Today we drove across the city to praise God with a young church that meets in an old, old building.
The time was sweet.

After the teaching and singing we ate together,
and then Selma found a broom and spent time sweeping the dirt from one side of the plaza to the other.
Malachai and Josu found a small, flat ball and took it out to the street where they found enough boys to start up a soccer game (of sorts).
AND, I got to teach Malachai how to flush the toilet with a bucket of water - - just like I used to do when I was a little girl.
He was amazed. (rightly so)


I met Gabi a few days ago. (Karla introduced us)
Yesterday Gabi invited me (and my kids) to go with her (and her kids) to the local market, and then to her place, where we would cook lunch together.
Of course I said yes - - I would have to be insane NOT to say yes.

So we went to the market - - to all her favorite vendors;
and then to her home, where the kids ran wild, and snacked on every tropical fruit imaginable while we spent the afternoon in her kitchen making pozole.

It was perfect. 
Gabi doesn't know it yet, but I'm already planning our next get-together.
I'm planning lots of them.


I am fascinated as I watch my kids navigate their way through language; since our arrival in Mexico, I have been observing them, and listening to them - - interested to hear them adapt linguistically to their new surroundings. 
My clever, clever children haven't let me down . . .

Selma has been telling people all week long that she is "tres and-a-half years old".  Today I heard her make the switch on her own - - she told a little friend that she is "tres y medio".

I woke Josu up late last night to make one last bathroom visit, and as I dragged him off of the mattress, he mumbled his sleepy objections to me  . . . in Spanish (I can't even begin to tell you how much this pleases me!)

We were out with some friends this morning and I hear Malachai say "que guay!" (an exclamation for something cool in Spain) and then quickly correct himself and say "que padre!" (an exclamation for something cool in Mexico)


We've been generously loved this week.
By Barry and Karla: who were there to pick us up from the airport nine days ago, and have housed and fed us since then.  They have  provided us with maps and snacks, and tips to help us out as we venture out into the big city. They have snuggled with our kiddos and never seem to notice when the kids put their dirty feet on the lovely white couches. They have cleared an entire surface of lovely, fragile, decorative things so that Malachai and Josu can set up their lego city;
(we are thankful for them)

By Jorge and Sandi  (A Mexican couple church planting in Coyoacan): who have spent many, many hours driving us around Mexico City - - showing us different neighborhoods and filling us in on the pros and cons of each one - - offering to call the phone numbers on the "for rent" signs (now that is some serious generous love) They have engaged us with meaningful conversation about the city and about their passion to equip the church and to care for the world.
(we are thankful for them)

By all of you: who are interested in our new adventure, and have been praying for us, and have written us notes and letters letting us know that you love us and miss us.
(we are thankful for you)


(the view from the rooftop)
Saturday (afternoon):
We went into the delegation of Coyoacan to check out a home that we found posted for rent on Craigslist.  We chatted for a while with the owner - - a quirky older lady, and her son She shared the highlights of this spot:
1. prime transportation location - - ten steps from the metro stop
2. a ten minute walk from a large park
3. it's just across the street from a Wal-Mart (you didn't know that that was a sign of prime realty?  well, apparently here in Mexico city it is)
4. a storage and laundry room (five flights up on the rooftop - - but, hey!  still a perk!)

this one was the best of the three we've seen so far.  It might be the right one for us,
but we'll look a bit longer,
because we're not sure yet.
(the view from the rooftop)


We slept in a bit this morning and walked down the street to the bread shop to pick out a breakfast treat.  I remember doing this 25 years ago - - when mom and papi would drive from our little rural pueblo into the big city, and we were allowed  the treat of our choice. 
I don't think that the bread shops have changed a bit since then- - the same breads and cakes stacked on top of square trays;  the same metal thongs hanging up next to the round platters;  the same long lines of customers with their trays piled high with bread treats to take home to their own families.

This time around, though, I'm not the child choosing;
I'm the mama facilitating the choosing.
That's kind of strange,
and nice.


(Barry and Karla -- our teammates! - - on our first house hunting day)

Well, here we are in Mexico city!  We are staying with Barry and Karla (hosts extraordinaire!) as we search for a home for our family.
house hunting here looks less like: find a relator to whip you around the city and show you 20 different homes during the course of the day,
and more like:
Take a mini bus to the metro (push your way into the metro car and then out of the metro car and pray that your children make it out alive) and then walk around and look for apartments or houses with "for rent" signs. Call the numbers and see if they are big enough or cheap enough.  Walk around some more.  Stop for some ice cream because the kids need a break.  Walk around and look for more signs; make some more calls.  find an overhang and wait for the 5-o-clock rain shower to pass.  Go to the one house you were able to set up an appointment for.  Brace yourself for the metro ride home.


Prepping for Mexico today involved giving the boys haircuts.  Why?  I don't exactly know why, but getting a haircut seems like a good thing to do before moving to another country. Poor Josu was devastated - - he kept crying "why are you doing this to me?"

It was so pitiful.  I might have stopped and put all the hair back onto his head if it was actually possible.
Selma didn't get a haircut;
she got new shoes (of course! - it's what every girl needs before a big trip, right?)


we climbed up the dunes in Pismo Beach this year on the fourth of July.  The beach was beautiful; the sunset was phenomenal; the illegal fireworks were entertaining  . . . but maybe the best thing of all was that Selma cuffed her jeans all by herself.
(you will have a lifetime of cuffed jeans, little lady; enjoy it)


We had some well seasoned missionaries advise us recently to brace ourselves for culture shock in Mexico City:
"Don't fool yourselves into thinking that just because you have already been missionaries, that it won't happen all over again" they said.

the observed pattern of culture shock is this:
three months of delight - - loving every new bit of culture
followed by three months of gloom - - despising every cultural nuance that we experience,
and then a six month upward journey back to normalcy - - being able to enjoy the good and patiently withstand the different

(exciting, yeah?)

It's probable that if you and I have had a conversation over the past three months, I have begged you to pray for me. I'm convinced that we need our church, our friends and our family to approach the God of the universe on our behalf.  I'm serious.  we need you.  Are you praying for us?  if you are, could you please send me a note or an email?  I want to thank God for you, and I want to pray for you too.