November 30, 2012

change is in the tickets

I woke up early this morning thinking about how our lives are about to change.

Wednesday afternoon we bought plane tickets, small pieces of paper that will change our lives forever. $804 each for 2 adults, $729 for a child ticket, and $136 for a baby ticket*. I promptly began to hyperventilate. What on earth were we doing?

Moving deep into the jungle of South America might sound like a crazy thing at first. Give it a minute. Still sound crazy? We had been talking about it for a year, we had been "going" to Guyana for what felt like forever. I had gotten used to the words. I'd tell people kind of nonchalantly and they would be all surprised and ask me if I was scared or excited. Excited? Not really. The words had lost their meaning. I'd said it so many times it just kind of became a fact of life. But then we bought tickets.

My dear friend Jenn was so soothing. "What are we thinking?" I asked her. I could hear the smile in her voice as she reassured me that we were following where God had clearly been leading. We had been preparing for this for years, and the next step is a leap of faith. Though Jenn's world calmed my outsides, my insides still were in knots. So many questions are still unanswered. I want to plan. I want to know details. All we need to do is remember that God has lead us to this place.

This morning, my thoughts were less wild and more down to business. Thinking about packing, travel, setting up my small "cabin" [read: hut in the jungle], and wondering what my first thoughts of the jungle will be. I'm can now honestly answer, "yes, I'm very excited" when people ask. Scared? A little - of the unknowns. But most of all I'm peaceful and ready to follow God. My insides still tense up and I'm sure I'll have the anxious thoughts until we arrive in our new home, but I'll also have peace and faith. And that's all I really need.

*Babies don't fly free internationally anymore - did you know that? I didn't!

Read More

November 25, 2012

why we're celebrating Hanukkah

"So... are you Jewish now?" My sisters question, though somewhat expected, made me laugh.

We aren't converting. We are still Christian, still celebrating Christmas, and still going to drink lots of hot cocoa, though I'm not sure hot cocoa has a religious preference.

We are just learning more about our Jewish roots.

Yes, we have Jewish roots.

We are followers of Jesus - a Jew. And though Jewish traditions have evolved since Jesus was alive, we still think they are worth knowing about, learning about, and even practicing.

My knowledge of Hanukkah is very limited. VERY limited. What I know about Hanukkah can probably fit in a followed out dreidel. But I'm learning. Our whole family is learning.

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the miracle of oil in the temple lamps. The English word Hanukkah means "rededication." The temple had just been taken back from the Syrians by the Hebrew army. They had cleaned out the temple and were in the process of rededicating it, when they discovered there was only enough oil to light the temple for one night. Eight days later the lights finally flickered out. Hanukkah celebrates this miracle with the 8 days of Hanukkah.

Read more about Hanukkah

The actual celebration part seems to vary, but there are some basics. We will have a menorah that we will light each day. There are 9 candles on a menorah, 8 represent each day of the miracle, and the 9th center candle is used to light the others. We will also play the dreidel game - each of the 4 sides of the dreidel - a square-ish wooden top - traditionally has one Hebrew letter from the Hebrew "A miracle happened here."

We will also be making traditional latkes - potato pancakes - and making homemade doughnuts.

We'll also be making some Hanukkah crafts throughout our 8-day celebration.

Make Hanukkah crafts

I have Millie's 8 presents wrapped, but I'm finding it harder to find small, inexpensive toys for an 18-month old. I have 4 so far. Our Hanukkah presents for the kids are small and inexpensive, kind of like stocking stuffer kind of presents. Doing Hanukkah AND Christmas can be pretty daunting, so we kept it simple and inexpensive - learning toys from the Dollar Tree and the dollar bins at Target, and other little craft items, books, etc.

Millie's Hanukkah presents: Nativity stickers, animal stickers, Melissa & Doug scissor set, Nativity coloring book, glitter crayons, play-dough shape cutters, and an ABC writing book.

Sam's Hanukkah presents are: a small dump truck, a ball, "The Bible Says..." book, and jungle bells. I need to get 4 more little things for him (any ideas???).  

The point in the 8 presents for us isn't to shower our children with gifts, it's to make Hanukkah a celebration and to learn new things. So if you're Jewish and reading this and shaking your head at how little I know, please feel free to tell me what I'm doing wrong. :)

Happy Hanukkah!!!
Read More

November 24, 2012

Making the most out of the holiday season (with toddlers!)

This is the first year Millie will remember the holiday season. In the past we’ve always just kind of done holidays halfheartedly in the name of -it-doesn’t-matter-she-won’t-remember-it-anyway. Now that she’s at the ripe old age of 3 ¼, I want to make magical memories for her. She won’t remember every last detail, but now is the time to start traditions to build on in years to come. So if my list sounds like a lot, know that we’re trying a little bit of a lot of things this year, and next year we’ll expand on what we liked. Besides, this is also our last Christmas in the States, so it will help to have everything together and boxed up after the New Year to ship down for next year in the jungle.

So, here is our making-the-most-of-holiday-memories bucket list:

Read More
cas anderson (2016) . Powered by Blogger.