Malachai:  You submitted a comic to the school newspaper. It was printed (!) . . . but you had some concerns about the quality about the printing.  You slipped out of class as soon as you saw the newspaper so that you could express your concerns to the principal.  To be honest, it always makes me a little bit nervous when you take matters into your own hands . . . but I'm also proud of you; you live passionately, bud.

Josu: You love, love going to the park to play (american) football with Papa. Sometimes the game is put on pause when we run into someone we know. sigh.

Selma:  You told us over dinner that one of the boys in your class asked you to be his girlfriend and his wife.
"What did you say?" I asked
"Oh, I just pretended that I didn't hear him" you said.

check out Jamey and Gab's blogs too;  sheesh . . . I miss my family! 



Malachai: We had a meeting with your teacher this week to ask her if she had any any recommendations about what jr. high we should send you to next year (public? private? big? little?) She said "I know this about Malachai - he is a great kid; he will thrive anywhere he goes"

Josu: I asked you to stand right in the middle of the sidewalk and I took your picture. You smirked and said "you wanted me to stand here so that you could take a picture of the guy playing guitar, didn't you?" you know me.

Selma: I keep finding you reading books in English.  I haven't worked with you on your English reading at all this year; I'm thankful that you took it into your own hands.  



Malachai: I don't scrub your uniform quite like the Mexican mamas scrub their kiddo's uniforms. Some of the kids in your class have noticed the spots on your white PE shirt and have been teasing you (seriously!? what in the world?)  I found out that you, on your own, had triple washed a t-shirt, just trying to get the stains out.  I'm sorry, bud; I promise to scrub a little harder;  I'm learning how to fit into this culture too.

Josu: I bought you a tiny, magnetic chess board. You have been taking it to school and inviting kids to play with you during recess. I'm proud of you.

Selma: Ah, you sparkle. . .

check out Gab's post and Jamey's post (they have pretty cute kids!)



Malachai: You traveled with us to visit some good friends in the city of Guadalajara. It was a quick overnight trip, but it was fun to hang out with just you as we traveled.  On our way home we had breakfast in the airport; you asked for a hamburger.

Josu: We found out this week that your one friend at school has been saying unkind things and telling other kids not to talk to you. You tell us that you spend your recess alone. I'm sorry sweet boy.

Selma: you stayed with our friends Marylin and Marline when we traveled to Guadalajara.  you learned some Spanish tongue twisters; you are driving us crazy as you practice them - but you are really good!


Earlier this week I was tucking Selma into bed and she prayed:
Thank you God!
Because first, we had friends come to our house to hang out and study the bible,
and then we started to be a community,
and then we became a church.
Thank you!

(that pretty much sums it up!)
Our community group has been meeting mid week for the past two years. We've studied the bible together, but we've also done so, so much more than that! We eat together, watch movies together, be become friends with each others' friends. . . we share life together! At the end of 2014, our group began conversations about what it might look like to take on an ecclesial identity. We prayed and fasted, and had long conversations with each other - considering how we could best follow Jesus as individuals and as a group, and we decided that we would step towards forming a church together!

I'm excited  (because genuinely following Jesus with a committed church body is risky and intimate and heart-baring!)

And I'm nervous (because genuinely following Jesus with a committed church body is risky and intimate and heart-baring!)

(but mostly, I'm excited) 



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.