We traveled to Mexico to visit Jesse's family at the beginning of last month. When most people hear we're going to Mexico they immediately think of all the picturesque places they've seen on commercials and think we're going there. It's not there. Nope, think more barren wasteland of a desert and you're on the right track. The prettiest things there are the sky and my mil's garden which is pretty much an oasis in the middle of nothing else.
Nevertheless, this is where Jesse and I met and this is where we served beside each other in ministry before we were married. It's where we spent our weekends our first two years married and because of all those reasons, it's a special place for us. Eliana's middle name is Sion (Zion in Spanish)... she's named after the church where we met and where Jesse's parents still pastor.
But there's something I discovered after having kids. This barren wasteland makes it extremely difficult to take care of kids. There's trash to pick up and play with or try to eat out of the food waste bucket that's on the kitchen floor. You have to worry about things like scorpions, tarantulas, and fire ants when you visit. And make sure the babies don't drink the bathwater. And make sure the big kids put their toilet paper in the waste basket. It's one thing to adjust to those differences as an adult --an entirely different thing to do with small children. Children who forget often, or insist that they should eat out of the slop bucket or discover that they can push the screen door open by themselves because there's no latch so they can go scavenge for trash to play with. These things raise the difficulty level a bit.
Speaking of trash, my in-laws do a great job disposing of things. (And a good portion of their time I suppose is spent cleaning up other people's trash that is half-hazardously thrown about and ends up blown onto the church property. They are thrifty people by nature and anything that can be reused often is. Sometimes it's tires and toilet bowls turned into planters. And other times, it's antique wrought-iron beds made into fences. (I don't think most of the people in this area understand the meaning or value of antiques.) Still.
All this to explain why, um, I didn't take pictures the majority of the time I was down there. Mainly, I was preoccupied with keeping the littlest one out of trouble and keeping myself as cool as possible... without being a total recluse the entire time we were there and holing up in our room by ourselves to enjoy the slightly cooler temperatures the window unit provided. (Although, we did do this with great frequency.) It's hard to see family (which is the reason we visited) if you stay in your bedroom all day long.
The last day we were there, there was quite literally a revival service with loud speakers almost directly out our bedroom window when we woke up from nap time early because the worship band decided to start practice. (The parsonage and the church face each other with only a garden and a parking area to separate the two.) I'm not quite sure why they decided to move it outside that evening... it could be it was just to hot inside the building. Maybe the church wanted to make sure we'd be there even if we didn't come. I joked that perhaps it was a new form of evangelism... move the service outside and blast the speakers so everyone in the neighborhood can hear.
About that time, I realized that I hadn't pulled out the camera at all... I decided it was finally time to do so! Most of Jesse's brothers and their families had already left, but Jesse's youngest brother, his wife and little one were still there. We filled up the kiddie pool and let the kids enjoy the relief from the heat (and prayed they splashed a lot so we could be relieved a bit ourselves). And we listened to the revival service that was just outside our fence. Diego wanted to know why we weren't going to church and I told him it was because the church came to us. :) Honestly, 3 and 4 hour services in the heat are just too much for my kids (and their mama) to take right now. Perhaps when they're a bit older and I'm no longer pregnant. In the meantime, we'll stick to the kiddie pool!