Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas At Casa de Esperanza

Every year in the end of November and the first of December are graduations and such.  This year was no exception.  We are busy for a couple of weeks and we move right in to Christmas preparations.  There were some other issues, some quite large, and we didn't move right in to preparing for Christmas.  Nicole and I picked a day to go shopping for the Casa children and we set it in stone.  Thankfully, we did.  Otherwise, the shopping might not have happened. 

No one, and I mean no one, knew what we were getting for the kids this year.  We did not put it on facebook or tell.  When we put it on facebook, the kids always end up knowing. 

Well, yay!  The shopping was done.  But we were not getting anything else done.  I was not sure we were going to pull of Christmas in 2016. 

I began wrapping Friday night. 

My staff left from 12:00 noon -4:00 p.m., meaning Nicole and I were with the kids until noon on Sunday.  The staff could not leave, I did not have enough things ready to be up there with kids.  The staff left any way.  They had things to do for their own families.

When we are here for Christmas, we have our own traditions.  Nicole cooks chili for supper for Christmas eve.  Matt cooks breakfast on Christmas morning and I make chicken lasagne for lunch on Christmas day.  I did it get it assembled and into the refrigerator before I went on duty. 

Nicole started preparing her chili.  Always before, we have done every Christmas activity in the girls' house.  This year we alternated between the two houses.  We ate Saturday night in the girls' house.  A lot of chili and coke was consumed.  I mean a lot.  And, there was still a lot left.  After dishes were done and the floors were swept and mopped we walked to the plaza in Santa Ana.

Nicole and I and 19 kids.  If there was any doubt that we are crazy, that should prove it.  People were every where.  Some were walking to the plaza like we were.  Some were walking to church.  I thought the cars on main street were driving too fast for as many people as were out.   I had little Josue by hand and Emma by the other.  Emma said, "oh this is such pretty night that we can share together.  Josue was making me a nervous wreck.  He was trying to break and run.

We stopped to see the nativity.  I let go of Josue's hand to take a picture and he was trying to climb into the nativity scene.  He is not Baby Jesus and he was not able to successfully climb the fence and enter the scene.

When we got home, everyone played outside for a while.  They had so much playing outside.  Nicole said I don't think they have this much fun in the day time. 

At 9:00, we went in for torejas.  It is a dessert and everyone has torejas for Christmas.  Some of staff made them before they left. 

Then it was movie time so everyone would settle down before they went to bed. 

I went to my house at 10:00.  Oh, by the way, I did have enough staff for one employee be in each night with the kids at night.  I had options.  I could fill all of those stocking at 10:00 and I was beyond tired or I could get up at 4:00 and do it.  I chose the latter.  I was pretty sure for a while that I did not start early enough.  I was quite impressed with myself with all the things that I accomplished between 4:00 and 7:00 a.m.

For the first time ever, we did Christmas in the boys house.  I liked it.  I hope everyone else did.  I wrote all the kids name on a separate piece of paper and put them in a bowl.  I drew the first child's name and big Josue got to open his present first.  When he was through, he drew the next name and so it went.  Before we worked through all 18 kids, Doris and Yair were getting very nervous that they were not getting anything.  But, finally they did.

That was very calm.  Then they tore into those new stockings and it was anything but calm. 

Matt had been cooking since 7:00, but it was going slower than it normally does.  Nicole and I pitched it and together we got it done.

On a normal Sunday morning, we are late to church.  Every single week.  Nicole and I decided that we would do family church. Church was starting at 11:00.  We had time for everyone to do their chores again. 

Jackson said the opening prayer.  Jose led singing.  Fernando gave a sweet little talk.  I was impressed and pleased that ha had actually prepared and put some thought into it and not just decided to wing it when it was time.  Matt led communion.  Communion is very serious to me.  During the cup, we lost it.  Everyone lost it.  There was nothing serious about what happened.  Glad it was family church.

About 10:00, I had run down to the house and put the lasagne in the oven.  I was thankful that I had put it together earlier. 

After lunch, staff begin returning.  I was very thankful for that,too.  I went to my house and had a Dr. Pepper and then coffee.

It was a great Christmas at Casa de Esperanza this year.

1 comment:

Angela Wells said...

You all are awesome! I have only been there once but I would love to come again and again.