I overheard Selma talking to Joshua today; she was reflecting on friendship.
"Friends are good" she said "but not as good as parents"
Joshua was touched. "thank you, Selma" he said tenderly
"yeah . . . " Selma finished off "parents are better because they do your laundry!"

(oh yeah.  we're raising them right . . . )

(conversation from today . . . pictures from a long time ago)  
          Our Friends Dona and Lalo came over for dinner this weekend.  They brought us three bagfuls of pambazos*.  "The best pambazos in the city" they told us.
They told us about how the pambazo stand has been there ever since they could remember. They told us that when it started out, the owner would make the pambazos in a basement that had a tiny window that sat just above the sidewalk. Clients would crouch down and place their order through the basement window, and then the pambazo would be handed out through that same window once it was prepared.   
They told us that you don't have to crouch down to make your order anymore, but that everything else is basically the same. Pambazos keep being cranked out; people keep buying them.
We tasted the pambazos, and Dona and Lalo were right:  the best pambazos in the city.
But, this post really isn't about the pambazos. 
It's about Dona and Lalo - -  about how dear they are to us and about how much we need them:  we need them to share their city with us; we need them to tell us what they love about their city; we need them to knock on our front door laden with their favorite treats and tell us how their story intertwines with the pambazo stand; we need them to hug our kids when they go to bed and then stay late into the night talking with us - giving us culture tips, helping us evaluate our plans for this next year, and reflecting on how the hope of Jesus applies to their own lives and to their neighborhood.
These times are sweet for us; we need them.
  *you have probably never heard of a pambazo before, have you?  It's one of Mexico City's favorite street foods - a bread roll stuffed with potatoes and chorizo, and then deep fried.  oh dear.  my description really doesn't do it justice; you really should just come and eat one with us;  now we know where to get the city's best . . . . 
and these pictures - are not of pambazos and not from this weekend;  I was so busy licking my  pambazo greased fingers that I didn't even glance at my camera.  These pictures are from a different weekend - when Dona and Lalo took us outside of the city to their favorite zoo and country eats.  


We are still trying to wrap our minds around the splendor of a God whose heart is so much for his creation, that he would actually join himself with humanity to offer us a peace-filled relationship with our God.
God with us: this is Christmas joy.

pictures of our Christmas day; it was a good one!


1. This year's Christmas story cut-out:  the shepherds by Josu, the kings by Malachai, and Mary and Joseph leaning over the manger by Selma (please, please notice that Mary and Joseph have hearts hovering over their babe.  Thank you, sweet girl, for that lovely detail.)   last year's cut-outs here.

2. we pulled mistletoe off the tree just outside our window.  Josu crouches underneath the doorknob until I smooch him.  Selma crouches there too, but then runs away so that I can't kiss her.  stinker.

3. Risk: world domination is becoming Christmas tradition.  (seems kind of anti-Christmas, huh?)

4. the best ornaments:  the ones that remind us of people dear to us

5. We decorated gingerbread houses with friends from our old neighborhood.  These friends teach us how to be more Mexican, they care for our hearts, make us laugh, and don't complain about holding a conversation over the ruckus of 8 crazy kids tearing through our tiny apartment.  I'm so thankful for them! 


We went to the market to buy a tree.  The tree man asked us if we had a car to tie the tree to.
I said - I don't need a car;  I have three guys to carry it home for me.
They did; well done, guys.