a little artist at work

 we have a concrete wall that goes part way around campus from where the original property lines were before we bought the land next door. it's quite the concrete wall. it's pretty ugly. but, it does it job of protection -- not that we are in need of a lot of protection, but it's more of a cultural thing. if it's not blocked off or fenced off, it's free game. anyway, the girls got out the sidewalk chalk the other day...
 and my little artist took off!

 it's quite the project she's working on! and i can't tell you how much i LOVE walking out my front door seeing her creations vs that boring concrete :-]

 right around the time she was being all creative, God got creative too. :-] i love His rainbows. i'm not gonna lie. i still get a little giddy inside like a 5 year old when i see one! haha
 we also got blessed by some of my family members (thank you Dustin!) and they bought us a pool that will get used more than what they could ever imagine. it's 12 foot across and 30 inches deep = perfection for my kids! they are swimming for the first time today in it and I'm sure there will be plenty of memories made in that pool this summer! :-]

Easter morning i woke up all chipper and thankful for an empty tomb. when i looked out my window as i started making breakfast i saw this....
A BULL IN MY FRONT YARD EATING MY GRASS AND GETTING DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO EATING MY NEW BOULGANVILLIAS. my easter morning that started out chipper soon turned to tears and phone calls for help that weren't answered and messages that weren't answered either. i was heartbroken. i know you're probably thinking 'get over it Raquel' but i put a lot of work into my flowers and after the incident that happened last summer with the cows, the last thing i wanted was for him to make it over to my vegetable garden and finish off those plants too! :-( thankfully Dr. Duane just happened to drive by and he went and got some help for me and soon enough my uninvited friend was out of my yard and on to better things in his life. 
it's a good thing he left or we were going to be having fresh rib eyes for supper instead of lamb. 

Bits of Life

Here are a few iPhone shots from the last few weeks since getting back from vacation :-] 
 Luisa shoved her mouth full of a brownie and it was hilarious! lol
 the beginnings of my garden. unfortunately LOTS of my plants have died, but ALL of my watermelon and honeydew melons are going good and strong. the plan is to plant what is alive tomorrow and we shall see. :-] i'm also going to be seeding grass on the rest of the area over there sometime next week.
last week belinda & cris got it in their heads that they wanted to make some mispriro (a fruit that i have no idea how to say in english, sorry) fruit juice. belinda hoisted herself up in the tree like a monkey and off she went climbing branch to branch!

 she cut down the branches and belem was helping catch them. hah

 someone had a birthday and someone else happened to get a GREAT picture of him without him knowing that that sign was taped on the wall. p.e.r.f.e.c.t. :-]
Chui wanted to invite Soraya over to jump the other day. he wouldn't stop asking me so finally i decided that it would be ok. we went over and knocked on her door and she quickly put on her shoes to come hang out and jump with him! it was soooooooo adorable watching her boss him around and him obeying her! LOL

Please continue lifting up Keyla, Jodi, Kendra, Osmara, Jorge, and Tadeo in prayer! They can feel your prayers and are thankful.  Please pray for the rest of our staff as well! THANK YOU TO YOU OUR FAITHFUL PRAYER WARRIORS! 

February with a side of March thrown on top

the internet connection is crazy fast right now. 
why? i have absolutely NO idea but i'll take it! this is good for you because you're actually getting a blog post loaded with pictures from vacation and a few others on top! :-]
 jenna and i have decided that we want to do a garden together this year. sadly i had planted the seeds and 'the wind' knocked over the first box of them and a kid knocked over the second box of them, thus only leaving one original planting box. thankfully my watermelons were untouched :-] i searched and searched and searched to find the left over seeds and couldn't find them anywhere! i was super bummed figuring that i had absentmindedly thrown them away :-[ then one day i opened up my bottom drawer on my night stand and 'WHA-LA!' there they were! i was UBER excited - can you tell? :-] hopefully this coming week everything will be going in the ground! yumm!
 we swamped fridges with a newer one that was being stored in the bodega. Chui thought our old side by side (WORST FRIDGE EVER INVENTED...) was a great hiding place :-]
 this kid got sick. and when i say sick, i mean, he actually climbed up on my lap and fell asleep like this because was so miserable. 2nd time in his life he's ever fallen asleep on me :-[ poor guy was sporting a temp on top of it for about 3-4 days of 102.1 thankfully after a few days he started feeling better but he was just miserable! ugh!
 reading his bible when i was reading mine. oh how my heart joyed for this moment! he was up extra early and i told him to go get a book because i was gong to be reading my bible in bed and he could read with me. he got his bible too and it was just about all i could stand to not cry and laugh at the same time!

before i went on vacation, i wanted to take all the girls out on dates :-] it was a blast!
 Cris went first. we went out to eat at her Uncle's burger joint and it was really good! we finished up by swinging by cafe sed for a drink. i learned that night that she had her first boyfriend.... wait.... she's 10! YUP THIS MAMA HAD TO DO SOME SELF REGULATING IN ORDER TO NOT FLIP OUT! we talked about it openly (praise Jesus) and the conversation went really well. i'm thinking about hiring a body guard with a shot gun though for the mean time... any takers?
Laura chose to go out to the plaza and get ice cream. luckily when we got there, there just happened to be some vendors there from out of town so we even had some different things to look at shop around while we ate. :-] she's such a little princess the majority of the time.
 Belem wanted to go buy make up - after all she is 14 now. so we went to a few different stores shopping and picking out what wouldn't draw too much attention but what was reasonable for a 14 year old. she's such a little woman at this point.... it's a blessing to watch her grow. you can please pray for her right now - and for me as well. like i said - she's a 14 year old teenager and we are in some really rough waters right now. thanks!
 belinda and i went out for tacos at las chicas for her date and it was scrumptious! we just had nice girl talk the whole time and she really opened up about a few things that she hadn't done before so that was GREAT! :-] we finished up by going to cafe sed and getting drinks too where we saw a few other friends. we hung out with them for awhile then we headed back to the house :-]
 i got one of these emails and got UBER excited again. :-] that 'pack your bags' just makes me smile ear to ear every.single.time!
 the last day before i left - our walk to school included a pit stop to see the horses
 Chui thought it would be appropriate to take his toy horse to show the real horses. haha

 fred got on the same flight as i did so we sat together! it's so nice having someone you actually next to you instead of 2 strangers :-] hehe
and finally, VACATION! this was a MUCH anticipated trip on my part. i needed time to get away, relax, and be with my family. we don't do much family time together when i'm home because they have schedules, and i have a gob of people to see and things to do so this was PERFECT! and, to boot, it was my little sister's 21st birthday!
 first legal drink ever!
 uuuuummmmmmm..... we're Rabies. that's all i need to say here i think haha
 the grandparents came and spent the day with us since they are wintering in florida now. it was great to see them!
 girls lunch! grandma was taking pictures with my iPhone and took literally 15 pictures. she handed me my phone and said 'here you go jarrin i took 2' -- uuuuuuuuhhh grams you took a few more than that :-] lol it was a funny moment!
 poolside BINGO is a blast! unfortunately none of us won this year! :-[
 kenzie and i took off for the day and went to animal kingdom and it was AWESOME! i loved it!!!

 once in a life time picture right here.... and my little sister captured it! THANKS KENZIE!
 i couldn't quite get a good one of her with the elephant because that lady kept moving in the way :-[ this was the best one which is still neat, but i wish i could have gotten her closer with the animal. oh well.
 we going to beach - we going to the beach - i was soooooooooo excited to go to the beach!!!
 apparently the Pops was too! :-]
 and then the rain came.... BLAH!
 it only stayed a short while. we moved to a different beach which was much better than the 1st one, and the storm drifted away as quickly as it came. we had a lovely time just chilling and listening to the waves :-]
 all of us packed in the car ready to go!
 WOW i look like my father :-] lol
 morning running companion one day
 my view the last day of vacation
 Happy Birthday Hermanita! :-]
 we went out for supper every night and kenzie chose to go to Bone Fish for her bday. we went out on the lanai (haha Mom) and took some pics before we left.
 yeah.... we're Rabies. :-]

 my fav one we took!
 animal kingdom! yay!

 wow i'm just now realizing these are all REALLY out of order again. thanks Blogger!
 Kenzie's birthday supper
 stopped by to have a drink at Breezes before going to Joe's Crab Shack

 The Queen of Queens and "Feed Me"
 King of all the Queen and I <3 Crab haha
 grams and grandpa before we went out to supper one night
 Rabies... haha

 oh, what do you know, here's are some more animals. haha

 "Hey Kenzie, get closer! get closer!"

i walked away from that family vacation so thankful for my family and for the memories we made on that trip. it was the first, maybe 2nd time we'd been on vacation with just our family, and it was a blast for me! THANK YOU MOM AND DAD FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK AND FOR GIVING US A PLACE LIKE ORANGE LAKE TO MAKE SOME AMAZING FAMILY MEMORIES!