Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Letter 2013

2013 was a big year for the Kuykendalls.  
One of the high points was finally buying a home after 2 ½ years of renting following our move to Woodburn.  Our house is a few miles south of town and is on almost 20 acres.  Some may say that it’s foolish for a minister to waste his time farming.  I would reply that I'm  not as interested in growing corn or cattle as I am growing boys, and there’s no better place to do just that.  We are very thankful to have our own place out in the country and look forward to farm life and all its trappings.   
Another highlight was taking my (BJ) sons, Jared and Jesse, with me to Mexico on a mission trip with our church.  I was so proud of how hard they worked and how well they handled a VERY different environment.  The trip stretched us, grew us, and reminded us just how blessed we are.   “To whom much is given much is required.”
Our good friends, the Johnsons took us to Disneyland in October.  We were able to keep the whole trip a surprise until we got to the airport-and boy were they ever surprised!  The hotel, the food, the sunshine, the friends, the rides; it was all wonderful!    
On a sadder note, Elaine’s mother, Connie, passed away on August 27th after a long battle with multiply myeloma. We thought we were going to lose her the previous August, but the LORD graciously extended her life for one more year.  Connie had a relatively good quality of life until the very end.  We really miss her-you’re never ready to lose a parent- but we are thankful for all the good times we shared and full of hope that we will one day see her again in heaven.  
Sometimes life seems slow, but when you are looking back it seems so fast.  I can’t believe how much are boys are growing.  They are learning how to be godly men and will no doubt be lights for JESUS in this dark world.  Here are a few things worth noting:
-We attended the Christian Heritage Homeschooling and Family Discipleship conference in April, and got to stay with Uncle Mike and Aunt Candy.
-Jared, Jesse, and Justin participated in Bible Bee over the summer and memorized a LOT of Bible verses.
-Jared went Elk hunting for the first time and did a great job. 
-Jesse can often be found hunting starlings on our property, wrestling brothers, or baking cookies for his mama. (He's become quite the baker.) 
-Justin joined his two older brothers in taking piano lessons with Donna Coleman.
-John is learning how to read and is always ready to help with outside chores. 
-Judson learned how to ride a bicycle and continues to have boundless energy.
-Joshua and Josiah, our twins, always keep us entertained with their antics! It is a joy to watch the differences in their personalities develop.
-We got a puppy in December and named him Jack.
BJ continues to pastor the Hoodview Church of God,  Elaine continues to home school the boys and  manage the household, and the boys continue to keep our hands full (in a good way)!
May the good Lord bless you and yours this season.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Judson and BJ's Birthdays

Judson turned 4....and BJ turned 38! 
Oh our sweet Jud.  He is definitely still full of boundless energy.  There are active kids, and then there's Jud.  :)  We love him though....and he keeps us on our toes.  Jud loves dressing like a cowboy with two belts because that is what Roy Rogers wears.  He also really loves sweets, but we have to control that because he is really affected by sugar.  He is a very thankful boy who always seems to remember to say, "thank you, mommy."  Jud loves to help daddy with projects and was especially excited to get his toy power tools to help take down the barn.  :)  He is already so excited to go hunting someday and really doesn't understand why he can't yet.  Judson is a lot of fun and brings so much joy into our life.

My sweet hubby loves to celebrate his birthday with Jud....and it seems fitting since Jud has a similar energy level to BJ's as a child.  :)  I love this man and am so proud to be his wife.  He carries quite a load being a pastor and daddy to all our boys, but he carries it well.  I'm so thankful to have a husband that has chosen to make us his hobby.  :)
Happy Birthday, BJ and Jud.  We love you both!!!


This year for pastor's appreciation our church really "socked it to us!"  They called our family up front and then chucked socks at us from all directions.  As you can imagine, the boys loved it!  They also loved opening the socks at home and finding the hidden treasures.  We are so thankful for such a loving and generous church family.

Justin is 8!!!

October 3rd was Justin's 8th birthday!  He was surprised and excited to spend his actual day in Disneyland.  Once home we celebrated with Grandma Sally and Papa.  

My boy is growing Indian headdresses this year!  We are so proud of the young man he is becoming.  The sweet smile he so willingly offers still warms my heart every time, and we all love it when he sings.  :)

We love you, Justin David!  Happy Birthday!!!

October fun

Disneyland shuttle rides.
 It had been 10 years since I last rode Splash Mountain! And, yes, I was nervous!
 My boys refused to model this for me, so I had to do it myself!

 Jared's favorite ride.
 Sweet Justin really did enjoy it.

 Something on our stroller triggered a detailed search of one of the parents.  BJ graciously accepted, thank goodness!
 Tired Josiah on the flight home.
 Family sing-a-long with Grandma and Papa.
 I love these.
 BJ and the three oldest were able to attend the Family Economics Conference in Ocean Shores with Uncle Steve and Ethan.
 Everyone loves Bauman Farms' doughnuts.
 Dinner helpers.
 Jessica and I (and a few other wonderful girls who pitched in big time to help) threw a baby shower for our little NEPHEW.  I was able to take Johnny with me, and we had a great time together.  I loved seeing old friends at the shower, staying the night at Aunt Linda's and staying up till after midnight visiting with her, meeting for coffee at Fiddler's with Amy and the girlies, and stopping at Sunbirds for rubber boots.  :)  
 Joshua got into the brown sugar while I was changing Josiah.  Sometimes I think they plan these things. :) From the looks of it, he got quite a bit.
 Jud's birthday drink from Dutch Bros.
 I finally finished my banner.
 BJ and Jud's birthday dinner.

Disneyland (part 5)

Our last super yummy big breakfast.  
Waiting to head back to the airport.
On the flight to Aneheim our twins' ears hurt so bad during the landing.  It was so sad.  The first night we were there BJ walked 2 miles one way to Walgreens for medicine that would make them more comfortable on the flight home.  Both of the bins ended up sleeping for a good portion of this flight.  
I should also add that traveling with a large family can be a little challenging.  I'm not sure we could have done all the security checkpoints without help from the Johnsons.  Wow.....that part was crazy. BJ even was singled out for a full body search. :)  Also, just boarding the plane with our carry-ons and littles and trying to get settled was an adventure.  :)  I had been so excited for my boys to fly because I had such fond memories of flying all the time as a child.  Now that we got that checked off our list, I am good with waiting until all the boys are older before flying as a family again!
Our family had such a nice time and made some special memories on this trip.  Thank you Aunt Connie and Uncle Gary for all the planning you put into making this happen.  And thank you, Miss Corby for loving on my boys and helping me keep track of them all.  :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Disneyland (part 4)

Day 4 was Justin's 8th birthday!!!  
Both Judson and Johnny insisted on buying these rifles for their souvenir.  Jud has hardly put his down.

Splash Mountain was a favorite of the boys.

For Justin's birthday, the Johnsons treated us to dinner at the Big Thunder Ranch.  It was delicious!

A few of the boys were wanting their souvenirs from Cars Land, so we made a quick dash back over to California Adventure.  I loved riding Soarin' Over California again!  I remember loving that ride 10 years ago.  :) 
These two really hung in there.  They had their moments and definitely enjoyed any time they got out of their strollers.  It was crazy at times, but it wouldn't have been the same without them.  
Ready to head home.....