Snow Bunnies and Babies

Annual ski trip was so much fun!
(Michael and Caroline and Presley had to stay home to keep her from getting sick right before her big surgery so we missed them so so much!)

 Do not be fooled  by these beautiful photos- the twins cried the whole way down this run that we stumbled upon while we were out.  They did so great but because it was a blue they got a little freaked out and panicked.  I cant wait to keep trying and keep pushing them because they are really improving.
Also, kids in ski suits are the cutest.
Everyone loved sledding!  We had so much fun with Kai and she is always up for anything.  Shea would get nervous but then Kai would bust it out and it definitely encouraged shea to do it.  I love those cousins and cant wait until Presley is up there and all three of the youngest girls are best friends.

Jeff encouraged Patrick to try out the stache, too.  I think they look so handsome.  I dont think it lasted a lot longer than this trip for Patrick though...
We missed Presley and Michael and Caroline so much and were so glad they shared updates on that smile and sweetest laugh.  Cant wait until we can all go together again!


From Thanksgiving (to almost) Christmasish

We went to go see Michael and Caroline and Presley's, of course, new house and they had the sweetest Christmas party and the kids had a blast.  Shea was obsessed with the train and loved every bit of it.
Allison and I had a show in Ft Worth where we brought back the screen wall and brought in the Christmas vests.  And Bob, who clearly knows me so well, brought me the best pizza I have ever had.
 Jan hosted the sweetest gingerbread house making party with all the kids friends.
 I put my cookie recipe on a tea towel for the teachers and gave them some cookies to go with it and it was so much fun.  I even got it to them on time.  Christmas Miracle.

 We went to the park with Hannah and we have been scooting around the neighborhood a little when its on the warmer side of the cold/hot weather swing.
 Avery won 3rd place for 5th grade and Sawyer won 1st place for 3rd grade Science Fair! and Ben got student of the Month for December.  I had pretty much nothing to do with any of those, but I am so proud of them.  And shea doesnt take off her troll jommies.  Especially when her siblings are being honored!

 And this year we got our tree for free.  
I desperately wanted to go cut one down, but jeff was working a ton so we didnt get to.  I relinquished my desire to keep the tradition going and we went to home depot to buy one from the parking lot.  While we were there I remembered that Becca had told me about the free trees that they have that maybe have a little something wrong with them, but aren't really all that bad.  So we looked and sure enough this one was perfect.  It looked great and we had no idea why it was free, so we grabbed it and put it in the truck to decorate.  So now maybe our new tradition will be to find beauty where it is overlooked.
 We love secret life of pets.  We now watch it all the time for family movie night.
We went to a christmas party in our neighborhood with the Masters that had the most beautiful acoustic singers.  It was such a magical night.  To say that I am thankful for their friendship is an understatement.  They mean so much to all of us and being able to walk with them through her cancer diagnosis and treatment has been the most humbling thing.  Their attitude of peace and trust in God is just beyond what I could ever imagine.  They are joyful and patient and just peaceful.  They just radiate peace.  They have shown me how I want to be under trial and I hope that they know how much they have influence everyone around them.


Merry Christmas from the Barstads

Beyond thankful for our family, friends and the holiday season and chance focus and to celebrate Jesus and His birthday.  SO thankful for our lives, our freedom in Christ and for His willingness to die for us.  Merry Christmas from all of the Barstads!


Bob turns 40!

My sweet sister-in-law hosted a family dinner to celebrate Bob turning the big 40. (This was back in October) She had a fun food truck come for dinner and the rest of the evening was a complete surprise to Bob.
Bob's love language is words of affirmation. That is probably my weakest one. I am a words person but not spoken out loud words. I like to either do it through a letter, text, email or shirt (duh). 
During one of Matt Chandler's sermons that we heard during Kanakuk this summer talked about something he did for his daughter's 13th birthday. I knew immediately that I wanted to do it for Bob's 40th. He talked about identity markers, the attributes and character traits God has given each person. For his daughter's birthday he had 13 of her closest family members stand up and talk about 13 different identity markers they saw in her and how God has and will use them in her life. How cool is that?!
So I started a secret family email and gave everyone a list of 40 words that described Bob. I told them to pick 5 or 6 per family and then divide them up for who would stand up and talk about each one. I gave the list of words to the amazing girls at Legacy Cakes and they put them all over his cake.
I printed off each trait on a card with the definition. I then hole punched them and stuck a candle through each one. When each person stood up and talked about their word, they would stick the candle in the cake and then give Bob the word card for him to collect on his key ring.
Here are his 40 words.
Crazy, talkative, perseverance, Dad, Husband, inspiring, strategic, doctor, adventurous, compassionate, charismatic, leader, ambitious, loving, creative, brave, sweet, son, heartfelt, fun, giving, thoughtful, intelligent, courageous, faithful, kind, clever, active, Godly, responsible, honest, helpful, funny, hard working, logical, joyful, wise, skillful, patience and witty.
It took over an hour to put all 40 candles in the cake and it was such a special time that I will never forget. It was so cool hearing all the stories and examples of how we all see Bob's strengths. Everyone was in tears, especially Bob. This was truly Bob's dream birthday. He couldn't get over it and was so touched and humbled.
After everyone was finished talking about Bob, he pulled out a typed letter that he had prepared to read to everyone. He came to his own party with a letter talking about each person at the party and what they meant to him. The tears kept on coming! It was amazing.
It can't be a party without matching shirts!
I have actually had this shirt idea in my head for over a year. I was so excited about doing a "Bob" themed shirt. It's a list of all famous Bob's by their last name. Ending with the most famous one of all! I made a kid version too.

How funny are those WTF koozies?! That was all Bob. He is a clever one.
I love you so much babe. May 40 be your best year ever! 
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