Monday, December 20, 2010

Fun babysitting the Browns today

Because of school being out, we had all three Browns with us today, instead of just Lincoln. Faith and Hope noticed our miniature boxes under the miniature nativity tree on the piano and wanted to learn how to make the boxes out of last year's Christmas cards. So we made lots of boxes. They are fun and cute decorations for Christmastime.

Jason played Legos with Lincoln while we made boxes.

Then we played "The Great Aunt Marlene Game" which is a homemade game patterned after The Great Dalmuti game. This is one of Faith's favorite games.
If you look in front of Faith, you will see 3 of the boxes we made. We meant to get a picture of the pile of finished boxes, but we forgot.

Hope and Lincoln only "tolerated" the game a little while

and then they played with other toys.

We had a fun day with them today!

Haircuts on the deck on December 20!

Last month, I thought we were fortunate to give the haircuts on the deck, but that it would surely be the last time until spring. But today, it was about 48 degrees and no wind, and Jeffrey was brave enough to suggest we do it outside. (All of us hate making the mess in the kitchen!) We were able to get Jeffrey, Jason, and Rowen looking decent again. Rowen came home from work an hour early and was last in line and the temperature was about 42, so he put on a wool sweater under the drape. He took these pictures of Jason to prove that miracles happen--haircuts on the deck five days before Christmas in Colorado!

Christmas letter 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

Heartfelt Christmas greetings to each one of you!

We thought about reprinting last year’s letter; almost everything is the same. We are thankful for the sameness, that Rowen still has a job; we are still in our home--starting our 22nd year in Johnstown, CO; we are all healthy; our marriage is wonderfully intact and thriving; our family members are all serving the Lord.

Jeffrey has continued to work at ACE Hardware. He graduated from high school last May and took 6 hours online college courses at God’s Bible School this fall. At ACE, he has been closing manager for a couple of months and will start being department manager for tools and auto stuff. He got his braces off (FINALLY) in July and had gum graft surgery in September. He went to Cincinnati for a week at GBS in October and loved being there. He plans to work next semester and Lord willing, go to GBS next fall. He finished painting our neighbors’ house that he started painting last summer. Jeffrey was an excellent election judge in August and November; he had to perform as a computer judge after being trained as a voting machine judge when one of the computer judges could not come on Election Day.

Beth is a senior this year; she has all her driving hours done but can’t get her license until April 1, when she will have had her permit for a year. She has continued to babysit Lincoln, and sometimes his sisters, 1-2 times and sometimes more times a week. He is like one of our family. In the summer, she flew to Joplin, MO to help with VBS and have time with her married siblings, before the rest of us went for a week and then brought her home. Lord willing, she will go to NC for a couple of weeks in January to help her cousin, Shari, after the new baby arrives. She did a lot of sewing for herself this summer, but stays too busy during school time to sew. Her newsletter for girls, God’s Girls Newsletter, is finishing its 7th year! Beth got to be a greeter/logbook student election judge in November and did great. (It was a pleasure for Janet as supervisor judge in our vote center to have such wonderful helpers as Jeff and Beth!)

Jason is doing junior/senior years of school this year, as he has always taken extra classes along the way. He plans to graduate in the spring. He has continued to progress in playing piano and cello and we all enjoy hearing him play. He bought a 25-year-old piano for a good price, and started refinishing it, as the finish was damaged. We are enjoying having two pianos in our living room and many duets played by Jason and Beth. Jason worked for a lawn company this summer two days a week and had time for his music practice and lessons and helping the neighbors with their lawn. Jason passed up his dad in height this year. It is hard to find dress pants long enough in his skinny waist size.

Emily is in 7th grade and has finally (or already) gotten as tall as her mother. There is no doubt that she will continue to grow up and leave her mother behind as the shortest in the family. Emily excels on her violin and enjoys playing hymns, besides her Suzuki lessons. She creatively writes chapter stories, and reads the phone book to find names for her characters! She also sewed several garments for herself this summer with help from her mother. God has been so good to provide her with babysitting, yard work, or cleaning jobs so she has been able to pay for her own violin lessons for almost two years!

As a family, we have enjoyed going to Federal Heights nearly every Sunday this year. It has been a blessing to learn to love the children who come, tell or act out stories, and lead singing. Our children have grown by the additional opportunities to pick up children in vans, talk to parents, and invite others to come to church. We thank the Lord for allowing us this venue to share His love.

This year, we painted our living room, bedrooms, stairways, hallways, and entry way in interesting colors and with three different faux techniques. In August, we enjoyed a weekend away, driving through the beautiful Rocky Mountains to Delta, CO to be at Inter-church Holiness Convention (I.H.C.) services at which our “internet-pastor” was preaching. In October, we were blessed with a weekend at a cabin in the mountains.

Janet made a quilt and took it to IN as a wedding gift for our “adopted” son’s wedding in September. Now another quilt top is finished and ready to go to the machine quilter in MO!

Randy, Joy, Quil (3.5), Micah (almost 2), Tim, and Brenda came for Thanksgiving week. We enjoyed having them here so much. It was their only trip to CO this year. Our trip to MO in July was our only trip that direction this year. We are thankful for cell phones and video-chat capabilities to keep in touch with our faraway kids and grandkids!! God is helping them in their ministries and work there.

Rowen has continued as Treasurer for the Johnstown Historical Society, and Janet and children have stayed involved in the Johnstown-Milliken Homeschool group. We have continued having church every Sunday morning with friends, the Kaus family, here at home, watching services at

In November, we lost one of our special neighbors to death; he was only 65 though he had been in poor health for many years. All of our boys have worked for him through the years, mowing, painting, building, and helping. Even the girls worked for him by weeding in the summer and shoveling snow in the winter. All of us were deeply saddened by his death and we realized again how uncertain our lives here really are. We are determined to live “ready to meet God at any moment” so that when we die there is no question of whether we made it to heaven.

We are trusting in God’s wisdom, provision, and care for our future; He alone knows the course ahead and is able to keep us on the path to heaven. Our prayer for our friends and family this Christmas season is that all of you live for Jesus!

Have a Christ-filled Christmas and New Year!

Rowen and Janet Albertson, Jeffrey, Beth, Jason, and Emily