Sunday, December 28, 2008

Feeling like home...

We have found our church home and haven fallen head over heals in love with the body of Christ. I haven't felt this way since we left Fargo. We have visited and went to many churches in the past 4 years but nothing felt like "home." Don't get me wrong we have met and participated with many wonderful people and churches but it just hasn't felt like we are completely home. This is the FRIENDLIEST church I have ever been to! They welcome the socks off of any newcomer! (and it is not just the greeters....everyone comes up to you and says..."Hey, I have never met you before, I am so and so." The preaching is awesome and they seem to be a church striving after the gospel. I feel blessed!

Today the Pastor talked about rest and how we need to rest in order to get rest. I am the queen of the checklist and my checklist is always going! I start one every week with hopes of finishing it. But today - I took a nap! It was very refreshing to close my eyes. I didn't do anything on my list today!

With that being said, after 6 months of being here we are settled. The newness has worn off and we are into the real routine of life here in Minnesota. We don't long for SF or our way of life there, we love exactly where God has called us.

I had the opportunity to talk to an old friend from Fargo for an hour last night and that always warms my heart. (it is not too often that I have time to talk for an hour!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Away in a Manger

Here is our little choir...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gingerbread houses and Happy Birthday Jesus

So we took the 9 children and made gingerbread houses! Again my sister-in-law and myself are a tad bit crazy...but so well worth it. The kids had such a great time plus we used all of my mom's old candy.

I was so proud of Grace today because we went to visit Alice (the woman whom we bought the house from) and Grace gave Alice her gingerbread house. Her heart was being generous and it was a big deal because she worked so hard on hers as you can see from the picture below.

We had my family Christmas this past weekend. And can you believe that my brother Chris and I still look alike? When I shaved my head, was the first time that I really saw how much we do look alike.

Happy Birthday Jesus...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flashback Friday

Who's Taller?

One day about 5 years ago my brothers were arguing as to who was taller? We couldn't tell with just looking so we got out the level. Lo and was completely level! I was laughing so hard because each was so sure that "He" was taller.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

Larsen Family Theme Verse 2008

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

What a year 2008 has been for us! While writing our Christmas letter last year, we had an inkling that God was up to something big and boy was he ever! We took a huge leap of faith, following God’s lead, and moved back to St. Cloud, MN (Carl’s home town) to start our own business; Telescope Media Group. Daily we’ve repeated our theme verse as a reminder that God has called us on this adventure.

When Carl is not stuck in his chair working on an animation, you will find him and all the kids playing on the Zipline that runs from his sister’s backyard into ours. At 210 feet long, it is sure to make your heart race when you jump off for the first time! Carl has also been hosting a podcast on the internet teaching other video professionals his latest tips and tricks.

If Angel isn’t busy with the girls or helping Carl with the business, you can find her making nursing shawls, head scarves, and bows for her own company, Wings. She also has become a faithful blogger, and enjoys keeping friends and family up to date with the pictures and stories of our life. She also continues to homeschool Grace and Lydia while chasing a two-year-old who thinks its fun to dump everything out of every container.

Grace is now 5 years old and has a serious flare for drama. Everything comes with actions, sound effects and frills – and she loves the fact that her six cousins live right next door! When all of them get together there’s a full cast and crew just waiting for an audience.

Lydia is 4 years old. Give her a pencil and she’ll draw you the cutest family you’ve ever seen. She’s usually is the first to wake up in the morning, and loves to have special time with her Daddy reading their Bibles before anyone else is up.

Adie will be 2 in January and we are happy to report that she thinks walking is cool. She has decided talking is unnecessary because her older sisters do enough of it, and screaming gets you most everything you want anyways. She hates having her hair done, wearing a diaper, and sitting in her car seat, but she loves to sit on Daddy’s lap while he is working.

We have started the process of adopting two children from Ethiopia. We don’t know who they are yet, but we think and talk about them daily at our house. Lord willing, we hope to have them in our home by next Christmas.

May the Lord richly bless you with His love,

Carl, Angel, Grace, Lydia, and Adie Larsen

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mysterious Christmas Card

So, I had Carl go and get the mail at 10pm because I never think to do it while there is still light. Anyway, we get this card in the mail (from Sioux Falls) that is addressed to us with our same return address. Inside was a gift certificate to Walmart and the card read:

"Wish you a season of new beginnings and a wonderful journey into the year ahead. "

Here we are trying to figure out who's handwriting this is and we are coming up blank.

So - if YOU are reading my blog, I say thank you! I am still smiling about this and will the next time I need to make my famous Walmart runs.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Adoption update

We have our home study on the calendar for January 6th! Yeah! The crazy part is that if we would have been home this weekend, she would have done it then! WOW!

Now we need to head down to the police station to have them write up a little notice that we have not committed any crimes:)

I was encouraged to talk to our social worker today. She is on our side and wants us to adopt! You don't always get that vibe when you talk to people in the adoption world.

I am now off to read to my girls and put them to bed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We're back...

We just made it back from my parent's house. The mid-day snowstorm put a little damper as to the time we were going to leave. But we had a great time hanging out at Papa and Nana's house and even got in a little Christmas caroling.

Now we are off to the cousins for some yummy soup!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The assignment:

Take a picture of yourself right NOW!

DON’T change your clothes, DON’T fix your hair… Just take a picture.

Post that picture with NO editing.

Post these instructions with your picture.

So this is what I look like after having the whole day without my girls. My parents are simply amazing. They drove an hour last night to pick up my girls so they could have one extra day with Nana and Papa. Now this means, We have 24 hours with no children in the house. I have been on a terror cleaning, organizing and I have a whole lot more that I would like to get done. Oh - I even got to go on a walk with my sister-in-law without children! (that is unheard of around here!)

One would think I would have showered by now, but hey, I still have time.

So, If you are reading my are tagged! I am looking forward to your pictures!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Flashback Friday

This was the last snow fall of the year last year in SF. We took advantage of the 30+ degree day and made a family of snowmen. I was a little sentimental about it knowing that we were moving in a couple of months. Grace and Lydia were standing next to the snowman that "looked like them." Notice that it can't be too cold outside if Lydia is wearing her rain boots instead of her winter boots.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gracie's getting married...

This morning at 7:00 am I let all the kids come out of the bedroom - (They were up at 5:50, but we have a rule that you must stay in your bed until 7 - so same rules apply when the cousins are here.)
Grace informed everyone at the breakfast table that she was going to marry Simon.

Then she told me, "You know mom, he is 3 1/2"

I had to correct her and tell her that he did just turn 4.

"Well, I need to be older than him, so that I can take my driver's test first."

"Oh, that's great honey. I am sure Betsy will be really happy that she can be apart of our family."

I am kind of glad that she arranged her own marriage.

Oh Grace I would love for you to stay by baby girl forever! But I know all too soon you will be walking down the isle. Until then, I am going to cherish everyday!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The sleepover!

We had 5 out of 6 cousins come over for pretzel dipping, supper and a movie. The three oldest are now snug in the bedroom with Grace, Lydia and Adie. Yes there are 6 children sleeping in one room tonight. I am very curious how it will go because Adie has been a pickle the past few nights.

The video actually shows them all very quiet but I have to admit that they were more like a bunch of JH boys who just slammed a Mountain Dew, running around, building forts and boy can 8 children be loud! We just don't have any place to tell them to "go and play." Someday, Lord willing, we will have a basement!

All in all the kids were great! I feel so blessed that we can live next to our cousins and have so many fond memories such as these. What was I thinking dipping pretzels with 8 kids 8 and under? I am glad that I had the foresight to put freezer paper on the table...made clean up a breeze!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Friday Picnic

Yesterday was tough morning with Adie throwing temper tantrums. So, I needed to come up with a change of pace otherwise I thought I might go crazy!

We had a picnic lunch in the entry way including blankets, sandwiches, grapes, carrots and chips. We had a wonderful time imagining what we would see at the park. There were swings, trees, green grass, caterpillars, and even ants were on our blanket. Birds flew overhead and one almost pooped on Lydia. We had a great lunch and were well sunned by the time it was over!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Flashback Friday

Christmas 2003

Life was a whole lot different 5 years ago. This was our little "Rooster." We called her "Roo" while she was in the womb, but it quickly changed to "Rooster" because she was our wake call in the morning. Granted once she was a little older she would sleep until 8 or 9 in the morning. I knew that I had it good, but I didn't know how good! I have no idea what I did all day but I was "busy."

Here was Grace's schedule:
8:00 wake up/eat/play
10:30-12:00 Nap
12:00 Eat/play
2:30-4:30 Nap
4:30-8:00 eat/play

I seriously thought I was busy. I had a child who loved to sleep! Now she thinks she will miss something if she sleeps. No more naps at our house (that is until you strap them into the van for a little drive about 4:30 in the afternoon. Those eyelids can get pretty heavy.)

I am cherishing my little girls right now because they grow up so fast. I pray that you are cherishing yours!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nifty Idea

So tonight I started wrapping presents. It more or less stemmed from the fact that I needed to clean out my stash of gifts and really write down who was getting what. I shop all year round for gifts because it saves on the pocket book come December. I am always listening to what family and friends tell me and most of my gifts really come from the heart. I don't like to give gifts that will just sit and collect dust somewhere.

Back to my nifty idea. I found a lap desk for in bed for my nephew for Christmas. I could not find a box to fit it in so, I went to my stash of fabric and found an old sheet. I sewed it up and now I have a great gift bag. I am quite proud of my little accomplishment tonight. So lesson for those old sheets because you never know when they will be handy! I might have to make some more bags with them!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

Grace was a photographer this weekend, but the big bummer is that all of her photos are corrupted. I can't view them right now. They were extremely cute when I saw them. This picture Grace was taking a picture of Carl and Carl was taking a picture of her.

Adie loves to be in the backpack...even though she doesn't look very happy.

They were putting a lot of "love" in the bread.

They were pretending that they were sleeping.

It took us 12 hours and 5 minutes to get home from the ranch. We were VERY thankful to finally make it back. We have figured out that Adie has about 5 hours of car seat time and then things can go a little sour.