Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas at Sunshine House!

This marks my 3rd Christmas in Bolivia (the first Christmas I was back in the States), and also probably the best Christmas yet! We've developed some of our own traditions and now the big kids are starting to remember them and look forward to the Christmas season as much as we do. As you can see, we've been busy!

One evening, we loaded up all the older children and went to the Christmas carols service at the International Church. When it was over, we walked to a plaza just a couple blocks away to look at their Christmas lights. Our kids LOVE looking at Christmas lights!

Another night, we went to a Christmas party put on by a board member's family. It was rainy and cool outside but our kids were super excited to go out!

One of our favorite traditions is going to the Prado to see the Christmas lights and ride in Santa's sleigh. As we only have 14 kids at Sunshine House (as opposed to 30-ish in years past), we decided to take all of the kids and the tías who were working that night. 

As we were walking down the street, E. and A. (both 4 years old) started screaming "Cockroach! Cockroach!" upon seeing Pikachu. Can you tell they don't watch much tv?! It was too funny!

Mine and Sarah's project now that we're both on Christmas break has been to organize the storage closet. It's been quite a job so far, and we still have a long way to go! This is just one wall of the bags of clothes.

Two days ago we celebrated M.'s 5th birthday! He was just 1.5 years old when I arrived and it's hard to believe how much he's grown.

The night of M.'s birthday, a church group came over and threw a Christmas party for the staff. It's rare that everyone is together at once, and it's always a fun time! Tía Patty (green shirt on the right) did a great job on the food!

In Bolivia, big Christmas celebrations take place on Christmas Eve. Sarah and I decided that we would cook a Christmas dinner for the kids and tías who were working that night. Now, anyone who knows Sarah and I probably also knows that we don't cook much. After buying all the ingredients and setting them out on the counter we worried it was a bit of a lofty goal...

We bought 3 chickens which unfortunately meant we had to prepare them to be cooked. We didn't know how, so Tía Laura taught us. This picture was before Sarah had to chop off the chicken's head...

My poor chicken had a bit of a rough time. Instead of slicing straight down the middle, I accidentally sliced through its ribs which is why it looks a little lopsided. Luckily they all tasted the same!

We put several of the kids to work, making lemonade, cutting up veggies, etc. Eleven year old S. really wanted to help so we put her in charge of making a salad. She was so proud of herself when she finished!

 Miel likes going to the hogar to spend time with the kids, but she got car sick on the way there yesterday so her trips may be very limited nowadays!

 Are you as shocked as I am that Sarah and I actually pulled all this off?! We're missing beets, bread, and salad in the picture and we didn't take pics of the dessert. On the menu: chicken, stuffing (half eaten before dinner even started), green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, boiled veggies, roasted veggies with honey, yorkshire pudding, bread, beets, and salad. It was like a real Christmas dinner! We're so proud of ourselves and think that maybe we can handle doing it again next Christmas! Also, after cooking such a feast, the tías have officially approved us for marriage... What an honor!

 So. Much. Food.

 Tía Laura and Tía Milenka... We love these two!

Our kids have received many toys over the last few days, so we decided to give them each a pair of Christmas pjs... They looked too cute!

They finally put up the Christmas tree yesterday afternoon, and within the first hour of it being up, the toddlers had knocked it over at least 5 times. Sarah took this picture before bedtime last night... Her 2 "hijos" in their matching pjs!

 Christmas is also O.'s birthday- Today he turns 2! His dad always visits on Sundays and after church, we celebrated with this fancy cake!

These three celebrated their first Christmas today! How cute did they look for church?! 

Luke 2:10-11, But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

We hope your Christmas has been as merry as ours has been! From all of us to you, Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad!