Add ’em all together…

and what do you get?

baking three pumpkin pies for the cafe + baking one pecan pie for the cafe + baking one pumpkin and one pecan for our celebration + green rice (a McKinzie family fave) + asparagus roll-ups (a Bills family fave) + sweet potato casserole (an everybody fave) + my teammates’ food contributions =


I hope to have more pictures for Post #2 later today.  We always miss celebrating at home with blood family, but we are blessed and excited to celebrate with Team Arequipa today.


Add ’em all together…

Furlough Funnies 2013 (before I forget)

Ana and Maggie in the play area of the Dallas airport.
Ana and Maggie in the play area of the Dallas airport.

Ana funny:

We had a long lay-over in the Dallas airport on our way home.  They have these really great carpeted areas with equipment to climb and play on and plenty of space to run.  The first area where the kids played, I see Ana stand up on the plane in the middle of the area with all the other kids (mine and strangers) around her.  “Okay!” she announces in a loud voice, “Now we are going to play a game, but you can only speak in Spanish.”  I immediately called her name, and she came running over to me.  I explained that we were now in the USA, and she couldn’t expect other kids to be fluent in both English and Spanish.  Ha!

Fast forward to playing in another area in different wing of the airport…  Ana finds a new friend wherever we go.  Lo and behold I see her playing with a new friend that looks about 4 years old.  I observe that she is chasing this little girl who is one of the “Three Little Pigs” and Ana is the “Wolf.”  (My kids have recently taken a liking to the old classic Disney cartoons of the Three Little Pigs on Netflix).  I motion her over to me.  “Ana, you can’t play games like that with just anyone.  A lot of little kids are scared of things like wolves.  Can you pick something different to play with her?”  Ana thinks for a moment, “Oh yeah, Mom.  Like princesses?”  I agree with her and say that it is a great idea to play princesses.  Ana turns to the little girl, and this is what I overhear AG saying, “OK, you can be Snow White, and I can be the witch.”  (me: head in palm)  Ha!

Maggie and Cohen outside at “Gram and Pop’s house”

Maggie funny:

We had been aware of our furlough dates for quite some time.  I, of course, shared the plans with the kids and later regretted it because they asked for 6 months solid, “How much longer until the United States, Momma?”  They were also aware that we were going to “the farm” aka “Gram and Pop’s house” for the first part of our trip.  So “When are we going to the US?” changed to “When are going to Gram and Pop’s house?”

When we were finally in our first weeks of being in the USA, one Wednesday night at church my little Maggie was so worn out.  She had played on the farm all day, and she was ready to go home and go to bed.  We were in the church lobby area when she looked at me, and said, “Momma, I really want to go back to the United States.”  It was at this point that I realized she equated the United States to “Gram and Pop’s house.”  Ha!

Momma and Cohen at Jeannie's wedding
Momma and Cohen at Jeannie’s wedding


Cohen funny:

I returned 2 weeks early so that I could attend my best friend’s wedding.  My mom so graciously kept my kids for 3 extra days so that I could go see my best friend, spend some quality time with her before the wedding, and be there child-free.  I was so excited to see them when they arrived with my parents to the actual wedding.  Cohen is my little boy with two older princess-loving sisters.  He is very aware of princess lingo.  I was so excited to show Jeannie, the bride, my little boy that isn’t so little anymore.  I took him up to the bridal chamber and when he saw Jeannie, he immediately commented, “Momma, look!  A “PIN-SESS!”  I thought that was so sweet.

The funny came toward the end of the wedding.  After the ceremony, eating, visiting, and dancing, it was well past my kids’ bedtime.  Jeannie and Siran were making their exit in front of the building where the reception had been held.  As we were walking around to the front as a family, I noticed Cohen was very sleepy-eyed.  He looked up at me and said, “Momma, I tired.  No more pin-sess.  No more pincess.”  Ha!


Furlough Funnies 2013 (before I forget)

Palta Rellena


One fresh food that you can find year-round here in AQP is fresh avocado.  In Peruvian Spanish, the avocado is called “palta.”  A dish that I absolutely love, and that I think is absolutely brilliant is stuffed avocados.  It is as simple as cutting a palta in half, removing the skin and seed, and filling it with chicken salad.  Serve it on a bed of greens with fresh tomato and red onion, sprinkle on some seasoning, and you have a delicious, healthy meal.



Palta Rellena

Maggie in the Middle

Four years old
Four years old

Dearest Maggicita,

I went to a psychology meeting this morning at your school that was listed as “URGENTE” on my info slip.  I thought for sure it would have something to do with you not getting back into the swing of things with your Spanish after being in the states for so long.  Nope.  I was wrong…

Apparently you feel (through the drawing that the psychologist showed me) that Daddy and Momma pay more attention to Ana and Cohen.  Classic middle child syndrome is in effect.  You are “expressing” that you are sad about this.  Well, guess what?  We are going to work really hard to change that, because we love you SOOOOOOOO much.  It hurts my heart that you would ever feel this way.

You love time to yourself.  Well, watch out.  You are going to have some company today at your dollhouse.  And who knows, maybe I can fit into one of those princess dresses.  🙂


your momma who doesn’t always get it right

Maggie in the Middle