Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014!

 "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1
I think this may be one of my verses for this year! What a year it's been and what a year it will be! So much growth and change to be thankful for for all of us this year. These pics were taken on a walk near our  new home- It has been spiritually and physically refreshing for me to be removed for a bit from the busy city of Van Nuys. After this weekend things will pick back up but now I feel ready. The quiet country has provided for deep sleep and calm days. Weston starts school on Monday and the routine is actually looked forward to. How kind of God to give us this time of quiet and rest.  I am also thankful that we were able to move during this season of Joy- it helped my heart to be continually reminded of our Savior and all that He did for us! 

 We have been making some sweet new friends and had them over to decorate sugar cookies
 Grady has become so much more playful- I just love that he thinks you talk on the phone behind your head
 The boys were thrilled to make their own gingerbread trains. I loved watching their concentration and little fingers carefully placing the candies (and they aren't completely naked I promise)

 And then we had our first meeting with the folks coming to the church plant at a cozy Christmas party. It was so much fun to meet all the smiling faces that we will soon know very well.
 Christmas Eve Grady sprouted a fever so just the big boys and Daddy headed off to church

All squeaky clean and ready for bed in new jammies
We had a quiet Christmas morning and then headed to my parents after breakfast and presents- Grady slept until 11am!

Playing with the nativity at Omie and Grandpas
 Grady wasn't so sure about the singing hat though
Omie and Grandpa spoiled us all rotten!
 So much fun to be with Ryder, Auntie Leah and Uncle Bryan! Wish we could be together all the time

Now to New Year's Eve! It has been snowing and snowing all day much to all of our delight! The whole place has been transformed under a blanket of white and the boys spent the entire morning playing outside in their rain boots and new winter coats.
So a night in was in order. I made a pot of chili and then we had a dance party and silly photo booth :)

Happy New Year and God Bless !

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A new home

We can't believe it has almost been a month since we moved to Prescott Valley! It was a whirlwind at the end- tearful good bye gatherings, movers, strep throat and sweet new friends and family waiting for us at the other end. We took a couple days to drive slowly from Cali to Az. We won't ever forget first turning down our little street we had never driven on and opening the door to our home we had never seen- an adventure for sure! The movers didn't come with our goods until five days after we arrived so we had fun camping out in our rental...running around, eating all our meals on the floor, sleeping bags and time to explore. The boys have had fun with all the new sights. For one our back yard backs up to state property with miles of land and mountains, it's breathtaking! Almost every night the boys say "look mommy, the mountains! " as they turn all hues of pink and orangey purple at sunset. The best surprise so far was the 10 minutes of snow we had a couple weeks ago! The boys ran outside in their rainbows (california boys still) and caught snowflakes and threw snow at each other until they were frozen. 
We have enjoyed being a part of Canyon Bible Prescott Valley the last few weeks, our sister church. Next week is our first official Sunday as Canyon Bible Prescott! We have "boot camp" this month preparing everything and then Lord willing the doors will officially open middle of February.
Prescott is Arizona's Christmas city and it definitely is! We have loved being here for all the lights and small town festivities.
This is a sunrise view from our back yard
I have had my moments of sadness, missing friends and wondering what exactly we are doing in this beautiful place that feels so far away from the familiar. But then I have had many more moments of excitement and wonder. What a privilege and joy to be in a position of uncertainty knowing that God is with us and His plan is already under way. I'm thankful for the growing in faith that is happening in our little family and that we can share this new beginning with our children as well.

Friday, December 12, 2014


It has been a little busy and I have been meaning to post these sweet birthday boys! My brother in law captured our big one year old- isn't he the cutest little bug?! He LOVED being the center of attention and LOVED his birthday cake. How this year has flown with our youngest. He has been such a joy and has been the easiest and happiest baby. His smile and giggles brighten our lives and his big brothers adore him. What a gift he is

 Next was our Gabriel- I had to share these of Gabe playing with water outside our old garage. He has loved to do this all this year and I love it because he still seems little when he plays like this. He is growing up so fast these days and I just want to freeze time! He chose to have a batman themed birthday even though he hasn't seen batman...So batman it was.

 My sweet sweet friend offered to have Gabe's party at her home and she went all out! It was such a cozy night and our kids loved playing together for one of the last times. 
 All into the super fun tool set!
The next present was the absolute sweetest- dear Abbey's gift to Gabe was her allowing him to brush her hair! honestly- Gabriel loves her hair and always wanted to brush it and she thought she would let him on his birthday :) Love this girl so much and Gabe was in heaven
And it was time for him to keep up with his brother with a big boy bike- love this fun loving boy!
Thank you to the Graumans!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Amazing Grace

I have loved this church for so many reasons so I thought I would list them! 1. Hymns - the first time I attended worship here I wasn't so sure I could do the hymn thing, but now I see the folly in my thinking. How rich the stories they tell, the poetry in the way they are written and how they capture the awesomeness of our God. Modern songs often miss the mark. And I love hearing about the saints past that wrote them. They are a beautiful part of our Christian heritage. Now we sing hymns in our home like "Amazing Grace" and many others our kids love to hear.
2. Weekly baptisms- such a joy to hear testimonies every week of how God changes hearts that once hated Him into children in His kingdom!
3. Our pastor- Andrew and I have learned so much from this faithful preacher. He is loved by thousands but that hasn't puffed him up. He is so humble and makes sure that Jesus Christ is the only one his messages focus on. I can only think of maybe 3 references he made of himself in messages and that says something. His desire that God's word go to the ends of the earth is happening through the steady stream of pastors and missionaries trained and sent from here and the free media that all can access. He unashamedly expresses his passionate love for God and God's Word like David did, and that's what I've learned the most from him. How precious the gift of the Bible is because it speaks of our precious Savior.
4. The people - I've learned from God's people here what it means to serve. Not just when it's convenient or when it feels good, but the Christ like getting down on your knees and dirty kind of serving. We have never had a need go unmet. And we have been humbled by the examples we have seen of true service.
5. The children's ministry- our kids have grown up here spending countless hours, good days and bad days with the dear nursery workers and Sunday school teachers. They often go unnoticed but their ministry to His little ones is close to God's heart. Our kids have always had a hard time adjusting to the classrooms and they have been shown such love and care. They are also taught so well at a young age the truths of the Bible. We knew dropping them off they would be cared for physically and spiritually.

We loved our years here and feel we have been given so much. We can't wait to love and grow with our new church in Prescott! The church isn't a building or location. It is His people. Pray with us as we go to build His church!

Friday, November 7, 2014


This is the last fall mantel I will decorate in this house, in California! Yep...that's right, we are moving and soon! Andrew has accepted a position in Prescott, AZ to be a senior pastor of a church plant and we are so excited. It is also a bittersweet time. We have been blessed with relationships that have had years to grow and saying goodbye will be heart wrenching. BUT
The Lord has worked out the details and timing for all of this to unfold during a season of thankfulness and joy celebrating God's goodness and it couldn't be more perfect. 
Even though there are many unknowns in our future, God knows every one of them and He is a God who provides and cares for every sparrow and more importantly every child of His. We are never to worry or be anxious despite our temptations to do so because He tells us not to. We can rest in His love  when hard times, good times, uncertain times, happy and sad times come because we know He is in control and He is always with us. No matter what circumstances change- He doesn't.  Can you tell I am preaching to myself? :) 
I can't wait to share more of all that is happening but to sum it all up, we are Grateful. All that is happening is undeserved and we are so humbled by this opportunity to be used and stretched like we have never before. The new friends and fellow believers we will be joining in a few short weeks are some of the sweetest, caring, genuine and generous people we have met. To start a church that has been prayed for, for many years and in a place that hungers for the clear teaching of the only source of Truth is so exciting. Our family gets a front row seat in the making of something so beautiful! Please pray with us and for us as we help plant Canyon Bible Prescott. Stay tuned...!!!!

"Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised" Psalm 96:3-4a

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fall Break

 Oh what fun we had on Weston's fall break from school. We decided it had been long enough since the cousins were together and there was a new pool to swim in! And swim we did, every day and every night. Our nieces are just getting too big and too cute.
 Gabe grew fond of Ariel and took great care of her all week.

Grady loved playing with some different toys
 and Papa gave him his first early birthday present
 One morning Nanni invited the boys over for a special brunch. They felt so big 
One day we headed to a giant pumpkin patch. Gabe said "look there is hundweds of pumpkins!!!"

Joy and Ava are just the most precious little girls! They love loving on our boys, especially Grady. Being together is always a joy. Thank you Auntie Marci and Uncle Jon for spoiling us and letting us stay with you. We love you so!