Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I'm On Strike

Day #2 of the blog strike.

Still waiting for Nicole to post. It looks like the Lord might be on our side - Nicole's phone wouldn't turn on this morning. This means fewer distractions for her...Maybe this blog strike will end sooner than I thought!

Check back for updates on this post. You can see what more important things than the blog Nicole is doing today!!

UPDATE - 9:21am - Nicole is busily typing away on her computer. I asked her what she was doing and she replied that she was letting a special someone know her phone was on the fritz. She was doing a lot of typing so I asked her, "What else is there to say besides 'it turned off and it won't turn back on'?" She smiled dreamily and said, "Oh, a lot. I really like writing. It just flows out of me."
Could she have said anything more perfect?? I just smiled back....
(She doesn't know about the strike. I've decided to quit bugging her about posting. I think this strike is a lot more fun :)

UPDATE - 11:05am - Lunchtime. Her phone has turned on now. Things aren't looking good for the blog.

UPDATE - 12:51pm - She just discovered this post and thought it was hilarious. Like, laughing so hard she was bent over crying. I thought it was funny, but not THAT funny...
She says now that I've blogged today, she doesn't need to....pfffft.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Hi, Nicole

I've been trying to get Nicole to blog since last Wednesday...maybe this post will give her a little motivation :)

We are waiting, dear sister of mine.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Thank You Dinner

A couple weekends ago, the Elder Wakefields had a special dinner at their house. It was their way of saying thank-you to all of the people that helped take care of their church while they were traveling in the States for the last 3 months. 
We were all pretty excited for this because 1) Gramma is a great cook and 2) we love getting together with our family and almost-family :) 
Going down the buffett

Paper plates make great fans :) Whew! 

Ribs, buffalo wings, potato salad, spinach and strawberry salad....Oh yummy...

La familia Alonso!

The Garcia families! 

A lot of good times have been had around this table. 

Elissa was, as always, being very serious. It seemsNicole and Abner are the only ones that can get this girl to smile!! 

Ellissa looks like a happy little baby in these pictures, but only because Nicole was behind the camera making faces and going crazy - lol! She's quite a cutie!! 

Princess overload, I know....but I just couldn't not include this one :)) 

Mr. Austin chowing down! 

After eating, the subject of Grampa's hair got brought up (it seems like we are always talking about his hair - haha! It's so white and beautiful and thick though!) He loves to have his hair pulled at and played with...even if it results in getting a 'do. In this case, a French braid down each side of his head. 

Being silly
After eating dinner, having dessert (strawberry shortcake!) and talking around the table for a good while....it was time for the music! Everyone at the house could either play an instrument or sing so we sat around the living room passing the guitars and having a good ole time! 

When the Diaz family from Washington came down and visited us a few months ago, they told us about some songbooks that they used back home. They promised to send us some when they returned and sure enough - they did! These are such nice-looking, quality songbooks with English hymns that have been translated into Spanish. We pulled them out and sat around singing these beautiful, meaningful songs. (Thank you, Bro. and Sis. Diaz, Amanda, Bethany, Jonathan for this treasure!!)

Some of the songs had such beautiful words, but we didn't know the tune so we just made it up as we went along :) 

The little rug rats having a good time of their own! 

The night was winding down with me getting help with an upcoming math lesson.....

.....and everybody else playing dominos.....

...when all of sudden, our long-lost family friend, the giant bat-moth, came fluttering into the house. 
It flew up and hid in the chandelier (kudos to Tio Mario for the picture!)

Austin ended up getting a broom to try to knock it down, but I don't know if he actually succeeded. I don't remember what happened, except Tio Mario was trying to convince Nicole that if she kissed the moth, Mexican folk loor says she'd get married the next day. Somehow she ended up with a bruise on her leg in the tussle. Who knows where the moth ended up. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dia de la Independecia 2014

 Happy Mexican Independence Day! Yesterday was the official day, but as true Mexicans, we celebrated the night of the fifteenth. We went over to Elder Wakefield's church to celebrate, play games, eat and of course...do some fireworks!

We started off the night with a game of "pass the ring". Everyone sits in a circle and passes the ring on the string while someone in the middle guesses who has it. We love this game! There is always a lot of laughing!

Passing the ring and trying to not look suspicious

We had to fight to get Grampa in the middle guessing! He didn't want to but how can one resist when the whole crowd is chanting, "PASTOR! PASTOR! PASTOR!" Haha!

Do you have it? Do you have it? 
 The next game we played was a contest of who could get the most cotton balls in the plate on top their head. What makes it funny is that cotton balls weigh nothing so most of the time the victim is carrying empty spoonfuls to the plate - lol!
Pastor vs. music leader!

Father vs. son! 

After a couple games, we got the the main point of the night...FOOD! Molotes, taquitos, chile atole, pozole, tostadas, tamales.....so many different kinds of traditional foods! Everything was delcious! 
Sis. Natalia is the tamale maker of the church. She made some traditional tamales and some called "Jarochos". These are made with a little different ingredients and are wrapped in giant banana leaves. They are very very tasty!  

Elissa is now giving kisses...so sweet!! 

The pyromaniacs doing fireworks

I was taking a picture of the guys doing fireworks when Mario said, "Get this!" And stuck an on-the-verge-of-exploding firework in front of the camera. It freaked me out, but the picture turned out great - lol!! 
Next thing on the schedule was El Grito de Dolores!!! (The Cry of Dolores). One of the most exciting events of the year! 
The grito (literally it means "the yell") is done in the center of town in front of the governor's mansion. He comes out on the balcony and does a series of yells like "Viva Mexico!" and the crowd yells back "VIVA!!" 
Then a bunch of trumpets are sounded and fireworks go off and the crowd goes CRAZY!! 
It is extremely exciting! 

Apparently it is too much excitement for a LOT of people, since we were the only ones at the church that wanted to go. Booooo!! 
Before arriving in the center of town, we had to walk about 5 blocks, with a gazillion other people. It was so so crowded! 

All down the street were people set up with games....


....and MORE food! Tons of food. Tons of tantalizing smells. 

About a block away from the center of town and the governor's mansion a line started. It was like an airport security line on steroids times 100. There were probably a couple hundred people in front of us - I was sure we weren't going to make it in time for the grito...but the line moved steadily and we made it through just in time! 
This is how we went through the line, hanging on to each other. There were people trying to cut in front all over the place!! That really gets my blood pumping, I think it is my spirit of truth, justice and the American way rising up. Ha! :) 

Right as we got passed the crowd and into the center, the governor got on the P.A. and in his fanciest and most regal-sounding voice said, "Mexicanooooos!!!" And I got a thrill....even though I am not Mexican....
He started the grito with "Vivan los heroes que nos dieron la patria!" (Long live the heroes that gave us our country!) And as we are running to get a better view, Nicole, me, Austin, and Abner respond with, "VIVA!!!!!!" Austin had a hokey little horn he was blowing and blasting my ears out as we kept running to get closer.
The governor continued with the grito, "Viva Hidalgo! Viva Morelos!" Viva a lot of other Mexican heroes....
And on the last one he yells three times "Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico! VIVA MEXICO!"
And the crowd yells back with more force then ever, "VIVA!!!!!!!"
All of a sudden, from all different sides of the zocalo, fireworks started shooting up into the air and exploding.
The crowd was hollering and cheering, whistling and clapping.
 We had quite a spectacular view! 

The party continued with music, more fireworks, and more cheering. Mexico sure does know how to celebrate.  It was a great night!
When we got home, we were lulled to sleep by our lovely neighbors throwing giant bombs in front of our house until the wee hours of the morning....sigh... :) 


Monday, September 15, 2014

Problems with Students

I don't know what it is, but our boys love to collect tiny pencils. I have told them over and over again that I don't want them writing with these - it makes their handwriting very sloppy! But every once in a while I catch one of them with a nub of a pencil! They will sharpen and sharpen and sharpen their pencil until they are left with something like this....

I can empathize with them a bit since it is not *so* long ago that I was a little kid in school. I remember doing the same thing....getting to the point where my pencil was so tiny. I thought it was cute! I'd write with it until it gave me a cramp in my hand then finally break down and find a new pencil. Having a nice, long pencil was nice for a while, but eventually it'd be sharpened down to a nub, and I'd think it was the coolest thing. Then I'd get annoyed with it and get a new pencil....then it would get sharpened down.....and on and on! 

Little Turkles was caught writing with the contraband last week! Unfortunately, he did not have another pencil so we so kindly let him use one of ours! 
I only had this pink, girly pencil with a heart eraser on it. Bummer! ;)
There was a lot of snickering going on among the boys, but the next day he came with a brand new pencil. I think we may have found the cure to this problem! :)


Monday, September 8, 2014

The Local Chicken & Produce Shop

Meet our neighborhood chicken and produce lady!
We call her "Señora" ....
She used to be a tad suspicious of Beth and I, but she has since warmed up to us and gets friendlier each time we come by her shop.

She will happily chop up your chicken, and then move straight on to bagging up your veggies!
...Thank goodness for disinfectant!
(That's for all you Americans that just read it as "My-cro-dine" haha)
This is what we soak our fruits and veggies in to get them sparkly clean.

 This is her helper, "Señorita".
We obviously are not to the "BFF" stage, not knowing their real names and all... -____-
Oh well, we have something to look forward to! Lol.
Did anyone notice the raw chorizo hanging all over the string of suckers? 
To your kid: "Here honey, have a salmonella sucker!"

This lonely cluster of grapes hung there in the middle for a whole week...
 That bunch of grapes is 50 pesos which is around 4 bucks. Here where we live, a family of 4-5 can feed themselves on just a little more than that, so it's no surprise that they just kept shriveling up there day after day. 
Non-First World Problem: "Feed the whole family, or buy a cluster of grapes?!"


Total Pageviews