“Frankie’s” Early Christmas Surprise!!!

Frankie is our “Elf on the Shelf”. He blessed our family a few years ago. He shows up on Thanksgiving Day as Santa makes his debut at the Macy’s Day Parade. The kids love the time he spends in our home and anxiously await his Thanksgiving arrival.

In October we lost two of our beloved pets. We had to make a tough decision to put our longtime kitty friend, Camber, to sleep at the same time dealing with Hermonie, Madison’s cat’s, disappearance.

The heartache and tears that followed were at times unbearable for our children (and us!), but with the joy of having pets, we also realize that we have to deal with losing them. The girls had talked about asking Santa to bring them new kitties and had been frequently discussing it with “Frankie”.

On Tuesday morning we woke up and there was a note from Santa explaining that “Frankie” had been asked to stay at the North Pole to help in Santa’s workshop. The girls were a bit concerned with his need to stay at the North Pole, this had never happened before!

We went to school on Tuesday, and when we returned home “Frankie” was back hiding in the Christmas tree just above a crate that had a big red bow and two cute little kitten’s inside. There was also a note from Santa explaining that the kitten’s were ready to come home, and because Madison & Mackenzie had earned their spots on “Santa’s Good List” he allowed them to come early.

The tears, screams of joy and mile wide smiles are something that warmed my heart in a way I can not explain!!!

Madison named her kitten “Samuel” from one of her favorite Bella Sara horse’s meaning “Have confidence to do what is right no matter how hard it seems.”

What? I’m not supposed to climb this tree?

Mackenzie named her kitten “Snow Socks” because his feet are white like he just stepped out of the snow.

But the kitchen table is such a nice place to stretch….

That night, as Madison & Mackenzie snuggled into bed with their two new kittens, they said that it was the “Best Christmas EVER!”

As Scott & I tucked into bed Tuesday evening, we discussed the magic of Santa Claus and the true love of the Christmas.

This will be one Christmas that will be remembered forever. And, it would not have been made possible without the help of Santa’s “elves”.  You know who you are, and we are eternally grateful for you!!!!

P.S. We are taking bets now, will the Christmas tree be standing up on Christmas Day? How many ornaments will be off, broken or batted across the floor?

Vicki Lynne Mile Clean Up

It is time for the quarterly clean up of the mile in Memory of Vicki Lynne.

As you may know, our family has joined with two others to keep three miles of highway clean in north Tucson in memory of our loved ones. We break into groups, if you show up to do Vicki’s mile, you will actually be cleaning up her mile.

The date has been set for Sunday, December 2nd at 8:00 am. 

My sister, Carie, has taken over the primary responsibility for the mile in honor of Vicki as my parents are now here in Montana. She has the support and help of my brother, Brian as well. We ask that if you can attend that you meet at Anthony & Crystal Cillittos house at 8:00 am. You can shuttle over to the mile sites from there.

Crystal will go over the rules with you before you start. Remember to bring gloves, a garbage picker upper (if you have one), hat, water etc. Safety vests will be provided. No children under 12 allowed. (State rules…sorry) wear good shoes, no sandals or shorts.

Anthony’s address: 15431 N. Coronado Forest Dr. in Catalina.

The clean up normally takes about 1- 1 1/2 hours depending on the number of people who show up to volunteer.

Our family is so incredibly grateful for those who can help us give back to our community. I wish that I could be there to participate in the clean-up but can not make it this time.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any questions you may have.

Thanks again for your continued love and support, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!



That’s the number of unanswered e-mails in my in-box tonight. From the “Death Penalty” post on September 12th to today, that is how many messages I have not had a chance to respond to.

The number of emails, Facebook messages, posts, text messages and phone calls I have answered is easily been double that. I said today to a fellow co-worker that I might be “slow but sure” she said she would just call me a “turtle”. I liked that. Specifically because in my own chaotic world, I may not get to do things as fast and efficient as I would like to but I do get to “it”.


During the last two weeks, I have found it difficult at times to find the right words to express how I truly feel. Honestly, when I sat down to the computer late in the evening on September 17th and looked at my in-box & Facebook the only thing I could think to say was “My cup runneth over…”

Sentimental… overwhelmed… loved… supported… encouraged…

Yes, that’s me.

I’m finding more words…

To hit back on the last few blogs I have posted:

          The art exhibit for the Coalition of Arizonans to Abolish the Death Penalty has been cancelled.


           I’m not going to comment any further on this ridiculous event they tried to put on. 

           We are back in a holding pattern for the appeal’s process. All any of us can do is pray and wait.  I will keep you updated here.

           On the 28th anniversary of Vicki’s death, I shared my cousin, Michelle’s, blog. I feel as though it opened up a flood gate for people. I loved the thoughtfulness of the day, the stories, pictures and memories that people shared. I also deeply appreciated the fact that people could reflect back on a pivotal event almost 30 years ago and know that it continues to shape them.  

A few years ago someone said to a mutual friend of mine that they did not understand why I would want to write a book about my sister. Why can I not just let it go? As if I could just brush this under the rug and pretend it didn’t happen to me?

I have lived longer with the memory of Vicki than I lived with her. The emails, calls and texts I have gotten in the last two weeks prove that I’m not the only one who carries on her legacy, who will never forget Vicki Lynne and that terrible day that so many lives changed.

And I know if it had been me, she would honor my life just the same.

My favorite picture of Vicki & I…

September 17th

Always a day of reflection …from my cousin, Michelle’s blog two years ago.

Michelle and her brother, Sheldon, were close in age with Vicki & I, our mom’s have always been the best of friends. There are many treasured photos with the four of us together outside of church, on holidays or just goofing off together, the one she shares in her blog from September 2010 is one that I had not seen until that day.

Another memory, another story of Vicki.

I have revisited her blog from two years ago many times. On occasion to be reminded of another captured moment in Vicki’s life that I discovered so many years after her death, but also to remember how her life and death impacted Michelle. And how it continues to mold the path that Michelle lives with her family.

With Michelle’s permission I am reposting her blog from September 2010 today for you to read. A beautiful and honest reflection of how this day changed her…


The Writ of Habeas Corpus

Vicki Lynne had a victory today that we all can celebrate for her. The US District Court denied Atwood’s appeal in his Writ of Habeas. 

Vicki, age 4, she was a comedian! Happy & full of life!

Atwood has until October 1st to make his next filing on what they call the Martinez vs. Ryan claim which he can say he had “ineffective counsel” at the Federal level. According to court documents all filings and responses are to be done by November 1 and any requests to continue are disfavored.

Again, we have forward motion and can feel a little justice in this crazy roller coaster that we have experienced the last 28 years. It is hard to explain the emotions that go on as we continue down this long and dusty road. Today I am happy to know that maybe, just maybe there may be a light at the end of the tunnel… and  her story continues…

The Death Penalty

This subject is as touchy as talking politics & religion. Everyone has an opinion about it, and I have mine. I don’t expect that everyone who reads this is going to agree with my views, and I respect those who will disagree with me.

I should warn you that this is not something that I want to debate here, I am open for “real” conversations if you seriously want to adventure there with me. 

Many of you who are reading this know my story, and you have walked this long journey with my family & I. For those who don’t, should know that when I was 11, my 8 year old sister, Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, was riding her bike in broad daylight when she was kidnapped, raped and brutally murdered by a disgusting monster who was on parole from California and lurking the streets of our little community in Tucson, AZ. Frank Atwood, a previously convicted pedophile who had been molesting children from an early age, sits on death row for his crime, he’s been there since 1987.  Vicki was murdered September 17, 1984.

Vicki, just 18 days before she was murdered in 1984, age 8

YES, I support the Death Penalty. I feel that it should remain on the books as an OPTION in heinous crimes, especially those committed against children.

So why this blog today? Last week a judge ruled that “Montana must change the way it executes prisoners after ruling that the current method is unconstitutional; giving a victory to death penalty foes that could be short lived.”  (The Daily Interlake) This affects the two inmates who sit on Death Row in Montana. The ACLU has already stated that it will push for legislative change in this matter, they have been trying hard to abolish the death penalty in Montana for many years. The Death Penalty is an OPTION and I will continue to personally fight to keep this law on the books.

Then there was this flyer that I came across for a fundraiser to be held later this month in Tucson, AZ.


The MUDERER’S drawing was on their flyer,

I won’t publish it on MY blog

a view from death row

Drawings by Danny Jones

September 29, 2012 Noon to 4pm

Pima Friends Meeting House
931 North 5th Avenue Tucson, AZ 85705

speakers including Danny Jones (via telephone) (FROM DEATH ROW)

Nancy and George Mairs
Joe Taylor (Pima Friends Meeting)

Gene Hall (curator)

Music and Refreshments Provided by
Pima Meeting Peace and Social Concerns Committee Donations accepted on behalf of
the Coalition of Arizonans to Abolish the Death Penalty

Do I have a problem with the fact the Coalition of Arizonans to Abolish the Death Penalty is raising money for the their cause? NO. Do I have an issue with the fact that another monster sitting on death row with Frank Atwood will actually be a “guest speaker”?  YOU BET I DO. It is utterly and completely ridiculous and it makes my blood boil.  Danny Jones, the man who murdered three innocent people, Robert, Katherine & Tisha in 1992, will have his drawings displayed and speak to help this organization raise money.

This is as absurd as the fact that while Frank Atwood has sat on death row he has earned college degrees and wrote books. It is DEATH ROW people! When did it start that OUR tax payers dollars went to the higher education of death row inmates?  Where does it stop? I wonder how many members of the Coalition are victims of heinous crimes whose perpetrators are sitting on Death Row? Or why, they feel that it is important now to define the talents of a monster who thoughtfully took lives of innocent people rather than spending their time and efforts on helping children, educating the poor, building houses for the homeless, or feeding the hungry?

I could go on for days … literally. For now, I’ll stop and hope that for at least this moment I have raised some questions in your minds. I know I am starting to question what I can do to stop death row inmates higher education and “guest speaking” engagements.