Let the baking begin

With Jim’s share of the turkeys done (10 in all I think), he cleared out space in the freezer and refrigerator so I could start my cookies. I had one of the girls come in and help me prepare the dough for the slice-and-bake cookies because that had to go into the freezer at least overnight (or until whatever day we decide to make that kind). Then, after borrowing cooling racks from Candy and Angie (thank you sooo much, ladies), I mixed up the dough for the cookie cutter cookies and put it to chill overnight. Tomorrow a group of the girls wil help me cut out and bake the cookies which we will then freeze until it gets a little closer to Christmas. Then we will rotate groups of girls in to help decorate them when the time comes. During the week I will have different groups of girls come in and help with the baking frenzy. I have about 9 different types of cookies I want to make not only for the girls’ enjoyment, but to give to the other dorm parents and staff as well. Please pray for continued good health. It was around this time last year that I was dealing with the first bouts of kidney stones (the worst ones didn’t hit until after the first of the year). I want to be a full participant in all the festivities this year!

God bless!
Jim & Kate

Shop ’til you drop

Jim and I spent the last two days trying to get the last of the Christmas shopping done for our girls. We were able to get (with some help from Mike) some much-needed new sofas for the girls’ sala. They should be delivered next week as an early Christmas surprise for the girls! We also found some of the final items to use as stocking stuffers. We got each of the girls a stocking while we were in the States last month for my mom’s birthday. They will get their presents from Mike and Dottie at the banquet on the 23rd, but we will give them their stocking of goodies on Christmas Day. It took Jim and I about 5 hours on Wednesday to order the sofas and go to Walmart and Cemaco. Then on today, Jim spent another 5 1/2 hours getting the things we didn’t/couldn’t get Wednesday. But I think we’re pretty well set, Praise God, and can shift our focus to things around the house!

God bless!
Jim & Kate

Appreciation and tradition

Last night we finally got to go to the “White House” (briefly) before being redirected to the Feeding Center (the “Orange House”) outside of Chimaltenango. Brother Teddy had invited the American staff to a Christmas dinner in appreciation for all the work we do for the children at Casa. He also shared what his ministry was doing through the feeding center. We were fed A wonderful turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and peach cobbler for dessert. We also each received a small gift. The men were told to share (candy and home-made goodies), but the women were told they didn’t have to (body lotion).

When we got home, the girls said they had a tradition where the “man of the house” put the star on the top of the Christmas tree and lit it. So Jim got out the ladder and did the honors. Then the girls brought out letters they had made that spelled out “Merry Christmas”. They gave me the “M” for Merry and told me to tape it to the wall. Then each girl that had a letter came up and taped their letter in place. After the letters were in place, the girls got the reindeer they had made and taped them on the wall around the letters. Then the photo session began! Group photos, individual photos, photos with friends, photos with Jim and I….lots and lots of photos! Finally we sent all our girls off to bed and went to fall into ours as well! It was a memorable evening all around.

God bless!
Jim & Kate

Gently shaken

We’ve had 5 (yes, 5!) earthquakes today off the shore of Guatemala near Escuintla. The first one was while we were at breakfast this morning, and the most recent one was just before dinner! They ranged in magnitude from 4.4 – 5.9, with the first and last being the two strongest (5.8 and 5.9 respectively). Don’t worry, they were not enough to cause any damage for us, some went unnoticed by many (I only felt 3 of them). Will have to check the news to see how the folks on the coast fared. I was just relieved they weren’t up by San Marcos (they tend to have quite a few) because one of our jefas is up near there visiting family for the week. Please pray for those that may have been affected, and that things don’t intensify.

God bless!
Jim & Kate

Jim joins in

So, I’m lagging behind in the whole Christmas prep flurry. The girls decorated on Friday, and last night Jim began cooking some of the turkeys for Christmas. Turkey #1 is finished and de-boned, and turkey #2 is getting ready to go into the oven. Now, you may say, isn’t it a little early to be cooking turkeys for Christmas? Well, normally I’d say yes, but the banquets are only 3 weeks away and last I heard we have almost 21 turkeys to be cooked. No, Jim is not cooking all 21, but he is helping the other ladies put a dent in that number so that no one has to do too many. Besides, he loves to cook and is good at it! In the meantime, I sit back and listen to my Christmas music and pour through the new cookie cookbook we got in the States trying to decide which yummy morsels the girls and I can start whipping up in the coming weeks! We also got a set of holiday cookie cutters to aid in the process. Yes, soon our kitchen will be cookie central, and wonderful smells will be drifting all through the house…yum!

God bless!
Jim & Kate

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