Monday, December 28, 2009

Birthday Celebrations and a Vacation Getaway

With Rachel's and Benjamin's birthdays both being the week before Christmas, we decided to take week-long family vacation that entire week. Half of it was spent at Great Wolf Lodge, riding waterslides and enjoying lots of together time as a family.

They have story time in the lobby each night before bedtime and this time of year, even make it snow INSIDE!

Then on Benjamin's birthday morning at breakfast, the waiters and waitresses sang to both kids and brought them rich chocolate cupcakes for BREAKFAST! (Talk about a sugar high!)

We love Great Wolf Lodge and the fun it provides us as a family. The price is not bad because it's all-inclusive for the waterpark (where we spend most of our time anyway). When you go in the middle of the week, the lodge is full of families with small children or homeschooling families. If you have one close to you, we highly suggest it!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gameworks Gift Cards

We have $35 worth of Gameworks gift cards that expire on Thursday that we are not able to use. Gameworks is located in downtown Seattle. One gift card is for $25 of game play only and the other $10 gift card is for food and beverage purchases only. If you and your family will be in Seattle with some extra time this week, let us know and we'll get these gift cards to you!

Kids Christmas Program

Here are some shots from the recent children's Christmas program at church. They did "Christmas Carol" published by Majesty Music, a play with songs mixed in according to the theme. Garth and I were the parents in the play so we don't have any pictures from the actual production, but here are some pictures from the kids practicing before the service.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oscar Meyer Weinermobile!

On the way home from church one Sunday morning we saw the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile parked at a hotel. We were so excited and just happened to have the camera with us, so we turned around for some pictures!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Family Portraits at George Washington Inn

It was great to see my entire family this month and celebrate Christmas together. We took advantage of the time for Garth to get individual family photographs as well as some of all of us together. It's fun to look back and compare it to the last shot we had together (about 4 years ago). Here are some of the pictures of my family!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday, Benjamin Jacob!

Happy birthday, son! Again, it's hard to believe that you are already five years old. You have much passion about life and God will use that energy for Him if you allow Him to. You are a delight to our hearts and bring smiles each and every day.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday, Rachel Mikaela!

Happy birthday to our sweet girl, Rachel Mikaela! It's hard to believe that two years ago we were bringing you home from the hospital in a blizzard. We love you and are blessed because you are in our family.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2009 Gingerbread House

We enjoyed decorating our annual gingerbread house this week. I buy them on clearance after Christmas one year and then we decorate them the next (since we don't eat them, it doesn't matter if they're old!). All the kids helped and we were excited to see how well it turned out.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

130 Days and Counting

With only 130(ish) days left until we meet our sweet baby, we enjoyed a 40 minute ultrasound today and watched him/her cartwheel all over the place. Just whenever the tech got that wand in the right place to do the measurements, the baby would roll right over or put a hand/foot in a strategic location. Perhaps our nickname for this unborn child should be "Booger"! The tech was extremely thorough, measuring the head and leg and arm bones. We watched the four chambers of the heart beating and even got to see some hiccups! Here are some pictures:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Decorating for Christmas!

Decorating our home for Christmas is one of our favorite times in the year as a family. The kids love to look at each and every ornament as they place them on the tree. Then with each different home we've had over the years, it's fun to decide where to put everything we have in our storage bins. We rarely add new things, but it's fun to redecorate with "old stuff" (and cheaper too!). This is our last year with this fake tree in the's on its last legs. I'm rooting for a real tree next year! Enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Game Day!

Recently we had a super fun game day/afternoon/evening and I just wanted to share some pictures from that. With our smaller house (compared to P.L.), we can only have a few families over at a time, but that helps us get to know them better anyway! We hope to do something like this again in the near future.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Making Applesauce

I can't turn away free apples, so the kids and I worked hard on Monday and made (and canned) 26 quarts! This was my first attempt at canning solo and it went very well. Success to me means all jars sealed which they did. Now we can enjoy this yummy treat all year long!

Here's the step-by-step process from the day.

Step 1: Quarter apples and cook them until soft.

Step 2: Pour cooked apples into a food strainer (we used the Roma...a gift from my parents for Christmas this year).

Step 3: Process apples through the strainer. This removes the seeds, core, skin, etc. from the apples and purees the sauce to be smooth.

Step 4: Scoop the applesauce into jars.

Step 5: Place jars in canner and boil for 15 minutes.

Step 6: Let jars cool for 12-24 hours and they SHOULD all seal!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In the Footsteps of Paul

As the title suggests, this book is a pictorial trip through all the major regions covered by the Apostle Paul’s New Testament journeys. Photographed by Ken Duncan, author and photographer of Where Jesus Walked and The Passion, it boasts stunning photographs of absolutely breathtaking subject matter. Many of the pages have Scripture passages that refer to the specific area in which the picture was taken as well. The divisions of the book, appropriately entitled The Making of a Man, The Mission of a Man and The Destiny of a Man, clearly categories Paul’s life and work during his journeys.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will most definitely keep it for future reference. Not only is it inspirational to be able to tie visual detail to many of the familiar stories surrounding Paul’s life, but the quality of the photography is wonderful and serves as a different form of inspiration to someone, such as myself, who is pursuing that passion as well. It is not often that I take time to note the foreword of a book, but the one written here by John MacArthur is a beautiful introduction the treasury contained in this book. While a few of the pictures seemed a bit out of place, all in all the pictures – laced with appropriate Scripture passages – serve as a vivid medium to help understand and better visualize the very steps Paul may have taken during his journeys. I would definitely recommend this book highly to anyone.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Raena Truth

Raena Truth Henson was born this morning! We praise the Lord with Joseph and Kristi for her safe arrival.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Take Your Best Shot by Austin Gutwein

Note: This book review was done as part of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers program. For more information on this program, please click the widget at the side of my blog.

Austin Gutwein tells the story of how he began “Hoops of Hope” to help relieve AIDS victims in Africa. He explains how his dream and vision began, and how he brought it all to fruition, something that many thought a 9-year-old boy could never do. The book also explains more of what is happening in Africa to AIDS victims and what World Vision is doing to help the situation.

This book is one that can be easily read in one sitting or read over a period of time. It is designed for junior higher specifically in mind, but is appropriate for any age. There are several specific African children highlighted in the book and their specific situations are explained, which helps put things into perspective compared to our American culture. Each chapter also ends with a portion of Scripture to read and some questions to meditate on, which is helpful to make the book more impactful. Whether you are looking for a motivating story to inspire you to do something great or for just an encouraging story, showing what God can do, this is a great book!

Young Musician's Festival

On Saturday Sarah participated in her second Young Musician's Festival. She played two pieces, both of which had duets with them. She wanted me to play them with her which was lots of fun! I love the expression on her typical! ;-)