Malachai: Calvin and Hobbes - it's been a favorite since the day you could pick up a book and flip through the pages yourself.

Josu: You went to campamento this weekend (a one night camping trip . . . on school property); you were so excited to go. I had to pack you a dinner to take with you; you requested a sandwich with jamon serrano - and you asked for it on "good quality bread" - so we went to a fancy bread shop and picked out some fancy bread.

Selma: this is how I find you when I pick you up from school: working on your homework. You like to get things done.

Because you should know: my sisters (Gabrielle and Jamey) write about their crazy-awesome kids too!



We ended 2014 and began 2015 with guests in our home.
It was good that way.

In the 12 hour break between the first round of guests and the second, I ignored the piles of laundry and dishes and instead frantically messaged my camera using sisters (the ones that were born in to the family AND the ones that married in) - asking if anyone wanted to join me for a 2015 photography project. We settled on a 52 week project (which originated, I think, from this lovely lady); we'll take a portrait of each one of our kids - once a week- through the course of the year. 

Here's my week one...

Malachai: Ah, my boy . . . you are vibrant.  You throw yourself into relationships with reckless abandon; you love to tell everyone about everything that you are reading and learning. You spent your entire Christmas break reading Harry Potter out-loud to Josu and Selma (complete with British accents!)

Josu: You are so very tender - - always paying attention to detail. I made chicken salad for your end-of-the-year class meal - just like your teacher asked me to.  You weren't very excited about my assigned meal, but you took it anyway, and you told me that even though most of the kids didn't eat it, you did, because I had made it.  That night you threw up.  The following day you pulled me aside and told me that you were certain that it was someone else's dish, and not mine, that had made you throw up. It amazes me that you thought to tell me that.

Selma: You are incredibly affectionate! At some point this week, you kissed the back of my neck until I couldn't stop laughing. You were so happy; you held my face in your hands and sighed "oh, mama, I love your laugh; I wish you would laugh more often." This year I resolve to laugh more with you.


When your aunt Mercy comes to visit:  paint your nails on the rooftop.
of course.


There is something altogether spectacular about the concept of God becoming man in order to bring peace on earth - - reconciliation between God and man! 

It takes my breath away every year. 

We went to the local market this weekend to get our tree 
and our piƱata
(of course) 
Tell you what, it can be a stressful thing to go to the tree yard in Mexico City.  Every tree vendor is convinced they have the perfect tree for you; they'll call out  persistently and even drag their trees over for you to admire.  One tree vendor caught my eye lingering on a tree and told me "ah yes, that's a good tree; it's skinny - just like the ones they are selling in France!" (ha!)  

I was glad to have Joshua along - he has mastered the skill of haggling with the tree vendors and having a good laugh along the way. 

Also, my guys carried our tree home.  
I feel so urban.


The school office called me this morning.
Josu was sick; I was being summoned to pick him up.

When I arrived at the school, I found his class in the school patio - getting ready for recess.

We needed to grab Josu's backpack out of the classroom, and so his teacher handed the classroom key over to one of his classmates so that she could open the door for us. She was the cutest little girl you've ever seen: her hair was slicked back into a ballerina bun; her black eyes were sharp and happy; her earlobes were sparkling with the golden hoops hanging from them.

"Thanks for helping us! What's your name?" I asked

she smiled at me "my name is Jihad" she said sweetly "it means holy war; it's an Arabic name"

"Ah yes" I told her. "Did you know that my girl Selma's name is from Arabic too?"

"what does it mean?" she asked

"It means peace; her papa and I named her that because we pray every day that she will be a peacemaker on this earth."

"Oh" she said "well, my brother's name is more normal; my parents named him Bruno"

Ah, little one. . . . 
When I prayed for Selma tonight, I prayed for you also - that you too would be a peacemaker on this earth.


There is a little urban garden
right next door to the kid's new school.
On Tuesdays the kids and I volunteer - tending to the earthworms, pulling weeds, and feeding the rabbits and hens.

This week we took Joshua with us; Selma showed him around:

This post is actually part of a homework assignment that I did for a online photography class I've been taking this month; It's been so good; so, so good!


This week: Malachai and Josu decided to start a chess club at school.  They spent the weekend making a portable chess board; it gets rolled up and tucked into a backpack pocket.

So far, no one at school has signed up for chess club (sigh)
but Josu and Malachai sure are cute when they play a game together at home.

(especially when they aren't wrestling each other to the ground because of a chess disagreement)