Saturday, October 29, 2011

warm pajamas & peanut butter

Thanks to Beth, Becky and Dick, I now have enough warm pajamas to survive the winter and the Ramirez household has a plethora of peanut butter!  Having them here this last week was so fun!  It was food for my soul, and of course was a time filled with laughter, hilarious moments and immense blessing.  We spent our days in meetings- dreaming, planning and talking over ministry plans for the kids and families of El Camino.

But Thursday was a special the words of Beth it was....interesting.  Define for yourself what you think that might mean!  I have had my first taste at 'modeling'.  Diana, my co-worker at church, is also in cosmetology school in the afternoons.  Well, a couple of weeks ago, she told me she had a project and asked me if I would like to be her model.  Of course!!  I am so glad that Beth and Becky were here to experience this with me.  It was fun, hilarious, interesting, creative, some projects shocking and some just plain awkward.  I felt like I was a model on an episode of Project Runway or something.  Hair, make up, shoes, dress- the whole package had to be right and effectively display her creative theme based on the Tango.  I think she did a great job, but you can judge for yourself...and yes, those are real rose petals on my eyes.

Hope everyone is enjoying tastes, smells, sights and fun of FALL!  I really miss it-the beautiful trees and leaves, pumpkins and gourds decorating every front porch and kitchen table, little kids in (happy not scary) Halloween costumes (I have my fill of terrifying zombies and witches here), pumpkin bread and Fall parties.  BUT last week, I went over to the Glessner's (an American family that lives here) to enjoy a little pumpkin carving, apple cider and pumpkin bread!  It was a delicious taste of fall and I was so grateful for it!  Happy Fall Y'all!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Is it really time for Christmas decorations?

Year after year, the time comes when I walk into Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Target, etc...and am utterly shocked to find amidst the now-dwindling-from-the-shelves pumpkins, scarecrows and Halloween costumes- CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS!!  This year, although my scenery has changed and I no longer frequent Hobby Lobby and Target, I have discovered that I will never escape Wal-Mart or Sam's and I was once again shocked as I found the section of Christmas trees and ornaments beginning to overtake the gigantic stores.
This is just a sign of how quickly the year has gone by and how much faster it's going to continue to fly!  I can't believe that I have been living in Mexico for nearly 2 months now.  It is crazy how much longer it feels like I have been here and yet some days it feels like I just got here.  So much has happened in such a short amount of time and so much more is going to happen in the next two months.  Before I know it, it's really going to be the appropriate time for those Christmas decorations and I'm going to be back home in Arkansas for a little Christmas celebration.  And just on a side note, I hope that all of you follow the "No Christmas trees or decorations until AT LEAST the day after Thanksgiving" rule??  I mean, give the turkey, Indians and Pilgrims their day!  
So, last week my dad came to visit and we had a blast!  What a time of comedic relief- if you know my dad, you know how much he loves to talk and will strike up a conversation with anyone...well, he doesn't let a language barrier stop him!  He doesn't care if he's gotta raise the volume, use facial expressions, hand motions or a translator, he's going to talk to anyone and everyone.  Sometimes it might drive me crazy but I secretly admire this part of his personality.  He doesn't let anything stop him from showing love to everyone and isn't afraid to just be himself.  I can't tell you how many people told me (despite the language barrier between them) how much they enjoyed meeting my dad and that he is such a nice and genuine person.  Now, that's someone that I want to be like.  So glad dad got to come experience a little of my world here in Mexico.
Welcome to Puebla, Daddio!

You know he was taking pictures the whole time!

Sight-seeing in beautiful Puebla

Dad confirmed that I will be bringing home one of these cuties to join the McIntyre clan in December!!

The city of Puebla better look out because tomorrow night, Dick Nelson, Becky Lentz and Beth Kenyon arrive!!  Here comes trouble.  And I couldn't be more excited.  They're only here until Saturday but it's going to be a packed week full of meetings and a little fun here and there.  :)  Beth and Becky are also going to be speaking at a "conference"  for the leaders in the children's ministry on Friday night.  Really, it's just a training/'get-together to talk about this new ministry' time but conferencia is the word we use for this in Spanish...sounds so much more serious, I know.  I think Beth felt a little pressure when I told her it was a conference.  Ha!  Please be praying for this time- this is a big opportunity for Diana and I to get to know the existing leaders, recruit new leaders, encourage and refocus everyone and to introduce a lot of new and revolutionary (for here) ideas in children's ministry.  We are very excited and can't wait to see what God has in store.  Because as I was reminded today in Colossians, God always does more than we can imagine or ask for- every. single. time.  Can't wait to see... 

I'll try to keep you updated and send out a newsletter at the end of the month.  But no promises because it's getting crazy around here!  In the midst of all our planning, strategizing, training and recruiting to be prepared to start our new ministry in January (and we have to be ready to start before I leave for home December 15th), we will be going to Guadalajara for a week in November to meet up with a medical missions team from Fellowship!  Much to do, much to be thankful for and much to glorify the Lord!  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

getting settled

Well, after not really "working" for my first month in Mexico, we have now kicked it into high gear.  Last week, I started working with the new children's director and my one and only teammate, Diana.  I absolutely love this girl!  She's 23, married and has the cutest little boy named Samuel (a.k.a. Sammy). Once again, God has wiped out my plans that I thought were great, and given me HIS plans that are so much greater.  For nearly the last year, we had been planning on me working with a woman named Edith, but change of plans and in comes Diana.  What a blessing!  She and I get along great, understand each other really well (for the most part...sometimes with the help of google translate!), we have the same vision and passion and share many of the same ideas.  I think we make a pretty good team if I do say so myself.  After a week of working together, we both said we felt like we had known each other for years.  I am so extremely grateful for this friendship and team that God has provided.  And as always am thankful to be reminded for the one thousandth time of Isaiah 55:8. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.  And praise Him for that!  Amen?

{Diana & I at the Women's Retreat last weekend}

I pray that God is showing up in your life and turning all your plans upside down.  I'd rather live in the unknown and chaos of God's magnificent plans for my life than the assuredness of my pathetic plans.  Love to all!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Got Brains?

Today...I ate brains or sesos in Spanish.  Yes, that's right, the brains of a cow.  Nicely disguised and deliciously flavored in a fried taquito which was served to me without knowing what I was about to eat.  But let me start from the beginning.

It was a special day at church today, sweet little baby Dana Haciel was dedicated before the church.  It was the sweetest baby dedication I have ever seen in my life.  After Hiram prayed over the baby and her parents, the mom, dad and 3 teenage sons sang a song that they had written for her.  It was precious!  I'm sure if I could have understand every word of the song, I would have been crying.  So, in typical Mexican fashion, such a celebration calls for a party!  And what a party it was!  First, I ate the brain taquitos.  Actually, I ate two before I knew what they were...but the shocker knowledge didn't stop me from eating two or three more.  They were delicious and you'd never know they were brains.  Who knows what's next for me?  Tongue?!?  They say it's quite good.  We'll see about that...  Of course it wouldn't be a Mexican feast without plenty of rice, nopales (cactus), tortillas, lots of meat and so much more.  And as with all meals, you must end with coffee and in special occasions, cake!  I am learning that it's very common to have jello with your cake here.  It's like a different version of the classic cake and ice cream combo; except I wouldn't advise having a mixed spoonful of jello and cake- gross!  We ended the party with several rounds of hilarious karaoke.  Ladies first, then the men, a couple of solos and then the boys finished it out as we were leaving.  It was so fun!  I think karaoke could be the key to learning spanish.

Another day, another party, another weird food that I have learned to like...I think I'm getting used to living in Mexico.  :)