Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Check In to Check Out

Hi everybody! I just wanted to check in and give this blog a little love. (But only a little :P) These past couple of weeks have been pretty busy with the holidays and all of that. We also have our annual conference that starts tomorrow - 1, 2, and 3 of January. I am looking forward to it and also looking forward to sharing everything here afterwards! 

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday! We will be back to blogging soon! 

~Bethany~

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Family Border Trip!

As most of our regular and faithful readers know, a long and arduous trek to the border has to be done every six months to renew papers and such. This past week the car's expiration date was looming near, so we started planning to head out! The rest of the family had just been out in October & November partying and having fun in the U.S., while I (Nicole), faithful, self sacrificial, and hard-working that I am, stayed in Mexico to keep the boat afloat. As it had been almost 6 months since I had seen an American flag blowing in the wind, I was pretty excited about going on this trip. Bethany and Austin stayed home this time.
Elder and Sis. Wakefield decided to go with us-- that definitely added to the fun!
In order for this trip to be safe, we left Puebla around 4am to arrive in the early afternoon. Its best to not cross the border in the middle of the night.

After several hours of driving, we stopped for breakfast at McDonalds around 9am. There was wifi so I decided to see how things were going with the school and Beth... I sent her a sisterly dorky hello picture, and she sent me one in return. :)) Somebody was having a rough morning.
When I asked permission from dear Bethany to be able to put up this picture of her, she suggested I put up all of the pictures that we have texted each other in the past few weeks.... I think NOT! Most of them consist of the kinds of pictures that you only share with the ones that you have no intention of impressing, because the facade that you put up the to rest of the world has already been shattered by years of growing up together.

Need I say more?

After our longer-than-planned-for stop for breakfast, we got back on the road. Turns out that we were better off sitting in that booth at McDonalds than on the road because we avoided this mess that had just happened. The ambulances/authorities had not even shown up yet and the driver of the smaller car was still inside, staring off in a daze.
We don't know how many cars exactly were involved, but there was a private security car crunched and a larger Explorer type car that went flying over the divide and landed up on a hill on the other side of the road. (Black Explorer in the red circle.)

You might think the front of this car looks bad, but the back was crushed even worse.

The Lord kept us from harm not only in this situation, but for the rest of our trip. We had no accidents, popped tires, or encounters with shady characters, going and returning. Thank you Jesus.

Arriving at the border!

Bethany is usually the one to pop out the patriotic tunes, but Mom was quick to fill her shoes once we were in the border crossing lane.
Gramma made sure we all had our hands over our hearts as we sang along with the National Anthem. :)
This is the closest picture I dared to snap... These border peeps ain't too keen on getting their pictures taken. (And understandably so....I'm not complaining)

Grampa and I - our first step onto American ground.

After driving almost 14 hours, we were tired and hungry, but very relieved to have finally made it!

First stop- Applebee's!
Am I the only one that gets mistaken for a 12 year old?? I mean really... How rude. LOL. I want to say this is a one-time fluke, but sadly I have had several encounters like this with restaurant servers in the past few months. Am I getting younger or something? This never used to happen to me...


We arrived on Monday and spent Tuesday-Friday shopping all day, every day until we literally dropped. It was tiring and lovely at the same time. We were able to buy so many supplies and goodies that we can't get in Mexico, or on the trips when we fly out!


This was about day #4 of shopping and dropping. We were at the mall and after just a few stores, all I had the energy to do was people-watch while eating frozen yogurt.

Friday morning Grampa and I went to an office store to get his December 
newsletter printed and out to you all.
Awesome things are happening in Mexico City!

Friday afternoon was spent just picking up last minute supplies and such...
My feet hurt. And maybe I was being a sissy. Judge me if you like. :))
The awkward part of this is that I kept running into the SAME MAN who was also in a wheel chair, but he actually needed his wheel chair... The first few times we crossed paths, we exchanged soft, understanding smiles... The next 20 times, I just avoided eye contact. -.-

In between all of our shopping we had to eat of course..
^Cracker Barrel is our favorite! You are really missing out if you've never been to one of these before. ^

I found Denae Abbott on the wall at Logan's Roadhouse!
Hi Denae! :)))

Once again, bright and early, we packed up and drove out. Crossing over onto the Mexican side can be stressful... We had the car and trailer packed full with things, and in the past they've made us unpack everything. We always hope for green lights and happy border agents. Thankfully they didn't have us unpack everything, but they did randomly choose a 25lb bag of brown sugar that happened to be close the trailer door to be examined. Much to our dismay they sliced it open and didn't even have the decency to provide us with tape or something to close it with...

Grampa and I kept ourselves entertained on the trip back! We spent approximately 3 hours thinking of words that rhymed with snow. It was quite funny.

Sweet little dogs at a rest stop.

This one didn't take long to warm up to the strangers.

And finally, as if this post isn't long enough we made it home!

*Nicole*

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Jaime and a Stolen Kiss

Sunday school had ended and the kids were filing out of the church. I was holding the door open when this little guy, Jaime,  passed by and stuck his hand out, totally taking me off guard. I grabbed his hand and shook it and he told me, "Te portas bien, eh?" I was like, *blink, blink*..."What??" And he said again, "Te portas bien!" (Behave yourself!) I laughed and said, "ok". He then stretched his neck out, eyes squinty, and puckered his lips out. I was laughing at the hilarity and at this little boy's gutsiness. He kissed me on the cheek then ran out the door.
Jaime is the one in yellow, with his brother Emanuel
I ran and grabbed my camera and told these little guys I wanted a picture with them. After snapping a few, I told them thank you and that I hoped to see them next Sunday. Jaime then stabbed a slice of orange off of his plate and held his fork up to my mouth. What else could I do? I took the bite very gratefully (lol!) and he informed me, "That's for taking a picture with us!"

Oh man...these boys are just too much! They have added so much life to our Sunday school classes!

~Bethany~

Friday, December 12, 2014

Oh So Teacherly

There's something about these things that makes me feel extra-important. A real teacher uses these things - at least in my mind. If you're a new teacher, let me make a couple recommendations.....

#1 - Real teachers have a bell. Real teachers ring that bell, and ring it LOUD. But don't leave your bell out for just anyone to touch. There's nothing like a bell being rung by a well-meaning saint of God that thinks prayer meeting should be ending. *DING!* It's a little...surprising.

#2 - When I went to Mexican public school at the age of 7 my teacher graded all my work with these crayon-pencils. They are super cool because you just pull a string to get more pencil out instead of sharpening it. When I saw these at the store I had to have them. I feel important when I grade with them.

And...that is pretty much all I need to feel like a teacher. These things, and of course my stellar intelligence! Oh, and a drawer-full of snacks in the filing cabinet :))

Any teachers out there? What items do you have that boost your teacherly confidence?


~Bethany~

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Napa

The last day I was in the US this past month was spent in Napa, Ca with our dear friends, the Bledsoes. They recently took over the pastorate of Elder Price's old church. We were excited to see the church, and of course our friends. What a beautiful, beautiful city Napa is. I mean, just gorgeous! It was a little nippy and it seemed like fall was in full swing. I don't have that many pictures, but here are the few I did get...

Look at them colorful trees! 


Mom and Austin


Me and my buddy


Sweet boy :)



Saying goodbye :(
~Bethany~


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I Hope I Don't Get Ebola

Everyone in my family except for Austin and I left on Monday for the border. Our car has to be driven out of the country every six months. Nicole hasn't been out of the country in a while so she decided to go. So here I am, taking care of the school, building project, and house...all by my glorious lonesome. I am thoroughly enjoying it though so don't ya'll go feeling bad. Everybody needs some alone time - and I'm getting mine this week! (Except for the fact that Austin is still here...)

This morning, Unnamed Student informed me he was having stomach problems and asked to go to el baƱo. A couple factors influenced the next sequence of events.
1. Too much TP
2. A wooden stick when a plunger couldn't be located (can you say "frantic"?)
3. One too many flushes
Vile and wretched story short - I spent my lunch break bleaching the bathroom within an inch of its life and wishing I owned an Ebola containment suit. I'm a leetle tempted to go into more detail, but my dad's warnings are ringing in my head. Something having to do with not lowering my blog's standards...hahahahaha.


~Bethany~

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Too Good for School

Sometimes I think Austin thinks he's above school....

(Yes, I know millionaire is spelled wrong, and yes he corrected it)

When he brought me his book to grade, he had a cocky little attitude and a smirk on his face. He rolled his eyes as he told me, "I used a little sarcasm.". Said he needed to add a touch of humor. Apparently his work is just a little too boring for his taste. 

~Bethany~

Monday, December 8, 2014

Voting 2014

While we were in the States, just so happened, it was voting time! How perfectly providential! We filled out our absentee ballots that had been previously mailed to us while sipping hot chocolate and other yumminess at Starbucks. 



Filling out my ballot
Austin read his Bible while we filled out our ballots. 

We hardly knew any of the names of the people we were to vote for...Google to the rescue! Between Dad and I, we looked up every single name on the ballot to see what they stood for and who we should vote for. 

Research, research! 

~Bethany~

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Vianey's Funeral

As you all probably know, Sis. Vianey passed away after months of suffering. We went to the hospital Saturday morning to see her and say our last goodbyes. On Sunday we got the call that she had passed away. Monday we had a small service at her house for friends and family. Tuesday we had the funeral at the church. 
This was me and Nicole's first Christian funeral in Mexico - usually when someone in the church dies, the family swoops in and takes over and everything is done in the Catholic way. We were very pleased when Sis. Vianey's family chose to honor her wishes of having her funeral in the church. None of the Catholic nonsense. No chanting and wailing over the body, no sprinkling it with water, no money left in the hand of the deceased to get them past the Jordan River and buy them food and clothes in the next life. 

This funeral honored Sis. Vianey and it honored the Lord. 

Hno. Baltazar reading her obituary


The flowers from the younger Wakefield family

The flowers from the Elder Wakefield family


The casket was opened so the family could say their last goodbyes
After the funeral, we drove about 14,000 miles out to the middle of nowhere, where there was a cemetery. It started out as an ordinary trip, but then Elissa had a diaper blow-out and I got to witness how to deal with a terrible explosion in a moving car. 



We had a little service around the casket then we watched as the casket was lowered into the ground. The men started shoveling dirt on to the casket - it is the creepiest sound - and a few people started wailing and crying. It was sad. 

My precious Gramma


Elder Wakefield saying some last words
Beautiful flowers - all the flowers that were given to the family were used to cover the grave. That is the tradition here. 

~Bethany~

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