Thursday, December 30, 2010

i hope you are sitting down for this.

Haha. I made a funny. Because, I thought you might want to see where literally every minute of this week has gone (or so it seems): To fixing, painting and re-doing our dining room chairs!

Take a look at the journey:

Here's how we received our [free] dining room chairs. Great bones, as some say. But, I am sure they had at least 10 yrs of use in them, maybe more. And the legs were very brittle... we ended up with 3 of the 7 being out of commission rather quickly.

While Rey worked on the carpentry side of the up-do, I attacked the cushions.

No, that hole isn't from my attack. It was like that pre-attack. And, it allows you to see some of the icky factor.

Happily, we had quite a bit left over from the material we used for the lining of Noah and Aleni's curtains... so, I decided to use that for the new fabric.

Here she is in progress...

You'll have to keep waiting for the results. Because I said.

Here's my manly man taking the sander to the old girl:

Looking like a war horse after its sanding and Rey's installing of an extra brace between those front two legs. Poor thing is even missing an "ear"...

Onto the priming... for which I had two very good helpers:

Dontcha love Noah's bored expression? Like, "Sigh... I do this all the time, but mom's such a camera hog..."

The white paint was left over from doing Aleni's crib. I had a different color in mind for the chairs, but doing the chairs over for free was looking pretty attractive. I remembered that we had some dark green paint left over. I needed to have enough paint for 8 chairs, so I figured adding white and some yellow (leftover from Noah's room) to that might be my best bet.

Are ya ready??

Ya wanna see the finished product, do ya?

Well, since you asked so nicely:

I really, really like how it all came together! And I really, really like how it cost 0 dollars and 0 cents.

But, alas. I must go now. I still have three more chairs to go!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Seen on a dirt road in México...

Sorry about the bad quality of the picture. But, I took it through the side van windows as we passed this guy.

Yes. He is going somewhere. With 2 sheep strapped to the back of his motorcycle.

Did I mention they were LIVE sheep??

Sunday, December 19, 2010

just whining

I usually feel pretty good when my Mexican friends and neighbors tell me I have adjusted well to Mexican living. And, I usually feel pretty well-adjusted.

However, there are two times I start chafing a bit at the experience.

The first is when we have to do anything dealing with paperwork. Being part of two countries at one time is a tricky game, held together by all kinds of red tape. A lot of the experience has to do with who you deal with in trying to get whatever document you need. You could have a great experience with a really nice, understanding person. Or you could want to run screaming through the city after being made to go in endless circles for no apparent reason.

The other time is when I or my babies are feeling sick.

One thing about "sick" is it tends to make you yearn for certain things--like maybe a certain snack or a long soak in a hot bath. Or, it makes you want those things for your kids.

A major thing is LAUNDRY when the sickies come around. Often, sickness brings with it all kinds of reasons for "soiled" laundry--or just the need for "higher sanitization"... This week finds us with that "need". Each day, I have been washing all bedding... towels... clothes... stuffed all day long and into the night. The tricky part comes with "no dryer".

I generally enjoy not having a dryer and joining in with my fellow Mexicanos in doing our part to save the earth. We have the luxury of mostly sunny weather most of the year, so why not? But, when I am pulling load after load out of the washer, it makes for some interesting creativity in figuring out how to get everything dry on time. Think blankies and bearies. Whew.

Ah, yes! And the times when everything stops because the water tank on the roof emptied from all the washing... and ya gotta wait for it to trickle full again.

So, yeah. There you have it... my moaning for conveniences as I massage my aching back. The "nice" thing about "sickies" is.... Now my house smells like bleach and Fabuloso. It's probably the best time for you to come over and visit, if you're into the clean house thing.

Just excuse my pruney, sandpapery hands.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Noah's Got a Future!!

Perhaps in another post, I will go into more detail with "things" we are dealing with in Noah. Suffice it to say, our little darling has been and is a challenge for this momma that likes everything just to be smooth and happy.

We are at a point where we are looking into different things. Could there be reasons he is doing this or not doing that? Do I need to discipline more or less? Have I been doing everything wrong? Should I change everything or nothing? Is living in Mexico not the best option for him?

Big. Potentially life-changing questions. Questions that were keeping me awake at night. Questions that were making my days unbearable. I was completely overwhelmed.

So, I knew I just had to get away. Had to have a good cry (that's how I calm myself! ha). Had to have some real intense, alone time with God. Needed to get myself to a firm place, because I knew I was in a place that wasn't healthy for me, my marriage or my babies.

Recently, instead of going to church, I stole away in the car. Parked in a field at the end of the street, and just poured out my heart to God.

It was healing, my sisters. I poured out all my inadequacies, so that God could fill me with His all in all. I poured out my failings so that God could take away my guilt. I poured out my fears... and opened His Word.

There literally are tears rolling down my face as I write this, because God is so good to us. He is there for me, even when I am so weak (perhaps especially when I am so weak).

I filled myself up with scriptures directly speaking to those fears... I wrote the scriptures as though they were written for my Noah:
"The spirit of the Lord will rest on Noah, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord..I, the Lord, keep Noah. I water him every moment, so that nothing hurts him; I keep him night and day... Look! It is my servant Noah, whom I uphold. My elect one in whom my soul delights... The Lord will comfort Noah... joy and gladness will be found in him, thanksgiving and the voice of melody... I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand... Noah will be taught by the Lord and great will be Noah's peace... This is what the Lord says: 'I will extend peace to Noah like a river'... There is hope for your future, says the Lord...."

Those are just a few of the verses I wrote out. But, let me tell you--what a release that brought me! It doesn't mean I am burying my head in the sand, but it DOES mean I have something to hold onto during stormy days. It does mean I have faith-filled words to pray over Noah. It does mean I no longer lay awake--because I know Noah's daddy in heaven has in all under control.

Do you know what? The day after we prayed these verses over Noah, it was like he woke up and knew about double of the words he did from the day previous! Like a light bulb turned on. We were rejoicin', let me tell ya.
Here are a few things Noah's doing at this 30-month spot in his life:

He says most things in English. Except for yes. He always answers "Sí". He also prefers to call hot dogs "salchichas" and puppies "cachorros". :)

He is so good to his baby sister. He has never hit her, although she frustrates him on a nearly hourly basis. If she takes things away from him, he calls for me to come help. When I am putting her down for a nap, he'll come in to check on us. He'll very seriously stand next to me with his finger to his lips. "Shhhh." I'll whisper, "You're right. Thank you!" He'll stand there about 2 seconds more, then walk out, closing the door behind him. If baby cries, he squats down next to her and rubs her hair gently. He says: "Don't cry, baby. Sorry, baby. Are you ok? Don't cry..."

Politeness is increasing: He is more consistent about saying "Sorry", "Pees", "Kane-koo" (thank you)", "More", and "Help".

He LOVES helping. He sees me sweeping, and he brings the dustpan and says, "Help you!" He sees me taking laundry off the line and runs over saying, "Help you!". He likes to water the flowers also. I also love that he is helping with garbage. After I change his or Aleni's diaper, he'll say, "Help you" and then take it to the trash can. He also brings me coins or papers of the floor and puts them in my pockets. He loves "helping" daddy.

He is into STARS right now. He finds them everywhere... on his diapers, on his balls, in books.... wherever. The other night, I opened the back door and he shouted happily: "Stars!!!!" I was sitting with him on the couch in a sunbeam and noticed that he was entranced with the dust floating there. He finally turned to me and pointed, "Stars!"

He was into a big "nude" phase for a while. It was a huge struggle to get him to keep anything on. Now, he just refuses shoes or socks.... but often has me put on up to 6 shirts at one time!

He is a very expressive "talker". He loves to babble excitedly to us, waving his hands around and making all kinds of facial expressions. So cute.

His main "naughty things" at this time are sticking things in the toilet and peeing in "secret places" (he knows he should only pee in the potty or his diaper which seems to have just made him more sneaky...).
He has a MEMORY like nobody's business. Goodness. He has all of his movies completely memorized and pretty much remembers places (like if we drive by a store or a park that we went to one time many moons ago, he'll remember it... Or if we are getting close to a place we regularly go to, he'll recognize the surroundings and start shouting out the destination).

So, there's my Noah post! :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

For the ladies...

Guess what? I was a guest writer on MomLife Today!

Check it out....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

try Me in this

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the LORD of hosts,

If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
Malachi 3:10

I know talking about money is usually taboo... but, I think that those of you that read my stuff are close enough friends that you'll be "okay" with it.

We are facing a "tight" time financially. It seems that all the bills came at the same time: my visa, the rent and an outrageous electricity bill. We were looking at the month of December and literally wondering how we were going to be able to make it.

We get our support money in once a month. We saw what came in, and saw that it wouldn't really even cover what we owed, let alone have for food and gas.

Then came the issue of the tithe.

Saturday night, we discussed writing an note of "how much we owed God" and give the December's tithe in January. Sunday morning, we decided we should follow the principle of God first, in everything.

And Jesus said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Matthew 22:21

To be able to get groceries for the week, we decided to round up whatever "non-essentials" (even if some of them made me sentimental) we could find and do a garage sale in front of our house. (I've also found that doing a garage sale is one of the best way to "break the ice" with the neighbors = added bonus!)

Do you know what? When we laid our heads down on the pillow, we realized we were blessed. God had caused the sale to go well. He had given us back all of what we had given Him in the morning.

And added one peso more.

Lord-- We have tried You, and we have seen.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

why, yes i am! thank you!

You remember that one popular song:
"You're so vaaain
You pro'lly think this blog is aboutchoo
You're so vaaaaiiiinnn!"

So, yes. I guess I am. And I do.

Because, I had to get pictures for my Mexican visa a couple of weeks ago. It went with the same lady Rey and Aleni did... and she was just as picky with me.

The requirements for the shot was one straight-on shot and one profile shot. All hair had to be pulled away from the face. No jewelry. No make-up. No smiling.

Talk about out of my comfort zone for picture-taking. I mean, hello. My grand-babies could be looking at this picture years from now... Also, haven't you read that verse in the Bible:

"Likewise, ye women, adorn thyself with the longest hair possible so as to cover the unseemly parts of your face during picture taking."

Anyhoo. I submit one shot. And, being vain as I am, I only submit the profile shot. Because the other one was skeery.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

random weirdness.

At almost all the major intersections of our city, you will be swarmed by people hoping to get a few cents off of you. Guys juggling flaming rods, kids juggling oranges, people selling ice cream, peanuts,toys, whatever. People in wheelchairs or slings asking for help with a medical bill. And, most of all, people jumping on your hood to squirt down your windshield and squeegee it "clean".

I usually just get super annoyed at all the commotion... but, I've actually found it's way easier to have a 2 peso coin ready in your hand to give to whoever is the most persistent, than it is to make a mean face and say, "No, I really mean it--I'm not interested."

So, yesterday I was sitting at the red light, pesos in hand as a teenage guy flung himself over my hood to scrub away on the windshield. Side note: It is rather awkward when you are alone to know where to look at this point. Over him? At you shoes? Anyhoo....

I had grabbed a can of watermelon something to drink on the way out of the store, so I was holding that in the hand that wasn't on the steering wheel. After I gave the kid his money, he leaned his head in the window and said, "Are you pistiando?"

Yes, I left that last word in Spanish, because I had no idea what it was. I assured him I wasn't (how could I be if I didn't even know what it was? haha). "OH!!" He shouted, as he strode off, "I really thought you were pistiando."

Hmmm. Well, thankfully I live with a Spanish to English dictionary (aka my hubby). I asked him what it was, and he said it basically means "Getting drunk."

So, the guy thought I had a can of the good stuff popped open and was slurping it down as I drove through town. It made me wonder what he would've done if I really was drinking a Corona. Told me how dangerous it was? Or asked for his own slurp?