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Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Merry Christmas

We hope you all had a VERY merry Christmas!

Out and about at the plaza de armas... a motokar covered in Santa garb... seriously.

Christmas carols

The Christmas story

Sleeping around the Christmas tree, a tradition.

Opening presents... thank you everybody!

Yummy dinner!! Martins & Nora, thanks so much for sharing it with us!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

O Christmas Tree

This year, I have seriously reconsidered Christmas decorations. Not that I consider anything wrong with them. Not at all. But it is different living here in a third world country. Many of the people we mix with don't even have a single Christmas decoration, let alone a Christmas tree; that would be considered a luxury. In that light, to put up all my decorations would seem to me to be over indulgence. So, simple it is. And it is nice. We only have 4 small decorated spots in our house this year. 1) the tree, 2) the window sill - the stockings are hung there, 3) the table centerpiece has a small glass nativity and 4) the shelf in our entry way has an arrangement of cards, another nativity and a bunch of mistletoe and some other small Christmas paraphernalia.

Simple is good.

Christmas trees. I like them. Especially Noble Douglas Fir Christmas trees. The ones with the branches kind of spaced apart... well, I never have seen a fake one. But if I do, I'll want it. Putting together a fake tree is not quite the same experience as traversing the wild with dear friends and family, out in the biting cold to choose and cut down your very own... those are memories and dreams. But if the tree can't be a Noble, it has to be a skinny tree. I like skinny trees. Tall if possible. Of course, for us to bring it down here to Peru it had to be NOT tall. It had to fit in a box that meet standard airline requirements for measurement and weight. I digress. Well, without further ado, here's our tree: ahem... and as Mya would say...


The kids put it together, lighted and decorated it ALL by themselves,
and I can truthfully say that I only redistributed the ornaments hung by Miss Mya
this year,
(she delicately put all 6 of hers on one branch).

Next to the tree, we have another most loved Christmas treasure, our collection of Christmas story books. Mostly picture books since we've been a family with little kids until only recently (I have been informed that my two eldest are now big kids). This of all the Christmas items, is THE most captivating to all, big and small. Who can resist the sentimentality of the stories that we only get to read one time of year? Gotta love books.

We're reading Mary's First Christmas at bedtime this week with the littlest, and Advent Foretold with everybody at meal time. Very different, both good.

Despite the fact that temperatures are in the 90s every day and it doesn't feel much like Christmas in that way, we are very much enjoying this time of remembering Christ, come as a baby. Immanuel. God WITH us. ABSOLUTELY astounding. Perhaps living here and celebrating simply has helped us to see in a real and tangible way Christ's own coming in humility and simplicity. From heaven to a stable. From angels to shepherds. From worshipers to those who were his own and received him not. Wisdom unsearchable, God, the invisible; love indestructible in frailty appears... Lord of eternity, dwells in humanity, kneels in humility and washes our feet. O what a mystery, meekness and majesty!

Bow down and worship, for this is your God.

This coming week separate time to stop, sit down and truly savor the sweetness of our Savior!


We've been back for almost 2 weeks from our cross-country trip... everyday that passed was yet another day I did NOT blog! ;) Once arrived, we DID school however, and here's a quick list of some of the things we've done:

This week (12/14-12/19), we started week 13 of Ambleside Online's year 5! Week 13 marks the beginning of the 2nd term, meaning we've finished several books from the first term, which in turn will be replaced with some new books, yay! That's always fun! Always Inventing, Story of My Life, Exploring Creation with Astronomy are some of the new ones.

Including some hit and miss, try-to-school-while-traveling days, we have a good 3 weeks of MEP math under our belt! We've been experimenting and changing up and I think we are a little closer now to getting down what we're going to do. Jave will start math in the morning during the scheduled math time (max 40min) and I'll work with Cull & Bria in the afternoon. This is still a work in progress. I don't want to alter our schedule until I have a pretty good idea of what is going to work. I didn't want to have to do two sessions of math during the day, but it is working very well to separate the boys (read the whole adjustment process here).

With Exploring Creation with Astronomy, we are all listening together, AOy0'ers - AOy5'ers, in an all-in-one-course. This is the first book we are officially combining EVERYBODY on (besides Bible reading which starts at birth, family fun read alouds & nature study... okay we've done *some* combining) I'm very much looking forward to having even more subjects to combine. Until now it has very unofficial, the littles could listen/participate if they wanted to. Now, they GET to :)

So, I've been trying to separate time to blog, it just hasn't happened yet. Micah is gone this long weekend, so I probably won't have time 'til the week after next since it's CHRISTMAS!! woohoo!

Anyway, hi and bye for now!
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