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: