Selma and I spent some time last week, potting some plants up on the terrace - - I'm pretty sure that whenever we go up to water the flowers or to check on the potato plant that's growing in the compost pot, she thinks that we are gardening.
I wonder when she will realize that I have the world's lamest garden?

Maybe I've got a year, yeah?  I might be able to turn things around in one year . . . .

( I think that Selma looks like cousin Molly in this picture; 
family, what do you think?)


Our Thanksgiving was lovely and cozy.  We were joined by Barry and Karla - - they came with games and wonderful food and good stories . . . it was perfect!

I slept in this morning while Joshua took the kids to school (I'm telling you - - I live the perfect romance novel; I've got it good!), and when the kids came home I found out that they forgot to eat pie for breakfast so I gave them a good scolding,
and fed it to them for lunch.
(that should teach them!)


*watching Josu walk slowly down our driveway and then break into a gallop - - stripping off his jacket and backpack when he realized that the bounce house was for real
* my friend Gaby - - who talked me through the proper etiquette for throwing a child's birthday party in Mexico, and who then showed up three hours early to roll a billion taquitos and hang balloons 
*having ten mamas drink coffee around my table 
*getting to know FIFTEEN of Josu's sweet, funny classmates 

Not awesome:
*when the head of the birthday-candle-lighting-match dropped off into the shirt of a sweet baby girl who was standing close by
(you didn't even know that was possible? Me neither;  but now I know - - and now you know, and we will be better women for it, right?)


Josu was still sleeping this morning when I snuggled up close to him to sing him happy birthday.  He woke up half way through - - and he was smiling (so it couldn't have been too off tune, yeah?)
He said it was pretty good, but he wanted me to sing  Las Mananitas instead.
did it.
I also cooked him his dinner of choice - - eggs and bacon . . . and mangos
I made arrangements for a bouncy castle to be set up in our driveway tomorrow for when when we have his birthday party.
he's going to FREAK out when he sees it. (we avoid bouncy houses like the plague - - they either 1. cost money or 2. have huge lines)

Happy Birthday Josu!


November 20th is the day Mexico celebrates its revolution - - when the Mexican peasants rose up against the president/dictator Porfirio Diaz (that's the short version . . . I'm still learning)

So of course, at Josu and Selma's school the children danced and recited poetry.  Almost every child came with bullets strapped across their chest or with a weapon in their arms;  I guess I didn't get that memo.
So, this week:   On Tuesday we celebrate Josu's birthday, and then on Thursday we will have a thanksgiving dinner with Barry and Karla.  I'm responsible for: the turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, an apple pie and a pecan pie.  Pies are a big deal in my family - - in fact - - I think that probably, as I type this, all of my sisters and sisters in laws in the US are texting back and forth, working out the details of  the 24 hour pie baking marathon they are certainly going to have this week.
I used to be afraid of pies, but last year my sister Rachel discovered an amazing pie crust recipe (no really - - it's perfect!) and now I have no pie crust fears. 
What pies are you making for your Thanksgiving dinner this week?


We were invited to Dani's birthday party last weekend (he's a handsome five year old - - don't you think?)
Gabi and Edgar - - parents of the birthday boy, throw a good party; there were games and streamers, a pinata and a grill.

At the party Joshua and I met a new couple - - Arturo and Olga,  parents of one of Dani's classmates.  We found out that Arturo had lived for a year in San Francisco.  Oh goodness . . . I love talking to people who have been immigrants!  I love hearing about the individuals who befriended them, about the things that made them cry; the ways that their thinking was challenged, and the ways that their lives were shaped by their new country.   (Poor Arturo - - he thought he was just coming for a party; I don't think anyone warned him I would be there to interview him)

That night after our conversation, I laid in bed thinking about the ways that Spain shaped our family (I always cry a little when I think about that . . . I miss Spain), and wondered how Mexico will shape us (that excites me).

So I'm wondering how many of you have lived in another country;  and of course, I want to know how you have been shaped by that experience.  Tell me! I want to know.


Apparently high-end shopping doesn't start till late morning in Mexico city, and Sears  did not open till 11.  No biggie, though.  Barry and Karla's four years of Mexico City living  have made them a vast resource for downtown breakfasting locations, and they took us by the hand and led us to one of their favorite places. 

I enjoyed going with Barry and Karla to one of their spots (it's where they always go after they have an appointment at the immigration office!); they knew their way around the menu, and were tight with the waiting staff;

and somehow, participating in one of their routines makes  me feel  like I know them just a little bit better!


I love people watching.
here in Mexico, though, it gets bumped up to a whole new level;
(read it carefully - - it does make sense):
I love people watching the people who are people watching us!

This morning Joshua and I are meeting up with Barry and Karla;  we will take the metro downtown to have breakfast and our team meeting on the top of the Sears building.  it's supposed to have a spectacular view of the city.  I can't wait!


I was cooking dinner tonight, and Malachai - - who was still doing his homework,  called out from the other room:
"mama! What animal  is white like our skin? "
and then, before I could offer a brilliant suggestion (because I assure you it would have been brilliant), I heard him mutter . . . "oh yeah, a rabbit . . . "

Turns out, he had to write a poem about someone he cares for.
Here it is:

Mi Hermana
Tus labios como una fresa
Tu pelo como una fogata
Tan bella como una flor
Tu piel tan clara como una coneja
Y tan dormida como una golondrina

(a loose translation):

My Sister
Your lips are like a strawberry
Your hair like a bonfire
As beautiful as a flower
Your skin is as fair as a rabbit's
And you are as sleepy as a barn swallow


Our friends Casey and Alicia  spent last week visiting Mexico City;  they came to see our ministry and to spend time with us and Barry and Karla (because - - oh goodness! can this good news really be true?! - - they hope to join our team sometime next year!)

They  were good sports and followed us every where we took them  - - they squeezed in and out of the metro with us; they ate the food that got placed in front of them (the good stuff and the scary, unfamiliar  stuff); they met our friends and our neighbors; they washed our dinner dishes; they dreamed out loud with us about  how the power of the gospel could transform the city; they confirmed what we have been saying for months - - that our teammates Barry and Karla have a special sparkle that makes every child adore them . . .

Casey and Alicia are back home now,
and we miss them!
(and it makes me happy to think that someday soon Mexico City may be their home!)


And just like that.
Josu started rolling his R's.

That's a big deal around here.