Were you all praying for our dinner with Manuel and his family? You must have been, because we had a wonderful, beautiful night with them!

They did give me a good startle by showing up perfectly on time .  . . I wasn't ready (I was trying to purposely adapt to Mexican culture; I figured that they wouldn't show up for a least another half an hour), but I gave them all cutting boards and knives and put them to work in the kitchen.  And that was lovely - - because they did all the work while I got to ask all the questions.

We loved our time with them. 
We loved Manuel and Juanita's commitment to one another and to their family - - even through some unique life challenges;
we loved their four sweet girls; 
we loved hearing that one story about that time Juanita was crying on the eve of Three Kings day because they had no money to buy their girls gifts - - and how on that day a man on Manuel's trash rout asked him if he wanted a bag of old toys; the bag was filled with dusty, broken boxes filled with unused Barbie airplane and  kitchen sets - - and how Manuel and Juanita stayed up late dusting off the boxes and taping them up to give their girls the best Three Kings day ever.   (oh my goodness, you should have seen the girl's eyes shine - - even ten years later!)

It's been discussed and decided:  We're going to have them over again soon.


(our teammates Barry and Karla are traveling in the U.S. right now;  I am watering Karla's lovely garden while she is away  - - this is kind of a risk for Karla, since I have yet to prove myself as a true gardener;  but - - don't worry Karla! so far so good!)

I ran into Manuel last week;  Do you remember Manuel?  he's our garbage guy.
I caught him sitting on the curb down the street pounding away at a faucet.  was he fixing it? I asked.  No, he was just separating the copper from the aluminum because he could get different prices for each one.  Nice.

So I told him that Joshua and I had been talking, and that we wanted to invite him and his family over for dinner sometime so that they could give us their perspective on Mexico - - tell us what they love about their country, and tell us what things he has observed about our neighborhood.

Manuel seemed particularly uncomfortable with my dinner invite, so I quickly backpeddled.
"it's ok!"I told him "you don't need to come if you don't want to! . . . I know that we have only known each other for a little bit;  maybe you feel uncomfortable coming over?"

"No, no!" he told me
"It's just that people of your class don't usually eat with people of my class!" 

I told him that we don't follow those class rules.

Manuel, his wife, and his four daughters are coming over for dinner tomorrow
I'm super excited.


I buy my eggs at a little corner market next to the kid's school;  this is nice because I can buy them when I'm on my way home from picking the kids up from school - - which is about the time of day when my mind starts thinking about what meals I am going to feed my family during the next 24 hours.

So these eggs don't come in a dozen (nope . . . ); they are sold according to weight - - 1/2 kilo will get me about 8 medium sized eggs.  Also, they come packaged up in a plastic bag. That means that, between having to wrastle three children safely home and my own clumsiness, I can count on at least one of the eggs breaking before I get them from the corner market to my kitchen sink.

(any other questions about eggs?  anyone?  because I'm moving on . . . )

I was talking to a kind friend the other day about how I was adjusting to life in Mexico, and I told her that I think that I can compare my transition into my new culture to meeting someone new . . . has this ever happened to you?  Where you meet someone new, and you notice some flaws about her - - maybe she laughs too loud, or she has crooked teeth (or maybe she is very short and has freckles . . . )  and then, time goes by, and you spend time with this person; you laugh with her and cry with her and pray with her,  and before you know it, she is the most beautiful person you know - - her smile is lovely and her laugh is magical . . .
So I think I'm there:
noticing the flaws;
but I'm also hopeful, because I know that day will come,
when it will all be beautiful to me.


It's Monday morning.
Soon it will be time to pick up Josu and Selma from school;  I'll probably linger on the school patio with some of the other moms while the kids play together for just a bit longer.
And we'll probably talk about our weekends (because that's what moms do on Mondays, I guess)
I need to spend some time reflecting on my weekend before I go;
I've had a rich weekend 
enjoying my family,
enjoying the city,
enjoying the church.
I want to be purposeful about what I share. 


we went to the zoo yesterday;  I was brave and took my camera with me; I don't often take my camera if we venture out in the city - - it seems to attract a lot of attention, which is exactly what everyone tells me not to do if I can help it (ha!  as if I'm not already attracting attention just by taking my children out with me!) 

So I'm wondering (eesh! Am I really saying this?) if I should use that birthday money that I've been saving, to  . . .
buy another camera;
Something smaller
that I can take out with me
into busy public spaces?

Do any of you have a point and shoot that you are crazy about?  please tell me about it! Rant and rave about it, and tell me what you love about it . . . please?


I found out last week that Selma's classroom has a window that opens up onto the street I walk along to pick her up from school.  And, on nice days - - when the window is left open, I can stand by the window and catch snippets of three year old chatter.  Yesterday I stood by the window, and I filtered out all the voices except for Selma's (it wasn't hard - - she yells):

I didn't hear her using any English (hurrah! that's new!);
her conversations seemed to be a fair mixture of Spanish and some sort of gibberish that I believe she thinks is Spanish (she's very cute!)

next week she is in a school play about Columbus' (apparent) discovery of America, and so we are practicing her lines;  she (as one of the natives) says:
siete nativos fuimos llevados a Espana
(seven of us natives were taken to Spain)

She's almost got it.


The boys have been combing their hair before school.
Maybe it's because last month Malachai had a substitute teacher yell at him and tell him he had better come to school with combed hair the next day (or else! . . . ).
Or maybe it's because they heard that nicely combed hair helps prevent a lice epidemic.
Or maybe because all the other boys show up at the school gate with slickety-slick hairdos every morning.

they are very handsome with combed hair
(but I think that I might make a house rule that they are not allowed to comb their hair on weekends)


I was wondering if Mexico City is on mountain time, so I popped up to the google search bar and began typing . . . "is Mexico City . . . "
Helpful google gave me their top suggestions;  here they are:

Is Mexico City . . .
safe 2011
the largest city in the world
safe to visit
airport safe
safe to visit in 2011
safe for Americans 2011
dangerous 2011

huh. interesting.

 p.s. I love the way this laundry got hung up, don't you? 
I wonder if this housewife also picks wildflowers and puts them in old jars on her kitchen table,
and if when she  dishes food onto  her family's dinner plates
it also looks orderly and lovely?