Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas in Chad

Merry Christmas everyone....and a Happy New Year as well! We really enjoyed Christmas this year....we had a solid year between us and the bad memories of me throwing up every time I moved and Phil cooking Christmas dinner by himself....oh boy. Well, this year was awesome! We started things off with our traditional Christmas Eve spread.....salsa and tortilla chips (they just came in that day to the store....we had been tortilla chip-less for 2 months!!), veggies (including some cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas from this new import shop....all the way from Egypt!), pringles-like chips, homemade ham and cheese rolls, bruschetta and coke in some wine glasses. We ate by candle light then played Ticket to Ride with the girls. It was a peaceful, relaxing evening and a great way to start the celebrations. Christmas morning rolled around and Phil woke up first and made some cinnamon toast and hot chocolate while us girls lazed in bed a bit longer. 

We met for breakfast, lit the last advent candle and chatted about the significance of Jesus' birth once again. We prayed as a family, thanking God for sending His son, and prayed for the upcoming year, that we would be willing servants, that our hearts would continue to be changed by His spirit and that we would be a light to those around us. THEN.....we opened the gifts! As per tradition, the girls went searching for their 3 stars....and opened their gift under each representing each of the gifts the wisemen gave to Jesus. We had an awesome morning, enjoying seeing others reactions to their gifts and having fun playing with all of them. Evie took a long nap in the morning, the girls played for a long time with Lily's playmobil horse farm, and Phil spent a bunch of time teaching Kaitlyn how to use her calligraphy set. Kaitlyn was so thrilled about her 'grown-up presents' (she also got a stamp set for card making)....she's been churning out notes to everyone in calligraphy! Such an artist like Phil.
After a snacky sort of lunch,  we were able to briefly skype with some family (with video even!!) and then we headed over around 3:30 to another MAF family's house where all of the MAF families (plus 2 other families) were gathered for a potluck. We even had a turkey.....from Egypt (import shop again!!) and all the was a great time....yummy food, great company and fun games afterwards. We flopped into bed after it was all done....full and happy. It was a Christmas to my mind, a perfect blend of all things Christmas.

Christmas cookie decorating with her friend Anna
Kaitlyn practising her calligraphy skills

Lily packing on as many toppings as possible!

Ticket to Ride!!!

She needs to grow into that one....

Phil wrote a hilarious commentary between the princesses on Lily's gift wrap.

Lily was very proud of the stress ball she made Phil.

Lily enjoying her fairy sticker book. Thanks Nan & Gramps!

My new clay pots!!! Now, to find some flowers....

My gift from Phil....

Lily using her spatula that she got for Christmas....her culinary specialty: Scrambled Eggs.

Why bother with the gift? She just wants to chew the wrapping paper!

A little reminder of home....and trying out his new '1 cup' coffee maker.

Camp-out on Boxing complete with roasted Canadian marshmallows!

Sleep-over in the tent....the girls loved it so much they talked Phil into a second night!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Photo Update of our first 2 months back in Chad

It has already been close to 2 months since we left Canada and headed back to Chad. Time has flown by....but it has been a good time thus far. We are preparing for a desert Christmas which is always a bit weird for the Canadian inside of me (although can't say I miss the snow and cold at all!)....but we'll make it memorable despite the fact we'll be wearing t-shirts and flip flops and drinking ice water instead of hot chocolate! Anyways, thanks for thinking of us, praying for us and sending us your love via email and facebook. Our family Christmas gift came a bit early this year....awesome internet!!! So, we plan to be way more in touch with everyone back in Canada via facebook, blog posts and even skype!

In no particular order....these are snapshots of what we do and see on a daily basis....nothing thrilling but a good overall picture of daily life.

Evie loving her bath...a little squished but she doesn't seem to mind.

Chatting with the miracle workers at 'John the Tailor's"...
amazing what they do with a foot powered sewing machine.

Kaitlyn getting a taste of horseback riding at a local horse farm.

Lily the animal lover enjoyed every minute with her pony friend.

Evie and the Tortoise.

Reading buddies.

The MAF Crew.

Lots of people say she looks like him.

Birthday meal! Sharing an oreo milkshake
(aka chocolate milk with whipped cream on top and an oreo on top of that....
for $8. 

Baking beauties.

Josephine displaying one of her many talents.

Abdouleye and Zam enjoying a fresh catch of the day before work.
Zam is one of our guards here and his son Abdouleye does odd jobs around MAF.

Serious money maker here in HOT chad....they made $10 at the garage sale....
oh and that's 100 cfa per glass (.20) not $100! :)

MAF multi family garage sale

My good friend Susan and her daughter Audrey.

Evie smevie as we call her.

This can't be comfortable....but he beelines for it whenever its vacant!

Decorating the Christmas 'plant'. 

Evie knew exactly where to put the candy cane!

Peppermint patties anyone?

Fellowship Day with all the MAF staff.

Abdouleye and his wife Arabe and daughter Merilee
(yes, they named her after moi!)
Paparazzi Phil took this pic of me. Au naturel.

Sweet Evie, 4 months old and already cut two bottom teeth!

Whiskers getting snuggly with Kailtyn's homework.

Whiskers highjacked the bib. :)

Where Phil spent 3 nights this past a village in Eastern Chad.

Lily having a reading the doll bed. 

Phil pulling out all the stops to fix this fan for two single
 ladies living in a remote village in Eastern Chad. He told me he
was desperate enough to use the leatherman and the swiss army knife
in tandem which he said was usually a no-no! A guy thing?

Kaitlyn at her Bestie Anna's birthday party....sporting their 'high tea' hats.

Perhaps I should buckle her up from now on?
Although she seemed quite happy half in her chair and half on the floor!

Lily and Kaitlyn showing off their hats they made and the change purses
 they got from one of the ladies that Phil fixed things for during his 4 day trip out East.

Christmas crafting for Kaitlyn's school mates.
Snowman pencils.

More Christmas crafting....Monster Book Corners.