Monday, December 31, 2007

Celebrate 2008!

Well I hope it’s not too late,
for words that rhyme with 2008.
Another year to test our fate,
that year is here 2008!
Another chance to find a mate,
or just sit home and contemplate.
Another year to loose some weight,
and learn to not procrastinate!
Time to write a brand new slate,
and pack the old year in a crate!

Another year has come and gone! My how the days speed by…sometimes I really wish I could change the speed limit of time…both raising and lowering it when desired☺. I think I’m ready for 2008, well maybe…. I love starting a new year because I get to write goals. I don’t think I’d ever accomplish anything if I didn’t make goals. It’s funny because goals are just thoughts in your mind, things you’ve always wanted to do, but never have, or things that you’ve always wanted to get better at, but never have. And for some reason because it's a new slate, a time to start over, we have this inante desire to overcome and to conquer! I love this holiday for that reason! Cheers to another great year! May all your dreams come true!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Google Tag

Here's how it works-type your answer into a Google image search and then post a photo from the first results page:

the age you will be on your next bithday

a place you would like to visit

Palau...(My Step-Grandma is from here!)

one of your favorite places

Italy...(I've actually been here!)

your favorite object

your favorite food

(What can I say my birthday is National Ice Cream day you know..."mmm delicious!")

your favorite color

(I typed in leafy green:)!)

your favorite animal

(Still lookin' for this ANIMAL!)

name of past pet

Rufio! Rufio!

where you live

1st grade teacher's last name

AFF Giles

your middle name

your college major

a bad habit of yours

your favorite holiday

That was fun! If you are reading this then "tag your it! I can't wait to see this on your next blog!

Send Me Back to Work...

I’ll admit, I’m ready to go back to work. Strange, I know. I've been off since December 21st and I've kept quite busy since then…especially during those days right before Christmas. There are a million projects I’m working on and they aren't finished yet, like scanning photo’s into my computer, making a V-day gift for my missionary brother, making a literacy center for my classroom, developing my Europe pics and putting them in an album, working on a project for a class I’m taking…
I’m partially done with most of the projects, but really I just want to go back to work…leave those projects for the nights…and go back to “normal.”

ACTUALLY I JUST LIED...I WOULD RATHER BE ON VACATION! Hmmm...somewhere new, let's about South America, or Austrailia, about Palau? Anyone want to fund a poor teacher?

Massive Organizational Attack of the Cupboards!

Natalie (my roommate) and I decided that we’d had enough! We’ve lived this apartment for a year and half now…we’ve said for months now that we should reorganize our kitchen cupboards. TODAY WE FINALLY DID IT! Here are a few pics to show our combined efforts and skills…


During....This is Natalie cleaning the top of the fridge!

During...This is me sweeping out the cupboard!

During...Natalie tearing down the place!

During...The counter got a little bit messy!

After...Doesn't this drawer look nice and tighty!

After...LOOK CLOSELY and you will see that we even labeled each shelf! HAHA! On the bottom you can see my shelf (I am a shorty, so I get the bottom one!), middle Nat's shelf, and on the top a community shelf!

After...on the bottom you can see the cup shelf, in the middle you can see Niki shelf, and on the top you can see another community shelf! My roommates promised that they would help me reach the community shelves! (Nat is 6'2'' and Niki is 5'10''!)

EXTRAS...Take a peek at our apartment!

The Living Room/Dining Room or shall we call it the great room?

The in progress...

The Bathroom! We are so girly!

My Bedroom...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

the best gift...

Yesterday my entire family gathered around the kitchen table to talk to my brother Joey who is on a mission in Brazil. We used a conference call phone that enabled everyone to hear his voice and all his updates…we were only allowed 45 minutes! All three girls in the fam were so choked up we couldn’t talk at first…that’s when you know he’s missed…Joey told us lots of great missionary experiences. He seems to be fighting some fungus on his leg, dealing with a sore of some sort on his lip, and is sweating profusely due to the extreme heat! He told us that one week his power went out and they had to wash their laundry on a washboard…I guess I shouldn’t complain about doing my laundry…all in all he’s loving it!

I loved talking to him! He’s still the same old Joey, he’s a bit more spiritual, a bit more cleanly, and he’s become quite the cook, but his humor, his laughter, and his zest for doing crazy random things has not changed! Matter of fact, he and his companion made their own Christmas tree! It’s 6 Feet tall and made out of paper, colored green with crayons.

Monday, December 24, 2007

L-7 Loser!

Yesterday I attended my parent’s family ward. I really enjoyed the Christmas program. The part when the children came up was precious! It’s hard to believe I used to be a kid… While sitting with my family, I couldn’t help but look around and see all the families, both young and old. I don’t know my families ward very well but I do seem to recognize most families even if I don’t know them. On this particular Sunday I noticed a family sitting right behind us with older children, I thought to myself “jackpot, maybe they have some bachelors around!” Just kidding I didn’t really think that I just thought hmmm, maybe someone who I can actually relate to:). So I went on my merry way to the rest of my meetings… I sat down in Relief Society by my mom, my sister, a girl my sisters age, and my sister’s friend/roommate Sarah whose family is also in the ward. Sarah’s mom comes waltzing into Relief Society (normally she is in primary) with an older man…the father of the family who was sitting behind us in sacrament…Sarah’s mom Penny introduces him to Sarah and then Penny asked me hold old I was (skipping my sister and the other girl). I thought she was asking how I was doing and so I replied, “good, thanks.” She asked again “how old are you?” I quickly replied 24…and then the guy that Penny brought in said, “I just like to know all the young ladies in the ward because I have an eligible bachelor at home!” I couldn’t believe it! How embarrassing…! I can’t help but wonder if he saw me noticing his family. I have to believe that he really just wants to line his son up with someone…someone meaning anyone, regardless if they’re a match! Wow…I was all shades of red!

This experience has me thinking about blind dates…Now let me just tell you, I typically despise blind dates. I hate that aching, knotting feeling you get inside when you can tell your blind date would rather be washing his dogs hair than to be out with you right now! However, recently I’ve discovered this “what do I have to loose” attitude. If the blind date hates me, it’s completely his fault, just because I’m not his “ideal lover” doesn’t mean he can’t be cordial( I realize I can be awkward, but hopefully not awkward enough to be rude.) Blind dates definitely define your true colors. These dates aren’t intended to be arranged marriage proposals…they’re meant to be fun, get to know someone new, get an idea for if you’d want to get to know them more, dates, right? Does anyone agree with me? Or am I totally off-base in my thinking, or is this just a utopian ideal? Please send me your comments…

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Newsletter...

December 22, 2007

Dear Family & Friends,

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! And joyful days all year long! Most people start a newsletter when they start a family, but since that isn’t exactly in my cards right now, I decided to start one when I finally got a “life!” This year marks a lot of firsts for me…

Last year I started working on my ESL (English as a Second Language) Endorsement and finished this past June. While working on my ESL, I discovered an incredible opportunity to get a masters degree in Education with my ESL Endorsement…something I NEVER thought I would do! The masters program started in January ’07 and will be done in July ’08…that is, if all goes well☺, ha-ha, it better, it’s a costly expenditure! Sheesh!

Teaching at a year around school definitely has its perks. I took advantage of one of my 3-week breaks in March and went on backpacking trip with my roommate Natalie and 3 other friends. With an outlined itinerary, a map of Europe, a compass, a backpack, a train pass, and no hotel reservations, we managed to see Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, Holland, Paris, England, and Switzerland in only 2 weeks! Coming home was a whole new adventure…as you can imagine we were quite ready to shower and wash laundry…however, the weather in NYC kept us from coming home as planned. The inclement weather meant we had to sleep in the airport (the blizzard hit a few hours before we landed and all the other travelers beat us to the hotels!) Luckily it was only one night, we really lucked out because many people had to wait a few days!

In May I went through the temple to receive my endowments. It was an incredible experience that I was able share with my parents, my brother Joey, and many co-workers. Also, in May, my entire family went to the Salt Lake Temple to do temple work…this was a special occasion because 20 years ago this year, my parents were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.

Joey left to serve a 2-year mission in Recife, Brazil in June. We are all so proud of him. We hear from him weekly and he seems to adjusting to the changes…he’s even become quite a neat freak and cook (just a little background on Joey…it was like pulling teeth when he had to clean his room at home, and I don’t think Joey even knew the term cooking…)

During the summer I kept busy doing random things, well not really random, because they were planned at least a little bit ahead of time… I took a watercolor art class. I’m not talented in any sense of the word; it’s just fun, fun, fun! I also kept up on my piano lessons this summer, I think my mom is glad all those lessons I took as a kid weren’t a waste (however, I’m still in level 1 books☺.) One day this summer my roommate Niki convinced me to climb Mt. Olympus, I assumed it would be one of those little 2 hour hikes, just enough to get a workout and enjoy the fresh air. Oh no, 8 hours later we were done! I now ask for details before going ANYWHERE with her! And one last summer event…I got in a car accident (NOT MY FAULT) and had to pay my deductible, thank goodness for insurance because he didn’t have insurance!

The rest of the year I spent teaching and traveling….I love my class this year! As a teacher, there are always stories to tell…my top story this year was when a student decided to steal his mother’s checkbook, write a check out to “Book Obers” (his spelling) and turned it in! His mother’s first response was “was it a Snoopy check, because those are my favorite?!” During fall break I went to visit my friend Melissa in Sacramento, California. We saw the Golden Gate Bridge, down town Sacramento and I went to the Sacramento Temple. For Thanksgiving break my family went to Las Vegas, Nevada. Aaron and Ryan played in a football tournament and kicked some royal butt! And last week I went to Chicago, Illinois to go to the Temple with my good friend Molly.

And finally, for the first things that haven’t happened this year…I haven’t had to move this year, I haven’t had to change wards, I haven’t had to do taxes in more than one state, and I haven’t had to change grades! Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Wow! Now that you’ve read my whole life story and you’re still reading…thank you…thank you for being a great friends and family. I hope that this letter finds you happy and healthy! I love you all dearly! May the spirit of Christmas fill your heart and homes!



Get the Low-Down on the FABFIN7 "Fabulous Finley 7"

Finley Family Newletter...
Written by, Dixie Finley (my mom:))!

Merry Christmas everyone! 2007

Again here it is a week before Christmas and I am just getting a chance to sit down and write this letter.

Everyone in the Finley home is doing great. We are all healthy and doing well.

Tiffany 24, has been busy teaching 2nd grade, which she loves. She also started her masters program and should be done the end of next summer. She is our world traveler, going to Europe again, California, Colorado and Illinois.

Leslee 21, is 6 credits away from her Associate’s degree and is sick of school. She plans on continuing on to a Bachelor’s degree but is having a hard time deciding what to major in. She is leaning towards teaching. She works part time at Ogio International and is always busy studying.

Joey 19, AKA Elder Finley is serving a 2 year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Brazil. He has been gone 6 months (it feels like 6 years) and is doing great. He says he is doing great with the Portuguese language, better at speaking than writing. He loves his mission and the people of Brazil. Before he left he finished his first year at BYU and plans to continue there when he gets home.

Aaron 16, had a great year playing football. I think every part of his body was covered in bruises for 4 months. He is doing great in school. He is getting really good on the wakeboard but I think he prefers snowboarding. And the snow here in Utah has been amazing this year. His greatest accomplishment this year is completing Driver’s Ed and will be getting his license this week.

Ryan 14, played football this year too. He had a couple of amazing sacs and was known to the team as little Fin although he is only an inch or so away from catching up with me.
He seems to have mastered the kneeboard and is getting really good at snowboarding too.

Jeff is doing well. He has finished a major remodel on our house and only has one more project left and the house will be completely done. Or he could just start over!! He still works at State Farm and loves to hunt. He has taken Aaron and Ryan out several times this year. He is getting a little irritated though that the boys prefer snowboarding over hunting.

I am doing well too. I miss my oldest son terribly. The first 3 months he was gone were really tough, but it is getting easier as time goes by. I still baby-sit a few kids everyday. Jeff asked me if I was going to get a real job after Ryan graduates from high school in 3 ½ years and I told him no I’ve raised 10 kids I’m going to retire!!! But we’ll see.

We hope this Christmas Season all of you are happy and healthy. Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year, Love the Finley’s

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chicago Escapade!

The Highlights:

Day 1
Left work a bit early. Met dad at my apartment. Waited in the airport. Graded lots of student work. Boarded the plane. Read a book about phonics. (I know, I’m a nerdy teacher!) Landed in Chicago. Found Molly, jumped for joy! Found my bags! Found the toilet...weird toilet covers! Took a million hours to find our hotel. Wished that every state had huge mountains! Stayed up REALLY late.

Day 2
Ate at Burger King. Tried to get Molly to take a dorky picture in a Burger King Crown. Went to the Chicago Temple. Had an incredible time. Took a train down town. Thought of my European excursion. Ate Giordano’s famous stuffed pizza. Attempted to go to the top of the Hancock building. Rode the train back. Got lost several times trying to get to the hotel.

Day 3
Had a lazy day. Went to Smoque BBQ…. Molly’s family saw this place on Food Network and we decided to really try it out. It was delicious. Went to the Chicago Temple. Molly ordered a movie. I feel asleep within the first five minutes (typical.)

Day 4
Went to the shore of Lake Michigan. Took ridiculous looking pics. Got Molly to join me in my goofiness. Went to Shedd Aquarium. Enjoyed the Dolphin show. Enjoyed the whales. Enjoyed making crazy faces for the camera.

Day 5
Packed up. Sat at the airport for a while. Read a little bit of New Moon. Read more about phonics. Slept all the way home. Walla. I’m home now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I’m stoked! In two days I get to see my good friend, Molly Cragun! Molly is one of my amazing friends from grad school classes! Unfortunately, she moved to Wisconsin this summer, boohoo! I’m flying out to see her on Thursday night! Hip, hip, hooray! She will be experiencing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Chicago Temple in its entirety this Friday! I’m jumping for joy! This will be an incredible experience! I myself recently experienced the temple in its entirety this past May. For those of you who are not Latter-day Saints, I hope that I’ve clarified what exactly the temple is….and if I haven’t, I’d be more than happy to expound. I’m bursting with the fruits of the spirit! Joy, peace, love, hope, comfort…. I’m so grateful to know that I have a Savior who can provide such feelings. These feelings of the spirit give completeness to the soul…it makes you always want to be the best person you can be.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Due to the hustle and bustle of Christmas, traveling, and working, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to make a grocery list, therefore, I haven’t gone grocery shopping and I have nothing to eat! Don’t you worry, I’m not lacking in the food department because I go out to eat everyday! This has got to stop ASAP, my budget can’t take it anymore! My body can’t take it either!!! After I go to Chicago I promise I will make a grocery list, go shopping and STOP eating out all the time!

As a result of my increased eating out habit, I’ve become conscious of sanitation! Today when I went with my co-worker to Gandolfo’s we noticed a strong cigarette smoke scent. Not something you want to smell when you walk into a restaurant….none-the-less, we ordered our food and dismissed the astounding stench. Mind you, the guy who was taking our order was the only guy in the place and it looked as if he had just walked in from a smoke break. He didn’t even wash his hands, but I just said to myself “at least he hasn’t made my sandwich yet, I’m sure he’ll get to it before he begins to touch food.” As I went to get my drink, I noticed a second guy walk in through the back door of Gandolfo’s. He went straight to the sandwich counter and started making our order! I was appalled! The first guy went to help him, but he put on some gloves first. I watched for a minute and was disgusted, so with all the courage and might I could muster….I went to them and said “I am germophobic person and I noticed that it smells like smoke in here and that guy just came from a brake and hasn’t washed his hands.” The first guy proceeded to tell me that they always wear gloves, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I replied “Well, then why isn’t he wearing gloves?” He seemed a little surprised by my comment and then went to talk to his friend/co-worker. Wow! I can’t believe I did that! But the thought of his gross hands touching my food made me want to vomit! So there you have it…EITHER WASH YOUR HANDS OR PUT SOME GLOVES ON and don’t you dare touch my food until then! I’m really not a germophob…I just prefer clean hands on my food over dirty ones!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

It's Time to Sign!

I moved to Utah two and a half years ago. I moved with the intent that Utah would be a pit stop on my journey...obviously that pit stop turned into a great job, my fabulous family near by, and great roommates...why leave? I lived at home my first year in Utah. It was awesome. Free rent, free food, people all around...but anyone who has lived away from home knows that being on your own is definitely better for everyone:). So I moved to Turnberry....Turnberry is not a city, although it might as well be. Turnberry is an apartment complex full of lots of LDS singles. It is located in Holladay, UT. I absolutely love this place!
A year ago my roommates and I decided to re-sign the lease, signing a 1-YEAR lease, wondering if we had made the biggest mistake or our lives. I remember thinking that by the time our lease was up we would have lived with each other for a year and a half! YIKES! (Each of us had high hopes to get swept off our feet by a handsome prince charming, leaving Turnberry in the dust, but that didn't happen...maybe Turnberry should be called “Hopeless in Turnberry?”) So now, a year and a half later...we are signing again! Wow! This is commitment! I guess when you know, you know, right? You just know that if you're not going to kill them after a year and half that you can stand another year to six months! Hallelujah for great roommates!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Take a Glimpse at my European Excursion….

I’m still trying to figure out how to make photo albums online...until then, here’s your sneak peak of my 2007 adventures….

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas!

I bought a new Christmas tree today! Yeah! The thought of putting up my 3 ft, piece of junk, good for nothing, tree branch falling, tipping over tree made me ill! So…I bought a new one! This new tree is twice the size of my old tree, it’s pre-lit, and it has an easy to assemble stand! It’s perfect! Natalie (my roommate) still had ornaments she purchased last year for our crummy tree, so we pulled those out and decked the halls, well decked the trees rather:)! It was fun to decorate in a place I think of as home now…I don’t really think of my apartment like a college apartment…I think of it as my own abode, the place where I resign, this is my home! After decorating, the bottom of the tree looked a bit bare, so I ran to my room and wrapped and by wrapped I mean threw every gift I’ve purchased in gift bags with a little tissue paper for that finished look and then placed them all under the tree…as you can see…it’s beginning to look like Christmas in our Turnberry Apartment!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Santa is Coming!

A few days ago I called up my little sister…not my real little sister, but my BBBS (Big Brothers Big Sisters) little sister. She is 8 years old and moved here from Liberia, Africa about a year and a half ago. I called her to tell her that BBBS was having a Christmas party and I wanted to know if she wanted to go. She said “YES! What are we going to do there?” I informed her that we would be playing games, making Christmas crafts, eating Panda Express, and then we would also get to see Santa. It was hilarious…as soon as I said Santa would be there, she responded like so: “Tiffany, are we going to the North Pole tomorrow?!?!” I had to put the phone done immediately! I was laughing uncontrollably! I could hear her yelling my name into the phone with her African accent, “Tif-fun-ney! Tif-fun-ney!” I got my act together and said “O, we won’t be going to the North Pole, Santa will just be making a special visit.” Aren’t kids adorable?
I know I chose the right profession! I absolutely love the precious moments that come with being an elementary teacher! Whether kids are using their parents checkbooks to write a check written out to “Book Obers,” or whether students come to tell me flat out that they have diarrhea, and even when they tell me the reasons why their parents are on diets…I love it, I love them!

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About Me

Life as it for Tiffany Finley is quite the revolving door, one activity ends and I’m back on the rebound, looking for something to spice it up! Live it up, I tell you! Although, those who know me well, know my limits of “living it up!” A whirlwind of terrible singing, dancing, playful banter, blunt responses, sweet and endearing but firm and serious remarks to children, speaking/slaughtering accents that I’ve spun from memory, are a just a few of my favorite things….I delight in waking to the sunrise, driving to an incredible place of work, where I am able to express my true self regularly! My students call me "Crazy. ” This is where the song and dance comes into play, whether we are learning about adjectives or writing our names on our papers, I’ve got a song and cheer for it all! I’m passionate about traveling and walking down narrow pathways. In my spare time, I enjoy taking walks in the park…I’ve been known to disappear in the dark of the night, only to be found on the swings. I also love to organize and re-organize, I can never quite get things right. I thoroughly enjoy people watching.