This is Spain

For the time that Micah & I have lived in Spain we have had ‘pay-as-you-go’ cell phones. Recently, we realized that we were spending quite a bit of money on ‘saldo’ for our phones & started looking into other options. We didn’t want to switch providers so we just found a package deal with our current phone company. Sounds simple, right?

Micah was given a new SIM card for his current phone, which he took with him to Hungary as the change-over date was to be while he was gone. However, the date came, he switched the SIM card, & the phone did not work. So he was in Budapest with no phone. Not a huge deal as he had wi-fi & a laptop, but on Friday when we talked he was saying he wasn’t sure he was going to make his flight in the morning as it was an early flight & the metro wasn’t going to be running properly. We worked out that he would send me an e-mail letting me know if he made his flight, so I would know when to go (or not go) to the airport.

That evening, someone from our phone company called to tell us that they were coming to install our fiberoptic (this is a new thing in our town, so we opted to upgrade at this point). It was the worst possible time as I had 6 adults in my living room visiting & I was getting ready to serve us all dinner, but I was worried that if I said, “not now” I might get put to the bottom of a list or something, so I had them come anyway. They worked for a while (including pouring water & dish soap into a hole in my wall!!!) all the time tracking muddy footprints in my entry way, pulling things out from the wall in the living room, & generally making it difficult for my friends to talk. Then they said, “Our cable isn’t long enough – we have to come back” I specifically asked (in spanish), “Do I have internet?” They said, “Yes. We didn’t cut anything”. I then set a day that would be most convenient a few days out. About an hour later we discovered that not only did we not have internet, but we no longer had phone!!! And I had overnight guests who needed to use the internet as they were here on business. SO, Micah is in Budapest with no phone & may not make his flight. I’m at home with no phone, no internet, & only my cell phone as a means of communication with the outside world! Thankfully, I called a friend & she was able to check my e-mail & watch for Micah’s e-mail. She then e-mailed him that I had no internet, so he sent me a text message using Skype! I can’t decide if we’re in the year 2015 with all the forms of communication we used to communicate OR the year 1910 seeing as we don’t even have a working phone in our house!!!!

Thankfully, on Monday our new cell phone service started, so we at least have cell phones now! I even have a smart phone as so many Spaniards use What’sApp to communicate & we are feeling like we are out of the loop by not having this! I’m serious…everyone uses it…even Ezra’s class has a group, so we’re missing out on things that we should know!

But as far as our house is concerned, we just wait. And hope that when the men return they will be able to fix the problem, but I’m not holding my breath…after all this is Spain!

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A gift of love

To some it may look like a scraggly weed snatched from the hard ground beside the sidewalk & plunked haphazardly in a drinking glass, but to me it looks like love! The reason I know this is a gift of love is because my daughter told me so. Not in so many words, but the message remains the same. We were walking to school, she & I, which is unusual, because usually there are three of us making up the group, but this day my son was sick, so it was just the two us. We walked hand-in-hand, which was also odd, as usually she lags behind or runs ahead, but today her little hand was in mine as we walked through the morning sunshine towards her school. She chattered away about one thing and then another and I half-listened while also running through my mom-list in my head. As we got close to the school, I looked down at her & she looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said, “Guess what, Mommy? That flower in the kitchen. I picked it just for you!” In that moment, I remembered hearing her say as we walked home from school the afternoon before, “I’m going to pick this flower with a long stem”, which is a big improvement on the flower heads I’m usually handed and I knew that the simple flower was an expression of love from my daughter who had no money with which to buy a gift. It was a lesson to me in keeping my eyes open to the many ‘gifts’ that my children give me. It may not look like a traditional gift of chocolates or flowers, but that dried up leaf or odd-shaped rock is truly a gift of love!

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Class Party!

Micah & I are class sponsors for the 10th graders & last night we had a class party. The theme they chose was Friday-the-13th/Back-to-the-Future/Hide-and-Seek/Burrito Party! Can you tell our class loves randomness?!?! We watched the first movie of Back to the Future, ate Burritos, had a few rounds of sardines all over the school, & ended the night watching amusing youtube videos! All in all a successful night!

The kitchen was being used by another group, so we had to have our dinner in the staff room, which meant a little creativity & forethought on my part!

The record was 7 burritos eaten by one guy! Thankfully, some of the girls only had 1 so it evened out!

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Carnaval

This week at the kids’ school they celebrated Carnaval (which is similar to Fasching in Germany or Mardi Gras {albeit a toned down version} in New Oreleans) by dressing up each day! And not just dressing up in whatever costume they wanted, but costumes following a certain theme! (As if it’s not crazy enough trying to get us to school on time, now we have to add “finish putting costumes together” to the already stressful morning!)

Monday – Galaxy-themed costume (as they are studying space in school right now)

Ezra as an alien & Audrey as a star! Sorry, a PINK star!

Tuesday – Face paint, BUT not just face paint – Galaxy themed face paint

Ezra with a moon

Audrey with a shooting star

Thankfully, Micah came home back from school that morning to do their faces! My face painting skills leave a LOT to be desired!

Wednesday – Free Day – Whatever costume you child wants (insert sigh of relief from mom)

A panda bear & a princess! 

Thursday – Class specific costumes: 3-year old had to dress as martians, 4-year olds like moons/suns/stars/planets, 5-year olds as astronauts (thankfully, the 5-year olds made the bulk of their costume in class, so all we had to do was make a helmet & dress him in white. Naturally,  we didn’t have a long-sleeved white shirt & had to go buy one)

Quite possibly the cutest astronaut & alien EVER!!!

Ezra very specifically wanted a picture taken of his backpack!

Each day I felt like I had done an acceptable job with their costumes as I was taking their picture, but then we’d arrive at school. I’m pretty sure these Spanish moms give up sleep the whole week, because some of the costumes are CRAZY elaborate! Oh, well! My kids made it to school on time each day & in costume! I count that a win!

The other thing on Thursday was a costume parade!

You’ll notice Audrey is no longer wearing any piece of her costume that I had to make! Also, she was pretty nearly the only 3-year old NOT dressed in martian green! Whoops! Again, didn’t get the memo! 

Ezra with his fellow astronauts!

I didn’t even think about the fact that I should tape the foil to the bike helmet! *Sigh!* 

So many kids!

“Seriously, what is going on??? I just had this whole school thing figured out & now we’re standing in the middle of a soccer field listening to music while dressed in weird costumes”

Ezra heading back to class with his defunct space helmet! Poor guy!

Friday – “Dia sin cole” (Day without school) Hallelujah! Not only do we not have to find yet another costume, but we get to have an extra day of weekend! (Probably so the moms can recover!)

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Snow!

This past Saturday we finally made good on our promise to the kids that we would take them to the mountains when there was more snow! This was the first time either of them actually got to play in really good snow! Yes, they saw some snow & got to ‘play’ in it during Christmas break, but an 8-foot swath iced-over beside the road hardly counts! This was the real deal!!!

Right near the top, the road got really narrow & traffic got tricky!!!

This may have been the happiest she was during the whole experience! I think this girl is a warm-weather girl, because she DOES NOT like being cold!

A terrible picture of Ezra, but look at the gorgeous view behind him! 

Time to try sledding!!

Mommy & Audrey’s turn! And yes, I’m wearing Ezra’s Dallas Cowboy’s toque, because somehow in gathering all the snow gear for the kids, I managed to get out of the house without a hat for myself! 

Waiting our turn!

Someone is excited about the snow!

Starting work on our snowman!

The snow was incredibly powdery, so our snowman became a snowmound!

Being Snowmen!

One last sled run! You can see that even just in the 45 minutes that we were there, the clouds dropped & covered the mountains!

Heading back down to the snow-less valley below!

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Winter Banquet 2015

Last weekend was winter banquet at our school! The theme was Oscar Night! We had a great time & it was fun to see the students all dressed up! We, unfortunately, forgot our camera, but a friend snapped a couple pictures for us, so here we are at the Oscars!

Fun to wear my anniversary dress with a different colored ribbon!

In this one you can see some of the students behind us! They looked so good!

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Shoes

When Ezra was a baby he was given a pair of ‘skater’ shoes by his Uncle Caleb! He looked SO adorable in them!

shoes

Ezra running around Mt. Teide on Tenerife in the Canary Islands with his shoes from Uncle Caleb

Today is a fun day, because today Audrey fits into the shoes!!!

Audrey rockin’ her Vans!

The funny thing is that the picture of Ezra was taken when he was 22 months old, just a month & a half shy of his second birthday. Audrey is now 39 months old! She is still our little squidgey & such a little peanut!! And what a girly girl! Look at all that pink & purple! Whew!

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