Saturday, April 26, 2008

Are we ever going to be ready?

We have made lots of decisions but progress is slow. I feel like I am moving in a Mexican frame of time already - which not a positive feeling while still in good ole US.

We requested a lease weeks ago from Mexican Realtor - no sign of lease. We are not too worried because we do expect things to move at a different pace. But being a "list maker" I would be thrilled to mark that one off the list.

Progress on getting the American House ready for rent is dreadfully behind. I am getting that anxious, nervousness that is not pretty.

My expectations are so high for this vision of a more simplified life in Mexico ...

Monday, April 21, 2008


We celebrated Passover this weekend. We had 2 Seders. One hosted by us on Saturday and one with friends in their home on Sunday. Passover is my favorite Holiday.

As all things in our life right now, Passover had a bit of the Mexico invasion.

On Friday, after 2 weeks of discussion and paperwork, the roofer delivered materials at 9:30 PM! The crew arrived at our home at 7:30 AM Saturday morning and continued until 8:30 that night.

We have our Seder table set for 8 with our china and all our special foods and props to teach children about the Jewish delivery out of Egypt. The Seder is set to occur in front of our large picture window facing the front of our home. We started at 5:30 and continued till 9:00. All this time, as we are saying prayers and recalling ancient script, old shingles are flying from the roof, hammers are banging, nail guns are going and ladders are shifting.

We told the kids it was the sound of our Jewish Ancestors working as slaves in Egypt.

Youngest Son also excitedly found "Elijah's water bottle" in our front yard giving proof that Elijah visited our home on this special Passover.

Friday, April 18, 2008

All Things Mexican

Today was the Peace, Love and Diversity festival at Fancy Private School. A chaotic, wonderful event where booths of various countries display goods, provide kiddo activities and serve ethnic food. There is also a constant stream of entertainment in the center of all the booths.

Event #1 is Preschool Fashion Show.

  • I ask Youngest Son who dressed as Judah Maccabee (the Jew) last year if he wanted to participate. Affirmative Yes.

  • Next Question: Do you want to be a Jew or a Mexican Futball (soccer) Player. Mexican Futball Player!

Hmmm ... little, by little we are shifting the paradigm for our boys so they will have a smoother transition to Mexico.

Youngest Son was transformed with his Mexican National Futball Team Jersey, Black Shorts, Black Soccer Shin Guards, Red Soccer Shoes and his Soccer Ball. And the final touch was his RED and GREEN Mohawk. Youngest Son has white hair - tow head - so color shows amazingly well.

He was very, very cute doing the Macarina in his ensemble and keeping his left foot on the ball through every jiggle and shake.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Birthday Mitzvah

April 16th was our Birthday Fiesta at the local Roller Rink. We celebrated 3 birthdays: Oldest Son, Youngest Son and Mine!

We had over 100 people with about 70 skaters - it was truly wonderful old fashioned fun complete with the Hokey Pokey and Limbo.

Instead of gifts for us, we asked our guests to bring a book to donate to the Mexican Escuela (school) the kids will be attending in Mexico. When we visited the Mexican Escuela library in March, it was obvious they could use more books. We collected 140!!

We have a family tradition of the Birthday Mitzvah (mitzvah is a Jewish term that means any act of human kindness.) Through the years Oldest Son and Youngest Son have collected for libraries, a pet shelter, the school garden and a lower income area elementary school. One of my favorite memories is of Oldest Son when he chose his pet shelter thank you letter to show "who he was" for a project in 2nd grade.

We sent our friends home with festive flowers ...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Break from Move Madness

So we had a break this weekend from the Move to Mexico focus.

I went with Oldest Son to Cub Scout weekend aboard a WWII Aircraft Carrier. We spent the night on the ship in the real quarters once occupied by Navy Seaman. There was a whole program geared toward educating our children about all the topics associated with a WWII Aircraft Carrier. Truly memorable. We had a GREAT time.

The flag ceremony and slide show was particularly patriotic meant to trigger an emotional response. It worked. I was visibly moved and very much thinking of my Major Brother in US Army. Major Brother recently spent 15 months in Iraq. He is my hero. Really.

And Husband took Youngest Son on Y-Guides camp out. Lots of bonding. Fathers to sons, boys to boys, men to men. They had a fabulous time.

I am amazed at my life. While I have the usual challenges, I am so thankful at the experiences I get to have week to week. I so appreciate what I have at this moment in time.
P.S. No political endorsement meant by picture posted - just taken this weekend and a tribute to a Military Hero.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It Is Meant To Be

Yeah! And Yeah Again! So many Yeahs and associated Exclamation Marks!!

We have Hail Damage i.e. Our new roof will be covered by insurance.

Each time we take a step ... it works out for the Move to Mexico ... it is meant to be!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Not So Fun Part

The exciting part is deciding to Move to Mexico for 1 Year. It is fun to share this news with family and friends. It will be another stage of adventure when we actually get there.

But Now. Not so fun.

We are still in house h--l. We are working through the saga of a new roof and hoping to get it covered under insurance. Apparently we have a 6 month provision requiring us to report hail damage. Adjustor coming back to check for wind damage tomorrow. We did have a storm with HAIL last night!!! Most other home repairs on hold till we get this figured out.

Stuff. Stuff. More Stuff. Where did all this Stuff come from? It is hard to know where to begin sorting. Husband posted several items to Craig's List. We have to create the various piles:
  • Go to Mexico (VERY limited since just taking 1 car probably)
  • Store (Need to rent place)
  • Try to sell
  • Give away (mostly kid stuff to allocate to various friends)
  • Donate
  • House at friend's (certain items on loan or we do not want in storage for a year)
  • Yard Sale

Funny Story: Oldest Son comes to me crying last night and crawls in my lap. Youngest Son tells Oldest Son we are throwing away Mitchell (siblings can be ruthless.) Who is Mitchell you ask? This is the Rice Baby Oldest Son made in 1st Grade. He loves Mitchell (really.) It is made of stockings and rice and represents what Oldest Son weighed, looked like, etc, when he was born. I assure Oldest Son we will find a home for Mitchell for the year we are away. Truth - I was thinking of throwing away - guess not. Anyone for temporary adoption?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How will things be different in Mexico?

So here was the list of weekend events starting with after school Friday:

  • Gymnastics for both boys
  • Visit from out-of-town relatives
  • 2 soccer games
  • Get long neglected hair cuts for both boys
  • Take boys shopping for Mitzvah items and Youngest Son for birthday favors (his birthday next weekend)
  • Load items onto (wonderful) friend's trailer to move out of house to get ready for Move to Mexico
  • Birthday party attended by Youngest Son
  • Biking class for Oldest Son
  • Sleepovers for both boys (Oldest Son goes to Motor Cross - he is thrilled)
  • Couple night out hanging with friends (fun, fun, fun - out late, a few too many beers)
  • Prepare to teach Religious School
  • Attend and teach Religious School (entire family)
  • Attend Special Religious School event for mock 2nd Grade Wedding (very well done)
  • Lunch with friends
  • Symphony showing of Wizard of Oz (amazing!)

Activities we had to miss due to schedule conflicts:

  • Volunteer Shabbbat service
  • Cub Scout den meeting
  • Soccer practice
  • (and 1 birthday party was canceled due to birthday child injury)

This is pretty typical weekend. Great experiences and cool outings.

Here is the but ... I am exhausted. Both Husband and I missed showering at least one of these days - I think Husband missed 2 days!

I am wondering. How will Mexico be different? Will it necessarily be better? I am looking forward to having a basis for comparison. Check with me in 6 months ...


Listening to Oldest Son and Youngest Son DEEP in imaginative play with their Star Wars action figures utilizing newly cleared out play space. I love this - listening to the spontaneous play of happy children.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The One Item Not on the Checklist: A Synagogue

So there is this Checklist (of sorts). This is the list of reasons and circumstances that you go through to decide whether to do "something." Our "something" is Move to Mexico for 1 Year.

There is one item that is not checked. There is no Synagogue in the area in which we are moving. From my web research, there does appear to be a Jewish Community and there is even a name and phone number to call.

We are what I would call observant Reform Jews. Having a Jewish home and providing a strong Jewish foundation to our children is very important. Practicing Judaism as a community is a fundamental part of the Jewish doctrine. So what are we to do?

(1) Judaic Study - Husband and I both teach 4th Grade Religious School classes this year. Our children have been in Jewish Preschool or Religious School always. We feel we, as their teachers, can continue their Judaic Studies fairly easily.

(2) Holidays - Because there have been Jews in Diaspora since biblical times, Judaism is quite portable and can be practiced in the home easily (with some effort.) We will continue to have Shabbat, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Tu B' Shvat, Purim and Passover at home. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will be a bit more challenging but we will manage. We have Other American Family who are also Jewish to share our celebrations!

(3) Hebrew - Oldest Son would normally start Hebrew Lessons in 3rd Grade. These lessons will have to be delayed one year. We feel that it may be a bit of hard work upon out return to America but doable.

I actually feel like the time away is an opportunity to focus more on our Judaism. I have a grand vision of us on the beach doing Havdalah every Saturday night ...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Decisions and Obstacles

THE VIEW FROM OUR BALCONY! The Blue you see is the Ocean and then the Mountains and then the Mexican Sky ...

We have made two important decisions:
  1. We have chosen a place to live and are embarking on lease discussions
  2. We will move in July 1, 2008 and move out June 30, 2009

We have also encountered some obstacles in America. We are frantically trying to complete long neglected home repairs and improvements. We thought we needed to repair a leak in the roof. Well, turns out we have an irreparable roof. Yes, we need a new roof. Wish as luck when the Insurance Adjuster visits this week.