Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas 2008

This year we had a multicultural and multi-state Christmas. We started out in Columbus with our family and some friends and then headed to Pennsylvania for the bigger family gatherings. Here's a timeline of what we've been doing so far and then you can see some pictures in the slide show below.

December 24
While Naty ran around finishing our Christmas shopping, (we've decided to finish before Thanksgiving next year) I spent 11 hours cooking in the kitchen. She got all of the gifts and I made granola, chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, Pan de Jamon (typical Venezuelan ham bread), and Coca-Cola cake! I never cooked so many things in one day in my life! When Naty came home she finished making a turkey that had "slept" in spices all night. Then at about 10:00 PM Jim and Maria and Juan, some of our friends came over for the traditional midnight meal. Gaby and Marcus tried, but couldn't stay awake that long.

December 25
Marcus and I woke up Gaby and Mommy at about 8:30 singing Christmas songs and playing the Cuatro. We then opened our presents together and the kids started playing with their new toys. We decided not to give them more "stuff" this year and instead gave them tickets to go to a Broadway musical in Pittsburgh on our way to Belleville. Fortunately our friend Juan gave them some pretty cool gifts so they did have some fun toys to play with too.
At about 1:00 in the afternoon we headed over to our friends Magdaleno and Jaquelina's place for some authentic Mexican tacos for lunch. They were so delicious, I don't even know how many we ate! We hung out there for a while and then went to visit several other friends. We made it to Jim and Lori's, Damian and Raquel's, Jose and Gema's, and David and Soraya's after that. We ended up the day with a visit at our house from Nixon and Erika and their little baby girl Yaretzi. Nixon is from Venezuela and Erika is from Mexico so I made the last of the Pan de Jamon for them to enjoy and then we brought the rest along to PA.

December 26
We left Columbus at about 10:00 AM headed for Pittsburgh. We got there at about 1:00 and found a neat little pizzeria for lunch. The show started at 2:00 in Heinz Hall right in downtown Pittsburgh. I hadn't been in Pittsburgh since I was a kid and we went to Pirates games and didn't remember how beautiful the city is. The theatre was amazing, I don't know when it was built, but it looks pretty old and all of the Christmas decorations made it even better. Gaby and Marcus loved the show. Annie is one of their favorite movies and they were singing along with the actors. Gaby was hoping at the end that they would invite us all to sing along and then she could sing at the top of her lungs!
After the show we traveled on through the rain to Belleville.

December 27
Unfortunately I woke up with an incredibly sore throat for the second day in a row and decided to go to the emergency room. They didn't do the test, but said it was probably strep and gave me an antibiotic. After then, we had a Peachey gathering with all of my aunts, uncles and cousins at Gerald and Sue's house at noon. I tried to keep my distance from the babies but enjoyed seeing everyone. Sheila had gotten a pinata for all the kids and that was a lot of fun. Aside from that we pretty much just ate, watched college football and talked the day away.

December 28
After church we had a get together with my family at my mom and dad's house. We also celebrated Gaby and Mackenzie's birthdays along with the yummy Christmas meal. After eating and washing dishes, Gaby and Kara read us the Christmas story from Gaby's new children's Bible and then we opened presents. Later we had birthday cake and ice cream and then Naty and I and David and Brandi decided we needed a walk with the dogs to burn off some of our new calories!

December 29
I got up semi-early to go over to Shawn and Emily's farm and help with the chores. I can't say I helped with the milking, because I got there too late. I did get a gallon of milk before the milk truck came though, so that was yummy too! Ron and Sheri's son Isaac came to the Yoder's house all day so Gaby and Marcus had a blast playing with him while Naty and I typed up our goals and prayer requests for 2009. That evening we celebrated Christmas and opened gifts with the whole Yoder family. This is Naty's "adoptive" American family that she lived with when she first came to the US. There were 16 people and lots of kids with lots of fun and lots of noise! I actually had a headache when we went to bed at about 10:15.

December 30
Gaby came and woke me up at 5:08 AM. My alarm was set for 5:30, but she beat the alarm! She was so excited because we were going to Shawn and Em's farm to milk. Marcus eventually got up too and we made it to the barn by about 5:45. The kids woke up Melissa and Olivia and they all went out to the barn to feed the calves and chickens and run around and have a lot of fun. In the meantime I helped out Shawn by forking out some calf pens. That was a good workout!!
During the day we went to visit my Hostetler grandparents and Naty's host-grandparents, Ambrose and Katie, at Valley View. We then went to Lewistown to do some shopping at Super Shoes on our way in and then at Friendship Bookstore.
After supper at my mom and dad's place we went up to Locust Grove, our "home church", to meet with our Mission Support Team and share our goals and pray with them.

December 31
Today we were planning to head back to Ohio, but thanks to a little bit of snow and an open invitation to stay, we decided to stay and welcome 2009 here in Belleville. I went to get Kara and Sydney and they came to play with Gaby and Marcus here at the Yoder's and I am finally finishing a blog post now. Tonight we are going to Locust Grove again to see the "Great Whoopie Pie Drop". If you don't know what a whoopie pie is, that means you need to come to Belleville and eat one, it's too difficult to explain, it's one of those things you just have to experience!

As you read this I hope that you have a wonderful 2009. Enjoy the pictures too, they should make sense after reading all of this stuff!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gabriela's Birthday

We had a lot of work, but also a lot of fun celebrating Gaby's seven years of life yesterday. Naty and I made a HUGE pot of chicken corn soup and cornbread along with some carrot cake cup cakes. Gaby said she didn't want a cake, she doesn't like cake!
Gaby wanted it to be a Native American party so that is why she has all of the feathers. I wanted to make a tee pee outside but with the five degree temperatures we decided to stay inside! We painted on the kitchen wall instead and that was just as fun. Before Gaby went to sleep I asked her if she had a happy birthday. She said that it was the best day she ever had, so I guess it was worth it!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

the latest

Greetings! Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. But, we have vacation now so I think I'll get more posts up here. Here are some pictures of all of our happenings in the past month. It's late and I didn't put captions this time so you'll just have to guess what's going on.