Showing posts from December, 2009

Happy New Year!

I might be the only person on the planet who didn't realize that today was New Years Eve, until about noon today. I kind of lost track of time...and my calender I guess.

So, as you might expect by my unawareness, we have no big plans to bring in the NewYear. We might go hit a Taco stand for supper and play some games with friends ,until we decide to go to bed. I doubt we'll make it past 10. I realize how old and pathetic that sounds but we have kids that wake up early....NewYears day or not. The kids will be in bed at 7. We'll let them cheer and welcome in the new year early. I'm not about to begin 2010 with crabby hyperactive kids.

Come to think of it, we had a very uneventful NewYears Eve 10 years ago too. Which is odd given the whole Millenium thing. Its hard to believe how fast the last 10 years have gone by! 10 years ago I was enjoying my first pregancy ready to enter a new phase of life and a new Millenium. I was completely unaware that the first weeks of 2000 woul…

Heart wide open.

While scrolling through my facebook homepage I came across this quote on someone else's facebook profile.
I appreciated its message and thought I'd pass it on.

"... you cannot free yourself from a problem by shutting your eyes to it. To free yourself from a problem you have to acknowledge it and face it with your eyes and heart open."

It is SO important to keep not only our eyes open but also our hearts. In every crisis, situation or problem we can completely miss what God is doing by having a hard closed heart. When our hearts and minds are closed we are unable to learn and grow from each new unpleasant situation we face.

Even though it is usually difficult, we can use that time to seek God and lay bare before him our own hearts, plans and motives. Allow Him to spring clean and bring light to those dark corners in our life, sometimes things that we may even not be aware of. It is a humbling experience to be cleansed by the light of a Holy God but only by doing so can…

A good reminder for mommies like me.

I don't know about other moms but I constantly battle the balance between chores and time spent with my kids. Actually, I need to clarify "time with my kids". I have no shortage of time with them. In fact I have a most definate lack of time without or away from them in any given day. We are together , frequently in a confined space, from the time the rooster crows (literally) to the time I chase them into bed. Even then, we sleep only feet from each other. There is no sending them on their way on the school bus each morning or dropping off at pre-school. I think that this is sometimes where the problem lies for me. I am surrounded by activity, chores, behavior modification issues, homeschooling etc. etc. for so many hours a day that I forget to stop and just enjoy them. I forget there is another whole aspect of parenting that includes spontanteous snuggles, listening to tales of conquest and adventure, stopping to smell flowers and all the things that make parenting mo…

More Christmas day.

Carmela and Ramiro. My little sweethearts.

Me (Tia Carla), Minerva and her mom. I was slouching down just to fit in the picture. I feel like a giant amazon woman next to them...and I'm only 5'7". It was nice to see mom (Italia) dressed up and looking happy for her children. She smiled and interacted with us as she graciously offered us food and watched her children open gifts. My compassion for her is growing.

I don't get to hug my girl everyday now that she has moved away from the chidren's home but I still plan on fitting in as many as possible. She was happy to the point of tears the whole time.

Minerva specifically requested that she get a picture with her Tio. She has been his biggest fan since we first arrived in Mexico. She enjoys her very big, very silly uncle.

My favorite part of Christmas Day

Later in the morning, after we were finished with our own gift opening and family time, we set out to vist our other kids.
They were expecting us and were all standing by the road waving when we pulled up. It was so cute. They were all dressed in their best clothes and their mom had even saved some dinner for us. Pazole con mole, y pollo. It was a "muy rico" meal for them and I felt very honored that they were sharing it with us. They had also bought a jug of Coca Cola to pour for us. It was one of those moments when I knew we would most likely be very ill should we recieve the gifts offered but at the same time we were very very grateful for the gesture. Awkward decision. We prayed silently for protection as we chugged coke from grimy cups and exclaimed that the meal was delicious.

Minerva and Alvaro had seen children open gifts while living at the childrens home so they knew what to do, but the three little ones just held their boxes and smiled. Aili ended up opening two yea…

Present time!!

This year there was no piling the gifts under the Christmas tree ahead of time. In fact, there was no tree to pile them under. We stashed them in the car and pulled them out after the kids were asleep. I guess it's not completely true that we didn't have a Christmas tree. Can anyone see it? Its there among the pile of gifts.
We brought some things from home to give to the kids. I made a stop at the Parables book store before we left home and bought some books for the kids and a cd and book for Nathanael.
We also added a few little toys from the market here..
We were surprised at the gifts that they also got from Grandparents as well.
They had a very happy Christmas morning.

My best thought out gift....if I do say so myself.

I found this spiderman costume at "globos"( the outdoor market) in the middle a large pile of clothing.
It fits my spiderman obsessed little boy perfectly. He wore it ALL day. I had to pry it off today to wash it. I have a feeling it may be his ne…

Childrens Christmas Fiesta!

Last week a group of youth came down from Tijuana to volunteer at the orphanage. The man who lead the group, with his wife, actually grew up at this orphanage 30 years ago. They worked hard, served the kids and staff a big turkey dinner in the cafeteria and then to top it off they threw a party.
It was so fun for all the kids and us big people who snuck in to watch.
They had the music blasting , had tons of fun games for the kids to play and even supplies prizes and gifts.
Of course the fiesta ended with a very intense pinata.

Note to self: Do not let a two year old run under a pinata while it breaks open.
Once that pinata busts its every kid for himself and chicito ninos like Silas are very likely to get severely trampled in the carnage.

Kids enjoying balloons.

It was such a great way to spend a morning! The kids were off of school that day so the party gave the house parents a little big of a break and well as being a blast for the children. What a thoughtful gift. Thankyou Tijuan…

Game night in Casa 5

On Thursday evening we went to Casa 5 with everyones favorite game Pictureka, a box of Bionicle parts, and a few packages of microwave popcorn.

Victoria. We met her when we were here 4 years ago. She was in the nursery (cuna) then. Can you see the sparkle of mischief in her eyes? :)

Arnoldo enjoying playing with some bionicles.

Roman and Alex chowing down on popcorn. They are two peas in a pod. Not only do they match each other with energy and charm they even have matching ears. :) I guess they also share a love for popcorn, since these two ate most of the bowl!

More Christmas Eve

Sisters Julianna and Eloisa enjoying each others company. There is a decade of age difference between the girls but they are so close. Its so nice for little sister to have someone looking out for her and a relative to love her while they are both at the childrens home.

Some girls in Casa 4 looking beautiful for Christmas eve.

Alejandro and his new football.

Noche Buena

Here are a few pictures of our Christmas even festivities in Casa #4. Christmas Eve "Buena Noche" is the big event here. This is when they have their Christmas feast and open their gifts. They all dress in their best Christmas outfits and prepare for the event all day. We had the honor of being invited to join the kids in house 4 for the evening. The food was delicious. We felt so welcomed and included in the event.

A nina with her new baby. She was so cute! It came with a little bottle and she rocked and fed that baby like a little mama.

The house mother, her son and my hijos checking out Silas' new little soldiers. This house mom is the kindest most generous person I think I've ever met. She has some very serious and debilitating health problems of her own but she and her husband care for a house full of little ones. She never complains but always excudes peace and joy. Which is a complete phenominon to me with so many children to care for. She shows so much love to…

Feliz Navidad!

Just wanted to pop in to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
We are enjoying the afternoon off of work and resting up for an evening of Buena Noche festivities with the kids in Casa 4(one of the homes for Children here). I'm looking forward to a traditional Mexican feast this evening. Supper will be late but it will be worth the wait I'm sure. Each of the 6 Casa's are hosting a Christmas Eve dinner. I'm tempted to see how much I can eat in one evening and just start Casa hopping. They are all preparing something different. Its a big event and they've been preparing and buying food all week. After supper all the kids here open their gifts and stay up late. I will take a gift for each of my kids to open tonight as well. We will save the others for morning. We need something to do tomorrow. I'm sure they will all be up at 6 am regardless of how late we are out tonight.

Tomorrow we are planning to go visit Minerva and Alvaro's family. We have s…

our kids

We found our kids! On Friday we stopped by after our caroling excursion to check in on Minerva and Alvaro. We were also able to meet, for the first time, their three younger siblings. "Tio" found them a couple nights before and reported their living conditions to me. He wanted to prepare me ahead of time for how they were living. He choked up as he told me that they lived in a tiny, cold, filthy, fly and rodent infested shack. They sleep on a damp mattress on a dirt floor. 5 kids, their mom and her boyfriend.
Nothing really prepared me to see these beautiful children in their "home". I can't even describe to you the inside of the house. All I can say is it makes the outside appear nice. The whole property is on the slope of a hill and I can't imagine what their floor looked like during last weeks rains.
They were thrilled when their Tio showed up in his car though....that someone cared enough about them to come find them. He said he'd never had hugs so ti…


This Friday afternoon we loaded up three school buses full of people and set out to go caroling. All the staff and their families split up into groups and set out to spread some Christmas cheer. We each had at least one guitar player and we sang our way down the dirt streets, through packs of stray dogs, over streams of flowing sewage, and into some of the poorest neighborhoods and migrant labour camps in the area. We came prepared for the event with bags full of stuffed turtles made by the women at our home church and stuffed by the kids this summer at VBS. We also came to Mexico with many small toys cleaned out of the toy boxes at home, saved for this purpose.

Once Aili and Roman figured out what exactly we were doing they got really into it. Roman was determined to give every person he saw one of those turtles...even the 14 year old gangsters on their bikes. He was so cute. It was their first real experience being in the camps and in these slum type neighborhoods. They have seen and…


The school had a Christmas party and rented two huge jumpy inflatable things for the kids. Santa also made an appearance at the event. Silas followed him around in awe,at a safe distance, but there was absolutely no way he would go anywhere near him. I tried my best to coax him into a photo Mexican Santa but with no success. Rosalinda makes a pretty adorable subsitute though.

The staff Christmas party and potluck is a big event. Everyone looks forward to glamming up, eating lots of good food and having a childless good time. The "outreach" ladies are looking fabulous.

Mexicans know how to have fun. Whats a party without two giant pinatas! It was a hilarious evening. We had one of the teenage girls babysit for the evening and had our first childless evening out since being here.