Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thankful

A few things for which I am thankful this past week... (in no particular order)

1. A yummy Mexican BBQ with our family. The whole hamburger and hot dog BBQ really can't measure up to the yummy carne asada, quesadillas, BBQed onions, and savory salsa. MMMMM!

2. Lots of Work Styles related meetings and work for Kevin this week -- I am thankful things are starting off in a great direction!

3. A church where we are beginning to feel more and more at home.

4. Way fewer diapers to wash now that Eliana has started potty training!

5. A husband who has a servant's heart and who loves his family.

6. Encouragement from friends.

7. Mangoes! They are just coming into season here, and Eliana and I LOVE them. :)

8. A babysitter for Eliana so that we can participate in a marriage course at our church.

9. Cuddles with Eliana every morning when she wakes up.

10. Game night with the boys for Kevin.

What are you thankful for this week?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Busy Week and Date Night

This week was a full one for the Book-Satterlee family. Between meetings, classes, and just normal responsibilities of life we were going from event to event, but it was good. On Tuesday after school Eliana was delighted to have her best friend Ana and Ana's brother Andres over for the afternoon and evening.
Paul and Nydia, Ana and Andres' parents, had to drive about 3 1/2 hours in order to fill out paperwork for their van which was stolen months ago. The van was actually found some time ago, but bureaucrats have been reluctant to give it back. For months Paul and Nydia have spent whole days filling out paperwork going from one place to another in order to recover the van. Now the judge in charge of the car will make a decision whether they can have the vehicle or not. If he decides to give it to them they have to pay a fine for the government keeping the car for them, close to $1500! He could also decide that he isn't going to give the car  back, in which case the insurance will pay Paul and Nydia for the loss of the van. Please be praying that the judge makes a decision quickly so that this difficult situation doesn't continue to stretch out, requiring both time and money for Paul and Nydia.

On Friday afternoon Paul and Nydia took Eliana so that Kevin and I could go on a date. We had been wanting to see a particular movie for a long time, but hadn't had a chance. In the end we went to three different theaters before we finally were able to find it in English at a decent time. It was quite the adventure. After living on the farm where baby-sitters abound, we have been quite spoiled. Although we have supportive family and friends here in Mexico, the baby-sitting availability isn't the same as what it was in California, so Kevin and I have had to be more creative about how to spend time together alone. It also has brought up some difficulty in participating in events with church etc. In a city as large as Mexico people don't often leave their children with baby-sitters, rather with family members. We are hoping to become involved in a marriage course offered through our church on Saturday mornings that lasts about a month and a half, but again we don't know who to find to care for Eliana. Please pray for us as we look into options, that we might find someone that we can both trust and that Eliana enjoys.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sickness and Farmer's Markets

So....I am already a little late on my New Year's resolution to post at least once a week. My plan had been to post on Friday, however, the littlest member of our family woke up having thrown up and running a fever. Thus far whenever Eliana has a fever (which hasn't been that often), she pretty much wants to be in my arms, on top of me ALL DAY LONG! Other than the fact that my baby is sick, there is a part of me that enjoys this time because normally she isn't such a cuddle bug. However we literally didn't move off the bed on Friday the entire day and she dozed on and off on my chest. We also watched a LOT of her most recent favorite show, Dragon Tales. Normally she is lucky to watch maybe one episode a day. I won't even mention how many episodes she watched on Friday :).  Yesterday her fever was gone, but her clingy-ness was not, needless to say, by this morning I am ready for a little bit of alone time.

One of the things that I really like about Mexico are the tianguis. Tianguis are outdoor markets that sell fruit and veggies, clothes, toys, make up, shoes, items for the house, music, movies, you name it, they probably have it. We have a huge one that is only a few streets up from us every weekend. The only thing a little disappointing about most tianguis is that the people who sell the fruits and veggies are not the farmers, nor in any way really connected to the food. There is a HUGE, and I mean blocks and blocks and blocks, market here in the city called el Central de los Abastos. Truckloads of produce are brought there from all over Mexico, and then the intermediaries -- those who sell at the tianguis, come and buy the food there and then re-sell it on the street. One of the things that I have learned recently is that I prefer to know as much about my food as possible. I want to know what it is I am putting in my body. This morning for the first time I am going to visit an organic tiangui that deals only with direct producers, that is to say, everyone who is part of it is a farmer/producer. This particular tiangui only meets twice a month on Sundays, so it has been difficult for me to go. But since our church starts a little on the later side, 11 am, I am going to go first to the market and then come back to watch Eliana so Kevin can go to church. It will be some nice alone time, and I am also excited to see what this market is like.

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

My one and only New Year’s Resolution -- write at least one post a week on our blog! I apologize that we have been MIA, life has been very full for us, but that’s no excuse.  Here is a recap of our last couple of months.
November 5th we had a joint princess birthday party for Eliana and her favorite friend, Ana. Eliana turned 2 on October 12th and Ana turned three on November 5th.

November 8th we welcomed our first visitor, our friend Erin! Thanks for visiting us Erin, we had a great time with you. Who’s next? (Somehow I didn't manage to take a single picture while Erin was here! Sad, I know.)
November 15th we moved into our own (rental) place! HURRAY!!! I cannot express how great of a blessing this has been for us. I still, two months later, wake up almost every day thanking God for this particular blessing. Our neighborhood is very middle of the road Mexico City and we love it. Almost everything we need or could possibly think of needing is within easy walking distance including a park for Eliana a stone’s throw from our house. We live in a two story house that is divided as a duplex, our house is on top and we have a very kind family with two almost adult children living below us.

On November 25th we celebrated American Thanksgiving with all the other LAM missionaries in and around Mexico City. (A day late, I know!) We had a great time hanging out, hearing what is happening all around the city and eating yummy food! Eliana had a hard time eating, though. The family who hosted had an amazing play house and LOTS of baby dolls as well as a little car. She was pretty much in heaven! Don't let the somber face in the photo confuse you, she was asking the kids to give her all the dolls and she cried when I pulled her out!

December 8th we celebrated Christmas with our Spearhead Year Out team before we sent them home for Christmas. We had a lot of fun, and experimented with some traditional Mexican "Christmas" foods -- bacalao (Norwegian cod), and romeritos (Romeritos is a Mexican dish from Mexico City, consisting of sprigs of a wild plant known as Romerito that looks like rosemary, therefore its name. Usually they are served with patties of dried shrimp, and potatoes in a mole sauce. -- Def. from Wikipedia). We sang Christmas carols, passed out secret santa gifts and enjoyed just hanging out.


A couple days later on December 10th our new church, La Fuente, had a Christmas celebration. Eliana participated in the little play the kids put on and still continues to sing "Go Tell It On The Mountain" (in Spanish), one of the songs they sang, all the time! We also got to experience a little earthquake in the middle of the pastor's talk. It shook everyone up (sorry, not trying to be cheesy here, just couldn't think of anything else to say), but eventually everyone recovered and the show went on! One Mexican Christmas tradition is the pinata. Eliana has come to love pinatas, and as they hang pretty much everywhere during this season she is constantly saying, "Look mommy! A pinata!!!" The pinata traditionally has seven spikes which represent the seven sins. It is beautifully decorated to demonstrate the power of sin, which must be broken and when it is the sweetness of God's blessing rains down. Kind of cool, huh?



December 11th Kevin ran a 10k with a number of friends, he had a great time and hopes to run more this upcoming year.

December 16th Eliana's preschool had a Christmas celebration. She has learned so much Spanish that now she often will speak more Spanish than English. Though, most of the time she speaks with a mixture of both. Below is a picture of her giving her Christmas gift to her teacher.

The next day, December 17th, we celebrated Eliana's Mexican cousin, Aaron's birthday. He had a super hero theme. Afterwards we headed over to his house and all the kids had an impromptu dance party!




On December 24th we celebrated Christmas with our Mexican family. Traditionally Mexican families all get together, have a dinner together and at midnight celebrate Christmas opening gifts etc. Eliana has learned how to stay up late, and being a true extrovert if there are people around she enjoys every minute of it! We headed back to our house around 2 a.m.





Christmas day we worked on recovering from all of the late nights, in the 10 days before Christmas Eliana was up after 12 am at least half of them. We missed our families home in the States, but we had a great time with our Mexican family.

On December 30th we got to go ice skating in the Zocalo, which is the square at the center of Mexico City. Every year (since 2007) the government puts up a huge ice skating rink and offers free skating. Needless to say LOTS of people, considering there are aroune 30 million in the city, line up to have a turn. The system works out that you line up first in order to get a ticket which gives you an entrance time. Fortunately we got to skip all of that as Irma, our Mexican sister-in-law, works for the government and gets a few tickets to give out. Fun!




On December 31st we spent New Year's Eve again with our family and had a blast. We left around 3, but they didn't sleep till 8 am! Crazy. Maybe some day we'll be able to manage that, but not quite yet. :)






video

So that pretty much wraps up our last couple of months, if you have made it through this ginormous post, congrats! As much as we loved the festivities of this last month we are excited to get back into normal life. Eliana started school again yesterday, Kevin begins meetings for Work Design next week, and tomorrow we have our "welcome back" meeting for our Spearheaders. Life is good. Many blessings from our family to yours!!