December 21, 2008

Apartment and Snow Pictures

Hey Everybody,

Wow! What a crazy week of snow we've had here in Salem, Oregon. We are so thankful we moved in when we did and, since there was no school all week, we've had the whole time to unpack and get 'settled in'. We had a fun week of Christmas parties with some great people, but we are ready to 'head home for the holidays'. We are hoping the weather will permit us to head up to Sandy on Monday. We had a magical time in Portland with some friends on Friday. We were walking the streets of Downtown and it was snowing, we saw Santa and had some great food and it felt like we were in a movie!

Anyways, here are some promised pics of our new place. I think we're on the verge of getting a new camera...

Kealy and our Christmas Tree:

Our living room:

Our backyard (I think its time to get a dog...Kealy's not so sure)

Santa's Village:

Our first dinner in our new place:

Our master bedroom:

Rest of the bedroom with our own bathroom!

The 'man room' (the study)

We're finding ourselves under the mistletoe often:

Fun in the snow:

A tree in our front yard:

The two love birds:

December 15, 2008

Moved In...Welcoming The Snow

Hey Everybody,

We have moved from keizer to west salem and we moved this weekend, just before the snow came. We found a cool, three bedroom duplex with a garage (for our ping pong table)! It was exciting to move and we were so thankful we moved on Saturday before the snow and ice came.

We had a ton of help and they were all such a blessing to us. Moving can be so stressful and time/energy draining, but we were blessed with some strong men and it was an enjoyable experience.

We put up our tree and started a fire in our fireplace and we are enjoying the snow...hopefully you are too.

Today is also our 7-year anniversary of our first date. We're going to celebrate by 'ice' skating in our parking lot!

For our first date, we went to the Old Spaghetti Factory, Ice Skating at the Clackamas Mall and then had ice cream at a view point in Sandy. I remember having a hard time driving because I couldn't pay attention to the road because of the BEAUTIFUL young woman next to me in the car. It was a day I will never forget!

We'll get pictures posted on the blog as soon as we get internet at our new place. Stay safe in the snow!

In Christ,
Ryan and Kealy Thorson

December 6, 2008

A Promise Not To Promise

Hey Everybody!!!

Wow!!! Its been a while. I can't promise you anything about staying up with posts, since I've said it before and haven't followed through, but in following friend's of mine and their blogs, I realized how much I enjoy seeing what is going on in their lives. So we are making an attempt to blog more frequently, especially around the holidays, when so much fun stuff is going on.

We are continuing to 'live the dream' and working hard, but enjoying our moments together. Kealy is working so hard every day, substitute teaching. She has done it all. High school art, Middle School Math, Elementary school classrooms and working with mentally and physically disabled, I admire so much her flexibility to walk into any classroom and handle the class. Countless students tell her how wonderful she is and what a 'nice sub' she is.

The other nice thing about subbing is some of the days or half days we have to spend together. We are enjoying walking, playing wii and lots of other things together.

This week is finals week for my first term of seminary at George Fox. It has been a great term and I have loved everything I have had an opportunity to learn and think about. I feel like I am getting better equipped for wherever my education might lead.

We are enjoying our ministry and service with Salem Evangelical. The college/career adults are a blast to live life with and they are growing spiritually and we are enjoying building relationships with them.

We had a wonderful thanksgiving with family and are eagerly anticipating Christmas time and all of the fun things and traditions we get to do. We went shopping today and had fun together and are having a nice, quiet Saturday afternoon together, a peaceful day in the middle of the crazy Christmas storm.

Sunset today...we need a new doesn't do it justice!

Hope your Christmas plans are going well and that, in the middle of the crazy and hectic time of Christmas, that we would each remember what it is really about.

in Christ,
Ryan and Kealy Thorson

October 4, 2008

Ode To Women In My Life

Hey Everybody,

This weekend I have been in seminary class ALL of Friday and Saturday! If it weren't for the long hours and not seeing my wife, I think I could do this all the time. It has been an amazing weekend and my brain feels stretched and filled with great ideas and new thoughts to chew on.

The class that I am taking this weekend is an intensive course called 'women in church history' and is a study of the different women from biblical times to current day that have shaped and molded Christianity, despite persecution or hardship. The issue of women in ministry and ordination of women has also been a great discussion and debate throughout the weekend and this semester.

As I have been sitting in class and hearing about these amazing women throughout history and also learning how my experiences and upbringing have played such a huge part in my understanding and belief of women in ministry and in our culture, I have been thinking back and appreciating so much the women that God has blessed me with in my life.

God has empowered and used women in my family to reveal His incredible nature and power of creation and love in families, marriage and communities. I have seen women in my family face tremendous adversity and overcome, battle challenges with grace and courage, and unconditionally loved and supported me and others throughout their life.

I could write pages and pages on the incredible things that women in my life have done, but here is the 'ode to women in my life' in brevity:

Annabel Hughes Thorson
: My paternal grandmother; valedictorian in her high school class, a teacher and mother of three children, providing comfort, support and love to her children even after her divorce with her husband. I will forever remember and cherish the way that she lavished her love upon us and how she taught me to shuffle cards.

Margaret Prew: My maternal grandmother; a teacher, widowed forty years ago, she continues to love and care for her three children as well as faithfully serve in the community church of sandy. She has passionately and faithfully supported me and my siblings in all of our endeavors and even folded our laundry for us while growing up.

Carol Thornberry
: my grandmother-in-law; another incredible women, she loved and cared for her three kids as a teenager while her husband was serving in the military. Raised them with love and unconditional support, served in the public school district and continues to be the 'matriarch' of her family, keeping records of geneaology and planning family outings and meals.

My Aunts: Amazing women who have taught and preached throughout the United States, each having tremendous impact using their gifts to shape kids and adults into followers of Christ. In Texas, California and Nevada, they have shared the love of Christ through words and actions.

Dottie Thorson: My mother; Words cannot describe what my mother means to me. She is a rock, a woman that stands against adversity and pressures and overcomes. A woman who has positively influenced not only our lives, but the lives of hundreds of children through her years of teaching. She has modeled to me a faithful wife, mother and follower of Christ. Her honesty and love of her family and her church our some of her greatest virtues and she loves us without end.

Tanya Atkins: my mother-in-law; A woman who held her family together through love and care, who has a passion and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and who cares for and supports her kids. She is a woman of great strength and great love and she is the one of the reasons I have such an incredible wife.

Michelle Thorson:My sister; A woman with one of the most sensitive and caring hearts i have ever seen. One of the most selfless women I know, she has been to more sports games throughout her life than most people. She has a passion for serving Christ and using her gifts to bring Him glory. She cares and unconditionally loves the people in her family and those around her.

Kealy Thorson:My wife; The most beautiful, loving, strong, courageous, caring, adventurous and amazing woman I know. The first woman in her family to gain a college education and master's degree, she selflessly gives herself to me and our marriage. She is sensitive and has an attractiveness of love and kindness that I have never seen. People are drawn to her spirit and her advice and love. She offers insight and truth into relationships and ministry that is invaluable. Most importantly, she is my best friend, the one whom I will spend my whole life with, sharing adventures, hardships, joys, struggles, victories and mysteries. There is none like her.

These women have changed and continue to change my life! Without them, my life is incomplete. Without them, the world would not have been affected by their love and courage and the tenacity with which they live life and serve Christ. These women, who fear the Lord, DESERVE TO BE PRAISED!

In Christ,

October 2, 2008

Living The Dream

Hey Everybody,

Its interesting how we (at least me) try so hard to get into the everyday flow of life so that I can get used to a new schedule (creature of habit that I am) that sometimes I forget how much fun everything that I'm getting to do is. I was tired and a little worn out at the end of the day yesterday, and then I stopped and realized to myself, 'self, you got to do some really fun things today'. Sure they were a little tedious at times, but I got to hang out with fellow pastors at the church, share about our ministries, have lunch with a student, study ancient hebrew, learn about women in church history, hang out with my gorgeous wife, eat three great tacos from Taco Bell and hang out with ten guys talking about the Holy Spirit. What an awesome day! I missed the point when I was going through the day that the passions and things that I love most I was getting to do! I was so consumed with getting through my 'to-do list' and how busy it was that I missed the realization that I was 'Living the Dream'!

My hope and prayer in MY life is that I can take moments throughout the day and stop and realize how blessed I am by God. Kealy and i were talking at the beach on Tuesday just how many amazing experiences we've had together and what amazing relationships and family God has given us. It totally changed our outlook on our life, while we're still settling in and Kealy's finding a job she'll enjoy, that even though there are things we still WANT in our life, they have no comparison to the amazing things we already have.

Praise God for the gifts He has lavished upon us, and give me strength, Lord, to be appreciative and acknowledge the incredible gifts Thou hast given!

In Christ,
Ryan and Kealy Thorson

just some of our amazing family and friends:

September 30, 2008

A Day Of Joy

Hey Everybody,

Ok! For real this time; we'll start posting more frequently. We're having a great time enjoying the fall weather so far this september, since we were in China a year ago this time and missed the beautiful oregon fall. Things are going well. I (Ryan) have started classes at George Fox Seminary and am enjoying beginning the process of working towards a Masters of Divinity. I am also doing some 'professional' blogging on the side and really enjoying it (see sidebar for blog links). Kealy has been so supportive of me going to school and is still looking for a great job that she will love! Someone is sure going to be lucky to have her on their staff!

We are having a blast serving the college/career students and adults at our church at Salem Evangelical! It is so great living life with them and being able to share about God's faithfulness in our lives. They have been so open and willing to share joy and heartache with us. It is a great adventure and God has been good.

Today we both took a day off and got away to the beach together. It was wonderful to be able to just spend the day together just the two of us. We went to one of our favorite places; THE BEACH! We went for a walk with our barefeet in the sand and arms linked. We even had fun and took some photos of each other and together, as you can see below:

On the way home, we experienced Starbucks' new 'Signature Hot Chocolates' and WOW! they were amazing. It could be difficult this fall and winter eating healthy with those incredible drinks just around the corner.

We enjoy living in Keizer and our apartment is starting to feel like home. We're getting into our fall shows and love hanging out together at the end of each busy day. God has been, and we trust, will continue to be faithful to us and we thank you for your prayers and support.

Keep an eye out on our blog and we'll begin to post more frequently and let you know about all of our adventures!

In Christ,
Ryan and Kealy Thorson

August 20, 2008

Summer 2008

Hey Friends and Family,

Alright, if you're still following along, thank you for your faithful blog devotedness. It has been a busy summer, its amazing how much faster paced things are here in the states. We had another incredible experience in Mexico with students that we are serving with in our college/career ministry, recently named "SOLD OUT"! We have both been busy working, Kealy was given a short term job at Newport Restaurant as a hostess and I have continued to work at Best Buy Costumer Service. We are preparing for the school year, looking forward to getting into a normal routine. Kealy is continuing to wait for a job to open up and I will be starting seminary school two weeks from tomorrow. We are excited for our future here in Keizer and the upcoming school year.

We celebrated our fourth year of marriage together on August 1st, with a fun weekend at Detroit Lake, a wonderfully romantic dinner and a fun time sharing and remembering the last four years of our marriage. We can't believe its gone by so fast. We love being married so very much.

God has continued to be faithful to us and we are enjoying immensely our service and experience with the college/career ministry at Salem E. The students and staff have been so willing to share their lives with us and we have done lots of things together this summer: A trip to Seattle, Mexico, Beach Trips and camping at Detroit Lake. We also got to enjoy a Thornberry family reunion (Kealy's side) and will be heading to Sandy this weekend to spend time with Ryan's family. We thought we'd share some pictures with you of this summer so you can get an idea of what we've been doing.

Keep an eye out for this blog, as we strive to be more consistent in our posting. Thank you, as always, for your love, prayers and support.

In Christ,
Ryan and Kealy Thorson

Ryan and Kealy with her brothers:

Kealy with her cousins and new second cousin, Jaden

A trip to the beach:

Fun in Oaxaca:

Ancient Indian Ruins:

Detroit Lake Fun:

Our anniversary:

July 6, 2008

Mexico...Here We Go Again!


Hey Friends and Family,

Well, in less than 7 hours we'll be on our way with a team of twenty three to Oaxaca, Mexico to serve for one week with a feeding program, vacation bible school and construction. We are going to have a hard time sleeping tonight, that's for sure! Please pray for us and for our team, that we would be strengthened and protected, and that God would work through us and in us while we are there. You can check out a blog we have set up for the trip and you can find the site to the right of this post. We'll have internet access and will be able to post pictures and daily blogs chronicling the experience while we are there.

We hope each of you are having a great summer. Thank you always, for your love and support of us and each of our adventures. Your prayers and love are always felt.

In Christ,
Ryan and Kealy Thorson

July 2, 2008

Living Each Day

Dear Friends and Family,
It has been quiet some time now since our last blog, I applogies. The last few months we have managed to find work; Ryan is working at Best Buy and at our church as the College/Career Pastor. We feel blessed to be apart of such an wonderful group. I substituted until school was out in June, the last month was at South Salem High School as the freshman P.E. teacher. I'm now working at Newport Bay now known as Newport Seafood and Grill. When we are not working we enjoy hanging out with friends and family. Monday's I get together with the girls and Ryan on Wednesday with the boys. Last week my grandparents celebrated their fiftieth anniversary at the beach with the whole family. G&G are great examples of a good marriage. Yesterday was my b-day, on Sunday I celebrated with family along with Ryan speaking at his Dad's Church in Sandy. I felt loved on my Birthday, thank you. This coming Monday we leave for Oaxaca Mexico for a mission trip with the college/career group. Ryan is going to start George Fox in the Fall to get his Mdiv.

I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own: it is not for man to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23

It has been interesting being back and where God has taken us in what we are doing. We want to follow God's footsteps wherever He might lead. God's plans are far greater then our own. That is were we find hope and joy. We are so thankful for many things and know that he will give us the desire of our hearts if we follow Him.

In Christ,
Kealy and Ryan

April 17, 2008

Continuing the Adventures

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope you are doing well and experiencing the very best God has to offer you as Spring arrives this year. God has been so faithful to us since our arrival back in the states and we wanted to share about His goodness to us with you. Since arriving back from teaching English in China this past January, we have renewed our commitment to continue to serve as a part of the Salem Evangelical Church in Salem. We are so excited about the things God is doing in our church and we are so honored that God has given us a chance to be a part of the ministry there. Ryan has been asked and has accepted a position as the new college/career ministries director at SEC, working with college students and young adults as they strengthen their walk with Christ and search for His call on their lives. We are so excited to be serving in this ministry and are dedicated to allowing God to use us as He will in this next adventure.
We would like to humbly ask for your faithful prayer during the beginning of this ministry, that we would seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in relationships and ministry and that we would stay focused on what God has planned for this incredible ministry in Salem. As part of this new adventure, we have been asked to help lead a group of twenty young adults, along with four other staff, to Oaxaca, Mexico this July 7th through 13th. We will be serving in the city of Oaxaca for one week, doing construction, building relationships with believers there as well as reaching out to youth and adults in the community. We are extremely excited for the chance to be a part of this trip and have the opportunity to serve Christ through missions, as well as help develop young men and women in Christ and build relationships with them. We too, would covet your prayers as we prepare for this mission.
If, as you commit to praying for us, you are able and guided through the Spirit to contribute financially to our trip as well, we would humbly accept any gift you are willing to give. We are trusting that God will provide the funds to be able to serve Him as we believe He has called us to do. Our cost for the trip will be $2400. Any amount you are willing to give would be a tremendous blessing to us. A financial gift can even be tax deductible if made out to Salem Evangelical Church at: 455 Locust St. NE Salem, OR 97301, with a separate note signed by you expressing your desire to support Kealy and I on this trip. We are excited to see God provide for us financially, but more important, we request your prayer as we prepare to serve God in Mexico. Thank you for your love and support. May God continue to “...let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts” and “the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives”.

In Him,
Ryan and Kealy Thorson

April 1, 2008

A Defining Mission

Hello Friends and Family,
We are back from Mexico safe and sound, a more blessed and at peace than we could have ever known. It was an incredible week and we feel so privileged to have been able to be a part of God's work down in Ensenada with senior high students from SEC during the week. As some of you already know, on our trip down to Mexico our team was involved in an eight car accident just outside of San Diego. Praise God that no one was seriously injured and safe. But what we are praising God for all the more was the way that the staff of the trip, our fearless leader pastor Garrett, and the amazing students who responded to the unexpected obstacle in our mission with a renewed desire to continue the trip and serve the people in Mexico we believed God was calling us to reach. God stripped us of any unpure motives or shallow desires for a 'spring break vacation' and turned the week into an amazing time of service and fellowship. Kealy and I were blown away by the maturity and joy of these senior high students, the love and patience that the staff showed them, and the way that the approximately 100 kids we put on VBS for in Mexico welcomed us and desired to learn about God's love. As much as Kealy and I were looking forward to helping serve on the trip and being an encouragment to students and staff, we found we were blessed even more by the students and had such an incredible time building relationships with such godly young men and women. It was a week we will never forget and will never be able to fully give testimony to, but God was great. He was there, He was active, and He was evident in the lives of our students and in the smiles and hugs of kids that we had a chance to love. Here is the trip in pictures. Have a great week.

In Christ,
Ryan and Kealy