Sunday, August 31, 2008

Eating Fish Caught by Oldest Son

Husband and kids went fishing today on the Bay of Banderas. They went with Other American Family Dad and his 3 boys.

Oldest Son and Other Oldest Son caught a couple Needle Nose Fish. Lots of teeth, little scary looking and too bony to eat. The wow factor was pretty high for 5 little boys ages 8 and under!

Oldest Son also caught what we think is an Amberjack Fish. It was cleaned and brought home for dinner. Husband marinated and grilled the Amberjack Fish. He also made homemade Mexican Rice and Chayote (our first attempt to cook and eat Chayote.) Kids could not eat it fast enough. Oldest Son was so proud to have caught this fish and provide to family to eat. He has talked about it all day.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Candles for Mexico

At the suggestion of fellow Mexico blogger Nancy at Countdown to Mexico, we lit candles to support the 67 cities holding marches to express solidarity against the rising levels of crime in Mexico. We incorporated our prayer for Mexico into Havdalah (our prayers signifying the end of Shabbat) and lit the green and red candles to show our thoughts for a safer Mexico.

Shabbat Shalom

Books, Reading, Elightenment

As a lover of reading and books, I have made many book purchases in my life. This passion has been fulfilled in recent years by transference to Oldest Son and Youngest Son. Having a young family and working has left little mental energy for my personal love of reading. However this has not inhibited me from acquiring many books I expect to read eventually.

I tend to buy these categories of books:

Non-fiction True Accounts – This is my favorite type of book. I get to escape while increasing my knowledge of history, politics, interesting people, etc.

Fiction Recommended by Other Sources – I usually enjoy these books once I actually start them. However, I tire of fiction if I read too many on a row. I dropped out of a book club I help to start due to this phenomenon.

Life- help Books and Educational – I am hit and miss on these books. I tend to pick these up, put them down, pick up, put down ... some I finish and some I do not. I suspect the titles I buy probably reveal allot about my hopes for change in my life.

One title I picked up years ago is “The Art of Doing Nothing, Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself.” I have strategically placed this book in our Mexico bathroom (a good place read for many of the reasons you can imagine here in Mexico.)

There is chapter titled “What Is Enlightenment?” This excerpt spoke to me:

“Enlightenment is just another word for feeling comfortable with being a completely ordinary person.

At long last, the unexceptional seems extraordinary enough …The charade is over and a painful headache is gone. You are not a perfect being – far from it – but your mind is clear. For the first time perhaps, you feel unflustered, alert, and ready to go.”

I do not have Enlightenment.
I am not unrealistic in thinking I will get there completely while in Mexico but I do hope it pushes me down the path ...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sunday: La Toma, Magdalena and Policia Encounter #3

We awoke in our wonderful hotel, Casa Dulce Maria, and we watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics narrated in Spanish, of course. We had scoped out the Casa Dulce Maria breakfast menu the night before as follows in pesos:
Husband and I had a colorful breakfast of fresh fruits, yogurt and granola. The kids had hot cakes. The coffee was instant with powdered cream which seemed to taste great too - guess the atmosphere does wonders.La Toma Balnearios
We then headed out for La Toma Balnearios not knowing exactly how to get there but knowing general direction. Surprisingly, there was actually a sign pointing to a right turn onto a one lane, dirt mountain road. We tentatively wound our way around and up the mountain. We arrived at the most amazing mountain swimming park. There was a waterfall in which a pool had been built under, another smaller waterfall pool and a large pool area with slides and play equipment ($20 pesos per person/$2 USD). We were literally on the side of the mountain with the most glorious views. This was a uniquely Mexican experience. It was clearly a local gathering place for families to picnic, swim and relax.
We then headed to the next town, Magdalena, to tour the Opal Mines. The square was bustling with activity and we finally found a parking spot. We found a guy on the square who escorted us to a tiny opal shop where we managed to secure a tour ($200 pesos per adult/$20 USD). Our guide was a delightful 25 year old woman who did not know much English. She stopped at a local taco stand so we could get a late lunch - our first time to eat gorditos - they were very tasty.

The Opal Mines were on the mountain and were more like large piles of shale rock. We had a nice hike, banged on some rocks, found some opals in rocks we got to keep (not anything you would make jewelry from) and enjoyed the experience. Husband's father was a geo-physicist so brought back memories for him.

Our guide took us to an old railroad station and told us the local legend of the lake on way back to town.

Policia Encounter #3

So now we had our 3rd. Upon arriving back to our SUV, we saw a ticket on the windshield and the municipal policia whistled for Husband to approach their car. It was "bad, very bad" so they said. Husband has acquired more policia handling knowledge in last month so communicated in Spanish "let's go to the station." Off went the policia clearly not waiting for us to follow. Fortunately, we found them stopped about 2 miles down the road. They were with some poor fellow and the federal policia. We parked and Husband approached to wait out the other guy's unfortunate encounter. Finally Husband starts to negotiate terms with policia. It seems they want us to come back in 5 days! (recall we are 3 1/2 hours from home) Husband struggles in "just barely okay" Spanish. The younger officer was playing the hard a--. Finally the older officer and a civilian step in to help. They are more reasonable. After a one hour delay and $250 pesos, the policia attached our front USA license plate back to our SUV and we were on our way. Husband did mucho better this time!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Saturday in Tequila

We set out Saturday morning to explore Tequila, Jalisco and return home Saturday afternoon. I am thrilled to report our trip did not go as planned - at all!

Tequila is in the Mexican state of Jalisco and is just northwest of Guadalajara. It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get there. Our drive was through the most beautiful, green mountainous terrain (we took Hwy 200 to Tollway 15).
When we arrived at 1:00 (and knew a drive back would be another 3 1/2 hours) we realized that we should find a hotel and stay the night. We had only brought bathing suits but who cares?

So our first task was to find the center of Tequila and the town square. After a few wrong turns - success! We finally found a parking place which was near Casa Dulce Maria Hotel. This hotel was perfect. It had interesting architecture, art, furniture and it was only $580 pesos ($58 USD) for room with 2 beds. The room was clean and linens good.

We then headed off to the square for lunch and to find a tour for one of the local Tequila distilleries. The square was full of life - restaurants, jewelry salesman, food vendors, tour guides, locals relaxing or visiting church.

We secured a Cofradia tour ($100 pesos/$10 USD per adult). While waiting for tour kids played with their pinwheels ($20 pesos/$2 USD) among the bubbles thrown about by toy vendor. I purchased an inexpensive beaded bracelet with beads Mayans would put under the tongues of the deceased.

We boarded the Cofradia bus. A 10 minute ride out us on the Cofradia agave (plant tequila is made from) fields and distillery. A very knowledgeable tour guide (who spoke English and Spanish) showed us the entire process for making tequila. Fascinating. We chewed the agave pineapple right after cooking - kids loved it. We saw all the remaining process steps. We then had samples. Oh Yeah. We let kids have drops on their tongues - they seem to really like the sweet flavored versions. Oh No. We purchased 3 bottles of the 100% agave white tequila. Oh Yeah.

The grounds were a former monastery and had 250 year old mango trees. There was also a museum and art gallery. This tour was so interesting and fun. The entire family enjoyed themselves.

We headed back to Tequila. We ate dinner and then spent an hour just sitting in square while the kids played. We soaked up the atmosphere and listened to the church bells.
We made it back to hotel in time to have ice cream (kids), coffee (me) and tequila (Husband) in the hotel courtyard. It started to rain and we watched as rain came into open center of the courtyard. A local craftsman delivered a hand carved china cabinet. Oldest Son read his Animorph book. Youngest Son danced around the rain. Husband and I smiled. It was so peaceful.

Sunday in La Toma, Magdalena and Policia Encounter #3!

Friday, August 22, 2008

NANCE - (Not Guayaba) - Youngest Son's 1st Business

I arrived back in Mexico last night. Very nice to be SOB again.

It was a rough week in USA getting the house completely empty for renters. Special friends will move the last of our boxes and Renters arrive next week. I moved some business clothes and stuff to Art Friend's house. I will stay with Art Friend and her daughter when back in USA for business. She has been so generous to invite me into her home.

Kids have had a great week in school. Somewhat anti-climatic given how nervous Husband and I were.

Youngest Son's Business Venture
UPDATE - I had previouslly posted this fruit to be Guayaba - I was so wrong. It is Nance.
So Youngest Son has been collecting the small round yellow berries, Nance, growing on tree outside our Villa. Apparently Youngest Son is selling them to people! Husband stopped him from selling to Nema, our housekeeper. It was a surprise to us that these fruits were editable.
Here is some information about this fruit new to us:
The nance is a slow-growing large shrub or tree to 33 ft (10 m) high, or, in certain situations, even reaching 66 ft (20 m); varying in form from round-topped and spreading to narrow and compact; the trunk short or tall, crooked or straight. The fruit is peculiarly odorous, orange-yellow, round, 5/16 to 7/16 in (8-12 cm) wide, with thin skin and white, juicy, oily pulp varying in flavor from insipid to sweet, acid, or cheese-like.
In Mexico, the tree is often found on rocky ground. It grows well in sandy and alkaline-sandy soils. It is well suited for restoration of infertile and burned-over land.
In Mexico, the tree blooms from April through July and the fruits are marketed in September and October. In Puerto Rico, the tree blooms and fruits continuously from spring to fall; in Brazil from December to April.
The fruits fall to the ground when fully ripe and are very perishable. However, they can be stored in good condition for several months by merely keeping them submerged in water.
The fruits are eaten raw or cooked as dessert, or may be included in soup or in stuffing for meats. J.N. Rose in 1899 wrote that he saw nances, olives and rice cooked with stewed chicken in Mexico.

The fruits are often used to prepare carbonated beverages, or an acid, oily, fermented beverage known by the standard term chicha applied to assorted beer-like drinks made of fruits or maize. By distillation, there is produced in Costa Rica, a rum-like liquor called Crema de nance.

Monday, August 18, 2008

1st Day of School - Success!

Husband and I took kids to Private School today.

Not surprising, the new Preschool building is not quite completed. Youngest Son was allowed to stay to play for day but he officially starts Wednesday. No school for him tomorrow.

Then - so hard - I had to fly to USA for work. It was tough to leave and not be there to when kids completed their 1st day.


Husband sent me the following message via my iPhone:

"Believe it or not when asked without any prodding Oldest Son said he had a great day.

Youngest Son and Other Youngest Son (from Other American Family) both had fun days as well.

Oldest Son said it was helpful he practiced Spanish.

Husband :) :) :) :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

So we have crossed a huge Moving Kids to Mexico hurdle. I am sure there will be some hard days ahead but both had a Great 1st Day - so happy!

It also provided a warm parenting moment that Oldest Son recognized all the Spanish we have made him practice over the past few months was a good thing! Parents do know best - usually anyway.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

School Starts Tomorrow

Today has been much like what families do all over the world. We prepared for the first day of school.

We picked up last required items at Lans (local department store.) We finally have at least one complete uniform for each child. We will still have to go back next week for more items so we are not washing every day.

We arranged all their uniforms out and filled backpacks. We talked with them on what to expect. To say they come from an orderly and organized USA Private School is a gross understatement. We tried to explain to them that tomorrow and this week may be a bit chaotic. Not exactly what they are used to in USA.

Just go with the flow. Try to listen carefully. Be respectful. Let us know how we can help.

They are very brave to attend this school in Mexico with a new language. We are so proud of them. They are such great, flexible kids. We are hopeful that they will approach school with the same adventurous, confident spirit we have seen so many times in them.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Two Very Good Days

"I cannot remember the last time I had two really good days." said Husband.

We have had two days that represent why we Moved the Kids to Mexico. I arrived back in Mexico Thursday night to torrential rainstorms creating tough drive from Mexico Villa to and from airport. Lots of flooded streets.

Friday - Snorkeling and Hiking Outing
We did the "tourist thing." We arrived at local tour company at 8am for breakfast and to board a very large, two level boat.

Our first stop was to snorkel and kayak. I snorkeled with Oldest Son who can really snorkel. He can dive down, clear snorkel, etc. He spotted a 3 foot needle fish about 15 feet down. We saw lots of colorful fish and different varieties of marine life attached to rocks. We returned to boat for lunch (and yes open bar!)

We then went to Yelapa. You can only reach Yelapa by boat. We hiked to a beautiful waterfall. I conspired with Oldest Son. Mexican boys were jumping of side of cliff into water below. He scurried up 20 feet (at least) and jumped out into the cool, clear water. I thought Tourist Guide was going to have a heart attack. Tourist Guide said "Okay for local boys but not tourists." Not sure Husband was too thrilled either. Oldest Son was beaming.

The kids then frolicked (yes this is the correct word) on the Yelapa beach for an hour with a Mexican boy. Husband and I relaxed with cerveza.

The crew was lots of fun on way home. Youngest Son and I danced and probably looked pretty silly. Youngest Son bonded with crew assisting them with all kinds of tasks.

Finally, we saw dolphins from boat on the ride back home. We arrived back at 4:30. Husband and I needed a day to just not think about anything. This was it.

We sleepily celebrated the beginning of Shabbat.

A very good day.

Saturday – Beach and Friends
We went to Private School to turn in school supplies and found out some items we still need to get. Private School is completing Preschool construction, did not know exact cost of lunches yet and not sure what the 3rd Grade Schedule is yet. We start Monday. It is a bit more relaxed than USA school - that is for sure.

We then picked up a Mango Pie from local bakery and headed to Other American Family’s home. Other American Family has three little boys and they have a lovely house on the beach. We spent entire day at beach and pool. The waves were the biggest we have ever experienced. The rip tide was surprising. I flipped and hit the sandy bottom more than once. Oldest Son could not have been happier. He is our true water baby. All 5 boys played in the ocean, in the pool and in the sand. All the parents visited, relaxed, played and drank some local beverages.

We all went to house to shower and head into local village to taco stand in El Centro (the center of town, the square.) It was sooooooooo good. I had pork and beef tacos. Husband had vegetarian. Kids tried TONGUE and liked it! We ignored the dogs weaving in and out of our tables. More local beverages were consumed. Dinner, drinks and atmosphere for 9 for $40 USD! We sat on the cobblestone street commiserating on surviving the actual Move to Mexico and celebrating beginning our year abroad.

We sleepily celebrated the end of Shabbat with Havadalah.

A very good day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Schoolhouse is a Madhouse

I am in USA and just talked to Husband in Mexico.

Husband went to Private School to just pick up the supplies we had pre-ordered for $250 pesos per child. Well - a few surprises and challenges:

Crowd - Lots and lots of parents doing what you do to get kids started in school next Monday. They are everywhere and they are only speaking Spanish.

Supplies - $250 pesos was just a deposit - we owed a bit more - about $140 pesos per child.

Books - We have to buy books - who knew? Appears to be about $1,000 pesos per child. The Spanish discussion on this topic was not completely clear to Husband. He put down a deposit so kids can have books next Monday. Other American Family arrived in Mexico yesterday (they have 3 boys going to same school and we know them from USA home.) Husband will get Other Mommy who speaks great Spanish to help at school tomorrow.

Uniforms - We have been to Lans department store twice to get uniforms but each time they have been out of little kid shirts and no pants for Youngest Son. Apparently, Private School has a "shop" open this week to get uniforms. The shopkeeper ONLY speaks Spanish. Husband also does not have enough money left with him to get uniforms today.

Husband speaks pretty decent Spanish but he said "I reached my limit." I think the surprises and chaos just got to be overwhelming. So he is getting money and going back up to Private School to try for the uniforms again.

I am just a bit nervous about kids starting Private School next week. With over half their day in Spanish (other half English) and most kids and teachers speaking Spanish - I hope they do not get too overwhelmed. I know ultimately they will be fine and their life will be enriched but I have parental jitters.

Monday, August 11, 2008

In USA Again - House Rented

I arrived back in USA Sunday to work this week. I go back to Mexico Thursday.

Good News - it looks like our USA House is going to rent by end of August!!! Huge financial relief.

Now I really have to get the rest of our stuff outta here. Big sigh.

Last items include:
- Sell or Move Vectra 1800 Home gym - we are going to take huge loss if we consign it so gotta decide exactly what to do
- Move very large and heavy handmade roll-top desk, antique couch and desk chair
- Finish going through kids clothes and my clothes
- Go through 8 years of kid art work
- Go through photos
- Move some last boxes to storage
- Store Explorer at Grandparents house
- Clean carpets

I come back to USA next Monday too. My Wonderful Friend (Husband to Best Friend) is going to help me move stuff.

It is just going to be such a big relief to get these final steps done in USA House.

One little glitch is Renters want house until August 31, 2009 which will put us in a housing bind when we come back since kids will start school prior week. All well - I will think about that next year, literally.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Getting to Know Those Around Us

Nima, our housekeeper, has 4 little boys and another baby on the way. She is a very nice person. She only speaks Spanish so I get very challenged when she comes. I so want to TALK with her. So I keep trying and hopefully over time I will get better. I plan to study and work on my Spanish while here - it is just slow going.

The best part is that Nima brings her 9 year old son Ricardo sometimes. It is great because the 3 boys can play. I took a 45 minute break from work (it has been very long work days this week) to take the boys to pool. The kids do not really talk yet. So I was thrilled when Oldest Son relayed to Ricardo in Spanish that we had 5 more minutes before time to go. Oldest Son has such a nice accent when he does speak Spanish. It is thrilling to see him acquire this wonderful language. The kids did play at the beach and then with their nerf guns back at Villa. Ricardo has a sunny disposition and I am really pleased the kids are making a friend from Mexico!

Outing: Sayulita

We went to Sayulita last weekend. Local coastal village with lots of charm.

We went to just enjoy the beach. And we did.

Sayulta is known for its surfing. There was an area of the beach where we got to watch 15-20 surfers through the day. Yes. I have the surfing bug! Soon, mi amigo, soon ...

We did not pack a lunch (although we did have cerveza!) so I went on the hunt with pesos in hand. 1st I found a Tortilleria and purchased a stack of fresh, warm flour tortillas - had some language challenges but managed to conduct the transaction. (under 10 pesos) I wandered further down and got a bag of fresh cucumbers and orange slices with salt sprinkled on top (I took a pass on chili pepper since kids eating.) (10 pesos) I found a Mini Super to get a package of oaxaca cheese, jar of salsa and mango juice. (45 pesos)

A Mexican Feast indeed. It was so good on the beach. The kids especially enjoyed the orange tortilla roll-ups! Thanks goodness they are open to new foods and new ways to eat familiar foods.

Husband and I took turns hanging out under the umbrella and swimming with boys. Oldest Son swears he saw a lobster as he was diving with his goggles on - maybe he did. We stayed until Youngest Son acquired a rash in a delicate area due to all the sand and surf play!

Kids rode home in their natural state ... because they could ... because they are boys ... because why not?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Overheard: Reading

Oldest Son: "You can not stop me. I am armed with Book Reading Power!"

Oldest Son is reading Animorphs series (on book #39). This is his response to Husband and me teasing him that he cannot read all the time.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Technolgy & Work

So I may have given the illusion that it is all play no work. Not at all. We are working, raising kids and paying bills just like everyone else. We are just doing it in Mexico.

What makes this Move to Mexico possible is that I am able to work remote. Working remote is made possible by technology!

Here is how we are set up.

Vonage USA Phone Line - We have set up a Vonage line which is connected via the internet. We have the same area code and phone number we had in USA. It dials just like we were sitting in our USA house. I can dial USA conference call numbers without worrying about an international connection. The cost is $25 US per month with no US long distance charges.

Telemex Internet & Mexico Phone Line - Our internet connections and Mexico phone are through Telemex. Telemex is pretty much the only option around. Property Manager got it all set up for us before we arrived. So far internet works great. No disruptions and speedy. The cost is $100 US per month.

Wireless - Husband set up 3 lap tops and printer with our wireless router from USA. Works like a charm. Can connect from upstairs "office" (i.e. Master Bedroom) or back porch.

USA Mobile Phone - We canceled Husband's line. I still have my AT&T iPhone account for when I am in USA. It is very costly to talk, text and email while in Mexico even with international add-on.

Mexico Mobile Phone - On list of To Dos for Husband. Not really necessary but seems prudent from safety perspective. We only have 1 car here so if one out and something happens - yada yada, yada ...

I work every day just like in USA. I am over the top busy with work right now so looking to get some balance within next 2 weeks in this area of my life too. Wish me luck.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rice Babies and Sweet Friend

In 1st Grade there is a very special project in which 1st graders make Rice Babies that weigh as much as the 1st grader did when they were born and are "decorated" to look like the 1st grader. The 1st graders name them, make birth certificates, etc. Oldest Son named his Mitchell and feels very passionate about Mitchell. Well, Mitchell went through some rough times lately (like Youngest Son cutting Mitchell with scissors which is a whole different topic.) We could not take him to Mexico and could not Store 7 lbs of rice. I had not figured out what to do. Oldest Son was not ready to "let Mitchell go."
Sweet Friend
On our last night in town, Sweet Friend gathered Mitchell in a basket and told me she would "foster" him for the year. Then I got this amazing email from Sweet Friend which literally made me cry and brought the biggest smile to Oldest Son's face:
"Mitchell has settled in very well to his new home. We performed a little “minor surgery” – cleaning up his wounds. I put clear nail polish around the “runs” on his face in hopes of preventing further damage. I also removed the duct tape (probably not the best idea) and replaced it with clear packing tape (it looks better, but doesn’t stick very well). The original “hole” was “repaired” with band aids (but those don’t stick very well either). We compared him to Sweet Friend Son's rice baby (he was a heavy 9 lbs. 2 oz) and Sweet Friend Son couldn’t believe how heavy he had been!

I carefully placed him back in his red “Moses” basket on top of a comfy blue baby blanket, and did the same for Sweet Friend Son's baby (in a separate basket) and put them side by side in our bar. (At least for now)! I don’t plan on moving him until you return, so tell Oldest Son that he is very happy in his new home and we will take good care of him until he gets back next summer. We will then give up our “guardianship” and return him to his proper home. No worries! "

Isn't friendship great! For Oldest Son, Mitchell and Me!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Soapbox: Too Much, Too Early

Soapbox = You may not want to read this posting because I may offend you with the opinion I am about to give ...

There are many reasons we are in Mexico for 1 year. One is to Slow Down. We started Oldest Son on the socialization track at age 4. By age 8 - he had played 10 soccer seasons, 4 baseball seasons and countless other activities and events. Then came Youngest Son and we started the same thing with him. So now we had twice the number of events.

We eventually stopped the many camping trips we had always taken since kids born. We stopped going to museums, zoos, aquariums, concerts ... our weekends were always booked. The kids are only 8 and 6!!!

No Extracurricular Activities in Mexico. That is the rule. We want our weekends back!

Yes, you are right. We CHOSE to do all those activities. You are so right. Mia Culpa. Do not get me wrong. Our kids are well rounded and we all had many, many fun wonderful experiences. More importantly, we all made many special friends through these years. But. I am tired.

So, how is it going so far? The kids have No Activities. These are my observations in just over one week:

- Play: The kids are having a great time playing together. They have not complained once. And we are not at the pool or beach all the time - adults still have to work.

- Chores: We have set higher expectations on their contributions to household chores. They are meeting and exceeding expectations. I think the biggest barrier in USA is we were just moving so fast from one event to the other that it was easier for us to just do it. Kids take longer. You have to Give Them the Time.

- Jewish Home Rituals: We have celebrated Shabbat and Havdalah faithfully. Oldest Son is reading the Shabbat Prayer book and we DANCED after Shabbat last night - around and around. We never did Havdalah in USA. We usually had something going on Saturdays or were just too tired. Youngest Son eagerly prompted us tonight for Havdalah.

- Reading: Husband is reading a Spanish book every night to Kids. Oldest Son then reads his book of choice silently (he has read 8 books in the series Animorphs since we arrived.) I read an English book to Youngest Son as we snuggle in his bed. We are reading about Juan Bobo (Puerto Rico folk tales.) Juan Bobo is naughty like Youngest Son so Youngest Son loves it! I personally have finished a book just for me and have started a 2nd.

- Family Outings: We spent entire day just hanging out at local village and beach. No agenda. Youngest Son sang like 8 verses of "She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain" on our way. I was just so thrilled to be there to listen. Oldest Son found Rubber Ball in ocean. He was so proud. Kids played and played with it outside when we got home. So what? In USA they had several balls just like this - the difference is Oldest Son acquired it himself in an "adventure."

I think we just start too much too early in USA. I am all for enriching our kids. But do we have to start at age 4? Could we just wait until say 10?

So - we will continue to see how this evolves for our family in Mexico.

And ultimately, we will see how it affects our lives upon return in a year.

Not sure how this particular Soapbox will play out. I am always open to learnings and change.

Overheard: Life

Youngest Son: "Today is a Good Day."
Me: "Why is today a Good Day?"
Youngest Son: "Everyday is a Good Day."
Duh - That pretty much says it all ... Youngest Son truly approaches everyday this way with Spirit, Adventure and Fun.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Sunrise this morning from our balcony ...