Selma communicates in school:  her teacher tells me that she chats away to everyone all day long - - in English. 

Josu communicates in school:  Miss Melina - - his teacher, tells me that Josu keeps quiet unless he can figure out a way to say what he wants in Spanish;  she told me today that she asked Josu to help her to translate a word in English, but that he told her - - no thank you, because he only wanted to speak Spanish in class. 

Malachai communicates in school:  almost flawlessly.  although, he did come home the other day convinced that every child in his class was supposed to bake a cake for the birthday girl in his class, and bring it to her the following day. 
We told him that - - sorry, no.  we weren't going to be able to find the time to bake a cake for her.
and the next day, when we asked Malachai about it, he laughed told us that he must have misunderstood because everyone brought her bags of candy and not cake.


Josu told me yesterday that during recess he asked the kids what game they were playing; they told him, but he couldn't understand them, so he asked them again; he still couldn't understand them, so he asked them again.  After the third try, the kids ran away.
I can't even tell you how proud I am of Josu.  He asked three times!?
(I'm proud of him, but that didn't keep me from talking to a teacher at the school today and asking if maybe an adult could help Josu understand how to play the playground game)

and p.s. note to self: ask Gaby where to buy beans that don't have rocks or bugs in them


the past several days have been filled with . . . oh . . . wrapping every single one of my children's school books and workbooks with paper and then with plastic.
It's  a Mexican school requirement, as I come to find out. 
It takes longer, and is more emotionally wearing than you might think!

the books have been wrapped up, and the kids have been sent off to school - - which is exciting, especially since we didn't know exactly how that would work out.  We were turned away from the local public school; apparently applications had been in February, and there was a 20-child waiting list for every class in the school.

Through a funny little sequence of events conversations, though, we found a little private school up the street and around the corner - - just across the street from the market - - that seems to be a very lovely option for our family this year. 

We spent some time as a family talking and praying together last Sunday evening.  Joshua asked the kids if they were excited or nervous about anything as they thought about going to school this week.  Josu was nervous about going into a class with so many people that he didn't know.

Malachai told him
"let me share a little tip with you, Josu:  if you see a group of kids hanging out or talking together . . . just go up to them and tell a funny joke, or tell a little story, and then they'll be your friends!"

(yep. That's pretty much the way it works for Malachai.)

I ( like mamas all across the world, I guess) am praying in a special way for my little ones this week - - that they will be bold and brave as they go into an unknown environment;  that they would be honest and kind and loving friends, and that they would have good friends.  
Goodness!  I love them. I'm excited about the ways that God will shape them through this new experience, and I'm excited about friends that they'll make;  I'm nervous, too, about some of the hurt or confusion they'll experience along the way . . .

do you pray in any specific way for your children as they begin their school year?


Remember Gaby?  - - and how I was scheming about inviting her to do lots of fun stuff and make her be my friend?
since then, she has:
Invited me and the kids over for an amazing Mexican breakfast while Joshua was away for a few days,
dropped by my house and dragged me and the kids to the fantastic churro shop down  the street,
invited us to their church's  camp - - up on a high mountain outside the city (where we met a guy who was helping to translate the bible into Nahuatl! um, awesome),
talked to her friends who have connections in the public school system to help us get the kids into the local public school (which, by the way, didn't happen;  more on that later),
invited us to a bbq at her place and introduced us to all her best friends,
brought me batches of beans and salsa - - just for fun, and then chicken broth with the kids had fevers.
. . . .
and me?
well, I invited her over for coffee this week.

and I called her when I was panicking in the school supplies aisle about what I should use to wrap the kid's school books like the school told me to.

I think I did something else nice too;  I just can't remember what.

Yes,  It's good that God has given me this kind friend in this time of my scatterbrained culture shifting. Isn't his love tender?

(Josu and Joshua - - up on the high, high mountain)


Up on the Terrace:  the owners of our home left a green plastic table and four chairs.  The plastic is so old that the legs on the chairs are about to give out; Also, if you nudge the table even the tiniest bit, it rocks so terribly  that all the water splashes out of the glasses;  And,  if you sit on the chair too long it leaves a green film on your bum.

It's the only table we have right now, though,
so I'm thankful for it;
because when we're not using it up on the terrace, we can take it apart and carry it down a couple of flights of stairs, reassemble it, and use in our kitchen.


Our lovely home still sits nearly furniture-less.
Joshua asked Josu a few days ago what he liked most about Mexico and what he liked least about Mexico.
I can't remember what he liked most, but what he liked least was that "our house has no stuff in it" (I guess a fridge and washing matching doesn't count for anything for a five year old . . . weird)
Selma cried at least two times last week because she wanted to go sleep at her home at Barry and Karla's instead of ours.

It's my fault.
I keep looking for mid-century-modern furniture . . . . in Mexico

I stumbled across the CAD (center of architecture and design) which had lovely things - - but was not allowed by either my budget or my conscience to purchase anything there.

I did take pictures of my kids when I was there, because, of course, it (like any proper center for architecture and design) had beautiful, gigantic windows.

and pictures don't cost me anything.


We have purchased some big household items - - a fridge, a washer and a dryer, mattresses for everybody (including you, so you can come visit now) 
In the middle of the appliance store last week I had a moment of terror and wonder as I thought about the money sitting in our bank account that would pay for my new appliances.
That money has come from people and churches who believe in us - -
who want to be part of our team to love the people in Mexico city with God's gospel of hope. 
I think that there are people on our team
who don't buy lots of new things
so that they can give generously to us.
(if that won't bring terror and wonder - - what will?)


Joshua asked me today to please go buy some glasses (could it be that he is tired of drinking water out of the tiny blue cups from Selma's tea set? possibly). So the kids and I started the treck to the closest supermarket (which may or may not be a Wal-mart; I'm not telling) and on our way we walked past a little lady sitting in her yard, surrounded by little tables filled with all sorts of glass objects - - including the kind you drink out of.
I walked past her.
and then I turned around and walked back.
She did not disappoint us;  she had us rummage through all the glasses on her front porch and then insisted that we check out the glasses she had in her house.
I think that the good woman had hundreds of boxes old glasses - - some with misprints, some misshapen, some just discontinued.  We each picked out out our favorites, gave warm goodbye's and promised we would be back again soon to pick out some more
(some of our new glasses!  . . . and Josu, washing dishes in his chones - - which is what I should call undies from now on; it only seems right; we are in Mexico afterall)


This funny thing happened to us as we were searching for just the right home:
We would hop on a bus or a metro (or both) - - leaving Barry and Karla's neighborhood. We would then wander around other parts of the city until we could not longer walk, and we would come back again to Barry and Karla's place - - sighing and wishing we could find a neighborhood like theirs - - where there is a lady who sells flowers on one corner, and another lady who sells fresh squeezed orange juice on the other corner, and there is a nice long street just a block down, filled with every sort of lively, mexican delight you can immagine: bread stores and indoor markets and outdoor markets and a churro shop and a paleta shop and taco stand after taco stand . . .
And then one evening after a long day of unsuccessful househunting, as Joshua and I draped our weary bodies across Karla's couch, Barry said "you know . . . there is a house a few spots down from us that just went up for rent"
We went to take a look; and it seemed just right;
it even had  1.) big windows 2.) no carpet, and 3.) a terrace  - - which were the three things that I had asked God to please give us in our home if it seemed good to Him.
(coincidence? um, I don't think so)