Monday, December 31, 2007

You are who you are for a reason....

A small portion of this was read in a sermon months ago and it has called to me several times since then. I wanted to share it...

You are who you are for a reason....

You are who you are for a reason. You're part of an intricate plan. You're a precious and perfect unique design, Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason. Our God made no mistake. He knit you together within the womb. You're just what He wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones He chose, and no matter how you may feel, they were custom-designed with God's plan in mind, and they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy. And God wept that it hurt you so; But it was allowed to shape your heart So that into His likeness you'd grow.

You are who you are for a reason, You've been formed by the Master's rod. You are who you are, beloved, Because there is a God!
by: Russel Kelfer

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Twelve Photos of Christmas (plus one that sums it up)!

Our family is blessed with family; we have tons and tons of family!!! Christmas celebrations often last days in our lives. We had our first Christmas celebration with Theresa's dad and fiancee Kelly on Saturday the 22nd. It was a great time of food (Kelly made an amazing meal!), gift exchange and games!
The girls with Grandpa Duane & Kelly!

On Sunday morning we were given tickets to attend a Santa Breakfast which benefited the Arthritis Foundation. The breakfast was at the Sherton downtown where the annual gingerbread houses are on display. Here is the girls with just one of the several amazing pieces of art work on display!

Theresa's mom Valerie (known by most as "grandma") was able to come with us for the Santa breakfast. Here she is with her most favorite girls (well, wait... Theresa isn't in there!).

Here is the four of us on our way out from the Santa Breakfast, it was very nice that we were able to attend the event!
Sunday evening we had some dear friends over for dinner, it was so nice to spend time with them that we forgot all about capturing the moment, so we will lock that away in our hearts!

The next day was Christmas Eve; that evening we had dinner with Theresa's dads side of the family. It is a pretty large gathering at the Hopper house that evening and to end off a fun gift exchange the "grand-children" all do a fun game:

All the kids sit in a circle and choose a gift from the center (each year the gift is a theme) one year it was cereal boxes; this year it was large candy boxes. From youngest to oldest they get to either take someones candy or open their own box! It is a lot of fun and the kids enjoy the creativity of the game... out of 20 kids not one of the candy's was a duplicate!

After the game, the girls went and put on their new PJ'S they received from Grandpa Bill & Grandma Cindy in Oregon.

Then came Christmas morning; this year it was a bit different than it has been in the past because we stayed home the entire day. Here are two of the treasures that the girls received:

One of our favorite family activities is game time... we have all ready played Apples to Apples (which is super fun and I highly recommend) and Syrah has played hungry hippo 100's of times with whomever would play and if we were busy, she would challenge herself! The girls wanted Molly (who experienced her first Christmas in our home) to have a stocking too... she got some new beads (if you know Molly, you know why!).

Then we had a cinnamon roll picnic breakfast! Yummy!!

For the first time we hosted Christmas dinner at our place; Theresa really enjoyed putting little details into the table and into the dinner!

It all comes down to this... It all starts with God! It isn't about the food, the gifts, the games, the details on the table. It comes down to being about His son that was born and whom we celebrate with a spirit of family and giving. The reason for this season is because of only Him, His love and desire to have a relationship with each and every on of us.

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord has said through the prophets: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" which means, "God with us".
Matthew 2:22-23

Friday, December 21, 2007

Last day of swim 2007!!!

The girls have been in swimming consistently for over a year now, they have both taken lessons in the past, but this is the longest stretch they have been in swimming. They both LOVE to be in the water and have been progressing very well in lessons. Yesterday was the last session of 2007!
Syrah is a FISH
Back float time!
Sadie took a break this last session because of surgery, but has been back in the water for therapy and during Syrah's lessons she has been able to get in for some fun! She will be back in lessons the middle of January!
Sadie being her typical goofy self and having fun!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Baking Fun!

This year I decided it would be fun for me and the girls to make some gift plates with some of our favorite baked goods. We had so much fun and baked for a few days in a row!
I love this picture because you see Syrah looking closely at what her big sister is doing!
Here Syrah is learning the art of pressing down the peanut butter cookies
The girls both made dipped treats; chocolate covered peanut butter ritz bits and peanut butter covered mini oreo's!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to Billy

Last night we had a small celebration over some yummy dinner to celebrate Bill's 34th Birthday!!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful, fun loving, uplifting, generous, incredible husband!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Syrah's last day at Gymnastics

On Monday Syrah completed her first session of Gymnastics. She has had a really great time running and tumbling and showing of some pretty amazing flexability.

Syrah running with the ribbon!

Syrah LOVES the wall walk; I am sure she could do this for hours if we let her!!

Syrah getting her certificate of achivement for her hard work.

Thank you to Auntie Susan for making sure Syrah got to Gymnastics each week!!

Jingling all the way...

This was our third year participating in the Jingle Bell Run/Walk benefiting the Arthritis Foundation. Below is a picture of the team for 2008. Each year we have a group that walks among 10,000+ (this year 11,700) others along the streets of Seattle. For us this has become one of our traditions for this time of year!
2008 Sadie's Stars Team
Shining for Sadie
(not all team members are pictured, if you not in the picture, please know you are just as much a part of our team!)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Let is Snow (well, on weekends!)

We were blessed with some beautiful snow this weekend... I love the snow as long as people can remain safe! It came down for hours and it was fun to just be driving home and see people sitting in their windows enjoying the beauty of it!

Don't they both look so happy to see the snow!

With snow comes a chill - the faces say it all!