Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas weekend. On Christmas Eve we spent a quiet day together. The kids had one of their precious boxes of mac and cheese for lunch, which makes any day more special. We opened presents later in the afternoon and then spent some time enjoying the fun new things that the kids got from family back home. Magnet sets, Club Penguin cards, Crazy 8’s, books and more! We gave the kids cereal for dinner, then sat down to watch a movie together. I picked Lemony Snicketts Series of Unfortunate Events, or something like that. It was a little dark, but the kids seemed to enjoy it. We had popcorn and shared a really yummy candy bar and had some sparkling apple juice to drink. A very fun way to spend our evening. Once the kids were in bed, I did some reading and Darin watched the Vikings win-their Christmas gift to him.
Christmas morning came and we headed off to church. During the service all the kids went out and learned a couple songs that they came back in and performed at the end of the service. I LOVE kids singing Christmas songs with motions! After church we headed out for lunch at McDonalds. Before anyone thinks that we are cheap or Scrooge like, please note that this is what the kids really wanted to do for Christmas and we decided to just go with it. It ended up being a fun little lunch. Both kids got Happy Meals, which thrilled them to no end. I decided to treat myself with a Big Mac and after our food was gone Darin got an ice cream to share. The kids had fun playing in the play land with some new friends and Darin and I enjoyed sitting back and watching them play. After lunch we came back to the house and chilled out for a few hours. The kids swam and Darin and I read and watched TV. Later in the afternoon we headed over to friends from church. Tyson and Jori had a great time making mud pies and doing more swimming while Darin and I enjoyed some grown up conversation and mince pies. Not mince meat, but fruit pies.
We headed home around 6, gave the kids a quick dinner and put them to bed. They were both wiped out from playing so hard. Darin and I sat back and enjoyed some cookies, chocolate and cable TV. We made arrangements with both of our families to Skype with them the day after Christmas, which happens to be today! We had another quiet day today and watched the movie UP this afternoon. I love that movie and cried during it, much to the amusement of my whole family. As I sit and type up this recap of our weekend, Darin is making us a lovely dinner of Balsamic Chicken and rice. Yum! In less than an hour we hope to be seeing our families on Skype!

Even though we have missed being with family during this time and going to parties like we did last year with different groups of friends, this Christmas wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. I think that being in a totally different culture, country and climate really helps with that, but I also know that there were many people praying for our family during this time and we are so thankful for that!
**We just finished making our Skype calls. It was WONDERFUL to see so many smiling faces and the babies, oh the babies! We saw three little ones that we haven’t had the chance to meet yet, Brynlee and Tage when we Skyped with Darin’s family and Kinley when we skyped with mine. We even got to see and talk with Grandma and Grandpa Van! Tyson and Jori were super hyper, but they did sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” for both families. It was such a blessing to be able to see and talk to so many loved ones. We only wish we could do it more often!

Just in case you’re interested, we just added some new pictures to Picasa. There’s a link at the top of our blog and the new album is called November/December 2011. Enjoy!

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