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!