Clara’s First Ballet Recital


Clara measures her weeks by Thursdays. Is it Thursday? How many days until Thursday? Okay, so Tuesday, Wednesday, then Thursday? Thursdays are when she has dance class with Joie. We are so thankful for our beloved friend who has built a joyful and loving community, thankful that she pours her giant heart and considerable talents into teaching our kids to love dancing, thankful for the friendships that have been formed, the discipline and skills that have been learned, and the fun that has been had.

Last week the students put on such a creative and sweet recital, The Runaway Bunny: A Ballet from Studio 139. I realize that some of these pictures are less than perfectly sharp: that’s okay, I’m just going to go ahead and claim partial/total blindness from the stunning cuteness. Seriously. Good grief, too much. And, although the shards brought me to my knees, my favorite part was still the reverence. Traditionally, the reverence is the last ballet exercise of the class and is directed toward the teacher to pay respect; at Studio 139, the reverence is directed toward God to honor him.

December 24


We awoke to a winter wonderland this morning. I hadn’t even considered the possibility of a white Christmas. What a treat!

The kids had an absolute blast playing in the snow–jumping, making snow angels (not Clara’s favorite), catching snowflakes (Simon and Ian both posed for the camera, but Clara did it on her own without being prompted–so delightful), causing avalanches off the trees, and chasing each other around with snowballs too light and fluffy to stick together. And then when they had worn themselves all out, Jason had hot chocolate ready to go.

December 23


Usually we do new jammies, a ride to look at the Christmas lights, and a special meal of tempura on Christmas Eve, but this year we opted for a saner option and did those three things on Christmas Eve Eve (don’t worry, we have plenty of traditions to carry us through tomorrow as well). After about three hundred pictures of the kids in their matching jams, Simon took over directing the shoot. “Pretend like it’s Christmas morning” was his idea for this shot.

December 22

December 22

Car fulla kids ready for Winter Break!

December 21

December 21

Then he got an idea! An awful idea! Simon got a wonderful, awful idea!

December 20


Making Grandma Johnson’s ginger cookies.

December 19


Book club and cheesecake for breakfast. Saturday morning doesn’t get much better.

December 18

December 18

A toast to all of our Life Group being able to gather to laugh and eat really good food and celebrate Christmas together. There was something in each of these families’ day or week that could have prevented them from being able to join us, but we all made it, and I’m ever so thankful we did. This year with these friends has been transformative. It is absolutely our pleasure and privilege to gather with, live in community with, and pray for and with these people. They are good ones.

December 17


I can’t really explain why I like this photo so much. I think it’s because it feels like home to me (well, I mean it is home, but…)–everyone crowding around to take their turn hanging an ornament on the Jesse Tree (we had several days of catch-up to do). A little crazy. All my favorites in one room.

December 16


So, truth be told, the help today didn’t last much longer than the photo op. He lost the scissors, I guess? I don’t really know how that happened. I won’t complain, though, that’s two less gifts I have to wrap this year.

* Ian is pretty much always game for helping to wrap gifts.