Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!

It's almost 11:00 at our house. One more hour and it's 2009. Megan begged to get to stay up until midnight. We were sure Steven would poop out early, because he didn't have a nap today. We were wrong. Here's what it looks like at our house right now...Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Had A Merry Little Christmas...

Well, it was a happy Christmas for us this year. Beginning with lots and lots of SNOW!
And that was just the beginning. We've had 18 inches in the last 2 weeks. That's a lot for Boise.

Then there was Christmas Eve. It was a perfect, candle-lit service that was everything a Christmas Eve service should be. After service, was the party for the pastor's kids where they received movie tickets. (Which were used last night, Despereaux-ing.) That intoxicating, little, blue-eyed beauty is Kenzie Francey...the long awaited first grandchild of our senior pastors. (The first of many ::wink, wink::) Isn't she scrumptious? Cleary, Megan thinks so. Steven, on the other hand, looks like he's got more up his sleeve than his "just-like-daddy" dress shirt.Then (after dinner at the Wilde's) the annual Christmas Eve "mad-present-stack" you think we MAY have overdone it this year??? Well, not ALL of those presents were from Ken and me...just most of them.The kids were gracious enough this year to let us sleep until 7:15 on Christmas morning (last year it was a 6 am wake-up call.) And then the ripping and tearing and exclaiming began.

Did I mention my momma was here for the week? It was nice to have an extra set of hands for baking and wrapping, even though those hands spent the first few days laid up with a thrown-out back. She more than made up for it as she felt better. I think I might fly her out every Christmas...
It's not Christmas without a few Wii games. Now we can be cheer-mii-ders...
But the clear winner this year, was the playmobil company. Between Uncle Joel and Aunt Michelle and Momma and Daddy, Steven got 6 or 7 sets. We didn't see him again for the first 24 hours, lost in a sea of plastic people and tiny accessories.And what's a Holsinger holiday without good food? (It's case you were wondering.) Prime rib, roasted vegetables, rosemary-sage mashed potatoes, red wine gravy, and sweet potato and apple casserole. (And now begins "diet-season"...)

Hope you and yours are well, and have a happy new year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dear Santa...

On Saturday, Megan and I were shopping downtown between ballet performances (more on that later!) We went into Macy's where they were sponsoring a fundraiser. For every letter to Santa that customers wrote, they would donate a dollar to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Now, some parents just love making Christmas magical for their children, flitting around buying wonderful gifts from Santa (did I just say "flitting"? Is that even a word?) They hoist their kids on Santa's lap, posing them for the obligatory "scared-of-the-stranger-whose-lap-I'm-sitting-on" picture. (I mean really...what other time of the year, would we ever encourage our children to sit on the lap of a man we have never met and know nothing about?) They write letters, hide presents, and tell tales....

...yea, we're not those parents.

It's not that we have some strong aversion to lying to our kids, or some legalistic view of what Christmas should look like. We just don't think Santa should get all the credit for the good gifts! We treat Santa kind of like Mickey Mouse, it's fun to talk about him, etc, but come Christmas, it's Mom and Dad who spent the hard-earned money and time for the gifts.

Well, anyway...we're all about charity, especially Make-A-Wish who blessed my niece with a nice wish last year. So I encouraged Megan to write a letter. This is what she wrote:

"Dear Santa, I want a Webkinz...Tinker Bell movie....etc...etc...etc...
Megan Holsinger
P.S. I like Jesus better than you, but have a merry Christmas anyway."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thank you Albertsons...

Even though they are the more pricey grocery store in the area, I still usually shop at Albertsons. It's really close to me and easy to get in and out of. Well, recently Albertsons instituted a gas rewards program. Last night, after grocery shopping, I bought gas at $.40 off a gallon. I only paid $19.98 to fill up my car. I can't remember the last time I paid so little for gas.
(Now, I'm not naive enough to think that Albertsons isn't offsetting the gas savings in their grocery prices...but looking at the gas pump tonight made me happy. Don't burst my bubble!)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Deck My Halls with Boughs of Holly....

Thanksgiving Update

We had a wonderful time on Thanksgiving, eating too much and hanging out with our Idaho "family", the Wilde's. Armed with a turkey baster, oven mitts, and more butter than should be legal, we cooked up an obscene amount of food, and then proceeded to stuff ourselves like turkeys (who really aren't supposed to be stuffed anymore...something about e.coli or salmonella...whatever.)

Ask Tracy about her contribution to the dinner...yam bake. It was a hit! (And Tracy cooking was our Thanksgiving miracle.)
The three things that scream "Thanksgiving", football (notice the TV in the background), and games. Yes, this is the retro game "Rock 'em, Sock 'em Robots". If it's old and uncool, then it's dated, but if it's old and cool, it's retro! And nothing says fun like 2 plastic robots trying to knock the snot out of each other.Kelly cut Megan's hair. She has bangs! I really like them, except they make her look older, which I will never like.And somehow I managed to break the holiday tradition of never appearing in any of the pictures. This is proof that I do exist and I was actually this gathering anyway.There you go! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (And can anyway say, "Are there really less than 3 weeks until Christmas???? Aahhh!")

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

And the Winner Is...! For my table at the Women's Holiday Brunch. Yea for me!
You can just call me Martha...And speaking of beautiful things, here's one of my BFF's, Jonnie. I adore her...but there's a lot less of her to love lately! Proud of you Jonnie!! I can't wait to cheer you on at your triathlon!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Tonight, Ken took the kids to dinner
while I went shopping. (3 hours of shopping...all by myself, it was glorious!) As they were sitting in the restaurant, getting ready to order, Steven stopped Ken and said, "Wait, Momma's not here. Shouldn't we wait for Momma?"

"No," said Ken. "Momma went shopping, it's just us for dinner."

He looked around the restaurant thoughtfully, then asked, "Won't all the people be sad if they think we don't have a momma?"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Father/Daughter Winter Ball 2008

Every year, Megan and Ken attend the Father/Daughter Winter Ball put on by Megan's ballet school. It's a great fundraiser for the studio, with dinner, dancing, and auctions. This year, a couple of our friends took their daughters and the girls all got ready together.
Our friend Kelly came over to do hair.
I sewed Megan's dress. (In 2 days...)
She's growing up so fast. Today, we bought shoes for her from the women's department.
Off they go!

We believe that it's Ken's job to teach Megan how she deserves to be treated on a date. Beware the first guy who ever takes her out, because her expectations will be high.

And that's the way we like it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

3 Things

This week, Ken and I went on a business trip
to Wichita, KS. (Yes, in we're not there anymore, Toto.) The kids stayed with our best babysitter, Kate. When we arrived home, Steven looked me squarely in the eye and told me very seriously, "Momma, I have 3 things to tell you."

"Okay." I said with one eyebrow raised. (Not everyone can do that...raise one eyebrow at a time. It's one of my special skills.)

"The first thing is that Kate burned the popcorn." ("Traitor!" says Kate. Apparently, the kids were quite incredulous that she didn't just push the popcorn button on the microwave. Of course, these are the same kids who when told that we didn't have microwaves when I was really little, asked me "Well, how did you make popcorn?")

"The second thing," he said, while counting off on pudgy fingers, "is that we went to the Yancy's, and Josiah gave me a truck and a shirt." (Oh, those Yancys...givers to the core, they would give you the last piece of bread off of their table, if you were hungry. Fortunately, there's enough bread in the Yancy AND Holsinger house. :)

"The third thing is that the toilet almost overflowed." ("Almost, but it didn't!" says Kate. Poor Steven has a phobia of toilets overflowing because of a particularly traumatic run-in with a toilet at church.)

So the moral of the story is...if you are a babysitter, be good. Because my kids tell us EVERYTHING!

Monday, November 3, 2008

God Bless America

This song was written as a prayer. Prayer is what our nation needs more than anything right now. And that's what our church has been doing for the last 21 days. Three times a day, 6 am, noon, and 6 pm, we have been gathering and praying for our nation as a whole and the individual states. We believe that prayer is effective and it causes miraculous things to happen.

Asking God to bless American means something to me. It is more than a campaign line or a platitude. It's a request from the deepest part of our soul, pleading with God to have mercy on this nation, to intercede on our behalf, and heal this broken land. No matter what happens after tomorrow, God is still sovereign and we will faithfully support and respect our leaders. But I also understand that my hope can never be in politicians, government, or even religion. My hope is in God.

And God, please bless America. Amen

Friday, October 31, 2008

FallFest Fun!

Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross costumes sewed by me! We had a blast tonight.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

We're not in Kansas anymore Toto...

The pictures in our Seattle hotel room... (retouching done by yours truly)Our gorgeous hotel...
...And the "adult" shop next door...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Seattle is the Bomb!

We are totally digging Seattle! (Of course, I am taking lots of pics, but the computer cord is at home, right in it's drawer, instead of with us, so pics will come later.)

We flew in this morning, and took a taxi to our hotel. (No rent-a-car for me this time, we are hoofing it and working the public transportation.) Our hotel is a gorgeous, modern, Pacific-Northwest style hotel, right in the heart of downtown Seattle.

Our first stop was Pike's Place Market, which is this amazing, "ginormous" maze of an indoor and outdoor market. We browsed and ate lunch there. (Yummy clam chowder.) Then we headed to the Seattle Aquarium. The fish were abundant, the harbor seals were adorable, and the gift shop...expensive. But it was fun!

We ended our afternoon back at Pike's Place picking up french bread, fruit, freshly-made cheese, and salami for dinner at the hotel. The walk back to our hotel felt long and wet (Did I mention it started raining on the way to the aquarium? We we are in SEATTLE after all!) But we made it and a hot bath and fuzzy robe warmed our toes.

We are getting ready to watch a movie and drink hot chocolate before bed. Goodnight, Seattle!

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

We're off to Seattle, this morning, for a Mommy/Daughter trip. Daddy is out of town and Steven is going to stay with our friends Kate, Krist, and Kelly. We are planning to blog our trip. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Folding Sarah Palin

I love this! Print out and fold your own candidate. (The other guys are there too...and their wives...)

Shout out... my friend and co-worker Kirsten Grove (of the infamous Simply Grove)! She is a decorator (officially OUR church decorator) and recently had a room in her house featured in Fellow magazine. Check her out! (Page 18)

Parental Guidance Required

As pastors, specifically over the children of our church, Ken and I are often sought out to give parenting advice. Now, we are the first ones to admit that we don't have it all figured out, but, our kids are pretty awesome and so we've decided that maybe we actually have something to say. I'm going through Andy Stanley's parenting series "Parental Guidance Required" and he definitely has some great things to say.

Here's a few things I've picked up...

Our kids often grow up experience-rich but relationship-poor. We spend so much time making sure they have the experiences we didn't have, and we don't spend enough time focusing on their relational health.

Here's what people never say:

"My problems in my life stem from the fact that my dad made me drive a used car."

"My clothes were so bad in high school that my self-esteem never recovered."

"I can't be successful in life because I didn't make the 5th grade soccer team and I went to public school instead of private school."

Are you pouring too much into the experiences your child has? Are the sports, education, trips, and lessons taking up too much of your child's life? Experiences aren't a bad thing, but if we are spending far more time on our kids' experiences, than we are on our kids' relationships, we've missed the boat. Are you spending enough time with your kids? Or are you substituting experiences for your time?

There are 3 questions we should be asking ourselves.

1) What am I doing to Enhance my child's relationship with me?

2) What am I doing to Advance my child's relationship with God?

3) What am I doing to Influence my child's relationship with others?

Parenting is tough, tough work. And we have to be intentional. What does successful parenting look like at the end of the day and how do we get there?

(Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I've been suffering from a severe shortage of things to say...)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Another Game Down

Our game on Saturday got rained out...which was really sad because my mom was in town this weekend and was looking forward to seeing Megan cheer. But they went ahead and rescheduled the game for last night. And we had the distinct pleasure of losing to a team with the name "Fairly Reliable Bob's". Ouch! But it was a fun game anyway.

So We Think We Can Dance

Sometimes, it really feels like we are living an extra-ordinary life. Last year, on the reality show "So You Think You Can Dance", a girl named Sabra Johnson won. (Think American Idol, but with dancers.) Well, Sabra's mother happens to attend our church. And she happened to bring Sabra to church one weekend. And one of our staff happened to talk to Sabra and asked her to come teach a dance clinic at our church. And Sabra just happened to agree, and bring her partner Kameron with her. And my Megan just happened to attend the dance clinic that Sabra taught. It was pretty awesome...
Sabra is an itty-bitty thing.
There's Megan on the right (black leotard, pink pants).
Here's a video of Sabra and Kameron dancing in the show: