Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Very Special Christmas

It is hard to believe that our much anticipated, first Christmas in Mexico is now over - but we had a very wonderful and memorable time. I am quite the sentimental ol' gal and so there were so many special moments that I have "treasured up in my heart". It is a neat thing to be pregnant during Christmas as I think it gives you a special connection with how Mary must have been feeling as she held the Christ child in her womb. I am truly grateful for Jesus! And I am truly grateful for my family. My kids were filled with wonder and amazement and they slowed everything down and enjoyed each little gift and moment beside the tree - sharing hugs, laughter, squeals of joy and lots of thankfulness. I appreciated the gift they gave me of simply living in the moment - not making a mad rush of ripping open presents - but taking the time to look, enjoy, and thank. I was especially touched when they - being only 3 and 2 - stopped to open my sentimental scrapbook photo albums that I made for their 1st year of life, turning the pages and looking at the pictures. I was truly humbled and thankful that I had put the effort into it (Chase's is still incomplete - but he enjoyed what was there!). They were excited about Santa - leaving him some healthy snacks (Reece came up with the idea of yoghurt - all on his own!). And they also enjoyed listening to our traditional Christmas eve readings of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and the Birth of Jesus from Luke (they boys played with their little nativity scene and Chase kept saying, "baby, baby Jesus" - it was sweet). In the true spirit of Christmas we invited friends over to share Christmas eve dinner with us - the party kept growing - and we had a blast, eating turkey and all the good stuff, setting off sparklers and singing Christmas carols. We were very thankful to have Mimi (Benjy's mom) with us - she (oops, I mean Santa) especially spoiled the boys, as most grandparents love to do! For the rest of the family who didn't get to be with us - we missed your presence and I am now posting a mountain of pictures for your enjoyment. Live the meaning of Christmas all through 2007!

  Feliz Navidad!

 Our sparklers!

 The annual story on Daddy's knee!


  Looking at the nativity characters


  Santa's snack!

   "He did come and he ate almost all of it!"

  Coming down the stairs on Christmas morning!

  An excited boy!

  Enjoying the firstfruits of the stocking - animal crackers (he was not interested in anything else until those were polished off - like I mentioned, it was a nice and slow morning!)


 A precious moment for me!

 "Baby, baby, baby"

 Merry Christmas!

  Posted by Picasa We loved having Mimi with us!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Pics of Some Recent Christmas Activity

   Our Tree!

  Reece's Christmas program. He was a pretty shy boy but we were proud of him for hanging in there and participating!

  Traditional Christmas Pinatas. Reece's class made this pinata and... he came home with more candy!

 Lots of train fun! The boys were anxious to get out their train from Bear...we need to trim under the tree in order for it to get around the tree so tonight we just let them play with it out in the open. We set up the more "2 year old friendly" version on the inside track and had train races. Pretty fun stuff.

  "What? I am not supposed to touch the track? What do you mean?"

  All cozy, watching Polar Express!

  Christmas Baking!

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Our Christmas Letter

I know there are still some of you out there who love to get Christmas cards and read annual Christmas letters in the traditional way - via the mail system - with gingerbread cookies and a cup of apple cider or hot chocolate....if you are one of those, don't read this post! I have my cards and letters in the process of going into the mail, but you know how that can go too. I AM going to get them sent, I just don't know exactly when they will arrive at your house! Or, if you are way too anxious to know about the Brednich families exciting lives (ha!) - you can always read the letter twice. A very Merry Christmas to all of you...

December 2006

Dear family and friends;

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from Mexico City! We are very much enjoying this time of the year and trust that you are as well. As we reflect on 2006, we are reminded of many good things that this past year has had to offer – God, as always, is good and worthy to be praised!

Our family is really doing well. We have enjoyed a busy year of buzz and activity with our two toddler boys, Reece (3.5) and Chase (2). Thankfully, both kids have been healthy and are growing and developing in so many ways. Reece began school (part-time) this year and we have been happy with his adjustment and progress in the Mexican school system. We are amazed at his quick ability to pick up Spanish and feel grateful that he enjoys going and learning. Chase has had a year of milestones – beginning to walk earlier this year – which has quickly progressed to running, climbing, jumping, and basically anything mischievous. He is talking a lot more too and that has been fun. The boys interact well together – sometimes better than others! All of us are excited for the arrival of a new baby to our home, expected to arrive in March. We have decided to await the birth of the baby to find out if the boys have a sister (which Reece is very sure of) or another brother to add to the mix. We are so very thankful to God for the blessing of our children – they teach us so much about what really matters and about how fun life really is.

As parents, we are also doing well – asking for much wisdom along the way of this parenting journey. We completed eight years of marriage this past month and find ourselves really content and pleased with where God has brought us this far. We have been in Mexico for three and a half years and feel blessed to be a part of this work and ministry. Although there are definitely challenges in living in another culture and being far from family, friends and familiarity – we are feeling good about being here – and are thankful for your part in that!

Some of the highlights of 2006 would most certainly include the spiritual growth and development that we see in our house church and in the work across Tlalpan (our area of Mexico City). God is at work and we are witnesses to that. Yes, there have been times of discouragement and impatience in respect to the progress of our work, but overall, we are growing, serving and learning more and more about true dependence on our God. We ask for your continued prayers for our discipleship and for more seekers to join the kingdom. We anticipate good things in this upcoming year as we look to be creative and intentional with opportunities to shine the light of Christ.

Thank you to the many of you who made visits to us in Mexico City in 2006. We always receive tremendous encouragement by your time spent here with us and your service to this work. We also appreciate the many letters, phone calls, emails, and care packages that you so generously share with us. Please know that our home is open to you for another visit soon!

We will be in Mexico City this Christmas – enjoying a quiet time with our family – and celebrating the goodness of our Savior. We pray many blessings on you this season and in the upcoming year.

In Christ,
Benjy, Carolyn, Reece, Chase & Baby Brednich

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Remembering My Dad

Today, December 17, marks two years since my Dad left us. In many ways it is really hard to believe that that much time has already passed since we last shared phone calls and visits - yet in other ways, it seems like it has been a lot longer. Although we certainly miss him, I personally am filled with peace today as I think about the "better life" that he has experienced since that day. Heaven seems more real to me now that I have such a close part of our family already there. I am thankful that we share that hope of reunion - and the comfort it gives us here in the meantime. Christmas time was always a favorite of my Dad's. Over the last few days I have been enjoying memories of childhood Christmases and many of those special thoughts seem to involve him - his love of prematurely guessing what he would receive, his annual words that said Christmas would not be much in our household that year - only to see his generosity poured out in gifts under the tree for all of us. The community Christmas programs he was always involved in. His love for "Christmas oranges" and a good family game of crokinole. I laughed at the memory of how he and mom disguised my brother's hand-held football video game (a big deal back then) in the hugest box ever - filled with heavy things like stools and old-fashioned milk jugs. We were all fooled. I love the way we ate our big meal on Christmas eve and then, in eager anticipation awaited the announcement that it was finally time to begin opening our presents. Christmas was always special....and remains that way to me now. I am excited about this season - and look forward to creating those special memories with my own children. I wish my Dad could be here to know Reece and Chase and our soon to come baby, but his memory is alive in our family. I will think of him as we read the Christmas story from the gospels this Christmas eve. My Dad was a good man with a uniquely good personality - Merry Christmas Dad - we love and miss you.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Chaser Turns 2!


Our sweet little baby boy is growing up pretty fast! We had a really great day celebrating his life on Saturday - surrounded by good friends and a very special visit from Bear and Honey (Benjy's Dad, Gary and his wife, Robin). We partied with the barnyard theme - notice Chase's new boots from Texas! Chase had a super long nap in the morning and "showed up late" to his own party - so he was in a great mood and had a whole lot of fun with everyone. We felt like we have had an abundance of candy since Halloween so we decided not to do a pinata...well, we are in Mexico and guess what - Chase received a pinata filled with candy as a, there went that idea :). He now knows he is 2 and answers "dossss" if you ask him how old he is. Pretty cute! He received a mountain of really neat gifts - thank you to all of you! For more party pictures - check out the link to the right for my flickr account (just click on any picture and it will open up to my photos - choose the set called Chase's 2nd Birthday).


When things quieted down after a long day, I tucked him in with a quiet prayer of thanksgiving for the beautiful gift Chase is to me and to our family. He is an adventureous little guy with a sparkle in his eye. I love his laugh, his sweet smile and his "big hugs". It has been a fun two years of getting to know him. He is a funny kid and has brought a whole lot of laughter into our home. I believe God has great things in store for him and I pray for many more years of life for us to discover those things. Happy birthday Chaser - you are precious to us and very much loved! Posted by Picasa

Bear and Honey

We had a great weekend visit from Bear & Honey (Benjy's Dad, Gary and his wife Robin). We were blessed to have them here - and enjoyed watching them bond with the kids. Gary spent hours in the back yard with the boys - teaching them to throw and catch - shooting hoops, and on and on. They didn't run out of energy and petitions for Bear to play outside with them! Gary and Robin brought the kids cowboy boots from Texas - and it was a huge hit! We felt especially blessed to have family at Chase's birthday - something we never take for granted since we live so far from everyone.

  Posted by Picasa