Tuesday, December 29, 2015
In the midst of Christmas craziness, the J Man turned 10 months old! How is this possible? He is crawling everywhere and into everything. He is eating more human food than baby food now. He loves sweet potatoes, bread, noodles, berries of all kinds, and other table foods. He loves being with the action and watching his older siblings. The K Man loves to make him laugh and throw him on the couch. I am glad so far that the J Man does not mind. He is trying to talk a bit more and he makes more noises. He has the sweetest laugh. I am treasuring each moment with this baby, knowing he is our last. Enjoy some pics we took of him this month.
I was telling the husband this week that this year was one of our best Christmases yet, and we have had a lot of great Christmases together. We had such a fabulous day as a family. The only thing we did not get to do is take the kids out to a nice dinner. We are wanting to expose our children slowly to fine dining and allow them to get dressed up and have a nice meal and try to practice some manners. We were going to do that this year before our Christmas service at church, but everything was booked by the time we thought of it. We have been talking about traditions and how we do not feel like we have that many because we have lived a transient life so far. We took them out this year to buy an ornament. We thought we would do that each year for them and when they leave the house they can take the ornaments with them. Next year we will implement the fancy dinner. This year we had a very lazy day. We thought they would sleep in after a late night on Christmas Eve, but we heard exciting shrieks around 7:30 AM. We let them open stockings first and play while Mama fixed a large breakfast of eggs, pancakes, bacon, fruit salad, and rice for the husband. Then we slowly opened presents, played with presents, opened more presents, skyped with family. Our skype call with the TN/Arkansas family ended up in a nerf gun battle through the TV between the K Man and his cousin. I think by 4:00 we finally took showers and got ready for our Christmas service at church. It was a great day and we really enjoyed one another.
Christmas Eve has become one of my favorite evenings of the year as we celebrate with friends who are like family (framily). We started years ago when our friends from the Netherlands lived in Tokyo gathering together to celebrate the birth of our Savior and fellowship with one another. We still celebrate with them virtually via skype in addition to hosting our regular crew, two local families we attend church with. The food is always excellent, but the fellowship even more so. I treasure these years celebrating with these fabulous people we have grown to love and experience life with here in Tokyo.
We had a spectacular turn out for the Grace Kids Christmas party this year with about 30 kids, several of whom do not come to church regularly. It was a fun time for everyone - pizza, the twelve days of Christmas, a talk from our pastor, presents, cookie making and game making. We felt like we improved it a lot from last year, and we know of how we would improve it for next year. The husband has done a fantastic job of helping with the kids ministry at our church. We really want Japanese families in the city to know that their children can "grow up" in the church like we know of in the south and experience a vibrant church life at all stages of their lives. Our hope and prayer is that as they grow up in the church, when they leave their family and venture into adulthood, they will want to serve in the church and make an impact in the city. God is truly at work here in Tokyo and we are so blessed to be able to take part in it.