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Ponderosa Cabin

Christmas in the Mountains

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Christmas in the Mountains

This year we spent Christmas at our family's cabin in Fairplay, Colorado. Mallory (my sister-in-law) took some amazing photos documenting our time together. She graciously let me borrow some! Check her out here or here. This was our first ever Christmas day with all the Hendersons together. It was very special and I can't wait for many more together!

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Christmas(53of58).jpg

Love y'all & may you have joy all year 'round -

 

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First Snowfall At the Cabin

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First Snowfall At the Cabin

This past weekend, we retreated up to the cabin to spend some quality time with the Henderson side of our family. Ben's brother & sister-in-law are going on a 10 month mission trip in early 2016 and we really craved some quality time together. We were thrilled to be able to experience the first snowfall of the season up in Fairplay. I love the snow, it sings to my soul! I was a little bummed/disappointed that we missed the leaves changing for the 3rd fall in a row but God knows the desires of our hearts and surprised us with a sweet window of snow! It was almost like a dream. Several inches fell on Tuesday and Wednesday and by Saturday it was all melted.

Our weekend was spent:

  • Watching the dogs wrestle and chase each other (for hours and hours)
  • Playing games (many, many games such as RummiKub, Yahtzee, Bananagrams, & Scattergories)
  • Hiking the Continental Divide at Hoosier Pass
  • Getting massages & eating crepes in Breckenridge
  • Four wheeling
  • Reading
  • Sitting around the campfire
  • Relaxing 

I never want to leave the cabin or the mountains. My heart yearns to stay there and enjoy the fresh, crisp mountain air. Until next time I will just reminisce on these joyful adventures.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photo Oct 26, 10 36 34 AM.jpg
 
 
 
 
Photo Oct 26, 10 36 05 AM.jpg
 
 
 
 

Let it snow -

Chelsea
 

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Recharging in the mountains

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Recharging in the mountains

The past few weeks have been really, really good, filled with GC parties and celebrations, working a lot, starting Surge - a year long discipleship program with a lot of reading each week and regular table discussions, and just regular every day life! We are so excited about this season of life and all that is going on but it can also deplete our spiritual, emotional, & physical bank account leaving us grumpy, impatient, & overwhelmed. That is why I could not be more grateful for a long weekend away at our family's cabin in the mountains where we can breathe some fresh mountain air, ride the new ATVs, hike with our puppy, spend some quality time together, and read! All things I love.  

I am always on the go. Going about 90 miles an hour. Doing 37 things at once. I thrive in this environment but even I need to recharge. I will admit that it is difficult for me to slow down and I resist it as much as possible, for reasons only the Lord knows. But in the midst of going and going and going, I forget to just enjoy each moment and the journey of getting to where I am going. I tend to rush on by with little thought as to where God might be in the midst of the mundane and what He wants to teach me. With all that being said - I tried to put aside my agenda for the weekend and just be recharged, refreshed, and revitalized through conversations, reading, exploring the trails on the ATVs, hiking, and looking out on God's immense, vast, and gorgeous creation.

God is everywhere, in the clouds, in the Mountainous horizon, in laughter, in cooking breakfast, in basking in the sunshine. He is everywhere. Through Surge the last two weeks, we have really focused on God's creation by reading the entire book of Genesis in two weeks and reading the "The Drama of Scripture". Creation is a concept that many of us Christians tend to glaze on through just accepting and knowing that God spoke our universe, world, and people into existence. Yes he SPOKE us into existence. I mean have you ever pondered that? God spoke and it was. How amazing is that? Also, what God teaches us about his creation is that it was designed and put into perfect shalom in the Garden of Eden, and it was all GOOD. Shalom is my new favorite word and concept right now.

Shalom is "the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight" - Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. in his article titled "Sin: Not the Way It's Supposed to Be". Cornelius also goes on to say that, "In the Bible shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight - a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as the creator and savior opens doors and speaks welcome to the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things are supposed to be." (To read the full article, click here.) How dreamy is that? How amazing is that? I want to be in a state of natural flourishing and fulfillment where everyone's gifts are fruitful and there is joyful wonder. I want that! I mean who doesn't? Although we live in a fallen and broken world, we still have hope and delight in knowing what God has created with us in mind, what he has created that is good and nourishing. We may not see the fruition of revelation on this side of heaven but we can rest assured that we will experience this with Him in his holy kingdom.

View from Windy Ridge of the Lower Mount Bross Trail

View from Windy Ridge of the Lower Mount Bross Trail

View at dusk from our cabin porch

View at dusk from our cabin porch

 
Our little slice of mountain heaven

Our little slice of mountain heaven

 
 
Our cozy nook of the loft

Our cozy nook of the loft

 
 
Working on perfecting my fried eggs...also its never too early for a Christmas glass

Working on perfecting my fried eggs...also its never too early for a Christmas glass

 
 
Furry hats are a must in the mountains

Furry hats are a must in the mountains

 

Loading up the ATVs

We successfully hitched up the ATV trailer

We successfully hitched up the ATV trailer

Trigger jumped on thinking he was going to get to go with us

Trigger jumped on thinking he was going to get to go with us

Triggy wanted to go for a ride

Triggy wanted to go for a ride

We did it!

We did it!

 
View of Montgomery Reservoir

View of Montgomery Reservoir

 
Handsome hubby

Handsome hubby

Magnolia Mill

Magnolia Mill

 
We attempted a level "red" trail called Wheeler Lake - we did not make it up! Thought "safety first!"

We attempted a level "red" trail called Wheeler Lake - we did not make it up! Thought "safety first!"

 

Campfire & Cuddles

I wish I could remember what story Ben was telling us but it looks like it was really interesting!

I wish I could remember what story Ben was telling us but it looks like it was really interesting!

I love spending time by the fire with great friends!

I love spending time by the fire with great friends!

Hiking McCullough Gulch

I know that for some people, this seems like a jam packed weekend and where did we find the time to rest and recharge? Well what you didn't see was a lot of vegging in our reclining chairs, reading for hours, watching the sun come up over the mountains, watching a little HGTV House Hunters Renovation, and all the good food we ate! This to me is what I enjoy and I feel more at ease & refreshed than before we left. We had two families come up and meet us at the cabin for a little R&R. This was a breath of fresh air and I loved spending time with the kiddos. They are so precious and I love listening to their stories. What do you do to relax, unwind, and recharge? I love to hear new ideas. 

Shalom -

Chelsea
 

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Whitewater Rafting + McCullough Gulch

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Whitewater Rafting + McCullough Gulch

Whitewater Rafting

Last month we went up to the cabin to hang out with my in-laws and their sweet group of friends! We had quite the adventure. We started early on Saturday morning to drive from Fairplay to Salida to go white water rafting through Brown's Canyon on the Arkansas River. Our family has used Independent Whitewater multiple times now and really like them! We love their guides and their route is 2 miles longer since they have a private pull out. Our total rafting trip was about 12 miles and considered a half day trip. We had 12 people total so we occupied 2 boats. The other boat had a go pro tragedy (i.e. it is now at the bottom of the Arkansas River) and the same guy took a swim on Zoom Floom! Here are a few photos from our white water adventure. Our guide said we made a great team and listen to directions.... haha if you only knew us!

Rafting 1
Rafting 2
 
Rafting 3
 

McCullough Gulch

After our whitewater journey we went back to the cabin to change and get ready for a late afternoon hike. We drove to McCullough Gulch, which is about 1.5 miles past the Mount Quandary Trailhead. This was a 1.3 mile hike and much, much easier than Mount Quandary! We loved the scenic views, easy hiking, and the lake at the top was so gorgeous. It was totally worth the climb! All 12 of us made it to the lake.

Ben & I

Ben & I

My mother-in-law & I

My mother-in-law & I

Ben
 
Beautiful waterfall about .5 miles from the lake

Beautiful waterfall about .5 miles from the lake

 
Ben + Chels at the Waterfall
 
We made it to the lake!

We made it to the lake!

 
 
 
 
The sun started to go down on us and there is just something about those Colorado skies.

The sun started to go down on us and there is just something about those Colorado skies.

 

This was such a fun weekend filled with activities and fellowship! Loved spending time with some of our favorite people.

Gettin' some fresh air -

Chelsea
 
 

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GC Mountain Retreat Weekend

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GC Mountain Retreat Weekend

We recently hosted our gospel community {{also referred to as GC}} at our family's cabin in Fairplay for our seasonal mountain retreat. This weekend is designed to be a time of fellowship, game playing {I mean A LOT of game playing}, laughing, resting, & relaxation, as well as, exploration & adventure! I am so grateful to be in this community of believers that surrounds me with love, acceptance, joy, authenticity, & just all around fun & fellowship! I used to pray, and I must admit even just beg, for God to introduce me to friends that liked to play board games & card games, loved to do new things together, & enjoyed talking & laughing into the wee hours of the morning. God not only answered those prayers but he far exceeded fulfilling that desire. This may sound silly but I am not kidding when I say I like to play games.... I mean a lot of games for hours & hours. I have truly met my match at least 4 times over in our GC on those who love to play games! Anyways back to the GC Mountain Retreat Weekend --

Friday:

As everyone arrived, we unpacked cars and giddily talked about what lay ahead for the weekend!

We ate Christi's delicious chicken & sausage jambalaya (See the recipe here.) & talked about our activities for the next day! There were going to be three different groups doing fun things on Saturday which consisted of:  The Hikers, The Fishermen, & The Town Explorers.

We played Uno for hours {it only took us 20 minutes to explain all the rules since it had been a decade or more since some people had played.. aka Justin.} as well as B.S, also known as Boyscouts per Jack. hehe. I didn't want to stop playing games but since The Hikers were going to be leaving the house at 4:40 AM to hike Mount Quandary, we decided it was time to begin preparation for the morning & get ready for bed. 

We made assembly lines and took sandwich orders from the whole crew, made our bladders of water, and packed all of our lunches & packs. Finally we all got to bed a little after midnight! I felt like it was Christmas Eve I was so excited. I woke up at 2 AM convinced it was time for me to turn on the coffee and get ready. Thankfully I checked the time before I was too far in this plan.

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Friday Dinner
Ben + Jack + Trig

Saturday:

To get a full account of The Hikers journey to hiking a 14-er check out the post here.

After our hike which totaled about 8 hours with stops, snacking, potty breaks, etc. - we headed back to the cabin. On the way back, I texted the Town Explorer crew and they were at High Paw Pet Supplies meeting Andre! I convinced The Hikers to go meet up with them. {This consisted of me begging to go and no one having the guts to oppose.... I have such sweet friends! haha} Andre is a large cat that was rescued by this pet store and has since gained QUITE the Instagram following. Check out @andre.giantcat to learn more about Andre. We all just had to go get a picture with him! See these priceless photos below.

Chelsea + Andre
Jack + Andre
Anna + Andre

When we arrived back at the cabin, some of the crew napped {in hindsight - I should have joined them but anyone who knows me, knows I am not a napper and I do NOT like naps haha. I am personally just such a grumpo when I wake up, I feel worse or groggy the rest of the day, & I just don't like to waste daylight or miss out on the fun times!} and some of the crew talked and became delirious, I must add.

 
Ben + Trig
 
 
Jack + Trig
 

Shortly after a quick mountain rain storm, The Fishermen crew arrived back at the cabin to tell us about their adventures! They caught 25+ fish, hiked part of a 14-er, saw a buffalo or was it a bison? anyhow they thoroughly enjoyed themselves! It was so cool to see our seasoned veteran fly fisher teach a new fly fisherman what he knew and see them bond over their common interest in fishing!

 
Fish
 

Saturday evening consisted of cooking over 6 lbs of fried chicken, frying up the 7 trout the boys brought home, making homemade cauliflower mac & cheese {I will share this recipe soon!}, & hearty salad! I love cooking meals together at the cabin. There is something so sweet about the whole process. Some people gravitate towards cooking {me, Jack, Cole}, while Christi & John are great choppers & preppers, and some of the boys are our clean up crew {Edward, Ben, & Justin}, and everyone else who helps set the table & take drink orders. It is just one of the most fulfilling earthly experiences topped off with eating family style. Our presentation isn't fancy & it isn't perfect but it sure is made with love & absolutely delicious.

 
Saturday Dinner
 

Sunday:

After we had breakfast, we spent some time in God's word as a group and just reflected on on the weekend in the basement. During this time, Cole spotted a moose walking across our property! It was majestic. We immediately all started running up the stairs trying to snap a photo and get a better view. Here is the only good image I have of this moose. You can see that his hind legs are TALLER than our friend's Jeep Cherokee! It was amazing but don't be fooled. Moose are very aggressive and dangerous so do not approach one in the wilderness!

 
Moose
 

When I come back from a weekend like this I come back rejuvenated, filled with encouragement & joy, and thankful for the body of Christ in community. Community has changed my life over and over. If you are not in community - my prayer is that you would seek out Godly community that will continue to challenge you to live as Christ calls you to. Community isn't perfect but it is essential to our sanity & growth. Isolation can overwhelm you and suck you in before you realize what is happening. If you have questions or would like to know more about biblical community - feel free to message me in the Contact section or leave a comment below!

Full heart -

Chelsea
 

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