Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's that time of year!

We have been busy, busy around our house and enjoying the holiday season. This past weekend we went with David's family to see the lights at the Opryland Hotel. The lights were beautiful but the hunting for a parking spot for 20 minutes was not the most fun we had....note to anyone wanting to go to Opryland--stay clear on the weekends! Here was our first attempt for a 2009 family Christmas card picture. Maybe next year we can get one with the kids looking in the right direction.

Asher has been enjoying rearranging the Nativity scene. Here he has decided to form a congo line.

While living with David's parents last year at Christmas time, Asher enjoyed making cookies with Nana. We were hoping to recreate the memory and start a tradition. Asher refused to roll any cookies and agreed to decorate about two cookies...can you consider it a tradition, if you force the kid to participate? ha! We didn't force but Pops was in the other room and he is much more fun to play chase with than ice cookies with your mom or nana.

I've been busy making cookies, exchanging cookies and finding who might want to recieve the cookies. Asher and I packed up a few cookies to give to our garbage men. Asher loves to watch for our garbage men every week and the men know that we are always at our back window watching for them so they wave and acknowlege us every week. So kind! Below are new cookies that I tried this year and have been well received. These Chocolate Decadence Cookies are from the December issue of Sunset magazine. What I love about them is it is one dough with four variations. Find the recipes here.

Hope you have been enjoying your Christmas preparations as much as we have!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Picture with Santa

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As you can see, this was not the most enjoyable time for Asher. At least it was FREE! We told him before attending the Christmas with Santa breakfast that some people call Noah, "Santa." So, he really didn't know who we were seeing or why.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pillow Fun

Who needs toys when you have pillows on your couch?

Asher has turned our pillows into all kinds of things....slides, castles, tables, steps, surfboards, sailboats, and as seen below, a train.

He also enjoys the couch (once pillows are removed), which has become our firetruck, car, tow truck and his favorite, the trash truck. The pillows on the floor then become the trash cans that we empty into our trash truck. What an imagination this little one has!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Breakfast with Santa

This past Saturday, Asher and I attended the Breakfast with Santa at our church. We had so much fun! The organizers did a great job with keeping us busy during each station and it never felt like there were 400 people there!! We were in a fun group and moved from crafts, to a live navtivity, to breakfast (more like brunch for us) and onto Santa.
Made a snowman ornament. Actually, I made it while Asher just stared at all the other kids in the room.

Asher with a goat...

Asher loved the animals and I wish that I had video of him talking to him. It was the cutest thing. He would say, "hi sheep, hi" in the sweetest little voice. Although as much as he loved this part, he finally said, "Brrrr! Momma, it's cold; let's go inside."

Any guesses for who Mary, Joseph and the "wise man" are?

Sorry there are no pictures of Asher with Santa. Hopefully when we get our picture, I can post it. I couldn't take a picture of him with Santa because I was holding Asher and sitting next to Santa. He was not quite ready to do it alone. He did though smile when Santa touched his cheek but was still clinging tightly to me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Tea Party in Kenya

No, I have not flown to Kenya for Christmas (although that sure would be a special way to spend it). I just finished reading a post on the Made In The Streets blog and had to share it. I know that Darlene (who wrote it) would not mind and would hope that you would visit the blog and read more about their work. This is where David and I lived and who we worked with for 6 months five year ago. I hope you gain as much insight as I did after reading this about the true meaning of the Christmas season.

From the Made In The Streets blog by Darlene Coulston.

"It's December and I love giving parties. So on Friend Sunday, I asked Mbuvi to announce that all the church ladies were invited to our house Thursday at 4 for a Christmas Tea. OK, that was today. First, I was at the school, and Moses came to tell me there were women at the gate for me... for a tea party. In Swahili, hour 4 is our 10 am whereas our 4 pm is hour 10 -- confused? They were too. So I go home, make two big cakes, cut them into 15 pieces, and then, the rain started. Only if you've been here in Kenya during a rain will you appreciate how hard it is to walk in our particular kind of mud. I thought, "Oh, no. There won't be anyone for tea! Well, maybe 5 or 6." It continued to rain -- a lovely sound on our tin roof, and we really do need the rain. But my party..... Around 3 pm, I started making chai. I arranged chairs, etc. and I was ready, but not expecting many.

Well, by 4 pm, there were 33! I was thrilled! We prayed, and started the cake around. Then 5 more came. And another group, and another, and the rain keeps coming, and another 5. There are muddy shoes everywhere, I'm bringing out a pkg of cookies, making more chai, finding cups and chairs, and I stop counting after 50 women are in my house. I had no more milk or tea leaves for chai, no more food to offer, no more things we could sit on (Maureen even went home and brought all her chairs!) . And we were having fun!

One thing we did was share Christmas memories (around the small group of 50). As I listened to the women, they talked of sharing good food, special food like chapati and mandazi, and being with family and friends, and of going to church on Christmas eve. Not one mention of presents or busy schedules. I feel sorry for all of us with money -- we've been robbed.... in a very real way. There are certain advantages to poverty. We read Mt 2; Jesus' family sounds a lot like their economic situation -- and angels came for them.

Well, my guests left. The oldest woman, who had been a guest on Friend Sunday, gave me a hand woven basket; and I gave her a bag of our tomatoes and we were happy. We all sang "We wish you a merry christmas" I wish that for you all too!"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thoughts of Asher

Tonight we ventured to the Lighting of the Green on Lipscomb University's campus. I was looking forward to this first Christmas event of the season and hoping the kids, well at least Asher would enjoy seeing the lights and hearing the music. As we settled in our spot to take in the festivities, Asher turns and says, "What are we doing here?"

Oh well, maybe next year he'll appreciate it as much as I do.
(He did enjoy the free cookies though!)
Picture from here.