Wednesday, December 29

Peace and Quiet

This week has brought such a beautiful change to our lives ... we have the entire week off! Not knowing what to do with ourselves, we decided to start a few projects. I organized the hall closets and did laundry. David built shelves in our closets and made our old hamper into a new kitchen "cart." Hayden played with his new toys and chased Abby all around the house. Lots of stuff, huh? The problem is ... that was only Monday! What in the world to do with ourselves for the rest of the week!?

Tuesday we toned down our grand expectations for the week and enjoyed some rest and relaxation. The evening brought our weekly Launch Team meeting, which was super exciting because we are planning for our first "preview service" on Sunday. I had a Children's Ministry training right before the team meeting, and it went well ... I'm so excited about the willing and loving workers that God has brought to Real Life Church. They are such servants and so excited to work and live and love and see outside of themselves for the greater good. They amaze me and I thank God for them!

This morning David, Pastor Eric, and Daniel, a Real Life Church launch team member headed to Kansas City to pick up free chairs, desks, filing cabinets, etc. from BreakPointe, the church papa Tom pastors at. When I called David at noon to see how the day was going, he told me they were still at BreakPointe ... there was so many things they were willing to give to RLC it was taking much longer than planned to load the truck! What a BLESSING FROM GOD! He called again at 4pm to tell me they were on their way to Hutchinson to the Wesleyan church there for more goodies. GOD IS SO GOOD! Hayden and I rested a lot today since our little guy is fighting a cold. The nights have been pretty sleepless for him since he's coughing so much, so by morning we're both exhausted. We did, however, take advantage of the beautiful weather (it's 60 degrees) and went for a long walk this afternoon.

So, only two more week-days of vacation and the hustle and bustle starts again ... but I think this week has and will continue to remind us of the importance of slowing down to enjoy life without going so fast that it passes us by before we know it. This week has already been a great time for us to spend as a family ... to get more quiet time with God ... and to realize how necessary it is to continue these important lessons even when we are at our busiest ... the world will not slow down for us ... but we can choose how we will spend each moment of every day ... for us, it is finding our comfort and rest in Him, and living each day to our fullest, whether in cozy pj's or our fancy suits, and knowing that He is in control. What a goal to reach for, huh?

Check out my new home for the next semester, Junction City High School, where I'll be teaching 11th Grade American History and 12th Grade Economics in Mr. Prickett's room! Here's the address!

Blessings to You!

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Tuesday, December 28

A Kinnan (and Kerby!) Christmas

And when they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in stips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:6-7

What a year we have had! God has truly blessed us and provided for us in countless ways, and throughout this season and each and every day as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, we pray that you experience the joy of Jesus Christ and the rich blessing of knowing Him as your Lord and Savior.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Kinnan's!

Great-Grandma Bush sent an Advent Tree especially for Hayden ... he had a great time putting the ornaments on ... and taking them off ... and putting them on ... and taking them off ... hours of fun! We left on Tuesday the 21st and stayed in KC until Sunday the 26th. We had a fabulous time with family and remembering what this Christmas season is all about!

After the traditions of dinner at the Outback on Wednesda, a movie on Thursday night, (and MILKSHAKES!) , and much too much amazing food from chef Kathy, we celebrated Christmas at the Kinnan's on Friday (Christmas Eve) morning. Hayden and Ailee had a blast opening their presents, and got so many great things! As you can tell, Hayden really enjoyed his wagon of building blocks! He also got a little Leap Frog "learning drum" that is perfect for our little Boomer ... at least now is pounding on things can help him learn! HaHa!

Friday afternoon we headed for the Kerby's, and since mom and dad were hosting the Kerby Family Christmas this year, I helped mom cook while the guys enjoyed some Christmas movies. There was LOTS of cooking to do! We spent the night with Ryan, Lara, and Liz ... and woke up early Christmas morning to gifts from them. We left early for mom and dad's to eat breakfast ... which is one of the highlights that we always look forward to ... mom's breakfast casserole! YUMMY! :)

Hayden got Noah's Ark filled with animals and Noah and his wife to play with ... very cool, and David and I are excited to have an actual "prop" to teach Hayden the story with!

Hayden also got a rocking horse ... and was definitely loving it! He especially likes to put his hand in the horsie's mouth when it sings, because it moves up and down and makes Hayden laugh. What a precious little guy we have!

Christmas day was full of family and food ... we ate and ate and ate ... and have no pictures to show for it since we were busy eating and talking and opening gifts! Mom and dad did a wonderful job as hosts, and the party lasted for hours!

We headed back to KC Christmas evening and left for home Sunday afternoon. David and I have the week off and next Monday he goes back to work, Hayden goes back to Miss Gwen's, and I start student teaching! :)

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors. Luke 2:14

We Love You!

Tuesday, December 21

We're off!

We're taking a little break from blogging. With Christmas vacation upon us, we'll have plenty of pictures and memories to share. We wish you all a very merry Christmas! We love you!

- David, Katy, Hayden and Abby

Sunday, December 12

A Sunday with Liz!

This morning Grandma and Grandpa Kerby, Uncle Pete, and Cousin Liz came for a visit! It was so exciting to see how much Liz has grown! Grandma brought lasagna for lunch (yummy) and we had a great day! Uncle Pete even changed the oil in my car ... what a great brother I have! :)

For Christmas, Hayden is getting a RADIO FLYER wagon ... he doesn't like his stroller at all anymore, so we decided to get our big boy a big boy toy. He and Liz had a ball being pulled up and down the street by Uncle Pete.

Hayden and Liz were jabbering back and forth in their own toddler language. Who knows what they were saying, but it's fun to pretend. "This is where I wait for daddy to come home. And there's the neighbors big dog. That's the big tree that makes the leaves." "What's that smell? Do you need something changed?"

We spent a lot of time with the toys! Liz played quietly while Hayden continued his favorite pastime of taking his toy bins off their shelves and giggling as mommy puts them back on. HaHaHa.

More pics to come!

Yesterday was the RLC Prayer Retreat and Kelly's Graduation/Graduation Reception! I'll write more about those when I've got more time. David preaches this evening! Yeah!!!!!!

Friday, December 10

Church Office Space

We recently leased an office space which will also include our nursery and toddler facilities, as well as a place for our students to have activities. Construction is underway. Here's a look at the progress:

Nursery & Toddler rooms:

Front room:

Student Activity Area:

Thursday, December 9

What a Week!

It's been seven days since we last blogged, and what a week it was! I'm going to make it easy and give a day-by-day account of all the fun we've had!

Last Wednesday
After the stitches fiasco, David and I went to work and school, and Hayden went to Ms. Gwen's! At 5 when I got out of my History Seminar, we brought Hayden to the Zvonick's while we went with Pastor Eric and Robin to Abeliene for the Pastor's Dinner. It was at the Brookville Hotel ... where home-cooked fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy are the specialty. What a wonderful evening! David and I have been aching for a "date night," and this was one indeed, full of fellowship and meeting new people, and just sharing time with men and women of God! It was a special time! We got some long overdue time with Pastor Eric and Robin in the car ride ... planting a church is a busy and exciting opportunity, but such a busy one that we don't get a lot of social time, so the evening was a huge blessing in so many ways!

On the way home, we stopped by the Real Life Church Facility Director's office to see the new sound system that just came from New York! Robin and I laughed at our husband, who looked like little boys peeking into a toy store!

David and I were excited to get back to our little guy, who was exhausted after an evening of play-time with his best pal Alli! We all slept very well that night!

Last Thursday
Thursday evening we had our RLC Women's Bible Study at the Neely's, and after a week of battling colds in the Kinnan house, I was thankful to finally meet the newest addition to the Neely family ... KYRA DAWN! She came on the day before Thanksgiving, and we hadn't met her yet! Mark babysat the little one while Becky, Tami, Becky Botter, Catie Butcher, and I had some great fellowship and prayer time! These Thursday evenings of study and fellowship have meant the world to me, and God truly blesses our time together! It's truly a refreshment for me!

Last Friday
Friday evening David, Hayden, and I brought dinner to Mark and Becky! We made orange-honey glazed ham, scalloped potatoes, and salad ... and had a fun time eating and spending time with them ... but most of all, holding little Kyra! She's absolutely adorable, with strawberry blonde hair and a beautiful complextion! Aaahhhh .... babies! Hayden wasn't as excited about Kyra as he was the Neely's golden retriever, Corie ... he spent the evening chasing her around!

David spent the day at Real Life Church's new offices that are right by the school we're currently meeting in. He and other RLC men and ladies spent the day painting, building, and cleaning. Hayden and I stayed home all day ... I was working on my LONG LONG LONG research paper for my history seminar that was actually due yesterday. Entitled "The History of the Histories of the Sacking of Lawrence, 1863," it was definitely a doozie!

Saturday evening my brother Pete and his pal Casey came to visit and delievered fire wood! What a great brother! Pete's a junior in high school ... but back off, ladies! Big sister (me) has instructed him NOT to date until he's in college (at least)! HaHa! They didn't stay long ... mainly because the 2-hour drive back home, but it was nice to see them! Hayden always warms up to Uncle Pete very quickly ... as Pete was walking to the door to leave Hayden ran after him and wrapped his arms around Pete's legs so he wouldn't go ... aaaahhhh! As you can tell from the picture, Abby really warms up to new people ... or not! Casey managed to ward her off from biting too hard! :)

Saturday I also got my letter stating my Student Teaching Assignment, which means that it's official! I will be heading to Junction City High School from January 3 to May 6! I will be in Mr. Prickett's room teaching Economics, American History, and Current Events! I am so excited and thankful for the opportunity ... but I'm also pretty anxious! The good news is that several of my fellow social studies education classmates will be there too, which means carpooling! Yeah! Please visit the website ... they're a great district and a wonderful school and I want you to see where I'll be during my final semester of college! (FINALLY)!

This Week
So, Sunday was definitely not the most exciting day for me. I was sick ALL DAY! I'm not sure what's going on in our home, but we're probably making the stock of KLEENEX, NYQUIL, and LYSOL go through the roof! Anyway, it was a pretty laid back day, and we got some time to just relax and recoup from a busy week!

David and Hayden went to the worship service and were happy to come home with news that there were several new visitors! Praise the Lord!

Monday David brought Hayden to the doctor to remove the stitch while I went on a field trip with my Social Studies Methods class. We traveled all over the surrounding counties with a great tour guide and visitied many places involved in the Underground Railroad in this area. Mr. Pitts, from Wonder Workshop gave us the tour. It was a long and cold exursion, but lots of fun and very insightful!

David got to unwind a bit with basketball on Monday evening, which is great for him, because working a job and a half (that's really more work than two or three jobs), he deserves some down time! What an amazing and hardworking man he is! I am so thankful for him!

Tuesday our launch team meeting was focused on the various ministry teams, so it was a great time to gather and start planning curriculum and schedules for the upcoming months!

Yesterday was my last official day of classes at K-State ... on campus, anyway! Although I won't graduate until May, I will be in the classroom at Junction City next semester! It was bittersweet ... and I am thankful for my experiences and interactions there! Hayden had his second of two flu shots ... since this was his first time getting the flu vaccine, he had to get two doses. We have all been sick since he got the first dose, so we weren't excited that he was having to get another one, but it's over! Afterwards we went out to the RLC offices where David and a few other men from the church were painting and building. David set up the entire sound system last Saturday, but checked and re-checked it (he's so talented!), then started painting HIS office! :)

And now to today. David is at work, Hayden and Abby are taking naps. I'm going to work on a take-home final and do some cleaning that I've been neglecting the past few weeks due to my history paper that I was drowning in!

David is excited to have the opportunity to preach this Sunday, and I can't wait for him to share what he will be sharing! It's an important message, and David has really opened himself up to the Lord's guidance as he discusses "Expecting the Unexpected."

We Love You!

Wednesday, December 1

BooBoos and Stitches

Yesterday Hayden has his routine check-up with Dr. Rose. It's so exciting because we get to find out how he's growing with all these cool percentages and averages... 50% is what is considered the average for his age. At 23# 6oz. he is in the 40% range, and at 32" he is in the 75% range. Basically what that means is that he is tall and slender ... he's under the average of boys his age in weight and way above it in height. Anyway, we weren't supposed to see the doc again until February ... but instead, we got to go visit nice Dr. Rose again this morning!

David was sick yesterday with flu symptoms and so he was going to stay in this morning and relax and go in this afternoon, so I was getting ready for school in our bedroom and Hayden and Abby were in there playing. Somehow Hayden fell into one of our dresser drawers and hit his forehead ... aaaahhhh! Soon after it happened and I cleaned him off he acted fine and wanted to get off my lap and start playing again, but it looked pretty bad. I was hoping it looked much worse than it actually was ... but we didn't take any chances and brought him in to the doctor.

Hayden was such a brave little guy! I'm sure he had a headache already, but of course he was in for all kinds of pushing and prodding around. First the nurse cleaned it, then the doctor came in and looked at it and cleaned it some more. We had to hold a numbing medicine on it forever (which he REALLY didn't like), and then the ultimate evil for a 15 month old little boy ... the "strapper." I actually don't know what it's called ... but Hayden was strapped in and the doctor stitched him up ... just one ... whew. Hayden cried and cried, but was actually very calm considering all that was going on around him. I think David and I were taking it worse than he did and we're so so so so proud of him!

So, Hayden is now sleeping like a precious little angel and we're thanking God for the strength He gave us ... and for our little boy who is the most wonderful blessing. Although we know this is one of many, many, many bumps and bruises (if he's anything like his daddy, that is), I'm thankful to know that as parents we have the most perfect example of a father and He will provide us with unexplainable wisdom and strength. God has blessed us and we can't think of any better calling in lives than the parents of Hayden Thomas Kinnan ... our little bumper car! :)

Have a Beautiful Day!

Monday, November 29

Thanksgiving 2004

Our Thanksgiving celebrations began Monday evening when we left for Kansas City. David was still a little under the weather, so we got in a lot of good rest Monday night and all day Tuesday before we were off to Indiana. Departure time was 3:30pm after Kathy and Heather were done teaching. It was rainy and cold, but we made great time and got to Marion in the early hours of the morning. It was hilarous because when we got to Grandma and Grandpa Wolf's house, Hayden and Ailee were as wide-awake as they had been for most of the trip, and although most of us were about to fall over, we had to let them run around since they'd been sitting for 8 hours! They are the most precious little sweethearts! :)

After a great day with the Wolf's (and some AMAZING chicken salad, compliments of Grandma), we went to the Kinnan's on Wednesday evening for supper. It was delicious and so fun to see everyone again ... one whole year is just too long to go without seeing our family!

Thanksgiving Day was spent at the Kinnan's ... there were plenty of hugs, plenty to talk about, and more food than you could imagine. The turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, rolls, green beans, stuffing, jell-o salads, cranberry salad, pumpkin pie, and all the other dishes I'm forgetting left us with full tummies and promises to begin our diet the next day. Ha!

Hayden got his first taste of pumpkin pie ... he wasn't too crazy about it ... maybe he was just too full from all the turkey!

A family tradition for the very tall Kinnan family is ... you guessed it ... keep track of how FAST they grow! Hayden is definitely a tall little guy, and although he wasn't quite sure why mommy was making standing against the wall and what daddy was doing, he was a good boy while we marked his height for 2004. Since I'm under the national average in height at 5'3" (I can't believe I'm admitting it!), I opted out of the measurements ... I am definitely the shortest of the Kinnan's ... except for the two toddlers, of course! :)

Hayden and Ailee were enamored with the piano! They were like little Mozart's slamming away for the longest time ... Hayden swayed back and forth so we started calling him Ray Charles!

We have our Christmas celebration with the Kinnan's on Thursday evening, and Hayden and Ailee definitely get the award for most gifts! They enjoyed the wrapping paper and bows just as much as what was inside!

Here's Ailee getting some help from her mommy!

Hayden definitely found a buddy ... cousin Kayla was his relative of choice this week and he was always climbing into her lap and following her around! She's at Anderson University just 30 minutes north of Marion studying Social Work and Children's Ministry and is a young woman who is in love with the Lord and has a true passion for serving Him ... she's so amazing!

Friday evening we got to have Thanksgiving dinner at the Wolf's! There was turkey, ham, bread and oyster stuffings, delicious rolls, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie, pecan pie ... I could go on forever, but it was absolutely delicious and we had a wonderful time with Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Julie, Uncle Gregg, and Cousin Josh. Hayden had another favorite relative that day ... Aunt Julie! He was attached to her the entire evening and cried when she left! Actually, we all felt like crying when we had to say our goodbye's ... but hopefully we'll see each other again soon!

Grandma Wolf has such a servant's heart, and barely sat down the entire week we visited! She makes the best food, from french toast in the morning to turkey and peach cobbler for supper. Gigi is what the babies are calling her and it was so much fun to see them cuddle with her!

We have more pictures and will definitely add them as soon as we can! We hope that you had a blessed day of thanksgiving!

In Him,
The Kinnan's

Always give thanks for everything to our God and Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20

Saturday, November 20

a good day

Friday was an exciting day for us. I'll bullet the story:

- I only had to work half a day at Big Brothers Big Sisters! Woo hoo!

- I had lunch with our lead pastor, Eric Norris, and our new worship leader, Jason Hodge. Yes...I said worship leader because we now have a worship leader!

- Our church purchased an entire sound system on Ebay...what a wonderful place Ebay is. Our dilemma: getting the sound system from eastern New York to Manhattan Kansas. A few calls were made...we were quoted $1000 - $1200 just for delivery. God began to work. A few more calls were made. The system is now being packaged...delivered to the mail service...shipped...and delivered to a town just 45 minutes west of us for...$450. We couldn't have driven there to pick it ourselves for that cheap. God is incredible!

- Before heading off to an evening youth event, I had a chance to wrestle with our little boy. We're having so much fun as a family!

- From 7 to 10 pm, we had our third monthly youth event as we try to develop a youth group from scratch. We have 3 teenagers in our church right activities require creativity. So...we planned a night of DODGEBALL. Flyers were made and distributed by the hands of our 3 teenagers. By 7:05 pm, we had 60+ teenagers throwing balls at each other's faces. Praise God! We had 44 of those student fill out name/address forms for us to follow up. It was a good time...and I'm exhausted. Dodgeball for 3 hours straight could kill somebody!

Here a few pics from the night:
(The guy dressed like a freak is a 30 yr. old youth leader and a great friend...gotta love'em!)

Yes...those are leg-warmers.

We lined them up to put'em into teams...Okay...Your 1, 2, 3 4

4 Teams! Everyone actually understood!

There wasn't a lot of "mercy" demonstrated during the evening...everyone had a ton of fun. It's great when students leave and all they're talking about is how much fun they had and when will we be doing it again.

Friday, November 19

Havin' A Baby ....

Not us! Actually, our best friends Mark and Becky are expecting a little girl, and although the original due date is December 1, the doctor has told them that if Becky does not deliver by next Wednesday the 24th, they will induce on that day! YIPEE! We are so thankful for having the opportunity to be a part of this experience; babies are truly a miracle from God ... and since we hang out with Becky and Mark so much we're getting our baby-tanks "filled" so we don't try anything crazy like having another one for awhile! :)

We'll keep you posted on the happenings at the Neely's ... I'm planning on staying with them for a few days to give them some sleep during the night, so I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures of the newest addition to the Neely clan!

Much Love,

Wednesday, November 17

I'll give you a "Post"

I'm exhausted with the word "Post-Modern". As we all only have one life to live, perhaps its true that each generation spends their life trying to define their wouldn't shock me. Since this is my first time here on earth, and I've only been here 26 years, I am going to conclude that it's our nature to define our surroundings which would then have to include a definition of our current culture. I see different sects of society trying to place titles on different definitions of life. Currently, because of my lifestyle and vocation, I hear and watch the church trying to title and define ways to successfully speak to the emerging postmodern culture that our society has willingly given itself as a label.

My point? Hmmm...I struggle with how to communicate it without seeming "stuck in the mud". I'll pose it as question: As a church, is our motivation to first be relevant and then knowlegeable; or is it that our motivation places knowledge as the highest priority and then learn to relate it in a relative way? That's a loaded question because it implies there are only 2 approaches.

I've got to dump this frustration out before I get turned off from it all. In my mind, I picture a land plot of 100 acres laid out with the sun putting a glare of light across the neighboring rode as it starts it journey across the sky. A father-son team sits on porch swing as they analyze their surroundings. Their goal is easy to see...produce a fruitful crop that feeds the family and generates a healthy income. The debate starts at the point of strategy development. How will they go about achieving this common goal?

Since the church first began, different philosophies and theories have been developed, practiced, and put to rest. Some have succeeded more than others with most having the same goal: to build the Kingdom of God. Today, we're shin-high in the postmodern waters. Some have yet to arrive at the beach, but that doesn't slow the development of our culture. It's breathing...growing...moving! So, we (the Church) respond. Roundtables of thinkers and doers have gathered to define what the "emerging culture" is it's receiving information...what it's philosophy is...what drives it. Conclusions have been made, but defining a culture that shuns labels and programatic thinking immediately limits the process by putting it in a "box".

I'm tired of talking about the fact that post-modernity exits...I don't get all happy-faced when magazines put out stories on post-modernity. I want to build the Kingdom of God. As we continue to examine what it means to live in a "Postmodern" or "Emerging Culture", I pray that we don't let go of our first call to seek God and then learn to understand culture. There are pastor violating their relationship with God, but their understanding of the current culture could easily get them a book deal. Knowing culture is essential...critical...absolutely necessary. A person will not be as effective as they can be without understanding it. However, our desire to know culture cannot surpass our desire to know God. That's it. That's what I really wanted to say.

Life News:
Katy received a call yesterday evening from a professor who assigns the "student teaching locations". He eventually got the point of telling Katy that she was 1 of 4 students selected to teach in the best of all the surrounding districts. However, after being selected, the school district of which she was assigned was informed that they were not allowed to have any student teachers during the semester because of an accredidation process occuring during the semester. Because of this late news, Katy was left without a "teaching home". The default location: an inner-city high school located 20 miles away.

We've come to this conclusion: God has a very specific reason for Katy to be teaching at this school. Whether it is something she will learn or what others will learn through her...we're confident that God is in this.

So...the good news is that Katy knows where she'll be teaching next semester. The better news is that it was definitely God's decision and not ours.

That's it.


Saturday, November 13

The Kerby's Visit!

So Much Fun on Saturday ...

Saturday morning we had a great surprise when Grandma and Grandpa Kerby came for a visit! Actually, we knew they were coming, but it's always a great surprise to have visitors ... especially for Hayden, because he loves his grandma's and grandpa's! The guys "manned the fort" while mom and I went to a craft fair that one of the local schools sponsors called "Buttons and Bows." After an hour or so of pushing through crowds of bargain/craft-hungry females we called it a day and came home! Lunch had been warming in the slow-cooker all morning, so David, Dad, and Hayden, who'd been working (and playing) out in the yard were definitely thankful for the warm stew. We had a fun afternoon of talking and watching football ... and a quick trip to Hobby Lobby (mom hadn't seen the new Manhattan store yet!). After a full day of playing and cuddling with Grandma and Grandpa Kerby, Hayden was pretty tired, and fell asleep long before his bedtime! :)

Oh yeah ... we got the Christmas decorations out last night, and have finished putting them up ... except for the tree, of course, which we'll get after Thanksgiving. Grandpa and Hayden had lots of fun with Santa's hat!

This is the first thing you'll see when you come to the Kinnan home ... hopefully the second thing will be a big smile and then an even bigger hug! We got this wreath at a garage sale this summer, then I spent awhile wrestling the ribbon around it last night. Simplicity was what I was going for ... but I'm not good with ribbons, so it was anything but simple. Anyway, it's done and so we're happy!

This is the top of our entertainment center. Underneath is a shelf with one of our two manger scenes we'll have around the house.

And finally, our fireplace and mantle. This is my favorite part of decorating for the holiday season, because I love, love, love having the lights on and the fire burning ... so cozy and such a beautiful reminder of all of the blessings and provisions that we are undeserving of, but given because of His love.

Confessions of a Married Couple ...
Ok ... so we went to Mark and Becky's on Thursday night to watch cable (which we do not have) and hang out ... instead, we watched a movie they had rented, and feel that we should tell all of you whom we love. Go easy on us ... please do not judge ... no smirks or chuckles ... WE WATCHED "MEAN GIRLS" ... yes, the teenage drama about a new girl in school who has to deal with the evilness of her female peers ... sounds corny, sounds ... um, a little cheesy for a married couple in their 20's to watch, but we actually liked it. Despite the overnumbered instances of foul language, the movie was decent. We are ashamed. Forgive us. :)

Thanksgiving Countdown:
9 Days until we Leave
12 Days until Thanksgiving

We Love You!

The joy of the Lord is my strength! Nehemiah 8:10

Thursday, November 11

Toddlers, and Toddlers and Toddlers, Oh My!

What a week it has been! Sunday evening we celebrated the baptism of RLC members Tami, Lenny, and Kenny! It was such an annointed time and such a gift for our church family! We managed to forget the camera, but plenty of people took pictures, so we'll get some soon. A funny and exciting thing ... some ladies from New York are working on a documentary for PBS/BBC on church plants, and when they searched online Real Life Church was one that came up ... so they were there filming, and after looking at other church plants, they will determine which they'd like to use and move to whichever town that plant is in ... and live there for a YEAR documenting the stages of planting a church. Wild! Sunday night I made "Monkey Bread," so that has been another huge highlight at the Kinnan home! HaHa!

Hayden is seriously growing and growing each and every day! He learns and discovers so many new things and it has been absolutely amazing to watch him and encourage him! He loves to go "up," which is when David or I lift him up so he can touch the ceiling fan cords (they're turned off!) or point to grandma's and grandpa's in the pictures on the walls. We have a huge mirror over the fire place that he especially likes!

Hayden is definitely a climber and loves to stand on anything and everything! The fireplace ... kitchen chairs ... the steering wheel of a little tykes car ... mommy's school bag (in the picture) ... he just likes to be off the ground ... and even more so, reaching for something.

Today he wanted the calendar on the desk, and he got it! :) We've been enjoying this newfound obsession with close-proximity and the first aid kit nearby ... the hardest balance i've ever had to weigh is the one between letting him be a little boy and discover things ... and not being my true protective self and stopping him before he starts. He hasn't had any booboos and does it so much he's an expert. We'll stop him if there's every anything too dangerous ... and I have a feeling that won't be too long from now! :)

This evening we're eating with Eric and Robin, and three new RLC couples at Valentino's ... mmmm ... Italian buffet! :) Then I'm off to the RLC women's Bible Study at Diane's!

We Love You!

Always give thanks for everything to our God and Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

Thanksgiving Countdown:
11 Days we Leave
14 Days we Eat Turkey

Sunday, November 7


I have the best husband in the world, i really really do. This morning he made waffles and coffee and it was just the most delicious breakfast ever!

Great news to report (in addition to the breakfast, of course!) Last night Hayden slept in his crib for the first time since vacation ... let me explain. This summer on vacation we brought the pack-n-play for him to sleep in for the week ... and our little restless sleeper slept better than he ever had before. This prompted us to continue using this dream of an invention even after we got home ... but we decided he couldn't sleep in it forever, so it was time to re-introduce him to his big-boy crib. The picture of Hayden's crib before he was born ... as you can tell, we've added many more things (toys) to the room in the last 14 months (toys)!

Tonight is a true celebration ... Real Life Church is having it's very first baptism service! Praise the Lord! What an enormous blessing and a life-changing experience that our church family will have the opportunity to come together for. We are especially excited because Lenny and Tami, close friends of ours and members of our small group will be getting baptized! We'll be sure to post pictures soon!

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they preached God's message with boldness.
Acts 4:31 NLT

We Love You!

Thanksgiving Countdown:
16 Days we leave for Indiana
18 Days until Thanksgiving

Friday, November 5


As promised, here are the pictures of our brave paintballer David from last Saturday's RLC youth event.

What a stud he is! Do I have the most handsome and brave husband or what? (the answer is YES, I do!)! :)

Back away, ladies ... this one is mine! :) Here is David after a long morning of paintball ... andjust after he's was hit on the forehead by Megan. Whoopsie! :)

Hayden's fever finally went down and is gone now. The remainder of the week has been much more pleasant, and he actually got to wear his winter coat for the very first time yesterday ... it was chilly out, so during our daily stroll, Hayden had a little more cushion ... but definitely kept warm! Hayden is holding the leaf that he picked out from a pile of them ... and held onto it until naptime later in the afternoon. He's so precious! :)

Today David had a half day of work and got to spend the afternoon with Pastor Eric looking at possible building sites. (EXCITING)! I finally got called to sub for Riley County High School, and spent the day filling in for Mr. Renk, the English/Media teacher ... I had only seniors, and they were suprisingly well behaved and fun to hang out with ... much different the sixth and eigth graders I'm used to! :)

Tonight we're off to the Neely's for a game night with our small group. Tomorrow David and Hayden get some father-son time while I'm consumed by my research paper that has been a part of my life all semester ... I cannot wait to finish! :)

We Love You!

Your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to me.
2 Samuel 7:28 NLT

"The only way to provide the right home for your children is to put the Lord above them, and fully instruct them in the ways of the Lord. You are responsible before God for the home you provide for them." Billy Graham

Tuesday, November 2

Did you Vote?

Good morning! I am happy to say that David and I voted this morning ... he at 8 am on his way to work, and Hayden and I a little later after dropping some things off at M.O.P.S. The lines were long ... how exciting! It's so awesome to know that communities are taking an active role in doing what they can to influence their city ... their county ... their state ... their nation! (GO BUSH) While waiting in line Hayden and I met a great young couple who just moved here from California. They have two young children, ages 4 and 15 months, and I got to talk about all kinds of things ... including Real Life Church! I was so thankful for the opportunity to share with them, and pray that God will bring us together again soon! :)

This weekend was such a wonderful time of relaxation and fun! Friday David got off work early and got to hang out with "Little Brother" Derron, then we had our weekly "Family Night" complete with a Papa Murphy's Hawiian pizza and TGIF on ABC (my choice ... next time David gets to rent a movie). Saturday morning David went to a paintball tournament with the RLC youth, and Sunday after a morning stroll we got to see Grandma, Grandpa Kerby and Uncle Pete! They came down for a few hours and brought treats and hugs ... Hayden was excited to see them and show them his chair ... his hats ... his basketball ... and so much more. He spent the rest of the time on Grandma Kerby's lap cuddling. Uncle Pete brought wooden cut-outs of Hayden's name that we thought he had bought someplace ... but he had MADE them in woodshop at school ... unbelievable! I'm going to take pictures of them because he is just amazing and you've got to see how perfect they are! We were happy to see them and get to visit with them again soon because there's a Buttons and Bows Craft fair that we'll be going to soon ... and I'm trying to talk them into spending a few nights down here! :)

Monday afternoon Hayden got a fever ... it went up to 104 degrees before degressing, so it was a late night for all of us. Thankfully today he is doing better, although still very tired. Tonight we have our launch team meeting and are excited about seeing new faces after a Sunday service with several visitors! Lonnie, the church planting "coach" will sharing some insight, affirmation, and suggestions! :)

Well, I think that's all the rambling I have for a little bit!
We Love You!

You saw me before I was bo rn and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!
Psalm 139:16 TLB
(How often we run ahead of His leading ... Let us trust Him completely and realize that in the midst of all the events of this day, He is working out His will for our lives)!

Monday, November 1

G-pa Kinnan Update

Grandpa is home and healing. If you took a moment to pray, thank you. We'll get to see him in about 3 weeks when the entire Kinnan family and all it's branches get together in Marion, Indiana for a Thanksgiving Holiday Reunion!

Friday, October 29

Hayden's Favorite Things ...

Hayden Thomas
Toddlers are funny people ... they can be more assertive and decisive than many adults (me) :) and have a way of letting everyone know how they feel. Hayden has been such a joy in his 14 months of life ... and it has been so exciting learning all of these precious things about him as he begins to find distinct likes and dislikes, and even funny habits. Let me explain ...

Daddy leaves every weekday morning at around 8 o'clock, and nearly every morning at the same time, Hayden and Abby are at the door seeing him off ... and stay there for several minutes later waving ...

You may notice that Hayden is only in a diaper ... well, he does have clothes, but has become "a' natural" in his dressing preference, and makes it very clear. When mommy doesn't have school, he can get away with it until his naptime or when we run errands. I'm just thankful he doesn't pull his diaper off anymore (yes, he used to pull off his diaper ... aaahhh). HaHa.

Hayden is also learning about all of the fun ways his flexible little body moves. This is one of his most recent discoveries ... upside down. He usually does this and waits for us to come help him somersault, but often times just likes to "hang out" like this for awhile.

Another of Hayden's most prized possessions is a chair that belonged to my great-grandmother. It's a darling little chair that she gave me before she passed away, and I keep it in the kitchen. Hayden, however, has found better places for it ... and carries it around to whatever room he is in. He watches tv on it, he sits in the office with it, and he brings it back into the kitchen when I'm cooking. He has finally figured out how to get into it ... and never let's it out of his sight! :)

Real Life Church Women
The women of Real Life Church came together at Diane's house last night for our very first Bible Study! We met for nearly 3 hours and it was a wonderful time of fellowship, study, prayer, and dessert! I'm so thankful for the blessing of the strong women God has blessed me with throughout my lifetime; my mother and mother-in-law, my sisters, my grandmothers, and am especially grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow and share with the women of Real Life Church. Last night we studied scripture from I and II Timothy and Titus concerning the role of the women in the community and church, and looked at the necessity for women to fellowship and serve others. It was truly an answer to prayers to finally meet! We'll begin getting together every other Thursday ... I'm so excited!

On Monday evening we'll be at Crestview Community Church, where church members throughout the area will be lifting up the Tuesday elections in prayer. We encourage you to vote
if you are able, and to remember to keep both the elections and the candidates in your prayers.

We Love You!

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.
I Corinthians 2:9 NLV

Tuesday, October 26


Grandpa Kinnan had surgery this morning, and while in recovery, he started having chest pains. He has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit. Please pray for our grandpa.

We'll keep you all up-to-date.

Monday, October 25


There has been a lot of sneezing ... coughing ... and Kleenex's going around the Kinnan house for the last few days. Hayden got his flu shot a week ago tonight, and it has been downhill ever since ... he and I have both been feeling pretty crummy lately, but with no fevers and David not catching it ... it's much better than it could be!

Church was so uplifting last night! About half of the launch team is in Colorado for a prayer retreat, but the rest of us, including several newcomers (YIPEE!) enjoyed a service full of beautiful musical worship, and time devoted to group-discussions about the purpose of church through what is said in different passages of the Bible. It was extremely educational, plus, a wonderful time to get to know others even better ... community, community, community! :)

Today was a beautiful day, and we hope that yours was too! I want to share a passage that I came across this morning ...

Your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to me. 2 Samuel 7:28 NLT

My devotional book elaborated on this passage through a parent's perspective, saying that the ONLY way to provide the right home for your children is to put the Lord above them, and fully instruct them in the ways of the Lord. You are responsible before God for the home you provide for them.

We are so thankful for the precious blessing of Hayden that God has entrusted to us, and are confident in the knowledge that He has brought our family together and through His wisdom and perfection, and our seeking to glorify Him in all that we do and all that we say and all the decisions that are made ... our family will be one with a foundation of Him ... and what could be better!? Our prayer today is that for those of you who are already experiencing the joys of parenting ... and those of you who will ... and even those who won't ... that God is and will forever be your source of comfort, of strength. of guidance, and so much more!

We Love You!

Sunday, October 24


For a second weekend in a row, we journied to the west for a weekend with my parents. I must say, it was relaxing. We just vegged on Friday night...Katy went shopping with Heather (my sister) and they came back with one of everything from Old Navy. I have a completely new wardrobe with "Old Navy" plastered all over it.

I played in a golf tourney on Saturday put on by BreakPointe Community Church while Katy hung out with Mom. I think they went back to Old Navy...unbelieveable.

Here's a random pic of Hayden and his disgust with "the gate" that was placed between he and the stairs.

So, why is this post entitled shocking? Well, Katy and I attended BreakPointe Community Church this morning. The message series was just kicking off with "COMMUNITY" being the topic. As an illustration, the pastor (my pops) ordered two pizzas to be delivered during the service. Now, you might say..."I've seen this done before, this is old school stuff." Well, when the dude arrived...he got tipped...a $550 tip to be exact. Say what? I'm not serious? I'll expose the entire picture: the previous week, the pastor (my pops) asked the congregation to give generously in order help meet someone's need...this was a special offering. The congregation shows up today...listening about community...learning about the dynamics of community. The pizza dude shows up and he gets the tip. The guy leaves...and all of a sudden...everyone feels united. Get where I'm going? Everyone felt they'd come together for a special cool is that! Nice illustration. Community must have purpose and trust. The pizza company showed trust. The church lived out purpose...bringing about community!

Dad had called the pizza joint beforehand to set the whole thing up. He asked them if they'd be willing to send out a delivery person who was in a lot of financial need. He got turned down by Pizza Hut and Papa John's...but...Domino's took the challenge! In fact, they made sure the guy's fiancee (who just gave birth 6 months ago) was there! He's working two jobs desperately trying to make ends meet. They was awesome!

The main purpose of this "tipping event" was to serve as a precursor to their EXTREME CHRISTMAS Sunday in December. On that Sunday, "more giveaways bigger than this" will be handed out to those in big need.

Hmmm...the church meeting the needs of it's people by using the resources of its people. Does that sound like the early Acts church? I think so...

That was our weekend.


Friday, October 22

What a Week!

Hayden has many "favorite" things that he likes to do, and one of them is to go into the main bathroom and take EVERYTHING out of the drawers. They're just two of the few drawers in the house we haven't baby-proofed, and just for that reason. He loves doing it, and it keeps him entertained for quite awhile! This picture shows me catching him in the act! HaHa!

What a week it has been! I forgot to mention that on Sunday evening after our wonderful church service (in which we had many visitiors ... and 15 kids in the nursery!), Tami and I hosted a baby shower for the Neely's and the McFall's. It was a blast ... with lots of cake ... yummy!

Tuesday my birthday began with BREAKFAST from my wonderful husband with my favorite ... toast and coffee! David had indulged me the night before and gave me a Hobby Lobby gift card (he knows me too well!), and in the morning ... a beautiful pink sweater wrap (which showed his love for me ... because it could be considered by most guys to be totally impractical, but David knew how much I loved it)! Like I had mentioned in an earlier blog, he was in Paxico for training, so Hayden and I went to M.O.P.S. at Westview, and then I had observations at Anthony Middle School David finished early, so we got some errands done and spent some quality family time together.

Tuesday evening we had our meeting and were encouraged by the reactions and contacts we have gotten from the community! We have been calling people who have shown interest and would like more information, and God is really encouraging us through the process! We ended with prayer for Scott, Kodee, and Josie McFall for the upcoming birth of their new baby girl/little sister! Kodee went in for a C-section this morning at 5:30am ... we're going in after lunch when David gets off, so we'll tell you all about the precious new life as soon as we can!

Last night (Thursday) Becky and Tami came over and surprised me with a "Girls Night Out" for my birthday! David was in on the whole thing ... I thought I was just going to Target with Becky to help pick out a stroller, but instead the two girls came over and we went to Carlos O'Kelly's (AND SHOPPING!) while the guys went to Willie's to watch the baseball game ... Alli and Hayden stayed home with a pre-arranged sitter ... what a perfect evening and what thoughtful and wonderful friends God has blessed us with!

This weekend we're heading to KC again ... David is participating in a golf tournament and Stacey, one of my friends from high school is getting married on Saturday, so I'll be heading to A-town for that!

A wonderful and familiar verse I came across this morning ...
Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people. Matthew 4:19 NLT

Wherever we go, it is a mission field for our Lord. I pray that He presses this on our hearts to make us conscious of this always, so that in every circumstance and with every person we come into contact with we may be prepared and excited to tell others of His joyous message!

God Bless You!

Tuesday, October 19

Goin' to Kansas City ...

It's been awhile since we've last blogged ... so let me fill you in on our busy weekend and our exciting week to come!

On Friday we left for Kansas City right after David got off work ... we were as anxious as ever to get there, because we haven't been for months! This was Abby's first road-trip, and she was such a good girl ... she sat on her little towel next to Hayden and he pet her and made her feel safe. :)

Cousins Ailee and Hayden were reunited and it was like they'd never been apart ... they immediately started playing, chasing one another throughout the house ... you could definitely tell that Ailee was excited she had a new walking buddy ... and Hayden was just happy that he could keep up with her now!

Hayden was enamored with the metal cylinder "thingie" (scientific term) that turns the fireplace on and off at Grandma and Grandpa Kinnan's ... in this picture he's showing Grandma that if you take it out ... you can put it back in ... one new thing about Hayden ... he is obsessed with those toy blocks that you fit through the holes ... so this kept him busy for hours!

Hayden also got to hang-out with Grandpa Kinnan ... and showed him his new-found trick ... pointing ... it has replaced the whining (well, almost replaced) when he wants something ... here I think he's pointing to the car keys ... maybe wants to take Grandpa's car out for a spin!

Friday night Grandma and Grandpa babysat while David and I went to "Late Night with Bill Self" in Lawrence. The fieldhouse was absolutely packed, and we had a blast! David will elaborate on his thoughts for the upcoming Jayhawk season ... although I was raised a Jayhawker, David is the biggest fan I've EVER seen! :)

Grandma and Grandpa got to watch Hayden Saturday evening for a little bit when David surprised me with an early birthday supper at the Cheesecake Factory! He relieved me from drowning in my schoolwork for an evening of food ... shopping ... food ... cheesecake ... and precious time with the man of my dreams! :) He is so thoughtful and such a gentleman, and we had the perfect evening! For supper we shared an entree ... saving room for cheesecake, of course! He had a brownie sundae cheesecake and I had the tiramisu ... it was heavenly ... delicious ... mmmmmmmmmm, cheesecake!

Gotta go to M.O.P.S. (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) at Westview soon ... then to Anthony Middle School for observations. David is in Paxico (east of Manhattan on I-70) for training all day.

We'll write more later!
Love and God Bless!