Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Tropical Christmas

As my American friends and family begin posting their complaints about the freezing weather on facebook, we are sitting here sweating with temperatures hitting over 100F (40C+) and 80% humidity every. single. day.  I hear them say, at least you have air conditioning (for which I am VERY thankful) or go swimming (although the water is warm and not really refreshing at the moment), and I reply, yes, but you can sit by the fire and wrap up in a warm, snuggly blanket.  The grass is always greener, right?!

Right now it is currently 103F outside, and I am sitting in our air conditioned homeschool room finishing up Christmas shopping online for our family and friends in America.  I have so much I can complain about, but I have so much for which to be thankful.  I am trying hard to dwell on the positives, and ignore the negatives.

We are doing our yearly traditions of decorating the outside and inside of the house.  Making our tropical snowman (out of boxes) and baking Christmas cookies.  Last week our town had a fun Christmas street parade and markets, although it rained for most of it, we had a great time.  Last week our town also held a Carols by Candlelight.  My friend helped organise it and over 1500 people attended.  It was amazing.  I even heard a clear presentation of the Gospel.  God is good.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas season!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Preparing for another Good-bye...

For some reason life here in the Territory means saying good-bye...a lot.  I have made many friends, some who have become very dear to me, and then within a few month they were moving.  It's a very transient lifestyle here.  I will admit, it makes me a bit hesitant to make new friends, but at the same time I don't want to miss out on good friends even if it is just for a brief period of time.

In less than two weeks, we'll be saying goodbye to a family that has become very dear to us.  Even as I write this I'm tearing up.  I know God is moving them on and has great things in store for them.

This past week us mums and the kiddos went on a little holiday to Darwin to spend some time together before they move.  We had a wonderful couple of days and made lots of fun memories.

We went bowling, played laser tag, went swimming at the wave pool,
beach hopping, shopping, and played at the park in the rain.

A benefit to homeschooling - 
having places like this all to ourselves while all the other kids are in school!

We also celebrated Autumn's birthday.

Last week we had a little farewell dinner for them.
They are going to be missed!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Autumn's 14th Birthday!

"The days are long, but the years are short."

I heard that saying many years ago, and it rings so true as I write this post.  I have a 14 year old daughter.  I have a 14 year old.  How did that happen?!  I remember bringing her home from the hospital in our little blue Jeep on a cold snowy day, and here we are trying to eat ice cream cake before it melts.  Autumn has such a tender heart, and loves serving the Lord with us in Barunga.  We are so blessed.

She really wanted an ice cream cake,
thankfully Darwin recently got a Baskin Robbins!

A birthday manicure.

Dinner with friends.

Lunch with friends.

She had a wonderful birthday and was spoiled with gifts from her friends, and even some of my friends got her gifts.  Next year we'll be a year away from the sweet 16.  Bring on the waterworks.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Meet the Newest Member of our Family!

Say hello to Steve, our newest pet!
Named after the wonderful Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Our Annual "Come Give Thanks with the Yanks" Dinner

This is our second year of hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for our friends here in Australia.  I had several people ask me months ago if we were going to do it again this year.  It is so much fun to organise and plan, and it is such a blessing to have everyone in the same room.  We invited 80 people and had nearly 70 show up!

We were able to use our friend's restaurant again.

I am so thankful for my friend, Kristine, who sent me the plates, serviettes, candles, and other decorations.  It's so important to me to have it look as much like an American Thanksgiving as possible.  Kristine delivered!  What a blessing!

I am so thankful for a friend who make all 4 turkeys and the mashed potatoes.
What a huge help that was!

Everyone brought a dish to share.

I ordered a thanksgiving craft from Oriental Trading.
My wonderful dad sent that to us along with some other goodies!

All ready to eat.
For many this was their first Thanksgiving dinner!

One of the many amazing desserts people brought.

We had an amazing evening.  Being so far from home during this time of year is difficult for me.  I love being with my family during the holidays.  But as I was sitting at the table surrounded by friends, I was reminded of how blessed we are.  Many of these people have become like family to us. Everyone had a lovely evening and enjoyed celebrating Thanksgiving together.  We invited one man who is from Maryland, literally an hour from where I grew up.  When we invited him, he said he had resolved himself to never have another Thanksgiving, before he left our dinner, I asked him how he enjoyed it, and he said, "This was amazing!  Thank you!"  That made my day.  I can't wait until next year!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!

We had an amazing Thanksgiving, and we are on to Christmas!

Sorry for the lag in posts lately.  I've been sick for a few weeks, but I'm finally on the mend and will have posts scheduled all this week.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

An American Thanksgiving in Australia

This past weekend we were invited to a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by some American friends.  We have gone to their house nearly every year we've lived in Australia.  Being so far from our family and friends is difficult during the holidays, but it is such a blessing and encouragement to be surrounded by friends who have become like family to us.  Here are a few photos from our day.

Preparing the feast!

Mrs. Chapman putting the kids to work.

They loved helping.

The men working hard.

So blessed to be friends with this lovely lady.

Working on drawing turkeys.

The main attraction!

Territory Baptist Church meeting for food and fellowship.

Praying for the meal.

Sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole,
creamed corn, stuffing, turkey, gravy, and more!

And of course, it was fun to have some cuddles with this handsome fellow.

This was from their morning service.
Patrick had the privilege of bringing the message from God's Word.

Happy Thanksgiving!