Dear friends and family,
Isn't Christmas time fun? Of course, it helps that school is out so I have a chance to follow my natural sleep patterns and have time to pursue the impulses that come into my head, but it is more than that.
Amanda is home from Multnomah where she works as Resident Director. The dorm closes for the break so she moved back here to be where the action is !
Emily spent the weekend here making her gift loaves of pumpkin bread because her oven is on the fritz, so it was part of the charm of Christmas to have the girls visiting and yummy smells pervading the house.
Then last night Brett and Nichole called to see if we had the movie IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. We didn't, so they rented and brought it over to watch here and eat popcorn, and John and Emily joined in, too.
Today Amanda, Nichole and I are having a crafting day to finish up projects for Christmas. As you see, I am writing this little note but they are doing more artistic ventures. It's so much fun to have them here enjoying each other! I just love watching the relationships between the kids!
Saturday was a special day. Ron and I went to Saturday Market in Downtown Portland, our first visit there in many years. It was loaded with visual impressions of color and movement, the tents crowded against the city architecture, and the olfactory senses filled with incense, elephant ears, and auditory pleasures of marimba, wooden recorders, and school choirs. A robust and satisfying experience.
Then Saturday evening we went to see the Manhattan Steamrollers at the Schnitzer Concert Hall, a birthday present to Ron from Lindsay and Arthur which delighted him. After years of playing their Christmas CDs, Ron was impressed with how much more of the musical fine points you get in the live performance. The crowd was very enthusiastic and I noticed very middle-aged.! The Manhattan Steamrollers are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and it seemed like most of the crowd started following them in 1974! So we had a day of some diversity, and people everywhere seemed to be relishing the good times.
As you see in the photo our big event this year was Lindsay's marriage to Arthur Mandjek of Cameroon, Africa. They are living and teaching in Tunis, Tunisia. They can't come for Christmas this year but are drowning their sorrows in Paris, poor things. Their wedding brought them to Portland for two months and Arthur's mother came from Cameroon and his cousins from Paris. Many friends of theirs (from her Wheaton days and their Tunisian pals) came from all over the States so it was a joyful celebration of friends joining in to make a special and memorable send-off for their new life.
We are having the kids for Christmas Eve this year because it is Brett's only day off for the weekend. We feel fortunate to have him share it with us. Swing shifts on top of sharing married kids with the in-laws makes scheduling Christmas get-togethers hard! So we enjoy these special times whenever they come. This year we are joined by our exchange student from Viet Nam, Tracy, who is living wih us as she attends her Senior year at Portland Christian High School..
Wishing you the joys of Christmas all through the year
Holly and Ron
Happy New Year