There is something altogether spectacular about the concept of God becoming man in order to bring peace on earth - - reconciliation between God and man! 

It takes my breath away every year. 

We went to the local market this weekend to get our tree 
and our piñata
(of course) 
Tell you what, it can be a stressful thing to go to the tree yard in Mexico City.  Every tree vendor is convinced they have the perfect tree for you; they'll call out  persistently and even drag their trees over for you to admire.  One tree vendor caught my eye lingering on a tree and told me "ah yes, that's a good tree; it's skinny - just like the ones they are selling in France!" (ha!)  

I was glad to have Joshua along - he has mastered the skill of haggling with the tree vendors and having a good laugh along the way. 

Also, my guys carried our tree home.  
I feel so urban.


The school office called me this morning.
Josu was sick; I was being summoned to pick him up.

When I arrived at the school, I found his class in the school patio - getting ready for recess.

We needed to grab Josu's backpack out of the classroom, and so his teacher handed the classroom key over to one of his classmates so that she could open the door for us. She was the cutest little girl you've ever seen: her hair was slicked back into a ballerina bun; her black eyes were sharp and happy; her earlobes were sparkling with the golden hoops hanging from them.

"Thanks for helping us! What's your name?" I asked

she smiled at me "my name is Jihad" she said sweetly "it means holy war; it's an Arabic name"

"Ah yes" I told her. "Did you know that my girl Selma's name is from Arabic too?"

"what does it mean?" she asked

"It means peace; her papa and I named her that because we pray every day that she will be a peacemaker on this earth."

"Oh" she said "well, my brother's name is more normal; my parents named him Bruno"

Ah, little one. . . . 
When I prayed for Selma tonight, I prayed for you also - that you too would be a peacemaker on this earth.


There is a little urban garden
right next door to the kid's new school.
On Tuesdays the kids and I volunteer - tending to the earthworms, pulling weeds, and feeding the rabbits and hens.

This week we took Joshua with us; Selma showed him around:

This post is actually part of a homework assignment that I did for a online photography class I've been taking this month; It's been so good; so, so good!


This week: Malachai and Josu decided to start a chess club at school.  They spent the weekend making a portable chess board; it gets rolled up and tucked into a backpack pocket.

So far, no one at school has signed up for chess club (sigh)
but Josu and Malachai sure are cute when they play a game together at home.

(especially when they aren't wrestling each other to the ground because of a chess disagreement)  


Friday is usually Joshua's day off.
It just so happens that the kids don't have class the last Friday of the month (teacher planning day).

So this past Friday morning we headed out into the neighborhood to one of our favorite coffee shops. The coffee shop was so crowded that we couldn't find a spot to sit inside (it's that awesome).

No big deal.

We just squeezed ourselves onto the tiny benches set up on the sidewalk and drank our coffee outside.  It worked out better that way anyways - we were able to simultaneously cheer our kids on as they did some sweet tricks on their skateboards and warn them not to hit the hipsters coming out of the coffee shop.

Also, as we sipped our coffee we met a sweet little family; we exchanged phone numbers and planned a play date.

I'm totally drinking my coffee outside next time.
The sidewalk is where it's at.

So, here's the deal: Joshua and I really like to take family walks, and we think that drinking coffee at a hip local coffee shop is pretty awesome - but mostly - we love meeting people.  How do you meet your neighbors? 


Last week things got pretty exciting around here - being that September is the month that Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain.

The night of September15th is noche Mexicana  - when friends and family get together to feast on pozole and party hard. I made my own pozole this year (whoa), and Joshua headed up making arroz con leche (a dessert he loves, but I'm not so crazy about . . .  so I never make it)

That evening, my the kitchen was alive with life: Selma was stacking the tostadas on a plate, Joshua was hovering over the pot with simmering arroz con leche, Sam was slicing up the radishes for the pozole, the boys were popping in and out - asking how much longer they would have to wait for dinner. . . .

And Selma stuck her head out our kitchen window and yelled:
"We are eating pozole!
and tostadas!
and arroz con leche!

We are TRIPLE Mexican!" 


  • loves loves getting her school work done; she's on top of things!  I've got to put that girl in charge of running my house.
  • has a friend in school named Lluvia (Rain), another named Paloma (Dove) and another named Luna (Moon). Mexico is so awesome. 
  • Told me that when I sent her to school the other day without combing her hair (oops), her friend put it up in a ponytail for her during recess.


On our walk to school we pass a street that glows from the rising sun.
This is good for my pre-coffee, still groggy, early morning soul.

Wednesday, August 27th.
I've been to beginning of the year meetings with all three of the kids teachers now. 

For these meetings, the parents file in to the classroom at the beginning of the school day and line up along the walls. The kids all sit at their desks doing copy work while the teacher lays down the law to the parents about her expectations - pretty standard stuff like:
No running during recess! If students aren't dressed in their complete uniform, they will be denied entrance to the school! Cut your kid's hair! We need a parent to plan the Independence Day celebration! Students must NOT push up their sweater sleeves during class time!

I have managed to introduce myself to parents from each class at the meetings, which I'm thankful for. So now, every morning on my way to school, I hope desperately (and I pray; I totally pray!) that I will recognize the parents that I've met; it's harder than you might think - there are so, so many mamas!
Any time I'm in the vicinity of the school, I walk around with a half-smile plastered on my face . . . and if I perceive even the slightest glimmer of recognition on someone's eyes, I say hello as fast as fast can be. 

It might take a while, but I'll get it eventually . . .


Tuesday,  August 25th
I love it when my kids pray. I especially love it when they pray at night - when we have nothing to do, no where to go, no food in front of our faces. . . and they always linger a little bit longer in their prayers.

It's like prayer becomes less of a task and more of a conversation.

So when I tucked the kids into bed tonight, I asked which of them wanted to pray for us. Josu jumped on it right away.
"go for it, Dude" I told him.
and he prayed - opening a window into his 8 year old soul:
"(deep sigh) God, please help me to understand what is going on in class, because sometimes I'm confused and I just don't know what to do . . . and that is really, really hard for me" 

And now I know what I'll be adding to my prayer list for my boy this week.  


Monday, August 25th
Today we begin our hunt for uniforms.
Here's what's on my list:

Monday's uniforms:
white pants (or skirt), white sweater, red vest

Tuesday through Friday:
blue pants (or skirt), blue sweater, red vest

PE days:
full navy blue track suit with red stripes in the arms (they call those pants here in Mexico - it's like saying pants in english - but with a spanish accent.  It's kind of awesome). Also, regulation T-shirt.

Swim class:
red suit, red flip-flops, red swim cap.

And of course, everything must be embroidered with the school emblem and/or names; don't forget the swim caps.

The sidewalk in front of the school is lined with uniform vendors. Apparently some vendors are better than others; I got a tip from a helpful mama who told me to get my pants from the vendor named Señora Mari, and that the bookstore across the street that also sells uniforms is a little bit pricy, but will pretty much have everything we need.

Whoah. let's do this.

Friday, August 22, 2014
And suddenly,
my kids are going to school!

(Well, it seemed sudden . . . the road we journeyed to get into the public school down the street has had so many twists and turns, and it seemed to go on so endlessly, that I kind of settled into thinking we would just be in limbo - forever)

We dropped them off at school today - I almost cried when I saw each one of them greet their stern teachers, hold their heads high, and set themselves in the closest available seat. 
Ay. I was so proud of them; my kids are so courageous. 
And when we picked them up,
Selma told me "a little girl bought me a treat from the treat cart with her very own money!"
Josu told me "I didn't spend the ten pesos that papa gave me for snack time because I had to get away from the girls"
Malachai didn't say anything to me - he was too busy calling out goodbyes and giving fist bumps (like all Mexican boys do) to all his classmates

I think it's going to be a good year . . .


(as if regular visits from an accordion player weren't enough . . . )
Reason #2 that I'm pretty sure that my local Starbucks is better than yours: I can get my shoes shined while I drink my coffee.


When we went in to the public school down the street a couple of months ago, the principal of the afternoon school asked us to come back at the end of the school year (but, you probably already knew that; sheesh, I feel like it's all I talk about these days.) The kids would do testing and he would introduce us to the principal of the morning school; we would hopefully receive a clear confirmation regarding schooling for the kids there next year.

So this past Monday we gathered up every document we could think of, combed the kids' hair, and headed back out to the public school down the street.

We were supposed to be there at twelve-thirty on the dot. We were. We sat in the waiting room and waited for a really, really long time.  Selma colored. Malachai read his book. Josu sat on my lap and fretted "What time is it? When will it be our turn? Why aren't they here?"

I held him tight and whispered to him:
"God is near, sweet boy; He is not outside of this; we can trust Him"

We were finally called up, only to be told by the secretary that she had no idea who we were or why we were there. Neither the afternoon principal nor the morning principal were present; they had been gone for a while . . . we needed to leave.

And on our way out the door, we ran into both principals. The afternoon principal greeted us warmly and introduced our kids to the morning principal as future "academic olympians" for the school (it was like a reunion of old friends! crazy, I tell you!)

Ah yes, they still wanted to make room for us, but they couldn't guarantee anything yet. We needed return in the fall . . . on the first day of school. They could only tell us for sure then.

So, we keep slowly moving forward with our school plans; we'll show up on the first day of school with neatly groomed children and hearts full of hope.

Meanwhile, we are preparing ourselves for a possible last minute "no" from the school. We've been checking our budget numbers to see what line items could be cut if we needed to find a private school for the kids; we make mental notes of schools that we stumble upon on our afternoon walks . . . and very often, I whisper to my own heart:

"God is near, Naomi; He is not outside of this; you can trust Him"