Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Joseph turns 5!

My sweet little Joseph boy turned 5 last month! We are so happy to have him in our family he is a very special kid. Joseph has been such a good sport with the move to El Salvador. He left his home his grandparents his cousins and friends and he took it all in stride. He even helps comfort his little brother about it when he has a hard time.
A couple of weeks ago we had a rough day in this Markland home nothing seemed to be going right, the kids were out of control the house was a mess and then Ben and I started arguing about something. Joseph came up to us and said, "guys I think we need to say a prayer". After the prayer I apologized to everyone for letting myself get so crazy and Joseph said "mommy it's ok we said a prayer and now you are forgiven." thanks for being strong when I was weak Joseph.
He is the peacemaker among his friends and he makes friends easily. His teacher says he plays with the Spanish speaking children very well. So brave! Translating into Spanish doesn't seem to be a problem.
Yesterday Joseph showed me something he had made out of bend-ables. I was impressed and told him he was very creative. He was so excited he kept saying it over and over again "I am very creative!" sometimes he can be a little too creative and he can talk circles around me to the point I get so flustered I start to think maybe he is right and I am wrong. And then I realize he wants me to relieve him of any responsibility for his actions and I remember who is supposed to be the parent. He gets this gift from his father who would be a great cult leader because he can make you think that the sky is the ground without even running out of breath.
Joseph had a pool party for his birthday this year. Being a February baby this may never happen again.
A party tradition here is to have an eggshell filled with confetti and crack it on someone else's head. First you must find it and then you can crack it and watch the confetti fly. It was super fun!
I love my Joseph!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekend at the Beach

For Ben's birthday weekend we stayed at a resort on the beach.   Ben has been so dang busy since we got here so it was really great to have him all to ourselves for 24 hours. 

We pretty much had the place to ourselves. 

 So beautiful!! 
 Mother nature's finest.  And the ocean is nice too.
I finally got to wear my hat!  

 For the first little while the kids  would not let go of me when the waves came in.  Joseph got really brave, maybe a little too brave sometimes,  I had to give him the "you will die talk "  he survived so I guess it worked. 

 Is there anything better than exhausted kids from genuine hard core play? 
We brought home lots of shell's 

Classic buried in the sand photo.
The best part of  having kids is that we still get to be kids!!

Factory Tours

We have quite a few Factory's here in El Salvador.  Our friends from the Embassy invited us to come on a tour of the candle and pencil factory's.  It was actually really interesting.   Here are a few of the highlights.
 Little Dallin patiently waiting for his turn to make a candle. (the little blond head in the front)

 Joseph Making his candle.  The factory owner is right behind him.  A very nice guy.  Too bad I blurred him out of the picture.   

 The final product!  This candle kept Dallin entertained all day.  He could not stop touching it.

Silly faces.  (Joseph, Abraham, and Dallin) 

Different factory same silly faces.  

This is how a pencil starts out, 2 flat pieces of wood with grooves just the right size for the lead.  Glue the pieces together and sit it in a vice overnight. 

Then the glued wood blocks go through the cutting machine and now its starting to  look a little like a pencil.  

Now they get painted, super fast with no drying time. 

Gracias Senior tour guide for the glob of  stinky paint on a stick. 

Now we stamp the brand name on our nearly finished product.  

Now they are sharpened with sandpaper.    These are colored pencils so no need for eraser.  

Disfrute!   Enjoy!
Thank you Mellissa for inviting us!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Dia de Paz

We have a wonderful woman who comes and cleans our apartment once a week. Her name is Paz which means peace in Spanish so we now lovingly refer to the day she is with us as "Dia de Paz." (Day of peace) She speaks only Spanish, and I try really hard to understand and be understood. We usually end up laughing about our Inability to communicate. Sometimes we are talking about totally different things. But, that is pretty much par for the course for me here. She loves the kids and they love her which is so nice because it means that this is the day I can shut the door when I shower.
It's the day I get to try a new Salvadoran dish. Did I mention she is a excellent cook?
It's the day I get to do things with the kids without that nagging thoughts about what needs to be done. Here is what I did today - dropped off Joseph at school, worked out, showered, built a Lego airplane, helped Thomas save Whiff from the giant play dough monster, put together 3 animal puzzles,
Went grocery shopping picked up Joseph, had a picnic in the park, read 2 Dr. Seuss and 2 Thomas the train books. Made a strawberry banana smoothie and put together a Phineas and Pherb puzzle.
Here is what actually got done today, all the floors swept and mopped (we have no carpet) all the bathrooms cleaned (4), ALL the laundry including bedspreads washed and put away, ironing done, windows washed, surfaces dusted, patio cleaned, meals in the freezer, and a hot meal on the table.
See??? Dia de Paz!! Sigh.

A normal wage for all this work $10-15 dollars a DAY!! Yikes! (don't get me started.)

She is amazing!! Thanks for all you do Paz You are part of what makes me love El Salvador!

A picture of her with the boys and a couple of meals she has made for us.