To be young again

I’m not sure when we start to feel things like cold differently but I remember not caring about being freezing when I was little and now, I’m a wimp.  Yesterday while making dinner, holding Audrey and talking to my sister briefly on the phone, I saw Caleb walk out onto the deck.  He said he wanted to throw some snowballs at me through the slider.  Noticing he was completely without clothes except some Nascar underwear, I figured he’d come back in.  I’m a big fan of reality doing the teaching instead of me whenever possible.  He started piling up snow on the deck.  Completely un-bothered by the lack of clothes.  In 40 degree cold.

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Fast forward a few minutes, Rylee and Kyler (dressed) are out with him, he runs in and says “Wow, my hands are cold, I need some gloves!”  I’m smiling, thinking really, is that all?  He gets gloves and mismatched shoes while he’s in, hops right back outside.  I am giggling watching all that skin and little buns that say “Nascar” scurry around my deck outside.  Rylee decides everyone needs hats, it is cold after all.  So she comes in and gets them all one….sun hats at first then a fleece one for Caleb.  I won’t tell you how long he was deliriously happy to play out there, lest you judge me and my mothering ways!  Just be amused with me, it really was too fun.  It was my first big smile and laugh of the whole day and exactly what I needed.

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-Karissa

The Babysitter Returns!

The long awaited return of Mackenna!
The long awaited return of Mackenna!

Some people go a lifetime without finding that one babysitter that they trust with their children completely.  We are blessed to have Mackenna as one of those babysitters, and no – you can’t have her number!  Fortunately for her, and unfortunately for the rest of us back home, Mackenna decided to travel abroad and entered a school overseas.  She did however, come back for Christmas break, and our kids could not wait to see her.  Here are some pictures of the snow day they had together.

A little snowman in the back
A little snowman in the back
Oh yeah...I'm tough...take that Frosty!
Oh yeah...I'm tough...take that Frosty!

-Chris

Wouldn’t it be nice…

usps

…if Waste Management had the same slogan as the United States Postal  Service?  “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”  We have not had trash service for 16 days now, but we keep on getting our Christmas cards!  Thank you USPS for bringing the mail.  Maybe WM will show up on Monday.

-Chris

Won’t you be my neighbor?

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Karissa and I have loved our neighborhood from the moment we moved in.  Today was one more reminder of why.  After getting along great in the snow with our van the last week or so, today’s melt became a problem.  We went from having compact snow and ice in our cul-de-sac to 8 inches of slushy swamp.  In fact, our little neighborhood claimed more abandoned vehicles today than in the past two weeks of this snow combined.  This afternoon when Karissa wanted to head to the mall, we became one of these victims.  Luckily we didn’t get very far, we were simply in the middle of our cul-de-sac.  To our rescue came our next door neighbor and his son.  With a little shovel here and an extra nudge there we made it safely to the side of the road.  However, once we got our van out of the way, four of us neighbors got our shovels out and began to clear the gutters to get the water flowing down into the sewers for our entire cul-de-sac.  If you have not done this, this is not only a great neighborhood team builder, but it is vital to help make sure nothing gets flooded while all this snow melts away.  Once again, I am feeling quite grateful for our neighbors.  Not only did my neighbor help get our van unstuck, but his wife graciously offered to take Karissa, Rylee, Audrey, and Mackenna to the mall (in their 4×4).  Lift a glass with me to  good neighbors, safe travels, and no flooding in your crawlspace and mine!

-Chris

To us a child is born

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Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

This was the passage we read and had a spontaneous drama unfold in our living room the other night.  We wish you a Merry Christmas and rejoice for to us and to you  a Savior was born!

Joseph (Auntie Stephie), Mary (Rylee), and baby Jesus (a dolly)
Joseph (Auntie Stephie), Mary (Rylee), and baby Jesus (a dolly)
The awe inspiring Gabriel (Papa)
The awe inspiring Gabriel (Papa)

On the mend

Hopefully this isn’t jumping the gun but I think Audrey is on the upswing today.  She started eating again about 3 AM after about 35 hours of just a few ounces of milk.  I feel like I held my breath for a whole day as I waited and watched and really hoped we weren’t headed for another few days in the hospital that would this time include Christmas.

Between the snow and her not feeling well, it hardly even feels like it’s almost Christmas around here.  We haven’t done the homeschool projects that revolved around Christmas, we sledded every day instead.  Snow days aren’t the same either with a commission job instead of salary, definitely changes the perspective a little bit!  We haven’t done much of our baking either.  There has been so much change for us the past two months that I still feel my head spinning and it’s hard to figure out how to move forward sometimes.

It used to be a long list of expectations on our time during the holiday season of where we needed to be, now we have total freedom to be and do what we’d like to.  That is wonderful but still so different and strange.

Trying to smile.  Thankful for an eating baby.  Remembering to just breathe.  Comforted that Jesus came and He understands it all even when I don’t.

-Karissa

Audrey

In the midst of all the holiday hussle and last minute things, if you are reading this and would pray with us for Audrey we would so appreciate it.  She has not been eating well at all since yesterday noon.  This is how her kidney infection started in November and though a preliminary test today showed no infection (two days to know for sure), she obviously doesn’t feel well and something is wrong.  She is not at all herself.  We had a morning of fun Christmas stuff planned and spent the morning traveling in really crummy road conditions to get to the doctor and back instead.  We would love to avoid time at the hospital and help our girl get back to health and happiness.  Thanks for your prayers!

Recent Quote

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Kyler – Daddy, coffee, me, fweeeese?

Me – OK. (I warm up some coffee and put in some egg nog for some flavoring for him)

Kyler – Keem, Daddy Keem.

Me – What’s keem Kyler?  Can you show me?

Kyler – (as he’s opening the fridge and pointing up to the half and half) Keem Daddy, Fweeese?

After I set him up, I left the room for a bit to try to get Audrey to sleep.  When I came back, he had the chocolate syrup out and says to me – put in here Daddy?

Our native Seattle-ite, already learning the art of the perfect cup of coffee!

A PSA to all you joy riders out there

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There are some of us who would like to go stimulate the economy and then return home in one piece, so please keep your joy riding, your snow doughnuts, and all the fun that you can think of involving your 4×4 truck to yourself.  Perhaps you can go find some real off-road area to live out your snow driving fantasies, please just don’t do it on one of our main arterial roads into on-coming traffic.  Feel free to throw caution to the wind, I know how tempting it is, just remember to not involve anyone else.  Thanks.  Alright, I will get off my soap box now.

Oh wait, one more thing, I am a big fan of THESE  snow doughnuts:

snowdonut

-Chris

A night of friendship and worship

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Saturday night we intended to head out to Everett Family Church for a night of worship.  We had been tootling around in our van with chains on feeling very comfortable in the snowy/icy conditions on the roads here, so we were not nervous about heading out Saturday night even though the weather people were predicting severe winds.  We got the van started, and were about to start loading up our tribe for the 5:00pm service when it started to snow.  At that point we chickened out and decided that we better stay home.  However, we invited friends over and had a delightful time catching up and carved out a significant amount of time to tell the story of Christmas to all 7 kiddos.  This was our version of church for the week, and we loved it.  Thanks to our friends who trekked through the snowy conditions to get to our house.

Chris tells the story of Jesus' birth
Chris tells the story of Jesus' birth
Thomas opened his gift box to find Gabriel the angel.
Thomas opened his gift box to find Gabriel the angel.
Kyler investigates the Mary that he found when he opened his gift
Kyler investigates the Mary that he found when he opened his gift