Thursday, December 20, 2007

Our Family Christmas Letter

Dear Loved Ones,

Our lives are changing fast as our family grows older. We are grateful for our faithful God who doesn’t change. He still doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve and His loving-kindness endures forever. Join us in giving Him the glory for this past year.

We’re very thankful to God for a year of overall good health (a quick ER visit confirming Lori has acid reflux was a good reminder of how blessed we are). We are grateful for the Church Family we are in. It’s great having extended family living relatively nearby (though Lori’s parents moved to Waterloo, it’s about the same distance away as before).

We had some wonderful times together as a family: Detroit for Corey Wright’s wedding – and enjoyed the Detroit Zoo (very good); a quick vacation to Omaha (zoo was good; children’s museum was fun); our first garage sale; a wonderful week in Wisconsin with the extended Olson side; we built a swing set which our kids love; Lori and Tim went to the EFCA Youth Pastor Refresher – “Rebound” in Daytona Beach Florida – a much needed retreat. We removed some carpet and now have more hardwood floor (thanks, Eric, for your help).

Jonathan, at 18 months, is our social child - the family PR guy. He’s a happy, smiley boy and has a tender heart (he cries when someone gets hurt). He’s a “daddy’s boy” and has to have his “bupp bupp” to sleep (he sucks on his burp rag).

Elise is passionate about life – everything is “all-out”. She’s a typical girl that loves dolls, purses, helping mom, and doing her aunts’ hair. A year ago we were worried about her speech, but she’s made up for any lack of speech and isn’t slowing down. She thinks it’s funny to get the “hippupps”. Now that she’s 3, she has stopped sucking her thumb (Great Grandpa is thrilled). She had the privilege of being a flower girl in Steve and Amber Rick’s wedding (she cried all the way down the aisle). She says adorable things all the time. (ask us for stories – we love to quote her). She loves to sing – and requests “Holy, Holy, Holy” every day. She has a tender heart and loves to be a mother hen to her ailing great grandmother.

Benjamin is 6 and in Kindergarten (all day, 5 days a week). He does well in anything he works at. He loves sports and has had fun playing community organized sports – soccer, t-ball, wrestling practice (ask him about his incredible soccer coach). He is a great reader, loves math, and is a quiet leader. He loves the Minnesota Vikings (got 2 autographed balls during training camp and just went to the Metrodome to watch them play the Bears). He loves to play piano (he plays chords – and sings his heart out on worship songs – with a Mac Powell sort of voice). He enjoyed being the ring bearer in Corey Wright’s wedding.

Lori says her life doesn’t change much – so getting a new vacuum was one of the highlights of her year (so far, it actually works well – a new concept in vacuums for our family). She enjoyed another year at “Hearts At Home” with her sister and some friends. She had taken a year off from youth group and is now back helping again (Tim is thrilled). She still loves popcorn (gotta use the “stir-crazy”). She enjoys singing in a ladies’ quartet (Tim thinks they are pretty amazing).

Tim loves being a dad and husband. He’s now getting the incredible privilege to do some weddings of former youth students. He makes Danish (Swedish) pancakes as well as pizza each week with his kids. He’s started working on his paper for being licensed with the EFCA and is also a part of the EFCA Central District Student Ministry Team. He still enjoys his job (has a great pastor, some wonderful youth leaders, and is seeing students grow in their faith as well as students coming to faith). We saw God bless our annual trip to the Rosebud Reservation more than ever this year.

You are always in our hearts and we’d love to hear from you – electronically, snail mail, or in person.

Grace & Peace,

The Olson Family

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, December 10, 2007

More Zaire Pics

Here are some more pics.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Zaire - My Home

I was born and raised in Zaire, Africa - now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo - formerly the Belgian Congo. It's a place I love and miss. I am ever so thankful to God for the chance to grow up there. The missionary community was a wonderful place for me. Playing soccer, eating great food, having great friends (from Africa, Europe, and North America), gaining a world view - all wonderful benefits of my time there. I dream of taking my family there some day (I'd shed a lot of tears doing that - and have to hold them back right now just thinking about it). An old MK (missionary kid) friend of mine just went back a year or so ago with a group of people going to for ministry. He sent me 4 CDs of pics and videos he took. I am going to put a few pics on here. I wish I knew how to put captions under them. I could tell hours of stories about the places in each picture. So here are a few pictures of home.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Theology and me...

I have often wished I was smart enough to be a theologian or a philosopher. It's clear that I'm not that smart (of course we are all theologians and philosophers - but I don't mean it in that way). I got to sit through my Pastor's Ordination Council. It's pretty brutal. I really do enjoy studying Scripture and I think my logical ability is better than average... but... I've got a long way to go. I'm working on my licensure paper - and it's tough (only 20 pages - 12 of them on the EFCA Statement Of Faith - which isn't nearly enough room). I'm trying to work on it each night I'm home (rather than being out at events). Our computer is down now so it's on hold for a bit. Should be back at it later this week. It's tough and after Pastor John's Ordination Council, I'm a bit scared. If anyone of my friends out there wants to read what I write and critique it, let me know.

Boy Feed Girl

Once a year our high school youth group puts on Boy Feed Girl. It's a chance for our guys to treat our girls as precious sister's in Christ, rather than a potential date. We do this by planning a fun evening that includes food and some sort of atmosphere and activity that they will enjoy. This year we did a medieval theme and I thought it was fantastic. It was more work than we've ever done - by far. I'm sure it wasn't perfect and certainly parts of it were more to a guys liking than a girls (we did some sword fighting). I love this event (and also the Girl Feed Boy event). I'll get pics on here when I get them on my computer.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vikings Thoughts

Three weeks ago the Vikings were 3-6 and everyone was mad at the coach. Now we've won 3 in a row and are in a 3 way tie to be the 2nd wild card team in the NFC. Adrian Peterson is back from injury, T-Jack has played 3 games in a row, our offense has put some points and numbers up through the air... It seems like a dream. While I won't be surprised if we tank, maybe we're turning a corner. We've got great potential - a lot of our players are young. Adrian Peterson is more than phenomenal. His second touchdown run on Sunday against the Lions was crazy - the way he faked the Lions player out of his shoes (he's still looking for them) and then strutted into the end zone. We're good at falling apart, but maybe they will learn how to win and how to avoid falling apart. I'm hopeful. We just need the cards and Lions to lose a game or two. Go Vikes!!!

Chester Taylor is 23rd in rushing and Adrian Peterson is first - that's a crazy stat.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,