Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Celebration at Encino Park

Wow...what a day! Christmas at Encino Park Elementary School was a major production! The staff went all out to make it a special day for the kids...beginning first thing in the morning when Chris Meyers met them as they entered the door, dressed in one of his many costumes.
We had a shortened schedule during the day, leaving time right after lunch for the good stuff! They started with an all school assembly, which with over a thousand children is a huge group. The teachers presented "The Twelve Days at Encino Park" set to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas". We each had a part to play and the kids got a kick out of it! Then we had an old fashion sing-a-long...I had volunteered to lead it, not knowing they sang Hanukah songs as well as songs in Spanish!

After the sing-a-long, the parties began. It was fun seeing the kinders as well as the fifth graders having a great time. I can't wait until next year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Busy Sunday...

Sunday started out clear and sunny but much colder than we've seen it so far. Larry started serving in "Host Ministries" where he drives a twelve passenger cart out to the far reaches of the parking lot to shuttle families into the church. He loves doing it, but this was the first time since we've lived here that I've seen him complain about the was actually only 32 degrees, but it did seem much colder...maybe our blood is starting to thin out. We'll find out next week when we go back to Illinois for Christmas.

In my Sunday School class, we celebrated Jesus' birthday with a birthday party, complete with cupcakes that symbolized the message of salvation. Although I've done it for years, it was new to these families, so it was a special time for the kids. We also had a mini live nativity and drama for the younger children...what a special time that was!

In the evening we had our life group over for our Christmas Party. Like "real" San Antonio people, we served tacos and tamales with all the trimmings! We had invited the family that we had chosen to shop for this Christmas, and gave them their gifts. Then we ended with a white elephant gift exchange for the rest of was a lot of fun!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Awesome Evening...

Tonight we had another Christmas Party for our Sunday School Class (which takes place on Saturday after church...does that make it "Saturday School"?). Anyway, it was after the 5pm service and held at Dennis and Cindy Mean's home. They have a beautiful home, but it had been transformed into a "Winter Wonderland"! Cindy is an artist and her work can be seen throughout the house. The yard is gorgeous with a pool and outdoor patio, complete with a fireplace. It was too cold outside for most folks, but Larry and I along with some other transplanted midwesterners ate our wonderful BBQ pork roast and trimmings outside on the veranda. In spite of the fact that I'm missing home, God is blessing me with unique memories of our first Christmas in Texas!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Amazing Sight!

We were invited to dinner tonight by our good friends the Raymers. We had a wonderful time talking and sharing during our meal at a Cajun restaraunt and then went for a drive to see some of San Antonio at Christmas time. We had planned on going down to the Riverwalk and taking a carriage ride around to see the tree at the Alamo, but because of the rain, we changed our plans. Instead, Tom took us to see the live Nativity put on at one of the local was quite a sight! When you enter the gate, they give you a CD which brings it all to life, complete with dialog from the characters. You get to see Gabriel appearing to Mary as a young girl, as well as King Herod with the setting just as it was in Bible Times. There are people in costumes wandering the streets, as well as Roman soldiers on horseback. The soldiers even approach your car and check out your passengers. You are given a gold coin, which you must pay to the guard at the gate before you enter the city. You get to see village people selling their wares on the street as well as the three wise men travelling to see the newborn King. At the very end, you see the stable complete with Mary, Joseph and the Baby as well as angels rejoicing up in the sky! The entire ride takes about a half hour and all characters are real...complete with live animals of every kind. The skies even cleared during dinner so we could see the event as it was meant to be seen. It was truly an amazing production and I wish I had taken my camera with me!

Monday, December 10, 2007

T'was Three Weeks Before Christmas...

Well, except for the weather, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Until today, it's been in the 80's, but everyone still seems in the Spirit. I guess those who reside in San Antonio are used to this weather during the holidays. Today a cold front came through and it was cold enough for coats...that made me happy!

This weekend was the Christmas Party for HEB. Since they hadn't had one for several years, Larry decided to have it at our house. It was a lot of work getting ready for it, but it was also a lot of fun. We had over thirty people and served various finger foods. Larry grilled Shrimp Kabobs, Bacon Wrapped Scallops and Beef Tenderloin, while I prepared the other appetizers in the kitchen. I think people enjoyed getting together to celebrate the holidays.

Sunday night we were invited by our favorite new neighbors to the Christmas program at their church. Wow...were we in for a big surprise! It's a really old Baptist Church just a few blocks from the Alamo downtown and was a gorgeous building! The decorations were fabulous and the music set the tone for a celebration worthy of our Saviour! It will be one of my favorite Christmas memories of this first Christmas in San Antonio, I'm sure!