Package Arrival

We always enjoy getting a box from the states.
One recently came with Christmas gifts in it!

Kurt gets a good workout carrying it up the stairs to our house!

'The guys' cutting through the tape to get to the contents!

A cute Christmas decoration we put on display on top of a book
shelf in the sala (living room).

Reading cartoons from the State's Sunday Paper is a big hit!

James and Jerard enjoying new toys!

Most of the contents were wrapped to be opened on Christmas
Day, but there were some things to be enjoyed immediately!
Kurt and I enjoyed some Starbucks after the hub-bub of
excitement over the package arriving calmed down!

Christmas Day Joyous by John Victor
Joy we behold on earth and in Heaven
Wonderful Yuletide, blessings from Him,
Joy everlasting gladden all hearts now
Bring to the world peace, goodwill to men--
Bring to the world peace, goodwill to men.

I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas...

A few days ago we had a "White Christmas" Party with some friends.
It's a tradition we carry on here in the Philippines that our pastor and his wife from our sending church in Michigan do every year. You invite some friends over.

Wearing of silly hats is a part of the fun.

Serve chili, chips and Christmas munchies.

Play the movie "White Christmas" - the 1954 film with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney.

It is a fun evening. Not many people actually watch the movie! We enjoyed talking with each other!

"God bless the ruler of this house, and send him long to reign,
And many a merry Christmas may live to see again;
Among your friends and kindred that live both far and near--

That God send you a happy new year, happy new year,
And God send you a happy new year."

Everything Will Be All Right

"Christmas is the promise that the God who came in history and comes daily in mystery will one day come in glory.
God is saying in Jesus that in the end everything will be all right.
Nothing can harm you permanently, no suffering is irrevocable, no loss is lasting, no defeat is more than transitory, no disappointment is conclusive.
Jesus did not deny the reality of suffering, discouragement, disappointment, frustration, and death;
he simply stated that the Kingdom of God would conquer all these horrors,
that the Father's love is so prodigal that no evil could possibly resist it."

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away.
Revelation 21:4

-from "Reflections for Ragamuffins" by Brennan Manning; 1998.

Christmas Happenings

Thursday night our mission organization had a Christmas party. Traditionally we sing many Christmas hymns and carols. This year, I played piano and Mikayla played clarinet for that. We had a great time!

Christmas Sweets

Yesterday (Friday), James' friend, Sojo, came to play for the morning. James calls her "My Sojo". For one of our activities, we frosted cookies. They really enjoyed eating some of their creations, too!