Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Break

After a deadline driven fall, we are all enjoying the relaxed pace of Christmas week, spending time with family and dear friends as we celebrate the Advent of Christ. Below are a few glimpses of our celebrations:

Although the younger two children were the masterminds behind the gingerbread and candy house, the older two couldn't resist joining in the fun.

And, they all resisted the temptation to nibble on it until Christmas morning.

The youth of our International Church celebrated the Joy of Jesus, sharing passages from the Gospels which hold special meaning for them, singing praises to God,

putting on impromptu, silly, holiday skits,

and enjoying fun fellowship.

Always a highlight of Christmas week is our traditional soup supper and evening of song, etc. with dear friends. Mrs. N serves up her now famous smoked salmon chowder, made from wild salmon, caught and smoked by her son during their summer trip to Alaska. I'm sure such a delicious soup is not to be found anywhere else in Jordan!

Enjoying a game of spoons while eating still more Christmas cookies.

Since 1997, Christmas Eve morning has been reserved for the celebration of youngest daughter's December 24th birthday. The menu has become tradition as well: cinnamon rolls, egg and cheese strata, and Dear Husband's grapefruit with brown sugar, lightly broiled on top.

Youngest daughter enjoys receiving words of appreciation and blessing from her Dad.

Enjoying carefully chosen gifts on Christmas morning.

The youngers are old enough to exercise patience and self control--they played Chinese checkers-- and so did not wake the older kids and Dear Husband and myself until after 9am!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Just in time for Christmas...

Now that we've officially submitted Oldest Daughter's last college application (midnight, Sunday), I guess I'll have to find a new hobby. Some options vying for my attention: housecleaning, cooking, grading papers, Christmas shopping. Needless to say, sending off the final 'supporting papers' packets with a traveling friend on Saturday and hitting the final 'submit' button on Sunday evening was very satisfying and a relief to the entire family. Glad to be finished with them, Oldest Daughter deposited a pile of various SAT and SAT II study guides on my bed the other day; now she can resume her beloved practicing at the level she needs to in order to prepare for auditions.

Oh me of little faith and of even less talent and determination has fleeting thoughts of doubt about this whole process. The competitive auditions are daunting enough but the yearly fees for some of the schools to which Oldest Daughter has applied are even more daunting. But, we continue to take one step at a time as we receive confirmation that we are heading in the right direction. Three of the four requested audition dates have been confirmed and we find our generous God continuing to provide for the upcoming audition trip: we were able to book our international flights using accumulated miles, just eight weeks in advance of our trip, flying into Houston and out of Newark and we have people to stay with in three of our four locations--even though we've never visited any of these cities before!

It is with sincere gratitude that we say thank you to so many who have prayed for us throughout this application process. We'll keep you posted on any new developments.