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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

JESUS is...

...the reason for the season. Our purpose. Our hope.

We realize that Jesus was not likely born on December 25th. And the Wise Men were not kings... and they didn't come on December 25th either.

But Christians celebrate Christmas as a day to represent Jesus' birthday. This holy child was born and lived as a human like us-- in a fallen world. Later, He was crucified and died to take on OUR sins. We are now set free from our sin thanks to His sacrifice.

So that's why we celebrate. We hope that you can contemplate that this week-- believer or not. He did something incredible for YOU. He provided eternal life for whoever believes (see John 3:16)!

Our final photo was taken at church this evening where our family lit the final advent candle. Here's a portion of what we shared with our church family: "Tonight we light the center candle, the Christ candle. Its placement in the center of the wreath reminds us of the importance of keeping Christ in the center of our lives." Now there's a good New Years resolution, too!

We hope you've enjoyed our virtual trip through 2008 over this month's posts. We've sure enjoyed creating them and looking back at the joy of our year as a family here in Pullman.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

J is for...

Just in time!

Snow has arrived just in time for Christmas. And we're going to be getting more tonight. And then more after that. And it's DEFINITELY cold enough to be sticking around well beyond Christmas!

So, Dwayne dusted off the snow shovel (Grant too... if you remember him from posts last winter, he's a shovelin' boy!) and began this season's outdoor tasks.


Beyond snow shovelling to begin and end '08 there were other fun and memorable times. Being a husband and father of 3 fast growing kids is a challenge but still the best. Grateful my wife is able and willing to stay home with the kids.

Still working as a fieldman with Wilbur Ellis Company. Working with local wheat growers to fertilize and protect their crops. Our company's annual meeting was in Anaheim, CA in Jan. as the first combined meeting with some 700 sales and upper mgt. employees.

Marriage conference with Angela in Feb. Boating trip with the kids to Hell's Canyon. Harvest with FIL John. Angela invited friends and their families to visit one day and experience harvest -- I set a record for 17+ guest riders in the combine that day. Brother Dan got in on some trucking grain to the elevator for the first time.

Family trips to Lynden, Lynnwood, Steptoe Butte, a few Cougar games, and Spokane's Riverfront park. Hosting family and friends that travelled to Pullman to visit. Listening to my kids conversations (Sadie:"...Grant you're nuts!" Grant:"NO, you a lentil!"). Being dad chauffeur whether it be driving pickup, van, 4-wheeler, tractor, or best of all combine. Did some deer hunting again this year with brother Dan. Tried to use my chainsaw as much as possible cutting 13+ cords of firewood.

It's hard to believe a new year is just days away. I hope you can take time to enjoy the season and thank our Lord for our savior's birth.

{Here's a slideshow of Dwayne's favorite photos from the year, and a video of the kids and their excitement that "Christmas, Christmas Time is Near..."}

Come back for one final installment in the Lenssen Family Christmas Blog Posts... on Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

E is for...

Eternal. I feel like there's eternally something else to be done! The crucial part is choosing to do what is actually important in respect to eternity, right?

Me: Angela. Mom. Wife. Friend. Life Artist (blogging, scrapbooking, photography). In a nutshell.

What a great year! I've been a stay-at-home mom this again this year, but have taken various paid projects in freelance graphic design work for The Sugar Bowl Custom Creamery, The Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life, and the Interfraternity Council. They were fun projects to do-- I learned a lot. And I also learned that working from home is really not what I want to do on a regular basis!

I've also been leading a mom's group at church and have been so blessed and challenged by my friends there and my spiritual growth. We've read the book "A Mother's Heart" this fall and it has reassured me that I'm doing the right thing for our family by staying home with my kids (for now). I'm so lucky to have that opportunity!

2008 highlights for me: the massive amounts of snow we got last winter was so fun (but got old by June); marriage conference with my hubby in February; sharing in trips with my family to Steptoe Butte, the Woodland Park Zoo, Mt. View Farm Centennial, and to Lynden; my baby niece Mya being born; harvest with my family; earning a spot on the Design Team at Paper Pals (our local scrapbooking store); and attending the Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Convention in Seattle in November. Check out my slide show that visually shares these experiences with you! I also love the traditions of the holiday season, and have included a video here of one our our family's favorite traditions. What holiday traditions do you have?

I'm learning to love my kids and my husband more every day. I can't wait to see what unfolds in the year ahead!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

S is for...


We had our first snow today (5 inches!), and the kids spent an hour for every inch that fell just playing and playing. After that much physical activity, they're bound to crash any second now...

For those of you who know Grant, you know we've had an entertaining year! He's ALL BOY, and just turned three a little over a month ago. He's the family comedian. There is no doubt about what he loves... most anything with WHEELS! Grandpa John couldn't be happier with a grandson who loves tractors so much. The highlights to his year definitely centered around his two favorite family events: harvest and his tractor birthday party. He's full of life, energy and LOVE!

His picture slideshow can give you an idea of his passion-- 4 Wheelers. Oh, then it was Hummers. Then it was the garbage truck. And Grandpa's combine. And everything in between. He has spent many hours playing in the sandbox and his playdough... with his tractors as accessories. He also loves helping Dad outside with the yard and firewood, and is good at pestering and making his sisters and Mom laugh!

And the video I'm sharing is a pretty typical activity he'll come up with. So far, we have 4 broken ornaments and counting...

{S} is for...
{U} is for...
{S} is for...

Intrigued? Visit again soon!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

U is for...

UBER-excited kids! Christmas just can't come fast enough. (Funny... I tend to think it comes faster every year!)

Allison is our featured family member today!

She's been known as our "recycle creations" girl this year-- building crafty projects with anything she can get her hands on. Particularly recycled items. To the extreme. When we were eating chicken at a family dinner, she asked me after the meal if she could take the chicken bone home to "make a craft with it". Now that's creativity at work!

Last winter Allison had tons of fun in all the snow we had, she excelled in her gymnastics class last spring, and turned into quite a fish through our summer of swimming. Allison is a "playdate girl"... and adores her friends. Any time she has with them is a great time!

Beyond her reluctance to leave mom to go into school in the mornings (which is putting it lightly), she's been a great kindergartener! She loves the work they do in class and is picking up reading and writing really quickly. Allison just recently joined a Daisy Troop and is excited to do crafty activities, earn patches and spend time with more new friends there.

I've included a slide show of our favorite photos of Allison this year, and also a video of her sharing her version of the Nativity Story. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into our sweet 5 year old's life!

{U} is for... {S} is for... Do you know what's coming next? Come back to see in a few days!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

S is for...



Our second-grader has been busy this year. Highlights include playing in the snow like crazy last winter, working hard to learn verses as an AWANA Spark, piano practice almost daily (her picture above is with her teacher, Miss Christina), harvest and gardening work on Grandpa and Grandma's farm, "swimming" (without putting her face in the water if possible), learning to read and write better... and continually being happy with the simple joys of life. Her gentle spirit is content and compliant, and as friendly as can be!

Here's some of our favorite photos of her from this year, and a video taken two days ago at her fall piano recital. (turn off my background music by clicking the pause button on the music player at the top right hand side of our blog)

Enjoy! And come back soon for more installments in the Lenssen-Palousa Christmas Blog Series!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Additional Visual Aid to Previous Post...

And, for even more insight to our Thanksgiving Day Skype call to Uncle Mark and Aunt Brittany... here's video proof. Fun times.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Virtual Family Gathering

Our thanksgiving was a smaller number of family members this year... but still so nice to just be together.

And since Mark and Brittany are in Saipan for the holidays, we had them join us via Skype. Uncle Mark took time to swap silly faces w/ my kids (as you see my red head girl doing in the photo) and even played "Apples to Apples" with us! It was a great hour and a half visit... and helped us feel connected on Thanksgiving Day.

So one thing I'm thankful for is TECHNOLOGY. As a kid I dreamed that I'd be able to "see someone while I talked to them on the phone". Well, here we are. Meet George Jetson.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I had the pleasure of helping with a surprise 40th birthday party for my dear friend Carrie. Her husband put the plan in motion and I helped execute it... and we succeeded! She was quite surprised and got to spend some time with many special people.

And how about those Cougs?!? We surprised Carrie immediately after the APPLE CUP WIN... definitely a topic of the crimson crowd conversation!
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New Tradition?

Recommendation: try having an early thanksgiving celebration with friends!

Thanksgiving is so frequently with family, that we forget how thankful we are to have our friends. The Davis family invited several families to join in a pre-thanksgiving celebration, and we all had SO MUCH FUN!

I think this should be a new tradition for every year... I'll host next year!
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Monday, November 24, 2008

Which one do you like?

So, I took G-Man to Sears last month to have his 3 year old photos taken. And he wanted to have nothing to do with it. We didn't get any shots. I even bribed him with a new dump truck. He didn't like "the lady"... and a kid has to feel comfortable around the person taking his picture!

I gave up. I wasn't going to get 3-year-old photos of my son. But yesterday I gave it another try myself in my back yard.

He wasn't super cooperative, but we got a few decent shots.

So tell me which one(s) you like best and you just may receive one in the mail (that means you, extended family members!!!)

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6

Photo 7

(My favorite is #3... the only down side is that you can't see his handsome brown eyes... which ones do you like?)

Friday, November 21, 2008

The G-Man turns 3 and has a TRACTOR PARTY!!!

We had the DREAM BIRTHDAY PARTY for any three year old boy... and we've decided we can likely repeat it for the next 15 years and he'll be just as thrilled!

Grandpa was quite pleased to be able to host this event... he even washed tractors, pulled out all kinds of equipment for kids to ride on, and re-tilled fields that were ready to be dormant for the winter. It's amazing what GRANDPAS are willing to do for their GRANDSONS.

Thanks Mom and Dad for letting us have a party at your place! (The last time they let me do this was with my whole sorority at their shop for a barn dance! A bit of a different party crowd than this one...)

S-Bug's 8th Birthday... Magic Party!

I'm so behind on my posts... but here's a peek at S-Bug's birthday party in early October.
Mom attempted to be a magician (pulled over a few tricks on these second graders, but my 10 and 12 year old nephews saw right through them...)and then the kids got to try out a couple of tricks on their own.

S-Bug had the greatest time with her greatest friends!

Monday, November 03, 2008


For family who weren't around to trick or treat... here's a few photos of our Halloween!

S-Bug was Queen Susan from Narnia, A was Sunshine Bear, and the G-Man was King Peter from Narnia.

And Mom was coordinating the church Harvest Festival, but found some time to get dressed up into her Cleopatra costume before the festivities officially started. What a fun festival!

And the next morning... candy galore! (BTW, this was NOT my children's candy... it was left over from the festival and was being donated back to the church that day. But I couldn't resist letting them literally roll around in it for a minute or two... and then choose ONE to eat even though it was breakfast time...)

Monday, October 13, 2008

What a great weekend!

We were so excited to host Dwayne's family here for the weekend! His mom and brothers were all here together for the first time ever, and the first time in years for any of them even individually visiting. Here's a slideshow of photos highlighting their visit.

Come back and see us anytime! (Grant asked where you all were today... and then asked when his birthday party is going to be in an assumption that you'll be here!) The kids really miss you a lot already.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

First Fishin' Trip With Dad

While Mom was away at a women's retreat for church, Dad and the kids were invited to head up the Snake River for a little fishing trip. We've got some really generous and fantastic church friends who run an incredible ministry called Better Fishing Ministries and take people out on the beautiful Snake River. While on the river, there is ample opportunity and visual stimulus to talk about God and the gift of his son, Jesus.

Since several moms were at the church retreat, a few dads and the kids got to take a trip they'll likely not forget anytime soon. And thanks to Lauren (the only woman who was on the boat), the "left behind" moms got to witness a bit of the fun via photographs! Thanks, Lauren!

Long Time...

No See!

Sorry to those regular followers of my blog... this last month blew by with no new posts! I've been busy over at Mom-e-Memoirs (in case you didn't know about my "other blog"). But one of my pet peeves are long waits between posts... so my apologies.

My last post did promise photos of harvest... and even though it's long over, I've only just now finished editing the pics I took during one of our favorite local times of the year.

We spent time at "both farms" for harvest... my dad farms at two locations. One is his family homestead, and the other is my mom's family homestead about 45 minutes away. This year we got to include Dwayne's brother Dan in the "family business" and we really appreciated his help driving trucks. It was fun to see the brothers work together out in the fields. The kids LOVE every minute we spend on the farm-- they get so dirty! Grant is especially fond of the farm. He announced this year that "I want to be a farmer like mine Grandpa!" (notice his hat says "Grandpa's Side Kick"... they're a perfect team!)
The very best part of harvest is playing in the wheat trucks. It's way better than sand (but still finds its way into body cracks and crevices)and always great to invite family friends out to experience farm life. Next year if you're around in August, come and join us!