Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's Not Me, It's Her

Sometimes we see people at camps and conferences and they will come up to us and say that they really enjoy this blog. They say how funny it is and that we make them laugh. When they tell Nicole this, she usually just laughs and says, "Actually Bethany is the funny one."

The other day she was hanging out with some new friends when one of the young ladies turned to her and said, "Hey, you're really funny!" (Keep in mind that I was not there, and that these 'new friends' did not even know me). Nicole proceeded to repeat her blog spiel. "No, Bethany is actually the funny one......." Nicole has a complex, obviously. Deep emotional scars that come to the surface when you least expect them. Inconvenient and awkward moments.

Just an innocent person giving a compliment!

Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm a Madrina

About a month ago I was asked to be Nayeli's madrina. Nayeli is a little girl in my church and a madrina is basically a person the family chooses that they want to be involved in whatever ocassion it is. In this case it was a graduation and I was to bring a gift. (In weddings, quinceaneras, Catholic baby baptisms, etc the "madrina" is basically the person that is going to be paying for a large chunk of the celebration).

The day of her graduation from kindergarten, Nayeli came over early in the morning and I fixed her hair.

After I finished getting her all fixed up, her parents came over and picked us all up to go to the school. 

Nayeli and her parents rode up in the cab of the truck so Nayeli's hair and dress wouldn't get messed up and Alejandra and I rode in the back. 

When you drive into the area where this family lives, there is a huge canyon. It is scary to walk on this road and a bit scarier crossing the canyon riding in the back of a truck! It'd be a pretty long tumble to the bottom! 

We finally arrived at the school, found our seats (after much shoving, pushing, and squeezing thru the crowd!) and the ceremony began! As every school function I've been to in Mexico, this one started with the kids marching around with the flag then the national anthem. 
If I wanted to see the kids, I had to stand, otherwise, this was my view...

Here is a close up of the graduation-themed balloon of the person in front of me. The top text bubble says, "Little Virgin, [speaking of the virgin Mary] I know you do miracles, but with this one, you outdid yourself!" This struck me as funny - in a creepy sort of way...
False doctrine and mistaken beliefs everywhere you look, even on a child's party balloon. 

The little kids doing a traditional Mexican dance. 

If you look in the pictures above, Nayeli had been wearing a long-sleeved shirt under her dress. When she got to school however, her teacher took it off of her! We didn't realize this until after the ceremony had begun...if that was my child, I would've been fuuuurious! 

After the ceremony - she is holding the flowers and gift I got her. 

Nayeli and her teacher, Maestra Mirian

Buying snacks after the ceremony

After the graduation, we went to the family's house. This is where Sis. Adriana makes her tortillas. 

Baby Ximena

A fly-catcher in the! 

When we arrived at the house we got busy making the salsas for lunch. It has always been a joke between us and this family about making salsa in the molcajete because it is SO difficult! A molcajete is a stone mortar and pestle. You smash the chilies, tomatoes, garlic, etc and grind them until you have a smooth salsa. It is hard work but these people do it everyday. They get a kick out of watching us work with the molcajete...probably because we are just wimpy white girls compared to them and have no clue what we are doing - haha! 
I worked on it for a while...till I got a cramp in my hand. I'm telling's rough! I can't say it enough - lol! 

As the saying says, "No pain, no gain." We pushed through the pain and came up with some extremely delicious green salsa! Never have I felt more accomplished when it was finally time to eat. If anyone reading this thinks I'm exaggerating...go buy yourself a molcajete and try making salsa in it :)  It is an experience! 

The girls in front of the house. The open area to left is where they wash and hang out their clothes to dry. 

While waiting for the main dish of roasted chicken to arrive, we sat around the table with the girls and worked on some puzzles. 

I found this collage of pictures hanging in the living room. It was touching to see because the majority of the pictures  are ones we have given them over the years and are of their kids being dedicated to the Lord, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, being baptized, and other special occasions. We've been pastoring this church for almost 7 years and this family came in right at the beginning. Seeing these pictures made me think, "We've been through a lot together" and these people know how truly blessed they are? Not because we are in their lives, but because they have known Truth. There are over 3 million souls in this city alone that are not so blessed. The people of our urch-chay ead-ray this blog so without getting into too much detail - this family needs your prayers! 

Future tacos and carnitas 

What a beautiful picture! Behind the girls is the steep canyon I mentioned earlier in this post. 

The pet turtle

Hmm...this turtle brings back some fond memories! :)

Lunchtime! Nicole's a-bit-too-excited smile. 

This darling little puppy came trotting in after lunch. Nicole picked it up and this was her reaction to the smell of sour milk coming off of it. 

Daniela was trying to show us how aggressive her little puppy could be - by stepping on him! (I say from experience that little children from this here country that I am currently in can be veryyy cruel! 

The puppy hiding under the couch with his bone - away from mean little kids. 

Nayeli dancing the confetti out of her hair

Ximena tripped and fell and as soon as she did, her 11-year old sister just looked at her and said, "Don't whine!!" I was cracking up because sure enough, not one little whimper escaped. These kids are TOUGH! 

After lunch we went outside and played with the kids...spinning, twirling, and lots of giggles from the girls! 


Oooh la la! I hear wedding bells....! 

Our never-changing, always dork-O Javiiiii

Not brave enough to experience the outhouse (as much as it'd be a great experience haha!) we decided it was time to head home. Daniela insisted upon riding in the back of the truck. 

Javier drove us home and we were lucky enough to score a seat in the cab. Woo hoo! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Greasy Donkey Milk

Here is some body wash we saw at the store the other day. What a name! Sounds so....moisturizing!! 
Leche de Burra - Donkey milk...Greasy...... Haha! They have this also in a lotion. Oh, joy! 
We are taking orders if any of you want some of this! We will deliver it next time we are in the States :) 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Marshall's in Porterville, CA

After Pacific Coast Camp, I went home with the Marchbanks to Porterville, CA. Some might say, "What in the world did you do there?!" Well, let me tell you. We went to Marshall's every day! Each day was a new adventure. Overall, I had a GREAT time! It was nice to relax and slow down after the week of Pacific Coast Camp. 
Stetson giving Stephanie a hug

Relaxing in Granny Joanie's backyard 

Sis. Alissa testifying about camp

Sis. Bethany singing

I french braided Bentley's hair :) 

It was sooo hot in Porterville so us girls went out to Orange Works. It's a cafe famous for it's orange ice cream and milkshakes made from their local oranges. YUMMMM! Very refreshing. 

Glory! In excelsis deo. 

Cherie, me, Steph, and an imaginary Nicole

Stephanie was being a baby in Target and I indulged her

Cherie and I enjoyed a girl's day out...lunch, pedicures, and shopping! (MARSHALLS! HA!) 

Cherie had piano lessons on Tuesday night. When we got to the back room, we realized that someone had forgotten their turn on the church cleaning list. Bro. Marchbanks asked Cherie to vacuum when she finished her piano lesson. When it was over she went and got the vacuum, but found out there were no bag in it. Mr. Justin had the brilliant idea of scotch taping a trash bag inside there instead. 

He started it up and the bag blew up like a balloon as it let out a horrendous screeching noise. It was pretty bad.  

We ended up having to resort to sweeping the carpet, which I am a pro at, since I am Mexican. (Lol - people here sweep their carpet since vacuum cleaners are much more expensive than brooms).
So a word of advice to those on the church cleaning list: If you want to be a servant of God, don't forget your turn on the list!! And to those that have to pick up the're a servant of God, too! 

Jam session.....(me pretending I know how to play the organ)

The day of Cherie's first taste of boba 

Wednesday night, we were running late for church, due to a couple of reasons. We had been running around all day (MARSHALLS! LOL) and got home just in time for dinner. It was then we were informed by Bro. Marchbanks that "tonight we are having a singspiration! Bethany, you're singing twice!"
Oh man.
Cherie and I raced off to run through a few song options, and finally decided on a couple. We rushed and got ready then ran out the door, as Cherie is telling me, "I have to be on the platform in 10 minutes!" 

Cherie had to write my lyrics for me and as I drove and she wrote, we ended up getting super inspired and wrote a bridge for one of my songs...HAHA!
The service ended up being really good and I enjoyed hearing all the talented singers of Life Tabernacle in Porterville! 

As if our day had not been hectic enough......we pile into the car to head home and I start the car up. I go to back out and the brakes and steering wheel lock up. Thankfully, the Alvarados were still in the parking lot so I hopped out and tap, tap, tapped on their window. "I think I broke the car, can you please come check it out?" 

"Please, God! Let it be fixable."

Bro. Alvarado ended up fixing whatever the problem was and drove us home for good measure. Thank God for a good man! 

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