Saturday, September 27, 2008

Caught -- SPITTING??

You already know what we bought today! Watermelon! I'm babysitting Cameron and Dayton today while their mom and dad are at a marriage retreat with several other couples from our church. We headed for the store and Cameron was SURE we needed a watermelon! Immediately on coming home, we cut it open and started eating - and of course, having a seed-spitting contest! What ELSE do you do with watermelon seeds!?

Slow Moving Vehicle

Remember the sweatshirt worn A LOT by the Ice Cream Grandpa when he'd go out walkiing? Well, where in the world did that cool sweatshirt go? Well, you guessed it! The Ice Cream Grandma has started wearing it again now that it gets pretty cool in the mornings when she and Peanut do their walking around the neighborhood!

Friday, September 26, 2008


No! No! No! They're not mine! The top ones belong to Ivonne, who I work with at the literature office, and the bottom hand is her daughter Rosy's. It's the IN THING to get your nails, not DONE, but PUT ON! Ivonne's daughter Gaby usually does it for a living, but since she's pregnant right now, the doc thought it'd be good to wait awhile. Some people think they are BEAUTIFUL! I'll keep my opinions to myself!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Remember the Ice Cream Grandpa's T-shirt? It had all kinds of wonderful things to say about Grandpa: "Smartest Man Alive", "Good Listener", "Encouraging Words," "Stronger than a Super Hero", "Shoulder to Cry On", "Footsteps to Follow", "Legs to Run and Play", "Always There", and a few others. I loved that t-shirt! In fact, I still do! So, where in the world is it?? On the Ice Cream Grandma, of course! But she only wears it to Dreamland!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Colgate smile - or is it Crest??

They're fixing it WITH CEMENT!

This morning as I walked to the office, I snapped some pictures of the men actually FIXING THE ROAD into our subdivision! It's very exciting to see it getting done. And even more exciting is to see they're actually using CEMENT! Before it was rocks along the side and blocks in the middle, no cement in sight! It's a mess right now because cars going both ways have to share the "one way" on the other side of where they're fixing, and parts of it are rather narrow, but that's OK. We're just glad they're working on it! Now if they'd just fix some of the other roads around town!

Monday, September 15, 2008

More on Independence Day 2008

Our guests for the evening were Nicolas and Alma Flores from Celaya and their family. It was SO nice to see them again. Nico is one of the leaders of the Celaya Bible Church. He brought the message, which was excellent. I don't think I ever heard him preach before!

The costume competition was fun with Tania as MC - she is SO GOOD! Gilberto, dressed as Jose Maria Morelos, didn't get first prize and was very disappointed. Dana, in the Tehuana outfit, took the prize.

Victor's granddaughter didn't win any prizes, but she sure was cute in her MEXICAN hat!

Juana and son Fernando won first place among the adults. She's wearing an Otomi outfit - in fact, it's the outfit she wears everyday! She was delighted to be the winner, wearing her normal outfit!

Twins! Don't we LOOK like twins!? Everyone thought Yolanda and I had planned our outfits, but nope, it wasn't planned - it just happened to be the only outfit each of us has! Behind us you can see Petra, who came as "La India Maria", a famous movie actress here in Mexico!

Independence Day 2008

Today is a holiday, September 16, 2008. It is Independence Day for Mexico! You thought it was May 5th, CINCO DE MAYO?? WRONG! They may celebrate that holiday in the States, but here we hardly notice that day go by! Our BIG DAY is actually September 15th, when we celebrate with a Noche Mexicana (Mexican Night). Daughter Bethie made this creative and yummy cake to take to our Noche Mexicana. It disappeared almost instantly!

After a service, we all joined in eating! That seems to be something ALL cultures enjoy! Here you see the tamales disappearing very quickly - they're in the big pan. I felt lucky to get one! And yes, they were yummy!

Jello, drinks, tinga (on the right), tostadas, chicken casserole (on the left), tamales, so many yummy choices!

I caught Reina eating! She "bawled me out", but that's OK! It was fun catching her!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tamales and Champurrado

This morning Petra, Mari and I got together at Mari's house to make tamales and champurrado. I'll tell you later what they were for. These tamales, a speciality of Petra's home state, Veracruz, are extremely labor intensive. First step: Buy banana leaves, cut them, wet them good, then roast them over an open flame to soften them. Petra did that yesterday. Second step: Boil chicken breasts with onion, and blend and boil together guajillo chiles, tomatoes, garlic cloves, onion and water. Third step: Mix the masa (corn meal that is used for making tortillas) with chicken broth, until it's smooth, add 1 kilo of lard and put on to boil until it's thick and "done". How do you know it's done? Ask Petra of course!

After making the salsa and letting the masa cool, we break up the chicken, then start making the tamales. Here's Mari breaking up the chicken - I helped her as well.

Then the real fun starts. Put some of the cooled masa onto a banana leaf (yes, it's greasy!), spread it out, add the chicken which has been placed in the yummy salsa, fold exactly like Petra insructs, and put the folded tamale in a bowl. Later it'll be added to the huge "tamale pan" to cook until done.

See? I DID help!

To make the champurrado, now that all the tamales are done (they're in that huge pan and will be cooked for an hour this afternoon), take 1 kilo of masa (this is for 100 people!), add water, mix with your hand until there are no lumps left. Add lots of water, then add the mix to the pan containing boiling water and a stick of cinnamon. Add piloncillo to taste (that's raw sugar in big lumps, sold in the market) and four chocolate squares - it must be Abuelita's chocolate, no other is good enough! Stir and cook until it tastes right. How to know when it tastes right? Ask Petra of course! What a great cook is Petra! As well as Mari! And what a fun morning for me with these two incredible ladies!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What's this??

WHY would I put pictures of a bathroom on my blog? Well, because in our community outreach center we're building one of the latest projects is a bathroom for the ladies! So, here it is! One of the sinks isn't quite done, but the others are beautiful and work beautifully!

Ivonne and Kristy checked it out this past Sunday. Wow! Isn't this GRRRREAT!

Even two shower stalls! In the future when we have a second floor, we'll probably have places for interns to stay and will need showers for them. So, here they are!

If you look carefully, you'll see that two of the stalls are deeper than the other two. Reason? Well, some of us "tried out" the stalls and Ivonne told everyone in no uncertain terms, that they weren't deep enough! She's tall, quite a bit taller than I am - and I barely fit! So, this past week, our worker made them deeper, using metal frames and covering them to look nice. So, now US LADIES are happy!

Fun and interesting

I bet you haven't seen this scene in the U.S. of A. very often - if at all! Notice what it is? Look carefully! Yes, it's a bunch of handicapped shopping carts parked in the Handicap parking spot! Where else would you park them?? I bet my fav store would sue me if they saw this photo, but I won't tell them if you won't!

Yesterday I went to Mexico City to visit Carmen and Felix and to go see Velva, a niece of Carmen's, who's in the hospital. Before heading for the hospital, Carmen served one of my favorite meals - chiles rellenos (stuffed poblano peppers), rice, beans and tortillas. Here's what my plate looked like - BEFORE I attacked it! Yes, it was delicious! And she sent some home with me to enjoy later! The normal bus ride in is 2 hours - yesterday it was was 3. Today the bus station was jam packed because it's a holiday weekend (what was I THINKING??) so when I arrived at 10:30, the first bus available to San Juan was at 1:15! But it was delayed, as were ALL the buses, and we finally left at 2. Have you ever been at the airport when planes were delayed? People get pretty ugly, don't they? Well, it's no different at a bus station!

Eliud (Eli) on the left, is Velva's mom. Carmen is on the right. Here we are at the hospital waiting our turn to go up and see Velva. No, this isn't the "waiting room", this is the "waiting sidewalk." The place was packed with people waiting, waiting. Only those with passes can even ENTER the door of the hospital, and then only one visitor at a time! Not having visited a lot of hospitals here in Mexico, I was shocked at the conditions. But Eli assured me that not all hospitals are like this! The only reason Velva is here is because her work place pays for it - she would have chosen a different, nicer hospital. But, she's recovering from a liver infection, praise God. The doctor gave her two weeks to live, but I think God has another plan! I think too that the doctor is glad He has another plan!

These two little girls were waiting, first with one parent and then the other as they were visiting someone. They were so cute, I just had to snap a picture!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Second week

Today was our second Navigator Bible study. Eight of us were there. Linda's mom is ill so she's in Mexico City, Lucy's grandmother is ill, so she's away, Rosy had to work. But Estela joined us this week. Aracely, brand new believer, has a lot of questions and it was great to see the ladies, not just me, answering her questions, using Scripture to back up their answers. What a great time! It's going to take a little time for them to understand that they HAVE to do their HOMEWORK AHEAD OF TIME! But it's coming! And some still struggle with memorizing - don't we all?

Friday, September 5, 2008

O ye of little faith!

Last night we began our women's Bible study! And, even though Mary and I were prepared to have just "us two" study together, 8 ladies showed up! Wow! Mary gave an excellent introduction to the study, Navigator's 2:7, giving good pointers in how to better memorize. She admits that she has a problem with that, so her pointers encouraged others who think they have the same problem! Above you see Mary giving her intro. I was very proud of her!

Afterward we lined up for pictures. Lucy left before the picture, but here are the rest of the gals: In front, Aracely, Rosaura, Mary, Luz; in back Rosy, Ivonne, Judith and Graciela. Linda couldn't come this week, but wants to join the group next week. They are all excited and ready to STUDY and LEARN!

Rosy insisted on taking another picture with me in it, just to prove I was there! So, here it is!