Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Celebrating the End of 2008

Our traditional family slumber party for New Year’s Eve was in full swing with lots of fun. Jon had to work so he was only able to join in on the tail end but thankfully he was home before midnight. Owen pooped out on us this year, unable to make it to the strike of midnight, but the rest of us were going strong.

We started it off with a new recipe (from Aunt Lois) that the kids already want to keep in our dinner repertoire, Walking Tacos. Have any of you made these before? Here are the directions…

Step one: Have individual bags of Doritos chips for each person that will be joining you for dinner. Let out the air from the bag and smash the Doritos into pieces. Talk about a fun way to release some stress! ☺

Step two: Cook a pound of meat and add seasoning to your liking (as if you were making your favorite taco meat mixture).

Step three: Collect all the other taco topping ingredients you enjoy. Don’t forget cheese…

and maybe black olives, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, onions, cilantro, lettuce, etc.

Add a few scoops of cooked meat mixture along with your favorite toppings into the bag of smashed Doritos and whalla, you’ve got yourself a meal to eat right out of the bag. Yummy!

Since we were on a Mexican theme, we made a yummy dessert too which we concocted in our heads together. We think they turned out great. Give this a try sometime!

Make tortillas and while they are still hot, smear butter and cinnamon vanilla sugar on top. Roll them up enjoy this yummy warm sensation!

After dinner/dessert time we played the Wii until it was time for countdown. It's been a great source of entertainment for all of us. 2008 was great and we look forward to 2009! Happy New Year everybody.

2008 in Review

Corrie ten Boom

I can’t believe 2008 has come to an end! It’s been filled with many low points but also some absolutely GREAT moments as well which are the ones I will cherish forever. Those “hard times or low points”, were the ones that drew me closer to Jesus and defined me as a person as well as gave us many teachable moments to our children on the attributes of Christ and his never ending provisions for us. Here are some of my highlights:

Baylee's dance recital...boy did she show courage (and joy. She did such an amazing job, smiling the whole time and remembering each move!

My Live Laugh Love group that met once a month. What an amazing group of gals God put together. I love each one deeply.

Helping a dear friend celebrate her 30th birthday (surprise party).

Taking Baylee on her first "Mommy and Me" Girl Scout camp!

Starting a new family tradition, Christmas in July!

Nathan in his first ever sports group, a bowling league.

Watching my niece Amanda graduate high school! Talk about!

Watching Baylee and Daddy in their first formal date, a Daddy Daughter Dance! So precious!

Our Live Laugh Love first time for a "girls only" weekend. I wish they all were able to come.

Baylee and Nathan's birthday hoe down!

Owen's potty more diapers in our home!

Being published in Family Fun Magazine

Nathan's new set of buddies for school! (This was his summer party.)

Baylee's summer webkinz party with her great girl friends.

Baylee's first day of second grade. What an easy transition that was since it's half the same class and the same wonderful teacher!

Nathan's first day of kindergarten. He's such a big boy now!

More alone time with Owen since the kids are in school. He thrives on one on one attention.

Watching Owen develop his sweet relationship with Ethan!

Teaching Baylee's class for 8 whole weeks! What an honor!

Being Nathan's teacher this year too!

Nathan learning to play baseball.

Anniversary Sunday for our church at the Mesa Amphiteatre.

Nathan learning to read.

Another great friendship growing so much, Colton and Owen!

Thanksgiving 2008 with Dad and Pat...and our surprise guests, the Kellers! Yippee!

Polar Express!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Take Two

Earlier this month on the 21st we had full intentions of a family night at the train park to see the beautiful lights. As you read I’m sure, God had other plans and even brought humor into our night. Well, since time was running out, I took the kids on my own tonight to the park, observing their beautiful lights and the characters walking around. I wasn’t the only one with that idea tonight! For the main train, we stood in line for almost 2 hours. If we lived around the corner, maybe we would have left and tried another night, but since we don’t and we already made effort before, we just made the best of it. Two hours really did go quickly. Here are some shots of our night out, minus Owen with the characters that totally freaked him out. We had a wonderful time!

(watching the mini trains while in line)
(We're finally on the train!)

To celebrate our love for trains, we made a "gingerbread" train too!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Miracle in the Desert

Each troop meeting, our amazing Brownie girls sacrificially drop money in a small bucket for charity. In November, the girls ran our circle time to decide what they wanted to do with our money. So many wonderful ideas were thrown out from adopting a family in need, taking care of soldiers from afar, an animal rescue, and much more. The girls voted, which they thought was really cool and chose this semester’s donations to go to Sunshine Acres, a children’s home here just minutes away in north Mesa. After calling the place and finding their needs (since we can’t give money), Baylee, Abigail, and Alyssa went shopping with the money from the troop and our Kempiak Party of Five’s extra donations. We were able to purchase $99 worth of batteries (for the kids’ toys they got for Christmas) and Mc Donald’s gift certificates for a fun treat out.
Today we dropped off our donations and to our surprise, we were blessed with a tour that took several hours which included meeting some of the sweet boys and girls that call this place ‘home’. Sunshine Acres is such a beautiful, sacrificial place to be. We all left motivated to help more, encouraged in fellow ‘man’, humbled, and very touched. We can’t wait to partner with them again and hopefully bring the rest of our Brownie family. ☻
Here's the girls on the "tour cart"...can you see their playground in the background?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Kempiak Love

Our nieces from California drove out today for an extended Christmas celebration so we headed to Jon’s parent’s home for some great family time. Dick and Carol's best friend, "Aunt Lois" was there too! ♥ We were so excited to grab photos of the Kempiaks that could be together and wish the rest of them from Chicago, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Sweden, and California could be together…who knows, maybe Christmas 2009! I’m gonna dream BIG! Ü