Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas in Texas!

This doesn't even begin to show all the piles of gifts for each child...

With our host family over the weekend....Sarah and Yeshoda decorated the tree

With Suresh
"Auntie, I wish I could hear from my family to find out if they're safe....or if they're sick...I just want to hear from them." I had just sat down next to Martin to watch Prince Caspian with the team last night, and he made the above comment. That's enough to break your heart. There wasn't much I could say to encourage him, but I reminded him that I'm so thankful that we're a team and that we're his family until next summer.

I'm telling you this because I want you to treasure your family this Christmas (and every day, really!) I miss my family so much it almost hurts, and I will greatly miss our family Christmas traditions. However, I keep reminding myself how blessed I am to have parents, a sister, and a brother whom I can talk with via phone several times a week. I can't imagine being in the place of our kids: having been abandoned by at least one of their parents....and then not even being able to talk to the other parent while they're here in America for a year. The kids are so much stronger than I would be, and I told Martin that last night.

So this Christmas, give your family extra hugs and tell them how much you appreciate them. And please say a prayer for the orphans around the world who do not have a family to wrap them in their arms and whisper "I love you"."

On a lighter note, we are having a very special Christmas week here in Texas. An amazing host family (from the Lonestar Cowboy church a week ago) invited us to live in their beautiful lake house for the entire week while they are gone on vacation. Can you imagine opening up your home to 19 strangers, having only met them several days earlier!? I am so grateful for their kindness....and the fact that the house is so cozy and completely decked out for Christmas (Prava and I even have a 3-foot Christmas tree in our room to enjoy!)

For the past 36 hours, I have done nothing but the following: finish Christmas shopping for the kids, wrap gifts, eat, sleep, eat, wrap gifts, wrap gifts, ice skate with the kids, and finish wrapping gifts. Prava, Taylor, and I turned a bedroom into "Santa's workshop," and we wrapped about 130 gifts at least! It's been a blast, though, and I can't wait to watch the kids open them on Christmas morning. I was determined not to wrap any presents on Christmas Eve, and sure enough we finished all the wrapping tonight. So hooray for that.

Amidst all the busyness of the holiday season, I'm trying to remind myself to treasure this time with the kids. They went ice skating for the first time today, which was certainly entertaining! And Friday will be a blast if the weather is nice---we're surprising the kids and taking them to Six Flags!!! (Thank you, Taylor, for that idea :) They've never ridden a roller coaster, so I can only imagine their enthusiasm.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Have a blessed holiday as you remember the most important birth in history.

p.s. Congrats to my friend, Lauren, who I grew up with....she is officially a mommy to precious Maksym. I haven't seen her since she got married in Aug 2007 :/ Miss you, Lauren!

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