Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

This year sucked!  Not going to sugar coat it.

I am saying, "Good Riddance 2011"!

There was some good in this year, but for the most part it has been a pretty hard year for our family.

I have struggled with posting on a regular basis. Mainly just trying to find humor in the days and that has been the hardest thing for me.

We are blessed to have a warm home that protects us from the elements, food in our bellies and plenty of what we need for the time being.

Just emotionally it has totally stressed me out.

I have always been pretty healthy, but this year I was told I was in a high risk category for breast cancer and... that my cholesterol was so high I was now in a high risk category for heart attack.  Geesh!

So, I panicked!  I found out the heart attack stuff right after my 44th birthday and the fear of not being around for my children made me get off my $%^$ and get moving.  Up at 5:45 a.m. every morning to do sit ups, stretches, leg lifts and the treadmill for a combined total of 45 minutes.  And because I am not good with delayed results, I was pleased to lose 16 pounds in about 1 1/2 months.

I credit Jonette for getting me started.  I had a visiting teaching meeting with her in August and she volunteered her time to walk with me.  I was completely incapable at that point of getting myself motivated.  After walking with her twice I knew it was going to have to be on my own because she walks faster than I can run.  And the sad part is that she was really slowing herself down for me.

It worked though.  She got me going.

My cholesterol is better.  My disposition fluctuates.  Obviously there isn't a direct correlation from my moods to my weight.  Who knew?!  I was hoping.

I did get more energy.  Not sure if it was the weight loss or the vitamin D that my doctor put me on because my levels were really low.

Boy, was I mess this year physically.  My fault.

I spent the first part of the year as a "single" parent with Mr. Finn working in the frozen tundra until the end of June.  It was a stress on the family, but we made it through.

And because I deal with stress by eating.  I ate!
A lot!
Things that brought me immediate gratification.  So lots of veggies.

I discovered a dark chocolate bar at Aldi's from Australia.  OH MY!

I found that at a price tag of only $1.29, it was an affordable luxury.

But unfortunately it turned out to be a luxury I truly couldn't afford.

This year I PRAY it will be easier in all ways.  I know it can't, but I could use a little break for at least a little bit.

So for me, no resolutions.  They frustrate me because I don't keep them or fall short.  I just want to handle each day better than the day before.  Even if it is only a millimeter.

Good luck this year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry CHRISTmas 2011

 Nothing says Feliz Navidad like this boy!
 This year we brought home a cat for Christmas.  Whose idea you might ask?
Well... let me give you a hint.
My Hero!  There is a soft spot in there for cats.  I always knew it!
NOT!  He was pretty clear when we got married that a cat would never cross our threshold.

I can't remember if he used things like "hell freezing over" or "lightening", but I am pretty sure that none of this has happened.


Even though hell freezing over would be something to talk about.
Anyways, we now have a cat named Victoria and she pretty much runs the house.

I was joking with Mr. Finn when she was rolling around on the floor that she was saying to herself, "It's all mine!  It's all mine!".
 Santa was good to the kids this year and so were their Grandparents and Aunts and Sister.  Thanks everyone.  They really enjoyed their presents.
 Grandma Lois sent this little boy his Happy Napper and as he told her on the phone, "It's what I always wanted!".  There is truth in that.  He has mentioned it every day for the past 3 months, at least.
 And Grandma Lois got Miss Boo exactly what she needs to finish all those art projects she has started in her room and are on hold due to "lack of correct color" in the box.
Grandma Enid made the kids these wonderful magnet boards.  I just want to know where mine is?!  They are blessed with a Grandma with many talents.  Thanks!
Mr. Finn likes to pass on his childhood loves to his children.  This year it was Lincoln Logs... for obvious reasons.  They are downstairs playing with them right now.

Mr. Finn came home the other day to the kids using "Jenga" blocks to build fences.  Can you imagine how many cool fences they can make now.  It will take some instruction, because as the Dude told his Dad, "We have these at school and I don't know how to make them work.".  There you go.
 These photos are my attempt at learning to use my camera better.  I read how to take pictures with christmas lights on a blog and really wanted to see if it would work.  So here is my attempt at photographing my tree.

 These star ornaments were an idea from a wonderfully, talented woman I visiting teach. Very simple and pretty.  I have a lot in the tree, but they are huge.  She never mentioned you should start with a small piece of paper and not a full sheet.  That's how I learn though.  Lots of error.
 I have been collecting star ornaments for over 20 years.  I love what they symbolize and every year the tree gets fuller.  This year you could actually tell that I was aiming for a star theme.
 And this was thrown in because I never, ever want to forget my dear, sweet Miss Boo and all the colorfulness that is her.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Feeling a lot like CHRISTmas...

 I was telling my Dad yesterday that we had a special visitor on Wednesday and that it made the holiday feel more like CHRISTmas for me.  I love having family around the holidays, especially the ones I enjoy so much.

 The Dude was taking pictures while we sat around the table.  This is my cousin Rob, his delightful wife, Katrina and their adorable daughter, Alyssa.  It has been more than 22 years since I have last seen him but it didn't feel that way.  He was at my mission farewell in 1989.  Wow!  Long time ago.  In that time, he married his beautiful wife and had 3 children in 21 years.  (I think that's right, but I am often wrong.)
It was a fun night of dinner and talking.  I could have sat there all night catching up as they are so enjoyable.  I am hoping they move closer.  How much fun would that be?!

Thank you for coming.
 After they left to pick up their son from the airport, I was standing at the sink doing dishes looking out at these beautiful lights.  What a delight.
 This little boy just yelled at me from the hallway to come see.  He is always a sight for sore eyes.
Merry CHRISTmas Everyone.  Much love to all of you.  Thank you for your love and support through this year.  May God bless you in your holiday season.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


There are so many things about CHRISTmas that I love.
These are two of those reasons.
I had a "friend" tell me recently that Christmas is bad and wrong.  I said to her, "How can be it be so bad if it brings out the good in people?".  It may not be the real birth of our Savior, but it is a day that the majority of people worship his birth and for others it is a day of giving and family and goodwill.

She said that Santa was made up by the Catholics.  I say, "SO WHAT!".  He is a symbol of giving and kindness.  We don't worship Santa in our home.  I am sure there are many that do, but we know what the true meaning of CHRISTmas is.

You can't stand in judgement of a day because of those that don't worship the Savior.  It is a day that focuses us towards the one that can save us from ourselves.
It may not be the actual birth, but my children understand that this is about the Christ.  They know that on CHRISTmas morning they will put Jesus in the manger of our Nativity.  Their idea!  They get the meaning.

Does she?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Off to see the Wizard

There are many things I love about living in these parts and one of them is that we can drive a relatively short distance to all things "Dorothy" and what could be better.
This was one HAPPY Dude.  Who doesn't love the Tinman?  And a gigantic one at that. I love that the museum had hundreds of pieces of memorabilia from over the years.

Did you know that Baum wrote over 20 books that had the almost the same title?  Who knew?
 Excuse the pictures, my iPhone can only do so much.
I was fascinated with all the puppets.  This picture is one of my favorites because it makes me think the puppet is coming back from being a ghost.

 I fell in love with this painting.  Wish I had it for my house.
 This witch totally scared me.  I thought I saw myself.  LOL  Just kidding.
 Miss Boo wasn't keen on taking pictures but she insisted on one with Glenda, the Good Witch.
 I thought these stockings were adorable.

 Mr. Finn decided this is what our children needed to wear to school.
 I absolutely am terrified of flying monkeys.  I ran through this section.
One more of my little guy, because he is so cute!
And I can't end on flying monkeys.  Eeek!
 Some of my favorite things at the museum.  You must come and see it sometime.
Well... if you are ever in Kansas.

I have always wanted red shoes, why not ruby red slippers.  These are gorgeous and were made to mark the 50th anniversary of the movie.
 I loved that you could watch the movie if you had the time.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Fact:  I have been married almost 11 years.
 Another fact:  I have wanted lights on the house for almost 11 years.
 The last fact of this post:  That meant I had to put them up.
And so I did and jumped up and down like a school girl when it got dark enough to see them.

I wonder sometimes who is the bigger kid.

Friday, December 9, 2011

PB and C?!

This post is dedicated to you Laurie.

It's all about the PB y'all.

I know I shouldn't snicker, but...

It's the crack that makes me laugh.  Doesn't matter whether the "P" is a little, let's say "fluffy" or not, there's always crack.  Even those skinny dudes.  Unbelievable.

How is that possible?

I am so irreverent when it comes to the crack.  I start to snicker.  My shoulders shake, my head falls forward and my knees literally quake from the laughter building up on the inside.

My friend Laurie and I have been painting and prepping her husband's new dental office, which I will refer to as the "war zone" until it starts to resemble a building.

Well, today while we were painting the boss's office I had to pass by the plumbers getting their job finished.  FINALLY!  But... well, it was all about the "_tt", wasn't it? Or rather lack thereof, but I started to laugh.  I couldn't help it.  So, I went and shared it with Laurie. A bit later we had to bring some stuff from the other side of the building and as we passed the aforementioned "P" she saw what I was talking about and with the knowledge that she now knew, I once again became a snickering, pathetic person.

But, one would say that laughter is good for the soul.  Today it was.  And sadly at the expense of one hardworking plumber.

To him I say Thank You and please, for the love of Pete, pull up your darn pants.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Over it

 There were a few items from Mr. Finn's bachelor days that made their way into my kitchen cabinets.  One of them was this pan.  It has been well used in 11 years of marriage.  In fact, it has actually lost the ability to be non-stick in this past year.

In many ways this pan is like me.  I feel worn down.  I don't let anything roll off my back anymore.  It just sticks to me and I can't seem to get it off.  Especially when it comes to Mr. Finn.

I used to think he was really funny, but not so much these days.
As he told Miss Boo, "Mom had her sense of humor surgically removed", in response to her comment that I (Mom) didn't find him (Dad) funny.
I couldn't even find that funny.
I wonder why that is.
Was he never funny and I was just in the "honeymoon" phase of our life?
Was I not as serious back then?
Or have I indeed lost my sense of humor?
The truth is that I don't have an answer to that conundrum right now.  I will have to ponder it some more and hopefully I can figure out what happened, because according to Mr. Finn he is really funny.
I suppose he can be.  At times.  Not all the time.
But, for now I have a new pan that is shiny and everything rolls out of it like butter.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

For all to hear

 Winter is here!  A part of me is ready, but the other part is rebelling with all it's might.  The Dude's tractor really never had a chance outside in the cold.  Well, it was thrown in the wheelbarrow sometime in the Fall and that is really what did it in.
But... it makes for a really cool picture.
Mr. Finn is calling it a Missouri Zamboni.
 My little boy had a part in the Christmas Program for his school.  He never even let me know that he did, but he did great.  Clear, concise and didn't even seem nervous.
But, I have to say that as a Mom, shouldn't I have known that he had a part?
How could I not know?
He even said to me before we left for the program that he was really nervous.  I told him he would be fine.  That isn't right!
Aren't mothers supposed to know everything in their children's lives?
Well, at least the stuff that matters?
Sometimes I wonder if my kids will survive me because apparently Mr. Finn knew.

And yet... I didn't.  Isn't there some husband/wife code that says they make sure the other one is in the loop?
What's up with the kid's belly?
 I knew Miss Boo had lines in the play and she did well.  She is so good at memorizing things and I knew she would be able to pull it off without a hitch.  And she did!
 Do you remember the days as a kid when you would just belt out the songs?
Before you realized that you couldn't sing.
I love to sing, but those around me don't want to hear me sing.  I can't blame them.
My mother used to tell me that I sounded like a crow.  That is when I quit singing loudly.  Maybe I should start singing loudly again.  I heard once that singing is a form of worship and participation.
 I love that they take the singing seriously and never forgot their parts.
 I get choked up when I watch my children excel at what they are doing.  There is something about that whole "pride" thing.  It really "wells" up inside you and wants to burst out of your chest.

At least, in my experience it feels that way.  Makes me want to be that obnoxious parent that is elbowing the person next to her, saying "That's my kid!".

Maybe even a big "Whoo Hoo!" shouted very loudly at the most inappropriate moment.

But, alas I am not that kind of parent.  I inwardly wished I had the nerve to be, but for now I will BEAM with pride.