Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Retreat To Reality: Calvary of Albuquerque Men's Retreat

Recently Niel and I went to the Annual Men's Retreat Hosted by Calvary of Albuquerque. The retreat was 3 days and we went to a little town in the mountians called Glorietta. It is mainly known for their retreat centers and beautiful views.

We had a great time as the theme was "Retreat to Reality" the reality of God and His presence. The speakers were Skip Heitzig, Al Pitman and Dave Row. We had a great time together getting to know lots and lots of other men. We left totally encouraged at all that the Lord is doing.

Also, we met some guys who love to play Settler's of Catan, so in tribute to Glenn Phipps, we stayed up late Friday and Saturday night to play Settlers. Although these guys played different, they played "Christian Settlers," which means no blocking, robbing and meanness. We missed you Glenn, we can't wait until the next time we all get to play together, love you bro...

We really had a great weekend together as we gathered with nearly 400 other men to draw near to the Lord.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Birthday J.P and Isaac!

Last weekend we celebrated with Niel, Vanessa and Jef and Carla Snell as their boys celebrated a birthday.

For J.P it was his 3rd and Isaac his 2nd. It was a lot of fun and as always we ate very good. Carla did an amazing job preparing the cake for the boys. Leave the boys a happy brthday greeting in the comments below.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Marriage Conference at CCA

Last Friday evening we were blessed with the opportunity to spend an evening with Shaunti and Jeff Feldahn. They travel around the country putting on Marriage Conferences. It was a huge blessing as they both shared their hearts with the couples ofCalvary Albuquerque, there was over 800 people in attendance. They are both gifted writers and speakers. They both have written books and completed tons of research in regards to having a godly marriage.

The church really did a wonderful job putting this on. They had the the trees on campus decorated with Christmas lights and tables full of an assortment of deserts. Niel and Vanessa also joined us, though, I think they only came for the deserts :). We all had a great time together. As we learned about what God would desire for our marriages.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Charis Priscilla Velarde turns 1 month

We recently took a picture of Charis as she has just recently turned 1 month. She has been such a good baby, she sleeps 5-7 hours straight at night. Sandra eventually has to wake her up to eat. We can't believe how fast she is growing, it really is quite amazing journey spending time with Charis and getting to know her. We just wanted to share the picture with you guys.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2007

This past weeked was the start of the Annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta that is hosted here in Albuquerque. It is the largest event of its kind in the world.

Balloon pilot's and crews come from all over the world to take part of the event. Not only that, but spectators also come from all over the world to witness this annual festival. This year they have over 800 balloons taking part in the event. It really is an amazing sight to see all these balloons launching.

The only bummer about the whole thing is that is is all done very early in the morning. We met up with the Orpilla's and Jess Andersen who is here visiting us at around 5:15 am to unsuccesfully beat the traffic to the event. Other than that we had a really good time at the festival. We were able to meet people from many different countries at the festival.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Not only that II...

September 29th, Sandra and I celebrated 6 long, I mean 6 years of marriage. :) I have had the priveledge for the last 6 years to have Sandra as a wife. It seems like yesterday that I signed my life away. The last 6 years really have gone by fast, and what an adventure it has been. We have been from Italy to Japan and back to Italy and had 4 wonderful monkey's in the process.

We had a great time out together, almost alone. We took Charis out with us for some sushi and red bean ice cream at the Japanese Kitchen here in Albuquerque. It was fun, to talk about how fast and all the things that have taken place over the last 6 years. We are totally blessed by the Lord. He has given us all that we have needed to make it this far and we look forward to many years to come, for all that the Lord has in store for our family.

Not only that...

Not only was it Silas's Birthday party but we had a surprise visitor from Venus, I mean New Jersey come to visit. It really was a huge surprise for Sandra. It was something that was planned a month ago, everybody but Sandra knew about it. Jess Andersen and Ella made a surprise visit to Albuquerque. If, you didn't notice in the birthday pictures.

Vanessa picked her up at the airport and brought her to our house. She was then stuffed into a box decorated like a cake (photos to come), with the baby. Sandra was brought out to the garage to see this big cake sitting there that Jess burst out of. It was great to see Jess and Ella and the surprise on Sandra's face.

We get to spend the next 10 days visiting with them and catching up on things and reminiscing about the good times we shared in Okinawa, pray for Matt who is home in New Jersey while we get the benefit of having his family here with us.

Silas's 2nd Birthday

Happy Birthday Silas! Wow, it seems like every other month we are celebrating birthday's. On the 29th, Silas turned two years old. This year he has started to put on some weight, 3 pounds, I think. Well for him that is a lot of weight. We can't beleieve that he is already 2, it seems as if he was just born, and now we have a new baby are holding all the time. The Lord has been so faithful to us.

For lunch we celebrated his birthday at Chuck E' Cheese. We played games, danced and had a great time together. Silas was joined by J.P. Orpilla and Isaac Snell. They had a fun time together tearing the place down. Then as usual, Silas's mom made a bunch of lumpia and Philippino food for us to feast on. We topped it all off with a Thomas the Train ice cream cake from Baskin Robbin's. Silas received lots of fun toys and clothes. If you like you can leave Silas a Happy Birthday greeting!

Sandra's Baby Shower

Recently the girls here in Albuquerque put on an after baby shower for Sandra. She was so blessed by everybody who blessed Charis with blankets, diapers and a whole host of other things. Hannah was also excited to be a part of her baby sisters shower as well.

Carla made Sandra a cake that was shaped like a baby carriage, it was really cool, but best of all it tasted wonderful.