Saturday, December 6, 2014

2014 Christmas Card!! And a Year of Blessings

It's that time again to share our traditional Christmas Card. 

In many ways, this illustrates our year. The kids… will be kids. They had a pretty good year. But breast cancer crashed in right around Valentines Day and changed most of the rest of the year. A double mastectomy, a follow up surgery later, and they say the prognosis is excellent. Here's Gelerie's take:

At 43, my 3rd yearly mammogram was far from routine and required further testing. The biopsy result was early breast cancer, Stage 0. Because it was too large, I had to have a mastectomy and since I am a worrier I decided it would be better to remove both. Thankfully, I was not required to have chemotherapy or radiation therapy and surgeries went well.

Here I am, in preop just about to change into my gown in April. Erik dared me to wear the outfit from last year's Christmas card and he had to pay me $100 buckaroos.

There is no video this year, but if you missed last year's video that goes with this outfit, here is the link that takes you to our famous music video.
Double Mastectomy in April      Reconstruction in October
Shout out and props to my work families at Poudre Valley Hospital and Harmony Surgery Center in Fort Collins. I had peace in my heart going into the operating rooms. You are the best.

I've missed a lot of work this year, but I haven't missed the joy and blessings of family and friends. Thank you to all who have kept me and my family in your prayers and thoughts. There is power in prayer! The cards, treats, meals, hugs and support have all been much appreciated and not forgotten. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

This reminds me that this place is not our home and I look forward to the day He returns and makes this world new and perfect again. No more sorrows, pain or injustice. 

Wishing you all a Merry, Merry Christmas!!!


The list of all of God's blessings to us this year would be too long and so here are the highlights....

Click on any photo to make it bigger. 

January Birthday Boy!!

Aubrey-Daddy Date with Photobomber in February

In March, we were in Maui and spent time with Gelerie's brother Francis. The following photos were taken at Maui Ocean Center.

Ran into friends in Maui

Erik and Francis rented some KLR motorcycles and spent two days trying to cover every inch of road we could all over (and all around) the island. It was probably the most fun I've had in Maui. If you're a rider, I highly recommend it! Word to the wise: it DOES get cold at 10,000 feet elevation even in Hawaii (Haleakala volcano road). 


Offshore at Kamaole Beach 
Iao Valley State Park
Near Nakalele Blowhole and Finn is upset that he can't stand close to the edge

Erik with friends on the way to the summit of Mount Evans (Elevation 14,265 ft).
On the west ridge, had a windchill of 9F -- in mid June!
Aubrey at Glacier View Ranch Summer Camp in June
Erik with friend Scott Indermaur at the beach in RI.
Erik was on the East Coast for a series of assignments at summer camps. 
Erik hanging with the models at Chestnut Lake Camp. 
Aubrey's 11th Birthday in August (Gelerie forgot the other 1)
Hanging out with cousins Elise and Elliot
In August, Aubrey participated in International Pathfinder Camporee at Oshkosh, WI with 45,000 kids and adults. We saw many friends and family there. It was awesome to reconnect and meet so many people from around the world. 

(some of) Gelerie's side of the family from California

Our Pathfinder Group

In September, Gelerie climbed and summited her first 14er, Mount Bierstadt (elevation 14,065 ft)
She continues to sew and craft and update her blog.

Gelerie here. I wasn't sure where to place this next bit, just because it's been an ongoing experience throughout this year for me. But if I was to capture it with one illustration this would pretty much cover it.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Previous Christmas Cards 2003-2013

I have no idea why there are broken picture links earlier than 2010. Here is the whole collection of our funny Christmas cards since Aubrey started it.

Click on any picture to enlarge.

Here is link to video that goes with this card

Monday, December 16, 2013

Why We Do This...

If you're reading this, there's a really good chance you either have one of our family 2013 Christmas cards, or you've seen it posted here. A natural question you may have (right after, "How will they afford therapy for their kids?") would be, "Why in the world do they do it?" Short answer: I don't know either.

My best guess is we do it because we have a blast doing it. It makes *us* laugh. Maybe because in real life, real life is, well, more mundane than our pictures, serious even. So this is an outlet. Besides, it makes lots of you laugh (or so you say).

But that leaves the question that sometimes goes unasked: If they do this for Christmas photos… what do they think of Christmas? Fair question. Most of Christmas (IMHO) has very little to do with what Christmas originally was -- which was not at this time of year, and didn't involve Santa or snow men or mall parking lots. But *any* time of year is a good time of year to practice giving and generosity, including Christmas. So we give to as well as fund scholarships for women in third world countries to obtain higher education. More than that, we're Christian. The kind that believes that God really *does* care about the hurt and pain and injustice in this world. He cared enough to send part of Himself, His Son, on a rescue mission for us -- the real meaning of Christmas. More than that, we believe Jesus is planning to come again, not quietly as a baby, but as King. It's not just a few shepherds who will know then -- the whole world will know beyond a hint of doubt the second time. It won't be on TV, and Congress won't debate it. It will be the end of the world as we know it, and the beginning of one that was always supposed to be. I invite you to read the story yourself. It starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation. Between there is the story of a God who keeps on keeping on reaching out to us, and in love, invites us to respond. It's not fiction, and it can change your life like it has mine. So indeed: Merry Christmas.


2013 Christmas Card!!

Here is our 2013 Christmas Card! Please note the QR code is REAL, not pretend. Click here for direct link. We love to hear from you! Comment below.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

2013 Year Review

Hi Everyone,

Gelerie here. I hope you all have had a great year. If you were hoping to see the Christmas Card, we will post it very soon.

This year Finn turned 4 in January and Aubrey turned 10 in August. Finn is always active and has only required one trip to the ER this year for stitches above his right eyebrow. Aubrey just got her braces in November and will wearing them for the next three years.

During Spring break vacation, we went on celebration cruise with Erik's parents to the Caribbean. They were celebrating their 51st anniversary this year and we celebrated our belated 20th anniversary.

Gelerie continues to enjoy providing anesthesia and also maintains a sewing/crafting blog.

Erik couldn't resist the Easter picture.

April showers bring May flowers
We also spent a weekend in early June at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The water was running at Medano Creek.

In June, we went on a 3,000 mile road trip in the Vanagon. Here we are about to jump in the van and go!

We went through Utah.

We visited Arches National Park and hiked up to Delicate Arch.

We also went to Zion National Park. We spent time in California with family and friends.

We went up Hwy 1 and stopped in San Francisco at the Exploratorium.

Other stops included Lake Tahoe, Steamboat Springs, and Trail Ridge Road crossing the Continental Divide.

Cinnamon Roll from Winona's in Steamboat Springs. It IS that big!
Trail Ridge Road

And home again...

Gelerie's Best Birthday Present Ever!

Helping Dad build Aubrey's birthday loft

Aubrey's New Loft
The rest of the year has been a blur. In September, east and west of us there was significant damage and tragic loss of lives due to the flooding here in northern Colorado. We are thankful that we were safe.

The flooding that we had here was nothing compared to the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan. We have chosen to assist by donating to ADRA and encourage you to do the same or donate to another aid agency of your choice.  Here is the ADRA link.

Thankful that someday, the world will be made new again. No more tears and sadness only joy. Looking forward to the day when He comes again no longer the Baby born in a manger, but as our Redeemer in the clouds. Merry Christmas to you all and wishing you peace and joy this coming year.