Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tacos, tacos and more tacos

Coming home from conference, we had to go right through Puebla. So, we stopped for some shopping at Waldo Mart (a favorite fun store!), and at a corner store to get some REAL vanilla, and of course we couldn't leave without TACOS!! Not like U.S. tacos - not even close! These are tacos al pastor (literally shepherd tacos!). They are corn tortillas with meat that was cooked on a spit. You can eat them as is like Dayton does, or slather them with any one of the delicious salsas on the table. Delicious!

Cameron's tacos al pastor came with pieces of pineapple on top. He didn't eat the pineapple (so his mom did the honors!), but he says that it gives them good flavor! Look good? Notice too the drink of choice for Cameron - it's horchata, a deliciously delicious rice drink. It's Cameron's and my favorite.

But the REAL PUEBLA TACOS are tacos arabes (or arab tacos), full of meat, very ga-reasy, very yummy! We slathered them with the pungent special tacos arabes salsa and enjoyed. Yum!

Alan had three tacos arabes. Two were enough for me! One was enough for Bethie! Alan's drink is jamaica (hibiscus flower drink), also deliciously delicious. After horchata, it's my second favorite.

This wonderfully luscious stop helped make our trip home seem shorter and go faster. Y'all come! We'll treat you!!

CAM MEXICO Fellowship Conference 2009

Our CAM MEXICO Fellowship Conference 2009 is now history. We met in Fortin de las Flores, Veracruz at the lovely hotel called Fortin de las Flores Hotel (of course!). The hotel boasts an incredible array of tropical plants and these pictures don't do them justice. The beautiful pool is behind these plants. The water's wonderful, but COLD! Some of the kiddos swam until they turned blue, but I didn't see any adults in the water! When we visit Fortin in June or July (when it's HOT and MUGGY in Fortin), then I'll consider jumping in!

Here we are! What a bunch! Notice the boy in front wrapped in a towel. You'll never guess who!! Or maybe you will! Even the photographer (Alan) is in the picture!

This year we only got a glimpse of the beautiful snowcapped Pico de Orizaba one morning. I quick took some pictures, but of course it was MUCH MORE beautiful in real life!

On our way home we got several glimpses of Pico de Orizaba, so I snapped several pictures - pretty good for traveling at 60 MPH, huh? It's an amazing volcano.

Tradition is to take a picture of the Moody alumni. Front: Terry and Helen Vanderwerf, Ruth Yingling, Dan and Beverly Kendal, Judy and Glenn Stewart. Middle row: Stu Grewatz, Scott Yingling, Beth Hanna. Back row: Rod Fry, Debbie and Tim Blycker, Mark Boardwine, Bryan Smith. And WAY in back: Sara Musgrave!

Snack time is quite the production at our CAM fello0wship conference. This year I organized it, but the ladies did most of the work, bringing cookies, sweetbreads, candy, salty snacks, fruit, veggie plates, cheeseballs and crackers, juice and soda pop. Wow!! What a spread we had each day. We certainly didn't need breakfast, because snack was at 10:30!

Bob and Chris Robison joined us from California and Bob shared some wonderful messages that I plan to translate and upload to our web page! Thanks, Bob and Chris, for coming!

In years past we've invited worship teams from the States to help us in our worship times. This year the different T-2 teams led us in worship and it was G R E A T! There is SO MUCH talent within our group!


Family Fun Night is just that - a FUN NIGHT! Here Tara Smith gives her version of Over the river and through the snow.... Since her Grandma lives in Mexico City, you can imagine the poem isn't about snow or horses - just use your imagination! It was very cute!

The "Brownies" (that's what their dad calls them!) sang and played - and did a fantastic job!

Even two year old Bethany helped her dad sing Zaccheus was a wee little man, for us!

Since all the kids WERE MK's, they put on a silly skit called "If I weren't an MK". Very cute!

Can you say Chubby Bunny with six marshmallows in your mouth?? How about with seven??? The marshmallows here in Mexico are bigger than the U.S. ones, so not many got past four!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fortin de las Flores

I'm writing from Fortin de las Flores, a quaint little town in the mountains of Veracruz, tucked away between Orizaba and Cordoba. It took Alan 4 1/4 hours to drive here from San Juan del Rio and the scenery was amazing. I didn't get pictures - I'll try to on the way home! Huge rugged mountains, incredible valleys, green everywhere, rivers down in the ravines, villages also down in the ravines! Amazing! It was a beautiful drive though on four-lane highway. It better be a beautiful highway because the tolls came to more than $40! That's DOLLARS! It's worth it though and was a very enjoyable trip.

We're here for our annual fellowship conference with the CAM Mexico missionary body. Our first message this evening with Uncle" Bob (Tim Blycker's uncle!) was excellent and just what we needed. The first evening meal was fabulous - as are all the meals here at Fortin. Not just the town is called Fortin de las Flores, that's also the name of the hotel and it's a beautiful restful spot to enjoy a few days. Y'all come, hear??

Monday, November 23, 2009

Uncle Art

Two of my favorite people were in town yesterday - Art and Marita Mikesell! Art, or Uncle Art or Arturito, as we all call him, preached at church in the morning and we were all so blessed! He and Marita also sang Estare en el cielo, a song Art and Ken used to sing together (it always gave us goosebumps to hear them sing together!!)!

Paco, a young believer said, "I never really understood much about the Lord's second coming, but Art made it all so clear in just an hour of preaching!" And he gave us notes so that now Paco and his family can review, look up the verses and learn more!

Thanks, Uncle Art, for blessing us and growing the believers in San Juan del Rio!

I scream, you scream....we all scream....

We stopped and got ice cream the other day. Our ice cream isn't like yours - and our ice cream store CERTAINLY isn't like yours! I should have thought to take a picture of it! Maybe I will later. It's just a little storefront with kegs of ice cream setting out front that the sweet lady serves from. You say, "Is it safe?" PULEEZE! Of course it's safe! And it looks good, huh? Cameron's favorite is lemon. It's not really ice cream - it's sherbet.

Dayton's fav is chocolate (chocolate sherbet!?!?), but there wasn't any, so second best is lemon.

My fav is the lemon, but I decided to try guanabana today! It's called soursop in English. Really! I'm not kidding! Go ahead, look it up on Wikipedia so you can see what it looks like! It's delicious, trust me! The fruit is white and it has big black seeds in it - no you don't eat the seeds! But it proves that this is the REAL THING!

Here're our cups of ice cream - ok, sherbet! Best stop we made all day!

Yesterday I stopped AGAIN at the same favorite store and bought a liter of lemon and a liter of chocolate for Sunday dinner dessert. They had a flavor called pitaya and I asked the lady to give me a taste on a little spoon. Instead she filled a small cone for me! See? I told you she was sweet! She loves to see our family come! The pitaya was delicious!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Upstairs Room and The Journey Back

I just finished two wonderful books that are a MUST READ (I think I say that about most of the books I read!). Alan and Beth have such a wonderful library - y'all come check it out! The Upstairs Room is the author's moving account of her own experiences as a young girl during World War II. New York Times Book Review says this about it: "...we are grateful to fate for having spared a child who can reminisce with neither hate nor bitterness but a kind of gentleness that leaves us with lumps in our throats."

The Journey Back is a moving sequel to the Upstairs Room about how Annie and her family build new lives for themselves after the war is over, not an easy thing to do.

These are both "youth" books, so check them out for your teens! They need to read about a life that isn't always easy and safe!

Friday, November 20, 2009

What Birds and Children Know

I need wide spaces in my heart,
Where faith and I can go apart,
And grow serene.
Life gets to choked by busy living;
Kindness so lost in fussy giving,
That love slips by unseen.

I want to make a quiet place,
Where those I love can see God's face,
Can stretch their hearts across the earth,
Can understand what Spring is worth;

Can count the stars;
Watch violets grow,
And learn what birds and children know.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I just finished reading Steel in His Soul, the Dick Hillis story. It's a MUST-READ! Dick and his family were missionaries in China, then he created a new mission called Overseas Crusades, which today is known as OC. Wow! What an amazing story! What an amazing life! So, look it up, read it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I learn something new every day

Today I learned something new! I learned that I can change the light switches in this house - the ones that are continually breaking. Up till now I've asked Paul, Julio, anyone who's willing, to do it for me. But Paul and Julio and anyone who's willing isn't here this week, or last week or next week, so I did it myself! Wow! It was easy! Why didn't I just go ahead and do this before?? Yes, yes, switched all the lights off first! I learned to do THAT a long time ago! The reason I was so anxious to get this one fixed is that it was the light switch to my "reading room!"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Baptisms in November??

Baptisms are a big deal here in Mexico. We all meet at church, then drive to a swimming pool that is out in the middle of the cornfields. Who would have thought there'd be such a beautiful pool out here?? It's rustic (no chairs, very rough table for the food, rocks and grass to sit on, but we're used to rustic. And yes! In November! It's a beautiful sunny day, not hot, just nice and warm. The water is warm too!

First Sergio led us in some worship songs, accompanied by the two guitars.

Then Miguel gave a beautiful message. He normally preaches an hour (and we love his preaching!), but today he knew the kids were ANXIOUS to get in that water, so it was 15 minutes!

Linda has been part of our church for a number of years, and finally decided to obey the Lord and be baptized! Her husband is not a believer, but he allows Linda to come to church and be involved in a number of activities. He even shows up now and then for work days!

Victor and Susy with their daughter Lisette. It was sunny and warm, but I guess Susy thought it was cold!

This is what the kids and young people do after the baptisms! I left at 4 and a number of folks were still there - the kids just didn't want to leave that nice warm water!

Reyna (center) started that little fire in NO TIME and she, Monica and Lucy heated up at least 10 dozen tortillas for dinner while I stuffed them into a little cooler to keep them warm. Maybe more than 10 dozen - it was A LOT. And not many were left! One thing we can't live without here in Mexico - TORTILLAS!

Time to eat - time to ATTACK that table laden with all sorts of delicious items!

Sergio and his daughter Sarai

Cruz (her name is Cross!) - I'll soon be writing you about the baby shower we hold for her!

Beautiful young ladies: Laura, Karla and Jasmin

Ivonne (who I work with) and Tina

The ones who were baptized with two of our leaders. LtoR: David (leader), Sadia his daughter, Miguel (leader), Benjamin (his son in front wasn't baptized), Alberto, Linda, Brenda (her daughter), and Irma

Someone brought jicamas, so Reina and Marta peeled and cut them up, then sprinkled them with salt and chili powder. What a delicious snack to finish off a fun day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The perfect snack

This morning I had the perfect snack. A cup with grated carrots, then grated jicama and grated cucumbers on top. The lady who sold it to me then poured some liquid chili, then salt, then lemon juice on top. I ate it with a fork. It was delicious! I'll have to do this more often! And what can be better for you than carrots, jicama and cucumbers!?

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Back "Forty"

After being here in Glenmoore, PA for three weeks, I finally went out in the woods! The kids went out often, but came home soaked, muddy and dirty, because it's been raining so much. But for the last few days it's been beautiful, so I ventured out with Victoria, Clara, Calvin and Quincy. They have a TREASURE of a woods behind their house, full of adventure and fun.

They've built their own "fort", complete with kitchen utensils, coffee (for anyone who dares), and a room for the boys. Very rustic, but fun!

Calvin and Quincy - a few days ago Quincy fell off a log similar to this one, into a stream below and hurt his arm pretty good, so he's taking it easier now!

Toria doing what Toria does best! Climbing, walking logs, adventuring! Someday she'll wear pretty pink dresses for her dad (maybe!!), but not yet. There's too much adventure out there waiting to happen!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Three Shades of Blue

Three Shades of Blue put on a concert tonight. It was great. This group consists of Jeffery, Jesse and Austin Allem, you guessed it, my grandsons! All bias aside, they were really good! They play well and do a great job singing and really related well to their audience - all great friends of theirs, of course! And family! Their family - me included - was very proud of them! I want to upload a short video or two, but haven't figured out how to do it yet! But when I do, you'll get to hear them. Or just check out their blog:

Jesse on the drums.

Jeffery on guitar and lead singer, Austin on the bass guitar.