Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tradition.

Ryan and I have set up a few holiday traditions, but my (and his) favorite is our Christmas date.

Our first Christmas together was 4 years ago, and since there were so many other engagements during the season, we'd go on a date, just the two of us and open our presents then. This way we could enjoy each other's family's time knowing we had "our time," already.

Our first Christmas date was spent at Il Vicino. We were also supposed to go ice skating, but something happened where we couldn't. Perhaps the Outpost was closed...who knows, but I will say that we have YET to go ice skating! Maybe next year!

Neither of us can remember where year 2 was spent....Yikes.

Year 3 was our first MARRIED Christmas, and we went to dinner at Bien Shur (top of Sandia Casino) and then back to our little apartment for gifts.

THIS year we enjoyed dinner at Pelican's (2 for $45 deal is WELL WORTH IT!) and then stayed at Sandia for the night. A 15 minute drive from home. It was extremely relaxing and exactly what we both needed. :)
We are blessed!

The view from our room.

The room.

The tub...It contours to your bod! I didn't know such a miracle existed!

Ryan is pumped.

Love.

Room service for breakfast!!

Again, Ryan is pumped.


One of my gifts, isn't is beautiful?!


So the next day after returning home from our mini-paradise, Ryan notices our guest-bedroom door was closed. We never close it, so it was strange. He opens it and inside is a flat-screen box! Then we look inside the doors that cover the TV and look at the surprise!


Our parents went in together and COMPLETELY surprised us with a new TV!
We did NOT ask for this, nor did we ever expect such a gift!


Thanks to BOTH Moms, Carol and Lee, and Dads, Marty and Jim.
Ryan's sports-watching dream has come true. :) Wanna come over and watch the game?


Sunday, December 13, 2009

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

At a recent Christmas brunch at our church, the speaker, (sweet Sarah Kelly) encouraged us to use 1 Peter 1:13 as our stronghold for this crazy Christmas season.

"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

Ryan staying strong in the midst of our Christmas decor.

Gilmore Tree

Last Tuesday the Lord blessed Albuquerque with a snow storm at just the right time for a 2-hour delay to be appropriate. What a 2-hour delay means to these two: Let's have a fire! Let's make a REAL breakfast on a school morning! Let's go back to bed for an hour and a half! What a great morning.



Sarah also encouraged us at the brunch to memorize a Christmas passage, and I have chosen Luke 2:1-21. Think deeply on these words: "In those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered...And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, the city of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds our in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to the, and the GLORY of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'" When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.' And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of 8 days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, them name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb."

I pray I will be like Mary this season and really ponder this Miracle in my heart.


Be blessed this December, and may we all continue to ponder the miracle throughout the entire year.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gobble Gobble


This Thanksgiving was a delight. Ryan and I have many wonderful things to be thankful for.

Last week my Dad, (the History Buff) came into my 3rd grade class and talked to the kids about the first Thanksgiving. They were totally into it! After he gets through 30 minutes of pretty rich history, he asked if anyone had any questions...The first question: "Were there dogs on the Mayflower?" These are the things that are important to 8-year-olds.

Then Tuesday night Ryan and I went to our good friends, Zach and Gina's house for a lovely meal and rousing game of Cranium. Great fun! AND we won. That's because we're champions.

Wednesday was an attempt at shopping. I've been holding out for a really great Nativity scene and finally found a delightful one from our friends at Pottery Barn. Lucky for me, I still had a gift card from last Christmas that covered most of it, (Thanks Brad!).


On Thanksgiving day, Ryan spent the morning playing football with some old friends and came back VERY sore. Poor guy's getting old. When he got home we had the privilege of serving a homeless man in the neighborhood, (yes, there was a homeless man in the far northeast heights just roaming around. If that's not the Lord putting him directly in my path, I don't know what is!) It was a beautiful reminder of how blessed we are. God's promises in the Old Testament says that we are blessed to be a blessing. We pray that would become more evident in our lives everyday.

We then traveled to my parents' house for the feast. My job was green beans. I pretty much hate traditional green bean casserole, so I used my friend Lindsey's recipe for the beans and it was really good. I'll post it soon, I promise it won't disappoint. We ate with my parents, my Grandma and Grandpa Lahvic and Grandma Johns. Always an entertaining crowd! We also celebrated Grandpa's 85th birthday! What a treat! Football soon followed, and it was the one time of the year I cheer for the Aggies, that is, when they play the Longhorns. I hate UT.

Ryan and I did not partake in any Black Friday shopping, because we're not insane or sick. We did however, clean house and put up our Christmas decor. More photos of the house coming soon. Friday evening we had Ryan's parents and sister and my parents over for dessert. We had pumpkin bread with pumpkin praline glaze and whipped cream. YUM!

Saturday night we went out with some friends. We didn't get home till midnight. This helped our "hip factor" since most evenings we're gladly retiring by 9:30.

Church this morning rounded out our beautiful 5 days off nicely. We are thankful for the quality time together we spent as well as with our friends and family. God is good. Our prayer is that our thankful attitude would continue into the season of Christmas. We hope your Thanksgiving was as fruitful as ours!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nano.

My Nana was my babysitter when my Mom went back to work when I was a baby. My Nano was her husband. Nana and Nano were more my Grandma and Grandpa than anyone, mainly because they were present. They were more in love with each other after 35 years and just plain passionate about one another. They were always holding hands, and the love they shared was a great example to me. My Nano was diagnosed with cancer a few short months ago and lost his battle last week. It is so saddening to those who knew and loved him.

My Nano was always dressed to the nines. His son said today at the funeral, “He was the only man I knew who mowed the lawn in a suit and tie.” He always smelled of strong cologne and whenever I hugged him, I smelled of him for the rest of the day. I didn’t mind. Whenever I would spend the night at Nana and Nano’s, we would, “kick Nano out of the bed,” so I could sleep with my Nana. He lived his life giving to others. He gave love to all of those he encountered.

I am blessed to have known such a wonderful man. Watching my Nano suffer over the past few months was very hard on all of us, especially Nana. And watching her say goodbye today was even worse. I thank God for the grace he’s had in my life, especially by giving me the most wonderful Nano. Oh, how He loves us.

Nano is the one with the big smile on the right with the video camera.

Here he is dancing with my Mom at the wedding.

Nana and I.

Here Comes the Bride....

My wonderful big sis Jen is tying the knot in a few short months. She is such a joy to have as a big sister, and it's our joy to make this time special. Mother and I threw her a shower for all of the Albuquerque fans of Jen Johns, and it was delightful.



I made a "Blessing Ring," for everyone to write blessings/marriage advice for her. These are not the best photographs.

Aunts and Cousins.


Jen's Grandma's.

Sisters.

Besties.

Momma and sisters.

Grandma and Grandpa Lahvic.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Family Camping 2009

It's a Johns Family Tradition to take a family camping trip every summer. This year we went up to the Valles Caldera. It was beautiful. My family is a hoot, so we really did have a great time.

Team Photo.

My sister, Jen and I.

Bambi.

Dad eating a s'more.

Yum!

Ryan and my brother, Travis. Ryan was the fire expert.

Shooting cans.

My Target.

Focus...

Jen and I are really tough.

Now sweet.

Travis really wanted me to punch him in the stomach as hard as I could a number of times just so he could rest assured that his abs were strong enough to handle it.

Then Ryan tried.

Dad and Trav.

I heart my Eagle Scout.

The boys.

Ryan and I on a hike.

Boys trying to take a resolute picture.

Beautiful. God is good.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sola Aqua

Sola Aqua means “only water,” in Latin. Desert Springs has been doing mission work in Guatemala for years. We send teams to Guatemala several times a year and this October a team is heading there to help construct and repair water systems in two different Achi villages. During the month of September, we joined them as a congregation in a water fast. We were to choose two weeks during the month to abstain from all drinks except tap water. Throughout those two weeks, every time we craved something sweet or caffeinated, we were encouraged to thank God that we have clean water readily available, as well as pray that God will use the team in October to not only bring clean water from the ground, but Living Water from the Word (John 7:37-38). Also, we’re taking the money we would’ve spent on other types of drinks and sending it with the team in October.

 This was a challenge for Ryan and I. We drink a cup of coffee every single morning. We also drink milk with our cereal and orange juice in the morning. He enjoys a beer every once and a while with dinner and I enjoy a glass of wine (or two) at the end of a long day as well. J We don’t keep soda in the house, so that wasn’t as much of a challenge, but home-girl needs a Diet Coke every so often on those psycho days.

 It was so insightful for us to take 2 weeks off of these extra drinks and find out how much we depend on different beverages to alter our moods. In the mornings we prayed for the LORD to give us strength and energy for the day to be surrounded by children who need all of our attention. We also had to ask the Lord to take away the stresses and anxieties as the end of a horrible day at work instead of looking forward to our glass of wine or bottle of beer, (That makes us sounds like alcoholics, but you know what I mean). It was a great thing to see how much we do NOT ask the Lord for these things enough, and instead crave a Diet Coke during the end of the craziest day in my 3rd grade class. We are sinful. 

 I figured in 2 weeks we saved about $25 on only drinking the FREE, CLEAN water from our tap. We’ll gladly donate that money to people who have to travel miles for something we take so for granted.

 Thank you, Jesus, for opening our eyes and hearts during those difficult 2 weeks. Please bring clean water and your cleansing water of the Word to the Achi people in Guatemala. 

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Well, Sort of...

So, last week I had the great intention of posting about my sweet husband and my training for the Duke City Half-Marathon. That's right, we've been running our little hearts out. Well, sort of...Here's the deal breaker: Time. This morning I woke up and realized that I haven't run since last Sunday. That's almost a week. No running. Not even brisk walking. Nothing. 

So this morning as I sat at the Volcano Vista Cross Country meet, (Yes, I'm a faithful fan) and realized that maybe this year was not the year for us to run the half. I have run two halves in the past, but those were the good ol college days where time was in abundance and I could dedicate many hours of my week to training. 

With Ryan and I both in new jobs that take so much time and energy, by the end of the day the last thing I want to do is run 6 miles. No, thank you. So we talked today and once we decided to sit this one out, we were both relieved. The highlighted training schedule on our fridge was beginning to stress us out, not motivate us. There you have it, we've officially let the dream die. 

Followers