Friday, December 26, 2008

Chris gets us started off with the Christmas story in the Bible There is then a flurry of activity around the packages!
The children gave me a new tree skirt for the christmas tree!
Mom Mom opens a package
Later we go to Bill and Paula's for a yummy dinner and even more presents! Bill and Paula gave the children Estes rockets so be ready for some very fun video of our first launch!
Merry Christmas! I thought I would share our Holiday images and stories with you! We celebrated here in Kansas with the Anderson/ McCormick clan. That generally means Christmas Eve at Grandma Andersons and Christmas day here and at Bill and Paula's. The packages are wrapped and under the tree, the stockings are hung but the chimney and Daddy is taking a nap with Erin!Our Christmas elves are ready! One even grew antlers!
When we got to Mom and Dad Andersons we skyped Great Grandma, Uncle Wayne, Sue Brian, and Sherrill in Colorado! We were going to do this with our PA family also, but it did not work out.

We had a lovely Christmas Eve dinner of Clam Chowder and Ham/ Potatoes and then spread some Holiday cheer! Pop Pop loves to taunt the children with their presents! Mom Mom said they used to have to sing or say a poem before they could have their presents, must remember this for next year!

Chris and Erin got a little out of hand! Hans and Chris were throwing wrapping paper (OK so was Pop Pop!) Too much egg nog I guess!

After all was said and done I think we got the children to bed around 10 pm. Not bad considering in PA I think they generally make it until much later! This allowed Chris and I some quiet time to get the house and our hearts ready for Christmas the next day. (oh yeah Chris watched a movie, he called it getting out of my way!) LOL! Smart man! Actually Christmas Eve at my house in Pa is one of my favorite things so whenever we stay in KS this is my nostalgic time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas checklist
I was just lying in bed thinking that the business of Christmas is nearly done and my heart is ready to just relax and enjoy the magic that is Christmas.
  • It started back in October perhaps when I first started making Christmas cards..
  • Maybe a week or so before Thanksgiving I started Christmas shopping...
  • Christmas music out the day after Thanksgiving...
  • Got the outside lights up early this year because I knew it would get cold...(little did I know just how cold!)....
  • Baked cookies early to have some for the AWANA leaders when they caroled at the nursing home on the 10th
  • Had to go to several places to find a live Christmas tree the boys went alone because Erin had the flu
  • Baked more for Sunday School and School teachers
  • Christmas program for k-4 done the 8th
  • Christmas party at work missed due to illness and bad weather
  • Christmas concert 6-12 the 18th
  • Christmas program at church 12/21
  • Party at the grade school today for Alan's class today
  • Christmas shopping done...wrapping to begin.
  • Said goodbye to a dear friend moving to Nebraska yesterday

Now for those of you realizing none of those things have to do with the real meaning of Christmas consider that

  • as I decorate my house with lights and Christmasy/ winter things I am thankful in my heart for a God who loved me enough to leave heaven and come to earth as a baby!
  • Collin prayed the night that they found the live tree thanking God for leading them to a place where they sold them. (priceless). It's a thrill when your child begins to realize that God is really in all the details!
  • We sing at the Manor to lighten the hearts of those that live there and share the message that Jesus loves them!
  • Our public school principal gave thanks that we live in a community where it's Ok to say Merry Christmas (and yes they've learned about Kwanza and Hanakkuh and other Holidays).
  • I like to give cookies, cards and presents because I am so thankful for the people God has put into our lives and I that He has provided for us so that we can share a little love.
  • Lights on the house cheer me up because it is so dark outside! I suppose there is symbolism there, about sharing our light and hope in Christ with the darkness of the world, but that is my main reason and that is why I don't take them down right away.

OK, I will bring my sermonette to a close and share some photos from our Christmas busy-ness!

Merry Christmas post 1!

I wanted to post a copy of our Christmas letter online!
"We are deep in the midst of Holiday cheer as I write this letter to you! We have had snow, cold weather, caroling, Christmas programs, Christmas cookies and the lights are up! Why? This year has really brought home to me how beautiful the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas is. The Kansas Andersons and McCormicks had Thanksgiving with Phil and Denise and their girls as they were in Kansas doing deputations for their next mission trip. The children sang “His Love Endures Forever” and “Give Thanks”, we ate lots and had an early Christmas. Bang three days later Chris leads Sunday worship as we usher in the Advent season: the first Sunday celebrating the HOPE that we have in Jesus!
God has blessed us immensely this year as HE often does during troubled times. Farm-wise the year has been a year like no other many have said: $4 diesel fuel, $8 grain and then a fall so wet we could not get the crops in to sell them before the market dropped. Not complaining, we know without a doubt that God is in all of this and we fear not as we enter a new year!
The children grew like weeds this year. We have a picture of Collin featured here, perhaps the last Christmas that he will be shorter than me! At 12 Collin enjoyed a year full of firsts: he played football on the Rec Football team and loved it (and stayed safe) J . He was one of 120 students out of 600 selected for State Honors Choir and he went hunting with his dad and Uncle Phil. He continues in AWANA, piano and now French Horn in band. Honor choir is in February 09 so check our blog for updates.
Erin (10) competed in gymnastics this year for the first time and did very well. She is taking the year off as she is transitioning to level 4 and not ready to compete at that level yet. She also took some sign language classes and is in the 97%ile in math at school (very unlike her mother here). She does AWANA along with the others.
Hans (8) had some big changes. We discovered the poor boy can’t see , so he is now in glasses. His eye doctor did not know how he managed to hit a baseball it’s that bad. But hit the ball he did, he had another really good year with baseball and wants more this next year. He did a basketball clinic as well and AWANA, he hopes to start piano in January.
Alan (6) is in kindergarten this year again and doing so well. The reading thing finally clicked this year! He does AWANA but has not wanted to do organized sports yet. He is a farm boy at heart and spends as much time as possible with his daddy in the field. If backyard sports are any indication of future success, Alan should definitely hold his own when he is ready to go for it!
Our Christmas card features a family picture with Chris’ grandmother Bertha who we visited this summer. We had a nice few days in Aurora before heading up to Leadville for some camping, fishing and hiking. Even though it is never long enough it was fun to see the children love on her and tell her about their lives.
Teri continues to work part time at Sterling College and is adjusting to working and managing children in multiple activities. The fall was a foreshadowing of what will come when they all get going! We try to limit it as we can while still letting the children do new things. Chris got me a new camera last Christmas and I have used it daily and now I think I need an even better camera….. I have also been the story teller at AWANA for the Cubbies or the youngest group. That has been a JOY which completely surprises me. I am not usually comfortable in this arena, but God has laid it on my heart that I can do it!
Many of these events are shared in more detail on our blog, so if you have Internet access you can visit us at . I put the children’s program clips and pictures up when I can. I have also recently opened a face book account ( ) This has scared me because you use your full name, but you can also make it private to only your “friends“, so this might be an easier and fun way to find and visit with past friends online (as opposed to remembering Kansas-wheathearts).
This is growing very long, so I’ll close. I hope and pray that God will richly bless you and yours this Holiday season and throughout the coming year.
Much Love, the Andersons
The annual stomach bug went through out house, this is Erin recovering!More Christmas cookies... Christmas program at church, the bell choir
I wanted a Christmas photo before church but first thing in the morning was not going to work so...
we took another one that evening! Chris looks so happy! Here is video of Collin playing Joy to the World (isn't it cute that you can't see him?)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Here is a Thanksgiving day photo of the McCormick/ Andersons! Someone needed to tell me to take a step toward Chris so I was not blocking Paula!
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Friday, December 12, 2008

A special surprise...
I'm still back tracking and post dating events. They are just to fun not to blog about! Our good friends Mike and Staci came for a visit as they were visiting family in Kansas. Yeah! Mike and Chris did some hunting and we enjoyed Staci and the boys! Barrett is adorable and Brody was a scream. He had all our kids totally in love with him in moments playing with dart guns and having them cock them over and over and over and over and over and over. He slept in Erin's room with her, well kind of! It was very hard for the poor boy to settle and and sure enough the next morning he was in that living room with the blocks and dart gun again! By 9 he had Hans totally pooped! Very funny I thought! For all the hours Mike and Staci have devoted to playing with our children... our kids got pay backs! We went to the Broadway for coffee, had the Elsners and the Wilsons over for visits and enjoyed some laughs. The guys got some geese & pheasants which of course pleased them! Fun weekend and hard to say so long... again!

This was how I found them Sunday morning, Erin reading to Brody, he jumped up so fast the next photo was a blur. He said he was not going home today, but as all good things must come to the end, but the time it was time he was ready to head back to TX! Sigh!

Here are a few photos stolen from Staci's blog that I thought I'd share. She is even more photo happy than I am!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The other Andersons
We had to pleasure of having Chris' brother and his family with us in KS (staying at their folk's place) throughout October. After being apart for 10 months, the girls did not waste any time getting reacquainted! Jumping on the trampoline was a favorite activity as was decorating cupcakes! (and eating them!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I have not blogged in forever. Seems between work and things here at home I have just set it aside. It has been a priority to keep up with my photo a day challenge on and other than that I crash at night. So I have neither blogged nor checked other people's blogs or message boards. The other part is that from 10/21-11/3 my mother was here from PA, which we love!!!!!!! Then 10/31 Chris' brother Phil and his family came and are here doing missionary debutations throughout KS in November, which we love! It's just cyberspace that suffers. (that's ok, this is really just for me and Stacy, I don't think anyone else really looks in unless I ask them too!)
I do like to keep a virtual scrapbook though and this helps. So I'll share some stories of mom's visit. She arrived and immediately Alan grabbed her for some fun shooting his dart gun. What a sport. She played this with him repeatedly over the weeks that she was here.

Mom, Erin and I went to a women's fellowship at the Broadway Market coffeeshop one night and heard a woman give a testimony stating that she faked being a Christian for 20 years, married to a pastor when she finally realized that she was just playing the game and came to a saving relationship with God through Christ. We went to a football game and a choral concert, but mom has those photos on her camera. We had a fun dinner at Bill and Paula's and we froze at the church's hayride / harvest party!

A good visit overall, I even cried on the way home from taking her to the airport!