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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Meeting My Daddy (again) and Las Posadas

Soli has become a total Mama's girl. When someone reaches to take her out of my arms she turns her little face into my shoulder and holds on tight to my shirt with both hands. Although I love it that she only wants to be with me, I was worried that she wouldn't go to Dave when he got here. I shouldn't have worried. She absolutely adores her Daddy. She follows him around the room with her eyes, and as soon as he gets close enough she reaches out for him. It's so sweet, and Dave is, of course, equally smitten with her.

It has been so great having Dave here. He's been taking such good care of us. He's been cooking every night (and most mornings) and making sure that we are eating healthy. He ixnayed the chocoflakes that I've been letting the kids eat for breakfast. He's been doing the dishes and the laundry, and yesterday he helped me go to the grocery store (which is no easy feat!). He's been getting up with the baby in the mornings so I can sleep in, which apparently I must have needed because yesterday I slept until 11! Ouch! He's been playing soccer and football with the kids which they love (I think all the kids in our complex are slightly starved for some Daddy time.). Anyway, he's a stud, and it will be very painful to let him go. Hopefully, he'll be back soon...

Our first picture as a family of six!

I'm sitting up like a big girl!!

On Thursday night we were invited to be a part of a posada. (That's us on the right.) In Guatemala, Las Posadas happen every night from December 15-24. My understanding is that each night represents a different segment of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem. A group of people form (there are many different groups going simultaneously around town) and they represent Mary and Joseph. They start at one home and end at another where they "pedir posada" or ask for lodging. They carry candle lanterns and a little float with statuettes of Mary and Joseph. Along the way they sing a specific song over and over while the children beat out the rhythm on tortoise shell drums. Our posada also had a woman playing guitar and an older man with a whistle. Once the group arrives at the destination home (predetermined) they sing a different song asking for lodging. A second group, waiting inside the house, answers with their own verse. The two groups sing back and forth to each other through a closed door until eventually the outside group is let in. Once inside, a prayer is read and Guatemalan Hot Chocolate or Ponche de Frutas is served (we were also served tamales and tea cake.) The statuettes are put in their place until the next evening when they'll be taken to their next destination (a different home). This goes on until the 24th when Mary and Joseph arrive in "Bethlehem" and Baby Jesus is introduced at midnight. I was so thankful that we were able to be a part of such a beautiful and meaningful Christmas tradition from Soli's birth country. We'll have to bring her back when she's old enough to appreciate it, too.
This is a Nativity Scene....yes, I said a nativity scene! Can you imagine? It took up half of a small room and had atleast 100 figurines and twice that many little white twinkle lights. It was truly an amazing sight!! My understanding is that this is the Nativity Scene in the home of the family who sponsored our Posada. I think they organized the walks and arranged for the different families to "host" on different nights. I think the statuettes belong to them and on the 24th the Posada will end here and Mary and Joseph will be placed in this Bethlehem scene. Then at midnight Baby Jesus will be placed in the Manger. I don't know if you can see, but the empty Manger is up near the blue background and the angels. Such a sweet, sweet tradition. I just couldn't get enough! Of course, Dave and the kids weren't nearly as can imagine.

They were pretty excited about the Hot Chocolate, though!


Steph and Steve said...

Heather: Those pictures are great. And I'm with you... that is a very cool tradition. I'm glad you dragged the kids to it, and they'll probably appreciate it later.

It was fun to catch up with you today. I'll be in touch soon.

gailybird said...

Hi Guys! Soli has gotten so big, and everyone looks beautiful. Tell Evie that we thought about her all day on her birthday. Happy Birthday, Sweetie. Hey, Heather, my editor loves the idea of having me write your story. Call me on your new phone when you have a minute. Pete and Stewey send their love. Gail et al