Oh, it has been a long time since we posted to this blog! But hopefully a Christmas gift for me (a new lens!) plus finding out that I can easily upload my Google+ photos into a Blogger post will make me more inspired to keep up with photos and news for our friends back home.
If you're wondering what Christmas is like in southeast Asia, it's warm (90 degrees or more), very bright, and it doesn't have quite the feeling that everyone is getting ready for Christmas that happens in the States. But there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate, and there are Christmas carols being played in the malls everywhere.
So here is our Christmas story - Lots of photos, so it's nearly like a photo book of our Christmas Morning.
So, my family really didn't do traditional Christmas stockings (I can go into our tradition another time). But Adam's dad really did stockings up right - lots of small toys and candy and fun gifts. Since we're overseas, Adam took up the responsibility - and did a wonderful job!
Loving the owl, of course!
Now, Adam has always received a small lego set for Christmas in his stocking - and even though I wasn't responsible for stockings this year, I made sure he had a lego set. At the same time, he was trying to be as authentic as possible, so he also procured a lego set for himself - so he was the glad recipient of two (identical!) sets. Charis loved them. Well, shaking them!
Charis' first big gift - a Mega blocks set from us (I think you can sense a theme to our gift giving this year. She'll be an engineer, we're sure...)
The only gift I think Adam forgot he asked for, but I remembered!
(Charis isn't sure about it. Where are the pictures?)
We were so blessed to be able to get a package of gifts from Montana, so this was one of the gifts we wrapped for Charis - a soft photo album, in which we added photos of family, so she could identify her aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. She promptly figured out how to take the photos out - thankfully we had only printed them on regular paper!
And, of course, clothes from us! (She seems thrilled)
I gave Adam the unenviable task of figuring out some books for me. I told him, "Some books that are historical, but not heavy. Historical fiction. But not stupid." How's that for helpful? Well, as is his way, he did a fantastic job of 1) finding out the top historical fiction for the last year and the last decade, but 2) he also found some of the books in Indonesia. Which, let me tell you, is not an easy task! All the Light We Cannot See is one of the top rated historical fiction books for this year. I'm terribly excited to get going on it. He also gave me the first two books of Ken Follett's Century Trilogy, and some books on childhood development. So many good options!
My gifts to Adam were pretty straight-laced: He asked for a number of things, and I did the best I could to find them. Shirts were one request - so I went out on a limb and went shopping by myself. The risk is that in Indonesia, there is a zero return policy: So if someone doesn't like what you got them, too bad! This caused me quite a lot of anxiety, but in the end, Adam seems to really like the choices I made.
We weren't exactly sure when Charis woke up (sometimes she wakes up at 5 am, and there's no way I'm starting my day then, so she plays in her crib for an hour or so). She seemed a little tired early on, but it could have also been due to the excitement and activity of the morning. Here I am quite pregnant:
The most adorable gift was one that Adam found (and kept it a surprise for me, too!) - a little owl backpack. We're trying to show her that she can put things in and take them out, but she seems mostly interested in the clasp in the front that keeps the backpack on.
I just love these photos of Adam and Charis, so I added them in:
Later on, we were able to change Charis into a proper Christmas dress - she looked quite adorable, even if a megablock or shoe snuck in there: