Category Archives: pathways

they came…saw…conquered


I have no words other than, we are thankful. Love you all and thank you for all you have done, over the last couple days . . . and years.


just because…


We are blessed to have a number of incredibly generous and thoughtful people in our life. You know, the kind that remembers special dates, sends notes of encouragement, and randomly gives items that they think we might have a need for. Truly, we are so blessed.

Last week, a friend gave me a gift. She just thought of me, and handed me this bouquet of "just because" flowers. What made this gift so special for me was that they were given to me by a dear member of our church youth group. She’s 16. I NEVER would have thought of blessing an adult like that when I was her age.

This is not an eloquent post, by any means. I just wanted to thank an incredibly thoughtful friend for blessing my heart with such a beautiful gift, and for being a wonderful example of generosity to me and my family. Love you, Jo-Jo!

i heart halloween


I tried to have very low expectations for our first Halloween with two. Abby has been testing us quite a bit this week, wanting things her way or no way. And the little guy has been going through a growth spurt . . . very fussy and very hungry. We had a slightly disappointing beginning to our day, but the evening ended pretty well.

We started out early this morning and headed to a local clinic to get our H1N1 shots. We arrived a half hour after the clinic opened to a line that would have taken us 4 hours to get through. So the thought of waiting in the cold with two small kids was terribly unappealing, and we turned around.

On the way home, we spotted a pumpkin patch, and pulled over. But a muddy field and cold weather kept us from picking. So, we headed to the grocery store to pick up some sugar cookies for decorating, and let Abby parade around the store in her costume. She was the bell of the Fred Meyer, as people pointed and smiled at our little Minnie Mouse, so that redeemed our seemingly endless car ride.

We also found another "pumpkin patch" a little closer to home (aka Safeway) that was giving their punkins away, so Josh grabbed a few for our pie-making enjoyment.

By this time, Abby was rubbing her eyes like crazy, and the baby needed to be fed, so we sped home and had a little lunch. A little icing makes EVERYTHING better 😉 .

After a long nap for the whole family, it was time to get in costume and head to the Mill Creek Town Center, where TONS of little ones trick-or-treat every year, and our church was giving some treats and balloons out. Of course, an hour before we needed to head out, the rain started so I planned on our celebration to be very brief.

Our little giraffe exersaucing…

And with the zookeeper…

Obviously, Zack was not too fond of wearing his costume, but his daddy was THRILLED to wear him. Abby, on the other hand, couldn’t be happier in her Minnie "Diva" costume. She even helped me get ready for the evening.

One of her buddies, Brooke, was also a precious Minnie, so we had to snap a picture.

We also spotted a little Tinker Bell (better known as Madison).

Aside from Abby insisting on wearing my "ears" all night (mine did have a veil on it 😉 ), Abby was such a trooper. She was completely fascinated with all the costumes she saw, and at one point, in her giddiness, she said "Trick-or-Treat! Happy Birthday Momma!".

Zack’s night was not quite as enjoyable. We had to skip a couple naps today being out and about, and the poor little guy was NOT better for it. After nursing him in a nearby bakery, he managed to calm down, snuggle, and take a little nap.

Since Abby knew none the wiser (and it was fricken’ freezing outside), we stayed in the bakery the rest of the evening. Abby was still too little to really enjoy trick-or-treating, but she was able to have her first candy bar. She couldn’t eat it fast enough.

(I love that last picture. It exemplifies Halloween to me. Daddy’s hand, with a balloon tied to it, feeding candy to an exhausted, dripping wet little girl who has yet to have enough molars to fully chew the bar’s nuts and nougat.)

Over all, it was a wonderful day. Any time we have nothing to do but be a family is a good day, no matter what we do or where we go. Happy Halloween!

island fun


We spent last Saturday on the coast of Whidbey Island with our church’s youth group. Abby LOVES these kids, and they LOVE her, so it was a blast. To make the day even better, she actually took her nap . . . in a pack-n-play . . . in someone else’s house. For our little socialite, this was quite a feat.

This was our first time at the southern part of the island. It was beautiful! And the weather was perfect for throwing pebbles into the water, which Abby would have spent hours doing, had we let her. She and her buddy, Brett, enjoyed some great moments, throwing rocks into the Sound.

Then I got all up in her face with the camera. She was so enthralled with the pebbles hitting the water, I’m pretty sure she forgot I was there.

visit con our familia…part dos (spanglish for “visit with our family…part 2”)


Our visit with my side of the family was busy with more spoilage and snuggling for the kiddos, hot, humid weather and water play, a successful introduction to fireworks and a 4th of July celebration that our ears are still recuperating from, a church picnic, and a trip to the Imagine Children’s Museum.

Abby LOVED spending time with her whole family, and is still mentioning everyone by name whenever she thinks of them. Thank you, family, for all you gave to us while you were here. It was a visit we’ll never forget!

one of the kids


Abby’s really starting to enjoy interacting with kids of ALL ages. She just loves being wherever there’s a party. This morning at church, we found a soccer ball, and before we knew it, all the kids were kicking it around…including Abby. The kids at church, while most of them are older, love playing with Abby as much as she loves playing with them. They’re so gentle, and very protective of her. Here’s just a little video of the kids playing after church was all set up. Of course, by the time I grabbed the camera, most of the action had stopped, but you get the picture.

new friend


Last week, we met a new little person in the form of one adorable, Neveah Joy Ibsen. Her mommy and daddy (Janell and Luke) are some wonderful friends of ours, who welcomed their baby girl via C-Section on her daddy’s birthday. Isn’t she so sweet?

Janell’s was the second of 5 pregnancies within our little church community, and I am due last. I can’t help but think of certain Queen lyrics every time one of my friends goes into labor. "Hmm, hmm, hmm…another one bites the dust!"

You’re next…miss Lesa!

a blustery day


Halloween in our neck of the woods started off like any normal year…pouring down rain. But, I’m not kidding, right around the time all the little kiddos were getting their costumes on, the rain stopped, the sun came out, and it was gorgeous. We even got to see a beautiful rainbow (one of the full-arch ones!).

Our church took part in the annual trick-or-treat event at the Mill Creek Town Center. We partnered with the Young Chefs Academy, The Spotted Cow, and the Town Center Forum to bring cooking lessons, coffee and cocoa, and classic Halloween movies to the masses. It was a great event, and the perfect place to let our little Pooh Bear walk around and enjoy the sights. While it was nearing Abby’s bedtime, we realized what a blessing it was that her costume was "stuffed with fluff", cause she was stumbling all over the place. Here are some pics from last night. (The rest can be downloaded from the web gallery.)

so blessed


This morning was a busy one for the family and for Pathways. Today, our church community celebrated its 3rd birthday, moved into our new building, and witnessed 5 baptisms. It was a wonderful weekend, and so many people just poured themselves into the morning, and God was glorified.

In addition to all the events of the morning, at one point in the service, the staff and spouses were called up in front of the congregation. Our friend, Karl, shared with us, Andy, and the Kuests, that this month is "Pastor Appreciation Month", and the church family had pitched in to give us all some wonderful gifts. We were all so blown away by the recognition, and were hugely blessed as the congregation came around us and prayed for us and the future of Pathways.

We are incredibly humbled by the gift that we were given. Sometime in the near future, Josh and I will be enjoying a night on the town, with movie tickets and (sigh) dinner at THE premier restaurant in Seattle, Canlis. We have heard so much about this place for so long, and never thought that we would ever get the chance to be a guest there. My only question is (and I know, Dianne, you told me not to worry 😉 ), what am I going to wear? Where’s my Cara when I need her?

Thank you, Pathways family, for such a wonderful gift, and we pray that God continues to grow us as HIS servants in this community. We love you.

goodbye heatherwood


This was our last Sunday meeting at Heatherwood Middle School. For over 2 years, we’ve had our Sunday services at this facility, which has been great for us. Today, I was a little emotional, knowing that this was the last service at this school…where so many family memories have been made. Next weekend, we will start meeting at Archbishop Murphy High School, which is technically in Everett (but just up that street from our last address). Here are some "goodbye" shots from this morning (I’m partial to the changing leaves in what has to be one of the most beautiful "church" parking lots I’ve ever seen).