I've been listening to the amazon music player, which has currently taken the place of other sources because they offered a ton of free Christmas music through our Prime account. I love the American Boychoir album Carol. With music playing and our Christmas tree all lit up, it feels Christmasy despite the tropical rainstorm outside!
We can only get a few things here on VCD when we go into the big city, so I just watched Lone Survivor and the Butler.
Since coming to Indonesia we found a way to link up to Netflix if the Internet is working pretty well, and I discovered some new British shows that I've loved. The Fall is totally suspenseful, loved it. Bletchly Park is a great mystery series. I look forward to more of both of those!
Well, lots of Indonesian texts about culture and government here, does that count? Aside from that, I'm reading a long book called The Black Banners about Al Qaida by an FBI guy. It's a good complement to a book I previously read on the Taliban, and it's interesting to see the different perspective of the FBI as opposed to the CIA. It is also very detailed, so unless you just love foreign policy you won't be interested.
We are also doing daily advent devotionals from a Jesse Tree in Ann Hibbard's book Family Celebrations. This is the tree handed down from my own childhood, but it's been fantastic.
A few articles have caught my eye recently. First off, when people here think America is a Christian nation I wish I could have them read this, because I would say we are Moralistic Therapeutic Deists.
Also, Christian parents, please read this article. It's written to missionaries about their kids and parenting, but I think it applies to all Christian parents (although it is magnified in the children of missionaries). Our personal faith and love for our children is the biggest driving force in the faith of our children.
Ladies, as someone that has just moved overseas where a lot less... um... stuff is available, this is my new best friend.
There's a lot of stuff I realize now I didn't need to bring with me to Indonesia, but there are some things I'm super glad I brought. A fun container of Wilton's Christmas cookie sprinkles, gel food coloring (it's a lot more potent than the regular stuff!), and decorating pens is included. It's already been used on a Cars-themed birthday cake and Judah and I had a blast decorating Christmas cookies today.
Prayer Mate - I usually like to create a schedule so that I'm regularly praying for the people in my life. However, I always lose my lists. Last month I found Prayer Mate, which is fantastic. I create my category (family, friends, churches, supporters, etc.), add my list, and then decide how many off the list I want to appear each day. Then each time you open your app you get a list for that day set up for you to pray for. Loving it.
I am also learning how to clean and kill mold. Because.. it's rainy season in the tropics. So... there is mold that grows in our clothes in the closet, in spots on the wall, on our suitcases, the baby carrier, behind furniture.... it's amazing.
Oatmeal is my go-to breakfast food but the only oatmeal I can get here is the quick-cooking kind. It's always mush when I actually cook it. So instead I created myself an instant oatmeal mix. It's essentially a mix of the quick cooking oats, milk powder (which is what we often use here to make milk anyways), cinnamon, raisins, salt, brown sugar, and shredded coconut. In the morning I just head up hot water for coffee and our oatmeal. The kids have been loving it.
The other breakfast I make is black rice porridge with coconut milk. It's divine. You probably wouldn't be able to find the ingredients in America, which makes me feel a little superior and slightly makes up for my lack of ability to make Mexican food here. :(
I also made Christmas cookies. Same as I normally do. Except now it was done in hiiiiigh humidity with a non-temperature controlled metal box that sits on top of a range to create an oven of sorts. The cookies taste good, but it was on the brink of disaster multiple times and they definitely aren't pinterest worthy!
Also random - this guy lives in our yard and this was taken on my front porch. he's pretty cool, huh?