Monday, November 29
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!
Always give thanks for everything to our God and Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Saturday, November 20
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 now...so 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
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!
Wednesday, November 17
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 wanting...how 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.
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.
Saturday, November 13
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. :)
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
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
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!
18 Days until Thanksgiving
Friday, November 5
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
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)!