Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Working in the Shop

Twice a week we have "shop day" where different kids will come and work in the wood shop making pens. Bro. Valentin or Pastor teach these classes. They've been verrrry busy lately!

When a kid comes and makes his very first pen, he gets to keep it for himself.

After that, their creations are added to the stockpile to be sold.

There have been some really fantastic ones made lately!!

These boys have recently started coming to church with their parents. They love working in the shop!

One of the boys in the above picture made this pen his first time - I thought it was pretty fabulous!

The girls started getting a little jealous of the boys making all these cool pens so they requested being added to the shop schedule. So far, they have made some really nice pens. In fact, I heard someone say that the girls have steadier hands and a special eye for detail and their pens may be superior to the boys'....

Get a little competition going!! :)


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tamale Talento

This past Sunday was me and Rocio's turn to do the talento for after service. As Nicole explained in her last post, this is where a couple ladies make food and sell it after the service. We decided to make tamales - Rocio offered to get a head start on everything Saturday night but I said no way, sistah - I want to see the magic happen from the beginning!

We started out by chopping vegetables and soaking the leaves of the corn that you wrap tamales in. They are pretty brittle and need to soften up before putting dough in them.

 Sara and I walked to the the little store where some ladies make tortillas by hand. We bought 7 kilos of corn maiz (dough). They have the grinding machine right there - the lady brought out a huge bucket of whole kernels and dumped them in the platter on top the grinder. Out of the bottom of the machine came whipping out yummy, warm dough.

 Sara and I watched the whole process - it smelled really good :D

 We got back to the house and Rocio "showed" me how to make the salsa that was to go in the tamales. A few of this kind of chile, a couple of those chiles, a bunch of tomatoes, four chicken bouillon cubes, and voila! The salsa is made!

 After making the salsa, we had to make the dough. I'd like to skip this part and pretend it never happened, but...I'd be fudging the truth. Tamales have a lot of grease in them. It is very unhealthy. I am embarrassed to admit that I was in charge of pouring in the lard.... I hang my head in shame. 

As I poured, Bella worked the dough, mixing and punching at it.

 We then made about 100 balls of dough that would be put inside a corn husk with salsa and chicken. 

Grab a ball of dough, spread it flat into the corn husk, put a spoonful of salsa and chicken mix in...

...then tie it up! 
We had previously ripped a bunch of corn husks into strips that were used for tying the ends up.

 It took us about an hour to fill and tie up all the tamales. When we were done, we stuck them all in a pot and carried them outside to be cooked on the fire.

 Choyo was in charge of keeping the fire burning...
...This is him pouring on the gasoline...yikes!

Rocio fanned the flames and got everything to smoking....I was out there maybe two minutes, but I smelled campfire on myself for the rest of the day....

 After we got done, Rocio's husband went and picked a bunch of these little fruits off their tree for us to eat. They call these "capulines". They look like cherries, but taste similar to a plum.

Here are a few pictures of the finished product....
The tamales were delicious! I've said it before, but to me, Rocio is the best cook in our church! 


 Nicole gave away a bunch of cupcakes after church. Everyone loooooved them!
 Since we've been doing talento after Sunday's service we've had some really fun times of fellowship as a church. We all hang out and talk and laugh. A couple of ladies hand out food, Mom usually is the "cajera" (cashier)...we all work together and it's been really good! I am thankful to have good cooks in our church ;)


Friday, June 10, 2016

Last Day of School 2016

Today is our last day of school! Woo hoo! 

Beau chilling on the new school office couches
Our day started with Bible class, as usual, then we did an hour of math. After this the kids spent about an hour cleaning up their desks, their computers and straightening up the school. In celebration of this special and long-awaited day, we had pizza delivered for lunch! I got out my selfie stick and had some fun with it. (I am ashamed to admit I own one...IT WAS A GIFT THOUGH!) I was imagining a more official looking picture, but a selfie stick is harder to wield than it looks!

Here we have:
Austin, B-R, Turkey, Fabz, Bro. Valentin - groundskeeper and Bible teacher, Pastor - principal and Bible teacher, and me and Nicole - trying to make it to heaven - HA.
As the year wound down, the closer Nicole and I came to completely LOSING IT. This summer is going to be a great time of rejuvenation. 

Pizza smothered in Valentina hot sauce
 As the kids ate, I went around with the selfie stick, sticking in their faces and up their noses. 
("Trent, why are you filming up my nostrils?") 

Eating pizza

These guys each ate SIX PIECES OF PIZZA!
Everyone thought the selfie stick was hilarious!
Nicole enjoying her lunch and the fact that she is officially on BREAK!!!
 I got a little daring and decided to hang my phone out the window for a picture with the actual school building...from the third story. My palms were sweating.
It was SO BRIGHT outside though, we got mostly ones like this:

1...2...3...OK OPEN YOUR EYES
 The boys will be coming for the next few weeks for an hour of math class with our new math tutor. He's awesome!!! He is the brother of a man in our church and is in college studying to be a math professor. He is a total answer to prayer!!! I've taught math for the past four years, but as the kids progress, it has gotten harder for me - teaching math in another language is a whole 'nother level of Spanish that I do NOT speak! And math can be difficult even in ones own language....

Things calmed down for the last few days of school; everyone was finishing up their work and wrapping up loose ends. The days were beautiful and sunny so Beau and I would sit outside and work on our tans. I took on the task of grooming him and getting all his loose hair out. This dog is a shedding machine. 

He enjoyed all this attention - if you couldn't tell.
 He'd get this glazed expression on his face whenever I'd start combing him. 
Nicole says this is Beau, trying to look like a Disney princess - HAHA!!

It's been a good year. I really can't believe that it is already over. I remember opening up the year's new lessons on the first day of school and scrolling down all the way to the last lesson and thinking, "We will be here in no time." Sometimes in the moment, and especially in these past few weeks, it felt like the days were dragging on and on. Nicole and I have had to fight spiritual and attitudal battles. Some were on the part of the kids and some were just between Nicole and I - HA! We can laugh about it now - thank God it is overrrrr! Bring on summer break! Bring on the warm weather, sun, and water fights! I am ready for family time and all the good things these next couple of months shall bring.
Us and the boys
Since we will be out of our normal schedule and on our computers less, we will be blogging less! We appreciate your understanding as we recuperate our energy :D I still plan to blog, but with no particular frequency or schedule.

We love all our readers and appreciate your support and encouragement throughout this school year! We enjoy telling our stories and hearing back from all of you. Your comments brighten up our days! Thank you for going on this journey with us this past school year. We look forward to taking you all along with us again for this next one - our fifth year of teaching school!


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Church & Corndogs. Yum!

Here are a few pictures from this past Sunday! We had a really good Sunday school class and a good church service afterwards! Elder Wakefield preached for us and also sang a song-- which is always a treat. Our people love and respect "Anciano Glenn" (Elder Glenn). Here in Mexico wee hardly refer to someone with their last name... I only know about two last names of families in our whole church!! 

Sara, Ailyn, and Paulina cutting out their crafts. It was the lesson on Pentecost Sunday so the craft was a flame headband.

Eliu, Marcos, Eddy, and Fabian

Bethany's little bus girls were so excited and begged to have their hair done by her!

Bro. Valentin (aka Valval haha) taught the lesson, acting as a reporter asking the confused crowd questions about what was going on in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost.
^Below, Eddy is demonstrating the cool way to wear your flame hahaha^

Pastor brought out the white board and wrote down names of people who needed the Holy Ghost. First he asked the kids there who wanted the Holy Ghost! Almost everyone said that they wanted the Holy Ghost and a few that already had received it still asked for their name to be added to the list because they wanted it again. Then the kids called out names of their moms and dads, aunt, uncles, friends, etc. We then got together and prayed for each kid and each name on the board.
For a while now we've really been focusing on encouraging the kids to pray and seek the Holy Ghost in our Sunday school prayer times. While we have had adults pray through during these times, we have yet to have a kid get the Holy Ghost in Sunday school! Many of our children don't come to the second service, so this is their only time to seek God. Please keep our kids in your prayers! We need a move of God in our Sunday school class!

 In the second service I got a very very rare break from praise singing, for lack of a fourth mic. Dad, if you're reading this, we need another mic, and the pulpit one repaired! Hahaha.

Our little kids choir! Ailyn sang her first solo and she did sooo good! Maybe we can put up the recording somewhere on the sidebar! Be on the lookout for that. :)

Grandpa preached on knowing who the enemy is! The devil!

 And oolala after service we had our weekly "talento" made by yours truly! Talento is where someone in the church fixes a meal or some food to sell after service to raise funds for the church. (Is there a word for this in English?) Its always a nice time of eating delicious food and fellowshipping with the church family.
I made yummy American corn dogs. This was a new foreign food for our people, and everyone except for 2 people LOVED them. Forget the haters! Hahaha.

Between all the people just in this picture, 16 corn dogs were eaten. :)) They were so gooood.
Here's the recipe I use: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/35149/corn-dogs/
Definitely let the batter chill for an hour or so in the fridge before coating the hotdogs! The only change I made was to finely blend up a can of jalapenos with the milk before adding it to the batter. Food is not appealing to our folks here if it doesn't have some kick! If you like a little spice, this makes them even more delicious!


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