Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Christmas...already?!

Well, it's done it again-- Christmas has snuck up on me! :) Every year it seems like there are fewer days in December than the year before! It's definitely a small reminder of how fast time slips away...it's our second Christmas season in Seattle! I've been reminded of this in so many small ways this week, and it's brought to mind all that has changed this past year. We've seen evidences of God's grace in so many ways, and we're so thankful for the many blessings He has given us. A year ago at this time, we were renting an apartment in West Seattle, David was self-employed with Nerds on Site, and we were praying about where God was leading us within Mars Hill Church. We had a strong burden to be "planted" in a community, but we weren't sure where that was going to be. Now, a year later, we are homeowners in West Seattle, and God has given David a full-time position at the West Seattle campus of our church! We are so thankful that God has answered our prayers to be planted in a community, and we feel blessed to be in the community of West Seattle...we love it here! :)
God has used this year to teach us a LOT. It's been a year of transition, and for us, that has meant a lot of discomfort...which is good (although I'll admit it doesn't feel so good at the time ;). God has used it to expose our idols, to draw us to Himself, to mature our character, and draw us closer to each other. We've had some rough patches, and those times have been vivid reminders to us both that we would be nothing without Jesus! So, this Christmas season, we come with hearts humbled, knowing that our Savior was born to die, so that we might live.

Our living room (per your request--
a picture of it with our furniture ;)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

An East Coast Thanksgiving-istmas

Drum roll please...here it is, a blog post! We know it's been a while...sorry! We're pretty boring people you know, we don't have that much excitement to post about! But, since we did just make a trip back to the East Coast, we can no longer use that excuse! ;) Here are some pictures from our trip -- which was busy but great! We were able to catch up with lots of friends and spend some time with family. We're so thankful for the chance to go back, and for everyone's hospitality while we were there!

Mary (Zach's fiance) making a roux, for some very yummy mac-n-cheese!

Lisa working on the mashed potatoes...one of her favorites!

The Thanksgiving-Christmas Dinner-- lots of work but oh so good... This year I had lots of helping hands, which was great (thanks guys!...and thanks Mom & Dad for a great time!).

The Kuhn/Parker Thanksgiving-Christmas Dinner--it was so nice to have everyone there!

David (Lisa's boyfriend) had his first taste of turkey in over 10 years!! I feel honored! :)

The Kuhn "kids"

David relaxing at the Robb's

Our friends, and oh so gracious hosts, Richie & Linda Robb

When on vacation, why not try something new, something different... like straightening your hair!
I think the "half and half" style could come into fashion? :)

My accomplice, Andelyn...the pro at straightening!

Linda and I

David and Ben having a youtube moment...I realized this is the only picture I have of our time with Ben and Kelly! :( I guess we were too busy playing cards!

We were able to attend our friends' annual "harvest party", which was fun... and crazy! Everyone is quadriplying! :) The adults gave up on a picture of everyone, instead attempting a picture of ALL the kids (what were we thinking?). You can guess at who goes with who. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


It is official: we are homeowners! Although things did not go quite as we had planned (do they ever?), we are finally in our new home! I'll spare you the crazy details (you're welcome), and just get to what you're probably interested in...pictures! ;)

Well, before pictures of the house, credit must be given to the mighty movers ;) In God's providence, David's brother Andrew was in Seattle the weekend we moved, and we are so thankful he was willing to help move all our junk! :) We had a few other friends help out as well, and we're quite thankful for all their help...moving is no fun, especially the lifting-crazy-heavy-boxes part.

They were kind enough to leave a tiny walkway to get through this mess! :)

You're amazed at how quickly we got rid of that mess of boxes? Well, in truth, most of those boxes are still there, and they don't make for great room pictures...so, I'm only posting the pictures taken by the professional stager (aka: optical illusionist paid to make seller's home look better than it really is). Eventually I'll get pictures with our stuff...maybe. :)

Dining Room

The Kitchen...although all the pretty appliances went bye-bye with the seller. We went about 4 days without a fridge or oven, and then some friends graciously gave us their old appliances, so now we're set! We're so thankful for God's provision!

The downstairs living space

The deck...although the picture conveniently leaves out the welcome team that came with our new home (see below).

Yes, we were welcomed by a family of raccoons...that I think mistake themselves for house cats. They would actually stand at the back door waiting to be fed! Although the 5 babies are kinda cute, we've decided they need to look elsewhere for food (and hopefully that won't mean our garbage can!;).

The Momma lounging around on our deck...they really act like they own the place!

The end of a crazy day's work! We are so thankful to God for providing this house, and for providing the family & friends to help move (thanks a bunch Andrew!!). We are praying that God will use this house for His glory!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

We're Back!

We are back and praising God for a gorgeous week in Alaska! The scenery was amazing!!! We can never seem to get enough of snow-covered mountains, so a trip to Alaska was a good fit for us. One afternoon I think we literally "watched" the mountains for 3 hours! We had beautiful weather, and were able to take a few mountain hikes that allowed us to see the "Alaskan rainforest" and get some fantastic views of... you guessed it, mountains! :) The hikes also reminded us that's it's been awhile since we climbed 2000 feet in 2 hours! Fortunately, there were over 8 hot tubs on-board the ship (cruise ships are all about everything in excess you know!), so we were able to soak our aching muscles while taking in more of the breathtaking scenery. And as for the sea-sickness, it wasn't too bad. The rough ocean waves were a little difficult, but as soon as we reached Alaska, it was smooth "cruising"...a little windy and chilly, but smooth! We are truly thankful for this chance to see more of God's amazing creation...seeing those snow-covered mountains was such a reminder of how BIG our God is! So, we're praising Him for the beauty He's created, and for the chance to rest up before our big move! We will be packing like crazy this week, and this Saturday we'll take the plunge into home-ownership! Thanks for all your prayers!

No laughing at my head-scarf...it was cold!!

This mountain range just went on and on...in a good way! :) The mountains were HUGE and we had the blessing of sailing by them for hours! It was the best part of being on a boat!

And just to give a little perspective on how HUGE the mountains were, here you can see a "tiny" lighthouse we passed. Can you imagine living there?!

I had to post at least one picture to prove we were on a cruise ship, right? ;) The boat was huge and kind of surreal...kind of like Las Vegas on a boat. This is the "formal night" picture, and yes, this is as formal as the Parkers get! :)

A beautiful sunset at sea.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bon Voyage!

The timing may not be perfect, but this vacation will be greatly appreciated! Before we started packing our suitcases (with lots of Dramamine of course!) , we were already busy packing boxes full of books and baking pans, as we will have one week to pack up the house once we return from our trip! We originally booked this trip months ago, not knowing the blessing of home ownership was coming so quickly! We've always wanted to go to Alaska, and because of a generous family discount, we're going to be able to take a cruise there! We're so thankful for this opportunity to see such a beautiful area, and to be able to "unplug" and really relax. I think this vacation will be especially sweet because we know what lies before us when we get back! Hopefully we'll be able to get some pictures up shortly after we return! Alaska: here we come! :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ready or not, here we come!

With Kristin (David's sister) and Bryan now in their new home (Yakima, Wa) for one whole week, we decided it was time for a visit! If we had hosted visitors the first week we moved into our apartment, it would've been interesting...boxes would've been the only furniture ready for "use" as beds and couches! :) But anyone who knows Kristin can probably guess that this wasn't the case when we arrived...almost everything was already unpacked! We had to keep reminding ourselves they'd only been there 1 week!! God blessed them with a rental home that has tons of room for the kids, and they are really enjoying their new church family as well. We really treasure our time with them and are SO thankful they are now only 2 hours away!

What a cutie!

Everyone wanted to "help" Uncle David put together the new grill.





Faith took this picture-she's becoming quite the photographer!

Friday, June 13, 2008

One Year Ago Today

It's hard to believe, but one year ago today we drove into Washington State and made Seattle our new home! I can still remember our thoughts are we drove into the city: "We're really doing it!" It has been an amazing year, and we have not looked back one bit. We still miss those we have left behind, but God has made it SO clear that this was (and still is) His plan for us! We have been blessed by Him in so many ways this past year and are so thankful for His continual guidance and provision.
The last month has been crazy..as our Pastor would say, we both feel like "a kite in God's hurricane!" A few of the major things that have happened within the last month: David's older sister, Kristin, and her family, have moved from California (aka 16+ hour drive) to Yakima, Wa (aka= 2 hour drive! :). Watching God work through their situation has been an amazing encouragement to us, and we are thrilled that they will only be a short drive away! Also, we sold our VW Bug! We had originally bought it for David's computer business, and now that he's working for the church, it was an unnesessary expense. With the lackluster economy and high gas prices, we were not sure if we'd be able to sell it, but we were trusting God to provide, and He did! We were able to sell it at a great price, and David even had a chance to share Jesus with the new owner! Our last big event of the month is currently in the works: we are buying a house! We are amazed at how God orchestrated the events of the last month to provide us with the perfect house, at a great price (well, for Seattle that is)! Long story short, we submitted an offer on this house a month ago, only to be outbid. We kept looking, but nothing was meeting our criteria...and then, last week, we got the call that the other offer had fallen through! So, we submitted a new offer, and they've accepted it! So, we are thrilled to finally know where we'll be "planting" for a few years! The house is in West Seattle, which is where we currently live (and have grown to love), and is only 5 blocks from work (for me)! God is so faithful, and we are standing before Him humbled and thankful. But we're also aware that, although these things are wonderful gifts from God, we have been given far more "intangible" blessings. To name just a few: We have an amazing church, where David has been blessed with a "job" that is allowing him to disciple and be discipled; we've met some great friends and mentors who are an encouragement and inspiration; we've been able to share the love of Jesus with neighbors and clients; and God has used this move to stretch and grow both of us in our walk with Him. We now realize that our identity doesn't lie in: friends, jobs, family, money, performance, or acceptance...our identity is in Christ, and Him alone!
So, here we are a year later, thankful for God's provision, encouraged by His faithfulness, and excited to see what God will do in the future! Thanks for all your support and prayers!

Friday, April 18, 2008

April SNOW showers bring...Tulips?

We've heard a lot of talk about the tulip fields north of Seattle. They seem to be some sort of rite to Spring out here in the Northwest. So, with the well-wishes and advice of many coworkers, we decided to drive up to Mt. Vernon aka "Tulip-Land" today. It all started out beautiful-- partly sunny skies, no rain. And then, out of nowhere...SNOW. I've been assured by many locals that snow only occurs once or twice during a Seattle winter, yet there we were, driving in 2 inches of snow on the interstate! It was strange...kind of felt like we were back home in PA! :) Apparently, there is a"convergence zone" north of Seattle that encourages rebel weather like this...I'm glad we decided not to live in that zone! Fortunately, once we left that area, the snow ceased and we were left with a gorgeous day for tulip-looking...

The tulips were beautiful..fields and fields of bright colors waving around in the wind. I felt like I was Alice in Wonderland. :)

On the way home, we once again had the "privilege" of driving through the snow again! And this time, it really looked like a good old "Nor'easter!" It was a little surreal to go from Spring tulips to Winter Wonderland in a matter of minutes...
this definitely takes the cake for our weirdest Seattle weather yet. :)