Friday, December 31, 2010

Next Leg of our Journey

On New Year's Eve we fly to Chicago for the next month of visiting supporters and speaking at our churches in the midwest. Our trip will start off in Milwaukee this weekend to attend the wedding of 2 of our SIM Sudan teammates who are getting married. Then from Jan.3-8 we're gathering Eli's siblings in Muskegon MI to enjoy a few days together. From Muskegon, we'll drive to Naperville IL and hopefully set up "camp" there as it is a central location. Please pray for all our travel, for good health, and for our boys to endure all the change well. Thank you!

Christmas in Washington

Christmas Eve lasagne dinner at our cabin in Auburn, WA

On Christmas morning Bethany's parents and brother, Stan, came over to open stockings and presents and have fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Josh was very interested in the bubbles in his stocking.

Isaac got new socks

Josh is super excited Aunt Audrey bought him just the trucks he wanted!

After we opened all the presents, Isaac had fun burying himself in all the wrapping paper.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Visiting Gramie after 4 years

Gramie turned 86!
Mom helped Gramie blow her candles out.
This afternoon was a precious memory I will always remember and hold dear. I hadn't seen Gramie in four years and while we were away my grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. She has moved into a lovely home with several other elderly women and caretakers. It was so neat to hear how well they take care of her - they paint her fingernails, do her makeup and hair every day, and the home is beautiful.
I was prepared for the worst, that Gramie might not recognize me and even ignore me. Instead, when we arrived she recognized my mom and dad right away and you could see in her face that she knew who they were. And each time we told her we loved her, she replied with, "I love you too."
My dad's sister and brother and their spouses came too. We ate birthday cake, drank sparkling cider, and helped Gramie open a few simple gifts. I was immensely thankful that Gramie had such a good day that she could recognize us and enjoy the company. I'm realizing that things change while we're away and life speeds along, but it makes those moments when we're together, so happy and unforgettable.

This Year's Christmas

We've been "on the road" for almost a month now. Our travels have reunited us with many special people and we have been so encouraged every time we get to share about what God is doing in Sudan. We are currently in Auburn, WA living in a lovely cabin on a lake. Bethany's parents, Skip and Ruth Sorensen, and her brother Stan, are only a 10 minute drive away and we get to spend Christmas with them this year.
Though we're not home, we've been doing little things to enjoy the good ol' American Christmas traditions. The boys did a great job decorating our tree and picking out their Christmas stockings - which we will take back to Sudan with us.
My joy this Christmas season is the fact that no matter where we are or how we will celebrate our Christmas, the REASON never changes and we're rejoicing in the same fact: that on Christmas day long, long ago God sent the Savior of the World, MY Savior, to earth. What love! And what hope we now have.

As many of you gather with family and friends this Christmas, our prayer is that Christ's love and hope will be central in your hearts and families. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Yellow Ferrari

We have just come from enjoying the very meaningful wedding of Audrey (Bethany's sister) and David Milburn. We spent a week being blessed with food, drink and fellowship. I especially enjoyed the ceremony of the wedding which was rich with love and committment. But I digress.

We were in John Wayne Airport which serves the Laguna Beach area and heading up to Seattle, Washington. Laguna Beach is a beautiful and expensive place to live and so the airport serves many well-to-do individuals. The boys and I had come through security and then headed to the bathrooms for the last important pitstop before boarding the plane.
The loudspeaker came on and said, "Would the person who left their yellow ferrari at the security point please come immediately".
This message repeated itself a couple times and I thought, "Man, only in this airport would a person leave their yellow ferrari unattended". The boys and I finished in the bathroom and as we walked out, there was a security lady waiting there for me.
She said, "Sir, can you please come with me?"

"Uh, what is this about?" I asked

"Its about your car. Did you hear the announcements?" She replied.

"Uh, yea. But I don't have a yellow Ferrari." I said, thinking of the many other things I would spend money on besides that.

""Sir, please just come with me." The security lady was quite insistent.

I followed her to the security desk where she then leaned over the counter and picked up a small toy...yes, it was a yellow Ferrari. She laughed and handed it to me and explained that Evan had dropped it as we had come through the screening procedures and we had slipped into the men's bathroom before she could call us back to pick it up. She decided to use the PA system to lighten our day a little and get our Ferrari back to us. Thank you TSA.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

David and Audrey's Wedding

To see more pictures of the wedding and our time in Laguna Beach, CA check out our picture albums on Facebook on Bethany's page.
Yesterday was my little sister's wedding. It was the day I've been praying for and dreaming about for years. I am so so thankful that Audrey and her new husband David get to experience the joy of being married. Everything about this week leading up to the wedding was perfect. We've enjoyed getting to know the Milburn family and helping Audrey get ready for her wedding. The wedding ceremony was beautiful and meaningful with no mistakes and the reception following was a fun joyful occasion.
Dad walked Audrey down the aisle.
Isaac, Evan and Joshua were the ringbearers. As you can see they were all very shy but they did a great job and looked so adorable in their outfits. They sure had the whole crowd charmed.

Eli and I both later commented that we felt like we had renewed our wedding vows as we witnessed David and Audrey say their vows to each other. 8 years of marriage and it just keeps getting better!

Mr. and Mrs. Milburn share their first dance.

Cutting the cake
Now the couple is off on their honeymoon. We're going to stick around Laguna Beach and enjoy the ocean for a few more days and go to Disneyland on Monday. Then on Tuesday we're off to Seattle for the rest of the month.