Thursday, January 28, 2010

Brother In Love

Me with my favorite Brother In Law! back in the day!

He has been in my family for as long as I can remember. He married my one and only sister when they were just teenagers, I was 4 years old. Attached at the hip to my sister, when she left her wedding with her brand new husband, I threw myself down in the parking lot crying that I wanted to go too! The next day, they came & picked me up & I stayed the night with them, sleeping right in between the newlyweds! :)

Debbie & Tom celebrating being married for 25 years!

When I got a little older, and they had kids of their own, I learned how to babysit on my nieces & nephew! Still spending nights at their house. Tom was always the biggest practical joker I've ever met. I once had a slumber party & he showed up wearing a Gorilla mask, banging on the windows, scaring all us girls inside. I'd come home from High school & find a note on the fridge that said "Star call Greg" I'd ask my family who's Greg? (or what ever guys name was on the note that time!) When did he call? and no one knew. Until one day I figured out these mysterious notes always seemed to appear on days Tom had been over.

Kyle & Zach with Tom
(This was probably around the time of the Pizza for Breakfast incident!)

Tom & John crashing after a long day of fun
on one of their trips to visit us in Michigan!

Knowing Debbie & I, We probably made them shop till they dropped!

One day, on my way home from work, my car broke down right in the middle of a very busy intersection. There was a gas station on the corner, I went in and ask them to help me, the mechanic said "if you think I'm going out into that intersection, your crazy!" My dad was at work, and I didn't know what to do. I called Tom. He came right away, got my car out of the intersection by himself and got me home. (After having a few choice words for that gas station attendant that wouldn't help me!) You always wanted Tom on your side! He was tough & tender at the same time! Most people (who knew better) would never mess with him. I didn't know better! I'd use everything from water balloons to raw eggs to battle him, he'd always get me worse! We always had fun together! He was my dance partner as well! And once he let me drive his car, and I put a scratch in it! He used that one against me for a long time! :)

Being a Twin himself, Uncle Tom loved my girls

Erica & Lexi, with their cousin Rachel and Uncle Tom
having their very first In-n-Out burger!

After I got married, he was always willing to come over to help however we needed. He was very handy & mechanical. And my kids loved their Uncle Tom! After we moved away to Michigan, he & Debbie would come to visit. I remember one time they were staying at our house, and I came down the stairs one morning, to him them telling my boys who were little at the time "don't tell your mom!" They were feeding them pizza for breakfast! My boys thought that was the greatest thing ever! Tom & Debbie came to Michigan again right after my girls were born. They would keep the babies down stairs with them, so I could get some sleep. With twins that's a rare thing.

Us at The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit!
(They provided the old fashioned hats & car)

Me with two of my favorite Men!

Debbie battled sickness most of her adult life, Tom took care of her. They were married for over 30 years when she passed away in 2001. Tom has really had a hard time without her. He battled depression and sickness of his own. He would distance himself from our family because it would make him think of Debbie & miss her even more. When we could convince him to come around, it would be great to see him, and we would catch glimpses of the old Tom. He could still make everyone laugh. All the kids loved to be around him!

Tom being Tom!
That's Zach's little head in the car next to Tom,
and my dad in the car behind him in the yellow tank top!

Well now he's gone to heaven and is with Debbie once again. Only this time neither one is sick! Or in pain! Or is sad! His suffering has ended. And for that I am grateful. Though I will miss him until I see him again in heaven. When I sat with him in Hospice on Tuesday, even though he couldn't really respond in any way, I told him some things my kids wanted me to say to him, then I thanked him for being the best Brother In Law a girl could ever have.

The last picture I took of them together

Reunited now in heaven!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


One of my goals for this new year was to join a Book Club. You know about my love of books and reading! And I've always wanted to be part of a group of women who read the same book, then meet together to discus topics from the book. Building great friendships in the process. Well instead of just finding an existing club to join, I've decided to start one.

Our new Church; LifeChurchEV, has small groups we call LifeGroups. So, I'm hosting a LifeGroup that will be a Book Club. We'll meet once a month, at a coffee shop, bakery, in a home, or somewhere else we decide, to discus the book for that month. Our very first meeting will be Monday, Feb. 8th, at 7:00pm at Wildflower Bread Company (on Baseline & Val Vista in Gilbert, Arizona) Feel Free to Join us. I would love it!

I'm so excited about this Book Club! But, here's the thing; I don't know what to name it. Hence this contest. Here's how you enter: comment on this Blog Post, leave your name & an idea for a cute name for the Book Club. We will choose the name for our Book Club and it will be announced right here on the Blog, as well as at our first meeting. I'll post the winner & have you E-mail me your info. so I can send you your prize. What's the prize you ask. I'll send you a copy of the very first book we'll be reading in our new Book Club. (Also to be announced at our fist meeting!) Nothing like adding a little mystery! ;)

I can't wait to see the names you come with!
Happy Reading!

Friday, January 22, 2010


This is my 200th Blog post!
Have you read them all? If not, you better get busy! ;)

If you have, then together we've been through my my oldest son starting to date, getting a Tattoo, Graduating from High School, and starting college. We're now into my second sons Senior Year of High School. We've discussed how to get your kids to read, traveling tips with kids, and Music in School. We've reviewed Books, Broadway, Movies and Television together.

You've heard about the excitement and the heartache that comes in being a Pastor's Wife. You've followed me as I went from being a Stay at Home Mom for over 18 years, to a Career Woman. You've read my tips for raising Pastor's Kids. And how to help your kids deal with death. Yes, we've celebrated and cried together. We've spent Holidays together. You've gone with me to concerts, and on trips. And I've enjoyed every minute of our time together!

We've dealt with some of the issues in raising twins. Of instilling confidence in our daughters. My twin daughters are now 12 years old & next year will be venturing into Jr. High School. I hope my sanity stays in tact so that I can continue to Blog about it. (no guarantees though!) :0

I hope you've enjoyed our time together, and getting to know me & my family, and celebrating Marriage. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for reading, and commenting on my little Blog. And for most of all . . .

For Laughing Through Parenting
& laughing through life with me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


One week ago today the country of Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake. The images coming out of there are heartbreaking. So much destruction & death. . . I chose not to put them here on my Blog.

I was first introduced to the country of Haiti when I was about 12 years old. My older brother George went there on a Missions trip. I remember crying when he left, thinking I'd never see him again. I did. He came back with pictures, some souvenirs and a love for the people there. Describing to us the sights & smells of the country.

I now have a neighbor who is from Haiti. Who goes back home every year to help take care of their property & aging family members. Her daughter just let me know that their house there is still standing, all accept a back wall (fence) and that her family members are safe. Thank God.

We have been praying for the people of Haiti and for the relief efforts there. Our Church is partnering with Food for the Hungry to help. You can find a link on our website. I've also texted the word Haiti to 90999. Which gives $10.00 right to The Red Cross. It adds it to your phone bill at the end of the month. That's an easy way we can all help. There are many ways to help. Please find a way that works for you. There are many great organizations doing their best to help & every little bit we can do makes a difference. And please continue to hold that country up in your prayers.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Video Killed The Radio Star

I remember when MTV got started. It was fun and exciting.
The video era had begun.

I also remember a song around that time: Video Killed The Radio Star
It talked about the video age coming & putting an end to the radio era.

Well that's kind of how I feel,
only it's Twitter killing the Blog!

I've been loving Tweeting, and having so much fun doing it,
I'm finding that I'm not Blogging as much.
And that I don't like.

But, I promise not to let the Blog die.
I enjoy it too much.
It's my Journal through life.

(But feel free to follow me on Twitter if you like!) ;)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Family That Plays Together . . .

Every year, my brothers & I take turns planning the Fink Family Christmas.
This year was my brothers Danny turn.
There are too many of us to really hold the entire thing in someones house,
so he rented out this place that has all these blow up slides & bounce houses.
We all had to come dressed in Sports shirts, each family wore a different team.

Since I'm not really a sports T-shirt wearing kinda girl,
We wore The Oakland A's, since Kyle worked for them last Spring Training
and had enough for us all to wear.
(Left to Right: Kyle, Zach, Erica, Lexi, me & John)

My oldest brother, John & his wife Carla, live in Tucson, and wore the University of Arizona!

Danny & his family wore the Red Wings!
They were all born in Michigan!
(Left to Right: Sarah holding her son Avery, Danny, Judy, D.J & Andrea)

Marty & his family wore The Phoenix Suns.
(Left to Right: Josh, Debbie, Nathaniel, Rachel & Marty)

My little brother Richard & his wife & daughter wore Arizona State University.
His son & daughter in law (with baby on the way) wore Miami Dolphins.
(Left to Right: Justin, Stephanie, Alarie, Cindy & Richard)

My Niece Stormy & her daughter Morgan are in Dallas Cowboys,
(the rest of her family was too, they are just not in the picture)

My Mom, in the middle, who is responsible for all of us! :)

Zach & John racing through the obstacle course.
I have a lot more pictures, but the majority of them are of feet & hands in the air, and even some behinds! Trying to catch people in the middle of a slide or jump is tough!
(not to mention not very flattering!) :)

Danny playing with his grandson Avery!

Erica catching her breath.

Lexi pausing just long enough to have her picture taken.

Some of us after running, jumping, climbing, sliding, racing, battling, etc.
And trust me, some of us felt it the next day!
Oh to be young again, and have the energy of a teenager!

My brothers & I!
The only way Richard the youngest, can be the tallest!
We are 5 of 7 kids, my sister Debbie, is in heaven, and we have another brother, George who lives in Ohio, who couldn't be here. We miss you George.

After "Jump Street" we went to a park to cook out & play some more!
One of the many benefits of living in Arizona!

All the Grandkids & Great Grandkids that were there.
Back row, Left to Right: Josh, Zach, Lexi, Rachel, Erica, Nathaniel, Sarah & Avery, Stormy, Morgan & her daughter Gabriella, Justin & Stephanie, D.J., Nick
Front row: Kyle & Alarie

The Family That Plays Together, Stays Together!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Recap

Our House: Before & After!!

It's always so sad when Christmas is over. I'm finally taking down all my decorations today, January 7th, not nearly as fun as putting them up. So, to make it last just a little longer, I thought I'd put some of our pictures up on the Blog.

Who will get it open first?

My boys love to try to hide what they got each other, they will wrap it inside several boxes, or fill a large box with not only the gift, but rolled up news paper, or little pieces of confetti, or rocks. Or they will wrap the gift for their brother in the girliest wrapping paper they can find. Like Tinkerbell, or the Disney Princesses. It's a lot of fun!

The Girls all got new boots!

The Boys all got new Tennis Gear!

This is a candle, I had in my kitchen window sill.
Yes, the sun still shins in December in Arizona!
And it warped my Christmas candle.

I hope your Christmas with your family was Merry & Bright!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Daniel Fast

When John got hired at our new Church, we found out that all the Life Church staff was starting the year off with a fast. For those of you not familiar with fasting, it's basically sacrificing or giving up something, and spending more time in prayer & reading God's word.

So, we are doing what's called The Daniel Fast. It's taken from a fast that Daniel did in the Bible. It's basically giving up all meat, dairy & animal products, white flour & white rice, sugar, etc. You can eat any & all fruits, Vegetables, whole grains & whole wheat, brown rice, nuts & seeds, beans, oils, etc. The meat is not a big deal for me. Cheese & butter are!

During this time we are also reading a chapter of the book of John every day. It is a 21 day fast, and there are 21 chapters in John. And we are praying each day for specific things for our Church, the Church staff, and the needs of people.

So, I thought I'd share some of our ideas and the recipes we find that we like here on the Blog. My Man eating husband had Tofu for the first time yesterday! And said it's actually not too bad. We are not making our kids eat this way, growing kids need to drink their milk!

Today is the second day of our fast: Last night we had whole wheat pasta in a tomato sauce & peas. (Lucky for us our kids love all vegetables, like we do.) The kids did have the same meal last night. Tonight John (who you know is a wanna be Chef) found a recipe in a Daniel Fast cook book & modified it, like only he can. It was so good, I wanted to share it with all those of you who are doing the fast with us. It's also something we will definitely make again, even when we're not fasting. It is that good! I'll just give you the recipe first, then tell you how we did it.

Red Potato Casserole

Mix everything in the same dish you will bake it in!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
4 cups peeled, cubed red potatoes
1 cup diced red onions
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
4 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups diced baked or firm tofu


Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish & mix well.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

So, what we did (and when I say we, I mean John!) since I don't like tomatoes, and he wasn't sure about a potato, tomato mix, we left out the tomatoes, and the tofu. But added Bell Peppers & Garlic. He used more olive oil and no water. The flavors and textures blended really well. It was delish! (He also made some Chicken tenderloins for the kids to go with it. But the Casserole itself was enough for us.) Let me know if you try it, and how you like it.

My goal through this whole thing is that I'm hoping through this fast that I will grow Spiritually, and will shrink Physically! ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year! New Job!

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up: do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

(Isaiah 43:18-19)

Yes, that's right! We've got a new job! And it's right here in Gilbert, Arizona. We don't have to move! Zach can finish his Senior year of High School! God is Good! John had filled in, and lead Worship there a couple of times. Today was our first official Sunday, and they announced us to the Church. Everyone seemed very excited & welcoming!

It's a growing, happening & exciting Church! It's Life Church, East Valley. You can check it out on the main web site And our local Church here is We are excited to be a part of what God is doing here!

Thank you so much to all of you who prayed for us, and with us, over the last couple of months. (And thanks for letting me vent when I needed to.) It's just Awesome to see God move. It was so nice having John off & home over the holiday's, and now he starts back to work this week, when the kids all go back to school after Christmas break. God's timing is always better than ours! He is in control!