Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bethlehem, lights, caroling, and pretty dresses

 Hold on tight, this is a long one.  So if you have seen any pictures of our family recently, you will have noticed that Andy is (was) a little hairier than normal :)  Our church here in Leavenworth started an amazing ministry 2 years ago called Walk Through Bethlehem.  It takes everyone in the church to help put it on and it is quite the production.  We decorate and set up the church like Bethlehem, straw, walls, Roman guards, animals, and tax collectors too.  There are guides that walk small groups through and explain a little about how Bethlehem would have looked (and smelled) when Jesus was born.  At the end, the Gospel is clearly presented guests are shown why it was such an "o HOLY night."  This being our first year at this, we took a small (but important) part as the innkeeper and his wife.
 We did this for 3 nights and the girls got so excited to go dress up.  They had baby goats in the "family home" and a donkey, some sheep, and some goats out in the "stable."
This is the woodworkers shop.... 

 the winemaker...
 the fruit and vegetable stand....
 the well...
 and the tax collector who charged for animals and slaves and relatives who were left at home and......
the inn.  This is where we spent most of our time, either has the inn keeper and his wife or as people who were filling the inn.  The girls did great at "sleeping" in the inn.
It was incredible and we are excited to do it again next year.  Oh, and around 1050 people came through Bethlehem in 3 nights....some waiting over 1.5 hours to see it.  Here is a page on our website about it with a link to a video if you want to watch :)  http://www.opendoorinfo.org/site/default.asp?sec_id=180007550  
So Andy started growing his beard in September and I told him that would be fine (since everyone else in Bethlehem was growing one too) but on December 9th when it was over.....well I hoped he would shave it :)  Many of you saw this on Facebook but thought I would share it here as well....the shaving progression....1st is the MOUNTAIN MAN...

2.  The Tony Stark (Iron Man)
 3.  The Shakespeare
 4.  The Kemper Huber (Andy's dad)
 5.  The Youth Pastor (nothing says "I'm down" like an upside-down arrow on your chin).
 6.  The I LOVE MY WIFE, aka FAT FACE, aka FROZEN UPPER LIP.  I LOVE the smoothness and I love that Andy loves me enough to get rid of it.  Best. Husband. Ever.
 We went Christmas caroling with the youth group this weekend and girls got into it.  We visited some elderly care centers and an older couple in our church who had been sick.  The girls were also excited about the candy and cookies at the end :)
 We took 3 hour family outing to look at a light show south of Kansas City.  The light show took about 20 minutes but we had fun in the car and the girls loved the lights so it was worth it.  It was pretty good and had lots of animation.
 Realized I never posted a finished picture of the house.
 We went to the Christmas Parade and tree lighting downtown and the parade was, I kid you not, 10 minutes long....we aren't in Cheyenne anymore :)  The girls thought it was fun though so I guess that is what counts.
 And a picture with Frosty.  Joni wasn't so sure about the snowman but we caught her off guard long enough to get a good one.
 Some fake carolers with some super sweet real ones.
 And it is that time of year....when Oma and Opa go to Once Upon a Child and get the girls all stocked up on cute cute super cute Christmas dresses.  There are more to come....we are saving the best ones for last.
 Nothing like petting kitties and ponies in your Sunday best.  We had dinner at some dear friends' house and the girls could not resist seeing the animals.
And a few more....I know....isn't she a doll with her little hand warmer.
Love to you all.  More to come soon!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thanksgiving and more

I am behind!  I blame it on Blogger who said I had run out of room for more pictures...problem solved and now on with catching up.  The last weekend in October we went back to Louisville for our dear friends Nick and Ruth's wedding.  It was beautiful and the girls had so much fun.  It was outdoors (not something that is do-able in WY or KS) and a little cool so we wore our jackets all night.
 Joni and her friend Levi enjoying the dinner.  She is helping him with his juice box.  Sweet sweet Jo.
Then it was time to dance and throw the "bouquet." 

 Ruth dancing with my girls.
 So instead of throwing a bouquet, Ruth and Nick threw little stuffed animals.  A good idea!  All the little girls tried to catch the one that Ruth tossed over her head.  You can see it in the air in this picture.  Anyways, it hit Joni right in the face (who is super ready to catch it by the way) and Hadley scooped it up after that.  She was a kind big sister and gave it to Jo though.
 Joni with her new animal and Hadley checking out the picture that the photographer took of her.  She loves doing that :)
 And last but not least, what's a wedding without a little chicken dance?  Beautiful wedding it was!
I know you have all been waiting and the time has come.  We finally made a trip to the Kansas City Zoo.  It was pretty good (very spread out with lots of walking) and the girls enjoyed every second!
 Pretty sure this is a rhino but I can't tell for sure and it was so long ago I forgot.
 One of the kids in the youth group was having a fund raiser at the bowling alley so we went to support him.  It was actually tons of fun and the girls have found a new favorite family activity.  This is Hadley, standing in awe when we arrived.  
 They have 6 pound bowling balls (pink) even for the girls....
 and a little alligator ramp they pushed the ball down.  The girls even beat Andy (which doesn't take much).  
 In Leavenworth every year they have a Veteran's Day Parade.  This year, it was REALLY cold.  Even Andy said it was chilly which means it was REALLY cold.  Joni had a cough that we didn't want to make worse so Andy and Hadley went wearing layers of clothes and came home to some piping hot chocolate.  
 Living near Fort Leavenworth and getting to know so many people in the military at church, we are even more thankful for the men and women who leave home, family, and country to defend our freedom.  THANK YOU!
 Our first Thanksgiving in KS was excellent.  My parents drove out bearing gifts and we had a quiet family dinner with way too much food.  My dad and Andy injected the turkey with herbs and garlic and all kinds of deliciousness....
and cooked it in an infrared roaster...
 while the girls helped Oma make a pumpkin roll...
 and traditional turkey cookies.
 Looking good!
 I took a break from making the sides to check on the turkey.  
 All done and ready for the carving....mmmmm, it was good.
 The hardest part was getting the turkey out of the roaster cage.  We waited patiently and made sure the eat all the scraps that fell off in the process.
 On the menu:  turkey, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs that were supposed to resemble pumpkins, garden monkey bread, corn casserole, canned cranberry sauce, stuffing, salad, and gravy.  We should have invited the rest of the Leavenworth over, there would have been enough.  
 And now time for a nap....
 and putting away leftovers.
 YAY!  Now it's time for Christmas!  Andy won't let me put up anything Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving, so that's what we did.  First the tree.... 
 Then the lights on the house.  For the first time since we have been married, we have lights on our house.   
 And then, because bowling in the new favorite activity, we went with Oma and Opa.  
Our last morning with Oma and Opa.  Thank you for coming and loving us and bringing us so many wonderful goodies....including all our pretty new dresses!

More to come soon!  Love to you all.