Gulu is coming!

The last few weeks have been about getting ready for our upcoming mission trip to Uganda.
My poor children have been dragged from here to there, but have been so sweet with the whole process!  Like doctor's visits and trips to Walgreens for prescriptions for Malaria, Cipro, and Typhoid tablets, and Hepatitis A and Yellow fever injections...
It is SO exciting to think about our trip and all that God is doing in Gulu and that we get to be apart of the story that God is writing for that community!  Thank you for all your love and support... 


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We REALLY try to hold off on Christmas decorating until after Thanksgiving, but once it has passed, all bets are off and we jump in with both feet!
Our house went from this:
to this:
We have little outings for things like this:
Eden and I lose our minds listening to Christmas music and we love seeing things like this when we are heading to stock up on our favorite cereals:
I have been working on things like Christmas cards and listening to one of our favorite holiday albums:
Kit pulled out our house lights this weekend:
I absolutely love this time of year, for all that it represents and for the reason that we celebrate it...
It really is my favorite!


"taking notes"

This last weekend started the first Sunday of Advent.  We talked about Hope and Jesus and read from Luke 2.  It was powerful and inspiring!  Ryder was next to me "taking notes" and here is what he gave me at the end of service:
1. Worship
2. Football plays...
He is pretty much the best ever!


The "Fairiest" in the Land...

So Eden has decided that she wants a fairy themed birthday. (These conversations start with her asking when her birthday is, what her dessert will be, who will be there, and then what we will decorate with...) All valid questions, and ALL appreciated by this "plan-ahead-mother"...
I think the whole thing started when she got this flower crown:
 She kept saying how she felt like a "fairy princess"...
As we have SLOWLY been getting ideas (to remind you, her birthday isn't until the end of February), I have been having fun on the little creative details that make the party a little more unique! We found this idea at the craft store: wooden mushrooms.
And then we found smaller pieces that I was able to glue together:
So after looking at pictures of fairy parties, we decided to go with the "traditional" red and white mushroom color combo...
We are so excited for how they came out!
They are already getting used in her pretend play with her princesses and fairies!


Thanksgiving 2016!

Last week was full of incredible family time, food, and connection and we are so thankful for the time that we had together.
Thanksgiving was kicked off this year with time at my Grandma Marie's on Wednesday the 23:
Then we headed up to Santa Maria to be with our family there...
 It was our first without Grandma... 
We really missed her...
The day was filled with REALLY tasty food, games, bocce, talking, laughing, shooting guns,
eating leftovers and just having so much fun being together!
 Did I mention that we got a new nephew?
Meet Aiden Christopher Rae:
 We were pretty darn smitten with this baby, who turned 1 week old on Thanksgiving...
After all the fun that we had in Santa Maria, we headed to Redlands to enjoy some time together:
Setting up a shooting range for new thanksgiving traditions...
An old favorite...
 Dinner of pasta and steak... Italians know how to throw down when it comes to eating and Thanksgiving is no exception!
We have been doing crackers since out trip to England when i was in junior high.
We all LOVE it!
 Especially wearing super fun crowns!  (Probably our dorkiest photo of the season, but it wouldn't be the holiday season if we didn't have it...❤︎)
 Poor man's with all Christmas themes:
 Getting help from Aunt Colie...
I came out of this week with so much joy in my heart...
How thankful we are for the family that we have and the community around us that we can be together for special occasions for special memories....❤︎