Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Grandma and Grandpa!

We wish we could be together, but you are in our thoughts and in our hearts today. We're glad you get to be with at least some of your grandkids and kids today celebrating the birth of our Lord. Merry Christmas!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Carols

The kids enjoy singing Christmas carols. We're still working on figuring out all the words. :)
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Sunday


I took several pictures of the kids dressed up for Christmas Sunday but because it seems that it takes a near miracle of God to get all the kids looking in the same direction, at the same time, smiling, etc. etc. this is the only one that turned out decent. Thanks to Mark Kraft, one of the deacons at church, who helped keep the kids attention while I took this one.
Emery loves to sit in the adult service with us but I for now I think she gets more out of her age appropriate sunday school class, but we do let her come in and join us for the singing which she loves to be a part of.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Every year, I think since we've been married, we've gotten our Christmas tree the weekend of Thanksgiving and spend the weekend decorating the tree and house for Christmas. We love the Christmas season! However, we weren't in town for Thanksgiving and for almost 2 weeks after that so we're a little behind in getting ready for Christmas. But, better late than never!

Emery helping m
e put lights on the tree.
Our resident electrician setting up our Christmas village.
Matt putting ornaments on one of the several trees in the living room.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dancing Shoes


Andrew's shoes we bought in August right before school started already have holes in them so we stopped in at an outlet mall on the way home in hopes of finding him some sturdy sneakers for a good price. I did find a pair of plain black sneakers that looked like they could handle all that Andrew could dish out but Andrew found this pair at the same time. He really had his heart set on basketball shoes and the ones I picked out were not. His were a little bit more but he liked them VERY VERY much and when he tried them on he started dancing in the store and said they were "dancing shoes." They aren't the "sensible" shoes we'd pick but decided to let him have those since he seemed incredibly excited about them. He's enjoyed them ever since that day and doesn't regret buying them one bit even though they do take a long time to put on (Peter warned them that they would). I wonder what his wardrobe is going to look like when he's a teenager!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Disney world part 3

I promise this will be the last Disney post. :) There were usually 2 parades a day and the kids really enjoyed them, dancing and bopping along with each one, as you can see here with Matthew.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Disneyworld part 2

There are a lot of shows at Disney world and one of them is specifically for preschool aged children and features the characters of preschool geared shows on the Disney channel. Even though we don't have cable, my kids have seen enough of the shows at my parents' house to enjoy the show as you can see here. Matt and Emery had a ball dancing and clapping along with the puppets on stage.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Disneyworld!

In 2000 Peter and I drove 16 hours to Orlando and visited Epcot, at Disney World for the first time and loved it. Ever since that we've always wanted to go back when we had kids. That wish was finally fulfilled these last couple of weeks. We had a "magical" time at Disney World watching the kids enjoy themselves to the fullest riding rides, eating junk food, watching shows and parades. Thank you God for a very undeserved blessing!

Here are just a few highlights:

Looking ferocious at the Animal Kingdom.
The Jungle Cruise was Emery's favorite.

"New York City" at Hollywood Studios.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Just stuff


This was the final product on our jack o lantern. The kids wanted a scary one.

A funny story. The other day Emery asked me to put nail polish on her and so I was putting it on when Matt said, "Emery, you should put on lipstick then you would look REALLY pretty." Emery said, "I can't Matt. If I do that, then EVERYBODY will be jealous of me." She is hilarious! After I finished her nails I went down stairs. She came down shortly after me and looked like this picture. This little girl cracks me up!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Late Jack O Lantern



My pumpkins didn't grow as I had hoped and it got too cold before any of ours actually got fully mature to the hard orange things we know to be pumpkins. But we got one very large green soft pumpkin. The kids still wanted to carve it even though it's a little late for that. They don't know that, and they don't care. So we carved the pumpkin today and put it out on the porch. I'll put a candle it in for a little while today because we're holding a meeting here tonight and the kids thought it would be nice for them to see our jack o lantern.

First Snow


It was very unexpected but we got some snow yesterday. I walked by the window and had to look twice to be sure that I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. Emery and Matt got very excited and put on ALL their winter gear and went out to play. They came back inside totally soaking wet down to the skin, with a thin layer of ice over parts of their clothes, and happy as could be. On Sunday it's supposed to be 71 degrees. This is crazy weather.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Gospel

I have been reading in Ezekiel in my quiet times lately. And I came across this verse today:
Ezekiel 18:32 "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live."

This verse is set at the end of a chapter where the Lord rails on the wickedness of Israel. He is the just judge who righteously punishes all sin. And this chapter follows 17 other chapters pronouncing woe and judgment on the sinful idolatry of the nation.

Even though God is holy and perfect and has righteous anger for those who sin against Him, he takes no pleasure in executing that justice. Even though He of all people should be happy that the evil are given the justice they deserve, He wants sinners to repent and be saved. And He doesn't just want repentance like I want ice cream. It is not a passing fancy or even a good thought.

He demonstrated this desire with a love that still boggles my mind. How could He kill His own Son to save me? Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

Sinclair Ferguson wrote, "When we think of Christ's dying on the cross we are shown the lengths to which God's love goes in order to win us back to Himself. We would almost think that God loved us more than He loves His Son. We cannot measure His love by any other standard. He is saying to us, 'I love you this much.'

"The cross is the heart of the gospel; it makes the gospel good news. Christ died for us; He has stood in our place before God's judgment seat; He has borne our sins. God has done something on that on the cross which we could never do for ourselves. But God does something to us as well as for us through the cross. He persuades us that He loves us."

Isn't it good to know that you don't have to earn God's continued love? You already have it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Commander Cody

I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that our computer crashed. We have friend working on it and hopefully, it can be restored, especially considering it is only 3 1/2 years-old!

The good news is that we kept our old computer. Classic baby. It's a Dell with a Pentium 3 chip, about 3oo MB of RAM and Windows 2000. It takes about a minute for any web page to come up. But it works for email and the occasional blog post.
We just happened to find a costume today for Matt at a garage sale for $3! Gotta love it. And it just so happens to be a clone trooper - Commander Cody - whoever he is. You can't see it behind the mask, but Matt is absolutely stoked! For those of you not as familiar with 80's parlance, that means he was super excited - he wore it all day long.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

#21 - The Reformed Pastor

I've been meaning to read Richard Baxter's classic for quite some time. It is a book written primarily for pastors but it is not about reformed theology / Calvinistic doctrine. Baxter is seeking to reform pastors in their practice of ministry, both in personal character and weekly duties.
Baxter is one of the strongest advocates for personal visitation and catechizing. He not only believed in the strong preaching of the Word from the pulpit but also the personal ministry of home visitation to every member of his church. During these visits, he led the family, especially urging the father to continue this work, in question and answer sessions regarding Christian doctrine.

Baxter was so organized and systematic about it all that he visited every family (800 families were in his church!) at least once a year. From what I understand, this comprehensive ministry led to a transformation of so many individuals in the community of Kidderminster in the 17th century that the whole area was transformed. Here are some quotes:
  • O what abundance of good might ministers do, if they would but live in contempt of the world, and the riches and glory thereof, and expend all they have in their Master's service, and pinch their flesh, that they may have wherewith to do good!
  • We must have a special eye upon families, to see that they are well ordered, and the duties of each relation performed...Persuade the master of every family to cause his children and servants to repeat the Catechism to him, every Sabbath evening, and to give him some account of what they have heard at church during the day.
  • You are not like to see any general reformation, till you procure family reformation. Some little religion there may be, here and there; but while it is confined in single persons, and is not promoted in families, it will not prosper, nor promise much future increase.
  • We must be diligent in visiting the sick, and helping them to prepare for a fruitful life, or a happy death. Though this should be the business of all of our life and theirs, yet doth it, at such a season, require extraordinary care both of them and us.
  • [In explaining the necessity for church discipline] What will you do with such sinners? Will you give them up as hopeless? That would be more cruel that administering reproof to them. Will you use other means? Why, it is supposed that all other means have been used without success; for this is the last remedy. The principal use of this public discipline is not for the offender himself, but for the Church. It tendeth exceedingly to deter others from like crimes, and so to keep the congregation and their worship pure.
  • There must be a prudent mixture of severity and mildness both in our preaching and discipline;
  • Our whole work must be carried on under a deep sense of our own insufficiency, and of our entire dependence on Christ.
  • How few ministers do preach with all their might, or speak about everlasting joys and everlasting torments in such a manner as may make men believe that they are in good earnest!
  • What have we our time and strength for, but to lay them out for God? What is a candle made for, but to burn? Burned and wasted we must be; and is it not fitter it should be in lighting men to heaven, and in working for God, than in living to the flesh? How little difference is there between the pleasure of a long and of a short life, when they are both at an end!
  • A soul is so precious that we should not lose one for want of labour, but follow them while there is any hope, and not give them up as desperate, till there be no remedy. Before we give them over, let us try the utmost, that we may have the experience of their obstinate contempt, to warrant our forsaking them. Charity beareth and waiteth long.
  • But surely he that valueth souls, and knoweth what an opportunity is before him, will go through the exercise with deep seriousness, and will be as earnest with them as for life or death.
I appreciated Baxter's emphasis of doing everything possible to avoid hypocrisy. I also liked his strong emphasis on ministering to families. And maybe he was a product of his times, but his serious tone resonated with me too. I know and experience great joy in Christ, but often times I feel the weight and gravity of working for the eternal fate of men's souls.

This was a very good book for pastors. I see why so many recommend it for those in ministry, and I whole-heartedly concur.

Monday, November 1, 2010

LA

We got back from LA last night. It was a fairly quick trip. Traveled most of the day Thu, spent most of Friday taking care of funeral stuff, Sat took care of a couple family things and then Sun was traveling back to KS.Matt was a trooper. He did a great job at the funeral services and family events. I was very proud of him.Saturday was all about him though. He had grandma and grandpa all to himself!I think he had the best day of his little life - tv all morning, McDonald's for lunch with a happy meal, then to the toy store, plus Chuck E. Cheese and then to get ice cream! Can it get any better for a 5 year-old?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Costume night

Last night was costume night at Awana. There were lots of wild animals roaming around and a ballerina.The girls were decked out with plenty of frills and fluff.There was also a Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion sighting. I think they lost the yellow brick road though. Are we in Kansas or what?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Great grandma

My dad's mother, the boys and girl's great grandma, passed away last Sunday. She was 90 years-old. So it wasn't a shock, but it was a surprise as she appeared to be in relatively good health.She had 5 children, 16 grand children and I don't know how many great grand children. Some of my family is in Korea, and I haven't seen them in almost 30 years. This picture was taken about 5 years ago with about half of the family.She was the last of my grandparents, the end of a generation in our family. It's a somber time in the Lee household. Psalm 90 comes to mind:

Psalm 90:1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. 3 You turn man back into dust And say, "Return, O children of men." 4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night... 10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away. 11 Who understands the power of Your anger And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You? 12 So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Piano

Sandy took 10 years of piano lessons. I took almost 1 year. But I also took almost 10 years of violin lessons. And we both love to sing. Music is definitely a big part of our lives. So we want all of our kids to learn the play the piano and read music at the very least. The only problem? We don't have a piano...until now!Actually, we did get a piano earlier this year. However, it was not quite our style...Some friends from church were moving and giving it away. I didn't realize what I was getting into when I thought I could re-finish it.Thankfully, I won't have to worry about that project because some other friends had a piano that was ready to play! So now we're ready to go. The boys and girl have been "playing" it non-stop. Let's see if they still like it once piano lessons really begin!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Psalm 1

With Awana going on in full swing, we have verses flying all over the house! Andrew and Matt both have quite a few they are working on for Awana. Emery has few herself. I am also trying to maintain their previous family verses and add new ones suited for their individual character development. Plus, I have my own verses to keep track of. Can there be too many Bible verses?
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As Andrew is starting to gain some independence, I thought he could use this verse. I am very proud of the great job he has done in memorizing verses this year. As I looked over the verses that he has memorized (see the right side bar), I am so thankful that he has developed this discipline. He comes home every day from school and reads his Bible and practices his memory verses. As a parent, it is so gratifying to know he is doing that!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yay, I was wrong!


Normally I don't love it when I'm wrong but this time I'm glad to say that I was! Just a few days ago I said that I had a failed pumpkin crop but I'm happy to say that suddenly we've got pumpkins! I was out weeding with the kids yesterday and Matt and Ems shouted to me that there was squash. I was a bit skeptical but sure enough there it was! I was going to just pull it out and trash it a while back but Peter and my dad said to leave it alone and just see what happens. I guess patience does pay off. At this point I saw at least 4 pumpkins starting to grow. They won't be ready in time for fall decorating but we should have plenty of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving!

On a totally different note, this must be some sort of record for me, three blog entries in one month!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Soccer season

I'm a little late posting about Matt's fall soccer season. It finished up a couple of weeks ago.
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Matt had a great first season and scored a ton of goals. This video starts off pretty slow but after a little wait and a stumble, Matt manages to sneak in for a goal. Too bad he left his coach hanging!
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I know they don't sound excited, but trust me, they were both SUPER excited about the season! I am very proud of Matt's great season.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

He did it!

Congratulations to my honey for finishing the half marathon within his goal time of 2 hours! Actually, he finished in 1 hour and 57 minutes, to be precise. I think he could've done it even faster except that there were soooo many people for the first few miles that he couldn't run at pace until after the trail split off for the full marathon runners. Not to mention that fact that he only got 5 hours of very interrupted sleep the night before and the last few weeks of training were disrupted by illness, rain, and the Desiring God conference. He was a little nervous this morning wondering how all those things would affect his ability to run.
A few stats:
-overall pace: 8:59 minute mile. They give you a tracking device for your shoe and track your pace at various mile markers. Very cool.
-finished in the top 25% of all half marathon runners
-finished in the top 50% for men in his age categoryThis is what the kids and I were doing while Peter was running his heart out in the early morning hours. Sleeping and eating away!
It was a bit hard to find him in this crowd of thousands. Thankfully we had pre planned a meeting place in the event that we weren't able to find each other at the finish line.
The kids are proud of their daddy and so am I! Not only do I appreciate the fact that I am married to a man that is disciplined enough to fit this into his already very busy schedule but that he did it while maintaining his priorities as a husband, father, and pastor. He would often go to train in the evenings after he had put the kids down to bed at night so as to not sacrifice his time with the kids. I know he was already very tired by that time, yet he pushed on. It takes a special kind of man to do that. And you must know that he does not have any sort of love for running. In fact, Andrew asked him today if he could run with Peter at the track and Peter said, "I'm not running again for some time!" haha! I love you honey!

Friday, October 15, 2010

You can't win them all...

I've always wanted to decorate my front entrance area with lots and lots of pumpkins during the fall but I could never get myself to spend that much on a temporary decoration. I also thought it might be a nice neighborly gesture to pass them out to neighbors to build relationships. So, I thought I'd grow a bunch of pumpkins this year to decorate with.
Started out fine, even in the intense heat of our hot and dry summer.

I got lots and lots of beautiful flowers but no squash. I'm guessing it's because I didn't have both male and female flowers. I initially had 2 more vines but they were destroyed by squash bugs. I'm guessing if they had survived, I might've fulfilled my dream of having pumpkins galore. Oh well, there's always next year!

We're off to the half marathon festivities later today. We'll post pictures of how it went soon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy Birthday!

She hasn't changed a bit since the day I met her...We got all dolled up for a night on the town on Sandy's birthday...ha! It was crazy hair night at Awana.We had fun with it.As usual, I had the kids make a birthday card for mom. Every year, the artistry and creativity improves. This is Andrew's page. Mom is cooking on the left, and she has a few gadgets and a dozen little helpers doing all sorts of things such as throwing butter and filling up her syrup pitcher. The other helpers are welding, guarding, painting, and placing gold onto the star with a rocket powered crane. This is a small window into the mind of Andrew. I think that's why he can't remember to do anything! There's too much going on!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Quarterly Update #3

Can you believe the year is 3/4 finished? Every year, it goes faster and faster. Thankfully as a Christian, it's exciting to be getting closer and closer to heaven.

It's time for my last quarterly update for the year. Click here for my previous update.

Goal #1 - Read 16 books
  • Well, I made it to 20 so far. I think I'm getting extra credit. It's amazing to think how much God has changed me so that I like reading. I've noticed in the summer months I slow down with all of the summer projects. But with the cold weather approaching, I think I'll be reading more soon.
Goal #2 - Run the KC Half-Marathon in under 2 hours
  • I ran 12.5 miles 2 weeks ago. I ran a 7:14 mile on Saturday. I'm not exactly in as great shape as I was about 4 weeks ago, but I think I can do it. The race is this SATURDAY! Can you tell I'm excited?
Goal #3 - Read through the Bible
  • I'm about 20 days ahead of schedule. I'm in the middle of Jeremiah and just finished 2 Timothy. Jeremiah is a really emotionally difficult book to read. The judgment and pain of God for His harlot and rebellious child Israel is tough to swallow. God's holy love for us is so deep.
Goal #4 - Memorize 12 new Bible passages
  • After cruising through several proverbs, I'm hitting a big chunk in Colossians. I like the variety of memorizing different types of biblical literature. It keeps things very fresh. I'm already looking ahead to next year though I'm wondering - should I try and memorize a book of the Bible or possibly some verses related to the character of God? I haven't memorized a book of the Bible in a long time yet I want to always grow in my understanding of the greatness of God. Too many options, not enough brain power...
I love my goals this year. They have really helped me to stay disciplined and focused all year. It's exciting to think that the Lee Family Retreat is coming up soon too.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Big girl bed

Somehow Emery has grown up. How did that happen?We retired her toddler bed and gave her a regular twin. She was very excited about it. Can you tell?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

We're done!

This weekend, I finished painting the last touch up spots on the house and shed! We're done! The brushes are cleaned and put away, hopefully, forever.Here's the shed. And below is the metamorphosis of our house in 2 1/2 years:This is April 2008 when we saw it for the first time.Oct 2008 - new roof, no shrubs and removed a tree.July 2009 - 2 construction vehicles, 2 tons of gravel and lots of digging.The end result? A waterproof basement but we lost any curb appeal we may have had.Oct 2010 - It's amazing what some paint, a new screen door, some shutters, a new lawn, a little castleblock border and some new shrubs can do for a place! It feels like we live in a whole new house. I just realized that it pretty much is a whole new house.Here's the side view. Praise God we're finished! For now...

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Myungs


My parents just left yesterday after 8 days in KS. I only got to have a few days with them because we were at the conference but those few days we had were great!
My dad did various projects for us in the yard including transplanting plants, staking, and finished painting the shed! Thanks dad!The kids LOVED having them around and miss them already.
We spent one day seeing some of the sights in the Kansas City area including Overland Park Botanical Gardens, the Nelson Atkins Museum, and we grabbed dinner at Country Club Plaza. Thank you for visiting us! We look forward to having you here again at Christmas time!