Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 2

Day 2 is done.  Day 2 started really early, Angel woke up at 3 and didn't go back to sleep until 6:30, and then Ramiro was up at 7.  That's why God gave us coffee, right?  Anyways, I tackled this day by myself and have incredible respect for single moms around the world.  I took the boys to church and to the pool and I was exhausted!  And I was only by myself for one day, not all day every day.  But the boys had a blast and it only took 45 minutes to get them both to sleep, a drastic improvement over the past 2 nights which has been almost 2 hours.  Now I'm praying that they'll both sleep through the night, because I'm wiped out!

Dinner tonight was pizza, carrot sticks, and grapes.  Both boys wanted their fruits and veggies before their pizza!
Ramiro and I read a book about Noah's Ark and then did a bunch of animal puzzles together.  He liked trying to find pairs of animals between the different puzzles.
Angel really likes his sunglasses but he can't put them on by himself.  So much for trying to distract him while I got lunch ready!
He wore the basket hat again today, as well as a trash can hat for a good part of the morning.

Ramiro is feeling pretty cool in his shades, he kept asking for a picture with them.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 1

Day 1 is in the books.  It was a fun, long, tiring day.  I am so thankful for my friends who stepped in to help out during the day.  Ramiro was just not going to take his nap (he usually sleeps for 2-3 hours every afternoon), so my friend David took him to the campus pool for 3 straight hours while Angel slept.  After all that fun Ramiro was fast asleep at 8:30.  My favorite part of the day was swimming with the boys.  I was always in the pool as a kid, and have been a lifeguard and teaching swimming for the last 10 years.  So today, David and I helped the boys get comfortable in the pool, going under water, and using their arms and legs.  Maybe I'll do mini swim lessons with them every day, they love the water and I want them to be safe in it.  
Ramiro woke up at 7, jumped in my bed, and asked to play with his train set right away.  It's a huge hit! 
 Angel put this bucket on his head to play cars and left it there for about 10 minutes
 Playing with blocks, Ramiro built an airplane
 The boys LOVE the shower.  I had to set a timer just to get them out
Look at that happy face!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The boys are coming

Tonight I'm going to pick up the boys, Angel and Ramiro, to come stay with me for 10 days for their summer vacation.  I'm super excited and a little nervous.  I'm going to be in charge of 2 spanish speaking little boys for 10 days!  Thank you Jesus for our Back2Back community, I've already had lots of offers to take me and the boys to do fun things, to have us over for meals, or to help out if I get tired.  The last few days have been really busy.  Babies need a lot of stuff!  Thanks to our donation room I was able to get clothes, diapers, baby toiletries, bottles, and blankets.  I'll try to blog a lot while they're here, I'm sure I'll have lots of crazy stories.  

Monday, July 25, 2011


These are two special little brothers at Del Norte who have a huge piece of my heart.  Ramiro is the oldest, he's 4.  He's a very sweet little boy with big eye lashes and a ticklish belly.  Angel is the baby, he's 19 months.  If you've followed my blog at all you've heard a lot about him.  He's wary of strangers, hates his crib, loves balls, and likes to sit on my hip and point at things.  Today God moved some big mountains on these boys behalf.  I promise more details later, but for now be praying for these two sweet little ones.  God has some great things in store for them.    

Friday, July 22, 2011

Field Trip Fiasco

Yesterday we took the kids from Imperio de Amor on a field trip to AquaPlanet, which is a small water park here in Monterrey.  For myself, Hope, and our 4 interns, our job was to swim around all afternoon and just be available to help the group members with their kids.  Out of pure concern for the kids safety we decided to all go down the big water slide together.  Well, towards the bottom of the slide I got stuck.  I could hear one of the interns coming down behind me and all I could do was sit up so she'd hit my back instead of my head.  And collide we did, I feel like I was in a car accident.  Today I am sporting huge bruises across my back, knee, hip, and elbow.  And the poor intern is limping around a little because she twisted her ankle on my back.  What did we learn from this experience?  One person at a time on the big slide.  See, wasn't it a good thing that we tested the slide out for safety???

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Signs that summer is almost over

We're half way through week 7 in our 8 week long summer program.  It's that crazy tired point, but there's an end in sight!  To take a light hearted turn on this blog, here are some funny physical ways I know summer is almost over.  
The watch tan.  I promise I wear SPF 30 every day!  I just don't ever take my watch off.
 Today I forgot to put sunscreen on the tops of my feet.  Thankfully it's just a tan, but those are some CRAZY tan lines from my Keens!

Sorry if this grosses you out, but I earned this blister through concrete pouring and pick-axing.  Just be glad I waited a week to take a picture of it, it's much less disgusting now! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Field Trip with Angel

Last week we took the Del Norte kids on a field trip to a place called KidZania, which is a place where you basically playing the game of Life.  You get money and you can work different jobs to earn more money, and then there are stores and restaurants where you can spend the money.  It's actually pretty cool.  Usually the babies don't come on field trips, but KidZania has a little kids area so we brought them along.  I got to spend 3 hours with my baby Angel.  That boy loves to play with balls.  He doesn't care what kind or size, if he can have a ball he's a happy boy.  So we spent almost 3 hours in a ball pit.  And if he wasn't in the ball pit he was clutching the ball I brought and walking around.  
 He loves them so much he tries to eat them.  I try to ignore all the germs.
 So many balls to play with!
 Coloring with one hand, clutching his ball with the other
And his favorite activity, just running around holding his ball.  Sometimes he throws it and chases it, but mostly he just runs around with it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Work Days

The teenagers in our Hope Program went on their very own missions trip to a children's home here in Monterrey this spring.  It was a chance for them to learn to serve, and the same light bulbs that happen in the American groups who come to serve with Back2Back went on in our teenagers heads.  They've grown up in children's homes and on our campus being served by the groups but had never experienced the other side of the equation.  They are now working to raise money for a missions trip to our Back2Back Cancun site this fall.  Since their trip this spring, the teenagers have started joining in with the American groups and most days at least one of them comes along to help work.  It's been a really cool experience for everyone involved.   Here are some pictures from a work day last week where we mixed and poured concrete all day.   
Rogelio ran the trompo to mix the concrete
Juan, who is 18 and lives at Del Norte, came outside to help and wheeled cement back and forth
Shirley lifted buckets of cement up to the roof where they were pouring columns
One of the beams we were pouring to start finishing the roof

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Caregiver Fun

The caregivers at Del Norte were in a particularly playful mood the other day.  
Sofia teaching Angel how to do high 5's.  He has started raising his hand to hit when he gets angry, and so she just starts giving him lots of high 5's until he's laughing and forgot he was mad.  You can see little Carlos's hand peeking out too, he wants in on the action!
Martha came outside for a while to help supervise the concrete pour.  Really I think she just wanted to pass out hugs and encouragement for everyone.  
Dylan wasn't napping but couldn't play outside because of the concrete pour.  So Martha and Karina decided he would make a great jump rope!
Dylan was laughing so hard but wouldn't open his mouth because he didn't want you to see his front teeth which were in bad shape.  He has a dentist appointment this week. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Play With Purpose at Del Norte

Here are a few pictures of Play With Purpose activities at Del Norte last week.  The kids had a blast  interacting with the group members and there was no candy or little trinkets/presents involved.  A huge success in my book!
Playing a game to help learn each others names
Daniel is hamming it up big time with one of the group members
Even the preschool guys like Ramiro were into the name game

Nothing like a game of amoeba tag to get everyone good and tired
Amoeba tag is a group favorite and helps the kids practice safe and appropriate touch as well as communication skills

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nap Time

Nap time at Del Norte always warms my heart.  There are more than enough beds for each kid to have their own, but instead they all pile into the one big dorm room and nap with at least 2 kids per bed.  Even the big kids nap when there's no school.  One day last week we had to wake all of the kids up after an hour and a half just so that they could play with the group who was there.  
All the shoes lined up outside their dorm

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I've blogged about the Shelter child sponsorship program before, and I thought I'd actually show you what that program can do in a children's home.  These are a few pictures from lunch at Del Norte yesterday.  A normal lunch and dinner in a children's home is rice, a tortilla, and either beans or ground beef.  It's inexpensive and easily producible in mass quantities which is key when you're feeding 50 people three meals a day.  Because of the extra income that the Shelter program provides, Del Norte is able to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables.  I'm a big believer in kids getting well rounded and healthy food, and these kids really do love fruit in particular.  Yesterday there was frozen grapes, watermelon, and a salad to go with lunch.  
Maria wasn't super excited to have her picture taken.  She said food pictures are strange.  She's probably right!
 Christian loved the frozen grapes, he ate tons of them and his cheeks puckered up every time.
 David liked that the grapes were so cold, he said it was like eating delicious ice.
 The big bowl of watermelon on the counter
Not too many kids ate salad, but who wants lettuce when there's grapes and watermelon!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Casa Hogar Douglas Field Day

Today I organized a field day for the kids at Casa Hogar Douglas so that all of their caregivers could go out to a nice lunch and get a few hours off.  We wanted to give the workers some time off and work in some good Play With Purpose activities.  I was up and out of bed at 3:00 this morning preparing materials, and drank some extra/a lot of coffee for a caffeine boost.  Armed with a team of 25 people from Life Point Vineyard, 10 interns, a few staff kids, a few Hope Program teenagers, and some university students from a local church, we headed off to Douglas for the day.  While the preschool kids were in the library with books and games, the bigger kids were split into teams and played soccer, water balloon volleyball, relay races, and amoeba tag.  Anything with water balloons was a huge hit for sure!  One of the goals of the field day was to encourage teamwork.  Any kid who was being a good team player, or kind and encouraging received a purple silly band.  At the end of the day they could redeem each silly band for one thing from the prize box.  It was a super fun day, the kids were playing organized team activities for well over an hour.  I unfortunately don't have any pictures because I was running around like a crazy lady.  I even wore my running shoes knowing that I would need them.  And now, at 8:00pm, I'm headed to bed.  Field day wore me out!  

Stay tuned for tomorrow when we do a "Ninja Training Day" for some elementary school boys at another children's home.  It's a day full of special ninja games to hone their ninja skills, complete with some cool costumes and a Bible lesson on Caleb and Joshua who were like ninjas for the Israelites and whose faith in God saved their people.