Friday, December 26


::December 26::

We had a wonderful day of celebrating Jesus' birth ... we woke up early and had a great breakfast, then talked about all that Christmas really means. Later, we opened presents and spent the day relaxing together. We hope you had a very special day too!

Hayden got Legos and a Djembe drum from mommy and daddy ...

Ellie got to know an "old friend" that Pastor Eric and Robin gave to her before she was born ... and found a zebra from Noah's Ark.

One thing we didn't plan for was David and Ellie being sick ... both spent a lot of time in bed, and we're praying that they feel better fast!

Wednesday, December 24

Merry Christmas Eve!

::December 24::

After yummy "heavy h'ordurves" with the Slack's, we went to our Christmas Eve service. It was wonderful to see so many people celebrating the birth of Jesus!

We spent much of the late evening getting breakfast ready for tomorrow morning, and also continued a family tradition of opening one gift; pajamas! Hayden loved his guitar pj pants, and Ellie was enamored by her stripes!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22


::December 22::

Uncle Pete officially made Hayden's year this morning ... I've never, ever seen a box this big come in the mail!

Hayden wanted us to take a picture as soon as we could so that Pete could see it!


where has time gone?

:: December 21::

Our precious little Ellie is six months and one week tomorrow ... unbelievable! We are savoring each and every moment with our little blessings and wanting time to slow down ... seriously!



Our Wise (Little) Man

::December 21::

What a great day we've had! Today after our worship gatherings, we celebrated the season with our staff Christmas party ... it was a blast, and there was great food and fun with a white-elephant gift exchange and lots of laughter; there is never a time when we are together that we don't laugh hysterically ... we are so thankful for the incredible people we serve with!

After an hour-and a half pause, we returned to the church to get ready for our Christmas program, "While Bethlehem Slept" and it was such a great program with the kiddos making it interesting and hilarious ... from camels running all over to a shepherd standing on his head, they were adorable!

Hayden played a wise man with buddies Jakoby and Christian. He was so excited that he was given lines because he's a "big guy," and practiced them all week ... "We've traveled from the West, through the desert wild, we bring our very best, for the baby child."

Saturday, December 20

the JOY and the CHEER

::December 20::

This Christmas season has been such a wonderful time for us! This is Ellie's first and Hayden's fifth holiday season, and he has begun to grasp the true meaning and really gets excited about celebrating that!

During this first Christmas "on our own," hours away from family, we've also started to create some of our own family traditions ... things that we will commit to for years and years and years to come to help us all focus on why we really make a big deal out of this time of year - the birth of Christ. We are committing to sharing His love with others rather than focusing on ourselves. Although not terribly easy with a five year-old who, for the first year ever, has an actual "wish list," we are going full steam ahead, and he'll certainly get some gifts ... we just don't want that to be his only view of this season. From Charity Water and "random acts of CHRISTmas," hopefully the cheesy "tis better to give than to receive" is resonating with our little guy!

Hayden had his FIRST EVER Christmas Program this year at school ... though I brought the camera bag, there was no camera in it, and the camcorder battery died minutes before the starting time. While I wait for pictures from a fellow mom, I'll post this one ... they did an encore presentation during chapel on Friday!

Our Children's Ministry, KID'S ROCK had a Birthday Party for Jesus last night! It was a blast, and "Dr. Juggles" even made an appearance! Hayden was enamored by the fire-sticks, knives, and even basketballs (his personal favorite) that were juggled!

A special moment today ... what a sweet pair! Ellie is growing so fast - she loves her feet and just had her six month check-up, and according to her doctor (AND US!) she is perfect! She really likes to eat, chew on anything, and snuggle! She's also started sleeping on her tummy!

We're gearing up for the Christmas Program at our church, which is tomorrow night! We've been going over our lines and cannot wait!

Saturday, December 13

We're the Kinnan's, What's Your Name?

Time has been moving faster than Hayden through the toy aisles at Target. :-0

We have had a busy month ... happy, sad, mad, excited, thankful, silly, quiet, loud ... we've enjoyed (or at least lived through) all of those emotions and more and continue to praise God each and every day for it all! We continue to be blessed with new friendships and opportunities to serve Him, and our church family has become just that ... it's hard to believe that we have been here for six months and it feels like it's always been home. Our hearts and days are full of learning and spending time with others, and watching in awe as God moves. I am humbled by the gifts that my husband has been blessed with, and so thankful that he uses them with such obedience and humility. I'm head over heels and constantly scratching my head about how in the world I ended up with such a great guy!

Hayden absolutely loves his school and teachers ... it's been so great to watch him grow before our very eyes. He's learning so much and even asks for homework at home to practice letters! He loves to drive cars on the kitchen counter and enjoys building garages for them out of Lego's and Lincoln logs (uncle Kurt came to visit and gave mommy a break from all of the driving). He's also quite the musician, and uses everything from pots and pans to empty formula containers for drums, but is asking for a Djembe drum for Christmas so he can play on the worship team at church on Saturday evenings with his buddy Maurine.

Ellie continues to grow and change every day. Her current favorite things are her feet, anything that can be chewed, and music ... and of course, her big brother. She will be mute until he's around, and will talk and talk to him; it's adorable and I hope that this doesn't fade when the junior high years come knocking! She will be six months old on Monday and although growing, still seems so much more light and petite compared to big brother when he was her age. It's amazing the differences between boys and girls! She loves bananas and sweet peas and can nearly eat an entire jar of baby food at one sitting - her newest "toy" is her jumper, though she focuses more on chewing it than jumping in it. :-0

Reason #10 Billion that we love this place: Storybook Island at Christmas! We had 56-degree weather last weekend and went with some friends to this beautiful park that is elaborately decorated during the Christmas season for the young and young at heart ... it was amazing, and a very special time!

Dearest Sarah ... do you remember our first Beth Moore study summer's ago at Real Life? It was the week before we headed to New Orleans, and you brought the most delicious biscotti ... I was inspired then to make some and finally got around to it today, with the other Christmas baking, and I think I'd make you proud. I'm hoping that it's supposed to be as hard as a rock, and cannot wait to enjoy it with a cup of coffee tomorrow morning ... or maybe cups of coffee! :-0

My pillow is calling me ... it's late ... I'll write more later!

Thursday, November 13

I USED to be a Neat Freak!

Winter is definitely here, and I have decided that playing in the snow and getting all muddy is much more fun than cleaning it up! I have thought about what I could do to keep the floor clean after we've frozen to the point of losing limbs ... leaving shoes at the door, etc ... but am now determined to not be a mommy that screams "NOOOOOO" at the sight of mud hitting floor. We can clean it up together at the end of the day or let it wait ... there'll be more fun to be had outside tomorrow, why not leave it until then?

Don't get me wrong, I'll make sure shoes are off at other's houses, but we're (I'm) going to step away from the Lysol wipes and enjoy it all, even the mud!

Tuesday, November 4

YOU should read this ...

Today I drove the very less-than interesting journey from beautiful Rapid City to Sioux Falls ... I listened to the book on cd ... it's so interesting and made me think a lot, and I think that no matter who you are or what you believe, this is a book that will encourage thoughts that need to be pondered and dialogue that needs to be spooken ... here is an excerpt from the introduction ...

"God's politics is never ideological, but always intends to benefit human well-being. In particular, God reminds us of our obligations to the persons we often neglect: the poor, the vulnerable, and those otherwise on the margins. God's politics challenges both the political Left and the political Right to offer a new vision of faith and politics, a vision more in line with God's intentions and the common good."

Saturday, November 1


Hayden has become obsessed recently with how to spell nearly every word in his vocabulary ... so the other evening we played a little scrabble, and after "car" and "cat" and "dog" and "house" and "policeman" we ended up with those he called "his favorite words" ...

Book 'em, Danno!

Our little man wanted nothing more than to be a policeman like Uncle Pete! He had a great time at our Reverse Trick-or-Treat event at church, especially with his best pals!

We had a great dinner, a visit with the residents at the nearby nursing home, a hayrack ride, and lots of fun activities like the bounce house, pumpkin carving, and even bobbing for apples! The candy was definitely the winner of the night, though!

Our little bunny was not thrilled with her outfit but was a good sport! She was passed around and snuggled most of the evening and was very excited to have the attention! Mommy was the scariest one there ... I attempted to have my hair standing up to be me before coffee, but since my hair wouldn't stick up I went for the velcro rollers ... obviously not a great deal of thought, but that's ok.

Some other fun and exciting people we got to share the fun with ...

Friday, October 31

L is for the way you LOOK at me ...

I am mushy ... cheesy ... the kind of person who secretly loves Valentine's Day and probably hugs people too much. I love, love ... I like to let people know how much they're loved. I'm probably pretty annoying for this (and other things too) but do it any way! I rarely speak to groups, but at a women's brunch in February I rambled on about the word ... how a word that represents so many deep emotions and actions is used so flippantly. "I LOVE that song." "I LOVE that top." "I LOVE that team." "I LOVE my family." "I LOVE the Lord." I know it's just a way to say that we really like something ... I do it all the time, but to use it so much about things of least importance takes so much away from the power of those that are the most important.

I LOVE my husband! He is such an incredible guy ... not just because of these lovely flowers that he brought home for no reason ... from the moment I met him my life changed, and daily I am reminded of how much he means to me ... I have learned from him, I laugh with him, I've been frustrated with him, and go to bed and wake up thanking God for him. He is one of those people that is totally annoying because when life throws him something terrible he makes the most of it ... looking for the good and always ... ALWAYS determines to be open to what the Lord will teach him. I love him because I know that we can be anywhere at any time and when our eyes meet he knows exactly what I am thinking. l love that he doesn't get completely terrified when I drive even though I'm terrible. I love that he is silly and lets me be too. I love that he is the kind of father that is a part of his kids' daily lives and sacrifices so much for his family. I love my husband for all of that and endless more.

I LOVE my babies! I have thanked God for them ... prayed for them ... loved them with a love I cannot understand since before they were born. I love that they are each so different but so much of the same ... Hayden's favorite things are fast cars, playing his music "super loud" and "jamming" with his guitar, and talking to his sister while Ellie prefers to be cuddled, likes to talk, and is always happier when big brother is around. I love that we have the privilege of teaching them about the Lord and how even though mommy and daddy love them SO MUCH, God loves them EVEN MORE! My precious little guy and my sweet baby girl ...

Sunday, October 26

Here's Me. What About You?

I ... got this from my friend Sarah's blog.

I am: blogging and looking at usatoday and to wind down after a long evening of homework
I want: to be a good mommy, a good wife, a principal (?) and several pounds lighter
I have: so many blessings that I thank God for every day!
I wish: there were no people in need ...
I hate: laundry ... specifically rolling socks
I fear: that I am running too fast and missing out ...
I hear: IRONMAN ... David is watching it
I search: for quiet places and my cell phone - I always lose it!
I wonder: what my children will grow up to be
I always: tell my David and babies how much I love them
I usually: sneeze like an old man
I am not: taller than 5'4", though I had been holding out hope for a long time
I dance: each and every day with Hayden to his favorite songs
I sing: loudly and often ... and with a little guy asking me to stop so he can hear the song :-)
I never: have been able to keep plants alive!
I rarely: spend time with girlfriends ... I'm getting better, though!
I cry: the most when I am tired or worn out ... or when I watch a sappy movie ...
I am not always: patient
I lose: my mind in Wal-Mart
I’m confused: about the chaos of the world/how people can be so divided and hateful but calling for peace
I need: sandy beaches
I should: get up earlier
I dream: about spending the rest of my life with my handsome husband and sweet kiddos

whew ...

What do S'Mores ... Floating Floors ... Hurricane Winds ... Pirates and Rolling Babies have in common? They were all a part of our very eventful weekend!

We had fun with friends at the Kid's Connection S'More's party. We kept warm by the fire and roasted marshmallows ... Hayden ran around with Josiah, Aley, and Wilson ... Ellie and Lars snuggled with mommies, and we all went home smelling of smoke with thoughts of s'mores dancing in our heads. A delicious idea from our dear Christine ... try strawberry marshmallows ... it's like having chocolate covered strawberries over the campfire! Yum!

The Fire-Man

Hayden Proudly showing his S'More

Saturday: Saturday we were back at the church, only this time at the office for a work day. The flood in May that ruined the basement carpeting/office space right before we came was ready to be made new again, with beautiful wood flooring and furniture!

Basement Before
(South Wall)

Basement After (Northwest Wall)


I have never been through a hurricane, but the winds in Rapid City today must be close. Our neighbors metal-frame canoe was in the pasture behind our houses with the cows this morning, and our rocking chairs were clinging to life hanging over our front porch.

The GREAT NEWS is that the sun is still shining in the midst of the chaos and 39-degree temps.

You know that you're supposed to be somewhere when your 5-year old is in tears on the way to the car after church because he thinks he'll fly away, but he gets into the car and says "Mommy, this place is super cool!" God is so good to remind us through our little guy that through every storm (even wind storm) and sunny day He is with us and is taking care of us. You know you love a place when despite it literally knocking you over, you're excited to call it home! David actually went golfing in the windy mess with his pal Dale ... it's a Sunday afternoon tradition, and apparently no wind can come in between a man and his golf game! :-)

Also ... there's tumbleweed here - lots of it ... it's not just in Kansas ... another fun treat for us.

Hayden went to the movies today with his buddy Kayla. They watched the Veggie Tales PIRATE movie at a theater downtown that has older movies for very cheap. It's great for them because they're both quite independent and seem to suit one another well. He has been talking about it for weeks and when I went to pick him up from their house, I had fun talking to her mommy and the kiddos had a hoot running all over playing - no screaming, no arguing, nothing but squeals of fun and the noise of the "bbq grill" where Hayden was making everyone bacon. Yummy! Haha!

In other exciting news ... our little girl has now been dubbed "rolley-polley!" She's going back and forth and clinging to teething toys like her mommy to coffee! :-) She'll be 18 weeks tomorrow and what a fast four and a half months it's been!

mmmm ...

Ellie LOVES to sit up and talk to her big brother!

That's about it. Whew! We need a nap!

Thursday, October 23


Our dear friends Jody and Steph just had their third little one ... a baby girl named Lily! We weren't there for most of the pregnancy, but have been praying earnestly.

We love you guys and will continue praying for health and rest for your family and cannot wait to see her!

David, Katy, Hayden, and Ellie

Tuesday, October 21


hayden was born on august 26, 2003.

ellie was born on june 23, 2008.

we realized that their bday's share the same "numbers."

another random, useless bit of info. we think it's kind of cool.

Monday, October 20

remedy drive

remedy drive came to fountain springs community church this saturday night for a concert after our COLLIDE service, and they led worship at all three services. they are best known right now for their song "daylight" but have so many incredible songs and a very exciting future for sure!

A very gifted friend, Jamie created this for the event ... wow!

find them on youtube ...

so, in an unrelated story ... christine might have bought a mullet wig that todd might use for announcements from time to time, and hayden may have put it on to see what all the fuss was about. nashville, here we come!

Sunday, October 19

Spearfish Canyon

This beautiful place is just a short drive from our house ... we took advantage of the GORGEOUS weather yesterday morning for a visit!