Tuesday, December 31, 2013


 I love Christmas.  My favorite time of the year, but this year I feel like I missed most of it.  We were gone for the first two weeks on our trip to Canada and got the tree up the 17th.  It wasn't long enough...
 I love coming home to lights and trees, but we didn't get lights up this year outside and we had to use a fake tree inside.  Blasphemous!  It will never happen again.  The children were happy… it's hard not to be happy at Christmas when you are little and it all about your presents.  I added something new to the Elf gift pj's this year.  I was touched by Miss Boo's letter of thanks.  She is so polite.
 Mr. Finn has always called the children Thing 1 and Thing 2.  Imagine how excited I was to find these in the Clearance Bin at Target.  The perfect pajamas and they love them as much as we do.
 The Dude was sad when I took down the Christmas decorations two days after Christmas.  I must admit that is really early for me, but it just felt over.  He said he loves the mantle the most because it is so beautiful.  That's a lot coming from a seven year old.
 Miss Boo is about Art these days and Santa took that to heart.  She also got a piano bench for her keyboard to help her practice better/easier.
 What can I say about the Dude.  He gets great joy out of everything.  Sadly, these little things that he loves got thrown out with the trash.  It's becoming a yearly thing with his stuff.
 We got a leash to help with our dog.
 No, not this dog.  That would have been fine with me, but Mr. Finn was ready for the pooping kind.

 This kind… I don't have anything against him, but I am not a dog person.  He is trying to win me over.  He might...
 My favorite gift this year was from the Dude.  Priceless!

 I am blessed this year with healthy children.  Funny, sensitive, ornery, create, smart, loving children.
 Christmas was small this year and we loved it.  We decided last year to take out all the "stuff" and make it smaller.  It was wonderful last year and this.
We are grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that deposited us back in our little corner of the earth.  Love this time of the year to reflect on the Savior and how key he is to our happiness.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

New Experiences

I got to be the photographer for a friend of mine.  A very trusting friend of mine.
Family pictures even.  

My little guy had to get in on the fun… as usual.
 These sisters are so much fun together.
 I am in love with Madi… she is photogenic.
 This little turkey didn't want pictures, but this caught her personality.
 She is so pretty and coming into her own this.  I love this age in Young Womens… Beehives do so much growing.
It was a first for me and kind of fun.  Helps when you have such fun models.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Way past due! Sorry Miss Boo...

 My beautiful, brown eyed girl turned nine in April.  Yes, it was a long time ago, but she deserves a spotlight this year.
Amazing. Talented. Funny. Strong willed. Creative. Smart. Loving. Kind. Beautiful.
 She wanted a sculpting, face painting party.  Nothing fancy, but it made her happy.  No special cake… just chocolate… and her friends.
She felt very loved and special on her day.  We love her so much and are blessed to have her as our daughter.

Our Miss Boo!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Am I ready?


Thank you for asking.

I am ready for Christmas.

I do understand that we have not celebrated Thanksgiving and don't get me wrong, I love that Holiday and having friends over to cook and eat with.  I love being grateful, but I feel a longing for Christmas.

A year ago we were in Mississippi.  Shhhhhh, don't say that aloud.

We have almost recovered from that experience.

Apparently I wasn't supposed to post the rest of this because it disappeared on me.  Time to change the whine fest I was having.

We have really enjoyed being home.  We took our children to the "real" Circus, which was a spectacular event.  Just watching our children's faces was amazing.  Wow!
I am grateful for my children and their absolute joy that gives me so much joy.

It was a wonderful evening.  Thanks to Mr. Finn for letting me pick the event.  It was delightful.  As you can see, he was having a great time too.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Surprise Gratitude

I see everyone on Facebook posting about what they are grateful for.  I am very grateful for many things in my life, but can't seem to join the ranks.  I feel very selfish about sharing it... I want it for myself.

In our world, where we are struggling with health issues, death and other issues, I feel the need to keep everything inward.  But while in the temple today I ran into a woman from our ward.  Actually, I could hear her voice while I was doing temple work and I got so excited that she was there.  Does it ever surprise when you realize you have stronger feelings for someone than you thought?  I have always adored her, but I realized I love her, that I think of here as someone very special in my life and I could imagine seeing her in the next life and be so happy for that to happen.  She saw me and I saw the same look on her face... I love how we are blessed with special people in our lives.  How Heavenly Father puts them there for us to enjoy and to be blessed by and to bless by knowing them.


I have a lot of friends and some of them I find myself smiling when I hear their voice on the phone.  You know those smiles... the cheesy, ear to ear ones.  I like seeing that in the mirror and grateful that I recognize the joy I have been blessed with.

I also consider this cat a friend.  She is a menace, but we love her.  She brings us great joy, even when she is being naughty.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Time of Reflection

Mr. Finn doesn't make friends easily.  Maybe I should clarify, he doesn't make close friends that he can play with very often.  I can count on one hand those that have made it into the inner circle.

For seven years Mr. Finn has had Mr. Dean as a Home Teaching Companion.  A faithful, kind companion.  Someone that just "got" my hubby.  About a year ago shortly after we moved to Mississippi, his beloved wife of fifty years passed away.  It took a toll on Dean and with Ralph so far away, he managed as well as could be.
His daughter Karen and Deano

When we decided to move back, Mr. Finn texted Mr. Dean and before we were even officially back in the ward, Dean had my hubby officially made his Home Teaching Companion again.  All was good in the world.  I was working and Mr. Finn was being a stay at home/look for a job Dad and got to spend time with Dean.  A lot of time!  They went on lunch dates, movies, target shooting, shopping... it was a regular "bromance".  He hates when I use that term and will cringe when he reads this.  But, it is my blog and my memory I wish to preserve.  He can write his own!

Mr. Finn noticed that Dean was doing the bachelor eating thing so asked if he could invite him over for dinner after Home Teaching.  Why not?  One more plate.

It was so much more than that.  He became a regular at our table and a member of our family.  He brought a gentleness and softness into our home.  A true gift to us.  He used to always thank me for all the meals and I told him, "The thanks was to him for blessing our lives".  He brought what we could not find ourselves.

We grew to love him and our routines with him.  I couldn't decide on a meal without wondering what Dean would like.  I didn't want to duplicate meals and since he was so kind about my cooking and seemed adventurous, I was able to cook a lot of things I had put off because of a slightly picky family.  He got me to put Olive Oil on vanilla ice cream and it was good. Who knew?!  He was always so gracious with his compliments and enlightening conversation.

He had a quick, dry wit that would make me laugh.  He could hold his own with Mr. Finn, which is huge!  Never seemed phased with my husband's snarky ways and our dueling over dinner at times.  He would smile and say calm children.  I love this man.

A week ago I went to the temple and decided to do initiatory vs a session due to a visiting teaching luncheon at my home later.  I don't usually have spiritual experiences in the temple... mostly peaceful experiences.  Quiet... much needed quiet ones.

This time at the same point I got the distinct impression that I needed to have a "celestial" marriage.  I was sealed in the temple to Mr. Finn, so I was a bit perplexed and the next through (I did 20 names) I got the same impression and this time I knew that it was the state of the marriage.  It needed to be the most prized thing in my life.  Over and over again through twenty names I knew what I needed to do to make this as my Heavenly Father knew it could be.  I thought of Dean and his love for his wife.  His patience and kindness through her convalescence and how much he missed her.

I want that!  With every fiber of my being I want that.  It was so clear to me that it is possible and attainable.  I know it will be work, everything requires it.  When we decided to be married and sealed, we covenanted to do the work.

At the end of the second to last name a Sister Wilde began her rotation and looked at me so steadily and said that she knew without a doubt that the things she had just said were true and I needed to know that as long as I honored them, they would be a protection unto me.  She said she could feel my spirit and my righteousness, which I having my doubting lately.  I have been feeling downcast and worn out.  She said she couldn't always see it so brightly in others, but mine was shining so bright she couldn't not tell me.  She said my Heavenly Father loved me.  It was things I just needed that day.

As I drove home I had such a good feeling of warmth, a much needed respite from my day to day.  As I walked into my home, the phone was ringing.  I was it was Mr. Dean and was surprised to hear him since Mr Finn was out of town until Friday and they were supposed to get together then and work on their hobby before he went to his daughter's new home in Syracuse.

The voice on the other end was not our beloved Dean, but a police officer asking who I was and if I was family and how to get hold of them.  He said Dean had an accident but would tell me no more.  I could hardly breathe.    I dropped to my knees and prayed for our dear friend and felt I should contact his daughter in Dubai.  I only knew how to get a hold of her through Facebook, so sent her and instant message asking if she was online.

She came back with a smiley face and "I sure am!".  I dreaded telling her what I knew, but told her what little I had and asked for information for her brother John.  We spent time going back and forth trying to piece things together along with our Bishop.

There is so much that happened between then and now that I would like to write, but I will just add some moments that I want to remember.  Our Deano never regained consciousness and we were able to go to the hospital to say goodbye on Friday, but our hearts were and are broken.  We knew he wouldn't make it when we saw him and I saw a part of my husband break.

He said to me in the car, "Who am I going to play with?".  I ache for my beloved husband.  This was his friend, his confidant, his playmate.

Saturday I was sad because I realized it did not have a single picture of him.  We were so comfortable with him here and just expected it to always be so.  I downloaded what was on his Facebook page before his family took it down.  And on Sunday after sacrament meeting, Sis Mahoney came up to me and said she felt like she should give me a picture she found of Dean and his wife Shelby.  What a tender mercy.  I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father that hears us in our grief and answers us with mercy and love.
His funeral was yesterday.  A sad, joyous occasion for everyone that knew him.  The speakers were wonderful, my very own Mr. Finn spoke so sweetly and eloquently of his dear friend.

As Miss Boo said, "Can we tell God we aren't done with him yet?"

We will miss you... until we meet again dear friend.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy Belated Birthday Dude!

I didn't post on his birthday and am sad I didn't get the date reserved, but nevertheless, my little boy turned seven on the sixth.

I can't believe it.  It seems like yesterday that he was born.  That sweet, chubby little bundle of joy.  That has indeed been a joy all his life.

 He, of course had to spend it at his favorite place.
 Who knew he was into dinosaurs right now, but this cake made him light up like a Christmas tree.

Behold the royal Dude.
 I think part of the fun is that he got crowned by the Chuckster himself.  He was so excited.

 Some of his party guests.
 By far his most favorite part was being in the ticket blaster.  He had planned for this by wearing his new coat because it had big pockets.  I love that he is stuffing the tickets in as fast as he could.
 This is one fabulous little boy that is so kind hearted and loving.  He can get ornery, but will apologize quickly.  He wants to please and to be loved.  We are so honored to have him and to spend every day loving him.
Happy Birthday my sweet boy!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Snarky Family

Apparently we won a trophy...

Friday, February 22, 2013

No Control

 So were kids.
 And snow...

Schools are shut down for two days, which means I get a four day weekend.
This picture shows the difference in my children.  One will bundle up and stay inside to watch the other.  Love, love my kids.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Christmas Catchup

This is just one of those random posts to get caught up from our stay in Mississippi.

Christmas was small and according to the Dude, "This is the best Christmas ever!".  I think we are on to something.  It was so enjoyable and the children played all day with the few things they got.

We bought a 4 1/2 foot tree pre-lit tree from Walgreens and it was perfect for the "short" house we were living in.  Had to hang the stockings on the wall.
 This was the extent of our Christmas and I have to say it really felt good.

 A remote control helicopter was the "big" gift from Santa for our little man.  He was so excited.  Was worth waiting up until midnight on Black Friday for.
 Aunt Erika came before Christmas to visit us in the south and left them presents.
 He instantly fell in love with his "wookie".  Seriously, who wouldn't?

I want one!

 His Grandma Lois and Great Grandma gave them what they have been asking for almost all year.
 They are lucky kids.
 Santa didn't bother to ask Mommy whether Silly String was an appropriate gift in their stockings.  What a mess, but they did have fun!
They also got money from their other Grandparents, which is always a kid favorite.  They made sure they spent that on just the right gift.

Thanks to everyone that helped make our Christmas so wonderful.

It was a nice, quiet Christmas.  So grateful for our family and the blessing they are to us.