Writing With Emotion

The different writing styles of boys and girls.

Today my children asked for one of their favorite writing projects, the story exchange. Basically to do a story exchange, each child starts a story and then after a certain time period we pass the story on to the person next to them. Each child then adds on to that story and so on until each child has added something to their sibling's story. 

This was my 6 year old daughter's first time to do this activity and she found it very distressing. She kept trying to add stories about happy princesses and little girls eating chocolate and then her brothers would take their turn on her story and add trolls and orks and goat headed men who discover that the pretty princess was actually Medusa. Needless to say, what has been a favorite writing activity was not well received by my sweet little girl.  She ended up sprawled across her bed with tears pouring from her eyes. 

Although I still think it is a good writing exercise, I may have to wait a few years, or break the groups into a boys group and a girls group. The boys want to write about adventure and excitement, while we ladies would rather write sweet stories with happy endings.  This is just one more example of how differently boys and girls learn when given the opportunity to express their God given design.

Adventure loving son.
Distressed princess.


Family Vacation with a Purpose

For over 12 years now we have been combining family vacations with family mission trips. When I was pregnant with our 4th, we took a week to go to Mexico and help some missionaries there and our life was forever changed. Since that trip, we have made an effort to be either living in or visiting Mexico for mission work.

some of my guys

 About 8 years ago, we moved to Mexico and lived there for nearly 4 years, helping an orphanage and doing building projects to help local churches and friends. Now when we go on our biannual trips to Mexico, instead of feeling like a mission trip, it is more like an exciting vacation to see our friends.

We recently made the big drive down, making sure to stop at one of the beautiful 
 Southern California beaches on our way down.
the beach!
As we drove through the border into Mexico our 12 passenger van was flagged and we were given a semi thorough search. At one time, being pulled over to try and maneuver the laws of  Mexico might have made us nervous, but now it is just an expected annoyance.

After crossing the border we made the long trip down a dirt road to the home we lived in during our last few years there. We were warmly greeted by our friends who are living there now, a family who lives off the grid with very little in the way of modern conveniences, such as water and electricity.
The view from the east road, over the hill is the ocean.

Our time in Mexico is always busy. Visiting the orphanage and trying to remember the names of all the children, feeling sad about the ones who have left and trying to meet the new little ones, is always a highlight of our time in Mexico. 
some of our friends at the orphanage

Our other favorite part is seeing dear friends and trying to communicate with them in our fading Spanish. We have been so blessed by our times in Mexico. Something that seemed so frightening back when we first started going down is now like a visit to see family. There are some inconveniences to be sure (we stay off the grid and not at the Marriott), but we are blessed to have the privilege of being in relationship with Christians south of the border.
Visiting with friends over Pollo Asada