Thursday, January 7, 2016 - Family time

Aracely and Eddy stopped in to say goodbye before school. I logged in to work, taking a break for breakfast of banana bread and oatmeal.

Lunch was amazing - tortillas stuffed with cheese and black beans, which we then topped with salsa, picante, and shredded cabbage. We had fresh mandarin juice to drink. The kids watched The Princess and the Frog at lunch, which seemed very cute.

After finishing with my day's meetings, I took my laptop outside and enjoyed the warm weather while finishing up my work day.

Eddy and Aracely came home from school. I helped Eddy with his geography homework (unscrambling continent names and identifying them on a map) while Aracely did her homework (a word search where she needed to fins the names of various explorers). She borrowed a Calvin and Hobbes book from school and read through it and drew some of the pictures. Craig was delighted by this - he has always been a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes.

The kids enjoy watching cartoons on YouTube. One of their favorites is the Pink Panther. They watch one episode after the next. Craig loves Pink Panther, and showed them his favorite episode of all time, featuring the Pink Panther's battle with a cuckoo clock.

While we were in our room watching videos with the kids, our comadre Aida messaged me from Ecuador. They have guests visiting from Minnesota, and we told them about our stay in Guatemala.

We gave the kids their presents (embroidered bags from China, as well as bracelets for the girls and a dragon necklace for Eddy). Then we gave Ian a stuffed owl. All of the other kids fell in love with it, and we joked that we should have bought 6 more. We are always conscious of the kids' ages, and we try not to buy things that are too babyish for the older ones. However it is obvious that they all still enjoy very cute things: the panda ornaments, the little VM bus, and now the owl.

Yasmin and her sisters made party decorations for her quinceanera on Saturday. We were really impressed by their clever centerpieces. They took strips of newspaper and rolled them up very tightly so that they resembled drinking straws. Then they wove them into baskets.

We had tea and bread while the kids watched Rush Hour 3 wherein Jackie Chan is chased by Chinese gangsters in Paris.

Aracely; Do you know him?
Me: Yes, we've seen Jackie Chan movies.
Aracely: No, have you met him? You've been to China.
Me: There are a billion people in China; we didn't meet Jackie Chan

It provided a nice teachable moment about population, as we were able to discuss the 1 child policy (currently being loosened to 2). Aracely was shocked by this, as she is one of 7 kids, and many of her aunts and uncles have many children as well.

We took a walk down to the store to buy snacks, and passed Paola and Jeremias on the way. Paola was carrying the baby and Jeremias was carrying a carboy of water. Paola handed the baby off to me, and I was happy to take him so that they could have some alone time. They make a very cute couple.

Soon afterwards, dinner was ready. We were delighted that Jeremias joined us for the family dinner. We were on our best behavior so as not to embarrass Paola, but the sisters good-naturedly teased her and drew Jeremias' attention to some embarrasssing photos of Paola as a little girl that were hanging on the wall. Dinner was chicken tamales with nachos and guacamole.

Jeremias went home, and the girls continued working on the centerpieces. Yasmin used burnt siena paint (siena tostada en Espanol) to make them look like they were made of wicker. You really couldn't tell the difference at all! To finish them off, they hot glued light blue lace around the bottom and put a piece of light blue tissue paper inside (the color matches her dress, which we got a sneak peak of yesterday - can't wait to see her in it). The girls are very creative and detail-oriented, and we know that the party is going to be fantastic! We joked that they could go into business selling "upcycled" paper baskets.

Yasmin was showing us her jewelry for the quinceanera. Since we had bought her a gold necklace in the shape of her name, we decided to give it to her early, in case she wanted to wear it to the party.

As they cut off excess tubes made of newspaper, I picked one up and attempted to look trhough it like a telescope. I said that I could see Craig through it. He looked through it and said that he couldn't see through it. I tried again, this time closing my other eye, and I could not see through it. I had been looking through my open eye! D'oh! Paola thought this was hysterical and couldn't stop laughing. She teased me about it for the rest of the night. When we went to bed, she put a little paper tube up to her eye and said "MIRAMOS manana!" "We'll SEE you tomorrow." We had so many laughs that our cheeks were hurting from smiling so much, and not for the last time!
Assembling Yasmin's party decorations

Assembling Yasmin's party decorations

Ian disassembling Yasmin's party decorations

Ian disassembling Yasmin's party decorations

Basket centerpieces made from newspaper

Basket centerpieces made from newspaper

Aracely, Yoselin, Josue, and Eddy

Aracely, Yoselin, Josue, and Eddy

Dinner: Aracely, Craig, Eddy, Paulina, Ian, Paola, Jeremias, Yoselin, Yasmin, Vanesa

Dinner: Aracely, Craig, Eddy, Paulina, Ian, Paola, Jeremias, Yoselin, Yasmin, Vanesa

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