Saturday, December 15, 2012

So this is Christmas… 

Why the silly Christmas photos from our family? Short answer: because we want to. And we can. And the fact is, the rest of our lives are pretty normal and in some ways, boring. So we do it to amuse ourselves--and you. 

But silly cards and snowmen and Santa and elves are not what Christmas is about. Neither is it about giving or "Holiday Spirit" or even family. It's a mis-dated reminder of the greatest invasion our planet has ever had: a newborn in a barn. It was the personal landing of the creator among the created. The idea was simple, but the effect profound. Long ago there had been a rebellion, a seemingly simple disobedience (forbidden fruit) that opened the floodgates of hell. And we have been in enemy territory ever since. But this… this baby, the one who *chose* to come, did come. The plan was radical: this baby would become the ransom for those in enemy territory. A prisoner exchange, if you will. Everyone who would believe… this baby now man would trade his life for theirs. Him for you. His death, your life. Talk about gift giving. 

But the story has gotten snowed in under mountains of catalogs, cookies, and tons of crap we don't need. Meanwhile, the real story, the REAL gift is often forgotten. For those of you familiar with the story and what it means, I encourage you to dust if off. For friends (or strangers) who look at this with skeptical eye and wonder if this whole "Jesus" thing isn't as much pretend as Frosty the Snowman, I'd ask this: How's the future looking without a God who cares enough to sacrifice Himself for you? One who came personally to make the downpayment and left only after a promise to come again and wrap it up -- forever. 

Me? I look at the news -- pick a day, any day -- and I don't see this planet getting better on its own. Pick your tragedy: school shootings, famine and starvation, environmental destruction, poverty, civil war, hurricanes, human trafficking, tsunamis, drought. Whatever. We are not heading into utopia. We are not doing a great job left to our own devices. Millions suspect something very bad is going to go down sooner than later, and I agree. But through that, on the other end of that, and until then… I have hope. I have confidence in how it turns out. I have peace, and it's all because of that baby in a manger. 

If you're like me and you suspect we did not get here on our own, nor are we going to pull out of this nosedive on our own, and you'd like that peace, that confidence and hope… it's real. It's in the Bible. And before you call it hokey and fable, look at the headlines of any news outlet anywhere and tell me how we're doing without it. Want to know more about this Jesus? The Bible is the place to start. Get a modern translation and google "bible reading plan" and start. Additionally, here are three books I've found that I recommend: "Beautiful Outlaw" by John Eldredge. "What's so Amazing About Grace?" by Philip Yancey. And "Messiah" by Jerry D. Thomas. And though I don't have all the answers, I'm willing to listen to questions. Contact me through

From our family to you… we wish you better than a merely merry Christmas. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Good Things of Colorado

We had lots of apples for apple sauce and apple pie.
Erik got to go fly fishing with his dad on the Poudre River.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Erik's Motorcycle

Erik got a motorcycle in May and has enjoyed riding it this summer.

Camping with Calvin Gane down near Marshall Pass, Colo.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


We also spent time in September in Maui with Gelerie's parents. Weather perfect as always.

Sunrise at Haleakala

Surfing Lessons!
Aubrey Catching a Wave

Grandpa and Grandma Arafiles with us for shave ice

Saturday, September 1, 2012

All Things Crafty

After Gelerie took her board exam, she spent the rest of her spare time trying to get all the projects done that she had been neglecting. She also started a new blog that documents all her projects she has been working on. It is called Sew Not Work. If you would like to see how Erik got Gelerie plastered Click Here.

Sewing Projects: Aubrey dress and Gelerie's Pina Fabric Jacket and Dress

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Aubrey turned 9. Gelerie made a rainbow cake and Aubrey decorated it with food markers.

The only camping this summer was in our own backyard. 

We also visited the Stock family in Canon City, CO and rode a steam train.

This is on the way to summit of Castle, when Erik climbed Castle and Conundrum.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

STILL a Diplomate!

In July, Gelerie studied and passed her recertification exam in anesthesiology. She is very thankful that she is still a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology. She is also ecstatic about not having to take it again for another 10 years. Hopefully, she will be retiring...  One can dream.

Erik spent the majority of his time doing a kitchen and baths renovation for a rental property. Aubrey and Finn helped when they could, but mostly kept us company.

Here are some random summer pictures.

                    Finn with his cousin Elliot                                         Finn (left) with his neighborhood twin Gavin

Aubrey about to get launched                                               Gelerie at Faith Day Rockies Game

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Maryland and Mountains

Aubrey was able to go with Grandpa and Grandma Stenbakken to visit her cousins Elise and Elliot in Maryland. Uncle Jason and Aunt Rikki were gracious to host her. She had a great time and wants to make it a yearly summer event.

Erik was able to climb four 14ers this year.
La Plata Summit

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Till We Meet Again

Avery Dick, Erik's grandpa, passed away on May 25 this year. He was almost 98. We are so glad that we lived nearby and were able to visit with him often. Thankful that we have the hope that someday we will see him again when Jesus returns.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tulips in the Spring

This year we had a short time frame to take pictures with the tulips. It was windy and the tulips didn't last too long. Finn had a short attention span, too.
Tulips in the Spring

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Attack of the Praying Mantis!

Finn turned 3 on January 19. We had a nice birthday picture but decided to post this one instead. He saw a picture of Aubrey and wondered if the mantis was going to eat us. Not too long afterward, guess what was in his grocery car (upper right corner)! He keeps us busy!