Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (Lots of Pictures)

Well, Christmas has passed and with it has come some very precious memories.  We did things a little different this year.  Because Christmas day is spent at Esperanza Viva with all the kids and staff, we let the kids open their presents on Christmas Eve.  The night before, after the kids went to bed, we put the presents under the tree.  When the kids woke up they saw the presents, but they had to go the whole day just looking at them. 

Christmas Eve fun began in the afternoon with goodies before dinner.  Who doesn't want dessert first?

Our Christmas Eve meal.  The kids were surprised with Martinelli's Sparkling Cider.  That is a holiday tradition for us and we didn't have it for Thanksgiving, since Costco sells it, we had to have it for Christmas.

One of our traditional dishes is strawberry salad.  I couldn't find the same ingredients here in Puebla, so I improvised.  I will need to keep trying because it looked wonderful but just wasn't the same.  We took it out for the chavos (teen boys) a couple nights later, and they loved it!

Sitting down for Christmas Eve Dinner.

After dinner and all the dishes were cleaned up, the kids were allowed to open their presents.
Erin's big present was a hamster.  She certainly is an animal person.  She had to leave a hamster behind in Oregon and was begging for one for Christmas.  Fortunately, one of the local markets had many of them.  She was very happy and we even got her on video, screaming when she opened it.

Jonathan's big present was a video game he wanted.  He was very excited also but he didn't scream.

Because of a generous Christmas gift for the kids, we were able to get a game similar to Rockband.  The kids have wanted Rockband for a while, but we don't like the music on it.  So after some research, we found one that works on the computer but uses the same instruments as Rockband and it plays all Christian music.  Thank you to our wonderful friend.  You know who you are.  :o)

Christmas morning, the kids still had their stockings to open.

The first thing we did on Christmas morning with the kids at Esperanza Viva was to bring them out to the land, the future site of The Living Hope Community.  It was the first time that they had seen the walls up around the land or the bodega (warehouse/storage and furture site of the laundry/shop/ and other uses).  They were all very excited to see it.  What a blessing, and a promised dream coming true. 

Getting off the buses.

Waiting at the front gates so that everyone could go in at the same time.

Here is the bodega.

Then all the way to the far end. 

Once back at the orphange, Jerry had some of the kids do a pull up contest. 

We had a wonderful Christmas lunch of chicken, rice, beans and bread.  This was quite a treat for everyone.  There was also ice cream for dessert.  Kate told us that it was the first time in the seven years that she has been here that they have had a big mid-day lunch for Christmas.  Someone generously donated everything.  Later during the bonfire, we also had ham, spaghetti and bread.

Our family - Erin, Jim, Jonathan and Gail

Some of the guys.  They thought lunch was good.

Erin having fun taking a picture of us together.

After lunch, the games began.  In this one, we paired up in teams of one adult to one child with ten of each on a team.  We had to blow up a balloon, run it down to the person at the end, who had on oversized clothes, and that person had to put the balloon into their clothes.  The team with the most balloons after a certain amount of time, won.  I think we came in second.  Here is a picture of Jim and Josiah running back.

Here's Selina, putting the balloon in for our team.

Next it was tug-of-war with the Americans against the Mexicans.  Jim says it was the Mexican-American war.  Our team won and so the other side said we needed to do it again.  While we were winning again, Juana joined in on the Mexican side, then everyone came running in to join.  We won that one also.  It was so much fun.

Once that was over, they set up the lunch tent with ping-pong, air hockey, pool, and foosball.
Here is Erin playing ping-long with Isaiah.

The jumping castle was also put up.  This is a favorite of many of the kids.
Here's Erin with some of the kids.

Jim, Jessica and Kevin. Jessica and Kevin are siblings.

Later, there was a bonfire and everyone was served hot cocoa.  That was also a huge treat.

Here's Jonathan with Kevin and Isaiah.

During the bonfire, Fernando lead us in worship.  What a great day with great memories.

The bonfire.

We thank the Lord for a wonderful Christmas and hope that you and your family were blessed also. 


Unknown said...

I was wondering how your first Christmas away from "home" went. Due to cell minutes limitations, I was intending to call on Saturday, but didn't know it was Saturday until the day was done! Then Sunday was way too full to call anybody. Glad to see this post and find you had a nice Christmas celebration.