Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall is here

A week a ago today was the first day of Fall!
Even though here in Mexico we are in the 90's, we still love celebrating fall.
I always get really excited to see pumpkins and fun things to celebrate holidays.
I made some yummy gluten free brownies that are in molds of leaves and pumpkins. So, with our center pieces of pumpkins, the molds, and the baked brownies, i needed to take a picture.
This post is to just say HAPPY FALL Everyone!
Enjoy football season, leaves falling, warm cider, and all the fun starbucks fall flavors!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Our niece enjoying some fresh tamales!
Mis Maestras (My Teachers)
Rodo's family was able to come over and spend the day with us this past sunday. The last time we were all together i told them i have always wanted to know how to make tamales. For some reason, i think, if i start to cook mexican i will feel more mexican : )

They remembered that i wanted to learn so they brought everything over to teach me how to make them. We made bean tamales and Deshebrada ( a cut of meat here) tamales. THEY WERE SERIOUSLY SO GOOD! I have also been wanting to learn how to make deshebrada. so i was able to learn 2 things in one day! I am so pumped! we went step by step and i wrote everything out. it is funny i was looking at all the notes i took and the recipe is in spanglish. Hopefully i will remember everything!

This day was so fun. I love spending time with my in-laws!


I am officially in charge of our market here on the Back2Back campus. We used to take groups downtown and give them a certain amount of time to shop and stuff. I remember doing that when i came here as a group member. But around 5 years ago we decided to go a different route, having our guests safety being number one.
So now, i go out and do all the shopping, haggling, and bring the mexican market to our teams here on campus. I love finding good deals. So, this job is perfect for me. So, this year i am still in charge of food for our American teams that come but now i am also in charge of the Market.
Hopefully one day you all will be able to come shopping and check it out!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

El Grito

It is that time of year again:

El Grito:
Celebrating Mexican Independence Day with Casa Hogar Douglas.

A priest, Miguel Hidalgo, rang a bell at midnight to call people to fight on behalf of Mexico. Starting with just farmers who were willing to fight. And that is how the battle for Mexico began. This Battle lasted for 10 years.

Rodo was the lucky man who was able to do el grito (the yell for Mexico) this year. VIVA MEXICO!!!

Trooper also got dressed up for the occasion! We had games for the kids. People were dressed up in authentic Mexican dressings, and the best part was the food. We had corn with mayonnaise, chile, cheese. We also enjoyed a roasted pig. Everyone had so much fun with the games and music.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Celebrating Birthdays here are always a good time! This year Sebas decided he wanted to go bowling and out for tacos. So, we all went bowling and ate tacos way too late in the night. hahah. Bowling, for me, always sounds like so much fun and then i actually start bowling and i realize i am not as good as i think i am. But the experience with friends is the best part!

Sebas is one of our friends from a long time ago. I remember when Rodo, Kenzi, and I drove him all the way from El Limon (the casa hogar that is 6 hours away) to come be apart of our hope program. I remember when he started chef school. He is a bright young man who will succeed if he continues to put his mind in the right place. Our neighbors for the year, THE WHITED FAMILY, formed a special bond with Sebas and asked him to become a part of their family. They instantly bonded and it was so fun to watch them interact with sebas. So, Sebas moved out of one of our hope program houses (but was still a part of it) and moved in with the Whited's. This year for Sebas has been a good one. He has graduated from Chef School and is now working at a local sushi restaurant while the Whiteds are in the states. Their whole family (including Sebas) are in for a new journey. They are all going to serve at Casa Hogar El Limon as a family to help out with the 42 kids that live there. There was only 4 different worker for 42 children and David and Stacy (parents) felt the call to move their family there. Check out their story click here, Whiteds World. They are passionate people with passionate hearts for the orphan child. Sebas was just the beginning step! Now, he is a part of a family and watching the way they love on each other is unreal.
Hope you had a great birthday this year Sebas. We love you!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trooper Arguello

A sweet new addition to the Arguello family!

Meet Trooper! He was born on June 1, 2011 and was adopted by Rodolfo and Rebecca Arguello on July 10, 2011.

He was so little and cute we couldn't help but grab him. We fell in love with him instantly. Rodo named him and has been teaching him so many tricks.

Trooper loves to go on walks, play fetch, and sleep. He can sit, high five, and lay down. He knows spanish and english. Trooper has all of his shots now and is ready to go meet his cousins Oliver and Sampson. Oliver is my sisters dog and Sampson is my parents dog. We are hoping to travel with him around Christmas time!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Michaelyn Paige

Michaelyn Paige happens to be my 2nd cousin! God worked together in HUGE ways to get her here in Monterrey for 2 months.
Over this past new years, i was able to be at home and see my dad's entire extended family. We always have a blast when we are together. One of the highlights is seeing my cousin Michaelyn. We always hang out till really late at night playing games, rockin out to guitar hero, eating tons of sausage balls, and drinking WAY too much Dr. Pepper. She asked me if she would be able to visit Rodolfo and I for the summer. I was very interested because she is my favorite cousin, i just wasn't sure how it was going to work because for one we were going to be newlyweds and for another reason, summer is crazy for us staff here.
Well, after our wedding and reception in Oklahoma i asked around to see if anyone was still in need of a nanny for the summer. That way Michaelyn would be able to stay here on campus with all the other interns and nannies and still be able to be here for the summer! Well, Juan and Rosa Porto were still in need. So, i called Mikie (Michaelyn) and told her the position was hers if she wanted it. The VERY NEXT DAY she got her plane ticket and was set to be here for 2 whole months! I WAS SO EXCITED. she is the first in my family to really know what i do here!

Seeing her relate to everyone here on campus was so much for me to watch. God did a great work in her heart and in her life while she was here! After her first week here she had felt the Lord in real ways that she wasn't used to. She met with my dear co-worker and friend Angela twice a week because she was so enthralled by the Lord and wanted to know more. By week 3, she was dedicated to the Lord and changed her life to look more like His. And, at the end of the summer, she was baptized! All the pictures above were from her baptism party! I just cried the entire time. Being able to see her inside and out was something i had never seen before. I was so proud of her and the way she embraced everyone and everything that was new and different than what she was used to.

Leading a new life she has decided to pick up from her home in Austin, Texas and moved to Dayton, Ohio. She is now living with a family (wife and son in last picture) that is helping her get involved with a great church and good community. She is currently there and loving every moment of it. I have talked to her a couple times and she is just waiting on the Lord for a perfect job opportunity and everything will be put in place.

I am so proud of the woman you have become! Moving to places you don't know anyone or anything is a hard step of faith, but you did it. It might have been the bungee jumping that allowed you to take that one big leap of faith. hahah. I love you so much and it was so fun having you in my home for 2 months. You are such a blessing to my life and i am excited for what the future holds for you! God Bless you cousin and for all your hard work you did this summer here for the Porto's. Come visit me again soon please. Rodo wants to kick your booty in cards again! LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brandy and Cassie

Meet my friends Brandy and Cassie!

Every summer we have a discipleship program here between our summer interns and our staff. This summer I had the pleasure of meeting weekly with Brandy and Cassie. Most staff were paired up with a girl or boy only for one month. I was able to meet with these girls for the whole summer. We met weekly to work through some tough situations and to closen our relationships with the Lord. Being away for a summer can be tough, I remember that from being here for 5 summers in a row. So, I was able to understand what living with 12 other girls felt like, what it was like to miss your family or friends, and how to pray for glory strength to finish strong! One of the girls was a nanny as well so we had some fun sharing different stories about that.

I was very blessed to meet with each of these girls. Blessed to call them friends and I am already missing talking and hanging out with them!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Babies, Babies, and More Babies!!!!!

Lots of babies this time of year! Before summer we had a baby shower for the 5 babies That were due in August and September. My friend Jessica and I decided to make some onesies for all of them! Now all these sweet babies but 1 are here and hopefully enjoying some onesies!

I can't believe 5 babies in one month! I am in heaven holding all the little ones. And, don't worry, it will be A LONG time until Rodo and I are drinking the same water as everyone else on staff here :)

Friday, September 16, 2011


WEEK 8 OF SUMMER!!!!!!!!

This week was probably one of my favorite weeks while being on staff! 3 dance teachers from Ohio decided to hold a dance camp for our staff kids and the girls at Casa Hogar Douglas. In order for this dance camp to happen, they held one in Ohio first! Raised the money, Choreographed dances for every age, had dance clothes donated, had tutu's and bags made for every participant, and got decorations to make the atmosphere more fun. They worked their booties off to make this week PERFECT, and it was.

Every morning we went over to CHD a little bit early to set up and review what the day would look like. The theme for their camp was Princess of God. Every morning They started with worship songs, a theme for each day revolving around being a Princess of God, have story time where the girls were able to help out, and then off to class. The girls were split up by age. Each class had around 8 girls in it. Each class learned a routine and then came together to learn a routine with everybody. All songs were worship songs and were beautiful.

Each morning the classes were from 9-11 a.m. Then, after the camp each day we had fun activities planned. Throughout this week we took all the girls on a fieldtrip to a place near by called Kidzania. It is basically a town shrunk down to kid size. They can work and they get paid. They can spend their money to get something. They can work at Dominos pizza and McDonalds and eat the hamburger or pizza that they have made. It is really a neat place. They also had a spa day, pollo loco, and a swim party!

At the end of the week we were able to put on a recital for our entire campus at Back2Back. All the groups from week 8 and all the staff were invited. They made signs and were a great crowd. It was incredible! The girls did all of their dances for them and told them the different themes throughout the week that they had learned. After the recital, we invited the parents to come and eat some cake and celebrate all the success from the week.

This week, for me, was a perfect way to end the summer. Finishing off strong and with a big passion of mine. This week for the girls was even better. They didn't want it to ever stop! These girls were blessed in a huge way by 3 dance teachers who had a passion to bring love, Jesus, and dance to orphan and staff children! Thank you ladies for your heart and your service here!

Paloma's 15th Birthday

Paloma is from Casa Hogar Manantial de Amor (The Spring of Love). I have a special bond with the girls that live there. I sometimes take them different place or go hang out with them and we have so much fun. Paloma LOVES to dance. For her Quincenera she asked me to choreograph a dance for her and 2 friends. I was SO SAD in knowing that i had NO time whatsoever because we had 5 groups here that week and the week to follow! It was in the heat of summer. I seriously felt aweful. But when i told her i couldn't she was totally wonderful about it. She told me as long as i was there, she didn't care. Well, to my surprise, her and her friends choreographed their own dance and performed it the day of her Quincenera. These Quinceneras are a BIG deal for the Mexican Culture. It is the moment the young girl becomes a woman. Makes a promise to God to stay pure and it is basically like a wedding ceremony but her groom is the Lord. They have Padrinos ( people who are important to her) for the pillow she kneels on, her ring ( promise/purity ring) , a watch ( a time for every season), and people who help pay for the event to happen. She kindly asked me to be the Madrina of her ring. I was so blessed that she could have picked anyone, but she chose me.

It was a beautiful ceremony that started 2 hours after it was supposed to. ( no worries that is normal here in Mexico :) We had a group here who helped out with set up and tear down. And we all salsa danced the rest of day away!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kenzi Lee Couch

Kenzi is one of my best friends! My first year here in Monterrey, she took a year off of college to come and serve the orphan child and to be with her parents. Her parents were house parents for 5 years here in Monterrey.

Kenzi was a bridesmaid in our wedding! I cherish her friendship so much! She came this summer to visit for 2 weeks. It is always so much fun having someone here that knows you inside and out. That knows your hometown and where you don't have to start from the beginning. I always LOVE my time with Kenzi. When we are in the states you can usually find us at Sonic about 3 times a day, having a dance party, or watching really cool dances on youtube! We are constantly laughing when we are around each other. Kenzi brings laughter to any situation. That is what i love about her.

God has her on a new journey! She just picked up from Oklahoma and moved to Kentucky. She has a special someone up there! She found some great Christian roomates. I am super excited for her and her new journey. Praying that God has her in a place of peace during all the moving and transition. It is sad for me to think that every time I will be in Oklahoma, she won't be there :(

I love you Kenzi and am praying the best for your future!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Etiquette Class

David and Stacy Whited got together with House Parents, Darren and Hannah, and decided that our teens needed some correct guidance on how to behave when out at a nice restaurant! Realizing that they are teens and are at the age of dating, they decided to throw a nice dinner at the Whited's house. Rodo and I, Hope and Cheque, Hannah and Darren, and the Whited's were the servers for the evening.

In preparation for this specific night, they brought two of our teen homes together and watched a video on Etiquette while eating. David and Stacy not only talked to them about how to be polite while you are eating but also how to hold a conversation with your date, what fork to eat from, where the spoon goes, and how to place your utensils when finished with your meal. So, they learned everything before hand and then they were able to put everything they had learned into practice.

We rented table cloths, plates, glasses, and correct silverware for the occasion. We made the Whited's house look like a fine dining restaurant and paired each boy with a girl. They had to walk them in, tell us how many were in their party, and we sat them at their table. We served salad, grilled chicken, potatoes, a dinner roll, and variety of cokes. In the meantime, all the servers learned stuff as well. We learned you take plates from the left and put down in front of them on the right. ( i hope i remembered that correctly :)

At the end of night we served a dessert flan and gave them the bill. We wanted to show them what a meal like that would have cost for 2 people at a nice restaurant and they couldn't believe it. I think it put a lot of things in perspective for them. They normally get dinner just handed to them from their childrens home or their house parents. So, it showed them that if you want to impress a lady, you don't take her to a taco stand, but give her a chance to look pretty and for the boy to wear something besides soccer shorts, and to have a good conversation you might need to pay a little more than 20 pesos ( $2).

In the end, they had a great time, we had so much fun helping serve them and listen to the conversations flooding through that house! It was a great time of learning for all of us. It also reminded me of when i was going to prom in high school my mom had to sit me down and show me how to use a fork the correct way and to NOT EAT SO FAST! hahah oh the memories!!!!!!!