...a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Ours was soooo great. It's been 3 years since we had been home on Christmas, so it was really great to just stay put and relax and enjoy each other. It's great setting up your own traditions with your own family. Lots and lots of fun.
Things have been pretty busy around here...as in most places I'm guessing. I mean, you've been pretty busy too, right? ;) But, it's time for a major update and I am also needing to just document a few fun family facts from recent history. ;) So, bullet points, here we come.
Everyone is doing well. Grady got a Legos spaceship for Christmas, so he's spent every. waking. moment here at home doing that. He just finished it up as I was typing this. Now he and the girls are playing with it and using LOTS of imagination.
The girls' biggest hit gift-wise as far as what they've spent most time doing since Christmas is their make-up. Of course. It's never far away.
It's been a wonderful few days.
Joel had a reunion of his old youth group yesterday in Goiania. It was so fun to meet all his old running buddies. They are all really fun...a bunch of characters that had us laughing all afternoon for sure. We talked and laughed and had churrasco and they played music...and played music...and played music. Joel said that is mostly what they always did together. We even had a mini Setimo Selo (Seventh Seal) revival...hahaha (Joel's old band that was actually really successful). Then we went to church with Marcelo. Really fun. He's our closest friend out of Joel's old bunch (and was also part of Setimo Selo). :) We hang out with him a lot.
Joel now has the week off of work...so looking forward to this. We will be working on the house. We are really making this house our home these days...working on getting it all organized and fitting our needs. For instance, Joel built a huge custom bookshelf in our little study...and it's exactly what we needed. We have plans to do that in all of the rooms of the house...to do whatever each room needs to make the most of the space we have here. A really needed long-term project. Will be soooo good when it's finished though.
And now the bullet points...
(A couple of disclaimers before I get started. 1) You may have seen a couple of these on Facebook already, but wanted to document them here, and 2) This is about what I love about homeschooling, not about you who may not homeschool and me thinking you should. Hate I feel the need to point that out every time I mention homeschooling, honestly, but want to make sure that you are not reading disapproval of your lifestyle into my one paragraph. Everyone makes their own choices. I'm more than happy with our choice to homeschool. If you feel the same way about whatever choice your family made, then we are all good. :) Now on with the bullet points.)
--Eissa has been soooo funny the last few months. She makes so many words have way more syllables than they should. And it started after we left Saline, which is weird. ;) But, for instance, she says 'again' like 'uh-gee-uhn' and 'man' like 'may-uhn' and 'pants' like 'pay-uhnts' and 'get' like 'gee-uht'...you gee-uht the picture. It's really cute.
--Eissa also got a new bike a couple of weeks ago. It's actually Hadley's old bike and Hadley got a new one. Poor Eissa...she got the hand-me-down and Hadley has now gotten 2 new bikes in her life. But, there was not even a sound uttered about that from her. She was so excited about getting a bike period...she didn't even think to complain about it not being new and Hadley getting another new one. So sweet.
--BUT, Eissa will be getting a new one soon herself. Because Cass will be getting the hand-me-down Hadley/Eissa bike...it's time.
--Grady continues to be really into 'Bible time' at night. He is so into the Word...it's really cool. Remember when he was saying "I want God to just go away" back in August? I really think that a lot of that had to do with the fact that He was very weary. Weary of travel...weary of following God who was calling us to travel. He said something to the affect of "I want God to go away so I can live where I want to live and do what I want to do" more than once during those few days when we were having those discussions. Thankfully, God is allowing us to stay put for a while. God knew that Grady needed that (along with all of us actually). But, our Bible time at night continues to be SO rich with discussion and learning. Love it. Oh, and Grady hasn't said anything like that anymore...in fact, he even told me that God could stay. Nice. :)
--I hear "I love you bery so much" or "Ohhh, I just love you" from Eissa several times a day. And Hadley is also very lovey dovey...always wanting to give me a big kiss on the cheek. Cass tells me often, "Mama, you're my best friend." Ha...love that...and hope this trend continues...forever. Doing my best to keep it going, that's for sure.
--My kids say 'starving' for everything. "Oh, I'm just starving to play" or "Oh, I'm just starving to watch a movie" or "I'm so starving to go outside and ride my bike." Last night we got home reeeeeealy late and they were saying, "Oh, I'm so starving to go to sleep." Hahaha.
--They can be pretty dramatic in the way they put things. This morning they were waiting for us to get breakfast when Hadley said suddenly, 'Ohhhhh, I'm just filled with hunger.' :)
--I was about to fix the girls' hair one morning. Eissa said, "I'm first, because I'm so beautiful" (she had just put on a pretty little pink dress made by Grandma that she can twirl around in and make a full skirt...she loves it). She said that and then she tripped over her own feet and fell down. Hadley immediately and very matter-of-factly pointed out to her, "Pride comes before a fall." :)
--Cass says the best prayers at mealtime. Super cute.
--We talk a lot about hearing God. There have been so many things that we've read in school these days that have brought up discussions about the many different ways that God can speak to you. This morning Grady and Hadley had been being playing too loudly. Cass was still asleep, so I had told them to stop doing what they were doing...then they went back to doing it anyway and that's where Hadley's story picks up. She came to me and said, "Me and Grady were playing and I heard God say, 'That isn't the right thing to do.' He gave me thoughts. I think He was talking through the lamp." ;)
--Cass just came up to me and said, "Mama, I got all your stuff-es." Stuff, but there was lots of stuff, so she felt the need to make it plural I guess. Ha. Love these kids.
--LOVE the homeschooling these days. Just in the past 3 weeks we've read stories about the Holocaust (yes, in Kindergarten), bullying, the poor conditions of the Appalachian Mountains, and many more incredible stories that have brought up countless important and incredible discussions. And it's continuous, these discussions. And, whenever I see something throughout our days that relates to what we are learning in school, I can point it out. Many people ask why it's so important to me to homeschool. These are just a few of the reasons. I couldn't do that if I sent them to school. Not that we wouldn't still talk and discuss things...but our lives and activities just wouldn't be nearly as intertwined and all working together. It's nice.
--As I was finishing this post up, Cass and Eissa came to sit with me. They are playing, one on each side of me. Cass said, "Mama, you are my best friend." Eissa said, "I love you bery so much. I wish I could keep you." Hahaha. I said, "So why can't you keep me?" Eissa said, "O.K., I will keep you as a pet." HA. So I asked her, "Why can't you just keep me as a Mama?" Eissa: "Ohhhh, right." And then Cass named me 'Sissarena' and has been calling me that for the past 10 minutes. ;) She's insisting that I call her 'Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the Way.' Fun times.
--Hopefully you have all gotten our Christmas cards by now. ;) If not, they are coming really soon. The friends of ours here in Brazil have not...nor have other international folk. But soon. They were all mailed out on the 23rd...thanks to Joel's wonderful parents and brother and sister for carrying out this major project for us. Next year, since we have no plans of traveling this year at all (that we know of anyway...although I do still hold out hope for being able to travel to one very special big event), we will be settled and normal (hopefully) and calm and set in a schedule. All things I look forward to in this coming year. And...we will be able to get things done in an orderly fashion. Ahhh...it will be nice. But, these are just a few of the pictures we took during our Christmas photo op. As always, click on the image to see an enlarged version. Enjoy. ;)