December was full of joy as the City of Bucharest prepared for Christmas. Although it snowed twice, they were simple flurries and didn't stick. The snow was beautiful though and definitley got us into the Christmas spirit! The city did hang Christmas lights across the roads and buildings by the city and all of the stores played Christmas music. What we loved about this is that all of the music was the typical Christmas music that we hear in America. It was all in English!! Of course this made us miss home even more.
For Christmas we borrowed the tree, as well as the decorations, owned by our teammates who are currently stateside. They were so kind to let us use their tree and we set it up in our apartment along with a few items we bought ourselves. We bought a gingerbread train for Emerson to put together. Emerson loves trains! When we opened the package we found that we had to mix our own icing, which is new to us. This was quite an experience in itself. When it was all said and done, Emerson spent more time eating the candy and gingerbread while daddy attempted to put the train together with the icing he mixed together. Drew did most of the shopping in stores this month as Brooke stayed home with the kids. There were a few items that we bought from Amazon Germany.
Christmas day came and the kids had so much fun. Emerson woke up at 7:00am and sat starring at the presents until his baby sister Lydia woke up. In fact, we had to wake her up at 8:00am because she was not waking up on her own. We are fortunate that she slept so well because that is typically not the case. We suppose that it was our own little gift. Finally the time came and Emerson began ripping into his presents while Lydia kept getting distracted by the wrapping paper lying on the floor. We questioned why we even buy gifts for a one year old when she was so content to play with paper. Nevertheless, the kids loved all their presents and we spent a fun day at home playing and spending family time together.
Then New Years Eve came. In the past we have spent time with family celebrating the new year. Well the last three years have looked different since having children. In Romania it is tradition to stay up all night to celebrate, until 4:30am or so. This year we got the kids to bed around 7:30pm and we watched a movie until about 10:30pm. We decided that the Romanian tradition was not for us as we have young children who wake up early. However, we were woken up to the sound of fireworks being shot off all around our apartment for 20+ minutes. As Americans shoot off fireworks for the 4th of July, it is tradition for Romanians to shoot fireworks off for New Years. We did stay up for a few minutes to watch the fireworks that could be seen from our apartment window.
December has also been difficult for us. Not only because we were not able to be with family for Christmas, but due to other reasons. First, our only teammates went stateside one month after we arrived. We were fully expecting them to return in January where they would continue serving; however, we were recently told that they would be leaving for the Phillipines to take on a role that matches perfectly with what the husband has been studying. We are very happy for them and we pray that they will be successful in this new role. However, we are sad to lose them as teammates. They will return soon for a month or so to pack, but will then be off to the Phillipines.
About a week after finding out this news, Brooke began to be sick. We found out some exciting news that we are having a third baby. Since then, Brooke has been so sick that she has been unable to get out of bed most days. The sickness has taken a toll on her as it has been going on for about three to four weeks now. We hope and pray that the sickness ends very soon. The good news is that we are told that this means we have a very healthy baby.
One thing that did cheer us up on top of learning we are having another baby is the fact that we received a package from a small group from our church. This package included so many different snacks and items that we either cannot get here in Romania or is not as easily accessible such as pancake mix and Chick-Fil-A sauce. We are so thankful for this small group for taking the time to buy these products and then paying to ship them here to us.
Pray for Brooke's sickness during this pregnancy.
Pray for the health of Baby Tucker
Pray that God continues to give Drew the strength and energy to continue fulfill family and ministry tasks.
Pray that God prepares us for this new baby
Pray that God shows us His will