Thursday, April 30, 2009

Homeschooling Update

Influenza update: Still no reported/documented cases here in the city, but that could change. Everything is very quiet these days as everyone is mostly staying home. There was a run on face-masks and now there are none available to buy! I saw a lady wearing one when we went to the store this morning. As far as I know, travel is not being restricted to other countries although it does get delayed at's a bit scary to think of the U.S. border being closed and us getting stuck here, but we'll be okay even if that happens. I used to be a lot more nervous about the idea of not being able to travel back "home" in emergency situations or whatever, but I think I'm growing in this area..."home" is where God has us and He will care for us wherever we are.

And nothing against homeschooling, I actually enjoy it! What's hard for me is to switch gears mid-stream, so to speak, so it's taking us some doing to figure out the homestudy dynamics...we ARE enjoying sleeping in and the relaxed schedule, though! :) We've been able to do some fun stuff, too, like play Yahtzee during a break, go to the "green gate" store for snacktime (one of the little local stores in our neighborhood that has a green sliding door), generally goof off more than usual, and play in the sandpile. Well, I don't play in the sand...

Spending a morning break in the sandpile.
Jojo was upset because he'd dropped his Chocorol in the sand.
We salvaged it after the picture.

It's just like having our own personal beach!

Goofing off with the camera...

Gracia helped me make arepas one day.
Today we made flour tortillas together for breakfast...
And here's a picture to prove that we are actually
doing some school! Okay, yeah, with chocolate chips... it's just that
they make math so much more interesting!

Monday, April 27, 2009


I'm sure that many of you have heard on the news about the influenza outbreak here in Mexico that is spreading to other countries as well. News stories are conflicting and we're getting a lot of different information from different sources. It's hard to know what is sensationalism and what is truth. Regardless of that, however, whatever this flu seems pretty serious and is scaring a lot of people. Up until today, only Mexico City and a few other places were affected by school closings, etc. but today the government shut down schools and all public gatherings across the country. This means that our mission school will also be closed for two weeks and we have canceled all mission meetings. Our church has canceled all mid-week meetings and may cancel their services on Sunday as well, depending on the situation at that time.

As you can imagine, the kids are excited to get two weeks of "vacation" even though they will continue to do their work here at home. I don't think that they can really fathom the seriousness of the situation and like all good MKs, just think a change from the ordinary is loads of fun! :)

So we appreciate your prayers as we face this new situation on top of the increased organized crime and drug violence heart goes out to those who will and are being affected by these things. Many people may just not have the resources to get the medical care that they need if they get sick...Mexico as a country will definitely suffer in many ways by these recent events.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Posing for the Camera

Just this last week, whenever Jkaile has seen the camera coming out he has decided he needs to "pose". The results are pretty funny!

Notice that he also happens to be wearing
his sister's fancy shoes...
Posing and eating don't mix too well...
I love this one!

There, that's sort of a smile!

Nope, back to the "snort". cute!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Camping "Lite"

We wanted to do something fun with the kids over their Spring Break, so decided on "camping lite"...we spent the night out at the Rancho, our mission's training institute out north of town with our friends Edwin and Anita. They have 3 boys around Micah's age and we always enjoy spending time with them. Unfortunately, the wind was blowing pretty strongly that day so we couldn't have a campfire without risking setting the whole valley on fire...we also had to settle for setting up the tents in their backyard, which has a hedge around it that protects it somewhat from the wind. Even though it wasn't exactly what we had planned, though, the kids had a blast and it was a great success!

A view of the Rancho
Roasting marshmallows over the grill.

Goofing off.
Gracia spent the night in the living room.

Now how does this thing go?

Edwin, Anita, and two of their boys
checking out the big tent.

Micah and Andrés in the two-man tent.

Uh-oh, I think it's about somebody's bedtime...

Miguel and Jojo are finally tucked into the shark tent...

About two seconds later...yup, he's already asleep!
Jkaile and I didn't mind missing out on sleeping in the tents!
Miguel said it got pretty cold and he didn't get much sleep...

Flowering cactus...

This plant suddenly shot up this flowering stem, or
whatever it is...we were amazed because it wasn't
there just a couple of weeks ago!

And of course, on the way back to town we
stopped to pick up a few more rocks for
our garden...

A Walk in the Park

Like I said in the previous post, I've been battling for a couple of weeks with sickness...mainly upper respiratory junk like laryngitis, asthma-type cough, ear infection, etc...actually, Gracia and Jkaile have, too. Seems like our whole family is under attack health-wise these days! Anyway, we ended up needing to see the otorrinolaringólogo (ear/nose/throat doctor) over Easter weekend--what a bad time to be sick! Jkaile's eardrum had burst the night before and mine was still draining from having burst the Tuesday before. But every cloud has a silver lining, right? After the doctor visit, we (well, minus Gracia who was at a friend's house) took a walk in the park just down the street and took time to relax just a bit and enjoy the GREEN grass...

A historic building right across the street from the dr's office.

The arch over the entrance to the park...says 1898 on the top.

The guys in front of a statue of Simon Bolivar
given to the city of Chihuahua by Venezuela
a long time ago (sorry, don't remember the date!).

If you look closely, you can see the man
sleeping in the park behind Micah...the boys
thought that maybe he was dead, but
hopefully he was just taking a nap!

Sampling some mulberries.

Micah trying to do a pull-up...don't think he was successful!

Jojo hanging around.
Jkaile loves to be outside!

The bouganvilla is beautiful this time of year!

No words needed...

Easter Eggs!

We don't really have Easter traditions in our family, other than attending church...although sometimes we color eggs. I might have been more willing to start something this year, but I've been sick for a couple of weeks and just didn't feel up to it. But Gracia got to color some eggs at school and one morning these three had fun hiding the eggs around the living room for each other. It was cute to watch.
Then one day my friend Rebecca came over and had an Easter egg hunt for the kids, twelve of which were Resurrection eggs. The kids had never done the Resurrection eggs before, so that was fun for them. :)




Rebecca telling them the story of the resurrection with the eggs.
Their son Caleb (sitting between Gracia and Jojo)
is in Gracia's Kindergarten class.

Afterwards, we made Resurrection buns with the kids...they worked fairly well and were yummy to eat! We had to use stateside marshmallows, though, since the Mexican marshmallows don't melt quite as well and don't leave the empty "tomb". Apparently, everyone was in a hurry to eat them because I didn't get any pictures of the buns...LOL!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Construction Project

It's been exciting to see our construction project move along this week! The Bible Institute (that own this property) is investing in a picnic area for the students. There really is no common area, such as a lounge, for the singles to mix, so this will hopefully meet that need. They do love to hang out together! :) First of all, the ground was leveled and a load of gravel dumped on a plastic sheet.

While the gravel was being spread out, the patio bricks arrived.

Then the guys began leveling the gravel and placing the bricks. While I was taking the pictures, I noticed a spider on the
wall right next to me.
He was pretty big for a regular spider!
He (she?) seems to live in that hole.

It was neat to see the piles of bricks getting smaller
as the patio area grew larger.

Then more gravel was dumped on top of the bricks
and swept around to fill in the cracks.

This morning, Miguel and the guys went out north of town
to bring back a load of rocks for the grill...

...which hopefully will turn out something
like this one...except they'd like the side table
extend out a bit further.
Then Miguel and Zack put together the two picnic
tables...still some work to do, but it's coming along!
This will be such a blessing to have now that
the warmer weather is coming...
I think it would be really awesome if we could also
build a "ramada" ("rama" = branch) over this area and
plant vines or something for shade.
Not to mention the hanging of the hammocks...