Sunday, September 30, 2007

Independence Day

Here in Mexico, people celebrate Independence Day in September. This year, we had the opportunity to travel to a small town and celebrate not only Independence Day but a birthday, too. Some friends of ours from church have been asking us to visit CelestĂșn with them for quite a while. Finally, we made plans to celebrate Henry's birthday with his family in this somewhat small fishing town. So, we packed up our hammocks and a few changes of clothes and headed out for the weekend following their little red voltswagon all the way.

When we got there, we settled in briefly then headed to the beach and let the kids play while we spent time talking with Henry's son, Alan, and his wife, Luisa, who are expecting their first baby soon. After working up an appetite, we joined their family for some fresh seafood - fried fish fillets and ceviche de pulpo (octopus) - YUM!

After filling up, we spent a relaxing afternoon just laying around, then walked to the park in the town square to eat ice cream. Since the sun was getting lower in the sky, we headed back to the beach to look at seashells and watch the sun set - Beautiful!

The evening event was Henry's birthday party. He had asked Dave to share from God's Word in a prayer/blessing to start the festivities. It was a neat opportunity as most of the exended family attending does not share the same relationship with Christ as Henry and his family do. His birthday falls on Independence Day and the traditional meal is pozole, so Henry's wife, Julia, cooked this incredibly delicious traditional dish made in this part of Mexico with turkey and hominy.

The tradition for Independence Day is to participate in "el grito" or shout at midnight in the center of town. In the town square, of course, there are also vendors, traditional dances, comedians, and patriotic traditions such as singing the national anthem. The kids had a blast staying up late and watching the fireworks display afterwards.
Click on the "play" button below to watch a short video of the Independence Day celebration.

CelestĂșn is know for the flamingos that gather there, so although we missed out on the wildlife during this trip, it gives us another great reason to return soon!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Homework Happens

Well, it has been 3 full weeks since our elementary kids started school and 2 weeks for our preschooler. My, how time flies. You would think that I would have more time online or at least more free time, but I haven't felt that yet. My schedule has been turned upside-down and that takes some getting used to . . .

To start with, there had been several things left "undone" since moving into our new place in the middle of August - primarily financial matters.
And then, there's the ministry side of things - having days open has allowed me to take advantage of spending time with fellow missionaries as well as our Mexican friends.

But along with "Mom" working on her "homework" inside and away from the house, I still have a role as teacher when the kids come home from school. We've done everything from dication to math to English to Spanish to drawing picture of flags and coats of arms. Even Jonathan brings home something to do during his after school hours.
Take a look at how diligently our kids are working - well, at least 2 of them. Our little guy is working on getting some more sleep!

Tonight we are attending our 2nd of 3 parent/family get-togethers. Rebekah has already made a good friend at school and we get to meet her mom in a few hours. Ah, the weekend . . . time to play a little :-)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Jonathan's Guitar and his God

Kids are great at making up songs and poems and coming up with great sayings, don't you think? Recently, Dave purchased some new strings for Jonathan's guitar (which is really just a toy and doesn't have a consistant sound or anything), and he has spent time every day since playing it. I had to record this song that was created and sung by Jonathan this afternoon while his brother and sister were working on homework. This one is entitled "God is always beside me."

Just afterwards, I recorded what was actually his first song which was about his guitar. His brother gave him the idea of how to finish it off . . .. Aren't kids amazing?