At any rate...thanks for continuing to ask about us, how we're doing, what we've been up to, how the baby is doing, and all that jazz. We've just been so busy we were lucky to find time to SLEEP in December so, posting was not really at the top of the list. But, we do have a lot of fun things to share - so I'll work on it this afternoon.
Actually, the last few days, I have kind of felt like the lazy one around here. Mom and Dad are here from MN and between them and Stephen they've been working on all KINDS of projects. Yesterday I felt like I wasn't really contributing much and they're joking about me being "the boss." Of course, I DID write a LOT of thank you cards.....so that just took time while they were bustling all around me.
Last I posted we were starting to set up the baby's room. We've made LOTS of progress since then and, after the next couple of days we should have pretty much everything we need for the first days and weeks after the little guy decides to show his face.
Okay - first, we had LOTS of performances with the Mariachi this December. We did a new thing and joined with another church to have a "Mariachi Christmas" concert. As plans changed and developed the concert turned out very differently than we originally thought it would but, it was unique! In addition to performing some songs on their own, the Mariachi did several songs with 2, 3, and 4 year olds singing! They were pretty cute!
As you can see, I'm not wearing the traje (suit) like everyone else. It doesn't exactly fit! I've been the odd one one it black and white at performances since the second week of November. After hiking my skirt up (since it gets a little wider farther down) so far that it was becoming high-water and STILL having to safety pin the zipper so it wouldn't unzip and cause embarrassment Baby Heimer was getting way too squished and the momma-to-be couldn't breathe well enough to sing! Of course, even if the traje HAD fit, I can pretty much guarantee I would NOT have been wearing those boots for the 1 1/2 hour concert...my feet were tired enough in regular shoes!
Most of the Mariachi performances in December have been "Posadas." A Posada is basically a reenactment of Mary and Joseph looking for a place to spend the night. Kids dress up as Mary, Joseph, often an angel, sometimes even shepherds and kings and go from house to house (or building to building) asking for "posada" (lodging). There is a traditional song that is sung. In between stops we usually sing Christmas Carols. This is a tradition that was begun by the Roman Catholic church and has taken hold primarily in Latin American countries although, it seems to be MOST popular in Mexico. In addition to performing at many of these at YLM Mission churches with the mariachi and some others the group was invited to participate in, I attended several others throughout December because I am researching the history of the tradition, it's significance as both a cultural and religious custom, and proposing ways that this event can be used by churches as outreach into their Hispanic communities as my Thesis to FINALLY finish my Master's Program. I have a LONG ways to go with the research but, I learned a LOT through all that I did this December
Stephen singing along with the Mariachi at another mission church in Juarez.
Here we played at an outdoor amusement park that they had open for Christmas. (Kind of like going to ValleyFair for Christmas. (El Paso is a LITTLE warmer than MN) But, this night the temperature was about 36 and the wind was blowing HARD. There we were standing in the wind, FREEZING, playing our instruments for a very meager sized crowd. Some of the kiddos still went on a few rides afterward though! BRRRRRRRRRRRR.......
Last but not least for today - this is our newest Christmas decoration. One of the pastor's from Mexico brought it because someone had wanted to buy a nativity set carved by the Tarahumara Indians. However, it turned out that they didn't want one exactly like this, so, we got to keep it. I LOVE it! The Tarahumara Indians are a very impoverished indigenous people group from Mexico that we work with through a mission pastor farther into Mexico. Stephen and I first met (although neither of us remember it) on a mission trip to serve a Tarahumara village when we were in High School. Both he and I have gone there several times since with service groups and my Dad even made the adventurous trek with us a few years ago. We have baskets and other handiwork of theirs however, it's so nice to have a Christmas decoration that will remind us of those experiences as we celebrate Christ's birth every year as well.
Well, I haven't even gotten to what we've been up to since Mom & Dad have been here but, maybe by tomorrow!