Talking, Turkey and Travels

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Somehow three months have gone by since we last blogged. Three months? How did that happen? Last time we blogged it was sunny summery August. Now it’s wet, cold, cloudy November! We’ll spare you the blow by blow of our lives the last three months and give you the fun highlights (in list form, of course) :)

1. In September Jason turned 38. We had a fun time celebrating with friends, eating cupcakes, playing games and giving him words of encouragement. And in honor of his birthday he graduated to a smart phone. Only two more years and he can graduate to his 40’s! I’m pretty proud of my cupcake making accomplishments for the party :)

Jason’s favorite new flavor: salted caramel chocolate- this time in cupcake form

2. Fuel School: Jason directed the Light of the World Prayer Center’s first every internship in August/September! It was an intensive three weeks of teaching and experiencing the prayer room. There were 15 interns who completed the program. It was awesome!

the fuel school crew

3. After the fuel school ended we took a little vacay to the Oregon coast and spent some down time with Jason’s dad and bonus mom. It was fabulous!

our little guy LOVES the beach. a boy after his mama’s heart!

4. Every year my family visits an apple farm in the fall. I always look at their pictures with jealousy and wish I could have been there. Well, this year I got to join in the fun! Have I mentioned how much I love living back in Washington yet?

Joshua, his beloved Auntie, and a bunch of pumpkins

5. While Joshua and I were gallivanting at the apple farm Jason was in Washington D.C. A team from the prayer center had the opportunity to represent our lovely state at David’s Tent (40 days of worship leading up to the election). He saw the sights, was encouraged by some wonderful peeps and even got to play the ukelele!

the team leading worship at David’s Tent

6. In October I had the chance to go on two weekend adventures! I went with some wonderful ladies down to Portland for the Women of Faith conference. It was a fun, refreshing time away. Then, Joshua and I traveled to Moscow, Idaho to visit some close girlsfriends (and their kiddos) from our time living there. We all packed into our friend’s uncle’s ranch house- five women and 7 kids under the age of three! It was a crazy, chaotic and glorious time. While it was not physically restful seeing these precious friends was life-giving to my heart.

so fun!

7. We started up a weekly service at the Light of the World Prayer Center called New Song Fellowship. It is a weekly gathering on Sunday nights, serving as an equipping arm of the prayer center, helping articulate the vision and values behind establishing night and day worship and prayer in Whatcom County, training believers from various local churches on how to have a more intimate and effective prayer life.

Jason has been directing the weekly service and teaching a couple times a month. If you want to hear some of what he and others have shared you can listen in from the website: http://www.lowpc.org/archives

8. Joshua has been asking for a beard every since we started reading the Jesus Storybook Bible together. Well, this halloween his dream came true. He transformed into Joshua the pirate! Stubbly beard and all. He was pretty darn cute and seemed to instinctively know how to use a sword.

arrr matey!

9. November 15 marked our 9 year wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a shmancy dinner and a movie (Argo). Here’s to entering our tenth year of marriage!

anniversary dinner date

10. Over the past three months Joshua has become quite the talker-head. He’s moved on from a word here and there to lots of cute little sentences pretty much all day long. He also makes up songs, which I find especially precious. My favorite song is “grandma movie” Although his words are mostly distinguishable he has quite a few that take translation. In fact, many words start with the letter P and become extra beguiling. He says “pup-pakes” for cupcakes, asks for the “pie-pod” (which is my ipod) and just this week started to declare “pissmas lights!” all the time (Christmas lights). And, as you’ll see in the video below, pickle is actually pronounced “pipple.” (Yes, he loves pickles. Why? Because daddy loves pickles, that’s why.)

11. As a fundraiser for our adoption Katrina and I opened an etsy shop! We’d been talking about designing typography prints that people could buy and etsy seemed like the perfect format. So, if you’re looking for some holiday cheer for your walls, an inspirational quote to frame, a gift for a baby shower, or anything custom we could design for you, go check out our etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DreamsvilleCreations (and tell your friends!)

a snapshot of what our store looks like

12. Another great part of living near family? We got to have thanksgiving together! It was super fun to host turkey day at our house on our big ol’ table. We had a Japanese exchange student stay with us for the weekend and experience his first Thanksgiving meal. So fun! We even got to have a second “pizza thanksgiving” with Jason’s brother & fam. Good times. Good food. Yay!

aunties + cousins = fun!

On Family, Yard Sales and Community

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We are so grateful today for the love and support of so many.

• For a sister who stays the night at your house and gets up at 5am with you just to set up your yard sale

• And for her friends who cleaned out their garages and donated all of their nice stuff so we could keep the profits for our adoption fund

• And for a mom who gets up super early and delivers jugs of water and fresh baked “Custer cakes” and then spends all day being super-cashier

• And for a brother-in-law who stays longer than expected to help clean up after everyone’s totally pooped out

• And for friends who are excited for us and who give us things to sell or stop by to just say hi or come buy inane yard sale items just to help

• And for the community at large who came and bought up all this stuff and helped us with each 50 cent or 50 dollar purchase

• And for a family of bobos that survived the great influx of “stuff” and were flexible enough to tiptoe around it and deal with cranky toddlers and cranky mamas from lack of sleep

• And for you in blogland who read my silly list of gratitude written when I should be crashed in bed

Enjoy some pictures from today’s festivities. And thanks to all who helped, donated & bought.

iron man! (aka: Braedon in ski boots)

Happy Birthday Joshua!

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Welcome to the Terrific Twos, Joshua!

You grow more fun each day. You take such delight in learning new things and doing things yourself. It is so fun to watch. You are growing more affectionate with each day and now when I ask for a kiss you will lean in to my face, or when I ask for a hug you will stretch your arms out, or when I ask for a “nose-nose” you’ll put your cute little nose right up to mine. I love you tremendously.

You are constantly talking. I don’t know what you’re saying most of the time, but it is a stream of precious words. And I love it when you sing! I sometimes forget that you pretty much understand everything I say but you remind me often by surprising me with your comprehension.

You are an outdoor-lovin’ boy, a climbing monkey, a playground addict, a smiling and laughing joy, a button pusher, and a somersaulting wiz. You LOVE water in all it’s forms- drinking, splashing, swimming, bathing, rain puddle stomping.

We took you to get a birthday haircut this past week and you look so much older now. You’re our handsome little man! But don’t forget, you’re still our baby bobo and we love you with all our hearts. Happy Birthday, Joshua Aidan!

Top Ten Things I Love about Living in Washington

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Since I made a top ten list of things I was going to miss about Kansas City (and yes, I miss all of those things) I decided I needed a top ten list of the things I love about being here. So here you have it. And these are not in any particular order, just so you know. ~Kara

10. Family. I love being by family! Having most of our family within driving distance just makes me happy.

a weekend on the Oregon coast with the Kellys

9. Light of the World Prayer Center. The people are awesome and God’s doing cool stuff here. What more could you want?

Joshua “helping” dad at a prayer meeting

8. Haggen. Ok, I know I’m a nerd, but really, nothing compares to the grocery stores in Washington. You just have to come shop here to know it and I’m happy to leave the Grandview Price Chopper in my distant memory. Um, I don’t have a picture.

7. The parks. I can’t get over how beautiful it is here. Maybe I just didn’t appreciate it until I left it.

Whatcom Falls

6. Cool weather. This one’s a mixed bag… some have been calling this month “June-uary” And yes, I would enjoy a little bit more sun and a little bit higher temperatures. But I’ll take 70˚ and cloudy over 100˚ and humid any day.

this week’s weather

5. Staalacres. Good food, grandparents, an epic tree house and five acres of beauty. It’s my favorite weekend destination.

grandpa pushing Joshua on the tree house swing

4. Where we live. We literally live just a few feet from the prayer center. Which happens to have a playground. You can’t get a better commute to work!

Joshua really loves the slide next door

3. Berries. Who doesn’t love fresh local real berries?

Joshua enjoying a fresh strawberry

2. Cousins. Joshua has four older cousins nearby and he LOVES them all. He adores following them around and trying to be like the “big” kids.

Tanner and Joshua

1. Bobos. Granted, this one’s kind of like cheating because it’s not unique to Washington. But if we’re honest, bobos are the best part about living anywhere. :)

the bobos at a friend’s wedding

The Kellys are Moving!

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Yes, you read that right. After almost four years of serving the Lord at the International House of Prayer, we are moving back to Bellingham, Washington at the end of April to help build a house of prayer there called the Light of the World Prayer Center! We always felt that our season at IHOP in Kansas City was a time of preparation for being sent out to help establish a similar community elsewhere. A series of events and factors have led us to feel that the time is now and the place is Bellingham.

Many of you receive our newsletter, so rather than repeat what we’ve already told you, we thought this would be a good place to answer some anticipated questions. (If you don’t receive our newsletter and would like to, shoot us an email at jason.kara.ihop@gmail.com and we’ll send you this most recent one as well as add you to our list!) (Also, you can read our latest newsletter just by clicking on the “newsletter” tab at the top of this page.)

1. What will you be doing there?

Light of the World Prayer Center is seeking to establish a 24/7 resting place for the Lord where believers in Whatcom County can come encounter God’s presence and pray for the church to come into maturity and fullness, bringing transformation to every sphere of society and glory to the name of Jesus. We will help oversee the intercessory missionaries, pastoring them and equipping them to be effective in their calling. We will also be seeking to recruit worship leaders, engaging young adults in the area, strengthening the prayer room while seeking to equip churches and ministries in the area to effectively establish a culture of prayer in their communities. Check out their website for more information on the ministry: www.lowpc.org.

The Light of the World Prayer Center

2. What about your adoption? 

We are moving forward and plan to continue with the adoption process. We are just about done with our homestudy and beginning to focus on fundraising and waiting to be matched with a birthmother. When we move we will have to get a “homestudy addendum” to update our new living situation. Other than that, we can proceed as normal! And in case you didn’t see our sweet tshirts for sale, you should definitely check them out! Click on the “super shirts” tab at the top of this page.

3. What about your house? Where will you live?

The Light of the World Prayer Center rents a sanctuary on the campus of Hope in Christ church. We will be living in a house that is owned by the church and is on the church property. Talk about a convenient commute to work! We will be renting our house out here in KC. (Anyone looking for a house to rent starting May 1st? Give us a shout out!)

4. When are you moving?

We will be moving at the end of April and start working with LOWPC by May 1st.

Joshua enjoying Whatcom Falls park in Bellingham.

5. Are you excited to live near family?

Ok, I don’t know if anyone is actually unsure of our response to this question, but just in case, Yes! We are SUPER excited to live near family. We have family in the Bellingham area as well as a short drive away in Seattle and Lake Stevens. We are thrilled that Joshua will get to know his cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents better. Oh, and we like them too.

6. Will you miss ihop and kc?

Of course. We have built some great friendships here and will miss the amazing community, teaching and prayer room. We will not miss tornado season, however.

7. What about the campus ministry you were doing?

This last season has been one of setting foot back on college campuses, seeking to inspire young adults to seek God in worship, envisioning them with the power of prayer.  Jason ended up giving leadership on two campuses: Park University and the University of Kansas. With a team of two others, they pioneered a Luke 18 Project student ministry at Park University that both equipped believers to pray more effectively through a weekly bible study and prayer time and established a conversation program with international students. Sharing our lives and the gospel with students from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Brazil and many other countries was exciting! Jason’s music performance major friend from Russia has read the entire bible in seeking to understand what motivated people like Bach and Beethoven. Pray that the many seeds planted through their conversations would bear fruit in this young man whose heart is so wide open!

At KU, an existing ministry started four years earlier was in need of leadership during a pivotal time of many of the old guard graduating. Going out twice a week we sought to pour into key leaders and give vision and leadership to a weekly bible study with worship and prayer. We saw several new students get plugged in, one a gal named Alex who is in the process of discovering who Jesus really is and what it means to follow him. Pray for her and the thirty other students at KU who are contending for a powerful move of God in Lawrence, Kansas.

IHOP has great leaders who are carrying on the work on both campuses.

2011 Faves

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I love lists. To-do lists, grocery lists, top ten lists, etc etc. My brain functions best in list mode. So, here you have it… a list of my favorite 2011 moments (in no particular order). Bring on 2012 and all the lists it will entail.

1. Joshua started walking. Sure, more mobility means more work for us, but how fun to see him run around and explore the world! One of my favorite things ever about this new skill of his is that he’s recently learned how to hold my hand while we walk together. My heart melts when he reaches up for my hand with his little fingers. Sigh.

2. Lots of time in the great state of Washington = lots of time with both our families. We spent a good chunk of our summer in Seattle and while the reason we were there will not be making this list (Jason’s mom’s heart surgery), it was so wonderful to get so much time there (and with sunshine at that!)

3. Mexico, baby. Not only did we trade in a wintery March week for a balmy week on the beach but we spent a chunk of quality time with “Grandpa & Bubbie”. That’s my kind of multi-tasking! Plus, Joshua had his first beach experience to boot.

Oh, and I PET A BABY TIGER. It’s not every year you can say that.

4. We discovered a beautiful lake “hiding” in our neighborhood. Actually, I knew it was there but why didn’t I ever visit? I love living close to a park with water!

5. A new addition to our family: our housemate Brandi. Ok, so technically she’s not a Kelly but she drinks coffee like she is and we’ve officially converted her to our nightly ritual of eating a bowl of cereal before bed. Plus, Joshua adores her and she’s the one who really discovered the lake and she snagged me my part time job. Come on, let’s give it up for Brandeis!

6. Speaking of my part-time job, that makes the list as well. I am grateful for the additional income, the hours that fit our schedules just right, and the finding of a job that includes down time for things like menu planning and checkbook balancing. (I don’t have a picture for this one… I mean, I guess I could bring my camera to work one day and take a thrilling self-timer portrait of me sitting at a desk, but I most likely never will)

In lieu of a work picture, I will include my favorite daddy & son picture of the year. Working a couple days a week has also resulted in more quality bonding time for Joshua and Jason.

7. While Jason’s mom’s aforementioned heart attack and surgery are not things I would have hoped for in 2011, we are oh so ever grateful that she is still alive and kicking. Not only that but she came to visit us! We have enjoyed having “Nanny” around for the holidays and have loved getting to share our life here in Kansas City with her.

8. Eight years of marriage to my bobo. I hope one day we can say we’ve been bobos for 80 years… I’ll be 106 and he’ll be 109 and we’ll still call each other bobo and we’ll still be best friends. That’s my plan. (And Joshua will be OLD.)

9. We took an action packed awesome 5 day trip to California . We made new friends, stayed on a pomegranate farm, Jason spoke at a children’s camp (which he was awesome at), we saw two of my old childhood friends and I had the chance to show Jason my childhood home and city. So fun.

10. This face. Joshua makes it when he finds something utterly delightful. It might be swinging, sliding, puppies, being tickled, his daddy or a number of other things. He’s such a joy.

I thought of about 8,000 more things in the process of making this list but I’m pretty sure I’ve already overloaded you with photos, if you even made it this far. There are many more family members, friends and events I am grateful for this past year.  So, thanks for being a part of our 2011 and happy new year!

Merry Christmas from the Kellys!

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This cute Christmas picture has been on our fridge all year. So maybe it’s because I see it everyday that I felt the need to attempt to recreate the moment this year into one of those “see how much he’s grown” shots. Well, I have to say, there’s a big difference between a 5 month old and a 1 1/2 year old. So even though he’s still as cute as ever and even though he still wears the same cute green diapers, this is the last year of trying to recreate this one!

It seemed like a good idea at the time… until I realized that he is dying to remove all the ornaments off the tree and I just set him so close that he could climb there all by himself. I’m lucky I got any shots that were in focus he moved so fast! (notice he is holding an ornament he managed to get at before I pulled him away)

So here’s our close enough shot for your holiday enjoyment. We hope you all have a fabulous Christmas!

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