Feb 25, 2008

Monarch Butterflies

This weekend our team took a long awaited trip. We have been planning the trip for months now. We went to a Monarch Butterfly sanctuary. All Monarch butterflies migrate for the winter months. The Monarch butterflies that live in the United states migrate to a few main areas. The western butteflies migrate to the California coastal areas. The population of the Rocky Mountain area migrates to Michoacan, Mexico. It is estimated that hudreds of million Monarchs come to this area.

It is about a 5 hour drive from our house to the sanctuary. The team went to a nearby city and we stayed the night there on Friday. Saturday we got up and headed to the sanctuary. There are two sanctuaries and we chose the one where we had been told there were horses to ride. The parking lot is a good hour walk (uphill) from the sanctuary. When we first got there they tried selling us walking sticks. We told them we wouldn't need them because we were planning on ridding horses. They quickly informed us that there no longer are horses, it was too dangerous so they no longer have that service. So, we bought some walking sticks and headed up the mountain - along with 1- one and a half year old, 3 two year olds, 3 six year olds and 4 "teenagers" or there abouts. It was a pretty ugly walk up the mountain but the kids all did great and were troopers. When we got to the top of the mountain there was a place they called the Rabit valley. It was a flat open area where there were a lot of butterflies. There were some man made watering areas where the butterflies were drinking from.

We thought we had arrived to the main area but we heard a tour guide telling his group "you haven't seen anything yet!" so we followed his instructions and continued down a path. About 15 minutes later we arrived at what is called the "nucleus". Here there were millions of butterflies. The trees off in the distance looked orange because of the covering of butterflies. It was amazing.

We learned some interesting facts while at the sanctuary (you can also read about them on wipedia). The Monarch butterflies expected life span is about a month. When you do the math you quickly realize that the same butterflies never return to their homeland. The butterflies will die before getting to return. When you really think about it, it is amazing because they return to the same place although they had never been there.
We also learned a little bit about their reproduction. Their courtship is short and simply involves the male butterfly pursuing the female in flight. When they land they reproduce. Well, we just happened to go at the peak of reproduction season. Unfortunatelly we learned about their reproduction first hand. While taking pictures two butterflies landed on my shoulder. And it just so happens that they landed on my shoulder for the purpose of reproducing! It was a little awkward as everyone started taking pictures of me and the butterflies on my shoulder.
Like I said there are many more interesting facts on wipedia.
Here are a few more pictures I thought you might enjoy.
Once again anyone is welcome to come visit us and we will gladly take you to see the butterflies. Just note that they are only here from October until March.

Feb 19, 2008


So, I haven't been great about blogging lately. Sorry. I will hit on a few highlights of the past two weeks with plans to later comment more on a few of the things.

We have had a crazy last 3 or 4 weeks. We worked really hard on planning a sponsors weekend. There were 28 supporters that visited us for a 4 day weekend. We had a great time but ended up worn out. We took the last group to the airport on Monday and headed to Mexico City straight from there. We went to Mexico City to meet our new AIMers. We were so excited to get to know them. The kids loved them and can't wait for them to move here. We had a great visit with them but it was way to short. We stayed with Care and Benjy while we were there and as always had a great time being around them and their boys.
Oh, ya, while we were having our supporters weekend our car got broken into and they stole Cory's i-pod, personal computer and a few other things. They broke the lock off of the door which we just got replaced today.
So, we got back from Mexico City in time for Josiah to eat, shower and go to an entrance exam! Yes he is going into elementary next year and here you have to take entrance exams to get into first grade! I will write more about this later in the week. We will get the results back on Thursday and find out if he was accepted.
Saturday we had baseball and Josiah got invited to be on the Zapopan (our city - we don't actually live in Guadalajara) selection team! I had to keep myself from laughing when they were telling me about it. Anyone that knows my son knows that he isn't the most coordinated child. He does love baseball though and he plays pretty well.

Speaking of baseball, our family is BIG Red Sox fans. Cory has been a fan since he was a child, I have been a fan since I married Cory and well the kids haven't had much choice - they have been fans all their lives. Josiah knows the players names, positions etc. The Red Sox are going to be playing in Houston the last weekend of June. We were already planning on being in that area in July so we just changed our plans a little. We went to buy tickets and you can't just buy tickets because the game is in such high demand. So, we had to enter our names into a lottery for a chance to buy tickets. Only one entry per person so we enlisted all our friends and family. Well, my parents got sellected so they got us tickets!! We are so excited, Josiah can't wait and I keep thinking it would have been better if I would have waited to tell him about it. June is far away and he keeps asking if we are going soon.

Later on in the week I will try and post a cultural post for you AIM guys and anyone else that likes to learn about Mexican culture.

Feb 4, 2008

Endless day, Lite Bright, Mexican Constitution and much more

Do you ever have one of those days when you just wish it would end. Today I kept catching myself thinking "is it not over yet!!". The kids are in bed and things are winding down so I am feeling better about the day.

Every year the water company turns the water off for a few days to work on pipes. Well, somehow everyone but me knew that it was this past week. It wouldn't have been that big of a deal except I had set Friday aside to do laundry, wash sheets, towels etc. I found out on Thursday night that the water was going to be turned off so I stayed up till 1 o'clock getting laundry done. We have a tank under our house that holds a few days worth of water in it, so its not like we were completely out of water but we did have to be very careful about not using much or we would completely run out. It came back on today (one day earlier than scheduled). I'm just glad that they didn't turn it off next weekend since we will have 30 supporters visiting.

Today there was no school for the kids. The 5th of February is the anniversary of the signing of the Mexican Constitution (1917). They took today off instead of tomorrow since it fit better with the weekend.

The kids had a great time playing in Josiahs room today. They didn't make much of a mess but I told them they needed to clean up before they came to eat lunch. I explained that lunch was ready and Hannah and I were going to go a head and eat, they could join us when they were done. 3 hours later they still hadn't eaten lunch. Not only had they not eaten lunch they got out every toy that hadn't previously been out. I tried all my love and logic tactics and tried to stay calm. Not much was accomplished. I was downstairs listening to them "clean up" while they were murmering how bad it is to be in this family, they didn't want to clean up etc. The next thing I know Abigail is screaming that she can't breath. Well, I know she can breath or she wouldn't be able to scream. Josiah tells me to call the ambulance because Abigail was dying. I went upstairs and found out that Abigail had shoved a lite bright peg up her nose.

I tried to get it out myself but she had stuck it in pretty far. She told me it was a red one and that she wanted to pretend that she had a bloody nose!! Luckily my next door neighbor is a surgeon and he was able to get it out. She was much calmer with him than she was with me when I was trying to get it out.

This weekend we are having a sponsors weekend. There are going to be 30 supporters here representing the churches and individuals that support the 5 families involved in our work. We are really excited about the weekend and know it is going to be a really great time. There is a lot of work that goes into getting the weekend planned though. We are looking forward to the weekend but will be oh so relieved when it is over. We will drop our last group off at the airport on Monday and head straight to Mexico City. The AIMers will be there on their annual trip and we want to join them and get some time with our AIMers. The kids are super excited they were drawing pictures to give to the AIMers this morning.

I thought I would throw in some pictures of the kids at their Little League on Saturday. Josiah loves playing baseball and is getting pretty good at it. His team is called the "Aztecas". The way it works is they have a baseball "school" that they start all kids off at. They have been in this since August. This weekend they will officially graduate into Little League. They will get their uniforms and have to start following stricter rules. We are excited about it. I will post pictures later of him in his uniform.

Abigail is also playing but with much less interest than Josiah is. She will be staying in the baseball school until next year.
There are two families on our team that we have started getting really close to. They are really neat people and we would love to minister to them. Please keep them in your prayers. I will try and keep you updated on them.
Well, I feel like this post is very long so I will not make it longer with my normal Monday Mexico fact.