Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dinner at Mello's

A couple of days ago, on Saturday, we took our Sunday School team out for dinner at a popular restaurant called "Mello's". This is a homestyle, very authentic Mexican restaurant.
This is Mrs. Mello giving us a very warm welcome and introducing our waiter for the night. 
(Okay, really I don't know her name... But she's the owner, and the place is called Mello's, so I'm just puttin' two and two together! :)))

We placed our order and it was long at all until hot food started flying out of the kitchen!
There's no such thing as a small portions here... And when you're done, they'll ask if you want seconds! 
On the house! 

This right here is pozole de cabeza y pollo.
(Hominy soup with pork head (yes, head) and chicken.)
I didn't order this because I've never been too impressed with pozole. But everyone raves about these people's pozole, including some family members that also claim to not care for pozole. 
Maybe I'll get it next time.

Our team, minus a few.

Let me just tell you all staright up how it is--
Mexicans can eat.
^Israel ordered a chancla which translated into English literally means 'sandal'... or flip-flop. I really have no idea how this meal got it's name. Maybe because it looks like it could be hiding a few flip flops in it...? Who knows, but its really made of pieces of bread, a lot of meat and cheese, onions, avacado, and who knows what else!^

Hna. Siria fixing her bowl of pozole

Hna. Francis and Hna. Marisol

At first I ordered a molote. Something I always order on the street. Molotes are crescent shaped pieces of dough that are filled with meat, mashed potatoes, or cheese and are fried in oil. Soooo good.
They've popped up in many a post and we even made them once!

But.... then I thought of you, my dear reader, and on a whim I changed my mind.
I ordered Mole de Panza instead, because I know how you yearn for a crazy, 
slightly nasty Mexican foodie post!
Mole de Panza, translated, is "Stomach Soup". :) 
This soup is chopped up pig's stomach lining (similar to this), in a rich, spicy red broth. --That might be how I would describe it if I was trying make it sound good. 
Now for the real deal-- 
Here's an American girl's take on this stomach lining soup.

<<<Nicole dips her spoon into the steaming red broth and successfully fishes out the smallest chunk of stomach lining that she can, and lifts it up to her mouth. Before she can put it into her mouth, a smell assails her nose! What is that? Is it the wonderful smell of spices and herbs? Nope. The smell that reaches her nose is a foul smell that can only be labeled as manure..>>>

(Or as dad describes it, "dirty pig".)

Yes. Manure. I could get really graphic and descriptive about the smell and all but I'll save it. :))
Now here's the upside- once it was in my mouth, I couldn't smell it anymore! LOL.
And the first small pieces were easy to chew and swallow. It wasn't until there were no more small pieces and I had to put a big one in my mouth (these things are impossible to cut up.) and it seemed I had to chew forever, while trying not to gag. That was my last bite. Honestly the taste was not that bad. I just couldn't get past the smell and just knowing that I was eating a part of an animal that you just don't normally eat! I know some people at the table could not understand why Hna. Nicole was not finishing her special bowl of soup that they love so dearly..... So it got passed down the table to a more appreciative person. :))

And just for fun, I took these close-ups for you....


And closer...!

Yum! :))

And this is where I will leave you all... Contemplating the stomach lining and the joys of our culinary adventures here in Mexico!
Next time you come see us, we'll take you here to try some stomach soup for yourself! :D


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Banana Bread

 The Friday before Christmas the girls and I made mini banana bread loaves to gift to all the church families. The girls really enjoyed this Friday's activities... Especially working with the electric mixer :))) They loved flipping the switch to make it spin faster and do all the work! Something so common to me, but so novel for them!
Anahy and Maribel

We had to make loads of batter!

While the banana bread baked in the oven, we drank a seasonal drink named Wassail that Bethany had made earlier.
Eeeeeverything is funny to these girls. Especially when Hna. Nicole starts snapping pictures!

Just in case you're wondering, Wassail is not a Mexican drink. It's a European apple cider-esque drink :)) 
Orange juice, apple juice, cinnamon, clove.... Absolutely wonderful!

Our little clean-up train.
Dish washer, rinser, and dryer!

After what felt like a thousand batches of banana bread were baked, we got to packaging them!
Later on that weekend, Pastor and Sis. Wakefield went around the colonia giving them away to our saints.

After looking at all of these pictures, I can almost smell the banana bread... Makes me want to go make some more right now! Maybe I will....


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bibleing: Completed!

Yes that's right! Congrats to Austin for accomplishing his goal that he set at this time last year! 
At the beginning of 2013 Austin decided that he wanted to read the whole New Testament in one year. What an awesome goal! He started out struggling because of his dyslexia, but throughout this year his reading improved more and more. We are so very proud of him for accomplishing this goal and for the effort he has put in to bettering his reading skills.
And my, has he improved! The Lord really did help him this past year and Austin can read with the best of 'em now!

^Sis. Mom would like you all to know that Austin actually completed the New Testament before the given date, but because of technical difficulties another date is shown...^

I think if you were to ask Austin what his favorite book was to read, he'd tell you the book of Revelation. 
He was quite intrigued with it.

As many of you know, not only was reading the New Testament a personal goal of Austin's, but it was also how we began to raise and save money to build a third floor to be dedicated to our church school. As I have said before, Beth and I dream of a school-dedicated space. Somewhere where we don't have tear down everything on Wednesdays for Bible study and turn around that night to put it back up... And then tear down again on Friday for that night's service and Sunday service... And turn around and put it all back up Sunday night to be ready for school on Monday morning!
Our dream is finally going to become reality, and for that we'd like to send out a huge thank you to all of our supporters and everyone who sacrificed and contributed to this project. 

May God bless you all.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Medieval Times

While we were in the States we got to go to Medieval Times! That was very exciting. We went with the Marchbanks, the Wilkins, and the Brays.

Miss Cara and I
Our first view of a horse
Eeeeeek! How exciting!
Sistah Cherie and I
Sis. Marchbanks, Sis. Wakefield, Sis. Bray

Our table
Our knight...go blue team!
Both Cherie and Stephanie got a flower tossed to them from our knight!
Us kids :)
After Medieval Times, we went to Downtown Disney and walked around. We went to the Lego store and they had some pretty amazing creations, of course everything was made of Legos. Austin was in heaven!!

Cherie and I
What happens if you accidentally bump this the wrong way and it comes crashing down?? That'd be awful! :O
Cara, me, Cherie, and Steph
Candy store in Downtown Disney

Cherie and I got a chocolate/peppermint caramel apple. YUM :) And it was shaped like Mickey Mouse - so cute.

Sis. Marchbanks and I...having a good laugh!

We sat around talking here foreverrrrrrrr and it was cooooold!
However....we did not get enough visiting done at the restaurant so we stood out in the parking lot talking and (mostly) laughing our heads off!

Bro. Marchbanks, me, Cherie...something funny was happening here, but I do not remember WHAT :)


Monday, January 6, 2014

Handel's Messiah

During Christmas break, Nicole and I went downtown for a girl's night. There was an orchestra playing Handel's Messiah in the big cathedral - what a perfect way to get the Christmas spirit flowin'! 

We hopped on a bus and headed into the center of town. Vendors get on and off the buses selling anything from ice cream to idols. This particular day, a young man got on selling these Paleta Payasos (chocolate covered marshmallow on a stick, in the face of a clown). He shoved three into each passenger's hand, insisting we were NOT obligated to buy them.....

We had enough to carry so I poked them in the wall separating the driver and us. Handy.

The salesman giving his spiel on "yummy" white chocolate marshmallow clown faces.

Beautiful day!

Everything was decorated so pretty.

The cathedral

When we got in, we realized this was going to be a bit bigger deal than we'd originally thought. There was a television crew filming it all and hordes of people.

Surprisingly, Nicole and I got a seat on the front row of a certain section.... pretty decent seat, right??
It was great, until the place began to overflow and random people would just come up and stand of us. RUDE!!!!!!! When we were in California I bought Nicole a totally awesome, extendable back scratcher. We decided that would have come in very handy this day. Just extend it and give the obnoxious people blocking our view a good "thwop" on their backsides.
We got sooo tired of tapping people and saying (with the facial expression of "I know this is going to sound completely crazy, and I'm really sorry to inconvienience YOUUU, but....), "I can't SEEEEEEEEE...."
 Seriously, people?!
I'm getting annoyed just thinking about it....hahahaa...

This is what our view was supposed to look like during the concert...
This is what it actually looked like....

...and this...

....and this....

....and this. Ugh, where's a fly swatter when you need one...?
Anyways, this went on for a while until Nicole got hungry and *insisted* that we leave. 
Apparently we are not cultured enough (or someone's stomach doesn't have a very long attention span) to sit through an entire concert.... Sigh. 

Since we had what looked like some pretty covetable seats, and people were standing shoulder to shoulder, Nicole and I decided that we were going to gather up our purses and bags, stand up,  stretchhhhhhhh real loooonng...then sit back down. Fake everyone out around us HAHA!! (No, we did not actually do this...but we DID get a GOOD laugh from this, and other ideas we were coming up with. You know how it is when you're supposed to be calm and quiet? Yeah. We cried throughout the whole concert from laughing so hard.)

We found a big bread store with very interesting little breads. I got a slice of corn bread. Not cornbread, but bread of corn...not the same thing lol. It was very yummmm :)
Nicole got flan.

Since we started off with a tasty dessert, it was time for a substantial dinner. We found this lady on the street with a ton of customers around her. Nothing like a long line to let you know the food is good, right?
There's also nothing like a long line to say, "I'm never actually going to get to your order today."
We waited...and waited....but there so many people and only one poor little old lady to make food. So we left, wiping tears from our eyes.

And this was the end of our night. We did eventually find dinner, but that is another post for another time.

Today is our first day back to school. We are very happy to be back to normal life, with things to do! Hope you all are having a wonderful start to the new year!


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