Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Prichards!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Story that will forever touch me

In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on biblical principles)in thepublic schools. They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses,the fire and police departments and a large orphanage. About 100 boys and girlswho had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage. They relate the following story in their own words:
It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans tohear, for thefirst time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger. Throughout the story, the Children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp everyword.
Completing the story, we gave the Children three small pieces ofcardboard tomake a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, cutfrom yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper was available in thecity. Following instructions, the Children tore the paper and carefully laid strips inthe manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left Russia, were used for the baby’s blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United States.
The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help. All went well until I got to one table where little Mishasat. He looked to be about 6 years old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy’s manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger. Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously.
For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once,he related the happenings accurately-until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. Then Misha started to ad-lib. He made up his own ending to the story as he said, “And when Maria laid the baby in the manger , Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mamma and I have no papa, so I don’t have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. But I told him I couldn’t, because I didn’t have a gift to give him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, soI thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept him warm, that would be a good gift. So I asked Jesus, “If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?” And Jesus told me, “If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me.” “So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with him—for always.
“As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him-FOR ALWAYS.
I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life, but who youhave in your life that counts.

Merry Christmas! The past three weeks have been a blur of constant programs, presents, and hyper children. It is so easy to get lost in this but this story above is what it is all truly about. My heart always thinks of kids who long for Mom's and Dad's someone to tuck them in and tell them they love them. Aren't those the basics that kids deserve? This story made me cry last year at Brianna's Christmas program at school and will forever hold a place in my heart and our Christmas here. So I wanted to share it with you all and wish you all a happy holiday season and not forget those who need so much.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A tree is found! Last weekend we found a tree at some good friends property. Most of the kids loved it. Andy is happy in this pictures but he had a hard time! Tired I think...or hope:) We had some fresh snow falling to set the scene. Riley and Brian esp love this moment! They are our mountaineers!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dancing duo

Holiday Prep

We are in full swing of Holiday prep. I have to say at the beginning I am way more enthusiastic than I am now but none the less the kids are here to keep up going. We have many discussions about the real meaning of Christmas but one can not deny the child wonder that is part of the season. Speaking of that we saw the man in red today and the only one who would see him was Andy. Oh how I wished I had a camera. He went up and gave him a huge hug. The girls could not get away soon enough...pretty funny. Brianna thinks writing a letter is the way to go! We have had a lot of snow and cold to set the mood and of course the continuous Christmas music in the house ( that is my love:)). I will post more pictures of the holiday prep soon but pictured below is our darling two little ones dancing just like they saw Mom and Dad. How cute is that! It looks like Halloween but really it is a normal day in our house!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The pictures below are of some fun family times. The first is of Brian and our niece Railyn. She is such a cutie and the baby of the family so she gets some extra attention I am sure. The other two are from a trip to my parents house. I thought Andy was so cute at their desk. After all a farmer needs time to do his books too! Then Mom plays the piano but it has been years since she has played for us so we couldn't get let those Grandchildren miss out on that. I love Christmas music so this was really fun for me. They loved it so that makes it all worthwhile.

Today was tree hunting day and we have had some snow to go with it. The kids loved it or at least most. Andy is still looking for the magic in that! So now it is up and we are hoping it remains so. The kids told me that 19 days it too long to wait and I am thinking it is all going so fast. How age does that to you!

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