Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas from the Finlaysons!

Or rather, Happy New Year! We travelled to Seattle for Christmas this year, and had no time to write before we left! So we hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday and that this letter finds each one of you well. We still wanted to send you a quick update about our family.

Kurt still loves his work at Novell, but we just learned that Novell has been sold to another company, so we're not sure what that will mean for his future there. He has two teaching callings at church right now, teaching Sunday School to the 14-15 year olds and teaching Joshua's Sunbeam class (Josh is thrilled to have his daddy be his teacher!) Kurt loves to read on his Kindle, when he can catch a bit of quiet time. He plays basketball a few times a week and still claims to have a three-point shot that's "on fire!". I haven't actually been able to watch him play for years, so I just have to take his word for it.

Priscilla is busy with the four little ones, teaching and organizing preschools, carpooling kindergarten, dance classes, and music classes. I have been taking New Testament classes at BYU this fall in the evening and will continue through the winter and I am learning so much! I just got a calling teaching the New Testament to the 11-year-old Primary class, so my learning is being put to good use. I have had some health challenges this year, but all seems to be on the mend. My Christmas present this year was braces! (Thank goodness the picture was taken before they were put on…!) In two long years, I’ll have perfect teeth!

James is 8, and is now busy with Scouts on Mondays and Faith in God goals that he's working on. Kurt loved Scouts, so he spends time with James in the evenings helping him with it. He is reading the Book of Mormon on his own (with his parents) each night, and does lots of other reading too. He is still passionate about Pokemon and learned to play the trading game over Christmas with his cousins, uncles and Grandpa in Seattle, who all love to play it too! He is in a special writing class at school and loves writing his own stories on the computer. He is getting really good on the piano, and is a great helper.

Alexandra is 5, and taking creative dance and piano classes, both of which she loves. She still colors, paints, and draws, and now loves to beautify herself with play makeup. Reading is taking more time than with James, but she is getting it, thanks to her "Dick and Jane" books. She got a salon chair for Christmas and loves to do all her doll's and Little Ponies' hair, but is never happy about doing her own hair! She has endless friends to play with and is very social.

Joshua is 4 in two weeks. He spent the last year as a 3-year-old in nursery class (he was so bored by the end), so he is really ready for Sunbeams! He knows his letters and sounds and tries to read over Alexandra's shoulder all the time. Dora is still his favorite, and he colors, cuts, draws, and paints as well as his older sister. Luckily, he has a younger brother who is now big enough to play boy games with him (although Kaleb is a little rough for his liking). He loves books and will be a great reader as soon as mom is willing to teach him!

Kaleb just turned 2 but seems like he is 12. He talks well, runs, jumps, throws balls, wrestles everyone in the family ("Mom, Kaleb is choking me!" or "Mom, Kaleb is sitting on me!"), and just keeps up with his siblings. He is just so busy and intense--he loves and hugs and plays, then he demands and screams. Yet his intensity is endearing to us, and his little blond head makes him somehow look angelic...he fools everyone but his own family.

We sure loved visiting all of my family (and some of Kurt’s family too) in Seattle over Christmas and made lots of wonderful memories (including the three –day, 21-hour drive home in the snow)! Have a wonderful 2011!
Love, Kurt, Priscilla, James, Alexandra, Joshua, and Kaleb

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Trip to Goblin Valley/Capital Reef National Park

Over Memorial Day we decided to take the kids on an adventure. James was the one that wanted to go see the goblins so we decided to make it a camping trip. We left early Monday morning and traveled through Price Utah. We stopped there at the cemetery to pay respects to my brother Eric. It had been so long since I had been there I thought I would not remember where he was buried, but my internal GPS still works like a champ.

After stopping in Price, we then headed for Goblin Valley. The children were so excited. I was a little nervous since this would be our first time camping together as a family and trying to get the kids to sleep. The kids had a blast playing on the rock formations.

After playing on them for a while we headed to our camp site we picked in Fruita. When we got there, Joshua threw up because of heat exhaustion. Boy was he a trooper. It then took us about an hour to get the tent set up. Sleeping with all the kids was an experience. Kaleb woke up during the night and Pris had to put him back to sleep. The next day was crazy. I had forgotten to pack a spatchula so I had to use a paper plate to flip the pancakes. I am glad that worked out. Then we went and saw all the historic sites and then did a 'little' one mile hike. This hike was mostly in the up direction. We made it about 3/4 of the way and called it good because I had to carry Kaleb most of the way. Too bad I did not have backpack for him. In all, the trip was fun and the kids loved it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas to our Family and Friends! December 2009

We hope this letter finds each of you doing well. As I sit here ready to type, I’m listening to the “Chipmunks Christmas” album for the 100th time (at the children’s insistence), and wishing for a moment I could just turn on Handel’s “Messiah” and write something truly inspiring! Instead, I think I’ll just share some of the Finlayson’s daily life. The children are talking a lot and they reveal their thoughts and feelings more than ever before. This has been fun for me lately, so I jotted some of them down in my journal. I’m sure all of you who have children would agree that sometimes you wish others could be a “fly on the wall” of your home and laugh with you too! Here’s a sampling:

Today Joshua ate: dirt, rocks, Styrofoam, Play-doh, soap. Then he refused to eat his quesadilla at dinner and called it “yucky!”

James: Mom, I’m going to buy that pack of Pokémon cards when I get my allowance!

Mom: James, there are a lot of things that you’ve been saving your money for. Are you sure that’s what you want to spend it on?

James: Yes, Mom! Pokémon is my… second favorite thing in the whole world!

Mom: What is your first favorite thing?

James: Jesus!

Mom: Thanks for showing compassion to your brother, James.

James: Do I get a good point for that, Mom? (We had a points system for a while.)

Alexandra: I showed Joshua ca-passion, too!

Joshua: I’n not a passion!

James: (as he’s going to sleep) Mom, do you still love me even when I burp a lot?

Alexandra sang her prayers tonight. I kept a straight face until she crooned, “And pleeease, help me not to hiiiit (high note)!” I started giggling and so did she.

At church, Alexandra was quietly coloring while we sang the sacrament hymn. Suddenly, she looked up at me and I saw tears in her eyes. She whispered, “Sometimes songs about Jesus make me cry, Mom. Why do I cry?”

“Because the songs are beautiful and you feel the Spirit, honey.” I whispered back.

Yes, life is good with four little ones, in all their busyness and growing. Kaleb’s jabbering is not listed here, but it is certainly part of the cacophony of our home. He learned to walk in November at 13 months, and was quickly going up and down our big staircase like a pro. He enjoys tackling his older siblings, and gets himself in trouble when Joshua tackles him right back! He yells, and I retrieve him from where he is pinned under his brother, and then Kaleb laughs and goes after him again.

Joshua (almost 3) has learned to cut with scissors and leaves scraps of paper (and some things I don’t want to have cut) all over the house. He locks me out of my bedroom or bathroom and performs acts of mischief in there a few times every day. He is also the first to throw his arms around me and say, “I’m sorry, Mommy! I love you!” when he gets in trouble. Josh still loves everything Dora.

Alexandra (4 ½) insists that all things must be pink or princess these days. She is good to play with her little brothers, but more often wants to have over one of the many other little girls in our neighborhood. She loves coloring, painting, and music. She is the most independent of my children and won’t let me do anything for her that she can possibly (and sometimes impossibly) do for herself. She is learning to read and play the piano largely by herself!

James (7 ½) is so busy with school, homework, reading, friends, and piano that I wonder sometimes how I am going to manage when all four of these children are in school! He and I recently built a working candy dispenser for his 2nd grade “invention” that was a real hit with all the other children. He adores Christmas and has already written four letters to Santa, even though I keep reminding him that Santa is on a budget!

Kurt is still busy as ever at Novell. He works from home once a week (sometimes more) which helps me tremendously. He still serves as secretary in the Elders Quorum (a calling which he has had in every ward we’ve lived in—I guess he’s good at it!), he kindly helps ward and family members alike with all their computer failures, and he still plays a mean game of basketball a few times a week.

I’ve been teaching preschool, serving as Primary Music Leader (I’ve discovered I’m quite good at drawing word pictures!) and caring for our busy home. I was blessed with visits from many members of my family this year, which was a real highlight for me, and I am grateful for their willingness to travel.

We want each of you to know at this time of year how much we love you. Life has its good and bad times, and we’re so grateful to know we’re surrounded with others who can laugh and cry with us through it all. We are also so grateful for the life of Jesus Christ, whose example inspires us to be better and whose grace gives us the power to do so. Our lives would not be the same without our faith in Him.

May your Christmas be merry and your New Year full of bright and wonderful potential!

Love, the Finlaysons

Kurt, Priscilla, James, Alexandra, Joshua, and Kaleb

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Princesses and Knights Party

Alexandra wanted to have a Princesses party but she also wanted to invite boys to it as well. So it ended up being a Princesses and Knights party and the main event was to slay the terrible dragon. Alexandra loved helping getting things read for the party.

Then we sang happy birthday to Alexandra. Don't you just love the cake we made...LOL. A donut cake is what we got for her.

Then the dragon arrived on the scene. Boy did he take a pelting from the knights. They did cheap head shots to the dragon...and boy did some of them hurt.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Priscilla's Birthday party

Well I guess you would like to see the crazy family sing happy birthday to Priscilla. The kids had fun doing it. Enjoy the show. I think Pris really enjoyed it. James picked out a Birthday card of Star Wars and when you open it, it plays the Star Wars theme. The card said, "A long, long, Time ago" on the cover of the card, and when you open it, it plays the music and said "You Were Born". James laughed so hard when he found it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Arizona Vacation

I thought this would be fun for everyone to see before I find time to post more. The kids got a little hot at the Zoo so we let them run in the water park that is there.

Phoenix Zoo

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Ok, so what can I say. We (I) have been slacking at updating the blog so I am going to throw a ton of stuff up here, so here it goes.....

In the beginning of December we had Kaleb's baby blessing. Pris and I decided that we would have a luncheon after the blessing. We were trying to decide on how much work we wanted to put into it. We decided to buy food from Sam's. When we went to Sam's to pick out the food we decided at first to get a deli tray and some croissants and let everyone build their own sandwiches. When we got to the meat section to order the meat tray, Pris saw the already-made sandwiches. She was sold on those and changed the order. The sandwiches were a hit and I could not get enough of them. Scott and Natalie brought chips, Derek and Kesley brought an awesome pasta salad with pecans in it (yummy!!), and Dad and Dixie brought jello. The pasta salad was a hit for our kids. Kelsey even made two bowls of it and we took the extra because it was so good. I love these special times we have to gather as family and friends. They bring us so much happiness and make the troubles of life easier.

Christmas was a special time. We had Julie and the girls with us. One tradition that we have always had is getting new pajamas on Christmas Eve. So Grandma Julie and Grandpa Randy sent all the kids pajamas. They had so much fun opening up and seeing what they had sent. We had some secret Santas come and drop off stuff for Julie and the girls. They even left us with a movie package with Kung Fu Panda as the movie. The kids loved watching that movie; of course there were parts that we fast forwarded. James really loved the part where Panda was fighting the bad guy and they were rolling down the steps and Panda landed on the leopard's hard. He laughed so hard. Pris and I laughed when they were walking up the mountain and Panda said "I know you're trying to be all mystical and kung fueee, but...". We laughed so hard. We also had a Finlayson family Christmas party. Eveyone had a great time. Here are some pics from it.

Scott and Jason. Of course Jason loves to be a ham when pictures are being taken.