December Blessings

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And here it is. The last post of 2015. (Yes, I know it’s 2016, but this post is about December.) At the beginning of 2015, I was convicted to be more verbal about the blessings God bestows on me, so I started writing a post about it each month. This will be the last one. That doesn’t mean that I’m no longer looking for or acknowledging the blessings I receive. It’s just time to do something new. I’m not sure I’ll have a theme for 2016, but I will try to post at least once a month.

I’ll start with our annual, in-front-of-the-tree Christmas card picture. This was as good as it got this year…

If you didn't get a Christmas card this year, I'm sorry! We tried our best to remember everyone. So many got returned to us. If you think you might be one of those people, e-mail me your new address. :)

If you didn’t get a Christmas card this year, I’m sorry! We tried our best to remember everyone. So many got returned to us. If you think you might be one of those people, e-mail me your new address. 🙂

December is always a special month. I just love Advent and Christmas and the school break. I usually enjoy the chilly weather (and my winter wardrobe), but I haven’t seen true winter weather for the last couple of years.

I’m as giddy as the kids over our traditions and gifts and Christmas Eve service. Here are a couple of pictures of the traditions we enjoyed as a family.

Here is Noah decorating his gingerbread house.

We decorated gingerbread houses.

 

The boys decorated the little tree with Army men.

The boys decorated the little tree with Army men.

But this year was a little different. We are in a different place without much of our normal Christmas things. There was no Little People Nativity set, no Christmas story books, and no Advent calendar. All those things are in Kenya, or on a container waiting to get to Tenwek. Instead of our normal daily countdown to Christmas, we enjoyed A Star From Afar and Adventures in Odyssey’s Countdown to Christmas. I was too tired for dozens of cookies, so I settled for two batches of Chex Mix, Jesus’ birthday cake, and Grandpa K’s sticky buns. (That was plenty of fat and sugar anyway!!) Rather than staying home all Christmas day, we travelled all the way to Pennsylvania as soon as our morning festivities were over. Definitely different, but very blessed. Here are a few pictures to show our Christmas excitement.

Reading the Christmas story.

Reading the Christmas story.

FAVORITE part of the morning: all the spontaneous love and excitement as the boys exchanged gifts that they paid for with their own money!

FAVORITE part of the morning: all the spontaneous love and excitement as the boys exchanged gifts that they paid for with their own money!

Happy Birthday to Jesus cake!

Happy Birthday to Jesus cake!

We celebrated Christmas a little early with Aaron’s sister and her family. Then, we celebrated with the rest of the family either Christmas evening or the day after.

Christmas with Nana and Pappy Phil!

Christmas with Nana and Pappy Phil!

 

Christmas with Grammy and Pappy Snyder!

Christmas with Grammy and Pappy Snyder!

Christmas with my mom's family!

Christmas with my mom’s family!

I think the boys were sufficiently spoiled with cousin-time, grandparent-time, good food, and lots of presents. However, Christmas was not the only source of blessing this month.

Levi passed both his hearing and vision screenings! Praise God!! He actually enjoyed the hearing test because he got to sit in a sound-proof room, which was a little too spy-like. They were jealous that they didn’t get to wear the special headgear and hear the secret sounds from the computer. Jacob insisted that he failed his hearing screening so that he could do it too!

Levi had to wear my sunglasses because his eyes were dilated.

Levi had to wear my sunglasses because his eyes were dilated.

Another big blessing was that our schedule slowed down considerably! It was nice to attend the same church two consecutive Sundays, rest on the weekends, and enjoy Advent. This rest was much needed and appreciated.

School went well between Thanksgiving and Christmas and then after Christmas until the New Year. We enjoyed France and Germany. I made a creamy, yummy chicken dish to celebrate France. Then, on New Year’s Day, we enjoyed sauerkraut and bratwursts to celebrate both the holiday and the end of our studies of Germany.

Joshua got his first real haircut. I’m surprised he still loves Aaron! (I promise he wasn’t hurt during the procedure! He just didn’t like the sound or feel of the razor on his neck!)

IMG_1073

Well, there you have it! The twelfth month of blessings! I’ll end with an outtake from our Christmas card photo session.

He loves the camera up close.

He loves the camera up close.

Prayer Requests:

  1. Please pray that our house in Allentown sells.
  2. Please pray that God would continue to raise up a support team for us.
  3. Pray that we would find time to rest and be restored as our traveling schedule gets crazy busy from now until the baby is born.
  4. Pray for the baby and my pregnancy.
  5. Pray for health of all. We are passing around a cold. Not a big deal, but we have a lot of driving to do this coming weekend. Please pray that everyone will be well by Saturday morning.

“We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” Colossians 1:3

We truly appreciate your love, support, prayers, and encouragement!!

 

 

 

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