Friday, November 28, 2008

Joy in the morning

Today I woke up joyful. I sincerely believe that God gave me that joy. A blessed gift from Him to me, I am so thankful! I began my day with cooking in the kitchen. It was my day to make our personal family thanksgiving. We celebrate with family, but we like to enjoy a feast for just the four of us, unless we host Thanksgiving day. It has become our tradition.

No turkey soup this year, or sandwiches because I cooked a chicken. With all that I have been through a chicken was easier. Even so, the meal came out good and all my men were very satisfied. While everything cooked I worked on another Christmas tree craft. This next one I have named "Christmas at Tiffany's" because it is white, silver & turquoise. Here I am in our sun room with my two kitties. Mark took this picture.

The sun room is not the neatest place right now. It is where the boys do their studies and where we keep all the homeschooling stuff. When we are not using it for school we use it for summer dining or entertaining. Next picture below is a picture of a hawk that Mark also took. The hawk visited our backyard today, it had an eye on our rabbit. We usually let our bunny run about the yard for exercise, but today we had to put her back in her hutch as I didn't want her to become a meal.

I do love the hawks, but they are predators. So much of their land has been lost to housing and they have no where else to go for food. It is really quite sad.

I have to say that I had a very blessed Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving day. I was able to eat all day with very little discomfort. Granted I ate half of what I normally eat, but I was pleased to be able to eat what I did without great discomfort. So much thanks goes to friends who have prayed for me. And so much praise to God for allowing me to have a wonderful time eating. I also enjoyed visiting with one of my friends on Thanksgiving day. She is a very sweet lady and I simply adore her. I have not seen her in months so it was nice to be able to chat. I also chatted a bit with one of my brothers in-law. He has a problem with his gallbladder and he has lost weight for the same reason I have...not being able to eat without pain. We are both in the same boat and it was nice to have some one that understands. They have told my brother in-law that he needs surgery, but he is reluctant, especially after watching all that has happened to me. None of us knows what is up ahead, but I do know that the Lord will lead us through as we look to Him.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wishing all our friends and family a very blessed Thanksgiving.
As we count our blessings we thank God for you.

~The Finleys~
Mark, Becky, Eric & Brandon

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Could you spare some prayer?

Hello friends, I humbly ask for your prayers. Recovery is still rough and not going the way I would like it to go. I am trying my best to keep my focus on the Lord. My digestion is still painful. There have been a few days where the pain was so bad I cried. Thankfully, these last few days the pain level has gone down (and I believe it is because of prayer). The pain is not gone, just at a more tolerable level which I am so thankful to God. My colon is healing well and is working great, but there is still a bit of stiffness, which I am hoping that will get better over time.

The annoying thing about having pain in my intestines is that I cannot eat a large meal, nor much meat. I have been sticking with light fare and my weight is dropping. Most of my pants are too big for me now, even my size small stretchy skirts are feeling a bit loose. I have dropped a total of 15 lbs since October 9th. I am small to begin with, so I am afraid to drop anymore weight. I saw my doctor and he has ordered a CT scan to see if he can locate the problem in my intestines. I showed him the area where the pain is and it is right next to the incision on the side where he attached the colon. My doctor and I are hoping this problem will resolve on its own, but he reassured me that this is a small problem and he can handle it. Bottom line, everything is in God's hands.

I have also been struggling with a UTI (urinary tract infection). I went to my GP and she prescribed a strong antibiotic which I had a reaction to within minutes of taking it. So I went back to the office and she prescribed something different. That one was in the same class of antibiotics as the other, but less concentration. I was prescribed two pills a day, but I can only manage 1 pill a day. I started to get tingling in my arms so I decided to stop taking it after 4 days. I go back to her on Dec. 4th and hopefully the UTI will be gone, but if it isn't, I am going to ask for some other class of antibiotic because that Floxin group does not do good things to me.

Christmas Crafting II

Well, I finished my second sequin tree. I decided to do this one with Shabby Chic in mind. It has iridescent 8mm sequins, with pink and iridescent white 5 mm sequins and silver seed beads. I decided that feathers best topped off this tree. What do you think? Below is a picture of my 2nd cat Princess with the tree. She is a reluctant model.

Happy crafting y'all!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Have I Done?

I saw a post at Sharon's blog titled "What Have You Done?" that inspired me to do this post. I like doing this because it helps me to think of the good things in life rather than focus on the hardships. A "count your blessings" thought project. Laced in amongst these blessings are trials. It always amazes me how I can be suffering so much yet enjoy such rich blessings at the same time. Our God is an awesome God!

Okay, here are twenty things that I have done in my life:

01. I was a tap dancer when I was little
02. I was in two school plays in 6th grade
03. I was in a girls choir in jr. high school
04. Won honorable mention in an essay contest
05. Had beignets at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans
06. Eaten at Club 33 in Disneyland
07. I've seen the tallest, oldest and biggest trees on earth
08. I saw George Bush Sr. & Norman Schwarzkopf in person
09. Been to Arlington National Cemetery
10. A bull elk stood in front of our car in Yellowstone NP
11. Hiked to the top of Vernal Falls in Yosemite NP
12. Visited Ernest Hemingway's home in Key West
13. Saw the Milky Way in Arches NP
14. Have seen 3 bald eagles in the wild
15. Been to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada
16. Been over and under the Golden Gate Bridge
17. Toured Mesa Verde NP
18. Climbed to the top of Lembert Dome in Yosemite
19. Saw the Hope Diamond at Natural History Simthsonian
20. Seen both Atlantic and Pacific oceans

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I have a praise report. My son's friend that had to evacuate because of the fire is fine. He was at school and was happy to report that his house was saved. Yahoo! When I picked up my son Brandon from school, I went on campus for the first time since I was in the hospital. Everyone was so happy to see me. I got to chat with my favorite teacher at the school (she knows my sons so well). She said that she has cancer cells in her uterus. Her doctor is going to laser the lining of her uterus the first week in December. Her name is Lindi, so please pray for this dear sister in Christ. Prayer is the best way to love all our brothers & sisters, so keep praying everyone!!!

Well, my day started early. I was awake at 6:30 am. I did not want to get up, but I did. I was scheduled to see my main surgeon, Dr. M., for a check up at 8:30 am. Well, I got showered and all dressed, got over to the office and found out my appointment had been canceled. Someone goofed. So they got me a new appointment for next Tuesday. It was sort of a big deal because Mark took time away from work to be able to come to the appointment with me, but these things happen so not worth it to squawk. When I went down the stairwell, I ran into Dr. G., the surgeon who actually put my bowel together. He is a very kind man.

I rested at home for a bit after the doctor and then decided to hit the mall before going to pick up Brandon from school. Brandon gets out before Eric, so I pick up Brandon and Mark picks up Eric on his way home from work. Anyway, I have started doing my Christmas shopping already. Both boys have their birthdays in December, so I have extra work to do at this time of year. Okay, so I went to the mall and I picked up a gift card for a family member and then I picked up this candle holder. I could not resist. It was 50% off and amber colored.

I got this at Bath & Body Works. The orange glow you see is a tea light. Below is how it looks in the dark.

Is it not gorgeous? I think this makes up for what happened at the doctor's office. LOL

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Boys are Home

The boys got home safe and sound from camp. They came back with a few bumps & bruises, but nothing out of the ordinary for boys. The adults in the troop were calling Mark asking the best route to take home due to the fires. Everyone got through just fine. Mark called his cousin again and found that their family had narrowly escaped the fires. The fire was a mile away from their home when the winds suddenly shifted and moved it away from their area. Praise God! Brandon's friend from school who lives in Anaheim Hills called Brandon's cell phone at 3 AM Sunday morning and left a message. He was asking for prayer for his family because the fire was coming up to their backyard and they were evacuating. My son called him back and left a message, but has not gotten a call yet. Hopefully nothing bad has happened and he will see him at school.

As for me, I am still trying to recover. It is taking a lot longer than I would like. My colon is working great, it is just my digestive tract that is not right yet. We do have a virus that causes stomach aches and gas. I am hoping that all the stomach discomfort I feel is from a virus and not from the surgery. It may be a combo, but I cannot sort it out. I definitely need to be more patient (which I am not). I need more time to heal. I am still only able to eat half of a normal sized meal. Due to not being able to eat much my energy level is low, but praise God I have gained 1 lb! Please pray that all the pain I feel in my stomach/intestines would go away and that my eating will return to normal. Thanks so much!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fire in Southern California

Here is a picture of the smoke from the Anaheim Hills/Yorba Linda fire burning in our county. Mark and I went out to breakfast this morning and everything was well then, but this afternoon the big black smoke clouds drifted over our way. Mark's cousin lives where the fire is burning. He just called to see how things are going. The family said they have their two cars packed up and they are ready to go anytime, but right now the fires are burning away from their neighborhood. We pray they keep doing so.

The winds were blowing hard enough last night that they blew my big potted tree over. I remember when the boys were small a big wind storm came through at night. Our neighbors at that time had a make shift carport they had made with steel pipes and tarps. It was very heavy and they had anchored it down with concrete blocks. Well, when the wind storm came it picked up that carport and slammed it against our block wall where it got mangled. Then it blew it over the block wall toward our house. I remember the pipes were tapping on the windows to the boys bedroom. It scared the boys and they got even more scared when Mark and I had to go out in the storm and dismantle the pipes so that they would not break through the windows. When daylight came we saw power poles leaning, broken signs, whole trees uprooted, and of course there was debris all over. We have not had a wind storm that bad for years now, instead we've had fires. Thankfully, Mark and I do not live near the hills, but some of our family does. My parents and my sister narrowly escaped the fires that burned in their area last year.

Mark and I were planning on going out to dinner to celebrate his birthday, but both of us are sick with a cold, so we are just going to stay in and rest tonight. We are enjoying our time alone together. Oh, here is another picture Mark took of the smoke from our front yard.

We are hoping that they are able to put the fires out soon. The winds have died down so maybe there is a chance it will get under control. Tomorrow the Boy Scout troop will be making their way home from Joshua Tree. They will have to go through the Anaheim Hills/Yorba Linda area to come home. We are praying that all is well with the troop and they are having a good time. I am sure the boys will have plenty of stories to tell us when they get home tomorrow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Joshua Tree

Above is a picture of a Joshua tree in Joshua Tree National Park, California. My boys left for Joshua Tree tonight. They are going camping with their Boy Scout troop. Mark is taking them over to the church right now. They are going to carpool out to the camp with other scouts. This is a rare trip for them because Mark usually goes camping too, but this time he is staying home with me. A couples weekend for us, which we haven't had since July when we went away to celebrate our 25th anniversary. I know the boys will be fine because they are going to be with people that have known them since they were in 1st grade! Plus, I need to trust God, He will take good care of my sons. I guess us moms always worry about our children. Anyway, I cooked a nice dinner for the boys and then they got dressed up in their uniforms. They always look so handsome. ;-) I hugged each of them goodbye and told them I love them. They were so excited to go. Even though they drive me nuts, I miss them already.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This is a picture my girlfriend in Maine sent me a few years back. She used to live near this lake. Beautiful isn't it? Autumn makes me think of change and in this past election that is what citizens of America voted for...change. Check out this link:
I have signed the petition at this link and I hope you will too. Please read the article as it has important information that I think some Christians may not be aware of (I myself was not aware). Christian parents are concerned about the future. Since America has voted for change, I fear the change coming is not good change. I feel people are moving away from God toward a global society in an effort to have peace. Here is another article that I found interesting regarding this subject:

In spite of all that is going on in the world, autumn is here. It continues to give us beauty and bounty each time it comes around. I am so thankful for the seasons, each one has its own special quality. Autumn makes me think of pumpkins, pie, apple cider, sweaters, colorful leaves, hot soup and cozy blankets. I am so blessed that even with the world the way it is, I can still enjoy God's blessings. They are new every morning!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas Crafting

Here is my kitty Dusty posing with my newly crafted sequin Christmas tree. I set up a little photo shoot for my tree and Dusty decided she wanted to get into the picture. Isn't she adorable? I have had Dusty since she was kitten and she loves to be where ever I am. I've been working on the tree since my 2nd homecoming from the hospital. I just finished it today. I was thinking of giving it as a gift, but I don't know yet (silly me). I have two others in storage that I made last year. One is green & white with a maroon colored bird on top. The other is white, silver and various colors (like Christmas tree lights) with a glittered silver poinsettia on top. This gold & red one will go nicely with my Christmas placemats.

To make the tree, I used a medium sized styrofoam cone, large and small sequins, straight pins and seed beads. First I put a seed bead on the pin, then a small sequin and then the large one. Then I just push it into the base of the styrofoam cone and keep going around till I am done. The straight pins come in boxes of 500 and I used one box plus nearly finished another box. It takes close to 1000 pins, sequins & beads in the making. Here is another picture of the tree below.

I tried to make a cute bow at the top, which the picture doesn't do much justice to it. Oh well, below is another picture of Dusty. I think she likes the tree. ;-D

I am planning on making another tree, but have not decided on the colors yet. When it is done I will share the photos. Making these trees is pretty boring, but it helps keep my hands busy while I recover from surgery. It always feels good to create something pretty. Happy crafting y'all!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I have been too tired and depressed to be on the computer. I am still struggling with recovery. Even so I got out to vote. It was important to do so as California had some major propositions on the ballot. My heart was sadden with the country's choice for president, but I knew it was coming. I have received two emails from good men of God that we must be praying and be prepared to stand for God. Personally, I began praying last year, as the Lord laid it on my heart to do so. I have begun praying that I will continue to stand for Him no matter what. That my affections would be no where else, but with my Lord Jesus. I am quite aware of my flesh and how weak it is. If I do anything good it is because of Him. Weak as I am, physically and mentally at this time, it is all His power.

There are not only struggles with my condition, but the company Mark works for is having some financial difficulties. The day I came home from my surgery there were layoffs at his place of work. One of Mark's friends was laid off. He is a Christian man and in a good position financially to withstand the layoff. So thankful for that, but still it is hard to be laid off. When Mark returned to work after taking vacation to care for me & our boys, he said the company has installed time-clocks for salaried people. They will begin using them in the new year. I was saddened to hear this. Since the layoffs, Mark has been going in to work early in the mornings and working extra hours as needed. This has added to my load at home, trying to manage the boys has been a challenge. One day I was very depressed and in an effort to get rid of my bad thoughts, I began doing heavy cleaning. The next day I awoke tired and sore. I over did things; it is still too soon for me. I still need naps in the afternoon or evening. My bowel is still healing and does not feel normal, plus I am still having difficulty with eating. It is a hard road right now and I have been a doubting Thomas. Even so God has told me He loves me. He is so GOOD!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Harvest Blessings

These are my two harvest blessings. Even though these two boys of mine drive me nuts at times, I am also very blessed by them.

Something about having that intestinal blockage really took quite a lot out of me. Plus I came down with a bladder infection from the cath at the hospital. I have felt so ill that I had no desire to lift a finger for Halloween. I slept most of this past week away after being so tired from all that I endured. I did helped the boys figure out their costumes, but for the first time in their lives we did not buy pumpkins. And I did not bother with getting candy for the dear little children in the neighborhood. The boys went to their uncle's house for Trick or Treating and the big family birthday party for their grandfather. Mark took them over and then their auntie brought them home. I stayed home and rested.

Today, Mark took me out shopping, which I haven't been shopping in 3 weeks. I was able to hit two stores in one trip out. We went to Target for odds & ends and then the grocery store. It tired me out and I had to take a nap, but later in the evening I took a walk around the block. So doing very well, but still not able to do any heavy lifting, nor tackle the vacuuming. And I still do not seem to have the brain power to teach, which I need to get back to soon.

I am experiencing an overwhelming feeling of ickiness. Mark says it is quite normal to feel this way after all that I have been through. Right now I am distressed about the way my intestines feel. My colon is coming along alright, it is making good progress. However, my intestines are still moving slow which takes the joy out of eating. It doesn't take much food before I get full and when I do get full I tend to get a bit of reflux. I did not have this trouble before the surgery, so I am worried this is something that is going to stay. My doctor told me that I have to wait 6 weeks at which point things should be getting somewhat better, but it will be 3 months before I begin to feel normal. I pray that this intestinal condition is going to go away and I will return to the way I was before surgery otherwise I think I am going to regret reconnection. Mark reminds me that I need to give it time. I have never been good at being patient and I always worry I have made a wrong choice.