Monday, July 29, 2013

Making Memories Monday - Guelagetza

The state of Oaxaca is a state of diverse cultures, languages, and people.  This diversity is what makes this state so popular with tourists all around the world.  We love living here right now and being a part of this beautiful culture.  Every year, this diversity is celebrated through an event called the Guelagetza.  This week-long event displays the food, traditional clothing, dances, and languages from the eight regions of the state.  This year, we decided to take in the parade to get a taste of this huge celebration. 

 We started the evening with a stop at our favorite ice cream shop!  We got peanut butter for Kris, lime for Kieran, "Blue Sky" (Italian vanilla) for Elyse, and yellow plum for me!  What yummy flavors!

 As soon as the thunder started, people appeared out of nowhere selling plastic rain ponchos.  Thankfully, the rain held off for the parade!

 The top candied apples were covered in chili powder (like everything else here) and the bottom ones were a sticky, gooey mess!

  And the parade begins!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Making Memories Monday - Stargazing

Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. 
Wish I may, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight...

Tonight we went out for tacos with some new friends and on the walk back we were struck by the beautiful full moon (evidently, this was another "super moon").  There are fewer lights here in Mitla to obstruct our view of the night sky, and, despite the bright moon, we were still able to see lots of stars.  Our budding astronomer even spotted the big dipper. 

Our moon rainbow
After Elyse went to sleep, Kieran and I went outside to watch the night sky.  Since Kieran has become interested in space, stargazing has become a fun activity for us.  We got a couple of shots of the moon with my camera.  I need a tripod for this to really work! 

Next, we tried taking pictures of some stars.  The resulting picture was very different from what we expected because the camera adjusted the shutter speed.  We thought it was pretty cool though. 

Star writing in the sky!

Psalm 19:1-4

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Making Memories Monday - Childhood Fun

What do you think of when you think of childhood free time?  I think of riding bikes, playing with dolls, and having fun with my sisters.  I often wonder in this technology driven generation what our kids will remember.  For some reason, I really enjoy seeing my kids do things that I remember doing as a child, especially when they come up with the idea on their own.   This "Making Memories Monday" is dedicated to forts made of blankets and puppets shows behind the couch! 

No Girls Allowed! 

The audience is all ready for the show.

Light, Camera, Action!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Making Memories Monday - 4th of July and a Bonk on the Head!

If you ask Elyse about our first 4th of July in Mexico, her memories may be a bit fuzzy!  We knew we weren't going to have the normal pomp and circumstance of a 4th of July in the States, but we were not expecting to spend the day icing down a head!  The first part of the day was business as usual - 2 hours with my Spanish tutor and then homeschool.  That afternoon, we decided to grab a bite to eat before going to explore a new (to us) park here in Oaxaca.  Just before we left, Elyse was spinning around on a desk chair and fell off on her head. If you know Elyse, you know that she has a close relationship with floors and walls!  Bless her heart.

What a sad face...but wait...
So, instead of the park, Kris ran to McDonalds (that was the extent of our American celebration) to get some happy meals, and Elyse snuggled on mommy's lap while I kept an ice pack on her head.

I think someone is being silly!
She had quite a goose egg and a bit of a headache for the rest of the afternoon.  By bedtime, she was back to her old self! 

Our sweet smile is back again.
Thankfully, day 2 of celebrations went much better. We joined some new friends for some BBQ (southern style) and great fellowship!

It rained almost the whole time we were there, but that did not hinder the celebration.

What a blessing!  The kids made some new friends and are ready to set up a play date very soon.

These two didn't stop talking all during dinner.  They made lots of invention plans!

And these two just wanted to be silly!
Oh, did we mention the good Southern food we got to eat?  Here is my dessert plate with homemade banana pudding, cherry pie, and coca-cola chocolate cake!

Elyse and Kieran both enjoyed the flag cake complete with fresh blueberries (which are rare treasures here)!  

The Spread - BBQ pork sandwiches, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, watermelon, and, of course, the dessert table!
And a rare picture of mom and dad together!  Kieran wanted to take a picture.  Now we have proof we were there!
We pray you enjoyed making memories with your family and friends this past holiday weekend!

Thank you, God, for bringing us to this place to serve, and we also thank you for our home country where we were blessed with the freedom to worship you openly.  God bless America.  Amen

Monday, July 1, 2013

Making Memories Monday - Home, New Home

"Home, new home.  I think I'm going to be happy here."
"Home, new home.  I think I'm going to be happy here."  Those were Kieran's first words when we walked into our "new-to-us-for-now" home Saturday morning.  When we look back over our first year in Mexico, many of our memories will involve packing and moving!

We just moved into our third home since arriving here less than a year ago, and we have at least two more moves planned before the end of the year.  Until God reveals His more permanent location for us, we are grateful for the opportunity to house sit for others who are traveling for extended periods of study, vacation, or partnership development. 

Moving day laundry! 
Our kids are learning how to be flexible and mobile (the parents may be learning a little as well).  These are very important traits in our line of work.  We have prayed and many of you have prayed with us that our kids would adjust well to all our transitions, and, praise God, they have!  I am constantly amazed at how God continues to equip us on this journey.  Here area few shots from our fun Saturday move! 

Moving is hard work! 

How beautiful to watch the rain come over the mountains...unless you are trying to move!
Getting settled in her new room.

Even Bear is getting used to living in Mexico!
The view from our new home. 
I was reading this verse yesterday and thought it was appropriate.  We may be on the move a lot physically, but we can stand firm in the One who brought us here.

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58