Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve we celebrated with Casa G.
We had a fabulous time.
It is such an incredible blessing getting to work with these guys.
We love them.

Being in Ecuador we, of course, left later than we were supposed to...
driving 45 minutes or so to the Douce's nephew's house
(They, the Cherris, came here a few months before we did, and he works for a US company. They come to Casa G. most Sundays, hang out, help cook and are a regular part of the ministry without the official title. They have been a real blessing).

Being in Ecuador we, of course, had two guys ride in the back of an open trailer the whole drive, even with all of the loco drivers on the road.

Yes, they really did ride like that the whole way, behind Phil's truck....

I did a lot of praying on that drive.

We purchased some great big old (well, new, actually) wooly knit stockings and the Cherris filled them with goodies for the guys.
(side note: these are really great stockings.... I'm thinking of going back to the lady who sells them and ask her if they could make a pile of them in more Christmasy colors.... then take them back to North America and sell them there. Maybe make a little money for Casa G. Any takers?).

We did a repeat of our Thanksgiving menu, since it was such a hit and so very deliciously yummy.
Eric and the boys were loading up.

One of the guy's sister, Patricia, comes regularly on Sundays as well, and also came for the party.
It is amazing to see the influence that the ministry has on not only the guys, but their families as well.

This is Maddy, Kai (the Cherri's son), Patricia and Desi (the one from Holland who came to work with the girls... and also with Casa G.)

I'm not sure if Maddy and Alejandro look nice with the flowers or more like floral monkeys....

We introduced the guys to the unwrapping game - don't know if it has a name - where you wrap up a gift.... and wrap and wrap and wrap it (and wrap, and wrap, and wrap), then the person who gets to unwrap has to first put on a hat, scarf and mitten before they can unwrap. Then everyone else in the circle rolls a dice and whomever rolls a 6 gets to then put on the stuff and start unwrapping.... until the next person who rolls a six. This keeps happening until someone gets down to the gift and they get to keep it.
It is a super fun game
(like high school but funner ..... Legally Blonde quote).

It took a minute or two for them to catch on, but then they went crazy.
It was hilarious watching them go nuts trying to grab the stuff off the other guy so they could start unwrapping.

Then we had our gift exchange.

Cade bought a gift for Alejandro.

Maddy had Juan Miguel.

Lucy had Miguel.
And Mia had Claire - one of the Cherri kids.

Mia got a gift from Jesús (yes, she got the gift of salvation from the other Jesús as well!).
Jesús was so funny when he picked Mia's name.
He looked petrified!!
He had no clue what to get for her and even when we told him what to get, you'd have thought we asked him to go and have his toe nails removed!

Obviously, he did a good job.
She was very happy with her stuff animal.

Cade got a hat (toque) and wrist protectors from the Douces.
He loves them!!
And of course look adorable in them!

And he couldn't have been more thrilled with a nerf gun.
Those never get old!

After dessert, snack bags*, laughing and talking, we were plenty ready to head back home and off to sleep.
It was an exhaustingly wonderful day.

*They hand out snack bags/treat bags here called "Navidades". They generally contain animal crackers/cookies and a few chocolates.
We didn't know this until it was too late, but kids come around to people's door, ring your buzzer and ask for a gift. Generally people will then hand out these Navidades. It reminds me of trick-or-treating at halloween. We had so many people ringing our buzzer on the 24th and asking for gifts. I didn't get it until that night when it was all explained to me! Next year we will be prepared.... although apparently once people find out that you have Navidades, they come by the droves..... So if you have them, you better have a LOT!

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