December was a wonderful month! You've already heard about company, Christmas play, holiday celebrations, and such. Today I'm bringing a final "December Recap" of some home moments. True, a few of these are from the first few days of January, but oh well.:)
//lovely winter weather//
Contrary to popular belief, not all the Bontragers are jumping up and down saying "YES!!!! We get to go South where it's warm and miss out on all the brrrrrr Iowa winter weather!" For many of us, it is very bittersweet to leave Iowa for the majority of the winter months.
Denver and Dad built some great new shelves for our "wood room" in the basement.
This is Rebs and I in our pj's prior to our family slumber party in the living room on Christmas Eve.
Carson showed himself very competent at slicing up the big ham we had for dinner one Sunday.
Holiday food-Mitchell making chocolate covered almonds.
Dad cutting onions for a salad another Sunday.
(our men aren't typically in the kitchen a whole lot but we often all work together on Sunday dinners and they help out)
Levi and Gideon helped me in the kitchen- are they not the most adorable little guys ever? I'm pretty much completely smitten, if you can't tell. Our friends, the Fikes, moved to Iowa from Florida just a few days before we left on our trip. I got to help watch their five adorable littles on moving in day.
Taylor making beds in the bus
Huds vacuuming the hallway in the bus
Dad made the most awesome, handy-dandy laundry shoot ever! It is in the closet in the bus, and it goes down to the bay (storage compartment under the bus) where a laundry basket catches the laundry.
Taylor pulling things out of the cupboards to pack
Mother getting frozen food to pack
Liz carrying a load out to the bus
Mother and Taylor working in the bus
Our poor dining room table!!! It got loaded and loaded and loaded with stuff of all sorts. I tell you, you wouldn't believe how much stuff it takes for a family of twelve for three months! We packed clothes, food, schoolbooks, games, books, instruments, sound equipment, cd's and books to sell, kitchen supplies, gifts (we pack some birthday gifts, as well as buying some along the way), shoes, towels, washcloths, toiletries, paper supplies, etc.
This is a classic "Taylor" look.
Carson shot a deer just a few days before we left.
Carson got this recipe from a friend, and man, was it ever yummy!!!
You take deer backstrap, stuff it with cream cheese, jalapenos, and Worchestershire sauce, wrap it in bacon, and bake it. ahhhhhh!!!!!
This man is becoming quite a cook, by the way.
//playing in the snow//
The night before we left on tour, all of us kids went out and tore around in the snow. It was lovely weather, and just the right amount of snow. We really wanted to all play in the snow together before we left for the winter, and this evening was the perfect "last hurrah".
Dad got this tube for us and it was our first time using it.
Mitchell and Carson took turns driving tractor. A bunch of us piled on and away we went!
That night was is of our favorite memories together as siblings, ever.
This photo of our winter wonderland was taken from the bus window as we pulled out the driveway last Thursday. I just want to say a big "thank you" to all you dear friends who pray for us as we travel. It means so much to us.
We have also been blessed by the kindness of so many lovely people along the way on this trip. Thank each one of you for all the ways you minister our family!