Thursday, December 27, 2012

"O Christmas Tree" - An Original Version

As I was standing and staring at the box the Christmas tree came in, and wondering how I was going to to fit that tree back into the same box, I heard Martha say, "Daddy...Mommy's breaking up the tree!!" (Job's comforter!)  I finally had to enlist Matt's help, and we ended up putting the tree into one of our large Coleman bags, and sending the box to recycling!  I think I'm going to write my own version of the song "O, Christmas Tree."  I believe it will go something like this.....

"O Christmas Tree" 
by Sarah McKendree

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, 

My children loved to see you!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Our first Christmas in Peru!
But now you must be stored away,
My daughter thinks I'm breaking you!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
My children loved to see you!

Helping Mommy with the tree!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
We loved your lights and ornaments!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
We liked to open all the presents!
Did you really come in that box?
I wonder now how you fit there!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
We loved your lights and ornaments!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
How did you fit into that box?
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
How DID you fit into that box!?!
More help for Mommy with the tree!
I've pressed and squashed, but you don't fit!         
I even had my son and hubby help!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
How did you fit into that box?

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Now you're finally stored away!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Not in a box, but in a Coleman bag!
This Christmas was a lovely one,
Filled with family, friends, and fun!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
He fits into the box better than the tree!
Now we say "¡Chau!"* until next year!!  

*("Chau" - pronounced "chow")                        

Thursday, December 20, 2012

"Can we open the presents now, Mommy?"

"Can we open the presents now, Mommy?"  Martha has asked me this question several times a day for the last few days...ever since the presents started appearing under the tree!  Ian hasn't said much about it, though he has tried to poke at the presents once or twice!  I still have a couple of more things to get and then we'll be done...So we are counting the days until we can open the presents....
 Remember I told you about the "Chocolatada" they have here in Peru to celebrate Christmas?  We have had two recently - one with our Deaf Church in Callao, and one with the Dorm Girls here at Efata.  Here are some pictures with the Dorm girls - they are all Deaf and just as sweet as can be...a little ornery, but sweet!
We filled them up with Paneton and Hot Chocolate - and had a grand time!

Olga (the girl next to me in this picture to the left) is coming to stay with us for the Summer (Doesn't that sound so weird - Summer in December?!?  But that's the blessing of living below the equator!)  We are all looking forward to having Olga stay with us for Christmas and for the Summer!

We have already had a wonderful Christmas season, learning anew the Christmas story and seeing it through the eyes of the Martha and Ian.  
In the three verbal languages that I know (I would sign it to you too if I could, but you can't see me...) I would like to wish everyone a Maayong Pasko, una Feliz Navidad, and a Merry Christmas to all!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Our first Christmas season in Peru...
We (okay...I) set up the tree on Thanksgiving Day - actually it was in the evening after Martha and Ian had gone to bed!  I wish I could have captured the moments when the kids saw the tree the next morning!  It got even better when they saw it with the Christmas lights turned on!  We have had some "tempting moments" concerning the tree - you know...little fingers, pretty lights, and fascinating ornaments!  We decided to make our own ornaments this year.  We have bought a few, but most of the ornaments are homemade.
This is definitely a year of firsts for us.....Martha had her first Christmas party at school, this is our first Christmas in our own house with our own tree, our first year of fun family Christmas traditions, and Martha and Ian's first Christmas program.
Martha got to hold the star - she did a great job!  Of course, the longer the program went, the lower the star got!  I just couldn't get over how "grown-up" she looked up there on the stage with all the other children!
And although you can't see him, Ian got to play the part of Baby Jesus.  One of the Peruvian girls, Sarai, carried him in and laid him in the "Pesebre" (Manger).  He laid there so still, I found it hard to believe it was MY son lying there!  I had several people ask me if it was Ian in the manger or a doll!  Oh, if he would only be that still at home!
This Sunday, we are having a "Chocolatada" with our Deaf Church in Callao.  What is a "Chocolatada"?  I guess the best way to explain it would be to call it a "Hot Chocolate Party."  The hot chocolate they make here is really yummy - it has cinnamon and cloves in it.  They eat "Paneton" (paneton is bread with dried pieces of fruit in it) with their hot chocolate.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Present for Jesus

Ever since Martha was born, we have talked to her about how Jesus wants to save her, how He died just for her sins, and how He wants to live in her heart.
Over the last few months, we have talked to her about salvation in a more personal way.  Although she was understanding all we were telling her, when I would ask her if she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart, she would say, "I'm not ready for that yet, Mom."  I would then ask her if she would tell me when she WAS ready, and she would promise me that she would.
Recently, in our Family Bible Time, Matt has been teaching us about when Jesus was born.  This past week, we have been busy making Christmas ornaments from salt dough.  We have given many of them away.  We have also been talking about what each of us could give Jesus for His birthday this year.  The other night Martha said, "I could give Him my heart!"  We were thrilled to hear her answer that way, but we thought perhaps she was simply repeating one of the suggestions that Daddy had made about what to give Jesus.  We have also been listening to "Christmas Carol" by Patch the Pirate.  We have been listening to a little bit of it every night after supper.  Last night, "Jamie" (the orphan girl) got a new family and got saved!
 When we finished listening to and talking about the story, Martha said, "I'm ready, Daddy.  I'm ready, Mommy.  I've decided."  Matt and I looked at her, then each other - we were both surprised!  I was sitting at the table thinking, "Now what do I do????"  Then I came back to my senses and went and got my Bible.  In the meantime, Daddy asked her, "Are you sorry for your sins?"  She was very sure and firm as she replied, "Yes."  With Martha on my lap, I opened my Bible and once again explained salvation.  She clearly understood, and asked Jesus to live in her heart!
Her prayer (actually prayed in three parts) went like this:  Martha:  "Dear Jesus, I'm sorry for my sins. Amen."  (Mommy:  "Did you ask Jesus to forgive you?") Martha:  "Dear Jesus, please forgive me for my sins. Amen."  (Mommy:  "Did you ask Jesus to come into your heart?")  Martha:  "Dear Jesus, please come live in my heart. Amen."
I wish you could have seen the glow on her face.  She wanted to hug everything!  Now she is learning to not be ashamed or afraid to tell people that she asked Jesus into her heart.  After we had called and she told Grandpa, and we had tried to call Pappy, the next person Martha wanted to tell was "Tio Frank."  How I wish you could see right now, the beautiful moment that is now forever treasured in my heart and mind - the moment when she signed to Tio Frank that she had just gotten saved!
Her face (if it was possible) lit up even more when I explained that now her name in written in The Book of Life and can never be erased!  What a beautiful and precious Christmas gift Martha and our entire family has received this year!  And I know it is even more beautiful and precious to our Saviour!