Sunday, December 28, 2008

Our Christmas

We have been so busy this month and then just enjoying each other that I have not taken the time to blog about what we have been doing. I wanted to take some time and just share what we've been up to lately.
We put up our tree and the kids got to put all the decorations up this year. Usually in the past I let them put them on and then later I re-arrange a few so they're not on top of each other, but this year they did a great job, and had so much fun doing it.

December 12th was the Middle School/High School Concert. We enjoyed going and seeing the older kids perform traditional and more contemporary Christmas music. I think my favorite was the hand-chimes. It doesn't seem very common to hear those anymore.
December 16th was the Elementary Concert. It was the first time we've actually attended, but since we have a first grader now we wouldn't miss it. Miriam was definitely in her element and loved every moment. Before the concert started she got to hang out with her friends for a bit. Here's a photo of Miriam with Maggie (left) and Lizi (middle)...two of her best friends.
The next day I had the privilege of helping with Miriam's class Christmas Party. Zach also got to be involved which was a lot of fun. We played Christmas Bingo with M&M's, made our own Reindeer, and had an ornament hunt around the room. We finished our party with green tree shaped cookies and red kool-aid. We had a lot of fun.
We went to a friends house for dinner one night and they let us borrow Home Alone 1 and 2. The kids had a lot of fun cuddling on the couch watching a new Christmas favorite.

December 20th - Velence Orphanage Trip - The youth from church and students at school were collecting blankets and toys to deliver to an orphanage about 40 minutes outside of town with about 94 kids. The couple in charge arranged to have a verse stitched into each blanket for the children. Romans 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. It was a special thing to be part of. Most of the kids at the orphanage are between 6-20 years of age. This is an orphanage that the high-schoolers have visited several times so many of them had relationships with children already. Miriam found the little girl that received her present and another student translated for her as she tried to talk to her. She had bought her a bead set and she was able to work with the girl on starting a necklace. Miriam is so social it is not difficult for her to try and talk to people she doesn't know. Here are some pictures of the day. We got home from the Orphanage Trip around 1ish, found three packages from grandparents at the school and then got ready for the Christmas Program for the church later that night. It was raining a bit, so that's why there are little white dots, but here is our family photo after the service.
The kids really liked the candlelite part singing Silent Night.
I had to take a picture of this because Miriam said it looked like chocolate:) That's my girl!
On Monday we made a family favorite - Orange Cookies. The kids got to wear their aprons and they were watching the test cookie as the oven worked it's magic and the kids cleaned the beaters.
On the 23rd we celebrated Christmas Adam (day before Christmas Eve) with our Campus Crusade family. It was a nice night of food, singing and hanging out with some friends. I felt like after this night Christmas morning was just around the corner....getting excited.
A special pudding treat we enjoy, for breakfast Christmas Eve.
They got to open one present - which was their new PJ's....
Setting out Christmas cookies and milk for Santa...Miriam made us promise that we wouldn't eat the cookies. We didn't. In the morning she came down and quickly checked the plate and said "He must be real, he's really real"!
We were so blessed by having packages arrive before Christmas. Our tree was beautiful and we had a great time opening presents.
Aaron saved a special treat for Miriam for her Christmas breakfast - Froot Loops. She was so excited, this is one of her favorite cereals. Here are two of the things they received. Most of our fun was recorded on video so I don't have as many pics of opening presents.
We are started a tradition this year of making a birthday cake for Jesus to help us refocus and remember what the holiday is really about. We talked about what we could bring Jesus as our gift to Him this year.
On Christmas Day 'The Tale of Despereaux' was released. We considered going on Christmas Day and thought it was nice to be home and move at our own pace. We went on the 26th and had the mall to ourselves. The only things open at the mall were the McDonald's and the movie theatre. Zach has been seeing previews for this movie for quite a while and really wanted to see it. It was a good movie.
This has become one of Zach's favorite movies, and if you see him ask him to do his wall-e and eva impression. It's something you'll remember!
Another favorite is Kung-Fu Panda. On Sunday the kids had Ramen noodles for dinner and I gave them their 'kid' chopsticks to use. They didn't miss a bite.
We have been looking for an electric griddle for a while now because we like when Aaron makes french toast for us. Here is Zach 'helping' Aaron with his first batch on the new griddle.
On Monday we got our Christmas package from Grandma Martha and we got some cool stuff. Zach got a football guys set in of course 'Ohio State Buckeyes'. It is so much fun!
Miriam got more clothes for her American Girl doll named 'Miriam'. We had fun getting her dressed up and changing her clothes.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The Langs

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fun at the Market

Today Zach and I were able to go to the Covered Market in town with Pam and baby Thomas, who was an angel the whole time. Slept except for eating, then went back to sleep:) We had a really good time walking around, shopping and eating. Zach was a perfect gentlemen as the ladies shopped, talked and got to hang out. I can't mention the things I purchased in case family reads this :), but I got some great deals...what a treat. Zach found some cool wooden swords so he had a sword fight with another kiosk worker and then bought one for him and Miriam, they had their names carved on the handles. Here are a couple pics of our fun from the morning!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Silent Night.wmv

Here is the second video, it's more up close, hopefully it's not too grainy so you can actually see this kids. Plus you should get a giggle out of the little guy up front. For once it wasn't Miriam trying to get the mic.

When He Comes.wmv

Here is the first video from the kids singing this morning in church. Zach is sort of in the middle and Miriam is all the way to the left. They had a good time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

We Love Packages

We recently got two packages from good friends Ben and Carmen Thomas. We got some staples and some fun things. The kids have had fun with the Leapfrog cards and I'm so ready to dive into chocolate. The diet is already shot for the weekend with Thanksgiving food and desserts.

Thank you guys for the package. Thank you for the picture of the boys and the picture from Oliver, it's on our fridge!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

The day is almost over, but I wanted to make sure I took a moment to say how thankful I am for so many things in my life. I'm thankful for the family I have, here and in America. I'm thankful for the way God continues to provide for our family. We had 7 other people over for Thanksgiving today and really just got to relax and enjoy the day together. What's fun is our kids always think that when adults come over they are also here to spend time with them....and most of the time they are. We appreciate and love how our friends love on our kids.

I'm attaching a link to my facebook photos, and according to the fine print at the bottom of the webpage you shouldn't have to have facebook to access them. I hope it works:

I can happily say the dishes are all done...and I think I'm siging off and going to bed, it's almost 11:45 and I think I'm ready to get some good rest. No baking tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh What a Boy!

Zach is all boy! He was outside playing the other day and somehow discovered this huge worm which he was happy to bring and show to me and Miriam. He played with the worm like it was a pet for almost 15 minutes. Had him sliding down the pumpkin out front and pretending he had a voice and was talking. It's always an adventure having a little boy. We just re-discovered a plastic sword we brought back from the States and it has a lot of tape on it so it will last a little longer.

Friday, November 7, 2008

All Saint's Day

When we first moved to Lithuania back in 2000 one of the first cultural things we experienced was All Saint's Day. There was one of the largest cemetaries almost right behind our apartment building. We were taken there by some friends and it was one of the prettiest things I had seen. Rows and rows of candles and flowers laid out to remember loved ones or friends that has passed away. It didn't seem scary or strange, just serile. This year I thought the kids were old enough to go with me to the cemetary. We past by it on the way to the store and they saw a few candles and when asked if they wanted to go back with me they seemed pretty excited. After dinner we walked around looking at the dates, flowers, pictures and candles. Poor Miriam even burned her finger on one trying to move it to see a date. I thought Zach might be a bit scared, but he was running around, asking me to come look at things. I hope it was a neat experience for them.

I think this was just a memorial wall with many names and dates. I thought it was pretty.

'Where should I go next?'

Miriam thought these flowers and candles were 'so beautiful'.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Now we Know Why the Printer Won't Work

Someone forwarded this to me today, and it made me laugh, so I wanted to pass it on. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The video clip is above.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Middle School Service Project Skit

I've been meaning to post the video of the middle schoolers doing the skit that they presented from the service project weekend from October 10-11.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall Festival

Last night we had our Campus Crusade Fall Festival. It is an open invitation so everyone in the community is invited to celebrate with us. Miriam and Zach had a good time dressing up, playing games and doing a candy parade collecting candy from Staff members as they sat in their offices. I was happy with the kids costumes this year. Instead of Miriam being a princess, ballerina or some other 'girlie' thing I suggested going as spiderwoman. She loved the idea and it was a huge hit. She looked so cute.
We got a little group pic of her with some of her friends.
Zach was going to go as a basketball player or a football player, but then we thought of something with a cape. With only an hour before we were supposed to leave we put together Underdog. Aaron tried to put black socks on his ears but they wouldn't stay.
Here are just some other fun pics:
Yes, she got an apple
Aaron and Zach waiting for a turn in line
A happy Zach putting candy in his bag