Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Shoes!

To be completely honest with you, money's been tight this semester, which tends to create stress...and yet God is good to provide. Not always how or when we think He should or will, but we have yet to go hungry and we've been able to pay our bills. This last week, we were tremendously blessed by a local Mexican church here in the city who graciously bought all of the kids in our family brand new shoes! at the mall! And not only for our family, but they bought new shoes for the children of several missionary families! A true blessing and encouragement to all of us!

At the shoe store...


Trying on the shoes...

After buying us the shoes, we were treated to

Our family chose gorditas...not from
Doña Tota, but still delicious!

And after supper, ice cream bars from Dairy Queen!
A real treat for the kids!

All the kids with their new shoes...

I Found the Stocking!

One of our favorite family traditions is the Hide-the-Stocking are our rules:

1. The game is played throughout the Christmas season
2. The stocking must be hidden in the hallway or living room/dining room/kitchen area
3. Part of the stocking must be visible
4. Whoever finds the stocking gets to hide it in a different place

Here are some of the hiding places so far this year...

Yes, our retirement fund...and the stocking
is about all that you will find in that particular fund!

Of course, I found the stocking
there pretty quickly!

in the tree...

behind the manger scene...

It's fun to be sneaky!

Christmas with the Friendly Beasts

In spite of not having a music teacher this year at our MK school, the elementary teachers were able to put together a short Christmas program featuring "The Friendly Beasts" (at least I think that's what it was called...). Everyone worked very hard and we all enjoyed their presentation. It just hardly seems like Christmas without a school Christmas program, so I am glad they made the effort!

Jkaile checking out Baby Jesus before the show...

I helped with the refreshments and ended up
wearing the exact same shade of green as Anita and
Deanna AND the napkins! Too funny!

The entire Kindergarten class were sheep...

Micah (in the orange) was one of the Kings...his belt
is made out of my curtain tie-backs! lol

Gracia was a brown horse...

Micah and a friend after the program...

The Brickyard-La Ladrillera

A couple of weeks ago, I went out to the Brickyard, or the Ladrillera, with Allyson and Denesia, two of the missionary ladies that work out there. The Brickyard is a community of workers, mostly Tarahumara Indians, that make and sell bricks that are used in construction all over the city. It is back-breaking work and the families barely scrape a living out of making bricks. There are several missionaries from at least two different organizations that work with the folks at the Brickyard with community development projects as well as teaching the Bible. This was my first time visiting the Brickyard as Allyson had invited me to go out and teach some of the ladies how to make the little craft boxes. Many of the ladies at the Brickyard make jewelry, baskets, and other items to sell. I don't have any pictures of the box-making project, but found a few other pictures...

The finished product...

Loading up the bricks...

Girls in traditional Tarahumara dress...

Harsh living conditions and yet the children
still smile like children everywhere...


Yep, been fiddling with the blog layout and design! What do you think? I've been working with the fonts and colors, trying to make it more readable...hard to pick colors that stand out well against the orange! With so many very cute backgrounds to choose from, it is hard to choose!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Variation on Snowstorm

Last year, I had fun making a snowstorm to hang on the back of our front door. This year, however, I decided to use some of the paper leftover from the craft boxes to make colored garlands for my kitchen window. I will probably still make the white garlands for the door, though. I only have a couple of strands up so far...this would be so much easier if I had paper punches, but I don't, so at this point, I'm cutting out all these circles by hand!

I put some smaller circles on top
of larger circles to give dimension...I folded
the smaller circles and only glued the middle
crease to the larger circle for a 'butterfly' effect.

Some of the paper had some words and designs,
which worked well for the Christmas theme...
I also made some that are sort of a ball
shape out of four different circles...I have
instructions below.

Here are some of the colors I have so far...
this is scrapbooking paper, but you could also
use magazines, old calendars, wrapping paper,
construction paper or
even make your own decorated paper.
I use two circles per 'ornament' on the garlands,
so that they look pretty from either side.

For the 'ball' ornament, I took four circles,

and folded each of them in half.

Then I glued three of the folded circles together,
leaving the one side open
to glue in the string (or fishing line, in this case).
A glue stick would probably be better to use than
school glue, but it's all I have at the moment...the
garlands can be made with string, ribbon, dental floss,
fishing line, etc.

Then, I glued in the fourth piece to complete the ball.
I think I might have the kids make some of
these as ornaments for our
Christmas tree, too!

My little helper!

Our Thanksgiving

We did celebrate Thanksgiving this year, together with our friends Tere and Alfonso and their two boys. I didn't get a whole lot of pictures since we were busy visiting, playing, and eating, but here are a few pictures from our family's Thanksgiving celebration...

Tere and I preparing relish trays and mashed potatoes...

I have to say that this relish tray was a huge success!
The marinated mushrooms were excellent and I
wish I had made more!

Pumpkin pie, one of Miguel's favorites...

Crockpot stuffing...I got the recipe out of a magazine. The
stuffing has ingredients such as apples, pecans,
cranberries, portobello was
super delicious and cooking it in the crockpot
left the oven for the turkey...

The turkey! This was the first time
I have baked a turkey on my own, so it was
quite a relief that it turned out great!
My mom says that you can't go wrong using
an oven bag...

Our friends brought over their Xbox 360 and
the kids enjoyed playing some different games...

We also played Apples to Apples Bible Edition and
had marble-game tournaments...

Miguel won both the Apples to Apples AND
the marble tournament!

Tere trying her hand...

Jkaile, of course, was not to be left out, either!

All in all, a great day!

Pequeño Rebaño

The local church we attend here in the city is called El Cordero, translation The Lamb. Therefore, the children's outreach program that we have on the last Saturday of every month is called Pequeño Rebaño, translation Little Flock. Miguel has helped with Pequeño Rebaño all year (go here to see another post on this). Since they will not be having another Pequeño Rebaño this year due to Christmas activities, they put on a fair for the kids this last Saturday. Miguel and I spent quite a bit of time making some of the games for the booths and it gave us great enjoyment to see the kids getting so much fun out of them!

Me painting the ruleta wheel...

I got creative and made my own stamps
for the Star Search game...

They worked really well!

Miguel in the shop making the marble roll games...
we used mini-pool balls for the one with bigger holes
and large marbles for the other one with smaller holes.

Waiting in line for their tickets...

Micah ready for some fun!

Jkaile didn't care for the cotton candy at first
(he tried to throw it in the trash!), but
once he got a good taste of it, he began begging for more!

Gracia trying her hand at winning tickets
at the ruleta wheel.

Jkaile spent most of his time hanging around
the Star Search game chasing the balls!

Miguel at his booth, the dart toss.
Yes, I painted that one, too! :)

Gracia at the canicas, the marble roll...

There was a program for the kids, a gymnast
and Lalito the Clown...

All the kids watching the gymnast!

Jojo enjoying both his cotton candy AND Lalito the Clown!

Micah and friends...