Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vacation Catch up

I am horrible at getting things written down, especially here on my blog.  I wanted to add in the rest of our escape trip away earlier this month.
The Dude loves my Indiana Jones Hat.
I told Mr. Finn that I didn't want to be rushed because we always get so testy with each other when do too much and have to somewhere at a certain time.  He gave me what I wanted and it was a really nice, relaxing time.
I'm not really sure why people rub Lincoln's nose for luck.
We passed!
And still had good luck on our trip.
She was very proud that she was able to catch a fish on Mr. Finn's home made fishing pole.  She was the only one that did!  Good on you Boo!
 We learned some things about our daughter...
She is quite the poser.  Wants the picture to look real.   Like she is really touching something that she is not allowed to.
Don't know where she got that, but it is pretty funny!
Did you notice the braids?  That is new too.  She is all about braiding her hair to the side in rows.  Mr. Finn says her name should be "Boonicqua" or something like that with the new "do".
The Dude is a lot like me.  He stays away from the bugs and such.  I love the outdoors if I don't have to wander in them too much.

Before we went down south to camp, we went north to Illinois to see some history.  We stopped in Hannibal on the way to Springfield, but decided we didn't want to walk around in a cave with just lanterns.  Miss Boo would never have survived.  She doesn't do well in dark spaces.
 And because I have a love for black and whites, here are a few of my favorites.  These were done before I broke my camera in Chicago.
Lincoln's Tomb
Spectacular Tomb
Touch Down Jesus.
 Apparently you can see this from the football field and it earned this nickname.
Mr. Finn had been telling me about it so we had to find while we were at Notre Dame.
 Mr. Finn believes it is never to early to get your kids comfortable with college campuses so we get to visit them often.  This one was pretty spectacular.  They wore t-shirts from here on their first day of school.
 The Dude cracks up when we travel.  He has to have the optimum traveling conditions and prepares for it in advance so he is not uncomfortable.  This doesn't look very comfy to me, but I didn't have to use it.
We did go see some other caves closer to the campgrounds on our down South.  Thank heavens for lighting.  It was 1 1/2 hours underground.  I thought the kids wouldn't handle it well, but they did great.

It's hard to photograph in there, but you can tell that the kids were cold.  Mr. Finn and I were comfortable.  Actually, Mr. Finn was sweating and I was comfortable.  That sounds more like it.

It was a nice escape from the "world".  Now back to the grind.

Monday, August 29, 2011


 Last weekend a group of 68 members of our ward traveled to Joplin to help with the cleanup after the tornado that ripped their town apart.  It is humbling to see that we are not in control of our lives.  7000 homes were damaged and/or lost during the storm.  (3000 didn't have insurance.)  I don't know what the number was for businesses destroyed, but it included Home Depot, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Taco Bell, etc.  You get the picture.  They lost so much within minutes.  One mile wide and it destroyed a path six miles long.
 What amazed me though was how many people show up daily to help out.  Ben, the guy in charge said every day some group into town to work and those that are passing through leave money to help out.

The group I was in worked on this house.  When we arrived the ground was covered on all 4 sides with shingles.  We spent hours cleaning it up and the men worked on the roof.  The woman that owned the house was so grateful for the help.  She said it was overwhelming to see all that needed to be done and to not know where to begin.  It took 6 of us 2 1/2 hours to clean up her yard from the debris, can you imagine how hard that would have been for her?
 They keep this car at the base camp to help the volunteers understand what happened.  There has been so much cleanup since we took the kids down a month ago that I think it would be easy to forget the extent of the damage.
 We spent the afternoon working at the school cleaning up the trash.  After 2 1/2 hours we had 20 bags of trash and it still looked like we had barely touched it.  There was also a bus load from Columbia that was working as well.  It was sobering to see how much there was still left to do.

The people are so humble.  It was a pleasure to serve them.

I am more grateful for my life and the home we live in.  I know that it can taken at any moment.  We sometimes forget that we are not in control.  I know I do!

From out of the rubble by the school we found some items that had blown from the houses over a block away.  Pictures, baseball cards and this basket that contained a vase and a hurricane lamp.  The hurricane and the vase were undamaged, yet the outside speakers and light poles were twisted into knots and barely recognizable.  I brought the hurricane home as a reminder to me of how delicate life is and that it is truly a gift.
These pictures are from my friends blog. I think she borrowed them from Sis Hollars.
The top is the Hospital.  I love the one of the school.  The only letters remaining were "OP" after the tornado.  Someone added "H" & "E" with duct tape and carved eagles into the damaged trees.

I am amazed at the HOPE they have.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Shut Ins

While on vacation we visited a state park in So. Mo with an odd name.  

The Shut Ins.

Say what?
That's exactly what I said, but then when I found out why they were called it.
Well, I still wonder...
 It has to do with all these rock in the canyon, the flow of water, etc.  The kids had a blast climbing over the rocks.  Although the Dude has since stated that he didn't have any fun at all.  It could be because he was expecting a rock slide.  The kind a five year old boy dreams of.  He didn't get one of those, but he did do some sliding.

I soon realized how many muscles I don't use in a normal day.

Can you guess?
A lot!
I did end up having to get in with the kids because Miss Boo said the current was too strong.
Little did I know until I had entered that freezing water that all she had to do was stand up.
I love these kids.  Glad they got me in the water.  But, for obvious reasons I did not include any of the pictures that Mr. Finn took of me with them.  Yikes!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day...

... in the Kindergarten.
 ... in the second grade.
It was a little difficult letting mey five year go on his first full day of school.  I am used to spending time with him after preschool until his sister gets out.  He was worried because he really likes his quiet time and that I wouldn't pack enough lunch.  He loves to eat!

Miss Boo was more than ready to get back to learning.  I am proud of her for her desire to learn new things.  It hasn't been without it's bumps, but for the most part they are both doing really well.

I celebrated mourned by shopping all day with a friend.  It is amazing how many errands you get done when you don't have to be back by 11 a.m. to pick up kids.  We just had to keep reminding ourselves to slow down.

I am still trying to get all those projects done that I swore I would have so much time for when both kids were gone.  Sigh~

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Miss Boo's friend Elise moved away a year ago to Michigan.  Last month they came to visit for a couple of days and we decided after we went to Chicago that we would take her to visit her friend.  We spent a couple of days letting them just be together.  It was good for them to be girls again.  They were silly.  
Elise visit to see Miss Boo
Do you remember your first best friend?

I do.

It was Rachel B.  We were in kindergarten and would make up the weirdest games to play.  We were nuts!  I moved away in 3rd grade and when I moved back we were friends, but you know how grade school is... she had a new best friend and Leisel M. and I became BFF's.

I look back over the years of friends I have made and am amazed at how there are been many and they have been for the time that I have needed them.  I am friends with so many of them still.

I am glad to say that Rachel and I are still friends and I love her dearly.  She is someone that I look up.  She has an inner strength that is enviable and with what she has been through in her life, I am proud to call her my friend.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I have always wanted to visit Chicago.  Mr. Finn loves the Cubs and has visited Wrigley Field, but I have not had that honor.  I was surprised how big it was.  I'm not sure why I was though.  I watch Chicago Code and Oprah.
Wrigley did not disappoint.  Did you know it is in the middle of a neighborhood?  It has a totally different feel from other ball parks.  Got me all choked up.
The kids had a blast.  These claws were something they couldn't live without.  Heck!  Who could live without them at a game.  So much fun!

Right after this picture I dropped my wonderful camera and the shutter jammed.  I seriously wanted to cry.  Mr. Finn is happy I can't take pictures of him anymore.  Boo!
It was a fun trip.  We stayed in Greektown.  Who knew that one existed.  Maybe I should have paid more attention to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".  I had the best Gyro ever!  It's unfortunate that my family does not share my love of different foods.  They found Taco Bell or Burger King.  It's all the same.

I am glad the children get to experience all these things because their Daddy loves to explore.  I just take the pictures so they will remember when they are older and want to carry on the tradition with their kids.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Creativity Day

Miss Boo is a bit of a clutter bug.  When I say a bit I am not telling the whole truth.  She is a mess! She collects everything and throws nothing away.  Most of what she has ends up underneath her bed.  It is driving me crazy!

So... after much searching.  And, I mean a lot.  Do you know how hard it is to find a bedskirt these days?  Apparently they are not in fashion.
Who knew?

I did find this white one at the going out of business sale for Sears.

So, Miss decided it needed something purple on it and as luck would have it, I had this rick rack on hand from a super duper sale I got from Pick Your Plum.  One fabulous deal daily. Now I have 60 yards of it... yeah!
Bet you didn't know I could sew?!
Well, at least I can fake it anyways.  I love feeling creative.  It is like an endorphin for me. I am at my best when I am creating something.
At least it covers up all the stuff she stores throws under her bed.
We then set out to make cupcake boxes for all the goodies she has for her friend we are going to see this weekend.  I borrowed the idea from Sew.Craft.Create.  Hers are so much cuter than mine, but this was our first go around.  I learned quite a few things.  Less if more and the is a definite for hot glue.  I will never get it all off.  I think she pulled her pieces of felt apart more than I did.  She also used a 2" box where I used 3".
I still think it turned out pretty cute though.

Some notes:  Can take quite a bit of time to get it done.  Cut first and read all the directions prior to starting.  Not my strong suit, but because I didn't, I had to remove the pieces and start again.  Who knew that not cutting off the tip on the back would make such a huge difference?
On Sunday we found out that our Sister Missionaries are leaving.  On was scheduled to finish this week and this sweet sister has to go home and have surgery.
I don't know if you can tell, but the Dude loves them.
The sisters brought Miss Boo this crown.

They will be missed here.  It is our first time to have sisters and after only having them for about 3 months, we are without missionaries in our area.

I am going to miss them.  They are fun and very helpful.  They took all my recipes in my cupboard and organized them into a book for me.  Who else would do that?

Obviously not me or it would have been done by now.

I wish them well and hope Sister Jones will come back soon.