Soft Warm Hearts

Why do we celebrate Christmas?  Mary a virgin carrying the Savior of all, riding on a donkey going door to door, until they found a manger to lay their head.

Here in Mexico, although I speak the language, I know nothing.  One day they asked me to bring engrudo to Elaina’s school, I asked “what is that” and they told me “glue”.  The next day, I told the teacher I’m going to buy the glue and I will bring it back to you.  She said no it’s not glue you buy its just flour but you have to cook it.

They were making a piñata, which I thought it was just an arts and craft, until a mother explained that it had seven cones which represent the seven deadly sins. Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride.

star

Once you BREAK yourself away from those sins you will be showered with blessings from above.

We were invited to a PASTORELA  at Elaina’s school “El Jardin de Ninos”.  Her class was dressed as Angels and the other class as devils.  Parents played out the story of Mary and Joseph, and the children played out the fight between good and evil.

Elaina Ready for her Pastorela

Elaina Ready for her Pastorela

A Patorela is a play, always comic, where the shepherds follow the Star of Bethlehem to find baby Jesus and confront the Devil, who will do everything possible to prevent them from arriving. It is at that moment that the Angel Gabriel intervenes to defend the shepherds where good always triumphs over evil.

We had another PASTORELA in the Town Plaza named EL JARDIN on the 19th.  I only wish I had thought to record it all.  It was very comic, had plenty of music, and singing.  Meet the Devil:

Bushy Eye browed, gun toting, boot wearing, Mariachi

Bushy Eye browed, gun toting, boot wearing, Mariachi

POSADAS, are more serious business, except to the children.  I was invited, but because I am not catholic a bit standoffish.  I am glad we decided to attend.  Day one started in the Church, there was the Rosary Prayer, then right after we formed two lines one of boys and the other of girls in order of height.  We walked singing a few choice songs, the boys favorite is “Los Peces en el Rio”.  We walked the longest route to the house hosting that days POSADA.  Once we arrived they sing at the door “Os Pido Posada”

Verses sung by the people asking     for PosadaEn nombre del cielo
os pido posada,
pues no puede andar
mi esposa amada.No seas inhumano,
tenos caridad,
que el Dios de los cielos
te lo premiará.Venimos rendidos
desde Nazaret,
yo soy carpintero
de nombre José.Posada te pide,
amado casero
por sólo una noche
la Reina del Cielo.Mi esposa es María.
es Reina del Cielo,
y madre va a ser
del Divino Verbo.Dios pague señores
vuestra caridad,
y así os colme el cielo
de felicidad.
Verses sung by the people giving PosadaAquí no es mesón
sigan adelante:
yo no puedo abrir
no sea algún tunante.Ya se pueden ir
y no molestar
porque si me enfado
los voy a apalear.No me importa el nombre,
déjenme dormir,
pues ya les digo
que no hemos de abrir.Pues si es una Reina
quien lo solicita
¿Cómo es que de noche,
anda tan solita?¿Eres tu José?
¿Tu esposa María?
Entren, peregrinos,
no los conocía.Dichosa la casa
que abriga este día
a la Virgen Pura
la hermosa María.

When the doors finally open, everybody sings:

Entren santos peregrinos, peregrinos, reciban este rincón no de esta pobre morada sino de mi corazón. Esta noche es de alegría de gusto y de regocijo porque hospedaremos aquí a la Madre de Dios Hijo.

Then the kids’ favorite part, every single child is given a goody bag, and depending on the family you could get more, a fruit, a drink and/or something to eat.

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Day two starts with a rosary prayer at the house who opened their doors to us, we then form lines and walk the longest route to the next house so fourth and so on until day 9.

They said a Pastor once showed children a nativity scene and asked them what the baby’s bed looked like, they said “Hard”, Then they asked the mothers present, “How do you fix your babies beds?” We all answered “Soft & warm”.  The nine days of Posadas is to soften our hard hearts, so we can be ready to receive baby Jesus.

May you all have soft and warm hearts this Christmas.

Come and Eat

Since I was a little girl, for as long as I can remember we have always had pecan trees. Sadly, the house we are renting here in Mexico has none, but still I love it.

We can sit in the front porch on a cold morning have some hot coffee & listen to the roosters crow through the town.

I sit in front of the computer.

I sit in front of the computer.

Wait until the sun is out for a glass of Ice Cold lemon-aid, picked straight from the Lemon Tree or you may prefer Micheladas.

We have four.

We have four.

Elaina & J enjoy guayaba right of the tree. He also likes the alcoholic drink made from the punch. I don’t like it either way.

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Would you like a banana? Shake?

It has more of these. Banana Palm.

It has more of these. Banana Palm.

I don’t know how many have tried or like cactus. In the 16 years I have been married I never ate anything green. That’s until Manuel was born and J got tired of me acting like a spoiled little girl. He made me try everything including cactus with egg. I suggest if you haven’t tried cactus, don’t unless J makes it for you FIRST. Then you will know the difference between the good stuff and the bad stuff. We trimmed it because it was over powering the yard; we were frightened for our kids. You don’t eat the big brown tusks just the small new green ones.

It used to take up a quarter of the yard but we trimmed.

It used to take up a quarter of the yard but we trimmed.

We also have mandarins, easy to peal great for mommies who hate pealing; just pull and toss at the kids.

Easy Cheesy

Easy Cheesy

Someone get me a fig Newton recipe, please.

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J wanted us to make it here in time to try the Pitaya, but we were just weeks to late. I’m looking forward to see them grow on these!

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Confession, we do have pitayo for growing pitayas but my neighbor’s is much prettier to look at. I did take the picture from my yard, but we only have one with arms.
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Helloooo Papaya.

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Okay, one more confession, I took this picture from my yard too, but it’s so close to the fence that some hang over into our yard and I do plan on having some and if you visit so will you.

this one is ours.

this one is ours.

This is your invitation.

13 Pesos equals 1 dollar

As a teen I was a major pain in the butt to my family, & my education, I was born with smarts and landed really great jobs where I was able to make a pretty penny.  Making good money is partially why I had not made the move to Mexico in the first place. 

God had to put me in a financial situation, where I had nothing to lose except my family in order to drop everything and move.  Six months ago we were not hurting for money, YET but I wasn’t making any. 

My kids did not care about financial responsibility.  Everything they wanted they got, no matter how they behaved or what their report card showed.  They would charge us if we asked them to pick up a piece of paper.  Okay they still do this but now its because we have made them responsible, in other words they pay for that candy habit.  They know what everything costs, including the cooking oil I use to make their meals.

Johnny understands the currant peso to dollar and is accurate in his conversions.  I cheat.  I just add a zero and know I’m in the vicinity when it comes to small amounts.  Example:  100 dollars is about 1000 pesos or 50 pesos is about 5 dollars. (use my title for the current conversion)

I understand why so many Mexican’s go “al Norte”.  Most of them are making 1200.00 Pesos a week working more than 8 hour days and a 6 day work week.  Besides no taxes and most owning their home, and practically free water, nothing else cost less in Mexico.  Actually, for some reason all these huge companies, sell me a much smaller bag of chips or coca cola bottle for a few pesos more than I would pay back home.

As far as me understanding why they go North, doesn’t mean I agree with them going illegally, but realistically speaking no one could pay all the fees there is to pay to get paperwork, do the leg work and there is still no guarantee you will be able to go.  Feeding their family now is more important than doing time later.

To my facebook family, I said I was blessed and I would blog today.  This is why.

We are Christian, not good ones.  As a matter of fact, we set a terrible example of Christians.  I do know J has a relationship with God I do not understand and I am quite jealous of because God has never spoken to me the way I believe he has spoken to him.  (I hope he will some day share with you like he has with me)

At the end of December, the truck and my visitor’s pass expires.  I have to either drive to the border and renew my pass for another six months or pay the fees to change why I am here, the same applies to the truck the border or get it legalized.  Financially, we are more than comfortable, we have spending money (mostly thanks to Dad), if I saved that spending money I could afford to pay these fees.  A week ago we decided it would be cheaper just to drive to the border, for two reasons, we don’t want to be on a budget, and we love road trips.  Still, we would look at this driving to the border situation again six months later.

Sunday, we were going to Guadalajara for some shopping at the gas station I realized I forgot our shopping money at home.  We decided to try again on Monday.  While in Costco we met an American couple Roberto y Roberta, who asked about our English speaking kids.  Not an I need money conversation, it was a pleasant conversation, we were shopping!  This couple said God told them to give us a little something.  Today, I paid the amount needed to start the paperwork so I can maybe soon be a Mexican Citizen. 

I apologize if I rambled, I typed, and I didn’t proofread.