Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas afternoon

Don't know where the baby is, but this sure is fun!

Maria found the baby and carted her around the house for a good while.

Then, later, it got really quiet in the living room. OK, what's going on here? Let's check it out.

As we say in Spanish, "Les caché!" (I caught you!). Lluvia and Maria were hiding behind the couch munching on candy canes! I guess we hung those things a little too low and temptation won out!!

Christmas morning

Dad got the BEST present - it's an Executive Stress Eliminator - it makes the BEST noises, and is SUPPOSED to eliminate any stress in your life! Right?! But so much fun!

Karaoke anyone?? Maria can sure sing into that thing!

A camera! Lluvia's been busy ever since snapping our pictures! But the best part is, it has a button you can push and it makes lots of great noise!

Do I look excited? Well, I really am. This great gun makes LOTS of noise - WHO IN THE WORLD bought it for me?? I love it!

Putting candy canes on the tree - more on this later!!

Christmas reading

I just bought 5 little Christmas books - they were such a good price, I couldn't resist! I just finished The Judge Who Stole Christmas by Randy Singer. It was a very sweet story. I recommend it! So, what am I going to DO with these books when I head back home?? If - and that's a big IF - they fit my suitcase and don't weigh it down too much, I'll head home with them. IF not, well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it! I've never gone on a trip with a light suitcase yet, why start now??

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

El Paso restaurants

You know Grandma! Well, she loves to eat out! So, we've done some eating out here in El Paso! Sunday Ken stayed home with the girls who were sick, and, after church Esme and I enjoyed a luscious meal at Nothing but Noodles, a wonderful restaurant with noodles - and lots more! Then later on we all headed to Al Zaituna, a tiny Mediterranean restaurant that serves the most luscious delicacies! Notice the pictures! We also enjoyed a Hawaiian meal at Aloha Hawaiian BBQ, another tiny restaurant with luscious food! And tonight we're enjoying a delicious meal prepared by Esmeralda Hanna! The best food in town! Instead of helping cook, I've been sewing - yes, mending, so much fun! Esme had some pants that were way too long and easy to fix in a jiffy. I also bought some jeans here that were too long and had them ready to wear at the right length in no time. And a hem on a little dress. We're just having fun here and delighting in Maria and Lluvia!

Merry Christmas!

It's feeling a lot like Christmas at the Ken and Esmeralda Hanna household! The ponche is heating on the stove, the turkey's in the oven, the potatoes (both sweet and mashed) are almost ready, Kenny's outside making a frame for the single mattress I've been sleeping on, the girls are dressed in their sundresses - under their jackets, and we'll soon enjoy a Christmas Eve dinner. Here are some photos of the fun we've been having here in El Paso!

Trimming the tree - again! And again! And again! The girls manage to remove the bottom decorations several times a day, and of course then it's time to trim the tree - again!

Dancing to The Messiah! With apologies to Mr. Handel. I really doubt that he minds!

I made two little sundresses for the girls and they were too big, so this afternoon I made them smaller and of course the girls had to try them! Notice the pants under the dress on Maria!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Check it out!

Another favorite blog: Check it out! Daughter Kim has joined the bloggers in this world and calls her blog Loud Love! More fun!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Christmas Gift Present

"Christine knocked on the door ready to introduce herself to her long-lost grandmother.

Esther answered the knock ready to interview a housekeeper.

Neither found quite what she'd expected."

That's how The Christmas Gift Present is introduced. A very sweet Christmas story. This time of year I enjoy reading "sweet Christmas stories!" Some are sweeter than others, but they're all fun!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


If you haven't seen the movie Flywheel, I recommend that you watch it as soon as you can! Wow! What a beautiful story of how God honored a businessman who decided to honor the Lord in his life and business. Enjoyed it very much. Laughed a lot, cried a lot and rejoiced a lot with the people in the story! Go for it!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

El Castillo de la Gracia (The Castle of Grace)

Today a group of 30 young people and their leaders from the Word of Life Institute near us (in Bernal) came to our church and put on a wonderful drama called El Castillo de la Gracia. I have never seen our church so full - lots of visitors! Many of the children crowded the front seats and everyone enjoyed the drama so much. Here are a few pictures of the young people, who did an excellent job. After the drama we enjoyed a meal together. Many of us had brought food from home and wondered if we'd have enough, but there definitely was, with a few (very few!) leftovers! And everything I tried was delicious. Mexicans don't normally provide dessert, so we did run out of that, but I think everyone got at least a tiny bit! Coming home, first Libertad asked me to bring her and her nephew home, then Imelda and her son joined us, then Yolanda and her two kids asked for a ride and since she lives so far away, I couldn't tell her no - have you been counting? That's eight of us in my little Sable! Only the driver was comfortable! We didn't pass "U.S. inspection", but we made it home OK! I drove VERY CAREFULLY!

Let's decorate - the church AND cookies!

Last night several of us showed up to decorate the church for Christmas. We don't have a Christmas tree, because in the move to our new property, someone (we aren't sure WHO!) broke it! So either it will get fixed for next year, or we'll do without! This year a bunch of us made poinsettias out of felt and we used whatever we could find in storage - and the church looks very festive! Then we decorated sugar cookies that Bethie had baked all Saturday morning. What a creative bunch these gals are! It was fun and a time of good Christian fellowship! And I have no idea why that was underlined! I've got a lot to learn in this blogging business!

If you're wondering why we have coats on, it's because it was COOOOOLD in the church!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

There oughta be a law!

Yeah, there oughta be a law against a 10 year old skunking his Mom and Grandma in the game of Split! Cameron made a record tonight, at least a record in our house. His score was 715 minus 140 ( we tried, we TRIED to bring him down to a reasonable score!), so total was 675. That's definitely a record! I won't tell you what Bethie and I got, but it WAS over 200! In spite of Cameron being so astute AND LUCKY!!!, we did have fun playing!

Happy Chicken

As my son in law, Alan says, I don't think this is a Pollo Feliz (Happy chicken!). After all, we're eating it! But it makes us happy! I snapped this picture "just for fun" while Cameron, Dayton and I waited in the car for

Monday Night CRAFT, NOT Monday Night FOOTBALL!

Last Monday night after our prayer time, Linda (on the right) showed us how to decorate tiles. These are sold everywhere here in Mexico and I never realized how much WORK they are to make! But it WAS fun!

Can you believe I made that?? Yep, that's me CRAFT LADY (not really!). I love DOING crafts as long as someone else is showing me how to do it! Gracias, Linda!

We appreciate you

Each year we missionaries in the Bajio (Central Mexico) invite our leaders and their families to a special dinner to say, We appreciate you. This year we traveled to Salamanca to a beautiful party hall that included a large garden area. We enjoyed a luscious meal prepared by one of the couples in Salamanca, our clown was a hit (and not just with the kids!!), and the children enjoyed the three piñatas. It is a lot of work for us, but we do it gladly, being thankful to each of these leaders and their families who have given up a lot to serve the Lord. And they're all doing such a good job!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mujeres Privilegiadas

There are a good number of privileged women in our church (that's women who are alone for whatever reason!), but only three of us got together last Friday and visited Vicky and her dad. Vicky and her dad Victor don't get out to church much because it's hard for Victor to get out at age 88, especially by bus, since they don't have a car. We made yarn angels, sang favorites and drank Vicky's delicious Christmas punch.

Ivonne, Vicky, Imelda and Victor

We exchanged gifts - which were all mugs. Vicky gave me a beautiful red flowered one. I gave one to Imelda that was filled with Snickers (my favorite!).

But that's not the END of the story! Saturday evening while Ivonne and I were at the appreciation dinner (that'll be my next blog!), she got a message on her cell saying four ladies were at the literature office waiting for us to go to Vicky's house! They just got the wrong day! Small detail We were in Salamanca (1 1/2 hours away), so couldn't do anything about it! I guess - I hope - these gals will listen more carefully next time a get together is announced!

Don't forget SNACK time!!

Conference wouldn't be conference without SNACK TIME! Our snack table was not only beautiful, it was luscious! As always, one or two persons (me this year!) are in charge of organizing it, and each family brings the goodies - cupcakes, salty snacks, soda pop, juice, fruit plates, veggie plates, cookies, doughnuts, and the all-time favorite CHEESEBALLS with crackers or just cheese of any kind! We also offered coffee, tea and hot chocolate. No one went hungry, that's for sure, and some probably went home with some added pounds!

Fun conference activities

Notice grandson Cameron - fourth from left. He was so excited to be part of the "bells".

Tara (above) and Kendra (below) Smith treated us to really cute poems, complete with a powerpoint! Those two girlies are adorable!

MK choir - again Cameron got in on it - he's there somewhere!

Gingerbread houses

The most unusual "gingerbread house" was done by two young men. It looked kind of like an upside down tent! Yes, very creative - they TOTALLY had fun!

The McManus BEEEUUUTIFUL house! After the picture was taken, Alan added a "Larryboy car" to the roof, which definitely was the finishing touch!

Uncle Art and Aunt Marita worked hard - I thought sure they'd win a prize (a lollipop!!), but instead they just had a ball working together! It was fun watching them!

Bethie and Dayton working hard. Cameron was off with friends building another house, so our house was an Alan-Beth-Beth-Dayton house. And NOOOOO, we did NOT bring it home with us!!