Well, it looks like the advent season is upon us, and time is flying by faster than I could've believed! I can remember when I was counting down nine weeks until I'm home for the holidays, and now it's a little more than two days! As grateful as I am to be here, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't missing home, sometimes more than I'd like to admit... But home is in sight!
One great thing about this year is that I'm experiencing the most "Christmas spirit" I've felt in years! From helping out with the bulletin pieces and making individual ornaments for the MEYO gift exchange, it's everywhere! I've now been to the Nutcracker, my first ballet experience, as a field trip with the kids from Peace Pals, (granted, it didn't seem to appeal to a group of 3rd through 5th graders, but they managed to stay for a full two hours before having to duck out early. When we got out, they couldn't stop twirling down the sidewalk to the car, so I imagine they enjoyed it a little more than they let on at least.)
|(From L to R) Top Row: Matt, Julius; Middle Row: Tori,|
Caroline, Rogelio; Bottom Row: Mallory, Abby
Speaking of the holidays, Thanksgiving was a fabulous celebration! For the first time in any of our lives, we hosted the party. We were up in the morning cooking, we watched the Macy's Day Parade, and had what we originally thought would be 9 people (which ended up being 5) over plus the six of us! Rogelio and his family were able to join us for the evening as well as Mallory's mother who flew all the way Connecticut.
For those of you have been keeping up with my blog might have been waiting for news on Rogelio. He has been out of the hospital for about a month now. Thus far, he has been recovering at home, and after many discussions about what would be best for him, it has been decided that he won't be returning to the Saunders House this year. As hard as this was for me to accept, we've all come to terms with this reality and have decided to compromise in keeping him as a part of our community since he lives here in San Antonio!
Just last week, the house participated in La Tamalada y Posada, which is a church tradition. In the morning at 8am women from the church get up to make tamales, so we went and learned how to make them as well. Then at night we joined the community with all the Peace Pals kids dressed up as Mary, Joseph, Angels, Shepherds, and Wise Men. We processed to seven different houses singing the Posada song with tells the story of Mary and Joseph searching for an Inn or any place to have the baby. As the story goes, each place turned us down. When we finally showed up to the church, the realized who we were and welcomed us in the doors. The children then put on a short nativity story with Christmas songs from both Mexican and American culture, and together we ate the tamales, which were my first and quite delicious if I do say so myself!
In other news, please be praying for Tori and her family. A childhood friend passed away this week after getting an infection from his third liver transplant. She flew home early for the funeral and will be there until after Christmas. I have to admit, waking up without her in the room is quite strange, and having yet another person out of the house makes an often full house feel a little empty, but I am glad (and maybe a little jealous) that she is getting this extra time with her family! I'm sure she is appreciating a break, which we've all been ready for!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE!