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Winter Things and Christmas Time

After yesterday’s 6 hour extravaganza, the thought of the driving back to the JV office was thrown out by the time I got home last night. In fact, we didn’t drive at all today and that’s mainly because the roads are still frozen. Well, the roads and our driveway. I walked outside this afternoon to bring the trashcans in from the street and realized that I didn’t really have to carry them back in, I could just slide them. That’s when inspiration struck! If the trashcans can slide, and I can slide with my shoes on, I bet the kids can slide!

Winter Things (12/2/14)

Bethany was hoping for me to bring in the Christmas decorations from the garage. The walk across the driveway was dangerous and the kids really wanted to come outside too. I remembered we had purchased a sled at the store a few months back that has wood with metal on the bottom. It slid wonderfully across the driveway so I loaded the kids on there and we did laps around the yard. The ice was probably a half inch thick and it’s still below freezing outside so it wasn’t breaking at all. After a few minutes I slid the kids into the garage where there’s no ice and dropped them off. Bethany and I loaded Christmas decoration boxes on to the sled and I slid them back to the apartment. We had a lot of laughs and fun and here’s a few photos:

Winter Things (12/2/14)

Winter Things (12/2/14)

Winter Things (12/2/14)

Once we got everything inside, we began to unbox a few things and casually start decorating. We’re hoping to go buy our Christmas tree this week (maybe tomorrow). A few years ago Bethany found a Playmobile nativity scene at Goodwill. We haven’t set it up in year’s past because the kids were smaller and the pieces are too small for really young kids. But this year we got it out and hand fun setting it up with Titus and Avery. Here’s some photos of the scene and the kids playing:

Winter Things (12/2/14)

Winter Things (12/2/14)

Winter Things (12/2/14)

Avery was really excited about the baby Jesus. She was taking care of him throughout the night and making sure he had his “blankie.” Before we put the kids to bed Avery had grabbed Jesus and his blankie and said, “Can baby sleep in my bed?” It was hard to say no to that, but Bethany explained that he was just too little for her big girl bed. So Avery quietly returned him to his place in the manger…with his blankie, of course.

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New Creations

One of the joys of working with young people is seeing God change their lives. Whether it’s watching God transform their hearts in to new creations at salvation or watching them on the path of discipleship as they become more and more like Christ, it’s always a joy. The video below is a sampling of some of the ways God has worked in the lives of young people this summer. Even though I only had minimal involvement in the creation of this video, my team was responsible for creating this content at this year’s fall conference. What I love about this video is how these young people, many of which are brand new believers, respond when they are asked about Jesus. The freshness of their faith is real, exciting, and even a little contagious. It’s a joy to think about Jesus and I think this video will remind of you of that.

Tonight we had another “family night” dinner with our friends that live near us here in town. Kristin (who’s house we were at) made homemade chili and cornbread and Bethany brought a salad. It was a delicious meal, but more than anything, it was a great time together with the Yorman family and our mutual friend Rachael. The Yorman’s boys and our kids love to play together and that’s always fun to see them enjoy their friends. I was really thankful that they took the time to pray for our family and Kristin even shared that if we’re ever just in need of prayer that we shouldn’t hesitate to call or text. Isn’t that just a really practical way to minister to someone? I know Kristin read’s this blog and I just want to say thank you for your heart to serve our family in that way. We are blessed to call you friends.

Last night at the store we found a wooden sled for $5 and bought it. It was in the clearance section for 75% off. Why something for winter would be on sale right now is still a little strange to me, but I was just as excited as the kids were to buy it. Titus said, let’s go play with it and Avery (age 2) quickly replied to him, “It’s not snowing outside!” She’s right, and even though we’ve been enjoying nice weather of late, I’m sure the cold will be upon us sooner than we think. To be honest, I’m a tiny bit concerned about how cold it gets here but I guess we’ll just have to trust that to the Lord as well.