- The week before Christmas: We enjoyed our Advent activities, Ricky went to the movies with some friends, and we enjoyed our first holiday at home! On Christmas Eve, we went on a prayer walk and delivered cookies which was a great door-opener! A friend joined us (fun), and he wants to join us each future time :) We also got to attend our church's Christmas Eve service for the first time. On Christmas morning, Ricky got up early to start making a big brunch for seven (we had three Marshallese teenage boys over). We ate, talked, and played with them until late afternoon. Then, we had our own little celebration! After having the birthday dessert (pumpkin-apple pie and coffee ice cream and ginger ale -- kids' picks) and talking about the gifts we got Him and singing carols, we went outside before it grew dark to find 10 gifts from God to give him thanksgiving. Afterwards, we did our first scavenger hunt. This was so much fun; we hope to make this a new tradition! We had six clues, and the theme was Finding God -- washing machine, Ricky's back pocket, inside his Bible, tucked into a star hanging, in their bunk beds, and taped on the mirror. [We can find God in work, Daddy, His Word, nature, dreams/rest, and you! There's more, those are just the ones we did.] We finished the evening off with pizza and a Christmas movie :) It was a great first Christmas-at-home doing what we wanted and look forward to more!
- The week after Christmas: We got to visit a dear friend at her home for the first time in five years! Then, we cleaned and packed and headed down to my parents' new house on their farm -- DaySpring! It's beautiful, and my parents did a lot of work to suit me and my needs :) My brother and his family joined us after a couple days. There's a video below of a lot of the fun we had, so I won't list it here ;) Some additional notes: I finally played Agricola solo for the first time; my parents gifted us with a new Bible (Joni Eraekson Tada's Beyond Suffering Bible, NLT -- love it!) and a globe, etc; I got to start reading Ann Voskamp's The Broken Way, easily one of favorite books!; Ricky got to hit golf balls into the woods (his favorite thing to do there ;); and, we were the only two who stayed up to ring in the new year!
Helping Daddy make the birthday dessert for Jesus -- pumpkin-apple bread :)
Acting out the nativity story (w/ friends)
Ready for delivery!
A Marshallese family we met on our prayer walk gave us some of their bamboo decorations, including some flowers :)