Friday, December 30, 2005

Today the Finnegans met Chris' parents for a hike at Tent Rocks National Park, betweem Santa Fe and Albuquerque. It features a slot canyon with amazing formations, and a hard climb to the top of a mesa overlooking the Rio Grande valley. From left to right you will see Marilyn, Ben, Tim and Dave Finnegan, and Shirley and Jack Hanson. Chris was conveniently taking the picture :-) Posted by Picasa

The canyon and rock formations were beautiful, and reminded us of a dry, small version of the Narrows at Zion National Park.  Posted by Picasa

Tim and Ben enjoyed climbing in the "slot canyon", and the rest of us enjoyed watching. Here, Gramps (Chris' dad, Jack) is brave enough to walk below them! Posted by Picasa

Tim and Ben scurried up a downspout. Watching them get out witout hurting themselves was fun! Posted by Picasa

The reward for an arduous climb was views like these! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Finfam4 Christmas 2005 Posted by Picasa


Well, we had a lovely Christmas here at the Finnegan's. In addition to the five of us who call this home, Chris' parents, Jack and Shirley Hanson were here. They moved to the sunny Southwest last July after they both retired. They now reside in Rio Rancho, northwest of Albuquerque, and are not missing the Iowa winters at all.

Also with us on Christmas day were all three of Chris' sisters. Gwen and her husband Kirk, along with daughters Hallie and Atalie have also recently (the week before Christmas) moved to New Mexico, and now live in Edgewood, in the mountains east of Albuquerque. Jeni is still sticking it out in Iowa for the time being, but joined us for the holiday. And Annie is between projects, and on her way to Israel in January, and joined us also. We laughed so hard our sides hurt as we played the dictionary game, and opened gifts, and ate lots, and enjoyed the day together.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas is here!

It's beginning to look (and feel) a lot like Christmas at the Finnegans. The guys are home. The tree has been cut in the mountains and decorated. The baking and cleaning are done. The presents are wrapped, and more family will be here soon. What a joy it is to gather with family and friends.

It is also a joy to contemplate the greatest act of history: the eternal God taking on human form, God among us, Emmanuel. May you contemplate this busy and joyous season that ultimate act of condescention which purchased for us a way to peace. And may His blessing be yours!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Dave and Marilyn as we hiked above the Santa Fe ski area last October. The aspen trees were beautiful! Posted by Picasa

Amazing Marilyn

Marilyn continues in good health and has gracefully survived being pulled into our busy lives. She volunteers once a week at Sombrillo nursing home, where she cares for the plants, helps with weekly worship services, and provides many happily-anticipated visits to the residents. She also does volunteer work at the local elementary school library once a week, photocopies bulletins for church once a month, attends women's bible study, and is active in the quilting group at church. Add to that the many helpful things she does around the house, from cooking and cleaning to caring for the plants that make our sunroom so beautiful, and she is a pretty busy woman! So much for retirement...

Ben met us at Nationals in November and helped cheer on his "little" brother (who is now a good 5 or 6 inches taller than he is...) Posted by Picasa

Tim kicks down Wisconsin-Platteville runner Tyler Sigl in the final stretch at DIII Nationals on Novemver 19, 2005 Posted by Picasa

Our Budding Classicist

Ben has had a good semester at Hillsdale, as he has completed half of his Senior year. How did the time fly so quickly? In addition to Ben taking a full load of Latin, greek and German classes, he discovered that he has too many credits in his major and not enough "diversity" to graduate from this liberal arts college. Therefore, he has had to add a weight-training class, a social dance class, and a religion seminar to his semester next year. Apparently he has some 30 extra credits in classics and language courses that won't count towards his major. Yikes!

This Spring he will be completing an honors thesis having to do with love poetry of the Empire period and how it reflected the social mores of the time. If you want more detail than that, you will have to ask him. :-P

He heads to Italy in January with 12 other students and his favorite professor to study the art and architecture of Florence, Pompeii and Rome. And over the holidays at home, he will be taking his GREs (Graduate Record Exams) and finishing off his applications for graduate schools, where he plans to get a Masters in Latin. So far, applications are going to Washington University in St. Louis, Indiana University in Bloomington, and University of Iowa in Iowa City.
Perhaps the most exciting difference we have seen in Ben during this last year is how his relationship to the Lord has deepened and matured. It is a joy to watch the Lord work in the hearts of our family!

Tim's Cross-Country Season 2005

Tim had a fabulous cross-country season! By God's grace, he remained healthy, and really steped up a level this year. After amazing stats at the Great Lakes Regional race (Tim taking first place and setting the course record, and the Calvin team winning as well) Tim went on to place third at Nationals . We were privileged to be there with family and friends to watch him run with courage and heart on a tough curse at Ohio Wesleyan University outside of Columbus, Ohio. There was disappointment on the Calvin team side, as the team placed second. Tim went home from his first cross country Nationals without a National Championship ring-- and we tried to explain to him that most people don't get even one fo those! The team is set-up to run well next year, Lord willing. They return ALL their runners next season. And Tim is already dreaming abut track season.

Tim was interviewed by the Wisconsin-based Division III running sinte, dcrunner. You can read his interview here:

You can also see pictures from the season on the Calvin website here:

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Finfam4: summer at home (L to R) Ben, Chris, Dave, Tim Posted by Picasa

Tim (center) and the Calvin team lead the way at the MIAA Conference Jamboree on September 24, 2005. They finished in first place, with a perfect score of 15 points, and Tim with the win. Posted by Picasa

Dave in the Badlands Posted by Picasa

Fall Update

Well, the summer simply flew by...

Ben had a tremendous time in Turkey, and if he had ever given me copies of the pictures from his trip, I would have posted them here. But, alas, I have no pictures... and we had Ben only two months this summer, when it was all said and done. Never long enough, I guess...

Ben is working on his senior year at Hillsdale-- how could it be?! He will be travelling to Rome and Florence in January for a short course, which likely means a short time home over Christmas break as well, and then finish his classical studies degree. In addition to working on his honors thesis, he is looking at graduate schools, and hopefully will get moving on the application process soon.

Tim is back at school and having a great cross-country season so far. This is his first season to start without any injuries and a good mileage base. He has won his first two races: the UW-Parkside Midwest Collegite Invitational (Results here: Pictures here:;
and the MIAA Conference Jamboree (Results here: Pictures here:

Tim is also underway in his junior year as an engineering major, and is doing well in his classes. He is part of a wonderful new program at Calvin called Alliance: for upper-class athletes. It is intentional Christian community and leadership training all rolled into one, and it seems to be challenging and affirming Tim in many important ways.

Marilyn survived our hectic summer, and enjoyed three weeks with her daughter Kathleen and son-in-law Kirk in Pennsylvania.

And we enjoyed about three weeks of a Penssylvanian ourselves: Tim's running collegue and friend, Bill Reynolds, spent three weeks running at altitude at the end of the summer. It was great having him here.

Other hioghlights of the summer included:
~Celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary with a weekend get-away to Colorado Springs
~Meeting our new niece, Zoe Rose Hanson, and visiting with Matt and Maria on a trip through Chicago
~Helping Mom and Dad Hanson move from Iowa to Rio Rancho, NM, just north of Albuquerque
~Having visits from Chris' sisters Annie and Jeni
~Enjoying a trip through the Black Hills and Badlands in South Dakota, and a ferry trip across Lake Michigan on our way to deliver things to the guys at school. And we enjoyed visits with friends along the way (Beth Harvey in Colorado Springs; the Manweilers in Valpo, IN; the Finches in Lindsborg, KS; and Jeni is Cedar Rapids, IA)

Dave continues to stay busy at work, and with teaching an adult Sunday School class on the Larger Catechism of the Westminster Confession of Faith and leading our evening fellowship group on Sundays.

Chris is again teaching a worldviews class for 13 home schooled high schoolers, and is teaching a high school composition class for the first time to 15 home schoolers. She is also directing about 90 students in the homeschool chorus, directing a church choir, and leading the women's bible study.

So as you can see, we are back to the scheduled business of another school year!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Tim finishes the 10K race in style! Posted by Hello

Nationals Update

The NCAA Division III Track and Field Nationals is now behind us, and we enjoyed watching Tim run for two All-American performances. He finished 6th in the 10K, and 8th in the 5K. This was his first real track season, since he was red-shirted last year due to a stress-fracture following cross country season. And to do so well in his first track Nationals is an amazing thing. We praise God for His blessings to Tim!

For more on the meet, you can check out the following sites:

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Track update

Timothy had a wonderful meet on Thursday and Friday as he won the 10K at the MIAA Championships (see photo below). This is his first time to be a conferenece champion, and to be named All-Conference in track, so needless to say, he is having a hard time concentrating on engineering! He will be running on Thursday at North Central College in Naperville, Ill, and trying to run a better qualifying time for Nationals in the 5K (he has already run an automatic qualifying time ion the 10K, but only a provisional in the 5K.)

Tim had a rough start to his semester with roommate troubles, his computer being stolen, and a stress injury that threatened to end his track season. But God has been so gracious to Tim! We are rejoicing in all the Lord has allowed Tim to accomplish, and the gifts God has given him.

Tim (center) with teammates Bill Reynolds (left) and Paul Rollett (right), take 1-2-3 in the MIAA Championship meet, and botht he Calvin Men and Women win their conference. Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A little general news

Well, I have had some nice feedback in the realm of e-mails, regarding this little blog. Thank you all who have commented! Our friend Jan (in France) mentioned that there was none of the promised family here is a brief update to get me started, and more will follow...

  • Dave's mom has now been living with us for almost a year. She is active at church, volunteers at the local elementary school library and at the Sombrillo Nursing Home, and makes our house lovely with her work around here and her care for house plants and flowers. We are happy to have her!

  • He continues his work at Los Alamos National Laboratory ( as a chemist. He currently spends a lot of time in Nevada, helping to monitor radionuclides in the ground water at the Nevada Test Site. Summer brings pumping and gathering samples fromt the 1,000 ft. plus drill wells, and winter is running samples and data working. What you may have heard about morale at the Lab being low has probably been grossly underestimated. Dave continues some consulting work on the side as well.
  • Additionally, Dave continues his service as an elder at our church, Bryce Avenue Presbyterian Church ( Dave teaches an adult Sunday School class which is studying the Westminster Larger Catechism, and leads an eveninghome fellowship group which is studying through the book of psalms and also working its way through Knowing God by J. I Packer.
  • Chris is in her ninth year of leading the Los Alamos Homeschool Chorus, and currently working towards a spring concert with her 85 students. Out theme is great American hymns.
  • Additionally, Chris led the Women's Fellowship study at church on the lives of Elijah and Elisha this year. The women also have a Block-of-the-Month quilting group that has been fun to participate in.
  • Currently finishing his Junior year at Hillsdale College ( as a Classics major, Ben continues to do well and begins to worry about what he will do after next year. He leaves on May 15 on a wonderful 4-week trip with the Honors group at Hillsdale. You can see his fabulous itinerary here:
  • Ben will be working at the Lab this summer, for which his parents are grateful. And he continues to walk with the Lord, and write beautiful poetry.
  • In his sophmore year as an engineering student, Tim is enjoying his first year of track competition. God has been gracious to allow Tim to return from a stress injury following cross-country season to run well. He has set an automatic qualifying time for NCAA Division III track Nationals in the 10,000 Meter, and a provisional time in the 5,000 Meters. You can see the Performance List of thos who have qualified for Nationals here: and more about Nationals (May 26-28) here:
  • Tim will also be home after Nationals to work at the Lab this summer.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The New Mexico Finnegans: Tim, Chris, Dave, Marilyn, Ben. Posted by Hello


I am making a small step into the large world of blogging. I hope to utilize this page to update family and friends, away and abroad, on our family. Welcome!