Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Happenings 4

For the Oansa Christmas party the leaders asked everyone to dress up like one of the characters from the biblical Christmas story. Our neighbor Mickey dressed as a wise man. He carried the Ecuadorian flag for the flag ceremony.

Joel, complete with star costume, waited patiently with his group for the activities to begin.

Amelia, with a long line of angels, began to march around the Oansa game circle.

Marisol and I joined the parade with the other Marys and Josephs. I have to say that we were the most "life-like."

Joel won the prize for best star costume! My talented wife made both Joel's and Amelia's outfits! Marisol's brother Hugo dressed as the golden gift from the Magi.

Each of the groups had to form a tableaux of the manger scene. Here is a picture of Amelia's group.

Joel the star shone over his group.

Our niece Cloe tried on Joel's star costume.

Angel Amelia posed with her shepherd cousin Zoe.

Joel took a break from his star costume to eat pizza with friend Mickey.

Some friends who we met in Guam visited us this month. Martha and Margarita are fellow Ecuadorians married to Benny and Lee, both navy men. Amelia enjoyed playing with Margarita and Lee's daughter Isabella again.

We helped Lee to celebrate his birthday during their visit.

Joel played with Rafael, James, and Gabriel.

Marisol smiled with her friends Margarita and Martha. Both attended the Spanish Ladies Bible Study with her in Guam.

I took our friends to visit the studios of Radio Punto so they could see a bit of our ministry life.

Friday, December 30, 2011

December Happenings 3

When we went to Quito for Marisol's doctor appointment we stopped by the CCI Shopping Mall to admire the Christmas decorations.

Joel and Amelia posed by the life size Nativity scene.

At the Liebenzell Mission of Ecuador Christmas party Marisol enjoyed spending time with her cousin Washington and his wife Yulie.

Each family had to present a special number. Our family rapped to "Hark the Herald Angels Sing!"

There was a lemon eating contest to see who made the funniest face. I WON!

The Bruce and Schaub families performed a stirring bilingual rendition of "Angels We Have Heard on High" with guitar and recorders.

On December 21 I joined the cell group in Milagro for their Christmas party. The rest of the family took a night off to rest.

Last week we accompanied Marisol's family to eat grilled cow tripe, called "tripa mishqui." It probably doesn't sound that appetizing, but it is wonderful.

Even Amelia liked it. Joel preferred the grilled liver. Also wonderful.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December Happenings 2

Each year we make plates of homemade Christmas cookies to share with our neighbors. Joel helped to mix them.

Then we decorated them and put them on the cookie sheets.

Into the oven for baking!

We assembled the plates.

Then out the door on Christmas Eve for delivery.

We went to Marisol's family's house for Christmas Eve, the day of the BIG celebration in Latin America. I played with our niece Cloe, who was born in May.

Marisol held Cloe as Cloe's mom fed her.

Speaking of eating, we had the most wonderful food prepared by Marisol's mom and her siblings: chicken breast stuffed with ground beef and vegetables, a special Christmas rice, cucumber salad, and pea and corn salad.

Joel was so excited to eat his Ecuadorian grandmother's food. We all were!

For dessert we ate apple pie, ice cream and watermelon. Fun!

Marisol's dad Wilson kept us all in suspense as he opened his first gift.

Marisol played tricks on me at picture time.

My honey and I

Joel and his grandmother embrace.

Joel and his cousin Zoe

Marisol's brother Wilo, Cloe and Amelia admire Cloe's new frog toy.

Joel tries out his new Pooh blanket as Marisol's sister Miryan looks on.

Marisol's other brother Hugo entertains Cloe.

But Cloe ran out of energy and fell asleep. It was time for all to head to bed. We had a wonderful time with Marisol's family at Christmas after a seven year absence. Our last Ecuadorian Christmas took place in 2003.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

COUNTDOWN TO TWINS!

This is where we go for Marisol's appointments with Dr. Alfredo Jijon at the Hospital Metropolitano in Quito.

This is Baby 2 from the ultrasound in October. He/she did not show face on the latest ultrasound.

This is Baby 1 from the ultrasound in December. Notice that he/she is smiling. It was so cute to see our babies through this technology.

On Christmas Eve we received our first presents for the twins. Marisol shows off the spoon that we received. We also received hats for them and little pajamas.

Can you tell that we are excited? Dr. Jijon says that they will come in late January or early February.

December Happenings 1

On Christmas Day the children sang "Go Tell it on the Mountain" during the service. Can you spot Joel and Amelia?

The Impact team from Germany presented a play about Jesus, the Light of the World.

They put much time and effort into their presentation.

At the end of the drama we held a candle lighting ceremony. It was a bit scary to see the children under five holding candles without supervision, but thankfully there were no incidences.

At lunch we sang "Happy Birthday to Jesus" before we ate the applesauce cake.

Marisol helped to get the fire ready with her hairdryer. How the sparks flew!

I was the cook. It took me more time to light the charcoal than it did to cook the food.

We made corn, chicken hot dogs and chicken marinated in fresh pineapple juice. YUMMY!

Then we eat the fruit of our hard work, enjoying every bite!