Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Sunny California! :) It's been awhile since our last post, so I'll try to give a quick and simple update that you won't still be reading till the new year! :)

2nd Preview:
The second preview was amazing! Everything went so much smoother this time around. Our set up was quicker, our volunteers were on top of it! We could not ask to be more blessed with such amazing volunteers and launch team! And we had a wonderful missions team from Pleasant Valley church in Kansas City, MO. They were amazing as well! What a wonderful team of people with such great servants hearts willing to jump in and do whatever needed to be done. We made some great friends that weekend! Overall, we had 154 people attend the service and 2 people make commitments to follow Christ. I feel like I have to explain the attendance numbers a little! :) Last preview we had 175 people come, but about 40 of those people were volunteers from a local supporting church of ours. This time, that church was hosting their own annual Christmas production, so most of those people were involved up there. So, we had less overall numbers, but a greater number of people from the community and the city of Santa Clara! Praise God! Here is a picture from the morning (sorry it's not very good)
Anniversary - On December 14th, (the same day as our second preview, ha) we celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary! we could not think of a better way to celebrate than to be serving the Lord together! We made this decision together to follow Christ and move to the Silicon Valley, so it was the perfect way to spend the day - serving Christ and living out His calling on our life! We did decide we were going to go to dinner as well, but haven't been able to do so yet! :)

Christmas - well, this is our first Christmas away from our parents, and to think it's completely on the opposite side of the coast as them. We went to a church about 30 minutes away for Christmas eve service with Andy and Stacie and then went to dinner. On Christmas morning, we celebrated with each other, doing our normal traditions of reading the story together, eating orange danish rolls, and opening gifts. It was quite different this year, because on top of opening our gifts to each other, we opened gifts from friends and family all right then. It felt weird, but we still had a really special Christmas morning. We spent the rest of the day with the Wood family, eating meals together, playing Wii, and just really enjoying each other's company and making wonderful memories of our first Christmas in California. Of course we miss our family and friends this time of year, but it truly was a very special Christmas. Here are a few pictures from Christmas Eve, Christmas day, and a few of Capo (cause we haven't put him on here in a while! :) )

Christmas Eve - all dressed up

The church we went to for Christmas Eve - Westgate church
Archie showing off his yoga moves on the Wii fit
Believe it or not, it's been cold in California the last week or so, so we decided to bundle Capo up!
He looks thrilled!

Merry Christmas everyone. We pray blessings on you all, and miss you dearly!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas is here (and the second preview!)

Christmas, quite possibly one of my favorite times of year, is here again! Of course, this year it's quite different since we are in California. This will be my first Christmas away from my family. I've never not been with my parents, sister, and her family on Christmas - or the week after. We normally go on a vacation the week after to the beach. So, I'll definitely be missing it this year, but we are also excited about starting some new family traditions here, and continuing with some of our old ones that we have always done - just in a new state! :) We went and got our first Californian Noble Fir Christmas tree. It smells incredible, and I quite like it! Now, decorating the tree has always been a huge family tradition on the Woods side - eggnog, Christmas music, appetizers, the whole family, turn off the lights accept for the Christmas tree lights, maybe have a movie on in the background. I always remember it as such a fun time growing up - I especially liked to dance to the Christmas music! :) Archie and I have continued this tradition, and always made it a really fun event. Even though we just go to Lowe's to pick out the tree (we went to a tree farm with a real horse drawn carriage in the snow in Omaha growing up), it is still so much fun!!! This year was no exception - We went, picked out the tree, took pictures, decorated, sang and danced to Christmas music (I recommend Christmas remixed: Holiday classics re-grooved for something fun to dance to, and Frank Sinatra: A Jolly Christmas - Great stuff) The two workers at Lowe's asked us if this was our first Christmas - HA! I said, no, we'll actually be celebrating FIVE in a few weeks.... Archie said, I hope they'll always say that!

We celebrated Thanksgiving here, and Archie just celebrated his 31st b-day on December 1st. We celebrated by all of us and some new friends going to Cheesecake Factory for his birthday, and all of the families cooked and we went to the Santos' house for Thanksgiving. It was a lot of fun, and overall had a great day! Speaking of celebrations, we will be celebrating our FIVE year anniversary on December 14th! I can't believe we've been married for five years already. It is amazing, and we were saying the other day how each of us have changed so much since we got married, but it is so much a result of the other. I feel so blessed to have married such an amazing man! And to know that we are following in God's direction together makes me feel so great!
Thanksgiving at the Santos'
The yummy cheesecake - they even put his name on the plate
Archie Blowing out the candle
We found the perfect one! :)
The Lowe's man cutting off the end
Christmas tree - sorry it's a little blurry!
Christmas table decorations!

So, our second preview is this coming Sunday, December 14th. We are so excited! We want to encourage you guys to really help us in this effort and pray for the meeting this Sunday! We need your help in as many prayers as we can get! We are hosting another 48 hours of prayer leading up to this event. We have a team of people here, hoping to have a lot of you, and other people throughout the nation sign up in increments of 30 minutes for the 48 hours preceding our service, to cover the service in prayer. Here is what our pastor, Andy, had to say about it:

"Won't it be awesome this Sunday to realize that there are some people whose eternal destiny will change and we get to be a part of that! There is nothing like it! I look forward to watching this vision continue to unfold as we serve together as a team. Please join me in believing God for incredible things this weekend. He is capable of so much more than we can imagine. I can see that so many of you have already signed up for 30 minutes slots on the prayer chain. If you have yet to do so please find a slot and pray for 30 minutes between Friday morning and Sunday morning. I will be praying for you as you invite your friends and get the word out about Sunday. I believe we are going to continue to build momentum and see God do even greater things in our midst."

You can be a part of this vision also, by helping us pray... here's what you do:

  • Go to
  • Sign in- username: southbayprayer password: prayforsouthbay
  • Click on calendar link at the top of the screen.
  • Find one of the 30 minute time slots and put your name there! (remember that all times are pst)
Love you guys and can't wait to share the amazing things God has done here this weekend! We'll update with any other news this week also!