December Photos and Videos

Here are some Photos and Videos from December.

Beach Photos

Beach Videos

December 2007 Photos

Ill be home for Christmas

This might be a little sad; skip it if your are not in the mood! :)

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents under the tree
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

This song never meant anything to me.... until this Christmas. I recall sitting in 95degree heat on the patio of a beautiful little cottage in a remote beach city of Peru. In hearing this song, the last line rang more true then i could ever imagine. We spent Christmas with good friends from the language school. Their daughter Anna and Eliana are the same age, communicate in Spanish and fight most of the time, but are best friends. We also joined three other German families totaling 13 kids and 10 adults. Having a crowd might have been the only familiar thing this Christmas, but all the changes left us to focus on Emmanuel, the meaning of Christmas.

I got some iTunes credit for Christmas and bought the new David Crowder Album "Remedy"

These lyrics ring true-

Here, you are now
With us here
We are found
In You

And this makes all the difference
This changes everything
Making our whole life existence
Worth something...

Although we, our parents, brothers and sisters all experienced something very different this year for Christmas, we are extremely blessed to be were we are are doing what we are doing. We received an abundance of love from our family and from our friends (new and old) this Christmas.

No matter where you are in the world, the day is the same... a celebration of the Birth of God on earth. We are blessed to be able to celebrate and experience Emmanuel, God with us, in Peru.

Cultural Hurdles

Daily I have conversations in Spanish with my practicum teacher about culture. Sometimes I leave with the misguided and arrogant assumption that I understand and that living amidst a foreign culture isn't that hard. Then I have a day like today. During my interactions with our friend Carol, the following situations showed me my true cultural ignorance.

1) I offered for her to use a "modern" kitchen item of ours and in the process belittled her as a person and her country's time-honored methods.
2) I invited her and her daughter over for dinner. Her response was a snappy, "For what?" To which I responded, "For fun!" I still don't know what in my invitation seemed offensive.
3) For a 6:30 dinner I planned for everything to be ready at 7. While waiting for her for 30 additional minutes the food dried out and got cold. In the midst of analyzing my own stress over the situation I was also laughing at myself for even considering that a Peruvian "6:30" dinner would start any time before 8:00 - (the most first and most obvious cultural lesson for a foreigner).

Days like this one I am so grateful that God gave me a love and thirst for learning cultures - to carry me through the embarrassments of doing just that!

Screaming in the Chapman House

No, Im not talking about John doing his Spanish homework.
Josiah has taken to screaming.

He is 15 months old and is quite frustrated with life, unable to walk or to communicate. (Granted- he screams and cries but does not point, reach or say words.) Last week he got a bee sting and his screams were not much different from the ones initiated by a toy out of reach.

It's a good thing he is so stinkin' cute!

Holiday Season in the Air

Christmas music is playing in our house, and the stockings are hung. We are working on finding a tree. However, we found that the only live trees are sold Dec. 24 and kept up for January 6, Kings Day, the celebrated day where the kings visit Jesus. So now we are looking into buying a fake one. Oh my what a stretch! We never wanted a fake one, but you do what you have to do.

This Holiday season came upon us quickly, with no real notice that Thanksgiving was here because it isn't a holiday here. Before we knew it we had been invited to Thanksgiving dinner at another missionary family's house from Tennessee. We had a lovely and grateful holiday and now suddenly Christmas is upon us with summer heat rolling in, beach-wear in the stores right next to the Christmas ornaments. We are singing songs, doing shopping, and experiencing Christmas in a whole new way.