Thursday, December 15, 2011

St. Nicholas Day

       For the past three years we have had a Finley family tradition of celebrating Christmas early over a weekend on (or near) St. Nicholas day.  This last weekend Seth, Mikaiah, and I once again headed over to Sheridan for a lovely weekend of cooking, eating (of course), playing games, hanging out, prayer and worship.  What a lovely time we had!  It's so fun seeing the family grow and change (marriages, children, etc.)   I was so blessed to be able to send a few days watching Mikaiah with her aunts, uncles and grandparents.   How lucky we are that we live close enough we get to see them more than once or twice a year!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I found a lovely knit headband at the Toy Factory the other day and had it in hand to buy it, but decided against my (not so cheap) impulse buy.  Instead I decided to try and crochet one.  I was able to do it on my first try (with just a little adjusting) and only a few hours effort - I bet I could do another in less than an hour.  I thought it turned out pretty cute. I even added a crocheted flower I made, but Seth wasn't thrilled about it so I decided to put it on a bobby pin that could be removed - great solution, too bad Mikaiah figured out she could remove it herself! haha.  That's what I get for having a smart kid...who is just like her father. =)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thoughts on people and our interactions with them, and the difference these make.

      This last week or so I've been thinking a lot about how we impact people, and how we (specifically as Christians) make a difference in people's lives.  I think for a long time I've somehow felt that if I don't have a deep conversation with someone about Christ and what he's done in my life, or something like that than I'm not really reaching people or making a difference.  (Which would be pretty depressing, because I haven't had all that many of those conversations in my life.)
     Lately though, I've been realizing how all the little interactions we have with people everyday can make a big difference.  I just realized that the reason that these little interactions count so much is because they're not just "little nothings" but they're the things that prepare the soil-or that destroy it.      
     Whether you are a Christian or not, I believe that every interaction you have with a person affects them, some more than others, but these are the things that shape how people view others, how they view themselves and the world around them.  Just like I know that I've been affected both by curt, but rude responses as well as a helping hand, a friendly smile, or just a friendly stranger striking up a conversation with me.
       Yesterday I was walking home from downtown and there was a lady walking about 20 feet behind me for about fifteen minutes, after this time she closed the gap and started chatting with me.  We had comfortable banter for a few minutes, exchanged names and realized that she works really close to where I live. Then I reached my street and we went separate ways. I was affected by her.  I also realized that if I had made an attempt (which would not have taken much) to close the gap sooner, we might have had an even deeper interaction. And if I had been praying throughout the day or even our meeting about times like that, who knows what would have happened.  I don't know if I'll ever see her again (with most small interactions, we probably won't see them again) but I'm beginning to see that that does not necessarily matter.  Even if I'm just the rain on some flowers (or on some dry ground) I can (with Christ in me) make a positive difference in someones life- everyday.  Or I can just have dozens of dozens of indifferent meetings that are completely unremarkable, every week.  This is no revelation to many of you, but somehow I feel freed by it.  I am not called to be in relationship with every person on whom I will impact.  And somehow this seems to make those relationships I am called to be in, seem so much sweeter.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Growing up

Mikaiah is growing so fast, it's awesome and exciting and sad all at once.  She went from laying on the floor barely moving to crawling all over, laughing extatically, sitting up, getting two teeth, and eating baby food in just two months.  I absolutely love getting to know this little human being, she is hilarious! But I have this dread fear that I'm going to turn around and pick up my cup of tea and when I look back she'll be driving my car or something.  Still, we have a little time, she still can't reach the edge of my seat much less the pedals.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A lovely Autumn day

This morning I took a turn on babysitting duty, with Claire and Milo Walton hanging out for a few hours with Mikaiah and myself.
With the rain falling outside and the babies sleeping inside Claire and I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies. What a good decision! =) She put on Mikaiah's apron (which she is too small for) and I put on mine, and we went to work. She was especially good at cleaning the spoons! So fun!
Later Norma and her girls stopped by to pick some stuff up and visit, and then after a short errand with the girls, Norma dropped them off again while she went shopping. So with Mikaiah on nap #2 by this time, Claire, Charis, Ella, Milo and I cuddled on my bed and read books, though Milo did more squirming than cuddling - though he was getting tired. I don't mind the rain on days like this, it was really rather delightful to hear it on the roof. Also, earlier the girls had put on their rain boots and were watching the rain smear their sidewalk chalk as they used it on the front patio.
After they all left Mikaiah and I put on our cute raincoats (a cute raincoat is essential to living in Oregon, and enjoying the rain - whether you are six months old or 28 years old!) and I put on my cute rain boots (also essential, though Mikaiah is too small for rainboots yet - and since she can't walk, that's okay.) and we went out for some errands, only to return later and drink so lovely tea while my husband made me an amazing grilled chicken/cheese/sauerkraut sandwich.
What a nice day I had. I just love Autumn!

Monday, October 3, 2011

September past

This September was suppose to be a month to slow down after a crazy summer, but it seemed more like a whirlwind trying to play catch-up with all the stuff we didn't do in summer! It was fun though. We have not been home on the weekend for at least three weeks now, helping re-roof the generator shed at Drift Creek, then hanging out in Bend with the Stumbo's (so fun!) and then leaving for Californina (just Mikaiah and I) the very next morning for Amber's Wedding.
Liana Stone, Teal Lewis, and I all road tripped down to Newcastle, CA for the wedding of our child hood friend, Amber. What a great week to catch up with old friends, and make some new ones. It really was a blessing being able to hang out, help get ready (a little), and just be there.
After driving through the night after the wedding and just kind of sleeping most of the morning/early afternoon yesterday I should be ready to whip this (very messy) house into shape...maybe after an episode of Survivor. What's the hurry?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Festival of Tents

I just love these girls. They're so fun to hang out with, plus they are awesome babysitters.
Mikaiah just loves hanging out with her Aunt Katie.

Francesca and Amadea enjoying a sunny morning around camp.

We just got back from camping at the Festival of Tents yesterday. This is my 15 time going (in 17 years) but the first time bringing Mikaiah. She's such a great camper, four nights and did awesome. She's a born camper. So glad. Great friends, good food, awesome worship, wonderful weather - it was a really nice weekend. Today I spent most of the day doing laundry, but it was worth it. Then this evening Seth and I took Mikaiah out for a little spin on our neighbors Kayaks (she has this awesome infant life jacket.) I just love having the river 30 feet from our house!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Making the most of Summer

Once again it seems that summer has just arrived and yet many children are already headed back to school...where did all that time go? I'm not about to let the rest of summer go to waste though, so I thought I would take a (long overdue) minute to fill everyone in on what we have been up to this summer and what we are doing now.
With our recent move to Corvallis at the beginning of Summer, and an effort to save on gas, I have spent a lot of time exploring the area by bike. When we first moved here Seth finished up my bike which he built from a frame we found on craigslist, parts from my old bike, and other scavenged parts from all over. He'd been working on it for a while, but with the move he found the motivation needed to finally finish the project. Now with this sweet (and very cute) bike, along with our (much loved) bike trailer- Mikaiah and I have been all over the place! It's been a real treat to explore many of Corvallis's off-the-road bike paths, which often run along beautiful fields, ponds and rivers.
While we didn't get to do as much (okay, any) camping this summer (though we are this coming weekend) we did make it down to California a couple of weeks ago to see my grandmother as well as my Uncle, Aunt and cousin. While it's always hard to have these "end of life" visits, it was really special that my grandmother got to meet Mikaiah before she goes. My grandmother is one tough cookie. She is 94 years old and is just this last year or so really gone down hill, health wise. But she has lived a long full life and I'm so glad to be a part of it. I was also blessed to be able to have Seth and both of my parents to be able to go with me on our visit. It was (over all) a really good time. We even got time to go on a sweet hike with my Uncle.
Apart from that trip, we have been making the wedding rounds this summer. With either a wedding or bridal shower (or both) every weekend they can seem to take up the whole summer, but it was a joy to be able to be a part of them. Especially since one of them resulted in a new (and wonderful) sister-in-law for me! Yeah!
During the weeks I have been filling in my days with berry picking, getting to know neighbors (yesterday I tried my hand at tye-dying - we'll see how it went today) and such. We live in such a neat little community in this trailer park next to the Mary's river. It is so much cooler than I ever expected it to be.
In the days and weeks ahead I hope to begin immersing myself in the bigger community picture, joining (hopefully) a zumba class and a knitting class (I've always wanted to learn how to knit!) Let's hope I can blog a little more faithfully as well, and then maybe I won't have so much to ramble on about! Here's to the end of summer, last minute bonfires, more berry picking, camping, canning, and a few last bbq's. Enjoy it. I know I will.