Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Good Ole School Days

NOT!

This has been a particularly rough school year for the children.

First.

They moved from Missouri to Mississippi.

Second.

They moved from a private, faith based school to public school.

Third.

City schools stink here.  There is a state mandated curriculum that requires all testing to be done in multiple choice.  Yes, you read that right.  Even the spelling tests.  You are asking yourself how a child can learn to spell if it is only required that they "chose" more correctly than not.

I asked that question myself to the teachers and the guidance counselor (Yes, they feel it necessary to have a guidance counselor for first graders.)  Apparently, if you want to raise your national school rating, you need to give the kids a chance to score better, hence the multiple choice outlet.

Whatever happened to teaching them better/more/different?

And on top of that, the homework was insane for a six year old.  An hour a night of writing his letters correctly over and over again four nights a week.  And then on Tuesday and Thursday, add math to it.  Am I crazy or does that sound a bit intense for first graders.  For heavens sakes, they are still little kids.  So, I did the motherly thing and wrote the reading teacher and explained that I believed it was too much homework and that it wasn't helping our son academically or emotionally.

The response was quite interesting... long letter from Palmtree (name we have given her) and an invite to have a meeting if I didn't accept that she was right and I was wrong.  Huge paraphrase, but that was the gist of the note.

So, I opted for the meeting, because I wasn't backing down on the Dude's homework.  I have plenty of things for him to do after school and if he is having trouble with something in school, I assumed the teacher would let me know and it could be addressed.

So, the day for the meeting came as I was recovering from the flu.  Not in the best of moods and was not ready for the ambush I received when I got there.  I was to meet with the reading teacher, but two other people were there as well.  Okay... have it your way, I put Mr. Finn on speaker phone and he joined in.  He is worth at least two of them.

My breakdown of the meeting:

1.  They moved our son to a medium reading class because they needed him to raise the ratings because he reads at a much higher level.

2.  They are not concerned with the emotional well being of our child, although they felt the need to hire a guidance counselor for their school.

3.  They were not under any circumstances backing off on homework even though they could not say he was falling behind or having problems with any concepts they were teaching.

4.  The guidance counselor is just a mouth piece for all the political crap they are trying to make you believe so you should just do what they say.  She kept telling me over and over that my son was not completing his work during class.  You should know better than to spout something that is not true.  I will and did call the teacher on it.  Serious deer in the headlights when confronted, with a healthy amount of serious backpedaling.

Sheesh!

I was told that the principal felt it was more than generous of Palmtree to allow my son to bring all the work home on Monday and bring it in on Friday when it was completed, whereas the rest of the class would be required to bring it in daily.

Need I respond!  I firmly said that I could and would not guarantee that it would be completed.  I told Palmtree that I expected her to let me know if my son was struggling and I would help him with whatever it was he needed additional help with, but I did not need him to have an hour of busy work.  For heavens sakes, this kid reads at a third grade level, he does not need to practice writing his letters.  He knows them obviously.

It was confirmed to me that homework is not graded anyways, and I let them know that there is more to my sons education and well roundedness outside of school.  That they had him for seven hours, after school was my time and I, as his parent got to decide how he spent that time.

Well, the backlash was immediate after the first Friday without turning in all the homework.  I was informed on Monday, through a note, that he was graded on that ONE page we did not do and he received a ZERO for the week.  But, he could do it and would be given a reduced grade because it was late.

Are you kidding me?!  What the heck is wrong with these people?

I was informed that from now on, all his homework would be graded.

This is the child that gets 100% on every test he has taken.  Really?!

So, after talking to Mr. Finn and praying...

I picked him up from school on Friday early and asked him what he wanted to do.  He sat there for five minutes and then said, "Let's get me out of this school!".  So we walked into his school and signed him out.  They made it easy for me.  Surly, nasty woman that works in that office.  After three months of this school, I have never once been greeted nicely.

Hasta Luego!

We have not looked back.  He is happy at his new school in the county.  More often than not I get the response from him that he had a good day.  I got that only twice at his last school.  I wonder what else was going on in his classroom that made him feel that way.  I feel great about the decision every day.

I was asked by a mother why I didn't just have him changed to another teacher.  The answer is simple... the principal was on the side of the teacher.  Changing him around wouldn't have changed things for him.  I couldn't trust that they would give him a fair chance and my son is worth more than that.

I will always go to bat for my children.  They don't have anyone else to protect them.  Sometimes they need protecting from the very institutions that are supposed to be there for them.

Sheesh!  This is has been a rough three months.

Now, to get Miss Boo moved.  That story next!  I know... you are wondering how both kids can be in the same situation.  Unbelievably, they have/had different experiences, but it is the way it has been handled that bothers me the most.

City schools!

The Dude is now going to school with his friend JT, who lives behind us.






Friday, October 12, 2012

Still breathing...

Since we have been in this rental house, we have had to learn a few new skills as the dishwasher is one of the things that doesn't work.  It has been a good thing!  Besides, we didn't bring many dishes with us and we couldn't fill a dishwasher with what we have.  The Dude claims he loves washing dishes.  So using this when he is older.

video

Miss Boo has been attending art classes at the library every other week.  I am always awed by how she sees things.  They had a pile of pumpkins on the table, you know those small round rounds, but this is how she sees them in her head.  I love it!  I am framing this one when it comes home.  Such a cool picture.
 This library is an old two story colonial style building.  I love all the posters they have hanging up.  This is totally my favorite!
 While waiting for Miss Boo to come out of art class we downloaded the new Frankenweenie app and had a blast with it.
 This was Miss Boo's choice of accessories.  lol
 Miss Boo has met a friend at school and they invited the kids over to paint pumpkins.  I love how the Dude stays true to himself no matter what holiday it is.
 And Miss Boo is always true to her inner princess.
 Fun game of "Headbanz" and painting pumpkins.  Could life be any more perfect?
 Our life is getting easier.  Making friends and keeping busy.

In my next post I will go into the whole school drama that has resulted in moving the children to other schools.  Sheesh!

Friday, September 14, 2012

First Day of School... again.

 The children started their first day of school... public school, that is, here in our new state of Mississippi. Such sweet smiles and excitement.
 How could this day get any better?
 This was the actual reality of that morning and pretty much every day since.  We keep hoping it will get better, but there have been some challenges that we are working through.
The Dude has only come out of school and said he has had a good day twice and they have been in school for over a month already.  Miss Boo is having a harder time.  I am in the office of her school at least once a week and for the first couple of weeks, it was three times a week.  I know the principal well!  Not because she has gotten in trouble, but is having a hard time adjusting.  With that in mind, I have a meeting with her teacher on Monday to resolve some issues with him not letting her go to the bathroom and that leading to some accidents that have led to her number one bully (Andrew) having more than enough ammunition to make her life more miserable.

I just keep thinking that things are going to get easier for them, but I still see them struggling with this move in so many ways.  I hate seeing them unhappy and especially watching Miss Boo go through these trials.

OK... some positives.

Hmmmmm

Thinking, thinking....

Just kidding.  Well, maybe not.  We have had regular family prayers in the morning and I see it bringing our family together.  We have had to regroup and rely on each other and that has been the Blessing that our family needed the most.

For that I am grateful tonight.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fixer upper

I guess I thought our home in Missouri would have sold by now, but alas, we are doomed blessed to have this little rental house to live in until it does.   I have not been overly fond of this house thus far.  Let's be real, I have experienced real feelings of true hatred towards it.  And it all started in this kitchen.  At first it was a dream compared to the condo we were living in because it had counters.  You read that right.  Counters!
 I soon didn't care about those counters when I realized that every inch of that kitchen was full of grease and dirt, even the inside of the cupboards.  The range hood was black. I thought it was burnt.  NOPE!  Grease and dirt.  My dear Mr. Finn bought me a big bottle of industrial degreaser/cleaner and I went to work.  For four days.  It was miserable and I felt gross afterwards.  But... I won.  Still didn't love that kitchen.
 This window was begging for something to make me happy.  It had tons of old hardware from various other tenants and well, it was ugly.  So I found the local Goodwill store in search of vintage pillow cases.  I went up and down those aisles three times and just when I was feeling completed defeated, these popped out at me.  Like a sign from heaven.  The fact that I found two in very different spots made me oh, so happy.  A quick trip over to Walmart (sadly, this is the only place to shop here besides Goodwill) to find some cafe hooks and a tension rod and we were in business.  No cutting or sewing.  They were perfect and they make me smile every time I look at them.

My next thing was to cover the awful floors here.  So stained and yucky.  Anyone that knows me well, knows that I can't walk on something I can't identify.  So I wanted to cover it.  You can see the carpet in the left top corner.  It is supposed to be gray.
 I found this interesting antique store while I was yard saling one day.  It is in three houses.  Craziest thing I ever saw.  I had seen it while driving around and wondered if they had a metal bed frame for the queen mattress we were going to be picking up that week.  I found out quickly that the old woman that owns the store is interesting to say the least.  If I offered her a lesser price for anything, she would say no, but if I asked her what the price was or told her what I wanted to spend on something,  She would offere me something for that.
I had seen the price tag on some of her rugs and they were all over $100 for 3 x 5's.  I knew it was a long shot, but I asked her if she had large ones.  She sent me over to the second house to look at some that she had.  I found this one but it didn't have a price tag on it.  I knew it would be too much because everything else was marked higher for much smaller.  She asked me if I found anything and I said I had found a big one that didn't have a price on it.  Before I knew it we were dragging it out to the lawn and unrolling it. I couldn't believe my eyes, it was perfect, no snags, fades or anything.  I knew I couldn't even hope for a good price.  I got up the courage to ask her what she wanted for it and she looked at me real close and said, "$75.00.  Yup, you read that right.  I was in shock. I asked her if she was sure.  She said she was and I paid her without any further ado.

Love, love the rug.  From this store I also got a $125.00 antique dresser for $30.00 and a bed frame for $30 less than I could find one anywhere.  It was a blessing to find this store and her.  I am so grateful that Heavenly Father knew the things I would need to warm up to this house.  We have had so many things happen like this that I know it is tender mercies.

Not that it has stopped or even slowed down the struggles.  I will talk about them in the next post.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Musings from Mississippi

 We found this little place called Sno Biz.  It is chock full of frozen confectionary delights and this amazing swing.  The kids spent 30 minutes swinging, eating and laughing.  They first time since we got here that they have really laughed.
 Can you read the words at the top.  "Another day in Paradise".  Not sure if I feel it is paradise here... yet.  But for thirty minutes I sure got a taste of it.  Thank you Sno Biz.

We attended the Water Valley Watermelon Festival, which was so hot and humid we felt we were going to melt.  I joke not!  I have never had pit stains so wide and deep before.  Disgusting and enlightening.  I get those "southern belles" now.  They never moved very fast and stayed in the shade sipping lemonade.  Totally understand that.
 At least moving to the south has given the children the opportunity to ride a mechanical bull.  Oh my heavens was it fun to watch.
 Miss Boo is fearless.  The minute she saw it, we weren't leaving until she had her turn.  She never got thrown off until it stopped and then she keeled over.  Ha!

And where else can you shop at the Piggly Wiggly.  Hee hee.  I am still laughing over this one.  It has always been a joke between Mr. Finn and I that we wanted to shop the piggy wiggly.  Now we have our chance.  NOT!
 It's a bird... or a watermelon.  Down here in the south they have the Watermelon Festival in August.  And for fun, they toss watermelons, lot of them to see who can throw them the farthest.  Way fun to watch them splatter.
Splat!  Love it!

Still trying to fall in love with this place.  Have found a few fun things.  Will share soon.

Have something you will love Shannon!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friends


 I am blessed to have good friends in my life.  It seems that no matter where I go Heavenly Father makes sure I have friends that meet my needs.  I was lucky to have these two.  Very different, but perfect for me.

It's funny that I can't remember when I became friends with them, it just was one day I realized we had been friends for a while.

Cherra is pragmatic, my shopping friend.  We seem to have a rhythm in our friendship that works.  She is dependable and we get a lot accomplished together.  Our kids are great friends which made it all complete.  I love that she can talk when I don't have much to say.  You are going to be missed.

Right before we moved, they drug me out of the house to the temple.  What fun that was.  So glad they took me to the one place that I could feel total peace, if even for a small moment.
Apparently I don't have any other dresses...ha!
 Laurie took me a couple of weeks earlier before Mr. Finn got the job here in Ole Miss.  I was disappointed that it took so long to get through due to technical difficulties that we couldn't spend any time in the Celestial Room.  I offered a quick sob under my breath that Mr. Finn would get a job soon and we were off.
I love this picture the most.

It most correctly describes the kind of friendship Laurie and I have.  It is crazy most of the time, doesn't fit in a nice little box and seems off key most of the time.  But, it brings me a great amount of joy to spend time with her.  I laugh more with her than anyone else.  She also thinks I am very funny!  So "boo", Mr. Finn.  She accepts me completely as I am.  Is always complimenting me on what I do and tells me I do so much for her.  Total lie!  I hardly ever get time to do things for her as she is running all the time.  Busiest person I have met in my entire life.  She exhausts me and I don't even do the running around with her.  She is the kindest person I know.  Always trying to better herself with the Lord.  I admire that.  I am too afraid to ask the Lord what I need to do to be better.  I don't like challenges.  She seems to seek them out and gets better by doing so.  I could learn so much from her if I had more energy.  Ha ha.

Thank you Laurie for being my friend.  I believe in life that you are given friends for may reasons, some are forever.  I don't like letting go of friends.  It's not something I know how or want to do.  You are my friend forever!  I miss you so much.

I understand that the phone is hard to communicate on.  I miss seeing your face when I talk.  There is so much that you don't convey in words, but if that's all we have, well then, that's what we will use.  See you in November.  I love you.

Yes... this was a sappy and long post.  You should love it Laurie.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Realization = another answer

As I was driving across the river into Memphis, TN on our way to our new life, I broke down.  I realized I wouldn't be going home again.  There are no words to describe it, just the feeling of a broken heart.  That may be a little melodramatic, but it really hurts when I think of Missouri as not being my home anymore.

I loved it there.  Had good friends, church, school for the kids, home, etc.  We had been there seven years and I didn't realize how rooted we were in the community until I was ripped from it.

I don't blame anyone, I just wasn't ready emotionally for the move.  I kept my feelings in check and didn't allow myself to really cry or feel it.

But, I sure did coming across that bridge.  The sobbing was pathetic.  So bad that I called my Dad and sobbed in his ear.  I'm sure it made his day.  Thanks for Dad for listening.  I just needed someone to hear me out and let me cry.

We were all pretty crabby that night and the next morning.  Mr. Finn's air conditioner (that he just had fixed for the fancy price tag of $1064.00) stopped working.  Not something you can live without if you aren't Southern.  I see plenty of vehicles with the windows down, but I have to tell you, it would kill me.

I know... how dramatic!

We had an appointment to meet with the Real Estate Agent that the relocation company assigned us.  We weren't having a great morning and didn't want to talk about buying a house when we haven't sold ours.  Seemed pointless, but I convinced Mr. Finn we should go if only to let her know what our parameters would be if we were ready to buy.  He gave it a one hour limit.  I agreed.

Best and worst hour of my life.

She started out talking with a very thick southern accent and lots and lots of stories.  Some pertinent to our situation and most not.  Just lots of back history on what she would be talking about at that particular moment.  We digressed so much off the subject sometimes that I blocked her out.  Mr. Finn got more out of it than I did and then... we told her we were trying to find a rental with a shorter lease than what we were finding.

She stopped.  Yes, she stopped talking for a second and looked me in the eye.  "I have a little house not far out of town that Mister Dwight is leasing for two years, but he just called me and is going to leave on August 1st."  I told him, Mr. Dwight, you can't do this to me, I can't afford that mortgage payment and you have to work with me...".  The rest I don't remember because it kept going and going.

The point is that she has this house to rent and would be willing to lease it to us until the end of April versus end of July like everyone else.

When we went to see the property, she couldn't get in, but she said we could go to her home and see the pictures online.  It is cute and will work for us.  Whew!  Huge blessing.  We were so worried we wouldn't be able to find anything to live in.

When I brought the check back for the deposit, she looked at me kind of strange and asks, "Do you believe in God?"  I said "Yes, I do".  She then told me that last Saturday she had been praying really hard that a nice family would be brought to her that could lease this property and she wouldn't be out any money.  "And then he brings you right to my doorstep!", she says.

There was other conversation about how she is looking for a church and lo and behold, out her front door you can see the steeple to our church.  I invited her to come at 10 a.m. any Sunday she wanted.  That we would always be there.
Once again the Lord has taken care of us.  I am ashamed that I spend so much time worrying about things.  So grateful for this blessing and huge weight lifted off our shoulders.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

An answer


I am always amazed when I hear of people getting direct answers to prayers and can expressly say what happened.

On tuesday afternoon we realized that the children's shot records were missing. It had been a long time since I had seen them, I assumed they were in the safe.

Wrong.

Since the children were in public school I had not kept up on their shots. Well, that is one of the reasons. Another reason is that when the Dude was little I felt quite strongly that I should not continue with his immunizations. Don't get me wrong, I am not against them, I just couldn't seem to bring myself to do his. Every time I called to make an appointment I would get so uneasy, so I went with that feeling and after a while I forgot about them.

 That was 2007.

 Now, I was desperately trying to find those records to no avail. I pulled my top drawer out and went through every piece of paper and memorabilia that I had stuffed in there over the past five years.

 Nothing.

 Tried the file cabinet, but I knew that was a long shot.

Still nothing,, So, I thought, what would Laurie do? Pray, of course. So I knelt there in that closet and prayed that I would know where those records were, that I would be able to see in my mind where they were.

 I got a Margaret type answer. (she knows what I am talking about). Go paint your toe nails. What? Paint your nails. Ok. I'm not getting anywhere looking. By the time my toes were dry I was calm and relaxed. Not a feeling I have had much these days I admit.

I then felt that I should look in that drawer again. But, I had just looked through every thing in that drawer I say to myself.  "Just look!"  I can't tell if I hear or feel it.  For me it is the same thing at this point. I open the drawer and pick up the first piece of paper and there are those records on top.

 Such feelings of gratitude bubbled up inside me as I realize that he is teaching me to rely more on Him. He needed me to slow down, ask him and also to feel some peace for a bit. Trust him and let me see that He is all powerful and will help if we turn it over to him.

I struggle with that part, I always want/need to do it all. Rely on my limitations and cry to him when it doesn't turn out well. So much to learn in this life. So grateful that he doesn't give up trying to make me a better person and to help me become a better person. So many things I want to change, trying harder to rely on him.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sir Frankenhubby

Well, I can finally put it all in writing.  For the past 11 months Mr. Finn has been unemployed.
I have stressed and agonized over almost every second of it.  Lost about 5 million strands of hair and in the end, the Lord blessed him with a job.

In...

Mississippi

Yep.  Sense of humor he has.  We prayed for a job.

I guess he figures we are needed there.  I will get there.  It will have to be soon as we are moving on the 25th of this month.

We drove down there a week ago to check out the locals.  Well, it is a bit of a culture shock, but at least it is pretty.  We will adjust.

The kids will be trying out public school for the first time.  We figure if it's going to be a change we might as well rip off the band aid and go all in.  I don't know who is more frightened by that prospect.  I must admit that I have been quite freaked out by the whole move.  During the fourth of July parade I started bawling like a baby.

I was/am crazy.  I will do something that I know will be the last time and I get all emotional.  I really love it here.  We called it home and believed it.  When we got close to home on our way back from checking out the "new" land, I got so excited because we were almost home and then I got so sad.  Such conflicting emotions in almost the same breath.  It was overwhelming.

The ward is small there.  Less than 100 members seated in church and they said it was bursting at the seams.  Durst I laugh out loud at that?  It was more than a little scary.  That means no rest for any church members.  Sigh!

Mr. Finn says I am driving him crazy with all my worrying.  I totally freak out about the smallest of things.

I guess the only thing I can say is that we are still married after all this and still talking.  Sometimes quite loudly, but for the most part we are managing to "rub on".  (heard that on a british show and loved it.)

It will be interesting to see why the Lord is moving us there.  One of the counselors did say that in the past month four families have moved in that were "permanent".  That is huge for them because it is a college town.  Maybe it is part of building his Kingdom in the south.

Gird up them loins already Girl.  Put on your bravest face and just "move".

And YES, my dear friend Laurie, I will miss you like crazy.  Can't say your name without tearing up.  I will so be phone hounding you and YES things will be the same.  I will talk, you will talk and we will laugh.  If you screen my calls, I will hunt you down.

Word!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Bounty

 When the hail storm last year put holes in my deck and furniture, the insurance company was nice enough to pay to replace them.  I was feeling very festive when I bought these. I already had the light blue pillows and they match.  Sort of.
 I experimented with Sunflowers this year.  They are so cheery and did you know they grow in pots quite well?
 My Aunt bought me this beautiful Impatients plant when she was visiting for Miss Boo's baptism.  This plant looks this way every morning.  Every night I dead head it and Voila!  The gift that keeps on giving.  Thanks Aunt Lois.
 I am doing Cilantro again this year.  Learned a few things last year that definitely helped.  The 110 degree weather isn't helping much.  Did you know it goes to seed at 78 degrees?  Means... pinch off the flowers or it will seed and get lanky.  I ate a lot of it and then let it go to seed.  Just pull off the seeds and throw them in the soil and in a couple of weeks you will have a fresh crop.  Love it!
 I was afraid my basil wouldn't make it.  Some bug had eaten it to the ground, but it came back while I was on vacation in Canada.  You should see it now.  This was a month ago.  It is 5 times as big and tall.  The leaves are amazing.  Learned a lot about Basil as well last year.  You have to keep pulling out the new growth when it gets to the height you want as it will flower and the leaves will be puny.  Pinch it off nightly and the leaves will be huge.  Yumm!
This jelly bean tomato plant is a dream.  Neverending tomatoes and it loves the pot.

I told a friend the other day that I was a pot grower and she started to laugh.

I GET IT!  Funny, really.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vetch!

See Mommy.  Look at that kitty "vetch" the ball.

I love that boy!  It seems almost impossible to me that I could love him so much. But from the things he says to the things he does, I am in love.
Little boy in love with a vintage car

He says things with such certainty.  And never even notices when you correct him.  The babysitter last week tried to get him to say something correctly.  I shot her a pretty dirty look.

Don't touch that!

I like that he mispronounces things.  He will figure it out in due time.

My Boo did.  I was sad when she quite saying we needed to stay out of the "minnow" of the road.  And she wanted a drink of "waqui".

I miss those things.

How many times in your life can you have a conversation that goes like this.

Mommy, come look at my wizard.

You have a wizard?  He then shows me a lizard.

Buddy, that is a lizard.

I know... Wizard.

Cute wittle wizard, Bud.

I said "wizard" Mommy, not "wizard".

Oh... Wizard.   I get you.

No!  Mommy, I said wizard, not Wizard.

I have tears in my eyes I am laughing so hard and trying not to do it loudly.

I love my kids.
This is the mode my kids are in right now.  Always fighting.  How long does this go on? Do they ever stop?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

It's obvious

 These kids love their Dad!
Easy to see why.  Mr. Finn does do an exceptional job at fathering these two.  They love him although the Dude has emphatically reiterated that "Daddy is not funny".

I concur!

Happy Fathers Nader!  Thank you for being a good Daddy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Think happy...


Today is one of those days when it is really hard to think positively.

The children are driving me insane!  I want to reach through a phone and choke the insurance company.

Frustrated I didn't have the correct adapter to run the paint sprayer I bought for furniture and then when Mr. Finn went and got it, I couldn't get the sprayer to work correctly.  So, hours and hours after beginning the paint project, I am finally done with two coats and it is 7 p.m.  Sad that I started at 10 a.m.

The sad part is that I love painting and it relaxes me, but I had to do a lot of prep work so I could spray, that it took a long time to get to the painting.  Had I known the sprayer wouldn't work, I could have skipped all the masking.

Did I mention the kids are driving me crazy!!!!!!!

Why will they never do as they are told or go to bed at a decent hour without yelling and fighting with each other?  And to think that I acquiesced and let them go to bed in our bed, with the caveat that they wake up in their own beds.

That's a recipe for disaster!

Big one!

So, after yelling at them, lots of yelling.  One really sad little boy face.  One defiant girl face.  Two scared kids because their furniture was mysteriously moved.  I vacuumed today.  Maybe I need to vacuum more so it's not such a big shock.  When was the last time I vacuumed?  Hmmmmmm... I am thinking April, the end of April.  Really! It was before my Aunt Lois came to visit.  That is really sad.  Really, really pathetic.

They are now in their own beds.  I apologized to said children for yelling.  Blew some raspberries on their bellies and feel a bit better.

Mr. Finn is at the fishing hole.  Just called me to tell me it is "Fish-ageddon", that he is having the time of his life and will be late getting home.

I think I need to go to bed and call it a day while my children are semi happy with their semi psychotic mom.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Toot Toot

 I love trains.  There is something about being transported along the tracks and being able to visit with everyone you are traveling with.  It is quiet and peaceful.

And with these two women it is full of laughter and fun.
 I got to spend a day riding the train to a little town not far from here to go to a Tea room.  I am not a tea drinker, but as I mentioned, the company was great.  Sometimes you find that being around other women can be so much fun that it lifts you up for the whole day.  Thanks ladies!

When we arrived back at the train station, the reflection in this building was so amazing to me.  I love the old in the new.  Wow!  I wish I had my Canon, but the iPhone had to do.
 I didn't get a chance to post a picture of my friends updated kitchen.  She completely remodeled it and it is beautiful.  The stove used to be in that island and the island was smaller.  The kitchen had always felt so small and cramped, but now it feels so open and airy.  Love... love her choices.  I couldn't get a good picture with the whole kitchen, but you can get a feel for it.
Once again another time I spent with a great lady and had a wonderful time.

Feel so blessed with all the friends I have been given in my life.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The finale of a great week.

I know I have been home for over a week, but it has to be written that the last of my trip was wonderful and my homecoming was pretty fabulous.

The kids and I have been watching the Canadian show "Cupcakes" for quite some time.  I remember when they were talking about finding a location in the new Uptown Mall.  Who knew it was going to be across the street from my Aunt's condo.  I was pretty excited so I took a picture and had Mr. Finn show it to the kids.  The Dude's response was "NO FAIR!".  Pretty bummed that I got to eat a cupcake from there.  He has become quite the cupcake expert from all his "cupcake" shows.  He can even tell you the correct technique for frosting one.  Love that boy!



Only in Victoria will you see men walking on the sidewalk in kilts!  Helps that the Highland Games were in town, but seriously...
This guy couldn't understand why I was taking a picture of them.  Are you kidding me?  Nobody was going to believe me when I told them what I saw while driving past the mall.
 The Parliament Building has always been one of my favorite things.
I love the homes and flowers.  It is so incredibly beautiful there.
This is the home I knew as a child.  My grandparents home that my Uncle and Aunt now live in.  Holds so many memories for me.
 I have never been inside this building, but it is on my bucket list.  It is a restaurant.
 I arrived at the ferry in time to wait inside after going through customs, but was very hungry.  Thank heavens for snacks.  I would like to point out that this was the healthiest I ate the entire time.  You can verify that with my waistline.
While in the Everett, WA area, I made sure to take a picture of where my first born came into the world.
And for the first time since I can remember I fell in love with a dog.
Mack
SHHHHH!
Don't let that get out.  I don't like dogs.

Really... I don't.
Except Mack.  He found a way to my heart.  He didn't lick me constantly and make me want to hurl.  Pretty sweet guy.

Have you ever flown Southwest?  I haven't for over ten years, but was pleasantly surprised to having everyone cheering me on as I was boarding.  Ha!  Loved the hallways with all the happy people.
 The best thing I saw was these two faces waiting for me when I got off the plane.
 It got crazy really fast.
 Welcome home!
 I brought them light up jelly rings.  Go Mom!
 It was a blessing to have a husband that can and will take care of the children so I can go and revamp myself.  It was a needed trip for many reasons.

Thank you Nader!