Friday, June 24, 2011

Highlights of the week

We had a friend and her son visiting the last couple of days.  They took us along to the Science Museum with them yesterday and here's the rundown of adventure as seen through my camera lens.

 And with the imagination of children.  Thanks DJ for "Amphybio".  He made a few people laugh.
 The Dude totally loved jamming on those trash can drums.  Wasn't too shabby either!
 The trip to the moon was pretty "stellar".
 The contraption worked with the movement of your hands.  The kids were fascinated.
 I was too.

Where did his legs go?
And hers?
 Watch closely...
 Pretty cool, eh?
 Such a pensive player.
 What's the fun of it all without digging for dinosaur bones?
 And of course, a little golf.  She must have watched Harry Potter... looks like she is trying to summon some magic spell to get the ball in the hole.  lol
 And what adventure is complete without Lyle the Dinosaur?
 Just in case you missed out Miss Boo is trying to make it look like she is petting him.  Totally did it without and prompting from Mom.  Do I have an actress on my hands?
 And this picture totally cracks me up.
 Did I tell you that the Dude is a pilot?
Well, maybe only in his mind, but he takes it pretty seriously.
 How do you like her new glasses?  Did I mention that she lost her first pair after only 4 months while we were visiting Mr. Finn in the frozen tundra?
She looks pretty cute.
So does the stinker hamming it up beside her.
 I wish you could hear what he is saying into his hand.  His daddy pretends to be talking into a C.B. type thingy all the time.
His son picked up on that and was having quite a chat with an imaginary person.
He has since denied it.
 Who wouldn't want a pilot that intent on his driving... errr, flying?
 They were dreaming about flying in the clouds so they went down and made some of their own.
I love science.
 And... this was for Miss Boo.  It was really beautiful.
I wish I hadn't had the Dude pulling my arm telling me we didn't have to have pictures of everything and that he was done with it all and very tired.
It was a fun day!  So glad we were able to go.  The kids need these experiences for their minds... it helps them to stretch their imaginations and that was fun for me to watch.
Poor alligator didn't stand a chance.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers... and guilt

Uncle William (Other Dad's identical twin brother), Me and Dad
When I was a child, I felt guilty a lot when I thought of my Dad.  How do you explain to a five year old that it is o.k. to love two Dads?  I felt like I was cheating if I thought of my father that had passed away.  I felt bad if I loved my "new" dad.
No one took the time to tell me it was OK to love both.  Equally.
More guilt.
But... I didn't know and so I spent years avoiding thinking of my father who had passed away.  As I got older I felt bad for that.
And... more guilt.
Now that I am much older, I have told myself it is o.k. to love both equally and for very different reasons.

Heavenly Father blessed me with two Dads to love.  Two that would touch my life in very different ways.  I would have preferred that my Father were still alive and that he could have had an active role in how I grew up, but that wasn't the case.

Instead I was given memories of his love for me.  I have my Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents that helped me to know him and to appreciate the kind of person he was.

The Father that raised me helped me to be a strong, independent woman.  I don't know if he truly knows how much of I am is because of him.  I knew him to be an honest businessman while I was growing up.  I wanted people to regard me in the same way as an adult, so I emulated that.

I served a mission, in part, because of him.  I wanted him to be proud of me for making good decisions and to give him the joy of having a missionary in the field.
When I was going through the worst time in my life, I drove four hours to talk to my Dad.  He wasn't expecting me, but left work and drove me through the mountains for an hour before I could finally talk to him.  He never said a word, just let me cry and talk.  When I was done talking, he said one thing to me.

"You need to decide if staying will take you closer to your Heavenly Father.  If something is taking you farther away then you need to re-evaluate."

It was great advice and it still works with everything I do in my life.  I have used that advice with my children and friends.

Happy Fathers Day Dad.  I love you!

I love my Dads.  How many get to be blessed with two.

No more guilt.

One more little memory that sprang to my mind while writing this.  My Uncle John (who passed away several years ago) was trying to help me remember my new last name when I was adopted by my dad.

He said;
"You have come from being a rose to a wilted flower on a river bank."

I cried.

But, I never forgot my last name again.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The one that almost got away

Fact:  Mr. Finn loves to fish.
I didn't always know that.
He loved golf and tennis when we first got together.
And hiking.  How could I forget that.
I even hiked the Grand Canyon for him.
It was almost as bad as childbirth.
It lasted just as long.
 If it wasn't for the helicopter ride out of the canyon, it would have been a complete disappointment.  (well, kind of.)
Thank you for that ride Mr. Finn.
Too bad you missed it. (mainly because I had the better seat.  Ha Ha!)
After 10 years of marriage he has become the fisherman.  Every chance he gets.
He takes the kids with him and they enjoy it too.
As long as there are no spiders.
He tricks me into it by asking me to go with them to the play area for a little bit.
We got home after dark.
Don't get me wrong, I like to fish.  But when you don't have a license, all you can do is watch and that gets boring.  Kind of like watching Golf.  Or paint dry.
At least he could have done was warn me and I could have brought a good book to read.
And to think...
I almost let him get away.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The fire is 16% contained which is a miracle in itself. My parents are back home as well as the other residents of Eagar/Springerville.
Now the Huachuca mountains are burning.   Floods are all over the midwest and expect to hit the area Mr. Finn works in within a couple of days.

It's a crazy time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Reason #1 I love comments

Helaman 5:12 "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

As the world descends into chaos, we can have peace if we know Who we trust in.  

Thank you Shannon for this.

Time will tell

Wallow Fire: Crews make gains as winds die down

Thousands of residents soon may be allowed back

After 13 days of relentless fury, the Wallow Fire rested.
In the absence of blustering winds, the voracious blaze laid down on Friday, allowing firefighters to gain a foothold by setting preventive burns and cutting fire breaks in its path.
By nightfall, crews had gained 6 percent containment, an increase from just zero percent two days earlier, said Kelly Wood, a spokesman for the fire command.

The amount of pine forest and meadowland consumed by the second-largest fire in Arizona history grew to 408,887 acres Friday from about 386,000 on Thursday.
But no additional homes or buildings were lost. At least 50 have been destroyed so far. And no injuries were reported.

Jim Whittington, spokesman for the Southwest fire-management team, said: "We had a really good day today. We are feeling really good about the east flank of Greer. That's going to be a critical piece we are going to be watching tomorrow."
Conditions are expected to be more difficult today, and Whittington said "we are very concerned about the winds," which could be 25-35 mph, with gusts even higher on the ridges.
But perhaps more importantly for thousands of evacuees, there was talk that at least some residents may be able to return to their homes in Eagar, Greer and Springerville.
Chief Deputy Brannon Eagar of the Apache County Sheriff's Office said poor air quality and back-burn operations could delay the lifting of evacuation orders until Monday.
Officials said they may still need three to five days of mop-up around Alpine and Nutrioso, but residents should be able to return after that.
For Ross Ashcroft, 77, and other longtime residents of the White Mountains, the good news was offset by fear of what they might find - a forest of ash and charcoal.
Ashcroft wondered whether he'd again see the colorful fall foliage of Escudilla Mountain or marvel at the view from his Eagar home.
"That's kind of why we hate to go back and look at it," he said. "Imagine going back and seeing it all black."
Instead of flames roaring down mountain slopes and mushroom clouds of smoke overhead, the prevailing image Friday was a gray pall covering hundreds of square miles as the fire mostly stayed at ground level.
That was posing a new problem. Mark Schaffer, director of communications for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, said because the fire had dropped down low and the winds subsided, smoke had become "very hazardous."
"We've got a serious potential health problem on our hands" in the Springerville-Eagar area, he said. Fine dust particulates are way above national safety standards of 30 milligrams per cubic meter, with overnight readings at 1,200 mpcm.
Whittington said the smoke affects firefighters to a great extent. "We are dealing with the hand that was dealt by Mother Nature. We've got to get out and stop this fire. And that means we are going to have to suck some smoke to get it done," he said.
Command officials emphasized that nobody is out of the woods when it comes to the Wallow Fire's remaining threat: stiff winds of up to 25 mph that have been driving the flames all week are expected to kick up again this afternoon.
But Friday's calm, with breezes up to 15 mph, allowed a team of thousands of firefighters and support staff to get some rest and to launch an offensive from the air and on the ground.
Wood said numerous backfires were set by hotshot crews south of the high country towns.
Logistically the firefighting operation is a marvel: 211 engines, 17 bulldozers, 16 water tankers, 14 helicopters, 3,137 people and one DC-10 air tanker dropping fire retardant.
Standing on a cliff overlooking the Little Colorado River near Greer, R.J. Estes of the Southwest Incident Management Team pointed to at least three smoke plumes where crews had ignited the forest between homes and the approaching blaze, literally fighting fire with fire.
The relative calm was a bit of hope for residents at Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop-Lakeside as they waited for word on the fate of their homes and the surrounding forest. About 50 stayed at the shelter Thursday night.
Lynn Livingston, a retired high school teacher from Springerville, has been sleeping in her car outside the shelter with her Rottweiler, Molly, since Tuesday. Pets aren't allowed in the shelter and Molly has seizures, so she can't be boarded.
"All I want to know is when can we go home," Livingston said. "I don't know what we're going to find when we drive up to our gates. It's almost scarier than packing up and coming here."
Friday's reprieve also gave firefighters a chance to talk about the devastation of the Wallow Fire and the huge effort to stop it.
Michael Umphrey, a medic with a 20-man crew out of Ronan, Mont., said he spent six nights patrolling burnout operations and was stunned that the blaze remained active even at 2 a.m. "I've never seen a fire burn up so much timber before," Umphrey said. "That's what struck me."
Pierre Malatare, with the same crew out of Montana, said the fire moved so fast that maps showing its boundaries quickly became useless.
"The scariest part, at least for us, is working around houses," Malatare said. "At night, you don't know what all your hazards are. You get a lot of downed wires. One particular house we were by up near Nutrioso had a lot of warning signs about bear traps. It was slow going through there, but no one stepped in one."
Malatare said that, while flames licked right up to one man's porch, firefighters were able to save the home.
"It feels real good just to be able to help out," he added.
Republic reporter D.S. Woodfill contributed to this article.

The truck in front makes me laugh.  Truly looks like refugees.  Sadly, it reminds me of my hometown all too well.

 This map is to show how big the fire in the mountains is compared to the Valley area.

Mother Nature is certainly something.
My parents evacuated a week ago to stay with my sister in Gilbert, AZ.  They will probably returning tomorrow.

I feel that we are just beginning to see our new reality as it stands today.  Mr. Finn was telling me how the earthquake in Japan over a month ago changed the earth axis.  I heard that it has been moving for a while and the earthquake really did some work on it.  It means a whole lot of "new" for all of us.  It seems to go along with the prophecy of "... know not what season it is..." or something like that.  I think they are supposed to change and I have definitely seen the evidence of that.

As Mr. Finn always says, "Time will tell".

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Pink" me out to the ball game...

Our family loves baseball.
Well, the children love eating food at the game and playing on the various things for kids.
And, not to mention the handouts.
He loves his kids.  He spent quite some time watching them.
Not the game!
Mr. Finn, on the other hand, loves baseball.  
I like it a lot.  
It was the thing I learned for him.
You all know what I am talking about ladies!  It's the one thing that your guy loves and because you want to impress him, you learn all about this thing for his benefit.

So, he will think you are the greatest.

When I was on my mission, Mr. Finn started writing me the last 9 months or so that I was there.  He knew I would have to write him back because of mission rules.  He had his "In" as he puts it.

I knew then from what he wrote that he loved baseball, so my companion, Hna Steele taught me the song.  You know the one...

"Take me out to the ball game. Take me out to the park.  Give me some peanuts and cracker jacks.  I don't know if I'll ever get back.  So, it's root, root, root for the home team.  If they don't win it's a shame.  For it's one... two... three strikes you're out!  At the old Ball GAME!"
Our little Finnettes love singing this song at the top of their lungs.  One little problem.  See if you can find it.

"Pink me out to the ball game.  Pink me out to the game."

I think you can figure it out.  It is so adorable that I really don't want to change it, but I don't want them to get beat up either.  Kids can be cruel.  How did they ever come up with that one?

Can you guess which one came up with it?
It was a very hot day and I got this strange eye infection so that by the end of the game I could barely see.  Pussy, yucky, nasty stuff was oozing out of my eyes.

Aren't you glad I shared that?

We got so worn out from the heat, despite the kids cute umbrellas that we left sometime in the 3rd inning.
Well, as worn out as five year old can be.
Even though the event never goes as planned, I am glad that Mr. Finn values family time and plans fun things for us to do together.
Even when that includes eating ball park hot dogs.
That... by the way, used to be good and the reason you ate at the ball park.  These were lacking a lot in flavor.

But, for a buck, what do you expect?
He gives me that little nudge to get me out of the house.  I am not much of one for the heat or dirt, so he is good to help me join in with the family.

After all, we do have a pretty great one!