Friday, December 18

Happy Birthday Zach

We had a fun time celebrating Zach's 6th Birthday. We invited Roberto's family over, with a 101 dalmation dog pinata (with graduation cap, too cute!) and a pirate themed caked and paintings.

I tried my hand at a pirate cake and drew some of the Veggie Tales pirates from the movie, the Pirates who don't do anything (if you haven't seen it and need a good laugh, this is a good movie for you!).

The morning started out fun, with Zach opening up his present from us...a sword that he has been asking for ever since he saw it in a store a few weeks before. I bought it the day before his birthday and tried to smuggle it into the house, but he saw it in the bag and followed me, amidst shrieks of glee and the question, Is that my sword? Is that my sword? I told him he had to wait until tomorrow, but of course, he said, I knew it! I knew it! Well, at least he was excited.

Zach and Nathaniel eat their rice and beans, plus a baked macaroni and cheese dish that Zach asked for specifically. Isaac, who turns 2 in Feb., digs through our toy box.

The ladies of the family, from L to R: Damaris, oldest daughter of Roberto. She has 2 little boys, Everth (6 yrs) and Isaac (almost 2). Everth and Zach are great friends. Zach slept over at Everth's house last weekend and LOVED it! We went to pick him at 10 am and he was still in his pj's, and didn't want to leave. So we went back around 1:30. Ruth, next daughter of Roberto, holding Sebastian. She has 2 kids, Robertito (4 yrs) and Rutcita (3). They keep her busy and are fun to have around. Jacqueline (niece) and Candida, wife of Roberto.

Zach hits the coveted pinata. When we first came, he was very shy and wouldn't hit them, but now he lets loose!

To see more pictures, click on the link at right.

Monday, December 14

Random Pictures of Life here

I've been taking some random pictures in the city of Managua. We've gotten so used to the sights here, sometimes I forget how overwhelming and strange it all seemed when we first arrived. But with the imminent arrival of some family members, I've been trying to look around and remember what I first noticed and here's what I came up with...

People live in these shacks in Managua...made of plastic and anything else they can get their hands on

A famous reads "only the workers and farmers will go on to the end"

At intersections around the city, you can buy fruit such as oranges, mangoes, bananas, etc. as well as lawn chairs, car parts and other assorted items.

Hitching a ride...the Nicaraguan way

A truck on the PanAmerican highway, filled with firewood, headed for the city of Managua.

Thursday, December 10

MCC team meeting

Last week we had our quarterly MCC team meeting here in Matagalpa, a time to get to know each other a little better and also discuss business.

We spent the first day at a small recreation center a few kilometers outside the city, called Roca Morada (Purple Rock...I have no idea why they call it that, but hey, it's a pretty name :) We enjoyed the kiddie pool, although the water was a bit cold since it had been raining for a few days. But by lunchtime the sun was out and we moved on to the big pool and a sumptious lunch of chicken or beef, rice and salad.

The next two days were spent on the business items and discussing the future of MCC Nicaragua. We look forward to meeting a new long-term member in January, while we say goodbye to two long-term couples at the end of next year.

Zach's Graduation

We're so proud of you Zach!

Zach stands proudly with his teacher and daddy, holding his diploma

Zach's final math exam. He seems to have a good mind for math...hmm...I wonder if having 2 mechanical engineers for parents has anything to do with it??

Zach's graduating class...can you pick him out?

It's hard to believe our firstborn son has graduated from kindergarten...where has the time gone?

It's been such a blessing to watch him grow in his Spanish language, his confidence with his friends, and joy in learning new things. We are so glad we decided to put him into school has helped his confidence and language in ways that never could have happened if we had kept him at home.

Before we came here, our plan had been to completely homeschool him, but it was quickly apparent that he needed the social interaction with his peers, and not knowing Spanish was very frustrating for him. The first few months were hard, since nobody at his school speaks Spanish, but within a few months of starting school in 2008, he was conversing like a pro! God created children with such amazing minds!