About an hour after we haggled with the second hand furniture dealer and scored our awesome dining room table, we realized that it was about 2 inches taller than the standard table height.

Barry came to the rescue with his fancy saw (it sure is nice to have a carpenter on our team!) and five minutes later our table was sawed down to standard height.

I put those table leg stubs on my kitchen windowsill and for some reason haven't removed them since (maybe because Selma will hang out with me in the kitchen and play with them while I wash dishes)


So you ask - "where were you, Naomi, during the recent 6.5 earthquake in Mexico City (the second one)?"

Why, I was swimming in the Sheraton's 19th floor rooftop pool.  Thanks for asking.


As we think about finding strategic housing,
we pull out our city maps,
travel  from metro stop to metro stop,
and try to have our eyes wide open to the beauty and needs of the neighborhoods that we explore.

Our hearts keep being drawn closer towards the city center - where the metro lines intertwine and promise to take us anywhere in the city - where there are few schools and fewer churches - where there is a constant hum of business and transport - where there are museums at an arms length whenever you decide you need one - where abundance and need mingle

So we spent a couple of nights at a hotel in the city center last week (thank you Joshua and Priceline for finding us a sweet-awesome hotel that fit within the Smith family budget);
We spent the mornings and afternoons wandering a fraction of city-center streets
and the evenings swimming in the Sheraton's very elegant, very deep swimming pool.

After all that, we're still not sure if we'll settle in one of these neighborhoods,
but at least we are another step closer.

When we moved to Mexico City last year, we stepped into so many unknowns.
We didn't know what exactly our life would look like - how exactly we would travel around the city . . . how long it would take to get from one place to another, what our days and afternoons would look like, who we would be spending time with, what parts of the city we would be traveling to, what size living room we would need . . .

we scrambled to find a home as soon as we got here  (and it has been a fantastic place!), but even as we settled in, we knew it might not be the best place for us long term . . . because . . . well . . . there were just so many unknowns.

So we committed to re-evaluate our living situation after our first year here. 

We still don't know all the answers to all those questions (and the million more we had) . . . but we know a whole lot more that we did when we first came,
and so we are trying to take what we now know about our family, our city and our ministry,
think strategically,
beg God for wisdom,
and begin our search anew.

(it's an overwhelming task . . . and I'm kind of nervous)


Last week we had our pictures taken for our legal documents here in Mexico. 
instructions for these pictures were:
size - infantile 
color prints
white background
three pictures facing forward
three profile pictures
ears and forehead completely uncovered

interesting fact:
did you know that different countries have different requirements for legal pictures?  When Selma was born we had passport pictures taken at a local photography shop.  When we got to the American Embassy in Madrid to apply for her passport, they made us take new pictures of her . . . because the American passport size is different than the Spanish passport size.

I'm pretty sure we got the right size this time around, but I'm the tiniest bit nervous that - because I didn't gel my family's hair into place - they will have wandering wisps of hair on their forehead or ears and we will have to take our pictures all over again.

(seriously - I should have thought about the gel  . . . Mexicans highly prioritize gel.  why didn't I think about the gel?)


We made it to the anthropology museum this week.
The museum is pleasant enough - the archaeology the on ground floor is interesting, and the ethnography on the first floor is fantastic 
but maybe,
just maybe,
my favorite part of the museum is the gigantic, mushroom like structure placed in the center plaza;  water falls from the roof and drains through the floor.
Of course running through the cascade is strictly prohibited . . . but that doesn't mean we can't get


Gab sent me an email the week before she came - asking for any last minute requests;  she was packing a suitcase full of treats for us.

I asked her if she could please pop into a Goodwill and pick up a coffee cup for me (it's just something the Newton ladies do)
she had already done it, of course.

I also asked her to keep an eye out for a waffle iron;
because you see . . .

Years and years ago, Joshua's mama was pregnant - bearing the love of my life;  during her pregnancy, she had a hankering for waffles, and Jim - Joshua's papa - bought her a waffle iron.
sweet, don't you think?
When Joshua and I got married - 22 years later, Ginny gave us that very same waffle iron.  We made lots and lots of waffles in the slummy apartment we called home during our our fist few years of marriage; 
Then we moved to Spain, and somewhere in the move, we lost the waffle iron.
tragic, wouldn't you say?
So here we are - ten years later, in Mexico;
and  lately, Joshua's been wanting some waffles. . . . and Gab would be here for Joshua's birthday . . . wouldn't it be nice to make waffles for Joshua's birthday breakfast?

Gabrielle did find me a waffle iron - but not at the Goodwill. When she told my mama that I was looking for a waffle iron, Mom brought out her own waffle iron (the one that has spent the last 30 years making waffles for her eight children, her overnight guests and her grandchildren) and sent it along with Gab to our mexican kitchen.
doesn't that make you smile?

welcome to our kitchen, sweet little machine.
I think we're going to be eating a lot of waffles this year.


As if having one clever child learn to roll his R's this year wasn't enough to make this mama proud,
now Selma's started up
(and there's no stopping her - proof here)


We spent the day sleeping more than normal,
and reading - a lot.

Joshua read to us all; he picked the Wizard of Oz  for our spring break reading.
And Josu read to me;
he is reading!
I knew he would . . . eventually.  But it doesn't make the marvel any less spectacular.


Today marks the beginning of the kid's spring break.  They get two weeks - two weeks!  I am excited about having such a huge chunk of time with them, and I want to use that time to say yes to some of the things that their child-hearts may be hoping for. 

So Joshua and I asked them this weekend what they wanted to do during their time off (excluding movies, of course, because given the choice they always want to watch movies - I guess we're just raising our kids all classy like that).

We got a couple requests for the anthropology museum,  and one for a visit to Chapultepec - Mexico City's spectacular, gigantic forest settled smack dab in the middle of the city. Personally, I'm kind of hoping to find the perfect 1000 piece family puzzle, do lots of out loud reading, and maybe some family baking . . .

What does your family enjoy doing together on break?  (don't say movies . . . movies don't count)