Saturday, February 26, 2011

And suddenly it's summer

It happens every year. You think I'd get used to it! Actually, it isn't hard to get used to!

When I was a kid, I had no idea what seasons were. Where I lived, sometimes it rained, other times it was dry, sometimes it was cooler than other times, but seasons??? In school one day we were given the task of writing an essay on "Primavera." (Springtime) Well, I had no clue. Since our book showed a picture of a lovely garden, I wrote about a lovely garden! I don't recall if I got any kind of passing grade on that assignment. It wasn't until high school when I totally understood what "seasons" were. Living in Iowa with Uncle Walt and Aunt Loretha, I experienced hateful, cold, snowy, icy winters, beautiful spring flowers and green grass, and fantastic fall weather. (I spent summers in Mexico with my family.) THEN I understood "seasons"! So THAT'S what "primavera" is!

A week ago I was wearing a jacket to the office, and "wore" a blanket over my knees to keep warm (our office is COLD in the winter - but of course very pleasant in the summer!). Yesterday I wore a 3/4 sleeve cotton blouse and jeans and was pleasantly warm! Yes!

This morning I took my car to the mechanic to see if he can fix my windshield wipers that have given me problems since I bought a new set (go figure). I then started the walk home: First stop stop was a humble little home where they sell fresh squeezed orange juice. Second stop, a cart selling tamales! Breakfast as I walked! A couple more errands, and I headed home to await the call from the mechanic.

But then I HAD to go into Modatelas, our local material shop. What great cottons they have for summer! Anyone need material for cute little outfits? AND they have the material with smocking for darling sundresses! And NO, I didn't buy any! Just enjoyed looking!

I had to carry my sweater all the way home. Why I even took it, I'm not sure! They call it "Primavera", but it's really summer weather here! Wonderful!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Hidden Hand - and others

This past week I finally finished The Hidden Hand, by Eden Southworth. Here's what it says in its introduction:

Reader beware! Once you begin this novel, you will not be able to put it down! The Hidden Hand is strewn with mystery and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end! You will find yourself laughing aloud at some of Capitola's antics. But don't let her feisty, mischievous character and Old Hurricane's cantankerous personality derail you from seeing the gracious providence of an all-wise God...

It goes on, but that will suffice. I actually WAS able to put it down - several times - simply because I needed to get some rest so I could carry on here in San Juan!

This is from the Lamplighter Rare Collection Series. If you're interested in seeing more, check Amazon. It shows everything they have!

I also read The Basket of Flowers by Christoph von Schmid, but it was short and didn't take long! And I suspect I've already read it before, because it had a real familiar "ring" to it!

AND I just finished The Solitary Envoy by T. Davis Bunn and Isabella Bunn, also a fascinating book, which is a novel, but contains much of true history in it.

And if you think all I do is read, well, no! I read fast, and usually don't spend a lot of time reading, but it IS one of my favorite pastimes!

Keeps the TV off, and that's a very good thing!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mr. Hanna's Ties

This poem is in memory of my hubby Ken who loved his unusual, crazy, fun ties. He figured if he had to wear a tie to teach at Moody, he was going to make them fun! No "power ties" for him, no sir! Just fun ones that gave HIS special message! A tie with the Marx brother's faces, a tie (or two) full of hot peppers, a tie with Mt. Kilimanjaro given to him by a student, and on it goes!

I wish I had one of his ties or at least a picture of one, but the attached picture illustrates well his fun ties - it's almost like one he sported often!


Written by an unknown student of Ken Hanna’s

Mr. H has many ties

Of ties his closet is comprised,

And they are all the exact same size

With pictures of people and places and skies,

Of red, orange and purple dyes.

The room lights up when he arrives,

And all our worries just seem to fly

While he and the Lord open our eyes

To the Word that will transform our minds.

Yes, the thought of “culture” I must surmise,

Will always be colored by

Mr. H’s colorful, wonderful ties.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Baby Shower for Gaby and her baby Vania

Last Saturday we held a baby shower for Gaby and her baby Vania who was born last month. We normally hold baby showers BEFORE the baby is born, but Gaby was feeling so terrible, we decided to postpone it. As Gaby said later, it's more fun to have a baby shower AFTER the baby arrives! I agree!

I didn't get any good pictures of Vania - oops! But there she is on the right being cuddled by Lydia. Vania made the rounds this evening and behaved beautifully!

Bethie baked a scrumptious cake and decorated it with fancy cookies
from a local restaurant "La Galeria." It was a hit!

Instead of the normal way of opening the gifts, where Gaby would have to guess who brought each gift and with each wrong guess, gets a black mark on her face (I hate that custom!!), each gal went up and gave her gift to Gaby, along with a hug for the happy mother! It was a very sweet way to get away from "tradition!"

I gave a little devotional, which included some fun gifts for Gaby and her baby Vania, AND her other two children Vanessa and Joel!

Abuela Ivonne with her new granddaughter.
Can you tell that Gaby LOOOOVES orange??

Vanessa, age 4, was happy to help her mama open the gifts.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Little Princess

I've seen several movie versions of A Little Princess, some more true to the actual story than others, but I don't recall ever reading the book. The one I read had a cover totally different from that one above, but "my" cover didn't show up on Amazon! But it's the same book, I'm sure!

What a sweet story, very old fashioned, where the good are OH SO GOOD, and the bad are OH SO BAD! But it was fun reading it. Maybe I'll go to our "private" video library and check out a video, if there is one, just for fun!

Did you know that Frances Hodgson Burnett also wrote two other very popular books? Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Secret Garden!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Once in awhile I clear out my two-drawer file. Usually when it's so full I can't squish another sheet of paper into it - yep, it gets THAT full!

And that happened a few days ago. I threw away a lot of junk - at least I HOPE it's junk! 'Cause it's gone now!

I did find some treasures and this is one of them! In 1998 friend Rod sent this email to Ken and me and 12 other people! He titled it, "for all you rednecks out there". How did he know???

Ken used to sing this to my kids whenever he got a chance - or to anyone who would listen. The details aren't the same for HIS family, but well, he "almost" could say he was his own Grandpa! But that's another story!!


Many years ago when I was twenty three,
I got married to a widow who was pretty as could be.
This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red,
My father fell in love with her, and soon the two were wed.

This made my dad my son-in-law
And changed my very life.
My daughter was my mother,
For she was my father's wife.

To complicate the matters worse,
Although it brought me joy,
I soon became the father
Of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became
A brother-in-law to dad.
And so became my uncle,
Though it made me very sad.

For if he was my uncle,
Then that also made him brother
To the widow's grown-up daughter
Who, of course, was my step-mother.

Father's wife then had a son,
Who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandson,
For he was my daughter's son.

My wife is now my mother's mother,
And it makes me blue.
Because, although she is my wife,
She is my grandma too.

If my wife is my grandmother,
Then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it,
It simply drives me wild.

For now I have become
The strangest case you ever saw.
As the husband of my grandmother,
I am my own grandpa.

I have to sit on my own lap and tell myself stories!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

All on a Sunday morning

This morning I got to church early to set up the Lord's Supper, and then to go get Araceli and her children, and since the chairs weren't set up yet, I helped with that too.

Before setting up the chairs, Yadhira said, "Shouldn't we set them up more decoratively, say, one blue, one green!" I just laughed at her (and with her!) and said, "Whatever you say!"

So, today the chairs were set up decoratively! I'm sure everyone (like, NO ONE!!) noticed! But Yadhira was happy - and it DID look nice!

Here's one of the new babies in our church, Yadhira is holding him at the moment. He made the rounds with several of us!

He doesn't have a name yet. Soon, we hope!

He was born January 4th.

And you thought I only had 19 grandchildren!!!

This one isn't official, but I'll claim him!

Did I hear someone say, "But I'm too young to do anything in church"??

Well, tell Angel that!

He's six!

He does a good job singing and does GREAT on the tambourine!

So, if you're SIX or older, you can definitely participate!!

His sister Adaia is also singing - she's 11, I believe.

Another sister Adriana, also sings, but wasn't feeling up to it this morning.

She's 7 or 8.

The other three gals are Janett (singing), Edith and Tania (on the guitars).

Angel is so short, sometimes we can't see him!

But that's OK - we appreciate him!

Some of you, or maybe just one of you, will remember Jorge

from New Life Bible Church in Queretaro.

He and his wife Montserrat came today and Jorge preached.

It was great!

They brought along their adorable little girls, Raquel and Isabel.

After the service we all enjoyed a meal where most folks brought something to share.

I brought sandwiches, but not just ANY sandwiches!

They had ham, cheese, avocado, tomato AND a chile!

Can't have a sandwich without the chile!

I also baked cookies.

There is always enough food for all, but there's usually NONE left over!

Today was no exception.

Everything was delicious

and the fellowship was even better!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Mitford Bedside Companion

Last November while in the States, on a whim - and 'cause it was cheap - I bought this book. It's pretty fat (487 pages), but since I love Jan Karon and all the Mitford books, I thought it would be fun to read.

It was!

Most of it was memories of the Mitford Series books. I may have to go to the in-house library here and find those and reread them! Or maybe I'll check out the Father Tim Series first.

Then go back to Mitford!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


You'd think I'd get used to waiting, waiting, waiting at airports. You'd think I'd get used to the security checks - which I sometimes go through twice on ONE trip. You'd think I'd get used to the LOOOOOONG line when I return to Mexico - why do so many "foreigners" come to Mexico? You'd think. I guess I do get used to it! At least I always make sure I have a good book or magazine along! I usually save my Christianity Today magazines for three months, so I'll have something interesting to read - something I don't have to drag home!

This poem caught my eye, cause I could have written it - if I were a poet, that is! I loved it! I'm sure it has a hidden meaning, but I'm not smart enough to figure out what that is! I just enjoyed the poem!


Reprinted from Harvesting Fog, Copyright Luci Shaw 2010, Pinyon Publishing.

Used by permission of the author.

My plane delayed, I wait the call to board –

a hiatus in the continuum, a lesson in patience,

the airport window at the gate like an eye

framing the almost soundless waves

of aircraft arriving, taking off.

The interior rhythm of the moving walkway –

a steel river; a continuous slither of hum,

interrupted every few seconds by

the announcement. The walkway is ending.

Please watch your step. Thank you.


is always being thanked by a machine

for not falling. Longing for a thank-you

to ease the bruises, I am carried along my corridor

toward a stumble onto the sill of heaven.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Help Rima head to Valparaiso University!

Help me win a $3,000 college scholarship. Vote for my essay!

Check out the above link and help a young friend head to Valparaiso University! Rima is one of the young people in my son Ken's church. She is an amazing young lady, very talented, very sweet, very caring, very intelligent and I can't think of anyone who deserves a scholarship more than she does! She lives with her mother, who is divorced and, while they do OK, Rima definitely needs a scholarship to head to college!

I personally thought she wrote a very good essay. Check it out and vote for Rima.

Go Rima!

The Shepherd of Bethlehem

I just finished The Shepherd of Bethlehem, which is part of the Lamplighter Rare Collector Series. If you haven´t heard of the Lamplighter series, it is a collection of Christian family literature from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. They are all beautifully bound and written from a Christ-centered, Bible-centered perspective. I´m really enjoying the ones I´ve read.

As you may know, literature from that era made the bad people really, really, really bad, and of course the good people were really, really, really good! But the message is biblically centered and brings alive the Christ of the Bible. Check it out!

I just saw that on Amazon you can get one of these books, used, for only $80!! Ouch! But I´m sure there are other places where they don´t cost so much! I´m doing the "cheap" thing and borrowing them! Check out

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The BEST of breakfasts

This morning I headed over to Sams, but had a couple stops to make first.

1. I stopped to get a tamale wrapped in a bolillo (a hard roll). When the young man saw me he asked, "Do you want a rajas con queso tamale?" (That's chile poblano slices with cheese) How did he know that's what I ALWAYS get? Because that's what I always get, I guess! And I've stopped at his little cart several times already!

BTW, if you think tamales are dry, it's because you haven't had them with LOTS of lard in them! I've had those dry ones too - they're probably better for you, but a really good tamale has a lot of lard in it - a lot! That, after all, is what makes it moist and delicious! Along with the rajas and cheese of course.

2. A stop at the juice stand. Not fancy, just a husband and wife team making fresh, fresh juices. Choices are beet, carrot, orange and beet, orange and carrot, and my favorite: green juice, made up of orange juice, celery, nopal and parsley. Sounds yummy, huh? Well, it is!

After those two stops, I was ready for anything! When I got home Bethie asked me if I wanted a pancake. A pancake??? No thanks. I just had the BEST breakfast around!

Well, OK, there are other wonderful breakfasts too:

Chilaquiles Enchiladas verdes enchiladas rojas

taquitos enchiladas with mole huevos a la mexicana

huevos rancheros huevos divorciados huevos con mole

I could go on and on! I'm getting hungry and it isn't even time for breakfast yet!

You come join me next time. And hurry, because I have a hard time getting past that young man's tamale cart without getting something!

No wonder I'm not losing weight these days.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Cross in a Shopping Cart

I´m not sure this is a "poem" per se, but it was written by my dear friend Betty, who writes poems - or at least poetry. I thought it was beautiful and certainly made me think. Do we forget the cross during the year and only emphasize its importance during the Easter season? I certainly hope I don´t!

I didn´t make any New Year´s Resolutions this year, probably because I had too much ELSE to do! And, frankly, it hasn´t been my custom for years. I´m busy doing what I do and that´s enough! But this is a good one - keep the cross before my mind´s eye this year, but not JUST the cross, but JESUS, who died on that cross to save me and give me life abundant! I guess if I keep that New Year´s Resolution, I don´t need any others!

The Cross in a Shopping Cart

By Betty Henry Taylor

As I started my walk in the gym at a neighborhood church this morning,

I rounded the corner of the elevated stage;

and there it was: a cross. In a shopping cart.

It more than filled the cart, but it could be transported as it was.

It had been used during the Easter season one more time. And I thought:

What if I could push the cart up to a check-out counter and say to the cashier,

“I don’t see a price tag on this. Can you tell me what it’s worth?”

[I can barely see now to write for the tears coursing down my cheeks.]

And then I think: What if I rolled the cart up to Heaven’s Gates and asked the Father,

“What is this worth?” He might say, “What is it worth to you?

It cost Me more than words can tell. But . . .

whatever price you put on it has already been paid. In full.”

As the tears continue to run down my cheeks, I think: What a Gift. What a Plan.

I’ve honored the meaning of the cross as long as I can remember.

Since childhood, I’ve seen the cross, and understood—to some degree—its significance.

I’ve seen it on church steeples and on church stages;

I’ve seen it outside churches draped in purple or white or black.

I’ve seen it illuminated in majestic cathedrals around the world.

I’ve worn it on a chain around my neck.

But never has the impact been more powerful than seeing it in a shopping cart,

waiting to be put out of sight for another year.