Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Beach

Since we arrived in September of last year, we've only had about 3 or 4 beach days or afternoons. Now, growing up in Erie, PA, going to the beach was a "given." You go to swim, to have a birthday party, to watch the sunset, even to ice skate (in the right season, of course). Here in Mérida, the beach is about 20-25 minutes away. Yup, that's it. And we can count the number of times on one hand that we've actually taken the drive to enjoy it. I'm hoping that number increases dramatically come summertime ;-)

Here's a look at the beach close to where we are - the gulf side waters of the Yucatan Peninsula. Remind you of anything? Lake Erie maybe? Granted, you can't taste a photo - believe me, the flavor of the water is nothing like the lake, but I'm suprised with the resemblance in other aspects. Oh, and you won't see any sunsets over this body of water - we face the north. Ok, there may be a few more differences - for one, the wildlife. Can you name these creatures?
The Yucatan is known for the great flocks of flamingos that migrate on the gulf side. We look forward to seeing more of these pink feathers in the future - apparently they can be seen by the 100s in certain areas along the gulf side of the peninsula (where these photos were taken). We have plans to go to a new beach today - maybe that's why I'm thinking about it so much. There will be more photos to come, of course. I can't remember what the name of this sea creature is - if you know, please comment. This is only it's shell, but we found quite a few like this on the sand during our visit.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Homonyms and the like

Sitting at the dinner table today:

Rebekah: I see an ant that is 1 cm long . . . or maybe 1/2 cm. (yes, if you were wondering, on our table . . .)

Joseph: Hey, ant is a homonym! Aunt like "great aunt" and ant . . . (smile)

Rebekah (to Joseph): What's an antonym?

Kelly: It means "an opposite" (I thought she was just asking whoever)

Dave(to Rebekah): What's a synonym? (refereeing the "one-upping" that was apparent)

Rebekah: I don't know.

Dave: It's the antonym of antonym (twinkle in his eye . . .)

Rebekah: OH, it means the same. (how did she catch that??? I know many of you are lost at this point . . .)

Joseph: It's a two-headed eye . . . (thank you, Joseph, this dinner conversation was getting a little bit to serious ;-) )

We had fun with this one, of course :-) Hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of our life around the dinner table.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Day of Love and Friendship

The title is a rough translation from the Spanish. People here aren't big on the Day of a Saint named Valentino. It was fun to see the people on the sides of the streets today selling heart balloons and all different kinds of flowers. Dave brought home a rose for both Rebekah and me and got special keychains for the boys today. Me? Well, my mom was always big on leaving little notes on special days and my dad has a habit of finding lucious chocolate covered strawberries, so I decided to go that route (by the way, thanks Mom for the call today!). When the kids came down for breakfast they each had a few gold chocolate coins and a little homemade card from Mom and Dad with a coupon inside (so, tell me, is it coo-pon or cue-pon??? comments are welcome . . .). Rebekah and I get to have a girl's outing of shopping, Jonathan and I played baseball in the front yard, and Joseph got to get out his Bubble Blower (a birthday gift) and make giant bubbles - aren't they cool?

Yes. It's beautiful, sunny, and it hit 90 degrees today. I should have turned on the sprinkler :-)

I know the "gifts" weren't anything big, but I know the kids appreciate my time as a playmate as well as a mom and teacher. I need to do it more often. After saying that, I think I'll go hang out with my hubby - after all, it is Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The importance of age

Driving in the car yesterday, the kids noticed a daycare. Since we've been looking at schools recently in Mérida, the kids are now aware of schools when we pass by them. I told them that it was a daycare and probably not even for kindergarten age, but Joseph thought it could possibly be for Jonathan's age to which Joseph said "for kids who are 4 and down." Not liking that comment at all, Jonathan retorted,"I'm NOT 4 and down - I'm 4 and up!!!"

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What a Party!

Joseph is 6 years old - I can't believe it! We celebrated the day of his birth last night at our house. It was probably an early celebration compared to some parties that are done here. Ours started at 5:30, got rolling closer to 6 and ended just before 10 p.m. I've been told that there are parties that START at 10 p.m. But we had fun with our Pirate Theme. Joseph picked out a dragon for his piñata since dragons are known to hide treasure in their lairs. Here's Jonathan taking his turn at punching the piñata.

The kids ate hot dogs and spaghetti, sandwichón (a sandwich made and cut like a large one layer cake), black beans, baby carrots, chips and little pastries. I made horchata ( a rice milk drink that is sweet) for the first time and a friend made and brought jamaica (a red drink made from dried flowers and suger added) to enjoy. Ahead of time I made scarves for the girls to wear in their hair like a pirate bandana and patches for the boys to wear as they followed clues to search for a hidden treasure -jewelry and gold coins with chocolate inside. Later, we brought in the cake - a pirate ship complete with cannons made from tootsie rolls and little red candies. (I made this one but got the idea from a website!)

There were a bunch of people who celebrated with us - people from church, fellow missionaries, a family we met at the English Library, and 4 families from the sports activities that the kids attend. A full house for sure!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Here we are in one of the hottest places in the world this time of year and ask me how many times we've been swimming . . . I can count them on one hand! This past weekend we went to a friend's party and they rented a place with an outdoor pool - the kids had a blast. Here they are swimming - enjoy the short videos.

Joseph (above) Rebekah and Jonathan (below)

Also, check out the photos along the "sidebar" of the website - all the kids went to get new haircuts today.

I'll post later about Joseph's birthday - he is 6 today!!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

New pets - 2 budgies

As you may know, our attempts to get a family pet in December failed with the problem of allergies. So, here's our second "go" at it. A family at church has birds as pets and the birds have been reproducing . . ..

Rebekah's friend, Carlos, wanted to give her a few for her birthday, but Carlos's mom, knowing that pets are a family decision, came to us first. We decided that after we got back from Mexico City, we would see about purchasing a cage and food. Last Friday, Febuary 2nd (Groundhog's Day for our friends in the U.S.), we welcomed these little birds into our home.

Their names are Cookie and Ralph - don't ask me why - there is no reasoning in this one. We like to say "Kooky" for the female in that she seems to have a nervous eating habit and likes to hang upside down when someone puts a hand in the cage.

They don't say much right now, but I'm interested in interacting with them as they start to show more of their personality. It is said that they can be trained and even talk - well, we'll see.

Anyone have some pet bird care or training advice? Corey? Anyone? :-)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Track Stars

Today was the 68th anniversary of the stadium where our kids are involved in a track program. To celebrate, they participated in several short races and received medals for participation in this fun event. It was a nice afternoon in which all three were very content to run and pose for photos and, of course, receive a medal from the coach!

Here's a close-up of the kids with their really great coach - Rafael.

Enjoy these shots at the event!