Thursday, August 18, 2011

Morning Walk

I have wanted to be one of those "chipper, morning walkers" for a long time.  You know...those people that get out early in the morning to run, walk, bike or walk their children before the rest of the world wakes up.  Well, today was the day.  Logan and Jada were in bed and Matt was working at home, so it seemed like a good opportunity to take Owen for a morning walk.

Here is what it was like...

The sun was warm and the air was crisp.  We walked along our usually busy sidewalk, but saw no one.  We crossed the street to walk along the beach when we saw an elderly lady with her dog.  She HAD to stop to comment on the adorable blonde baby.  She mentioned how cute he was and that they needed to be "friends."  She asked me his age.  I told her he was one and she replied that her dog was two.  She asked me where we lived.  We said goodbye and continued on.

We entered the road along the beach and were passed by couples and many, many old men.  I was surprised not to see more women out.  I passed a large lounge bar that was empty now.  A man was watering the grass which is usually filled with people taking a drink late into the night.

Up ahead I saw an interesting camper/van type thing.  I could see a pair of legs on the other side and I wondering what interesting type of person I would see on the other side.  The camper had French plates.  We passed by and when we got to the back of the camper, we found a plump, older French woman in her bikini taking a picture of her bird (in a cage) and dog sitting on a stone wall.  They looked especially cute with the Mediterranean Sea behind them.  It made for a perfect pet photo.  I wish I would've captured the moment myself.  Owen and I stopped and stared at the three of them.  She looked at us and smiled at the adorable blonde baby.  We continued with our walk.

When we arrived home, I noticed a yellow envelope sticking out of our mailbox.  It looked like a small package.  I opened the box and it WAS a package!!  It was for OWEN!!  So, I handed him the package to hold as we neared the house.  When we arrived, I noticed he had taken a couple of bites out of it.  It was a great walk!  I'm looking forward to doing that again.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Spending time with our co-workers

Working with Cesar and Luz has been a great learning experience for us.  We have the pleasure of watching them reach out to people and even to us.  We have laughed and cried together.  I am thankful for the happy and sad moments because we really are walking together in life.  We meet weekly to pray, read the Word and do some ministry planning.   We decided to have a family day together.  There is a beautiful river hike about 30 minutes from our home, so we spent the day in God's "living room" and it was so refreshing.  Here are some of those moments caught in photographs!  

The girls (w/Cesar in the background)

The guys

A cool cave in the cliff
Enjoying the beautiful scenery

Lunch break!
Owen sleeps while we eat lunch!

Playing in the water!

One last hoorah in the waterfall!

So refreshing!

We are blessed to have such great co-workers!  We love their family and are so thankful to make memories together!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Feria de Abril en MAYO

I was SO excited to finally wear my flamenco dress.  We got all dressed up on a Saturday morning and headed into the fair with Matt's parents.  We ate pollo asado and french fries for lunch, the kids got to ride their first roller coaster (which Jada hated!)   It was a fabulous time.

Matt and I went back later in the evening and met up with a few friends.

I saw so many beautiful things at the fair.  I wish I could wisk you all there to experience it for yourself.  It is a...maz...ING!!!  Here are a few cool shots...

 A family watching the bumper cars

 Un nino guapisimo

 Taking a little break

 Taking a little stroll

 Stopping for a drink

 Watching the dance

 Our family strolling through the fair

 Carriage ride

Patchwork ruffles

 Twirling in the night

 What's a caseta without a bulls head on the wall?

Ferris wheel lit up!

And one more photo just for good measure...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Flamenco dress

Thanks to a good friend of mine, I was finally able to complete a dream of have a flamenco dress.  Now, this is not just a polka dot dress with some ruffles at the bottom.  This is serious stuff!  These dresses come in all shapes, sizes, colors, name it, it is out there.  Anyways, I have not had the debut of the dress yet.  That comes during the Seville fair this May!  But, here is a sneak peak of the dress...

Walking out of the store with it!

This dress is heavy!

The nice ladies that helped me out!
Left to Right -- Isabel, Rosa, Raquel y Margarita

And, my view while in the dress!  :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

25% Spanish

I have had several people ask me what kind of food that I make...American or Spanish?  I make a little of both.  For example, today we ate meatloaf, baked potatoes and spanish salad (lettuce, tomato, onion, corn, tuna, olive oil, vinegar and salt).  Anytime that I make a spanish dish from scratch, I feel quite proud and accomplished.  You see, living in another culture has many levels of adjustment and food is one of them!  I have come to be quite proud of my lentils soup!  It is a spanish favorite of mine and I realized last week that I officially conquered the recipe!  Why?  Well, because Matt said that I had "outdone" my spanish teachers!!  I can never be 100% spanish, but maybe 25%!!   Here is an Andalucian favorite of mine...puchero

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Owen's first visit to the spanish Pediatrician...

Thursday:  We call the Pediatrician's office to set up an appointment.  We get a voicemail which tells us that we must call Monday/Wednesday/Friday after 5 pm.

Friday after 5 pm:  Matt calls to set up an appointment and miraculously they tell us to come in that same evening.  Appointment time:  7:45 pm.

We arrive at the building.  It appears to be a large apartment building.  We buzz button 2'L.  No one answers.  We look at each other with a little bit of anyone really there?  We buzz again.  The door makes a wierd sound (which means it is unlocked) and we quickly pass through.  The building is completely dark.  There is a little bit of light coming from an open elevator.  The elevator is only large enough for Matt, myself and the stroller.  We squeeze in and are impressed that there is a mini-screen inside telling us the temperature and with ads from the area.

We go to the 2nd floor and as we get off the elevator it is pitch black again!  We feel around for the button that turns on the lights and when it turns on, we see the pediatrician's door.  We hear children chatting, crying and yelling behind the door.  This must be the place!!  We buzz and wait...still hearing all those little kids!  Finally, a pleasant looking lady opens the door.  "Owen, right?" she asks.  "Si" we answer.  It appears that this place was originally intended to be an apartment.  We enter through a long, white hall.  We can't squeeze the stroller by the little kid that is blocking the way.  He doesn't seem to care or notice that we would like to get through.  We pass a room full of kids and is LOUD!  The nice lady signals us to wait in the waiting room.  We wait.  A little girl named Maria and her little sister come over to admire Owen.  "Please don't breathe on him" I think to myself...who knows what kids have when they are at the Dr.'s office?  Her mother and grandmother must have thought the same.  They reprimand her to stay back and get away from the baby.

After waiting a good half hour or so, they call us in.  It is a large room that probably used to be a living room.  There are shelves with medicine, supplies and booklets all exposed.  We shake hands with the white-haired yet handsome doctor.

We begin to talk with the doctor.  He asks us about my pregnancy with Owen and his birth.  He asks how many kilos Owen weighed and how many centimeters long he was....ummm...I hate this question!  I'm never prepared to convert the measurements!  When I answer, he says, "Ok...roughly 3 kilos and 50 centimeters."  I guess we don't need it to be exact.  He takes Owen and gives him a good checking out.  I don't think he changed the little pad from the kid before and when he weighed him, he kept the diaper on...different from what they do in the US.  He is pleased with Owen's demeanor and appearance commenting that he is a happy, healthy baby.  He gives us a nice little booklet to keep us informed of our baby's growth and development.  The booklet is also for our personal records.  There were no records taken by him nor his assistant.  I guess they don't keep a record.

We finish the consultation, the Dr. stands up and says, "Ok...that will be 40 euros."  We pay him and ask for a receipt.  He quickly scribbles down on a piece of paper that we paid him 40 euros.  We say "Goodbye" to the doctor and the nice lady who opened the front door and enter into the black hall again.  There it is...the light of the elevator.  The end.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Where is the prize?

We went to a birthday party last night at Burger King (in spanish, it is pronounced booh-gehr keen).  I'll admit, I wasn't looking forward to going.  This group of people is a tough crowd...they've struggled with alcohol, drugs, eating disorders and many relational problems.  On top of it all, Matt had to drop the kids and I off first while he ran a quick errand.  Beyond the other difficulties I mentioned earlier, I wasn't sure I'd be able to "mingle" very well as they speak andalucian is very difficult to understand already and add the fact that they use many curse words and speak faster than a bullet train!!!   Anyways, it ended up being a fun and interesting time.  We were the only ones who brought a gift for the 5 year old birthday boy (Francis).  Logan and Jada LOVED playing with all the kids and spent most of the time under an interactive, computerized light show.  We were cutting the cake and as we were passing it out, there was a group of 4 adolescents looking at the cake with BIG eyes.  We offered them some cake, which at first they declined.  After insisting, they took some and enjoyed it.  But, as we focused our attention on the kids and the birthday boy, these same adolescents decided to take our (used) cups and help themselves to free fountain drinks.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised?  I don't know.  The night ended, and I sat in the empty birthday-party-space waiting for Matt to come pick us up.  As I was picking up all of our things, I realized that my two kids were going to be the ONLY two kids leaving the party without their "surprise bag" that was handed out earlier.  I guess I'm not used to keeping such a close eye on my things.  So, we lost our free refills and our birthday favors, but we left with our dignity!   I guess the prize isn't always something we can see is it?