We started out with a bang celebrating my Birthday and an early Christmas with my family here in Little Rock. Being the birthday boy, I got to select the menu! BBQ Nachos and coconut cream pie from Chip's BBQ. Wow, what a combo. We opened presents with the fam and took turns passing Landon around. As always, my mom and dad out did themselves with their generosity and giving spirit. I am grateful for the love and support! Best gift given - Mom got the boys Coke and Mt Dew pajama pants! They loved them!
Mark and Landon
Narcisse Loves Christmas
I love this photo because Tory and Casey have this look on their face that is saying "What am I going to do with this?"
On Christmas morning two cultural traditions collided. In Africa, you stay up all night celebrating Christmas; in America, you get up early to celebrate Christmas. What happened...Dina, Theophile, and Narcisse stayed up till 4 am...Tory and I woke them up at 6:30 am! Needless to say...everyone was not as excited about Christmas as we hoped!
Nonetheless, we had a great time exchanging gifts and sharing Christmas together. I got some cool new boots, Dina for a new outfit and shoes, Theo and Narcisse got cameras, and Tory had to hunt for her present!
We managed to fit everything in the jeep liberty + 5 people and we headed to Alpena. Upon arrival we met up with Tory's sister Shelly and her husband John and their Cockatoo Coco! The bird instantly pooped on Tory's hand and then tried to bite Narcisse several times. It was hilarious! We celebrated Christmas with the Hodges clan and enjoyed some of my favorite holiday traditions, Aunt Sonya's Christmas candy! She makes the best peanut butter balls and cherry balls you have ever tasted. Every year I debate about stealing them.
The next day we were visited by Tory's other sister Kelly, her husband Chris, and daughter Victoria. We had a great time catching up with them as we went bald eagle watching down on the Patterson Farm! We also took the boys to feed cattle. Both boys have Rwandan cattle experience and were excited to see how my father-in-law handled things on his farm. They got the biggest kick out watching the cows come running when he honked the horn! They also wanted to pet the cows. Apparently Rwandan cows are much friendlier than American cows.
Of course, we celebrated Christmas with Tory's family and found their generosity and giving spirit to be overwhelming as well. Every present Victoria got managed to make loud noises! Bad planning. Best Gift Given - My Father-in-law gave Victoria a stick horse. I believe at one point or another every grown adult rode the stick horse. I know I did!
It was a great Christmas! I loved every moment of it! Our families were fantastic! We were worried about the burden we were putting on our family by bringing guests and asking them to feed us, but they responded just like we knew they would...with love and open arms! Our boys and Dina had a great time everywhere we went and we are so thankful everyone took the time to invest in them.
Other funny notables:
- The boys now have enough socks to last the rest of their time in the States.
- Mom has single-handedly boosted the sales of the gift shop at the hospital in Memphis.
- John Hodges is more stingy with his smoked sausage than my father.
Our First Family Photo!
More Pictures to come!