Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy 2006th Birthday Jesus!

It can get a little repetitive, Christmas that is. Grandma always giving you socks, always eating about five servings too much, watching and hoping that you did get them something they'll actually enjoy, trying to keep your kid from combusting from all the excitement, trying to wear your best smile even though you're so tired you're about to drop, wondering if your verbal thank you was enough or should I send a card, more cookies, more turkey, more stuffing, more pie, wondering where in world are we going to put all these new toys, being humbled by the generosity of our loved ones, and trying oh' so hard to put it all in perspective and recall what it was all about.

Remembering that there really was no room in the inn, that a young girl and her confused husband found themselves cold and alone in a barn full of hay. No doctors, no helpers, not even a blanket or a bed, but a feed box and some rags.

Forced to lay their special baby down where no one should ever sleep.
But to know it was all perfect. It was exactly as it was said it would be.
6-7While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.
An Event for Everyone 8-12There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."
13-14At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
15-18As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
19-20Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!

As the holiday is wearing off and "normal" life returns, I'm still so blessed to be the recipient of the greatest gift ever given. And amazed that it was given because God is pleased with me. How unworthy I feel at times. This year I hope that among all the gifts I've been given, I hope I refuse to let this one get dusty in the corner.
Merry Christmas, may the gift of Christ be recognized every day of your life.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

"Greeting cards have all been sent........"

It's Here! We made it! It's Christmas Eve and we are all trying to keep busy because the anticipation is killing us. We have already knocked one celebration out of the park and we're gearing up for another one.
Here are some of the pictures from Wichita's Tree Lighting a few weeks ago. We stood out in the cold and listened to the Newman University choir, listened to Carlos Mayans go on about something, and then counted down from ten to watch the big tree get switched on.

It was fun. Nick Showed up via firetruck and then the fireworks were set off for us all to enjoy. As my fingers were just about to take their last breath we rushed inside for some inflatable fun.

It was fun, but it was oh, so cold!
Wednesday was the second annual Movie night at Arise. We played How the Grinch Stole Christmas and chatted while the Christmas treats were a'flow.
Kenton and I decided to avoid the extra hustle and bustle of getting a little gift for all our dear ones that serve at Arise with us. Instead we got one huge gift and allowed our friends to enter our holiday raffle. Jennifer Marshall was the lucky recipient of the FIVE POUND Hershey bar. So to those of you who thought you only got a card, please know that in our hearts we were giving you all a 5 lbs. bar!

Jennifer didn't think she could finish the whole thing (What?!) so she graciously shared with...well...EVERYONE! Literally everyone, I think we fed 200 people with this thing!

Last night was the official start of the family Christmas celebrations. With a winner take all round of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Kenton was assigned to pass out all the gifts amongst us, his Brother, his Sister, his Brother-in-law, his Dad, and step Mom.

Even Judah's soon-to-arrive cousin got to enjoy the unwrapping this year!

We all left with some wonderful things and some of us couldn't wait to try them on and sport them all night!

With our tummies full, our bounty overflowing, and our eyes drooping we made it to bed only to rise early this morning. We enjoyed a pancake breakfast at church and a special children's service. Our little man held the pictures of the hands to help us remember that God GAVE us the best Christmas gift when he GAVE his only son. Even though Judah had his tongue out the whole time it was very precious.
We must get some rest, tonight and tomorrow hold so much more that I''m a little tired just thinking about it!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's Begining to Look a Lot Like Christmas

As I sit here in our chilly house, I can't believe that all last week's snow is practically gone. There are just a few shady patches to recall the blanket that covered our city last week. The weatherman said that it would start falling around nine AM last Thursday. Almost like a timed release, the powder started to fall and didn't stop until it was dark outside.

I'm a total weenie when it comes to being cold so when Judah was dying to go play in it, I promised him he could as soon as Daddy got home. At the squeak of the back door we were digging for all the layers we could find. Wearing about four layers and even socks to cover the gaps, he was off to play with his Daddy in the snow. He thought he looked like a snow monster, I thought he looked more like little Randy ("I can't put my arms down") from A Christmas Story.

After a few snow angels, lots of snowballs, and a little frost bite they were both back in for a nice warm up.

The ground remained covered for the rest of the week and the temperatures never rose above freezing but that didn't stop the faithful from participating in the 19th Annual Jingle Bell Run.

Me, Kenton, Jamie Berryman, and Wendy Grist all meet up to run in 20 degree weather! There weren't any pictures to show you. But we all dressed like Eskimos and ran the best we could. Here are the official results.

FOUR MILE(218 Runners)

108. Wendy Grist. 27. F. Haysville, KS. 36:17

109. Lacy Hansen. 25. F. Wichita, KS. 36:18

162. Kenton Hansen. 24. M. Wichita, KS. 41:58

ONE MILE (114 Runners)

24. Lacy Hansen. 25. F. Wichita, KS. 7:37

58. Jamie Berryman. 31. F. Wichita, KS. 11:09

1 79 Steve Sperley 23 Wichita KS 33:32
2 162 Kenton Hansen 24 Wichita KS 41:58

As Kenton's name was called as the second place finisher in his age group, he was quickly embarrassed that they had to announce his time, thus making it clear with the absence of a third place finisher that he and Mr. Sperly were the only two age 20-24 male entries in the run. As Kenton quoted, " I won a medal for signing up... that's all."

He was selling himself short, he did really well and I'm proud of him.

Jamie gave it her all too. She did better than she ever had before, so despite what she says, she did awesome.

Wendy has been a great friend to me as of late and we passed the frosty four miles by just chatting away about our next challenge we want to go after, The Eisenhower Marathon in April!!! She's a great inspiration and I'm glad we've been lead together.

After this chilly adventure, Jamie is going to start running out in the cold with me to train for the New Year's Day Frosty 5K.... she's got the determination and I'm so proud of her!

After we all defrosted, the weekend continued with more signs that Christmas is ever approaching. Father Christmas came to the library on Sunday to tell the children a story. Judah went to see the "guy dressed up like Nick" and have a fun afternoon. Judah has called Santa, Nick since he first learned about St. Nick. We read to him about Saint Nicholas last year and the name has stuck since.
Our choice was to introduce Judah to who Saint Nicholas was and explain how he lived his life striving to be like Jesus. Now people who want to be like Nick, dress up because they want to be like Jesus too, providing for the needs of others. So as we left Judah hollered out, "BYE NICK!." No heads turned as our son bid ado to one of his favorite people, and we thought it was the cutest thing all day!
Christmas is rushing upon us like crazy, but hopefully we can maintain our cool and remember that it's always been about just trying to be like Jesus!