Malachai has his SEP exams this week (SEP - - Secretaria de Educacion Pubica,  is Mexico's department of Education)  I'm not positive how many times he tests throughout the year (hmm, I should probably figure that out)  but he has already tested a couple of times this year;  God has given my boy a quick, bright mind, and I think that maybe he didn't do as well on his last of round tests as he could have,

so with this round of tests we have offered some incentives,
and every afternoon I offer to help him study and review his notes (but I don't force it on him);
then, when he goes to school in the morning
I pray that he will get a grade that accurately reflects the effort that he has put in.

do any of you have a system in place that helps teach your children to study well, and at the same time teach them that their studies are their own responsibility?  do tell! 


the sweet notes
and the emails;
the shared dentist woes
and a husband who made sure I slept late, 
did much to minister to  my heart
(thank you!)

and on another note . . .
did you hear about my honey fiasco? - - I bought an entire liter of honey off of a wandering honey salesman  last month.
Well, I thought it was honey.
Who would have thought that someone would have the gall to maraud around my pleasant, honest neighborhood selling yellow corn syrup under the guise of honey?

ok, fine. I'm the tiniest bit embarrassed that I fell for his horrid trick; I should have noticed that it looked too clean.

So anyways, I held off buying more honey until I could track down the reputable honey guy from the Thursday street market.  
I chased him down last Thursday, (see him in the picture?- there he is styling a sweet belt buckle and his honey cart)
and I even asked for a taste to make sure it was good honey.
I already knew it was good honey (mostly because of the bits of honey comb and bee's wings floating in the honey) but I asked anyways, because now I have street smarts like that, and I needed to show off.


I found out that when I finish off my liter of (real!) honey, I can bring back my jar and he'll refill it with the honey he pushes around in that orange tub of his.
nice, huh?


sometimes, I cry

 I cried a lot this morning.

I don't know why.
I just did.

I prayed for my friends who are church planting, and I cried (church planting can be so, so hard! and it can be so, so lonely!)

I thought about the dentist appointments that we had last week, and I cried (we brush! we floss!  we limit candy and coke to a bare minimum!  we severely prohibit the favorite Mexican pastime of sucking limes! why do we have cavities?!  whyyyyyyy?!)

I read through Romans and I stopped for a bit to reflect on that passage that says "suffering produces endurance", and I cried (because sometimes I feel like my suffering produces more fear in me than endurance)

I thought about how I have friends and family in so many different places, and I cried (because I feel like my heart is torn into many tiny pieces and spread all over the world; because I want to spend time with those friends, but I can't!)

and then I kept remembering those passages in Romans that talk about God's abundant grace, and I cried (because God keeps pouring out his grace to me, and I don't deserve it! Could there be any sweeter love?)


hey hey!  how was your weekend?  I hope that you had as many people packed into your living room as we had packed into ours last night for the dinner party.

(because I know you were wondering . . . )
yes, the food was amazing
oh yes, having 17 children running up and down my staircase all night long was pretty awesome too;

but I'm pretty sure that my favorite part was that my two social worlds collided:
we invited Gaby and Edgar - friends from our Saturday morning study  (who we love very, very much)
to join our dinner party
so that they could meet our group of friends from the kids' school (who we enjoy very, very much)

I love it when that happens, don't you?

I love it so much, in fact, that I don't  just let it happen on accident.  I purposely make it happen.


Selma's been home sick for a couple of days this week;
I've enjoyed having her home . . .
she's been funny and snugly and has chatted with me in Spanish (that's a new language step - she herself initiates the conversation in Spanish)

She is doing much better today, which I am thankful for because we have a whole group of families from the kids' school coming over for dinner tonight; 
it's the best kind of dinner - - all I have to do is make the dessert and all the other ladies are bringing dinner dishes to share;  it's going to be amazing I'm sure;
(I think I get the better end of the deal)

I'm almost certain that one of the ladies will come expecting me to  have (X) ingredient (that every Mexican woman has in her kitchen) to finish off her dish.
So I keep reviewing my mexican-kitchen staples:
limes (check)
cilantro (check)
sour cream (check) 
onions (check)
tortillas (check)
hmmmm . . . is that everything? (I hope so)


Saturday:  Joshua prepares to preach a sermon
  Sunday:  the whole family celebrates a sermon well executed

p.s. I like listening to Joshua preach . . . 
The Spirit of God has given him a special gift to teach the bible - - to understand the word of God and to exhort the church to follow Jesus accordingly . . . 
and  Joshua embraces those gifts and works hard to develop and exercise them.

When I hear him preach, I think about the gifts that the Spirit has given me, and I wonder how I am developing them and using them.

(do you have someone in your life that pushes you to be a better steward of your gifts? how do they do it?)


Monday: they kids had the day off of school.  It was great.  We did puzzles and legos all morning long, and then when everyone started getting angry about the breaking lego towers and other people taking over their corner of the puzzle . . . we went to the park.

Tuesdaymy wounded heart was comforted because I had not one - not two - but THREE of my sweet friends from school come over for coffee (a four hour coffee, in fact).  We had fantastic conversation, became facebook friends, and Lydia and Annya even promised me they would check out my blog and hang on every word I write (ok, maybe I exaggerate. just a little, but they did say that maybe they would check) 

Wednesday: We had a team meeting.  I have a great team. AND, I worked on a paper mache bird mask for the 3rd grade end of the year spectacular.  I hear from Malachai that the show going to be awesome;  right now I'm just angry at the bird mask.

Tomorrow (Thursday): I'm going to a farm with Josu's class.  I'm pretty stoked about that.  I'm totally taking the camera - - maybe I can get a picture of Josu milking a goat or something.

The rest of the week: I don't have all the details yet, but I'm pretty sure it will be excellent - it might include me posting a picture of Josu milking a goat.  check back often.


I've been sulking and moping around since last Tuesday:  Alicia and Carolina - the Jehovah's Witness' that I've been meeting with for the past couple of months broke up with me.

The sad event went kind of like this:
me: hey! before we start our study of Mark, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions . . .
them: awesome!  go ahead.
me: sooooo . . . if you were  studying your bible, and you were to be convinced about some doctrine that the Watchtower didn't approve of, (crazy, I know!) would you  believe what you understood the Bible was saying, or what the Watchtower told you to believe?
them:  well, we would know that we just needed to wait patiently for our hearts and our understanding to change and align with the Watchtower. 
me: so you are saying that even if you were suuuuuper convinced that the Bible was saying something different, you wouldn't believe the Bible.
them: (forty five minutes later) that's right.
me:  then why are we studying the Bible?
them: smug nod
me:  so really, we should be basing all our study on the Watchtower materials?
them: you got it!
me: But I don't trust the Watchtower!
them:  Naomi, it really seems clear to us that this is an indicator from the spirit that we need to need to stop meeting, and we need to preach to other people instead of you.

I'm not necessarily surprised, but I'm still  disappointed.
(and even though they won't meet with me any more, I'll still pray for them)


Josu and I ran some errands yesterday near mercado Tacuba (it is the market that holds hands with metro Tacuba);  while we were out I took pictures.  Josu would point out the pictures that he wanted me to take. 
I would take those too. 
goodness.  I love that kid.

Something that I like about taking pictures is that is forces me to notice;  it makes me pause for a minute and linger . . .  

I mean, when we first moved to Mexico, I noticed everything.

all the time.

The way people dressed, the way they combed their hair, the smells that filled the streets, the way that people treated each other on the metro, how people flagged down the street bus, where the tricky cracks in the sidewalk were . . .

it was exhausting.

But at some point, not too long ago, it dawned on me that I don't notice like I used to.
More and more, things seem familiar to me.  Not everything is new.
and I find myself thankful for the comfort of the familiar