Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oh, the stuff we eat!

Tonight I wandered into the kitchen and found the last plantain (you know, cooking banana!) setting on the counter. It was totally black, very squishy, and had green stuff growing on one side. No, I'm NOT kidding! I peeled it and yes, it was pretty ripe, but looked good! So, I sliced it, cooked the slices in butter til they were nice and brown, put them on my plate, sprinkled them with a little sugar, then added some sour cream! Yum! Delicious! Best snack I've had all week!

SuperDoc Seminar

Today our Sunday service lastest a little longer than usual - from 9:30 AM til 4 PM! Tim Blycker, one of my favorite "nephews", was our speaker taking us through five Bible doctrines in five sessions, using the SuperDoc Seminar, which is filled with listener participation, singing (see above Tim singing with Tania and Julio Cesar), hand motions, power point presentations and lots of enthusiasm! No one was bored and the time went by quickly!

We DID take off time for snacks and dinner! Everyone brought food and everything I had was delicious, but the best was the serving of nopales (cactus cut up with onion and tomato) that Reyna brought - delicious!

More singing! Tim got Alan up front to the microphone to be part of the "worship team"! Sounded good!

These three young people did the hand motions as we all followed along, a good way to remember important doctrines from the Word of God!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Individually "shaken" ice cream!

We made our own indivudual ice cream today! Bethie taught us how and what fun we all had, both making it and eating it!

You need two ziplock bags, one quart size, one pint size. In the pint size one, put 1/2 cup Half & Half, 1/2 cup whole milk, flavoring of your choice (we used some wonderful flavors that our friends Paul and Grace Becker brought us from the States), 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix a little. Push all the air out and close. Put 4 cups ice in a quart size ziplock (crushed works best), add 1/2 cup salt. Place the pint size bag in the quart size one and shake till you have ice cream! Here's Sarah shaking her mocha ice cream, which she said was delicious!

Ivonne made mint chocolate ice cream. Yum!

Happy birthday, Sarita

Ivonne and her son Julio

Rosy and Sarah

Sarah had a birthday today! We invited her and her host family to dinner at Corral de la Vaca, a VERY nice restaurant with luscious food. We all enjoyed "molcajetes" that consists of beef, chicken, chorizo, nopal and onions in a delicious - and quite - spicy sauce. And of course lots of tortillas and lemonade!

Later at home we enjoyed cake and ice cream - more about that later! Sarah cut the cake and we didn't make her do the "mordida"!

Then, OF COURSE, the piñata! Sarah didn´t break it - Rosy did, but the "kids" all had fun at it!

"I wonder what THAT is? Mmm, that does look good!" Such interesting goodies came out out of that piñata!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Winter yesterday, summer today

Yesterday - well, actually two days ago - it was winter. You know, long johns, layering, a warm jacket. Today it's summer. Today as I walked I saw a lot of short sleeve or sleeveless shirts and blouses, shorts, sandals. Here in San Juan it doesn't "work up" to summer. It comes overnight! Today it's 81 degrees. Wonderful! I hear a lot of groaning and moaning about the heat, but you won't hear me complaining about this wonderful heat!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Farewell to Manzanar

What is it about sad stories that seem to pull me to them? I just finished Farewell to Manzanar, by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, and let me tell you, THAT was one sad story! It's the true story of the over 10,000 Japaneses folks who were put in a detention camp in 1942, how Jeanne's family dealt with it and how some of them didn't - couldn't. Jeanne was 7 when her family was uprooted and sent to Manzanar internment camp. They survived, but it sure wasn't easy, and so many sad things happened to them, it just broke my heart. You'll love it, you'll hate it, but you'll be glad you read it!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Today Gaby and her new baby came to visit us at the office. And Ivonne, my co-worker came along too, worked for about an hour and left with Gaby and baby in tow! It's the first I've seen Ivonne this week, since she was with Gaby, who gave birth on Monday. We don't know the baby's name yet, but eventually they'll let us in on the secret! He's a cutie, with lots of hair and according to mama and grandma, is a GOOD sleeper! Here you see him with his PROUD TIO, Julio!


That's Petra seated in the front, middle

Petra claims that if she smiles for a picture, she's not photogenic. NOT TRUE! But we can't convince her!

Petra is leaving us and moving to Cordoba to be near her daughter and family. We will MISS her. She's one of the sweetest, dearest women I know.

Last night, instead of doing our weekly Bible study, we had a "goodbye" party for Petra, complete with lots of goodies - we love to eat, you know! Petra gave her testimony and told us what she's planning to do when she gets to Cordoba and she almost BEGGED us to come visit her! We decided we'll have Julio take us all in his big van (15 passenger or so) and we'll all descend on her one of these days! We didn't set any dates, but don't be surprised when I write you from Cordoba saying, "Wish you were here!"


The sign says YIELD or, in Spanish CEDA.

What'd you say? You can't see it? What do you mean?

Oh, I see, I guess I can't really see it either!

So, when I'm driving from the side that has the RIGHT OF WAY, I YIELD! Yielding is better than crashing!

The Women in Lincoln's Life

If you want to read a really, really sad story about one of our most beloved presidents, this is it. The author H. Donald Winkler did a lot of research and even had "almost relative" reasons for writing this book, having "almost" been a relative of Abraham Lincoln.

Here's what the introduction said, "How the sixteenth American president was shaped by fascinating women who loved, hated, helped, charmed, and deceived him." I enjoyed the book, almost couldn't put it down until I was finished with it. You wouldn't believe how many women influenced Abe and I won't tell you - you have to read it yourself!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Aren't Baby Showers FUN?

Gaby, our mother-to-be, loves lambs, so Bethie outdid herself making one! Isn't it great? It tasted yummy too!

The other two cakes were a chick and a bunny. At first we thought it was too much, but the 35 ladies, 4 toddlers and baby finished them off in no time!

For our talk, we had gifts for the mother - and daughter Vanessa! A marriage book for the couple, a Jesus book for the baby, a nice lotion for the new mama, and others! Vanessa was delighted to open some gifts too!

Gaby's mom, Ivonne, made her a beautiful blanket. Guess - is it a boy or a girl??

Fun game. Something you probably wouldn't see in the States - every woman measured GABY with her yarn to see if she guessed right how big around she is! Gaby was, of course, a very good sport! In fact, she loved it!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What I've learned - or relearned - from Corrie ten Boom

I just finished reading Life Lessons from Corrie ten Boom and enjoyed every second of it! Here are some things I've learned - or relearned from this great lady!
1. Even famous and seemingly "perfect" people have to learn and relearn to forgive.
2. The love of Christ is stronger than any other power on earth.
3. It's amazing to see how my early life and family had an influence on what I am today.
4. Even with her sense of humor and graciousness, Corrie was the first to admit that she wasn't always Miss Nice - something I learn every day about myself!
5. Families can live happily with three generations in one crowded house - Two or three aunts lived with Corrie's family throughout her childhood.
6. If Corrie can keep trampin' for the Lord into her 80's, why not me??

And I could go on! Look for this book, read it, and enjoy! Thanks Amanda, for loaning it to me!

Monday, February 2, 2009

More about food and drink

Here's something fun to eat. We eat it like candy. You know the communion bread (ostia, in Spanish, I don't know the name in English!)? Well, these are very similar, made of rice flour. They taste like, uh, er, they taste like, uh, actually, they don't taste! They just melt in your mouth!

Just ask Ivonne if they're good! 'Course they are!

Michelada - I've seen it but never realized just what it was! Now I know! Beer, chile pikin, lemon juice, Maggi juice, Worchestershire sauce and salt! I've been told that it's good, but don't have any firsthand experience! And it isn't just the men who drink it...!

Something new everyday

You'd think after living in Mexico for so many years, I'd know all there is to know. Are you kidding??? I'm just beginning. Sorry, I don't want to discourage you newcomers! But Ken always used to say, "Three Spanish lessons, and thirty years practice and you'll know Spanish!" More than thirty years and I'm still learning LOTS!

Today I accompanied my coworker Ivonne, her children Rosy and Julio, her granddaughter Vanessa and intern Sarah to Bernal. I learned so much! And I ate and drank some yummy stuff I've never tried before! At lunch Julio asked me if I wanted a "jarrito" (a little mug). Sure, I said. He brought a clay pot filled with - something! It was grapefruit pop, chile pikin, lemon juice and orange juice. Along the edge of the mug was chile pikin and salt. And you know what? It was delicious! I of course brought the mug home with me!

And what are nopales penques?? Never heard of them. They are HUGE and I mean HUGE nopales - cactus - grilled, cut up and served on a homemade tostada. Rosy let me try hers - WOW! Was it good! I should have ordered one, but was already full from the two gorditas I'd eaten. And WOW! Were they good! Sarah ordered one though - and enjoyed it! She needed all the nourishment she could get after that vigorous climb up the Peña de Bernal! What a fun day!

There it is, the Peña de Bernal. It's quite impressive up close!

The cactus growing out of the wall made for an interesting shot! And with Bernal in the background? Perfect!

Dia de la Candelaria - Candlemas

I knew something unusual was happening when I noticed dozens of people carrying El Niño Dios (the Christ child) toward the Parroquia (the cathedral downtown). Oh yes! It's February 2nd, Dia de la Candelaria, or Candlemas in English. Here in Mexico it is a follow up of the Day of the Kings (January 6th), when children receive gifts and families and friends eat the Rosca de Reyes together. Anyone receiving a figurine is supposed to host the party on Candlemas Day. Tamales are of course the food of choice and atole, a thick pudding-like hot drink, the drink of choice!

Another custom, which I observed this morning, is for families to own an image of the Christ child, a Niño Dios. On this day the child is dressed in fine clothes and presented to the church for a blessing. I also saw a man carrying a cross, almost as tall as he was, with the crucified Jesus, I assume to be blessed as well. I read of one priest who claims that this custom dates back to Leviticus where the Jewish parents are told to present their boy child at the temple 40 days after his birth. Each year people dress their Chirist child in new and elaborate clothes and often they will carry them in elaborately decorated Moses baskets. I caught some pictures and honest! I tried to be discreet, I didn't want to offend anyone!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

And me without a camera!

Our orchestra at church is growing! Today 8 mostly young people (with two "a little older") were up front providing beautiful music as we sang praises to God. Guitars: Tania, Edith and Luis Angel; Mandolin: Yoshijiro; Voices: Rosy and Janett; Tamborine: Janett; Flute: Sarah and Ruth; Keyboard: Ruth.

Yes, I know I wrote of the dearth of music in some of us here at Abundant Life Bible Church, but there IS musical talent among us! And what a blessing they are!