Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Wrap Up!

What a week! As a family this was one of our most memorable Christmas' ever! The memories were rich, they will long be remembered, and I just have an overwhelming joy thinking about all God has done for us this year. Could be the keen reality that we have a new family member, the fact that this adoption process has taken us places as a family we never imagined or just the overwhelming goodness of our gracious King who first adopted us. The true reason for the season is the humble reality that God rescued us from death through the birth of His son and that in and of itself is enough. No amount of gifts under a tree, no amount of money could ever equate to the value of Jesus Christ.

Honestly, our lives should reflect the spirit of Christmas daily. We talked about that as a family and how the gospel should transform our lives and how we live it. We talked about how we'll have the opportunity to walk out Christs unconditional love for us in a very real way as we welcome Zahra into our family. We talk often with the kids about the fact that this won't be easy. We are all in this together and we want to prepare the kids for what little Zahra will experience. The great loss, the deep sadness, and the reality that it will take time to adjust as a family. Yes, the three oldest have been through it before with Silas' adoption but they are a bit older, they "get it" a little deeper, and they have had such a different experience with an entire church behind us, a whole host of family, friends, and strangers that have helped bring our princess home. Watching that unfold has spoken volumes to our children. This adoption journey has left a huge mark on the hearts of each one of our kids. They all have a deep rooted desire to adopt when they get older and to continue advocating for orphans and pursuing orphan care ministry opportunities. Watching your children truly "get" what the gospel means is incredible.
Thank you for being a part of that.

Here's our holiday month in pictures!

Decorating cookies with friends.

Our annual fondue night, usually Christmas Eve but we had plans this year so we did it on the 23rd. Read the CHRISTmas story and talked about life as a family.
Our little Christmas corner.
David made his Georgian Cheese Bread. Family tradition. Extremely fattening but oh so good! (recipe to be posted soon)
My little crazies in their new jammies.
Family picture, including little Zahra, soon we'll be able to share her precious face.
Each year we wrap all the gifts in code. A friend started this tradition with her family, we adopted it and have kept it for years. The kids can't wait to see what "theme" we'll choose each year and this year we went with Africa gift tags that I made and then we used countries in Africa to represent each person. They all guessed which one they thought was theirs and of course none of them were right. :)

Handsome boys in their new hats.

New bibles for all the kids!
Olivia asked for pickles for Christmas. Not just any pickles. Specifically this huge jar of pickles.
Her first pair of Toms made this girl VERY happy! (please excuse the massive laundry pile in the hall)
Their group gift from their Shubin grandparents. Kinect = lots of family fun!
Thanks to a precious friend and some incredible garage sales this little lady was shocked to get an American Girl doll.
Christmas morning tradition, homemade cinnamon rolls!
With all of our family in Oregon we had to get a bit creative for a family picture. Thanks to modern technology and Skype we were able to get in on the action! We participated in the white elephant which was fun and we had a family picture!

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