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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Congratulations Millonarios!

The girls and I headed to Parque 93 to enjoy the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra and Coral in the park. It was a gorgeous evening and I was looking forward to a little Christmas music to warm my heart.  As we rounded the corner we noticed masses of people lingering around the restaurants dressed in blue jerseys, intent on the tv screens hanging above.
We settled onto a grassy spot to enjoy the strains of "Joy to the World".  More often than not, honking horns and cheers from the masses drowned out the music.  As was said later "the horns were the hit of the night", proved to be true!
We finally gave up and decided to wander back home.  At this point the fans had gone crazy filling the streets, singing and dancing.  I loved it and fortunately I never felt uneasy in this mass confusion.
What I learned later was that Bogota's soccer team, the Millonarios, celebrated their fist championship in 24 years.  Truly a reason to celebrate!  Simon Bolivar Plaza downtown was reported to have 60,000 fans cram in the plaza in celebration as a bus carried the team to the central square.
My favorite part of the report was the "Update:  Three fans have died in Bogota during celebrations of the Millonarios victory.  Two fans were reportedly stabbed in separate fight incidents and another fell from the third floor of a building.  1,200 people ended up in court after the day and night of celebrations."  We are in Bogota after all!

- Kris

Kids Christmas Party

I love getting involved in the embassy community and I love dragging my family along with me!  Fortunately, they usually jump in with me, enjoying the opportunity to have some fun while lending a helping hand.  This year the kids helped with the Kids Christmas party at the Ambassador's house.  They did a great job and we all had a fabulous morning.

Damon talking with the Ambassador and his wife

Maddie the elf, helping with crafts

Maddie and Elena performing Christmas carols

Damon as Santa's helper

The Gingerbread Houses

Maddie came to me in the fall asking if we could make a gingerbread house this Christmas.  We love creating in the kitchen together so the idea seemed brilliant.  She wrote Grandma and asked her to bring the candy to decorate.  I emailed a friend who sent me her recipe and all the tips she has gained over 17 years of making houses.  We scoured the internet looking for patterns and directions.  The houses we looked at were gorgeous and began to overwhelm me so I decided we must start more simply.  Rather than one large house I determined that it would be much less complicated to make several small houses.  What was I thinking?   Thus began our multi day adventure creating a village.

- Kris
Step 1:  prepare the pans with baking paper
Mix the dough
Cut out pieces
Bake the pieces
Glueing houses together.

At this point everyone became involved with trying to get the frosting to glue!
Decorating day began with a little visitor, Gabriella.
This was the perfect project to keep all girls occupied for a day!
We began to get crafty.
We found that frosting and candy covered a multitude of sins.

Putting the last few touches on.
Elena, Kris, Grandma & Maddie 

The Lights of Bogota

Christmas brings out the best in Bogota.  The city goes wild with lights.  We took a tour of the lights one night and enjoyed the festive atmosphere while walking around.

- Kris

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Family for the Holidays

My parents have arrived in Bogota and it has been a wonderful, crazy time of catching-up, seeing the city, and enjoying the festive Christmas atmosphere.
Lots of time has been spent together in the kitchen creating. New recipes tested and old ones revisited. Secretive wrapping sprees and rambunctious games played around the table. Memories of Christmases past and new moments frozen in our minds to be recalled on a future Christmas Day when we are far away from home.
The days are passing quickly and Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye. I am so thankful we can share the holidays together this year.

- Kris

Friday, December 14, 2012

So Weird

Elena was just picked up to babysit in an armored car with a driver.  The body guard got out and escorted her to the car where our friend was waiting inside.  It's just something I can't get used to.   It's like I'm observing a movie going on around me.  Well, she's off now and I know I don't have to worry about her safety!

- Kris