Christmas Eve/Day

We had a great time at Christmas this year. I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating the birth of our Savior with family and friends. We stayed here in Denver this year so we were on our own. We had gone to Kansas for Thanksgiving. The boys still had fun and we celebrated with our church on Christmas Eve and then dinner at some friends' house with other couples who are also "displaced".

Christmas Eve day we started off by making ginger bread houses...


 The finished projects. I don't think we'll be joining any ginger bread 
making contests anytime soon. :)

Christmas morning we had fun opening presents from Dad and Mom...& Santa. 

We had a white Christmas! The boys had fun "sledding" in the backyard. There was only a couple inches, but it was a beautiful snow and they still had enough fun playing in it. 

First attempt
Second attempt

Final Shot

Here's our group shot from Christmas Day dinner at the Cohoe's. 


Pictures Post Only

Santa at Bass Pro Shop
Eagan & Jael at Bass Pro Shop waiting to see Santa
more at BPS, don't laugh - they have tons of free stuff for kids including carousel rides. Not to mention a free photo w/ Santa!!

Sadie posing for her Christmas photo

At our Small Group Christmas party - dressed up in our ugly best.

These were 4 of the many pillows that I made for people for Christmas. They weren't hard to make, just time consuming of course.

Daycare/Preschool Christmas Pageant. As you can see I didn't get the memo that Eagan was supposed to be dressed up as a lamb!! :) He sticks out, just a bit.

Breeson was one of the wise men.

 This is one is for his Grandparents. Breeson had one line "F is for Frankincense with myrrh and gold, brought by the wise man as Matthew has told".  He had to memorize 2 lines just in case another kid couldn't make it. The other was "H is for Herrod, whose murderous scheme, was told to Joseph in a nocturnal dream". These cracked me up because there are some big words - but he managed to get them.
And more pageants...this was at our church. He didn't have any lines for this one.


At the Olden Golden Christmas Parade. It's a cute, small town parade right outside of Denver


In their Christmas best. I was actually more excited about them rocking out in their skinny jeans more than the bow ties! :)


New traditions...

Family traditions are some of the best things about Christmas. And as we have started our own traditions, having been married for 5 years, we are yet again creating new ones...

As some of you may know, I work in an Oncology/Hematology office. One of the hardest things about working there is losing our patients who have been battling cancer for short or long terms. What sucks the most is that cancer affects people of all ages, gender and race. I'm sure we all know someone personally who has battled with cancer or has even lost their lives to it.
This year, a couple different signs were posted in our lunch/break room at work and it was asking for people to donate towards 2 different families. One family had recently lost a young wife/mother to cancer, leaving behind 2 young kids and her husband. The other is another young gentleman but he is still fighting his cancer. However, due to him not being able to work, they have lost their home and car. His wife works very hard to still provide for the family, which includes a toddler.

All that to say, I felt like my "worries" and "troubles" became miniscule in comparison to what these families are dealing with.  I went home that day and told my husband that I didn't want us to buy gifts for each other, but would rather we start a new tradition of finding a family that we could bless each year. He was in total agreement and admitted that he had wanted to do that long ago, but wanted me to "come up with the idea". :)
We agreed that we could still buy each other a small gift that might fit in the stocking but it still had to also be cheap. We have been blessed by God in the fact that when we need things, we can (typically) just go and buy it. When we need a new pair of shoes, or pants, we get them and we don't have to wait for Christmas to get them. Now I realize their are bigger items that we wish we could have (newer appliances, ipads, etc), but those are more wants than needs. I hope that we can also begin to teach our boys, even at a young age, that Christmas is SO MUCH MORE than getting/receiving gifts. Everything about society teaches us to be more materialistic. In reality, every summer I end up taking so much junk to the thrift store or have a yard sale because our house fills up with more stuff. It seems to be a never ending cycle.

Please, please know that I am not saying any of this this is to make us sound pious or proud. Instead, I am sharing this because I hope and pray it will challenge you to think about what you and your family can start doing by helping more people in need. And maybe even help you not clutter up your home even more. :)

*we still bought the boys gifts, but we are cutting back and not overdoing it. We still want them to be excited about Christmas and opening presents on Christmas day. This was more about Jamie & I cutting back. But I hope as the boys get older that they can begin to understand why we do what we do and join in on the excitement of helping others.


Still waiting...

To sum up the last few months into one word, it would be - hard. After learning awhile back that Jamie's job will end on Dec 31st at the church we've been serving at in the last three years, we've had a lot of emotions that have come with it. We're sad to be leaving such a great community, but excited as God will open a new door for ministry. However, we're still waiting on that door and it's already mid-December. I will say that I'm probably one of the most impatient people. Just ask my kids. To trust God in all of this has been so hard. The funny thing is is I know He'll do it in HIS timing, but I fail to believe that at times. It's a battle with the head and heart knowledge that always fights within me. And to add to everything else, we've had our house on the market for over a month now and no leads on it. We have hardly any showings. Granted it is almost Christmas (that's what I keep telling myself).
So it gets a bit discouraging when people want updates on our lives and we don't really have much to say. Except that we know God is still working behind the scenes. We'll admit, we have our good days and we have our bad days.

There are many times in the past where we didn't know how something was going to work out, and yet God always came through - even if it was at the LAST minute. So that's what we're holding on to. I'm not a health, wealth, and prosperity believer, but I know that God cares for us and wants whats best for our lives. Although it may not always look how we think it will look. But He never fails us.


Recap of Thanksgiving

Here's a recap of our time in Kansas over Thanksgiving. We were especially thankful that neither of the boys got sick (well at least not 'til the end) while we were there. It seems like in the past when we go on trips, one of them has gotten sick; like strep or hand-foot-mouth disease-type sick. :( 

The boys had fun playing with cousins...


With Grandma (and Grandpa too)...

And friends...

I also got to catch up w/ old college friends...

Even the "grand-dogs" had fun...
We had a good time over all. And our car trip went off w/ out a hitch. Traveling 8+ hours in a Volvo station wagon with 2 kiddos and a dog went better than I had played out in my head. I guess if you expect the worse, then it can only look up from there! :)

Breeson had been anticipating going to his grandparents house for several weeks prior to Thanksgiving. So it was fun building it up. He would count down every week until the week of he realized, "there's not even 1 week left?!". He always has so much fun on my parents "farm". There's go carts, big tree house w/ sandbox, and lots of cousins to play with. Besides being spoiled by Grandparents too. We were there for almost a week & a half, so he got plenty of play time in.

We got to see a lot of family on this trip (again, it helps when your kids aren't sick!). So we a had a cousin get-together, where there were around 40 of us: cousins, spouses and kiddos. And we were still missing a lot of people! Then on my dad's side of the family we played a never ending game of Phase 10. Won't make that mistake again. But the food was delish so we ate to our hears, and stomachs content.

Unfortunately we don't get to go back at Christmas. But we always look forward to going to Kansas when we can.