Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, a few days ago

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

(Here is where I should insert a family picture with all of us dressed in holiday colors, carefully posed in front of a Christmas tree.  Or at least a family picture.  But I’m not.  So sorry.)

Christmas Eve hosted a tropical rain storm.  Puzzles and movies, perfect rainy day activities.  I had a sudden, inexplicable longing for a Christmas Eve service (which is funny because when I have to go, I’m often ambivalent).  So we sang carols and read/acted the Christmas stories from the four gospels.  That way Mary (Lia) and “Jofus” (Amelie) get their time in the spotlight.  (Luke’s version is about Mary, Matthew’s about Joseph).

Christmas was brunch of waffles and strawberries, dinner of sandwiches.  We believe in enjoyable Christmases.  This year we bought a goat from Heifer International as our “birthday gift for Jesus”. Cool.

It was awfully nice not to be the only ones without a place to go this Christmas.

And now it’s the New Year.

Happy New Year from my family to yours!

Three days past, and Jesse’s (my step dad) 50th Birthday today.  We tried to make some New Year’s Resolutions, just as a conversation starter, if nothing else.  Didn’t really come up with much.

Return to Normal Life seems to sum it up.  Which will commence on January 18 (okay, give a few days for jet lag), when we return (and arrive) back in California.

Devo described the sabbatical experience as a labyrinth.  First the inward journey, letting go.  Then the center.  Then the outward journey of reengaging.  Somehow I missed the center transition between inward and outward and spent a bewildered week thinking, Wait, wait, go back, go back!

But now we’ve had some time to backtrack and do some good thinking and have some productive conversations about our future life, and I’m officially and peacefully launched on the outward journey.  Started making some lists, sketching out a schedule.

Somehow I had thought that this big gap would change the normal schedule, but I was mistaken.  Still looks the same.  But we have a great deal more clarity with which to choose or reject schedule fillers.

Even the girls are experiencing their own outward journeys.  Without much prompting they have begun talking alot about home.

Did I ever mention that Levi is crawling and pulling himself up?  Wherever you look, you can see him perched somewhere holding on with one hand, seeing where the next adventure will be.  Yesterday he finally grew enough to be able to play the piano keys.  Which he’s so glad to not depend on the person holding him to recognize his “I want to play the piano” cues (throwing his body towards the piano and shrieking in dismay when the holding adult moves in the opposite direction).  He sprouted two teeth, the first appeared on Christmas Day, and the other on the next day.  So Liana played the Chipmunks “All I Want For Christmas is my Two Front Teeth”.

Amelie has finally FINALLY decided that she can go down the waterslide all by herself.  (She was doing it during our last visit when she was 16 months, but not this trip).

And we’ve decided to look into hula for this year’s dance lessons.

The End.

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