Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving & Christmas

Thanksgiving and Christmas really should be one. You know, family, good food, and … thanksgiving. Skip the wrapping and get to the core of it… we're very grateful for the blessings we have, and mindful of those not so fortunate. We hope you have a great Christmas, remembering that it's not really about Santa or credit cards. It's about what we've been given. That's why we're Adventists… you know, "advent" as in the first advent, Christmas… and the second, great advent to which we're looking forward. Blessings to you & yours. 

Family News Recap: 2007

This is how the magic happens. You'll be surprised to learn that the heart of this year's theme was Gelerie's idea. You go, girl. Aubrey was game (heh, heh) and we went dashing off to make a picture. So, when you see the Stenbakkens in camo, you know it must  be family picture time… or something.

Erik: Lots of work here and there. I hired a new First Assistant and Marketing Assistant. Lots of ideas cooking, and if some of them see the light of day, you'll read about them on this blog… or not. Mostly, I'm really thankful for my health and family. 

Gelerie: Hi all! Most of you already know that I joined a different anesthesia group in January 2007. They are based out of Fort Collins which is 30 minutes away. I work in Loveland and Fort Collins at various surgery centers and two hospitals. I also have recently (September) finally have gone part-time (30 hrs/wk average). It is awesome! First few days I sat around wondering what to do. I am enjoying more time spent with Erik and Aubrey and also taking care of stuff that has been put aside due to lack of time. Still like cooking, crafting, singing at church, surfing the web-- trying to get rich and retire early.

Aubrey: Very much the budding artist. We're going to encourage it as a hobby but steer her toward hospital administration. She surprises us with exaggerated imitations of our mannerisms. Most of them are of Erik. Her first narrative is below about a baby fish named Rachel? who grew and grew until she was all grown up and 13 years old.

Family stuff

Aubrey and Grandpa Stenbakken

Aubrey's cousin Elise Welch also came to visit this summer.

For Thanksgiving day, we were guests at Brenda and Adam's place. Gelerie's brother Francis got to take a break from his grueling medical rotations to spend the weekend with us. After Thanksgiving dinner, the kids got to ride the sled. First snow for this winter 2007 Thanksgiving weekend.

Our Garden

Had a bumper crop of peaches this year. Two baskets full. We planted them 3 yrs ago. Also got apples, grapes, cherries, and garden veggies. 

Camping Adventures

We took the vanagon for a little spin this summer. Went camping with the Hawthorne's gang in August. Tons of kids and we all had a blast, especially Aubrey. We also went on a road trip and did the Durango-Silverton steam engine train. Beautiful views. Grandpa and Grandma Stenbakken came along too.

Aubrey Update

Aubrey is growing like a weed. She is adjusting quite well to having her photograph taken occasionally. The tulips are in our front yard. She turned four this August and reminds us that she is now a big girl as if three was so so long ago. Gelerie's cousin Diane also visited and was able to celebrate her birthday with us (not pictured). Good to see her.

Erik's Adventures

In May, Erik went on a bike adventure to Moab, Utah. Turns out those rocks are hard and ribs are softer. Result: broken rib, and later discovery of a herniated disk in C6/7 causing nerve issues on my right arm. With some good PT (thanks, Steve!) and perhaps a miracle, I now have no lingering issues. It was a fairly painful summer in some ways. That's not me up on the rock, FYI, but one of the guys I rode with… till I couldn't ride.

In July I had a photo assignment in Montana, so put on a few extra days and went to Glacier National Park. Clay Schwarck went with and we met up with Chuck and Kelly Hagele and we did some camping and hiking. Probably the most amazingly beautiful day hike I've been on in this country. Very like Switzerland. 

Hawaii trip

Gelerie's folks have a small house on Maui and we thought … hey, what would YOU do if your folks had a place on Maui? Of course we went. Had a great time. Aubrey is definitely a sand & water girl. That super windy road you see across the bay is the infamous "road to Hana." It has something like 600 turns in it. No, Gelerie and Aubrey did not go on that!

Gelerie and I got the crazy idea to see the sunrise from the top of Haleakala Crater. It was 43 degrees at the top in the pre-dawn dark, and even considering a few grumpy tourists (not us!) it was an awesome sight. I'd highly recommend it. You gotta get up at about 3:00 a.m. to get there by sunrise. Yee haw.

Family adventure travel

We covered a bit of ground this last year. We went to visit Chuck & Kelly Hagele in Idaho and did a cool hike and an awesome canoe float. 

Aubrey and daddy also did a fall hike here in Colorado where we got… uh, a little bit wet. Yes, we both got colds. :-(

Lots O snow Jan, 07.

We had so much snow last year that we built a small igloo in the front yard. Aubrey loved it, as her favorite thing to do is munch on snow balls. Yes, we're watching the color of the snow.

She took up "snowboarding" at Grandpa & Grandma Stenbakken's place. They say she just stood up and went for it without anyone even suggesting it. I can't wait till she gets a car. Oh boy.

Erik went on a moonlight showshoe hike in Rocky Mountain National Park with some friends.  cold, but very incredible. Hiked most of the time without any lights at all. Awesome.