Friday, December 18, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! We love getting together as a family, eating good food, and laughing hysterically. There is just something about Grandma's house. 
Gramma and Nicole
Tia Hayde and our little Princess

Me and Nicole
At one point I (Nicole) went into the living room and sat down next to Elissa to steal a kiss. Much to my surprise, she crawled quickly and excitedly into my lap and laid her head on my shoulder and stayed just like that for a good while. It was the sweetest thing ever, and  brought tears to my eyes.
I felt very loved. :))
Elissa and Nicole
Nicole and Austin
Something very interesting happened this Thanksgiving! Dad left the house to go pick up Tio Mario and his family at their house. On their way back to Elder Wakefield's house they saw a man passed out on the sidewalk. Now, this is not very unusual in these parts-- It is not rare to see a drunk asleep on the sidewalks. But they decided to go back and check out the situation more closely, and found that it was not a drunk but a young man that had suffered an epileptic attack. He was unconscious, but as hands were laid on him in prayer, he woke up. This was all witnessed by the passersby and they were all amazed and aware that it was prayer that had awoken this young man.
"Ricardo" had a card with his name and all his important information, but he was a very long ways away from home!! So our dad invited him to come eat Thanksgiving dinner with us before driving him home.
He was endeared to our hearts very quickly with his shy smiles and laughs. What an adventure for him to share a family dinner with a whole bunch of white people and American food! :))

Before eating, we gathered around the table and everyone said something that they were thankful for..

It was a very sweet and heartfelt moment.

Missionaries Wakefield

Mom tricked Gramma with a fake piece of ice that had a bee in it!

Much to our entertainment, she was horrified!

Elissa waving at the camera. :)

Dessert! We love us some pumpkin pie!

Family time is the best.

First hint of Christmas!

Apples to Apples! We had not played this in FOREVER. We were reminded of how funny it can be!

Austin was the winner of round 1!

After a little while we played a silly little game that is made up of simply passing a jar of baby food around the circle, to music, and when the music stops, whoever is holding the jar has to eat a spoonful! :)) There were good baby food flavors, and then there was Chicken and Vegetables.
This is the one that dad got. He was a good sport and took a HUGE bite. 
The following pictures tell the whole story...


Elissa loved hers :))

This is my last picture from Thanksgiving night. We all had a gooood laugh because of something my dad had said. When he went to drop off our visitor at his house, he went in to talk to the young man's mom. They got to talking about about his epilepsy and multiple times in the conversation when my dad referred to the young man having epileptic seizures he called them "sismos en su cabeza"... Sismo means earthquake in English.We all had a good long laugh about dad saying that the boy had "earthquakes" in his head.

Yes I know, Thanksgiving was weeks ago so this is late, but better late than never! We love and appreciate all of these people so much! Thank you Lord for family and friends!

Note from Bethany: Today was our last day of school. We are now officially on Christmas break!! YEAHHHHHH!!!!!!! We mayyy blog in the next couple of weeks, but don't be surprised or worried if we don't. We are going to take advantage of this time to relax, enjoy Christmas, and spend time with our family. Have a great next couple of weeks!! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Magical Markers

Last month when I got to the US, I had a package waiting for me from one of our blog readers! I had mentioned that some of our Sunday school kids were having trouble staying calm and quiet in the main church service. "LaLa" commented and suggested Crayola Wonder Markers, then said she would send us some! Isn't that so sweet? I thought that was such a thoughtful gesture. I was surprised to open the box and find several notepads and several packs of the markers - there was a lot of stuff! I was excited to get home and show them to the kids. Since then, church with the kids has been much more of a success. They were thrilled with the markers and paper!
" doesn't color on my skin!"

The markers are pretty magical - they do not color on anything except for the special paper they came with. The girls were totally wowed by this, then proceeded to try to draw on each others faces - with no success, thankfully.

So many colors to choose from!
"Look! Olaf!"
The kids are better behaved - but not perfect. Tania is still obsessed with the wet wipes I keep in my purse that smell like lemon goodness. When she crawled under her chair to wipe it down, I didn't stop her. It probably needed it.

Thank you, Lala for that sweet gift. We are enjoying everything you sent very much!


Monday, December 14, 2015

Colonia Happenings (1st Installment of Many)

 We used to have school every day inside the church. Since we have moved to the school on the third story (with its two large windows that look out to the street), we have started seeing all kinds of funny, sad, entertaining, and/or shocking scenes. There is always something going on outside! Who knows what all we missed back in the day when we were shut up in the church for hours on end. This is why we have decided to start a series called "Colonia Happenings" on this blog. (A colonia is a small communities, neighborhood - a bit like the American version of a county, but smaller.)

One day, our neighbor across the street let her chickens see if they could cross the road. Ha. Ha. 
Seriously though - she tied them together and let them out to run around. I don't know what she was expecting them to do, but she went inside her house and returned after a few minutes to see how they were faring. Apparently, they weren't doing what she'd wanted because she began scolding them about how she was so graciously letting them outside, but all they wanted to do was stand there. Nicole and I couldn't help but snicker while watching this all transpire from up above.

Surprisingly, the dogs hanging around didn't seem too interested in the chickens. I don't know why not! More that a few times I've seen or heard of some dog getting in and stealing one of the neighbor's chickens.

After a good rain one night, I got to watch a neighbor on the next street over sweep water off his roof. Good neighbor - doing his part to combat the ever-persistent and annoying mold problem we Poblanos wrestle with.
If you have never swept water, you definitely should try it. I don't know if it is the same in the States, but here in Mexico it is a staple activity, especially if you have a house that has lots of concrete floors. Those can't just be swept, due to the inordinate amount of dust it creates. Anyways - you may just find the action of sweeping water to cause a gratifying feeling well up in your heart. It is pretty satisfying. Like squeegying a window, or painting an entire wall.

A couple days ago this guy came walking down the road hollering out "marranos!" (Marrano means pig; whenever someone is selling their wares, they ring a bell, play music, or call out what they are selling. Each vendor has their specific sound they are known for. Ice cream is a bike horn. Knife sharpener is a whistle. The tamale guy yells "tamales, tamales!" and so on.) I looked out the window to see this completely adorable herd of pink little piglets.
How stinkin' cute is that?! Literally!
Unfortunately, pigs are not ideal pets. I know this. A couple people in our church have them for the purpose of eventually slaughtering and eating them. They smell terrrrrrrible. Once they are grown, the only cute thing about them is their nose and the gurgly-snorting sound they make. Awwww :)

**** WARNING: If you have a weak stomach or a very sensitive heart towards animals, I highly suggest that you scroll no further!! *****

 Last week after Bible class, Valentin met me halfway down the stairs to tell me that our neighbor's dog had just gotten hit by a truck. I went and looked and our neighbor had just pulled the dead dog to the side of the road, in front of his house.

 From the school window, this is what it looked like. I was surprised at how bright red the blood was, and how much of it there was!

Like a good and caring neighbor, Valentin went outside and washed the blood out of the street before the sun could make it into a long-lasting stain. 
That's the first sad thing we've seen...everything else has been pretty entertaining. We've all had animals get hit by cars. If they don't learn from a young age to look both ways before crossing, they probably won't make it very long! Aaaaaand...that goes for humans as well. But that is another post for another time that shall never come - I will spare you and instead, only include only beings that do not have souls.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ants (and Other Monstrosities)

For the past year or so we've been dealing with a puzzling problem. We'd run across a stray giant ant here and there. Mostly in the pantry and the adjoining hallway. It was strange because we were told by several people in our church that they'd never seen such ants here in Puebla and certainly did not have them in their houses. Months and months went on with us finding a stray ant here, a stray and there. Everyone knew not to leave their bedrooms in the middle of the night without shoes on. 

One day I got inspired to take out every last item out of the pantry, wash the shelves, and re-organize everything in it. It was a huge task and took two days to finish. After getting everything out, I started wiping each shelf down. I got to the very top one and saw a crack in the wall and a couple of huuuuuge ants running around up there. I believe the words that came out of my mouth next were a very high-pitched, "OOOOOOOOOOOOH GIIIIIIRLLLLLLLLLLL YOU BETTER GET IN HERE NOWWWWWWWW, I THINK I JUST FOUND THE ANT NEST" to Nicole in the other room. 
The shelves were so deep, I couldn't reach my arm all the way back there. Instead, I armed myself with a wire hanger, a fly swatter, and bug spray. I poked the unraveled hanger into the crack in the corner and a whole crowd of ants came running towards me.

There is a window that connects the pantry and the laundry room. I was on one side and Nicole was on the other. The ants started pouringggg out of either side - we were spraying and slapping at them like wild people. IT WAS VERY EXCITING.

By the time it was over, we had a whole pile of ant-trophies, including several that looked like the queen ants, obese and with wings.
(This isn't one of the queen ants, sorry)
I am extremely happy to report that since then, we have not ran across even one more jumbo-sized ant! And this would have been the end of the post, and I would've been so happy to say that we can now run freely out of our rooms into the hall at 3 am with no socks or shoes. Actually, we have been...until about a week ago - I got the fear of God put back in me. I got a phone call at a very uncouth hour of the night. I was forced to get out of bed and see about a certain situation. I was walking up and down the hall, in the dark...and barefoot...
I got off the phone, and decided to get a drink of water. I flipped on the hall light and to my horror, saw this on the wall.
If you can't tell....IT WAS HUGE. AND FAT. 
If I wouldn't have already had my phone in my hand, there would be no evidence of this monster. 

I grabbed the biggest boot I had, reared back, and with a scream of terror that comes with killing a small animal, I smashed it into the wall. It exploded with brown, red, and yellow stuff.
Click to zoom.

It curled up into this fetal position of "poor little ole me". What a crock!! 
I managed to do all of this without waking anyone up. I went back to my room, checked beneath my sheets, then crawled back into bed for the night.

Late night calls aren't so bad, after all.


G&G and Waffles

 During our trip to the US last month we got to stay a couple days with my grandparents in California. I am sad we didn't get more pictures, but I wanted to include the ones that we did to forever have them in this memory book!

A very scrumptious family dinner
 We went to breakfast with grandpa one morning. I got to taste the best waffles of my entire life!

We love you, Grandma and Grandpa!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Abner's Business

I've been getting a lot of questions lately about Abner's business. Yes, it is true! Abner opened his rotisserie chicken shop a couple of months ago. Once he got everything up and running, Nicole and I went to visit him and see his place.

The founder of the new Pollos Garcia
Not that we are biased, but his chickens are juicy and delicious!

Nicole dared me to stick my finger in there. Haaa.
While we were there Abner made some very spicy salsa...

Abner's dad is there every day to help out. Abner is very blessed to have him!

At the end of our visit, Elder and Sis. Wakefield came by, then took us out to dinner.

The sun was bright. 

If any of you come down to visit...I know of a really good chicken place to take you :)


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