Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Day

Patiently waiting for Mom to stop taking pictures so they can start opening gifts.

The Mermaid Barbie was found!

The young Padawan was excited.

What did Santa bring me?

The presents await.

Santa arrived on schedule here in Indonesia. It seems as if Santa does know his way to Sumatra. Kade was up early but the rest of the kiddos slept in a bit. It was great that we were able to talk to both sides of our families this morning too. We sure miss everyone back home and really enjoy getting to connect with family and friends from home. We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve

Christmas time just wouldn't be the same without candy canes and Holiday color Peanut M&M's. Luckily for us Kuala Lumpur had both!

The obligatory Christmas Eve photo.

Christmas Eve back in the Stanwood always involves a church service followed by dinner with family. Christmas Eve was an exercise in flexibility. No church service here since the church we go to is shut down for two weeks until most of the congregation returns from their holiday vacations.

That left dinner with family. Well, since we have yet to get any family to visit us here in Sumatra we went with the next best thing. We had our Sumatra family over to our house for Christmas Eve dinner. There are two other teacher families here right now. We had a great dinner with them which even included a deep fried turkey. It wasn't like being home for Christmas but it was so nice to be able to spend time with those we care about.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dear Santa

I thought Brooklyn did a great job writing Santa. For those of you who do not read fluent five year old here is the translation: Dear Santa, I want a mermaid Barbie. Love Brooklyn

Thank goodness Santa shops in Malaysia and was able to find a mermaid.


Thanks for sending the recipe Grandma! They turned out amazing.
Our house smells like Christmas!

We always have cinnamon rolls at Christmas time. The girls helped me make a batch this afternoon. They turned out really well. We can't wait to find out if they taste as yummy as they look.

Gingerbread House Indonesian Style

Brooklyn's gingerbread making dance.

The Finished Project

Christmas away from family and friends is tough. We miss you all so much. We are doing everything possible to help it feel like Christmas for the kids. Christmas on the equator can be a tough sell to kids who are used to being surround by friends and family. We are trying really hard to continue our family traditions. It takes a bit more planning here but it is do-able if you are creative and flexible.

Today we attempted to make a Gingerbread house. It was a bit rough but considering the difficulty in finding the ingredients I think it turned out pretty well. Everyone had a great time decorating it.

Unfortunately, it did not meet US building codes but lucky for us we are in Indonesia where anything goes. The house stood for about a hour before it collapsed. The kids and I thought it would be funny to leave it outside for the monkeys but we decided that hyper monkeys would probably be pretty destructive.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas in Kuala Lumpur

The Christmas Tree at the Hotel

I'm Lovin' It!

Bollywood, Baby!

The Candy Shoppe.

Well the Christmas Break mercifully arrived it and with it a chance for the Getzingers to get off of the island. We headed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is a short 45 minute flight from Pekanbaru but the distance in Holiday Spirit is immeasurable. Here in Pekanbaru while the major department store has some Christmas decorations up and some music playing, KL was like going from the "Grinch" to "It's a Wonderful Life" in terms of Christmas excitement.

Every store was full of music, decorations, Santas and Christmas promotions. You might be sitting at home reading this and be thinking that those commercialized aspects of Christmas are overdone and you are sick of them already. Well when you have no change in weather, you are living in a country that for the most part doesn't celebrate Christmas and you have kids; they were a welcome sight for sure.

The pictures above are of the hotel we were staying at. It was a great place with an awesome breakfast. They even had ice cream for the homemade waffles. Kade and Sydney thought that ice cream for breakfast was a pretty good idea. The hotel even had a Christmas Candy Shoppe set up in the lobby.

We hit up a lot of Christmas shopping as well as a bunch of grocery shopping. We also hit up the Chinese Market where we purchased some clothing for the kids including the sweet pink outfit Brooklyn is wearing above. It jingles when she moves. You can blame that one on Kathi! We were even able to smuggle in some honey ham from the butcher and also real cheddar cheese! You absolutely cannot get that here. Christmas dinner will now be complete.

We are now back in Pekanbaru and are spending the rest of the break here. It should be a nice relaxing next couple of weeks.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

North Pole Star

Orphanage Christmas Party

Gifts from families of I.S.R. to a local orphan.

One of the orphanages performs "Joy to the World." Very Cute!

On Tuesday here we had an orphanage Christmas party for two local orphanages. The Boy and Girl Scouts here at ISR along with the Student Council hosted. There were about 50 orphans who came to the party. As you may know orphans have a special place in our hearts so this was such a great experience for us.

First we set out a bunch of sports equipment in the gym and on the soccer field and let the kids play for about an hour. Then we went into our performing arts room and our students performed the opening number of our Christmas Play. Then each of the orphanages performed a few Christmas songs of their own. They were so cute and very talented. For each group some of the older students played guitar for the accompaniment.

Next we had lunch from KFC delivered. The kids eyes were so big! They love KFC here and the kids never get to have it so it was a real treat. After copious amounts of desserts we started handing out the gifts. Each child and staff member in the orphanage put together a need and a wish for Christmas. Families in camp took those and shopped for the things that they asked for. Each child got everything on their list. It was so great to see the thankfulness in their smiles when they received their gifts. What a great experience!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's beginning to look like Christmas!

Kathi has had the tree up since a week before Thanksgiving. She wouldn't get away with that back home. Our Fred Meyer display tree is up again. As you can see it is a tad too tall and so the top is a little bent over. The kids had a blast decorating it.

All Aboard!!

The annual PTO Christmas Party was this past Saturday. The theme was "The Polar Express." The PTO did another great job putting on a great party for the kids. There was a Conductor to take your ticket, cookies to decorate, a reading of "The Polar Express," and even a visit by old Saint Nick himself. He was apparently in Bali working on his tan before he has to be back at the North Pole to take of some business on Dec. 24th.
Kade decorating his cookie. The kids were to dress in their pajamas for the party.

Brooklyn tells Santa she would like a Barbie Mermaid. Do they even make those?

PICF Youth Group

Our family has been attending a small church in Pekanbaru called Pekanbaru International Christian Fellowship. Kathi and I decided that we would like to start a youth group for the middle school aged kids. These pictures are from our first get together. We had 9 middle schoolers come. Some were from here on camp and we had some kids come whose families live in Pekanbaru.

The kids had a fun time playing Christmas Charades and decorating themselves as Christmas Trees. Hopefully this is something that will catch on and maybe even grow.

The girls make their "snowballs" for the snowball fight in our front yard.

The girls lost the Charades game.

The boys showing that they are #1.