take the Christmas Holiday.

My Christmas wish this year is that I can put into practice what I so want to see in the world. 

I hope everyone had a really wonderful Christmas. Wish you here!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Reflections

These are some of our traditions and the things that have given me reflection on this Christmas Eve.

Beautiful poinsetta from Becky.  Thanks so much.
Christmas cans filled with goodies for the neighbors. (made with recycled Christmas cards and paper.)

Kings have Jesters to taste their foods.   Santa has one of these...
...and one of these!
Traditional Santa cookie plate.

Rosey has a Holiday Tree that she decorates according to her wishes.

Our front door that is open to all.

Bells hung on our front porch to ring in the New Year!

We were blessed with a beautiful sunset in Christmas colors.

Our Cozy little neighborhood wrapped in a blanket of snow.  (Natalie, you can see your back porch from this view.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Math Problem



= (equals)
1.  Boo Boo on sweet little forehead 
2.  Trip to Children's Mercy Urgent Care
3.  Late Night
4.  Little Sleep
5.  Grateful that it wasn't worse

Monday, December 22, 2008


What does this look like?

A really nice Bra?

By the way, not my bra!
Did you really think I would put a picture of my bra on here?  It's shy.

According to my little guy it is for my elbows!

How did he come to that conclusion?

Friday, December 19, 2008

And A HO HO HO To You Too!

We are excited to see the big man in red and white.

Until we arrive and then what a fright.

We kick.  We scream.  We run with all our might.

But Ma holds strong in her determination,

For this years photo and barely dodge extermination.

Rosey, of course, deals us a blow.

Due to her  GRAND NO SHOW.

But, what is important to know...

and hope it will be...

A Very Merry Christmas to Thee!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Neil Diamond Live!

Please note that cameras were not allowed.  Delete from memory after viewing!

If you look really, really, really closely you can see the Man himself, the one and only Neil Diamond.  My IPhone makes it look like I am in the Blimp.

I received a call from Mr. Finn on Monday telling me that he had a surprise for me and had even arranged for a babysitter.  A real babysitter!  He did this on his own?  It must be big!  He said he got tickets for Neil Diamond.  I have always wanted to see him in concert, I believe I told Ralph when we were engaged this very fact.  Lo and behold, he remembered!  See why I am married to him?

We were actually able to leave the children with Aunt Becky who came to visit with the twins.  What fun that has been to have them.  Miss Boo loves Aussie and Ashy, after all, it is like idol worship when they are all together.  She loves that!

We arrived early enough to walk around a bit and early enough to realize that it is a geriatic crowd that comes to his concerts.  It didn't fill up until almost 8 p.m., so Neil didn't come on until almost 8:30.  Had to give everyone a chance to get to their seats...slowly...heh heh heh.  Actually it was a good mix of age, we just happened to be surrounded by the "culdesac" club.  LOL

I pulled out my IPhone to pull off the notes I took at the concert.  I wanted to remember those special thoughts that you have when you are having the time of your life, to discover that one of my dear children has deleted them.  That's what I get for taking so long to get this post done.  Now, I will have to wing it.

As Neil came out and the music swelled, I found myself bursting with emotion.  I was actually at a Neil Diamond concert.  HOW COOL IS THAT?!  

I laughed.  I cried.  I FELT!!!  It has been so long since I have felt anything besides the usual "daily survival" that I felt liberated, if only for one night.

I fell in love with Mr. Finn all over again!  He knows me!  
He loves me!  It was like the days before children when it was all about us and having fun together without all the DRAMA.  I can still feel that today.  Do I really need this every year to remind me why I fell in love with Mr. Finn?  I remember feeling this way after a George Strait/Ronnie Millsap Concert when Ryan was a year old.  Maybe, it really is about spending time together alone, doing things that bring you closer.

We SANG loudly together to Sweet Caroline, pressed cheeks together during You Don't Bring Me Flowers and shouted the words to Cherry, Cherry.  And with disappointment we watched as Neil Diamond finally left the stage without singing "Coming to America".  I looked at Ralph and asked him if he, meaning Neil, had got the memo about my coming.  We chuckled a little and then to our delight saw the Star of the Show return and sing the song we had come to hear.  It has special meaning for me this year as I have become a new addition to this Country.  I cried like I do during General Conference songs.  He sang for another 30 minutes leaving us filled to the brim and exuberantly happy for our  VERY COLD walk to the car.  (1 Degree on this particular evening.)  The great part is that it didn't feel as cold on the way back as it did on the way in.  I was warmed from head to toe.

As for the man sitting to my left, please see a doctor about that nose thing you do.  Even my dear husband wouldn't trade places with me!  YUCK!  YUCK! YUCK!  I don't even care that you are probably 80, it wasn't pleasant.

Oh, and that "geriatic" stage that Mr. Diamond has is completely cool.  Can you believe it moves him up and down the stage as he performs.  Awesome.  I need one of those.

Thank you, my dear Mr. Finn for giving me a great evening out.  With you! (and Neil)

Wait until you hear what I did tonight

Tune in tomorrow for some very exciting news.  I am too tired and much too worn out from all the excitement.  

Hint:  Is there anything better than a Diamond?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

And then there was silence...

For the past two days it has blown and blown and blown.  So much, in fact, that we had to take down our gigantic bells that were beat to heck and back.

It blew so much and was so loud that the kids started calling it Thunder.  And then at 9:30 this morning, it suddenly stopped as if realizing it had outstayed its welcome and left in a huff.  (Pun intended.)

I often wonder if Wind is natures way of cleaning up.  As much as I dislike that much wind, I like how clean everything looks.  The trees are stripped of the last straggling leaves and the grass is cleansed of all the debris it might have collected from the earlier wimpy winds.  

I could use a little wind in my house this season, and I don't mean hurricane Ryan.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mr. Stinky Feet

We went to Ryan's first concert today at the Library.  Have you heard of Mr. Stink Feet?  I had no idea who that was, but I loved it!  Ryan enjoyed the Stinky Foot Song a lot because he got to say Peeyou! (sp?)  A LOT!  He especially enjoyed the line about his sister having stinky feet.  He laughed his silly laugh at that.

As for Rosey...hmmmm, where do I start?  She wanted to go sit by her friend Connor, so I said o.k. because she goes to school with him.  The next thing I know they are holding hands.  Ok, ok, they are friends and 4 years old.  I look at his Mom Kate and we pass the look to each other.  You know the look, the one that says what's up with that.
As we were singing "Hark,Harold the Angel Sings", I glanced over a Rosey to see how she was doing and was shocked by what was unfolding before my eyes.  
(Look at this little charmer!)
I watched as they leaned into each other and kissed on the LIPS!  I couldn't believe my eyes...did Kate?  I look at her with panic in my eyes only to be met with the same desperate look.  What do we do?  Do we make a scene and stop them?  As luck would have it, the kiss ended quickly to our relief, but oh my gosh!  THEY ARE 4 YEARS OLD!!!

After that, Mr. Stinky Feet asked for volunteers to be in his band and Connor was up and gone!  Whew!  Rosey enjoyed the rest of the concert watching her best friend Elise and the other kids play instruments in Mr. Stinky's Band.  By the way, I enjoyed it a little more as well.

When Ralph got home from work he asked Rosey why she kissed Connor and she said, "Because I love him!"  Doesn't that make sense?  She sees her Mommy and Daddy kiss because they love each other.  Yikes!  I am going to have a talk with her about what is proper kissing of friends.  CHEEKS ONLY!!!

There is always something happening in this family.  I think that is a good thing.  Gives us a chance to grow.

Ralph was out of town last night and as we were sitting at the dinner table Rosey says it isn't the same without Daddy here.  I said it is like a part of our family is missing and she says, "A really big part".  That is so sweet to know how she feels about our family unit.   Then I hear Ryan say, "I miss my Daddy!"

I do to!

Christmas Vacation

I explained to my sleepy little girl this morning that she needed to get ready for school as Christmas Vacation starts next week.

"Where do I get to go?" she asks

You get to stay here at home, it's really more for the teacher.

"OH!" she says.

I wonder if that will change the way she looks at Christmas Vacation for the rest of her life!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree!

We did it!  We got a tree before the middle of the month was not freezing cold, blowing winds or even snowing.  I know!  I know!  It was bound to happen sooner or later.

It is the perfect tree.  Every year I long for that tree with the smell of pine so thick in the air you can almost taste it.  I was told by the "Tree" guy that if I wanted that tree, this would have to be the one.

It also happened to be the one that our official tree selector settled on after a little encouragement from the tree buyers.  She migrates instantly to the $80, 9 foot trees that are more than I really want at Christmas.  I don't have the strength to decorate one that big with the help of my wee ones.  

Rosey put up the step stool and stood looking into, smelling and touching her tree for over an hour.  If I would have let her sleep in it, she would!

We will spend the day decorating it or maybe not since I have 3 additions to our children today, so we may postpone until later on this afternoon.  I am too faint hearted to attempt such a fate with 5 kiddies helping.

O.k. it took almost all day to get it done, but it turned out quite nice. I do notice from the picture that once again, I have shorted the lower branches. I am always one string short no matter how many strings I have. Oh well, it is still beautiful and my decorator Rosey was a great inspiration.

Monday, December 8, 2008

And they sang Away in a Manger

Giving her brother a hug before we leave for the Christmas Program.  We were all a little shocked!

She even accessorized her dress with a bracelet.  She's all about the bling.

As you can see, she had her eyes on us for most of the program.

This camel was too cute for words.  The humps were peoples heads.  Awesome!

I could eat her up, she is so cute.

This was Rosey's 2nd Christmas program at her church school.  Last year was a disaster as she couldn't see us and had a meltdown.  So this year, we parked ourselves in the 2nd row for a perfect view.  When she walked in and was situated on the stage, she immediately started looking for us.  The joy illuminated her face when she found us.

She actually sang and did the motions and sounds that went with the program, all the while waving and smiling at us.  It warmed our hearts and brought tears to my eyes.  There is no greater joy than watching your children do well at something or even just DO!  She was incredible!  We love her so much.

As for the DUDE, well you can imagine how it is when all the attention is on his sister.  He was a tad bit loud stating he wanted to go home.  This is after running back and forth from the christmas tree, skipping all the way.

Just think!  Next year he will be the one doing the program and Rosey will be watching from the audience.  
How quickly things change?

Every time we passed a Nativity while we were out viewing the Christmas lights afterwards, she would say that was what her program was about.  Smart kid.

When I put her to bed she told me that Away in a Manger was her favorite song from the program.  She also wanted to know if I thought she was the best singer.  Of course my child, the angels don't compare.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I liked how confident Becky was feeling after some practice.  Mr. Finn is a good brother.

Becky on the right.  I was on the left, but Ralph shot the ones that are closer to the bullseye.  I am not the best shot, but I could definitely cause some damage to a kneecap.
It was a windy day and I thought the flags were cool
Check her out!  Looks like she means business.

It is official!  We have two very adorable children, but they definitely belong to the "homebody" club. 

We went to Mr. Finns sister's house for the weekend to just sit and visit.  Our children were good for a short while and then the "I want to go home" started.  First from the Dude and then from Miss Boo.  They love visiting their cousin Mimi, but they love their own beds just as much.  At least that is true for the Dude.  Miss Boo likes her computer games and especially her stuff.

Mr. Finn and I both agreed that we had a relaxing time and was probably one of our best visits to the relatives.   They live in a beautiful home that overlooks a wildlife refuge.  Miss Boo and I would sit in the chaise and watch the birds in the morning.  She declared it was the best spot ever and even got to see a woodpecker.

We went to the shooting range on Saturday to get in some target practice and just get comfortable with a gun.  Yes!  I do own a gun and am proud of it.  I just need to feel secure when my hubby is out of town.  I am fiercely protective of my children and would hate knowing I could have prevented something from happening to them.  
Therefore...I am prepared.  I just needed to get more comfortable with it.  It's kind of like a new bra, you have to try it on to see if it fits right and there won't be any malfunction or operator error.

I had one of those moments with my SIL (sister in law) Becky that reconfirmed why I love being with her.  For those that don't know, I graduated from High School with her, so I have known her for a very long time.   Sidebar over...we were in Target and found this great dress by Isaac Mizrahi that we both liked.  So we decided to try it on, but in our respective sizes of course.  As we walked out of the dressing rooms we both burst into laughter.  You have to get the full picture, she is about 5'4" petite and I am 5'7" not so much, in other words we are built completely different.  Even then, the dress looked awful on both of us for very different reasons.  I am glad she likes to do that kind of thing, after all, it was a $60 dress on sale for $14.95.  Who wouldn't try it on and give it a go?

It was a great trip, wish we had more time.  Thanks for having us.  Come visit soon!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Another Day

I made my special Christmas cookies for the Cantata.  
They're only special because I think so.

Then ironed that pile of clothes that has been piling up for months on the dryer.  (I really thought the Ironing Fairy was going to take care of it!)

And...this is what's left of the Backyardigans book that Miss Boo got from the Library. Someone was gracious enough to put it in more manageable pieces.  Arrgghhhh! Haven't I paid for enough damaged material?  Maybe we should ask the Dude!

So, I spent the entire day in my PJ's because I was just too busy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Major Flaw

OK, so the truth is I'm grumpy when I am tired.  I want to turn the light out at 10 p.m.  I don't really want to talk or anything else, it is a flaw in my character.  You could say I am selfish when it comes to my TIREDNESS and completely irrational.  And YES, I have been known to pick a fight just so I can be left alone to SLEEP.  Mr. Finn takes the brunt of my FLAW because our darling offspring are nestled all snug in their beds at this time, which means that I won't scar them for life over it.

My apologies to Mr. Finn as he is a patient man who loves me in spite of my flaw.

Right?  It's not like I have any other flaws.  Really!  Have I convinced anyone yet? Myself?  Hmmmm, maybe I need to work on that.  Ready, Set, Go!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Our Bishop declared he had a BHAG to share with us.  




Anyways, he wants us to become a ZION people.  A Zion Ward.    

That was a month ago and although I kind of forgot about it, I realize that we have been working on it even at a subconscious level.  Things are less CRAZY around here as crazy as that may seem to say.

Last Sunday he posed his BHAG to us again and asked if we remembered it and if we were working on it.  A Sister in the ward said "No offense Bishop, but I have enough on my plate right now and don't want to willingly invite new trials and challenges into my life.  

Amen!, was my reply under my breath.  Who would want that when life is already so complicated?

The Bishop's reply was, "Are we looking at the end goal, what comes at the end of the trials...the blessings?"  

Hmmmm, didn't think of that.

He had a good point when he said that we tend to fixate on the NOW and not the LATER that is always going to come.  Wouldn't it be great if when we got to the LATER  it was better because we worked in the NOW?  He used the statement: "If it is to be, it is up to me".  So simple.

I have been pondering this (yes, I occasionally do that) and know that if we want a ZION state in our homes, in ourselves and in our Wards, we have to pray for it and work at it.  Sometimes it seems like a lofty goal, but imagine if we were truly able to accomplish it?  That would truly be AWESOME indeed and I want to be part of that!