Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Our little band of explorers visited an adorable, colonia town, Tequisquiapan. This little town's square was laid out beautifully. We had a wonderful lunch overlooking the square, listened to music on a type of xylophone (which was the beginning of the end for my husband) - it was a bit loud and methodical. After a lovely lunch we toured the square and the artisians market. The afternoon was short; but we enjoyed our time together and enjoyed visiting this little town. I particularly like the stained glass window in the cathedral - it is pictured above!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Our little family left early on a dark, cool, Mexican morning to begin our journey back to visit our home; our America. The drive was without incident and my husband had done all the necessary homework to know what bridge we wanted to cross to get home. As we neared the border the road signs that directed us to the international bridges were vague and we had to make a split decision - that decision took us to the wrong bridge. The bridge we were approaching was for commercial traffic only; as we approached the bridge one of the Mexican authorities waved our car off to a turn-around and kindly explained where we needed to go.
As we turned the car around to find the correct bridge I heard one of our children say, "But isn't that America? Right there?" pointing toward the U.S.A. My husband and I explained that we had to go to the correct bridge and off we went... When we finally approached the correct bridge all was quiet as we drove through the check-points with Mexican military armed with semi-automatic weapons. The quiet in our car was amazing and I realized that my children no longer pointed out the fact that we are so alarmingly close to semi-automatic guns. It bothers me a bit that they have gotten used to seeing weapons in their casual, daily lives. We pass through the Mexican inspection and advance toward the bridge spanning the 'Rio Grande'.
One of my children yells excitedly, "There it is! There's the flag!" and I look up with the rest of our family and see the flag beckoning us as we drive home. The U.S. checkpoints were more thorough and we stopped to answer numerous questions - as a Border patrol agent asked me a question my eyes teared up as I tried to speak. He kindly smiled and said, "I understand"; because he realized that I wasn't looking at him - I was looking at the American flag. For that moment it didn't matter that I was from Massachusetts, my husband was from Texas we had child born in another state; it didn't matter whether we were Democrats or Republicans. In that instant we were all Americans and we were being welcomed back to a land that we had taken for granted; a land that we have now grown to love with a ferocity that surprises me.
I don't know that I will ever see the flag of the United States again without thinking of that moment and of all that I have taken for granted. But, I have no question that "This is my country; Land that I love". God Bless America!
Our kids had a great time playing with their cousins - we wish we had more time to stay and visit! We had a great time visiting the museum, playing water relay games, having 'Dinner Theater' nights, bouncing around the trampoline and spending time with our family!
Aunt Tammy and Uncle Glenn were great! Thank you tons for opening your home to a riduculous number of people - I am still amazed that we all were able to get ready for the day before 10 am!
Our family had a great time and we loved making such great family memories!
One of our most recent adventures took us across the U.S. / Mexico border by car! We decided to drive up to San Antonio to spend some 'family time' with the Ballard family and get some good ole' shopping done!
Before the rest of the family got into San Antonio, TX our little group went and played at the SA Children's Museum. We had tons of fun - from the 'airport' to the huge human bubbles - we had a great time together!
The kids have done it! They each have shown SO MUCH COURAGE and determination! This school year they overcame so many changes - a new home, a new country, new friends, a new language, new customs, and a new school! We are so, so, SO proud of them!
The first day of school there were teary eyes and questioning looks as we left them in their classrooms. I cried most of the morning wondering whether or not we had made the right decision in coming to Mexico! But, then, seeing all that they have accomplished my husband and I are amazed at the strength of our little family! What amazing children we have been blessed with and we wanted to share with you the smiles of the Last Day of School!
Water, a bounce house, music, food and fun made up our Ladybug's Birthday Beach Party! Our little one doesn't officially turn eight until August... but we decided to have her birthday a bit early because many friends are moving after the school year was completed!
We had a great time - my husband and Ladybug put together a great CD of music - she chose Beach Boys, Cheetah Girls and High School Musical music! The music was blaring and we had a great time! She even chose to honor the Mexican tradition to allow her friends to shove her face into her cake! (Of course, I think that is a very odd tradition and a bit gross!)
Our littlest lady finished her Kindergarten year and the school decided to send the class out in style! The Kindergarten classes had an overnight camp at the school themed after the Egyptians! They made their banner, played paint wars, made hieroglyphics and each received a lovely necklace. Our little gal had a wonderful time with all her friends and made some wonderful memories! We are so proud of her accomplishments - her teacher has informed us that she is completely bilingual! Her only struggle has been learning to read in both languages - often we will hear her pronouncing English words but we won't recognize them because she is using the Spanish pronunciations! So cute... our little blonde Mexicana!
Our family took a few days out of life to go and visit Ixtapa (a resort city on the Mexican Riviera) and Zihuatanejo (a nearby fishing village)! We had a wonderful time walking along the beaches, body surfing in the waves and enjoying evening swims in the resort pool overlooking the sunset over the ocean. It was a beautiful and relaxing trip!
On the trip my cute husband bought me my first 'Loco Coco' (Crazy Coconut) - it was a coconut that had been prepared and a straw stuck into it! The natural coconut juice was good... at first... but there was SO MUCH JUICE - I ended up sharing it with my whole family and after the juice was done (well, after we dumped out a BUNCH of juice) we brought it back to the resturant and they opened the coconut and gave us the 'flesh' - and it was soft - very different than the type of coconut we have in the United States.
Our girls got their first beach braids... that they termed their 'Mermaid Braids'. They wore them for about a month afterward! (They were a bit attached.)
We had a great time in Ixtapa and we will be returning soon with my parents - we'll have more pictures at that time because one of my sweet, darling children happened to 'play' with my digital camera and I found most of our Ixtapa pictures gone and in their place pictures of a computer screen! Lucky for them that we are planning on going back! You would think that they would each use their own cameras and leave mine alone... but no... not when Mom's camera is beckoning to them!