Thursday, February 21, 2013


Our family left sickness behind last Thursday and flew to Cancun to visit our Mexican sister and her family. It was a much needed breath of fresh air for us after the last month and a half. For Kevin, it was his first real vacation (no work was brought) in a year and a half. Upon return we have felt revitalized and encouraged by the health of our children that we can once again join the ebb and flow of every day life, yea! Here are a few pictures from our time.

Eliana was a huge fan of the beach!

Owen was not!

He looked cute though!

We relaxed on the beach

We ate yummy food

Owen's (and Eliana's) first professional soccer game -- you can tell Owen was really into it!

Eating a local treat -- crispy crepes with cheese and other fillings (Kevin had sweetened condensed milk and I had nutella)

Our only all group photo, the adults are all smiling and the kids are all doing their own thing!

Thanks Reyna, Obed, Elisa and Isaac for hosting us, we had a great time!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Retrasos and Recovery

Unfortunately, after my last post of how wonderful the road to recovery was, Eliana was hit by a nasty virus that left her unable to keep anything down for about a week. This was really our first experience with a stomach virus for such a prolonged period of time. We watched our happy, active, talkative little girl change so dramatically she could barely stand, talk or smile and she spent most of the day on the couch asleep. The virus also eventually got to Owen, but in a much lighter form.

The kicker of it all was that we had bought plane tickets to visit part of our Mexican family (from the family that originally hosted us when we arrived in 2007) who live in Cancun. Kevin worked over Christmas break so we never were able to have a vacation together as a family, and when we found discounted tickets we went ahead and bought them. In the end it was a close call whether or not we should countinue with our trip as planned, but because Eliana was showing good signs of improving we went ahead and flew to Cancun on Thursday. 

Thankfully, since we have been here in Cancun Eliana has improved dramatically (mostly due to her ability to keep food down). We watched our little girl come back and we are so grateful to have her like her old self. We are also extremely thankful for the opportunity to rest together as a family. I will update more about our trip in the following week.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Out and about!

On Sunday we left the house as a family to attend church together for the first time in a month! Woohoo! Owen still isn't feeling perfect, but he is definitely steadily improving. The sun was shining, the air was (moderately) fresh, and I think each one of us began to feel almost normal. "Normal" is a glorious feeling, especially when it dawns on you again that "normal" can be something other than the sleepless stupor and nagging worry for the health of our children which we had been feeling for the past month. We tried hard not to take Owen out and about while he was feeling ill, so all of us have been a little more than restless, ready to end our stint of house arrest. It was an extra special occasion because we visited the church of friends of ours, Uri and Carmen, for the baptism of their son, Alfonso. Alfonso is older than Owen by three months and we hope that some day in the future the boys will be friends.
(Alfonso, Carmen and Uri)
Carmen and Uri attend a small Presbyterian church next to a beautiful park that has an awesome playground. The invitation for the baptism listed the start time as 11:30 am, so we showed up at 11:30 am, give or take a few minutes. We walked into the school where the church meets and saw that, other than the pastor and Carmen, we were the only ones there! We began to sit down when Carmen looked at us with a look of "I am so sorry I didn't know you'd take the time so literally!" It turned out that the service wasn't supposed to start for another half hour at 12. We decided that our best option was to walk a block to the park and let Eliana play a bit. As we walked lazily to the park I had to laugh at this cultural moment, we are definitely still the "gringos" as far as our time orientation goes! I can't count the number of times that we headed to an event "late" knowing that no one would be there on time -- by late I am talking about a half hour, sometimes an hour or more -- yet most often we are still the first ones to arrive! Perhaps the longer we are here we will begin to synch with the local time, but my guess is that our time orientation is fairly rooted and will take some time to change. In the meantime, we will enjoy that we are rarely ever late (even if we think we are). :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Oweing Tamales

Tomorrow is February 2nd, and the Book-Satterlee family has a massive tamales debt.  Our Christmas decorations are down, but tomorrow marks the end of the Christmas season - where we will celebrate with tamales.  On King's Day (January 6th) we cut a rosca or a sweet bread baked in a round with our Mexican family.  Inside there are little dolls, and if the piece you get has a doll in it, you are the one who provides tamales.  Well, in the three times that we cut a rosca with our family, I (Kevin) got three dolls and Eliana got two.  So we're up to our eyeballs in tamales debt.  (RANDOM LANGUAGE NOTE:  The singular of tamales is not tamale, but tamal.)

It is just this type of little fiesta that reminds us how great we have it here, with deep relationships with our Mexican family, growing friendships, and our local church.  Our time with Avance is always affirming, and we love the mission and vision of LAM.  What a great way to begin the year!

It hasn't been all good, as Owen is still recovering from bronchitis (going on three weeks) and Eliana is also on the tail end of her recovery from bronchitis as well.  Leah and I have maybe averaged about 3 hours of broken sleep a night for the past 3 weeks.  TIRED!!!  So we hope to close the sicko chapter with the close of January and the Christmas season and look forward to February.  What a way to close it out ... TAMALES!!!!  YUM!!!