Category Archives: Mexico

One Ginormous Pinata and a Fiesta Dinner a la Mexicana

Monday night we finished our Mexico week fiesta-style and, just in time, Brian got a new memory card so I was able to catch it on camera.(Apparently, this event also wiped me out as it has taken me a few days to post our fun.)  

Around lunchtime my sweet neighbor, “Grandma Doris” as we call her, came over with her tortilla maker and some ingredients and taught me how to make Sopes, traditional corn tortillas, folded and served with chicken, onions… I watched as she, with her hands, scooped out handfuls of corn flour and slowly mixed in warm water, all without any measuring whatsoever.  

Now at this point, I didn’t have the new memory chip and solely relied on the wonderful quality of the camera in my phone, and as I just uploaded my phone’s pictures had the not-so-timely realization that my phone’s memory card and our camera’s memory card are the same! Hmm, coulda used that about five days ago.  Oh well, such is life.  

Abuela Doris


Una Tortilla


Me, acting as assistant in my kitchen


Once the proper consistancy was met and approved by Grandma Doris, she used her tortilla maker to make a thicker, smaller “sope”.  Then, the sopes were cooked on a flat skillet until light brown on both sides and puffed up.  


Then, Grandma Doris passed them off to me and showed me how to pinch up the edges making them into a small “bowl”. This was HOT, HOT, HOT as they needed to be warm when you pinched them. Of course I didn’t use the towel like she showed me and just tried to tough it out with my bare fingertips.  


When everything was ready, we gathered our families together for some delicious traditional Mexican cuisine. Turns out there wasn’t much I ended up doing except for the dessert. Our friendly neighbors brought the filling for the sopes, beans, a delicious vegetable sopa and Agua de Jamaica-a sweet hibiscus tea that was a huge hit!  We added some sour cream and cheese (although apparently ours wasn’t at all Mexican like the label said) cilantro, lettuce, onions and then we ate!  

Vegetabel Sopa


Making the Sopes




Sopes Round Two with Tomatilla Salsa


 Our neighbors, Francisco (or San Francisco as Tallinn calls him), Grandma Doris, and Doris.   


Tallinn found a new fun place for the kids’ table, under the countertop.  


After dinner, the real fun began….a lifesize version of Pooh for the pinata, which was apparently all Brian could find on his quest into a more Latino nearby neighborhood to search for an authentic pinata.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a massive display of paper mache.  



We probably should have invited the whole neighborhood as we had enough candy for a small village.  

There is almost nothing funnier to me than spinning someone around and having them walk/run/try to hit a pinata. We had quite a few laughs watching the kids fall over time and again.  Tradition has each pinata “hitter” spin around once for each year of their life.  I also took a shot at the pinata, but didn’t quite spin around the 25 necessary times :).  

Addie taking her best swing


Doris and her husband Richard and their son little Ricky



Collecting the fun



Doris and her parents sang a traditional song sung in Mexico while someone is swinging at a pinata as the kids took their turns.  She couldn’t remember it entirely, but after each child went she remembered more and more and said it’s something like “hit it, hit it…” (sadly that’s all I remember). 

After blasting away the pinata, we came inside for some coffee and flan.  This picture is terrible, but it tasted delicious and got great reviews from all who partook. 


And that concludes our week fantastico in Mexico. We are so thankful for the help from our amazing neighbors and we are so glad to have a little bit of Mexico right across the street. 

Gracias Mexico! It won’t be long before we return, we promise. 

Long Viva Mexico! 

Now, as far as our family goes, we’re officially on summer break and will begin our journey again just after Labor Day. Stay tuned!

Missing Memory Card

Okay so not long ago one of our dear, sweet children decided to play with our camera while the lens was extended and managed to get the lens stuck in place rendering it useless.  We actually did have insurance on our FIRST camera, the same brand/model, but already had replaced it once and they only cover one camera per policy.  Thus, we were forced to purchase a new camera.

Now, it would have worked really nicely to buy another Canon like before and use our same memory cards, however the Sony was a much better price and, much to my father’s dismay we changed brands.  This would have been all well and great for our Mexico week had another one of our sneaky children not gone and lost our sole memory card to use with the new Sony camera.  I’m actually quite surprised the memory card lasted this long as it was slammed into the door of our hard-drive cabinet by another wonderful child recently and permanently bent in half, with a portion of the end missing.  Nonetheless, that hardy memory card managed to make it through our travels….that is until now.  It is gone, disappeared into the abyss, likely along with all the socks that we haven’t recovered, a few of my favorite earrings…

So, we HAVE been celebrating Mexico this week, I just haven’t been able to capture our experiences on film.  I haven’t been able to capture the Amate Bark Paintings we’ve been working on that I found on a fabulous art teacher’s blog and purchased in a PDF packet of 4 different around the world art lessons for $5, or the new marionette doll our neighbor gave Tallinn from Mexico (holding a pistol in it’s hand). I haven’t been able to capture our kids practicing speaking in Spanish, although Addie claims to know Spanish already and you should hear her sometime. It’s awesome!

Knowing our pace in purchasing new things, there is also a slight chance I won’t be able to capture the fun-filled fiesta night we have planned with our Mexican neighbors for tomorrow night, pinata and all.

I guess the moral of the story is, NEVER EVER let your kids touch, breathe on, smell, talk to, draw pictures of, etc. your camera OR its memory card.

Hoping to post some funness again soon.

Adios Muchachos!

Moving on to Mexico

There is a latin feeling in the air today in our home. We have arrived in Mexico, our Spanish-speaking neighbor to the south.  Being so close to Mexico we also have several Mexican neighbors and friends, so this week will be a bit more familiar and we’re going to have fun with it! 

While busting out our Mexican tunes, we left Lebanon on the globe and traveled south to Mexico where summer reigns and the weather is hot!  The kids placed stars on Veracruz where our wonderful neighbors are from, before coloring their maps. On I found a fun accordion-style Mexican flag that we colored and folded into an accordion fan. 


Tallinn pretending to play the accordion


Then, we finished with an edible flag….our first!  Using slices of bread topped with cream cheese I made the green and red stripes with various fruits/vegetables, then sprinkled a few sunflower seeds in the middle to resemble the Eagle that is on the Mexican flag. 

The all-veggie, best actual flag match Mexican Flag Snack


Option B: 1/2 veggie 1/2 fruit, using red grapes instead of red bell pepper, preferred more by the samplers.


Option C: The all-fruit option, grapes and pomegranate seeds

The Happy Samplers 



 There you have it.   Let the fun begin!