Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Friday, January 10, 2014

Santa rings the doorbell

Every year, after we tell the real Christmas story, Al slips away saying he has to go to the bathroom.  While he is busy with his "duty", Santa appears to pass out gifts!  After Santa leaves, Al comes back and is clearly upset that once again he has missed Santa's appearing!

* * * * * * *

This year, the children were talking that they would find Papa.  But after the Christmas play, while everyone was signing their autographs, Al slipped out - this time to the garage!  All of a sudden the children realized Papa was missing!   So they ran to the back room to find him.

The doorbell rang and who should appear but....


Where are the reindeer, Santa?

 Santa passed out the stockings.

I always debate about what to put in the stockings....(oh, I mean, Santa is always wondering what the elves should pack in them)

 Everyone always gets socks. 
 A challenge to find them for this big fella's feet!

 There is always something for Mindy's kitty too.

Yes, these are for real!

Other things found in stockings:  beauty products like chapstick, lipsticks, nailpolish; 
always a chocolate Santa, 
note cards, pens, items for the kitchen, food, earrings,colorful Band-aids for the kids, stickers, markers....
I look all year for items to stash away  (as Santa's helper, of course)

 Then it is time for Santa to say good-bye.

A little sheep is sad to see him go.

He'll be back next year!

And now it is time to open more gifts........!!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"The Christmas Story" written and directed by Hannah

We like to read the Christmas story before we open gifts.  This year, however, the children spent all afternoon planning to put on a program for us.
Hannah wrote and directed the following play, without any help from grownups.
She also designed and printed a program or playbill.  

The Narrator

Here is the play printed as is (unedited):

Welcome evrybody to "The Chistmas Sotry" play!  Inside your programs you will find a "atograph page".  After the show you can get atographs from the cast.  Without ferther adew, ladys and gentelmen "The Chistmas Story".

Seen 1
In the small town of Nasereth Mary a young vergen was cooking a dilishus meal.


Seen 2
That night Josiph, Mary's betrothed went to sleep and had a dreem.... (acting)

Seen 3
Caesar Augustus made a decree that all the world shoud be counted.  At the same time Mary was hevy with child.

Seen 4
They went to Bethlehem.  All they could find to seep in was an old stable.

Seen 5
I the feeds outside the vilige sheperds were waching their seep.  They saw a bright star....

(sheep with Baby Jesus)

Seen 6
Wisemen were waching the sky and they saw a difrent star.  This star was biger and brighter than the others.  The misghah is born!  Let's go see him!


 (all at the manger.)


bowing and giving atographs

Thanks for comming to see "The Cristmas Story" play!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas on New Years Day

Our son and his family arrived from Arkansas on New Year's Eve.  
Therefore, this meant we didn't celebrate Christmas until New Year's Day.

Oshogatsu omedeto!  or Happy New Years!
              Kurisumasu omedeto!  Merry Christmas!

Here in America Christmas is a big deal, a wonderful holiday - Christ's birthday celebration!  But in Japan the most important holiday is New Year's, with origins in the religious significance of purification.  Businesses shut down Jan. 1 - 3.  Families spend time together.
 Bamboo or pine decorates the entrance of the homes.
 Our Christmas gifts were still under our pine!

I fixed holiday food.

I didn't fix this.  I bought it.  Rice cakes filled with red bean paste.  It is quite time consuming to make.  My kids used to call them "baby bottoms" because they are very soft on top, like a baby's bottom.

 I remember watching our neighbors make mochi!  Fascinating.

We always got so much omochi for New Year's from lots of people.  When my parents first went to Japan, they got so much of it and at that time they weren't fond of it.  Mom tells me that one year she had Dad bury it in the back yard so no one would know that they didn't want it!  I cannot even begin to imagine that.  LOVE LOVE omochi and wish we could get the real deal here.  Maybe I can order on-line?

Claire was very ready for us to begin eating our Christmas meal! 
 She could not wait and wanted to raid the pantry.

Happy New Year's and a very merry and belated Christmas posting!