Feliz Navidad … Día Tres ((Day Three)) Last Day I Promise!!!

Okay, I promise this is the last Christmas day post …
I almost called this post Merry Kissmass…but I thought you may think that would be way too tacky so I didn’t.
You will see why…….
There is something you don’t know about us….
Well, really there is something you don’t know about my husband…..
He is a huge Kiss fan…
Huge!!!! I tell you!!!
For Christmas and lots of fun this year Mark’s sister gave him Kiss things.

Thanks Kim!!!
Yeah! She looks nice enough BUT…should we encourage him?
Back to the day…This year we had planned on spending December 26 with Mark’s mother and sisters. They were thoughtful enough to make sure they included my mother but when all was said and done my mom was just to pooped to come. So She stayed home and enjoyed the quite of the season…
We arrived to a beautiful feast table full of desserts and snacks.

The Dinning Room was prepared beautifully with three tables arranged for us all to sit and celebrate together in the same room. It was really very, very nice.
We could see they must have been working for days.

It was Mark’s job to cut the turkey.

We had a wonderful dinner and great conversation.

They showered us with more gifts…and the day spending time with family was perfect.


did I mention Mark is a huge Steelers fan too?

I think the highlight of the day for me was when Mark gave his mom this GREAT BIG bottle of Sherry…To think, we brought in such a big bottle of sherry for his mother, who is such a sweet, kind, gentle LADY made laugh and laugh…Mark said he bought the big one thinking there was more bang for the buck…True…But it will take her the next 35 years to drink it all.
The thought of that just cracked me up all day…and everytime I look at this photo I still giggle.

Matthew enjoyed it too.

And Liz…She wants to know where Santa Clause is and why he has only come

THREE times this year….

Feliz Navidad … Día dos ((Day Two))

Christmas Eve all the gifts from my mother’s house had tags on them that said, To: So and So, Love: Nana and Grandpa or Love: Mom and Father or Mom and Dad.
It was so beautiful…. everyone knew he was there.
The night was comforting and warm.
We learned early Christmas Eve day Karen wanted to be back on the road very early the next day to get back to North Carolina and celebrate Christmas with William and Kristen.
I asked my mother if Mark, the kids and I could stay the night, spend Christmas morning and then Christmas day with her…Surprisingly, to me, she said Yes!!! Mark agreed and after the party he and I snuck out into the cold, dark night to collect our Christmas gifts for our family.
It turned out to be a such wonderful day.

The first order of the morning was to take a picture of Anthony’s $85.00 shoes before he left…He told me it was important because “They are the most expensive shoes I have ever had.”

…Well then, we must do what we must do…

Then it was time to drag a very sleepy Mary Elizabeth out of bed…and drag we did.

She didn’t quite understand what was waiting for her in the next room.

She is still young.

She doesn’t quite get we celebrate and celebrate and celebrate.

Santa brought bee suites and a Honey Bee keeping starter kit to both Matthew and Stephen.

The note from Santa said to order the Bee’s in mid January…

This is what I don’t understand…Do the bee’s come in a box or to they fly here on their own once they are paid for? Does someone give them a map and tell them to just go???

It will be interesting to find out.

Mark put Liz’s new bike together.

My mom was happy for her beautiful new scarf….

And everyone had a great morning.

After the morning excitement the boys got right to work putting the bee hives together.

Mom and I started more coffee and got to work on dinner…..Mark played with Mary Elizabeth and much to our delight Father Theo stopped bye for a visit, coffee and a Spanish Lesson for Matthew…He taught us all ALL the words to Feliz Navidad .
Bill dropped in to say hello and check on things and the afternoon really was a joyful time…Singing, building, cooking, visiting and just being together.
Ruffo inspecting for all the parts
Stephen finally finished the ping pong table he put together by himself.

Soon the feast fit for Kings and Queens alike was finished.
The table was set.
Margaret and Family came in and we all enjoyed the night.

It was a happy day.
Funny how somethings work…I thought we were spending the night and day for my mom so she would not be alone for a second that day and we did …But, then again, maybe it was ALL for me…Because once again it seems like I am the one that received the biggest gift…Being able to spend Christmas day at my parent’s house with my husband, children and mother was the best and biggest gift I could have received this year.
When we left that night I remember telling my mother
“We did it.”
WE got through and it was a wonderful day ~ I know my father was smiling down on us. I know he is happy about the bee’s I kept thinking all day I couldn’t wait to tell him about…but then I would remember…He already knows…and he IS happy. He is very happy.
Quiero desearle una Feliz Navidad desde el fondo de mi corazón y un
Próspero Año Nuevo y felicidad

Christmas Eve 2009

~ Never forgetting the Reason for the Season ~

We started the night off with a family Mass.

We humbly honored the Holy Family and are thrilled to have Aunt Carolyn’s manger safely tucked away in the cabinet that Love built…Given to Karen by her cousins Aunt Carolyn’s daughters Anne and Kathy

The table was grand

The children were ready

Well….most of the children were ready…

and the giving began

Anthony was here…and again having the “Best Time Ever”

Many wonderful gifts were given and received

There was laughter, there was happiness, there was joy…

There was giving, there was receiving, there was remembering, there was love…

Some gifts were just great!

Some gifts were simply better then great!!!

It was Aubrey’s First Christmas and she was not too sure of what to think

Joe has never looked better

Mark and Reiner were exhausted from all activity

And the bigger boys were thrilled with the biggest gift of the night….

As I sit here looking back at Christmas Eve 2009 just past……It is nice to know…Even though things have changed ~ Some things haven’t changed…Thank God

So This is Christmas

"So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
So this is Christmas… If it were not for Kathryn and Stephen this house would still not be decorated. They got the tree down from the attic. Stephen put the lights on. We all decorated it and then a week later Stephen and Kathryn put the wreaths on the windows.

The tree looks nice. The wreaths need work…I don’t even care that they are crooked, need fluffing or whatever… It is just not important to me this year. To me they look fine…..they are up. Kathryn and Stephen took action with love…maybe I will fix them if they want too.

Mary Elizabeth is so excited about Santa Clause coming to Nana and Grandpa’s house this year and her three year old excitement is brings us all Christmas Joy.

It is true, this year has been a tough one…..a very tough one. But, in a strange way, I hate to see it end. I will be happy to get the Christmas Season behind us and then maybe the business will pick up.

I hope. 
Things have just been terrible with this business this year, which is just hard enough. But, this other thing is the real kicker. So, in reality, I just hate to see the year end.  

Here is the way I look at, simply:

This was the year our father lived….

This was the year we got to take care of him.

This was the year we got to see true courage in both my mother and my father.

This was the year we learned about life and death.

This was the year we learned about true love.

This was the year we learned how to die with courage and dignity.

This was the year we learned how to let go with honor and respect.

This is the year we got to honor both of our parents.

This was the year we learned about ever lasting life.

This was the year we saw love happen.

It was given to us freely from family and friends we didn’t realize we had.

We saw true character come out in these people… real kindness, real love, real friendships.

It is ALL truly amazing.

I know our Father will be celebrating Christmas this year, now and forever in a big way. Our parents have always loved this time of year. They have always gone out of there way to make the Season a time of real love, joy and true celebration. And that is what we are trying very hard to do.

So the trees are up, the houses are decorated, the Christmas music is being played, and the shopping is….getting done…the baking is starting…well, it will be….and the Celebration has begun.

Ready or Not…Here IT Comes.

So this is Christmas….What have we done???

We have truly loved. We are a family of survivors. We are strong. We are many and in a strange way we are one. It will be a wonderful Christmas….and a wonderful New Year.

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

Happy Christmas Everyone

An Impromptu Leave…Isn’t that Silly

It is true….I have taken an impromptu leave from my blogging.

You and I have had this blog relationship for almost a year now and well……there is something you should know about me…

I am a procrastinator…Yes…disappointing I know…….. but true.

I even procrastinate on the things I like. But here is the thing……

Honestly; it’s the pictures of Thanks-Giving I have not wanted to post.

You see…..I have this strange way about me….maybe it is a Finnell thing….I really don’t think it comes from the Coleman side of my family but…….I find if I don’t think about certain things that have happened or are happening….. I forget.

Sometimes forgetting is good.

That is of course…….. until I remember.

I am finding this time……Margaret is doing the same thing. When we talk about “things”…..We will not use the dreaded “D” word. Margaret and I will always say “before Father” or “when Father” never saying that word…and now it is down to “Well, you know.”…..

We just never say the words…

Isn’t that silly?

And that is what I have been doing…..Simply; I have not wanted to think about these things or even say them out loud.

All in all Thanks Giving was very good.

It really was. We had a very nice day.

But the physical absence of our father was so great ~ I just didn’t want to think about.

I look at the pictures and think…..That was a nice day. In total, I think we had about 31 or maybe it could have been 36 people at my parent’s house.

Linda’s father came with his wife, Karen and Joe were there, George and all his kids, James tore himself away from his camp-out in front of Best Buy with is friends.

Father Theo stopped by. There was the usual football game


George Carved the turkey. He did a beautiful Job!

This was all done much to our relief…….after the meal was over. The turkey was not cooked and that simple under cooked turkey made us all smile and laugh at ourselves.

Isn’t that Silly?

((Karen convincing Mary Elizabeth she IS the angle on top of the tree.))


But here we are and I have good news about Stephen and his team mate Mary winning a placement in the debate tournament yesterday…..I am very excited. This was his first debate ever AND his first academic award ever.

((Stephen on end in blue…..this is what happens when you just don’t think you will need your camera that day))

I am very proud of him both as his mother and his teacher. There are times when I really question our little school…..and then something like this happens and I know we are doing a good thing.

I quess that is just the mother in me…..always questioning.

Isn’t that Silly

Today, I think in the middle of all the kayos and confusion in our school days with; potty training, stopping to answer the business phone, checking this or that for Mark, laundry, the house work, finding what’s for dinner, dealing with everyday things life throws our way and lets not even mention what has happened these past few months with…

…Well, you know…

They are learning something. This school thing we have going on is good. So Yesterday; Kathryn recited her poem the Ballad of Birmingham By Dudley Randall for the debate club, Matthew judged and

Stephen argued the case he wrote by himself “Environmental Reform and Changing the Policies towards Cole Slurry ” with his partner and THEY WON….

I am so proud of him.


I finally sit down and think……I am going to post this one……and see five comments I have missed and these very loving messages:

How are you doing, my dear friend???? I’ve been thinking of you A LOT!!!!! You’re in my prayers…Miss you!!!! Love always, Janine XOXO

Hey Lisa,
Just wanted to let you know that I’m missing your posts. Hope you’re doing okay. Thinking of you.
Love ya,

And I think…….Wow!!! Wow!!! Wow!!!

Thank you Regina and Janine………You guys are the best. Thank you for caring. Thank you for wondering and Thank you for thinking of me…..Thank you for thinking of Us.

We are doing………Well….you know.