This news actually deserves a post of it's own but I will insert it here. De asked Katie to marry him on Wednesday afternoon, at a beautiful park with big snowflakes falling from the sky! My baby girl is engaged! We love De like a son and are THRILLED to have him in our family, officially. We are not sure when the wedding will be but I'll be sure to let you know! The ring is beautiful (they let me be a part of helping pick it out!) and these two are very happy and excited! Sorry, sorry, sorry I don't have a picture right now but I will post one soon!!!
We have had full, busy days since Wednesday when we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family. Thankfully, I have 6 leaves to my table! Even with that all 20 of us were elbow to elbow, enjoying conversation, laughter and great food. We had all the usual family, but were especially blessed to have my nephew Brian and his wife, Sara, who were here for another special event that would come on Friday:) We enjoyed meeting Bader, Blake's friend from Kuwait very much. I'm pretty sure I've never met anyone so proper and formal and with such good manners! He kept putting his hands together and bowing slightly to me in thanks! He later told Blake that he had a great time, had never had food such as this but loved it and has never met any American's who were so hospitable. How sweet is that?
He wants to take in everything traditionally and culturally that he can while he's here in the U.S. to study, so we invited him again for Christmas dinner. He said he doesn't know much about the American Christmas tradition so I thought we could help him with that!
Bader told us that when he was a boy, they would receive videos and inevitably there would be one with Santa Claus on it. He said, "We did not understand who this man was who came down a tube in your house and deposited gifts under a tree, then left up the tube." His father explained it was an American tradition:) See what an opportunity we have to open our homes and share our traditions and ultimately the love of God with these young international students?
Thursday, I went with my friend Stephanie to work out which was a good thing since we enjoyed a second Thanksgiving dinner at Blaine's moms house with his family. It was equally as yummy and lovely. The little kids LOVE to play together in her big basement so they had loads of fun. I'm still trying to figure out why at the dinner table there was only one conversation going on at a time and it could be easily heard. At my house, there were 5 different conversations going on, it was loud and chaotic (in a fun way). Why is Blaine's family better behaved?? I'm really trying to figure this out:)
Friday was wedding day. My wonderful nephew was set to marry sweet Holly on Friday evening. We had to be at the wedding site for rehearsal at 9:20 a.m. and ended up staying the entire day doing this and that, until the wedding which was in the evening. Blaine and Blake were ushers, Mihiretu did a reading (I was so proud of him!) as did I, Katie did the photography with her Aunt Jenny and Aliya helped in various ways. It was beautiful and a complete blast! We feel privileged to have been a part of their special day!
Saturday morning, we went to the gift opening and then home to pick out the E Family Christmas tree. Everyone but Blake went and the girls chose a HUGE and gorgeous tree! This was Aliya's first tree picking experience and she did well!
In our family we have a tradition that each year, I buy each child a new ornament that is special for them. This way, when they move out they can take them all with them and remember why they were given them. Well, we got all the ornaments out and Aliya was enjoying looking at them all. I explained the tradition to her and then told her to wait a minute, that I had something for her.
I had shopped and purchased 15 special ornaments for her, wrapped each one and put it in a nice plastic tote with a handle. I brought them to her and told her to open them. It was very special and she LOVED them! She loves popcorn (they eat lots of popcorn in Ethiopia!) so I bought her a glass popcorn ornament. Since this year was her first airplane ride, I bought her a glass airplane. All were special and the other kids all oohed and ahhhed over her ornaments which I know made her like them all the more!
The tree is up and beautiful! The house smells like Christmas.
This week filled us up with much love, encouragement, family time, laughter, conversation, dancing, joy, beauty and sharing.
We are thankful indeed!!
I promise pictures to come!! Bug me if I forget!