Friday, December 25, 2009

A Blessed Christmas Season

Warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas, folks.

It is Christmas Day and we are gathered here in the rec-room with RockBand blaring! They've been playing for a couple of hours now!

We are blessed to have Anelyse with us this Christmas. She is Blake's girlfriend from Brazil, and she is simply a delight! She's a very lovely young lady.

Jon and I were fortunate to meet some of her family last weekend. We drove Blake to New Jersey to pick up Anelyse and stayed with her Aunt Magaly, Uncle Camilo, and cousins Felipe and Daniel. Her Mom, Damaris, also came to New Jersey. They are all wonderful, wonderful people.

On Saturday, Jon, Blake, me, Anelyse, and Damaris all travelled a few miles to go to New York City. I wanted to see Ground Zero up close! September 11th had a real impact on me when it all happened, and I was so appreciative to get to view it up close. We also drove down "the main drag".... we saw Times Square and Madison Square Gardens and Radio City Music Hall and David Letterman's NBC studio. I have never seen so many taxis in my life. I am NOT a city girl. The traffic didn't scare me at all, but I couldn't imagine travelling in it every day, or even occasionally. I really like my "country living". It WOULD be nice to go back one day and be able to walk the streets and go in the stores.

On Sunday we went to a Spanish church service. Anelyse's Uncle Camilo is the Pastor of the Spanish-speaking service on Sunday afternoons. The whole service was in Spanish, with the excpetion of a few children's songs which were sung in English. A couple of people took turns translating for us.

We did a "family" ministry in music. There was me on the piano, Blake on the fiddle, Felipe on the guitar, Daniel on the drums, and Anelyse, Damaris, Magaly, and Camilo provided the vocals for Angels We Have Heard On High. It was fun to sing and play with such a musical family! They asked Blake and me to provide a fiddle tune at the end of the service. Magaly wanted "the train song" (Orange Blossom Special) and when we were finished playing it, members of the congregation jumped up and started yelling "One more! One more!!!!!" so we played a medley of St. Anne's Reel, Chicken Reel, and Liberty Two-Step. They loved it and didn't want Blake to stop. Usually we choose "church songs" for church, but I think our New Jersey friends wanted the congregation to experience a little "Ottawa Valley" style music.

Everyone welcomed us very warmly. They are a new church, but are growing at an amazing rate. Camilo & Magaly were missionaries in Venezuela years ago, planting churches; and now they continue to plant churches in New Jersey.

Our experience with different languages was amazing! Anelyse and her family speak English, Portuguese, and Spanish. They have Japanese and Italian in their blood as well, but only know a few words, not the complete language. Camilo speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish, but also speaks Arabic as well. What a treat to hear all the different languages being spoken. Makes me want to learn one! I think I'll try Portuguese, since that's what Anelyse speaks. If she's going to be part of this family, then I need to be able to communicate well with all her friends and family.

I hope to travel to New Jersey again to visit with Magaly & Camilo. I also have hopes of getting to California to visit Jon's family, as well as heading to Oregon to visit my dear friend, Tammie. I've got the passport now....... I just need to figure out where the money comes from. haha. God will get me to these places in HIS time. I just hope it's soon. hahhaha.

Well, I must go and change a load of laundry. I know I shouldn't be doing it on Christmas Day, but the boys are needing some clean clothes! I've procrastinated on the laundry all week. The music from this RockBand is starting to give me a headache, so changing the laundry sounds pretty exciting to me right now. haha.

I trust you are all having a wonderful day in celebrating the birth and life of our Lord & Saviour. I hope you are surrounding yourself with loved ones.

And try not to go overboard on the turkey & dressing! I can't imagine that I will be taking my own advice! hahhahhahaaa.

Merry Christmas, friends.

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