Friday, December 21, 2007

Reading level post

Thanks to Kathleen, I was able to rate my blog's readability. It is...Drum roll please...

cash advance

Cash Advance Loans

Go figure...

The Wedding of Ben and Elsa

Well, we had a lovely and blessed wedding in Windom, Minnesota. The Johnsons were gracious hosts, all the family arrived safely from out of town, friends gathered, and everything went off without a hitch. God has been gracious to bring such a wonderful young lady into our family. We have always wanted a daughter! And we are so blessed to welcome Elsa into our family!

Above are a few photos to whet your appetite. If you would like to see more, you can view pictures from the day before the wedding and the rehearsal here, and photos from the wedding day here. These are all photos taken by Nikki and Tim, since my first act in Windom was to drop and break my NEW camera! :-( Thanks, Tim and Nikki, for taking photos for me! Once we have some official photos, I'll try to post them as well. :-)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Glimpses of the Los Alamos Homeeschool Chorus Concert, 2007

Here are just a few sights and sounds of the concert last night. The kids did an excellent job, and it was an enjoyable evening! Above, enjoy one verse of one of the songs sung by the junior choir. And then, from top to bottom you'll see the Lawrence family, followed by the chorus, first one side, then the other. And lastly, a shot of the Ensemble: our a cappella high school group.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Winter Reading Challenge

If you are looking for my Winter Reading Challenge List, please go here. Thank you.

Christmas is Coming- the 2007 version

Well, I am preparing the Christmas cards to go out by the weekend, which always makes me feel compelled to give some instructions and updates here since the cards direct people here for news and photos. First, a few directions, for those of you unfamiliar with the blogging world:

On the right you will see some recent family photos scrolling by. Note that there are two DILTB (daughters-in-law-to-be.)

Links can also be found on the right. Note especially a link to my other blog (where I post various ramblings, called A Collection of Chris's thoughts and Meanderings) and a link to more photos of the Finnegans, where you can look at some more photos that haven't been posted.

If you scroll down the page, you will read our yearly news backwards, with the most recent things at the top, and getting older as you go down.

If this doesn't go far enough back for you, you can go back to the right side and click on my archives by month or year. There's more there than anyone wants to know about the Finnegans!

And now for a few updates, to "catch you up" fast:

This very week Chris' mom, Shirley Hanson, completed her year of treatments for an aggressive form of breast cancer called Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). She and Dad have been heroes in this grueling fight.

We leave in one week for Ben and Elsa's wedding on December 15. I'll post updates and photos when we return.

After the wedding, the Hanson Clan will be meeting for an early Christmas in Iowa. This will be Nikki's introduction to the whole group (brave girl!) Nikki and Tim plan to wed in September of 2008.

In January Tim returns to Grand Rapids for his last 1-credit required class at Calvin, and to run track, and to get closer to Nikki, who is in Sarnia, Ontario.

Hope you will all be enjoying the blessings of family this Christmas, and praising the God from whom all such blessings flow!

December Give-away from

December Giveaway

Click above for your chance to win!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A plea from a mother's heart

This morning I read a post on another blog that touched my heart. I live in a rather remarkable family. My parents have been married for 48 years: their first and last marriage. Dave's parents were married for somewhere around 50 years, the only marriage for them both. I have five siblings. The three who are married are all, Lord willing, on their first and last marriages as well (and some are well into 20-some years.) Dave and I celebrated our 27th anniversary last summer. My children have grown up with a legacy of marriages that last. What a rare and precious thing!

But the legacy of divorce leaves a carnage that goes on and on. Some of the decisions we make bear consequences for the rest of our lives. With Ben's wedding in less than three weeks, and Tim's just around the bend, this mother's plea to her children touched my heart. I make the same plea to my dear children! Please read "Tears at Thanksgiving".

Friday, November 23, 2007

So much to be thankful for!

We find ourselves with much to be thankful for this year of 2007. Above, we enjoy a Thanksgiving feast with the Hanson's in Rio Rancho. (From l to r: Marilyn Finnegan, Jack Hanson, Shirley Hanson, Tim, Dave.)

Marilyn is in great health, and just enjoyed a month visiting her daughter Kathleen in PA. She had a wonderful time!

My mom has almost finished her radiation treatments. She has already put chemotherapy behind her< as well as surgery, and now can look forward to a little break, Lord willing! Please pray for a complete recovery and irradication of her inflammatory breast cancer (If you don't know about IBC, a rare but extremely aggressive and often misdiagnosed cancer, please see for more information!)

We have enjoyed having Tim at home this fall. He has learned much at his job at LANL, and is ready to return to Grand Rapids in January. He is looking forward to being able to readily visit with Nikki in Sarnia, whom we are referring to as our "alien fiancee", so named after the "Alien Finance Visa" they have just applied for :-)

The big upcoming event, of course, is Ben and Elsa's wedding on December 15th. We are all growing excited to see one another and to celebrate this wonderful and exciting event. Marilyn, Dave, Tim and I will be flying into Omaha, and picking up Nikki there on December 12th. December in Minnesota... yikes! All the Hanson aunts and uncles are expected to be in attendance. And Elsa should graduate from Hillsdale College just before she heads for MN to take her vows. It should be a wonderful time! I'll post pictures and updates as we go along...

Ben is doing well and loving grad school in Indiana. He should complete his Masters in Latin this spring, Lord willing, with new wife by his side. They have purchased a townhome in Bloomington, and Elsa plans to look for a job there starting in January. Then Ben will work on towards his PhD. Amazing. They really do begin to grow up sooner or later...

We feel so blessed by God-- our cup just overflows! And we thank God for our many friends and family members, and the love and support they have been to us throughout our lives. May God bless you all in this special season!

A Turkey Trot for my Turkeys (and about 400 others)

We started Thanksgiving Day, 2007, at the 27th annual Turkey Trot race in Albuquerque. Tim was hoping that the offered prize money would bring out some fast people he could chase. We figured his hopes had been confirmed when a car load of elite Kenyan races parked right next to us! Tim finished 5th over-all, in a speedy time of 15:13 (his new altitude 5K PR), and chased two elite Kenyans who finished in the 14:30's, one post-collegiate professional runner, and one Division 1 All- American, which made him happy. And he won a pair of running shoes, which made his Dad happy! Dave also ran very well, completing the course in 18:38 (pretty speedy for an old turkey!)

A beautiful day in the mountains

The unseasonably warm temperatures have given us some very lovely November days to enjoy. One such day was Veteran's Day, when Tim adn Dave and I spent the afternoon in the Jemez Mountains. The guys had long runs (Tim ran 15 miles, Dave ran 12!). I hiked to Jemez Falls, and enjoyed reading in the beautiful scenery. Then we had a nice lunch al fresco!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Visit from Bill

We enjoyed a brief but wonderful visit from one of Tim's closest friends from Calvin, Bill Reynolds. Bill is in school at Villanova this semester, and living at home in Newtown Square, outside of Philadelphia, so it was a special treat to have him join us for part of his fall break. Bill will be one of Tim's groomsmen, Lord willing, next fall.

Mountain Goat

Or something like one... Tim enjoyed climbing on the gorgeous rock formations at Arches.


Arches is one of those places that photographs fail to do justice to... But I still took 270-some photos on our new little digital camera! We camped over the Columbus Day holiday, and had a terrific time hiking and sight-seeing. I highly recommend this as destination if you are ever near Southwestern Utah!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

October give-away (courtesy of and Ligonier Study Center)

If you click on a chance to win these books from Ligonier Study Center from my site, I get an extra chance to win them, too!

October Giveaway

The White Rock

There actually *is* a white Rock here in White Rock. It sits at our most conspicuous corner, and it is an approved graffiti site. Thanks to friends Emily, Carolyn and Josh, it became a congratulations for Nikki's last day in Los Alamos.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nikki and Tim

We are stocking up on Tim and Nikki pictures while she is here, so here are few more good ones...

A Cocktail Party

Several of the oldhomeschool buddies (Carolyn, Emily, Josh and Tim with Nikki) decided to have a cocktail party. It was largely an excuse to dress up, listen to 40's jazz, and eat delicious hors-d'oeuvre. Josh served as bartender, and the kids tried martinis, ate, played "Scotland Yard" (a fascinating board game made by Ravensburger), and laughed together a lot. It was great fun, though most of us couldn't understand all the hoopla over Prohibition if Gin was the main object being denied...

More photos of Tim and Nikki

We've had fun visiting many places while Nikki has been here...

Tent Rocks National Monument...

And Bendelier National Monument, just to name a couple. They have also been to the top of Pajarito Mountain, to the bottom of the canyon behind our old house, and today will hike to the box canyon on the East Fork of Jemez River. We are rejoicing with them, and enjoying this opportunity to get to know Nikki better!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Another Engagement in the Family!

Amazing news... We have a second engagement in the family!! As of Thursday, September 6, Tim is engaged to Nikki-Ann Reckman of Sarnia, Ontario. They have been good friends for four years at Calvin, and started dating almost a year ago. In the first photo, they are atop Pajarito Mountain on Thursday, where Tim proposed and Nikki accepted. Below, they are on Friday's hike in Bandelier.

We are thrilled to welcome Nikki to the family, and feel so very blessed that God has brought such a wonderful young woman into Tim's life and our family. There is no date set just yet, but we are looking forward to getting to know Nikki better and welcoming her into our family.

God's blessings to us are truly amazing! Our cup is overflowing with His goodness!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Glories of Autumn

While I always find the death of summer a rather melancholy time, who can deny the glories of Fall, my favorite season? My poor, hail-beaten morning glories are putting on a spectacular show, and match the autumn New Mexican sky just perfectly!