Monday, December 1, 2008

Friends are Family

You know that we just hosted a Thanksgiving party. Just three days later we hosted the whole staff for our annual Christmas party! (The schedule is such this year that it all has to be packed into a week!) We had SO much fun. After a beautiful singing of "O Come All Ye Faithful," we dug into the appetizer and dessert tables. The punch (recipe here http://http// ) and wassail were gone within minutes, in spite of both recipes serving 30-40. After eating, we read the Christmas story and prayed. (Each year the Scripture is read by one of the leaving staff.) Then we had a gift exchange (the one where you can steal gifts). Some of the hilarious parts were the following: Esmer Hanim (our Turkish teacher) received the ham (which is not eaten in this part of the world) (It was quickly stolen from her anyway.); Serdar Bey (our Turkish caretaker) chose a set of teacher smiley-face stamps (we enjoyed joking that he would be stamping our invoices with them); married ladies stole food so they wouldn't have to cook; roommates devised strategies to steal for each other in hopes of getting back what they really wanted; and things that were held on to for almost the whole game were lost in the end. It was just plain fun! Friends become family when you are far from home. In the photos: our family of 7; Benaiah and me with my friend Hicran and her adorable boy Judah (3 months older than Benaiah); Ross opening his gift which was wrapped first in about 7 grocery bags; Ross and Troy Lundy (our business administrator who Ross has known since high school); Bev and Barry Birmingham (from our home church in Memphis) with Judah and Haybat (our Iraqi babysitter/adopted daughter/lunch lady at school)


Kelli said...

Sara- your wassail recipe has become a hit at all of our team holiday functions as well. So good!

Melanie Keffer said...

All I could do was smile. Isn't God wonderful? This has been a tremendous time for us also. We had such an abundance of food during the Thanksgiving holiday, you wouldn't believe unemployed people could eat so well. Just like our Heavenly Father. Doesn't the Bible say that His children don't lack for anything? (Psalms 34:9-10)

I looked at every picture you posted and could see the joy and love. God bless each and every one of you there. I know He already has!


Laurie said...

I love that cute family picture!

Katie said...

Sara - sounds like so much fun. Those gift exchange games are hillarious. At least it sounded like you all were friends by the end. Ive been at some (family things - not the Paynes of course!!! :-) where it was not so friendly by the end. Glad you have such a wonderful group of friends/family there.

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