Merry Christmas everyone! Wow, I can't believe it's been a whole YEAR since my amazing Christmas in Bouaké. We did secret Santa, and I had Naomi! I made her "Christmas Strings" and "Santa Mac" and some other little things. Stephanie made me this amazing journal with maps of Africa glued to the inside covers. I remember as part of Naomi's gift I spent hours sewing fabric over the packs of strings, and even through a wooden basket! I had to hammer the needle through the wood to make it look right!
Anyways, a few things recently have reminded of the meaning of Christmas. They were a super God-glorifying wedding, a great Christmas concert, and two awesome church services. So what is the real meaning of Christmas? Presents? Being with family? Joy and peace? Well, those are all great things, but they all miss the mark. Christmas is all about celebrating Jesus giving up his place in heaven to become a human baby destined to make a way to the Father for us. That's right, Christmas is for Jesus. Just like the awesome song by the Pawnshop Kings. God really does choose the simple, the uncomplicated, the humble things of this world to do the most amazing works through. What a wonderfully thoughtful God we serve! And what a romancer is Christ, I was really reminded of that at the wedding. Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Anyways, this year for Christmas, our family has done things a bit differently. We celebrated a couple weeks ago with Dan and Hilary, and my Dad's parents. Can and Hilary are spending Christmas with Hilary's parents in Illinois this year. Then on Christmas Eve the rest of us had a family lunch and did presents. It was some great family fellowship! It's especially great to see my two beautiful nieces, Bonnie and Molly, yet again! Molly learned to wave on command today, it was so cute!
I plan on blogging about my time back here in the state and how I'm processing everything soon!
Anyways, enjoy these photos from my Christmas season:
Ding fries are done! Would you like an apple pie with that? Christmas is here!
Holly and I rocking out last year in Bouaké. A very different setting than my house this year!
I went ice skating recently with some friends. Almost forgot what ice was! :P
Russell's parents gave me this computer desk, and I spent a while setting up my home "studio."
Set up my walk-in closet as a vocal booth and gave it some Christmas cheer!
Rockin' the wall of amps! :P
This is Evan Whickham, Phil's brother. He was one of the artists at the concert.
Had to wear jeans to Christmas Eve service! Oh well.
I made an addition to mom's nativity scene. Aslan?
Giving Bonnie a very productive piano lesson. She makes beautiful tone clusters. :P
Sheer excitement at my shiny iPhone. No it's not your present Bonnie!
Giving Mike and Laura a panya for Christmas.
Everyone got panyas actually. Here's Gran and Grandad with part of one framed.
Grandad showing me how to tie some sort of awesome knot.
Molly getting friendly with a bunny. This right here is Laura's idea of fun. Bunnies and babies.