Friday, September 26, 2008

What a difference an idea can make!

Looking at this picture one notices the lovely white home with a blue door... but immediately realize that it is a recycled shipping unit like the one pictured next to it! I recently saw these pictures and read about an idea is an amazing idea with tremendous social implications worldwide! This company is thinking 'outside the box' about living inside a box! Below is pictured the basic interior of these amazing homes.

While living here in Mexico my family has been touched by these amazing people that live happy lives in impoverished circumstances. We have done small service projects to help out these families or single mothers with children; yet this idea is a paradigm shifting, life changing possibility! This company wants to take the old, used, metal storage crates and recycle them to create homes for those who are living in muddy, bug infested, rotting shacks. This ingenuity could quite possibly create homes for millions of homeless people!

Visit to learn more about this ingenious company! I hope that their idea will inspire you! If you are able to donate please do... and if nothing else sign up to learn how these homes can impact millions of people. What a difference an idea can make!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Giving Thanks

I realize that I am sharing these thoughts a couple of months before the official day of "Thanksgiving" but this morning I have been thinking of some of the more mundane things that I am grateful for.

1. Dishwashers - for my first three months here, in Mexico, I did not have a dishwasher although I DID have wrinkled, peeling skin on my hands, two less hours a day to do other things and lots of bubbles!
2. Medical Advice in your own language - Enough said!
3. Monitored Security Systems - With all that is going on in Mexico at the moment I wish I had BRINKS watching my house when I'm not there.
4. Bicycles - Our kids really miss their bicycles! It will be nice to get home and be able to buy some... they are about $170 USD+ here!
5. Crisco or Vegetable Shortening - They don't have that here - a friend just did tell me about it in an 'American' store but the price was over $15 USD for one tub!
6. LDS Bible References - No, Spanish Bibles DO NOT have our cross references. (I hear the church is translating and working on it though.)
7. Target - Yes, Target or any other store that has reasonably priced, cute clothes. I have not bought any clothes for our family here in over a year! (We do our shopping only at Christmas and our quick, summer trips back!)
8. Casual Conversation - To just 'talk' to other mothers or friends requires so much WORK when you are translating everything! (Although, now it is much easier than it was!)
9. Family - We miss you all!
10. Right to Bear Arms - I so wish we could have a gun in the house down here... in fact, when I come home Rey, Michael, David and Jimmy - will you teach me to shoot? Then I can give Angelina Jolie a run for her money! Seriously, I wouldn't mind knowing that I can protect my beautiful children in any given situation. They do make cute, designer guns, right?

Those are the things I am grateful for that I miss having. There is so much in our lives that we take for granted and I am learning first hand what we really need and what constitutes wants! This experience has helped me see how happy people truly are when they have little more than family and friends. It has given me a new appreciation for the tremendous blessings I took for granted everyday.

Take a break today and kiss your dishwasher and your family!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Gal with Gumption...

Gumption: –noun Informal. 1. initiative; aggressiveness; resourcefulness: With her gumption she'll make a success of herself. 2. courage; spunk; guts: It takes gumption to quit a high-paying job. 3. common sense; shrewdness.

Sarah Palin seems to be a principled woman who is taking the spotlight and the nation by storm! She is articulate, beautiful and brave. She is standing as role model for women everywhere and I LOVE that she is defending her decisions regarding motherhood and pro-life! She is truly giving back to women (in a public way) the choices the feminists pulled away... the innate choice to CHOOSE to be a mother!

Many in today's society look down on the choice to be a mother because it is a 'waste' of talent, resources, time blah blah blah... in fact, I have even been personally asked, "Why did you bother going to college for your degree when all you do is stay home and waste it?" YES, I was actually asked that question!

My answer is - I am here, as a Mother, because that is what I WANT to be. I could be a great many things but foremostly I will be a wife and mother! If women truly have the right to choose anything they want to be then the choice to be a wife and mother is not only defendable but commendable! In this day and age when the world is an open door of opportunity I personally applaud those who choose Motherhood first and truly make a difference!

I am grateful that such stellar, female role models are on the national stage at this time and they have put Motherhood first and then they have fulfilled their roles in the community!

I applaud Sarah Palin and hope we will see more of these women speaking up and coming forth to support the idea of Family First even as they fulfill community roles!

It must be added that I do earnestly hope that her morals, values and principles are as solid in her personal life as they appear to be in her public life. I hope the best for this VP candidate and I hope that those women who are looking to her as a role model will find that their confidence in her is well founded.

¡Bautismo en Mexico!

We celebrated our daughter's important decision to be baptized at the end of August! She chose to have her service in Spanish and her Dad learned the necessary words to perform the ordinance in another language! What a wonderful experience it was - she invited many of her school friends and their families and she enjoyed the support of her grandparents (Grammie & Gramps Smith) being here as well!

The talks were given in both Spanish and English by her parents (who were nervous - but made it through the bilingual talks) and our little Ballard Bunch sang a musical number in English.

Overall, the baptismal ordinance was the same... but the service was unique due to the language differences! It was a spiritual and memorable experience! We are so proud of our daughter's decision!

Afterward she received some special gifts including her first set of scriptures and her first journal with all of the testimonies of her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins that were sent just for her special occasion!

She is a special, young lady and we are grateful to have the privelege to have her as a part of our family!