Mar 29, 2008

Tulsa Workshop

This weekend is the Tulsa Workshop. I have so many memories of the workshop and have found myself thinking about it a lot this weekend. I have even had dreams about it. I figured since it is on my mind and since most of the people that read my blog are at the workshop I would write about it.
The first time I attended the workshop was the year my twin sister was an AIMer (1996). It was a little overwhelming for a small town girl. I had never in my life seen so many Christians. I remember one of the days at the workshop I was walking with my friend Felicia. I remember exactly where we were standing when she pointed to a guy and told me "hey he is going to be in your AIM class". I remember we said hi to him and I told him that I was also going to be in AIM that fall. We talked for 30 seconds and then parted ways.
The next year I found myself back at the workshop but now dating the guy that I had briefly spoken to the prior year. I remember we went for a walk in a "park" right next to the main pavilion. While on the walk he told me that he loved me! This was a big deal because a few months earlier I had heard him tell one of his best friends that he had never and would never say he loved a girl until he was 100% sure he was going to marry her. We missed the next year since I was in Slovakia and he was in Russia. But in 1999 we found ourselves back at the workshop. After listening to Terry Rush speak Cory asked me if I wanted to go for a walk. We found ourselves back at the same exact spot where two years earlier he had told me he loved me. Next thing I know there is a ring on my finger and I am engaged. We went right back to listen to the next speaker (Jim McGuiggan). I don't think I heard a word that he said! I know Cory didn't because he fell asleep during the class and Jim called him on it infront of thousands of people! I guess he hadn't been sleeping very well and felt such relief that he had asked me and I had said yes that he fell asleep. Don't think he will do that again!
A few years later we found ourselves at the workshop and pregnant! My how time flew. Three kids later here we are in a different country. We would love to be at the workshop. Maybe we will make it next year to celebrate 10 years since we got engaged! Who knows. There are many people we would love to see, speakers we would love to hear. We would love to see the AIMers flag presentation and most of all would love to be at AIMapaloza. Hope you all had a great time. Can't wait to hear about it.

Mar 19, 2008

Tooth Fairy VS El Raton (the mouse)


Josiah got his teeth pretty late in life. His first tooth cut through right after he turned one. From the moment that he found out about loosing teeth he wanted to loose a tooth. He had his first dentist visit when he was almost 3. He asked Dr Epperson when he would start loosing his teeth. Dr Epperson was great about explaining that it wouldn't be for a long time especially since his teeth didn't come in until late. I am pretty sure that by the time we got to the car he was back to asking "when will my teeth fall out?" He is always telling me that he has a loose tooth. I usually feel and then inform him that it is not loose yet. Today as we were walking out of the movies he had his finger in his mouth. I asked what he was doing and he said playing with his loose tooth. So, I felt and it was moving!! The time has finally arrived - lets just hope it doesn't take weeks for it to actually fall out.

Tonight when I was putting him to bed he was explaining exactly what he is going to do when the tooth falls out. His plan is to put the tooth under his pillow and then in the night time the mouse will come get the tooth and leave him money. Yes, in Mexico it is not the tooth fairy that comes but a mouse! When you live in a foreign country you learn a lot about our customs. I always assumed that the tooth fairy was universal but she isn't. In Asian countries you throw the tooth on the roof (if it was an upper tooth) and bury it under the house (if it was a lower tooth). For more interesting tooth customs here is a fun website.

Back to Josiah and my converstation. I asked him how much money he though the mouse would leave. We finally agreed on 20 pesos (A little less than $2 but it is the smallest bill). He quickly decided that he would rather have the tooth fairy come because she could give him dollars and he could buy a skateboard in the states this summer! Pretty smart to know that Pesos are for here and Dollars for the States. He then asked me how many dollars would the toothfairy leave. I quickly looked at Cory, he thought $1 was good, I told him that she wasn't that cheap. I then commented that she will probably just have to leave the smallest bill she has because there aren't many dollars in her house only pesos. I better start digging around the house for some small bills. Its kinda fun that Josiah gets to be a part of two cultures. The Easter bunny doesn't come to Mexico but he makes a special stop at our house! Another advantage is that here there is a Kids day - you know like Mothers day, Fathers day - why not Kids Day.

So I am curious how much does the tooth fairy leave at your house? I would love to hear about it.

Semana Santa y Semana Pascua

I haven't blogged in a while. I have actually been a little unmotivated to do so. My in-laws are coming to visit tomorrow so I have a very long list of things to do. Instead of working on the list I decided to sit down and blog. Today I was thinking about the first time that my in-laws came to our house after we were married. They only lived two hours away from Lubbock. They called us on Saturday and said they were coming to town to do some shopping on Sunday. We were super excited and I was a little nervous. I headed straight for the kitchen to prepare a meal. They were coming in after church so I knew that I wouldn't have much time so I needed to make something ahead of time that I could just throw in the oven. Well, I came up with Chicken spaghetti - I figured its easy, I had everything on hand, wouldn't be much work the next day, and who doesn't like chicken spaghetti? That night I stayed up till two o'clock cleaning my house to impress them with how good of a housekeeper I was. I wanted so bad to make a good impression. Well, as far as I remember everything went well with their visit. We ate and went shopping. I don't know exactly when but sometime later (probably a few months) I found out that my father in-law detests chicken and he is not a fan of pasta!! He sais chicken is FOUL. Oops couldn't have choosen a worst dish to have served. He is a great guy and I am sure he ate every bit of it and might have even asked for seconds just to make me feel better! Believe it or not almost 9 years later and I haven't cooked another meal for them - not because I don't want to but because they love treating us and taking us out to eat.
Well, preparing for this visit is much less stressfull although I did repaint the bathroom and have a very long list of things to do. If they don't get done I promise I will NOT be up scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees at two o'clock like last time.
We are super excited about their visit. They are so much fun to be around and they spoil us.
This week is Semana Santa (Holy week) and next week is Semana Pascua (Easter week). A large part of the Mexican population goes on vacation during this time. Mainly they go to the beaches. It is nice for those of us that stay here because the traffic dies down and things calm down. The kids are out of school for 2 1/2 weeks and many adults get off of work during at least part of this time if not all.

The following is taken directly from a web site. I will give the link and acknowledgment at the end.
This is what a Mexican magazine has to say about Holy Week and Easter Week.

Easter is one of the most important Christian holidays commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ after he was crucified. In Mexico, where 90% of the population is baptized Catholic, although many don't actually practice, Easter is taken very seriously - and literally - with colorful, passionate processions reenacting the Passion of Jesus Christ's last days on earth.
The week leading up to Easter, known in English as Holy Week, is called Semana Santa in Latin American countries and is celebrated with processions, Masses and other events that mark Jesus Christ's triumphant return to Jerusalem, his trial, his walk carrying the cross, and his crucifixion.
In Merida and in many villages, people recreate the Via Cruses, complete with actors and costumes of those ancient times. They also acknowledge the 13 stations, the places where Jesus fell as he bore his burden. It can be quite striking to see a mass of people dressed in the clothing of Jesus' time, walking behind an actor playing Jesus as he struggles doubled over from the weight of an enormous cross, with a crown of thorns on his head. Roman soldiers stand by and the Apostles are there as well. The actors are then hung on the crosses. Townspeople walk in the procession too, playing the role of the penitents who marched behind Jesus. It is moving to watch. Palm Sunday, Domingo de Ramos in Spanish, starts off Semana Santa on Sunday March 16th, this year and the week builds toward Maudy Thursday, Good Friday and of course, Easter Sunday, known as Dia de Gloria - Day of glory. On Palm Sunday everyone goes to Mass in the morning for the blessing of the Palm leaves; when dry, the leaves are made into crosses that people use as amulets, adorning their cars and homes. On Maudy Thursday and Good Friday (March 20th & 21th), the activities become more elaborate. On Maudy Thursday the "washing of the feet" ceremony is celebrated. During Mass, the highest-ranking priest washes the feet of twelve common people in representation of the 12 apostles
There is a little cultural information for you.

Mar 4, 2008

Tim Hartman

We received news tonight that a friend of ours from Yukon, Oklahoma passed away. He was a pilot in the OKC plane crash.

Our hearts are very heavy right now and we are praying and asking you to pray for his family. His wife Audra and his two sons Matthew and Marc.

Tim recently visited us for our sponsors weekend. We grew to really love him. We had a great weekend with him. He had a very good sense of humor and he was a kind and giving man.

We shared many good laughs with him. Here we are eating dinner and talking to the taco stand owner. Tim is on the far left.

Mar 3, 2008

The lesser of two evils

I wanted to talk about Machismo tonight as my cultural post. I must say I didn't find much helpful info on Machismo on the internet. After a long time of reading articles I decided to just relly on my own knowledge of what Machismo is. I did find a decent definition.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about it: Machismo is a prominently exhibited or excessive masculinity. As an attitude, machismo ranges from a personal sense of virility to a more extreme masculism. In many cultures, machismo is acceptable and even expected.
Machismo is seen in many ways in Mexico. From early on in life women are taught to serve the men. You will see this in that men never serve themselves at get togethers or parties. The wife always asks "can I get you something". Often she won't even bother him with that question, she will just prepare him a plate.
The truth is that women have/are taking on a new role in Mexico. They are getting jobs and not fitting into the traditional womens role. They aren't always around to serve their husbands and be at their beck and call. This somewhat has influenced a small decline in Machismo. The problem is that men aren't adjusting as much to the new role because they have housekeepers that still do many of the things for them.
Machismo allows men to get away with having affairs. It is somewhat expected that Mexican men will have a misstress. It is even acceptable that they have two families that they support at the same time. One being their wife and family the other being the misstress and any children they might have. Machismo is also part of the reason why I feel that strip clubs are so successfull in Mexico. I often joke that any town in Texas, no matter the population, will have a Dairy Queen and a Church of Christ. Well, any Mexican town will have a strip club.
You might have heard that when Mexican girls turn 15 their families throw a big party for them to celebrate that they are entering womenhood. Well, it is not unheard of for a 15 year old boy to be taken by his father to a prostitute to have sex. This is their way of celebrating entrance into manhood! It is completely accepted by the culture.
Machismo can also be seen by the "right" men have to shout unacceptable remarks and whistle at women. In December I was putting the kids in the car after their school program and a pickup drove by and the "man" in the passanger seat grabbed my rear end and yelled obscene things to me. This is just part of being machista!
Well, there are other things that can be said about machismo but I will leave it to you to find out more about it. Please remember I am not saying this is how all Mexican men are. I am simply defining Machismo - not Mexican men.
The reason I wanted to write about machismo is because I always joke that the men on Cory's baseball team are Machistas. I do not mean that they are sleeping around, yelling obscene things, etc. I simply use the term to mean that they are very manly men. They are very proud and confident in themselves.
Well, we showed up for Cory's game yesterday. I showed up in my team jersey (as do most of the wives) and with my glove because I wanted to play catch with Josiah during the game. Right as the game is getting ready to start our team realizes they are going to have to forfeit because they are one player short. This is where the two evils come into play. It would be very degrading for them to have to forfeit. Jokingly I said to them. "I have my jersey on and I brought my glove!". They sat and thought for a while - it seemed like a really long while. The l0oks on their faces were great. I could see the debate going on in their head - "which is more degrading to forfeit or to play with a woman on our team?". After much troubled thought they invited me into the dugout. I was shocked, I didn't really mean it! I never thought that they would go for it. Next think I know I am behind home base with a catchers mask on and the game has started. I think my heart pounded faster than it ever has - I just knew I was going to mess up and the Machista men were going to have their way with me. Well long story short, I hit all three times up to bat, I advanced runners, had no errors, over all I did ok.
My tennis shoes are a little old and they are stretched out. The second time I was running to second my shoe went one direction while my foot went another. Next thing I know I am slidding face first into first base - oops it was a little emberassing. My whole knee is black! It was a lot of fun and I still can't believe they let me play.

baseball and life

Josiah has baseball games on Saturdays. This Saturday some of the missionaries came to watch him. The night before the game, after I had put him to bed, he yelled down to me "do you need to draw them a map so they will know how to get there?" He was so excited that they were going to be there to watch him he could barely sleep. While at the game I was thinking about how much fun he was having. I looked around and noticed that all the kids were having fun and not really thinking about who was the best and the mistake they had just made etc. They were just concentrated on having fun. Not on who was the best or worst - or at least not individually. They are undefeated and pretty proud of that. Josiah was just excited to be playing a game he loves and that his friends had come to watch him.
Cory also has softball on Saturdays although this week he played Sunday afternoon. When I think about his games it is a whole different ball game. They get mad at eachother, mad at themselves, Cory is still talking about that error he had!! I was thinking about what a difference a few years make in how we look at life. Kids are so innocent and just want to enjoy life. We adults on the other hand like to complicate things. No wonder Matthew, Mark and Luke mention that Jesus wanted the little children to come to him. The children just wanted to be around Him and the adults fought over who would be at his right and left hand (Matt 20:20-28).