Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Family time and homemade eggnog in the morning! So much fun! Then we hosted a joyful group in the afternoon. Immanuel...God is with us. That's something to sing about!

My favorite park

On birthdays and special occasions we travel 30 minutes south on a little country road to my favorite park and restaurant. The kids (and Patrick) love playing, I enjoy the nature, and we all enjoy the food. This time we went for Christmas Eve.

Nice catch! (And good throw Patrick!)
Elizabeth gets in the football action with a book in hand!
Feeding this cat was a highlight! He was plump, so it must have been a highlight for others too!
Love their salads
Someone dipping bread into a lamb and prune tagine. Delicious.

Ice Skating

You have to be creative when you live in a land which is always winter and never Christmas. Two Saturdays ago, we drove 2 hours to a big city with a mall which has a skating rink AND a Christmas tree!
Our cute group by the Christmas tree in the mall!

I love this picture! Josiah is the one in the orange in back of Elijah! He's super limber so I'm curious if he actually fell or if he's just doing a trick :)
Fun times!
Elizabeth taking a break at the side. The skating was a bit chaotic with no one in charge, so you need a breather every now and then.
Ice cream after the skating! Yum!
This boy is a chocolate lover like his mom! We both got chocolate and raspberry. Nice!

His kind for a little lamb

H did not want to go to school this year. She had tried it last year (and the year before) but had spent each drop-off time in tears, so didn't complete the year. So we geared up for this first grade year. We prayed for courage for her (and for me!). We asked others to pray for her. We asked that she'd have tender and shepherding teachers. And guess what? She's now happy at school!

I visited her French teacher because she had said that H wasn't doing very well and needed review. She told me that she spends a lot of time talking with her little girlfriends in class (I asked, "In what language?" She didn't know.). She said, "I heard that she cried a lot last year, so I don't want to yell at her." Yippee! An answer to prayer! A shepherding teacher! Generally, teachers hit and yell at the students. I'm so thankful that our little lamb is protected by our Great Shepherd.

Of course later I filled H in on sitting still and paying attention in class. She said, "But what do I do when my friend wants me to draw with my markers on her hand?" She is such a social bug!

In the photo she sits with the books of 3 different languages she is learning. The first is English (1 1/2 hours a week), then Arabic (everyday) and French (everyday). If you are observant you will see that she has her little hamster in her right hand! Your prayers are appreciated for her!

The Children's holiday

At the beginning of this month, our city celebrated a several day festival of sorts. I refer to it as the children's holiday because it is a time for the kids to eat candy, buy trinkets and toys, and to get all dressed up and walk through the city. But really it is named after a martyr in this religion long ago.
This is a mere sampling of the many treats available. I love the peanut brittle type dessert and probably ate this whole thing (chopped up of course! This baby is hard!)
A favorite toy sold is the plastic gun. You are given a handful of pellets and off you go. The lifespan of one of these guns is approximately one day. My boys returned multiple times with their friends to buy more (they are from $1-4).

So, it's a bit of culture shock to have a holiday after a martyr in which you eat candy and buy guns. But maybe that's just me!

Happy Birthday!

A big 7-year-old on December 4! I can't believe it!
We made cinnamon rolls (gluten free!) for the AM and of course put in some candles and sang.
We visited our friends, 1 hour north of us, for the day and had this cake with
a ladybug m-n-m decoration.
She visited with a little friend and ate ice cream at her favorite place!
The next day, our neighbor made her a tart and her 3 boys each made her a present.
Very thoughtful!

May our sweet little girl grow more and more in love with her Savior this year.