Merry Christmas: Stars 2011


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This year’s Christmas letter may be right on time or a day late, but I was determined not to let the obstacles we’ve experienced the last few days keep us from reveling in the faithfulness of God this year.

We love our tradition of a Christmas letter to first thank the Lord for His tremendous love. We recognize without His intervention in our lives we would have very little to write, but instead He has written a grand story full of His miracles in our lives and we are grateful! Yuri and I often reflect on what our lives would look like with out our choice of Him (knowing He really choose us first). When we look at our boy’s faces, we are in awe of His goodness to us. Only we know who we truly were before we met Christ.

Second, we love connecting with the people in our lives! We value each one of you as a gift whether we see you daily or correspond yearly, we are grateful for our unique connection with you!

Last Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we spent at Disneyland, CA with my Mom (Nana), Grandpa Jose’, Great Nana (my Grandma), Joey, Bobby (my brothers), and Miss Jenny.  In planning, we choose to create memories instead of buying presents and that’s exactly what happened. We will never forget how Great Nana (82 years old) got all giddy meeting Woody from Toy Story, proving you are never to old to have some Disney fun! The older boys ran around with their Uncles feeling like big boys and getting their love buckets full. My brothers are great Uncles! Of course my Mom made us all wear Christmas hats keeping us festive, she is really good at that! We came together as a family on the 26th taking time to remember our Lord and spend precious family time together! Melchor family, thank you, and we love you all!

If you are a parent you know exactly how exciting this next statement is!!!!

This summer was our first family vacation WITHOUT a stroller!!!! Woot Woot! Happy dance! It was fabulous!

We headed back out to San Diego for the summer to do our annual Sea World trip and enjoy the beach. So blessed our friend Glory (who we are very thankful for, she is like family and a great blessing in our lives!) came out with us too, she helped me keep a hand on each boy, (as FOUR BOYS running around in the ocean still makes this Mama nervous). Yuri and I enjoyed a nice night away to celebrate our anniversary (which is Dec. 31st … I know, seemed romantic at the time).

In September Yuri and I had the opportunity to go back to Israel with a group from Gateway Church. We shared this time with great friends and made some new ones too! Last time we only visited Jerusalem, this time we toured the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Nazareth, Beersheba, the Dead Sea, and so much more! Being baptized in the Jordan for me was a very special memory. I had been baptized before, but hey, this was where Jesus was baptized! I asked the Lord to leave something new in the water, knowing we can always walk in more freedom and become more like Him. Amen. We both feel it was a life giving, refreshing time to focus on the Lord in the Holy Land and all He has done for us.

Our last trip of the year, Yuri and I went to San Francisco and enjoyed a tour of Napa Valley with friends. While in San Francisco we enjoyed an afternoon with Lowell, Yuri’s Dad. We always love getting time with him and hearing his history of the city. We feel blessed to have shared that time with him.

As for me, It’s been 2 and half years of working with an amazing team at , I love who I get to work with and what we get to partner with the Lord to do.  Please visit us at the site above if you haven’t before. I’ve continued to teach and lead within the Titus 2 ministry at our church. I’ve loved the testimonies and the women connecting to life-giving prayer in our small group. I value this time to grow in the Lord and prayer with these women.

Yuri continues to love his job at Church Media and has so much fresh vision for 2012. I love watching him do what he loves; helping ministries communicate their messages and ultimately change lives. He also took on a new hobby with all (yes, ALL) the boys that has changed the dynamic of our home … wait for it … Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (a form of wrestling).

If you would have told me in high school I’d have four boys and that they and my husband would be into wrestling, I would have told you … you were nuts! But living it out and seeing how much they love what they are doing, I have to say … I’d have it no other way! Last year I had begun to pray for my men to come together in something they could really connect in. Seeing us all come together in this … well, I see His hand!

Caleb is the BIG 10 years old this year. He loves fifth grade and being at the Middle School. He is super social and assertive. He brought home a silver metal at his first Jiu-Jitsu tournament. He loves biking and playing football with friends.

Colsen is 8 years old (2nd grade) and is our resident actor, dancer, singer you name it … entertainer! He started Christian Performing Arts Center in August (CPAC) and has just blossomed with confidence. He loves it and we love following him around to all his performances as he and his team minister the love of Jesus through the performance arts. He and Caleb also performed in a Christmas production this season, A Birthday of a King, we were so proud! He also received a silver metal in his first Jiu-Jitsu tournament.

Hudson is 6 years old (1st grade) and he is our comedian who doesn’t know a stranger! He has done two Jiu-Jitsu tournaments this year; he won a gold and a silver metal. He was the first to start training and he loves it and all the friends he has met there.

Davis is 5 years old. Can you believe it?! He is in pre-school. He can be shy but is such a sweet and compassionate little boy. He received a bronze in his first tournament. My favorite Davis quotes this Christmas are: “Mom, Look!!! God’s shining light!” to a blinking plane light in the sky.  While we were getting him ready for his Christmas special at pre-school, I told him he should wear a Christmas color shirt and he said, “No Mama! I need to wear a God colored shirt.”

We just left the hospital yesterday from a scary staph infection that got in Davis’ blood. God spoke to our hearts giving us tremendous peace that he would be fine although it was a dangerous situation. I posted on Facebook and many began to pray, he got to leave the hospital a half a day early. We were blessed by so many who rushed to our side with concern and prayers. I was moved by how beautiful the bride of Christ is and why Jesus is so passionate about His pursuit of her; the church … YOU! We experienced some Christmas in everyone’s love towards us this year! Davis is on the mend and our hearts are full of love for our Savior and all who we are called to do life with!

Great Love and Merry Christmas, The Stars –Yuri, Ris, Caleb, Colsen, Hudson and Davis


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