Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New year to everyone. I hope you are excited about 2011! The new year is a really big deal here in Cameroon. They spend the day celebrating and eating just like they do on Christmas. Surviving another year is such a great reason for them to celebrate here. New Years at our house wasn't a big feast and celebration. I started my new years resolution diet right after Christmas, so we weren't eating. But I am no-less thankful for all the God did for us in 2010. This 2010 blog is a testimony and record. I'm considering printing it, actually. I think it would be fun to read down the road.

Well, I should make my Mom happy tonight. :D She's been pestering me to update my blog. Sorry I'm so behind. Here is a re-cap of our Christmas.

We celebrate Christmas eve. I've been doing that since I was born I think, and that is just how Christmas is for me. I couldn't think of doing it any other way. And in fact, it works very well for us here. Christmas day is spent at church and then entertaining vistors all day, so having a private family time would be impossible. The kids woke up Friday ready to open up their presents! lol! I said...not yet. I have a lot of work to do. I spent the day preparing a fun meal. We had a 7 layer dip, that wasn't actually 7 layers, but it was yummy. I made home-made tortilla chips (very time consuming). I had to cook, grind and re-fry the beans for the 7 layer dip (also very time consuming...and this is why I don't cook when I'm in the states :D), I made sugar cookies and chex candy (thanks to Susan who gave me the chex cereal for my Christmas present! Yummmmmmy!). I also made pizza pinwheels. Those called for cresent roll dough, which of course I had to make from scratch. They turned out so-so. Not exactly the pizza-y flavor I was hoping for, but you live and learn.
Anyway, it was a fun night of snacks. By the time I got everything ready it was around 5 p.m. We had some visitors and more delays and the kids were chomping at the bit! haha! Finally we opened presents!!! Yay!! Thanks to my Mom's visit in Nov., we were able to have a really great Christmas this year. Here are a few pics: I think this is one of my favorites of the whole night. Emma has been wanting her own Bible and Mimi got her a really great kids Bible with a Bible cover. As you can tell, she was beyond ecstatic! We go around and read one chapter of the Bible as a family each night, and her brother and sister have their own. Now that she can read, she has been commenting on how much she'd like one. This gift was the best present she got, according to her! This was Faith's favorite of the night. She loves Tink and she squealed SO loud when she opened this. It always makes a mom happy to know that she got the right gifts! The kids were pretty excited about their new wii games too. Sports and Sports Resort is fun...but having some new things to play has been exciting for them. Drew loved all the spidey stuff he got. He has been mentioning for some time how he wanted character sheets for his bed like the girls have. Well, they don't make character sheets for queen size beds really. I found a set of batman sheets at pottery barn but they were outrageous. Well, once Mimi knew what Drew wanted, she set out to find something. She snagged these bright sheets on ebay from some place in Hong Kong I think. We were both a little leary, but they are great! Great quality and they fit great and Drew loves them! Another winner of a gift! Thanks Mimi! Isn't this great!? haha! I did this when I was a kid. I got these fake nails and put them on. I knew Kate would love a nail kit. I might regret it at some point...but I've set some strict rules down about not taking out the nail polish unless she has permission etc... Sometimes Kate acts and thinks later, but hopefully we won't have any disasters. The set came with several nail polish colors, nail stickers, a nail dryer, and a couple sets of fake nails. They brought fun entertainment for about a day. Kate ditched them after the first hour, and then Faith Ann put them on. She had more fun with them than Kate did I think!

Ben had to take a break at one point to check on our Christmas dinner....
Yep, still there wandering around the courtyard. :D

Michael, our nightwatchman, did the dirty work later that night. He cleaned the bird up all nice and pretty for me. I stuck her in the fridge and got her ready for cooking the next day. My new oven has a rotisserie in it, so this is the first time I'd ever used it. It looked neat while it was cooking, but in the end, I think sticking the bird in a pan would be just as effective.
Then the final product!
A nice treat for Christmas dinner. Unfortunately I didn't plan well enough in advance and all we had to go with our bird was rice, but the kids didn't care. We had tons of goodies from the night before still hanging around so we ended up snacking the rest of the day.

Our Christmas service was great. I kind of organized a program in advance and typed it all out. We were ready to go at 9 a.m., but unfortunatly nobody else was. We kept trying to move ahead, but we were missing all the people involved in all the parts of the program! lol! We kept singing and singing, and rearranging the schedule around. Finally everyone showed up, and it ended up being a great service. The kids sang, played bells, did a drama and they loved being a part of it. Here is one photo of some of my Sunday School kiddos singing a song:
So, in conclusion, we had a great Christmas and New Year. We are back to the grind of school and pushing to stay focused for the second semester. This year we have many things to look forward thing is a 6 month visit to the states. Of course I'm pretty excited about that. I always enjoy a break from the extra work it requires to live here (ie. cooking! haha!) and it is always nice to get a reprieve and see our friends and family...because I miss you all! Thank you for being faithful readers through 2010! Next blog post will be about a possible new name for my blog! :D
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  1. It looks like you guys had a wonderful Christmas. I love the expressions on their faces when they opened their gifts. How funny about having to chase Christmas dinner around the courtyard. We are blessed in America to be able to go to the store and buy the suff we need. You are a real trooper to spend so much time in the kitchen to make all those snacks. I would have said, "Lets have cereal!" Ha Ha

  2. Becca, LOVE the gift pictures, everyone looks SO excited. The joyful faces are so special. Glad to see that you made a post and love the family pictures too! Happy New Year to you!!

  3. Loved this post! The kids are super cute and fun to watch! My Emma got fake nails too and a Bible. So did Drew. My kids are into Mario Cart Wii right now and love to race eachother. The ornaments are awesome. I ended up not using that idea after all for Emma's class, since it took too much time and I wouldn't be there. So, they decorated gingerbread cookies.
    I have to say that I will think of you and say an extra word of THANKS to God for canned refried beans :) YOU are a blessing. Thanks for sharing your family with us and showing us Christ. We love you!!! Hope you're coming to Northland while you're here??? You are welcome here anytime!!!