Holiday Highlights Part 2

IMG_20151223_091221.jpgA long walk around the big lake in Pardeeville.  We saw lots of geese who haven’t felt the need to leave for the winter.IMG_20151223_124629Christmas cookie decorating with the family.  Many cookies were consumed during the process.  The wreaths were my favorite.IMG_20151224_174049Christmas Eve service in Rio.  It was a beautiful reminder of the reason we celebrate with carols, scripture and of course, candles.  Singing, “Silent night, Holy night, Son of God, loves pure light…”

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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas; there wasn’t a sound.
Not a possum was stirring; no-one was around.
We’d left on the table some tucker and beer,
…Hoping that Santa Claus soon would be here;
We children were snuggled up safe in our beds,
While dreams of pavlova danced ’round in our heads;
And Mum in her nightie, and Dad in his shorts,
Had just settled down to watch TV sports.
When outside the house a mad ruckus arose;
Loud squeaking and banging woke us from our doze.
We ran to the screen door, peeked cautiously out,
Snuck onto the deck, then let out a shout.
Guess what had woken us up from our snooze?
But a rusty old Ute pulled by eight mighty kangaroos.
UtewithKangaroosThe cheerful man driving was giggling with glee,
And we both knew at once who this plump bloke must be.
Now, I’m telling the truth it’s all dinki-di,
Those eight kangaroos fairly soared through the sky.
Santa leaned out the window to pull at the reins,
And encouraged the ‘roos, by calling their names.
‘Now, Kylie!
Now, Kirsty!
Now, Shazza and Shane!
On Kipper!
On, Skipper!
On, Bazza and Wayne!
Park up on that water tank. Grab a quick drink,
I’ll scoot down the gum tree. Be back in a wink!’
So up to the tank those eight kangaroos flew,
With the Ute full of toys, and Santa Claus too.
He slid down the gum tree and jumped to the ground,
Then in through the window he sprang with a bound.
AussieChristmas
He had bright sunburned cheeks and a milky white beard.
A jolly old joker was how he appeared.
He wore red stubby shorts and old thongs on his feet,
And a hat of deep crimson as shade from the heat.
His eyes – bright as opals – Oh! How they twinkled!
And, like a goanna, his skin was quite wrinkled!
His shirt was stretched over a round bulging belly
Which shook when he moved, like a plate full of jelly.
A fat stack of prezzies he flung from his back,
And he looked like a swaggie unfastening his pack.
He spoke not a word, but bent down on one knee,
To position our goodies beneath the pine tree.
Surfboard and footy for us two.
And for Dad, tongs to use on the new BBQ.
A mysterious package he left for our Mum,
Then he turned and he winked and he held up his thumb;
He strolled out on deck and his ‘roos came on cue;
Flung his sack in the back and prepared to shoot through.
He bellowed out loud as they swooped past the gates –

“MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, and GOOD ON ‘YA, MATES!”

Adapted by Yvonne Morrison

Holiday Travels

Today we leave for Christmas.  I’m closing the door on all our packing, sorting and planning.  And I’m looking forward to the holidays with family and friends.  First up, Sacramento in rainy and cool northern California.  I don’t mind Christmas rain because we definitely need all the moisture we can get in California.  IMG_9988And then we’re off to Wisconsin.  Although it is cold in Wisconsin, it’s not cold enough.  We might not have snow, there might not be sledding (picture from sledding in 2013 when we were engaged) but I’ll get to experience this Wisconsin brown that I’ve been hearing so much about.  Christmas may not be white but it will still be wonderful.

I hope to be updating our adventures along the way but I’m usually better about using Instagram when we’re traveling so add me: joycandee and follow us through the season.  See you all in the New Year!

Christmas Lights

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One of the Christmas traditions we enjoy is walking around and seeing Christmas lights.  Ryan and I enjoyed our time celebrating with friends Friday night.  The festivities including good food (fondue per Zapp family tradition), a white elephant gift exchange, Christmas lights and warm beverages afterward.  Take some time to enjoy the beauty of the holidays with family and friends.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Tough Transitions, Faith and Hope

At the end of October this year, we decided to step out in faith and put things in motion to be out of our little home by the beginning of February in order to full-time support raise.  We know we want to be in Australia and this choice would, Lord willing, make it happen sooner.  However, the decision was certainly an act of faith because we didn’t (and still don’t) have the financial support we need to live on full-time support and the amount of decisions that needed to be made then seemed like an unscalable mountain.  Now over a month into the process, we’re still confident that we made the right decision but there are many things that are filling up the precious hours in the day.

20151209_083447First of all, our house is a disaster.  Maybe other people have more success but I find it’s impossible to keep things neat and tidy when organizing.  We have piles to sell, piles to keep, piles to store, piles to sort and all kinds of other piles in between the piles.  In this season of Christmas wish lists and holiday giving, Ryan and I are having hard but fruitful discussions about what to keep, what to get rid of and in the midst of it all, what really matters.

Second, support raising hasn’t stopped but it’s impossible to give it the attention it deserves.  We wish we could keep up the almost daily meetings and continue actively building the team that will support the work in Australia.  However, at this point we are doing more praying than actively asking.  It’s a good thing we believe in prayer.

Third, life doesn’t stop during transitions.  I am still teaching until the end of January, Ryan has one more week of work at the church, meals still need to be cooked, clothes still need to be cleaned and life continues.  We’re definitely learning to prioritize and make choices.

But as much as the holidays make this time even more full, the holidays give us space and hope.  In a little over a week, Ryan and I will be traveling and gone for the rest of December.  We’ll shut the door on our messy home, leave all the worries of work behind us and just get to rest, enjoy family, friends and celebrate Jesus.  The do-er in me is slightly frustrated that we won’t be getting things done during that time but I am abundantly thankful to be forced to step away and slow down in order to actually enjoy and focus on the sweet, special season of Christmas.  Rejuvenated faith and sweet hope will be wonderful gifts this year.

It’s Christmas Card Time

Although my hand isn’t too happy with me, we’re excited about our Christmas cards this year.  We’ve signed and addressed at least 400 so far and we’re not done yet:-)

20151204_175909If you want a Christmas card and think we don’t have your address, send me an email (joy.candee@gmail.com) and we’ll make sure to get one to your mailbox soon.  It’s certainly fun to get real mail.  And Christmas card season is a wonderful time to celebrate with friends and family both near and far.