|Minoca and Nolita|
The night before we baked seven chocolate and carrot cakes, which are the kids' favorites!
|Fresh French bread made with some cassava flour from the local bakery, fried eggs, and fried polony (similar to bologna).|
For breakfast we had Egg McMuffins, Nampula syle of course!
|Ofeita, Ronilda, Absadia, Cocas, and Alfenia.|
|Jose, Gil, Little Victor, Canito, Manuel, and Marinho.|
|Cocas, Graça, Little Victor, Pilonte, and Jeremias.|
|Brothers feeding sisters.|
There were some writing games/competitions, led by TJ.
|Me, Minoca with Aya, and Virginia organizing the presents people sent.|
We are so, so grateful to those who sent us boxes with the most fantastic gifts this year!
|Virginia, Minoca, and Graça with Aya with all the presents.|
Now that the kids are mostly teenagers it's not as easy to know what they would really love. So opening each box and finding clothes, sunglasses, pocket knives, hair stuff, watches and everything else was so exciting! It is really touching to discover that people who have not even met us have lovingly picked such perfect gifts for each of our kids.
We put all the presents in these little plastic bags.
|Alfenia, Jose, Minoca, and Dorcas.|
The kids were so excited they wanted to take pictures before even opening them!
|Leila, TJ, Ofeita, Isaque, and Jose.|
Everyone watches and listens intently as TJ demonstrates how to properly use a Pez dispenser.
|Little Victor with Aya, Estela, Atija, Little Felix, Ofeita, Alfenia, Dorcas, and Jose.|
|All the kids.|
|Jeremias and VoVo.|
Stylish shirts, sunglasses, and watches for our older boys who will hopefully be fitting in perfectly at college next year.
|Little Victor with Aya.|
|Estela, Cocas, Graça, Nolita, Anabela, Ronilda, Leanora, Minoca with Leila, Alfenia, Dorcas, Ofeita, Atija, and Virginia with Aya.|
The girls LOVE their sunglasses and beautiful new necklaces. I'm sorry you can't see the necklaces and earrings in each box but they are so, so pretty and I am SO happy each of our girls now has something special like this!
Alberto and Flora returned from culinary school in Beira just in time to make the most incredible 5 Star dinner for almost 50 people! They arrived in full chef's uniforms (but since it's almost 100˚ everyday now they ended up with only their hats by the time it was ready to eat). We were amazed and extremely impressed with the delicious dinner they served us!
|Steak with french fries, rice with veggies, an apple, and a special drink.|
Nobody here would ever imagine that children living in an orphange would taste a meal like this but every one of our kids had a huge steak today! We could not have found a more delicious dinner anywhere in the city!
Apples - the rare, exotic, most desired, once-a-year luxury treat! Sometimes they can't even be found in the stores so we are relieved that we were able to get the apples they all asked for on Christmas!
|Dorcas, Isaque, Alfenia, and Jose.|
|Pilonte, Little Victor, Jeremias, Marinho, Francisco, Canito, and Belson.|
|Ronilda, Graça, Minoca, and Cocas.|
A Christmas Tree appeared out of nowhere at the 11th hour!
|Little Victor, Felix, Cocas, Yohani, Virginia, Martinho, Mauricio, and Jordao.|
There was music and dancing (African Christmas style - sorry for not having pics or a video), a slide show, and then carrot cake, chocolate cake, and ice cream. Today was a good day.
Marta and Silimnone sitting in their doorway.
Cocas spinning Yohani.
And finally at the 12th hour the Christmas Tree disappeared back to wherever it came from.
Thank you so, so much to everyone who has made it possible for us to make the day we celebrate Jesus the best day of the year!