Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Chat

Did anyone see the red moon Sunday night? We were getting pretty pumped about it for the last few days, looking forward to it. I made a special dinner for after church, along with apple pie. I imagined us all sitting on the roof with blankets, pie, vanilla ice cream, and the moon so close we could almost touch it. After church we looked up into the heavens only to see a very gloomy and cloudy sky. We did not catch even one glimpse of the moon! (That is, until I got on the news this morning. Pretty neat!)

Abner preached for us Sunday night. We had an interesting song service, but the preaching made up for it. The little group of Sunday school kids came to church again! We now all sit on the very last row with notepads and erasable crayons. (To the genius commentor that suggested invisible markers - I'm on the look-out for them!) Each Sunday they get better at not getting out of their seats, not asking to go to the bathroom, and keeping quiet. Eventually we will graduate to the second to last row, and get closer and closer to the front as their behavior improves - haha! They are so cute - curious about everything and eager to help.

Cool Ana
Ana loves to sing. Last Sunday she got the itch to bust out some lines to a song she learned at school, in the middle of the preaching. Of course this was met by my shushing. But no, she didn't want to be shushed! "Sing with me!" She put her hands on either side of my face and got this pitiful, silly look on her face. You know how when you were little, the teachers would tell your parents at the parent-teacher conferences, "Your daughter/son is a joy to have in class!" I understand those words now. Not every kid is a joy to work with - ha! But these kids...they are a ball of energy and unpredictability.

Last Sunday I sat Ana and her sister on the front row so we could all keep an eye on them. When only a couple of them come to church, this is where they sit and it actually works out well. After I get off the piano, we all go sit in the back. Well after ending one song at the beginning of the service, from over the worship of the congregation a sound reaches my ears. I meet eyes with Ana and she is screaming at the top of her lungs, "IS IT OVER NOW???!!!?!!" It was so funny.

Nicole and Beatriz
Austin and our newest little Sunday school member

Well, that's all I have for the this chat today.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Dog Disaster

This past Wednesday we had a bit of a fiasco! As I was coming upstairs after our weekly Sunday school meeting, I heard a far off sound-- Jack's crying/I'm-stuck-in-who-knows-where/distressed sound. I followed the noise to the stairs to the school, dread filling my heart and soul... I went half way up and found this:
Little Jack, imprisoned in our office.

He had had his fun, that's for sure.
I found clocks thrown to the ground, trash strewn about, and some special gifts on the walls and floor.

And the best present of all... on our new carpet!
(Blurred for those of you with weaker constitutions.)

After picking up his present to us, I shamed him with the bucket.
He was so ashamed that he could not make eye contact with me or with the bucket.

More shaming.
This part was fun.. I hope he learned his lesson.

Actually, Beth is the one who probably learned a lesson.
:)) Turns out Jack fell asleep in the office and she locked him in after her piano lessons.



Wednesday, September 23, 2015


A few months ago we got a new restaurant here in Puebla. To many of you, this will be no big deal, but to us it is! American food, in an American-style restaurant. It reminds us of the good ole USA! 
Yes, IHOP has come to town!

You walk in and you feel like you've been transported to America, to an upper-class International House of Pancakes. 

They even have the different syrups!

A strawberry banana crepe.

Yummy salad

We are enjoying the new restaurant in town!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Oh Yes, I Did

You guys. I can hardly believe this myself, but this actually happened Friday night:
A colossal accomplishment

I am still flipping out, as I type this.

So the story is... I've been practicing since around the beginning of summer, I believe. I mentioned in a blog post last month (here) about our drummer problems. These drummer issues are what inspired me to learn the drums myself, and the fact that I have a prolific drummer friend who was kind enough to show me around and teach me a few beats.
I learned a slow 3/4 and a fast 4/4. HAHA!!! I laugh as I write this. I get a kick out of remembering, and it is even funnier to me now considering what all went down Friday night.

It was a spontaneous decision - I decided during pre-service prayer that I was going to play. No time to get nervous and chicken out! I picked out some songs that I knew, that had the right beats. The first one went well. I don't think I messed up. When it came time for the next one, I heard a lot of whispering over by the piano. I didn't know what the deal was since I had already planned all the songs. Mom mouths to me, "Nicole says she doesn't know this one." *eye roll* Suddenly, Nicole busts out singing some random song that I have neverrrrrrrrr practiced in my life. Never have I ever had to more strongly fight the urge to choke somebody. Ha. Ha.
(My prayers started out as "God help me, help me not to mess up, help me not to bust out laughing from nervousness" to "OMW GURL YOU DID NOT JUST DO THIS", and various torturous things I wanted to do to Nicole passed through my mind.)

So I just tried to improvise while trying not to panic, and literally keep my head cool. The song was a slow 4/4, I knew that, so I developed a strategy of trying to do the same thing with the bass pedal on beats one and three. And consistently do the same thing with the snare on beats 2 and 4. And the high hat....I think I hit it twice for each beat? In my head in makes sense, but it definitely was not perfect in person. My main thought was, "Please end this song as soon as possible!" However, I didn't cause a train wreck. That is a plus!

On to the fast songs - I'd say they went pretty well. The only problem is that halfway through, the muscle in the front of my right leg started burning from the bass pedal workout. I spent the rest of the song service doing breathing exercises and chanting to myself, "Don't quit, it's almost over. Don't quit, it's almost over."Overall, it was pretty fun.

In closing: 
To those are you that are guffawing over the scandalous idea of a girl playing the drums in an Apostolic church - I hear you. And I am taking resumes! Your drum skillz are needed down here and I'd be happy to give up my position!
And to those of you that I know are smiling right now, proud of my accomplishment - thank you.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Dia de Independencia 2015

Independence Day here in Mexico is technically on the sixteenth of September, but the country celebrates it the night of the fifteenth. Most holidays here are celebrated the night before. 
I wanted to go to the Grito - no one else did. I can understand why the "elderly" wouldn't want to go. It's a crazy day, and there are thousands of people all smooshed into a few blocks of space. But these young people need to get out and live a little! Nicole said she was going to be too tired; Abner didn't want to deal with the transportation situation so late at night. 

After much begging and cajoling, I finally convinced Nicole to go with me to the Grito. 
 Abner was required to go by the higher-ups - we are prohibited from going anywhere by ourselves on this day. He graciously agreed to come, after a little bit of bribing. 

Nicole and I arrived at the designated meeting place first. Providentially, there was a Krispy Kreme donut shop there, which Nicole took advantage of. She said the main reason she went out was to EAT.
First food of then night - Chocolate donut
I got an apple drink.
#nofilter...Lol. My camera was acting up, apparently. I'm actually like...super tan in real life. Ha. Ha.  Ha.             
*skin comparison contest!*
We'd actually arrived way too early in our over-excitement so we walked around the mall looking at the different stores.
Found this little guy in the pet store
Finally we all arrived in the beautifully decorated Zocalo.

We had high hopes for dinner, but ended up just eating at McDonald's. McDonald's!?! 
Yes, McDonald's. It turned out okay though because we ended up with the best seats in the house. Second story, front row, looking out on to all of the exciting happenings in the center of town.

I had a deck of UNO cards in my purse so we put those to good use while Nicole ate a McFlurry and we watched the show outside.

The Grito (the yell?) is given at 11pm so a few minutes before then we headed out to brave the crowds.
This was as close as we could get, and it looks like a bad view but....
...zoom in and there is the governor!
 As a refresher for those of you that don't remember what the grito is - 
It is when the governor of Puebla goes out onto the balcony of the governor's mansion on Independence Day and does a serious of "Viva Mexico", viva this, and viva that. 
"Long live Mexico!!" 
He yells first then the people yell back. He then rings a big bell over and over again while the people sing the national anthem. It is awesome!! 
After singing, he rings the bell again and fireworks start going off like crazy. It is pretty exciting.

Totally unscripted shot of us watching the fireworks...ha.
Before having access to the center of town where the governor is, you must go through security. It really is nonsensical. The police take stuff from people that make their whole gig just look flat-out suspicious. For example, no one was allowed to pass with an umbrella. And it was a rainy evening. C'mon!! There were tons of umbrellas everywhere. We went back to get ours afterwards, but someone had stolen it, which wasn't surprising. It was a nice umbrella - from Costco - haha.

We were bent over from laughter during this ordeal and even coaxed some laughs out of the police standing around. We contemplated just bringing an armful back home to compensate for the one we'd lost, but no one really wanted to carry around 15 dollar store umbrellas for the rest of the night. 
(and that would have been stealing.)

After coming out on the other side of security, it was time to find some good food!
Flans and strawberries and creme
Chalupas - These were the best!!!!! 
Carne asada and longaniza tacos
Some sort of chocolate milk, although it was mostly foam and a couple centimeters of acutal milk
After exploring the food options, tasting new things, and walking all over the place, we headed home for the final shabang of the night. 
Literal shabang. 

The school is definiely "multi-uso"!
Good for many things. 
Instead of throwing a firework then running for cover in the opposite direction, we could just throw them out the window and watch the explosion happen. No fuss, just pure fun - lol!

I don't have many pictures of this...my pyromaniac side had come out and the photographer one had taken a backseat.
Happy Independence Day!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Eliu's Party

Eliu, one of the kids in our church, celebrated his 10th birthday this summer. His family threw a big birthday bash and invited half the church and all of Eliu's friends. Sis Marisol made pizza and pasta. Everything was delicious and we had a fun time eating and visiting. 

Mexican style pizza - tomato sauce, refried beans, cilantro, and chorizo!
The yummy pasta
The kiddos outside
The handsome birthday boy!
These ladies...evading the camera!
When it came time for the birthday cake, this candle was brought out. 
It looked strangely like a firework...

Look at these innocent kids. Just minding their own business, looking forward to eating some yummy chocolate cake.

The candle was lit...and it started smoking...

All of a sudden an explosion of sparks started flying everywhere...

Then a full-blown indoor fireworks show began shooting into the air. Everyone was hollering and shrieking - partly delighted/panicked and partly wondering how much damage this firework candle would do before it finally quit.

What a show!
It finally died down, sparks stopped shooting out, and once again it began to smoke - filling the air and sending us into fits of coughing and laughter.

What a birthday to remember! According to Eliu, it was the best day of his life!


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