Saturday, December 27, 2008

vacation tid bit

What a WONDERFUL Christmas we have had already! We are just soaking up the family time...& the 68 degree weather. Oh, heavenly!

Aron's going golfing today - a very unexpected December vacation activity!

The posting will be very thin this week as high speed is limited, but we'll have much to share when we return!

much love!
ejk

Thursday, December 25, 2008

"For unto US a child is born..."

This day cannot pass without us expressing our utter gratitude to our Father who sent Jesus to bring us back to Himself. What a God! What a miracle!

Speaking of miracles, we have been given the most wonderful Christmas gift. But apparently it won't be delivered until August.

Much love and Merry Christmas,
The Kirks

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

some christmas moments

The girls were thrilled to be reunited.Belle after just emerging from bed...she was ready to open, but...daddy interrupted to read the Christmas story. She listened attentively.


video
hope your celebrations are filled with joy.
We are off to the 1st Christmas Eve service of 2.
ejk









Sunday, December 21, 2008

PEACE

Peace is a major theme of Christmas. Check out these scriptures prophesying Jesus' birth:
"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end."
Isaiah 9:6-7


"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times."
3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned

until the time when she who is in labor gives birth
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.
4 He will stand and shepherd his flock

in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
5 And he will be their peace."
Micah 5:2-5

The promised peace of Christmas is not a mushy, feel good, no war, peace for everyone on earth. Through God's gift of Jesus, he made it possible to have true peace: peace with our selves, each other, and God himself. But peace lies in the choice. If we do not choose God and his son and his way of living, then we cannot expect there to be peace. Jesus Christ IS peace to those who believe.

Check out Ephesians 2:14-18 for more. Also, check out my friend Mike's thoughts on this topic--they blew me away.
APK

and the winner is....

Kelly Nuggent! We'll be sending you a warm drink, and I'm sure you'll need it with the cold front rolling in!
Good guessing everyone! We sure enjoyed hearing from you!


And everyone who entered was correct! The year: 2004, the place: Indiana Wesleyan University! Some of you even knew where at on IWU campus. Nice!

much love

ejk

Friday, December 19, 2008

we're getting visitors for Christmas!

We are thrilled to be hosting my family's Christmas this weekend! They should be arriving any minute. We're having "Christmas Morning" tomorrow first thing...right after a nice big breakfast!

And in the spirit of several of my friends giving guided tours through their Christmas traditions and decor, I thought I give you a quick peek. We already shared many of our traditions in our video blog 2 weeks ago. So this quickie will focus mostly on the small decor we've got going on. I try to add little by little each year...but I restrain myself to shopping after Christmas when all is 75% off...so its a bit of a slow process.
Since we rent, we are limited in what we can hang due to the location ofnailholes... but we've been able to put a few things up.the stunning douglas

This little ornament is one of my favorite touches.
Belle inherited our Charlie Brown tree I bought for 5 bucks at a yard sale the summer before we married. She adores this tree. First thing every morning - I mean the very first words out of her mouth - "Christmas lights on!"

And I just adore these tea towels: They're Country Living and way too cute to use in the kitchen!

And presents under the tree for those near and dear to our hearts.

I just LOVE getting Christmas cards, but our refrigerator quickly became overpopulated. So I had to find somewhere else to display them. This table is one of my all-time favorite yard sale finds. Its an antique communion table & fits just perfectly behind our lovin' seat. We used the branches Aron trimmed from our tree for greenery.
And you've already seen our new stockings...
And that's about it. I've got a few ideas brewing for next year. But I've gotta hit some antique shops while we're vacationing home to be able to pull it off!
much love to you all
and a very merry christmas
























Thursday, December 18, 2008

Your Son We Humbly Receive

This is a Christmas worship song I wrote last year. I've highlighted my favorite lines. Enjoy:

This Christmas we come to celebrate
Our God who came to save
He humbled himself to the low estate
Of that which he creates

So give him praise.
Lift up his name.
Give him praise
On Christmas, on everyday!

God became a man so we
Can live as men who are free
So God, we give, our thanks to thee
Your son we humbly receieve

This Christmas we come to celebrate
Lord Jesus, full of grace
We humble ourselves to consecrate
All glory to his name

So give him praise.
Lift up his name.
Give him praise
On Christmas, on everyday!

God became a man so we
Can live as men who are free
So God, we give, our thanks to thee
Your son we humbly receieve

This gift of freedom he gives freely
To all who just believe
Forgiveness. Freedom. Joy and Peace.
Your son we humbly receive.

APK

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A little Christmas Cheer

Baby its cold outside...and Kirk Haven wants to help warm you up!

So here's the catch. We're going to ask you to answer a trivia question. If you answer correctly, we'll put your name in a drawing for a Starbucks drink on us (in the form of a gift card!) that we'll mail to you!

Here's the question...
In what year was this picture taken & where?

Now here's a hint for those of you who don't know where to start (it was taken the Christmas before we got married at our Alma mater!)

You may have to do a little digging...and all is fair game. But if you still don't know where to start, you can find the answer to both buried in past blog posts (think anniversary...sweatshirts with our college name on it!) Can you tell I like people to win!

email your guesses to aronericakirk@yahoo.com
We'll draw this Sunday 12/21 and post the winner on the blog!
Merry Christmas...and happy lattes!
ejk


Saturday, December 13, 2008

VIP's for a night!

I know this is virtually a crime, but we haven't had a date night since August...but we made up for it tonight! A very generous friend gave us a pair of tickets to the Pistons vs. Pacers NBA game. Not just any tickets....floor seats in the VIP section. 4th row, baby!
We sat right next to the Pacer's bench. Very tall, very sweaty...& that's all I've got to say about that. (Aron probably should have narrarated this story!!)Here's the view from our seats:And another shot I took from our seats: Aron was most excited about this guy: Allen Iverson.
He kept telling me, "Get pictures of Iverson!". So here's another.
I wish I could tell you these guys names, but Aron's asleep & I've forgotten what he told me (oops!) Oh well, you get the point!
And a special thank you to Aaron & Shauna who watched our Belle while we played!
We are very blessed.
And one last highlight. We're pretty sure the three guys sitting behind us were part of the Mafia.
Shady characters and some scary conversations going on. But it made for an even more eventful night.
ejk












kirk date night EXTRAORDINAIRE

Thursday, December 11, 2008

please celebrate me home

So my girl taught me a thing or two about celebrating each other within relationships. And I'll share the story with you.

Aron's been swamped at work. He left early this morning, put in a full day, didn't have time to take a break for dinner, and got home around 10:00 - starving. So I was busy cooking him a quick supper (he called on his way home & put in his order). When he came through the front door, Belle ran at full speed to celebrate him home. Like many small children do, she squealed "Daddyyyyy!" while jumping into his arms.

I had put down my spatula and was making my way to the door to "greet" him. But Belle would have none of that. Daddy was home & it was time to celebrate. She ran over grabbed my leg & dragged me (as much as a 20 lb girl can drag a grown woman) to Aron, then pushed me from behind into him & said, "Love him." I had every intention to give him a hug, but I didn't have the enthusiasm she believed the occasion warranted!

We embraced and separated, and I had barely stepped back so Aron could get in the door, and here comes Belle again at full speed. Another huge hug, I love you daddy. We smiled at each other. She then gave me a big push, "Love him, again!". We did this 2 more times.

This girl - small as she is - understands the value of celebrating each other - the way I believe we were intended to. It's easy to get sucked into the day to day routines of greetings and goodbyes and goodnights and goodmornings. But man, how it brightens your day to know that your very existence is celebrated by those around you.

So, the next time Aron emerges through the door...I'm going to do my best to beat that child to the door. Our lives are short, and its about time we start loving each other as if we truly understand that!

So speaking of Belle, here's a video of her with her wand singing "Bipity, Bopity, Boo" along with Cinderella's fairy godmother. Oh, and if you've never heard the Kenny Loggins song after which I entitled this post...its a great one that only gets aired at this time of year...definitely check it out!

ejk

video

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

poor belle

I'm sure for little boys, injuries like these are quite common. But for my careful little Belle, busted lips are very rare. Sunday at church she turned to Aron (who was still on stage), and said, "Bye-bye daddy, be right back." The problem was, as she was turned, she started walking and stepped right off the stage, landing flat on her face. Below is the result - 2 days after the fact.She's been babying it a little as certain foods tend to cause it to sting, but she's fine. I just hope it heals soon. We were Christmas shopping last night, and everyone kept looking at us like we beat her (Well, she did have a strapless dress on in 20 degree weather...but she wore a coat & sweater into the store, honest! I can't keep sweaters on the child!) So perhaps she did appear a little neglected...but appearances are deceiving!ejk

Sunday, December 7, 2008

sleep in heavenly peace


I took this photo while Belle was napping today. There are few things sweeter than watching your child drift into a peaceful sleep.
I hope your day is full of rest & peace.
ejk

the scent of evergreen now fills the air

After a crazy week, we set aside Saturday to get our Christmas tree. And we found it: the perfect tree...a stunning 9ft douglas fir.What a great day it was. It's especially difficult to be away from family around this time of year, so we cranked up the music and celebrated our own traditions to make the ole' condo a little less lonely. We captured a few moments from our day(below) to share with you...hope you enjoy.

And before we begin...here are our new stockings...we love them. I've been working on embroiding our names.



They're not perfect, but not too bad for freehanding it...and my first try at embroiding by hand.
Okay, that's about it. Time for the movie...if you don't have time/interest to watch the whole thing, you've got to skip to the end. We "wish you a merry christmas" & the movie closes with Belle saying, "Now, that's some really good singing!" after the song. It's so precious!
ejk
oh, oh, one last thing...you might have to crank it up - this was recorded on our digital camera.

Kirk Haven Christmas

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

God loves us enough to let us fail.

"For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all." Romans 11:32

I find this very encouraging. No matter your shortcoming or failure, God longs to be merciful to you. He longs for a relationship of true love, and a love that is demanded is no love at all. So, he lets us disobey him. He lets us sin. He lets us go our own way. Why? So that he can be merciful.

God lets us fail because he knows our failures make us rely on him even more, and the more we rely on him the stronger we become. James 1 says it this way: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

I don't know about you, but I know my faith is tested the most when I disobey God--when I sin against him. When I finally have the courage to face him after a failure, you know what I find? Mercy. Everytime. And the more merciful he is the more I want to please him and never fail again. But I do. And he lets me, because God loves us enough to let us fail.
APK

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A bit of catch up posting

I didn't take many picts of vacation, but I did capture a few of what has become a new tradition when we travel home:
CRACKER BARREL at the half way point in Lima, Ohio!
Belle was pumped for her pancakes after being in the car for 3 hours -- but it was only 9:00 am. We always play with the notorious PEG toys and build towers with our creamer to keep her distracted from the walls of toys in the other room.
Old Timer's breakfast...here he comes!
And one other story to share. Sunday morning I walked into Isabelle's room to get her ready for church. She was already awake, standing in her crib waiting for me.

As I approached she took one look at me and said, "OOOOhhh, mommy, I love your dress." She paused and then said, "Mommy, I wear it. That's Belle's dress. I wear it."
She had to settle for one of her own, but by the end of the day, she finally got to wear the dress she had to envy all day long (its actually a tunic shirt, so it kinda fit her when tied up in the back!)


And finally, to mirror Amber's post, I think we'll wrap up a few boxes and a couple of my dresses for Belle for Christmas and just save our money. I've never seen her play better! And she was so quiet just playing in the dark. Genius!!
video
ejk











Kirk Haven Pop Off

video

You might feel a bit dumber (or is it more dumb?) after watching this...and that's okay.

ejk

Saturday, November 29, 2008

We are back...

and we have much to be thankful for.
What a blessed week it was. And little did I know how true the previous post indeed would be as the Lord truly went before us and created beautiful moments that we will cherish.

I wish I had taken more pictures to share with you all, but I was living in the moment and the thought to capture it totally escaped me (this is rare!).

But alas we return, and we are restored. We are both anticipating what God has in store for tomorrow - the worship set is going to be powerful.
the kirks 3

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

rest and more

We have been going from 6 am till midnight every day since Friday...and Aron & I are simply depleted.

Tommorrow we leave at 5 am to travel home for Thanksgiving.

I, for one, will be very grateful for rest, quietness...sharing the same space with my hubby & daughter - and all of our family we haven't seen in months.

I am excited to see how God is going before us to create moments of healing, of remembering, of thanksgiving. What a God who cares and shares so intimately in the details of our lives.
ejk

Friday, November 21, 2008

if you never washed your hands before...you will now!

I can distinctly remember the lectures in nursing school about worms - and not the kind you fish with. I'm talking microscopic sized creepy little guys passed inconspicuously through poor hygiene or undercooked pork into the body of unknowing humans. Though small enough, the naked eye cannot detect them...they can grow to be multiple feet long - a parasite literally sucking the life out of you as they steal your nutrition. I HATE worms...tape worms, any kind really....GROSS!Which brings me to this picture. You are looking at a worm growing inside an Arizona woman's brain. After weeks of cancer like symptoms, the docs went into this brain expecting to remove a tumor - what they found was much different! A live, growing worm!!! Is your skin crawling yet? Mine is! EEwwwwh!

So I'm thinking how similar this little parasite is to things I've observed in my own life.

Ever so subtly, the little worm of deception or fear slips in - without me even realizing it.
As I go about my life, this microscopic harmless thought, wound, or worry begins to implant, embedding itself among all that is giving me life. Slowing it begins to feed on what is meant for my nourishment and growth, and the fear/wound/worry begins to thrive.

Before I am even aware to defend myself, the parasite has now gone beyond thriving to actually starving me - taking all the goodness that God is pouring into me & thieving it for its own purposeless existence. It simply exists to rob me - expertly placed my the one Jesus says comes only to "steal, kill, and destroy".

Once fully grown, I need an expert to carefully detangle this foul creature that has so enwrapped itself among the complexities of my inner spirit. I need to go to the Great Healer, Jesus, to free me, to release the grip of the fear/pain/wound/worry.

So the moral of this story? Wash your hands really, really well - you never know what your ingesting....
And be just as diligent about the subtle messages you allow to filter into your life. (Above all else, guard you heart...it is the wellspring of life *Proverbs 4* or to paraphrase Paul, take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ). Or if Satan so expertly attacks your wounds (he knows them very well, and he knows how to make them bleed) submit them to Christ for healing. Do not let the lies that break your heart begin to settle in and entangle themselves in your spirit. They will feed on all that is intended for your joy and steal the LIFE Christ intends to breathe into you.
ejk
(this is so speaking to myself above all else. This is just a truth God revealed to me tonight that is so relevant to some things I'm dealing with. I just thought I'd share with you as I'm trying to learn.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

a bit of random goodness

I've been sick since Tuesday with a yucky flu-like bug - and I had to work with this virus 12 hrs. on Wednesday. Which leads to my first moment of random goodness. I awoke Thursday to all of the dishes DONE & put away...all of the laundry DONE & put away. My wonderful husband stayed up late after I crashed Wednesday night to take care of some chores so I could rest on Thursday. What a man!Aron worked long hours today, so Belle and I spent the whole day alone at home. But Random Moment of Goodness #'s 2-4 include phone conversations with three very special people in our lives: My precious cousin, Kim.My wise & jovial daddyand my gentle-spirited, nurturing mommy-in-loveRandom Moment of Goodness #5: A Cinderella DVD for our little princess arrived in the mail from our fun & lovely college friends who are now preparing to marry, Kim & Dave.Belle was ecstatic, and so was I. We've been singing Cinderelly, Cinderelly all day.Random Moment of Goodness #6: I went grocery shopping in 28 degree weather, and my feet stayed warm the entire time because of 1 pair of Bearpaw boots.
My sweet friend, Hannah, recommended these boots to me. She said I'd never want to take my feet out...she was right. I used to snub my nose (hypothetically, of course) at this type of shoe because I tend to choose a more dainty style that has much less comfort and much more heel. But this winter, I refuse to have numb toes from shoes with hard soles and no insulation against the mounds of Michigan snow. So here's a plug...these are the BEST! They're lined with this awesome sheepskin/wool that feels like heaven. Get some!Random Moment of Goodness #7: When daddy finally did arrive home, we had a good 30 min of play time. Belle was hiding under the pillows on our bed, and Aron & I were "sneaking" around the bed on our hands and knees & jumping up and tickling her. At one point, we both crouched down and were silent. I suppose the anticipation was too great, so our 2 year old decided to call our bluff. She burst out from under the pillows, stood up & shouted, "I go pee, I go pee". Of course Aron & I jumped right out shouting, "No, no, not on our bed." Belle started belly laughing and dove under the pillows. She did not have to potty at all, that little stinker!


And to know that our Father delights in our moments and squeals as I have delighted in all of these today! I guess that makes Random Moment of Goodness #8.
ejk

And as a bonus because I'm behind on posting, here are 2 video's of Belle joining Aron in his workouts. Its pretty cute until she realizes she's being recorded...then she pops up to see.
video

video