Monday, January 24, 2011

mini update...

check out what they have been up to lately....

a big haircut...

studying for exam week...spanish and english

found the stairs....

conquered the first one...

it has been super busy around here. hope life is good where ever you may be. make sure you check out the fall recap blog entries...


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fall Recap #8... En Vivo

WELL....for those of you who don't know, en vivo is the name of our weekly tuesday night bible study. en vivo is our big event of the week. it has videos, sketches, worship music before and after the talk, a 20-30 minute bible study talk, announcements, first timer introductions, and free dinner. it is an awesome night of community and learning.

this fall we had a semester long theme.... pozopalooza tour 2010: the bible. it was great. something we noticed is that our students just don't have a great understanding of the bible. so it was important for us to take them through the greatest book out there. we started in genesis and just went until we ended up at revelation.

students seemed to really enjoy the semester and lots of students commented on what they were learning. our students and staff alike were excited about experiencing the bible as one big story of God’s love and not just this book that we pull verses or concepts from and talk about week to week.

we also put a few special en vivo topics every 4 weeks or so. a few times, we changed the entire flow of the night. we set up small tables and served finger foods upstairs. then we played videos by rob bell called nooma videos. they are great...about 15 minutes, thought provoking but easy to understand, and in english with spanish subtitles. after the videos, one staff member would stand up to give about a 5 to 10 minute discussion and then the students grouped up to answer questions among one another. it was a great way to get them involved, change things up a little, and teach some great lessons.

another week, we had a focus on poverty. each day, students gave up something: shoes, vehicles, food, money, etc. it was wonderful to be able to open their eyes to needs around the world. at en vivo, we interviewed a student named moi. he is awesome and spent his summer serving in kenya. he talked about his experience and showed pictures. to top it off, we ate an authentic kenyan dish for dinner.

en vivo is so much...but it is a great opportunity to have community, fellowship, and growth all in one night.

here are a few photos of the semester:

pre-en vivo music while students show up

greeting students in our beach gear to remind them about beach baptisms sign-up

preparing molletes (bread boats with beans, cheese, and pico) for 90 plus people takes lots of bread

dancing before en vivo begins...lots of fun

hanging out with a cup of coffee...the best

members of the worship band

just a look from where i was sitting one night

nathan, our team leader, introducing the bible to the students one night

kami, team member, in the middle of teaching

nathan...dressed up as nathan the prophet...during one of his talks

nathan interviewing moi about his time in kenya

moi challenging his peers to go and serve

andrea leading worship after the bible study

our interns, carly and rada, starting first timers introductions

first timers...eating their brownie and answering questions

a few students helping hand out fliers and brownies to first timers

dancing and hanging out afterwards

waiting in line for dinner

signing up for small groups

serving dinner with a smile

dinner time

dinner with friends

a few announcements on top of the pozo (well)

good conversations after dinner

a look out the front door after a great night of fellowship

thanks for looking at all the helps give an idea of the amazing things that God is doing every tuesday night. if you ever want to come down....there is a world famous brownie waiting for you at first timers!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fall Recap #9...birthday party

#9....Emerson's Birthday Party (october 13)

well, all I can say is that we survived and she was happy. it was organized chaos...or some might say disorganized chaos. but let's start at the beginning.

last year at this time, emerson was having a hard time at school. she had zero friends. see...she couldn't really communicate and play make believe with the other girls. so she did what she knew how...pushed and tugged on the girls (kind of like she played with carter). well, needless to say...the girls were not too found of this. since the friends list was pretty narrow, we had a party a peter piper with all the students of el pozo. emerson had a great time with all her "big" friends.

now fast forward one year. with a year under her belt, her friend list has grown. her request this year was to be able to invite her friends from school. but since she couldn't name them and i had no idea which students were close to her, we decided to invite both kindergarten classes...60 kids. doesn't sound too bad...huh?

let me explain mexican kid parties from their school. they are like 4 or 5 hours, the entire family is usually invited, and you feed everyone a meal. most of the time someone caters it and there are tons of things for the kids to do. i knew it would be a challange, but how many kids would really come?

we had the party at the casa verde. there was no way i was going to have a party planner and caterer for my 5 year old's birthday party (can we say MTV sweet sixteen) so the entire staff lined up to help cook, entertain, paint faces, and be some moral support. the students at the casa verde volunteered to man the craft stations, fill goody bags, and cook. it was a rainbow theme so there were lots of painting, coloring, and making jewelry with fruit loops. we even pulled out all of carter and emerson's costumes from past consignment shopping and made a dress up area...the kids loved that part.

when the actual day came, i wasn't sure who was coming, if anyone. it was going to go one of two ways in my one would show because i don't know a lot of the parents or everyone would come to see a gringo party. well.........15 minutes after the party started, we had over 40. 30 minutes into the party, there were 70. and by the end, we counted more than 100 people at the party. IT WAS CRAZY!

the kids had a great time. they dressed up, painted, and jumped on the inflatable. (THANK YOU NANA AND mom said she would rent an inflatable for the party to help with entertaining. all i can say...LIFESAVER!) the parents really enjoyed themselves. the casa verde students and staff were amazing. and to top it off, my friends roquel and lois made an amazing surprise birthday cake...rainbow on the inside. emerson loved it.

it was an event...but so worth it when i looked out at emerson playing with her friends and saw the smile on her face.

first slice of cake

carter trying to hit the pinata

a look out the window at the fiesta

santiago...aka: wolverine

stephanie, carter and emerson's favorite el pozo student, helping at the craft table

lulis manned the paint station and left with green hands

kami, our teammate, was the master of ceremonies...she did awesome getting the kids to sing happy birthday.

family photo (minus sleeping sawyer) on the inflatable

could you ask for a bigger and more beautiful smile...i think not!

a little taste of what's to come....

I am convinced that teething babies are God's way of giving me a small taste of what is to come in 13 years when I have a house full of teenagers.


12:36:23 (3 min 23 seconds later)....mad at the world

the only difference....i'm dealing with teeth instead of hormones :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

a little house cleaning and 10...

so we need to do a little catch-up before this blog really is ready. over the next few weeks, look for top ten(ish) fall semester things and a quick christmas update scattered between daily happenings and life updates.

today....#10: Fall Retreat

Every semester we have a retreat for the students. In the fall, we try to go up to some of the mountains that are close to puebla. This year we went to Malinche. We invited some local missionaries to come and talk to the students about relationships. A topic that our students are struggling with greatly. The weekend looked a little like this: worship and talks, personal devotions, eating and snacking, hang out time, the amazing race, and the annual box-car race. The amazing race included creating and drinking a drink of condiments (gross), puzzles, physical obstacles, creating a box-car and team cheer. Great fun, lots of laughter, deep talks late into the night, bonfire was just a great weekend. And the best thing...students lives were changed and left the retreat thinking about how God loves them and wants more for them.

Friday, January 14, 2011

and we are back...

To say that I am bad at keeping blogs going would be an understatement. This will be my fifth attempt to keep up a blog. My problem is that I look around and see how crazy amazing some of the blogs are out there and I want to have one like that. One with pictures, videos, links, cool know what I am talking about. So basically I get that stuck in my head and then just stare at my computer screen for a few hours until I close it without a blog post and leave defeated.

So...with that being said, I am going about this blog a little differently. I can't promise punctuality or creativity, but my goal is to keep people updated with just how life with the coopers and in mexico really are going. It could be just photos at times, posts about ministry other days, or on the rare occasion that I get enough sleep to think profoundly or just a few minutes alone without having to duck away in the bathroom or run an errand, I might just have a super thought provoking post (but don't hold your breath for too many).

Alrighty....well, I guess I will have to give a short post on who we are for those who may stumble across this blog, but that will have to be next time. I am off to change a diaper.

until then...