Saturday, December 26th
Today, we celebrated Christmas American style and Thomas finished our kitchen. After morning prayer and market, we enjoyed gingerbread waffles, hot apple cider and hot chocolate while Aaron read from our Advent book. Then, he read some more from Dickens' "Christmas Carol". The kids then handed out their presents. Sweet things like: Benjamin connected three handmade potholders to make a coffee cup cozy for Aaron's favorite mug, Sarah sewed a cover for Aaron's computer using squares of material, Olivia drew lots of pretty pictures as gifts. Each child has worked for weeks to make just the right gift for each of their family members (including Joy). Joy surprised us by bringing gifts from our POC friends in Papua New Guinea! We were humbled that people we hadn't seen in over a year would take the time to send such thoughtful gifts. We were abundantly blessed by the amount of gifts under the tree, and we still have several boxes waiting for us in Honiara. A big thanks to those of you who cared about us and showed us with your generous care packages.
The biggest gift of all came at dusk when the Lord brought the rain! Sarah ran to tell our neighbors to bring buckets, pots, whatever they had. We filled the washing machine and all of our buckets and still filled every container that our friends brought to hold underneath the downspout. When we were finished, kids lined up to take a shower! Thank you for your prayers for rain. Our big tank is now about 2/3 full, and we are still being very careful with our water usage.
Our kitchen is finally finished, and everyone around us keeps telling us how nice it is. Melissa and Pogo even said they wanted to come sleep in it. Aaron worked on sewing the leaf earlier this week, and the kids loved to climb around inside before it was all finished. We're planning to use it at least a couple of times each week as we hone our culinary skills here in Marulaon.