Christmas Party - We enjoyed attending the staff Christmas party at Eagle's Nest this week. We made a rookie mistake...we showed up a little early. What were we thinking? The party was in the children's home, so we had plenty of time to hang out and play with the kids. It was loud and chaotic but oh so fun and festive. We had dinner, played games and shared gifts. We can't wait to get to know the staff better this coming year.
The staff of the children's home and the guards!
Christmas baking - The kids and I decided to make some Christmas cookies for our neighbors in our new neighborhood. We haven't had much opportunity to introduce ourselves yet. What better way to meet and greet than with a handful of homemade goodies. We were able to find all the ingredients necessary for some yummy Gingerbread cookies. They turned out really great!
Christmas Eve - We delivered our cookies to our neighbors. Later we watched the Christmas Eve service from The Crossing Church - live on the internet! I was worried that it wouldn't feel like Christmas without going to church, but the blessing of technology allowed us to worship with family - my parents were in the same service that we were watching. (The Crossing Church is my parents church in Brandon, FL. They broadcast all their services live on the internet. LOVE IT!) In the evening, we had a really wonderful Christmas Eve dinner. Around 11:45 pm, it sounded like a war zone as the rest of Guatemala lit the night with fireworks. They really know how to celebrate the birth of Christ - at least I like to think that's what they're celebrating.
Christmas Day - Santa found us in Guatemala! Can you believe it?? We spent the morning opening a few gifts and munching on homemade cinnamon rolls. It was such a nice, quiet, peaceful morning. We left for the city shortly after lunch to pick up my parents at the airport. We were ecstatic to see Nina & Big Daddy (it's been 5 1/2 months). We enjoyed a Christmas dinner of hamburgers in the hotel restaurant. That doesn't sound to great to some of you, but it's not easy to find a GREAT burger in Guatemala. I don't understand what's so difficult about making good burgers, but there must be a North American secret to it.
Christmas morning...so fun!
American Girl gets her ears pierced - Guaty style!
Visit from Mom and Dad - We spent the week showing my parents around Pana and Eagle's Nest. We took a boat tour of the lake. We shopped in the markets, ate in a couple great restaurants and enjoyed being together. Mom & Dad gave Parker a collection of Planet Earth puzzles, so we spent many fun/frustrating hours around the coffee table looking for just the right piece. One of the highlights for our children - the FIREWORKS. All week there were several booths in the market selling fireworks. My father, my husband and my son were foaming at the mouth to blow something to pieces. They sell something that looks like a short stick of dynamite - basically that is exactly what it is. They only cost 1Q = 12 cents! As we walked around town, they talked about what they could blow up. A watermelon was finally decided upon. YES - my pyromaniac family actually bought a watermelon, carved a hole in it and blew it to kingdom come! Lee has video which will be available soon.
Nina & Big Daddy come to visit!
Lakeshore of Pana...
So, how was our first Christmas in Guatemala? We loved it - some things were new and different, but the main ingredients are the same - We were together as a family, we enjoyed some great food, and best of all - we celebrated the coming of our Savior. One of the things I missed from home was receiving Christmas cards and pictures from our friends and family. One of my favorite things, is the slow and peaceful pace of the holidays in Guatemala. All in all - we are blessed and it is our privilege to serve at the pleasure of the King!