After a hectic week of floor remodeling we enjoyed a visit from the Reimer family for Christmas.  The guys hit the slopes on Christmas Eve and we had a delightful fondue dinner for Christmas. The visit was short and sweet, but Ivan loved the time he had with extended family.

The week after we spent time with local cousins and Grandma Karen who lives in KS.  He loved the warm days to jump on the trampoline!

 

All the Moseley siblings got to go to the Raiders vs. Broncos game on New Year’s Day.  It was a fun week of celebrating with family!

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I would have liked to read so many more….but this is my season.

books

Here’s the list for 2016

  1. Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents need to Know to Do it once and Do it Right by Jamie CLowacki is a funny and informative book on potty training. Interesting tid bits on toddler brains and reminders on training, teaching and behavior in general.
  2. Engaging Islam by Georges Houssney is a very informative book written by a man from Lebanon who converted from Islam to Christianity as a teenager.  He discusses how to engage people from a Muslim background, mostly from an American perspective.
  3. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter is a novel that flashes from 1962 Italy to modern day USA to tell a story of a few lives intertwined.  I don’t often read romance novels so this was a different read for me, but I did enjoy it, especially the look at Italy in the people and culture.
  4. Smart Moves: Why Learning is not all in your head by Carla Hannaford, Ph.D. is a book on how learning should happen.  It is based on whole body so looks at the brain, emotions, stress and movement.  She highly encourages using Brain Gym activities to stimulate learning and grain growth.
  5. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo is an amazing nonfiction narrative of stories in the slum.  The way these people survive is an incredible testimony to the human spirit, or not, when they choose otherwise. This book is very well written and artistic in a manner that speaks deep.
  6. Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk is a great book on relationships.  Direct and simple that in order to have healthy God honoring relationships one must choose love no matter what the other person does.  Interesting perspective on tough love.
  7. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver is a novel with pointed discussion on climate change and the monarch butterfly migration.  I learned a lot about butterflies and enjoyed the book. But it was not a favorite.
  8. Hope for Health: Functional Bio Analysis by Dr. Scott Monk is a very scientific and cited book that describes muscle testing and how it works with Functional Health.
  9. Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is a marriage book pointing out that the Bible tells wives to respect their husbands and husbands to love their wives.  He give practical tips as to how that looks and tons of stories of real people.
  10. How to raise a Mondern Day Joseph by Larry Fowler is a book that mostly encourages churches to get on board and work together with all their age groups. I took away a few things from this easy read, but mostly just skimmed it.  It is interesting to note that this is a person in AWANA.
  11. Power of a Praying Parent is a book I started and continue to read. Technically I did not finish it as it is not really a finishing book, but instead an ongoing read. Stormie Omartian discusses how to really pray for your kids.
  12. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer is a modern history story of the manuscripts of Timbuktu, Mali. Amazing story of the liberal and jihadi extremism of Islam.  Interesting read about the ancient history of Mali and more modern war.
  13. A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller is a classic that I’ve read before, but I enjoy going back to.  He brings out nuances of what David meant by discussing modern day shepherding. I love the way it makes me think about God differently.
  14. The life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo. This is a quick read about the author’s own method of tidying up. Keep only what sparks true joy and give everything a home.  I like and agree with these practices; she does get a bit mystical and spiritualizes stuff, but if you can look past that, I think this method would be great!
  15. The Littles by John Peterson is a childhood favorite that I read to Ivan. Story of theses little people with tails who live in the walls of a house of regular humans.
  16. The God Shaped Brain: How changing your view of God transforms your life by Timothy R Jennings, M.D. Is a great book of the paradigm shift of setting God of love. This book combines brain science with scripture to look at truth and our relationships.
  17. Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters was a great beach book to sit and relax.  It’s a mystery novel of art and history in Germany.
  18. The Food and Feasts of Jesus: Inside the World of First Century Fare with Menus and Recipes by Douglas E. Neel and Joel A. Pugh is an informative and entertaining book.  I would love to get this book again and follow some of the recipes and feasts.
  19. The Bible by the Trinity of God through humankind.  Ivan and I had a combination of listening and reading together this year.

After 10 years of being in our condo (as of July 2016), it became time to invest in a few upgrades to our home.  In 2012 we had already remodeled the kitchen, which was a major undertaking since we did the work ourselves (with the help of Kara’s parents).

 

ivan-kitchen-mess

Ivan eating in his chair in the only space in the house…

 

This round of renovations included replacing the worn-out carpet and ugly bathroom vanities, so we elicited a contractor to help.  In addition to those upgrades, the bathrooms and master bedroom received a much needed new color and coat of paint.

 

In all, the project began in early November, but do to complications with our flooring order, it was only completed a mere 2 days before Christmas!  Just in time to share with family visiting for the holidays.

Video of the transformation: https://vimeo.com/197095887

 

family-pic

We had the wonderful opportunity of having Jo Julia Photography do a family photo shoot for us.  We were able to snag some time while the leaves were still really pretty!

 

Enjoy the video highlighting our favorites: https://vimeo.com/195339554.

We had the privilege of being invited to go on vacation with a Nick’s uncle (who was celebrating turning 50) and some of his friends. It was over Thanksgiving which is a holiday we usually try to stay home for, however this was a great opportunity. I flew down with Ivan the day before his birthday to squeeze in one final free flight and Nick joined 2 days later.

We stayed in Playa Del Carmen at a resort.  I felt very pampered staying at a resort. I didn’t have to cook, clean, drive or really entertain Ivan for 12 days!!  He loved the beach, so all we really had to do was take him and he would dig and dig and play for so long.  We of course enjoyed playing with him, but it was also such a joy to just watch him having fun. Nick really challenged him to get in the water with the waves as well as conquer the “big slides” at the Aqua Center. Ivan also loved all the animals that we found on the resort: monkeys, donkeys, chickens, roosters, bunnies, ducks, birds, raccoons, macaws, peacocks, and coatis.

Ivan was such a blessing to others with his smile and pleasant demeanor.  We made quite a few friends of the staff from cleaning to building to restaurant workers. The resort had different evenings with shows telling about the Mayan culture, and legends. Ivan saw parts of some of the shows and really enjoyed the “dancing owl”.

We were able to do a day excursion to Tulum, a Mayan Ruin site discovered in the 80’s.  We had a private tour for our group which was nice. It included free time to walk around and shop as well.  We also had a terrific day on a private boat that we all pitched in together to rent.  So Thanksgiving was spent on the water! We swam in the ocean, ate on the beach at Isla Mujeres, snorkeled at some reefs, held (photo opportunity) a shark, and just relaxed in the sun on the boat while it coasted along!  What a great way to celebrate and be thankful for our so many blessings.

Here is a video of our highlights!

https://vimeo.com/193652365

wp_20161116_16_14_23_proWe are so excited to celebrate Ivan’s 2nd birthday today, November 16th.  While everything with him is really a highlight, some memorable moments of the past year of his life include the 2015 holidays with Reimer family in Michigan and Hostetler family in CO.  We traveled to see other family including Great grandparents in Washington and Kansas.  The summer time saw us thoroughly enjoying hiking with Ivan and camping (both as car camping and backpacking).

In all, Ivan has stretched us; but we have enjoyed watching him grow physically (walking and talking), mentally (understanding and communication), emotionally (loves for mom/dad, trucks, kitty), and spiritually (bible stories at night, praying at meals, our church family). He is a happy, social, joyful, good son.  We love you Ivan, thank you Lord for giving him to us.

Below is a video montage showcasing some highlights of this year!

https://vimeo.com/191677771

img_0042This fall has been the 5th warmest in CO history.  We have taken full advantage by getting outdoors and enjoying all the parks and playgrounds near by.  Ivan would still be swimming if it were up to him.  He loves the pool and water.  Thankfully we have indoor ones to enjoy. Anyway, we were able to take a trip up to Bellingham, WA to see my parents and grandparents for a week the end of September. We enjoyed mostly sunny days up there.  We also went to the CO Mennonite Central Committee Sale in La Junta, CO to see Nicolas’ family.  Nick had a great idea of carving a pumpkin so Ivan could sit in it.  It turned out really cute, then it got a happy face, thanks to our neighbor.  Finally I took him trick or treating with some friends in their neighborhood for Halloween. He enjoyed the idea of collecting treats, even though he doesn’t know what candy is and didn’t get to eat any of it.  😉  I can still control that, for now!

Check out the video below for some fun pictures.

Or Click here to see the Video at Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/189885440