Friday, October 20, 2017

Nicole Surprises the Church

 The next morning after Nicole arrived, I woke up to an empty house. Nicole had gone to my parents. This is what she did pretty much every morning. It was like a DEFAX situation. They get her mornings, I get her nights, and we share her in the daytime.

The night before, Nicole had given me a wonderful early birthday present - a caramel apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Oh yes, so good. 
I might've had a couple slices for breakfast.

We then went to our new mall which I blogged about last week. Neither my grandparents nor Nicole had seen it. They were astounded by the sophistication...Hehe.

That evening was Bible study. No one in our church knew Nicole was going to be there and we had the best time surprising them all!! 
She hid behind the gate door and I stood in the doorway watching for people coming in the street. As they came in, I'd shake their hands then Nicole would pop out and scare the tar out of them! 

Everyone was sooo happy to see Nicole!

As different ones arrived at church, they'd be surprised then stand aside to watch the next person get their socks shocked off.

After a while, we went into the church because it was almost time to start. People were still arriving though and I managed to get their reactions :)

After church we went to our favorite taco place and enjoyed some warm birria, just like old times!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nicole is Back!

I had a birthday earlier this month. In the weeks leading up to it, I'd been getting these wonderful and annoying emails from Bath and Body Works...if you know me, you know I have a deep affection for candles... I sent Nicole a screenshot of my pretend order and captioned it with "That moment when I wanna buy stuff online but you no come and visit." She replied and said they wanted to visit for Thanksgiving so if I could wait that long, then go ahead and get them! She actually did convince me...I mean, I knew I'd see her eventually in life and even though it might not have still been fall, pumpkin spice is pumpkin spice! That scent is good anytime. 

I bought the candles with a sort of black mail in mind for the future. "You have to come visit. You have my candles." 

A couple weeks passed and I reeeally started wishing my sister would surprise me on my birthday, but I knew it wasn't going to happen. About a week before my birthday, we were working in the kitchen and I told my mom, "If Nicole is coming, just lie to me! I don't want to know." She just looked at me very seriously and shook her head. I took that as, "You are already getting your hopes up and you're going to be severely disappointed. Bummer for you." 

After that exchange, I - in a completely uncharacteristic show of mental discipline and surrender - put it out of my head. The truth is, if I see you even BLINK off-beat, I hear alarm bells going off. My family regularly hears, "YOU LOOK GUILTY! What are you HIDING!?" As much as I adore being surprised, I am the worst for it because as soon as I get a hint of anything weird going on, I'm on it like a mix between a pit bull and a hound dog. LOL. 

Really and truly, I can't even blame it on my self-control or strong will. Other things started happening that required too much mental aerobics and I forgot about my sister, my birthday, any possible surprises. 

Anyways, THE POINT IS: This surprise took me one hundred million billion percent off-guard. 

My mom called me late Tuesday night and said my grandpa and grandma were there. "Grandpa wants to talk to you." Of course that was a lightning bolt that hit hard. My grandpa does not like driving to our side of town and whenever he has to do it, he makes sure everyone knows what a sacrifice it is...HA! To know he'd made the drive, and didn't even bother to call and chat about whatever issue there oh man. I mean, he couldn't even come to MY HOUSE!!! He had to have my parents there!!!!!!!! *panic*

Mom told me to wait for Dad to come and get me since it was very late and pitch black outside. 
I waited for approximately 30 seconds...then slipped some shoes out and went running out the door. If Grandpa wanted to talk to me, there was no time to sit around. Might as well get this business taken care of ASAP. 

When I left my house, I called my dad to let him know I was on my way and to have him on the line in case of a kidnapping, haha. I got half-way down the street and saw him coming towards me. As he got closer, I could see a skirt kind of flapping in the wind behind him. I thought, "Why is Mom playing around at such a serious time as this??!" Really, I was feeling annoyed that she could joke at this moment. 

They were about twenty feet away when all of a sudden, Nicole jumps out from behind my dad with her arms flung all out and yelling, "SURPRISE!!!!!" 

She was recording it all. It went like this: 
Nicole: "SURPRISE!!!!!" 
Me: "WHAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!" 
Me: Sob, sob, sob, sob....
Nicole: "...are you happy?? Or SAD??!"

That really irked me at the time - I was thinking "DUHHHHH I'm happy...!! Just let me cry in peace!" 

She thought I was crying because I was scared of Grandpa and the talk we were going to have - HAHAHAHA!! 

That thought flew out of my mind though when I saw her though. Six months of missing her came pouring out until I was forced to get control because I felt like my collar bone was about to break.

 Come to find out, only Mom and Grandma knew about the surprise. Before surprising me, she went to my parent's house. Austin was at the dining room table reading a book. He says when he heard the doorbell he thought that one of our young men that backslid had gotten in a motorcycle accident and his parents were there to ask us to go pray for him. 
That just cracked me up! Life as a PK!! 

Dad slid the window open to see who was outside and had the shock of his life - 
Nicole standing in the street below!

 We all went back to my parent's house and visited until even later. We were so happy to have Nicole back with us!

Yes, the guys were excited too!
Rusty slept through it all. "I don't even know that girl." :)

And yes....
Nicole brought me my beloved fall candles :) 
Later on, she told me she'd already bought her ticket and was desperately trying to convince me to get them without being too obvious. 
 Augh! It was the best surprise ever. 

She stayed for a week and we packed our days full of fun. I'll be sharing about it all next time! 


Wednesday, October 4, 2017


As I mentioned in my last post, Austin has been going to physical therapy twice a week. His sessions are always around 4 o'clock which makes a great dinnertime. Across the street from the therapy office is a restaurant called Flautlan.

They specialize in all things "Flauta". A flauta is similar to a big taquito. A tortilla stuffed with some kind of goodness and salsa on top.

We went to this place for the first time about a month ago and it's been a favorite ever since. This place is so good!!

You can get your little fried taco (aka "flauta") filled with potato, chorizo, chicken, cochinita pibil, and more. My favorite is the fish flauta drizzled in red sauce. 

Their specialty this fall is the chile en nogada flauta. Puebla is famous for its chile en nogada! 
This is what it usually looks like - 
This has pineapple and ground beef in it and is topped with a creamy sweet sauce that has pine nuts and cinnamon it it. As you can see, there is a generous sprinkle of pomegranate. 

This is Flautlan's twist on the traditional Poblano dish -

You can get your flauta covered in red sauce, green sauce, or beans.

Mom and I had dinner at this place this week and we decided to go all out and try different things for the sake of the blog. 
This time, Mom got her flautas in soup.

After the main course, we ordered the dessert flautas. This one was called the Carlos V. If you are from Mexico, you know what that is! 

The Carlos V had banana in it and warm, gooey chocolate.

We also tried the one with "ate" (pronounce ah-tay) and cream cheese. This was my favorite! Ate is a fruit paste, almost the consistency of jello but more dense and more tasty. Like a firm jam! 

Yessssss, yes, YES!


Monday, October 2, 2017

Kitchen Remodel

 I've been wanting to blog this special snack one member of the team made for the Sunday school snack. I know how much some of you love foodie posts. 

I don't want to go super in-depth but let me just name.the.ingredients in this incrediblesnack called "Kids Salad". It has cubed hot dog, cucumber, pineapple, tomato, grated carrot, and jicama - all mixed into a classic dressing of ketchup.

We appreciate the burden our people have for the kids and the effort they put forth!

I've also yearned to show you all this Sunday school snack. This one is called the "Sandwichon" - The Giant Sandwich. And by that of course, I mean GIANT. The top layer is a ham sandwich, the middle is a spicy jalapeno sandwich, and the bottom is peanut butter and jelly. Slathered in a mayo-cream concoction.


 This is where the SS snack and the main point of this post come together in perfectly providential harmony. 

Look at the above picture and focus on the counter beneath it.
This amazing Sandwichon is set on a concrete counter, mounted at an impossibly awkward level. For ten long years we've struggled with our very lacking church kitchen. It was just plain ugly!! 

Of course when I go look for "before" pictures of the kitchen, I can find none. 
But here are a couple that will help you get the point.

Here, Franny washes dishes at the tiny kitchen sink that leaked. 

Another sis rearranges items on the flimsy shelf and made-for-midgets counter.

While Mom and Austin were in the US earlier this year fixing Austin's leg, Dad got inspired to redo the kitchen. Pastor Riley in Aransas Pass, Texas had given an offering to complete this project. Thank you to him and his church!

 I have no words after reviewing the above pictures. 

 Let's just gaze in awe-inspired silence -


Impressive, isn't it?! 

It is still a very small space...probably around 12 by 12? 
But spaces are now being maximized and things can be put away inside drawers and cupboards instead of sitting out in the open, gathering dust. 
We love our new kitchen! 

Feel free to leave a comment below, letting my dad know what a great job he did! 
Or, if you'd like to spice YOUR Sunday school class up, I'll gladly pass the recipes along to the above snacks! 


Friday, September 29, 2017

Austin and Rusty

Here's an update and Austin...and the ever-growing Wakefield family! 

As you all know, Austin broke his leg back in March. He had surgery done on it here, but it was later discovered that the bones were not lined up and therefore not healing correctly. He went to the US and had it re-broken and operated on again. 
Austin has never done so much sitting around in one year. He was going positively batty!
He was on crutches for a total of five months! Here at the end, he was given the ok to switch over to a cane. 

He came back to Mexico and started going to physical therapy twice a week. 

While Austin is in therapy, sometimes we'll grab a bite to eat or just wait in the waiting room. One particular day, Mom and I ate across the street then somehow got separated in the parking lot, then reunited at the entrance to the physical therapy...I guess she didn't see me. We sit down across from each other in the waiting room and after a couple minutes, my phone dings with a text from Mom saying, "Where are you?" 
I looked up at her and replied, "Umm, Mom? Hi." 
We died laughing.

Thankfully, school is done sitting down and Austin has no excuses for getting behind!
In other news - 
The Wakefield family shrunk and then grew in the past month. Dixie, one of the German Shepherds, had a mid-life crisis and ran away. My parents have been intent on all things home-protection since getting broken into late last year. They want two dogs at all times to scare off robbers. 

So...Meet Rusty, the new little Doberman.

I've kind of had a thing against Dobermans since I was little - a family we were working with had one and it looked like the meanest, cruelest dog. 
But who can resist a snuggly puppy?? He really is a cutie.

After having him a couple weeks, we started wondering if the vet sold my parents a full-grown Chihuahua. How can such a scrawny, bony little puppy grow up to be such a large and menacing dog? 

Well, I've noticed him getting bigger these past couple weeks when I go over there. He might just be the real thing...


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