Sunday, December 7, 2008

December fun and so much more!

Last Saturday we joined our kids on their annual trip to the mountains to cut down a Christmas tree. We used to always get Colorado trees.... so fresh that some even started to bud out in our house. But over the years of having to wire them up, drill in extra branches and trim them to fit inside, we have tended to go to Home Depot for the perfect Noble fir trees.

This year the kids said: "Come on, Dad! It'll be fun. We'll get the passes and we will drink hot chocolate and have an adventure!" Knowing that part of my mission statement as a father is: " To create family memories," they knew they had me.

So last Saturday we joined the caravan of Wes and Cara, Mark and Abby, and Gwen and Tim and all of the grandkids and adopted grandkids up the mountain to the Pike National Forest. Three Hondas Pilots and the old Explorer four-wheeled up the mountain!

So after an hour or so of trekking all over the mountain we all found trees, cut them down and loaded them on our cars. Barb and I somehow managed to agree on a tree... she accused me of perfectionism... can't undertand what she meant! All of the kids were having side bets that Dad would use his tree for trimming and still go to Home Depot for his "perfect" Christmas tree. That just sealed the deal. We were putting this tree up!

But back to the mountains. As I said, all of us found trees... and all of us managed to find our ways back to the cars. Barb and I were the last ones back... she said something else about perfectionism... and then we joined the kids for some well earned hot chocolate.

By then I was getting into the spirit. We enjoyed the incredible day in the mountains and the the time with family and we all made it back home safely. Check out each of our kids blogs to see their trees: ( theirs are all better than ours!) But just to prove the point, we put ours up this week despite the harrassment from my Chicago friend, Jim, who kept calling us to say something about Charlie Brown and how it only took him 30 minutes to put up his perfect artifical tree.

So after drilling and whittling four braches in to fill in the holes and wiring up the branches, it was up and looking pretty good. And with a cup of nog in hand I began to reflect on the significance of the whole experience. No, it is not a perfect tree. But the fact that our kids wanted us to join them for the experience is perfect. And in many ways this tree is a daily reminder to me about what is really important. Like so many of us, I can get caught up in the Crate and Barrel glitter of Christmas. What is on the outside is so enticing. But this tree, like our humble Savior, who came to earth in a simple manger is a wonderful reminder of what is important. We are so blessed... with amazing children and grandchildren and friends. So may this post be a reminder to you as it was to me, that Emmanuel is with us at this Christmas time...not in the glamor, but in the form of a child.

And so with the spirit intact, we put up our lights outside.... just couldn't resist!

Merry Christmas to all from Barb and Bruce!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuition or Kitchen?

So what do you do when you are no longer paying college tuition? You think about the remodel projects that you have had on hold for so long! Last fall it was the family room. This fall it was the kitchen and all of the doors in the house. Brad Lanser, our contractor did a great job... so if you live in Colorado, we'll send you his contact info. Here's a few pictures to give you an idea. By the way... the first picture is of our granite... it's called Lava. Pretty upper-middle class, huh?

By the way... Barb and I are no longer going out to eat. Must use the new kitchen.... so if you are in the neighborhood... stop by for a meal!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Garden Party at the Jansen's

We have been enjoying an incredible fall in Colorado. So far no frost and the garden is beautiful. I took a tour of the garden with pictures the other day and thought maybe this would make a good post. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

True Companion for 36 years!

On August 12, Barb and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary, an amazing testament to both God's blessing and the fact that Barb really does not do change! The night before we had a wonderful dinner on the PF Chang's patio overlooking the front range. When Barb and I made plans for the actual day, though, Barb said she wanted to go to the Rockies game with the Diamondbacks... no wonder I love her so much! So we got the tickets... and with a few phone calls, I made arrangements for a stadium message to my bride of 36 years. ( See end of video) About the third inning I finally had to point out the message that was playing between every inning..... she loved it.... but even liked it better when I told her it was tax deductible as a donation to the Rockies charities!

During the game Randy Johnson, yes, the original "Big Unit", sent a foul ball our way and I got my hand on it but didn't catch it.. oh well!

Enjoy the pictures from the past few years. Barb and I have been "True Companions" for 36 years... and we look forward to this next wonderful time of our lives together.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lovin' Being Oma and Opa

Summer is nearly over, school has started for all, and babysitting the grandkids is now back in swing. Having the kids here with Oma and Opa is lots of fun...baking with Payton, filling the bird feeders ("seeders" as Payton calls them), flower & nature tours given by Opa, play time with the cousins, and reading books all makes for great times here in Littleton! We are blessed and are so happy to spend such great times with the kids. Hope you enjoy my first attempt at a slide show! Music to come next time!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sea to Sea Cycling tour

Last Sunday I had the priviledge to be part of the praise team for an outside Sunday service for the 150 0r so Sea to Sea Cyclists who are traversing our country this summer. This group is sponsored by the Chrisitian Reformed Church and are riding from the Oregon coast all the way across the country to New Jersey for the entire summer to bring awareness to issues of poverty and hunger. It is called "Sea to Sea, ending the Cycle of Humger" The service was held outside at Englewood High School and was very inspiring.

Barb and I had a chance to talk to several of the riders afterward. Many of them are blogging during the trip ,so I am including the link: Sea to Sea. If you go to the link, you can also see the acutal progress of the riders as they ride each day. Pretty cool.

I am soooo jealoous to be riding. Some day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Enjoying Colorado Summers

We were able to take a break in the middle of July for a week up in Beaver Creek...6 days to enjoy the green mountain sides and beautiful flowers, several great hikes, and a couple of bike rides. Also time to sit by the pool and enjoy music and food. Our first attempt to share this with all of you and hope we can figure out how to do a blog!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Welcome to the Blogosphere!

Hello to the world! This is Cara, Bruce & Barb's daughter. I have created a blog for them in order to "encourage" them to share their lives. We have enjoyed being more connected to our family all over the country, so I think that my parents should blog too. They aren't convinced they have enough "cool" pictures, stories, info. to share. I'm convinced they do, so here we go! I'll give them a tutorial soon, so they can post on their own!