"Enjoy the little things in life ~ one day you'll wake up and realize they were the big things"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Un-Birthday Sleep-over!

Christmas break is a great excuse for spending time with friends. The kids have enjoyed two sleepovers away from home already (once with friends and once at grandparents). Tonight, we're enjoying hosting a great big "un-birthday slumber party" with a houseful of friends. The fun began with 'open gym time' at the gymnastics center where Daniel's team practices . . . then we came back home for trampoline fun, American girls, Hot Wheels, Webkinz, Nerf wars, dress up, chasing each other around the house, watching Mythbusters and telling silly jokes at dinner. The evening has been fun! . . . an ice cream extravaganza is next! Our kids have great taste in friends, what a sweet bunch of buddies to play with!

Christmas 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

"Helping Ham" . . .

We enjoyed a family adventure this morning that the kids have dubbed "Helping Ham" (I think it's a play on Helping Hands . . . but I'm really not sure). It started out as "Operation Lunch", so we're still not sure if the new name is an improvement or not!

We turned our dining room table into an assembly line and packed about 20 paper sacks with sandwiches, clementines, Christmas cookies, pretzels, juice, Hershey kisses, Wendy's gift cards, and an encouraging note. Then we donned our Santa hats, prayed that God would guide us and set out to deliver them to the homeless in Denver. It's a very mild Christmas Eve in Denver, so (along with handing some out the car window at various intersections) we walked around in the park and handed out the rest. The bags ran out quickly and as we walked back to the car, there was happy chatter about how fun the morning had been, requests to repeat the event and talk of making it an annual tradition. Emily said "next time, we should do 200 bags!"

The kids are beside themselves with excitement that tomorrow is Christmas! They are singing with the "kids' choir" at the Christmas Eve service tonight (and Emily is greatly anticipating her solo!). I'm cutting this short, because a family ping pong tournament awaits!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our big Anna girl!

Since Thanksgiving, Anna has been eagerly counting down the days until her special outing with mom and dad (she finally reached the golden age of 4 1/2 where half birthday celebrations begin). Last Saturday, we got to enjoy a special time with our Lil' Miss Anna girl! (while our amazing Emily held down the fort at home)

We had lots of fun playing at Chuck-E-Cheese and having her beat us at her favorite card game, "Army" (known as War to the rest of the world!). Usually our outings involve a treat of some sort, too (like going to an ice cream shop). She voted, instead, for going to the store and picking up a cake to take home and share with everyone else. She's such a sweetie!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Daniel enjoyed his first gymnastics meet. That boy rocks on the rings! I don't think I have the upper body strength to do a single thing he did on just that one event, much less the coordination to do all the others. So far, it's been a good experience and he is enjoying it lots!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Silly kids

We spent Thanksgiving in the mountains with my sister and her family ~ we played lots of ping pong and foosball while we were there. After winning several games of ping pong against his cousin (Tommy) and his uncle (Chris), Daniel declared "I dominated the Murray men, now I just need to conquer the Murray women". My sister asked him if he was a conquistador . . . to which he replied "no, I'm a ping-pong-ador!"


I'm regularly reminding my kids that we need to "dwell together in unity" (and I often begin the sentence and let them fill in the blank). In the car a few days ago, I started the familiar reminder, "dwell together in . . . " Before anyone could fill in the blank with "unity", Samuel chimed in with "our underwear"!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Our old, faithful van . . .

It was mid-summer 2002 ~ I was pregnant with our third child, Kevin was working at Open Door and I was working at Joy House . . . we didn't have much income and with the arrival of Daniel, we would soon be outgrowing the car we were driving.

I prayed for a mini-van . . . and since my favorite color is green, I made a special request for a green one! (it never hurts to ask!). About a week later, someone called to tell me that her friend was wanting to donate their mini-van to someone in ministry . . . oh, and it just so happened to be green!

Isn't God fun?!

A few days later, two really excited kids climbed around the inside of our "new" van! It was nine years old, but it was new to us and still had lots of life left in it.

I don't remember how many miles were on the odometer when that wonderful family gave us their hand-me-down van, but we personally put LOTS more on it. We took it on several cross country trips, into Canada twice and around town more than anyone wants to think about! It has served us very, very well over the past 8 1/2 years. About 3 weeks ago we found out that the transmission has finally gone "kaput" (and on a 17 year old car with close to 200K miles, was probably not worth it for us to replace it)

I poked around on Craigslist and found two vans that looked interesting and affordable (though neither one was green!) One of them happened to be for sale in the same mountain town where we had plans to spend Thanksgiving. Long story short, we drove to the mountains in one car and came home in two! That particular van turned out to be very clean, very well kept, seven years newer than our last one and in great shape . . . and cost us less than replacing the transmission would have!

The Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization came today to haul our "old green van" away. There has been some sadness, especially for Daniel, about "saying goodbye" to the van that has been in our family for his entire life (he still doesn't really understand why we can't "just keep it in our back yard"!) Nevertheless, we are thankful that God has, once again, provided for our needs.