Wednesday, December 30, 2009


On Sunday, after three days of straight Christmas festivities and another wonderful Sunday at Grace Church, Chris decided it was time to take a few days off as a family. There was no convincing me :) We decided to make a drive to Show Low where the forecast was snow, snow & more snow! The kids were so excited they could hardly stand it. We couldn't even make it to our condo before pulling over and letting them try out their new sleds! I took a few quick pictures, but honestly it's been snowing so much since we've been here I haven't had the chance to take the camera out all that much. It's supposed to be sunny tomorrow, so I'm hopeful to get a few before we head back home to ring in the new year with our dear friends!

Trevor & Rylee have never seen snow before! They were so cute playing, falling & of course sledding.

At first the kids had to go down with one of us. We are new to this whole sledding thing. But leave it to Trevor to hike a sled up a hill, get on, and slide down by himself. We were working on our snowman and I looked up to see my son sliding down the hill alone! He did great and proved himself worthy to go down again and again. Which he did. Of all the kids I think Trevor could live in the snow. It was FREEZING this afternoon. Snowing hard. Wind was brutal. Taylor hiding in my coat it's so cold and there's Trevor totally unfazed by the precarious conditions! Eventually I took Rylee & Taylor to the car and the boys finished up.

Chris took the camera so I could be in a shot but I accidentally left it in manual and it resulted in a severely underexposed shot :) Nothing a little creativity can't fix!

Our snowman George, mostly built by Taylor!

This was such a sweet way to end 2009. What a year it has been too. Honestly not one I'd want to re-live. I am thankful to be on this side of 2009 and recount all the ways the Lord has proved himself faithful!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

For Taylor

There was once a girl who could write
So much that she'd stay up at night
Her mom started a blog
To help keep a log
And now you can see Taylor write.

Merry Christmas Taylor :)
Love, Dad & Mom.... and all your fans!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Grace Church Feast

This past weekend we threw the party of all parties. The Grace Church Christmas Feast! Man, oh man, was it a feast. Some members of our church love to cook, they are REALLY good at it and offered to cook for everyone. I offered my kitchen and house :) The night before we had a crew come and chop, slice, dice ect! Here's the menu just to give you an idea of what a feast it was:

Homemade egg rolls (that fried in their turkey fryer)
Grilled & Breaded Shrimp
Braised Ribs
Grilled Fish (with the head still on! I guess guys think that's cool)
Cashew Chicken
Korean Pork
Basil Fried Rice (my personal favorite)
Stir Fried Veggies

Then a whole slew of desserts! The group went caroling beforehand. Sorry no pictures. I stayed behind to get the house & dinner ready. But I've heard stories, it sounded like fun! Ok so back to the food.... the feast!
Here's the mastermind! Well part of the mastermind. Her other half is missing from the picture.

Afterwards the kids went upstairs and worked on a craft. A present for Dad & Mom!

They also prepared a little re-enactment of the Christmas Story. So cute!

Trevor was a wiseman, more like a wiseguy :)

The church surprised us by honoring Chris for the way he has lead the church plant/church over the past couple of months. Sarah took my camera and snapped some pictures. I'm such a proud wife :)

After that it was dessert and coffee. People hung out and fellowshiped into the night. Chris had put lights out on the trampoline and that kept the kids busy for quite some time!

Jim, with the Santa Hat, is the other half of the mastermind behind the Feast!

Jeff, our friend & Grace Church member, built two snow machines from scratch. The kids loved all the fake snow. It's not quite the same as the real thing.

The after Christmas party consisted of Dale, our worship leader, playing songs he wrote! He's so gifted!

The after, after party consisted of Chris & I playing some songs.

Then it got late. And we laughed, and laughed.

And Jeff got it all on video... which is scary :)

Then I realized it was 12:30 and ALL of our kids were still up!

We kicked everyone out and slept for days :) No, actually we went to bed and celebrated Christ birth again at Grace Church the next day! Ah, it's good to be apart of Grace Church!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Lines Have Fallen


"The Lines Have fallen for me in pleasant places Psalm 16:6"

These days it's hard to tell exactly "where" the lines have fallen. It seems a little less clear with modern day technology. The lines can extend oh so far with facebook, twitter, e-mail, cell phones and cars. All of which I take advantage of and enjoy greatly. But still the lines fall and one must pray for wisdom to see where.

When we first talked about moving to the west side, one thing I kept hearing and telling myself over and over, was that Gilbert was only 45 mintues away. Just a car drive. Pop on a sermon, give the kids some good snacks and bam, I'm back to the home I love. This helped soothe the pain of moving. A few months back, actually shortly after I wrote "confessions of a church planters wife", I felt the Lord challenging me, where had the lines fallen for me in this new life? We have lived in Peoria for about 6 months now and I think it's fair to say that I spent the first half working hard on my home, getting school work done with the kids, then spending my extra time driving to Gilbert visiting my friends. I could drive and see my friends once a week! Who wouldn't?! But was that what God was calling me to do? Did we really move to Peoria so that I could spend what very little spare time I had driving back home? Is that where the lines had fallen for me?

I committed this to the Lord and felt like almost everything changed in a week. I began to connect more with a neighbor down the street who doesn't go to church. We had a great lunch together which extended into the afternoon. I hosted a playgroup for some awesome moms on my street. We hosted a block get together with some more neighbors at our home. I joined a P.E. group for Taylor & Trevor where I made friends with even more new people! Not much time in that week to spend a whole day driving back and forth to Gilbert. I remember driving home from the P.E. group so encouraged and full of faith for all the new friendships the Lord was bringing my way. I felt like that week I had committed to the Lord that I would indeed embrace the west side like I hadn't before and he above and beyond blessed my efforts. I drove and wept. Moving became real like it hadn't before. There was this strange sense inside of me that I was betraying my friends in Gilbert. Like somehow making new friends was saying I didn't need them too. And nothing could be further from the truth. I'm thankful that not only is that not true but that none of my friends ever make me feel that way. They too know that lines have fallen for us in Peoria. And if we are ever to build a church out here we need to take full advantage of every opportunity we have to get to know believers and unbelievers. I used to run into friendly faces everywhere I went while living in Gilbert. Having roots and pouring your life into an area will do that. I long for that here. I can't wait to for the day I go to the store and run into a friend. I know that will come but it can only come if I invest.

Here I am on the later half of our six months here and I can't imagine my life outside of Peoria. I am coming to treasure my new friendships and the strengthening of my friendships with those in Grace Church. Not at the expense of my dear friends in Gilbert of course, but in addition too. The lines have truly fallen for me in pleasant places. It's just taken me awhile to embrace them.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Family Pictures

I've spent quite a bit of time taking family pictures this season for people and last week it was our family's turn. Our friend Luz came and stayed thanksgiving week with us. We've been hosting her stuff for her while she's traveled back and forth to Seattle. She graciously agreed to spend one of her AZ afternoons snapping some family pictures for us and I've spent the past week editing them.

Often the night before I have a family session scheduled I'll sit and think about everything that could go wrong. It's a curse I have. Thankfully I have yet to have a nightmare of a time with any of the kids I've worked with. The afternoon at the park I felt like I was living out my nightmares out with my own children! Little Rylee had no desire to sit still and smile. Quite the opposite. Thankfully on the way to the park, I said to Chris, "I just want to have fun with them and if we get some pictures too, then great." He had to remind me of that a couple of times as the afternoon went on :) And even though some of the kids were less cooperative then others we still got pictures that I will treasure for this lifetime!

So brace yourself here comes 100 pictures. Maybe all these pictures will make up for my lack of blogging :)

Let's start with reality first

grateful for the effectiveness of ice cream bribes...

Fun in the rose garden:

After some more attempts at posing with pouting it was time to break out the guitar & bubbles.

Oh how I love this one... she just adores her daddy!

This is our family. Taylor dancing and singing, Trevor staying close by and keeping busy and Rylee off doing her own thing in the dirt :)

Forget the uncooperative kids :)

Chris and I are coming up on 10 years this summer!

A few more favorites...

Another attempt at a family photo. This was a change. Rylee looking and the others, who knows what they are doing :)

Thankfully with the help of photoshop we did get one nice family shot!

Thank you Luz for blessing us with your friendship and blessing us with your gift of capturing people through your lens! Our friend Sarah came and took some video while we were there. I look forward to seeing and sharing that soon!