Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Pics

We picked up some one dollar swords at Target and thrilled Isaiah to the depths of his heart. He battled every male that walked through the door last week and some of the battles got pretty bloody. Uncle Greg lost an arm and Uncle Chris even lost his head... but they continued to battle, die-hard warriors they are. Very inspiring to our boy.

We were so glad the newlyweds were able to make it all the way to Wyoming to be with us for Christmas. Auntie Amy, you are a precious friend and sister! And it was a great treat to be able to get to know Andrew more over the course of the week. We're so glad you two are together!

Auntie Heather, we love that beautiful bump on you! Can't wait to meet your April baby girl! I love the above shot of you and Lilli.
Lilliana got a hair styling kit for Christmas and was willing to share with Marian so the girls could give Grandma a makeover together.
Who found this PJ set for Chris in the first place? The women in the family have had to squeeze tight when he puts it on and adorns the front yard with his gracefulness and class.

Uncle Curt was instantly in for Isaiah... hardly an introduction was needed before Isaiah was convinced this guy is the real deal. One more super cool uncle.

Auntie Barb, you're a favorite to all of us! Thanks for being so cool and having such a great family that we get to be connected with because you're Grandma's sister. We love you.
(sorry for the goofy underlining- I can't get it off!)

So fun to get more time with you, dear Mrs. M! Thanks for coming all this way with your hubby and thanks for loving on our kids :)

Thanks for the superman flight-time, Garrett! It was great to get to hear from you, and for the brothers to Risk-battle you too!
Hungry Hippos is Isaiah's favorite game to play.... besides a sword battle of course. So fun to play with you, cousin Emily! Please come visit us Emily :)

The girls enjoyed pushing their strollers through the stocking-bags.
Grandpa and John, figuring out that John's head is waaaay to large for this cutesy little hat.
There you are "Big Boy John", (as Isaiah called you when he prayed for you last night) holding our baby boy John. We were so glad to get to play with you too!

The kids have also enjoyed some fantastic tea parties with grandma in the past week or so.... and it's so special to have their cousin Lilliana in on the sweets too.
But watch out... there's a lion in these parts. Grandma got really scared when she was roared at!

Our big little guy is decently into his mushy "solids"... no Christmas cookies this year.

from Titus

Christians, let us...

be hospitable,
love what is good,
be self-controlled,
holy and disciplined....
let us hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught,
so that we can encourage others by sound doctrine
and refute those who oppose it.

...Jesus Christ gave himself for us
to redeem us from all wickedness and
to purify for himself a people that are his very own,
eager (zealous- ESV) to do what is good.

Titus 1:8-9, 2:14

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends,

We wish you joy in this season: fullness in the only lasting, all-surpassing joy of Christ. We really enjoy hearing about you and seeing your photos this time of year. If you could email us, (or if you have a card, you could send it to Matt's parents this year) we'd love to hear from you!

This has been a full year for us. Finishing language study late spring/summer, welcoming our third precious little one, packing up our home and traveling the states all fall until now. This has been a remarkably blessed and joyful season for us, and only God can be credited for keeping us sane, let alone so glad! We've visited dozens of friends and stayed in 20 homes in the past 4 months, with three kiddos 3.75 and under. God has made it a season of rich growth, needed heart lessons (see future posts for more on this), and lots of laughter and fun for all of us.

We're so grateful to get to enjoy time with family for Christmas and New Years this year. And we're really hoping scheduling will work out to meet some special family members not far from here too. Then we'll make one more stop to visit friends before we head back to our home in Asia.

We are so eager to be back there, to find a new home in the new city we'll be in. Sometimes life is hard there but every second of it is dearly worthwhile. We are glad to get to be there, to live purposefully there, and for ourselves to treasure and to raise our kids to treasure the light of Christ together.

May 2010 bring you more of the knowledge of the goodness of Christ- beyond comprehension, beyond comparison.

We send lots of love to you friends, at Christmas this year.

The Ks

Here's a few more pictures from our Christmas photo shoot in my aunt's living room. Isaiah, eager to be 4, Marian proud to be 2, and John at the half year mark.

To close, we want to share one of our favorite songs with you... it's a wonderful telling of the Christmas story. Enjoy...

"In the First Light"... from Todd Agnew's CD "Do you see what I see?"

In the first light of a new day, no one knew he had arrived.
Things continued as they had been while a newborn softly cried.
But the heavens, rapt in wonder knew the meaning of his birth.
In the weakness of a baby, they knew God had come to earth.

As his mother held him closely, it was hard to understand...
that her baby, not yet speaking was the Word of God to man.
He would tell them of his kingdom, but their hearts would not believe.
They would hate him and in anger, they would nail him to a tree.

But the sadness would be broken as the Son of life arose.
And the firstborn of creation would ascend and take his throne.
He had left it to redeem us but before his life began,
he knew he'd come back not as a baby but as the Lord of every man.

Hear the angels as they're singing on the morning of his birth,
but how much greater will our song be when he comes again.... to rule the earth!

Click here to listen to the song.

Mary's song

Here's what we're celebrating.

May the all-surpassing joy of Christ be yours in abundance as we celebrate him in this Holy Day, Christmas.

"Praise the Almighty God; He's done great things for us...." He's come.

Music: from Todd Agnew's CD "Do you see what I see", the song is Mary's Magnificant, sung by Christy Nockels
Video: Clips from The Nativity Story, edited by Crossroads Mulitmedia

Christmas Treats

Hazels Pretzel Turtles:

Small knot style pretzels
1 bag of Rolos- the chocolate candy with carmel inside
Pecan pieces

Lay the pretzels on a baking sheet and cover each one with a Rolo (unwrapped of course) and top it with the pecan pieces. Bake for about 2 minutes at 300 degrees. Really quick!

It's such a yummy treat for kids to be involved in making and it hits the spot for this salty-sweet combo lover. The first time I enjoyed these were from Hazel, of Hazel's Corner Cafe, in Buffalo ND.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Here are some of the goofier shots from our Christmas photo shoot today... hopefully the final Christmas photo will be just right of everyone. (Tis the season to hope for the incredible, right?)

Thanks for the shirts for the boys, Aunt Julie!

Messiah ~ a poem from Isaiah 53

Our Christmas message, then, this year,
Is not a clean and cute and cheer-
ful story. It is dirty, deep:
A bloody Lamb saved hell-bound sheep.

So may your happiness have weight,
For blood and love met sin and hate.
And it was your Messiah’s death
That gave you now your Christmas breath.

May your happiness have great weight this year- weight rooted in and bearing fruit of God's magnificent love to send us his Son, Jesus!

I hope that you will click over to see the rest of this excellent poem from David Gunner Gunderson. It is wonderful!

Christmas Lights

Last night we got to enjoy the Christmas lights at the Denver Botanic Gardens with my family in Denver. Yes- we nearly froze, but it was a fun time still. The lights had some special tricks to them so they spelled "Happy Holidays" or looked like fat snowmen if you looked at them with 3-D glasses. Very clever and very well done!

Cousin Aiden actually doesn't have spikes in his hair- that's the plan behind him. Cool punk look though!

The light show included some spectacular ice sculptures.

We're so glad to get to be here with family!