Dad turns 70

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January brought a milestone year for Dad.  He started a new decade with his 70th birthday!  Happy birthday, Dad!

Early this month, a whole bunch of his friends packed out Mom and Dads’ house to wish him well.  There was a lot of yummy food, good conversation, and laughter.  It was a comfortable and easy going party, kind of like Dad’s personality.  At one point, Daddy had to read all of the “Happy Birthday” appreciation notes that everyone wrote for him during the party.  It wasn’t difficult for people to come up with something to say.  There were a lot of comments about his role as a Sunday School teacher, his calm and sure personality, and how he is so loving and supportive of others.  But I think my favorite description of the night came when someone wrote that he had “kind wisdom.”  That’s perfect!  Just imagine if we all had Dad’s “kind wisdom.”  Oh, what a world this would be.

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We had a great time visiting with Mom and Dad’s friends.  As one of their children, I’m really grateful for the circle of friends that they have surrounding them here in Bend, especially at their AMAZING church.  In fact, sometimes it can be a  challenge keeping up with my parents.  They’ve always got something going on.  But that’s not a bad thing. It’s probably just the opposite.  In truth, a life filled with family and friends and service is the greatest kind of life.  And I love seeing my parents live it out.

One of the best parts of the night was seeing my sister, Tessa.  She surprised us all and drove down from Seattle to be there for Dad’s party!  That’s about 6 hours of driving just for one night!  But it was so great for all three kids to be able to be there for Dad.

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Congratulations, Daddy, on your 70th birthday!  We’re looking forward to you having many more birthdays in the future.  And hopefully more of your “kind wisdom” will rub off on all of us.  We love you.

P.S.  I apologize now, Nancy Gill, for posting a picture with you putting food in your mouth.  It just could’t be helped!  Sorry!

December birthdays

What to you do when you have a birthday in December and your family is crazy busy with holiday parties and shopping and gifting and planning and wrapping and packing and traveling and a hundred other things? What is a birthday kid to do?
This year, right in the middle of a holiday road trip halfway across the country, we took a timeout. A birthday timeout. It was the perfect way for us to say to our December birthdays, Blake and Lauren, “You are very special to us, no matter what else is happening.” So somewhere between Oregon and Oklahoma, we found a great spot to take a timeout and put all of our focus on spending time with the kids.
On the second day of the road trip, we arrived in Denver and spent the afternoon and evening walking around the downtown area, visiting the German market, eating yummy food, riding the carousel, and best of all, ICE SKATING! How fun is that?
Blake is now 11 years old. He still wants to climb and jump on everything and could play with Legos all day long. But if you can get him to be still for just a little bit, you might be surprised to find a remarkably well-spoken young man.
Lauren turned 9 years old. She dances everywhere! She sings constantly! And is never lacking an opinion, ever. Or a willingness to share it, ever. But one really fun thing about Lauren is that sometimes she likes to surprise her family members with breakfast in bed. When this happens, I know we must be doing something right! Love it!
Happy birthday to our precious December babies, Blake and Lauren. No matter what, the both of you and your sister Emma will always be more important to us than anything else going on in the world.

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the Superhero couple

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2014

1964

1964

When your names are Lois and Lane, how can you be called anything else but a Superhero couple?  And they truly are!  This month, my uncle and aunt, Lane and Lois Zachary, celebrate their 50th anniversary.  This is one of those couples that have done more than any of us will every know this side of heaven.  But I’m sure that when we get to heaven there will be a long line of people wanting to say to these two precious people, “You made a difference in my life.”  Then maybe we’ll all finally have a better picture of the time, effort, love, and care that they have poured into people.

They have lived in many places.  Lane has ministered in many churches.  Lois has taught in many schools.  And they have walked through life with many people.  But most of all, they have loved the Lord and loved each other.  Happy 50th anniversary, Lane and Lois!  You guys really are Superheroes.

18 years ago today

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18 years ago today I married my favorite person, Brent Hofen.  It’s probably no surprise that I’ve been feeling kind of nostalgic all day long.  I am so grateful that I can look back on these 18 years with joy and gratitude.  We have been on an incredible journey so far.  We’ve come a long way.  Just for fun, here are a few things about us at the beginning of our relationship that you may or may not know:

– When I came back to college to start my junior year, I was determined to set up Brent on a date with someone else, anyone else, so that our friends would stop bugging me about him.  But he asked me out before I had a chance to do that.  Thank goodness!

– We were not in a hurry when we dated.  There was no “race to the altar”.  But we were also never casually dating.  Even from the beginning, we were dating for keeps.  If, at any time, we had come to the conclusion that we would never marry, we probably would have stopped dating right away.  But that never happened.  Again, thank goodness!

– We thought that Brent would be a choir director forever, or maybe a music professor.  The possibility of preaching and church planting was not on our radar at all at the beginning.  At our wedding, Brent’s grandma, Judith Hofen, prayed over us.  I distinctly remember her praying, “Make them soul winners, Lord.”  I truly believe that Grandma Hofen had some providential insight when she prayed for us 18 years ago.

And now it’s on to the next 18 years.  I have no doubt that there will be even more adventures on the way!

Aunt Tessa is 40!

Today is the day that my favorite sister on the planet turns 40. She is full to overflowing with life. She is super smart, so smart that I couldn’t describe to you what she’s studying in graduate school even if I wanted to. She will always root for you and want the best for you. Happy 40th birthday, little sister. We love you so very much!

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Brent is 40!

Brent (our Superman) likes to tease me A LOT about many things.  One of those things is the fact that I am older than he is.  By the way he talks, you would think that we were a decade or so apart in age, but in reality, he’s about  a year and a half younger than I am.  That’s it!  Not much, right?  I wouldn’t want to give the impression that Brent can exaggerate sometimes for dramatic effect (which he does).  I just wanted to make sure that everyone is on the same page, the same truthful page, as I am.  And I’m pretty sure that after you turn forty, all teasing about age differences are null and void, wouldn’t you agree?  Good.  I knew you would see things my way.  Now on to the birthday.

There was a little bit of a precedent set at my fortieth, with a basket of forty gifts, so we knew we had to come up with something great when it was Brent’s turn to be “over the hill.”  So some of us on the Robinson side of the family teamed up with some of us from the Hofen side of the family.  We pooled some resources and put together a collection of birthday presents that was tailor made for Brent.  Uncle Lane was gracious to let us raid his vast library for forty books that would be useful for Brent.  It is entirely possible that Lane was just using this event as an excuse to get rid of some books, but just go with it.  Actually, it was an amazing collection of ministry books that we think will be useful to Brent for a very long time.  Inside each book we hid a small gift card to a restaurant or coffee shop here in town.  It is also entirely possible that my mom was just using this event as an excuse to go shopping around town, but just go with it.  Brent LOVES (absolutely no exaggeration) to eat out.  I think that if he had a limitless supply of money, he would eat out all the time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and maybe even the midnight snack too!

He was pretty excited about getting resourced with some great books for his library and getting resourced with some great cards to use around town.  He even asked if he could get 41 books with 41 cards next year.  But I had to inform him that this was just a one time deal.  Sorry.

Happy birthday, Superman!  Welcome to the 40’s!  It’s been a pretty great adventure so far, so we’ll see what the next forty years brings.

The kids gave Daddy a disc golf set.  Just in time for some summer fun!

The kids gave Daddy a disc golf set. Just in time for some summer fun!

the collection

the collection

lots of good stuff here

lots of good stuff here

So many great choices, so little time.

So many great choices, so little time.

the birthday boy

the birthday boy

 

and now we have a teenager

The month of March brought a major milestone to our home, and to our journey as parents.  We have a teenager!  And this brings some changes, some big and some small and some yet to come.    First, she has braces.  This wasn’t a surprise at all.  She’s pretty diligent about wearing her bands (a lot better than I was), and I think she looks pretty cute with them.  Second, she’s old enough to be left alone at the house.  This has added a level of convenience for us that we haven’t known since before we had kids.  To be able to run an errand or attend a meeting without making special arrangements for your kids is truly a luxury!  No exaggeration!  Third, I can’t look down at her anymore, literally.  We are pretty much the same height.  We can look at each other straight in the eye.  We share shoes all the time now.  I think it’s only a small matter of time before she’s taller than I am.  I’m just waiting for that day to come.

To be perfectly honest, Brent and I are kind of excited about this new stage in Emma’s life.  She’ll be exploring and discovering new things about herself and the world in whole new ways.  We are trying to see the teenage years as a time of adventure and a time of preparation for whatever God has for her in adulthood.  I’m sure we’ll learn a lot, be surprised a lot, humbled a lot.  But we’re not nervous.  We don’t dread the teenage years.  We love being Emma’s parents and we feel privileged to be able to walk through this stage of her life with her.  God has great things planned for her.

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Here she’s giving an answer at a Bible Quizzing meet in Salem.

Notice that she has braces now!

Notice that she has braces now!

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Some awards from the quiz meet. Woohoo!

Happy Birthday, Lauren!

Before the Christmas season kicked into high gear, we got to celebrate Lauren’s eighth birthday! We had a great time at the movies with her buddy Bella. She’s not as much of a little girl anymore, but more and more like a little lady. She’s full of expression and opinions and adventure. Although most of her adventures still involve dolls and princesses and ponies and anything pink. And all of that is so fun to watch and even be a part of sometimes. With Lauren, there is never a dull moment! We love so much, little Ladybug!

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Happy Birthday Blake!

Happy birthday to our joke telling, break dancing, whistling, lego building, high-volume singing, full of joy 10-year-old boy!  We love, love, love you!  I can guarantee that the world is a much better place because you’re in it.  Our family is a much better family because you’re in it.  Blake, have a wonderful day celebrating who you are and who you are becoming.

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