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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Some Christmas Memories

I have just a moment to update this, but I wanted you to get a glimpse of what my Christmas looked like . . . Thankfully it was a fun day filled with a new family that I have grown to love deeply. I did miss my family and familiar Christmas traditions, but the transition of getting to giving to all of the children was wonderful! I hope you can see some of the new Christmas memories I tried to capture.

Here are some pics from the Christmas Eve Service that we all dressed up for.

Christmas morning . . . mitts and Bibles for presents!

Laura eating some delicious turkey that we made for the Christmas diner!
I wish I had the energy to blog more, I will try to update again soon. We are starting back at concerts tomorrow morning. It is hard to believe that our week of Christmas camp is now a memory and we are back on the road. It was very relaxing and restful. I hope your Christmas season has brought you joy and peace.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

Here are some pics of the past few days at camp!
(Peace, Patrick, and Hannington assisting in the decorating)

Last night we had a birthday party for all of the kids who had birthdays since tour started. The party hats were a big hit and of course a dance party began immediately. At breakfast this morning I saw all of the party hats again!

Here are a few pics I took this morning of Christmas Eve - thankfully the sun is shinning and the kids are able to play as much as they want outside. The last few days have been rainy and cold so they have been stuck inside.

Hannington and Rachel enjoying the lovely sunny morning!

Sarah and Gilbert small were taking a break from the big football game this morning to pose for a pic.

Apparently we are staying at a reunion centre - but I was excited to see us on the sign, at least I noticed three days after we got here!

Tonight we are going to attend a Christmas Eve service at the church that is hosting us at camp and then finish off the Christmas story with the kids after church. And the only thing left for the Aunties and Uncles is wrapping christmas presents . . . yeah!
Merry Christmas and much love to you all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

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Merry Christmas!

Friends, Family, and whoever reads this blog . . . I want to send my sincerest Christmas wishes to you all (or y'all, I am in Texas but I refuse to say it, I am from Canada after all).

I may have a chance to update this before Christmas, but just in case the wireless isn't available, I thought I would do it now.

We just arrived at Christmas Camp yesterday and this morning we did a performance and tonight will be our last performance until December 27th! We were welcomed by Uncle Brother Doug in Laguna Park, Texas, which consists of 1 traffic light. Now you have to understand, if you have been in the ACC family for the last two years you would have met or heard of Uncle Brother Doug, and I have been hearing about him long before tour started. His church in Laguna Park has welcomed the choir this year for Christmas. We have been overwhelmed with the welcome we have received - even before we arrived we called ahead to see if we could get a tree, of course when we saw our accomadations a tree was up lite, and a train around the base.

Yesterday the huge grocery shop for 32 mouths over the span of 7 days was done by some wonderful aunties (I stayed behind to setup) and Uncle Brother Doug. I just got to hear some of the stories but let me pass them onto you - Angela was looking for coffee but didn't really know what kind would be suitable, no sooner was the request made and he was on his phone to a friend at a Starbucks making sure that there would be coffee ground and ready for the chaperones. As you can imagine after 3 months of the children jumping around and dancing in the same costumes - they smell to say the least - this was mentioned in passing and he told us it would be taken care of by the time we leave (they have to be dry cleaned, 22 children x 2 different costumes = 44 costumes!). Needless to say this man and his church eminates generosity, another quick example, he makes breakfast every Sunday morning before preaching to them. We walked into a room wafting of homemade english muffin (who knew you could make them?), french toast, and homemade cinnamon roll smells this morning. It was wonderful!! He was there flipping french toast in his camo apron.

(One of the fridges nice and full!)

I am sorry that my time has run out, at the moment the children are sound checking for the concert that will start soon. So I will hopefully be able to in contact with you one way or the other over the next few days.

On a personal note, it is hard to believe, even though its only 4 days away, that Christmas is here. Last year I somewhat knew that I would be doing this, but it was so vague it was hard to really picture. But I am missing my dear family and wishing that I could just have a taste of Christmas past with them. I think though that we (chaperones) are all trying to recreate Christmas with touches of home through recipes and traditions. We all know that it will not be Christmas as we once knew it, we are excited to share this holiday with our kids, but I know that I will have moments of homesickness and moments that I would just like to see and touch those that I love. I know that if I continue to surround myself with these wonderful 22 children and 9 new brothers and sisters I have adopted I will feel the love of Jesus on the day we celebrate his birth.
(Racheal - Mary and Patrick - Joseph looking for the stable)

I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

TOMS for All!

So many churches, so many hosts, so many opportunities = so many blessings!

Tour life is all about flexibility and different is normal. Meaning our stays at churches can vary from 1 night to 5 nights (not the norm). This is that time - 5 night stay.

I have been so blessed by this church and by my hosts, and I know I speak for all of my fellow chaperones.

One of the ways that this particular church blessed us is with . . . SHOES! The kids received shoes when we first came to America, and that has been their only pair they wear. You can imagine that after three months of wear and tear and growth, it is time for new shoes.

As we ventured to this new church it was evident that they had partnered with a shoe organization TOMS ( - for every shoe purchased a shoe is donated to children in need in Africa and South America.

The children performed during their church services and after the first performance they came out and announced that the children would be receiving new shoes! I was sitting at my product table with Auntie Lindsey and watching the tv screen of the service and all the sudden we were rejoicing with the news.

Today we were all (yes even the auntie and uncles!!) fitted with our own TOMS. It was great to watch as the church staff sat putting shoes on the kids and then receiving numerous hugs and thank yous. It is such a timely gift as we will be able to wrap them and give them to the kids for Christmas - approaching so fast!

As I go to bed tonight I realize again at how the body of Christ is so beautiful - it has been a joy to get to know many different members doing their important jobs that are custom tailored to their giftings.

ps check out the toms website - very cool