I'm not gonna lie......I miss family this time of year. It's amazing how many of the things we've done for Christmas we've done because of the delight it would bring to our kids. Without them, it just isn't as much fun. And no matter how old I get, I still wish I could celebrate Christmas with my parents, my sister and her family, and my brother and his family. I miss John's side of the family, too, though we usually do Thanksgiving with them so that's when we miss them the most.
So, this is my picture of family (sorry they are a bit blurry today!).....We are buying (I hope) this beautiful cupboard from another missionary who left a while back. I think it's meant for dishes, but we use it as a bookshelf and game cupboard (there are more shelves below with solid doors on them). On this shelf are pictures of John and I when we were dating, and of Daniel and Kelly and Suz and Theo. Atop another bookshelf are pictures of Daniel's high school and college graduations (would really like a wedding picture!). And yet another shelf has pictures of Suz's high school graduation and a wedding picture of her and Theo.
My view.....this is looking out my front door. We have security bars on our doors and windows so I decided to take the pictures looking out through the bars. The problem with bars that keep people out is that sometimes you feel like they are also keeping you in. The difference is that we have a key and aren't really imprisoned in our house! We have a nice covered terrace. Beyond the walkway is a wall that separates our house from the missionary neighbors and beyond that is their house. That house has been mostly empty since June, so we're happy we'll be getting neighbors tomorrow!
And this is looking out the back door. The wall between us and the neighbors is about two feet away, so there's not much to look at out that way. It seems that a lot of boys live over there. I hear adolescent voices all the time and the constant thwack! thwack! of a flat soccer ball being kicked around. Every evening as I'm cooking supper I hear somebody moving chairs around and sweeping the porch and yard. This is kind of a ritzy neighborhood, but the house right behind us is probably one of the poorest people in the neighborhood. And we're probably the 2nd poorest!!! Our mission bought this property a long time ago. But we couldn't afford to rent in this neighborhood now. The houses aren't necessarily that amazing. It's all about location. It's close to several large NGO's and to an exclusive private French school.