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February 2011 Vol 6, Issue 2
Paul makes a snow angel


In This Issue
Gary Thomas Parenting Seminar
Created for Intimacy Marriage Conference
2010-2011 H.I.M. Events
From the Friesen Kitchen
Keeping Up with Paul and Virginia
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H.I.M. Parenting Seminar - Saturday, February 5, 2011
Gary Thomas"Sacred Parenting in a Not-So-Sacred World"

with  Gary Thomas
author of Sacred Parenting

This Saturday, February 5, 2011

9 am to 4:00 pm

Calvary Christian Church, Lynnfield, MA

It's not too late to register for this Saturday's fantastic parenting conference.  Gary Thomas, author of Sacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting, helps us understand "How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls."  He is full of wisdom and support for parenting in our very challenging culture.  In addition to Gary Thomas' three plenary sessions, practical workshops will round out this incredibly important day.  You don't want to miss it.

$50 for single tickets and $90 for couples' tickets.  Price includes lunch and all materials.
Conference Details and Registration            About Gary Thomas                      About Sacred Parenting
"Created for Intimacy" Marriage Conference - March 4-6, 2011
Created for Intimacy Couple
Created for Intimacy:
Why taking care of #1 will never make you one

March 4-6, 2011

 Hotel Viking, Newport, Rhode Island

This will be the first marriage conference in two years that actually features Paul and Virginia as speakers.  If you've got married friends who you've wished could meet and hear the Friesens, this is the perfect opportunity to bring them along for a wonderful weekend of pampering their marriage.  It's the best gift you could give them, and the best gift you can give your own marriage as well.  Join us! 

                                                                   Click here for more information
Upcoming H.I.M. events 2011
Upcoming Events Header We'd love to see many of you at these events.  Register today!
Feb 5               Gary Thomas Parenting Seminar  (register)
March 4-6        Marriage Conference, Newport, RI  (register)
April 2-3           Engagement Matters #3   (register)
April 9              Worth It (purity conference for teens and parents)  (register)
May 27-30       Memorial Day Camping Trip
June 4               Pool Party
From the Friesen Kitchen



The night before, put dry kidney beans to soak in large pot filled with water.

    2 cups dry kidney beans

At least 4 hours before serving time, begin cooking beans.  They'll take at least 2 hours to soften.  When they're soft (not mushy), pour off water, rinse beans, and return to pot.  In a separate pan, brown ground meat and pour off fat:

    1 1/2 pounds ground meat, beef or turkey

Add to beans:

    2 (28-oz.) cans whole canned tomatoes
    1 medium chopped fresh onion, sautéed
    3 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder (to taste)
    2 1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)

Add in ground meat.  Simmer at least one hour on very low heat on top of stove.  Stir frequently to avoid burning on the bottom.  Serve with grated cheese and/or sour cream.  Serves 10.

Keeping Up with Paul and Virginia

Four GenerationsPaul and Virginia have kept up their usual jet-setting lifestyle as they've traveled to speak in numerous venues, barely home long enough to do laundry (and this winter, shovel the driveway!).

In addition to their weekly meetings with the Patriots couples (and cooking lessons with Virginia for the wives--yum!), Paul and Virginia stayed busy all fall with counseling, travel, and speaking, including marriage conferences (in Montreal, Georgia, Pennsylvania, California, and New Hampshire), Mom to Mom groups, church groups, and several of their own H.I.M. events.

Already this ministry year here in Massachusetts, they have hosted a one-day marriage conference featuring Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn, two Engagement Matters weekends, the annual Mid-Winter Family Getaway (17 families at the Holiday Inn in Boxborough over MLK weekend), and coming up this Saturday, a one-day Parenting Conference featuring Gary Thomas.

You can read the details of each of those trips and events at Virginia's blog, so I thought I'd use this space  instead to give you a few "insider" glimpses.  Did you know:
  • Their daughter Julie has recently become engaged to marry to Derek Johnson, the executive director of a hospital in Uganda run by CURE, International.  A summer 2011 wedding is planned (and the dress is purchased!)
  • Through the connection of a mutual friend, Paul and Virginia opened up their home for three months to host a couple needing local accommodations while the husband received cancer treatments at MGH.
  • They regularly interrupt their personal plans to work with couples who ask for immediate intervention for their troubled marriages.
  • Fully 2/3 of the airline reservations Paul made for this fall had to be re-booked because of event cancellations or changes in other people's plans.  ("That's what I get for planning ahead!" he quipped.)
  • Their beloved family dog, Baker, age 16 1/2 years, regularly resides at her second family home in NH while Paul and Virginia travel.  Her second family (Jim, Sue, and Matthew) loves her dearly.
  • Virginia's parents have moved to San Diego and got to meet their new great-grandson, Brandon Garcia, just this past month.  (See the wonderful 4-generation photo above.)
  • One of the frequent flier perks Paul and Virginia have earned on a couple of airlines is unlimited luggage--which they take advantage of by hauling along with them on every flight several boxes of books to sell when they speak.
  • They still carry on a quiet "food ministry," baking dozens of chocolate chip cookies, fresh bread, fresh salsa, and/or homemade raspberry jam to give away to those who need a lift.  And being out of town does not deter them from this ministry--Paul has made his world-famous chocolate chip cookies in many a strange kitchen.
  • Paul and Virginia could not do all of the above without the constant love and support they receive from so many friends and family who offer prayer, affirmation, active help, and/or donor funds.  If you've read this far, in all likelihood, you're one of them.  THANK YOU!
Barbara Steele
Home Improvement Ministries
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