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. :)
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!!