Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas At Casa De Esperanza

Weeks ago, I decided to let the whole staff off the afternoon of Christmas Eve and the morning of Christmas, with one exception, the night guard.  With nineteen kids, I questioned my judgement, and my sanity, more than once.  With the arrival of the two new babies earlier in the week, I was sure I had lost my mind.  One employee had not spent Christmas with her family in 15 years because she never had time off.  I just could not do that to my employees.  We started early Saturday morning being short-staffed.  By 2:00, it was just us. 

Nicole cooked chili for supper.  Not traditional Honduran Christmas food.  The big kids liked it.  The little kids didn't.  We had cokes and cookies and watched Christmas movies.  Our plan was to start putting kids to bed around 10:00.  They got pretty obnoxious and we sent to bed a bit sooner.  Nicole slept in Miran's house with four kids and I slept in the big house with 17.  I didn't sleep.  I stayed in the big house.  After I was fairly sure everyone was asleep,  Matt and I carried the presents in and placed under the tree and got the stocking stuffers.  Most of the stocking stuff was already bagged and that was easy. 

It was really late when we finished.  I should have gone to bed.  But I was reading a really good book and sat down in the playroom to unwind and read a while.  Before long, I heard a door open and saw Jackson in the hall.  I got up and he ran.  I didn't catch him, but I caught Fernando.  When I walked Fernando back to his bed, Jackson was pretending to be asleep.  Then I heard them again in an hour.  After that, I heard every little noise.  With the wind blowing hard, there were lots of little noises. 

We decided we would start at 6:00.  I barely spoke buenos dias, when kids were hopping out of bed at record speeds.  Everyone stampeded from the bedrooms at the same time.  They were so excited with the stockings.

Then we got down to serious business.  The presents under the tree.  

Everyone got a new shirt,
new jeans, and new shoes.
Some of the girls got Converse and some of the boys got soccer shoes.
Brayan had asked for black cowboy boots.  And what it took to find those boots would be a blogworthy story all its own.  I had Matt put that box aside where no one could see it.  All the gifts were open and I said, "oops we forgot one and it has Brayan's name on it.  All the kids cheered.  He is so proud of those boots.

Church and dinner was at 4:00 this afternoon.  All the kids knew, without a doubt, what they were wearing to church.  There were some fine-looking kids at church. 

It was a wonderful day.  The kids had fun.  I am really glad I let my employees off.  I am exhausted.  I kind of feel like I have been torn to shreds.
I will definitely be ready for Tuesday.


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