What did you do on your snow day?

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The snow day crew

After having another large dumping of snow we decided throw the chains on the van and head on over to Uncle Buzz’s pretty sweet sledding spot by their house.  After about 5 runs on the sled, Kyler was done.  The pose you see him in the pictures below was pretty much the pose he had for another hour or so while Caleb, Rylee, and friends continued sledding.  We then trudged (literally) all the way back to Isaac, Dee Dee, and Buzz’s house with our faces in the pouring snow for some lunch, hot cocoa, and cookies.  It is great having them so close for days like today.  Here are a few pics to get an idea of our day:

Here are the three troopers...Audrey and Isaac were not quite up for the sled.
Here are the three troopers...Audrey and Isaac were not quite up for the sled.
Kyler had enough of the sledding after a few runs
Kyler had enough of the sledding after a few runs
This one was intense
This one was intense
Nice hat!  Oh, and nice baby too!
Lovely hat! Oh, and lovely baby too!
Can you say Christmas card?
Can you say Christmas card?

Christmas came early

Saturday we bundled everyone up and headed out to North Bend to  “Christmas” with Grammy and Grampy.  Although it was about 18 degrees that night, we stayed toasty with Grampy’s fireplace.  Everyone had a delightful time, and our kids loved their gifts.  But as you can see from Audrey’s face, they also loved just being with their grandparents!  Grammy put on a huge culinary display with more food than you can imagine for the 8 of us.  Here are some of the pictorial highlights:

Audrey lovin' being with her Grampy!
Audrey lovin' being with her Grampy!
Grampy working off all that ham!
Grampy working off all that ham!
Kyler loved wrestling with Grampy too!
Kyler loved wrestling with Grampy too!
Caleb working on a puzzle with Grammy
Caleb working on a puzzle with Grammy
Dad and I slaved all day preparing the meal (yeah right...thanks Mom!)
Dad and I slaved all day preparing the meal (yeah right...thanks Mom!)

-Chris

What are your goals for 2009?

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I have never been much of a “resolver” over the last few years, but I was inspired to set some goals for myself over the course of this year.  I am not going to be all legalistic about these goals, but I do think they are attainable so I am really going to go for it.  Hopefully I will remember to link back to this post at some point 6 months from now.  Can you believe that it will be 2009 in only 14 days?  Craziness.  Is it that I am 31 now?  Does the time really begin to fly once you start getting a significant amount of gray hair?  Either way, the new year is upon us.  What do you plan to make of it?

For 2009, I am working with these personal goals in mind:

1.  Two date nights with Karissa each month

2.  Work out twice a week

3.  Read two books a month

4.  Read through the bible in the year

5.  Pray regularly with Karissa for our kids

6.  Climb three mountains: Mt. Rainier (Gib Ledges), Mt. Daniel, and Mt. Baker

-Chris

The theology of Christmas music

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Like many of you I am sure, I have been taking in a steady diet of Christmas music.  I am certainly not one of those people who listen to Christmas music all year round, like this guy, but once the Thanksgiving turkey has fully digested, I say bring it on.  Most of the songs are so familiar that we don’t pay much attention to the lyrics, at least, I find myself not paying attention.  The other day however, Rylee and I were having a Daddy-Daughter dance in the living room and the song happened to be The Little Drummer boy.  As we danced I began to describe what the little drummer boy was doing and experiencing.  As I began to explain to her about this poor little drummer boy who was trying to give the baby Jesus a gift fit for a King I began to get overwhelmed by the significant theology found in the lyrics of this classic.  The picture here is the cover of my favorite version of the song by Jars of Clay.  Here are the lyrics that I would love for you to take some time to ponder.

Come they told me,
A new born King to see,
Our finest gifts we bring,
To lay before the King,So to honor Him,
When we come.

Little Baby,
I am a poor boy too,
I have no gift to bring,
That’s fit to give the King,

Shall I play for you,
On my drum?

Mary nodded,
The ox and lamb kept time,
I played my drum for Him,
I played my best for Him,

Then He smiled at me,
Me and my drum.

I was deeply struck by the desire of this little boy wanting to bring Jesus the best.  I often find myself feeling like the poor boy, that I do not have the finer things to give Jesus.  But what the poor boy did was give Jesus the best gift that he had, he gave him a song that came from his heart using his God given gifting and ability.  I was floored by that thought once again and just want to give Jesus my heart, my best, my life, my all each and every day.  The line that totally got to me was “then He smiled at me.”  I love that Jesus is pleased when we give from our heart.  I know that I have gifts to bring the King every day.  I don’t know about you but some days I wake up with a desire to use them and some days I wake up – on the other side of the bed.

I am grateful for a sweet daughter who encouraged me to take some time to actually listen to the profound words of these worshipful songs we hear all the time throughout the Christmas season.  I pass the challenge on to you, take time to listen to your favorite songs and allow them to sink in.  Who knows what you might hear!

-Chris

Some snow and an impromptu hair cut

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In case you aren’t from around the Seattle area, we are experiencing an atypical cold snap. It’s no where near what many parts of the country deal with for about three months, but for us Seattleites, 18 degrees is downright chilly. Normally when we get about 4 inches of the white stuff like we did on Sunday, it is gone before the Monday morning commute. However, since it is still below freezing, we still have all of the original accumulation. To top it off, it is supposed to dump up to another 6 inches or so today. We will see if that actually happens.

On the home front, Caleb managed to get a hold of Daddy’s electric razor and gave himself a bit of a trim. We found him in our room where he had been surreptitiously hiding out pretending to be a barber. I am not sure trim is the right word actually, if he would have continued on his whole head he would have been ready for the Marines. Instead, he has a about a 1/2 inch by 2 inch line taken off the front of his head. In hopes to keep him from feeling any worse than he does already, we have not taken any pictures. With his longer hair, it is covered up for the most part, but we do here the occasional “Daddy, my hair feels funny” in a sad tone. Poor guy.

-Chris

1 down, 19 to go…

Note the gap on the bottom row of that beautiful smile!
Note the gap in that beautiful smile!

Well, the day finally arrived. After about a month of “working” on the tooth, it finally came out. Everyone was excited, jumping up and down. Our little girl is certainly not a baby anymore. The first loss of her baby teeth is not the first sign that our little girl is growing up, but it is certainly the latest. We were moving it around with a tissue and then I barely pulled on it and it came right out. When I would have loose teeth, my dad would tie a piece of dental floss around the tooth and either yank it out by hand or by the shutting of a door (with floss attached to door knob). This was quick and painless, but Rylee was not thinking it was such a great idea. How do you typically get your kiddos teeth out, or how did your folks get your teeth out?

-Chris

Laundry loses every time

Adventure downtown for a toy soldier parade and a pretend snowfall or fold laundry.

Watch our darling 5 year old dance at her ballet recital or fold laundry.

Spend hours playing in the perfect, fluffy snow and warm up with cocoa and spontaneous fun with family or fold laundry.

Trek out to Grammy and Grampy’s for a fabulous early Christmas dinner and presents or fold laundry.

Hide out in my bedroom working on homemade gifts for the kids or fold laundry.

Catch up on sleep for the first whole night (last night) since Audrey was in the hospital in November or fold laundry…this one is a complete no brainer!

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As you can see, laundry loses every time. Hoping you are enjoying the holidays as much as we are and can spend time on what matters and let the other stuff go for a little while.

Pretty in pink

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Rylee had the delight of attending the PNB Nutcracker yesterday with her Nana. They had a fabulous time. Then today she had a little ballet recital which was very fun too.

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"Everyone take a bow"
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Look at those "fairy feet" go!
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Rylee seems to have a real knack for ballet so far. After only 7 classes she was pretty good with her moves. Hopefully we can get her in another class soon. Thanks to all of you who have played a role in helping Rylee get a good start in ballet. If you ever get the opportunity, ask Rylee to do her “build a snowman” dance, it’s a winner for sure.

-Chris

Downtown tradition

Our best efforts at getting to downtown Seattle this year, as we do every year with Danielle and Todd, were foiled by unbelievable traffic. We ended up in Bellevue instead, not quite the same but better than nothing. This is how the traffic made DeeDee feel:

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Other highlights were Christopher and Todd posing with the snow princess only to find no memory left in the camera…Kyler running through Macy’s smack into a very large man square between the legs…Kyler reaching to take the bottom box of chocolates from a giant pyramid of Frango Chocolates.

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A Jumpstart on Resolving

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Have you been working on your goals for 2009?  I have been thinking about them a bit.  I have not nailed my down just yet, but I am thinking deeply about them.  In about a week, I am going to share with you the goals that I am coming up with and thought it would be fun to hear from other people as well.  I can’t believe that it is almost January already!

-Chris