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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas day came and went in a blur of activity! We spent the morning with Rob's side of the family, and then headed to my parents' house in the evening. The island is our home until January 11th and we will spend it visiting, visiting, and visiting some more! It is very busy, but we are so encouraged by people's enthusiasm and we pray that we are a blessing and encouragement for each of their families as well.

8 of 10 Grandchildren (18 month old twins from Zambia are missing). No Joyanne does not look happy, does she! Everybody else is anticipating opening gifts as they patiently watched Uncle Matt bring them all into the living room.

Faith enjoys watching Toy Story 1 & 2, and was pretty excited to have her own "Jessie" now. We will treasure this Christmas as we shared the excitement of giving gifts with most of the cousins! We can only imagine when we may get the chance to do that again.

Wesley took time to occupy himself with a new coloring book. Officially, I believe this is the first time my energetic 2.5 year old has stopped to seriously try coloring!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Fun Family Day

 The commuter train in our town had a special on this December. Bring a new toy and ride the train for free! So we thought the kids would appreciate this experience. Plus, we were ready to do something fun as family. While we were downtown for the afternoon, we visited Science World. I thought it might be too old for our kids, but they loved it! I think if we'd (us parents) had the energy they would have gone and played with everything again.
My brother was over visiting, so he came along which worked out perfectly! Not only did we really enjoy his company, but having a pair of arms for each child was a must! I think Rob and I could have done it alone, it just would have been slower and I don't think we would have enjoyed it as much :) This way we were each able to follow a child around and we didn't have to worry so much where the other were.
 Faith and Wesley spent many minutes trying to talk to each other into the whisper dishes (I think they're called).
 Because Joyanne is walking now, she has discovered a new sense of freedom! She was toodling around the whole place and was taking it all in.
 Faith tried out many of the experiments.
The kids sat through an entire balloon show and Faith was picked as a volunteer at one point. She was pretty excited to be able to go "on stage."

 Joyanne playing with some very 'dirty' building blocks. Oh well, immune-building, right? :)
We had such a fun day. We were exhausted by the end of it, but so glad we took the time to go.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Cookies

 The other evening we spent decorating snowmen and christmas trees with icing and sprinkles. I think the kids had more fun eating the sprinkles than decorating!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas

Our house is beginning to feel Christmasy! We put up our tree last week and we have hung the decorations. Watching my four year old get excited about these decorations has been fun this year. It has also caused me to wonder, "Should I try and pack a smallish box of ornaments to take with us?"  "Do we really have to leave this kind of stuff behind? Or get rid of it altogether?" It has also caused me to think that Christmas tradition and the holiday season should have everything to do with our Creator and Lord, and very little do with material symbols, much less material symbols of commercialism that our culture has so grossly overwhelmed us with! So I have been pondering ways in which we will create traditions and special times for Christmas without the "norm" that Rob and I were raised with (which were nice and healthy and God-focused, I'll note.)
However, I was thinking that our children may grow up with memories of Mango smells and tropical seasonal African flowers around Christmas time rather than my childhood memories of cinnamon spice potpourri and the pine scent from a real Christmas tree in our home. And even though mandarin oranges seem to be available year-round now, I still can't help think of Christmas when I go to peel one. I have a feeling my children won't share that nostalgia. Is that weird?
These thoughts are really trivial at the end of the day, in comparison with things of true importance: the birth of Christ, the message of hope He brings, His love and grace and forgiveness! But they are thoughts I've had through this process nonetheless.

Merry Christmas!
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