Sunday, January 24, 2016

Family Traditions #31: Christmas 2015

Jonah and Silas were looking forward to decorating the tree. We started putting it together one afternoon after their nap and then Jimmy helped us once he got home from class.
Eden didn't know what all the fuss was about, but once we said there would be hot chocolate at the end, she was all in!
 Jimmy is always in charge of the lights. He makes a big deal out of it and that makes the kids even more excited!
I love these guys!

There was hot chocolate like always. Last year when we finished we watched White Christmas. I thought they would like the colorfulness of it and all the songs. Nope, they hated it. This year we watched It's a Wonderful Life... black and white and all, they stuck with it to the end and loved it! Of course their deep take away was "Dada, excuse me, excuse me, I burped." Boys!
Bonnie and Jim stopped by before going on a little furlough to visit their kids. For the second year in a row they brought chocolate peanut butter balls... the best thing EVER. I hope that little tradition keeps happening! I didn't share.
There were lots more evenings with hot chocolate throughout the month of December!
We did our traditional advent devos each night. 
 Eden is doing good remembering the Christmas story now. She was so cute telling the story to Dada!
I had gotten a little worried when she was with Jimmy in Santa Elena and said, "Look Dada, baby Moses!" when she saw this:
The semester ended at the farm, then Jimmy's parents and grandparents came for a trip (it was wonderful!) Then one of the students got married at the farm and then we were left with less than a week before Christmas! Jimmy really wanted to make Eden's Christmas present. He got to this point the first evening:
 I had been collecting supplies from the thrift store here and then when we were on furlough last year I went to all the antique stores right outside of Wichita! (One of my favorite things to do.) 
I found all kinds of old mini pots and pans and mini salt and pepper shakers. They had the cutest, well-made things for her kitchen! When you live in Petén you have to plan way ahead, so this project was over a year in the making, even though it was executed in about 3 days!

Right before we left for our Christmas Eve outreach at church Jimmy put on the finishing touches. 
We did our caroling outreach again. It is SO MUCH FUN! We all get together to sing and wrap cookies. We have a little devotional and then we head out to the village next door.  
All but two of our students and their families went back to their home villages for Christmas. We had two new families come for this outreach and then they have kept coming since then. 
It is hard to get good pictures in the dark. We walked and walked and walked, this pregnant lady's feet required several days of recovery. It was so dark that it was hard to even tell who we were handing cookies to, but they were all very kind as they received them and inside was an invitation to our church. 
We got home late, but still did our one present on Christmas Eve tradition. 
It's always a game we can all play together. This year it was Quoridor from Duluth Trading. It is such a well made game. We have played it probably 100 times, the boys and even Eden can play it by themselves without help from us and we took it down for one of our Youth Group nights at church and the teens loved it too. We are game people.
After showers Christmas Eve Jimmy said, "One more game". That turned into about 5. 
 This is what our tree looked like as we went to sleep late that night!
Here are some of my favorite photos from Christmas Day:
I made Eden 2 slings (one for little babies and one for large ones) for her dolls. She is a little mommy all the time. I had her in one of those until she was 1, so I am sure once she sees her baby brother in one she will want to do the same with her baby dolls. She hasn't ever seen a gringo use a baby sling before though, so she thought it was like the sheets the Kekchi mommys balance their babies in on their backs and even hang in the middle of their houses, like a baby hammock. 

Here she is skyping with Kiki and Papa and has it behind her! She's such a little Kekchi girl!
Jimmy saw me like a handmade ring from a shop in El Salvador on Instagram. Then he secretly hunted the shop down and ordered the ring I liked. Only thing is, the shop owner took a picture of the rings (there are 2) with the mailing address and posted it to Instagram. I saw the photo on my feed with the address going to Petén and thought, "Wow! Someone else in Petén likes this shop, small world." Then a couple seconds later I thought, "No... that has to be me, lol!" Poor Jimmy, his genius surprise was ruined. I was so excited though!!! Here is the turquoise one below and he also ordered an empty one that I will use some beads I got from my Great Grandmother's collection (who made lots of jewelry) to fill. Jimmy is so thoughtful when it comes to gifts. He has always been really good at it.
My boys are big Star Wars fans. They saw the latest one in Santa Elena in Spanish right when it came out. MaG and G left all kinds of Star Wars presents for Christmas for them when they were down here. 
 Here they are skyping with them:
Eden got the beautiful pink party dress she immediately changes into from them too.  

Here is Eden after she opened her kitchen!
 She played with it for a long time and then went and found Jimmy and said, "Dada, it is the perfect kitchen!!!" Cutiepie!
 All 3 play together with the kitchen a lot. We have since moved it into Eden's room. 
The boys' big present from us this year was bunk beds. They have been asking for those since before last Christmas. I forgot to get a picture of it all built Christmas day. Silas was cute helping Dada hammer it together. Here is one when they were napping today.
Silas is my only child that sleeps normal-ways in the bed.
The same carpentry shop where we found the stools in our kitchen last year, builds bunk beds. They are super sturdy with a safety railing all around and have a huge drawer underneath perfect for all the Legos! They were cheap and we finally didn't have to build something ourselves. Win-win. Also, since we have a 3rd boy coming I needed to fit another bed in their room somehow, so win-win-win! In the beginning they both wanted the top. They worked out an agreement where the swapped every 2 sleeps. But, in Petén the top gets pretty hot and they both ended up wanting the bottom. Silas our little peace keeper said Jonah could have the bottom. The bottom is dark like a fort so they think it's cool.  
Jimmy got a desk from the same carpentry shop. Love that place! It is rustic, but solid, all wood and a very fair price. We looked at Office Depot in the capital. One faux wood desk from there cost more than this desk plus the bunk beds. Crazy! That carpentry shop is several hours away from our house so... lucky for Jimmy or I would be stalking it.
Later that night we had our Birthday Party for Jesus, with our traditional Angel Food Cake. We sang with Kiki and Papa. Then we did our last advent devo and put baby Jesus on the tree!
Our family had a wonderful Christmas! I hope you all did too!

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