The Advent calendar was a nice addition to our Christmas decorations and we are really looking forward to using it again next year. Johan and I will then have memories of this year and the bible verses we read. Best of all, Ava will be able to enjoy the treats and activities along with us. Even though we plan on spending December in America, I plan on taking the calendar with us, minus the red board, of course.
Christmas was spent in the Free States with Johan's family. I really love going there and have spoken about it many times on the blog. Here, here and here.
There were about 47 of us, aunts, uncles, oumas, oupas and cousins, lots and lots of cousins. We made the trip down with Johan's brother Hennie and his family. 4 hours, 4 adults and 4 children under the age of 4. That was quite an adventure to say the least.
I am very proud to announce that my Afrikaans has come along way and I can now actually enjoy and contribute to the conversations around me. Still only responding in English, but understanding much more. Singing Silent Night and the other carols in Afrikaans was a wonderful experience for me. Finally, I am starting to feel less as an outsider and more apart of the family. It's a bit uncomfortable when everyone is relaxed, and then you see that they have to switch to another language just for you.
These photos are from Christmas Eve at Johan's cousin, Charl's house. Not too many pictures of the food, as Johan and I were too busy stuffing our faces. The starter was mussels in a white wine and garlic butter sauce with fresh brown bread. I ate so many, Johan's aunt came up to me and told me I needed to save room for the main course! Red faced, I had to admit I thought those were the main course. They were so good, I could have eaten the entire pot, and almost did! For the main course, we had beef and chicken shawarmas, in the States we would call them gyros. Yum.
|singing Christmas carols|
|part of the clan|
|I love this little person!|
|Me, Ava and Juan searching for Father Christmas (Santa)|
|Keira shouting for Father Christmas|
|Ava, not so happy with Father Christmas|
|Santa gave Ava her first tea pot for Christmas!|
Christmas Day was spent at Tannie Igna and Oom Hennie gorgeous farm house. There was so much food, I wouldn't even know where to begin with what we ate. From beef fillet to chicken breast, a smoked tuna starter of some sort and so many salads and side dishes. Beautiful desserts brought by my mother in law. All of it was so delicious.
|love the ornaments in the weeping willow|
|all dressed in red.|
|Ava with her Oupa, my father in law|
|Toasting those who had passed or were far away.|
ps: That's you, Charl and Lee
|just chatting about our future...|
We spent New Year's at Zebula, a game lodge / golf estate with three other couples. Again, way too much good food was consumed. A bit more alcohol and loads of laughter. Zebula was our first family trip away with our friends and their families. It made us feel like real grown-ups. With 8 adults and 6 children, we all got along surprisingly well. The house was perfect, the food was perfect and the company couldn't have been better. Looking forward to our next holiday with these folks.
|Can we get in the pool now, Mom?|
|loving my chalk board bunting!|