(as if regular visits from an accordion player weren't enough . . . )
Reason #2 that I'm pretty sure that my local Starbucks is better than yours: I can get my shoes shined while I drink my coffee.


When we went in to the public school down the street a couple of months ago, the principal of the afternoon school asked us to come back at the end of the school year (but, you probably already knew that; sheesh, I feel like it's all I talk about these days.) The kids would do testing and he would introduce us to the principal of the morning school; we would hopefully receive a clear confirmation regarding schooling for the kids there next year.

So this past Monday we gathered up every document we could think of, combed the kids' hair, and headed back out to the public school down the street.

We were supposed to be there at twelve-thirty on the dot. We were. We sat in the waiting room and waited for a really, really long time.  Selma colored. Malachai read his book. Josu sat on my lap and fretted "What time is it? When will it be our turn? Why aren't they here?"

I held him tight and whispered to him:
"God is near, sweet boy; He is not outside of this; we can trust Him"

We were finally called up, only to be told by the secretary that she had no idea who we were or why we were there. Neither the afternoon principal nor the morning principal were present; they had been gone for a while . . . we needed to leave.

And on our way out the door, we ran into both principals. The afternoon principal greeted us warmly and introduced our kids to the morning principal as future "academic olympians" for the school (it was like a reunion of old friends! crazy, I tell you!)

Ah yes, they still wanted to make room for us, but they couldn't guarantee anything yet. We needed return in the fall . . . on the first day of school. They could only tell us for sure then.

So, we keep slowly moving forward with our school plans; we'll show up on the first day of school with neatly groomed children and hearts full of hope.

Meanwhile, we are preparing ourselves for a possible last minute "no" from the school. We've been checking our budget numbers to see what line items could be cut if we needed to find a private school for the kids; we make mental notes of schools that we stumble upon on our afternoon walks . . . and very often, I whisper to my own heart:

"God is near, Naomi; He is not outside of this; you can trust Him"


Since I've been home schooling the kids, Selma's Spanish has grown a bit sloppy, and all year long I have found myself urging her to think, read and speak more in Spanish. To be quite honest, I don't love fighting that battle (but I do anyways because: bilingual child, right?)


In this season of the World Cup... when everyone from the shoe shiner to the the executive businessman can be overheard talking about the latest game; when even the cream cheese company finds a way to incorporate a soccer ball into their advertisement; when school children get their classes suspended in order to be able to watch their national team play; when every social event is planned around the next soccer match . . . .

it shouldn't surprise me that this morning I woke up to Selma loudly announcing the play-by-plays of Malachai and Josu's finger soccer match - in perfect spanish. 


How was your 4th?  Ours was extremely average in every way.

We've deemed the 5th of July Interdependence Day, though, and it promises to be very spectacular. We've invited our community group, invited our friends, invited our neighbors. We bought a watermelon and are preparing to taste a whole spectrum of international foods.

(there may even be sparklers; it's going to be a good day)


My friend Marta came over this week (If you don't know Martha, you wish you did!) We had coffee, and she played about a hundred games of Spot-It with Selma. Then we found out that it was her mama's birthday and Selma and I dragged her with us to the flower market so that we could send her with a handful of flowers to take to her mama.

I don't think I'll ever go to the flower market again without my 6 year old girlie; we got the royal treatment from every flower vendor that we crossed paths with, and Selma came home with a bouquet of her own.

This afternoon we head to the north part of the city for the wedding of two dear friends.
So I'm off to iron our fancy clothes. 


This morning, when I read my bible, I tried to apply all those really awesome proverbs* to my heart instead of to my kids' hearts

because I desperately needed it.
(it's been that sort of a week)

Also, I thanked God for my Malachai
who finished reading Charlie y la Fabrica de Chocolates to Josu and Selma,
gave me more smooches than normal,
and whipped up a batch of salad dressing when I called him from the flower market in a panicked frenzy because I had forgotten to make it for our lunch date.

*Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
*Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger 
*Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.  


If you were to look out our window on any given Sunday morning, you would likely see my neighbors suited up in their sportiest outfits, riding their bikes towards the city center. . . because every Sunday morning, the city closes down traffic on one of its main streets, and invites its city dwellers to exercise (I love this city!)

Being the church-loving family that we are, we rarely have our Sunday mornings free, but this week we did, so we packed up our wheels and our helmets, called our neighbors and invited them to join us*, and headed out to sweat with the rest of the city. Once my kiddos realized that they could ride on the edge of the street to avoid being run over by aggressive cyclists and skaters, I stopped yelling at them, and we had a pretty good time.

Added bonus: we found a taco stand just around the corner; we'll be going back to that one.

*Ah, but one neighbor's girlie got sick and she had to cancel, and the other neighbor had errands to run, so we went alone. If we ever go again, though, we'll work harder to make sure that a neighbor joins us- because this is the sort of event that no family should do alone - it's really done best in community.