Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas in New Jersey

Andy's dad

the Salsky men

Merinda and me with our father in law

the Salsky boys with their beautiful wives :)

visiting the Plummers

dear friends Matt and Cassie
Reconnecting with (Andy's) sweet childhood friends
Spending time with Andy's brother and sister-in-law
Catching up with Andy's dad over coffee and muffins
Sitting around the fireplace eating Christmas cookies
Eating pizza by candlelight when the power went out
Beautiful farmlands, antique shops, inns, windy roads
Exchanging gifts around the tree
Quality time with the Schildge-Magee-Salsky crew

Christmas in Marblehead

pretty downtown Marblehead

the flower lady where we got our wedding flowers

cover of Better Homes and Gardens, perhaps?

Old North Church  (where we got married)

me and Vic at the Christmas Eve service

Dad, Mom, Nick, and Andy


Playing Bananagrams at the round table
Opening presents around the tree
Singing old tv theme songs with Vic while washing dishes
Lounging around the house with family
Going on walk/runs with Mom
Showering at 4 and changing from pj's to sweats back to pj's

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas in Tempe

Here is our pretty little tree, all dressed up for Christmas!  (We actually put the tree and house decorations up the saturday after Thanksgiving, but I obviously haven't gotten around to blogging since then.)  We have been busy finishing up the first 6 months of our church, planning and hosting Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, and getting ready to go home for Christmas...  I love this season, but it sure is full!  We leave tomorrow night for 10 days at home in Boston and New Jersey.  We can't wait to spend time with family and friends.

Speaking of friends, my good friend Amy was in town for the past few days this past week.  It was SO good to spend time with her.  She is one of my closest friends, and I miss her out here!

me and Amy at church this past Sunday

with Joy and Emmy
 Speaking of church... last Sunday was our Christmas service.  As the lights dimmed and the last candle was lit, I was overwhelmed with awe and thankfulness that God has raised up a church here in Tempe.  He called us here and then has shown himself faithful to bring water to the thirsty in the desert.  The people coming to our church are more and more committed to God and community and are excited to be a part of Antioch.  We are caught up in a move of God out here!  Want to hear a fun story?  I went to Yogurtland sometime in mid-November, and I noticed that they were going to have something called "12 Days of Christmas" Dec. 1-12... each day there would be a new flavor.  I noticed that on Dec. 8 was my favorite flavor--Cinnamon Graham Crackers!  SO I told myself that whatever was going on that day, I would go to Yogurtland and get my favorite yogurt!  The day I went I ended up praying for the girl at the counter--a freshman at ASU.  She was sobbing at the end of my prayer (praying for her history exam and for a good Christmas break) because she has been wanting to go to church but hasn't found one or made it a priority.  I told her about how much God loves her and she was so touched.  She is planning on coming next semester to church.  God loves her so much that He set up this meeting way in advance--and I got Cinnamon Graham Cracker yogurt to top it off!  :)

We are about to head to the airport now.  I just wanted to post an update before the holidays were over.  Here are a few more pictures from our last church service.
Love to all who read and Merry Christmas!!

We have a full worship band--harmonica and all!

Our children's ministry is called AntiochKids!

Future worship leader, Ellie Phillips.

Love these girls.

Graice Loo Who

Our sweet friends, Jessica and Ian from Korea

potluck remnants

Church happening.

Community and life!

Our sweet Antioch Kids!