Nathan’s Walking, Christmas, Visitors, and School!

Look who’s walking!

The biggest excitement around here is that Nathan started walking a few weeks ago…he is very proud of his new skill and loves to walk back and forth between our couches, smiling and laughing with Natalie.

Christmas….in three parts

This year we had the opportunity to celebrate Christmas three different times…

First, my parents came to visit in early December – it was wonderful to be able to spend some time with them, we miss family so much!  We bought a small skinny Christmas tree (my mom said it reminded her of Charlie Brown’s tree) but with a few lights and some ornaments it looked festive.  We baked my family’s traditional Christmas cookies, Spritz, and listened to Christmas music.  My parents had brought several gifts from them and from my sisters, so we were able to exchange gifts.  I can’t find the pictures from their trip at the moment…hope to add those soon!

Then, we spent three weeks in Kenya in December, so we were able to celebrate Christmas with Muigai’s family in Kenya.  It was great to meet our newest nephew, Rio (4 months old) and Natalie had a great time playing with her other cousins Taj and Shamal.  Because some of Muigai’s family was traveling over Christmas day, we got together with his family the Sunday before Christmas to celebrate with a meal together.

On Christmas day, it was just the four of us so we went to church in the morning and then went to Splash, a water park in Kenya.  Natalie had a great time on the slides with me and Nathan had fun crawling in the grass with Muigai.   After the water park, we stopped for ice cream and then had a roast chicken dinner.

Nathan on Christmas
Natalie swimming on Christmas
It was definitely a different kind of Christmas for us – for the first time I celebrated Christmas day with no Christmas tree, no presents, no extended family, no candy canes or stockings, and no Christmas lights.  And to be honest, I really missed those things.  But stripped of all the fun cultural things that we do in the US to celebrate Christmas, I tried to focus on the good news of the miracle of the incarnation – God choosing to be born as a tiny baby and dwell with us.

Back in Uganda…

After a wonderful three weeks of visiting friends and family in Kenya, we returned to Uganda and hit the

Wing Kee, Sandy, and our kids in the Chinese outfits they brought

ground running!  A few days after we came back our friends from Hong Kong Wing Kee and Sandy came to visit us.  I met Wing Kee in an international Bible study when I was a student at UNC, and we’ve kept in touch.  He just got married last month, and he and Sandy decided to come to Uganda for their honeymoon, go on a safari, and spend a few days volunteering.  It’s been a fun visit!

Natalie also started school last Monday.  It’s been a difficult adjustment for her, to put it mildly.  We ended up withdrawing her from school last semester because she was having such a difficult time and we thought she needed a little more time to adjust to the culture before starting school.

Natalie dancing at school

I stayed at school with her the first few days to help her try to get comfortable with her teacher, and then our househelp Maureen stayed with her for a few days.  Tuesday was her first day at school alone – the good byes have been difficult but she seems to calm down quickly and have fun once I lea

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